Posts Tagged ‘eating’

Sweet and soy grilled salmon & flowers to make my apartment a home

Well, now I have tons of stuff to blab about. I am debating if I should break all of this up into separate posts? Yes, yes I should.

OK. Now. I do want to talk a bit about what’s the deal with how I changed my blog theme (and ask for your opinion, although it’s not done yet so I guess that doesn’t matter…) and announce that I did indeed graduate last weekend and I managed not to trip across the stage or forget to bring my name card or some other Kelly-like embarrassing thing, in addition to lots of other mushy crap about how much I love everyone who’s been reading my silly blog over the past semester and told me how much they enjoy it. I also want to talk about where this blog is going now that my independent study is over (I got an A, in case you were wondering, and even though it’s “over” I am thinking I may following in Jacquie’s footsteps and try to print up my most relevant posts up and bind them together. I might be good to show future potential employers, no? I can’t quit you, blog!)

Anyhow, all of that can wait because I made this delicious salmon dinner for a friend and I Thursday and holy crap. Ah-mazing.

Let’s discuss.

I decided I wanted to go all out and get that most sustainable salmon available at Whole Foods (Wild King Alaskan, $24/lb.), which in my humble opinion, tastes the absolute best. I ended up buying two 1-inch (at the thickest) fillets for $17.

Here’s what I did.

Sweet & Soy Grilled Salmon with Avocado, Capers, and Red Onion

Combine in a bowl the following:

  • 1/4 c. olive oil (exact amounts don’t really mater, you might need more if you are marinating larger fillets)
  • a few T. of soy sauce (I don’t know how much, I just poured the rest of the bottle in)
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • a dash or seven of garlic powder, depending on how much you love garlic

Yeah so swirl all that stuff around and plop your salmon fillets in and if you are super fancy and have a brush, coat them with the marinade. Then cover the bowl and pop in the refrigerator. Mine marinated for about 7 hours, but I am sure you could do for much less time, probably even 3-4 hours would suffice.

Then, slice up some avocado and some red onion and tomatoes (if you want) and drain some capers. Whatever you love on salad. You could also do a couple hard-boiled eggs using Jaden’s method (from the Steamy Kitchen) that makes the egg somewhere in between soft-and hard-boiled. I opted to leave the egg out. I initially was going to use Jaden’s recipe for a grilled salmon sandwich but then decided to use a marinade for the salmon…and then never actually made the dressing and I also made a salad instead of a sandwich…so really my dinner ended up totally different and I’m not sure why I am even referencing that recipe aside from the fact that it made me think to use capers, which I never have cooked with before.

By the way, I should also mention that my parents got me three new K. Sabatier knives as a graduation present, and they are fantastic. I have never had nice knives and it feels so nice to be able to actually slice through food without applying pressure. Fabulous. (When you begin asking for things like food processors and knives for presents, does that make you officially old? Yikes.)

I also bought myself a new eco-friendly skilet at Target the other day, which made me laugh because I never would have thought that a skillet could be not eco-friendly but hey, I guess that’s just the direction we are heading and I dig this pan a lot. I made eggs the next morning without a speck of cooking spray and it just slid around the pan like in an infomerical, it was hilarious.

Back to the salmon. You then heat up a skillet to medium-high and set your fillets on it. I ended up grilling the salmon for about 3 minutes each side, but it obviously will depend on how thick your fillet is.

Yes, mom, that’s a band-aid on my thumb. Yes, it’s from the knife. Yes, I will be more careful next time. Yes, I know those knives “could CUT OFF my finger.”

Definitely don’t overcook the fillet. If you have any feeling it might be done, take it off and take a good look at the center–with salmon you don’t really want the rare-ness you might go for with a tuna steak, but it should still be rather pink. Also, about halfway through cooking, throw your onion slices and capers in with the skillet (I much prefer grilled onion over raw.)

