Category Archives: Lunch

Dinner / Lunch / Meals for Two / Pescatarian / Savory / Vegetarian

Cheesy Garlic Noodles

October 22, 2014

Cheesy Garlic Noodles

First of all, I had to google how to spell “cheesy.”  I wasn’t sure if it was “cheesy” or “cheesey,” and really, both don’t look right to me.  Apparently “cheesy” is the correct spelling, though, according to google, so who am I to question that.

Second, this isn’t health food, so let’s not pretend that it is.  I mean, the healthiest thing in this whole dish is the garlic, and there’s only one clove of it in the dish, so… that should give you an idea of where this falls on the “I feel good about eating this” scale.

That said, sometimes you just need a dish like this.  Sometimes you want to make mac and cheese from a box, but you decide that maybe making this is a tiny bit better, if only because you know what’s actually going into your body.  (Seriously, what is that cheese packet made out of?  It’s like neon orange.)

I call dishes like this “babysitter food,” because it’s the type of thing I’d whip up when I was babysitting back in the day (heyyy high school), after I’d convinced the kids that yes, they really did need to go to bed even though their parents weren’t home.  (Of course, I’d generally let them sneak in an extra 30 minutes of Veggie Tales beforehand…)

So next time you’re feeling like having something a little indulgent, or you simply have zero ingredients to make any semblance of a real meal — try this out.  You won’t be disappointed.  (Unless garlic sometimes gives you heartburn, like it does to me.  Ouch.)

Cheesy Garlic Noodles 1

Cheesy Garlic Noodles

serves 2


  • 1/4 pound spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
  • parmesan or pecorino romano cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Once boiling, add in a big handful of salt and cook noodles according to package instructions.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, combine butter, olive oil and garlic into a small pan over low heat (lowest heat possible!).  Cook until butter is melted and garlic is fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
  3. When pasta is done, drain it and transfer to a bowl.  Pour the butter, oil and garlic mixture over the top and toss to combine.  Add in cheese to taste (I like a couple handfuls) and toss to combine.

It literally doesn’t get any easier than that.


Dinner / Happy Hour / Lunch / Savory / Stay Healthy / Vegetarian

Spicy Summer Vegetable Flatbread

June 25, 2012

Well, now that we all know how to make pizza dough from scratch, let’s put something on that dough, shall we?  How about a crapload of summer veggies?  Yep, let’s do it.

*Side note: making pizza dough is not only super easy, but it saves well so you can make it ahead of time for a party.  Not to mention that people will think you’re so fancy when you tell them that yes, you made the dough.  Yourself!  Out of like flour and stuff!  What a domestic goddess you are.

As I’ve already disclosed, I make pizza dough basically all. the. time.  Which means that KC and I eat pizza all. the. time.  (No one’s complaining over here, mmk?)  That said, while I love me some traditional cheese pizza (margarita pizza recipe coming up on here a bit later!), it can get a bit… repetitive.  So, it’s nice to mix things up and jump out of that cheese-and-sauce mold now and then.

This pizza, or flatbread (which is just a fancy way of saying, hey, this pizza doesn’t have sauce on it), is based on a starter I had years ago at one of my favorite SF eateries, NOPA.  It’s super easy to make, but packs a big punch flavor-wise.  It’s also quite unexpected, as most people associate pizza and flatbreads with something a bit more savory and cheese-laden.

Trust me, this flatbread hits the spot on a hot summer night with a frosty beer or cold glass of crisp white wine.  And, you can feel good about eating it because it’s piled with veggies!  I mean, it’s basically a salad, right?  Go ahead and eat the whole thing!  Don’t mind if I do…


Spicy Summer Vegetable Flatbread

  • 1 lb pizza dough (ideally homemade)
  • olive oil
  • zucchini (2 large or 3 medium), cut in half and sliced into half-moons
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow), diced
  • handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
  • 1/2 – 3/4ish cup fresh or frozen corn
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp. cumin
  • red pepper flakes/cayenne pepper/chili powder/hot sauce (like Tapatio)
  • cheese (cheddar/jack/pepper jack)
  1. Preheat oven to 475°
  2. Stretch out pizza dough and press into an oiled sheet pan or pizza pan.  Brush dough with olive oil.
  3. Blind-bake dough for 10 minutes, until just browned and crispy.
  4. While the dough bakes, chop all veggies and place in a bowl together.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add cumin and a mixture of any or all spices/hot sauces listed above and toss everything together.
  5. When the dough is done blind-baking, dump the veggies into the middle of the pizza and then spread into an even layer with a spatula.
  6. Cover the whole mess with a good amount of grated cheese.
  7. Place the sheet back in the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes, til cheese is melted and veggies are just starting to brown on top.
  8. Let the pizza sit for 5 minutes before slicing, to allow all the cheesy goodness to come together.


Step 3: As I’ve said, I like my pizza to be very crispy, so I always blind-bake my dough.  If you prefer a chewier crust, you could try making this without blind-baking, or cutting down the baking time in this step; however, the amount of veggies in this may make a less-crispy crust a bit soggy, so beware.

