Sunday, August 28, 2011

Baked Butternut Squash Pasta

In the end the storm didn't do too much damage to NYC. In my area there were a few branches down, some residual water, but otherwise, not so bad.

In Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs there was lots of flooding and a tornado watch. My grandmother is without electricity at her house as is my uncle and his family.

Last night I fell asleep around 1 am, too much energy thanks to all the news coverage. We also had a tornado warning until 5 am and I was debating if I should sleep in my room or in the hall. In the end I passed out in my bed after to speaking to Matt who is currently in sunny California. 5 short hours later I was abruptly woken up by the fire alarm in my building. My roommate rushed out of our apartment to see if neighbors were evacuating, no one. We debated going downstairs but given no notice on the intercom system we went back to bed. Just a short while later the alarm when off again, but no word from our apartment and it didn't seem so bad outside. Once more I tried to fall asleep but then my phone start buzzing like crazy with everyone checking up on me. I gave up on sleep and grabbed breakfast.

The rest of the morning and afternoon were spent reading, once I was able to pull myself away from my book I decided to walk around. There were so many people up and about. Apart from a bit of rain it was so refreshing outside. Clean, crisp air, and with only a few cars driving about it was pretty quiet.

With the cooler weather, and maybe ready for this dreary August to be over (17 inches of rain fell this month, that's a record breaking number!), I had fall on the mind. Fall to me means all things pumpkin or squash, hayrides, and apple picking. Mmm, maybe I'm not so ready for the last two, but I'm ready to bring on the winter vegetables!

Thanks to my resourcefulness :) -I have plenty of winter squash in the freezer. I pulled out some butternut squash and thawed in the microwave. 5 minutes on high, stirred, cooked for 1 more minute. Now what to do with it...

Tonight, it was a Baked Butternut Squash Pasta

-6 oz of winter/butternut squash (mine was pureed from last summer, can also find frozen at the grocery store)
-serving of pasta (whatever kind you would like, I used linguine because it's what I had on hand-macaroni would do well with this dish)
-tablespoon olive oil
-1/4 cup of onion
-1 garlic clove
-1 tablespoon of cream
-vegetable stock
-1/8 cup of parmesan cheese (I think, sorry I didn't really measure)
-breadcrumbs to sprinkle before placing into the oven

Heat oven to 350*. Boil water and cook pasta according to package. Meanwhile, in a frying pan with medium heat add oil, once hot throw in garlic and onion and cook until tender.

Throw in the squash and cook for another minute stirring occasionally. Add cream (could also use plain greek yogurt), and vegetable stock until it reaches your desired consistency. I added a couple of tablespoons. I wanted to keep the sauce thick but spreadable-if that makes sense. Take away from heat and add cheese, stir thoroughly.

Drain pasta and add it to the frying pan. Again mix everything together. Grease a ramekin and transfer pasta and squash mixture. Sprinkle with a bit of seasoned breadcrumbs and a bit more cheese.

Place into 350* oven for 7-10 minutes, then switch to broiler for 1-2 minutes to get nice and crisp on top.

I will be making this dish lots this fall. An easy dish for 1 person and can easily be modified for a larger group. To me it also just screamed fall, just what I wanted. The only thing missing was a pumpkin ale. Note to self, keep an eye out for pumpkin beer!


PS-Kinda wish I had cable tonight. Everyone on facebook switched from discussing the hurricane to talking about the MTV VMA's. My mom had to be the one to tell me that Beyonce is pregnant, now that's just sad.

PPS-My mom is watching because my teenage sister is watching and she's in the room.

Not Your Momma's Home Fries

Given a sweet potato I usually cut it up into wedges and pop under the broil for a quick "french fry." But with a bit more time on my hands and no where to go thanks to the weather, I decided to make home-fries but using a sweet potato to kick up the nutritional value.

Not Your Momma's home fries

Yield: 1 large serving, 2 small

1 sweet potato cut into small cubes
1 bell pepper (I used a lilac pepper)
1/2 of a small onion
clove of garlic
oliver oil to coat pan

-Heat oil in pan, add potatoes (they will take the longest to cook).
-Once potatoes begin to soften, stir occasionally, add the remaining ingredients.
-Cook until crisp.
-Transfer to plate and paper towel to drain excess oil.

Viola! I ate up my potatoes with an over easy egg, yum.

