this weird mixture is a staple in my fridge… and my diet.
it’s equal parts:
shelled hemp hearts
i put it on salads, it’s in every bowl of yogurt that i eat. today, i made a potato salad and threw a handful of the mixture in there. it’s what you can throw into a dish to make it more substantial and healthy when you don’t have the energy to cook.
i’m a third culture kid. this is apparent in many aspects of my life, but evidence that i am a tck runs especially rampant in the way that i cook and my affinity for strange flavour combinations.
it’s sad to admit, but i’ve always been a little embarrassed about the weird food combinations that i’m drawn to. today i found myself throwing together a really easy lunch and thinking, “i could never do a post about this dish, it would gross/freak people out!” but then i realised that this dish sums me up pretty well. the mixing of flavours, the happy marriage of ingredients from all corners of the world, these are the things that make me happy, these are the things that feed my soul. so here is my lunch, in all its strange but delicious glory: quinoa, watercress, avocado, poached egg, scallions, garlic chili oil, sesame-miso dressing, and feta cheese. i know it sounds crazy, but these flavours are all friends - really, really good friends. this is SUCH an easy dish, i don’t even think i can say that there’s a proper recipe for it. it’s more about combining all these ingredients in a big bowl.
third culture kid quinoa bowl.
1 cup of cooked quinoa
3 cups of watercress (i really love watercress)
½ an avocado, sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 egg, poached (if you need help figuring out how to poach an egg, this video is wonderful)
sesame-miso dressing (recipe below)
a handful of crumbled feta
black sesame seeds (optional)
sesame chili oil - i get this one from my local japanese grocery store (optional - it has a little kick to it)
remove the thick, tough stems from your watercress. clean the leaves and mix with the dressing.
while the watercress is marinating, poach your egg. i like to give the watercress about 10 minutes in the dressing so that it wilts a little bit.
put half of the watercress in the bottom of a big bowl, add quinoa, and put the rest of the watercress on top of the quinoa - i usually add just-cooked quinoa and i find that if i put the quinoa in between the watercress piles, half of it gets more wilted and the other half remains salad-like, and i like the difference in textures. add the avocado slices and poached egg. drizzle with any leftover dressing. garnish with scallions, feta, and chili oil.
½ tsp of rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of mirin
½ tbsp of ground white sesame seeds
½ tbsp of black sesame seeds
½ tbsp of miso
1 tbsp of japanese mayo
water to thin it out
mix all ingredients together. if the dressing seems a little thick, add a little water to thin out.
i woke up to an amazing surprise this morning! farm fresh eggs from one of my favourite farms! if there was one food that i couldn’t live without, it might be eggs. i used to eat so many eggs growing up, my mother used to call me her “little egg” - amongst other things… i know for sure that if i had my choice, my last meal would be 卵掛けご飯 - a bowl of rice topped with raw egg and soy sauce… with a splash of garlic chili oil. it sounds gross to those who are not the raw egg eating kind, but trust me when i say that nothing tastes more like comfort than a fresh egg on top of hot rice. my mother told me once that when i was a little kid i had managed to eat 4 bowls (that’s 4 raw eggs) and was well on my way to having my 5th one before she caught me.
this morning wasn’t a raw egg on rice kind of morning. it was, however, a delicious morning and i wound up cooking the eggs with gorgeous tomatoes from the farmer’s market, canadian bacon, and cheese, served with a side of deliciously chewy grilled bread.
saturday morning eggs
3 slices of canadian bacon, diced
1 medium sized tomato, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
cheese - i used a shredded cheese blend that i had in my fridge
olive oil, salt and pepper
2 pieces of crusty bread
heat up some olive oil in a small pan over medium high heat. when oil is hot, add bacon and cook until it has some colour. add tomatoes and cook until not watery. add garlic, salt, and pepper and stir until garlic is cooked through. even out the mixture and crack the eggs in the pan. from here, you can go one of two ways: cook as is or turn it into a scramble. to scramble… just scramble. to cook as is, slightly agitate the egg white surrounding the yolk with a fork (don’t break the yolk) on each egg, drop a tablespoon of water into the side of the pan and place cover with a lid and let cook for a couple of minutes. it will all depend on how runny you like your eggs. i like mine a little runny because i like to be able to dip the bread.
for the bread, take the slices, brush each side with olive oil, and place in a HOT cast iron skillet. cook each side. don’t take your eye off of the bread, there is practically no time in between cooked and charred when it comes to grilled bread.
earlier today i was so sure that i’d be making clam chowder. somewhere throughout the day, it dawned on me that a) i don’t have nearly enough patience today to make chowder and b) i ended up craving something else. something way different: sautéed mushrooms and cheesy, creamy polenta topped with a poached egg and basil.
it’s earthy, filling, creamy, and super affordable. is there a better combination? also, to be completely honest, i found all the ingredients i needed in my fridge/pantry. for some reason, anytime a meal comes together this easily i walk away feeling a little bit badass. it doesn’t take much, i know.