Life, Freebies, and Recipes

My pepper plant finally started flowering instead of just budding!  (Click for larger picture)


Today was primary day, so I voted before going out and about town.

Barnes and Noble Freebies

After voting, I went to Barnes and Noble because I heard I could get a free ebook (in addition to the weekly free ebook in the Nook store).  When I connected to the B&N wi-fi, I got a coupon for a free 7-layer brownie thing from the cafe, so I picked one of those up first.  Then I searched through the store, trying to find my free book.  I was unable to find it, and eventually wandered out of the store.  Of course, upon leaving, I saw a sign telling me to ask an associate to show me how to get their ebook reader application to get a code for a free book.  I went back in, and did just that.  From what I can tell, anyone can go in to ask for a code for this week’s free ebook (whether they have a Nook or not).  This week’s ebook is The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

Cooking Presentation and Recipes

Finally, I attended our health center’s Spirit of Women program for this month:  Cooking the “Right” Way.  Employees of the local co-op came to give us information on healthy food, and their cook gave a presentation on healthy spring/summer recipes.  He gave me permission to post the recipes here (see end of post), but please note that I edited for clarity and comments.  Overall, I enjoyed the presentation.  We were able to try each dish, so along with the recipes, I’ll post some of my thoughts on them.

Arugula Acai Salad

(This was my least favorite recipe, but it seemed like in the hubbub the vinaigrette was not properly mixed, and I did not get the sweeter aspect of the dish.)

1 cup arugula
0.5 oz. goat cheese
2 Tbsp almonds (sliced)
Acai Vinaigrette
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1/8 cup acai juice
– 1/4 red onion (diced)
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp ground coriander
– 1 tsp ground ginger
puree vinaigrette ingredients until smooth; toss with other salad ingredients
Feel free to add other tidbits such as dried cranberries, raisins, or carrots
(For me, the almonds were critical for the salad tasting okay.  I didn’t get any of the goat cheese, though, and I find arugula to be very bitter)

Avocado Cucumber Soup

(This was my favorite recipe.  I love avocado.  I rarely have cold soups, but I could even see someone using this as a really light guacamole-type dip.)

1 avocado
1 peeled cucumber
seeded and peeled roma tomato
1 red onion
diced small
1 tsp lime juice

Chop cucumber and blend into a food processor (it will not blend well if left unpeeled).  If you wish to drain, drain through a cheesecloth or mesh colander.  Mix remaining ingredients into the blender or food processor (after peeling and pitting the avocado).  Serve chilled. Optional: top with leftover onion and tomato, diced.

Quinoa Salad

(This pleasantly surprised me.  I enjoyed it a lot.  It reminded me of fried rice.)
One note we were given regarding quinoa:  if you choose to grow it yourself, the leaves can also be edible.

1 cup quinoa (soak 15 minutes after measuring)
“water broth” – 3/4 cup water + 3/4 cip vegetable or chicken stock
(note: a basic recipe for homemade vegetable stock given during the presentation is 1 gallon of water to 1 lb of a mix of carrots, celery, and onion, boiled for about 30 min)
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 yellow onion diced small
1/2 cup carrots peeled and diced small
1/2 bunch green onion diced
3 Tbsp dried cranberries

Soak the quinoa with enough cold water to cover.  Strain the water off the quinoa.  Add quinoa and water broth to a pot and bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Saute the onion until caramelized.  Stir cooked quinoa and the rest of the vegetables together with a fork to fluff.  Can be served hot or cold.


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  • Tim

    The recipes sound interesting, I’ll have to give them a try 😀

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