Arriving to and Eating in San Francisco


This is the last leg of our California Road Trip – taking the drive from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco with an overnight stop in Monterey/dinner in Carmel and a visit with friends in Sunnyvale (outside of Silicon Valley).

We’re working backwards, so that I can share with you a terrific meal and fabulous recipe for home.

Before heading to the airport we parked along the pier to find a great dinner spot.  We found a perfect pre-travel meal at Plant Cafe Organic.  Mark and I skipped the local wines and instead opted for fresh pressed juices.  Everything was a delight; full flavors, vibrant colors, terrific view.

The stand-out order was my dinner, the Ginger Miso Quinoa Bowl, with shrimp.

I have since made a version of this dish at least four times since returning home.  It is impossible to screw up, and you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t love it.

Ginger Curry Quinoa Bowl Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 medium sized carrots
  • 2 medium sized zucchini
  • 1 red, orange, yellow pepper
  • 1/2 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined or tofu/chicken
  • 1 can of light coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup of teriyaki/soy blend (Soyaki)
  • 1/4 cup of Thai Yellow Curry Sauce (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 cup quinoa

The recipe uses a lot of vegetables, but there is a lot of room for creativity.  Extra broccoli, no corn? No big deal.

Prepare all vegetables by chopping the onion, mincing the garlic, cutting the corn from the cob and cutting the carrots, zucchini and peppers into 1/2″ spears.

Prepare the pan with a small splash of olive oil and the onions and garlic and cook over medium/low heat.  When the onions have begun to melt add the carrots.

Then add directly to the pot the coconut milk, water, vegetable broth, sauces, seasoning and ginger.  With a gentle hand, mix all of the ingredients.

Add the zucchini and peppers and cover.  The flavors are all working together for a really layered and full bodied bite.  When the vegetables are softened but still firm (after 10 minutes) start the quinoa in a separate pot.

As the quinoa is finishing add the corn to the vegetable pot and recover.  Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes and then turn for 1 minute, or until the shrimp loses it’s grey in favor of a more fashionable (and safe for consumption) pink.

This dish is a breeze to make, cheap to prepare and perfect for the next day’s lunch.

Leftover tip: keep the quinoa separate so that it doesn’t absorb all of the sauce!

Other notable SF stops:

  • Sunnyvale, we got to visit with friends who we hadn’t seen since our wedding, who recently moved to Sunnyvale.  We got to meet their adorable daughter, who unsurprisingly found her first boyfriend in Mark.  We walked about the beautiful campus of Stanford University, and understood why if you’re going to do extended studies, you’d want to do it there.  (It is the most beautiful campus I have ever been to. Note to future progeny, I will be happy to visit you there.)
  • Then we moved on to San Francisco we met up with a high school classmate of Mark’s, John Gidding, of HGTV fame. Together we went to Starbelly in the Castro district and then onto Blackbird nearby.  Starbelly is all atmosphere, and very good food.  You walk in and the energy is palpable; young people, v-neck t-shirts, wine and cheese.  The restaurant features upcycled wood and communal tables and a daily changing menu.  We shared the Starbelly domestic cheese plate and salumi.  The presentation was stunning, it was piled high with gorgeous cheeses and meats and dotted with sweet berries and nuts. The emphasis is on fresh and the flavor is delicious.
  • The next day we met a high school friend of mine, Rachel, for  lunch in the city.  We went to the Sentinel.  It is famous for their corned beef sandwich and that is what Mark got and quickly devoured.  Talk about aromas luring you in – this is the lunch spot in SF for an amazing sandwich.

It is easy to see how you could leave your heart in San Francisco, but bring the recipes home with you!

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