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Tag Archives: avocado

Cobb Salad

Understandably, I’ve been so excited and busy with planning everything that is happening – the move, graduating, job hunting, and everything else – that I haven’t spent so much time in my kitchen. Plus Brent’s been in and out of town for various interviews, so cooking seemed much less worth it.

But eating junk for the next month isn’t going to make anything any easier, so I figured I may as well get my butt back in the kitchen and make some simple meals for us. Last night I made a meal Brent really enjoys – Cobb Salad. He’s ordered a few times when we go out to eat and I know he loves it.

I’m not super familiar with what goes into a classic Cobb salad, but mine included (for 2-3 servings):

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped small
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 of an avocado, diced
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4-5oz grilled chicken breast, diced
  • 2 pieces center-cut bacon, crumbled
  • 1 oz bleu cheese, crumbled (I don’t love this stuff. Brent put more on his portion)

Brent told me he’d prefer it served with a homemade ranch dressing, but I didn’t have ingredients for that and I didn’t feel like leaving the house, so vinaigrette it was. I made a balsamic vinaigrette by combining:

  • 2T water
  • 2T balsamic vinegar
  • 1t red wine vinegar
  • 1/2t Dijon mustard
  • 1/2t agave (or use sugar)
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 1/4t kosher salt
  • a couple grinds of black pepper

The salad was definitely a hit with Brent, and he requested I make it more often. I enjoyed it too. I LOVE when salad greens are chopped real small and I don’t have to wrestle huge leaves onto my fork. I guess I’m a weirdo like that.

Plans for tonight: drink some celebratory champagne and narrow down moving details. I’m just so excited about this move!

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Orange-Ginger Tofu Stir-Fry

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Tonight’s Meatless Monday dinner was meant to get a huge bounty of veggies into our diet because I feel like we’ve been seriously lacking in that department lately. I prepped for dinner by pressing a block of extra-firm tofu and slicing red bell pepper, carrots, onions, broccoli and zucchini.

After cubing the tofu, I browned it in a big skillet with a tablespoon of oil and then removed it with a slotted spoon. Next I threw in all the veggies except the zucchini and sautéed until soft. At that point I tossed in the zucchini, tofu and the stir-fry sauce.

Orange-Ginger Stir-Fry Sauce

  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T ginger, minced
  • 2 T cornstarch

I whisked all the ingredients together, threw it in the skillet and brought it to a bubble. The sauce thickened up after 2 minutes and dinner was ready. I served my portion over 1/2 cup of brown rice.

I really liked this. Brent, not so much. He did not care for the orange flavor apparently. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

In other news, look at my adorable avocado! I love it. I’m hanging it on the wall connecting the kitchen to the dining room. It makes me very happy.

The artist is Carol Cline out of Grand Rapids, but she has no website or anything. She had a huge variety of produce to choose from. I had a hard time deciding until I saw my beloved avocado. 🙂

Repeat Performance

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I like shrimp, avocados and tacos. Together, they’re one of my favorite warm weather meals and I make these Ceviche-Style Shrimp Tacos quite frequently in the spring and summer.

Another reason I chose to make these tacos is because we have 4lbs of frozen shrimp in our freezer, and it looks like we’ll be moving out of here in 2 weeks!! Obviously I’m trying to use up our freezer and pantry items now so that we’ll have less to move. Plus we will definitely have a lot less room for food storage in our new place so I might as well downsize now.

My semester is winding down. I have a rather important comprehensive pediatrics exam at the end of this week that I’m studying like crazy for. I’ll be glad to get that exam over with, but I’m actually pretty sad about my pediatrics clinical ending. I really loved it and as of right now (it’ll probably change next semester), I really think that’s the area I would like to work in when I graduate.

That’s all for now. I’ve got to watch Lost with Brent and the dogs. I think there will be more tacos tomorrow for dinner. 🙂

I can’t give up the guac

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I finished my final reflection paper for my last class this afternoon and submitted it. I’m completely done with the semester! 🙂 I’m taking one class over the summer, an online dosage calculations class, but I’m not expecting it to be terribly time-consuming. I feel so much calmer now that I know I can de-stress for a little while.

