Good weather + good food + good friends = perfect (and two awesome recipes)

Today, the 9th of September 2012, is the most beautiful day I have seen in  New Orleans.  I woke up to 73 degrees when it normally doesn’t get lower than 77 even in the dead of night, and the humidity RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND is just 47%.  47%!  That is exactly one percentage point higher than it is at home (granted, it has stayed in the mid 70s in Massachusetts and it’s climbed into the low 80s here, but still).  It goes without saying that my morning included a nice long walk with Louie.

Speaking of Louie, he’s been up to some mischief lately.  Ever since we have started our full days and he’s spent more time in the crate, he has been a little pissed at us and showed his aggression doing things like tearing apart his blanket:

The blanket put up a good fight, but not good enough.  A day or so later, when we came home from orientation around 5:30, he had broken the door off his kennel, gotten into his food, and ate enough of it that he was extra round in the middle with a bulge that was impressively dense.  I took him for a nice long hot run/walk (5 minutes walking, 5 minutes running – my legs have done alright on this a few times) all over the lower garden district.  I was cracking up the whole time because his bulge made him waddle a little, but he loves running so much that he still gave it his all, he just couldn’t go very fast.  Hilarious.

Dietetic Intern Potluck: dealing with special diets

Anyway, we finally finished orientation!  As a celebration, Andrea, Natalie, and I invited everyone over for a potluck.  If you follow my friend Emily’s blog, you’ll know that she and I are big fans of potlucks, for several reasons.  Potlucks were super easy in Amherst, because it was basically Emily and I cooking every recipe we wanted to try and creating something out of whatever else we found in the refrigerator, some other people pitching in with beer or appetizers, and the boys coming and raving over all the food.  Our friends are about as non-discriminating as they come, if it’s food they’ll eat it.  And love it. Easy peasy.

Not our potluck, but the whole crew at Alysse’s for dinner. Courtesy of Erin Kelly Quintana

Dietitians are a bit pickier.  Among the 20 of us, there are vegetarians, vegans, people who don’t eat gluten, and possibly some other interesting food issues that I just don’t know about.  A few weeks (or maybe months, I don’t remember) back, Hoda and Kathie Lee were discussing whether it’s the responsibility of the host to accommodate all of these dietary concerns.  Potlucks are great because you know that person will be able to eat at LEAST what they bring.  Throw in a solid veggie plate and you’re set.  A glass of wine will make anyone forget the fact that their meal was an unorganized, haphazard collection of deliciousness rather than a well-composed four course gluten free vegan meal that the host spent all week slaving over.

That being said, I wanted to make sure that there was a heartier dish that provided a solid amount of protein, and which mostly everyone could eat.  Eggs are cheap, easy, and delicious; and after our hurricane frittata I was inspired to go along those lines.  On Food52.com, one of my go-to websites for interesting, delicious recipes, I found Quinoa and Kale Crustless Quiche, a delicious combination of eggs, quinoa, caramelized onions, kale, and (everybody’s favorite) cheese. If I had my own picture, I’d post it, but I have no camera and my phone’s behavior is worse than Louie’s, and I haven’t been able to take pictures for a few days.  At least I can type on it right now, sometimes that function goes out.  Here’s an image from the website:

This was easy and delicious, but my personal favorites from the night were an heirloom tomato salsa and homemade tortilla chips, a vegan sweet potato lasagna type dish with quinoa and homemade cashew flax cheese and all sorts of delicious things from one of our ex-culinary students, and a take on dirty rice that included alligator sausage.

After filling our bellies, we filed into the living room to sit and chat, and eventually Just Dance 2 made its way into the mix.  What more could I ask for?  Everything was so awesome, I can’t wait to have all of these people over again!

Garbanzo chocolate chip pizookie

So today after walking around outside and sweating my butt off at Hour Blast, I had a sweet craving.  I’ve been eying a recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie for a while that takes the whole black bean brownie thing and applies it to a giant, gooey chocolate chip cookie by using garbanzo beans as the secret ingredient.  There was this one time that I stayed up all night and baked black bean brownies, spinach-carrot brownies, zucchini bread, and sweet potato spice cake, and all were delicious so I had high hopes for the Healthy Deep Dish Cookie Pie, regardless of the fact that I disagree 100% with calling it “healthy”.  Surely, it’s better than a regular deep-dish cookie, but the term “healthy” leads people to think that it will better their health, and in reality there is still a ton of sugar in it, which is caloric and does pretty much nothing for your well being.  But that’s not what this is about. It’s about being awesome.  This recipe is awesome.  I halved it and baked it in a loaf pan, and that worked perfectly.  Check it out the next time you want something that tastes like your arteries are clogging with pleasure.

Well, time for me to decide whether to go run around outside on this GORGEOUS DAY a little more or actually take a shower…outside is probably going to win (my poor legs!)

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