prep cookin’

My roommmate doesn’t cook as often as I do, but everything she cooks is always a billion times more delicious.

This seems unfair.

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For example, this is the Thai pizza she makes: the base involves whirring up traditional ingredients for peanut sauce (peanut butter, soy, and so on) with MANGO!

Then topping with cheese, purple cabbage, carrots, and green onions in this PRETTYINESS.

When I prep for meals in the future, I’m going to try to incorporate more of Alli’s pizzazz. In the meantime, here’s a peek of what I’ve been doing over the past few months.

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In the center, roasted peaches. In the upper left corner, slow roasted farmer’s market grape tomatoes with olive oil and salt.

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Next, corn pudding. Useful for using up some milk and cheese and things that needed using. This contained lots of eggs for protein-ness.

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This didn’t particularly impress me but friends liked it. It had some lasagna flavors- layers of quinoa, tomato sauce, spinach/feta/milkiness mixture.

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I made some great panzanella just with the roasted tomatoes, some leftover Trader Joe’s whole wheat sourdough (toasted), and oil and balsamic.

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We’ve continued to combat the dance-studio feel of our apartment (with its floor to ceiling mirrors in the dining room and both bedrooms, sigh) with various decorating touches. I cleaned the place in a furious manner to get ready for friends coming over, and ended up taking a minute to appreciate some of the cut touches we’ve added.

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Then I served my friends all the stuff I’d prep cooked! I also made a nice fruit salad, and what THEY brought (which was the BEST part of the meal) was tomato-gouda soup. Swoon.

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Another week I made the following items (ended up throwing them all together one weekend dinner at Steve’s for a leftovers extravaganza)

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1. Trader Joe’s spinach and kale pie, which I lovingly unwrapped. I’d been getting over a stomach bug and wanted to get greens in my system with a modicum of effort.

2. Leftover corn pudding (I’d ended up disliking the texture) reappropriated! Stuck it in a blender with some extra milk and whirred it until smooth. Then layered it in a pan with black beans, feta, and salsa. Deconstructed tamale! Ish!

3. My aunt’s awesome chicken. Sort of.

When I was a kid I used to spend teacher workdays at my aunties’ houses, since my mom perpetually didn’t have enough leave and had to work. This was not at all a hardship- my sister and I always had a blast.

Knowing my fondness for artichokes (which I still retain to this day) my aunt made this wonderful recipe that has totally stuck with me: she breaded chicken pieces in egg and breadcrumbs, sauteed it in olive oil, and served it with artichoke hearts and lemon. It was AMAING.

Since that aunt is now a vegetarian (!) and I didn’t have some of those ingredients, I improvised: I coated my chicken first in mayonnaise (that Steve abandoned in my fridge) and then Bisquick (leftover from various baking experiments). Then I browned it in olive oil (it wasn’t cooked through yet). I deglazed the pan of all its yummy bits with the juice of half a lemon, a bit of wine, and some of the water in the can with the artichoke hearts. I used a spoon to vigorously scrape up those yummy drippings and make the beginning of the sauce. Then I returned the chicken, added the artichoke hearts, threw in some random leftover olives I had, and covered the pot til the chicken was cooked through. Finished with another squeeze of lemon. SO GOOD!)

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