Milestone Salmon

Hiya eaters!

Today was been freaking glorious.

I actually just accidentally typed “florious,” which I am now defining as a word meaning glorious in a spring, floral way. And thus, it fits.

After class I spent a couple of hours walking around, getting mildly lost in the parts of my neighborhood that I haven’t explored yet. I sat on a bench and read in the sun for a while. I then sat on another bench and ate frozen yogurt with BERRIES!

This was not only my first frozen yogurt of the season, but also my first berries of the year. I can’t wait until they’re in season.

And now it’s time to talk about a dinner that was glorious, not florious.

Did you know that I’ve never cooked fish before last week? Leon always cooks the protein for dinner while I handle the vegetable and carb, so I’ve never had the need to.

Did you know that up until about two years ago I actually kind of hated fish? I used to detest fish and thus vacations at the beach where seafood restaurants are plentiful were never all that fun.

But a lot has changed. This semester I am getting out of my comfort zone and challenging myself and that whole shebang.

And one night last week that meant cooking salmon.

Well, first that meant actually going up to the fish counter and ordering the fillets. But once that accomplishment was checked off then it was time to…marinate.

And then cook.

And then eat.

And then feel disproportionately proud.

I can’t decide which part of that was my favorite.

Honey Lime Salmon

Serves 2

2 salmon fillets (~1 lbs total)*

1 lime, juiced

1 ½ T honey**

1 clove garlic, minced

1 t soy sauce-like substance***

1 t hot sauce

oil

*I always get skin-on fillets. I like the flavor it adds and don’t mind removing it as I eat.

**Agave can easily work.

***Tamari, Braggs Amino Acids, or anything of the sort will also work. I used Bragg’s.

Fish skin is pretty in an odd way, isn't it?

Mix the lime juice, honey, garlic, soy sauce, and hot sauce in a dish and begin marinating the fillets, skin side up. After about 15 minutes flip the fish over.

After another 15 minutes of marinating time drizzle a pan with oil and bring it to medium heat. Add the fish skin side up and cook for ~5 minutes.

Can you see the excess flaking? Yeah...

Carefully flip the fish to skin side down. Pour the marinade over the fish and then cover. Cook for another ~6 minutes and then uncover. Check to see if the fillets flake easily with a fork.

If so, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the sauce to reduce for a couple of minutes.

If not, recover for another minute or two and then proceed with the above step.

Mmmmdrizzle.

Then plate the fillets, pour the sauce over the top, and serve with something on the side.

Despite the fact that I was really nervous about this challenge and thus checked the flake-ability of these fillets far too many times, I was quite proud of myself.

Let's ignore the fact that a whole chunk accidentally got flake-tested off.

This fish was flavorful, but without completely overpowering the salmon flavor (because I do like the flavor of fish now).

And, thanks in part to my neurotic flake-ability checks, it was neither under-cooked nor over-cooked.

Just ignore the spring roll. It was a flop.

I consider this a huge milestone in my life.

Hear that Mother? It’s time to whip out the baby book. This ‘Baby’s got a new entry.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s something you eat often, but have never cooked?

What’s the last thing you did that was out of your comfort zone?

G’night eaters!

Sun In London

G’evening eaters!

The UK finally had daylight savings time so I’m not back to being 5 hours ahead of EST, which means that my already not too predictable posting time will be an hour later.

Consider yourself warned.

But this weekend had far more excitement than just switching my clocks. Oh no, this weekend was pretty much a hoot.

It started on Friday when some friends and I went out looking for a bar to have a couple “low key cocktails.”

In case you don't know what cocktails look like.

HA! I think it’s brilliant that literally every time I go out saying I want just a low key drink or two it ends up being a pretty wild night.

I won’t go into all the details, but it was a hoot and a half. AND I didn’t do anything I regret. Hot damn hooray!

I'm so happy to be having fun.

On Saturday morning m’lady friend Maddie and I got up early (WHY do I always wake up early after drinking?) to drink coffee and eat pear pastries in the sun.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous in London this weekend, and we wanted to really soak it up because you never know the next time it’s going to rain.