Once everything is ready, you plate it all up and voila! We found the salad didn’t really need “dressing” especially if you let the salmon marinate for as long as I did, because it was sooooo juicy and the onions had collected that marinade as well. But do what you like. I suppose you could do a drizzle of honey-dijon or some such over the lettuce if you prefer.

By the way, we drank a Pinot Noir with dinner which was a great pair. Pinot Noir’s are a bit more smooth and sweet, which went well with the hints of brown sugar sweetness in the salmon. (This is me trying to sounds like a foodie. Or a wino that doesn’t know wine, either/or.)

That meal tasted like you would pay at least $25 for it in a restaurant (maybe even more because of the fact that it was Alaskan King salmon, which is the priciest.) But when it came down to it, not including the wine, it  cost about half that to buy all the ingredients. And it was so so worth it. It just melted in your mouth. The best part, for me, is you could almost feel good about eating it knowing that it didn’t have the added dyes and hadn’t been raised in a confined space being fed tons of antibiotics, etc. I’ll spare the nasty details for here.

OK. So not to be all jumbly, but I do want to give you a glimpse into last weekend, in a post later on today or tomorrow in case anyone cares (I’m mainly thinking of relatives…)

…and next up, what I am looking forward to doing today (and hopefully for the rest of my life!)…Yoga! =)

It feels good to be back.

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Thank Earth for the beautiful weather this weekend.

This weekend was fun. Friday night I went out with friends and celebrated my birthday. Got to see people who I haven’t been able to see all semester due to jam-packed schedules. It was a good time.

Then Sunday, quite the contrary to the forecasted weather, the sun came out! In fact, it never even drizzled until about 10pm when I was finally arriving home at the end of the night. Which was awesome. So the plans for Sunday went off without a hitch and I was able to make it to the Climate Rally on the mall, hosted by Earth Day Network, and the BBQ my professor threw at Gangplank Marina in southwest D.C.

I had one major complaint about the rally, other than the fact that they didn’t follow their schedule remotely. Which was that they had basically no vegetarian options at the event. Not that I planned to get food there, but it still irritated me. I tweeted about this, and had a lot of people agreeing it was pretty ridiculous. Be the change you want to see in the world, people. It was great to see bands like Passion Pit though. And Jimmy Cliff. Didn’t stay for The Roots but I bet they were great too.

Afterward, we went to the marina for the BBQ. It was really funny and indicative of the “type” of people in my class, but I would say more than half of us were vegetarians. There were plenty of veggie burgers and smart dogs to go around =)  Not to mention all the other delicious goodies that I didn’t really photograph because I’m still getting used to being  “that girl” that takes pictures of all the food (don’t mind doing this in front of friends and family but since I didn’t really know everyone that well…) I think Brad was particularly shocked by the vegetarianism because in Australia, “vego’s” aren’t nearly as common as they are here. They aren’t unheard of, but it’s still seen as a bit weird if you don’t eat meat. But BBQ’s, now those are as Aussie as it gets. So Brad manned the grill much of the time.

I also met Sarah, sister-in-law of Katie from Health for the Whole Self! I love the small world we live in.

The following pictures show the houseboat Eve lives on (the BBQ was on the marina’s “party boat”). She was recently interviewed by Politico about her “green lifestyle.” She’s kind of a big deal. But in all seriousness, she openly confesses that she does all of this stuff not just because she’s is an environmental goddess, as the article paints her as, but because they allow her to live frugally (houseboats are less expensive to live on than a waterfront house on land) and live “lazily” (why would she want to continuously have to refill the boat’s water tank when she could just take shorter showers?)

Worm composting! Yeah, we’re a bunch of eco-dorks. Whatevs.

Look how puffy/tired my eyes look. Totally exhausted from the eco-weekend. Oh also, Brad leaves to explore his next adventure in America/Canada tomorrow. Everyone wish him luck on his journey! I’m jealous. I want to travel…

Before I head off to work on my 8-pg paper on non-violence that I have yet to begin…I wanted to say something.

