Friday, July 13, 2012

Food prep day

I didn't really plan it, but this afternoon I did a giant amount of food prep while the little guy napped. It started with a trip to the farmer's market this morning, where I got some beautiful rainbow-colored Swiss chard. I was inspired by the cold salad a friend made for our post-run meal last night. When I got home to put away my colorful produce (also including peaches, corn, cucumbers, and salsa), I remembered the beets I'd bought last week. They were quickly prepped for roasting, though sadly I waited too long and the greens weren't good to use like I have before:

On to the chard...

Ten stalks of chard got washed, trimmed, and sauteed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then mixed with sauteed mushrooms, a chopped carrot, a green onion, freshly minced garlic, dried thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes. All of this was mixed with precooked quinoa, and stashed back in the fridge. Dinner side dish/lunch-to-go done.

As the chard-quinoa was mingling flavors and warming through, I started a batch of adzuki beans. They don't require presoaking like many dried beans, and they cook in just about an hour. Great to have available for any number of midweek meals! I'm looking forward to making these burgers, since I also have a few partially-used bell peppers in the crisper.

While the adzukis simmered away, the beets finished roasting. They were gorgeous! Each one just bigger than a golfball, and such a beautiful shade of magenta. I've been craving one of my summer favorites, this beet salad, for a few weeks. For the first time since I started making it, today I toasted the walnuts in a dry skillet before I added them. What a great difference! I used crumbled bleu cheese instead of feta, tossed in some organic celery, dressed it all with olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, pink sea salt, and fresh black pepper, and returned it to the refrigerator. Lunches/snack for me done.

While I was poking around in the fridge, I realized we were out of rice. Thanks to the rice cooker, another batch (plain, white--to feed the gastrointestinally-challenged dog) was ready in a half an hour. Right around this time, two hours after he'd gone down, the little guy woke up. While the rice cooked, I prepped some steaks for The H to grill and stirred up another summer favorite, cucumber-sweet-onion salad. Those two things just get thinly sliced and simply dressed with a mixture of plain yogurt, white balsamic (or red wine) vinegar, evaporated cane juice, sea salt, and pepper. The H and I enjoyed this with dinner, and I was a little bummed I didn't think to make leftovers. Tangy, cool, and refreshing-- the candy onion I used isn't halitosis-inducing at all. Definitely buying more of those at the market! Another dinner side dish done, dog supplement done.

Once the rice was ready, I piled some into the dog's bowl with a scoop of pumpkin and some plain yogurt so he could go to town. The H brought in the steaks, and we sat down to eat. Just then I realized it was the first time I'd sat down since the little guy and I got home from our morning/afternon errands, and my feet were pretty darn tired. But I felt so accomplished! It's a great feeling to have these goodies and makings of meals, along with a stash of my beloved kale-quinoa-chickpeas, in the fridge heading into the weekend. Happy Friday!

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