Monday, June 18, 2012

ways to eat quinoa


Try this out in your quinoa: Golden raisins (soaked in water to plump them up a bit) & salt and pepper cashews mixed in.

(These are a few pictures from dinner some time ago... baked salmon, sweet potato wedges, quinoa, little dinner rolls, and perfectly cooked French beans.*)

*By "perfectly cooked," I mean simultaneously tender and crispy. Yum!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

feral fruit in the 'burbs

Wild blackberries! A couple months ago I discovered this food blog that I really like. The girl who blogs also maps "feral fruit" in Melbourne, Australia, which I think is absolutely brilliant and is definitely something I want to do on my own.

My parents and I like to take my dog to this local nature trail/park in Alpharetta, and a few weeks ago we discovered a gazillion blackberry bushes everywhere. All the fruits are starting to ripen, and lots of people are already picking them. Yesterday we saw a woman and her daughter picking blackberries... They were seriously prepared - they came with a big ol' kitchen bowl!


Here's a quick tip for you - when it comes to foraging for wild blackberries, make sure to look for plump berries (ideally, they should feel almost as if they're about to burst!) and to stay away from those that are still purplish-red. Otherwise, anything you make will taste really sour and bitter. Also, watch out for all the prickly thorns. I got a bit too zealous and have my share of battle wounds to show for it.

Got to figure out what to make with all our blackberries, but I will definitely post our results soon!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

piccolini with zucchini... and squash

Finally, a post! I've been taking lots and lots and lots of food pictures... Just been lazy about uploading them all. Wah. Anyway, since I am at home for another few weeks before I move to New York, I have tons of time to share my foodie treats with you. :)

In our refrigerator, we had 1 baby squash, 2 baby zucchini, 1 large bag of carrots, 1 stalk of celery, roughly 1 cup of chickpeas, and a bit of leftover quinoa (among some other things). I decided to make a veggie lentil stew and some sort of pasta for dinner tonight, with my dad serving (sort of) as sous chef. The stew isn't that exciting since I've kind of blogged about it before, but the pasta was somewhat of an experiment.


When it comes to pasta, I'm not really a big fan of adding tomato sauce or alfredo sauce or whatever you typically see in Americanized Italian restaurants. Just give me some olive oil, some good shredded cheese, salt, pepper, and a splash of lemon, and I'm good to go. Unfortunately, we don't have lemon or any sort of passable shredded cheese, so I had to go the more minimal route, loosely based off of one of Jamie Oliver's recipes (he is the king of flavor combinations, in my opinion).

I sliced up a zucchini and a squash using a veggie peeler to get these lovely, paper-thin slices (FYI, a veggie peeler works, but a speed peeler might be more efficient). I minced 2 cloves of garlic and fried them in olive oil (be generous! - this will help dress the pasta) on medium-high heat for about 30 seconds, then added the squash and zucchini, tossed that around for a few minutes, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I tossed the zucchini-squash mixture with piccolini (made with carrot and butternut squash puree, apparently, courtesy of Barilla), and voila.

The pasta had a really nice clean taste. It's an insanely quick and easy summer pasta dish and would be great with some parmigiano reggiano, I think. Next time!

See? Truly, paper-thin!