I guess the one thing that gets on my nerves slightly about Earth Day is the general rhetoric surrounding it. It’s not really about saving the Earth. The Earth isn’t going anywhere. However, certain species are dying and are being threatened, including the human species. The environmental movement should be encompass all people and be about changing our behaviors so that we pollute less, emit less CO2 and contribute less to global warming, sustain our soil nutrition, water, and bio-diversity, and all of the things that contribute to our survival, as humans. In a sense, it’s not really about saving the Earth, it’s about saving ourselves. Or rather, it’s about saving our children and grandchildren. I don’t know if that message would hit home harder for people or not though. And when it comes down it, maybe it’s just an argument over semantics. But I figured I would make that point here and now.

When it comes down to it, in my opinion (there are others who disagree), “saving the planet” is primarily a selfish endeavor. And isn’t that what nature is largely about after all? Survival of the fittest? What do you think? I’m not saying it’s bad to think of it in this sense, I am just saying it could maybe help us to frame the movement in a new way.

I have a few more entries coming up before the end of the semester, one of which is about the importance of our individual responsibilities/possibilities as a species evolving to live in a world where technology exists in harmony with nature, instead of pitted against it. I have written it already for another class, but it’s a bit long so I am going to parse it down so my message isn’t lost.

And, I’m off! Good luck with finals to those who are students and have a great week to everyone else, catch you on the flip side.

Happy Earth Day! Happy Birthday!

This week is like woah. Really busy.

But look what I made for breakfast this morning, the first time I could sleep in for ages (9am=sleeping in).

It’s eggbeaters over a grilled portabella mushroom with onion and micro-baked red potato. (Everything’s from the Dupont market, of course, except the eggs…)

Monday I caught up with my independent study professor and we decided how I shall be wrapping up this semester, and he also told me about this awesome school/farm in Pennsylvania that we may try to visit in the next week or two. Then Monday night was the talk with William McDonough. Tuesday was finishing up a presentation on the Green Movement in Iran (not related to the environment really, but green nonetheless) as well as another presentation for PR portfolio. Wednesday was my last day of classes, final presentation to the Arlington Academy of Hope, and final presentation of my group’s non-violence project to our class.

And today is Earth Day!

Which means there’s lots going on as well, and for the next few days, too. Tonight, Lester Brown is speaking on campus, but it’s also my friend’s birthday dinner. I hate having to pick between things but I really would love to see him speak so I think I’ll end up going. Also, tomorrow is my birthday and Brad‘s birthday so the three of us can have a collective birthday bash out on the town.

Friday evening is also the release party for AmLit, the literary mag on my campus. I got a photo in this year so I’m going to check that out, they always do a beautiful job with the magazine.

Saturday there’s a brunch reception I’m going to for a mentoring program I was a part of this semester. My mentor can’t make it because her life is quite possibly busier than mine, and she lives in New York City so it’s even harder. (I think the brunch will be a good networking opportunity anyway.) But I told her I would make a trip up one weekend soon or she can come down another time. She does public relations for LUSH, which is basically my new favorite cosmetics brand. Their soaps and shampoos make my bathroom smell heavenly.

Sunday, there is the Climate Change Rally on the mall which I would really love to check out. It is supposed to rain though, which kind of sucks :/. Some of my favorites will be there though (The Roots, Passion Pit, Joss Stone, others). So I will keep my fingers crossed for good weather but might still brave a little rain…Also Sunday, my Environment & Development professor Eve Bratman is throwing us a farewell BBQ/party with various awesome people in the field. She is bummed about the possible weather because she had plans to take us on a walking tour around the area (she lives on a HOUSE BOAT in southwest D.C.–how hilarious and great is that?). But she is awesome, she does worm composting and I’m really crossing my fingers the meteorologists are wrong because this is/was going to be a really fun day.

