I've never thrown an Oscars party, though the idea has always been tempting. What's more exciting than having a themed party? Wearing floor-length gowns and sipping champagne out of fluted glasses for no real reason - what fun! Maybe I'll get around to that one day.
This past Sunday I decided to cook my little heart out while watching the televised program. Josh was studying at the library all night and I had just finished buying nearly $700.00 of groceries, so what else was I going to do at home alone all evening?
I'll make a more detailed, intimate post about this in the near future, but I've been battling the scales here recently to get back to a healthy 110 pounds. Thankfully my tax return was pretty generous and allowed me purchase the overly-priced, organic, healthy items that my body craves and deserves. I bought some items with which I am completely unfamiliar and needed to experiment. Sunday night offered the perfect opportunity to do just that.
I started with a super easy, extremely delicious (and healthy!) rosemary lemon chicken. It was pretty fantastic and beautiful to boot.
While I was waiting on the chicken to cook, I began experimenting with quinoa. All I have ever heard about quinoa is how ridiculously good it is for you. It was a little pricey, even for Wal-Mart, but it was extremely easy to cook. If you are not familiar with this grain, it's a lot like rice but with considerably less calories/fat and more health benefits. It's also a really ancient grain that homo sapiens have been harvesting for eons.
In my first quinoa dish I combined quinoa, tomato paste, pizza sauce, red pepper flakes, grape tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil paste, dried basil, and a mixture of cheeses to make this fantastic caprese quinoa bake. If you want the exact recipe, just ask! I'd be happy to send it to you or post it here because it was phenomenal. I am now obsessed with quinoa. I love this dish and have since polished off every last bit of it. It would be a lot better with no salt or black pepper as well as with the addition of fresh basil.
(Side note: I will definitely be growing my own basil this spring/summer because Wal-Mart is always out and I put it in everything!)
The majority of my evening was spent ricing cauliflower. Cauliflower can be used as a substitute for a number of ingredients, including but not limited to rice, flour, and potatoes. I decided to go ahead and rice the cauliflower last night in order to prepare it for the recipes for which it would be used throughout the week. I purchased one head of cauliflower and pulled apart the florets before I chopped them into finer pieces. I do not own a large food processor, but my magic bullet worked like a dream, albeit a time-consuming one. I then processed the larger pieces in small, rice-like pieces.
I haven't done anything with the rice as of this moment, but later this week I plan on using it to make pizza crusts as well as a cheesy mashed potato substitute. I'll let y'all know how those experiments go as well as what I use in the cooking process for each item.
Have a lovely Monday night and, as always, thanks for reading!