If 2020 has gifted me anything good, it would be the abundance of time spent at home and the lack of opportunity to eat out. This really allowed me to explore the diverse world of food over the world-wide-web. I have fallen in love with so many different dishes and foods I had never thought I would like.
Participating in Salted Caramel’s 5things challenge, here are 5 foods I have come to enjoy:
I used to hate cheese. Maybe hate is too strong of a word, after all, I do love mac n’ cheese. It turned out I just didn’t like the tangy taste of the orange-color cheese. I have learned to stay away from those and opted for some moderately priced European cheeses. I have fallen in love with a cheddar from England, Gouda from Holland, Traditional Feta from Greece, and a Baby Swiss cheese.
I have also come to find out unlike the orange-color cheeses, each European cheese has its own distinctive taste and smell. For example, the cheddar from England has a sweet and salty taste, almost like an umami favor to it.
Not all breakfast burrito is created equal. It all depends on what you put inside and how you treat it afterwards. For me, I usually begin with a layer of deli meat – sometimes ham, sometimes turkey, depends on what I can get at the store – and then a layer of cheese and a layer of scramble eggs. Sometimes, I would add an additional layer of beans if I decide to open a can of beans.
The treatment afterwards matters. If you deep-fry it in oil, then you have a lot more fat to your burrito. I usually heat it in a skillet under medium heat after I rolled it up, put a lid on it, and allow the cheese to melt before enjoying. I don’t top with anything. I simply enjoy as it is.
I didn’t care much for beans before 2020. I’ve always thought the beans I ate are not soft enough. When I eat them by the spoonful, they’re like little shards poking at my gums and threatening to be lodged between my molars. That was before I discovered canned beans and refried beans.
Refried beans are my favorite. If you buy the spicy kind, it can warm you instantly during a cold winter’s day.
I usually add beans to either a scramble egg for breakfast or I would add it to another meal as a side of veggies.
I liked salmon before but 2020 has made me love salmon. My favorite type of salmon is the farm-raised salmon. I’ll admit, it’s not as healthy as the wild salmon but for a beginner cook like me, farm-raised salmon is the way to go.
This type of salmon tend to be a little fatter than wild salmon because they don’t have to hunt for food. They’re like the couch potatoes in the world of salmon. Because of all the fat, this type of salmon tends to be a little more forgiving when it comes to accidental-overcooking.
I usually like to fry it or bake it. Either is good or you can bake it, let it cool, and mix it with equal amount of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt to make a salmon salad.
Overnight oats is definitely faster than getting up each morning and making a bowl of hot oatmeal. Even working from home, I do not want to spend the time manning the stove in the morning, especially not with my mom complaining about me “cooking again”.
My base for overnight oats is always the same – 1/4 to 1/2 cup of old-fashion rolled oats (don’t use the quick-cooking oats, it’ll turn to mush), 1 to 2 tbsp of chia seed, and a cup of almond milk.
Apple pie oats and PB&J (Peanut Butter and Jelly) oats are two of my all-time favorite overnight oats combination. De-seed and dice one small apple and toss it into a small saucepan along with about 2 tbsp of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of nutmeg, 1/4 tsp of ground ginger, and a pinch of salt. Let it simmer on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until fork-tender. Divide and pour the apples into 2 or 3 jars of overnight oats base and refrigerate overnight.
The PB&J oats doesn’t involve so much cooking. Simply add a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter and the jam of your choice into the base, refrigerate overnight, and enjoy.
My aunt saw me make it once and thought it was disgusting. “How can you eat that? It’s cold.” She had said. You can always dump it into a bowl and microwave it, silly, I was about to say before my mom jumped in, telling my aunt to ignore me.
Overnight oats is so good and just about the most wholesome breakfast one can ask for to begin another long work day.