Return

I stepped out for a few months, but I’m ready to be back. I started Cravinator through a prompt for a blogging class I was taking back in October. Burned after a failed relationship, and scorned by the man who told me I have a lack of commitment to myself and hobbies, I decided to prove him wrong by starting my very own cooking blog. I’ve always been passionate about food, and I love to cook, so how hard could it be to keep up a blog about one of the things I love the most?

Things started off strong. As the class encouraged, I defined my audience and furiously started cataloging every recipe thought I could get out of my head. Most ended up as bullet points on my Evernote app, and two made it to the big (small laptop) screen, that was the stage to my blog. I was so proud of those two little posts, but after my class ended I felt like I was no longer accountable to anyone for sharing. I realize that the purpose of having a blog is to connect with bloggers of common interests, but for some reason I felt like the purpose of my blog was different for me. I’m going to be so bold to say that I like the sound of my own voice, and I think anonymously sharing my opinion is like talking to myself. I want to be heard, and I want to engage in conversations. Without my class, I felt like I didn’t have the opportunity to be heard, and sadly went quiet on my Cravinator posts for months. But now I’m back, and I want to be in the loop with all of you other culinary explorers. Cheers, to following and being followed and sharing inspiring thoughts!

I look forward to getting down in the kitchen again, and telling you all about the crave-worthy developments that come from my culinary experiments.

Bon apetit!

Jackie

What To Do With a Bag of Kale

Sunday Funday is exhausting. In typical fashion, I spent a majority of yesterday listening to techno music, searching for the bottom of my bottomless mimosa, and delighting in decadent brunch food at San Francisco’s Bisou French Bistro. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my calorie binge, I ended the day feeling the need to right my dietary wrongs. In order to do so, I needed an antidote to baccon and syrup. Something green, packed with vitamins, and easy to prepare. Not one to mistake a glass of juice as a meal, I decided to tackle the bag of kale I’ve had sitting in my fridge and turn it into a light and healthy dinner entree.
I personally love kale. It’s a versatile and fiber packed leafy green that works well in everything from smoothies to the farro dish I prepared last night. Inspired by a kale and mushroom salad I had at AG Ferrari, I decided to focus on kale’s natural earthiness and play up its umami flavor with onions, mushrooms, and worcestershire sauce. To turn my favorite green into more of a meal, I paired it with Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro and served it with a generous topping of shaved parmasean cheese. The end result: a healthy and not over-filling dish that satisfied my craving for veggie goodness, and lessened my brunch guilt.

Kale and Mushroom Farro
Serves 3-4, Ready in 30 minutes

1 cup Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 yellow onion (diced)
4 mini portobello mushrooms (chopped)
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (halved and chopped)
8 oz. bag of kale
3 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt
Pepper

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Combine farro and 2 cups vegetable broth in a medium size sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

While farro is cooking, heat butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Toss in onions and garlic and stir (2-3 minutes). Add mushrooms and worcestershire sauce, stir and cover (4 minutes). Add kale, olive oil, and 1 cup vegetable broth. Season with salt and pepper, and let kale cook down with the onions and mushrooms (7 minutes). Lastly, add kalamata olives and pine nuts and stir to combine.

Season farro with salt and pepper to taste, and scoop into a large serving bowl. Add kale mixture to farro and toss to combine. Garnish with shaved parmasean cheese and serve hot.

Pumpkin Pumpkin Everywhere

What ignites a craving? For me it’s a variety of factors: seasonal changes, emotional highs and lows, fitness kicks, nostalgic moments, and straight up hunger. This week past week, I’ve had an insatiable craving for pumpkin. When fall begins, pumpkin becomes a ubiquitous flavor. It’s featured in everything from lattes to curry, and spilling out of every grocery store’s parking lot. Sensing a surplus might occur, I thought I’d do the stockers at Safeway a favor and take a few cans of the orange stuff of their hands.

Inspired by my love for pumpkin pie and everything else “pumpkin-spiced,” I decided to try incorporating fall’s superstar ingredient into one of my morning favorites: old fashioned steel-cut oatmeal. A few fixings and two zaps in the microwave later, I had a creamy, hearty, pumpkin-y delight that left me full and satisfied all morning long.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Recipe

Serves 2, Ready in 10 minutes

1 cup oats

4 tsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup water

1/2 cup soy milk

1/4 can pumpkin

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

pumpkin oatmeal

Combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add water and soy milk. Microwave for 2-3 minutes.

Add pumpkin and raisins to oat mixture, and stir until everything is evenly combined. Microwave for another 45 seconds.

Remove from microwave, spoon into cereal bowls, and garnish with chopped walnuts.

Serve hot, and take time to enjoy the creamy pumpkin goodness slowly.