Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunny, Relaxing, Long Weekend

The sun is finally shining in the Bay Area! It’s been a cold (for the season) and wet April and May. In fact, last week a meteorologist said that this is likely to be the coldest and wettest April/May in the Bay Area in recorded history. I’m not sure if the last few days changed that…

Luckily, the weather made up for it over the weekend. It was pleasantly warm but not too hot. Actually, it was pretty much perfect. And we took full advantage of the great weather and the extra day off.
We spent time at the garden theme park, and the toddler had a blast.

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We also went to some Farmers’ Markets.

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I got some raw milk, butter, and cheese.

We had a simple lunch, using the cheese and butter with a new Trader Joe’s find.

The rolls are in the frozen section, and we love them. You can thaw them or warm them in the oven for about 12 minutes.

We had mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, the seeded rolls, a little raw butter, raw cheese, and radishes from the Farmers’ Market. So simple, yet so good… :-)

We also made a trip to the nursery and picked up some plants.

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The toddler can’t wait to help me plant the plants…

Question: What was the highlight of your weekend?
Be well,

Friday, May 28, 2010

Adventures with Fava Beans

Thank you everyone for your fava bean suggestions a few weeks ago.

From doing some research online and reading your comments, I learned pretty quickly that the one thing that is essential when cooking fava beans is that they have to be peeled twice.

First, I took the beans out of the pods.

There aren’t many beans compared to the pods…

I cooked the beans in salt water for about 6-7 minutes. That was a bit too long and the beans turned out a bit softer than they should have been…

Here are the cooked beans.

And then they got peeled again. I love how green they are!

Here are the peeled beans. I had planned on sautéing them, but since they were so soft, I decided to simply dress them with some lemon olive oil (a recent Farmers’ Market splurge)… The lemon olive oil is quite strong and overpowered the taste of the beans a bit, but since we love the taste of lemon, we enjoyed the dish.

As I mentioned, we enjoyed the beans, and it was fun to experiment with a new food. But preparing the beans was quite a bit of work for not very much end product…

Questions: What is the last new food item you prepared/ate? What are your plans for the long weekend? I’m taking a girlfriend out for her birthday but other than that, we’ll just relax… :-)

Be well,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tired of Meal Planning: Maybe This Will Help

In the last couple of weeks I haven’t always posted my meal plans on the blog, but I’ve always planned our meals on my dry-erase board. However, to be honest, I’m getting a bit tired of planning meals. Yet, I know that I have to plan, or I get stressed…

I have been thinking about what to do and came up with the idea of making a few salads that keep for a few days in the fridge early in the week. That way, I feel less like I “have to cook and plan” every night… I also made some protein options, and we can all choose what we like.  We’ll see how it goes…


 Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables Summer Salad
  • Summer Salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, black beans, edamame, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar)
  • Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables in a sesame oil/soy sauce/rice vinegar vinaigrette
  • Arugula, spinach, and red leaf lettuce ready to be dressed
  • Add-ons: Tomatoes, slices mushrooms, shredded carrots, avocado
Protein Options
  • Hard-boiled eggs (I’ll stick to the whites because of my gallstones)
  • Grilled chicken breasts
  • Grilled portobello mushrooms
  • Cooked shrimp
Plenty of Ready-to-Eat Fruit
  • Watermelon
  • Cherries
  • Apples – the toddler just recently started eating whole apples and is obsessed with them right now. So I CANNOT run out… :-)
Questions: What are you eating this week? Do you ever pre-cook weekday meals? Do you cook items to assemble throughout the week, depending on how you feel? What are some of the foods you pre-cook? 

Be well,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Good Weekend

Happy Sunday!

Our weekend has been great so far, and we are off to the gym and another Farmers’ Market trip. Here are some of the highlights of our weekend so far.

On Friday, we visited a Farmers’ Market:

We got some yummy spring rolls.

Spring roll with marinated tofu and shitake mushrooms.

The toddler kept reminding us that it was time to make green juice again. I keep “forgetting” to juice as I really don’t like to clean the juicer…

First, the toddler had to test the produce…

And we spent time in the park…

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Do you see us?
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Question: What are the highlights of your weekend so far? 

Be well,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eating Your Colors

I usually try to eat a wide range of colors: carrots, zucchini, spinach, yellow bell peppers, red radishes, asparagus, mushrooms, lettuce, sweet potatoes, green bell peppers, squash, avocados, red bell peppers, watermelon, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, cantaloupe, plums, oranges, apples, pears, grapes, etc. You get the colorful picture. :-)

However, I have to admit that recently many of our meals haven’t been very colorful. Many times hubby said, “Don’t you want to take a picture for your blog? The meal tastes great.” And I said, “No, it’s just not colorful enough.” So I’m trying to get more colors back into our meals.

Last night’s dinner could have been more colorful, but it’s a start: Mahi Mahi, red quinoa with chickpeas, lemon and dill, and mache salad with avocado (yes, I could have definitely added a bright color there).

Mahi mahi, red quino and mache salad
Red quinoa with quickpeas
Mache salad with avocado

I simply sauteed the mahi mahi for a few minutes on each side and then seasoned it with salt, pepper and the juice of one lemon. I cooked the quinoa for about 15 minutes in vegetable broth and then added a can of organic chickpeas, the juice of one lemon, and lots of dried dill. And the mache salad was lightly dressed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. A very quick and healthy meal (which could have been even healthier and prettier had I added some more colors to it!).

Questions: Do you pay attention to the colors that you eat? Do you make sure you eat a wide range of colors every day? What colors have you eaten today?
Thank you for all your comments and suggestions on my last post regarding the fava beans. I’ll experiment with them later today… I’ll let you know how they turn out!

Be well,

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Find In My CSA Box and Lunch Salads

This week, I found a new (to me) item in my CSA box: fresh fava beans. I have never cooked with fresh fava beans. I’m not sure how I’ll prepare them yet, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know. Here is what else was in the box:

  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
And here are two of my favorite lunch salads from this past week:

Salmon Salad on a Bed of Arugula

  • Arugula
  • Trader Joe’s Goddess dressing to lightly dress the arugula – a little goes a long way
  • Salmon salad (canned wild salmon, juice of one lemon, Wasabi mayo, capers)
  • Tomatoes
Mache Salad with Mozzarella and Tomatoes
  • Mache lettuce
  • Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to dress the mache lettuce
  • Mini mozzarella balls
  • Tomatoes
    Questions: What are you weekend plans? Have you ever cooked with fresh fava beans? If so, do you have any suggestions for me how to prepare them?
    Be well,

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Tomato Love

    • Tomatoes
    • Mozzarella
    • Lots of basil
    • A little salt
    • A little pepper
    • Olive oil
    • Balsamic vinegar
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    Question: What did you have for lunch today? 

    Be well,

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Mother’s Day Recap

    Despite some rain yesterday, we briefly visited the Garden Theme Park, which included a Champagne Brunch. Unfortunately, I’m still not completely over my cold, so we kept the visit short.

    The toddler got to enjoy some rides
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    And hubby and I each had a glass of champagne
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    Hubby’s plate from the buffet; the food was pretty tasty…
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    And then there was the chocolate fountain…
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    While, hubby and I indulged in this
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    the toddler ate grapes and more grapes… It was pretty funny…
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    As I mentioned above, I’m still battling a cold, which is bad enough that I can’t sleep at night. Hubby thinks I’m not getting better because I don’t rest enough. I think he may have a point, and I’ve decided to get plenty of rest today. We’ll see if it helps…

    Questions: What did you do yesterday? What was the best thing you ate? I truly enjoyed the chocolate fountain… :-)

    Be well,