Posts Tagged hummus

Meal-in-a-Bowl

I’ve been thinking about a full meal in a bowl being a good way to eat a satisfying, healthy and balanced meal.  You’ve got your protein, starch and veggies all playing nicely together.  And, since I’m a guest here and we don’t really use the dishwasher, it’s a good way to cut down on the dishes I have to wash.

I was craving beans in a major way, and had celery and carrot in the fridge, so I made Cajun-style red beans and brown rice which turned out to be more veggie than bean, which is fine with me.  On the side is steamed spinach, and some baby romaine that was on its way out.

I still had most of the gargantuan mango from my last post, and was still in the mood for beans, so I wanted to make some sort of quinoa/black bean/mango dish.  Alas, the grocery stores here are very basic, and there is no quinoa to be found.  I went with potatoes as the starch instead, and relegated the mango to a condiment of sorts.  I consulted my friend Jackie in whether I should call it a relish, pico de gallo or chutney, and we decided it was most like a relish or pico, so Jackie suggested pico de relish.  In the end I decided on relish de gallo, because “relish of the rooster” sounds more fun than “beak of the relish”.  So this is Black Bean and Corn Hash with Mango Avocado Relish de Gallo, topped with hot sauce.

Here we have leftover broccoli in hunan sauce with brown rice with store bought teriyaki tofu.  I may have put it all in a bowl just to go with the bowl theme.  Shhhhh….

Lastly, Hannah’s Sesame Noodles.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly – I couldn’t find soba noodles and used whole wheat spaghetti instead, didn’t have any ginger (thought I did and was very disappointed), used white sugar instead of brown and doubled the quantity, peeled my carrot and zucchini with a normal peeler since my julienne peeler is packed away, added sauteed cremini mushrooms and shelled edamame for some extra oomph, and garnished with cilantro just cause I had some.  This recipe is good!  Next time I will definitely make sure I have ginger, and cut back a tad on the soy sauce since it was just a bit too salty for me.

And now, since not everything can fit in a bowl, here are some randoms.

I made my first real shopping trip to Trader Joe’s.  I stopped by one a few years ago, and after actually shopping there I have the same opinion I did back then.  They have some really cool products and I’ll definitely go from time to time, but some of the items are a bit expensive, and they don’t have enough “normal” grocery items.  Like, the spices were extremely limited and I couldn’t find sesame seeds.  It seems impractical to not carry stuff like that, people don’t want to have to go to two stores.  TJ’s seems like a great place for people who don’t want to or don’t have time to cook, lots of good ready-made food.  My total purchase came to almost $50, although $8 of it was for soy yogurt, which I can’t find in town.

Some home fries made with potatoes I didn’t use in the hash above.  Part of a big breakfast for bf before his first job interview today.  So good with ketchup.

One of my (and probably your) favorite lunches, plain ol’ hummus with pita and veggies.

Up next:  Hopefully a couple uses for the world’s largest zucchini.

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Orlando Weekend

For my birthday last month I asked bf to take me to Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba.  Since the date we picked to go coincided with our anniversary, we decided to book an extra night and go for the whole weekend.  In addition to seeing La Nouba and sleeping a lot, we took the opportunity to try some new restaurants and visit an old favorite.

Friday we left work early to get on the road and visit Garden Cafe for dinner.  I had heard only good things about this vegetarian Chinese restaurant and was excited to try it, bf not so much.  But he made do.  I was actually worried about deciding what to order, as I’m not used to having so many options.  From what our waitress said only a few menu items included egg or honey, the majority was vegan.

I started with the wonton soup.  The wonton filling was a little bland, but the stock was very nice.

garden cafe

BF got a spring roll which looked good.

garden cafe

BF loves lo mein so he ordered the Combination Lo Mein, which had a couple kinds of veggie meat.

garden cafe

I chose one of the house specialties, Orange Beef.

garden cafe

I had a choice of brown or white rice which I always appreciate.  Here’s my brown rice posing next to a shrimp I stole from bf’s lo mein.

garden cafe

Overall the food was very good.  If you’re not a fan of fake meats they had veggie and tofu selections as well.  It’s a little pricy compared with standard Chinese fare, but the portions are large enough for leftovers.

We travelled onward to our hotel, Buena Vista Palace.  We were originally thinking of staying at a “moderate” Disney hotel, but this was a much more affordable room that was still really close to all the Disney action.  The decor was modern, the bed was comfy, and the room was cold.  We opted for a “Disney view” room, so Friday night we watched the fireworks over Epcot.  Here’s the view when we arrived, you can see the Epcot sphere at the right on the horizon.

disney view

After the fireworks we headed to one of bf’s favorite places on earth, the ESPN Club at the Boardwalk, to watch the A’s/Giants game.  I was feeling snacky so I ordered fries, which came in this contraption.

espn club

I think it’s supposed to be like a basketball hoop?  I’m still not sure.  I didn’t know it came with the dipping sauces on the bottom, and didn’t eat any of them.  Ketchup is enough for me.

