I peeked in the fridge the other day and realized there were a couple of broccoli heads I had bought on sale–last week sometime. Sigh. I swear, I was going to make some yummy olive oil drizzled, garlicky baked broccoli or chop it up and dip it in hummus as a snack. (I seem to have the best ideas when I’m impulse-buying my way through Whole Foods, but not when I’m staring like a zombie into the fridge at night.)
Rather than suffer the guilt of throwing more uneaten produce in the trash, I decided I’d try a new recipe. This is a simple slow cooker recipe for homemade take-out that keep you from unknowingly eating additives like monosodium glutamate that restaurants will sneak in to make food taste good and keep you addicted. Yeah…I only have room for one addiction, and that’s coffee.
This Beef and Broccoli recipe is perfect for throwing in the slow cooker on weekday mornings, and coming home to a warm, home-cooked meal. *Be sure to check my tips at the end of the post for making this dinner ahead of time.
Even with fall quickly approaching, I’m not concerned. Temperatures in the San Francisco Bay Area are still hitting the 80s (don’t hate!), so I’m carrying on as if summer was in full swing. One of my new favorite recipes–and one I’ve made nearly every week this summer–is Southwest Quinoa. It’s got a bunch of yummy “Southwest” ingredients that give the overall dish both interest and loads of flavor. It’s also a great make-ahead lunch idea, since it can be eaten straight out of the fridge. No microwaving necessary!
Quinoa is an amazing food–and believe it or not, it’s a vegetable, not a grain! It’s also protein-rich and fiber-filled, so it makes you feel full, but not I-ate-a-burger-for-lunch full.
After a few weeks of chillier summer weather for California, we were back up to the low 80s today. Which unfortunately made my plan for cabbage soup tonight a no-go. Well, as luck would have it, I picked up a bunch of tomatoes this past week at the local farmer’s market.
One of my favorite go-to recipes this summer has been a modification of Martha Stewart’s Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce. (Surprise, I found it on Pinterest!) I love that it’s super light and refreshing, really quick to make, and approved by my Italian husband–which means it must be good! Here’s my version of it, which offers a just-as-yummy modification for our son’s allergies and for our personal taste. Enjoy!
The only modifications I made to make this allergy-free were substituting a quinoa and corn blend spaghetti for wheat spaghetti, and nutritional yeast for Parmesan cheese. I also added red onions, just because. Dinner total: under 10 bucks!
Last night Mike and I were able to take a rare opportunity for a date night without the kiddo. We took a cooking class, which was his gift to me for my 30th. Five extra points for not getting me a gag gift, and another 15 for not getting me a last-minute gift. I have to admit, the gift of sharing an experience is much more thoughtful than a new Coach bag. (Which was my go-to, pick-your-own birthday gift in my 20s. Not that I’m complaining.)
We arrived at a beautiful loft in San Francisco, which doubles as a home and the location for First Class Cooking. Our host, Emily, was incredibly thorough and had some great tips for slicing, dicing, blending, and baking our way to an awesomely refreshing summer meal.