BBQ Chips, BBQ Beans, BBQ Nachos

Highlights from the last week include several new (to me) things…

I don’t usually show my at-work meals, but I wanted to share one of the perks of working in the South – biscuit breakfast sandwiches in the hospital cafeteria.  This had turkey chorizo sausage, a cage-free fried egg, and cheddar.

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These Don’t Go Nuts granola bars have the best texture, almost like a streusel.

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Other snack highlights include this assortment of bbq flavored crisped chickpeas and corn.

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Chocolate beers and hibiscus drinks.  I loved the s’mores beer, liked the tea, and hated the other two.

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My aunt shared a recipe for Chicken Provencal Soup with us and we loved it for dinner.  It’s packed with potato, diced tomato, onion, carrot, and celery.  I dipped some naan in my broth.

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We made fantastic bbq bowls another night.  Collard greens and celery (sauteed with lemon, garlic, butter, and harissa hot sauce) // shredded chicken (cooked in the crock pot with ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar, cayenne, paprika, and red onion) // baby heirloom tomatoes // and smoked paprika candied pecans.  Remind me to cook more collards!

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We turned our leftovers into something fantastic with the help of these two products.  1) Hickory BBQ kettle chips that Boulder Canyon sent me to sample.  FYI – Boulder Canyon chips are – certified gluten free – trans fat free -vegan – kosher – made with green energy.  They had a good amount of smoke and tang and weren’t greasy at all.  Bonus, my bags, at least, had tons of foldsies!  2) Borlotti beans that we bought at Mekelburg’s just because the box was so pretty.

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BBQ kettle chips + beans + leftover chicken + roasted corn + sharp cheddar + smoked paprika = nachos!

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Peanut Butter, Chocolate, And Coffee

I took a long weekend, hence the extra-late post.  Adam takes attending call in a nearby town once a month and this time I tagged along!  I went out for lattes at an adorable coffee shop, had truly fantastic Thai food, and got a flight at a local brewery (complete with a margarita flavored Radler served with lime and a sugar rim!), but mostly I hung out at the hotel room so I had to pack the essentials.

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You know, “the essentials,” peanut butter, chocolate, and coffee.

More on that peanut butter – B.Nutty offered to send me some samples and I jumped at the opportunity because, holy crap, white chocolate pretzel peanut butter!!  They also sent me Totally Toffee – made with honey roasted peanuts, toffee, milk chocolate, and almonds – and Blissful Blueberry – with blueberry and milk chocolate.  I haven’t opened the berry one yet but the toffee and pretzel flavors are both 10/10 delicious.

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All flavors are gluten-free (including the pretzel one) and trans fat-free.  I can’t stop eating them by the spoonful!

Also they’ve made great additions to snack plates and yogurt bowls.  Honeycrisp apple / cucumber / baby carrot / B.Nutty irresistible pretzel.

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Plain greek yogurt / blackberries / granola / B.Nutty totally toffee.  That’s Thai tea in the back.

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Other snack wins include… mocktails with club soda and bitters.

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This Peeps cereal that tastes like a bowl of straight up marshmallows.

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I don’t usually photograph the stuff I eat at work but I made an exception because this bbq Love Corn was so tasty.

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A whole set of Trader Joe’s wins – vegan jackfruit crabless cakes and bbq popped chips with roasted broccoli and homemade chili oil aioli.

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Have a great week!

 

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Cheese In All Its Forms

Highlights from a lazy weekend…

Chocolate Stumptown cold brew + a peanut butter chocolate chip Perfect Bar.  <– my two favorite flavors from each company

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Mild cheddar Just the Cheese snack.  <– my official favorite flavor from my box of samples

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Garlic and chive cheese + a chicken sesame bbq Epic Bar.  <– my favorite flavor from Epic

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Grilled cheese + maple vanilla coconut chips.

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Plain Icelandic yogurt with yellow plum and chocolate caramel sunflower butter honey.  <– do NOT recommend those honey packets

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I am still having a Brazo’s Tacos obsession.

