Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Recent Eats and Yummy Treats

As soon as it snows it is officially pancake season! Yay!
Oh wait.... It is ALWAYS pancake season!

Triple yay!

Just looking at pictures of pancakes makes me want some!
Look:

Topped with some melty peanut butter and Tastefully Simple blueberry burgundy jam. Oh the benefits of living with a consultant! Whoever thought it was a good idea to combine blueberries and burgundy wine is a complete genius! Get. It.
I ate half this jar for research purposes only!

*cough*

moving on....


Whole Foods dinner.....

What is it with shopping for food that makes me too tired to cook? So I didn't even try to fight. Stuffed faux turkey with olive oil mashed potato and faro stuffing. Oh that farro stuffing is so creamy and delicious.


steamy

That fabulous Italian store Merante Brothers Market in Washington county  still sells the sundried tomato risotto. And my family was nice enough to bring me some when they went there. What sweeties! I made some for lunch today with spinach. It needed something "fresh" to health it up.



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fall (ing Snow) and Chocolate

 
Can you believe what is happening outside?
It seems like only a few days ago I was saying
goodbye to the last wave of the tomato harvest.

 
Waving goodbye to the beautiful leaves of summer as they
beautifully decayed in splendid shades of yellow, orange and red.

 
And now it looks like this outside.
Beautiful! Right?
I need some coffee....
 
 
Oh there it is!
Tall skinny blonde with soy milk...
With one pump of vanilla.
Yum!

 
This calls for a big bowl of soup!
1/4 cup of quinoa, 1/2 zucchini chopped, 1/4 cup chopped kale
and 1/4 c pepper sauce (pinjur or salsa)
 
1) throw it all in the pot
2) let it simmer until the quinoa is done
3) warm your insides!
 
 
Look at the creepy snow outside!
 
 
Now it's time for chocolate truffle bar.
1/4 c cocoa powder, 4 T sweetened vanilla coconut milk, 1t coconut oil
 
1) mix it then sprinkle with cracked sea salt
2) top with a bit of pb
 
 
After that indulgence have a bit of detox food.
Steam veg with quinoa and a side of sauerkraut.

 
Have you tried this?
It's thick and creamy like greek yogurt.
Not to sweet but the strawberry flavor is fabulous.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Random Lunch...Zuchini Chips


Red Lentils and Kale on Olive Pane
Do you ever get meal inspiration from something you read? There are some literary works that purposely attempt to inspire hunger, but there are times when my culinary imagination is set afire accidentally.

This particular meal was inspired by my Bible reading and research. Can you guess what I was reading about? I'll give you a clue: Twins, Birthright, Red.

Got it?

You guessed it! Our Sunday lesson revolved around valuing spiritual things and we were discussing the experience of Jacob and Esau at Genesis 25: 27-34. Well, while I was reading this it popped into my head that I had some red lentils in the cupboard and the idea sort of grew from there.

I made the red lentils and added kale in the final minutes of cooking along with a sprinkle of lemon pepper and sea salt. Finished with a drizzle of oil.

Interestingly, I found out that this olive Pane, which I bought as a splurge item is $3 cheaper at Whole Foods than where I bought it. Bummer! Bummer because I feel like I was slightly robbed, but also because the price tag is the only thing that stopped be from buying this excessively. *sigh* #FoodieWeightlossProblems If only I could find a gluten free version of this bread. Excess gluten and weightloss do not add up in my body. Sadly!

Do you know what this means? I may never be Italian. #dreamscrushed

How do you feel about hashtags? I find them hilarious. Obviously!

I'll close this out with a picture of deliciousness...
Angel Hair with Kale, Nooch, and fresh Tomatoes
Oh wait there's more!

Sliced zucchini on parchment
 
I made zucchini chips!
 Well, sort of.
I couldn't wait until they were done.
So, some were crisp and chip like and some were not..
But all were delicious.
 
Beautiful and yummy way to munch your veggies!

 
 
 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Accidental Lentil Chili


Accidental chili! With avocado! Exclamation point!
 
