Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WIAW-twenty 2- I ate a rainbow

Hello fellow WIAWers and random people from google search!

Blogspot users, do you ever look at your 'stats'?  They not only tell you how many visitors you've had, but also where these visitors found your blog.  I've found lately that I've been getting a lot of traffic from google search, and while most of the 'searches' were about food, occasionally someone wound up on my blog while searching for odd phrases such as "things that were that way."  At any rate, I find it pretty interesting.

This Wednesday (Tuesday) I had a veritable rainbow of eats.  I started my day in a highly conventional way with a heaping bowl of whole wheat penne:

What?  You don't eat pasta for breakfast?  Yeah, it's not really the usual for me, but for some reason this morning it was the only thing that sounded good.  As they say, the stomach wants what the stomach wants (or something like that...).

The pasta was leftover from the previous night.  The handsome Mr.greenhorngourmande whipped it up after receiving desperate texts from me before I left work for home.  It was incredibly delicious, and much more colorful than this picture indicates.  It included sauteed portabella strips, broccoli rabe, and red, green, and yellow bell pepper strips.

Snacks today were pretty standard:

Carrot and celery sticks, an apple, an orange, and a banana.  I'm really glad the banana was there, it broke up my oddly color coordinated fruit and veg.

Lunch today was another colorful culinary creation:

Cauliflower and Potato Coconut Curry.

I whipped up this vibrant yellow dish last night in a fit of culinary inspiration.  (Read: I wanted a late night snack.)  I made a giant batch so that Mr. greenhorn would have some lunch, and since I ate my 'lunch' for breakfast, it became my 'new' lunch.

Dinner tonight ended on a pink and green note:

Oven roasted shrimp and cheesy baked spinach and rice.  I absolutely love roasting shrimp.  It's supper easy, unfussy, and works like a charm.

Oven Roasted Shrimp

1 lb of peeled deveined shrimp
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 a lemon

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.  On a large baking sheet toss the shrimp, olive oil, salt, pepper, and juice of the lemon. Spread shrimp out in an even layer.  
2.  Bake for 6-8 minutes until shrimp are pink and firm.

Isn't that ridiculously easy?  I got the idea from Ina Garten, although I altered it slightly since I typically don't serve the shrimp with a dipping sauce.

Gratuitous casserole shot:

Ohhhhhhh yeahhhhhh.

Anyway,  thank y'all for stopping by.  Be sure to hop over to Peas and Crayons to see all the other entries, and to say hi to the hostess with the mostest, Jenn.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meatless Monday- Broiled Portabellas with Caramelized Onions

As much as I like my vegetarian meals, this weekend I found myself craving something different from my usual fare of lentils and quinoa.

To change it up I bought some mushrooms to make stuffed portabella caps, but the thing is, I always make stuffed caps.  So I thought to myself, lets try something new.

I'm so glad I did!  Although the ingredients for this meal are simple, the flavors are complex and deep.  The creamy caramelized onions pair well with the slightly springy mushroom, and the components are complimentary rather than combative.

All in all the experiment was a succes, and one I'm sure I'll recreate soon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WIAW 21- Cravings

Hey y'all,

Happy WIAW!

This Wednesday (errr Tuesday) I had some major savoury cravings.  Last night Mr. greenhorngourmande made one of my favorite crock-pot meals, Korean Pulled Pork.

Since I was saved the trouble of cooking, I took it upon myself to get a little creative with the leftovers.  So last night I made two dishes to use up the remaining porky goodness.  The first (and best in my opinion) was just some small diced potatoes simmered in the leftover pork/juices until tender.  It made an INCREDIBLE breakfast, but unfortunately I didn't remember to snap a picture.

For lunch I made this:

The pork stir-fried with the leftover rice, some spinach, and some daikon chunks.

It made a super tasty lunch, and I managed to convince myself it was okay to eat three meals of pulled pork in a row, because this time it had spinach.

My snacks today included:

Sorry for the recycled picture, but it is pretty much what I had today.  An apple, carrots, celery, and an orange.  No hummus today boys and girls, I already had way more than my fair share of protein.

