Last April Weekend

Weekend Top Five:

{1} Smorgasburg is becoming a weekly event for us.

Grady’s cold brew is the best.

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I got vegetable ramen with truffle oil.

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And we got sugar on snow from Snowdays.

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They serve it with a doughnut and a pickle!  I’ve wanted maple snow candy try ever since I read about the Chippewa doing it in Caddie Woodlawn.

{2} Brunch at Bareburger.

I got a bellini.

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And a Guapo Chop salad – romaine, queso fresco, pickled jalopeños, spicy pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla chips, and avocado basil dressing.  Plus there were gorgeous watermelon beet slices on top.

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Plus cold-brew, obviously.

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It wasn’t as amazing as the first time but you can’t beat that cup.

{3} Williamsburg love.

Sweet Leaf for coffees.

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And our first trip to Oddfellows for ice cream.

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Pecan pie and toasted marshmallow for me.  It was amazing, second only to Ample Hills.

{4} Cookies!

Chocolate chip mug cookie.

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Taro mochi.

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I put it in the fridge and it was extra chewy and wonderful.

{5} We finally found good Chinese take-out in our neighborhood.

The take-out options around us are all pretty abysmal, but when a new spot popped up on GrubHub we decided to give it a try.  I got bean jelly noodles with chili oil and sour and spicy cucumber.

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They were delicious and we would totally order from there again.

Weekly Wrap-Up

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The five best things I ate this week…

(1)  Coffee boxes

Blue Bottle.

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Stumptown.

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These guys never let me down.

(2)  This snack assortment

Baby carrots, seaweed salad, a Honey Belle pear, and a Pixie tangerine.

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Bonus – I went to a catered seminar on physical assessments for malnutrition and they brought in surprisingly good salads from Smash Burger.

(3)  Oatmeal bowls

Wild Beary flavor with maple almond butter on top and a Gold Nugget tangerine on the side.

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The berries and cream oat bowl I made myself was better though.

homemade oats to go

Rolled oats, malted milk powder, chia seeds, freeze-dried strawberries, and dried blueberries.  Plus sweetened sour cream on top.

(4)  Green curry with bulgar

This was the best thing we ate all week.

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Ground turkey sautéed with garlic, ginger, green onions, and probably something else that I’m forgetting // collard greens and celery cooked in rice vinegar with salt and a bit of sugar (sort of try for the pickled greens served at Pig and Khao) // green curry paste and light coconut milk // served on bulgar.

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Now that I’ve gotten my hands on jarred crushed ginger again my food has gotten so much better.

(5)  Asian-ish rice noodles

This would have been the second best thing we ate, but it desperately needed crushed peanuts on top.

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Ground turkey that had been marinated over night with green onions, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, canola oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and maple bourbon // baby bok choy, shitake mushrooms, and red bell pepper cooked with Sriracha, ginger, and a pinch of sugar // rice noodles cooked in chicken broth.

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Marinating the meat in so many acidic things gave it an amazing texture, though I realize that it doesn’t look all that pretty.  I have a bag of the chopped veggies prepped in the freezer so we can quickly make this meal again soon.

The worst thing about this week?  The weather!  Why is it so cold again??

Gussied Up Mac & Cheese {Recipe Redux}

From the Redux team: Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.

gussied up mac and cheese

One thing that is always present in my pantry is boxes of (whole grain) macaroni and cheese.  Yes, the old-school kind with the powdered cheese.  We like that the pasta is already portioned out – three to four servings-worth versus a 1 lb box – and only takes 6 – 15 minutes to cook depending on the brand, making it almost too easy to bypass to turn to take-out.  We always have spices/sauces on hand and frozen chopped vegetables in our freezer, so we are always prepared to gussy up a box of mac for a quick and easy dinner.

Typically I like to pair the mac with canned smoked fish (another item that is a pantry must-have for us), but since I wanted to share this “recipe” with the wider Redux audience I decided to go vegetarian this time with a can of beans.

The great thing about this dish is that it is so easy to customize to accommodate what you have on hand.  I tested the recipe with canned items but obviously you could sub in fresh varieties no problem.  If using fresh broccoli, just precook it and add it with the other vegetables.  I recommend ignoring the directions for adding milk and butter to make a cheese sauce and using sour cream instead, but if you don’t feel like buying sour cream this would still work if you made the sauce according to the back of the box.

Mexican Mac & Cheese, serves 4

  • 6 oz box macaroni and cheese
  • 2 heaping cups frozen broccoli
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 15.5 oz can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup diced mild green chiles
  • (optional topping suggestions) caramelized onions, hot sauce, shredded cheddar, chopped avocado
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  When 3 minutes remain in the cooking time, stir in the broccoli and cook it along with the macaroni.  Strain the cooked pasta and return to the pot.
  2. Add sour cream and cheese packet (no milk or butter!) to the pasta.  Stir in sauce, along with olives and chiles.  Carefully fold in beans.
  3. Divide pasta among 4 bowls and top as desired.

gussied up mac and cheese

What items are always stocked in your pantry?