I have been craving chili like crazy.
And you know how I love accidentally creating things.
So I was going to make more lentil soup.
 
Like this:
 
 
Using this:
 
Pinjur by Konex Foods
 
But I added too much in my zealousness to get more veggies in.
And it amazingly turned into chili (see pic above).
When I tasted it and realized how much it tasted like chili
I did the only natural thing you do when you realize you have accidentally made chili.....
grab an avocado!!!!!
 
Get you some!
 
I got this accidental chili starter at Big Lots.
It's loaded with: peppers, eggplant, tomato paste, garlic.
Some of the best things in the world!
It tastes great on bread, on sandwiches, in soup, as a chili, on pasta or just on some rice.
 
Side note: It's from Bulgaria.
I suddenly want to go to Bulgaria and eat things.
Who knew they had such yumminess?
 
Lentil Chili:
Serves 2
Easy recipe that isn't even a recipe:
 
1 c lentils
1/2 c brown rice
1/2 jar pinjur
 
1) cook rice and lentils together
2) throw in the Pinjur
3) let simmer 10 minutes if you can wait that long
the smell is some kind of wonderful
 
Random question: Do you eat rice with your chili?


Stupid picture of delicious bread taken in a car
 
This is sweet potato bread. It's beautiful, right?
It is sooo good! My brother made it.
He's a genius in the kitchen.
I'll give you the recipe soon.
Or maybe I won't.
We'll see...
 
That is all....

Friday, October 11, 2013

What's for Breakfast? What's for Leonard?

What do you eat for breakfast?

In Italy it was tea and a pastry
Or leftover pasta...

What's for breakfast?
Common vegan question #13.



Cracklebred topped with nutbutter, jam, dried fruit and nuts..
Cracklebred topped with Fakin' bacon, tofu eggs...

 
Scrambled tofu with tempeh bacon and a side of whole wheat toast..
 
 
Pancakes for one topped with maple syrup or warm fruit compote..
 
Oatmeal with coconut butter, peanut butter and strawberry rhubarb jam
Oatmeal with nut butter, nuts and dried fruit, jam, etc..
Rice and vegetables..
Leftover pasta...

Cold cereal and almond milk...
Puffed Kamut with soaked Goji berries and maple syrup
 Loaded sweet potato...
Sweet Potato with peanut butter, dried cranberries and sliced almonds
 
 My favorite especially when Im trying to control cravings is a smoothie.
To add protein my favorites are protein powder, hemp seeds, nutmilk base and/or nut butter topping.
 
Lunch, Dinner or Linner...Leonard!
 
What's a good lunch or dinner in a hurry?
 
If you say salad I won't be your friend anymore.
Okay I will, but only if it's a PACKED salad.
You know the type: so many toppings you've forgotten if there is lettuce in the bowl.Oh yeah! That's what Im talking about...
 
Wait what was I talking about? Oh yeah!
 
Some ideas for lunch and dinner incorporating nutrient dense whole foods.
Double your vegetable serving. Try steaming vegetables in veggie stock and fresh herbs or roasting them to bring out the flavor in them.

Oh you wanted some actual foods on this list...


Here you go:
 
Pasta with marinara add red lentils to the marinara or a nooch based alfredo type sauce.
 
Taco soup Time saving tip: throw the ingredients in the crock pot in the morning and it will be ready  when you get home.

Lasagna...
 
Tacos!

Salad with a side of Kale Chips...

Super Hero lunch!

Do you see any lettuce up in here? I didn't think so....

Black bean burgers on a brown rice tortilla or gluten free bread..or a bun..

side of tortilla chips and salsa...
 

vegburger on gluten free bread
Soup and a Sandwich...

Dr. Mcdougal's Salad Cups! Vegan, healthy cup of ramen type thangs!


That is all...
Go eat!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Fun + Favorite Places

Where do you go to shop (and maybe unwind or decompress)?
There are a couple of places I unwind shop at.
Fridays are a great day for this because...
Do you really need reasons why its great to unwind on Friday?
 
