The past 2 months have been all about planning, recycling, box hoarding, organizing, purging nonessential possessions, and packing. So much packing. And then it was driving, unpacking, assembling Ikea furniture, and trying to settle into a new apartment/job/city. Moving isn’t easy. A blog hiatus was necessary, but it’s been on my mind throughout the moving process. In February, long before job offers and moving plans, we decided to go camping at Sleeping Bear Dunes in mid-May. Since we had looked forward to the trip for a few months, we decided to still go after I accepted the job offer. Now we were planning for camping AND moving! I decided to use the camping menu to help clean out the fridge and pantry, since we couldn’t move a bunch of food to Seattle. Gochujang Chili was the tasty result of my efforts.
I will admit this recipe sounds a little weird. Just have an open mind and you might (will!) be pleasantly surprised. I honestly cannot remember how I first learned about Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, but I discovered it near the end of undergrad. I suspect the initial recipe may have been in an issue of Bon Appetit. However, it’s one of those recipes that doesn’t really need a recipe, so I never returned to the source. Anyway! I think the history and translation of Spaghetti alla Puttanesca are more interesting than how I came up with my recipe for Linguine Puttanesca.
In my pre-cohabiting life, lunches were pretty easy. Whatever I had for dinner, I would eat for lunch the next day. Unless my dinner was salmon, I don’t want to be THAT person microwaving fish at work. However, this approach had to change when I started cooking for two. A meal that was once two dinners and two lunches, was no longer going quite as far. As much as I enjoy cooking, I don’t want to make a new dinner every night. So, no more leftovers for lunch. Deli sandwiches were out ( pricey, too much meat), tuna salad was out (pricey, too much tuna), and PB&J was out (cheap but not healthy enough). As I’m struggling through how to feed myself at work, I’m buying Ben frozen burritos every week at $2 a piece. Then it finally occurred to me. I can make black bean and cheese freezer burritos!
It seems like since the Atkins Diet reached peak fad status in the early 2000s, grains have been getting a lot of hate. Atkins has fallen out of favor, but new diet trends like Whole30 preach very similar rules. I agree that most people could and should limit their intake of sugar and simple starches like potatoes, white bread, and pasta. However, I wholeheartedly disagree with the belief that whole grains like barley, oats, farro, and quinoa belong on a “Do NOT Eat” list. These grains offer many great health benefits and are very affordable. Healthy and budget-friendly foods definitely deserve more respect! If you are unconvinced, continue reading to learn more about why oats in particular are good to eat. If you are already a believer, skip to the end to find a whole grain loving recipe for Apple Ginger Baked Oatmeal.
My first try at cooking with tomatillos was on a whim when experimenting with a salsa verde type of chili recipe. I really didn’t even know what a tomatillo was or what it tasted like. I only knew they were a key ingredient in green salsa. That chili recipe is still under construction, because I got completely distracted by my idea for a chicken tomatillo soup. It’s similar to what a lot of people call chicken tortilla soup, but I really wanted to highlight the tomatillos as a key ingredient.
It’s always good to have a few hard to mess up, easy to make, and tasty recipes. Dishes that are pretty simple but taste kind of impressive and a little special. The types of recipes that can be confidently made for any special occasion. For me, that recipe is a spring green salad topped with strawberries, sliced pear, crumbled blue cheese, and toasted walnuts. Finished with a balsamic vinaigrette, this salad – in my opinion – is perfect. It looks pretty and the sweetness of the fruit balances out the blue cheese. Without question, this salad is a first choice for a Valentine’s Day dinner menu.
I did it! I finally made a food blog. It really was easier than I expected, once I finally jumped down the blogging rabbit hole. I even made a dedicated Instagram account (@omnivore_megan), so I no longer need to worry about annoying my friends with too many food pictures! Speaking of Instagram, this is the first recipe I put into writing. A friend wanted to know how to make this colorful black bean salad after seeing its heavily filtered picture on my Instagram. See picture below! Yeah, that’s an old filter. So 2013. I said it took me awhile to put this food blog idea into action. Anyway, this salad is great for a light workday lunch. It’s filling, healthy, and refreshing. I also think it makes a great side to grilled Mahi Mahi or shrimp. Eaten as a lunch it serves 2 but as a side it serves 4.