Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend Cookin'

WARNING: Picture-heavy post, y'all.  I went a little crazy with my iPhone camera today...

One of the pleasant side effects of reading Angela's blog is that it makes me want to get in the kitchen and experiment.  I can definitely whip up food sans recipe, but I'm not much for experimenting.  If I have a recipe, I use it, and that's that.  But Saturday morning I woke up and decided to be uber daring (ha!) and just go with the flow...

I immediately knew I wanted pancakes!  PUMPKIN pancakes!!  I bought some multigrain pancake mix from Whole Foods the other day (this is the exact brand I bought - really really good) and dumped some into a bowl.  Then I added about 1/2 cup of organic canned pumpkin.  Then some almond milk.  Then some pumpkin pie spice.  And whisked.  It was pretty thick at first, so I added a touch of canola oil (will replace with applesauce now that I've purchased unsweetened applesauce) and more almond milk.  5 minutes later, I was flippin' pancakes with the best of 'em! They were DELISH!  Topped with a touch of Earth Balance and pure maple syrup... yum.
Enjoyed with Trader Joe's Wintry Mix blend coffee and a touch of soy creamer.  Mmmmm...  (Oh and the reason the pancakes are in a bowl is because we were out of clean plates.)

After a kickass run on the treadmill (too cold to run outside today!), I got dolled up and headed out to Hill Country, a TX-style BBQ joint.  We had a UT Law Alumni Event organized by my friend Stephanie, and I was promised free food and drink.  The entire downstairs was FULL of burnt orange clad Longhorn fans.  The game was super fun and we WON!!  We beat Nebraska who were ranked #5 (we weren't ranked at ALL).  Unfortunately, a lot of the free food was meat, meat and more meat, so I ordered some veggies and cornbread on the side.  ;)  

Longhorn fans are CRAZY devoted.

After the game, I went to Trader Joe's w/ my good friend David.  
 (No idea why we are so orange.  TX pride?)

I needed to get some ingredients for tonight's din.  I wanted to make mujaddara since I picked up these lentils last week.  I've never cooked with lentils before, which is nuts considering my mostly-vegan diet.  They are PACKED with protein and fiber.

(I label all my TJ's food now since all my roomies shop there, too.  I probably didn't need to label these though... I doubt my roomies even know what lentils are!)

This is what the lentils looked like after I dumped them into a pot.  I added more salt and pepper and lots of cumin.  Next time I'm going to make the lentils myself!

Mujaddara is essentially a dish of lentils and rice topped with onions and yogurt (or sour cream).  

I LIVE for caramelized onions - they're so good!  But they shrink up SO much.  I should've used 2 onions.  Before:


I made it with brown basmati rice.  I suck at making rice in a pot, but I don't eat it enough to buy a rice cooker.  Sigh.  After the rice was done (I use that term loosely), I topped a bowlful with the lentils, the onions, and a dollup of Fage 0% greek yogurt.

I also roasted some adorable potatoes (also from TJ's).  They're so teeny!  (That nifty contraption on the far left is my oil mister from Williams Sonoma.  It rocks my face off!)

(Please ignore my hideous, unpolished fingers.)

I also roasted some broccoli.  Don't ya just love roasted veggies?  So easy and so good.

The mujaddara was pretty good!  I love how easy it is - just a few ingredients.  The onions and yogurt definitely make the dish so I would not recommend skipping them.  (To veganize the dish, you could always use Tofutti sour cream.  The rest of it is super vegan.  :D)  You can also play around with more spices, but all I had on hand was cumin.  I have plenty of leftover lentils and brown rice and plan to use them up next week in as many different ways as possible. Any suggestions?

I'm now sitting in bed and debating whether I should watch Criminal Minds or Beauty and the Beast (released from the vault!!!).  My friend Steph and Roomie Deux both invited me out, but I am soooo happy to not go out this weekend.  I'm sure they think I'm lame, but so what?  I love being lame.  :D  In fact, I think I'm going to live it up and make a big mug of Vanilla & Cinnamon black tea from TJ's.  Mmmmm... tea.  Dude, this stuff is GOOD.  I'm going to STOCK UP b/c it's seasonal.  How cute is the lemur on the box??  It's also only $1.99 - HOLLA!!

Have I mentioned how much I love TJ's???  Not sure how I ever lived without it...

Do you tend to cook from recipes or do you freestyle it up in the kitch?  And do you want to smack me for inserting so many pics or does it make things more interesting?  :)


shelly said...

i am coming to YOUR house next weekend!!! :)

Pamplemousse1983 said...

zomg that looks so delicious!!!! Can you send me the recipe purty please?

kylie said...

wow everything looks GREAT!! also, love angela's website! was so excited when she went to paris ha!!! i want to try that TJ tea sooo bad! i have seen it on several blogs. i need a TJ here, stat. hopefully i will make it to atlanta before the season is over ha!!!

FB @ said...

Those pancakes look great.

I tend to cook without a recipe unless it's baking like pancakes, or it needs major measuring

That's probably why my food comes out so strangely, I keep experimenting too much

Megan said...

I always enjoy a nice quiet weekend, its nice to just have time to yourself sometimes. I am not sure if you have a microwave but if you do just grab a microwavable bowl and put in one cup of rice and two cups of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Rice comes out perfect every time.

Jane Kaylor said...

Thanks for the recipe!!! Love it
btw, bird nest is made up of about 58% soluable proteins...the highest amoung all food and even synetic protein powders
it greatly increase tissue regeneration
sources taken from the internet