What I am saying is, pray or do whatever it is and hope for no rain!

Then next week, as schoolwork goes, I am sort of busy, but not totally in over my head. Luckily, I have professors who believe that we should actually prove how hard we can work and how well we can think, instead of how well we can memorize, so they have assigned us at-home final exams. My Environment & Development exam is timed so I have to study leading up to that. My Non-violence paper is due Wednesday but shouldn’t be too hard and we are having a dinner party at the professors house where we will turn those in. He is Palestinian so I imagine the food will be totally new to me, and I’m excited. And then just finishing up with my paper for this class! And then graduating May 8th!

Soon after I will probably figure out how to transform this site, moving into my non-student life. But more on that later.

Phew. So much to think about but trying to stay in this moment as well.

Hope everyone’s having a great Earth Day…Doing anything special for the occasion? Or do you try to do a little something every day? =)

Greening Cleveland Park: Organic Gardening for Beginners

Hey! I am just dropping this quick post for those of you in the D.C. area who like to garden and don’t already have plans for today. I won’t be attending because I have about 34 billion things to do today (hence, why I am awake at 6 o’clock on a Sunday morning…) but the executive director of Food & Water Watch, Wenonah Hauter, sent this out and I thought it would be of interest to some of you. It’s free, also, and anyone is welcome to attend.

Greening Cleveland Park: Organic Gardening for Beginners
Cleveland Park Club
3433 33rd Place, NW
Sunday, April 11   2-4 PM
Join us early in the gardening season for an exciting workshop and discussion on growing vegetables, flowers and other landscaping plants without toxic chemicals. Greening Cleveland Park is a subcommittee of the Cleveland Park Citizens Association.
Speakers:
Leslie Gignoux and Scott Fritz, Landscape Architects
Joshua Wenz, Owner, My Organic Garden

I hope to post a little something tomorrow—at some point—after my farmer’s market trip, so stay tuned. :]

Allergies everywhere! Or maybe not?

Photo credit: sweenpole2001

Here is a topic that has been getting a little play in the news lately. This week, I decided to focus my health column on food allergies.

Food allergies are a serious matter. Food allergies can become a transformative force in one’s life, they can be painfully annoying and just, well, painful–as they have been for rather well-known food bloggers like Veggie Girl (who suffers from Crohn’s disease and has dairy, egg, gluten, shellfish & soy allergies) and Gluten-Free Girl (who has Celiac disease). The fortunate reality is that food allergies are not all that common. However, they are becoming more common than they have been in the past. I think it is because of this that we are finding more people claiming food allergies that they don’t really have. It’s like people feel tired, have a pain or stomachache and immediately WebMD it to find that those could be symptoms of a food allergy, and then they self-diagnose and try to shape their life around something that isn’t even the culprit.

On the other hand, I know that there are people who see the awareness and recognition for food allergies growing and are taking advantage of it while dining out. I have heard of people claiming to be “allergic to gluten” just because they are trying to eat less bread and carbohydrates. This kind of talk is detrimental to people with legitimate food allergies and takes away from the seriousness of the condition. If you don’t want cheese on your sandwich, just say you don’t want cheese–you have that right as a customer. But don’t try to add some umph to your demand by claiming to be allergic.

My central message with this column was to tell people to get tested if they suspect they might be allergic to a food, because that is the only way you will ever be able to know for sure. And dealing with a food allergy doesn’t have to control your life, but if you are aware of it, avoiding it will definitely improve your quality of life. Also, if you don’t technically have an allergy, but still notice a correlation between certain mild symptoms and certain foods you have eaten, it is likely you have a food intolerance. There is a difference. Food allergies are more life threatening, though not always—it really depends on the individual. Allergy symptoms come on more immediately and have more intense reactions, while intolerances are more mild, and come on an hour or so after eating.

Are you allergic or intolerant of any foods? Do you think it’s right to claim a food allergy you have never actually tested positive for?

