Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Last week I mentioned that I went to Little Saigon for some shopping. While there I picked up a bunch of random veggies and fruits and I have NO idea what they are actually called because most things there are not labeled in English.
This is one of those things that I don't know the name of lol... :)
It's some sort of squash. I roasted it, obviously and it was very sweet. Actually nothing else was done to this squash, I consumed as is, skins and all.

Anyone want to suggest what kind of squash this is? The flesh is that yellow-ish color and the outside is green. I think I may go back and ask someone.

Have a great day!


Friday, April 25, 2008

Thai Curry

As my friends have pointed out to me oh so many times, curry is not for everyone. Thai curry especially but coconut milk is one of my favorite ingredients.
I love adding it to dessert, breakfasts and curries.

Above is a red curry from Jasmine Thai. I've blogged about this place many a time. They will veganize your orders and have great service- it probably doesn't hurt that I go there so often.

This weekend was spent movie watching and on Sunday Justin Rudd's chalk art contest.

I'm curious- what do you use coconut milk for? Am I the only coconut milk fanatic? :)


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chick Pea Pita

First things first.
Do you call these beans chick peas or garbanzo beans? I know, same thing right? So why the two names? 'Suppse I could research it, but perhaps one of you know and I won't have to :)

Onto dinner. It's Cara Cooks night again!
Now, I had no idea what to call this. Cara calls it heaven aka her new invention.
Apparently it's chick peas mixed with tomato basil hummus, tahini, cilantro, feta cheese (which I don't like but could not taste so YAY) and cayenne pepper. Don't quote me on that though. There were a lot of ingredients and my memory isn't tip top if you know what I mean.

Warm and schmear the mixture into a pita pocket, top with some greenery (in this case alfalfa sprouts) and chow down.

First bite impression- FLAVOR EXPLOSION! Then it mellowed a little and was very enjoyable. I recommend trying it without the feta for you vegans :)

Ok I am L-A-T-E for work and still in jammies.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Greek Yogurt


Seems like everyone has tried greek yogurt but me. I'm usually not at dairy or yogurt person at all but while shopping this week I wasn't grossed out at the thought, on the contrary, greek yogurt was a superb notion.
One lil' bucket of this stuff is only $1.19-ish at trader joes so I figure if I hate it, I'm out less than 2 bucks and I decided I could live with that :)


Greek yogurt with strawberry hemp granola (one of my favorites that comes HIGHLY recommended to those who can get their hands on it, and if you look closely you can see a little red nubbin in there), 1/2 a banana and chopped walnuts. I savored every bite of this new feast and I may actually prefer greek to regular yogurt. It seemed more tangy and thicker but not exactly like sour cream.

Work has been really busy, again, but I was able to see my parents tonight for dinner. We like to get together at least once a week to visit and check in on our lives :)

Anyone do anything exciting for earth day?

I helped organize a discussion board for people to carpool to work (no one around me volunteered to carpool boo!) Maybe I could ride my bike in on friday instead... hmm


Monday, April 21, 2008

Spicy Thai Noodles

I crave thai food. Crave it like a pregnant woman craving pickles and chocolate (do pregnant woman actually crave this? I know it's the stereotype).
Have you ever had one of those days where it's physically impossible for you to get full? Well that was me this weekend and the only thing I wanted to eat was thai food.
What does that mean? That means I went to Little Saigon for a food shopping spree. I picked up red curry paste, fresh tofu (they make it there!) noodles, thai basil, cilantro, HOT peppers- basically tons of Asian goodies.
As soon as I got home the stove was on and the knives were flying (not literally-ekk!). I came up with thai red curry noodles with tofu complete with plenty of chilies, garlic and thai basil.
I'll admit, I made a huge batch of this- more than any one person should eat- and I ate every deliciously spicy bite of it.
But I'm lying here now, NOT HUNGRY. YAY!! :)

What do you eat when you have a hunger that feels like it will never be satisfied?


