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Back to Basics

Like my clothing, my life often resorts to simple patterns of ease and normalcy, when moments are relaxed and things don’t feel rushed or urgent. Lately I’ve been reading more, have seen four current movies (we just saw Super 8 this past weekend), and haven’t had to budget my time as strictly as I did this past winter. It’s nice.

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Sunday morning, I had the house to myself and decided to cook myself a hot breakfast; one I ate nearly every day last summer. Nothing fancy, but comforting and delicious and feels just like summer.

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PROTEIN BERRY OATS

Serves 1

  • 1/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup berries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 T almond butter

Bring oats and milk to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until liquid is absorbed and oats are tender (about 20 minutes). Add chia seeds and vanilla extract and stir until well-combined. Remove from heat and stir in salt, protein powder and berries. Pour in bowl and garnish with almond butter.   

I’ve made myself a Double-Shift Scramble several times this week, and Ari even enjoyed one this morning for breakfast!

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Power Salads are back… but I’m not sure they ever really left. Regardless, with all of the food we’ve got stocked in the fridge and pantry, it’s easy to put together a simple, nutritious lunch salad that packs quite the punch. This one- which I nearly replicated today- was particularly delicious:

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  • 1/2 head lacinato kale, massaged with lemon juice, olive oil & gomasio (sea salt + sesame seed mix)
  • artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 avocado
  • smoked trout (from Trader Joe’s)
  • dried cherries
  • goat cheese crumbles

I love smoked fish. Lovelovelove. There’s a great fish market in Southampton where we used to go over the summer, and every day they’d have something new and delicious: blue fish, salmon, trout. I love the sweet-smokey flavor combined with creamy goat cheese, ripe avocado, and tart cherries!

Unfortunately, I did have a math test this morning (tests in June just seem cruel) so I spent most of yesterday holed up at the coffee shop with iced coffee. (I broke my no-coffee-after-3 rule (as well as my no-coffee-on-non-work/school-days rule) and paid for it last night while I stared at the ceiling, dead tired, but unable to sleep because my heart was racing.)

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Equally important as afternoon studying: the cookie bribe. Fellow students, I know you know what I’m talking about! Once I worked halfway an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Good for the morale, good for the soul, good for the pre-calculus!

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And a brand-new tradition: margaritas on the rocks with salt. I’m usually a vodka-soda girl at the bar, a wine girl with dinner, and a beer girl at your backyard barbeque. (Yes, we do occasionally have these in New York City.) But lately, I’ve had this indescribable craving for margaritas. Well, I can probably describe it for you just like this: I want tequila, I want lime, and I want salt. After we saw Super 8 on Friday (which is fun and worth seeing, by the way), Ari and I found a new spot to enjoy inexpensive Patron margaritas and people-watch.

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I can dig this new tradition.

Goal for 2011 update: Cook One New Recipe A Week

Week 1: Lemony Spaghetti with Bitter Greens & Chickpeas

Week 2: Lentil Chili

Week 3: Chickpeas in Star Anise & Date Masala

Week 4: Thai-Style Black Beans w/ Mango & Cilantro

Week 5: Ten Minute Tasty Asparagus & Brown Rice, Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cheddar and Toasted Almonds, Warm Red Lentil Salad, Garlicky Sesame-Cured Broccoli Salad.

Week 6: Beets, Spiced Quinoa & Yogurt, Sesame-Cooked Eggs Over Rice

Week 7: Curried Parsnip Fries

Week 8: Curried Lentils & Sweet Potatoes

Week 9: Rutabagas with Buckwheat, Black Beans & Kale, Garlicky Mushroom Greens

Week 10: Tamarind Lentils, The Double-Shift Scramble

Week 11: Spicy Chickpea Salad, Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze, Spicy Red Lentil, Peanut & Pumpkin Soup

Week 12: Sunday Night Supper Salad, Peanut Butter Banana-Berry French Toast Sandwich

Week 13: Grilled Cheddar-Mushroom Sandwich

Week 14: Black Bean Soup, Sweet Pumpkin Pudding

Week 15: Green Rice

Week 16: Matzoh Buttercrunch Candy,  Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew

Week 17: Truffled Turnip Soup, Nutty Lemon Brussels Sprouts, Cookie Dough Smoothie

Week 18: Raw Chocolate Fudge Cake, Spring Pasta

Week 19: Chopped Kale w/ Hot Pepper Vinegar

Week 20: Ultimate Veggie Burgers, Mmm Sauce

Week 21: Ribbed Asparagus Salad with Lemon, Spinach & Chickpeas, Chocolate-Chip Blondies, Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Pancakes, Leek Zucchini Pasta Salad

Week 22: Sesame Ginger Kale Salad, Hoisin Ginger Tofu with Smoky Tahini Slaw  

Week 23: Pan-Seared Asparagus Salad with Frisée and Fried Egg, Baked Ziti, Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread, Green Bowl   

Week 24: Quinoa Cookies, Chocolate Mousse

Have you slipped back into familiar habits? Or have you found any new traditions you’re excited to see through summer?

27 comments to Back to Basics

  • Ada

    Mmm smoked trout is the bomb diggity! Having exams in June does indeed seem cruel. I’m attempting to study right now rather unsuccessfully. The cookie bribe is a great idea. Hope you rocked your precalc exam!

  • Lots of yummy eats!! Salads rock during the summer and artichokes are an awesome topper. Glad you rocked the studying-studying bribes are a must!

  • I’m so unmotivated for my summer classes!!

    I’m trying to get back to my “live music” tradition. Summer and live music just go together…

    Hope you’re well!

  • I’m totally back to familiar habits! Lots and lots of cold smoothies – SO refreshing! I want some new tradiitions though…maybe I’ll make hot-footing it to NYC a tradition :D

  • oh, i completely understand the margarita addiction – i had one for YEARS. i only drank out and made margaritas. that was all. i’ve taken a bit of a break these days, but i still love ‘em.

    smoked foods and avocado sound delightful. i am all about the smoked salmon and lox bagel. and smoked mozzarella. yep. food twins.

  • ilena

    beautiful flowers!!!

  • You know, I haven’t been digging oats too much this summer except cold, but your bowl looks pretty refreshing!

    One tradition I love during the summer and fall is the farmer’s markets. It’s just so relaxing to browse and make something up with whatever you take home! I know you love ‘em too ; )

  • Margaritas are so refreshing in the summer months. I’ve been wanting one lately too!

    Hope the math is going alright. :)

  • summer has me craving cold, simple, cheap, and delicious, for everything from movie theaters to drinks to meals.

    when I study, I think of treats like that cookie as brain food. I know that my brain thinks better with delicious carbs as fuel.

  • Cookies are the best!!! While I’m baking them I go through flash cards. :)

  • i’ve only had dino kale 1x and i didn’t like it as much as curly. also, never had a margarita…who am i? are they sweet or salty? i share your love of smoked fishies! cannot get enough!

  • in the summer i’m always like okay i’m going to change things up this summer but i ALWAYS get into the same comfortable groove of going out east, relaxing and enjoying peaceful time. i just feel like it’s so hectic during the week that the time out east is definitely earned haha

    i LOVEEEEEEEEE smoked fish! i think it’s us new yorkers haha or it could be the tiny bit of jew in me ;)

  • Your garden is gorgeous love! :) I feel the same way about going through those ups and downs. I feel like these days, I am either SUPER busy or totally relaxed. What happened to that inbetween?

  • I must know–what kind of protein powder do you use for your protein oats??

  • Yes, I adore smoked fish! My husband and I recently had the most delicious salads ever w/smoked salmon, bell peppers, greens, celery, and a buttery vinaigrette. He usually hates dressing but found this one to be irresistable. (Too bad the restaurant is in London, or I’m certain we’d visit far more often:) Btw, thank you for inspiring me to try kale! I’m just starting out w/oil, onion, and spices, but hope to make my way to the fried egg salad. One day:)

  • Nicole

    Margarita’s are my drink! Where did you find inexpensive patron margaritas?? I usually pay 12-15 in the city for them

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