After breakfast we set about checking something off our London To Do lists — Borough Market. This is a huge market that runs every Thursday-Saturday. It’s kind of near the Cannon House tube stop, FYI.

I like white truffle oil, not black.

Maddie and I wandered around for a bit, tasting so many different jams and chutneys and fancy oils.

There were also a ton of spice vendors, which was lovely.

After we’d had a thorough appetizer of samples we eat picked out lunch.

Maddie’s choice:

Some kind of chorizo sandwich.

My choice:

A beef and vegetable pasty.

Pasties might be the coolest use for leftovers I’ve ever seen. Take some leftover stew, soup, curry, etc., roll it up in some pastry, and bake. Really, I was in heaven.

And then I was even more in heaven as I digested while sitting on the Thames river walk and soaking up the sun. I actually started getting a little hot sitting there in a t-shirt and jeans.

Ilovespringandsummerandhotweather!

On Sunday the weather was equally amazing, which made my weekly trip to the Marylebone Market even lovelier.

Marylebone is in a car park and it's really not that big, but it's glorious.

And my haul was lovely, per usual.

Loot:

Organic red cabbage, lettuce, organic carrots, organic dino kale, organic coriander, organic apples, organic pasture-raised smoked bacon.

After that shopping trip I mustarded up the motivation to go to the gym. I did a supersets workout for the first time in forever and it was so tough. More on that in a few days.

But once I regained the ability to lift my arms, I went to Whole Foods.

Loot:

PB, clementines, jalapeno, red bell pepper, organic cage free eggs, Cool Chile Co corn tortillas, multigrain bread, chocolate bars, Pack Tunch bars, avocado, Cool Chile Co Chipotle Ketchup, tilapia fillets, Provemal soy milk, Adnams Innovation beer, Guatemalan coffee.

This weekend came full circle for me at WFs because at Borough Market I bought a tin of smoked paprika (my favorite spice ever!). I didn’t need it, but I got excited when I say a booth all about Mexican food and the guy was cute.

Then when I was looking for tortillas I found these tortillas from the same company! And then I saw the Chipotle Ketchup that I tasted yesterday, so I had to get that too, of course.

What can I say, I love Mexican food. And cool graphics.

And that’s all the rambling I’ve got for you today. Fun times, right?

What do you think, eaters:

What’s your favorite season?

Do you sample at markets?

G’night eaters!

4-Grain ‘Cakes

G’day eaters!

Today one of my classes went on a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. And I would show you a bunch of cool pictures of the painted ceiling above the stage, but you don’t come here to see me make stupid faces in front of historical buildings.

Or do you….

No, you come here to oogle food. And oogle food you shall. Or I should say, oogle breakfast.

So you know how I work for an awesome organic, free from food company?

Well, one of the perks of my job is that I get to take home some of the product. It’s a pretty great perk, if you ask me.

It was especially great when a couple of weekends ago, after a particularly late night and a particularly lazy morning turned afternoon in bed, I had a box of pancake mix and a bottle of maple flavoured agave waiting in my cupboard.

Oh, and having a ‘mate willing to make the pancakes per my crazy “let’s mix lots of other things in” directions, is a pretty great perk, too. (Though she refused to go out and get me bacon, but I’ll giv her a pass on that one.)

So Cate whipped up some Hale & Hearty 4-Grain pancakes with a little extra ground flax, vanilla paste, and a few pinches of coconut.

And I cleared away the mountain of newspapers and set the table.

It’s all about teamwork, eaters.

Now, can we talk about these pancakes? Can we please?

I honestly don’t remember the last time I ate pancakes. Whenever it was, I’m 100% positive that Mother made them for me, they were Bisquik and probably topped with gobs of real maple syrup (not the sugar free, chemical packed Aunt Jemima crap that Stepfather always loved for some reason).

Don't they just look all light and fluffy and full of flax-y goodness.

Needless to say, these pancakes are far from my last ‘cake experience, even before I added my extras.

And ya know what, eaters?!

They were fantastic!

I topped mine with a scoop of Greek yogurt and a generous drizzle of Hale & Hearty Maple Flavoured Agave Syrup.

