I have been MIA for awhile absorbing family and friends time while trying to figure some things out.
Here are a few snap shots from the holiday weekend and some old gems of grandparents.
I totally stole some of these bananas – they were going to waste after Thanksgiving!
Maine crab, deviled egg, tomato and mozzarella…I did not have turkey because I just couldn’t bring myself to do it when I had no idea where it was coming from. I did have non-pictured green beans, turnips, butternut squash and a lot of cornbread stuffing.
Ravens pic 2010
2008 was the best…the weather was really nice and we had a great tailgate spot.
I can’t believe it is almost Christmas and 2011! Craziness!
What is tempeh? The short answer is – partially cooked fermented soy. You can read the full write up on that very reliable source Wiki.
When I first tried the stuff I thought it was really gross. I was looking for an alternative to tofu (because I have to cook the poop out of it to give it a texture I enjoy) and tempeh has the same basic principles. I am still trying to limit my soy intake because it is seriously in everything but it is really easy to through a chunk of this stuff in a pan and be eating in minutes.
It is definitely something you have to get used to. I like it best with any sort of strong marinade or sauce. I also like to add it to my cheddar & jelly.
Tonight I marinated about 1/4 block of tempeh in some olive oil, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, S&P and hot sauce.
Heated it up and toped a mix of spinach, and parsnip fries.
I also like to get the varieties with flax or wild rice for even more texture changes in my mouth.
I threw in a whole grain in the form of Harvest Bread with real butter. Did you know I liked this stuff???
The best sauces I have used on tempeh are: bbq, curry, balsamic and mustard mix, and mexican spices.
So, have you used tempeh? What is your favorite combo?
On the workout front…I did 15min on the spin bike and an hour of BodyPump. It isn’t running, but it will do for now.
I have been trying to figure out what direction I want to take this little blog. I am still off the running wagon, but I did go to the Doc today and we are going to try some orthotics and eventually work up to running. Until then I will be biking (I am getting really good and creating my own spin class), swimming and strength training (I went to BodyPump last week and it kicked my butt).
Until I can run again I thought I would zero in on a food mission I have been working on.
Buying Local/ Sustainable/ Organic/ Humane
I tried this today with my Whole Food haul and it was really hard! I do go to the Farmer’s market every week, but that is ending next week and the labels in WF only say “USA”. This makes it really hard figure out how far my food has traveled.
Here are some of my personal rules:
- There are exceptions one being bananas
- Fruit is going to be hard so this will most likely be seasonal – I have some apples left from the fall and peaches from the summer, but I will probably eat citrus (US only!) and some pears.
- No berries, grapes, tomatoes and summer squash in the winter –they just don’t taste as good
- Get my eggs and milk locally – this one is actually easy
- Switch to local cheese – we have some great cheese makers in MD
- Eat lots of mushrooms! – being so close to PA, we have tons of them within an hour drive
- No foreign products except maybe soy sauce and other Asian condiments
- Read labels
- Try to buy things without labels
The reason I am trying to buy only US products is because even though the FDA has its problems we have much more food protection that South American or African mega producers.
- Local #1
So how did I do today? Honestly, pretty bad in terms of local.
- Kombucha – CO, organic
- Chicken – organic, humane
- Mushrooms – local
- Pitas – local
- Satsuma – USA
- Yams – organic, USA
- Green beans – USA
- Milk – local, organic
- Yogurt – Organic
- Chicken broth – organic
- Parsnips – USA, organic
- Quinoa – organic (bulk)
- Spinach – organic – questionable company
- Peas – organic
- Chocolate chunks – nada
- Mustard – ?
- Bananas – fair trade
I stood in front of the meat case for about 20min reading the Welfare guide and noticing the chicken was the only thing labeled and it had a pretty low rate . Not the one I got, but the normal WF chicken got a 2 out of 5. Slightly disturbing.
If you are wondering where my protein is in the above pictures besides of the chicken, I have lots of beans, tempeh, salmon and lentils.
What do you think? I think it will be hard, but I will try and post a similar list every week.
Time to pick up Nick from the bus! He is late again…
Tonight I got really inspired to cook an actual meal. I have been seriously slacking in the divided meals lately and I tend to just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and mix it up.
Well that changed tonight!
Welcome to a Pescatarian Thanksgiving!
- Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
- Long Grain Brown Rice
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Yellow Cauliflower
- Leek and Cranberry Dressing
First thing get your rice started with 1/2 cup rice and 1 cup water + salt. (I made extra to use at a later date). Once that is going get to chopping brussels and c-flower. Place the veggies two baking sheets and cover in preferred oil, S&P(I went with coconut). Throw them in over at 350 and bake for 30-45 depending if you like them to get crispy or not/have patients for. The rice will take about 45min so you might as well cook them that long as well. Once the rice was going and the oven was baking, I hit the shower. I love doing this because I feel like I am killing two birds with one stone.
Once out of the water I started in on the leek and cranberry dressing. In a pot bring together 1/2 cup apple juice, 1 cup fresh cranberries, 1 tbs mustard, 4 sprigs of thyme, 1/2 of one leek, S&P, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. Let this simmer for about 15min until it thickens. It will be a bit tart and spicy so if you are looking for a sweet cranberry dressing add about a tablespoon of sugar.
After you get the cranberries going cook your salmon your favorite way. I do not have a grill so I did mine on the stove stop with coconut oil and S&P.
Deliciousness and a real meal!
Cheese! Told you I just got out of the shower!
What kind of Thanksgiving are you having? Fish? Turkey? Veg?
I saw Turkeys on their way to slaughter on the news this morning and it was really depressing…
I wasn’t planning on posting anything tonight but after being inspired by Heather’s peanut sauce, I had to show off my easy stir fry peanut sauce.
I had no idea how it would turn out hence why there are no final product pictures.
Just grab these three things and be able to add about 2tbs of water.
- Peanut Flour
- Hot Chili Sauce
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Mix to taste!
Slowly add water to mix until it is the consistency of the paste you like!
I threw mine on a stir fry of leeks, tempeh, roasted turnip, spinach and wheat berries.
Oh wheat berries I have seriously missed you!
Today was my first experience at a cooking demonstration.
I received an e-mail from Living Social for a deal to The Dogwood Restaurant, and when I saw it a local and sustainable restaurant, I knew I had to check it out.
The theme today was San Francisco and Berkley and we were presented with menus and mimosas upon entrance.
The chef is also the owner and he began by explaining their aim for sustainable, seasonal and local foods in their restaurant.
I really liked the kale behind him, but it made for weird lighting.
Funny enough the first course was California Persimmons, pickled fennel, baby greens and California Olive Oil.
These persimmons did not taste like the ones I had previously and I finally found out why! I was not letting them ripen enough (I had waited a week). Apparently it is hard to get them here ripe on the vine. I guess I have to wait until I get to Cali to actually enjoy them in their full splendor. I really liked the pickled fennel that was lightly soaked in Chardonnay vinegar, sugar, salt and a bit of the fennel greens.
We also had a wine pairing with every course and the Four Vines “Naked” Chardonnay was my least favorite of the day.
The next course was a caramelized onion tart with blue cheese and fresh thyme.
I am not good at pastry so it was very interesting to see the many steps that go into combining basically flour and a lot of butter. You do not want your butter to get warm!
This was good and very crispy due to the fact that they use a pizza stone to make their tarts instead of a tart pan. I would have liked a bit more of a bold punch from the onions, but they cheese was very good and I was happy to see the greens show up.
The wine pair with this was a Bonny Doon Ca’del Solo Estate Vineyard Albarino
This was much better than the first white, but I am just a much bigger fan of reds.
This basic fish stew was much more than that. It had sherry, red pepper flakes, clams, mussels, scallops from the coast of New Jersey, white fish and shrimp.
This was paired with the Flowers Pinot Noir, which was really delicious.
Last but not least was a Ghiardelli Bittersweet Pot de Crème
They made this look so easy! Their secret it to add a little bit of Brandy for flavoring. I couldn’t even taste it.
I was so full by this point, I could only eat half. I didn’t want to walk away feeling sick after having enjoyed delicious food.
Overall I think the food was good, but the demo could use a little polishing. I had to ask about the wine pairings and they didn’t have enough seats set up for people – you were supposed to RSVP. The servers were very attentive and a great mix of people. I sat with a nice group and they gave me some restaurant suggestions for around the area.
Time to go make some turkey meatballs for dinner…I wish I had the other half of my pot de crème for dessert!
I cannot tell you how amazing my apartment smells right now! Whole Food got me with a bag of cinnamon pine cones and they smell amazing!
I know they don’t look like much but it smells like the holidays around here! I hope my allergic to everything roommate does not mind
It may look like nothing but there is no smellivison on the computer!
