Whole Foods: Roast Beef Sandwich

The Whole Foods deli and prepared foods section is, as a general rule, one of the most expensive places to get a meal in the Twin Cities. And probably other cities, too. Since I live very close to one, I know this first-hand, and from many occasions. Luckily, frequent practice has shown that you can find decent value there.

Aloo Palak

Aloo Palak is an Indian spinach and potato puree that makes a nice side dish. I found a recipe from Emeril Lagasse, of all people, from the Food Network website, and then I streamlined it to remove a few steps, combine a few ingredients, and scale it for a single nine ounce bag of fresh spinach, which is a lot more standard than the one pound in the Lagasse recipe.

You'll need:

 

Hentai Cucumbers

See that? That's a cucumber. That's one of the cucumbers we get in our CSA.

See that underneath it? That's a forearm. The forearm of a six foot one inch tall food blogger.

Our CSA provides us with greenhouse cucumbers so huge and so girthy that I have dubbed them "hentai cucumbers", for obvious reasons.

The Universal Cooking Vessel

This is my wok.

Technically, this is more than my wok. This is my Universal Cooking Vessel. The Bodum K0810-01 cast iron wok with glass lid. No longer available through Amazon, unless you live in the UK.

Cathy got this for me a couple of years ago after a friend of hers, another avid home cook, raved about it. And it's earned a near-permanent position on my stovetop ever since.

Roasted Beet Salad With Sausage And Potatoes

Beets are nature's pain in the ass.

Some foods are so good, they're worth whatever hassle is necessary to eat them. Other foods are clearly not worth the effort. Beets sit squarely in the middle of that spectrum. I like beets. Beets are good. But beets are also a hassle. They've got thick, clingy skins pretty much the same color as the flesh. And they're full of red, stainy juice that flows freely every time you look at them funny. 

Squeezebottle Viniagrette

 

I don't buy a lot of salad dressing. Not because I'm not lazy - I am very lazy in many ways - but because the odds of me wanting either one flavor of dressing until the bottle runs out, or a half-dozen bottles of dressing in an already full-to-bursting fridge door, are pretty slim. So I make a lot of viniagrettes. But making a proper viniagrette, with the bowl and the whisking and all, can actually be more work than I'm willing to go through for a quick salad.

Enter the Squeezebottle Viniagrette.

National Junk Food Day (?)

 

If an unclicked-on post that got dumped into my Google Reader by the Huffington Post is to be believed, today is National Junk Food Day. Which actually raises an interesting philosophical question. If the answer to "why is there a Black History Month and no White History Month" is "because in America, EVERY month is White History Month" (and that is the answer, by the way), then why is today National Junk Food Day? Maybe instead we should have a National Celery Day or something.

Smashburger: Addendum

You know how I said their fries were mediocre? They are. But it doesn't matter, because you can also get haystack onions, and I just did, and they're deeply awesome. Mostly onion, with a light crispy coating. Official preferred side item of choice.

 

Chicken Curry with Fresh Chilis

This is a recent variation on one of my standard Indian curry techniques. I wanted to try making the fresh chili flavor really prominent, because I like the brightness and the heat of it. The end result for me was essentially a Minnesota Medium in terms of spice level. You'll need:

For the wet masala:

The Wet Masala Method

The wet masala method is an easy way of making quick, very flavorful curries at home. It basically involves using a food processor to make a quick vegetable marinade that then becomes the sauce.

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