Mmmmmcakes.

These babies were fluffy and had that very distinctive coconut + whole wheat (even though there’s no wheat) flavor that I love so much.

The maple agave didn’t scream maple in the same way that real maple syrup does (duh!), but considering that you can’t expect Vermont maple syrup flavour from anything but Vermont maple syrup, I was pleasantly surprised.

After I finished this short stack I ate another pancake plain with my hands. I could say that I did it because the real test of a pancake is whether or not you want to eat it without all the sweet stuff, but really I couldn’t commit to another dressed up pancake, but I wanted another.

Those three pancakes plus an unpictured hard boiled egg kept me full through the rest of my very lazy afternoon. And that NEVER happens with sweet, carby breakfasts.

So eaters, while this may read as a Hale & Hearty press release (except that it doesn’t and I know because I’ve spent a long time reading old press releases and practicing writing them), it’s not.

This is just my way of saying that pancakes are awesome. And pancakes become even more awesome when they’re made with whole grains and other good things and not topped with funky, fake chemicals.

And that’s really all I’ve got for you today.

Your turn, eaters:

What do you top your pancakes with?

What’s your favorite lazy morning turned afternoon breakfast?

Later eaters!

St. Patrick’s Day

Hi eaters!

I’m going to cut to the chase because I’m tired and just barely tipsy enough to have a really short attention span.

I’m not really posting anything of consequence tonight.

I was going to post a real recipe. I had the post half written.

But then I went to work. And while today was really quite wonderful and I spent a lot of it researching wacky holidays (FYI— There are at least two Talk Like A Pirate Days and three Pecan Days) and recipes that can be de-glutened and packing boxes that look like Christmas presents, it was still tiring.

And then I went to Thirsty Thursday at Whole Foods where I met up with the lovely Ms. Marisa and her friends. Thirsty Thursday is where you pay #5 for 5 wine and food pairings. We then hit up the Wine Hub for a taste and a pour and more chatting.

FYI — She’s absolutely lovely and we talked for hours about traveling and the perks of being a food blogger and careers and oh so much more. AND we already have plans for next Thursday.

And while it was all quite lovely as well, I am now tired.

Oh, and because of the whole work thing I never did get a chance to get actual pictures of my Irish stew. Literally, the only pictures I have are the ones I posted yesterday.

Correction: The ONE picture I posted yesterday.

So while this means that I once again miss a holiday, it doesn’t mean you have to, too.

Instead, just follow this checklist for an awesome St. Patrick’s Day:

1) Bake with booze. And by “bake” and “with,” I mean make some cupcakes with a bit of booze baked into them, frost them with non-baked booze, and drink booze while doing it.

I suggest doing this the night before. Or in the morning.

2) Next, make Irish stew. I don’t have a recipe to give you, but you can just wing it like I did. Or you can find an actual recipe, if you’re an over-achiever.

Again, I suggest doing this in the morning.

Oh, and you might want to bake some soda bread, too. Definitely do this the night before.

3) Put on some festive garb.

This was me freshman year. Wearing a shot glass holding garter. Like a lady.

4) Grab a generous about of drink. Something Irish is preferable.

5) Watch England and Ireland compete in the last game of the 6 Nations rugby series. I’m beyond jazzed for this match.

6) Wait until you get the drunchies and then eat your stew, soda bread, and cupcakes.

Yup, I told you it was a good idea to make all those things before hand.

And I told you I knew how to have a good time.

Oh, I didn’t tell you that?

Well, I’m normally in bed before your grandma, but when it comes to day drinking I’m a champ. And if you follow my directions you will be, too.

Your turn:

What are you doing for St. Patrick’s Day?

And are you a night party-er of a day drinker?

G’night eaters!

 

Hearty British Quiche

Hiya eaters!

It’s been a doozy 24 hours for me.

First, my friends and I got kicked out of a pub because my friend (who wasn’t drinking and is 21) didn’t have ID to prove she was at least 18.

Then, I went to check my credit card statement online and found a whole bunch of fraudulent charges on my debit card. So I’ve been dealing with the bank and trying to figure out how someone bought things in a store without actually having my card.

