Saturday, June 23, 2012

Heat Wave

It's hot here. Actually above 90 degrees, plus humidity. And our apartment doesn't have air conditioning, but I have roommates, so clothes are not optional. Point of fact, my work doesn't have fully functioning air conditioning either, but who cares, only homeless people go there (imagine that sentence in my sarcastic voice).

I chomped on some of these refreshing gems at lunch today. I got four little pomegranates in the reduced produce bin for $1.73!!! That's a huge deal. Usually, the small ones don't even seem worth it, since they are usually priced individually, not by pound. I found a method for easy pomegranate seed removal that is basically just cutting it in half and banging on it with a wooden spoon. Stress outlet AND a delicious reward!

I took a little drive across the border to visit IKEA and go shopping in Montreal last weekend. The win of the day were these jars that I put my bulk dry foods in (and some iced tea on the end). I need more, because obviously sugar and flour and more bean and rice varieties will need to be represented. Left to right, popcorn, rice, lentils (on bottom), quinoa (on top), and iced tea. Score!

The other highlight of the day was lunch at Crudessence. My friend is gluten-free and I am vegan, so we are very high maintenance diners (God forbid our SOs ever say that though). Crudessence is gluten-free, vegan, and raw. It was my first raw dining experience, so I went for something traditionally raw, a salad. However, my salad did include raw/vegan/gluten-free butternut cheez slices, seed crackers, "egg" salad, and "tuna" salad. It was hugely filling and very good. The bestest part was the desserts. I had Blueberry Uncheesecake and my friend got the Key Lime Pie made with avocado. Both were beyond delicious - as good as any traditional desserts I have had. I recommend picking up a treat while out and about in Montreal.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Check out that Checklist

So, I really like checklists. Something about those empty boxes just waiting to be checked. And yes, all of my checklists have check boxes. The month of June has been a little beyond busy for me. I worked or went to all day trainings for 17 days straight. Interspersed in there were several 12 hour days. Needless to say, some other parts of my life suffered. My latest checklist took an hour to write and prioritize and extends into August. Checklists make my world seem manageable.

One item, sorely neglected in the last three weeks, was cooking. You know, meals and food and all that other stuff that keeps you going. Instead of cooking, I've been blowing my food budget on take out sandwiches and frozen meals. No longer!

Lookit this picture!! I actually took pictures while cooking! This was abso-ridiculously delicious and just what a fresh and easy dinner should taste like. My friend was overwhelmed by the bounty of his CSA share and gifted me 1 lb of kale, fresh basil, and a bunch of scallions. I made sauteed kale and my first ever batch of kale chips. The chips tasted exactly like greasy junk food - I think I could use waaay less oil than I did and they would still taste like an indulgence.

Basil Zucchini Pasta

1/2 lb pasta (I used quinoa pasta- expensive, but full of protein)
4 tomatoes
1 tbl olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 zucchini
big bunch of basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta. Chop tomatoes, zucchini, and basil. Mince garlic and sautee in olive oil. Toss the pasta in the olive oil and add veggies and basil. I cooked it just until everything was heated through.
So delicious and simple!

The tomatoes were from my CSA share last week, which makes the majority of the produce in this meal Vermont grown and consumed. I hope this will be the first of many recipes to come.

Coming up this week: Book Club, a bbq, Wanderlust, and a visit to Southern Vermont!