Friday, April 29, 2011

lunch @ work, and hot vs. cold

As a teacher, I find it difficult to find snack breaks, so by the time I get to my lunch time, I'm starving! But what can I bring for lunch that won't weigh me down after snarfing it down in under 20 minutes? That's exactly what I was thinking about when I saw this post last week from The Kitchn. I liked reading the ideas from The Kitchn's readers, but to be honest, most of them didn't seem all that new to me. One thing, however, caught my attention - the post from Our Semi Organic Life - she had posted something mysterious, just interesting enough that I had to check it out... It's something called "disappearing zucchini orzo" and the recipe comes from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

I appreciate the value of recipes, but sometimes, they're just SO hard to follow! I don't measure, and then I don't have one ingredient so I add something new, and then I get a bright idea about making it a hybrid with some other recipe, and pretty soon, it's no longer the food the author had intended.

Anyway, I loved the idea about grating the zucchini and making that the sauce for the pasta, so off I went... I roasted some chopped garlic in olive oil with Adobo and Vegeta, then grated in the zucchini. I cooked it really slowly and then the zucchini seemed to melt away - what was left was a silky green/yellow sauce with tiny strips of dark green. I cooked the pasta (not orzo - I was trying a low-carb pasta) and tossed it all together.

Ok..... I'll admit it. I added feta.

...and lemon juice.

The result? REALLY zesty pasta salad... OR really zesty hot pasta.

... which brings me to my next topic. I have been making cold salad leftovers into hot food! We had a really (and I mean really) limited supply of foods that we could mix together last week, and so we started this mystery dish with chicken chorizo... At this point, I began walking around the kitchen asking myself what on earth I could add to it. My other half grabbed the leftover bulgar salad with feta and asparagus and asked if it was "still good" - smelled good, so I tossed it in! It had a light vinaigrette on it, so it stayed moist in the pan and made a little tiny bit of sauce, and then a wonderful thing happened...

...the feta melted. What a great accidental "we have almost no food to work with" dish. =)

I feel I will be doing something like that again soon. That is, if I can remember how I did it in the first place.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

shrimp summer rolls

What do I crave when the weather gets warm? Food that doesn't weigh me down! I convinced my man to try summer rolls from a store a few weeks back, and my obsession with these rolls became contagious... I don't know which he likes more - the crisp, refreshing veggies inside (which I love), the succulent shrimp (which I also love), or the fact that he gets to dip them into sweet chili sauce.

It doesn't really matter which he likes more, because it means I get to eat these delicious rolls more often now! After a few searches at local stores, I found the rice paper wraps, and made the rolls as an appetizer for a recent dinner. I put lettuce, ribbons of cucumber, skinny carrot sticks, and sweet shrimp. Delicious!
P.S. Now I know what I need to have for an appetizer tonight. =)
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