Mother Nature is trying to fool us – 6 inches of dense mixed snow last night? This MUST be a joke. Here’s my car last night when I got home from a joyful evening with my lovely friends.
Yesterday was a dunch night. Dinner and lunch in one. A group of women in their twenties and thirties who all have many things in common, but most importantly, food. We try to get together once a month to eat and drink and be merry. My bestie Rach started it years ago and graciously invited me to joy this past year and it has become such a highlight in my life. I’ve met some amazing women whom have become some of my close friends. I made my favorite summertime dish (trying to stay positive in light of the recent weather occurrences) — strawberry mango quinoa salad tossed with a honey lime and mint dressing. Yes, it tastes as great as it sounds. I mean, just take a look at this beautiful dish!
Well, sadly, dunch got canceled last minute – but we still went out for some cocktails later at night. Fearless women! Out in the brunt of the storm. Don’t worry, husbands did the driving 🙂 So, the good news – I now have this awesome fruit salad for lunch the rest of the week!
Forecast says its going to start warming up this week – but not too much. Highs will be in the low forties with more rain. I think because of this it is now time to start the count down – 14 days until Florida, 14 days until Florida, 14 days until Florida. Oh how I can feel the sun beaming on my skin now. For now, comfort food…
First, I made stuffed peppers today. I had some bell peppers in my fridge that I had gotten on sale last week and needed to use them up quickly. My mom used to make stuffed peppers a lot growing up as a kid and I loved them. I made mine today with lean ground turkey, brown jasmine rice, and some veggies (mushrooms, onions, carrots and garlic). I started with the vegetables, then added in the meat and cooked everything down on medium heat, getting that lovely caramelization you all know I love from my veggies. Then I added in 1/2 jar of tomato sauce – grandpa’s goes vegetarian, obvi. Mixed in the cooked rice & stuffed my peppers. I cooked these covered at 350 for 45 minutes. I’m really looking forward to enjoying these this week for dinners.
For lunch this week – soup. To keep it light, and to get winter out of my mind – I made a gluten free minestrone (no pasta, just veggies and beans). For the soup:
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 leek, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced (yummmm garlic!)
2 medium carrots, sliced into rounds
2 small zucchinis, sliced into rounds
1 cup green beans
1 cup coarsely chopped asparagus
1 cup dry beans (I used a 13 bean soup mix from Bob’s red mill that I had in the pantry)
4 cups baby kale
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 carton of vegetable stock
rosemary, thyme, and cracked black pepper
(and I added a few baby corns – left over from my dinner tonight – which you’ll see next)
*I started in my large pot with the onions, garlic, carrots and leeks with a little bit of water. I then added in the other vegetables and sauteed them all on medium heat. I added in the dry beans and vegetable stock and let simmer for about 30 minutes. After that I added in the tomatoes and kale and about 1 cup of water – just to make sure that everything was immersed in liquid. I put the lid on, turned it down to low and let it all meld together for about 2 hours.
*It smelled up my whole apartment with spring soup goodness. Really looking forward to having this for lunch tomorrow with some fruit salad! 🙂
Lastly, for dinner tonight (and I obviously made more than 1 serving so I would have leftovers for another dinner this week) I made a fresh ginger and Sriracha vegetable stirfry. I used all of the same vegetables as what I did for the soup but added mushrooms, broccoli and water chestnuts (oooooo, water chestnuts. they make my mouth…water….). I simmered all of these vegetables with Sriracha and a little bit of liquid aminos. Then at the last minute or so I added some fresh grated ginger for a nice zing. My amazing coteacher taught me this past week to peel and freeze your ginger root so that it lasts longer and is way easier to grate 🙂 Had this over a 1/2 cup of brown rice (had some extra left over from the stuffed peppers) and my mouth was on fire the whole time I enjoyed it.
I don’t know when I started enjoying spicy foods. I know I didn’t always. My step mom cooked with a lot of garlic, still does, which is where I get my insane amount of garlic in my cooking from. Anyways, I know my stepmom would make things spicy sometimes but I don’t always remember enjoying it. Especially not like I do now. Anything that has a bite to it, I’ll eat it.
Feeling very accomplished today. Lesson planning is done – solid for tomorrow and a great outline for the rest of the week with most materials created. Sundays, I think they are my favorite days. I always feel so great after I’ve cooked all day while lesson planning and jamming out to music. No wonder I have good weeks… I start them out the right way 🙂
14 days… (as I’m bundled up in a blanket)