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Chicken and Mexican-style street corn frozen meal + a guava kombucha.  <– my favorite Synergy flavor, other than grape chia

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I made the quickest nachos dinner ever, by buying bbq chips and then filling a box at the Whole Food’s hot bar with shredded cheddar cheese, black beans, corn, red onion, and roasted bell peppers.  5 minutes in the oven later…

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I Like My Snacks Like My Jokes – Cheesy

There was not a lot of excitement in dining the past week – I was fighting a cold over the weekend and my taste buds were out of whack, plus Adam has been out of town at a surgical conference the past week and I am unable to adult without an audience.  All that is to say I mostly ate take-out and crackers the past seven days.  I didn’t bother taking photos of my “meals,” but I did have several snacks worth sharing!

Snack themes include: cheese / coffee / chocolate + nut butter / yogurt bowls.

This Suju Uber Greens juice was the closest I got to a vegetable over the weekend.

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I received a verrrry exciting box of samples {these products were provided to me free of charge / no other compensation was provided / all opinions are my own} this week – Just the Cheese, aka 100% Wisconsin cheese baked into bars and mini bites.  They are gluten-free and trans-fat free and damn delicious.  Paired with an apple or some nuts they feel like a solid mini meal, the bars especially are quite satisfying.

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I believe I have tried every crispy cheese product on the market at this point and I can confidently say Just the Cheese is the best.  Per the company – “While most “cheese crisps” are air-dried, Just the Cheese® is oven baked, caramelizing the cheese which results in a cheesier flavor and crunchier texture.”  <– it’s true!

Aged Cheddar (my favorite flavor so far!), Grilled Cheese, and a honeycrisp apple.

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Wisconsin Cheddar and a side of Webster.

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Coffee combo for the week – Lavazza espresso and chocolate milk.

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This cold brew coffee drink from Koia was a caffeine failure; why is it so god-awful sweet?!

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Another loser was this almond butter chocolate bar, we are obsessed with Epic’s jerky bars in this house but this was too sticky for my tastes.

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Meanwhile, I am still obsessed with these dark chocolate almond Perfect Bars.  They taste like straight-up cookie dough.

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And I’m newly obsessed with these pb cups from Theo.  They are palm oil free and they are shaped like hearts!

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Liberte coffee bean yogurt with honey and peanuts.

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Plain Greek yogurt with banana, granola, and coconut cacao bliss.

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Hot, Hot, Hot

There is no condiment I find as essential as hot sauce (fyi – I normally like to keep an open Cholula in the mix as well!),

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so when Moore’s Marinades offered to send me some samples from their new hot sauce line I jumped at the opportunity.

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We loved them both, even Adam who is a bit heat adverse.  The sauces brought a lot of flavor with the spice.  I prefer a hot sauce that I can take a taste of without running for a glass of milk (think Sriracha in terms of heat intensity).

With the Harissa Hot Sauce I made a smoky harissa turkey chili.

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Ground turkey / olive oil / sweet onion / celery / bell pepper / poblano pepper / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / liquid smoke / harissa hot sauce / white beans / crushed tomato.  Topped with cheddar.

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On the side, I made dumb bread! <– from scratch!

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With the Spicy Mustard Hot Sauce I made hot honey mustard chicken nuggets.

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Homemade baked chicken nuggets (chicken chunks / dipped in flour / then egg / then breadcrumbs) tossed in the tastiest sauce I’ve ever made – honey, spicy mustard hot sauce, mustard, butter.

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Hell Of A Halvah

Highlights from this week…

It’s really lovely to have a husband who arranges me flowers and buys me cupcakes when I’m cranky!  Related note – it’s also really nice to live walking distance from Sweethaus because apparently they are our favorite cupcakes on the planet.

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Random drink assortment from work, the lemon rose blossom water was surprisingly delicious.

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Weirdest/most exciting snack award goes to – this Japanese candy we brought home from NY.  It was like a fun dip but with a cola flavored lollipop and fizzy milk powder.

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Fantastic product sample – Absolutely Gluten Free sent me their newest snack item: TahiniBARs.  Halvah is a candy made of sesame paste and it is both Adam’s and my very favorite treat.

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The TahiniBARS come in vanilla, pistachio, and cocoa nibs.  They are certified kosher, dairy free, and gluten free.  Each serving has 100 calories.