Yes eaters, apparently someone can use your card in a store without having your card. And I still have no idea how they got my card information to begin with considering I only ever use my card at ATMs.

If you know how the heck this happens, please do share. I’m dumbfounded.

But enough money talk.

Are you ready for me to be a bit British again?

Good, because I’ve realized that my time here is quickly winding down so I’m trying to pack as much British-ness in as possible. And as luck would have it, I’ve found a way to ball up a bunch of British-ness and wrap it in a very British crust.

Doesn’t that sound appealing?

Don’t answer that.

Would it sound more appealing if I told you I was talking about quiche?

Gosh, I hope so.

I call this quiche British-tastic because, while I know that these ingredients are available all over, I haven’t really seen them (or this unflinching a love of puff pastry) until I got here. So I’m embracing it, just like I’m embracing endless cups of tea and not pronouncing the “a” in words ending in “-ary”.

British Potato Leek Quiche

~1 ½ c chopped leeks

3 small potatoes, thinly sliced

½ c cottage cheese

6 eggs

1 sheet puff pastry

salt and pepper, to taste

oil

Heat a pan to medium heat and drizzle it with oil. Lightly sauté the potatoes and leeks until the potatoes have just lost their crispness and the leeks are fragrant.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs and cottage until all the big clumps of cottage cheese are gone. Add a few dashes and cracks of salt and pepper and then mix in the potatoes and leeks.

Line a round casserole dish* with the puff pastry sheet. Don’t worry if it doesn’t fit perfectly. I highly recommend tearing it to make it fit. I mean, you can’t mess up puff pastry, right?

Right.

Pour the eggy mixture into the puff pastry and bake in a 350F/175C oven for ~20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the quiche to cool for a few minutes and then slice into quarters and serve.

Now this isn’t some froufrou French quiche. This isn’t some bastardized American quiche. This is a hearty British quiche.

Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about traditional British culture, it’s that the Brits and everything about them is hearty. It’s made to last. It’s utilitarian. It’s sensible.

So you could use a regular pie pan*, but then you would need more puff pastry. And then the quiche would boarder on froufrou.

And the British are not froufrou. And neither is this quiche.

So tuck in.

Your turn:

What’s your favorite hearty, not froufrou food?

How do you feel about Brits?

Later eaters!

Everyone Loves Pancakes

Hello eaters!

I’m happy to say that today felt less crazy than yesterday. I’m figuring things out AND I made sure to walk more today, including down the street to get a fresh juice.

And now I’m about to meet up with the other girls from my school to go out to dinner with our professor. We might have even convinced him and his wife to go on a pub crawl with us.

Yup, sometimes I pretend to act like an adult. Sometimes I don’t.

And now it’s time to pretend I’m British.

I say that I’m pretending to be British because it wasn’t until I came here that I saw leeks widely available.

Sure, I’d heard of potato leek soup (though I’ve never eaten it) and I’d heard cooking show hosts talk about how difficult it is to clean leeks. But I really don’t think that I’d seen them in person until I got here.

So in an attempt to expand my horizons, I bought some leeks a couple of weeks ago. And THEN I Googled recipes.

This is generally how I go about getting myself to try new things.

Anyway, through Googling I found a handful of recipes, including this one for Leek and Oat Savory Pancakes.

And then I changed a lot. This, too, is generally how I go about doing things.

Leek Pancakes

½ c buckwheat flakes*

1 scant c (non-dairy) milk

2 leeks, cleaned and chopped

~1 T oil, divided

¼ c (whole wheat) flour

3 eggs

¼ t cumin

salt and pepper, to taste

*You can certainly use regular rolled oats, but buckwheat is something I hardly ever eat so I picked it up in an effort to diversify my diet a bit.

Mix the buckwheat flakes and milk in a bowl and leave them to sit for at least 30 minutes.

While the oats are soaking, heat a drizzle of oil in a pan over medium-high heat and then lightly sauté the leeks. Once the leeks are soft, spoon them into the same bowl as the oats.

Whisk eggs into mixture before mixing in flour and seasoning.