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sweet Potato Fries

Fried foods are UN-healthy but.... lucky for you, these are BAKED and they're sweet potato so tons of Vitamin A :)
Saturday night here and I'm doing nothing but relaxing and more importantly eating.
I usually have popcorn and movies but tonight I wanted something different. It was time to raid the fridge- ta dah! A new movie snack is born for me.
Behind the orange baked goodies is the rest of my dinner (I made sweet potato fries 2 times today lol- they were just so good the first time).
I had a Trader Joes Veggie Marsala patty- I'm a big fan but if you don't like Indian flavors, it's not for you.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend, it's about time for me to get back to the movie :)


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kean Coffee

I'm 99% sure I've mentioned my favorite coffee shop Kean Coffee.

They sell organic coffees in bulk and they will make anything with soy... so tasty!

I've made it my weekend hang out spot. Great atmosphere, food and of course coffee.

What are your favorite whole in the wall places and what makes you love them??


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The "Spice" of Life

Spice as in SPICY of course.
I mention my love for spicy food a lot here and I am curious if there's anything great I'm missing out on. Here's my spicy cupboard in my kitchen:


Red Pepper Flakes
Cayenne Pepper
Tapatio Hot Sauce
Sriracha Hot Sauce

I've found these pretty much cover my needs. I use them on everything from pasta to potatoes to popcorn when I want a little kick- not everyday but at least once a week.

If you like spicy, what do you have and what do you use it on?


Acai Smoothie

Southern Ca had a record breaking heat wave over the weekend. It got into the 90's around here and that only means one thing for me- smoothies.

There's nothing more refreshing to eat than a chilled beverage when it's hot out. Lucky for me I still had a couple of Acai packets left in my freezer. I'm pretty simple when it comes to smoothie making. Acai, banana, peach juice and some soy milk. And I have to admit I'm not a fan of really think smoothies- I like when I can drink them the moment they come out of the blender.

What do you eat/drink to keep you cool on scorching hot days?


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spinach Linguine

Pasta is not my forte. I only eat it about once a month, if that.
This turned out to be extremely satisfying. It's Trader Joes Spanich & Chive Linguine (not vegan). I like to use a jarred organic sauce and then I add my own fresh basil, shallots and extra garlic. If I'm feeling in the mood for a little spice I toss some red pepper flakes as well.
Serve with a nice red wine and you have yourself an Italian feast fit for a King, or Queen :)

I've been relaxing at home the last few days. I finally got around to watching a movie I've been dying to see- Ghost World. I have to say I enjoyed it and I can tell why people link it to JUNO- which goes on sale this Tuesday and you better believe I'm buying it that day!

Being locked out of my house for about an hour was the most comedic part of the weekend thus far. The cat simply sat in the window meowing at me- I've never heard a mocking meow before, but she was DEFINITELY mocking me lol. Obviously, I survived and made it back in, just barely though :)

I'm going grocery shopping and heading out to the beach. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spicy Basil Eggplant

11pm, I'm settling in for bed, reading some of my daily blogs, when I stumble on Happy Herbivores' Thai Spicy Basil Eggplant post.
Well, I've had some eggplants that are beginning to slowly die off in my vegetable drawer. Why not make this dish now?!
And that's what I did- tweaked a little, of course. An average person could say spicy and I know it's not spicy enough for me. Every dish must be (as Emeril may say) kicked up a notch.
I used a couple of squirts of Sriracha hot sauce and TONS of garlic. My spinach was screaming consume ME too. Thus a handful or two of that was added as well- besides, I like to see green in my dishes and the basil just wasn't enough.

The verdict- very spicy but just right for me. Although it did teach me the importance of using thai basil. That really does change the dish a bit. It's still good with regular basil but hands down it would be best with the thai basil.



Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Black Beans

Cara Cooks Wednesday is already here?

My, my this week is going by too quickly. Yesterday I fulfilled my civic duty and went to the central court for jury duty. Although I wasn't called in I did enjoy watching the Price is Right (which I haven't watched in years but loved as a child) and over hearing some elderly women bicker about what exactly was wrong with the world today... I won't get to experience that again for at least a whole year :)

I'm not going to lie, I actually like jury duty. Hordes of citizens with completely different backgrounds gathering for a common purpose. It makes for fantastic people watching.

Back to dinner.

