School Night Meals, Part II

So has everyone seen this movie The Ides of March?

I loved it. It was stunning. It’s been a while since a film has captivated me the way this one has  [lies, probably Godfather Part II, if that counts as “a while”]. It centers around a Democratic presidential primary in Ohio, which I promise you is more gripping than it sounds. The cast excelled at capturing minute emotions on screen and portraying campaign politics in a genuine way. The film seems to center around the concept of loyalty – to a friend, to an employer, to a country – and what happens when loyalty is questioned or broken. If you haven’t seen this movie, go watch it. At the very least, it provides welcome relief from the embarrassing reality of the current Republican primary.*

I’ve got a quick soup and salad to share tonight. These were both made with staples we had around the house, plus a quick trip to snag some fresh veggies.

First up, Crock Pot Fish “Stew.” Another Shaun crock-pot creation. A container of mirepoix from Trader Joe’s cooked with parsley, chili flakes, vegetable broth, and mahi mahi in the slow cooker all day. We came home to a thick, savory stew [staples: mirepoix, parsley, chili flakes, veggie broth].


Next, Seven Bean and Kale Salad. One of my favorite places to buy staples is the bulk section at Whole Foods. it’s where we get steel cut and rolled oats, the artichoke pasta, lentils, chia seeds, nuts, dried fruits, nutritional yeast, and different types of rices we keep stocked at all times [if you’re wondering what staples I keep around at all times, there you have it, plus spices, veg broth, canned tomatoes, proteins, frozen fruit and veggies in the fridge]. Last time we bought bulk, I also bought this seven-bean mix:


It was so pretty, I couldn’t resist. 1/4 dry cup also provides 7 grams of protein, and cutting the beans with lentils reduces the calorie content, making it such that you get more protein per calorie.

The salad itself was prepared similarly to the kale salad from the other night: after I cooked 1/2 cup of the bean/lentil mix [simmered it whilst studying], it soaked in bragg’s liquid aminos, nutritional yeast, garlic and chili flakes all day. Then, I poured it onto a bed of kale with carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, and lime juice. Topped off with a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds, and bam. We were eating within minutes of returning from our late-night seminars [staples: beans, bragg’s, chili flakes, carrots, nutritional yeast – kale bought fresh].

zomg i love kale.

A secret surprise on the side: a stuffed grape leaf.


Shaun’s parents know how much I love them, so they stocked us up with grape leaves, spicy pickles, and pickled vegetables when we met them in Richmond last weekend. I don’t know if it’s the lime or the dill, or the creaminess of the rice – but every time grape leaves are around I can’t turn them down [thank you!]. OH! And I can’t forget to mention the red navel oranges they picked for us when they were in Florida last week. Apparently this type of orange is only in season for like, 2 weeks a year and they happened to be there over those 2 weeks. I have eaten [at least] one every day, and it is the most delicious orange I’ve ever had.

Time to go play with this guy.

why must you study all the time?

It’s comical when a 75 pound puppy does puppy things. He just looks so awkward. Tomorrow is Charlottesville Restaurant Week! I’ve heard good things about Horse and Hound so far. Any other good news to deliver?

* When the film ended I looked at Shaun and said, “F#$@ you, George Clooney.” Not only is he a great actor, he’s a smart writer/director/producer, and he values privacy and he’s easy on the eyes. Come on, man.


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Categories: Food, Recipes


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: Tumblr:


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  1. Steamer Madness | Ryes and 'Shine - February 9, 2012

    […] quick meal [for more ideas, see School Night Meals Part I and Part II] consisted of a no-bull burger with steamed carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli. Pro-Tip #1: Steam the […]

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