This doesn't look appealing yet...

Heat another drizzle of oil in the pan over medium-high heat and spoon a little less than ¼ c batter into the pan. Wait for the bubbles to form and then dissipate before flipping. Cook for a few minutes until the other side is golden and then repeat until all the batter is gone.

I suggest serving these with a little dipping sauce. BBQ sauce would be fine, ketchup might work well, but I just went with a little bit of plain tomato sauce.

 Oh, and a sausage banger on the side.

Now, these aren’t run of the mill savory pancakes. These are delightfully eggy little rounds.

In fact, they have so much of that lovely sponginess that comes from eggs that you might not even consider these pancakes.

But everyone loves a pancake and you will love these, so I’m calling them pancakes.

Hello, my gorgeous golden girls.

Just consider this more of my not pretending to act like an adult.

Your turn, eaters:

How do you get yourself to try new things?

What are your thoughts about pancakes?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: The Intern

‘Ello eaters!

I’m happy to report that my computer seems to be in fine working order. I turned it on this morning and while there are a couple of weird things, everything else is fine.

I still have an Apple Genius bar appointment for tomorrow, so I’m not declaring it a miracle yet.

Getting a whole new computer and transferring everything would have been a huge hassle.

Anyway, now that things are back on track it’s time to talk about all the awesomeness that was yesterday…in the form of WIAW.

Ready… Set…

Breakfast:

Fried eggs and sauteed kale on seedy spelt toast with spicy mustard and hot sauce.

I would just completely skip even taking pictures of my breakfast anymore because it’s been pretty much the same thing for at least six months, but 1) I love morning light, and 2) I added a schmear of spicy mustard to the toast and it really took my same old eggs to a new and delicious level.

And then this happened.

My laptop, post-spill, drying in rice.

Believe me when I say I was freaking the eff out. And it took me more than a few minutes of pacing before I was able to breathe normally. But once I could breathe normally, it was time to get fancy.

All from Anthropologie. All on super freaking sale.

I put on makeup, which I never do unless I’m going out at night. I put on heels, another thing I never do. I put on a ring to cover my finger tattoo, which I never really intentionally do.

What tattoo?

(Sorry mom, I forgot to take off my ratty nail polish. I know you’re probably cringing right now.)

And I got to put on my interview outfit, which I’ve had since December.

Game face.

It was game time.

After a quick little interview I was told that my first day of work as…drum roll…a marketing intern for Hale & Hearty, an organic, gluten-free food company (wheeee!!!!!) would be the Wednesday after break.

Consider this my signing bonus.

Let me repeat that: I will be a marketing intern for an organic, gluten-free food company. Based on my interview today, in addition to basic administrative stuff, I think I’m going to be working a good bit with blogging for the company, working with local bloggers, and social media.

Do I even need to say how absolutely freaking jazzed I am?!?!

I celebrated with a delicious fresh juice from the coffee shop a few blocks away.

Super red juice: beets, carrots, red apples, and ginger.

These juices will be the downfall of my budget, but the joy of my body.

Lunch:

Falafel sandwich and a white chocolate, orange cookie.

Unfortunately, everything took longer than expected this morning so I had to run to meet my friend at Pret for a working lunch. We had an exam yesterday, so this sandwich and cookie were scarfed as we went over the differences between the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and debated the role of the monarchy in today’s Britain.

Afternoon:

I spent the entire exam trying (and kind of failing) to not fall asleep. Needless to say, this grade won’t make the fridge. After that (and my stressful morning) all I wanted was a snack. And to not leave my flat in fear of possibly something else going wonky. So I ate an apple and watched TV.

Dinner:

I was completely uninspired about what to make for dinner until I saw something somewhere about potato pancakes. And then I was off to the races.

Eggs poached in tomato sauce with sauteed kale.

In no time flat I had whipped up a surprisingly comforting, balanced, and delicious dinner.

The worst picture ever of potato pancakes.

My completely fly by the seat of my pants potato pancakes weren’t the greatest (too much flour and egg, I think), but they still did the trick. And now I have a new recipe to work on.

Dessert:

A few squares of dark chocolate.