By the time dinner rolled around I was feeling pretty porked out ( like a porker?), so I decided on one of my favorite light dishes:

Romaine with my favorite tomato sauce.

I know this sounds like a really weird combination, but I swear, this has to be one of the tastiest salad combinations I've ever had.  I imagine it would seem more legit with some chickpeas or grilled chicken, but I find it satisfying as is.

Running with this month's theme: Keeping it Green, I guess I managed to have a pretty successful WIAW.  Be sure to head over to Peas and Crayons to see how all the other lovelies (Including Jenn, our awesome host!) are keepin' it green.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mom's Potato Cheddar Casserole- 50th post!

I find that everyone has some special dish from childhood that holds a special place in their heart.  Usually something simple, warm, and comforting.  I was lucky, my mother was and still is a wonderful cook, so I have quite a few childhood favorites.

One of these is my mom's hamburger and potato casserole.  A quintessentially American dish that my grandmother used to make for my mom.  The tangy tomato sauce loaded with lean ground beef is a perfect match with the tender yet firm potatoes.  The cheddar makes the dish feel extra homey, and the extra crisp bits of cheese on the sides are quite possibly the best part.

I'm sad to say that while I've always been interested in eating, the cooking part of the whole process was quite foreign to me until a few years ago.  While my mother was performing magic in the kitchen, I was elsewhere.  So when I have a craving for an old favorite, I call my mother and try to squeeze the recipe out of her.

Don't get me wrong, she loves it when I call to ask for a recipe, but she is one of those skilled and experienced cooks that hardly ever follows a particular recipe.

Fortunately for me, I was able to recreate this dish (with a few small changes) that was almost as good as the real deal.

I replaced the classic orange cheddar with some extra sharp white, and I traded in a mix of red and green lentils for the lean hamburger (don't tell mom!).  The casserole tastes almost exactly the same, but the texture was a little off.  Lentils just can't compete for the delightful chew of ground beef.  At any rate this recipe is delicious, and makes a wonderfully hearty vegetarian meal.

Lentil and Potato Casserole

4 large yellow potatoes, sliced into 1/3in. circles
2 tbsp salt
3/4 cup green lentils, rinsed and picked over
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over
3 cups water, vegetable stock, or chicken stock
1 tbsp oil (olive, canola, bacon grease, etc.)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1/2-3/4 cup ketchup (one made with sugar is preferred)
4 ounces extra sharp white cheddar, grated
salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a large bowl place sliced potatoes, 2 tbsp salt, and cover with cold water until all slices are submerged.  Set aside.  In a large non-stick pot place all of the lentils and 3 cups of your liquid of choice.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the lentils are cooked, about 20 minutes.  By this point the red lentils will have lost their shape, and the green will still have a slight bite.
2.  Preheat the oven to 350F.  In a large sauce pan heat 1 tbsp of oil and add the chopped onions.  Saute until softened, and then add the minced garlic.  Continue cooking until garlic is fragrant.  Add the lentils, tomato paste, water and 1/2 cup ketchup.  Stir until combined and taste for seasoning. Add salt, pepper, and ketchup to taste.
3.  In a large baking dish (I used 9x13x4) place 1/3 of the lentil mixture.  Top with half of the potato slices in a uniform and single layer and cover with half of the remaining lentil mixture.  Repeat with the remaining potatoes and lentils for a total of two layers of potatoes.  Cover the entire casserole with the cheese and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.  Let cool slightly before serving.

As my title suggests, this is my fiftieth blog post!!  I have to say that I'm a little surprised to have continued with my blog so long.  Thank you to everyone who has ever left me a comment, or visited my blog!

Check out this fun blog party!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WIAW twenty- nauseous

I had a very green WIAW this week.  Unfortunately, the green I'm referring to was my face rather than my food.

I've felt rather queasy since about lunchtime, which in my opinion, is the absolute worst.  At any rate, the show must go on!


Whole wheat pita with homemade hummus, 2% Greek yogurt with honey and fresh strawberries, black coffee.

I guess hummus is kind of a weird breakfast food, but it's what sounded good.  Also, if you aren't making your own hummus, you should.  It's a breeze to make, and is cheaper and tastier than any store brand.  I usually make Ina Garten's version.  You may want to cut back on the lemon/garlic depending on your tastes.


