Update on “Mission Clean Out Duke’s Refrigerator”:

  • Dairy
    • 4 cups plain yogurt 3 cups plain yogurt
    • 8 cups cottage cheese 4 cups cottage cheese
    • 1 gallon of milk (well, most of it anyway)
    • 12 oz queso fresco
    • 1.25 cups sour cream
  • Fruits and Vegetables
    • 1 jalapeño
    • 3/4 of a green pepper
    • 1 bag scallions 1/2 bag scallions
    • 1/2 head cabbage
    • 1/2 lb. baby spinach
    • 5 apples 4 apples
    • 4 bananas 2 bananas
    • 1.5 cucumbers 1 cucumber
    • 2 plum tomatoes 1 plum tomato
    • 1/2 bunch cilantro
    • 2 avocados 1.5 avocados
    • 2 onions
    • 2 sweet potatoes
    • 1 bunch parsley (was not counted in original inventory) 1/2 bunch parsley

Chris and I both liked this meal. I am not sure if he was so hungry that he did not notice the raw tomatoes, if it tasted so good that the tomatoes did not matter, or what was going on, but he did not even mention them. Normally he calls them out and then make the ‘tomato face’. I’ll just roll with it.

This was a tasty and refreshing meal on a hot day (especially if you have broken air conditioning like we do). We both thought we would like to have it again, even not during refrigerator clean out week. If we had used Greek yogurt (or strained our yogurt to thicken it) this would be pretty good stuffed into a pita as well.


  • 1 cup (140 g dry) lentils
  • 1 cup yogurt (I used nonfat.)
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 medium scallions, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar


  • Cook lentils according to instructions on package. Drain well and chill.
  • Combine yogurt and tahini.
  • Gently stir in cucumber, tomato, parsley, and scallions.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve lentils topped with yogurt mixture and a few splashes of white balsamic vinegar.

Servings ~ 2
Calories ~ 317, Fat ~ 5 g, Carbohydrates ~ 49 g, Protein ~ 21 g

After our race on Saturday, I convinced Chris that it was a good idea to go to Trader Joe’s. TJ’s is a long way from our house, so it is a pretty rare occurence. I wanted to see if their quinoa was cheaper than the quinoa at our weird hippie grocery store. It was slightly cheaper, not enough to warrant a drive that far anytime soon. I was also super excited to get more white balsamic vinegar because I have a lot better luck eating salads and keeping my clothing stain free with white balsamic than I do with its stain causing brown counterpart.

Of course, after buying months worth of quinoa, I could not wait to go home and make our favorite new quinoa dish. Sadly, it just didn’t do the trick for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is very tasty, but I think we may have eaten it too many times in the last few weeks.

Like clockwork, a new quinoa based recipe arrived on the scene. Thankfully, this one also included avocados, which I must use five of before they go bad. I modified the recipe slightly from its original state, hopefully for the better.

Adapted from Fine Cooking and


  • 30 g (about 1/4 cup) raisins
  • 30 g (about 1/4 cup) craisins
  • 1 cup (dry) quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 4 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 16 g (about 1/8 cup) almond slivers


  • In a medium bowl, soak the raisins and craisins in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a small pan, combine 2 cups of water, 1 cup of quinoa, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the water has been absorbed.
  • In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Cut up avocado and scallions.
  • After the quinoa has finished cooking, combine quinoa, the vinaigrette, rasins, craisins, avocado, almond slivers, and scallions. Toss until thoroughly mixed.
  • Serve warm or cold.

Servings ~ 4
Calories ~ 348, Fat ~ 15 g, Carbohydrates ~ 50 g, Protein ~ 8 g

This stuff rocks! After my kale and quinoa disaster a few weeks ago, I would never have guessed that the same two main ingredients could take on such a different life. I have proven myself wrong. I based this recipe on a dish from EatDrinkBetter and my own standard asian salad dressing recipe. My kale is steamed because I wanted to make the texture blend with the quinoa better and I wanted the moist, warm ingredients to soften the nori. It turned out great! Not only was this easy to make, but it is one of the tastiest and most unusual dishes that I have made in a while.


  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped and de-stemmed
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 5 thin slices ginger root
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 sheet nori
  • 1 avocado, skinned and pitted
  • Very Teri, queso fresco, and scallions optional (for garnish)


  • Mix a dressing of rice vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, sesame seeds and vinegar. Allow this to sit while cooking. Remove ginger slices before dressing the salad.
  • Combine 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa in a small pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until water has been absorbed.
  • While quinoa is cooking, chop and de-stem one bunch of kale. Steam and drain kale.
  • While kale is steaming, peel and chop cucumber, avocado, and nori.
  • Combine kale, quinoa, cucumber, avocado, nori, and dressing (with ginger removed).
  • Chill before serving.
  • I garnished mine with Very Teri, queso fresco, and scallions.

Servings ~ 6
Calories ~ 230, Fat ~ 8 g, Carbohydrates ~ 36 g, Protein ~ 8 g

What is queso fresco, you ask? And why is the Mexican sounding cheese being served with Asian noodles? Queso fresco is the cheese of choice in Duke’s House. We are on a mission to pinch pennies in any way possible to save for a great mountain climbing expedition later this year. Queso fresco is the most economical, versatile cheese that Chris and I have happened on so far. At $2.86 for 12 ounces, it can’t be beat. Queso fresco is the only cheese on our grocery list, so I expect that it will make frequent showings here. 

After buying Soba noodles on a whim last week, it became my mission to find something good to do with them. I scoured all of my go-to cooking blogs and recipe websites and finally found something that struck my fancy. Perhaps it is due to her great photography or possibly due to my nearly flawless track record with her cooking I selected this recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles to base my cooking endeavor on. 


  • 12 ounces soba noodles
  • 10 ounces frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 6 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • 4 scallions, chopped


  • Cook noodles and peas together until noodles are tender.
  • While noodles and peas are cooking, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, salt, and black pepper in a sealable container (you will toss the noodles and peas in it later).
  • Crumble queso fresco and chop scallions, these will be used as a garnish.
  • When the noodles and peas are finished cooking, drain and then add to the sauce mixture.
  • Toss noodles and sauce.
  • Garnish each serving with queso fresco and scallions.

Servings ~ 8
Calories ~ 278, Carbohydrates ~ 39 g, Fat ~ 10 g, Protein ~ 11 g