It’s A Miracle! {They’re Alive, Damn It!}

This weekend…

…I tried MiraBurst

Aka Miracle Berries aka Synsepalum dulcificum, a plant whose berries don’t taste sweet on their own, but have a compound (Miraculin) that binds to sweet receptors on the tongue and makes acidic foods which are ordinarily sour be perceived as sweet.

miracle berries

Please note – I was sent the berries free of charge to review.  I was not provided with further compensation for this post.

You eat the pulp, not the seeds, and the effect lasts about an hour.  They recommend trying the berries 1-2 at a time with foods such as citrus fruits, yogurt and kefir, and vinegar, so we set up a little tasting station.

miracle berries

It totally worked!!  The limes and plain yogurt were both sweet and delicious.  I could definitely see this working as a great way to get kids interested in trying new foods.  I am excited to have the berries in my freezer so I can continue trying them out on different things.

…I also ate things that were sweet all on their own – cookies!

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Many, yummy cookies.  Like a chocolate chip cookie sandwich from Whole Foods.

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And macarons from the tea place near my work.  We tried milk chocolate marshmallow, Nutella, and cream brulee.

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Marshmallow was the best, of course.

…We went to Smorgasburg

Per usual, we focused on duck buns and iced coffees.

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We also went to Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory – – and hated it.  I have no idea how that place always has such a long line.

…I got a summery green pedicure

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I sipped a delicious cold-brew iced coffee from Bareburger while I got my toes done.

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That cup – squee!

…I ate leftovers that weren’t half bad

I drizzled leftover egg salad with Sriracha, served with leftover roasted green beans and buttered whole-wheat cinnamon swirl toast.

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Roasting veggies is the real miracle, how can leftover green beans taste so good?!

…The dog ate wet food and this happened:

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I tied his ears back so he could eat mess-free.  What a cutie!

Eggcellent Eats

We bought tons eggs and dye for Easter this year, and of course, never did a darn thing with them.  The dye is in our “holidays bin” for next year, but the eggs had to be cooked. And so, I enjoyed hard-boiled eggs as a meal almost every day this week.

I was also all about the Cara Cara oranges and Medjool dates. It’s starting to taste like summer!

stuff

I started Ruth Reichl’s first autobiography on the train and I think I’m in love.

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She is so funny, and I love any story about food!

We were insanely busy at work all week and I’m dying. That’s why this post is a day late (and is short about 10 more coffee and candy pictures), because I did sessions with 18 patients on Friday – many of them with gestational diabetes – and when I got home I just wanted to lie down.

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breakfast

I made an awesome cold-brew blend this week: Community Coffee French Roast and BRC Peru with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice.

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Served on ice with S’mores Milk and skim milk.

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So good.

I am almost through my Nonni’s Biscotti sample shipment and I am going to buy more when we’re out.

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They are yummy, even when not dipped in coffee.

I discovered the magic that is dates dipped in peanut butter.

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lunch

Kimchi noodle bowl.

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The Cara Cara was the best finish for my perfectly burning mouth.

I brought TJ’s cashew butter and tahini kale chips and crispy broccoli snacks (<– they’re back!!) to crunch on top of salad bar.

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With a big scoop of macaroni salad.

This tasting plate wins best lunch of the week.

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Dates / turkey bacon / hard-boiled egg / crispy broccoli / orange.

But this triple – chocolate oatmeal bowl wins a close second.

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Rolled oats with a heaping Tbsp of hot chocolate mix, chocolate-covered cocoa nibs, and dark chocolate chips.

And this busy day “lunch” was a loser. Vanilla soy milk at 11 am.

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And Easter candy at 4pm when there was finally a lull.

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dinner

Omg. Kids! I made the tastiest stroganoff-inspired noodle bowls ever. Adam and I could not get over them.

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Served in heaping scoops on egg pappardelle.

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Yummy Stroganoff-ish Pasta, serves 4

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp evoo in a large skillet over high-medium heat.  Add 20 ounces sliced white mushrooms, and a big pinch of salt, and cook until the mushrooms have lost their juices and browned, stirring regularly (10 – 13 minutes).  Deglaze the pan with a healthy pour of cream sherry.  Remove mushrooms from pan and reduce heat to medium-high, adding an additional Tbsp evoo if needed.
  2. Add 1 lb lean ground turkey and two large shallots, chopped to the pan.  Season with pepper and 1 Tbsp smoked paprika.  Cook 5 minutes, stirring regularly and breaking up the meat into small pieces with the side of your spatula.  Stir in 1/2 Tbsp ground garlic, 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce.  Continue to cook, stirring regularly, until meat is cooked through (5 – 7 more minutes).
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in 3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream.
  4. Serve on top of pasta of choice.

The leftovers were still great.

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Served on top of spinach salad. Plus, those of us who can eat chocolate had Lindt caramels for dessert.

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We had cobb salad.

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Baby spinach with balsamic / roasted asparagus / turkey bacon / avocado / TJ’s cave-aged blue cheese / hard-boiled eggs.

And egg salad.

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Eggs with shredded carrot, chopped green pepper, mayo, pickle relish, garlic mustard, dill, tumeric, smoked paprika, and s & p.  With great seeded crackers my parents sent us for Easter.

