The Finals Chow-down

Once again it is that time of semester when I am exceptionally busy and constantly exhausted. Law school finals are no laughing matter, and I’ve got four of them to contend with in the next two weeks, so wish me luck! After this post it’s back to studying Civil Procedure and Sales Contracts for the next 12 hours, with a 30-45 min. walk/run break. Joy.

Despite my impending exams, I’ve been feeling pretty great lately, mostly due to the major improvement in weather, and the fact that it lets me study outside! It’s also put me in the mood to cook light and edge toward more summery dishes. I cannot even express how excited I am for long, warm days and amazing summer produce…

Anyway, the theme of this post, I guess, is kind of a mixture of quick eats (suitable for finals time) and lighter stuff (suitable for days of lighter eating…yay summer!!).

First up, a beautiful Hummus & Tabbouleh Collard Salad that I threw together recently.

This baby is seriously filling, mostly due to the large quantity of raw collards that form its base.  This is 4 collard leaves, rolled into cigar shapes and then chopped, 4 T. of hummus, and 4 T. of tabbouleh.  The entire thing has less than 200 calories and contains around 8g protein and 7g fiber.   And it’s delicious, obviously!

Next is a little thing I like to call Taco Rice

Basically this is basmati rice that I cooked up with “taco” spices (chili powder, a little cumin, some oregano) with a similarly-spiced hodge podge of diced tomato, black bean, and Smart Ground.  This is a really fast dinner idea that works really well with variations, depending on what you have lying around that needs using up.  Last night I made another version that let me use up the remainder of a red bell pepper as well as a jalapeño.  I had the jalapeño leftover from….

GUACAMOLE!!! 

Oh my goodness.  Whole Foods had a sale on avocados this past week–$1 each.  I couldn’t resist, and made 2 batches of guacamole, one for a dinner with friends, and one just to have around.  I also shared some with our neighbors since it unfortunately lasts, like, a day.  But it was soooooo good!!!   To make this, I used 4 ultra-ripe avocados (I spent time at WF finding some that were so soft that they’d probably have to get thrown out the next day), 1/3 chopped red bell pepper (orgaaanic of course), 2 T. lime/lemon juice, 2 tsp. sea salt, a few sprinkles of black pepper, and of course, a whole diced jalapeño.  The first batch I made was perfect, but the second one was not nearly spicy enough, so it eventually contained 1 3/4 whole jalapeños as well as a couple dashes of cayenne pepper.  Perfection!

Two more things (sorry for such a long post but I have been gone far too long!):

1) Scripp Networks has recently launched a really interesting new food & beverage website, Food2.com.  They have asked me to contribute blog posts on there, which I am obviously thrilled about!!! As the only vegan contributor, I will be doing sort of product-review/trend alert sort of posts, and posting about once a week. You guys should check it out 🙂

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2) I’m participating in Chocolate Covered Katie’s New Foods Challenge, and here is my first entry!  Funny enough, I discovered that there aren’t all that many fresh foods in my WF that I haven’t tried, probably because I have such a love affair with produce!  So anyway, these caught my eye and I tried them: Dark Chocolate Covered Mulberries

I wasn’t aware that mulberries were, like, a real thing existing outside of a children’s song, but there you are. They are delicious and right up Katie’s alley! Highly recommended.

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