Ginger Soy Sunrise Salad

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Greetings and the best wishes for a fruitful and blessed Ramadan to you all!  So begins the holy month of Islam, whereupon lengthy days of fasting (yes that does mean no water either) are coupled with nights of prayer, gratitude and reflection (and some eating as well). At first glance you might say this comes at the most inopportune of moments, while I am in the midst of transporting my self and my worldly belongings to the opposite coast, a time that would by general consensus require a great deal of energy. Oh but how can we find energy when we can’t have a morsel of sustenance throughout the day?? As exhausting as it is (and as grumpy, curmudgeonly, demonesque, slightly irritable as I get), this is the time for utmost reflection and strenghtening of what lies within, and that type of strength far outreaches the mere physical variety (well, it should, at least). In other words, I’m hoping to be blessed with more peace of mind and a heart full of gratitude and calmness, the better to attend to the next few weeks of encroaching madness. In the process I also hope to extend that level of gratitude in sharing with those less fortunate. What better place than a food blog then to share the hopefully eventual food-giving exploits of charitability?  I do hope I have the chance to write up on something of that nature when the time comes.

But I digress. We begin Ramadan, so I begin with a recent salad the husband dubbed something along the lines of Ginger Soy Sunrise Salad (Unfortunately the full cheesy title escapes me now, but you catch the drift).  Because we get up to eat before the sun rises, this thematically falls in line with that. However if you’re to enjoy it in the evening, you might choose to dub it a Sunset salad, since that’s when the breaking of the fast commences. No matter the title, the salad is refreshing and sharp with just the right crunch and kick of spice. And it truly is a wake up call for your energy, with the hint of ginger and the morning-esque value of boiled eggs.  Plus, sunflower seeds just kind of fit the title all the more. I’ve made it a few times since, each with variations which I will include below.  And so, Ramadan Mubarak and consider this salad for a protein rich but light dinner piece. 20120716-211331.jpg

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Chili Garlic Noodles

I awoke this morning with the immediate thought that I would not let anything get in the way of an early bed time tonight. The sudden unwelcome arrival of a flaring toothache has kept me up more than I’d like to admit, and has rendered my even my sleep a restive and forlorn experience. Thus, you can imagine I was on a one-way trip to the Benadrylopolis…

And yet here I am. I just can’t stop the thoughts, so I shall let them run rampant on the back burner while I focus on this blog. The past month has not been a happy one for my coworkers, you see, and we unfortunately lost a beautiful, smiling, kind soul to the rabid beast of cancer. In all fairness, I barely knew her. Nevertheless, the loss was a complete shock, a blow to our collective psyche, and an obvious reminder that life is too short to play on the sidelines. Continue reading

Peri Perilous Vegetarian Medley

perilous tofu and beansHuzzah! The Perils have passed!  I fear celebrating too quickly, but two nights sans torturous headaches can expectedly be interpreted as a farewell to the clusters.  The relief that bears down on me and more importantly my husband is a weight of the most cloud-like proportions–fluffy and comforting.  So perhaps we can return to the normalcy of not fearing every little thing he eats.  Nevertheless, I did happen to concoct a few lovely meals that were both quick and tasty, and naturally I sit here now to share them.

This particular recipe came about because the husband was a tad wary of eating meats all week, for better or for worse, so I embarked on a LOT of tofu dishes.  This one also yields a healthy dose of the bell pepper (which mentioned previously supposedly aids in the relief of CHs).  I personally liked this one because it was bright and cheerful, and I was able to get the boy eating more green stuff (a trait he evidently carried from the quintessential definition of childhood: an irrational fear of the green vegetable).  One day he will like broccoli too, that’s my ultimate goal.  Don’t say wishful thinking, I will just shut my ears and sing inanities to drown you out (I can have childish tendencies too).

The best part of this dish however comes from the source of the flavor: NANDOS!  Yes on one of my last treks to one of the tastiest restaurants around, I bought a few of their sauces: extra hot and garlic. Whee!  Eventually I’m going to use it on chicken itself and let my tastebuds swoon in ecstasy.  But I digress… Continue reading

Chilly Day Turkey Chili

Old Man Winter came knocking on my door, my friends, and his fierce chilly breath has blown out all the colors (if there were any) of drab lifeless winter and blanketed us with the most awe-inspiring, cuddle-inducing, heart-palpitating, toe-curling flurry of snow, snow, snow!  It has snowed a few times since I moved to Maryland, but tonight is the first truly mesmerizing descent of snowflakes I have as yet seen here.  So captivating that all I have been chanting to myself is “snow snow snow snow snow” which oddly led me to the nursery rhyme about it raining and pouring which then left me pondering over the strange lyrics (how exactly does one bump his head WHILST in bed, pray tell?).  Suffice it to say, Alya was befuddled.

But she was not so bewildered over what to make for dinner, thankfully.  It was rather quick a decision, to be honest.  Shall we refer to our checklist?  Cold night? Check.  Warm food a must? Check.  Black beans in pantry? Check.  Tomatoes? Check.  Ground meat (turkey)? Check.  Cheese?  Check.  A desire for a one-pot meal? Check.  Ready to jump at the chance to make a silly pun out of food choice?  Always check!

Ah, the answer is simple, is it not?  What could be more fitting than a dish that wallops you with warmth, satisfaction, and a zillion other forms of goodliness?  And so, let us journey, you and I, through frosted trees and snow-stung skies, into the caverns of my pantry, only to emerge with Turkey Chili!  For what could be more befitting of a frostbit night, than a “chilly” feast for our famished appetites! Continue reading

Oh My Sweet (chick)Pea! What a Masala!

Home Sweet Home! The past week I spent in California with the folks, frolicking in warm weather. In fact, I actually extended my trip by two days in order to bypass the awful possibility of taking up residence in an airport due to winter storms and the like.  It worked out quite well, as G would truly have been unable to retrieve my beleaguered self from the airport had I been able to fly in Tuesday.  That said, a few more days with the family were nice and well spent (mainly in eating exorbitant loads of cookies, watching movies, and playing games) but I was extremely happy to be back.  And quite surprisingly (or not), I missed my kitchen (though not nearly as much as the husband, I swear!).  I realized I felt a little out of sorts in my mom’s domain—my creativity was slightly stilted and I simply just didn’t move around with as much ease as I do in my tiny box over here.  Nevertheless, I did whip up some honey-wheat pancakes—with bananas and blueberries—and fajita-style chicken and peppers, but I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t at my A game.

And thus, the return home marked a revival of spirits: utter contentment on my part to be with G again, my husband’s own spirit bouncing off the walls as well, and my desire to be spontaneous! Be free! Be wild and crazy in the kitchen!!

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