I write this post a couple hours after finally deciding to kick these seasonal allergies in the butt with some Zyrtec!  (It feels like it might be working…) The pollen is AWFUL this year! Anyone else struggling?!

My weekend: a haircut, veggie roasting, and I think I need to get checked for narcolepsy

I feel like all I did this weekend was sleep. And it’s not that I avoided work, it’s just that every time I got into doing work, I fell asleep! I swear I’m not lazy! I’m narcoleptic! I didn’t get out, barely, aside from a trip to the farmers market and the hair dresser on Sunday

Which, speaking of the hairdresser. I sort of got a little bang going on now. Before and after shot? Yes, please.

Before: Drab, boring, lifeless hair. Boy, do I look sad!

After! WOW, what a difference! I’m smiling!

Sure, now you are thinking. -I mean, Kel, it doesn’t really look all that different. All you did was change the Photobooth setting that you took the picture on.  -UM. actually, there is a pile of my hair on the floor of Mimosa in D.C. that can prove that isn’t true.

By the way, it was my first time there, and I approve, if you live in D.C. and are looking for a place to get your hair and nails did. English isn’t their first language, but they know what they are doing. Prices are very fair, too.

To be honest, before this weekend, I don’t even know the last time I had my hair cut. Stuff grows like a weed. And, I am beginning to realize the ridiculousness of me showing you pictures of my new bangs, which literally consist of 3-5 strands of my hair. And also my hair is tucked behind my ears in the ‘before’ picture and you can’t see the length difference in the ‘after’, solidifying the pointlessness. Moving on to food….!


This weekend, all I wanted to do was roast veggies.I had brussel sprouts from the AU farmers market so on Saturday night (yes, Saturday night *sigh*) I just nipped off what little stem there was, coated them in EVOO, salt, pepper, and chopped up garlic, baked them on a cookie sheet for like 20 minutes. They were little guys and didn’t take long. The garlic gets pretty charred by the time the brussels are done though. Which doesn’t effect the rest, but does leave some clean-up. If you don’t mind that, have at it. Hey, you can even buy one of these babies and really feel like a housewife while you’re scrubbing pans: (ps I want one).

Also, direct quote from Jen in regards to these bowls from Anthropologie:

“Those bowls make cooking fun again!” So true.

Can I just say that the remainder of the food shots from this night don’t appear appetizing but I swear to you, the food was great.

That’s naan and then some onion/egg scramble thing. Listen, I could eat some variation of eggs for breakfast and dinner every day for the rest of my life I think sometimes. I could go vegan if not for eggs. PS, those brussel sprouts look burnt, but they aren’t. They are delicious.

Yesterday I went to the farmers market and bought this loaf of peasant wheat for $5. It’s literally the size of a three-year-old. Let’s see if it lasts me a week.

I just think that Kale looks like mini crocodiles in a photo. Anyone else? I’m a weirdo? OK, then.

Then I made kale chips for the first time. I don’t know which blogger to shout out for this one, so I will choose Jacquie because she let me try her’s the other day and I was sold. Basically you rub EVOO all up in those pieces of Tuscan kale you got at the market and you grind some course salt and pepper on there and lay them so they all have their own space, and you bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. Jacquie sprinkles on some nutritional yeast to give it a cheesey edge. I didn’t have any and still found the kale chips to be about as addictive as Stacy’s pita chips and Sabra hummus (which is very addictive.) I ate a pan’s worth straight out the oven. Luckily I had enough for two more batches.

There must be some chemical reaction that happens with kale when you bake it that makes it so delicious. Like crack, people.

Then the parsnips got jealous of all the veggie roasting, so I peeled and sliced them up real thin as well.

I’ve got veggie chips of all sorts to get me through the week.

OK, I had half a glass of wine Sunday night, and only because I thought it would be great with my dinner of kale chips—which it was. And actually I felt much more sleepy before the wine, surprisingly.