Honey crisp apple, carrot and celery sticks, hummus, orange.

I normally don't get a chance to snap a photo of my work snacks, but today they were still on the table while I was photographing my breakfast.  I ALWAYS bring snacks to work as I become extremely miserable and cranky when I get hungry.  (Ask Mr.greenhorngourmande, he knows!)


Lemon and Caper Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano

Lunch today was leftover from last night's dinner (as per usual).  Although not quite as good as the first time around, it was still delicious and satisfying.  This dish is really quite tasty and takes about 15 minutes to make. Recipe is <<here>>.


Ramen noodles with baby bok choy, green onion, egg, and sriracha.

I don't know about y'all, but when I'm not feeling well the only thing I really want to eat is a bowl of ramen.  Of course in order for ramen to count as food/be lovely is to add in a bunch of "extras."  For me sriracha is always included, as well as some kind of vegetable.  It was a satisfyingly spicy bowl that provided a little comfort to my upset tummy.

Happy hump day, and thanks for stopping by! 

Is there anything worse than an upset stomach?  What's your go to food when you're feeling green?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meatless Monday

I'm not really into the whole 'Meatless Monday' meme.  I eat meatless most of the time; sometimes this happens on a Monday, and sometimes it doesn't.

At any rate, this simple pasta dish would be delicious any day of the week as a light dinner or lunch.

Even though this winter has been rather mild, I still have found myself primarily drawn to heavy stews and casseroles.  Now that we are on the verge of spring I've been craving lighter fare.  This was another kind of "throw in what sounds good" creation, but I found that the lemon and caper's brightness are very balanced by the earthy and savory tones from the anchovies and red pepper flakes.  The grated pecorino romano on top serves as a bridge to really unify the flavors in this dish.  Delicious, simple, and ready in the time it takes to cook a pot of pasta.

Lemon Caper Spaghetti 

3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 anchovy filets
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp capers, drained and roughly chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper
12 ounces spaghetti
pecorino romano, grated

1.  Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Salt the water and add the pasta.  While the pasta is cooking, melt over medium low heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan and then add the anchovies and garlic.  Stir until the anchovies have disolved (carefully, they can splatter quite a bit), and then add the red pepper flakes and capers.
2.  Once the pasta is cooked slightly under al dente, carefully remove from the pot with a pasta ladel into the frying pan.  Once all the pasta is in the pan, give it a toss with large tongs until evenly coated.  Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, tossing to combine.  Garnish with a sprinkling of cheese.  Serves 3-4.

Come join the party over at The Sweet Spot to see my post and a bunch of other tasty treats.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WIAW nineteen-greenhorn gourmande goes green

Happy WIAW everyone!

As I'm sure most of you know, this month WIAW is going green:

I did my best, and I managed to eat something green every single meal!

As always check out Peas and Crayons to see what Jenn (the hostess with the mostest) and all the other WIAWers have eaten this week.  

This week has been full of excitement.  I finally, after NINE MONTHS of searching, have found full-time employment!  Who has two thumbs and a position as a project manager at a translation company?

This guy!!!

 (Okay, imagine me pointing at myself with my thumbs.)

Enough of my yammering, lets get to the eats!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

greenhorn gourmande is on a budget- episode 4

This post is part of my week (and a half) long series on how I manage to feed myself and my boyfriend for about $60 a week in New York city.  See the previous posts <<here>>,<<here>>, and <<here>>.

Alright boys and girls, this is going to be my last post in my "budget" series.  I'm sorry that I've been such a lay about in finishing this up, but I had quite a bit of excitement last week:

I GOT A JOB!!!!!!!


So I've been pretty busy partying with my cats and kittens (i.e. mr. greenhorn gourmande).

Alas, one cannot celebrate forever, and the budget must eventually be rejoined.  In my previous 
posts I talked about the importance of planning, meal selection, and multi-purpose ingredients. 
Today I'm going to talk about the rather thorny subject of getting off your ass and making it   

Spinach, Cheddar, and Bacon Drop Biscuits
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