Hello! Hello!

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.

IMG_0498

IMG_0499IMG_0500IMG_0502

IMG_0503

IMG_0505

I totally stole some of these bananas – they were going to waste after Thanksgiving!

IMG_0504

IMG_0506

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.

IMG_0507

IMG_0508IMG_0509IMG_0511

IMG_0510

IMG_0512IMG_0513

IMG_0517

Ravens pic 2010

IMG_0515

Ravens 2009

003

Ravens 2008

ravens 2008

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 The Tempeh?

tempeh

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.

tempeh2

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.

IMG_0493

I also like to get the varieties with flax or wild rice for even more texture changes in my mouth.

IMG_0496

I threw in a whole grain in the form of Harvest Bread with real butter.  Did you know I liked this stuff???

IMG_0495

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.


Food For Thought

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.

farm

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:

  1. There are exceptions one being bananas
  2. 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.
  3. No berries, grapes, tomatoes and summer squash in the winter –they just don’t taste as good
  4. Get my eggs and milk locally – this one is actually easy
  5. Switch to local cheese – we have some great cheese makers in MD
  6. Eat lots of mushrooms! – being so close to PA, we have tons of them within an hour drive
  7. No foreign products except maybe soy sauce and other Asian condiments
  8. Read labels
  9. 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.

Sooooooo

  • Local #1
  • Domestic
  • Organic
  • Humane

So how did I do today?  Honestly, pretty bad in terms of local.

IMG_0490

  • 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 Sad smile .  Not the one I got, but the normal WF chicken got a 2 out of 5.  Slightly disturbing.

IMG_0491

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…


Pescatarian Thanksgiving!

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!

IMG_0480

Welcome to a Pescatarian Thanksgiving!Plate

StarStarThe StarsStarStar

  • Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
  • Long Grain Brown Rice
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Yellow Cauliflower
  • Leek and Cranberry Dressing

IMG_0484

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.

IMG_0482

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.IMG_0483

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.

The salmon should be done in about 10min and everything else so be done as well!IMG_0481

Deliciousness and a real meal!

IMG_0489

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…


Easy Peanut Sauce

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.

IMG_0478

  • Peanut Flour
  • Hot Chili Sauce
  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Water

Mix to taste!

IMG_0479

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!


Eat Well. Do Good

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.

IMG_0470

The theme today was San Francisco and Berkley and we were presented with menus and mimosas upon entrance.

IMG_0455

IMG_0454

The chef is also the owner and he began by explaining their aim for sustainable, seasonal and local foods in their restaurant.

IMG_0468

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.

IMG_0458

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.

IMG_0461

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

IMG_0462

This was much better than the first white, but I am just a much bigger fan of reds.

Next up was the main event and a San Francisco classic : Fisherman’s Warf CioppinoIMG_0465

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.

I tried to probe the chef about where he gets his fish, but I cannot find the place he mentioned on the web.IMG_0467IMG_0466

This was paired with the Flowers Pinot Noir, which was really delicious.

IMG_0463

Last but not least was a Ghiardelli Bittersweet Pot de Crème

IMG_0469

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.

I also had to get one of the servers t-shirts.  I love the simple message.IMG_0474

IMG_0477

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.

IMG_0457

Time to go make some turkey meatballs for dinner…I wish I had the other half of my pot de crème for dessert!


Spicy Kale and Potato Stoup

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!

IMG_0453

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 Smile

IMG_0452

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.

IMG_0445

  • 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

IMG_0447

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.

IMG_0446

I served and farm egg over the kale for a little protein.

IMG_0448

Yummy yoke in every bite!  Seasonal and delicious!

Time to pick up Nick!