I’m currently basking in post-exam bliss. 2L is almost over (still wrapping up clinic things), and I am ridiculously excited to enjoy the warmer weather before starting work for the summer (for which I’m also excited. Yes, I am a dork). Now if only it would stop raining.
Berries made their market debut a bit earlier this year, and they are actually quite sweet! I bought some strawberries at Trader Joe’s the other day for some strawberry shortcakes (recipe coming shortly. Oh. Ha. Pun.) and decided to use the leftovers for a smoothie–my new go-to study snack when working at home. I recently picked up a bag of chia seeds at TJ’s and threw some of them in as well. I became fascinated by chia seeds after learning they are rich in Omega-3s and fiber. Plus they are supposed to help with weight loss (always a good thing in my book) and, unlike flax seeds, you don’t have to worry about grinding them up or having them go rancid. They’ve got a pretty long shelf life and can be eaten straight out of the package. I wonder what other 90’s fads will turn out to have crazy good health benefits…
Why, hello there! Sorry for going MIA again. It’s beginning to turn into a talent, if I do say so myself.
So what have I been up to for the past few weeks? Well, let’s see:
- I finished my scholarly note. For those of you with a law student in your lives, you are probably well-aware that this behemoth of a legal paper is the bane of our existence. That being said, it felt incredibly rewarding when I turned in that thing. After massive amounts of editing, restructuring, then restructuring my restructuring, I was actually somewhat proud of the finished product–in that it contained at least one intelligible sentence. I consider that a success, don’t you?
- I caught the plague! There was no Easter celebration at our house this year. Yours truly came down with the stomach bug from hell within 24-hours of reaching my mom’s house. I couldn’t keep anything down for two-and-a-half days. I’ll spare you the details, but know that I ruined everyone’s holiday. May it never be said that I lack impeccable timing. I didn’t know it was possible to subsist on a diet of soup and Gatorade for as long as I did, but I managed. On the plus side, I am now back to eating normal food.
- I took the MPRE. That is all I will ever say on that matter.
- I’ve been out of town. After weeks of prep, I spent the larger part of the past week traveling with my clinic to Jamaica. While we didn’t have much downtime, I did take pictures of food and will post them as soon as they are developed (i.e. once I use up the rest of the pics on the disposable camera). Jamaican cuisine is delicious, and this trip reignited my love of scotch bonnet peppers.
So that’s what I’ve been up to over the past few weeks. I’m a bit tired, but feeling accomplished–especially given how well the trip went.
Whenever I get back from a trip, I like to make myself a decent breakfast the next day. Sunday was no different. Eggs have been on my mind lately. They’ve always been one of my favorite foods, but I tend to forget how wonderful they are. After a full day of traveling, nothing quite screams satisfaction like some runny eggs. This breakfast actually comes together quickly and is easily modified to serve a crowd or to incorporate whatever is lying around the fridge. Happy eating!
I haven’t forgotten about you. I swear. Things are a bit backed up here–partially because of my schedule and partially because my camera’s having uploading issues. Hopefully, all will be resolved this weekend. Til then, here’s a quick recipe for a chocolate-studded panettone bread pudding. Sorry for the lack of pictures–these are the only ones that would load!
There’s nothing I hate more than a cold. This past week was pretty bad health-wise for those of us at the law school. It seemed like all of my friends were sick, and my friend Amanda and I got pretty bad colds. All of my Vitamin C consumption just couldn’t stave off the law school germs. It probably didn’t help that I’ve been staying up late doing work for the past week and a half, but what’s done is done. I’m just hoping that I’ve fulfilled my cold quota for the year and that the germs will now leave me alone. What can I say? I’m an optimist sometimes.
After a week of soup, soup, and more soup, I was really craving something hearty last night. I spotted this recipe for vegetarian burger a few days ago on Tastespotting and pinned it within seconds of reading the ingredient list. I love black beans. Black bean soup, black bean salad, black beans burritos. You name it, I will eat it. And I love veggie burgers. I’m always looking for more ways to get in my daily dose of protein, and this was just the ticket. It’s hearty and flavorful, and you can easily adapt it to what’s in your kitchen.
The original recipe calls for quinoa, but I am somehow completely out. So I substituted farro. While the grains normally take 35 to 45 minutes to cook, Trader Joe’s now makes a great ten-minute variety. I am actually obsessed. If you haven’t tried farro yet, you definitely should. It’s nutty and filling, and Oprah has classified it as a health food (so it must be true). All I know is that I feel great eating this whole-grain, and it doesn’t hurt that it tastes fantastic!
Sorry for the posting delay. The end of last week was a bit busy. Here’s that promised side dish I’ve been raving about for the last week or so:
As mentioned, I made this for a dinner that I hosted for a few of my high school friends. I am a big fan of kale–especially in the winter. It’s so crunchy and good for you; I can almost feel my arteries clearing up while I eat it. And then I go do things like add it to a gratin and counteract all that artery-clearing with some cheese. But it’s the thought that counts, right?
This recipe comes from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, which I wrote about last week. It’s a great dish for a crowd; one recipe fed eight of us with plenty of leftover for my lunches (and dinner) over the weekend. Plus the bites of kale and caramelized onion just go so well with the nutty wild rice. Plus, who can resist a dish with a cheesy-panko topping?
So visualize healthy thoughts while you eat this. I’m sure that it counteracts the cheese? Conversely, maybe all the kale intake will inspire you to go to the gym. In any case, you only live once. Might as well eat happy. Continue reading
Yesterday was uncharacteristically warm, topping off at over 60 degrees with tons of sunshine and practically no wind. Given that D.C. has been in the 20s and 30s since Inauguration weekend, this random burst of warmth was quite welcome. I wore a dress for the first time in ages and gave my wool coat a break as I opted for a vest.
