Classes, man. They really cut into my time for making food and taking pictures of it. But—it’s great to be back in Iowa City, once again learning the laws and hanging out with my wonderful friends/colleagues.
After making it through the first week of the new semester, we had a birthday party for a certain dear friend and faithful blog reader, and the decorating committee decided to replace all of the light bulbs in the party venue with green ones.
Ever since then, everything seems to have a bit of a greenish tinge. So, I just ran with it and made some green food.
Trader Joe’s (which has recently opened a new location in Des Moines, making my life at least 5% more joyous than it already was) sells edamame hummus. I thought this was a pretty ingenious idea when I saw it, and figured I should try to replicate it at home with my trusty food processor. The result was very tasty, if I do say so myself, and the ingredient list is simple and short. Here’s most of what you need:
Throw all of the ingredients except the olive oil in the food processor and turn it on. While it runs, pour olive oil through the spout until it reaches a creamy consistency. I’m guessing I used about 2 tablespoons. Stop the processor and taste for seasoning (carrot optional).
I decided it needed a little heat, so a threw in a couple shakes of these…
…and that was it! A full week’s supply of hummus—always a good feeling.
- 1.5 cups cooked shelled edamame (I used a bag of frozen edamame, defrosted in the fridge.)
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons (approximately) extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
I immediately slathered some of this in a pita pocket with some chopped scallion and snap peas…it was a monochromatic luncheon masterpiece.
Kale is another green thing I’ve been loving lately. I’m trying to branch out from spinach and try other greens, so I’ve been eating kale raw in salads and sautéed as a side dish. Here’s the thing about the salads: kale is kind of a high-maintenance vegetable in that it doesn’t taste very good raw unless you massage it with some sort of dressing in order to take away the bitterness. No, I’m not kidding—google “massaged kale salad” and you will see that I’m not just making this up. There are plenty of recipes for dressing out there, but basically you just need some sort of acid and a little oil. Try putting your desired amount of chopped kale in a salad bowl, squeezing some lemon juice over it, and drizzling on a half-teaspoon or so of tahini (olive oil would be another good candidate). Then just get your hands in there and massage it around—it’ll be messy but worth it. * Make sure all of the leaves are coated.
*If I may digress for a moment (if you are not familiar with The Office you can skip this part)—it is surprisingly difficult to write a blog about cooking and eating things without numerous “That’s what she said” sentences. I think I’m just going to stop trying.
Anyhoo—if you’d rather not massage your kale, you can sautee it. Tear the leaves of one bunch of kale off the tough stalks, chop them into 1-inch ribbons, wash and pat dry.
Then heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a frying pan and very briefly sautee 2 cloves of chopped garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Then add the kale and gently stir to incorporate the garlic and olive oil. You may have to pile it on, like so…
…but it’ll wilt down as it cooks. Sautee over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender. I cooked this batch for about ten minutes. Feel free to sprinkle a little water over the leaves if the pan gets dry, and season with salt and pepper as you cook.
This is a great side with my current favorite easy-cooking go-to dinner: a diced and roasted sweet potato with black beans, sprinkled with a little ground ginger when I’m feeling fancy (which is usually).
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta get back to work. No time for shenanigans when school is in session….