Grade A food day

29 Jul

You guys, it’s the weekend! I’m going to be in for a rude awakening when Thursdays don’t mean the weekend anymore. AKA the start of Fall Semester…

I had my test today at noon and the grades were just posted…solid A! I am so happy to be starting out at my new school on a high note. Granted, it was a pretty easy test, but an A is an A, and A’s make me a happy camper 🙂

Done bragging, sorry!

After the test, E and I went back to my house with a mission: food. Making and eating it. After browsing a bit, we finally decided upon coconut lime bars, a recipe I found in my trusty How to Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook. We needed to go to the grocery store to get limes and coconut, and unfortunately the limes the store had were despicable, to say the least. We sucked it up and bought some, though, and came back home ready to take my kitchen by storm.

before the oven

While this gem baked, E and I decided we were hungry and we were hungry now. I decided to (finally) make my first green monster! It’s about time, sheesh! Why did I wait so long? Was I afraid of putting spinach in what I consider to be a treat? I don’t know, but I think I’ve fallen in love:

mmmm, greeeen

I made it using:

  • handful of spinach
  • 1 banana
  • ~1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • squirt of honey

It was so refreshing! I can see why these are so popular. I also had a slice of toasted millet bread with some Crofter’s Superfruit Asia spread.

We sat around and watched the tail end of Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade crap (can you tell I dislike her?) and part of Boy Meets Grill and finally  our treat was ready.


if you think these are the only two pieces I've had all day, you're sorely mistaken.

These were great! I love the combination of lime and coconut. Bath and Body Works must love it as well because I remember it was one of their scents for awhile. Do they still make it?

Anyway, here’s the recipe!

Coconut-Lime Bars (from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman)

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus a little for greasing the pan.
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c. plus 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp grated or finely minced lime zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice (we used the kind in a bottle since the limes at the store were so sad)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 c. shredded coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 350* F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and the zest. This mixture will be dry; press it into the greased pan and bake for 20 minutes, no longer; it should just be turning golden. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
  3. Beat together the eggs, lime juice, and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar until lightened and thick. Mix in the remaining 3 tablespoons flour and the baking soda. Pour over the crust, sprinkle with the coconut, and bake until firm on the edges but still a little soft and jiggly in the middle, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Serve immediately or store, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days.

And, of course, tonight I cooked dinner. Still had help from dad, but I’m learning slowly! I chose the cover recipe from the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine: Roasted Pepper Pasta Salad.

Aside from a mishap with some burnt garlic (easily remedied, no worries), I’m proud to say this turned out great!

I think I've found a new photo spot: a bench in my kitchen if the dogs aren't around 😉

There are so many ingredients that made this better than your run-of-the-mill pasta salad, namely the roasted red peppers and toasted almonds!

I, of course, had seconds

My dad says I’ve officially earned the title of “executive chef” and that he hasn’t missed meat at all this week 😀

Here’s the recipe!

Roasted-Pepper Pasta Salad

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces mezzi rigatoni or other short tube-shaped pasta
  • 2 bell peppers (red and/or yellow), halved, stemmed and seeded
  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1/4 c. almonds
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 8 ounces bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves torn
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the broiler. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Shake off the excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, place the bell peppers cut-side down on a foil-lined broiler pan, add the garlic and broil until charred, 7 to 8 minutes (your garlic might broil faster than the peppers, so watch out! This happened to me) Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover and set aside about 5 minutes.
  3. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and toast, shaking the pan, 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
  4. Squeeze the garlic from its skin onto a cutting board. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt; mince and mash the garlic into a paste with a large knife. Peel the roasted peppers and slice into strips; transfer to a large bowl. Add the garlic paste and drizzle with the olive oil. Finely grade about 1 teaspoon lemon zest into the bowl and squeeze in all of the lemon juice. Add the bocconcini, basil, almonds, pasta, 1 teaspoon salf, and pepper to taste; toss.

I promise you will not be disappointed. Also, would you believe this packs 26 grams of protein?

Well, friends, I’m off to watch some 30 Rock. I can’t believe I’m just now getting into this show!


2 Responses to “Grade A food day”

  1. Alycia @ Fit n Fresh 07/30/2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Those key lime bars look good!! I love vegetarian cookbooks, I have soooo manyyyy. And everytime I open one I’m like “huh, I don’t remember that recipe?”

    It’s like getting a new cookbook once a month haha 🙂


  1. Impatient & hungry - 08/10/2010

    […] Okay, that might not sound like much and it might have had one star next to its name indicating that it was “perfect for beginners”, but believe me, it was probably in my top 3 of things I’ve made so far, the other two being the quiche and the pasta salad. […]

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