How was your weekend, friends? Good weather, good friends, good food, good times? The good news for me is that I stretched a two-dayer into a four-dayer by taking Thursday and Friday off work. The bad news for me is that it’s a lot harder to go back to work after a long weekend than a regular weekend. Which makes absolutely no sense, but it’s true — just like the four-day week after a Monday holiday never seems to go faster than a regular five-day week. I don’t get it. Life is dumb. Seriously.
At least I managed to squeeze a whole lot of fun into my four precious, work-free days! On Friday, the husband and I took the train from DC to Philadelphia for the day — just because we had never been there and wanted to see it. Verdict? Philadelphia is cool! We did the absolute most touristy things possible, of course — we saw the Liberty Bell, ran up the Art Museum steps like Rocky, and even went to the observation deck at the top of city hall. Man, I had no idea Philadelphia had such an intense city hall. It’s bigger than the US Capitol and has this cool internal courtyard like a 16th century Italian palazzo.
And, yes, we definitely had cheesesteaks. I wasn’t quite as excited to try them as my husband was, but I gotta say — very, very good. Mainly because of the bread, though! The rolls are kinda chewy, sorta like the outside of a bagel. From what we could ascertain, the two main cheesesteak places in Philadelphia are Pat’s and Geno’s (any Philadelphians should feel free to correct me!), so we split a sandwich at each place. I think we ended up liking Pat’s slightly more, but it was close. Kinda like Lou Malnati’s vs. Giordano’s for pizza in Chicago, or Arthur Bryant’s vs. Oklahoma Joe’s for BBQ in Kansas City — there’s not really a wrong answer.
Anyway, if your weekend was full of cheesesteaks and other unhealthiness like mine, here’s a good, healthy, Monday-approved antidote. Lotsa veggies and lotsa yum!
FARMERS MARKET SKILLET (slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats)
1 3/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut off the cob (or about 1 and 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels)
3 green onions, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup feta
2 tbsp chopped basil
For the honey-lemon dressing:
juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
1 and 1/2 tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
1. Bring broth to boiling in medium saucepan. Add rinsed quinoa and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cook until broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 25 minutes. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and let cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the dressing in a jar or bowl. Shake or whisk to combine, salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, about 30 seconds. Add zucchini, sweet corn, carrot, and green onions, season with salt and pepper, then saute until barely tender, about 4 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and dressing, then stir and cook for 1 more minute.
4. Remove skillet from heat. Add tomatoes, feta cheese, and basil Stir well, taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
I wasn’t expecting to like this quite as much as I did, but it was a real winner. The feta and the tangy-sweet dressing did a great job of dressing up a bunch of veggies and making them extra delicious.