Time for some more reading-at the moment it's been mostly for pleasure. Currently reading Cutting for Stone, I highly recommend, it's very engaging and the writing is phenomenal

Catch ya later,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The calm before the storm

Madison and 5th ave looked a bit different this morning:

As of 5:45 am yesterday morning I was packing my bag and preparing to leave the city fearing for the worst. More than 24 hours later I'm still in NYC. My gut told me to stay-and one should go with his/her gut feeling, right? Well I'm prepared for the worst-have my batteries, flashlight, water, dry food, etc.; but still hoping for the best!

I also plan to make use of a weekend stuck inside by reading lots and beginning grant/fellowship proposals. Sounds fun right!?!

I began the morning with a nice iced coffee and stretched my legs by taking a little walk/run to and through Central Park (yay my knee is finally on the road to recovery!!).

Came home did a little bodyrock and finished off with a brief pilates session for a nice stretch.

Had a nice simple lunch-burrito and asian coleslaw:

I had intended to also roast some vegetables for dinner but couldn't avoid my sweet tooth so instead of healthy vegetables (which I will still cook later) I wiped up a batch of cake batter blondies-but what else is a girl to do when stuck inside? Well I guess there is work...

Stay dry and safe,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


The plan this weekend was to catch up some blogging but then on the cab ride to the bus station to catch a ride to Philly I realized I left my laptop charger on my bed. So much for trying to get some much needed reading done this weekend. Then on top of it my camera's batteries died. Fail!!

Oh well, better late than never.

Thursday night I had dinner with Matt, the last for a month. He left for California on Saturday for another medical school rotation.

We made use of my CSA lime basal (this stuff is amazing, smells just like lime), peppers, and a few other ingredients picked up for the market and threw together a Thai inspired clams dish.

-1 tablespoon olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 small onion (or in my case half of a very large onion)
-2 tablespoons minced ginger
-1 bell pepper
-crushed pepper, add to your liking
-1 16 oz can light coconut milk
-1 cup dry white wine
- 1-2 pounds of clams
-juice of 1 lime
-handful of basal

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan. One oil is hot add garlic, onion, ginger, bell pepper, and crushed pepper. Cook until limp, about 3 minutes. Add in coconut milk and wine, stir, bring to a boil. Add clams and cook an additional 3-5 minutes (clams should be open at this point if not cook for 1-2 minutes longer). Add lime and basal and stir.

Serve on top of a bed of rice.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday Eats

I was dragging most of Sunday and the rain did not help at all.

I started off my morning with a filling bowl of oatmeal. It's been sometime since I've had oatmeal but the dreary weather had me craving a large bowl.

Lunch consisted of pizza and a salad

went back for the other half.

After some writing I was craving something sweet and decided to whip a batch of skinny cookies from Carrots'N'Cake.

I then finished cooking for the dinner I was suppose to be hosting at Ryan's house.

Again the menu was inspired by my CSA goodies for the week. Lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant resulted in a Greek inspired dinner.
First corse-cheese plate, grapes, etc.

Main-Baba Ghanoush ,

Greek Salad,

and Roasted Seafood Orzo-inspired by this recipe.

For dessert I attempted this dimply plum cake with peach sorbet. Oddly my plums sunk to the bottom of the dish-weird.

I had very little appetite last night and was just overall exhausted. I ended up eating only a few grapes, a small portion of dinner along with a glass of wine, and skipped dessert all together. Maybe it was my larger lunch? And again my workouts have been pretty tame the last 3 weeks so I guess my appetite has really died. I'm pretty okay with that and am wondering if I want to go back to such intense workouts once my knee improves. I really like the idea of short intense workouts as inspired by with a couple of days of longer cardio thrown in the mix. Mmm, we shall see...


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Brooklyn Flea

Hey Bloggies,

This weekend Amanda paid a visit to New York and during her visit I dragged her to Brooklyn to experience the Brooklyn Flea. Destination #1 was Williamsburg for their Smorgasburg.

There was so many options but once I saw some with a pupusa I basically ran for that tent.

Amanda and I shared a platter. I had a spinach pupusa and she had the traditional with pork. Loaded on top with pickled cabbage, jalapeno peppers, the works.

We walked around the waterfront a bit, mostly to find a bathroom...

and then we were back for round 2, I was looking for something sweet and while there were several options I listened to my stomach which was content and instead had a sip of Amanda's float.

