The past few weeks have been pretty hectic, and when I threw in a last minute trip down to Charlotte last weekend, my normal routine fell apart. On Saturday morning when I opened the fridge and realized that had allowed my reserves to deplete down to liquid diet options of either booze or almond milk, I put on my coat and ventured out on a gathering expedition.
On a warmer Saturday in Charlottesville (seasonally dictated) I would have gone directly to the farmers market, and found all my favorite local sources of meat and produce, but alas, it is the middle of winter and four walled stores it was.
When I’m heading on a full fridge restock trip it always involves multiple stops, so on Saturday I made my way to Trader Joe’s, by way of Whole Foods. The produce section of TJ’s has all of my staples and is always cheaper than WFM, but the meat section just can’t compare. I am going through a pretty serious flank steak phase, and Whole Foods has some of the best grass fed cuts that don’t taste ‘grassy.’
I used the opportunity to grab an iced americano from the little coffee cart, and happily made my way across the street to Trader Joe’s where I picked up staple produce, berries, nuts, and some basic replenishing supplies in the form of spices, pasta and coconut oil.
Friday morning included Dar’s bootcamp at Solidarity, immediately followed by Pure Barre with Kristin, so my body was ready for a rest. Friday night had been an equally long night out venturing over to Mudhouse in Crozet to listen to a small acoustic show performed by a friend’s husband, and then dinner and drinks back downtown at Citizen Burger Bar. By Saturday night I was ready for some down time to get work done and spend a little time creating in the kitchen, so that’s exactly what I did.
When I start chopping, I like to do more than I need and pack it away so it’s easier and faster to make quick meals during the week, so I chopped what I had and then packed the potatoes away with some mushrooms and zucchini to use in scrambled eggs this week. The flank steak went on to the grill, and the rest went into a pan with a table spoon of coconut oil, and added spinach once everything else was tender.
I’m always amazed at how much spinach cooks down, and how quickly, so I never add it until the last second and try to take it off the heat before it gets too soft. While everything was cooking down I had brown rice pasta cooking on the back burner, also taking it off the stove a minute before the suggested time to avoid it getting too soft.
After the pasta and veggies were done, they were combined in a mixing bowl, and created one of my favorite combinations of flavors. The coconut oil combined with the juices from the vegetables acts as a natural dressing for the pasta.
I kept the salad simple since so much else was happening around the chopping block and the stove, so it was just romaine, avocado, walnuts, and mozzarella cubes, with the Trader Joe’s Cilantro salad dressing.
All in all, Saturday was a great day for both food and rest, and I threw in a couple glasses of wine for ‘moderation’ and relaxation as I pushed through the to-do lists that had been piling up.
On to a new week now, but check back in for Sunday highlights, full of more market finds, friends, and PB toning.