Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good Eats and More Weekend Fun!

Well the fun continues at Plato's Plate! I have been so busy lately with work, friends, fun and working out. I have been really focusing on eating as much produce as possible. Given that I am now the only human in this house, my large box of produce from the CSA seems extra large. BUT, I am challenging myself to eat through it, and have been doing a pretty good job. I am headed out of town for three of the next four weekends, so friends and neighbors and have been getting some of the benefits. Here are some of my best dishes from the past couple of weeks.....

Post Race last Sunday, I ate a magnificent, veggie filled meal. I made a salad with fresh shelled peas, fresh chopped cilantro, fresh green onions, S and P and EVOO.

 I also grilled some zucchini and spring onions, and then roughly chopped them with fresh basil, parsley, and cherry tomatoes. A little S and P and Balsamic Vinegar...delish!
After all that racing  I thought I needed a little protein so I grilled some scallops to go with my veg. I think it's funny I think of protein as something to go along with my veggies! For years I thought it was the other way around...finding enough veggies to go with my protein.  I wish more people thought this way, weather they are meat eaters or not! I doused everything in lemon juice and ate on my porch with Pdog. Yum! What a nice nightcap to an amazing day of racing.
This is a loaf of multigrain bread...that I made! I was so proud of myself! Well I can't be too proud, it came from a Mix from Bob's Red Mill. But, it was still very time consuming with lots of raising, resting, raising, punching down, etc, but in the end it turned out great!

With that bread I had an absolutely delish light dinner...toast with chopped mango, avocado, cilantro, S and P and lemon juice. OMG. This was so good, I could not stop saying "mmmm" the whole time. Peroni was jealous.
This is a little desert combo I have been enjoying...a couple pieces of brie, a little cup of blueberries, and some dark chocolate covered cherries. Do I even need to tell you how good this is?

Last Saturday was an epic day. I woke up early, rode my bike to an insane yoga class, rode home (it's 7 miles round trip of ridiculous hills that make me wonder what on earth I decided to start riding a bike for) and got ready for brunch at the Grand Del Mar.

The Grand is an UNREAL hotel. I have never seen anything like it. I am not bragging, but I have seen 4 star hotels in NYC, SF, Paris, Rome, London, Maui, Kauai, etc.....but I have never seen this place's equal. It's very elaborate with lots of crown molding, gold details everywhere, marble everywhere. It's quite palatial. It's a little over the top, but it is somehow very pretty. No detail was spared, and the grounds are gorgeous. I mentioned dinner at Addison a while back...that was at the Grand. Well, my best friend Erica is pregnant and unfortunately I have to miss her baby shower, so I treated to brunch! We had such a nice time talking, enjoying yummy food, and opening her gifts. I didn't do a great job of taking pictures...but you get the idea....
And here is my perfectly pregnant Erica. She looked so elegant in this dress....I thought she should be a preggo model! If it weren't for her belly, you would never know she was pregnant! She is about a month away from being due and has only gained 16 pounds. She looks fantastic!
After brunch I had a last minute invite to visit with another dear friend, Jessica, and her boyfriend, Martin, on Martin's boat in the San Diego Harbor. Divine is all I can say. Jessica was dolled up and perfect as usual with lots of tasty treats on the boat including homemade guacamole and whole grain chips, smoked salmon, and truffle cheese. She also had some of the seasons first cherries. There is something so satisfying about eating cherries on a boat and sending the pits into the water. We had some champagne while Martin and Peroni steered the ship!

 The sun came out for about an hour, and we soaked it right up!

I am the captain! He is my skipper!
Jessica is the best hostess I have ever experienced!!!!!She always makes things so nice and perfect and she is a pleasure to spend time with.

Later on Saturday I went out for sushi and drinks in Del Mar. It was a long but fun day!

The following Sunday was filled with the beach, farmer's market, and lunch at Captain Keno's. Captain Keno's is a greasy spoon heavy on the meat. They do have Crab legs on Saturday nights which I love, but other than breakfast one of the few things I can have is a tuna melt. It is tasty but not very healthy.

In effort to lighten things up, later that night I made a twist on this Coconut Spinach Dish from 101 Cookbooks. (By the way, this is short grain white rice "New Crop". It is hands down the best rice I have ever had. I always try to eat brown rice because its so good for you...and I like it! But sometimes white, fluffy, sticky rice is all that will do. This rice does this trick. I got it at a Japanese grocery store...I highly recommend seeking out some new crop short rice and learning how to cook it properly. I drain mine in a siv until the water is clear. Then I put 1 1/4 rice to 1 1/2 cup water. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Bring to a boil as quickly as possible. Once boiling, turn way down, as low as possible, and let cook for 25 minutes. Turn off, and let steam for 15 minutes. Once you turn the rice on, DO NOT REMOVE THE LID! This is key. Then take off the lid and gently fluff your rice. Perfect Sushi rice, ready to be eaten or covered in sushi seasoning).

The changes I made to the Coconut Spinach recipe included using a whole chopped caramelized onion...and I used this weird baby spinach I found at the farmers market. It doesn't look like spinach and didn't taste like spinach, but I wasn't going to argue with the person who grew it. I also used fresh asparagus, and I topped it off with tons of chopped cilantro, green onions, and toasted cashews. I served it over fluffy white sushi rice. It was wonderful!

I made this soup on Monday. I made a simple stock from celery, carrot, onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and red pepper. After simmering for about an hour, I strained out all the ingredients. I  added the broth into a large pot with sliced asparagus. After a couple minutes, I added chopped beet greens and chopped spinach. I added in some noodles that were cooked and added at the last minute (I find adding noodles directly to soup makes them mushy) and topped with some sauteed tofu and fresh green onions. I added some drops of sesame oil, soy sauce and black sesame seeds. It was SO tasty and fresh!

And that my friends, is it for now. I am off to enjoy a long weekend in SF. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

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