Saturday morning we ate blueberry muffins I had pulled from my freezer, and I had hotel coffee with instant creamer and stevia, which was actually pretty good.  For lunch we headed to Big River Grille, also in the Boardwalk area.  This brewpub is owned by Gordon Biersch, who also owns A1A Aleworks in St. Augustine.  I had previewed the menu online to be sure I’d find something to eat there.

I ordered their beer sampler, 3 ounces of 6 kinds of beer.  It was quite a bit for lunch, but I like to get samplers at brewpubs to get a feel for everything they do.  This was after I kicked the table and spilled some of it.

big river grille

I didn’t care much for the light lager or the pilsner.  The seasonal wheat beer was okay, and the special cherry beer in the middle was interesting.  The flavor was good but it had lost carbonation in the brewing process since it was an experimental beer.  My favorites were the darker beers, the pale ale and the red ale.  I’m not sure why there weren’t any truly dark beers, I guess they brew those seasonally.

For lunch I ordered the hummus appetizer minus the feta it comes with.  I was pretty hungry and forgot to take a picture until I was a couple bites in.

big river grille

The hummus was standard, good but not anything special.  My only wish was that there were more veggies.  I was worried an appetizer portion wouldn’t be enough, but thankfully this was plenty to get me through until dinner.

After lunch we went back to the room and took a TWO AND A HALF HOUR nap.  We didn’t mean to sleep that long.  The room was just so dang comfortable!  It was lucky bf had thought to set an alarm just incase.

Next stop was La Nouba.  We got dressed up all nice, but bf didn’t want to appear in a photograph.

la nouba

The show was amazing.  I knew it would be good, and it delivered.  Even bf, who wasn’t sure he would like it, said “I liked it a lot more than I thought I would”.  If you ever have a chance to see any of the Cirque du Soleil performances, go.  I hope to see more of them.

We had planned to go to dinner that night at an Ethiopian restaurant, but it took a little longer to get out of the theater than anticipated, and bf was hoping to be back at the ESPN Club by 9 for another baseball game.  So we decided to postpone our dinner plans and just eat at the ESPN Club.  I knew thanks to one of Ruby Red Vegan’s Disney food posts that there was a suitable veggie sandwich on the menu.  I double checked with our waitress, who sent the chef out with a list of ingredients to go over with me, and sure enough the Grilled Veggie Sandwich with Cucumber Salad is vegan!  It was pretty good too, the bread was hearty and the vegetables well seasoned.  The only thing that got me was that the grilled veggies had been chilled so the whole meal was cold.

espn club

I wasn’t in a beer mood, so I got this frou frou drink which I think was called the Power Play.  It had blue caracao, melon liqeuer, lemon and pineapple juice, and I think rum.  I’m a sucker for anything with melon liqeuer.

espn club

We slept like babies again Saturday night.  The next morning we packed up, walked around Downtown Disney for a bit, then headed to Nile Ethiopian.  I’d only had Ethiopian food a few times, and was looking forward to trying it again.  I ordered the vegetarian combination plate.

nile ethiopian

From left to right there is a salad with vinegary dressing, spicy lentils, split peas, collard, and cabbage on the bottom.  I don’t know the proper names of the dishes but I know they were all tasty.  BF liked the flavors but wasn’t a big fan of the sour injeera bread you use to scoop.

Overall I had a great time.  We slept a lot, ate a lot, saw an awesome show, and now it’s back to the daily grind.  I hope everyone else had a great weekend.

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Local Food, Simple Dinners

I don’t get to the farmer’s market as often as I could, and should.  I forget!  But I remembered last week.  I bought some broccoli, lettuce, organic beets, a canteloupe, mini seedless cucumbers, and a loaf of multigrain bread, and maybe something else that I’m forgetting, all for $15 (the bread alone was $5.50).  Does anyone else notice how local food tastes like dirt?  Maybe I’m crazy, or maybe elsewhere it doesn’t, but I notice that the food I buy at the farmer’s market tastes a bit like dirt, even after a thorough washing.  And I like it.

I don’t plan meals or what I’m going to buy when I go to the market, because you can’t, really.  I just buy what looks good and is in season, and then tend to treat it really simply to just enjoy it as is.  The mini cucumbers kill me, they’re so good, and they go perfectly with hummus.  I was feeling particularly lazy the next day, so I got some store-bought hummus, roasted the beets, and this was dinner.

hummus platter

I was also trying to use up the rest of the aforementioned Esme’s sauce and the beet greens, so last night I did up some pasta with a side salad.  And a glass of wine.  The larger size of Yellowtail Shiraz was on sale for the price the smaller bottle normally runs!

pasta & salad

I’d never had beet greens before, and I like them a lot.  All the green-ness of kale or chard, without any of the bitter.  I’ll probably be eating beet greens whenever possible from now on.

By the by, if you’ve never had the Sabra brand hummus and you see it, buy it.  That is a command. 

It’s so good.  I’ve had classic, roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, and supremely spicy, and they’re all amazing.  I don’t know how they do it.  I’ve looked at the ingredients list and it’s what you would expect of a normal hummus, but something they do to it makes it so good.  Worth the price.

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