Step 4: I never measure the spices out in this recipe, so I can’t tell you exactly how much to add here — it’s really based on taste.  I like quite a bit of cumin for the depth of flavor it adds with it’s smokiness, so I add a good palm-full to the mix (probably about a tbsp).  Then I generally add about 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes, about 1 tsp chili powder, and a healthy dash of cayenne(maybe a tsp? Maybe more?).  I have no clue what the actual measurements for these are (I just eyeball it), so that’s really just an estimation.  The amount you add will need to be a trial and error process of figuring out what flavors you like and how much heat you can handle.

Step 6: Any of the 3 cheeses listed would work — I always have cheddar on hand, so that’s what I use most often.  As a reference, I generally use about 1/4 of a Trader Joe’s size block; but really, I just grate it right over the veggies til they seem well-covered.

And lastly, this pizza is pretty messy to eat.  Inevitably, I end up spilling veggies all over myself while consuming it, so it’s probably not the best thing to serve on a first date (though I promise you, it’s way delicious).  However, I’m sure you’re much more refined and delicate than I am, so you’ll probably have no problem shoving this into your face and looking like a lady whilst doing it.  I, on the other hand, clearly don’t have that kind of dexterity.

Eat up!

Breakfast / Happy Hour / Lunch

Go for 30: Happy Hour

April 30, 2010

Happy Friday!  Happy last day of April!  So many things to be happy about.

Alas, my birthday month is just about over.  I guess I will no longer be able to pull the, “I can do what I want.  It’s my birthday month.” anymore with KC.  Darn.

Oh well, on to bigger and better things right?  Like the new challenge!

So in case you haven’t guessed, I have decided that for the month of May I’ll be starting a happy hour at my apartment.  Unfortunately, this will not be a daily occurrence, but I think that’s the responsible thing to do for my budget (and for my liver).

So what does this mean exactly?  Well, a few times a week I will have a drink and appetizer pairing, then I’ll blog about it.  This way you guys can get some recipes and reviews on easy to make cocktails and delicious bites.  I’m not sure exactly what nights (or mornings, or afternoons) these happy hours will fall on, but I do have a special plan for Mondays this month…  More on that in a later post.

What inspired this challenge?  Well, let me tell you.  Truthfully, the food diary has been so successful on here, I wanted to stay with the same theme for this next challenge.  Also, the weather has been so nice lately (aside from the weird raininess) that all I’ve wanted to do is sit and have drinks in the sunshine!  After my homemade screwdriver and carrot/green goddess dressing success last Sunday, it hit me:  Happy Hour!

Let me tell you why I love happy hour.  Aside from the boozing, hosting a happy hour is a great (and often cheap) way to entertain friends.  You can have people bring things to share, or just whip up a dish like the one above and serve a signature cocktail with it — instant party!  Also, like I’ve said before, I don’t eat a whole lot at any one time (why I’m always leaving food on my plate…) so I love appetizers.  Little bites, big flavor — I’m in!

With the happy hour challenge I’ll be attempting to make cocktails from scratch as much as possible (so I’ll be juicing my own lemons and limes and what not).  Obviously, this is not always possible for certain drinks (um, I’m not going to be juicing my own pomegranates.  Sorry folks.), so I’ll be keeping it all natural to the extent that it’s sanely reasonable (mentally and fiscally, that is).

Ok, so you guys on board for this?  I figure with all the sunshine that’s on the horizon, not to mention Cinco de Mayo — the holiest of all May holidays, you guys would be gung-ho.

Since I won’t be doing a daily challenge this month, I won’t be posting quite as often — sorry!  If I happen to come across a recipe I think it worth sharing though, I’ll let you know — not to worry.  Also, if you guys are craving some kind of new dish to make (a new salad perhaps?), leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to work something into a post within the following week.

Alright, well today is the last day of food journal.  So sad!

Here’s breakfast:

Sadly, I got a phone call about halfway through this and my Cheerios got soggy.  I hate that!  Nothing worse than soggy cereal.  As a result, I didn’t quite finish this.

I made some coffee and got to work planning my grocery list and mine and KC’s upcoming trip to New York (can’t wait!).

My fridge was so barren today, I had no clue what to have for lunch.  My only veggies were a couple of mushrooms and some cabbage.  Not really inspiring.  I ended up digging through the pantry and found my “last resorts” on the back of the shelf.

Mac and Cheese:

I made this with some extra sharp cheddar grated in, and added some pepper (of course).  Not really what I wanted for lunch, but it hit the spot.

After lunch I showered and then headed out to grocery shop.  My fridge is now packed!  Lucky KC, he doesn’t have to shop with me this week (he hates the grocery store).

Alright, well KC’s home so we’ve got to plan something fun for tonight.

Hope you guys have a great weekend!  And please let me know if you have any suggestions for the Happy Hour challenge!  🙂

Breakfast / Food Journal / Lunch / Snack

Pet Rhinoceros

April 29, 2010

Let me start by saying that I hate our upstairs neighbors.  Yes, this has absolutely nothing to do with food or with the rest of this post, but they are so loud it’s ridiculous!  I’m pretty sure they have a pet rhinoceros.

