altairaeats

photoAfter realizing that I was posting quite a few food posts on my regular Instagram, I recently decided to make a little branch off account of only foods – @altairaeats. I meant to follow this up immediately with more blog posting about food, but didn’t end up getting around to it until just now. So here we go. Food pooooooooost.

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This week’s food post is a quick overview of the meal shown above. Let’s break it down by item!

The green stuff – it’s kale! here I used black kale (otherwise known as dino kale), and I prepared it in the simplest way possible. Basically, clean the kale, then cut into very fine strips. Finely dice a clove (or two) of garlic.

In a cast iron pan set to medium heat (the type of pan doesn’t actually matter, but cast iron on the stove will give you dietary iron so it is the best), melt the appropriate amount of butter (a tsp?) and toss in the garlic. Shortly thereafter, toss in the kale. Stir regularly with a spatula or whatever. The thing about kale is that it is VERY difficult to ruin. Just keep stirring it around in the pan every once in a while until it reaches the consistency you’d like. Prefer it a little chewy? Cook it for less time. Like it crispy? Keep it on the stove a little longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, but it’s up to you.

Tofu and mushrooms!

My go to marinade for tofu is roughly… 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped, 2 tbsp of tamari, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp maple syrup, Sriracha to your desired spiciness, a dash of liquid smoke. Mix up the marinade, cube a block of firm tofu, add the marinade, and let sit for as long as you have (ten minutes to overnight). In this case, I chopped up some cremini mushrooms, preheated the oven to 350, then once the oven was ready, tossed the mushrooms onto a pan, and tossed the tofu over it, making sure that the extra marinade coated the mushrooms. THROW IT ALL IN THE OVEN. Again, timing is what you want it to be. Check on your tofu and mushrooms after about ten minutes, stirring. Then peak into the oven and give everything a stir every few minutes until the mushrooms reach the consistency you desire.

Butternut Squash!

This recipe is lifted directly from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, so don’t feel comfortable posting it here (though you might be able to find it with a google search). I have to say, this cookbook is just the best. The butternut squash is roasted with cinnamon, and then topped with a cilantro mixture, and a spicy yogurt mixture. I would never have thought of this combo on my own, and it is a serious delight. Any guest in your home will be pleasantly surprised by this incredibly fragrant dish that is filled with all sorts of wonderful flavours.

I had also planned to add rice to this dinner, but I didn’t time things properly. Womp womp.

That’s all! Expect more food posts in the future, and check out @altairaeats on Instagram if you’re just interested in the photos. Woo!

 

 

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the 100 day project – day 76-78

FOOD POST.

Now for something completely different. Today I posted my dinner on my Instagram and a bunch of people asked about it, so I’m just doing a quick synopsis here.

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Today was a hot one, so I decided to make a big salad for dinner. Being a Sunday, I’m also preparing lunches for the week ahead. For this reason, I used the ever popular kale as my base. Kale is great, because it doesn’t wilt like so many other greens. You can dress it and then let it sit in the fridge for days, and it will still be great.

THE KALE – One bunch of kale rinse, and then ripped up (stems discarded). I usually just glug a few teaspoons of olive oil into my kale and then massage it into the whole bowl until all leaves are covered. Let the kale sit for a few minutes, and then generously sprinkle with nutritional yeast (to taste. I use A LOT.) and toasted pumpkin seeds. I also tossed in some kelp noodles for good measure.

BARLEY – As an alternate to quinoa, I often use pearl barley as my salad grain. It feels more substantial, and it’s also nice to mix things up. Prepare according to directions, then add salt and pepper.

TOFU – Cut up a block of firm tofu and then marinated in a mixture of 2tbsp tamari, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1tsp olive oil, sriracha to taste, a dash of apple cider vinegar, a dash of liquid smoke, a tsp of maple syrup, and garlic and ginger to taste. Marinate for at least ten minutes, and then just pan fry until golden.

