Friday, November 21, 2014

Easy Vegan Fall Pasta Even Carnivores Will Crave

Lately, I've been really inspired by this thing called carbs. Luckily, when they come accompanied by loads of wholesome goodness and veggies, you don't have to serve 'em with a side order of guilt. Behold: Last week's Meatless Monday's (erm, two Thursday agos...) Pasta extravaganza at Bob & Su's.

Su and I tossed together this simple pasta salad, while Bob eagerly eyed the prime rib defrosting on the counter. Luckily, by the end of this hearty feasty, all parties had lost interest in steak. Heck, all we could even manage for dessert was raspberries (okay, drizzled with balsamic. and chocolate. lots of chocolate-covered stuff).


As it turned out, the meal was completely vegan (also pictured: simple roasted squash, a beet-studded salad, and caramelized Brussels sprouts), but I don't think anybody noticed. 

Pasta
1 box mini shells
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
1 bunch bok choi
1 red pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
Whatever vegetables you have and want to add
olive oil, lots of
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Add oil to hot pan and saute onion until brown.
2. Add peppers and bok choi to mixture.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions on box.
4. Add canned tomatoes to pan's mixture and continue simmering for fifteen minutes or so. Drizzle in more oil. And then probably some more.
5. Season as desired. Pour mixture over pasta and mix thoroughly.

*Note: You don't have to use pasta shells for this recipe, but as Su wisely pointed out to me, the sauce clings nicely to the pliable shells, likely better than it would to ziti or spaghetti. If you're lucky, some onion-y bits and tomato-y goodness will hide in the  shells' nooks for some of the tastiest bites."









Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Little Miracle That Helps You Power Through a Long Day

When I first learned about Little Miracles at Food Fete, I was drawn in by the bold packaging and innovative spin of combining energizing tea with antioxidant-loaded juice. Also worth noting: They clock in at 90 calories a bottle, are certified organic and have no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. So yes, perhaps the headline is a bit of a trap--we all know there's no "miracle" that can replace a healthy lifestyle and clean eating--but come 3:00pm slump time, these "little miracles" sure as heck hit the spot.




For a quick afternoon refresher, I combined the following: Little Miracles White Tea & Cherry, one ice cube (I got fancy and used a circular one, but any will do), three frozen raspberries and a quick spritz of seltzer to top it off (Oh and, I hear vodka muddles really well with the aforementioned...). Voila! Afternoon sipping never tasted better. Serve in fancy class for maximum....je ne sais quoi.






Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Perfect Monday Night Pick Me Upper: Somtum Der's Loi Krathong Cocktail

There's something I've always found very attractive about drinking on a Monday night. Ditto for Sunday evenings. It almost feels a little illicit. I mean, you know you shouldn't be having this much fun on the aforementioned evenings. But you are. and I DARE YOU TO STOP ME. And for the love of the lord folks, can we stop with the #MondayBlues hashtags. There's this thing that fixes that. It's called, good friends, a strong drink and maybe 32 minutes on the elliptical or something. Not rocket science, people.



And when said cocktail is wrapped in a banana leaf? Well, I dare you to stop me after three. So yes, tomorrow may suck. Your productivity may be shot. That cute girl may never be at that bar again (though chances are, if she's drinking on a Monday, she will. Or she just really likes football Or you..)

The Thai cocktail courtesy of the lauded Somtum Der in the east village  packs an exotic punch but is still simple enough to assemble that you can dazzle house guests without even trying.

Vodka 2 oz
Pandan leaf juice 1.5 oz
Lemongrass juice 1  oz
Honey 0.5 teaspoon
Triple sec 0.25 oz
Lime juice  0.25 oz

Mix over ice and serve with a wedge of lime or garnish of choice. I don't know how they say cheers in Thai, but cheers. Here's to hoping Tuesday sucks a little less!





Sunday, November 9, 2014

Spicy Paprika-Dusted Spaghetti Squash Seeds

The above is just a fancy way of saying I roasted spaghetti squash seeds and threw a bunch of good spices on them. Consider it your reward for the nuisance that is figuring out how the hell to cut a squash in half without slicing your hand off, pulling your tricep (Life-changing tip: You can roast it whole, or throw it in the oven for 10 minutes to soften up, and then cut it in half), or both.




It's so easy, and the result is a real treat. Eat them as a snack (you'll never pay $4 for over-salted, under-seasoned sunflower seeds again) or toss them into salads as a crunchy topper or sprinkle over warm dishes as a seasonal garnish.


The ugly before...
The prettier after...


Ingredients
Seeds of one spaghetti squash, scraped out
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Whatever other seasonings you want slash have on hand

1. Line tinfoil with spaghetti squash seeds. Pour olive oil and spices over and toss with hands until evenly coated.
2. Roast in 200° oven for 20 minutes, or until seeds have reached desired crispy-ness. 

Feel free to add to main dish, like I did below in this eggplant-onion saute, but make sure you don't try one before stirring into the mix (because once you pop one, they'll probably all be gone before you make it to this step)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Whiskey Smash? Don't Mind If I Do...

One of the many cool perks of working in publishing is having anywhere between 1-7 excuses to drink on a Monday night thanks to a slew of press events. This past Monday, I was dazzled by the esteemed Harold Pratt house (Don't worry, I had to google it too) at a celebration for Glenfiddich's The Original launch party.

My friend Shallon and I entered the not-so-humble Park avenue abode, bracing ourselves for an evening of whiskey-infused merriment. Not being a whiskey drinker (Sorry...every guy ever), I was bracing myself for an evening of soda water. Instead, I met two cocktails I'm seriously lusting over. Now, you can too (though hopefully not on a Monday):



Whisky Smash
2 oz Grant's
handful fresh mint leaves
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup

Combine ingredients and shake well. 
Pour directly from the shaker into an old fashioned glass.
Top with ice and garnish with a lemon wedge.





Whisky Smash Modern
2 oz Monkey Shoulder
4 pieces fresh pineapple
handful fresh arugula leaves
4 dashes Angostua bitters
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz honey syrup

Muddle pineapple then add other ingredients and shake well,
Strain over fresh ice in an old fashioned glass,
Garnish with fresh arugula

Oh and just because:




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