Weekly Pin: Quinoa with Mushrooms & Greens

Quinoa with greens and mushrooms

Quinoa with greens and mushrooms

This week’s pin comes from the lovely Samantha at Better Bites blog. I regularly drool over Samantha’s recipes, and with my first trimester blech-ness toward food, I can use whatever healthful inspiration I can get.

This recipe was just the ticket. All three of us loved it – Oscar especially liked the quinoa and mushrooms (boy is crazy for mushrooms). I loved the subtly balanced flavors, salty, tangy, sweet, spicy, a hint of bitter, and some umami from the mushrooms made it a very satisfying meal. We used spinach instead of kale since we had it in the fridge, then added a baked sweet potato on the side and called it done.

Thanks, Samantha, from the bottom of my heart for keeping us from eating mac&cheese from the box one more night. I haven’t done it yet, but I’ve been threatening. *grin*

What are your favorite pins/projects/new recipes this week?

Weekly Pin: Penne with Asparagus & Balsamic Butter

Penne with Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

Penne with Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

Excited by the availability of fresh asparagus that’s flooding the markets now, this recipe from Food&Wine was bumped to the top of my Pinterest priorities, and it’s quickly become a favorite for the whole family. As with all asparagus dishes, I find the secret to success is to not over-cook the asparagus. Oscar apparently agrees—roasted just until bright, cooked but still crisp, he devours it; but if it’s cooked too long and gets mushy, he chews it a bit, then spits it out and (often) throws it on the floor. Further proof that he’s his mama’s boy.

The recipe is simple, and the balsamic glaze is the perfect balance of sour, sweet, and spicy. Along with the salt-and-pepper seasoned roasted asparagus, toothsome pasta, and plenty of parmesan, the resulting flavors are quite a fine medley both rich and bright—altogether, satisfying. Hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

What are your favorite asparagus dishes? Favorite pins and projects this week?

Weekly Pin: Labneh

labneh

Labneh, spread on GF toast and sprinkled with za’atar seasoning

Labneh is essentially Greek yogurt, and it couldn’t be easier to make at home. If you don’t make your own yogurt, it’s simple to make labneh from regular store-bought yogurt. All you have to do is strain the whey. I made it pretty frequently a couple years ago but fell out of habit until I came across this pin from 101 Cookbooks on Pinterest, reminding me of how wonderful and versatile this thick, rich yogurt is!

We make ours with whole milk plain yogurt, though you can use whatever you prefer. We were out of cheesecloth and don’t own a strainer, so to strain the whey, we lined a large funnel with a large coffee filter. We set the funnel into a large cup for it to drain, then carefully poured yogurt into the coffee filter, careful to keep the edges up. Fancy folk that we are, we used a shower cap (they make great reusable covers for food) to cover the yogurt/funnel/cup assembly and put the whole shebang in the refrigerator for 18 – 24 hours.

The end result is a thick, super creamy yogurt (sort of like cream cheese in consistency) that you can eat as is, use as a topping, roll into balls, or spread on bread. It’s good with both sweet and savory flavors—I ate this batch on GF toast spread with jam or honey, or sprinkled with za’atar seasoning. Couldn’t be easier.

What are your favorite pins and projects this week?

Weekly Pin: Green Smoothie

Green smoothieI love a good smoothie. I don’t drink them as often as I’d like anymore, mainly because our blender is really freaking loud. But on the weekends, I love a good smoothie. I first got into them because of Meghan Telpner, a holistic nutritionist out of Canada whose enthusiasm is contagious, to say the least. If you’re into good, whole foods (especially vegetarian and vegan, but not exclusively) and using food as medicine, you should really check out her site—oodles of recipes, great nutritional info, and foodie inspiration.

But I digress. I recently stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest for a green smoothie from the Beauty Sweet Spot. I’ve long been a fan of the Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness smoothie, but it’s got a lot more sugar than I’d prefer and is pretty durn expensive. So I gave this recipe a shot, thinking it might be a good alternative, packed as it is with “green.”

This stuff is good. My friend Anna was admittedly skeptical about green smoothies, so I took her a sample to try. She agreed: delicious. For the record, I made it with both cilantro and parsley because I like those herbs—but you can definitely taste them, so if you don’t like those flavors, leave those two out. But for me, it was delicious, refreshing, surprising, and energizing.

What are your favorite pins and projects this week?

Weekly Pin: Hair Styles for the Frazzled Mom

I’ve mentioned not having time to do much in regards to “prettying myself up.” I also have an intense dislike for styling products, and I admit, I don’t even own things like a hairdryer, curling iron, or even a brush. I do have a comb, but don’t ask how often I use it. And I have a LOT of hair – very long and very thick. Normally I just run my hands through it and let it air dry, then whisk it up in a braid to keep it out of Oscar’s reach.

I admit it: I’ve been a little hair-lazy, so I’ve been looking to Pinterest for some low-tech hair styles to gussy up my day-to-day, while also toddler-proofing my long locks. It’s either that or follow the young mommy trend of hacking it all off. Here are a couple of my favorites. They are attractive (I think), serve to tame the mane, and stay in place all day:

French braids

French braids (think Pippi Longstocking goes high-brow)

Braided bun

Braided bun – divide hair into three braids, one on each side and one in the back. Make a tight bun with the back braid, then wrap the front braids around the bun and pin in place

I’ve also had some success with braided bangs, which allows me to wear my hair down but still keep it out of my face. Sorry, no pic of that one, but here’s a link to a similar ‘do.

What are your favorite pins and projects this week?