The Perils of Perishables

We’ve all been there. Getting groceries at the beginning of the week with the best of intentions, then nearing the end of the week and realizing some of our freshest choices are just about to turn the corner.

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If you are like me, these fresh foods are usually from vastly different meal plans gone awry: squash for that healthy spaghetti recipe where noodles are actually veggies, lettuce for the side salad that accompanies the homemade chili, a mango because hey! a mango, avocados for that guacamole that Alton Brown is all about (and you are all about Alton Brown).

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For whatever reason, these foods have not made it on your menu yet. The good/great/awesome news is that you can throw anything together in a bowl and call it a salad. This helps take care of all those forlorn foods you’ve neglected throughout the week in one fell swoop AND makes you feel like you had a plan all along.

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The title of this recipe comes from selecting the foods in the salad you are most excited about, and putting those words in front of the word “salad.”

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MANGO AVOCADO SALAD

Ingredients:
  • Whatever is about to go bad in your fridge
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Carefully assess the food in your refrigerator

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2) Anything too soft or weird smelling or for sure bad, toss out (DO NOT shrug and put it *back* in the fridge – this is a rookie mistake)

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3) Everything that seems to be doing okay: peel/chop/sprinkle as appropriate

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4) Put on whatever dressing you have around (or olive oil in a pinch) and enjoy

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Vino Variations

A lot of focus in this blog has been on food. And food is the fuel that keeps us going, to be sure. But our bodies are mostly made up of water. I mean, just look at this guy:

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Taking this one step further – how much better would it be if most of our bodies were made up of wine? The logical trail here may not be rock solid, but the conclusion sure is: wine is delicious.

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Having had my fair share of all varieties of vino, I wanted to find a new twist on this tried and true recipe. But how to perfect something already so perfect? Glancing through my kitchen cupboards helped me find the solution I was looking for.

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Veering off the beaten path of wine glasses, I went out on a limb and enjoyed this adult beverage in a mason jar. This was an excellent decision for three equally important reasons:

1) I felt adventuresome

2) I’m pretty sure hip people use mason jars, so my coolness quota may have just gone up

3) I didn’t have to do dishes, which currently include all my wine glasses from beverages past

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WINE

Ingredients:
  • 1 bottle of wine, any variety
  • Wine opener (depending on selected wine)
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Find a bottle of wine that has at least 3/4 of the wine still in the bottle

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2) Open bottle. If bottle needs to be uncorked, you may need a wine opener (when it looks like the opener has landed like a triumphant gymnast, you are good to go)

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3) Pour wine into mason jar

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4) Repeat as necessary

Craving Conundrum

Most of the time, I am a really go-with-the-flow (or, rather, go-with-whatever-is-in-the-fridge) type eater, but sometimes I realize I am really craving something specific.

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Like apples. I was craving something apple-ly the other day, and my mind (and my Google searches) started to get excited at all the possibilities ahead. Turns out, you can do a lot with apples.

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Then I remembered: apples are just good on their own. Conundrum solved.

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APPLE

Ingredients:
  • Apple
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Get an apple

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2) Wash it or polish it on your shirt

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3) You can opt to slice up the apple here, or you can just use your teeth to bite right in (apples are designed with you in mind)

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More Like “Quick-peas”

Steering clear of meat (inadvertent pun, I promise) isn’t as difficult as one might think. Initially it took some adjustment to rethink how to get protein on the plate, but I now feel pretty good about the options I have in my repertoire. One little bean that packs a big protein punch is the lovely chickpea.

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The first time I went to the store in search of these little guys, I couldn’t find chickpeas anywhere. I went home empty-handed, thinking I would need to find a specialty store (“Chickpeas’R’Us,” or the like). THEN I found out chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans, and they are totally a part of your basic grocery store bean shelf party. The more you know.

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My favorite way to enjoy these tasty garbanzos is to roast them up, so they are slightly crunchy and mucho delicioso. Here are the typical steps I follow to make Roasted Chickpeas.

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ROASTED CHICKPEAS

Ingredients:
  • 1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (remember, these are the same thing)
  • 2-4 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 425

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2) Open the can of chickpeas

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3) Drain  & rinse the chickpeas (someone told me to do this once, so I’m telling you, too)

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4) Spread out the chickpeas on a cookie sheet.

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5) Realize you have no olive oil left which is crucial to the recipe and your partner has the car and you are really really hungry and why was the bottle placed back in the cupboard when there wasn’t any left?

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6) Give up on the roasting idea, turn off the oven, and slide chickpeas off cookie sheet into a bowl

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7) Sprinkle some salt and maybe cayenne pepper on there, and give yourself credit for attempting to use your oven for something other than storage

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