Sunday, July 27, 2014

In My Recipe Box: The Americanized International Food Edition

These recipes take familiar favorites but prepare them American style (e.g., turning Mexican enchiladas into a casserole, jazzing up traditional pesto with pistachios and rosemary, and baking millet-stuffed Falafel).  If you enjoy bold flavors but not necessarily (hot) spicy food, these ideas might suit you well.  Dan and I agreed that we definitely would make them each again.

Lunches and Snacks
  • Dessert Hummus
    • Yes, it sounds so weird.  Just don't knock it until you've tried it, okay?  Think of beans as bland little blank canvases ready to take on any flavor.  This recipe may be a better one for a first try.
  • Mexican Casserole
    • We of course made a few tweaks to make it vegan-friendly: substituting nutritional yeast and vegan cheese for the dairy cheese and forgoing toppings such as sour cream.  The leftovers of course reheated nicely--the beauty (maybe the only?) of casseroles!
    • Worth noting: Trader Joe's carries roasted corn in the freezer section, which is what I now use anytime a recipe calls for corn.  It puts other frozen and canned corn options to shame (and honestly, sometimes even beats out fresh corn).
  • Quinoa Caesar Salad
    • Omnivore friends, don't discount vegan Caesar dressing.  For entertaining, vegan options are great since there is no worry of spoilage.  This recipe did not exactly replicate Caesar dressing, but it did replicate the tang that I think is most associated with the American favorite.
  • Pistachio Rosemary Pesto with Power Greens
    • Really, really good.  I served the leftover sauce over zucchini and squash noodles for lunch, which was also delicious.
  • Falafel with Tahini Garlic Sauce
    • This is just a fun meal.  I think it would be great to set up a pita bar while entertaining.  Dan and I made it for ourselves on a weekend night, and we spread out tons of sliced cucumber, crispy potatoes, and chopped romaine.  but there is something that is festive about assembling one's own meal.
Sweet Treats
  • Easy Vegan Cheesecake
    • Make this vegan dessert and no one will know it's vegan.  Promise.  And it's way better for you than traditional cheesecake (Alas, it is certainly not calorie free, but you can tell yourself that many of the calories are calories from good fats!).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On My Desk Right Now, 7.22.14

A semi-regular feature where I share what is catching my attention.

1.  Throw Out 100 Things Challenge
Ooh, this sounds right up my alley.  Jess gives seven tips for "exfoliation."
Going through our stuff and identifying what we don’t need, use, or love is a lot like giving our home a facial.Plus, regular exfoliations control clutter and highlight what we don’t want to acquire in the future.

I've always been a big believer in sleep.  These studies confirm what we already suspect, but I was surprised to learn that even slight sleep deprivation can affect relationship satisfaction and a full moon actually does result in a poorer night's sleep.  Bottom line?  Sleep matters--big time.  
Constraints can narrow a boundless sea of possibilities to a manageable pool.  Writer Rajesh Setty finds that even Twitter has its merits.
I resisted using Twitter for a long time, thinking it was a total waste of time. I even told several of my friends that they were wasting time on Twitter.
“After all, what can you really say in 140 characters?” was my explanation.
In one such conversation, my classmate Navin Nagiah (currently the CEO of DNN Software) asked me a question back: “Raj, is it that Twitter is a waste of time or that you don’t have what it takes to make the most of what the platform provides?”
4.   Low-fuss shopping strategies for men who hate the mall.
Enough said.

5.  What No One Ever Told You About Work-Life Balance
I've said before, balance is overrated.  This article expresses a similar sentiment: achieving balance doesn't  always produce the results for which we hoped.  
Balance isn’t easy, fast, or always fun. It requires constant movement, constant attention.
That’s why it can feel like we’re not truly balanced even when we are. Sometimes when we’re doing exactly what is required to keep our balance, we feel the most unbalanced. That’s only because we've misunderstood balance and expect it to do something for our lives that it can’t.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

In My Recipe Box: The Summer Soups Edition

This week has been a bit cooler here in DC, so warm soups weren't unappealing.  We needed to figure out a way to use up all of our CSA goods!

Lunches and snacks

  • Dan's favorite snack mix
    • I've perfected snack mix because it's Dan's favorite.  One of these days, I should type up the recipe, but that would mean I would have to measure.
  • Lentils with artichokes and figs
  • Kale chips from the Choosing Raw Cookbook