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Farro (or Quinoa), Feta & Grape Salad

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Farro (or Quinoa), Feta & Grape Salad

BLOG FAIL! I haven’t posted in three months. I am back at law school for final semester, and that’s been pretty time consuming. I have done a fair amount of cooking, arts and crafts, but I haven’t had the time or energy to post.

I wrote the blog post below shortly after spring break (2 months ago) but never uploaded the pictures to post it until now. I am not going to edit it for time content, because (1) I am lazy; (2) I am in the middle of finals; and (3) my rant about winter still stands. It’s now sorta spring in NYC, though it should almost be summer and the seasons are taking their own sweet time rolling in. In other news, Punxsatawney Phil might start looking for another job.

Original post follows:image1

This winter is DRAGGING. I mean, I thought Punxsatawney Phil saw his shadow and winter is supposed to be over already?

Because I get so sick of winter, I start pretending it’s spring. Doing things like wearing sandals even though it’s really too cold for them. I do it to spite nature, but in reality, I just get cold feet. Whatever. It’s my own personal form of protest against winter. It may or may not be very effective. Take that, WINTER!

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One thing that I find is great for spiting winter without giving me frostbite is making yummy food that reminds me of warmer climes. This farro (or quinoa), feta and grape salad does just that. It’s got a great mix of textures. It’s a slightly warm salad, so it deals well with the winter chill, while being reminiscent of a warm weather meal that could be eaten on a porch or at a picnic table.  Plus, it makes great leftovers. Oh, and it’s super healthy. And really easy make. So basically, it’s freaking awesome.

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Cook according to package instructions:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups farro (or quinoa)

Meanwhile, saute in olive oil:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of diced celery

After about 5 minutes, add:

  • 1/4 cup craisins or yellow raisins. Continue cooking the onion mixture until its tender (maybe another 10 minutes).

Dice (but do not cook):

  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper
  • 2 cups red seedless grapes (I just cut these in half, do not dice)

When farro (or quinoa) is done cooking, mix in the onion/celery mixture. Let cool for a little bit.

Then add:

  • 1/2 cup or so crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Chopped pepper
  • Grapes

At this point, you can season with salt and pepper. Do not start salting the salad before you add the feta. The feta is pretty salty, so you may only need to add a little additional salt (or none at all).

While salad is still warm, serve over big bed of spinach. This recipe makes many servings (at least four or five, and then some leftovers – that’s how I roll).

If you want, you can switch out the raisins/craisins for fresh pomegranate seeds. Or, if you felt like really going for it, you could use BOTH the craisins/raisins AND pomegranate seeds! What?!?!

Ooooh oooohh! If you have access to fresh mint, some fresh mint in this salad would be awesome. Man! Why didn’t I think of that before I ate the last of these leftovers. Oh well. Next time.

Eat outside, even if it’s only 50 degrees, and pretend it’s summer.

Love,

Very Cold Rachel

PS. The sun was shining when I took these pics because I was in San Diego. It was not nearly so lovely in NYC.

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Spicy Shrimp and Mushroom Soup

Spicy Shrimp and Mushroom Soup
I wish I had a bowl right now.

I wish I had a bowl right now.

It’s soup weather!

Inspired by this lovely soup that I saw on a Beautiful Mess, I wanted to make a spicy shrimp soup. I didn’t have the pineapple from that recipe, so I improvised. It’s super yummy, and healthy, and satisfying after a run on a cold winter’s day.

Warm and spicy and healthy, too!

Warm and spicy and healthy, too!

You will need:

1/2 yellow pepper

1/2 orange pepper

2 tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 pound deveined, de-tailed shrimp

1/2 pound sliced mushrooms

4 roughly chopped gloves of garlic

1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (I always start small and slowly add more so I don’t hurt myself)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 very thinly sliced carrot

3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (low sodium)

Salt to taste

Spicy shrimp soup with rice.

Spicy shrimp soup with rice.

 

1. Sauted peppers, carrots and mushrooms in 1 tablespoon coconut oil in saute pan until a little browned, but still the peppers are still crisp. Transfer to soup pot.

2. In same saute pan, saute the shrimp with the garlic until lightly browned. Add to soup pot.

3. Add the broth, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, other tablespoon of coconut oil, sriracha, soy sauce. Play with the salt, soy sauce and sriracha to taste. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, until heated through.

4. Serve over small bed of brown basmati rice.

5. Enjoy!

Makes 3 lady-servings, probably 2 man-servings.

Love,

Rachel

PS. Not to be super preachy, but I generally try not to eat shrimp, because shrimp farming is incredibly bad for the environment (as in after a year or two of shrimp farming, the mangroves where the farm is barely sustain any more life). Trader Joe’s now sells wild caught Argentinian shrimp, which costs a little more money. It is a much better alternative to farmed shrimp. For more details on sustainable seafood and what is the best to eat, check out this website.