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Husband, Come Back

April 19, 2011

When Ryan goes out of town, certain things happen:

1.  I talk to the dogs.  Constantly. 

2.  I watch a lot of Lifetime.  Last night, I might have watched three hours of Royal Wedding madness, starting with the William and Kate movie and ending with The Royal Wedding of a Lifetime: A Day to Remember.  Question: Did Wills really win Kate back through an apologetic karaoke number?  Because if so, I have a whole new level of respect for this royal pair. 

3.  I forego showers.  My hair is sporting about 2.5 days of grime and oil right now.  Lovely.

4.  I actually get very little work done, and instead spend much of my time on sites like this and this.  Oh, and this.

5.  I refuse to cook, instead relying on things like microwave popcorn, peanut butter, and Crystal Lite to fuel me through my Lifetime marathons.

Until now.

While the first four things are still holding steady, last night, I actually cooked a delicious meal for myself—just for myself.  Ryan has been out of town since Sunday, but last night, I decided to break my single-gal rules and make something with actual ingredients for dinner.  I’m glad I did—this salad was much tastier than microwave popcorn.


Balsamic Strawberry and Chickpea Salad


1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered

1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 cups cooked and cooled brown rice or quinoa (I used a microwave pilaf—I really think any grain would be tasty here, or even couscous or orzo)

1/2 cup chickpeas

1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons

salt to taste


In a small bowl, combine strawberries and vinegar along with a sprinkle of sugar.  Set aside for an hour.

Once strawberries have sat for at least an hour, combine ingredients and toss well.

And that’s it! It really couldn’t be easier, but the flavors of this salad were so tasty.  The tang of the balsamic vinegar is balanced out really well with the sweet strawberries and fresh basil.  And of course, goat cheese makes everything better.

I made the salad pretty small since it was only serving me (I had some leftover as well), but you could easily up the proportions to serve a bigger group.

Here are some pics:



This fig vinegar really brought out the sweetness of the strawberries.



Obviously you could cook whatever grain you use from scratch, but you really can’t beat these 90 second microwave pouches for ease and convenience:



Mmmm…pretty good for a solo dinner! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shower.  Even I have my limits. 😉

24 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2011 2:48 pm

    hehe I’d be the same way if I didn’t have to leave the house! I secretly love my quick, easy-to-assemble meals when my husband travels 🙂

  2. Tess permalink
    April 19, 2011 3:08 pm

    I’m sorry, because as an interested mostly-vegetarian I should be commenting about the beautiful food, or as a friend maybe saying hi to the dogs (Ella! Baxter! It’s been too long!), but really I just want to say, DAMN, but I love your photography! It’s really beautiful, Love.

  3. actorsdiet permalink
    April 19, 2011 3:23 pm

    i have so much fig vinegar right now – and can’t wait to douse it on some berries

  4. April 19, 2011 3:35 pm

    Seriously. Whoever came up with the idea of balsamic and strawberries was a genius! Genius, I tell ya! Looks great.

  5. April 19, 2011 4:00 pm

    OMG – heaven!!! No aren’t you happy you opted for cooking over popcorn 😉

  6. April 19, 2011 4:38 pm

    I love chickpeas and strawberries, but never thought to put them together! Sounds delicious – and almost as quick and easy as popcorn?

  7. April 19, 2011 5:12 pm

    I hate to shower! And I don’t really have limits. Well, once I start to smell. And the sad thing is, it doesn’t have to be when Dave’s out of town.

    I’m pathetic.

    But this looks delicious!

  8. April 19, 2011 5:29 pm

    That salad looks amazing!!!

    I love your Sweet Valley links….it seems like a lifetime ago when I read the Sweet Valley High books!

  9. April 19, 2011 6:15 pm

    Wait, that movie sounds awesome. Need to go find it on Youtube…

  10. April 19, 2011 6:46 pm

    I’m SO excited for the Royal Wedding. This recipe looks good, too. But back to the wedding…

  11. April 19, 2011 7:29 pm

    That fig vinegar looks delish! I have some pomegranate balsalmic at home that I love to use on salads!

    I also wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. =)

  12. April 19, 2011 8:52 pm

    ahhaha…I eat totally differently when Josh goes out of town too. I get lazyyyyy. This dinner looks awesome! Strawberries are fantastic right now (we’re actually having some with our dessert tonight).

  13. April 19, 2011 9:36 pm

    Just think of it as giving your hair a healthy break! That is one amazing salad!

  14. April 19, 2011 11:02 pm

    Ohmygosh too funny! I was just thinking this the other day. P was gone for 4 days and showering was less than existant.. I lived off of annie’s cheddar bunnies and microwave veggies w/ feta annnnd… it was just no bueno! Though my jerky hubs proudly came home to brag that girls flock to him and his pilot buddies at the bar. um… now he can eat microwaved veggies for a bit =) bahaha!

  15. April 19, 2011 11:04 pm

    Welcome to my life, I talk and sing to my dog constantly. I am sure it drives him crazy!!

    Your meal looks so fresh and tasty, I dig.

  16. April 19, 2011 11:58 pm

    Umm, I kind of do all these things when my husband is home. 🙂

  17. April 20, 2011 12:58 am

    Oh yum!!!! It’s a beautiful salad, and I could dive into that for dinner! I’ve seen fig vinegar before and was curious about it. I regret now that I didn’t buy it. Anyway, after this salad, some popcorn dipped in peanut butter would be awesome! 🙂

  18. Ryan @ Aloha Appetite permalink
    April 20, 2011 9:19 am

    Yummo salad. I gotta do the strawberry in the greens thang.

  19. April 20, 2011 11:32 am

    That sounds so simple and delish! Mark is out of town all of next week and I’m on the prowl for “single gal meals” – this is perfect 🙂

  20. April 20, 2011 12:28 pm

    so simple and delish!
    i love berries with greens…such a nice combo!

  21. April 21, 2011 1:47 pm

    That dinner looks wonderful!! I am so guilty about not showering when I am alone. haha!


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