Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Eatin'

Last night, I was explaining to a couple of friends that I seem to eat better and healthier when I take pictures of the food I'm about to eat. No, wait. That might be a total lie. Example A - The Mastodon (10 oz burger with BBQ Sauce, Cheddar, Bacon, Frizzled Onions) at Kuma's Corner:
Example B - the Mac & Cheese at Kuma's Corner (this was ordered "for the table" and had mushrooms and bacon in it): You get the idea. Okay, let's say that this week, I've been taking pictures of food and realizing that it makes me want to eat healthier. Seriously, you put all your food on a plate and take a picture of it, and you realize that you don't have any protein! So you go get you some protein, and everything is balanced and healthy, and things are great. See how it works?

It has been really easy to eat well and healthy this summer, mostly due to the weekly farmer's market that takes place right outside my house on Tuesday afternoons. The Eastside Farmer's Market used to be a few blocks over, but now it is literally in the parking lot across the street from where I live. I could run there and do an entire lap around the whole thing, holding my breath. Fantastic! It's been diverse so far this summer, and I've almost always come away with fantastic items. Like these, all for a very affordable price:
And some lovely lilies! I haven't been too excited about lilies in the past, but these were so lovely. The leaves are really cool looking too.
The food from the market is extremely fresh, locally grown and made, and absolutely delicious. I've had a ton of fun making meals this week. There's something about the weather that makes me want to eat differently than I do during the rest of the year. Part of me wants a lot of cold things, and no meat, and several little items, all on one plate (but not touching each other. Don't worry, Layla, I'm still true to my roots). Check out some of me fantastic meals from this week!

Here we have hummus I'd made a couple of days before with toasted pita bread, and green beans, raspberries, and cheese curds from the farmer's market! The cheese curds are from Farmer John, who regularly has a booth at several farmer's markets in town. Naysayers, please stop nay-ing; I'm pretty sure you're just nervous because of the word "curd." Here, have a read, and come back when you're more open-minded. These cheese curds are so fresh, probably just a couple of hours old, and they honestly do squeak when you eat them!
This is more of the same hummus and pita bread with a bit of paprika to make it more presentable. It's like dressing up for church, you know? Cut up tomatoes and cucumbers are one of my favorite dipping items for hummus, but the cucumbers must be sliced longways like this. Those pretzel-looking things are raspberry yogurt covered pretzels. So delicious...
I mixed some black beans with tomatoes and cooked them for a while, adding some cumin and other stuff. Hey, cooking! Those are white corn tortillas, avocado, and broccoli from the market.
I bought some new potatoes somewhere else this week - I can't remember where - and decided to cook them with an item I'd bought at the farmer's market last week: Summer Butter. What's summer butter, you ask? Um...actually, it's just butter that is made in the summer. That's all. But apparently, this summer butter has a more yellow color because the cows are eating healthier than they do in the winter. Hey, me too, cows. Me too.
I honestly haven't ever tasted butter like this before. It's incredible; just salty enough, creamy, um...buttery...ridiculous.
I also decided to make egg salad and add in some favorites: tomato, red onion, and dill pickle. These items give it so much flavor; in fact, I don't usually need to add any spices when I put in these three things. My favorites for egg salad, however, are dill and paprika. And it makes it real pretty looking.
Here's dinner! The potatoes have scallions on top (also from the farmer's market, duh), more green beans, and the delicious egg salad. There's also some greek yogurt on the side, just because. You know, one time I made egg salad with Laughing Cow cheese and a teensy bit of greek yogurt for creaminess, and I swear, it was really good. Sometimes mayonnaise is disgusting and you have to find another item. Waa waa!

So, just a note about pictures and colors...I have to say, this last dinner wasn't as satisfying in looks to me due to the sameness in the color of the egg salad and potatoes. There needs to be more of a sense of balance or evenness for me to be totally happy, like more so in the other pictures. For example, have you heard the "top news story" about Subway? They are changing the regulations on placement of cheese in sandwiches. Oh, for real. Check it. See, they're making things more even and giving the sandwiches more cheese coverage over all. Everybody wins! And for me, this is perfect because everything is even and balanced, and frankly, I just feel better and sort of relieved when thing are even and balanced. I have a...what's a nicer word for "compulsion?" Whatever that is, I have it.

The summer dinners have been lovely, and what's also been great is filling in the rest of my meals with leftovers here and there. For example: Bruffix. I love breakfast so much. It's definitely my current favorite meal. Here we have some more tortillas, leftover beans and tomatoes, scallions, scrambled eggs (those are totally egg beaters because I used all of the eggs for the egg salad. I think next time, a poached egg would be perfect here.), and the same potatoes I cooked before. I added some seasoning and browned them a bit, and they were lovely. That fancy stuff in the blue container is a delicacy known as "ketchup."

It's been a good summer for eating! Unfortunately, this trend is about to end as I head to Chicago for the weekend and go to a meat, cheese, and beer tasting with my brother and cousins. Yikes...I foresee the "tasting" portions not being big enough for some family members, and those family members going out for burritos later in the night. I'll let you know how it all turns out.


jx said...

How lovely! So delicious. What day of the week is that farmers' market?

Lynn Vollbrecht said...

omg, will you teach me how to make hummus?

I think some flavors are totally summer-specific: one, for me, is dill. I've been putting dill on ev-er-y-thing. I like sprinkling it on top of my salads before I dress them. Por ejemplo.

SophisticatedBrew said...

Good job. I'm partial to your cooking eggs, as you know.

Tara said...

Good show! I definitely have a thing for color on my plate. Sometimes I color code my stir fry- all yellows and greens or red, orange, yellow etc. You should try adding tomato sauce to your black beans! It's great.

Reem Tara said...

@Jess, it's every Tuesday, at least for the summer.

@Tara, I totally added tomatoes/tomato sauce to the beans - you can sort of see it in the picture. Delicious!

@Lynn, absolutely! Come over some time and I'll show you, because I don't know any of the measurement, just what it should look and smell and taste like.

Thanks, everybody!

RebeccaL said...

"It's like dressing up for church" LOL!