Don’t get me wrong; I love cold weather. But cold winter days have a tendency to put me in a rut, both wardrobe-wise and foodwise. Not only do I pile on layer upon layer of sweaters and coats, but I also feel like I need hearty, filling food to cope with the season. The problem is that most comfort food consists of rich stews, roasted chickens, and lentil- or bean-filled chili or soup. Needless to say, one gets really sick of eating the “brown” food group most of the time, and yesterday’s weather was the perfect reason to break this habit.
I tried to stick to winter-friendly ingredients–things that you can find in plentitude during the cold season. The crunchy kale pairs well with the bold flavor of blood oranges and the sometimes sharp bites of fennel. Plus, combining blood orange juice with sherry vinaigrette produces a dressing with the perfect amount of tang. And–personal health plug–this salad is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Total win.
So here’s to incorporating color into your winter menu. Happy eating.
** Side note: I’ll post the promised Smitten Kitchen side dish on Friday. I just thought the weather called for a salad post!
The tortilla is a staple of my breakfast diet. I’m not much of a toast person. This tends to shock most people considering that I could easily devour half of a crusty French baguette if you let me. I think it comes down to my abhorrence of sliced bread. One loaf will actually languish for months in the freezer–at which point it’s developed a severe case of freezer burn, and I’ve decided that it’s disgusting to keep bread in one’s freezer for that long and chuck it.
But back to the tortilla. The tortilla has become my go-to breakfast vessel on days when I actually manage to eat breakfast. I am a big fan of eggs, and tortillas just make eating them on the go so much nicer. They just taste more delicious when all rolled up in burrito form. Ever slathered a tortilla in cream cheese and just eaten that? No. Well, get to it, people! Totally unhealthy and totally delicious. These are the things that dorm life taught me.
Plus, the handmade tortillas from Trader Joe’s are just so freaking soft and delicious…
Anyway, I was hangry yesterday morning. Yes, that is an “a” not an “u.” I was ravenous, tired, and cranky, and desperately wanted either a quesadilla or some eggs (both of which are very legitimate things to want at 8.30am). This is the result of my cravings. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy eating!
All right folks, I’m going to let you in on a secret. This is probably the one recipe that I make which always gets compliments, and I’ve long suspected that it’s the primary reason I get invited back to dinner parties. I have never made this bread and not witnessed it be entirely devoured before the meal is halfway over. Seriously, it is that good.
As you’ve probably noticed, I have a thing for Italian food. Having studied in Florence, my appreciation for Italian cuisine grew exponentially, and I love the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients and simple take on food. Italians don’t make garlic bread like Americans do. For them, it’s a simple piece of toast, rubbed with a piece of raw garlic that accompanies soups. It’s fresh. It’s healthy. And it really showcases the garlic.
But, sometimes. . .well, sometimes you need some good ol’ cheesy “American-style” garlic bread. And that is where this recipe comes in. It’s from America’s Test Kitchen. I haven’t a clue if the recipe is still available online somewhere, but I have made this so many times that I no longer look it up–and I’m fairly certain the measurements are quite different at this point. It’s cheesy. It’s buttery. It’s so bad for you that it’s good. It’s basically the polar opposite of actual Italian garlic bread.
But you know what? Sometimes. . . sometimes I’m ok with that.
I hope this scores you many dinner party invites and provides you endless happiness as you lament the fact that Ben Affleck didn’t receive an Oscar nod for directing Argo (I’m bitter). Happy eating.
A few Saturdays ago, I visited one of my favorite Ethiopian restaurants in D.C., Etete, with my friends West & Amanda (of apple and pumpkin picking fame). I love trying different ethnic cuisines, and Ethiopian food is definitely near the top of my list. We settled on the vegetarian combination (without fish), some Kitfo (a spicy beef curry), and Yebeg Alicha (a milder lamb stew). Everything was delicious. While I love the meat curries, I’ve mentioned before on the blog that I’m not much of a meat eater. As a result, it was only natural that my favorite part of the meal wound up being the variety of lentils in the veggie combo.
This, of course, made me crave some of my mom’s parippu. If you’ve ever eaten Indian food, this is probably better known to you as Daal. Just think of this as the Kerala version of the dish. I wound up calling my mother so many times last night that she thought I’d been in some sort of accident when she saw all the missed calls. Nope, just needed the recipe.
While I was pleased with the results, this would have benefit from some cilantro and curry leaves. I, of course, had neither because I ran out of the former and pretty much never have the latter. What can I say? I’m a bad Indian. Cilantro or not, this dish is delicious, healthy, and easy to make. And, now that Trader Joe’s sells red lentils, you really have no excuse not to make this. Happy eating!
Dear Future Exam-Taking Self:
While I appreciate that you had grand plans to start outlining this weekend, you really made a wise decision by visiting Union and Eastern Markets with friend and foodie Amanda, doing laundry, getting ahead on reading, and, you know, choosing to make granola instead of opening those pesky class notes. While you may not actually understand the rules of evidence as well as you should, keep in mind how delicious procrastination was. One day, you may make those granola-crusted nuts that inspired you on Smitten Kitchen. But, until then, just remember to breathe and to take a bite of your latest creation. While it may not give you the answer as to what constitutes a Fourth Amendment violation, it will provide endless comfort in the form of mildly sweetened oats, chocolate, pecans, and cranberries. You. Are. Welcome.
All the best,
Present Outline-Avoiding Self