Oh. Okay. Well one reason is many get paid on Friday.
So you know exactly what you have to work with cash wise.
I head out shopping with a budget in mind.
Spending too much will add stress not decrease it....
 
 
Gourmet food deals abound at Home Goods. Coconut butter for $6!!!!  (regularly $12, but now that I know the Maranatha is always $6 at Walmart I want to give that brand a go) On a recent trip, I also bought some dehydrated orange slice which you eat peel and all. Yay vitamin C!
 
And another perk of Home Goods is that it's right near....

Be still my heart ...
I'm not even going to describe the great fun of window shopping at IKEA.
You can wander around and pretend you live in the display.
 
What? Don't pretend I'm the only one who does this. How can you know if you will really like an item unless you pretend to use it in a pretend kitchen?
 
And you can come out of IKEA spending under $10 with a load of booty.
Yesterday was talk like a pirate day by the way. Weird!

Fire!
 
My friends Backyards, or front yards or living rooms.
Wonderful places to unwind they are...
Especially backyards where we can burn things.
 
Yay making s'mores!
 
ALL the toppings
 
Whole Foods Wexford is great for foodie finds.
It's a tad bigger than my regular Whole Foods so I tend to find new things to try there. They have a giant bulk section, so even if I only have a few dollars to splurge with I can get several tiny bits instead of one big thing to try.
 
On top of that they have an awesome wood fired pizza oven. You know how I love my wood fired oven pizza. On my most recent trip I had to wait 20 minutes for this pizza but it was so gooooooooood. Mediteranean on whole wheat crust. Sundried tomatoes rehydrated in seasoned oil, spinach, artichokes, kalamata olives on a red marinara sauce.
 
I'm still thinking about this pizza weeks later. You don't happen to have a slice on you do you?
 
snacks under $2 on a priceless book
 
Target always, but the clarance section is fab for clothes, staples, etc,
But sometimes I spend too much time in there and need a snack.
But they also happen to be awesome for grabbing a quick snack so....
Basically they solve problems and create new ones and then solve those too.
Isn't that nice of them?
  
Tacos on a pretty pink plate from IKEA
 
Trader Joe's is one of my favorite places for regular grocery shopping.
I bought some seasoned black beans from there that were
wonderfuly seasoned. Add some sautéed yellow and red peppers, red onion.
giant romaine leaves and we've got some Tacos.
It wasn't even Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Do you ever Treat Yourself?

Of course I do!

But after eating whole foods for so long, my treats tend to be "real food". A treat for me is a trip to Chipotle, Whole Foods prepared foods section, or just cooking something I can't afford regularly (i.e. something with artichokes, avocado, etc.). But that is not to say I don't have non- whole food treats. But feel free to laugh at my list of "naughty" treats.

It is kind of annoying when I say I have a craving and my friends laugh because my cravings are relatively "healthy".

Anyway, here is a sampling of what I've been indulging in this summer.


So Delicious Coconut milk ice cream in Cherry Amaretto
with a dollop of Coconut Butter

Tortilla chips topped with nooch cheese and tomato sauce

Sweet potato fries with peanut butter and coconut butter

Soft Pretzel at the Pittsburgh Pirates game
Pirates won!

Ice coffee with soymilk
and maybe a shot of Torani syrup...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Food Should Taste Good...duh!




Review time!
Yay! I guess...

As much as I love to share my opinion about things, doing a formal review scares me a bit.

It requires deep meditative thinking about textures and flavors. Not a problem.
It requires you to eat. Obviously, not a problem.
It requires you to express your adoration concisely. Again, not a problem.

SO, what's the problem?
Sometimes I really dislike a product and I feel bad expressing my disdain for something in such a public way. There's a big difference between telling my mum I don't like something and putting it on here for the world to see. And I feel that it being untruthful if I sugarcoat it.

So know that I will not be sugar coating anything, but I will try to be descriptive in what I didn't like. I realize  that what I dislike about a certain food might be just what someone else likes about it.

