Monday, June 23, 2014

Noms, Beautiful Noms

So, it turns out the one deployment bucket list item I really stuck to was - no surprise - my commitment to cooking and eating delicious food. (Well, maybe the commitment was more about cooking than eating, but let's allow some leniency here - this is just a blog after all.) Sure, I outsourced some of my dessert-ing, but I made a lot of my own dishes, too.

So, let's take a walk down culinary memory lane, with recipe credits and cooking tips where they're due.

First, an incredibly memorable vegetarian mango curry from Supannee House of Thai in Point Loma. Phenomenal smooth and tangy combination that I was happy not to have altered by meat.

Next, a tortilla soup straight out of the 100 Days of Real Food playbook. I added whole wheat toast on the side but otherwise stuck to the recipe pretty well. They're not pictured here, but don't skimp on those delicious garnishes!

Now, if you've ever tried to go gluten-free, like I was doing with Kaia FIT 4S Ranch, then you'll know that pizza withdrawal comes on swiftly and fiercely. So I resolved to try my hand at a cauliflower crust. I can't say it tasted anything like a flour crust (and it would have been a hell of a lot easier with a food processor), but I was happy with the result! Just make sure to really squeeze the moisture out before adding egg and cheese, and keep that bad boy in the oven until the edges of the crust are really brown, otherwise you'll find a soggy mess in the middle. I followed the crust recipe from A Beautiful Mess (a site which I subsequently followed via every possible social medium), but went rogue on the sauce and toppings.

And now a dessert interlude, with a chocolate cupcake from Sprinkles (anonymously donated to my nonprofit by a kind, sweet-toothed soul), cookies 'n' cream ice cream from Amy's Ice Creams in Austin, and a grilled octopus salad (absolutely fabulous in its own right) and divine flourless chocolate cupcake from the Tender Greens at Liberty Station. If heaven doesn't have these desserts in stock, I won't be staying long.

Next, perhaps the easiest but most "surprisingly like the traditional" recipe I made on my real food diet: three-ingredient pancakes. Check out this wickedly simple recipe from Simply, Taralynn. I added a few chopped walnuts into the mix. And topped with a pinch of unsweetened, shredded coconut and flourish of honey. These suckers can be challenging to flip (and you can see that I burned the first one a bit), but practice makes perfect! Happy brunching.

This healthy Mexican casserole from Pinch of Yum rocked my world last week. I made several modifications, though: doubled the jalapeƱos (seeded), reduced the cheese and number of corn tortillas by half, used black beans instead of refried, and used a tablespoon or two of olive oil to "pan roast" my veggies to save my pan. Enjoyed red enchilada sauce from Hatch, which doesn't include all the fake ingredients. Notice the gratuitous use of fresh cilantro. Yum!

This chickpea and butternut squash curry was loosely based on this Pinterest-found recipe from Tasty Yummies, but I took many liberties in order to clean out my fridge. Most notably, I used 1 million (approx.) mini red, yellow, and orange peppers (seeded), a little frozen kale, and quinoa instead of rice. Included a little step-by-step photo mix-up here.

And finally, you have my dinner from tonight. An absolutely glorious, glorious, glorious healthy veggie pot pie from Green Lemonade. A few admissions are necessary before you try this at home: I used a pre-made Immaculate brand pie crust for the top. I don't have a food processor, so I opted for a make-in-the-microwave (but no weird ingredients or chemicals) bean soup from Sprouts in lieu of white bean puree (though I added tons of fresh rosemary to the soup before pouring it in the pie pan), and I excluded the potatoes and upped the volume of veggies. In fact, I almost doubled the veggies and only had a few forkfuls left over after filling one pie pan, so be generous with your veggie portions in this recipe. Turned out totally amazing.

Hungry yet? Share your kitchen triumphs with me on Pinterest! I move recipes from my boards "Real Food" and "Get in my belly." to the cleverly titled board "Things I actually made and liked" once I've tried them myself.

1 comment:

  1. Love the adventure! I'm going to have to try these sometime.