Wednesday, March 22, 2017

turkish breakfast spread

Whenever it starts getting warmer in San Francisco and the typical fog rolls out, I get a bit nostalgic for summer trips I've taken and have the itch to start planning another adventure. Its been an extremely wet winter this year in the city where its rained non-stop for weeks at a time. This past weekend it was 75 degrees and sunny, and was the first true sign that spring is on its way. Right on cue, I started daydreaming about the trip I took to the Turkish coast with my sister and brother-in-law two summers ago that I first talked about here and here in two of my favorite posts/recipes yet.

My brother-in-law is a veteran trip planner and always does an amazing job at finding beautiful hotels in prime locations for affordable prices. One of his non-negotiables when looking for a place to stay is free breakfast. Having accompanied them on several different trips, I've tried my fair share of complimentary breakfasts, and can confidently say that the spreads we had in Turkey are something special.

Dionysis Lodge*, on the beach in Cirali, in particular had my favorite breakfast, and it's the one I've chosen to replicate here. Some of what they brought out surprised me at first, since it wasn't what you'd typically think of as breakfast. An average breakfast we'd eat at our little nook consisted of a variety of fresh fruits, veggies, and spreads. My favorites were the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, oranges, olives, tahini, honey, and of course the big basket of bread.

At home, when you think of breakfast it's usually just one big bowl or plate with something like an omelet, stack of pancakes, or cereal. The breakfasts we had in Turkey were a mix of a bunch of little things you picked and chose from. At first glance, these items might seem a bit random and overly simple, but I found it so fun to grab a bit of everything and mix and match on my plate. My favorite combos are:

- Cucumber + tahini
- Tahini + honey + bread
- Cherry tomatoes + bread + drizzle of olive oil

The olives provide just the right amount of healthy, filling fats for the morning, and the oranges lend to a sweet finish. All in all, this seemingly random assortment hit all the breakfast marks for me.

Since it's so ridiculously easy to throw together at home, I wanted to share this spread with you all as a fun way to shake up your DIY weekend brunches. I find that every time I make it, I'm transported back to the casual beachy vibes of the Turkish coast, and get even more excited that summer's on its way.

- Multigrain bread, sliced
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Cucumbers, sliced
- Oranges, sliced
- Mixed olives
- Tahini
- Honey

*If anyone is interested in planning a trip to Turkey and looking for recommendations, this place is amazing! An average of $40 a night and just a couple blocks from the. most. incredible. beach. ever.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

veggie sushi bowl

Does this really count as a recipe?

Every so often All the time I share recipes on S&S that are so simple and easy, I have to ask myself that question.

From the start, I wanted the food I share here to be both delicious and attainable. We all have our favorite blogs and cookbooks that share mouthwatering images of restaurant worthy food that we'd undoubtedly love to eat but are way too intimidated to attempt. I have several of these types of blogs bookmarked for purely food porn purposes and can count the number of times I've actually made one of their recipes on one hand. 

However, my intention with S&S was always to provide practical plant-based recipes that are so approachable, you could come across one while browsing the Internet at work, and go home and make it that night. Weekdays aren't for pulling out your tablespoons and measuring cups, they're for throwing a bunch of things in a bowl, mixing it together, and creating something delicious. This sushi bowl is more of a "real life recipe" than a capital Recipe because it contains no measurements and an ingredient list that can almost entirely be swapped out for other favorite foods.

So why the bowl and not the traditional sushi preparation? Whenever I see sushi recipes I can't help but think of that scene in the Sex and the City movie where Samantha spends all day making hand-made sushi for Smith for Valentine's Day only to have him come home late and ruin the surprise and all her hard work. Making your own sushi is basically the definition of intimidating, time consuming, and unnecessary. It's better left for the professional chefs at restaurants in my opinion.

So let's just take all the best flavors and ingredients in veggie sushi, throw them into a bowl, top with soy sauce and call it a day? I've never been too big of a seaweed fan so this preparation is kind of a win-win for me, but if you do like seaweed feel free to throw some sheets on your bowl as well for the full effect.

- Brown, white, or sushi rice
- Edamame, shelled
- Cucumber
- Carrot
- Radish
- Avocado
- Micro greens
- Black Sesame Seeds
- Soy sauce

Cook rice according to package instructions and add to bowl with remaining ingredients. Drizzle with soy sauce and enjoy!

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