Discovering this salad helped me realize that owning a grill is not the key to my summer food happiness. Strange, you might say, since the recipe involves grilling. For that reason, I almost missed out on this surprisingly filling, almost un-salad salad. I live near downtown Stamford, Connecticut, which is awesome in a lot of ways. For starters, I don’t need a car to function, and I can just as easily make my way to New York City as I can to my choice of the many Fairfield County farmer’s markets. One way in which it is far less awesome, though, is in the lack of a proper yard and the illegality of placing a real (i.e., charcoal) grill on the balcony. Rule follower, right here. Our neighbors don’t subscribe to the same philosophy and I can almost reach their grill from my deck…watch out neighbors.
I stumbled upon this recipe after searching too long and hard for a vegetarian dish combining both eggplant, for it’s meatiness, and Thai flavors, which I thought I might be hungry for during the next week. My heart broke (slight dramatization) as I realized it called for a grill not named George Foreman. Because it was way past my bedtime on a Sunday night, though, I got brainstorming and thought I might have some success using the open flame of the gas stove to char the eggplant, getting it nice and smoky and soft enough to peel off the skin and pull the “meat” into strips. Pulled eggplant. It’s the new pulled pork. [Read more…]
Before I run off to the grocery store bright and early on this somewhat gloomy looking Monday morning, I thought I’d jump right in and start sharing some dinner inspiration (dinspiration, if you will) with y’all. Last week’s dinner menu at my house ended up being a little more involved than expected. The dishes were seemingly simple, but I have a tendency to stray from the recipe, if there is one, in order to make what I think is the best tasting dish. For example, I’m hesitant to cook mushrooms in the microwave (sorry, Jacques) unless I have exactly ten minutes to prepare dinner. They’re so texturally perfect when browned and cooked on the stove top, don’t you think? And somehow, I estimated the equivalent of a pound of dried black beans to be two cans? Try seven.
At the outset of the week, my dinner plan was a nice pretty package, ready to be unwrapped and opened as the week progressed, leaving me with nothing but warm fuzzies. While all the food did just that, sometimes the plan doesn’t go exactly as anticipated.
As evidence of such real life existing in my kitchen, I’m going to start showing you the weekly menu snapshots with corners of my very real kitchen, exactly as is (unless noted), in the background. Maybe I’m a type A clean freak, but it’s comforting to realize that even chefs and food bloggers have some element of disarray to their workspace. Exhibit 1: The cannister of Whole Foods brand “nutella” over there on the counter. Don’t think I left this out for no reason. There’s plenty of space (okay, some space) in my cabinet for it, but after rediscovering it last night on a sweet tooth rampage, I purposely left it out so that I wouldn’t forget that I had it later in the week. Essentially, reminding myself to eat chocolate spread over graham crackers. #imarealperson
Dinner Plan, July 14 – 18
Tuesday: GF Fusilli with scape pesto, tomatoes, and chicken sausage
Wednesday: Baked saffron falafel, chunky Greek salad, orange tahini dressing
Thursday: Baked potatoes with traditional fixings (i.e., CHEESE/BUTTER), roasted asparagus, sautéed mushrooms
Friday: TBD or date night out!
So now it’s time for the shopping! Have a great Monday. The sun is coming out as I type, so I think there’s hope!
Also, if the thought of preparing this menu particularly fascinates or frightens you, the thought of eating it gives you those warm fuzzies, or you have never prepared a perfectly browned sautéed mushroom, check out my related services and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions (since, at the time of this post, the Services page is a little empty!). I’d love to help!
The Natural Comfort Kitchen blog, that is. I’m sorry if it took some advanced navigational skills to get here, and I applaud your persistence! The website will be getting much prettier and more organized in the near future (as in, I’m probably working on it at this very moment). If you’re looking for any of the following, bookmark or pin this site and check back soon! In the meantime, take a look at Balancing Active–a blog I developed but no longer update.
- Meal Plans
- Cooking Help…
…and more, coming soon!
If you have recipe requests, including something for a specific diet (e.g., gluten-free, vegetarian), let me know in the comments! I love a challenge in the kitchen, so if I haven’t made it before, I’ll do the research and a test run and deliver the results here.