Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Really letting my hair down

Hi folks. Just a quick post for you today. Adam has been out of town for a business conference since Monday, and he returns tomorrow afternoon. So I only have a few hours left to drink wine and eat ice cream on the couch without shame. And, erm, tidy up the place a little. Perhaps I'm not the clean roommate I thought I was.

I've had quite the exciting "single lady" week so far, though. Really been letting my hair down. Monday night was a frozen pizza and a bottle of wine for one. I had a fridge full of veggies to make a healthy dinner, but decided to bypass that and make a special trip to Trader Joe's for the pizza. I think that's the first time I've ever made a frozen pizza for myself for dinner. Seize the day! I can see why people do that all the time. 

Tuesday morning, I snoozed my alarm six times, from 6:20 to 7:05, a practice that's typically frowned upon in this household. But I am alone this week! And I will not be restricted by the courtesy of turning off my alarm when it goes off the first, or second, or even third time. That evening, I dozed off on the couch after work, and then walked to Whole Foods to make a salad. Just didn't have time for my 7-mile run.

So here we are at Wednesday, and my to-do list hasn't budged a whole lot. But I do feel rejuvenated in a small way; sometimes you just need a few nights of quiet. I did get that 7-mile run in, and whipped up a healthy dinner - an egg mcmuffin, topped with avocado and sriracha. One of my favorite cooking-for-one and post-run meals.

With just a few hours until bed, here's one final thing I can cross off my list - telling you about this pasta I made last week. 

It's a simple pasta tossed with sauteed kale, chickpeas and almonds, topped with chipotle crema. Light and fresh, with a nutritious punch from the chickpeas and kale - it's just the type of carb-heavy food I'm into lately, with all this running and all.

Let's talk about the chipotle crema for a minute. It's a quick blend of just two ingredients, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and greek yogurt. Nice and healthy, right? And it's hot - hot hot - so you may want some extra yogurt on hand to tone it down. But the sauce is a nice change of pace - a creamy, hot topping for this pasta, a welcome reprieve from the all the red-sauce pastas that have been fueling my runs lately.

If you make this, you'll have leftover chipotle crema - here's what I recommend: simmer a can of diced tomatoes with some onion and garlic, then remove from heat and stir in chipotle crema to taste (1-2 cups). Toss this sauce with a shredded rotisserie chicken, and wrap it in to a tortilla for a saucy twist on chicken tacos. Our friends loved it, and so did I.

Pasta with Chickpeas, Kale and Chipotle Crema
Adapted from Food52

The original recipe called for 1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to two cups of greek yogurt. It was way too hot for us; I've adjusted the recipe below.

1/2 pound bow tie pasta (or something similar)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch green kale, sliced 1 inch-wide pieces
3 cloves garlic
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Handful sliced almonds

1/2 can chipotles in adobo sauce
2 cups 2% plain greek yogurt

Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds until fragrant, the add kale and a few good pinches of salt; stir into garlic and oil. Cook for several minutes until the kale begins to wilt. Add the drained chickpeas and sliced almonds. Continue to cook on medium high, stirring, about two minutes more. Add the 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water; stir until it mostly boils away and the kale wilts down even more.

For the chipotle crema:
Combine the half can of chipotles in adobo (and some of the sauce) and yogurt in a food processor. Blend until smooth; add a little water to think it if necessary. Taste and adjust heat with more peppers or more yogurt.

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