what i’m cooking this weekend

y’all… i’m feeling inspired. and hungry. maybe it’s because i skipped my morning smoothie for a quad-grande latte (four shots of espresso, guys!!! get on my level) or because i found a delicious new food blog just before lunch, but i am ready to hit. the. kitchen.

my grocery list is prepped. tonight the love and i are going out for a late dinner, but tomorrow we’ll be having balsamic blueberry grilled cheeses with shaved brussel sprout slaw. and because i’m crazy (and starving) we’ll have an atlantic beach pie that i’ve been dying to try.

balsamic blueberry grilled cheese from Amanda k. by the Bayblueberry grilled cheese

could this look any more delicious? the link above goes to the recipe on her page (i’m all about giving credit where it’s due, so click away!). i think i’ll probably leave the brown sugar out just because i don’t want it to be too sweet.

honey mustard brussel sprout slaw from Anna at Curiouser & Curiouserbrussel sprout slaw

i happen to work with the amazingly talented anna who curates this blog with a little bit of everything, specifically delicious recipes. i saw this in one of her recent posts on easy side dishes and believe me, this looks so simple. and delish. and the perfect green balance to what is sure to be a decadent grilled cheese. i’ll probably dose up on the vinegar because i like a bit of bite.

atlantic beach pie from Bill Smith at Food52atlantic beach pie

i’m obsessed with this recipe. i first saw it on my friend (and twin) bethanny’s facebook and soon it was popping up everywhere. she’s a trend setter. i love trends. and salty, sweet, lemony and everything easy pies. so i will make time for this in my kitchen. i’m thinking of enjoying it with some champers when my love gets home from drill saturday night. i’m so excited about this. so. excited.

so that’s what i’m doing this weekend. that and continuing to harvest my tomato plant. it’s in hyperdrive, y’all. i’m prepping a post on container gardening (i’ve decided i’m an expert now. because i have a living plant. so yes, expert status acheived.). i hope to get it live next week once i’ve amassed enough tomato photos. until then, party on.

love always, sarah.

 

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this smoothie will give you superpowers*

*disclaimer: that’s a lie

my smoothie game is on point right now. like, so on point i’d consider living off of the frothy, fruity blends i’ve been whipping up for breakfast (and sometimes lunch) these days. but you know what they say about too much of a good thing… oh, you don’t? well google it.

now let me tell you about my superpower smoothie: it starts a few hours before intended consumption, typically the night before, when a heavy dose of chia seeds are submerged in coconut water for activation. in the morning, the plumped seeds and water meet three or four glugs of kefir in the blender. a few strawberries join the party along with their date, frozen pineapple, and a half-scoop of vanilla protein powder. the party really get’s going when the blender whizzes everyone into harmony and it hits it’s high notes as the foamy mix fills a glass. all i can say is, “um, yum.”

what makes this smoothie special:

chiaimgres -chia is a superfood. or super-seed. ancient aztec super marathon runners carried the nutrient packed nugs in their loin cloths for roadside sustenance. they’re also full of fiber, hella filling (because the grow when soaked in liquid), and full of amino acids and things like phosphorous. basically, they are just really great for you. i buy mine from trader joe’s in a pinch but you can also find them surprisingly cheap at TJ Maxx/Homegoods or on amazon.

 

 

imagescoconut water – i fell in love with coconut water when i started bikram yoga. the electrolyte-rich liquid tapped from the center of coconuts is so powerful that it has been used on battlefields to revive soldiers. think of it as nature’s gatorade. without the chemicals, added sugar or artificial colors. it’s also a killer pre-workout drink. pro tip: drink this an hour before bikram; it will totally change your practice. promise. i typically get this from trader joe’s because i’m there already and it’s a reliable source. ideally, i’d have a field of coconuts to drink from but that’s not my real life. yet.

 

imgres-2kefir – um, i’m obsessed. like, where was i two years ago when i heard someone talk about this? i was probably put off by the idea of fermented milk and thinking i got enough probiotics from yogurt. news flash: you don’t. kefir is the cat’s pajamas. think of it like milk soda. seriously, it’s like effervescent yogurt you can drink. it’s actually bubbly. and delightfully tart. the history behind kefir is really cool too. i’m still looking for good kefir grains around me so i can make my own, so right now i’m using the plain version from trader joe’s. i’m concerned that some of the great probiotics have been killed off from pasteurization but it will do for now. side note: i don’t recommend the flavored kefir from tj’s because it has a lot of sugar (21g per serving). nobody needs that. just add a little honey and you’re golden.

imgres-3protein – i added this to the smoothie the third time i made as kind of an after thought – i basically have a lot of vanilla protein that i want to burn through so i can break into my chocolate! but protein powder is important if you choose to use it here. be careful about what type of protein powder you put in your body. i really recommend vegan protein. i use vega one and sunwarrior classic vanilla. i personally find protein really sweet, so it’s my sweetener here. you can always add your sweetener of choice in lieu of the protein route – i’d recommend honey because it’s yummy with the tart kefir and the summery strawberries.

Superpower Smoothie – serves 1

  • 3/4 c coconut water
  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 c plain kefir
  • 5 strawberries, quartered
  • 1/2 c frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

mix chia and coconut water at least two hours before you plan on making the smoothie. i mix it the night before in the cup that i plan on drinking the smoothie out of (can you say, less dishes? yes, please).

add the plumped chia seeds and coconut water to a blender. combine the remaining ingredients.

blend. pour. sip. sigh.

other combos i’m planning to try: chocolate protein+almond butter, blackberry+lemon+cherry, strawberry+lime.

if you know where a girl can get quality kefir grains, please let me know in the comments!

love always, sarah.

