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Weekend Recap: Fun Times at the Indian Grocery Store, Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake, Red Lentil Stew, and Lots of QT in the Kitchen

Posted Nov 02 2009 12:00am
I have never used that many spices in my life. Ever.

Happy Monday, guys! I hope you had a great weekend.

I was feeling under the weather all weekend long, so on Friday, instead of going for a run, I opted for something a little less intense: Biking while I ran some errands. I had to go to the Indian grocery store to buy the ingredients for that Red Lentil soup with Garam Masala I mentioned last week . It was an interesting experience. I couldn’t find half the ingredients, even though I knew they were there, somewhere. I’m sure after a few more trips, I will be a pro. Yeah. Right. Maybe next time, I will take my beloved Indian fiancé with me.

But it was well worth the cause. I was itching to get into the kitchen. On Saturday I really wanted some kind of garlicky salad with beets in it—I can’t really explain it--but I had a specific set of flavors in my head that I needed to make a reality for my mouth, fast. I mixed together a can of beets, some green beans, cornichons, chickpeas, and some minced garlic in olive oil, white wine vinegar, a little juice from a container of roasted red peppers, and some fresh oregano. The I let it sit there for a bit. For dinner, I served it over some spinach, with a little feta. ‘Twas divine! And a great accompaniment to my turkey burger. (:

I also had some Bob's Red Mill gluten-free chocolate cake mix lying around for the last couple of months, so I decided to put it to good use and made some mini chocolate cakes.

I figured individual cakes would be better for portion control. I had one warm from the oven with a a spoonful of cherry preserves and a glass of soymilk. And then I had another. Sigh. So much for the portion control! But they were wonderful—not too sweet and lovely in texture--I think it’s because the mix used a bunch of weird flours (fava bean, garbanzo, etc.) They're a good source of fiber too!

Anyway, remember the last time I cooked for my beloved fiancé? I had him waiting for hours. Which is why I seasoned some chicken (with lemon, garlic, freshly grated pepper, and some Adobo) on Saturday night, just as a precaution. On Sunday, I put the bird to slow cook in a crock pot with some chicken broth while I took care of the rest of dinner:
1. Basmati rice
2. The aforementioned lentil stew (I opted not to blend it.)
(It was really good, but I have TONS of leftovers. What can I do with it, other than freeze it??)

(This recipe comes from Kerala, the region in India where my beloved fiancé is from. It’s a spicy stir fry that uses grated coconut. I LOVED it!)

It feels like I spent the entire weekend in the kitchen. I'm glad.

Here's my dinner: stewed chicken, snow peas thoran, and some red lentil soup. (I skipped the Basmati...)

There is beet salad to satisfy my hankering for a few days; and my beloved fiancé was very happy with his dinner. And me, I’m happy that he was happy. Plus I got him to eat some vegetables!

How about you? What did you do this weekend? Did you spend any quality time in the kitchen? Tell me what you cooked! And hopefully you got in more exercise than I did. And how do you feel about gluten-free products? I have no problems with gluten, but sometimes it’s nice to try something different!

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