Without further ado...
Here is your review!

First things first...

How much do you love the name of this company?  Cute right?

All chip varieties are gluten free, cholesterol free, have zero grams trans fats. They are also certified Kosher.  Plus, many varieties are certified vegan. Food Should Taste Good® chips are available nationally at conventional grocers and natural food markets. For more information, please see their FAQ section.

I love that their ingredient list is made up of real ingredients and not random "flavoring" this and "coloring" that. They are real food and it comes through in the amazing flavor. What its called is what it taste like. The chocolate taste like chocolate! And that's something I love!



Sweet Potato
I was thinking these would be really weird, but you know how adventurous I am with flavor combinations (stop laughing). I liked these so much I ended up serving them at my Super Bowl party this year.

I enjoyed eating them straight out of the bag. They are super crunchy and only slightly sweet so they are good with a sweet salsa, cream cheese dip, etc. One of my favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes is with peanut butter so that was a delicious and nutritious way to devour them. Combining carbs and protein is: SMART!

I don't know why I screamed that...
It felt good though...
*cough*

Moving on...
Will definitely buy this again!
Moving on...



 
 
Kimchi one of their very new flavors. It amazes me how Pittsburghers view Pittsburgh as backward and slow, but from a Foodie standpoint we have all the newly released foods on the shelves. End mini rant....

These were....interesting. I said I was gonna be honest right?
The first thing I do when I open a special bag of chips is sniff them.
In this case you might not want to do that. Because if you're not brave you may be halted in your tracks. Just sayin... There be cabbage in them there hills.. That and garlic and onions and red pepper...

Pungent is a good word for what these are. But once you get past the initial whiff the flavor is interesting in a good kind of way. I've never had Kimchi (im not sure why I capitalized that), but Ive had the flavor described to me several dozens of times. So, I can say with some authority that these taste exactly how kimchi is described. Spicy and cabbagey

I might buy them again, but no promises cuz they scare me. Maybe I need to try some kimchi in the meantime so I can compare the flavors.


The Works.. even if you're unemployed!
Jumping yumminess! It's like an everything bagel! A tortilla chip with lots of yummy bits in it. Onion garlic poppy and caraway seeds. I mainly ate this bag straight out of the bag, but its great with hummus. Any way you would use an everything bagel you could/should do with this chip.

I suggest you come up with this plan before you buy the bag because if you don't have things on hand when you open the bag you may just eat them all on the spot or at least before you make your weekly grocery run.

There are 140 calories in 9 chips, but they are so flavorful it is possible to restrict yourself to a serving size. They are great as a salad topping.



Chocolate.. more like choco on time!
I don't know why I keep getting these and pretending I'm not going to sit there and eat the whole bag. Note to self: eating a bag of these is not an appropriate meal replacement option.

Here's a tip: get a bowl of vanilla ice cream and use a few of these to eat it. You wont have to dirty a spoon. Score!

Another tip: Use this as a crunchy coating for French toast.

Yet another tip: buy them now!





Olive you so much!
Oh olive! What a sick addiction I have to you. I have a long standing love affair with the dear olive. I used to accidentally eat entire cans of black olives. Then I found out what a real olive that hasn't been sitting in its own liquid for months taste like... Oh boy!

These dandy chips remind me of all the yumminess I adore. There's garlic, there's black olive, green olive and kalamata. Have you ever had olive bruschetta on toasted bread? They hit all those delicious flavor notes. They are great with a salad, or as the base for "bread salad". Try it! You'll love it!

Bottom line:
Go be adventurous and try their chips! You won't regret it.

Unless you eat the whole bag and have a bad stomach issue because you know good and well its dangerous to eat a whole bag of corn chips with your stomach issues.

TMI?
Well, that's what you get for reading to the end instead of going to the store and buying some chips.

tee hee hee

Love ya!

***Full Disclosure: FSTG sent me three certificates to purchase their products, but the others were purchased with my own funds because I genuinely like them!****