BEETS – I just washed, peeled and finely sliced some beets. I should probably get a mandoline. Lately I looooooooove just eating thinly sliced beets as an accompaniment to everything. Even better if you can get some beautiful candycane or golden beets. Aside from being great with salad, they are also just a good alternative to carrot sticks to dip in hummus.

I arranged all of the above guys in a bowl, then threw in a giant scoop of plain greek yoghurt, and a giant scoop of sweet potato hummus from a local deli. Hot sauce on everything. Done.

I love quick, satisfying, healthy dinners like this that are a snap to put together, and easily carry you into the week. SALADS FOREVER.

The end.

Dinner for one – Halloumi stack with chickpea salad and kale chips

What now seems like a lifetime ago, I kept a vegan food blog, which I updated fairly regularly, and which people seemed to like pretty well enough. At the time, I was living with my beau and of course… was a vegan. Fast forward to me living on my own, and giving up veganism in the name of eggs benedict, and the blog fell apart. 

For whatever reason, it’s a lot more difficult to find motivation to create interesting meals on a regular basis when you are not cooking for another human who can ‘ooooooh’ and ‘aaaaaaah’ over your creations, and who you can watch thoroughly enjoy every last bite of your delectable dishes. 

But lately I’ve been thinking that it’s time to kick the same old stirfry and pasta habit and to start cooking wonderful new things for myself again. Who knows, maybe I’ll even start having the regular dinner parties that I’ve been dreaming about for years…

On that note… I welcome you to MY FIRST FOOD ENTRY on ‘Another Blog’…

For today’s dish, I kept things pretty simple – Grilled halloumi cheese stack, chickpea salad, kale chips. These dishes are all broken down below.

Grilled Halloumi Cheese Stack

Halloumi cheese has been gaining popularity over the past year, and after trying it out a few different ways, I can see why. All you need to do to make Halloumi cheese lovely? Throw it in a pan for a few minutes, then add some toppings. DONE. Not to mention the fact that guests are always impressed when you give them little stacks of food, amiright? Somehow it seems fancier. I’m not entirely sure why. You can usually get halloumi at any little greek or turkish delis. 

ANYWAYS.

For this part of the dinner, I cut three 1/3 inch thick slices of halloumi. I then heated up a very lightly greased cast iron pan on medium heat. I grilled the halloumi for a few minutes on each side, until golden.

Next step. Thinly slice some tomato and avocado.

Stack.

DONE.

Kale Chips

Preheat the oven to 350F

Thoroughly wash a bunch of kale, and remove and really hearty stems (sometimes this means slicing out the entire middle of the leaf). It is VERY IMPORTANT that the kale is COMPLETELY DRY before you proceed, or your kale chips will end up wilty and chewy rather than crispy and light. COMPLETELY DRY.

Very lightly coat the kale leaves in oil (olive or grapeseed work well), then toss them onto a baking sheet. 

Bake for about… 15 minutes?? Every oven is different, so it’s best to just check on them every so often and kind of toss them around to make sure that they are not sticking to the pan. I’m going to say just check them every five minutes. Then use your best judgement to see when they’re done. Just wait until they seem crispy.

Toss with sea salt. 

When I’m feeling fancy, I like to drizzle these with truffle oil. OMG. AMAZING. But they are also really wonderful with a bit of cayenne or nutritional yeast, or both. 

DONE

Chickpea Salad

1 large can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 carrots, grated

1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped

Mix together.

Dressing is made of ROUGHLY – 1/3 cup of white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, heaping tablespoon of grainy mustard, tablespoon(?) of agave nectar. These proportions are estimated. You can play around with them until you find a flavour that works for you.

Thoroughly mix in the dressing and add a dash or two of cayenne pepper, and you’re DONE.

PHOTO!

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Overall, this dinner was extremely satisfying and easy to make. Not to mention, I’ll have plenty of chickpea salad left over to take for lunch tomorrow. HURRAY!!!

That’s all for the FIRST FOOD POST.

‘k byyyyyyyyyyyyye.