With that, eaters, I’m done for the night. I’m still more than a little on cloud 9 over my internship. I’m also on cloud 9 over the fact that I get to see manly friend on Saturday. And because by Friday at noon I’ll be done with my classes.

Yeah, I have a ton to be happy about. And I couldn’t be happier.

What about you, eaters:

What do you have to be happy about right now?

Do you have a power outfit? Tell me about it!

Later eaters!

Many Markets

‘Ello eaters!

The weekend is drawing to a close. Did yours have a theme?

Lazy? Jam-packed? Traveling? Productive?

The theme of mine was undoubtedly markets. So many markets. (By “so many,” I mean two.)

I have no clue why there are lions all over the Lock Market.

It all started on Saturday when a couple ladies and I headed off to the Camden Lock Market to accomplish some goals.

Of course, the first goal was food.

The market has a ton of food stands of varying cuisines and degrees of authenticity. I let my cravings lead me straight to what was possibly the least authentic booth.

What made this so unauthentic?

I don't spy a Hispanic.

None of these people were Hispanic.

And this was by far the least authentic fajita I’ve ever had. But it was spicy and cumin-y and juicy, so I went with it.

Once we had all eaten, we ventured into the heart of the market.

I was a ‘Baby on a mission and after getting mildly lost only a couple of times I found what I was looking for.

After making my purchase, we headed off to accomplish the second goal on our list. But first, a brief pit stop for donuts.

When we were eating lunch we saw a booth selling freshly fried and topped donuts. It’s not often that you find fresh donuts, and for 6 for £2.50 you definitely can’t say no.

I think I love you, donut man.

Six donuts dipped in chocolate and topped with sprinkles and nuts were in our hands before we knew it. And believe me when I tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a better donut. Ever.

Mmmmmmmmdonuts!

No really. Ever.

And then it was off to accomplish goal number two: get Cate’s nose pierced.

Doesn't she look terrified?

I don’t have an after picture, but it looks really good. And unlike back at school, not many people here have their noses pierced so it’s actually cool.

The next market came on Sunday. And of course, it was the Marylebone market.

The market felt less hopping than usual, with less vendors and patrons, but I still saw some pretty produce.

Those are the biggest Brussels stalks I've ever seen.

And some delicious food, which I never think to buy.

Free range, organic, local sausage and onion sandwich. 'Nuff said.

Oh, and then there was this car that I saw on the way home.

At first glance, does anyone else think this looks like the Nazi car from "Rat Race"?

Per usual, I ended up with a wonderful, and wonderfully cheap, haul.

Loot:

Sorry for the bad lighting. It was extra sunny in my kitchen today.

Organic apples, dino kale, organic Brussels sprouts, seedy spelt bread, organic leeks, and organic red onions.

I also picked up a little treat for later.

A bite of this most delicious and fudgy brownie powered me through D5W4 of the Body Rock challenge.

Yes eaters, I finished the challenge! I’ll post a full write up tomorrow (I think), but until then I’ll leave you with this.

Your turn eaters:

What was the theme of your weekend?

Do you have any piercings/tattoos?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Rushin’ Like a Russian

‘Ello most lovely eaters!

While some people may have chocolate and champagne hangovers from yesterday, I am still happily love drunk.

Because I love love, I love being in love.

Oh and I love vegetables, though you still can’t totally tell from what I ate yesterday.

Breakfast:

Seedy WFs bread, kale sauteed with Bragg's amino acids, two fried eggs, and plenty of hot sauce.

Does this count as variety? Please say yes, because this is about as much variety as I’m capable of.

And on the side I had a cup of coffee x2 (this whole me owning a coffee maker is dangerous) and vitamins x2.

I finally found soymilk that doesn't get funky in coffee. It's pretty rawesome.

M’mate Cate has been sick for a couple of weeks now. I’m starting to feel a little under the weather. At home in the states I have a whole arsenal of vitamins to take when I start feeling a little cruddy (all thanks to VG), but for some reason when packing my suitcases I decided that another pair of Toms was more important than vitamins. So I’m slamming vitamin C with rose hips like it’s cool.

