Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the cook page

i love to cook
since eating well is important to me, the exercise of planning and executing our routine dinners at home is actually one of my favorite activities. productive + zen + rewarding -- both while we're dining, and also in the aftermath when i get to share my creations with you the next day!

2009 was the year of martha (i cooked through her entire great food fast cookbook -- a fantastic collection of recipes, by the way). 2010 was more about variety. i worked on delving into the other cookbooks that were languishing on my shelf, took inspiration from my favorite food blogs, and did lots of cooking from magazines (primarily real simple, cooking light, and of course clean eating).

i often get asked by my coworkers (the ones who don't cook) how i manage to put home-cooked meals on the table most nights. the answers are:

1. prep is key!

sunday AM ritual

2. leftovers. i cook about 3 times per week, and the rest is . . . recycled. the best part is not having much to clean up!

top 12 of 2010
i spent some time going through this past year's archives and selected 12 favorites -- the meals that were truly memorable and worthy of making again (and again). not all of the recipes are available online, but if there is a recipe that interests you, feel free to email me and i will find it for you!

local grass-fed beef stew [recipe]

mama pea's african peanut stew [recipe]

thai chick-un pizza from eat, drink, and be vegan

sweet potato spoon bread with goat cheese [recipe]

goddess garbanzos [recipe]

baked shrimp with polenta [recipe]

improvised summer salad of greens, peaches, vegetables, and bleu cheese. sometimes the no-recipe approach works just fine!

roasted mahi mahi with lemons + potatoes [recipe]

butternut squash ravioli with pecans, green beans, and sage [inspired by this recipe]

keeping it simple again with local greens and sweet potato . . . plus the famous GC tofu!

coconut curried chickpeas [recipe]

whole wheat fettuccine with local sausage and arugula [recipe]

baking projects
i don't bake all that often -- but when i do, i really enjoy it. there is just something magical about putting gooey dough or batter in the oven and having scones or banana bread come out!

here are just a few of this year's creations:

orange cranberry scones

calzones! i made these in 2009 but ate them (on multiple occasions) in 2010! they freeze wonderfully.

my first (and only) time making cinnamon buns:

laptop lunches
i will conclude with a few lunchboxes from this past year. after all, dinner isn't the only meal that matters! admittedly, since starting fellowship, i have actually gotten lazier about packing a well-rounded meal. these photos should serve as a reminder to me that it's easy to throw together a healthy and variety-packed lunch!

fresh blueberries, asparagus with raspberry vinaigrette, and a smoked salmon/goat cheese/arugula wrap

tempeh, kiwi, cheddar, carrots, and pretzels. random can be good!

honey-mustard turkey wrap, veggies, and newman's own cookies for a sweet ending

yogurt + honey with granola for topping, pickled okra + carrots, whole grain crackers

i hope you enjoyed this recap page! there will certainly be more cooking (and eating) in 2011 . . . so stay tuned.


  1. Anonymous8:14 AM

    i'm still loving that lunch box! i should have put it on my christmas list. and you've shamed me into feeling the urge to really cook more. because you are WAY busier than me. i guess i'm just lazy when it comes to doing the prep work. which is funny because in every other aspect of my life i am soooo anal about prep work

  2. Where did you get that awesome lunchbox??

  3. michelle: mine is the old version, but you can find the newer ones here!

  4. LOVE this post! I'm also a menu planner and agree with every point you've made. My husband isn't a super adventurous eater so my options can be limited, but I put a lot of effort into finding healthy meals that we'll both enjoy.

  5. Beautiful lunches! By the way, Laptop Lunches is offering free shipping on orders over $65 through December 31st!

  6. I'm so jealous of these lunch boxes! This will be my new year resolution :-) Thanks for the inspiration

  7. Love this! All your pictures belong on the pages of Real Simple magazine:)

  8. Love the lunchbox pictures...the colorful lunchbox makes everything look extra delicious. I also cook 3 times a week and then live off the leftovers--it works great for us, too!

  9. I can't figure out how to reply, but thanks for the link to the lunchboxes! I'm totally buying one!

  10. Anonymous7:23 AM

    love love love this recap. did i ever share this link with you?....weelicious.com
    i feel like you would love it. i am going to check out the goat cheese sweet potato spoon bread recipe. love me some goat cheese.