I did all of my baking yesterday so tonight I made something more than my usual grilled cheese for my pre-Nick meal. It is the easiest to recreate when we get home from the bus stop so I like to make it for him.
- 1 tbs EVOO
- 1 onion diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bunch kale
- 4 small white potatoes
- 3/4 box white mushrooms sliced
- 1 box low sodium veggie broth
- 1 jalapeno
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro
- dash turmeric, coriander and paprika
- 1 tsp salt
Satue the oil and onion until clear. Add garlic, kale and 1/2 cup broth. Cook down kale and throw in potatoes, mushrooms, spices and rest of the broth. Add the cilantro right before serving. Season more as needed.
I served and farm egg over the kale for a little protein.
Yummy yoke in every bite! Seasonal and delicious!
Time to pick up Nick!
Thanks to those who served or are currently serving our country, I have today off from work!
When I get days off during the week I try and make the most of them so I never really sleep in. I was up at 7, which is 1.5 hours more of sleep and it was so nice to eat breakfast with day light and with the Today show!
Yes, I did just wake up and that is my “relaxing morning” giant coffee cup.
Sissy is excited to have me home and joined me at the table while I took some pictures of a delicious breakfast!
Breakfast just tastes better when you can see it!
After breakie and hanging out with Matt I tried to make Jenna’s beginner rolls, but they were like bricks…I tried to make a loaf, but I am calling them dunkers for a pumpkin kale soup I am planning tomorrow. At least they taste good and they chewiness has not stopped me from eating 5 already.
While these were “rising” I ran a few errands to Target and the library to pick up a book for my cooking class this weekend!
I am so excited to read this and to take the class the weekend. I will be sure to give a full report.
After a few bricks I headed out for a lovely bike ride!!!!!
I haven’t been on my bike since September when it started getting to dark to ride after work, and my legs + lungs could totally feel it! I almost died on a few hills, but I made it! It was so pretty out there.
These ponies wanted to play, but I didn’t want to cross the street to horses I didn’t know!
I did my normal loop.
I think I need some new tape on my handle bars!
Green monster with spinach, frozen cherries, 2 scoops vanilla hemp protein, skim.
I also tried to enjoy another persimmon, but yet again I thought it was gross. It sucks the moisture out of my mouth and it is so odd. I really wish I enjoyed it but I cannot get over the reaction in my mouth! Am I missing something???? Barf.
So obviously this was not enough for lunch after my bike ride so I made a batch of Anne’s cranberry pumpkin muffins but I omitted the walnuts.
Look at the cranberry oozing out! I am going to bring some of these into work for the few of us that make it in tomorrow.
After muffin consumption I headed out to yoga. Let me tell you it is really hard to go out of the apartment after it is dark, but I did it! And it felt soooooo good.
When I returned I was starving and cooked up a mix of veg in the oven that cooked while I showered.
No sun for dinner….In a small casarol dish went: bok choy, sliced turnip, mushrooms, goat cheese and tomato sauce – baked for 45min at 350.
Simple ingredients and delicious flavor. I read about that in Alice Waters’ book today!
Well that about wraps up my day out of the cube. I just remembered I forgot to go to the dry cleaner but other than that I got a lot done today!
Sissy and I will be spending the rest of the night watching the Ravens! Things are not looking good…lets hope they can turn things around.
Tonight was pumpkin night! I cooked up a baby sugar pumpkin for the first time and went to town.
I stuffed half the pumpkin with:
- 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
- last of the garden tomatoes
- goat cheese!!!! I almost forgot this!
I had never used turmeric before and it has a very interesting flavor. I actually got a bunch of spices to make my own curry instead of the jar sauces that contain not so hot ingredients. This was really good, but the pumpkin lacked the flavor I was expecting. I had to make sure there was enough salt and pepper on the squash, but once it was well seasoned it was delicious!
Plus there were peas! Who doesn’t love peas?!?! They are definitely one of my favorite veggies.
I am excited for my own curry dishes, maybe with the other half of pumpkin in a pumpkin curry chili! That sounds amazing.
Today was pancake Sunday and these did not disappoint! I used OSG recipe for spelt pancakes as my base, but added cinnamon and flax and subtracted the protein powder.
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- generous dash of cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 1 tbs ground flax
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
Makes about 5 small pancakes.
I topped my cakes with pb, banana, POM arils and chia seeds.
Do you take the time to make something special on the weekend?