I can’t wait to move.

Ok, back to the point: food.

Cheerios for breakfast:

I actually made a smoothie for breakfast, but it was too sweet again (even though I used unsweetened almond milk this time)!  So, I threw it out.  I think I need to go back to the soy milk for my smoothies.  This whole almond milk thing just isn’t working out for me.

After breakfast I had some coffee, threw on my Lulu’s and then headed off to Bar Method for Hannah’s 1:30pm class.  Man, my body is tired.  I’ve been really working hard this week in class, and I could definitely feel it during the thigh sequence today!  By the last set, my legs were shaking like there was an earthquake.  Let’s hope this translates to “damn those jeans look good on you,” later on.

After class I had a snack I brought with me:

I know, I know, “Wow, something new and different!”  Sorry, I’m a creature of habit (and limited budget).

After my snack it was time for, dun dun DUN!

Spending time with Mason!

Mason’s nanny came to take Heather’s 3pm class, so I got to watch the little cutie for about an hour.  I haven’t seen him in 2 weeks!  Isn’t he adorable?  Cute enough to eat!

Mason and I had quite the photo shoot in studio 1 today.

After my fun with Mason, I headed back home on BART and ransacked the fridge for a snack.  I realized I didn’t have much of a lunch, and there’s not much in my fridge that’s ready to eat, so I settled on this:

Usually I’d add some veggies to this (bell pepper, tomato, sprouts, avocado), but my fridge is sorely lacking right now!

Well, hopefully dinner will be healthier and more substantial than this.

Off to get ready for a walk with KC (it sounds like he’s a dog I’m taking on a walk… that’s weird).  I guess we’ll see where our walk takes us tonight.  Maybe to Temescal Produce for some veggies??  Fun fun!

Breakfast / Dinner / Food Journal / Lunch / Snack

One Foot in Front of the Other

April 28, 2010

Hey all,

Long day today!

I had some of that harvest porridge I made yesterday for breakfast.  The recipe said I made 2 servings, but it’s more like 3 — it’s pretty filling!:

I know it doesn’t look that appetizing in this picture, but trust me, it’s yummy.

After breakfast I headed over to Bar Method to work the desk for a few hours.  Business there is crazy!  All the classes are full, the phone rings off the hook…  Pretty soon us desk people are going to need our own assistants!

Anyway, I grabbed a quick snack while I worked:

Yes, I cheated — that’s yesterday’s picture.  I didn’t take a shot of my egg and orange today because it was so darn busy.  Sorry!

After my shift, I ran over to The San Francisco Soup Company and grabbed a bowl of their organic smoky split pea (yum):

I managed to wolf down almost all of this before heading into the 3pm class.

I’ve been really going for it this week in class — you know, those weeks where you really push yourself while you’re exercising?  Well, let me tell you, my legs are tired!  This didn’t stop me from going for a walk with KC after he got home from work though.

I had a snack first (of course):

We thought Seuss might want to put her leash on and come with us:

She wasn’t amused:

She promptly hopped off the couch and popped her “safety collar” off.  I’d like to rename the safety collar the “you got out of that way too easy” collar.  Really Seuss?  What a beez.

We decided to walk up to Piedmont and look at the houses.  There are some super cute houses over in Piedmont — too bad I don’t have a spare $800K lying around…  Our walk was fun and it was nice to get outside, even though it was a little chilly!

By the way, walking with a friend or your significant other is a great way to get some exercise into your day.  Not to mention, it’s kind of just a nice way to spend time with someone.

After getting home from our walk, I threw dinner together:

Grilled Steelhead trout with thyme-scented quinoa and roasted vegetables.

This is super simple to make.  I threw 1 cup of red quinoa into the rice cooker with 2 cups of water, a little sea salt, and a couple thyme sprigs, and let it do its thing.  I chopped up whatever veggies I had on hand (broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, crimini mushrooms, and a vidalia onion), tossed it all with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and threw it into the oven at 425° for 20-25 minutes.

The fish I just sprinkled with salt and pepper and grilled it in a little olive oil.  Easy and delicious!  A well-balanced meal chock full of Omega-3’s.

My plate:

After dinner, KC and I cleaned the apartment.  I know, exciting.  The nice part about having a tiny apartment is being able to clean the whole thing in under an hour.  The faster this place is clean, the happier I am.  I hate cleaning, but I sure love a clean apartment!

Alright, well I think there’s some Ben & Jerry’s calling my name from the freezer…

Chelsea, come eat the cookie dough out of this pint.”

Yep, definitely calling my name.

Hope your week is going well.  Tomorrow’s Thursday!  Almost Friday, which is almost the weekend!  Woo hoooo!

(Well, if you can’t get excited about it, I figured I’d do it for you.)

Ok off to rescue the ice cream from the freezer.  (It gets so lonely in there…)  Night!