But on that note, what do you do when you can’t keep your eyes open despite getting enough rest? I am a perpetual napper lately!! But I don’t like to use caffeine because I just feel like that will take me down the road to a very expensive habit.

I think from now on when I feel the eyelids getting heavy I’m going to (attempt to) do some push-ups. To get the blood flowing. I need to tone up anyhow, in preparation for this dress I tried on but haven’t bought yet because it’s a billion dollars and I think my Mac is about to crap out any day now.

SIGH.

ALSO–Any kale chip lovers out there ever make ahead? Does it work out? Mine aren’t crispy today and I am sad. I had them in a plastic bag, but I guess it wasn’t air-tight. Suggestions?

Review: Blue Ridge in Glover Park

Wow. So much blog-worthy stuff happening right now. Not sure where to start.

Let’s start with dinner, obviously. So as I mentioned, Joe and I tried out this Blue Ridge place in Glover Park. It was surprisingly empty, I thought, for a Sunday night. But hey, I guess we’re in a recession. I support people’s decision to eat at home. It in no way reflected poor food, because the food ended up being delicious(!). There was one minor hiccup. No wait, two. First was that we discovered that the menu had no seafood on it (except for oysters—which I have had an aversion to ever since that Mr. Bean episode where he…eh, just watch.) It was strange because the online menu had calamari, catfish, salmon pate, bluefish, lobster (all with the sustainable seal of approval *wink*). So me, being the difficult pescatarian that I am, felt like a huge pain in the you-know-what asking our server, basically, “What’s up with that?” She told me something about it being Sunday and they are trying to push the Prixe Fixe to which I basically responded, “No roast beef for me, lady, gimmee some seafood.” And then she said, “But we do have two artic char tonight, served over a bed of lentils…” to which I said, “Perfect!” Being picky will get you everywhere.

We ordered the sweet potato fritters for an appetizer. Holy grassfed cow, they tasted somethin’ magical. Joe ordered the steak which I totally knew he would, and then told me as he was eating how grainfed steak tastes better. I guess I’m not a meat-eater so I wouldn’t really know, but from what I read, eating meat from a cow that’s only ever eaten grass versus one whose gotten real fatty off of corn and grain feed, is like eating two different animals. In terms of taste. I would imagine that grassfed cows taste more like kangaroo or ostrich or something really lean like that. Point is, grassfed beef will give you lots of omega-3’s and less saturated fat and cholesterol which don’t seem to be high on Joe’s priority list. Oh well! Anyhow I will say that my arctic char was cooked perfectly (I’d never had arctic char before, very similar to salmon), the lentils were amazing and really flavorful, and the portions were generous.

So, I’m going to put these pictures up and pretend they aren’t giant blurs that break my photographer heart. Next time I’m not going to feel bad bringing my external flash.


Sweet potato fritters

Arctic char.

OK this is comical. and a steak, I swear.

  • Taste: I mean… A.
  • Atmosphere: Which brings me to the second hiccup of the night, which was when we were done and basically about to leave, when our friend, who I will refer to as Mr. Monsanto, started peepin’ around the corner a few tables away. (We were outside!) You see, Mr. Monsanto was a rat–and while I’m sure that has nothing to do with the food/hygiene of the place, I can’t not dock points for a rat in the eating area. Although I will say I see rats outside of restaurants in this city a lot. Last time it was outside Open City in AdMo. Blech. So, B-. I’m feeling generous.
  • Value: I consider any place that has a cheese/charcuterie menu to be in the fancy realm, and their prices seemed very fair despite this. So, A-.
  • Sustainability: Oooh yeah. Grassfed beef? Arctic char that wins for “Best Choice” from Seafood Watch? A+

All in all, an A-. Which is pretty darn good for me having to finagle our server in order to not eat meat for dinner and having Mr. Monsanto join us at the end. =]