Tag Archives: almost vegetarian

Homework.

I spent a few days at the Jersey Shore last week, which presented the perfect opportunity to put my my new-found resolution to the test. In keeping with both tradition and the constricts of a sparsely populated pantry, I wanted to cook an easy meal, one that would utilize as many fresh ingredients as possible, in the simplest manner possible. Luckily, my mother had brought her food-magazine hand-me-downs, and flipping through her copy of August’s Cooking Light, I found just the thing.

It’s next to impossible to avoid seafood cravings after putting in time at the beach; combine that with gazpacho, perfectly refreshing after a day in the hot sun, and I didn’t have to think twice—this dish was practically begging to be made.

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Small Steps.

Anniversary celebration notwithstanding, it’s been a rough couple of months here at Casa IF-NY. I mentioned awhile back that the Carnivore’s father was ill; since then, he was moved to a hospital in the Bronx, which, for those of you not familiar with this city, is quite a hike from our humble abode here in Brooklyn. Between the hours spent in transit and at the hospital, there’s been little time left over for cooking; convenient, given that neither of us have had much of an appetite. Last week, his father passed away, and to say that those issues compounded would be an understatement.

Eventually, though, sheer necessity drove me back into the kitchen. I’d exhausted both takeout options and bank account in the intervening days—even though nothing tasted quite right, we had to eat something, and neither of us had the energy for grocery shopping. Cooking was the only choice, but I needed something simple to ease back into it. Something I could make with ingredients sourced from our rather bare cupboards or the bodega across the street, and something that I knew would turn out well.

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Resolution Recipe.

I’ve been attempting to rein in my holiday-style eating habits, as so many of us do this time of year; if you cooked the kind of food I did in December, you’d make a good-faith effort, too. (Intrigued? I’ll share soon enough.)

This weekend, as I flipped through my bookmarks and photos in search of inspiration, I came across this hearty, healthy, easily customizable stew that I made last winter. Yes, I’m completely derelict in my food-blogger duties: I concocted this last winter, and I’m just getting around to sharing it with y’all now.

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Multitasking Miracle.

Once in awhile, a moment of IF synergy occurs. Such instances are rare, dependent on the coming together of innumerable elusive variables (weather- and palate-driven cravings, monetary restrictions, etc.) but when lightning does strike, it’s impossible not to enjoy it.

Yesterday, when Jill sent over her piece on tomato soup and grilled cheese, I was busy preparing my lunch—reheating the soup I’d made the night before, and melting a bit of almost-past-its-prime cheese on a toasted, almost-past-its-prime pita.

My soup was lentil, not tomato, and my cheeses were Swiss and cheddar, not Gruyère and gouda, but still: coincidence, or foodie ESP?

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Thrifty Dinner.

Thanksgiving had me overindulge both in my eating and in my spending, so when Baseball Boy suggested tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner last night, I quickly said yes, excited for an excuse to use my cheese remnants and save money on dinner. One of the grand juxtapositions of life, however, is that I don’t really crave tomato soup when tomatoes are actually in season. I had a bite of my first tasteless, plastic-like tomato of the season this past weekend, and should have been scared off by the fruit until next July. But I wasn’t. I have a secret ingredient.

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The Soup Well.

In keeping with my vow to eat cheap in order to pad the bank account for upcoming trips, I went back to the well for inspiration. The soup well, if you will. (No? As you were, then.)

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This one’s from Cooking Light, clipped back in 2002. It had those magic words—potatoes and Gruyère—and promised to cure my cravings for leafy greens, in a form that, purportedly, wouldn’t leave me feeling as if I’d just swallowed a brick. Win, win, and win again.

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