weeks in food II & III

Looks like I'm not the only one on the internet who is blogging about their food choices for other people to ... skim over quickly. Mark Bittman, awesome NY Times food guy posted about all the food he ate while traveling last week. He ends up eating a lot of raw fruits and vegetables during the days -- I often feel like I don't get enough vegetables when I travel, and his approach could solve that. It looks a little rabbit-like at some points, but I do like all those foods.

To see what I think is the best of Bittman, check out this funny, interesting look at his take on eating. Well worth 20 minutes! He goes through a little bit of the history, pitfalls, and ways to deal with the US diet. Similar to Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food" but funnier.

So, to catch up on my own list of recent dinners:

Monday: Meatballs, take two. The week before's meatballs turned out good, but strange. This time, we tried to reproduce a Moroccan dish we really liked when we were visiting there last summer.

The dish has a tomato sauce with lots of spices, pan-browned meatballs cooked in the sauce, and, best of all, eggs (one egg per person) poached in the sauce just before serving. You can kind of see them in the photo above.

It came out OK, but there was an unfortunate meatball incident. The meatballs fell apart while I was browning them, so they made the sauce more like a thick meat sauce, rather than a thinner sauce with meatballs in it. I think it was because I added oil that was supposed to be used in the pan into the meatball mixture instead by mistake, and that stopped the meat from sticking together. It still tasted good, though.

We served it with bread and a Moroccan shredded carrot salad. The recipes we used were from the excellent and inspiring Couscous and other Good Food by Paula Wolfert. 

Tuesday: Easy dinner of sausages, brussel sprouts, and mashed potatoes

Wednesday: Risotto, which I'll call "harlequin risotto" instead of "ugly risotto." We put red wine in, which always makes the risotto come out a funny purple color. Adding bright orange chunks of butternut squash, and mushrooms to the already purple rice wasn't the best choice for a good-looking dish, but it came out with a good flavor. I can only guess what the Top Chef judges would have said about its looks...

Thursday: Chicken tacos, with corn tortillas brought back from the US -- a luxury! They do have tortillas in the grocery store here but they often taste weird/sweet/bad enough that they make you look forward to the real thing. Also had sauteéd red & green peppers, black beans, spicy rice, onions and cilantro and limes.

Friday: on the way to Strasbourg! We arrived and met up with friends and had drinks and snacks. I'll put all the Strasbourg food into a separate post.

Sunday night: back home, quick dinner of soup-from-a-box (something like quinoa vegetables soup?) and salad

Monday: spoons took off to Savannah, Georgia, for a week for a conference. I made a bunch of baked pasta that I could take for lunch. I used something like this vodka penne recipe, with wine instead of vodka, tossed it with already cooked pasta and put mozzarella cheese on top before putting it in the oven. I also mixed in some leftover peppers from the Mexican food.

Tuesday: Inauguration night! I brought another batch of those good brownies from last week to a potluck dinner at D & K's. K made a tasty bean chili dish with rice in it -- I'll try to get the recipe and post it.

Wednesday: Use up rest of Mexican leftovers from last week: black beans, rice, enchiladas, and add butternut squash. Black beans + butternut squash is always a good combination in my book.

Thursday: Out for dinner with friends at a local Irish pub: Paddy's. Had "Irish stew" which is big chunks of potato, carrot, and lamb in a tasty broth, and Guinness, of course.

Friday: not feeling so hot, I don't know if I even ate anything for dinner... crackers? soup?

Saturday: ditto, rice with chicken broth...

Sunday: feeling better. spoons returns. on to the next week!

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