Saturday, May 18, 2013

zucchini "pasta"

In my (seemingly) never-ending quest to be the poster child for health and wellness (or, more realistically, offset those crazy days), I'm always on the lookout for interesting healthy meals. 

Enter: vegetables masquerading as pasta. 

Now I know some lend themselves better to the task (like spaghetti squash, an obvious choice as the name would suggest), but I like to make things difficult. Zucchini? Without a mandolin? Why not?

While cutting zucchini into thin strips may be an annoyingly tedious and time consuming process, it was absolutely, totally worth it. As someone who loves her carby carbs, believe me when I tell you that you won't even miss the pasta.

Now, don't go in expecting the zucchini to taste like pasta, because that would be delusional. But, it makes for a pretty decent substitute, as a veggie with a relatively low flavor profile. 

I used my zucchini pasta as a sub in my previously-posted pasta with sautéed leeks and mint (link to come later if you don't feel like searching, but I can't figure out how to get a link in when posting from the good ol' iPad), which made for a very Springy green dinner. 

So. Gather thee thy patience and a good sharp knife, and a few zucchini (duh), and make some pasta without the guilt!


Zucchini "pasta" (1-2 zucchini per person, depending on size (of the zucchini, not the person))

Cut off the ends of your zucchini. Slice it lengthwise to about 1cm thick (aka thin - you'd be crazy to think I used a ruler). Slice each piece into matchsticks. Bring a pot of shallow water to a simmer, and simmer the zucchini for about 4-5 minutes. The zucchini should be cooked, but not soft and mushy like it can get (think al dente). Strain out water and toss zucchini with whatever sauce you're using. I threw it into the pan with my leeks and sautéed for a couple minutes, for reference. Enjoy!

Friday, May 10, 2013

warm summer corn salad

I'm not quite sure where the idea for this came from, but I was so happy to have my dad around as the cook for dinner that first night we had the corn salad. I mean, popcorn tossed with browned butter is one of my favorite comfort foods; is it really such a shocker that I would fall in love with fresh corn off the cob tossed with browned butter?

The answer would be no, if you were wondering, or don't know me at all. 

Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best, and this is a good example. I could probably eat this salad (if you can call it a salad) every day if i had an infinite supply of corn, and could even figure out where to store said infinite supply of corn. Corn takes up a lot of space, yo!


Butter. Shallots. Corn. Tomato. Get in my belly, pleaseandthankyou. 

Warm Summer Corn Salad

1 ear of corn per person
1 plum tomato per ear
2-3 tablespoons shallots/red onion per ear
1-2 teaspoons butter per ear

Steam corn in a pot of simmering water (1-2") for 8-10 minutes. Slice corn off the cob. In a pan large enough to hold the corn you made, melt butter with shallot/red onion. This helps the onion cook slowly and soften, instead of browning. Once the onion is translucent, add corn and tomato and give it a good stir. The corn is already warm and tomato shouldn't cook long, so this is really just to mix the flavah! Salt and pepper to taste. Try not to eat it all straight out of the pan. Unless of course you only made enough for one (and/or have no intention of sharing). In that case, go crazy. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

this one time, in Israel...part 3

Yes, I fully realize that says "part 3" instead of "day 3". Since we got to sleep in until 10:30 on day 3 because of Shabbat, we basically lost half a day. Basically.

Saturday was pretty tame.


Talk about Jew stuff, learn that growing up as a Jew in the States is totally different than growing up as a Jew in Israel.


Singing in a circle for 20 minutes closing out Shabbat.

Dinner in Tiberias, aka OMGNOTTHEKIBBUTZ.

Lebanese side dishes

Meat Platter - literally a plate of meat

Sunday, we were up and at 'em to start the first super duper long trek (aka roughly two hours) from the Golan Heights to Tel Aviv. First stop, Tzfat!

We found it mildly hilarious that the speakers on these boxes were shaped like Jewish stars.

Tzfat was a pretty neat place, and I was fortunate enough to go back after the Birthright trip ended to check out all the galleries we didn't have enough time to see the first time around. Remember, you have just enough time in each place to make you wish you had just a little more time!

The highlight of the day was probably visiting the Tzfat Gallery of Mystical Art, which is run by an aaaaaawesome guy named Avraham. Whose actual name is Robert. He's from Michigan, but you wouldn't know it, thanks to an impressive beard he totally fits in with the ultra-orthodox population. Avraham spent about foooour thoooooousand yeeeeears explaining the amaaaaazingness of Kabbalah (did you know it's a sect of Judaism? Because I had no idea until this trip). I haven't silently giggled so hard since middle school.


After leaving Avraham and the did-I-just-smoke-something-without-knowing-it? atmosphere, we continued towards Tel Aviv, stopping next in Jaffa (Old Tel Aviv).

Where we decided it would be fun to take a picture in the middle of the street.

When a bus decided to drive up the street.


Then we talked about our goals and dreams while we watched the sunset, and a few weddings, and a parasailer, and a baby or two, plus some puppies. Did I mention we're easily distracted?

That night was what at least the vast majority of the group had been looking forward to for the three-days-that-felt-like-a-million: a night out in Tel Aviv! Have fun guys, but make sure you're back at the meeting point in two hours. 

You can imagine what the next two hours looked like. What you might not imagine is the singing of Happy Birthday to one of our group members, at midnight, in English, on some street corner in downtown Tel Aviv.

Not a bad way to end the night!

stay tuned for part 4...