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We LOVED them!  They absolutely stacked up to the halvah I grew up eating and the artisinal varieties we’ve had in NY.

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One of my favorite ways to eat halvah is crumbled up in yogurt, so one day I made an absolutely ridiculous snack – plain Greek yogurt / vanilla TahiniBAR / Soom chocolate tahini spread / red plum and green pluot.  Delicious.

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We had some tasty dinner too.  Like bbq chicken fried rice.  Fried rice / carmelized red onion / shredded rotisserie chicken / fresh corn / collard greens cooked with rice vinegar / bbq sauce / eggs.

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Jalopeno popper pasta, loosely inspired by this recipe.  We used whole-wheat shells, turkey bacon, no cream, and less cheese; plus I topped mine with panko.  With roasted zucchini.

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Leftovers with an assortment of baby wines.  I do NOT recommend the rose.

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Homemade buffalo chicken dip / scooped with baby carrots and potato chips / celery sauteed with butter, salt, pepper, and celery seed.

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I’m trying out a recipe that sounds super fun this weekend, so please cross your fingers for me that it turns out!

Sour Cream Successes

Big life update – I have a job.  I joined a medical team for nutrition support (at the same hospital that Adam will be working at!).  It’s a fantastic learning opportunity but life has definitely been pretty crazy recently.  Actually, I interviewed for and was offered the position during my notice period at my last job, so things have been pretty crazy for the last month.  Also I started work the day after we moved.  Whew!

Big food updates – here were the highlights the past week…

Coffee combo = espresso from For Five with skim milk and ice.

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Rule Breaker Snacks sent me some cookie samples to try.  Their bean-based treats all have chickpeas as the first ingredient.  The concept is actually really neat, their snacks are all vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and peanut-free -as well as free from the top 8 allergens – so they are a great option for a kid’s lunchbox (or to pack to eat at a hospital!).

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The P’nutter chocolate chip blondie only got a 7/10 from us because the flavor that was similar to peanut but not actually peanut threw us a bit and we found there to be somewhat of a baking soda aftertaste.  If you were someone with a peanut allergy you definitely may feel differently though.

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But the birthday cake blondie was a 10/10!  Truly, rating it just as a cookie and not a “healthy” cookie, I loved it.  It just tasted like a really yummy sugar cookie.  The sprinkles were super fun and didn’t have a chalky taste.  And the texture of both bars was perfection – chewy without being crumbly.  You would have no idea that either flavor was bean-based.

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I get subsidized meals at the hospital cafeteria so I mostly will be eating lunches there and will have less to share on that front, though this week I did eat three (incredible!) lunches at my desk and was able to take a picture.  Salad with marinated mushrooms, chickpea salad, celery, grapes, and honey mustard dressing.

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Salad with mushrooms, salmon, banana peppers, and blue cheese dressing.

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Turkey burger with cheddar, blue cheese, red onion, and pickles.  Plus pita chips.

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We finally got ourselves some pans and to celebrate I made some reeeeeally good dinners.  Key note – I put Trader Joe’s low-fat sour cream in everything we ate this week and everything was fantastic so I think I will start keeping sour cream in stock more often.

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Esquites – loosely following this recipe – aka the best dish I’ve ever made.  I swapped serrano for jalopeno and used half mayo and half sour cream.

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With baked shrimp and cabbage.  I marinated the shrimp with evoo, paprika, cumin, lemon juice, and tomato paste and baked it on top of shredded cabbage.

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A hot take (<– that’s a pun!) on my black eyed pea salad.  Sauteed red, orange, yellow, and green bell pepper and green onions / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / BEP / turkey bacon / cubes of cheddar / mayo and sour cream / topped with Cholula.

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Stroganoff-ish turkey.  With tons of sauteed mushrooms and roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes.

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One night we had a tasty meal out at Mono Loco.  Fresh grapefruit mojito with Cruzan rum!

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And I got nachos with pinto beans and crazy good roasted chicken.

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Snack highlights this week were ice cream!  Whole Food’s vegan peanut butter chocolate bar(!!) topped with cardamom ice cream and strawberry sprinkles.

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Scoops of tres leches and cream cheese from La Flor Michoacana.

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Have a great weekend!