Tag Archives: recipes

Transitions

This weekend has been a time of transitons. In June, I went to Turkey on a whim for three days because my grandma was in the ICU and my whole family as flying in to be with her. We expected her pass away within a few days, but she made an astonishing recovery and was even able to go home after a couple of weeks.

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This was at dinner with my brother, dad, two cousins, and my uncle. It was great to see my family. I left knowing that I would probably not seeing my grandma again, which was hard. But we thought she was getting better. Then, yesterday, my mom called to tell me that she had passed away unexpectedly over night. She was 90 years old and had a great life. She died without much pain and surrounded by family, which is a great comfort to all. But we will all miss her and cherish her memory forever.

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This is her as a young girl. She had four kids, five grandkids, and as of now, has five great-grand kids. She loved her beach house in Datca, swimming in the Mediterranean, and eating watermelon and feta together, like a real Turk. 

This weekend also marks the beginning of a new chapter in my professional life. Tomorrow, I start a new job as Marketing Strategy Specialist at Penn State Outreach. I am beyond excited to be working in higher-ed and non-profit, to cut my commute from 60 minutes down to 15, and to become part of an amazing group of people. My responsibilities will be coordinating between clients and units within the division to create detailed marketing plans for all kinds of initiatives to benefit the local community and beyond. In particular, I’ll be working on taking successful offline programs, like continuing education classes, conferences, and business development events, online. 

After the craziness of traveling and navigating my move between jobs, it has been hard to stay on track with my usual cooking ambitions and exercise. But I’m slowly getting back to planning, a routine, and feeling in control.

I made this vegan kale salad yesterday, which I highly recommend.

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Dave and I have embarked on a great house-cleaning adventure this weekend, the frige is full of healthy ingredients, we have a schedule for early-morning German lessons and exercise, and I’m excited to have an extra 1.5 hours a day which I will not spend driving.

Last night, we had some friends over to play Settlers of Catan, so it’s not all serious prepping around here.

In other news, my co-worker gave me a Belgian cherry beer for my last day and recommended I mix it with Guinness. I am hooked!

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Vegan Stuffed Peppers

This is a winner-dish all around. Unlike many vegan dinners, it filled me up and also did exceptionally well as a left-over lunch.

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Nom, nom, nom. Here is the recipe. The stuffing is quinoa and black bean based. It also contains some healthy spinach and tomatoes, as well as great herbs and spices. I added some Daiya Cheeze on top, which was not part of the recipe, but I would highly recommend it. 

It doesn’t get healthier and more satisfying than this. A wonderful addition to any weekly menu and they keep well in the fridge for left-overs.

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Vegan Chili with Gluten-Free Cornbread

Dave took on food duty today and it was a smashing success.

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Breakfast was an almond-milk omelette with tomatoes, onions, and salsa. Avocados on the side.

I had to work on my Turkish homework all morning because I was meeting with my tutor later in the day.

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Lunch was leftover spinach salad from yesterday, but I added an apple for some extra freshness. Still delicious.

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And the highlight when I came back from my lesson: vegan + soy-free chili made in the crockpot with cornbread. The best cornbread I’ve ever had (Dave used oat flour and corn starch), and the chili was amazing too. He made enough so we’d have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. What a win!

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Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salmon Cakes Vol. 2

Dave had class tonight, so I got a little over an hour for some full-power mid-week cooking and cleaning. I danced in the kitchen to a strange mix of music on Spotify – from 90s to high school classics to German pop.

I gave these salmon sweet potato & quinoa cakes another attempt – this time, I remembered to put the eggs into the mix instead of having to put them on top fried.

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After cooking a medium sweet potato and half a cup of quinoa, I mixed them with 6 oz. of wild Pacific salmon, half a chopped onion, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of cornmeal.

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Then I seared them in olive oil for about 4 minutes per side.

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They held together a little less well than last time, despite the eggs! I think that’s because I didn’t cook the sweet potato for long enough. It was less doughy and sticky than last time.

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Deliciousness. If you make this, make sure to add enough salt and pepper. Also, I think it would be even better with green onion than just with regular onion. Yes, now that I think of it, definitely use green onions or scallions.

Six cakes meant we have leftovers for lunch. Yay!

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Filed under dairy-free, gluten-free, lunch-prep, recipes, seafood

Race Weekend – Part 3

First order of business when we left the hotel after my shower and Daiya pizza snack was to go back to the village for some free beer and exploring of the little shops.