FYI — Vitamins aren’t really cool, but sometimes they’re helpful.

Veg servings: 1

Lunch:

I didn’t know I was living in Russia, but it seems I am because I’m always rushin’.

Get it? Get it? Yeah, Cate and I aren’t funny.

What I’m trying to say is that I was too rushed to take a picture of my vegetable soup, seedy bread from WFs, and an apple.

Veg servings: 2

Snack:

PB, seedy WFs bread, and a spoon.

Speed walking to class, running up to the fourth floor, and speed walking home worked up an appetite. Or maybe my lunch was just lacking satiating fats.

Either way, this was necessary.

Dinner:

Cate and I decided to get all fancy and go out for dinner. We ended up in a little Italian restaurant in Camden. And when in RomeCamden drink lots of wine, right?

There's only two sizes of wine here — small and large.

Knowing that pasta was on the agenda, I decided to start my meal off on the right foot.

A simple salad with greens, fennel, bell pepper, cucumbers, and artichokes.

And then followed it up with a giant plate of pasta.

This wasn’t the best parpadelle I’ve ever had (it wasn’t made that day), but the sauce-y, vegetable-y parts were so freaking delicious that it totally made up for day-old pasta.

Parppadelle with broccoli, tomatoes, anchovies, and buttery bread crumbs.

And it just so happens that the restaurant was pretty well known in the neighborhood for having extraordinary gelato, so of course Cate and I had to be all romantic and split a couple of scoops.

Pistachio and tiramisu gelato.

Veg servings: 2 ½

The day ended with some really wonderful Skype time with my everyday Valentine, manly friend, and a couple of bites of cheese. And it couldn’t have been better.

Oh, and my veg servings for the day came out to about 5 1/2, which isn’t half bad for me.

Your turn:

When going out for Italian do you order pasta or something meaty?

What are your go-to gelato/ice cream/fro yo/sorbet flavors?

Later eaters!

No Recipe Vegetable Soup

G’day eaters!

Today was my day off so I’ve spent ample amounts of time in my kitchen, at the gym, and reading in a café.

It was glorious beyond belief. Really. I don’t know if I’d want to do this everyday (because I do like to be a bit busier and a bit less luxuriously lazy), but for today is was perfect. And I once again feel like the luckiest ‘Baby in the world.

And you know what else is wonderful?

All the posts I’ve read from this week’s WIAW party. It’s so great to see all the ways other bloggers are getting their daily servings of veg.

(Side note — Sorry if I sound like an airhead or whatnot for saying “veg” all the time. I’m slowly picking up English words, and everyone says “veg.” I’ll try to tone it back if I get extra annoying.)

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m not eating nearly enough vegetables.

I could blame that on the fact that my kitchen (especially the knives!) is subpar and that makes cooking the way I want next to impossible. I could blame the fact that I eat out a lot (more than I would like) and vegetables don’t seem to be all the popular here, but I’m not even eating out that much. I could blame it on the fact that I’m busy and my classes are so horribly inconvenient as far as eating on a normal schedule goes, but I should be used to it by now.

So instead of finding a new place to put the blame for my less than stellar produce intake, I made soup.

But before you get all excited about a recipe for a wonderful vegetable soup, let me burst your bubble: I don’t have a recipe.

For some things, a recipe just doesn’t work. For some things, you just have to trust your intuition, chop up all the things dawdling in your crisper, and hope for the best.

And that’s exactly what I did here.

So an onion, two carrots, a bunch of celery, a bell pepper, a couple handfuls of each quinoa and lentils, two bullion cubes, parsley, kale, and plenty of squirts of Bragg’s Amino Acids later, I had soup.

It’s not the prettiest soup. It’s not the most gourmet soup.

But it’s hearty and tasty and full of protein and fiber and everything nice.

Oh, and it’s pretty much perfect for dipping a nice piece of seedy bread into.

Is it even possible to eat soup without something to dip in it?

And that’s all I can really ask for from a soup.

What about you, eaters:

What are some dishes that never need a recipe?

What’s your idea of a perfect luxuriously lazy day?

G’night eaters!