Thursday, December 6, 2007

simple is as simple does

Okay, so I was trying to come up with a title for today's post about simple food and preparations, and that's what I came up with. And, then I realized that I'm calling myself simple. Ah well.

Anyhow, I was just thinking about ways to make really quick, healthy-ish, tasty dinners. When I get home from work I'm often ravenous, and if I don't have leftovers for the day before I sometimes find it hard to have the patience to take the time to cook up something good. Tuesday night was one of those nights. I got home, walked the dog, pet the cat, and found myself staring blankly at a ridiculously over-stuffed refrigerator and pantry shelves thinking "I don't have anything to eat!". And, that was half-true. I didn't have anything prepared to eat, but I did have (do have) tons of food with lots of kinetic meal-stuff stored up inside 'em.

So, I first made a snack to tide me over until dinner was ready. Some of my leftover biscuits with jam. (have I mentioned that I love these biscuits?)

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Then I scrubbed up a couple of sweet potatoes, poked them with a fork a few times (to let the steam escape), wrapped them in foil, and baked them at 350 for an hour. When they were done, I opened them up, and decided to make them into sorta twice-baked potatoes. So, I scooped out the flesh, and mashed with a little maple syrup (3-4 T.), a pat of butter (you could easily leave this out or use Earth Balance to make this vegan, unless you're a maple syrup-eschewing vegan, that is), a shake or two of cinnamon, ditto for cayenne, cumin/coriander (I have a spice blend that has both). I topped them with chopped pecans, and stuck them back in the oven for a bit while I was making my greens.

A couple weeks ago I had some really fantastic sauteed greens at Leslie's. I can't remember exactly how she did them, but this was an homage to that meal, and also because I love the word "garlicky".

Garlicky Sauteed Kale
(you could sub any green leafies for the kale, makes 2 big servings)

1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with some coarse sea salt
1-2 T. olive oil
red pepper flakes
malt vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat a skillet of medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, and cook for a few minutes, but don't brown the garlic. Throw in the greens, and stir around to get all the leaves coated in the olive oil. Cover, and cook about twenty minutes, or until tender but al dente (time will vary if you're using other greens). Splash with a few shakes of malt vinegar. Enjoy!

It was exciting to have this really beautiful and easy meal with very little effort!
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What are your favorite last minute or lazy evening meals?

Oh! Oh! Oh! Big news!

My pals Sandra and Jessica just opened their cafe, Hoi Polloi, today! Check out a great article on Pittsburgh Dish here.
They're serving coffee, veg food, smoothies and good times. It's at the corner of Galveston (if you want to fit in as a true NorthSider, you'll pronounce that: gal-VES-ton) and North Ave. North Side represent! And, it's walking distance from Zeke's house, so whenever I'm there, I'm, like, totally there!

Speaking of Zeke's house, he and I just decided that we're going to host a little New Year's Eve soiree. Just a small thing, but hopefully fun! Now, I need to figure out what kinds of snacks to make. And, what I can make early and freeze... That is what I call fun!

1 comment:

ellen said...

I am also struggling with the quick, whole foods meal quandry -- which can lead me to the Pizza Hut Express, as you know. Here are a few of my quick meals:

-Fried egg sandwiches (or really any style, poached, scrambled), topped with whatever cheese & veggies I have around
-Pasta with doctored up sauce, usually sauteed mushrooms
-Mashed taters with caramelized onions and other mix-ins
-Polenta with any variety of toppings
-Steamed artichoke, butter, and toast