Lvrgrl’s Weblog

WTD: How to make a quinoa salad:
October 3, 2012, 5:00 pm
Filed under: eats, finance | Tags: , , ,

Continued from WFD, Episode 1: Get a Job featuring Orzo salad.

Last night I actually ate at a restaurant with a friend.  But because I’m motivated by humiliation I also made dinner at 6pm.  A big bowl of something healthy that I’ve already written up for my own records.

That’s ok in my book because going out to dinner with friends is one of my favorite pastimes.  I love sitting at the bar over some warm bowl of pasta with red sauce and a goblet of wine until there’s only sediment left.  And I learned that if I cook up something quick before I go, I’m less likely to want to order everything on the menu.

A few months back I made a vow to only eat out when I have a dinner companion.  That same day, after I bought some groceries at the bodega, I stopped on the sidewalk to pick up what appeared to be a large diamond earring that had fallen out of someone’s ear.

Was this a gift from the universe for my valiant efforts?  Find out next time when WFD continues.

October 2nd:

Rinse a cup of red quinoa in a strainer for 2 minutes, tossing over with your hands.  Pat into a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and move around every 15 seconds or so until the water has evaporated (about 2 minutes). Pour a cup and a half of water and a some dashes of salt into the pan and let the water come to a boil.  Cover the pan and let the quinoa simmer for about 15 minutes.

In a separate pot steam two ears of corn.  Use a strainer or a steamer, or just plop the the half cobs into some shallow water for a little.  If the corn is fresh they only need to be in there until the outsides are hot.

While the corn is getting hot, chop up a shallot or two (or a small onion) and one big green pepper.  Once the quinoa is settled and finished let it cool in a bowl in the fridge along with the corn kernels while you toss the onions and peppers around in some olive oil (the onions first for a minute or two and then the peppers for a minute or two).  Pull everything out of the pan when the peppers turn bright green.

Rise the corn in cold water and cut the kernels off the using a downward slicing motion, getting as much of the meat off as you can without cutting into the grainy part of the cob.   Add to the quinoa mixture along with a hunk of feta cheese and crumble feta on top to your liking.  Pour in the pepper and onion and mixture and toss all together with a little more salt and pepper if you’d like.

Eat straight away or let cool in the fridge. Healthy man.  And not bad tasting either.


What’s for Dinner (WFD) – Tri Color Orzo w/ onions and arugula
October 3, 2012, 1:11 pm
Filed under: eats, finance | Tags: , ,

One of my biggest money problems is that I don’t want to take the time to make dinner for myself.  Instead of having a pantry stocked with beans and rice and a fridge with fresh veggies I have a credit card bill for restaurants in my neighborhood that have a good tasting dinner for under $20.  I lie to myself and say that I love food and that’s why I prefer having someone else cook for me.

But really it’s because I have high expectations and a princess attitude.  When I do cook at home I make salmon, seared, with potatoes and bustle sprouts.  The ingredients alone cost more than the meal would at a restaurant.  The leftovers end up sitting in the fridge and browning until they are too old to eat.

Now before you stop and think to yourself, fancy for this women, she spends $30 on groceries for one night, why should I spend my time reading about her problems? And I say, that’s a very good question my friend.  You should not.  What you should do instead is support me in changing my habits by following an ongoing report of the cost effective home cooked dinners I vow to make every night at 6pm sharp.

October 1st

Orzo.  Tri color.  One cup boiled in 8 cups of water with dashes of salt.  One half sweet yellow onion sautéed in generous amounts of extra virgin olive oil.  Three handfuls of fresh arugula shredded up by hand (pul out stems) them, just pull them out).  Healthy dumping of parmesan reggiano cheese.

There’s no really important order to follow  Once you get the pasta cooking up you can put the onions in a separate pan and let them simmer a while, the longer the sweeter (like 15 minutes even).  When the orzo is out and cooling and the onions are done, they go together in a big bowl with salt and pepper.  Use plenty of oil for more flavor.

Get salad stuff from a farm-like place if you can.  The whole bag of arugula cost $4 which felt like a splurge at the time.  And it probably is except I made at least a salad plus this meal so far and there’s still some leftover.  Plus it really tastes so good, like better than the kind from the super market, as far as I can tell.

If you have other ingredients you like then throw those in too.  Mushrooms, tomatoes or bits of asparagus steamed or done up in oil like the onion would probably be worth a try.  Oh, and feta cheese instead of the parm if you’ve got some on hand.

I ate this meal over a “conversation” with my LIB (live-in-boyfriend) about how i need to get a job.  Baby steps, I tell him and I taste the caramelized onion in between the pasta chunks and the flashes of cheese.  For now this is as grown up as I get.

P.S. I’m Back.

WFD – or what’s for Dinners,
February 9, 2009, 7:08 pm
Filed under: eats | Tags: ,


Here’s a little game we call WFD, or what’s for dinner.
Some may say that mussels are a bit fancy for a night at home.
I say they are super easy to cook and oh so tasty.

Here’s what you do:
1. Pick up two pounds of mussels for two people from the Lobster Place at $3.25 a pound. You can get them cheaper in Chinatown, but you’ll find smaller bodies and broken shells among the heap.

2. Rinse under cool running water for 30 minutes. Gently pick through, trashing any opened or cracked ones. Pull off any stringy stuff from the outside of the sealed black gems and set aside.

3. Heat up some oil in a big pot.

4. Throw in a few cloves of smashed up garlic and half an onion, chopped up.

5. Once this is all soft dump in 1/2 cup of white wine and a little splash of water, along with the rinsed and washed mussels.

6. Cover and steam until the mussel shells open up, shaking the whole bowl up every so often.

7. Eat ’em, except for any stubborn ones that stayed shut tight.

Here we also made fries in the toaster oven: thinly sliced potatoes brushed with oil and baked for a bit until browned then sprinkled with rosemary. Plus we steamed up a bunch of asparagus with a little salt and pepper. Voilla.