Friday, November 25, 2011

Making the most of my resources

All of your meals sound delicious! I can't wait until I'm back home for Christmas to do some fancier cooking, especially some baking. :)

I may have mentioned before that there is a communal kitchen in the residence here, but it's only open on the weekends. During the week we have breakfast and dinner in the cafeteria. For lunch I either go out and buy something like a pita or a baguette or I make a sandwich. Nothing too fancy, but I get fed. Anyway, the kitchen is in very sorry shape and is really just disgusting, to be blunt. I don't even want to guess when the last time it was properly cleaned was. But we've been making the most of it!

For my meal I was inspired by Rosianna's video in which she makes halloumi salad which you can see here. For her salad she used a mix of spinach and watercress, halloumi, quinoa, garlic, cucumber, and lime. I trimmed mine down a little to save money and also due to lack of product availability in France, so for my salad I used: a mix of lettuce and spinach, zucchini, quinoa, garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

The quinoa takes the longest to cook, so I did that first. It takes about 20 minutes to cook quinoa and I find that about 1/4 cup is usually enough for one person, especially if you're adding it to a salad. I minced one clove of garlic and added that to the water while the quinoa cooked. Once the quinoa was done, I chopped the zucchini into little rounds and sauteed it in olive oil. (There's only one working stove burner in the kitchen, so we have to cook things one at a time.) Then came assembly! I put the salad mixture in a bowl, with the quinoa on top, and then the zucchini. I added a little bit of balsamic vinegar on top for flavor and there you go! It wasn't the fanciest meal and not the best thing I've ever eaten (if I had been able to get a lime at the grocery store I would have liked to have that little zing), but it was good! It tasted especially good after a week of cafeteria food which is not the healthiest or tastiest. France gets a reputation for having amazing food and eating fresh and local all the time, but the cafeteria here definitely does not follow along with that. They serve so many fried things it's becoming a bit ridiculous, but I suppose that's the north of France for you.

For all those who celebrated I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! Despite being in France this year, I will actually end up having two Thanksgivings. Like I mentioned, I went to Paris last weekend to have Thanksgiving with family friends. And now this weekend the English teachers I work with are putting together a Thanksgiving dinner this Saturday. I'm interested to see what it will be like- will it be a traditional Thanksgiving dinner or a Frenchified Thanksgiving?

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