his dish is a perfect potluck dish — it’s vegan (or not, depending on your additions), dairy-free, egg-free, and not too starchy. You can make it gluten-free by replacing the ramen noodles with rice noodles fried in a little oil. It’s also easy and quick to make, can be scaled up or down, and can be adapted to suit your tastes and your audience. With no mayonnaise, it will hold for a few hours without refrigeration (it also makes a great brown bag lunch dish). And did I mention it’s delicious? Flavorful, kid friendly — it even features healthy vegetables! [...]
I have vivid childhood memories of dyeing Easter Eggs. We always made my family’s traditional Craftsman flower eggs, but I also spent many a spring break waiting impatiently for the eggs to take on a deep color sitting in vats of vinegar with those little Paas tablets. Now that I am the mom, I try to recreate for the Nuni some of my own childhood joys, so I buy dozens of eggs each Easter, ripe for the decorating. What I am faced with as an adult that I didn’t realize as a carefree kid is that after the fun of the Easter Egg hunt comes a long slong of trying to use dozens of hard boiled eggs. There are only so many plain hard boiled eggs you can eat, though a dash of tabasco helps matters immensely. Likewise, egg salad, although a love of mine, can quickly grow tireseome. Enter deviled eggs. [...]
Meatloaf is the butt of many jokes. I suppose it starts with the name — meat loaf is not exactly appetizing what with the lack of specificity as to the meat and the rather solid Anglo-Saxon stodge of “loaf. Then you move on to the appearance — there’s a certain sameness of texture in a meatloaf that may cause one to look askance at it. And then there’s the sort of cafeteria horror connotations of dry yet greasy meatloaf that could be made from the leftovers of yesterday’s lentil tortilla rollups, Salisbury steak and that gym sock you lost, all ground into an unappetizing mush and then baked into a grey brown loaf. And lets not get started on Bat Out of Hell References, shall we?
OK, I’ve even lost my appetite. But the truth of the matter is, I’ve never met a meatloaf I didn’t like. Think of it as a terrine or a sausage of sorts — it’s just seasoned meat and vegetables with some starch for binder, made smooth and shaped so as to be perfect for sandwiches. It’s good either hot or cold, freezes beautifully, and is the perfect thing to take to a friend with a new baby or cook for your new boyfriend (something about meatloaf suggests man food, I don’t know why.) And a good meatloaf is a thing of joy — savory and comforting with a crunchy browned exterior that’s set off perfectly by ketchup. And this, my friends, is a very good meatloaf. [...]
I like to pack my own lunch. Yes, I’m giving up the social hour at work, but frankly the lunch offerings in my neighborhood tend to pale in comparison to what gets produced in my own kitchen. I wish I could say that it’s because I’m an amazing cook, but really it’s just that corporate lunch spots tend to be that uninspiring. Too unhealthy, too bland, too expensive, too time consuming. All I want for lunch on a work day is something to eat (at my desk, in the office kitchen or outside near the fountains) that gives me a jolt of flavor and wakes up my palate without making me want to sleep for the rest of the afternoon. And, surprise surprise, that usually comes from home.
The question then becomes what to bring. Once you’re freed from the time constraints of a one mile radius of your office, the world really becomes your oyster, with certain limitations. Not for me are the lean cuisines heated up in the communal microwave by my coworkers, the aroma of Fiesta Grilled Chicken or Oven Roasted Beef Burgundy permeating the floor. Leftovers can be nice and quick, but they’re not always available and I hate reheating for the above mentioned aromatic reasons. A sandwich only reaches its pinnacle of sandwichness when it’s freshly made, and doesn’t spend at least four hours curled up in your purse or desk drawer waiting to be eaten. What I really want is something that can be made in advance (because who has time to cook lunch every morning?), holds well (preferably at room temperature) for several hours and still tastes and looks appealing and fresh.
Enter this salad — roasted vegetables, beans for protein, and a bright salsa verde to lend color and flavor. It’s satisfying (all that fiber!) without being stultifying and will wake up your tastebuds without earning you dirty looks from your coworkers. You can make it on Sunday and eat it for the next three days and the flavor stays fresh. Just don’t get too intimate in a meeting — the garlic may scare people off (this may, however, be a bonus). [...]
It can’t possibly be September already. Wasn’t it just Easter? What happened to the Fourth of July? I was going to spend this summer at the beach (yep, still milky white here), drinking mint iced tea (I think I made one pitcher), and lounging poolside (I forgot that mothers of two year olds are not allowed the luxury of lounging). I want my summer back! I’m not ready to banish my white pants to the back of the closet. I NEED MY CORONAS.
My calendar and the back-to-school traffic on my commute are presenting incontrovertible evidence, however, that summer is on the wane. I can cling to the last vestiges by continuing to eat potato salad, and cobbler, and, of course, zucchini. [...]