Cooking When You Just Can’t Even

IMG_1821It just won’t stop snowing in Boston. We’ve seen record breaking snowfall (over 70 inches in the last 14 days) and there’s no sign of it stopping anytime soon. The snow is literally taller than me. Even as I write this, it’s still snowing.

This weather is utterly exhausting. Trudging through the unshoveled sidewalks, navigating shoulder-high snow banks, schlepping in oversized, fleece-lined, waterproof boots. It takes forever to get anywhere, both due to the added obstacle of the snow and the gridlocked traffic.

When I get home, I just want to climb into my bed, wrap myself in a fleece blanket, and attempt to warm up. I’ve watched an unprecendented amount of Netflix because it’s just about all I can do. At the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is cook dinner. I just can’t even.

So, there’s been a lot less cooking, especially during the week, in my kitchen these days. But a girl’s gotta eat. So I’ve put together my go-tos for this snowy, tiring season.

  • Soup – this is when my soup season hoarding comes in handy. Just heat up a frozen serving of soup and serve with some crusty bread or topped with a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Scrambled eggs – a go-to in the morning but also for an easy weeknight dinner. Lately I’ve had them taco style served in warmed up flour tortillas with sriracha.
  • Oatmeal – just a couple minutes in the microwave and dinner is served. Even better with milk and sliced banana.

Stay warm, Boston!

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Quinoa & Roasted Peaches Cereal

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My roommate recently brought home a challenge: recreate a delicious quinoa breakfast cereal she had for brunch at a local restaurant. This is one of my favorite things to do – make something that inspired you at a restaurant (often healthier and cheaper). It gets you super engaged in your food as you try to figure out the ingredients and make it just as good as (if not better than) the restaurant. I’m not sure I could do this any healthier (what’s healthier than quinoa and fruit for breakfast?!) but it was probably cheaper – Rachel, am I right?

As this recipe proves, quinoa is not just for lunch or dinner – it can be treated very similarly to oatmeal. It has a nutty flavor which pairs well with fruit. Preferably I would use fresh peaches, but they are out of season right now so I had to resort to canned. Just make sure to get peaches canned in juice, not syrup (i.e., sugar). Next time you have something new and tasty at a restaurant try to recreate it at home – and let me know how it goes!

Quinoa & Roasted Peaches Cereal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain 1 can of peach halves, reserving the juice. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange peach halves in a single layer. Roast in oven for 40 minutes, flipping half way through cooking time. When done, let cool slightly and dice.

Prepare 1 cup of quinoa using 1 cup water, 1 cup milk, and ¼ cup peach juice. When the quinoa is cooked through, add 1 diced apple, another ¼ cup peach juice, and diced peaches. Cook for another 2 minutes until the apples are warm. Top with ½ cup chopped walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Yield: 6 servings. Serving size: ½ cup. Per Serving: $1.16, 230 calories, 8g fat, 39g carbs, 7g protein