While at the gym on the stairmaster this evening, I was reading the new issue of Cooking Light (I cancelled my subscription last year and I miss it), and one of the main sections was about healthy fats – including, of course, avocado! There were lots of delicious sounding recipes, including one for strawberry avocado salsa that I want to try. It made me want some ‘cado immediately, so we stopped at the store to pick one up on the way home. I made use of it in the world’s quickest dinner: quesadillas with guacamole.

hpim3285The quesadilla filling is just a mix of sauteed onion, red bell pepper and cheddar cheese. I heated them very quickly on high heat on my cast iron griddle and they came out perfectly crispy. Yum! My new favorite way to enjoy guacamole has been to dip carrots in it. I had a bit left after this meal, so I also grabbed a handful of raw broccoli to use as dippers as well. Perfectly tasty and super quick.

After dinner, to celebrate my finishing the semester, I wanted to get a new cookbook. We ended up going to the library and I picked up Vegan Soul Kitchen.

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I was inspired this afternoon reading about the Jamaican Veggie Patties on Heidi’s site. I plan on making them this weekend! Back to Lost!

Mini Peanut Butter Frosted Cupcakes

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I’ve created something very dangerous….

hpim3249But let me back up. I’ve been inspired by those in the salad challenge to add more veggies on a daily basis, so for lunch I had a big salad with a glob of guacamole on it instead of dressing. Incidentally, my avocado obsession has been taken to a whole new level recently. Brent’s growing concerned.

hpim3245Dinner was one of my favorite combinations: a black bean burger with sweet potato fries. The burgers are just cooked mashed black beans, and egg white and some ground oats, along with salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and cayenne. It was while I was layering the copious amounts of guac onto the burger that Brent realized the extent of my problem. He claimed there was more avocado than burger, which is wrong, but even if it weren’t I’d be ok with it.

hpim3259The bun is 100% whole wheat, made with the Artisan Bread master boule method. I used all whole wheat flour, but subbed about 1/2 cup of wheat gluten for the flour. It came out well I think.

But now back to the star of the evening. This afternoon was dreary and cold and kind of miserable, so I thought a fun baking project would brighten my day. It did indeed.

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I made some dark chocolate mini cupcakes, using the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, but I subbed dark chocolate cocoa. For the frosting I made a Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting, which was super simple.

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ~2-3 tablespoons (soy)milk

Beat it all together until fluffy. This made exactly enough to frost 72 mini cupcakes. I had a lot of fun piping it onto the cupcakes. I realized today that although the tiny cupcakes are adorable, it’s very dangerous when you can eat each one in a single bite! I had way too many. 🙂 I took some to my class tonight and I’m bringing the rest with me to work tomorrow.

Have a great night!

Valentine’s Day Dinner

Editor’s Note: This post was written in its entirety by Victoria’s husband, Brent, and has been posted in its original format.

So as Victoria mentioned earlier, it’s become something of a tradition for me to make dinner on Valentine’s Day.  This tradition has its roots in necessity, as when we first married, we were fairly broke and Victoria could scarcely work the stove.  Victoria’s cooking has improved slightly since then, but I suspect she likes making me work.

As is apparently standard practice for this whole food blog genre, here’s a picture of the wine we drank (it’s a pinot grigio).

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The first course was a pretty tasty salad  This was a pretty big hit.  Victoria loves anything with avocado, and I never pass up an opportunity to throw down with some bacon.  The obligatory photo follows.  I’m always a little surprised at the number of photos Victoria takes of each dish.  She spares no expense bringing you only the most vivid digital representations of her food.

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The main course was a pasta.  The only real shortcoming was the amount of lobster.  I grossly underestimated the amount that would come out of the two lobster tails I bought.

This dude is not for the faint of heart.  I halved the recipe, and still used nearly a stick of butter and half a cup of heavy cream.  You could probably make it without the lobster, and it would still be pretty good.  I would definitely recommend keeping the beet, though.  It brings a surprising amount to the party.

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