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Each runner got a coupon for a German beer at the beer hall. I traded mine in for a Bavarian wheat beer. I would say it was moderately to severely refreshing.

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Dave went with Koelsch, a light beer from Cologne, which he later regretted because it gave him a headache. Serves him right – Duesseldorf, my hometown, and Cologne have a huge beer and everything-else rivalry.

We walked around the village….

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And scoped out some Antique shops.

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I found it interesting/disturbing that this shop sold swastikas as World War II memorabilia.

But anyway…

We headed back to State College in the afternoon because I was running out of steam a bit. Although I must say I felt much better than I expected after the race and stayed fit and alert all day. I think that has to do with all the water, gatorade, and Gu I consumed while running. A lesson to remember.

On our way home, we stopped at My Thai to get the red curry shrimp dish I’m obsessed with for carry-out.

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And then several glorious hours of vegging out on the couch with trashy TV followed.

Dave’s headache was getting worse and worse, so we headed to bed around 6. I put a heating pad on his head and read The Dark Monk to him – a book his dad sent us. It is really good and we’ve been reading it together every day since.

Sunday, we did chores, went to the UUs, played some tennis, and enjoyed/prepped some good foodie treats:

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After finishing off the Thai leftovers for lunch, we each had a bowl of Greek yogurt with honey and frozen berries. Freshness delight.

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In an effort to use up leftovers, I made this veggie casserole. I just threw in whatever I had in the fridge. It had spinach, kale, carrots, cauliflower, vegetable broth, and Daiya cheese. I tried a little bit of it and then had it Monday for lunch. It was pretty damn awesome, if I do say so myself. I love when randomness tastes this good. Major credit goes to the Daiya cheeze, of course.

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For our dinners, I made sweet potato wraps. In my effort to be low-carb, I used lettuce instead of actual wraps. The yogurt had tons of mint and lemon zest for a fresh, tangy twist. And I left the peel on the sweet potatoes, coated them in olive oil, and baked them in the oven for 20 minutes.

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Other ingredients were onions seared in sumac and cumin as well as toasted almonds. We had to eat the “wraps” with a fork and knife, but that was the only disadvantage of this combo. Very delicious and a summer-appropriate. Image

Finally, I must admit to a new obsession. These amazing vegetable chips tempted me at Wegman’s on Sunday and I have eaten my way through 90% of the bag since then. They have coconut oil, canola oil, tons of yummy spices, and vegetables, so they are pretty healthy as far as chips go. So currently I have them as an appetizer before dinner and then a few spoons of chocolate coconut milk ice cream for desert every night. Ooops.

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Filed under dairy-free, German, low carb, recipes, running, vegan

Balcony Eats

My friend Juliane came over tonight and we had the first dinner of the year on our balcony. It was a delicious mix of warm summer air, wine, stories, and many nutritious salad ingredients.

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I kind of made this up on the go: quinoa, onions, red peppers, apples, avocado, toasted cashews, sweet potatoes, and olive oil.

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So nice to be able to enjoy this outside.

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And the vino of course.

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The weather has been absolutely amazing and perfectly spring like. In the past 48 hours, we’ve had heavy summer rain, a thunderstorm (love!!!), and temps in the 70s. I’m in heaven.

I don’t necessarily want to move back to the Midwest ever, but if we did, my one comfort would be having real thunderstorms. When we lived in Milwaukee, Dave learned quickly to crack the window when massive thunder and rain were happening, so I could enjoy the sounds and cuddle up, completely content. Here, thuderstorms are much more sporadic, but having mountains and green, saturated grass helps a lot.

I’m so happy we have two full months of glorious spring ahead of us!

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Filed under dairy-free, drinks with dinner, gluten-free, salads, vegan

Avocado Obsession

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I want to eat avocados with every meal possible! It’s a true obsession, and this is only the beginning.

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This was actually Dave’s lunch yesterday. I prefer to schmier the avocado on the bread as if it’s cream cheese and put an egg sunny side up on top.

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My dinner tonight: brown rice with avocado, a fried egg, and nutritional yeast.

More to come. I am 100% committed to this obsession.

Dave and I went to Gigi’s tonight to have some drinks, and an appetizer (technically for desert), and play a game of backgammon.

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Beer as pre-run fuel.

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Spinach-crab dip with artichokes.

Dave beat me 5:1. Reminds me of long vacation days in Turkey, when I could accomplish a victory once a week if I was lucky.

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Filed under dairy-free, drinks with dinner, eating out, seafood