If there is one food/dish I could eat multiple times in a week and not be completely bored or get sick of it- it's beans and rice. 1st I like the beans to be spicy- I just like spicy food- 2nd I like my beans in more of a CA Mex style with tons of cilantro and tomato.

Lucky for me, this is how Cara likes her beans too :)

Thanks for another yummy Cara Cooks Wednesday

How do you like your beans??


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Creamy Pesto Dip

Basil is one of my favorite fresh herbs. At the farmers market right now a bunch of it is only a buck so I've been buying quite a bit. Last weekend I convinced my parents to come to the farmers market with me and they picked up some basil too.
I went over for dinner last night and they whipped up this creamy pesto dip.
It contained walnuts, Parmesan, basil and cream.
John fried up some Japanese eggplants and we dipped them in this basic concoction. Although I'm not sure this was the intended use or consistency of the dip, I liked it! I mean, can you go wrong with basil?


Monday, April 07, 2008


My advice is move as close to Castroville, CA as possible....

Worlds freshest artichokes. I am fortunate enough to reap the benefits of this town without having to actually live there. I've driven through the area a few times and have been more than tempted to stop the car and hack down a few of the budding veggies.
I refrain BUT when I see a nice artichoke at the farmers market I must buy. The artichokes were looking particularly fresh.
I'm a plain jane when it comes to eating these- I don't want anything on them at all... no butter, no mayo, nothing... I guess you could say I like them naked :)

Mayo and butter are the only things I've tried though, what are other dips??


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Simply Saturday

We've all had a long busy week I'm sure. Now Saturday has rolled around, our fridge is near empty and the tummy is starting to get a little rummbley. This is that time where were I raid what's left of last week's farmers market supply. The 3 pints of strawberries have dwindled down to 1/2 a pint of past their time strawberries.
Cut those berries up to remove any bad spots, throw in some frozen mangoes and top it off with lemon and agave. Letting it sit for about 10 minutes on the counter make it even better.
Simple, quick and delicious. My kind of Saturday breakfast. Halfway through munching I wanted something crunchy so I added in a handful of raw pecans (not pictured).

To drink? Why french press coffee of course (organic, shade grown, and fair trade because I am a little bit of a hippy.) :)

I added a little agave to this as well. When I have the need for creamer instead of reaching for any soy creamer, I go straight to my pantry and grab coconut milk. I'm telling you, it's a FANTASTIC substitute for creamer.

Now that my tummy is full, my day can begin!


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Oyster Mushroom Soup

I decided a soup was in order. Just last weekend it was sunny spring and suddenly it's transformed into rainy days here.
Good thing I adore rainy days.

They give me an excuse to make soups like these. Noodles, tofu, cilantro, garlic, scallion and, of course, oyster mushrooms make this dish a filling one. My preference for soups I can chew should come across in this recipe. Don't get me wrong, a smooth pureed soup is nice as well. I think I have a need for some texture though. It feels like I don't get full without chewing a little, you know?

Here's to hoping it stays rainy this weekend so I can sit home, eat soup, watch movies and do those pesky taxes that have been looming over my head.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The New Amsterdams

I'm not one for posting non food related items but tonight I went to see one of my favorite bands since high school.

All I have to say is
1) I am tiiiired
2) It was a fantastic evening- a very small venue and a very small/adorable 3 year old playing the shakers with his daddy on stage.
3) Check out: The New Amsterdams (a side band of The Get Up Kids)

Must sleep


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Grilled Romaine Salad

I bet you thought I was going to post about what happened with those mushrooms huh?

I'm taking it a completely different route (well until tomorrow, when I'll post about them). Tuesdays is family dinner night for my fam. Mom has been wanting to try out Savannah's in Huntington Beach.
There was a lack of veggie options (seafood mostly) but what they did have was flavorful. I had a Grilled Romaine Salad which included, lettuce, tomato-corn relish, pumpkin seeds & creamy cilantro caesar dressing- I think I saw some jalapeƱo bits as well.

I've never made a grilled salad before but now I'm thinking it could be fun because I don't grill much. The night proved to be a bit of a culinary inspiration for me to try a new cooking technique.

Have you ever grilled lettuce?