 

the most divine zoodles

lead me not unto temptation, for you will likely find me elbows deep in a vat of pasta. legit. i have a serious carb addiction. i should probably go to rehab. but rehab is for quitters and i can’t quit carbs. but when i realized you could make noodles out of zucchini and dress them as you would typical pasta, it’s safe to say i kinda freaked out a little. okay, a lot? ish is divine.

have you heard of zoodles (what those of us in the know call zuchinni noodles)? to make them, you take peeled zucchini and run it through a spiralizer or vegetable peeler to turn it into strips of zucchini that ultimately end up resembling something like pasta (see below)

Zoodles

making zoodles is a little tedious. i recommend undertaking the process with a glass of wine. but just one. because the equipment to zoodle is sharp. and i don’t want you hurting yourself. you’ve been warned. now you can’t sue me should you accidentally make youdles instead of zoodles.

to make zoodles, i use a julienne peeler. a lot of people use a spiralizer but i can’t stomach paying fifty bucks to shave some veggies. here’s my advice: go to bed bath & beyond, locate the $9.99 julienne peeler, google a 25% off coupon, take that mess home for $7.49 and make yourself some zoodles on the cheap. that’s what i did and i’m pretty happy about it. really happy about it, actually.

to make the actual zoodles, it’s pretty simple:

1.) buy zucchini

2.) peel off the skin of the zucchini with a regular veggie peeler

3) hold the slippery, skinless zucchini (i use a paper towel for grip action) and begin to run the julienne peeler down the vegetable lengthwise. stop peeling (or is it julienning?) once you get to the seedy center. if you zoodle the seeds your zoodles will fall apart when cooking and will no longer be very noodle-like. which is against the mission of making zoodles. so keep rotating and peeling until all you have left is a seedy zucchini core and a pile of zoodly zoodles.

4) repeat on new zucchini

you can eat the zoodles raw if you’re feeling that way but you can also saute them in a pan with a cooking oil or butter for four to five minutes. either way, zoodles can be topped with delicious sauces and chomped up like your favorite pasta dish. there are recipes everywhere. if you don’t believe me, just google.

but i’m not much of a recipe girl. mostly because measuring is tedious and i drink when i cook and it just never actually goes as planned. so last night when i set out to zoodle, i had an idea of where i was going with my sauce but i didn’t know that i would end up in culinary heaven. and here i am to share it with you. while the recipe may look long, is totally easy and simple. some of the steps even include drinking wine. so really, read on:

sarah’s divine lemon and asparagus zoodles with roasted tomatoes 

serves 2; cook time – 1.5 glasses of wine (35 minutes?); calories – shut up, it’s a noodle made out of zucchini

ingredients:

3/4 pint of grape tomatoes

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed into 1″ pieces

5 medium-large zucchini

2 cloves garlic, minced (sub garlic powder if you boyfriend isn’t around to mince for you)

1/4 c water

1-2 tbsp olive oil (i totally made that measurement up, just use enough to moisten the pan)

1 pat butter (once again, just use enough to moisten the pan)

2 heaping tablespoons of fat free ricotta (or full fat but it’s bikini season so…)

2 lemons, zested and juiced

2 glugs olive oil (enough to loosen your sauce)

white wine, for drinking

directions:

1.) preheat the oven to 400 and pour yourself a glass of wine for sipping

2.) place cherry tomatoes in a glass casserole dish and pop them into the oven. these guys are just going to cook until they literally pop, concentrating their flavors and making them worth fighting over when you plate the dish. trust me. yum.

3.) here’s where it’d be nice to have a co-chef, so if you have a helper, pour them a glass of wine too and commence chopping the asparagus into 1″ lengths, mincing garlic and zoodling per the instructions above.

4.) add olive oil to a pan over medium heat. as the oil is warming, add the minced garlic and toss until fragrant (1 minute or 2 sips of wine). next add the asparagus, a pinch of salt and pepper, and toss to combine. saute for a few minutes – maybe 4.

5.) i got impatient with my asparagus so i added 1/4 c water to the pan and covered it to steam the veg so it’d cook faster. i’m anything but a patient cook. continuously check the pan to make sure the garlic isn’t burning. burnt garlic is the worst. after 3 – 4 minutes, your asparagus should be good to go. set it aside.

6.) in the meantime or just after the asparagus is done, add a pat of butter to a saute pan. once the butter is melted, toss in your zoodles. make sure everyone is covered in buttery goodness and let cook for 2-3 minutes. then toss the little guys around again (i use tongs for this part because i like to be gentle with them). cook for 5-6 minutes total until they are the texture you prefer. remove from heat and dumb on top of the cooked asparagus.

7.) in the same pan you zoodled in, add the ricotta, lemon juice and zest along with the olive oil. continuously stir until a smooth sauce is formed. add additional evoo if you need to loosen the sauce up. dip your finger in and taste. too lemony/sweet? add some salt. i added some pepper and onion powder too because why not?

8.) while the sauce is warming, remove you tomatoes from the oven. they should be popped open and juicy looking.

9.) add the zoodles and asparagus to the sauce and toss/fold to combine.

10.) whip out two bowls, load them up with creamy goodness, top with bubbly tomatoes and some parm if you have any laying around. top off your wine glasses and enjoy this mess.

IMG_20140528_190635

 

this is what last night’s dinner looked like – i told you the tomatoes were worth fighting over. so good. unlike my photo skills but i’m trying!

okay, now i’m hungry and debating if i can make this again for dinner tonight. it was that good, y’all. if you give it a try, definitely let me know. #stopdropandzoodle …not really. that was a bad social media joke.

thanks for reading!

love always, sarah.