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And roasted broccoli and green beans.

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Egg salad is good – and I wasn’t even tired of eggs yet! – but roasted green beans are always the best part.

Then we finished the week out with Chipotle.

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Enjoy your weekend!

Around The Web

I’ve had some really yummy eats this week that I am excited to blog, but first I wanted to share some of the things I’ve been loving on other people’s web sites…

food for thought

I’m sure you’ve all heard the buzz about Science Babe’s epic takedown of the Food Babe by now.  {article linked here}  In short, Food Babe has absolutely no medical, nutritional, or scientific background, and she, like the big names in anti-vaccination, preys on America’s recent history of sub-par STEM education and misuses the term “toxin” so egregiously it may actually be the newest, deadliest sin.  Zen & Spice did a great job of unpacking the Science Babe’s arguments from an RD’s perspective.  {article linked here}

Love & Zest talked about the value of foods beyond their nutrients.  Moderation is important because a brownie may not be “good for you,” but it can certainly be good for your soul.  {article linked here}

Green Mountain wrote their version of the “Five Foods You Should Never Eat” article.  I really hate the original articles – unnecessary dietary restrictions are unsustainable and unenjoyable and the titles are blatant clickbait – so it was nice to read June’s funny but reasonable spoof.  {article linked here}

Debbie Dietitian Dishes did another one of her great nutrient examinations, this time a look at carbohydrates – what they are, what they do, and what you need.  {article linked here}

food and nutrition funnies

Very few things are better than cupcakes, but these guys qualify –

better than cupcakes

{source}

So true, even I fall victim to this occasionally –

trying to be healthy

{source}

And Poorly Drawn Lines has been killing it lately.

poorly drawn lines

humanely raised demons

{source}

Have you been keeping up with the most recent Food Babe drama?  If this was your first time hearing of the Food Babe, when you went to check out her website did you feel like your head might actually explode with rage?

Homemade S’mores Milk and Weekend Brooklyn Love

Adam and I had a pretty great weekend… in spite of me misplacing my – expensive! – favorite sports bra and spending half of Saturday in mourning.  Seriously – I don’t change at the gym, I didn’t pack it on a trip, and we are very careful to check the machines for runaways when we do our laundry – where the frick is it?!!  But when we weren’t checking and rechecking literally every drawer in the house, we did manage to have some fun.

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highlights…

Homemade S’mores Milk

It’s official, I’m a genius.  I put it in coffee, obviously.

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S’mores Milk, makes 2 cups

Inspired by Tosi’s Cereal Milk.  This recipe requires you to strain the solids out of the milk, you can use a fine mesh sieve but I used my French Press and that worked really well too.  Smooshy marshmallows will not work for this, you need crispy ones; if you can’t find the Mallow Bits I recommend picking the marshmallows out of Lucky Charms!

  • 2 cups skim milk or milk of choice
  • 1/3 cup Jet Puff Mallow Bits
  • 4 squares graham crackers, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp hot chocolate milk
  1. Place all of the ingredients together in a container and stir to combine.  Cover and store in the fridge for 8 – 16 hours.
  2. Strain, discarding solids.  Milk can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week.

homemade s'mores milk

Cheesy Spicy Eggs

Coming up somewhere just behind coffee, diet coke, dulce de leche, and popcorn, corn cooked in scrambled eggs is one of my favorite meals.

This plate was TJ’s frozen fire-roasted corn, chopped spinach, and sliced shishito peppers (<– so much spicier than I was expecting!) cooked in coconut oil with eggs scrambled in and chunks of Kerrygold Skellig sweet cheddar tossed in at the end.

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C’est Cheese in Port Jeff

C’est Cheese is always worth the drive up Port Jefferson for dinner.

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We shared a beer sampler.  The Framboise was my favorite.

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A cheese plate.  Adam loved the Tallegio and I was all about the 7-year Gouda.

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And a grilled cheese with blue cheese and a raspberry-cranberry relish on marble rye.  The cheese and jam combo made for the best bites of the night.

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Snacky in Williamsburg

This weekend one of my lifelong best friends celebrated her 30th(!!!) birthday.

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After the party, the husband and I had dinner at Snackys, one of my favorite Williamsburg spots.  We shared a seaweed salad and a Chinese big bun stuffed with pickled vegetables.

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And did rice bowls for dinner.  I know the photos aren’t much, but my Spicy Korean BBQ Chicken Bowl was great, yummy sauce and big bites of kimchi.

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Our 1st Smorgasburg of 2015

NYC people – if you haven’t done Smorgasburg yet you need to get your life together.  They added a few new vendors this season and it is happy, foodie, perfection.  We couldn’t find the Snowday truck but you can bet I’ll keep an eye out from now on.

We got lattes at Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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Buns from Bite Sized Kitchen.  I got red curry chicken with peanuts, cilantro, and fried garlic and shloots (topped with loads of sweet chili sauce).

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And beer-battered cheese curds with truffle cheese sauce from Curd’s the Word.

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Remember this post?  The stupid sports bra is the fourth item I’ve ever lost… which would be a really good track record if 2, 3, and 4 hadn’t all been within the last year!