Thursday, May 27, 2010

Think About It Thursday

"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing." - William Yeats

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

VT Grilled Portobello Tacos = Yum

As you might recall from my blog post Wordless Wednesday - Tribute to Mushrooms or all of THESE posts, is that I really love mushrooms, that is except for portobello mushrooms. For some reason portobello mushrooms have always seemed too chewy to me and so are the one mushroom I skip. Well as I said early this week, I went through a few recipes and magazine and planned out my week of food and I decided to a Vegetarian Times recipe for Grilled Portobello Tacos. Conclusion: they were delicious! I am not sure if all the other places I have had portobellos just cooked them too long, but mine were not chewy at all and added tons of flavor. Another recipe is a keeper. I need to start keeping these recipes in a book like my sister to track all of the ones tried and must make again. (A sidenote, I did not use their salsa verde recipe but instead used my Aji Sauce which you know I love and adore.)
There were way too many topping to fit into two tacos so I made myself a little cabbage salad with what was left of the topping and ate that as as side. You can never have too many vegetables.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A day of food...

As I sit here looking through my stack of Vegetarian Times magazines for fun new recipes it dawns on me that I don't really consider myself a vegetarian. Yes, I stopped eating meat with the exception of eggs and some seafood, but I guess I just don't feel like a vegetarian. And whatever vegetarians look like, I am certain I don't fit the mold. Sorry, just random musing from me.

This past weekend I menu planned my dinners for the week and even decided to switch up breakfast a bit. Lunch is pretty standard as you will see. Anyway I thought it would be fun to take pictures and share with you my food from yesterday. Yesterday my meals were all from different ideas from Fitness Magazine with a few changes and improvises.

Let's start with breakfast. French toast with a berry sauce.

I could not tell you the last time I made or even ate French toast but man was it good and nutritious! I used two slices of Cinnamon Raise Bread, one egg, and one egg white for the toast. Cooked as usual. For the sauce I macerated some frozen berries with a teaspoon on sugar and poured over the toast. The original recipe said to have fruit and syrup but I would much rather berries than syrup and man was it tasty.

Lunch I had one of my old standbys, the Veggie Burger with some veggies on the side.

Around 3pm everyday I get really hungry so here is my snack. Orowheat Sandwich Thin with peanut butter and banana. It is amazing how this combo tasted like a dessert to me.

Now dinner was something new. Salmon with a mango-cilantro-jalapeño-salsa, accompanied by roasted potatoes and a side salad.

Potatoes get a bad wrap when in actuality they are quite healthy for you. Did you know that a medium potato is only 70 calories (less than an average slice of bread) and is packed with vitamin C and potassium. And not to mention the herbs they came with. Herbs are ridiculously nutritious. According to a podcast I listen to, The NutritionDiva, fresh oregano is 8 times higher in antioxidant capacity than spinach. How crazy is that?

So that was Monday of fun new foods. Can't wait to try the Grilled Portobello Tacos from Vegetarian Times tomorrow!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kitchen Staples

So everyone has kitchen staples that they always have on hand. Onions, celery, pasta, tomatoes, whatever it may be. Well one of the my staples is this little Peruvian sauce called Aji Sauce or as Inka Grill in Costa Mesa calls it, Gringo Killer.

Now if you don't like hot and spicy, then this sauce is definitely not for you. I however do love hot and spicy and have been eating this sauce with raw veggies or as my salad dressing. I decided to share the recipe with you. I found a close enough recipe online and made a few modifications.

Aji Sauce

1/3 cup mayo
2 tsp lime juice

1/2 head iceberg or romaine lettuce, chopped

1 cup cilantro leaves (stems removed as best you can)

5-6 serrano peppers, seeds and white membrane removed**

1 tsp minced garlic

3 chicken bouillon
7 saltine crackers


Combine all ingredients into a food processor or VitaMix and blend until a smooth consistency.

* I have also tried using Greek yogurt instead and it worked with the consistency but lost a little of the taste. It is a little healthier if you want to give it a try.
** The recipe I found called for saltines which changes the texture a bit and also takes the heat down a bit. You can also make it without the crackers which I have a few times.
*** I use 6 serrano peppers but you can take it down to even 3 if you like it a little less spicy.

When I have had it in the restaurant they serve it with bread or else on top of rice. So yummy.
I hope you guys try this recipe out. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Would you like a garden update?

Exciting news in my garden! Ok, I am going to get this out of the way. I lost my cucumber to the unknown monster that keeps uprooting my plants. I guess the soil was not wet enough that night and my cucumber was too weak to survive a re-planting. I may have lost a soldier but the battle is still on. Take a look.

My basil is growing, albeit slowly, but does anyone know what the brown spots are and how to get rid of them and how to get bigger greener leaves?

Spinach is shooting up! This is one of two I planted months ago and it is finally liking the weather enough to grace me with its' presence.

A rouge beet that has not died, but has not grown too much either. I keep hearing that the plants are having a hard time this ear due to the fickle weather going between almost warm to cold again. Come on Spring!

My rainbow carrots are alive! I planted 9 and 7 appear to be growing so I am going to take what I can get. Can't wait to eat them when they have grown bigger.

My squash is still alive. This is from the random seedling I noticed started growing a few months back even though I planted it in September! Crazy to think how a seed will just sit there and grow when it thinks it is a good time. Here's to hoping something comes of it.

My little beefsteak tomato is growing. Funny how things never grow fast enough for me, but it is just cool to see that something you started from a seed has grown so much bigger and is still doing well.

Now this giant is from the OCC plant sale I went to over Mother's Day weekend. It is doing well and look at the little tomatoes growing!

Mesclun seedlings I started a while ago. They are still alive but not much growth. Again I was told this is because of the weather. Booo!

Whatever the weather my Sugar Daddy Peas seem to be liking it and are growing. Woohoo!

Sorry this picture is a little out of focus, but here is my yellow bell pepper. Can't wait!

Check out the lone broccoli rabe.

And now to my crowning glory...drum roll CAULIFLOWER! My two plants are doing great and I finally saw the fruit of my labor growing. Two baby cauliflower heads are starting to grow. I am super excited!

That's all for now folks. I will give you another update next weekend. Now go outside and enjoy the sunshine.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Think About It Thursday

Quotes that I liked from the book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

"It is such a secret place, the land of tears."

"I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies."

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"One runs the risk of weeping a little if, if one let's himself be tamed..."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Armstrong Woods

What did you do on Sunday? I hope it was as much fun as I had hiking and jogging through Armstrong Redwoods. It was perfect temperature and just gorgeous there. My roommate and I had talked about going for months now and I just decided if I want to do something I need to stop waiting on people and just go and do it myself. So I did. Armed with my camera, iPod, and keys I headed out into the unknown. I was originally planning on going jogging and tracking it via my Nike chip but I kept stopping to take pictures as I was trying out different white balance settings and the chip kept stopping so I gave up. Don't worry, I didn't actually listen to music there as the quiet of nature is one of the best sounds in the world and I wouldn't want to miss that!

I ended up going all over the place, directionless, but that is the best way to discover a some place new. Just wander, get lost, and find your way back. Fortunately each time I was truly lost a person just happened to be around when I needed directions. It was weird, but I almost felt that they were angels somehow looking out for me. Ever get that feeling? But as you can tell I made it back safely and felt the high of the hike/jog the rest of the day. I am definitely going back there sometime soon.

Here are some of the hundreds (seriously) of pictures I took. Enjoy!