A milestone meal

I don’t have nearly enough energy to put into a decent post because it’s midterms and my life is basically a bunch of this right now

Highlighted notes. Highlighting and rewriting is the only way things stick.

I wanted to pop in to share some recipes, though – neither of which I came up with on my own, FYI. On Saturday night I made dinner for my family and my boyfriend, Zach. I only learned to cook last summer (I didn’t even know how to scramble eggs before then), and this was kind of a “milestone” since it was the first meal I’ve made entirely on my own. It seemed to go over well. I made a salad and vegan jumbalaya. Zach was kind enough to bring some bread from a local bakery. With some wine and some pie from a (different) local bakery, we had ourselves a meal. The pictures are actually of leftovers; it was too dark to take pictures when we initially ate everything.

Winter Salad with Lemon-Yogurt Dressing (from bonappetit.com)




  • 1 c plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • fine sea salt


  • 8 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce (about 8 large leaves)
  • 1.5 c 1/2-inch cubes peeled jicama (I actually used daikon radish)
  • 2 small carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, sliced
  • 1 c sliced celery
  • 1 c 1/2-inch cubes peeled kohlrabi or peeled broccoli stems
  • 3/4 c canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 3/4 c halved pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 c thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds

To prepare dressing:

Whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To prepare salad:

Toss lettuce and next 8 ingredients in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among plates; sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Serves 4-8.

Brown Rice ‘n’ Beans “Jumble-aya” (from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton)


  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 c onion, diced
  • 1 c celery, diced
  • 1 c green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp file powder (this is optional and had a note that this can be found in specialty shops. I didn’t use any)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4-1 tsp sea salt
  • 2-3 pinches cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (or regular if you’re not vegan/don’t feel like it. I used vegan because the other kinds had corn starch in them)
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 c + 1-2 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 c uncooked long or short-grain brown rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can (14 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4-1 c green onion stalks, sliced (optional)
  • 1/3-1/2 c fresh parsley leaves, chopped (optional)
  • olive oil (for finishing)

In a large pot on medium heat, add oil, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, oregano, file powder, paprika, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Stir to combine, cover, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable stock, rice, bay leaves, and beans. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until rice is tender. (If more cooking is required, add 1-2 tbsp stock or water and cook for another 5 minutes.) Once rice is cooked, turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in green onions and parsley, season to taste with additional salt and peper and serve drizzled with a little olive oil if desired.

It says this serves 4, but we got a lot more use out of it than that. I guess it depends on your serving size, haha.

Nobody who ate this meal was vegan, but the general consensus seemed to be that it was pretty tasty, so I think it’s safe to say my first solo attempt at cooking a full meal was quite successful 🙂



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