Friday, December 2, 2011

diner days

Happy late Thanksgiving! Last week was busy with family and lots of relaxing fun, but I have to say I'm happy to be back in my apartment and into my schedule. Its time to hunker down in the new place for awhile.

First thing I did when I got back? Christmas tree and lights in the windows! I love Christmas and couldn't wait to decorate... even though my tree is teeny tiny it makes my apartment so festive. It's my first tree of my own and this little guy already  has special place in my heart.

As for the post-turkey detox, I've been doing my best to eat healthy despite the fact that warm, wintry comfort is calling my name. As a compromise I've been making meals with warm, hearty vegetables like sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts and finishing them with goat cheese or Parmesan- warm, filling, and laced with cheese these have been filling me up without sabotaging the healthy eating initiative. High heat, a tiny bit of EVOO, garlic, salt, and pepper are all that's needed. I also throw in some fresh cranberries for an interesting tang. Its not mac and cheese as far as the comfort factor, but it does the trick sans guilt.

 roasted sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and cranberries with Parmesan
I did have to give into a serious pasta craving but kept it to one serving. Spinach, garlic, truffle oil, salt, and pepper topped with parm. So simple, but the white truffle oil really elevates the simple dish to something a little more special.

The third in the comfort trifecta? A healthy rendition of burger and fries. Sandwich thin "bun" with a Morningstar tomato and basil veggie burger (cooked on my cast-iron grill pan for sweet grill marks and some grill char) topped with a thin layer of goat cheese and arugula. Sweet potato oven "fries" and some veggie sticks on the side. Filling and totally satisfying- for under 400 calories. This can't be beat.

I kept everything simple cooking wise this week because my habit of making two main meals and eating them all week was getting old. I am getting desperate for variety. I did make one "big" dish though- Beef Barley Soup. That recipe will come tomorrow (I swear). It was simple and I totally winged it - which is why soup making is the best- but it came out pretty good for a simple soup. 

The other recipe I winged with less success. I attempted to modify my Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins but went a bit crazy. 

Problem #1: I only had enough multigrain mix for 1/2 a recipe. 
Problem #2: I tried to cut back the sugar and nearly eliminate the oil all in one recipe (if you are a scientist you get me- too many variables being manipulated). 
Problem #3: The dish I used was too small so it took forever to cook the center. 

not all was lost though...

Success #1: It looks great.
Success #2: I used up a lot of those darn fresh cranberries I can't seem to finish.
Success #3: It's not inedible. But I refuse to serve it to anyone besides myself. Thank god for the freezer.

I love the artsy picture and was impressed by the overall look, but the uneven cooking and my stinginess on sugar mean I won't be serving this to anyone I like. But, with some nut butter or jam, it'll do for my breakfasts. 

Had a delicious lunch at FoodParc today with Annaliese... yay! We got to catch up over a shared salad, burger, and fries. FoodParc is an upscale, modern food court in the Flatiron District that I read about and wanted to try. It has a cool lounge-y feel and the food was good. The salad from Edible Greens of seared tuna, pickled ginger, wasabi peas, avocado, crispy shallots, radishes, and miso dressing was tasty and creative, but it's the burger I'd go back for.  The 3B's Special Burger burger- juicy beef with American cheese, special sauce, crispy onions, lettuce, tomato, and pickles- was one of the tastiest I've had in awhile. 

Off to make some sort of salad for dinner to out balance that burger and an injured foot that called for a rest day from running. Then out it's out for the night, but not too late because I'm heading to an open house for the Institute of Culinary Education in the morning! My curiosity about culinary school has gotten the best of me. It can't hurt to look, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment