Archive for the ‘easy meals’ Category

Holy natural disasters, Batman!

August 31, 2011

Rice and I had an exciting week in our nation’s capital and nearby John Waters-ville. First we had an earthquake! Then a hurricane came way too close for comfort. When I was a kid, I loved Sim City. I would build up mega cities, the most perfect I could get them. Then I would send Godzilla through. He and his little 16-bit body would terrorize my town and leave a wake of destruction. Then, I’d 3-mile Island the place for good measure, and build it back up again.

Godzilla’s coming next. You heard it here, folks.

My uncle's dog, Angie, looks freaked out against the menacing clouds in South Carolina. (c) RWS



Sesame Street’s Food for Thought

December 9, 2010

BEST DAY EVER! On December 7, 2010, I was invited to attend the launch of Sesame Workshop’s launch of the Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget campaign. While the campaign – a multimedia program to help support families with children that are coping with uncertain or limited access to affordable and nutritious foods – is rather serious at it’s core, leave it to Sesame Street to make it a good time.

Elmo gives a press conference


Dry Rub Slow Cooker Ribs

April 30, 2010

Last spring the boyfriend and I joined Matzo and her partner (now husband) at their house for some good old fashioned grilling out. Now Matzo is a whiz with the grill. Even if I didn’t live in a third floor walk-up with no porch or balcony (or one that would not catch on fire), I imagine I’d be no Houdini with the grill.

At this grill out I brought over a package of pork ribs as my offering and Matzo did her magic and made some of the most amazing grilled meat I’ve ever had. Part of the magic was due to the bicentennial spice rub she had from Chicago’s Spice House. A mixture of Americana and goodness, it gave the ribs a fantastic, complex flavor.

Of course, me being me, I had to figure out how to replicate it at home.

It ain't pretty, but it's quite tasty.

While Matzo put some BBQ sauce on those delicious ribs of that fine spring day, when I decided to make this at home I wanted to go sans sauce, a (perhaps) misguided attempt at eating “lighter,” especially since I wasn’t in the mood to make my own BBQ sauce, as I’m getting snobbier in my old age and am trying to stay away from anything with high fructose corn syrup.


Sauteed Red Snapper with Blood Orange and Fennel Salad

January 25, 2010

Not every recipe comes with a good story.

This is one of them, because the story is this…I saw this recipe in the most recent issue of Cooking Light and though to myself, I think I will try this. And I did.

A simple recipe that highlights the fresh flavors of each ingredient.

The snapper is wild caught and the fennel and blood oranges are in season. The fish is lightly salted and peppered, and a splash of lemon and white wine finish it off.  It took less than 30 minutes to prepare and they boyfriend and I were able to sit down in our messy apartment to enjoy a lunch that looks and tastes a lot fancier than it really is.


Spicy Tofu and Pepper Stir-fry

May 19, 2009

I have to give my boyfriend loads of credit for making me a healthier eater. If not for him, I would probably not think about my calorie content as much. I wouldn’t make as conscientious an effort to eat vegetarian. If it happened, it would probably be by happenstance. For instance, as I write this, I am eating a Chipotle steak burrito bowl. I am tempted to eat the whole thing, but I’m distracted by my Twix bar and a bag of sour cream and onion chips. Granted, I don’t eat like this every day, but I don’t like to deny myself, but I also wasn’t the type to want to expand my cooking repertoire to involve a lot of vegetarian dishes simply because they were vegetarian.

Healthy and quick: thats two wins in my book!

Healthy and quick: that's two wins in my book!

This spicy tofu and pepper dish is a relatively easy stirfry, and it’s a fast one, too. I like my food just a little spicy, but if you really like it spicy, add more Sriracha to taste, but that stuff is hot, so be careful! If you want to temper the hotness, you can also try adding in some red pepper flakes.

I know there’s some sort of general wisdom out there that tofu can be gross or tasteless, but it’s all about prepping the tofu to give it flavor, to provide it the best possible texture. This recipe has both. The marinating gives the tofu a deeper flavor. The slight pan frying firms it up and gives it a nice texture that’s not at all slimy or unappetizing. Top it off with a sauce and vegetables, and it’s good times for everyone. Even for carnivores and omnivores like myself.


Garlicky Pepper Shrimp with Black-Eyed Peas

March 19, 2009

For Christmas last year, my dear boyfriend gifted me subscriptions to Gourmet and Bon Appetit. Granted, I can find recipes from both magazines at Epicurious, but the inspiration comes less often. In last month’s Gourmet, which I had neglected initially, I found this delicious recipe that helped fulfill one of my many ongoing goals: to eat more beans. Not only are these lovely legumes healthy for you, they’re also inexpensive and keep well in my pantry.


Double-garlic and pepper maddness! Add these key ingredients to both the pea mixture and the shrimp before incorporating together in one fantastic dish.

I had some frozen shrimp in my freezer from when I made potstickers last month, so I hunted down those bad boys before they suffered any further freezer burn and gathered what vegetables I had in the fridge that also turned up in the recipe, and made a relatively quick and appetizing dinner.


Black bean and chicken tacos with cabbage slaw

February 20, 2009

When I made this I wasn’t really sure I was going to like it. I’m not particularly excited by black beans or cabbage. I figure at best, I’d have a relatively healthy and budget-friendly meal for me and the boy, and that in itself would be a win. That’s all I was going for.

Whole wheat tortillas grilled and folded in half make humougous and delicious taco wrappers.

Whole wheat tortillas grilled and folded in half make enormous and delicious taco wrappers.

But man oh my. I really enjoyed this. Really, really. The cabbage slaw in particular. I could have gobbled it up by itself, but in the taco it served as a great counterpoint to the warm beans and chicken resting inside waiting to be consumed.