I’ve been here for almost two weeks now and, unfortunately, I haven’t been to as many restaurant as I’d like but that’s what happens when you’re on a student budget.
So far I’ve only been to Henry’s and had delicious lemon-ricotta pancakes. One of the best thing about this place is that they offer free complementary muffins (two small muffins per head).
Also, in one of my walks around the city I stopped by Levain Bakery and had the best cookie of my life. It is a bit expensive ($4) but certainly worth it once in a very long while if you want to treat yourself.
So far, I’ve been mostly cooking at home. The first few days I had almost nothing to cook with, which gave rise to some interesting combinations such as: stir-fried tofu with summer squash, cheese, and teriyaki sauce. I know it seems like I’m breaking the Law by doing this, but it is delicious!
Going to the supermarket has certainly been an experience. For one, some items are way more expensive than in Spain:
- fresh meat
- fresh fish
- most fresh vegetables (mushrooms!!)
- nuts (those are hell of expensive)
- salads (the cheaper I could find was plain mixed salad for $4, around 200g)
There are, however, some things that are cheaper:
- oats (hello future breakfast for the next five years)
- peanut butter (yay!). Incidentally, there are around two dozens of different types of PB?
- sugar-free and low- or non-fat foods
And I think that’s pretty much it. However, I must admit the variety of fruits and vegetables is far greater than the average Spanish supermarket.
So far I’ve discovered summer squash, Californian avocado (looking forward to try these), kale, sweet potatoes all year long!, all the different types of non-dairy milk you could possibly imagine, infinite types of cereals, swiss chard, and many other things that I haven’t noticed yet. And, of course, the sweets section is quite enormous. Also, the sizes/portions are larger than in Europe.
So, back in Spain I usually had oatmeal in the morning, but for some reason I was able to eat them warm. I’m not able to do so in this country, so I had to turn to overnight oatmeal, which is still pretty good.
Prepare the oats the night before. You’ll need:
- 1 cup of milk. I usually only use 1/2cup milk and use water for the other half. Perhaps it is less flavourful but you can compensate that by adding other stuff.
- 1/2 oats (traditional, not steel-cut)
- optional: 1 or 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- optional: vanilla extract or beans, cinnamon powder, chocolate powder.
- optional: sweetener of choice.
Put the oats on a bowl, pour the milk/water, cover, and let it refrigerate until next morning. Incidentally, I’ve actually let the bowl stay for two nights and the result was as good.
In the morning you can also add some toppings:
- fruits: berries, banana, mango, apple, pear, etc.
- all kinds of nuts (I wouldn’t go with PB, it mixes better with warm oatmeal)
- coconut flakes
Pretty much anything that may add some flavour or crunchiness is usually a good topping!
Finally, as I have mentioned before, one of the good things of this country is that peanut butter is so, so cheap.
One of my most recent culinary mischiefs is to mix greek yogurt with crunchy peanut butter.