Quinoa Salad with Lemon Pepper Tahini Dressing

With tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, yellow peppers and cilantro.

I looked up from my laptop. “Sometimes I really hate Facebook.”

“Why?”

“Couples.”

“Expressing their undying love for one another?”

“I wish that was it,” I said, spinning my laptop around and pointing at my Newsfeed. “Another couple, going at it with passive-aggressive status updates.”

Roo glanced at the screen. “They know people can see this, right?”

“Maybe that’s it? Maybe they’re looking for some kind of justification from friends? Although…” I paused, turning the laptop back around, “I don’t think anyone in their right mind would comment on this.”

“It could be worse.”

“How?”

“Your mom could have finally decided to join Facebook.”

I sighed. “For once I’m thankful my mother is self-proclaimed luddite.”  I said, closing my laptop. “I just don’t understand why couples use Facebook to communicate. Whatever happened to talking?”

Roo shrugged his shoulders and picked up his iPad.  “What’s for lunch?”

“None of your business,” I joked, as I uncrossed my legs and stretched my arms over my head.  I stood up and walked towards the kitchen, mentally going through what we had in the fridge and the cupboard.

I crouched in front of the crisper drawer, pulling out peppers and cilantro when I heard my iPhone vibrate on the kitchen table. “Who’s calling me on a Sunday?” I wondered out loud, picking it up to see Facebook: Roo mentioned you in a comment just before the screen turned off.  “You wrote on my Facebook wall?” I asked, and unlocked my phone to look at my profile page.

You know what I hate? Not knowing what’s for lunch. – with Lys.  Roo wrote.

I laughed and typed back, It’s quinoa salad. Asshole.

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Creamy Avocado Pasta in 15 Minutes!

It occurred to me last week that I’m turning 31 (welp) and I haven’t had a physical in years.  That, and my dentist’s office had officially reached stalker status, calling me every week to see if I could come by for my very overdue cleaning.  So, I made last Wednesday my “annual day.”  You know, minus that awkward lady appointment.

That afternoon I arrived at the dentist’s office, flossed and ready to be told that I had zero cavities.  Unfortunately, after an hour driving into the suburbs while chugging a venti latte, I had to go to the bathroom.  Like, I absolutely cannot hold it while you tell me to “rinse and spit,” kind of urgency.

I checked in with the receptionist and made my way to the back of the office.  When I opened the bathroom door, I found the dentist.

“Oh hey…”

Going to the bathroom.

Oh, NO!!!

I could have died.

Why didn’t I knock, you ask?

Well, why wasn’t the door locked, I ask.

But wait! It gets better.

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Baked Falafel

This is basically the second part to the Falafel Nachos post I wrote up yesterday.

Falafel is typically deep fried; a reason why I don’t eat it very often, despite a great restaurant serving it on a daily basis near my workplace.

However, when find myself at home craving the crunchy, creamy chickpea ball filled with bold spices, I bake it.

That’s not a typo, I do bake it.

It’s quick to make, as you throw all the ingredients in a food processor to be chopped and combined.  The mixture is then rolled into balls, placed on a greased cookie sheet, flattened and then baked in the oven.

Bright lemon, earthy cumin and aromatic cilantro, encapsulated by a soft, pleasant crunch, makes it a tasty snack or even better, a great component of your nachos for game day.

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Salsa with Avocado, Red Onion and Cilantro

Last weekend I attended a memorial mass and dinner at Roo’s hometown.

There were couple things about the mass that did make me twitch a little:

– The hymms posted on the placards for us to follow were completely different from those that they went over.

– I had a flash of jealously when I saw three teenagers leave the mass thirty seconds earlier than they should have.

– I was also extremely jealous when everyone went up to get their “Jesus cracker,” because I was starved at that point.

Mass ended after an hour, and the majority of the church people walked across the lawn over to Roo’s house.

I immediately ran to the beer bin, thinking it would be the fastest way to “eat” something.  As I fumbled with the bottle opener, I heard cupboards opening.  It was as if on cue, all of the suburban mothers started whipping out their appetizers from various hiding places within the house.  It was a bit strange. It was also intimidating.

My appetizer was probably the ugliest salsa I’ve made or seen.  Ever.  Woeful that I hadn’t listened to Roo’s mother’s suggestion of making hummus, I kept sampling other people’s dishes, hoping Roo would forget about what I had brought.

As the party went on, and the appetizers dwindled, Roo remembered about the salsa we had stashed away in the basement fridge.

“Hey, what about your salsa?  You should bring it out.”

“No. It’s ugly.”

“But it’s delicious, c’mon.”

Roo grabbed me by the hand, and he dragged me we went downstairs to go get it.

I looked at it again, horrified.  We don’t own any serving bowls in our apartment, so I had thrown it all together in my go-to mustard colored mixing bowl.  The colors of the creamy avocado mixed with the salsa, against the mustard background made me nauseous.

“It’s HIDEOUS!”

“No, no it’s not.”

I stomped back upstairs with Roo, and hid behind him as he asked his mother for a “more appropriate” serving bowl.  She looked completely overwhelmed, but stood on her tip-toes and dug one out from the back of the cupboard for me anyway.

It still looked hideous.

We placed it in the center of the appetizer table, and I waited, not daring to look at it.

People walked by, some questioned what it was, but all actually tried it.  And then, exclaimed it was delicious.

There isn’t a photo of the salsa, but here’s a photo of Stinky in a box instead.

Ingredients

1 jar of an acceptable salsa (I used Trader Joe’s chunky) and yes, tomatoes are best, but hey, it’s April

2 avocados, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1/2 jalepeno, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

2 limes, juiced

1 tablespoon minced cilantro (optional)

Equipment

A sharp knife

A medium-sized bowl

Throw contents of the jar of salsa, chunks of avocados, diced jalepeno and onion to the bowl.  If you would like to add the cilantro, do so.  Add the freshly squeezed lime juice.  There should be enough sodium in the store-bought salsa to season the rest of the ingredients, but after mixing the components together, have a taste and decide.  If it needs more, add salt to taste.

It’s going to look ugly as sin.  But, be brave.  Many have attested to it being delicious; including a bunch of judgmental housewives.

Mango Salsa

Yesterday I posted about cornmeal crusted catfish.  The second half of that dish was a mango salsa. I absolutely love the heat from the jalepeño, the slight sweetness from the mango, and the creaminess of the avocado that make up this brightly flavored side.

And! It’s comprised of only five ingredients.  For someone who loves to be lazy, this is where it’s at.

Ingredients

One very ripe mango, sliced into chunks

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 jalepeño, deseeded and diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 tablespoon minced cilantro (optional)

1 avocado, diced

2 limes, juiced by hand (squeeeeze!)

Coarse sea salt to taste

Equipment

A sharp knife

A medium-sized bowl

Throw the mango, red pepper, jalepeno, red onion, and avocado together into a medium sized bowl.  If you wish to add cilantro, do so.  Add freshly squeezed lime juice.  Start with a pinch of coarse sea salt to mix into the salsa.  Taste.  Add more salt if necessary.