Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting old

I just realized that I should change my age in my little profile blurb on the side there ---->

Yesterday I turned 27. I think I'm having a bit of a age crisis, suddenly realizing that I think of 27 as being OLD. It certainly didn't help last night when I didn't get carded for my drink at the restaurant. Anyways, rather than blather on about how OLD I'm getting, I'll just show you that I'm not that damn old. I took this last night, as I'm going to try to resurrect my 365 day self portrait project. I think I look pretty damn good for 27.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Broccoli Pasta Toss

Quick recipe (with my notes at the end) for our lunch today. Super easy, and really yummy!

Broccoli pasta toss
2 cups broccoli florets
4 ounces fettuccine, broken in half
1 Tbsp oil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp. sesame seed, toasted

In a large saucepan, boil water and add broccoli and pasta. Cook for 6-8 minutes or just until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return to pot and toss with oil. Add garlic, cheese, sesame seeds and pepper to taste. Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

My notes:
1) The cook time on this.....isn't so right. The instructions on my box of fettuccine said to boil for 12 minutes for al dente. So I cooked mine for 12 minutes, adding the broccoli in about halfway, and honestly, I think the broccoli was still overcooked and mushy. I'd probably stick with the 12 minutes, but add the broccoli when there's 4 minutes left of cook time.
2) I'm pretty sure I used more than 1/8 tsp of garlic powder, but I love garlic. Mmmm.

This was pretty good, and with the cook-time modification, I'll probably make it again. It was a nice easy lunch.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Easy Menu Week!

So, I'm fully aware that some of the stuff I make isn't exactly what a lot of people have time/energy for after a long day. But a lot of it is. As anyone who knows me real well is aware, I'm a big lobbyist for "real food". When I say real food, I mean minimal processing. I prefer to eat food that I've cooked myself, without having to worry about what other extra crap I'm eating. So to that end, I'm a lot more willing than a lot of people to put the extra effort into a meal at the end of the day. But it almost drives me nuts to hear people say, "Well, I just don't have the time/energy to cook like you do". Yes, you do! Cooking healthy food doesn't have to be time consuming or laborious, and in a lot of cases, it's actually cheaper than all of the pre-packaged processed crap that so many people eat out of convenience. So this week, I'm focusing on easy-to-prepare, yet still (mostly) healthy food that doesn't take hours to make, and I'll be including recipes.

Tuesday - Stewed Tomato Pasta (Recipe to follow)

Wednesday - Soy sauce chicken wings and fried rice (Ok, maybe a little bit of a sodium overload, but we don't eat like this very often, and for the most part, it's not horrible for you. If anyone wants the fried rice recipe I use, I'll post it.)

Thursday - Mexican Chicken (Literally, just chicken breasts and salsa. Put the chicken in a baking dish, pour salsa over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve over rice. It's deceptively simple and really tasty.)

Friday - Broccoli Pasta Toss (Recipe to follow. I haven't made this one before, but it looks really good.)

Saturday - Hamburger Hotdish

Sunday - Pasta Alfredo (Homemade alfredo sauce is SO easy to make. Fattening, but easy, delicious, and nasty stuff-free. I'll be making the pasta from scratch, which if you have the time, makes this recipe SO much better, but it's still great with store-bought pasta as well. Recipe to follow.)

I spent about $35 on groceries for all of this, but the only reason it was that much is because I was out of a lot of staples. I had to get minute rice, to keep with the "easy" theme of the week, and apparently, Target does not have a store brand of the minute rice anymore. :( I also had to get another 2 pound block of cheddar (we go through a lot of cheddar), so that added $8, and another block of Parmesan cheese was $2.49 (I never, ever buy green can grated Parmesan cheese.) So it did add up, but mostly because I needed to buy damn near everything.

Stewed Tomato Pasta
(This recipe serves 8-10, I usually do a half recipe)
2 14.5 ounce cans stewed tomatoes with juice
1 3/4 cups of chicken broth (this is equivalent to one 14 oz can)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 12 ounce package of spiral pasta

In a Dutch oven, combine everything except the pasta. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 16-18 minutes, until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally.

My notes on this recipe: I mash the tomatoes with a potato masher before adding the pasta. I also add garlic salt and onion powder with the Italian seasoning, and I top with fresh grated Parmesan for serving. It's delish! :)

I will get additional recipes up in the next couple days!