Update on the No-Groceries Challenge — Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp

So, the challenge has continued.  I still haven’t been grocery shopping, but an email from Whole Foods informing me that Honeycrisp Apples are on sale today may get me over there today rather than tomorrow.

Tuesday night was the most “creative” meal of the week.  I was inspired by this post from Dinner, a Love Story, which I keep an eye on from time to time, but this is a dish I’ve made many times before … the post just reminded me that I probably had the ingredients on hand.  So I made an old stand-by — pasta with shrimp (if I have any) and veggies (whichever ones I have, if any), with a “sauce’ of garlic and olive oil.  First, I’d like to say that pasta and vegetables with garlic and olive oil is one of my favorite things on the planet.  They actually make it to order in the cafeteria at my office, and I get it several times a week.  If you’re not afraid of carbs, it is reasonably healthy, and very delicious, considering the time/effort/cost.  I am not a tomato-lover, I don’t eat red meat, and I neither love nor hate cream sauces, and tend to keep them for special occasions, so garlic and olive oil is the perfect sauce for me.  Continue reading

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Cooking (and Eating) Without Shopping

My baby shower was last weekend.  Most of my readers either were hostesses or attended the shower, so thanks all!  In any case, it’s not really the shower’s fault, but in the excitement, I did fail to do a Whole Foods run this weekend.  Yesterday, I found myself too lazy to do it, and today, I find that I have recharacterized “lazy” to “adventurous”.  Can I feed myself lunch (since I’m working at home) and dinner with minimal take-out/frozen dinner cheating until the skim milk runs out, and I must acquire more in order to caffeinate in the morning?

Yesterday was Day One.  I had some prepared Asian pasta from Whole Foods and ate that for lunch.  Even though it was bought the weekend before, it had kept perfectly well.  For dinner, I did actually cook, although not to the level where it gets a full-blown “Cook” post with pictures.  I cut a few shallots into wedges, cut an entire yellow onion into half-slices, threw in some whole, unpeeled garlic cloves, and the remainder of the broccoli florets I had bought for the quinoa recipe.  Onto a half-sheet pan with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper, and into the oven at 425 for about 35 minutes.  About ten minutes before it was done, another half-sheet pan went into the oven with the remainder of some frozen organic breaded garlic shrimp.  These veer pretty close to the frozen dinner category, but they are organic, so I don’t consider that overly egregious cheating.

In any event, YUM.  I love whole roasted garlic.  They pop right out of the skins and taste almost like candy.  Super caramelized and sweet.  I had some tartar sauce with the shrimp and ate it all up.  Unfortunately, outside of some garlic, onions, shallots and leeks (notice a trend), I am now out of veggies for dinner (and those are not exactly main-course veggies).  Except that I do have an artichoke, which I will have for dinner either tonight or tomorrow night.

Lunch today was a cheat — Noodles and Company.  Couldn’t help myself, was out running errands and it’s yummy.

I’ll keep you posted.  I definitely have dinner for tonight and lunch and dinner for tomorrow.  Thursday, I might go to work, thus making it possible to acquire lunch, and I have dinner plans Thursday night.  Can I make it until Saturday?  I’m thinking the odds look good, unless the milk goes bad.

Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding

It’s so strange that my posts have leaned to the sweet rather than the savory.  I have done much more cooking of dinner than of dessert over the last few years.  Nevertheless, the last thing I made was another dessert, and of the kind that I typically lean towards, involving no mixing, no rolling … no dough, essentially.  It’s Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding, and it is fairly heavily adapted from Nigella Lawson.

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Quinoa Primavera — a house specialty

Quinoa Primavera is a recipe I adapted from the Whole Foods web site about a couple of years ago, when I’d read one of many articles about quinoa-as-wonder-food (“It’s the only grain that is a whole protein!”) and decided to make it.  This actually predated by quite a bit my recent cooking extravaganza, and I’ve made it five or six times since, which is pretty notable because there are so many recipes in my Evernote backlog that I rarely make anything more than once.  But this has so many virtues: it can be made with any veggies you have lying around, the chicken can be cooked directly from frozen, and quinoa can sit in the fridge forever … very little planning required. On top of it, while there is some prep involved, the cooking itself couldn’t be easier, and the meal couldn’t be healthier.  And it is delicious and colorful and reheats perfectly.  What more could you ask for?

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Cauliflower Soup (a tasty but embarrassing tale)

Last night, in the mood for some comfort food, I made some cauliflower soup.  I didn’t invent the recipe, and it is such a straightforward recipe that it seems odd to “credit” anyone with it, but in the interest of being upfront, I was inspired by this David Lieberman recipe which I found by way of Smitten Kitchen (who is awesome, read her).  My adaptations, however, were inspired by Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, who has taught me many things, among them, to always roast rather than boil, even for soups — per this example.  (Sadly, I have not yet acquired the fortitude, nor a large enough stockpot, to actually make my own chicken stock, as she is constantly urging.)

Before I get into the recipe, just a note.  It occurred to me upon re-reading the Olive Oil Muffins post that although my narration interwoven with the recipe was hopefully an entertaining story, it doesn’t really make it easy for readers to use the recipe in their own kitchens.  Perhaps it would be better to do a straightforward recipe and annotate it after?  I’ll keep experimenting, but let me know what you think works best.  (Having not received any comments yet, that “you” is rather on the hopeful side, I know.)

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Blueberry and Raspberry Olive Oil Muffins

I’m so excited … my first cooking post.  With pictures, even.  The pictures were taken with my iPhone, as probably most of them will be until such time as I acquire a Canon EOS Rebel T2i (six months and waiting for the price to come down on that thing … luckily, Black Friday is conveniently timed about a month before Baby Boy joins me).

This is my adaptation of a Giada De Laurentiis recipe.  I also added a lovely, light lemon glaze, adapted from Martha Stewart.   As my first cooking post, it will also serve as a bit of an introduction into my cooking style.  Without further ado …

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Super-useful iPhone App

Harvest — this highly rated $2 app tells you how to select produce, when it is ripe, and how to store it when you get it home.  Sounds simple, but I am constantly looking this stuff up, and sometimes having to do so on my iPhone at Whole Foods.  This is much faster than Googling it.  Now, if only someone could figure out a way for me to hold the iPhone while getting the avocados into those darn staticky plastic bags …

Coming soon … olive oil muffins with golden raspberries and a lemon glaze.