Recipes Tastes of Travel

Easy Quinoa Pasta + Our San Diego Airbnb

June 23, 2015

Have you guys heard of Airbnb?

NO?!

We’ll tell you a little bit about it:

With Airbnb, you rent a place to stay at (anywhere in the world, really) with a local host who either has a private room available, a shared room, an empty house/apartment, or even some really interesting accommodations like a treehouse (seriously now on our travelling bucket list cuz waking up in a tree sounds awesome). When staying in places with the host around, you have the opportunity to discover a new place with the eyes of a local and can get the inside scoop on a new land, and you also get to make a new friend! This helps travelers feel at home in a foreign place.

We totally aren’t affiliated with Airbnb, but our first experience with it in San Diego this weekend was amazing, and we can’t wait to try it out for our future adventures.

Allison was doing the Airbnb searching and stumbled upon a gal living in Ocean Beach who had many raving reviews. She offered a private room and said that she lived walking distance from the beach. Allison messaged her and inquired about staying with her for 3 nights and thankfully for us she said, “Yes!” We continued to get very excited about her and our stay as she replied back saying that she would be celebrating her half-birthday (she’s so rad) that weekend and said that we are more than welcome to join her and her friends in the celebration!

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When we pulled up to our temporary San Diego home we both looked at each other and smiled like 12 year old girls, making those cute, squeal-y sounds, and parked along the street. The house was a humble size, painted a light green with a peach door (best color combination). Slinging our backpacks on our shoulders and thankfully stretching our legs after that drive, we walked into the house and were immediately struck with a warm, natural, and welcoming vibe.

We spotted our room to the left in which our host had placed clean linen and towels on the bed, and tossed our bags on the floor. We began to explore the house and found The Beatles paraphernalia and plants spreading their leaves over her shelves and window sills. All items and furniture in her place looked used and loved. The kitchen had mostly open cabinets packed with hemp seeds and dried beans. The fridge was magnet-ed with nostalgia: letters and pictures from old friends, and magnets that appeared to be gifts or trinkets from our host’s travels. Her backyard carried even more greenery with an open seating space near two rusty barbecues. The shed looking structure outside smelled of Tide and we assumed her washer and dryer could be found inside. We decided to sit outside and just dwell in her space, soaking in the beachy, bohemian feels.

We then heard a car pull up and a door open. There was a jingle of a dog collar and the clicks of a dog’s nails on the carport. The wooden gate slung open and in came a dog with two different colored eyes and a gorgeous caramel coat. Followed by the dog, was our host who was dressed in a tank top and sweatpants with signs of a bright swimsuit under her top. She was so excited to see us and the introductions began and friend-making began, and we honestly could not stop staring at her rocking surfer body as she was introducing us to her dog, Spirit. Our host is a 36 year-old surfer babe, like, we totally aim to look as in shape as her when we’re her age. Life goals.

Airbnb San DiegoAirbnb San Diego Airbnb San DiegoAirbnb San DiegoQuinoa Pasta - Abbey KitchenQuinoa Pasta - Abbey Kitchen

Overall, she was an awesome, awesome host. Her energy was so kind, and her jokes and impersonations of her previous Airbnb guests were hilarious. She made us feel quite at home, and even though her kitchen didn’t have as much counter space as we were used to, we cooked up an easy pasta dish for dinner on Sunday night with the zucchini we snagged from the Little Italy Mercato.

TO MAKE:
Makes 2 servings
1/2 box Ancient Harvest Quinoa Shell Pasta
2 tsp olive oil
2 zucchinis chopped
Sea salt
Garlic Powder
Black pepper
1 cup Sprouts Marinara Sauce (no salt added)
6 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1. Begin to cook the pasta according to package directions; omitting salt and oil.
2. While the water for you pasta is boiling, chop up your zucchinis.
3. Heat a pan on the stove and turn it to medium-heat and drizzle it with olive oil; swirling it around to coat the pan.
4. Place in your chopped zucchini; sprinkle them with sea salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.
5. If your water has come to a boil now, pour in your pasta noodles and cook for the amount of time stated on the package.
6. Let your pasta cook and stir your zucchini occasionally; they will be done once they have softened and have browned just a bit.
7. Strain pasta when the noodles are cooked through in a strainer and then return them back to the pot.
8. You may decide to heat up your pasta sauce via the microwave for 2-3 minutes covered with a paper towel/dish towel, or you can add the pasta sauce straight to the noodles and turn the burner to low heat.
9. Stir in the zucchini.
10. Serve warm and top with cheese.
11. Enjoy! Serve it with a fresh side salad for a complete meal!

Quinoa Pasta - Abbey KitchenAirbnb San Diego -- Abbey Kitchen

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