I forgot how fast summer session goes–last Monday I had a midterm, and now I already have my final coming up this Wednesday!
But I guess the marvelous thing about that is that by next Monday I will be done, and relaxing in So Cal with my family I can’t wait to get to the ocean!
Marvelous is . . .
My internship. We spent alllll day on Friday (left at 7 am, got home after 10 pm) doing 24 hour diet recall interviews with families in a little town outside of Fresno. The internship is a multi-year initiative to reduce obesity rates in Hispanic children by teaching them about ways they can make healthier eating choices and be more active. Hardly any of the families there speak English, so I get to practice a lot of Spanish! Although the day was exhausting, it was such a cool experience and I loved getting to know and work with the community.
We also did carotenoid scans of the kids’ skin. Carotenoids are molecules found in colorful fruit and vegetables that are chock full of good stuff (like antioxidants), and your body stores them in your skin. So by scanning the carotenoid levels in the skin of your palm, this machine can assess roughly how many fruits and vegetables you eat per day. Pretty cool eh?
And afterward we stopped by the feria (the fair) to look at the rides and eat some pupusas (tortilla-like bread stuffed with meat and cheese. Not my favorite Mexican dish I’ve tried, but my TA was pretty excited about them).
Marvelous is . . . The farmers market. It’s always packed on Saturday mornings where I live, and full of the most amazing food and produce. I got a pretty good haul last time I went!
Marvelous is . . . Homemade Indian food.
Why do a big portion of my favorite foods resemble some form of unappetizing bodily excretion? Oatmeal, pudding, chocolate covered things, curries . . . and now saag. Despite its appearance, saag, a sauce made from pureed greens and spices, is incredible and by far one of my favorite (or maybe my very favorite) Indian dish. I have been looking for a good saag recipe (saag is a sauce made of pureed greens and spices) and I finally found one that is delicious and pretty easy to make!
Find the original recipe here, or look at the directions below, and then go make this. Right now. If you’re not a tofu person, garbanzo beans or chicken work equally well.
Vegan Saag Paneer
- 4 to 5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons ginger root, finely chopped
- 1½ cups tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons salt (separated into 1 tsp and ½ tsp)
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 15-ounce can light coconut milk
- 2 16-ounce bags frozen chopped spinach
- 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach leaves
- 2 packages savory marinated tofu (I like the Trader Joe’s Organic), cut into cubes
- ½ cup frozen peas
- fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)
- cooked brown rice/other grain for serving
- Add all ingredients EXCEPT for fresh spinach, tofu, peas and ½ teaspoon of salt to slow cooker
- When fresh spinach is wilted, puree entire mixture with a handheld immersion blender until creamy.
- Next fold in tofu cubes, frozen peas and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt
- Set to low and cook for 4 hours.
- At about 3 hours and 30 minutes, add in fresh spinach and stir
- Put lid back on slow cooker and let tofu and peas warm up.
- Serve over brown rice and chopped cilantro.
- Keeps well in the fridge for leftovers and freezes great!