Farro with arugula and pomegranate seeds

I had never cooked with farro before this recipe. But I found I really liked it and will make it again. This makes a light, fresh side dish.

Farro with arugula and pomegranate seeds
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup dried farro
  2. 2 cups arugula
  3. 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. Juice from 1 lemon
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 1/2 cups water and the farro in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes, or until the farro is tender. You will probably have to do a taste test to see if it's to your liking.
  2. Drain any remaining water. Transfer the farro to a big bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and toss together.
Notes
  1. I did not soak my farro before I cooked it, but you certainly can. It will reduce the cooking time.
Adapted from Real Simple
Adapted from Real Simple
Cara Corey http://www.caracorey.com/

Broccoli with cheese sauce

The other day I was feeling nostalgic for a recipe that was my job to make as a kid: cheese sauce for steamed broccoli. With pride, 10-year-old me stirred up chunks of Velveeta and mixed them with milk until I had a creamy sauce. When I think about all the things I grew up cooking, this one stands out as a favorite.

So it was a funny coincidence when my mom, who is visiting this week, pulled out this recipe card from my childhood.

Isn’t that hilarious? I admit I cringed a bit with my spelling of you’re.

I tried to recreate the sauce, sans Velveeta, and it was pretty good. It still seems like a great companion for broccoli. You just make it like your classic bechamel. Recipe below:

Cheese sauce for steamed veggies
Serves 4
Creamy bechamel sauce with cheddar.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  2. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 3 tablespoons AP flour
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper if you like it
  5. 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter over medium until it melts.
  2. Stir in the flour, then whisk in the milk and cook until thick and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.
Cara Corey http://www.caracorey.com/

 

Thai coconut soup

After so many congested days I thought I would try my hand at making a Thai coconut soup. I’ve always loved those at restaurants. This recipe from Real Simple was great. It seemed to need a little something extra, so I would probably add some fish sauce and maybe some sriracha or other spicy seasoning next time. Otherwise I did a very rare thing: stuck to the recipe.

Green smoothie time

So far my New Year’s diet plan goes like this: get sick, lose appetite. Terrible, but effective.

We’ve all been on a rotating schedule of sickness. First some digestive thing (Harper’s first real barf, ugh.) Then colds all around, followed by more serious colds/sinus infections. I think all the stress and germs from holiday travel have caught up to us.

Anyway, now that I can eat again, I’m finding myself wanting healthier foods. I fired up my Nutribullet and made some green smoothies. The formula is pretty simple: stuff the blender cup half-full with greens, then add sliced fruit, nuts or flax seeds or some other superfood, and water. Blend it up and you’re good to go.

I’m finding that the smoothies don’t taste fantastic, but they are refreshing and they’re the kind of breakfast or snack you can feel good about.

My go-to formula has been: kale with pineapple, pomegranate seeds and flax seed meal.

A little love for Vik’s

For some reason I was on a kick a few months ago where I wanted to eat at Vik’s Chaat Corner in Berkeley every week. Vik’s serves some of the best south Indian food I’ve ever had, and it’s quick, cheap, and baby friendly. You always see tons of families with kids there, probably because it’s noisy enough to drown out fussiness and there’s plenty of seating.

Harper loooves chickpeas, and Indian food pretty closely resembles baby purees anyway, so she likes it too. We usually get a masala dosa, which comes with soup and coconut sauce for dipping.

We’ve been loving the cholle bhature, both because it looks so cool when it comes out and because we love dipping pieces of the fluffy bread in chickpeas and tamarind sauce. If you go, don’t forget to lift up the bread and find the condiments underneath!

The lamb samosas and chicken kathi kabob sandwich are also favorites, but you can only get them on weekends.

If you’re in the east bay, I can’t recommend Vik’s enough for a fast casual dinner.

Hot, hot, hot

It’s always been weird to live in a place where the weather is so different from everywhere else (also, awesome), but this year has been super strange. While everyone else is experiencing the polar vortex, we have been having some of the warmest, driest months on record. We basically just didn’t have winter.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s glorious to have sunny 70-degree days in January, but the lack of rain is starting to becoming worrisome. Not only does the weather leave a smoggy mass sitting over the bay area, it is also causing big problems for farmers without water. We have a spare-the-air day pretty much daily. 

My plants are all confused. They think it’s spring. I can’t believe how many flowers are on my succulents out front.

We are planning a picnic birthday party for Harper. Because we might as well — we know it won’t rain!