Eating the Rainbow – Stacking the Fridge

It’s a rare evening when we don’t cook dinner.

But last night we went out to celebrate his brother’s Birthday!

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That’s the Birthday Boy blowing out the candle on his ice cream, brownie sundae.

The sundae was preceded by beers, burgers and fries. Have you had a burger and fries at The Smith? If not, you are depriving yourself. Look at it! You need that burger in your life!

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I didn’t have any of the sundae, but I did eat the whole burger. And all of the fries. (hangs head in burger and fry shame.)

So this morning I woke up feeling … virtuous. I would eat fruits and grains and wholesome foods! I would make today the day I start eating really healthily. (At least until dinnertime.)

On an average day, we do keep fairly healthy. Like I’ve said before, nothing crazy. Just fruits and vegetables with every meal.

I think it’s inherently easier to do this in the summer, when Mother Nature gives us a riot of colors to tantalize the taste buds and to help us eat the rainbow.

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That’s what we should aim for ever day, the rainbow. Get in your greens, your reds, your oranges, and you give yourself a diverse array of tastes and textures and flavors, as well as a nutrients. ¬†Here’s a link from Whole Living that gives a rundown of the different nutrients in the different colors:¬†http://www.wholeliving.com/173430/eat-rainbow

Here’s how I set myself up for the week so I can have good foods at my fingertips.

We food shop on Saturday or Sunday, buying the produce that looks the best and that’s on sale. Trust your eyes and nose. You’ll be able to tell what’s fresh. The sales help direct you too because what’s on sale is usually what’s in season.

When we get home, I wash everything immediately, and then cut it up into bite chunks and store in Tupperware.

This is a two, maybe even three-fold strategy.

1, in an itty kitchen, space is at a premium. Instead of storing a watermelon, a pineapple and pounds of peaches, I have Tupperware containers that I can easily stack in the fridge.

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2. This is about itty CITY kitchens, and in the city, you’re usually in a rush. Taking the time on Sunday to cut up the fruit saves you time during the week. Crazy morning and need to pack lunch? Scoop out some fruit into a smaller Tupperware container and go.

3. It’s conveniently cut up and ready to go so you can’t say it’s easier to eat the bag of chips. No excuses, mister!

So this morning, I scooped out some pineapple and watermelon for a mid-morning fruit salad.

Then, I had some strawberries that were starting to get a little mushy. A few quick pulses in the blender, a teeny drizzle of honey, and I had my own quick and easy strawberry jam to throw on an English Muffin for lunch later.

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Don’t you feel healthier already?

Almost No Cook Spicy Peanut Veggies Over Noodles

Hello heat wave.

Here in New York, we’ve got those 3 H’s in town.

Hazy, Hot and Humid.

When they’re around, the last thing I want to do is cook.

But a girl (and her boyfriend) has got to eat.

So here’s an almost-no-cook dinner to help you beat the heat.

Spicy Peanut Veggies Over Noodles.

This is my own spin on some of my favorite Thai flavors.

For some reason, summer makes me think vegetarian. Piles of vegetables and fruits in the grocery make me wonder why I would ever need meat in my diet (then I think about mom’s meatballs or a burger from The Smith and I forget about my vegetarian conversion).

This is also one of my favorite kinds of meals to prepare because it all just goes into one big bowl and then gets dished out.

You will need:

  • 3 tbsp Peanut Butter
  • Chili oil (or hot sauce) to taste
  • 2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Egg Noodles
  • Veggies (We’re using cabbage, broccoli, cucumber and scallions)

We’re going to start with the cook part.

Bring a pot of water to boil.

I don’t want the broccoli to be raw, so I’m going to toss the florets, chopped up into bite-size pieces, into the boiling water for a minute. Not even a minute.

While the water is coming to a boil, pull out a large bowl and combine the peanut butter, rice wine vinegar and chili oil. If the mix is a little thick, don’t fret. We’re going to toss hot egg noodles in and the heat and the water that is bound to make its way into the bowl will thin it out some.

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When the water’s boiling and the peanut sauce is mixed, toss in the broccoli.

You want to have the sauce done because the broccoli is going straight from the pot into the bowl.

Just cook enough to take away the rawness. If you want, you can leave your broccoli raw. I’m just not a fan.

Scoop out the broccoli and transfer to the bowl. Pour the egg noodles into the water now vacated by the broccoli. Why waste water? Why dirty two pots?

Cook according to the directions on the package.

While they cook, add your other veggies to the bowl. I used a few handfuls of the bagged coleslaw mix with cabbage and carrots, some chopped cucumber and some sliced scallions.

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Toss the veggies with the peanut sauce.

When the noodles are cooked, add to the veggies mixture.

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The heat from the noodles will melt the peanut butter and will warm the veggies.

Scoop heaping spoonfuls into bowls.

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Top with some chopped peanuts if you like.

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The bowl goes in the dishwasher, making this a one pot to wash dinner.

Which is necessary in this heat.

Who wants to stand in an itty bitty kitchen, scrubbing a stack of pots on a lazy summer city night like this?