Monthly Archives: February 2015

Plated: Quinoa Grits with Squash

After last Sunday’s homerun with the Peanut Chicken Curry, I was looking forward to making my next meal from Plated. The opportunity came up last night, and I made the Quinoa Grits with Squash. Here’s their reference picture. Sorry that I don’t have as many pictures as I did for the other dish, but my camera was at work and my phone battery had died. And I was too hungry to wait for it to charge so I could take pictures as I went. 🙂

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The recipe is slated to take 25-35 minutes to make, and it took me 30 minutes. So, again, they were spot-on as far as cook times go. The only thing I would do differently with this recipe would be to either reduce the temperature of the oven or the bake time for the squash. And probably try to stir them around a bit halfway through. My squash got a little burnt on the bottom.

I also ended up cooking the quinoa a little longer than what they had specified, as it was supposed to be cooked until “tender” and never seemed to get to that point. But I got it to be acceptably cooked and went on from there.

Grits.

I’m not really a big fan of grits. But I’m willing to give it a try. As soon as I was done, I put half of the meal in a container to take to work today for lunch. Which worked out perfectly, since it’s a vegetarian dish and today’s (No Meat) Friday!

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This is how mine turned out. Not too bad. And taste for this one? It was okay. It was slightly on the bland side. Were I to make it again, I would add a little more cheese and seasoning to the grits, and perhaps more sumac on the squash, as that flavor didn’t stand out as much as I thought it would.

Lunch today, even reheated, was also good. And both meals were filling.

Plated: Peanut Chicken Curry

So, on a whim, I decided to try one of these services that ships you all of the ingredients that you need in order to make a dinner. I thought it would be a good way to try out some new recipes and flavors, since they only give you what you need to make that dish, instead of having to purchase, say, an entire bottle of Worchestershire sauce when you only need a teaspoon.

My first trial was the Peanut Chicken Curry. I made this last Sunday after Mass.

Peanut Chicken Curry

All of the ingredients were packaged well, clearly labeled, and fresh.

Peanut Chicken Curry

There were a few ingredients I was not familiar with. (I’m looking at you fish oil, red curry paste and gochujang!) I wasn’t sure what they would taste like, so I tasted a tiny bit of each before I used it. The fish oil was not as fishy as I expected, which was a relief. 🙂

Peanut Chicken Curry

The instruction card states that this recipe should take between 30-40 minutes. I was interested to see how long it would take me — being a fairly novice cook and not pre-prepping the food at all beyond what they packaged for me. It took me 35 minutes from start to finish.

Peanut Chicken Curry

It didn’t look *exactly* like their photo, but it was close enough. And taste? It was *amazing*! I seriously could eat this ALL THE TIME!

For my first trial of Plated, they hit it out of the park!

Creating Habits

I really envy people who have rigidly disciplined lives. I would love to be one of those people who have a comfortable routine.

But I’m not.

My life is rather chaotic, actually. I can’t think of a single thing I do consistently. And I know that a certain level of self-discipline and routine are healthy, especially for one’s spiritual life, but I never manage to make it work. I’m not sure why, but something always gets in the way. I make lofty plans and then things fall through. Life happens.

But I try again. It’s like an epic struggle against entropy. We know that entropy will always win, but we make the effort anyway.

So…. Why am I thinking of this?

I want to keep my blogs up to date. Not that I have any real expectation that anyone reads them, but more for myself. So that I can read about my life and know that I did things and loved people and *lived*. But blogging is not a habit. I don’t have a time set aside where I do this. I don’t have a schedule or a method or a whatever. But I’d like to.

Perhaps I can start creating habits by baby steps. Like taking 5 minutes a day to write a post. 🙂

Top Five Things About Right Now:

1. My hands really hurt. I have some weird form of eczema and in the winter my skin freaks out. Fissures split and bleed and little itchy bumps are everywhere. It is painful. All the time. Every day. For the past few weeks, I’ve had a little patch on my right pinky finger that is akin to a dime-sized burn. Ow! Can I please have it be Spring already?

2. I am *still* sipping on my Venti Mocha. According to the label, I bought it at 10:18 am, and now it’s 6:33 pm. This is typical for me. Large coffee, but really not that much when you consider how incredibly long it takes for me to drink it.

3. I have a ringing in my ears. I’ve learned to deal with it, but there it is. When I pay attention to it, I think of silt… you know, that fine sand. I’m not sure why, but this is always my image for it.

4. I have a lot of things that I’d like to do around the house, but I have a feeling that I’m just going to have dinner, watch TV and go to bed. Rinse, repeat. Hopefully, I’ll get to bed early tonight, since I’ll be working early tomorrow.

5. Tomorrow is payday. Payday means I will finally replace my comforter and be able to sleep with more than just a feather blanket. Oh, the exciting things…. 🙂

Bonus… Remind me to charge my camera battery. I have photo-challenges to catch up on, and blog posts without pictures are kind of boring, right?