It was the "Sink the Pink" which consisted of watermelon, ginger, mint and lemon sorbet. It was different, not sure if it was my favorite thing in the world.

After getting our fill we headed over to Fort Green for the traditional market and did a lot of browsing but saved our money and left without a purchase. Well we both ended up buying a passionfruit mint limeade that was ridiculously delicious. I wish he cup was never ending!

Such a fun way to spend a Saturday!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

This week in food

Sunday, zuchinni fritters with dill dipping sauce:

Monday, dinner with Ena. On the something mexican inspired? My CSA last week consisted of tomatillos, tomatoes, onions, and such so it was definitely a mexican kind of week. For Ena's dinner I decided on mexican mushroom burgers with saffron rice on the side. But silly me forgot to snap a photo of the final product :(

As a result the cooking steps will have to suffice.

Attempt #1 at making salsa verde for the week = an incredibly watery salsa. Forgot I should have only added a cup of water instead of two as the recipe called for :(

Attempt at making saffron rice. Faired slight better here but think the rice could have still been a little more flavorful, need to find a better recipe.

Added some roasted zucchini to pump of the vegetable volume.

The end result equals yellow rice thanks to the turmeric but maybe I needed more saffron?

The queso came out pretty amazing though. Made use of this recipe except I used plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

Tuesday night = fish tacos with Matt. No complaints about this meal, everything was delicious! However, I once again forgot to photograph the final product, I guess I'm just too excited or hungry to eat :/

For the fish we used flounder and then topped with coleslaw.

For the slaw:
1/2 head of cabbage finely chopped
1/2-1 whole avocado
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1 jalapeno pepper
5 tablespoons lime juice

Mix all together and refrigerate until ready to use.

Also attempted salsa verde again, much better this time around, though it still could have been a little less watery. I guess that depends on your salsa preference.

Wednesday=John's Pizza on Bleeker with Susan and Dana. Can't believe I've lived in New York for so long and I've never been! Pizza for me is basically a no no due my recent tomato allergy development but I couldn't resist trying out the famous establishment, so I popped in 2 Benadryl and indulged. So glad I did, by far some of the best pizza I've ever ate!!

That's it for now...but how is it only Thursday? This week is going by so slowly...though not exactly wanting to rush August along so I guess I shouldn't complain too much.


The Bad Samaritan

Hey bloggies,

It is a sad state our world is in and it both angers and saddens me. Forgetting about the financial crises our own country faces and it’s potential implications I’ve come across dozens of other news stories this week that just make my skin crawl.

Somali is facing one of it’s worst famines and only made worse in areas ruled by the Islamist group al-Shabab who banned all foreign aid until about a month ago just to replace the ban upon word that the UN referred to the crises as a famine rather than simply a drought. Right, because it’s not clear to the rest of the world that when people can’t grow food as a result of a drought that famine won’t follow, not to mention the hundreds of pictures of the emaciated bodies.

And talk about corrupt governing, the group requires any charity group willing to set up a feeding center pay a project fee ranging from 4000-10000 USD.

The second story this morning was that of the Bad Samaritan, in reference to the riots in London. Check out the video here of boys seemingly willing to help out an injured young man to turn around and rob him, absolutely disgusting!

We can come back from all of this right? There are still good people left in this world right? Who are not just about the next paycheck, the newest fashions, etc? London officials blame social media and increased commercialism for all of their problems, do you agree?

Back later for regular posting,


Monday, August 8, 2011

5 minute vegan chocolate cake

Last week I came across this recipe for a 5 minute microwaved chocolate cake. A way to satisfy my sweet tooth in 5 minutes, I'm down! But...I wanted a cake with my own little twist.

A 5 minute guilt free cake.

4 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour (regular flour will do)
2 tbsp sugar (or agave)
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 mashed banana (or another egg replacer such as flaxseed egg)
3 tbsp almond milk
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
A pinch of salt
1/2 vanilla bean (can also use vanilla extract)

For 2 smaller cakes divid ingredients into two separate mugs, mix and microwave for 2 minutes on high. For 1 larger cake mix all ingredients into a mug or small bowl and microwave 2 minutes for a molten cake (will have drippy chocolate in the middle and bottom) or extra 30 seconds for a firmer cake.

My egg substitute...also added some chia seeds.

I also added sprinkles to mine for some fun.

Yummy...thanks Nags for an awesome cake!!