Monday, February 25, 2013

Neighborfood and Weekly Meals

On Sunday, we went on a fun food adventure in Mountain View. Basically, we got to go on a self-guided tour of eight downtown restaurants and enjoyed a small plate at each. Neighborfood was created by Dishcrawl – a company that brings people together over food. Dishcrawl was founded by Tracy Lee right here in Silicon Valley but is now all over the country. Great job, Tracy!

Here are some photos:

And here are our meals for this week (yes, I am in a “soupy mood” this week):

Meal 1: Oxtail soup with veggies.
Meal 2: Lentil/veggie soup.
Meal 3: Carrot soup with black rice.
Meal 4: Veggie stir fry with over-easy eggs.
Meal 5: Leftovers.

Questions: What was the highlight of your weekend? Is Dishcrawl in your city? What’s on your menu this week? 

Be well,

Monday, February 18, 2013

Delicious Chocolate Milk

Hubby has a major sweet tooth. Left to his own devices, he would probably eat little else but sweets. I don’t bake much, and I don’t buy sweets, so we rarely have them in the house. And I try to make the sweets he eats at least somewhat nutritious.

When the folks at NuNaturals – who make a wide variety of stevia products – sent me a whole box of their products, including four new flavors, I had some fun coming up with new, sweet, non-sugar recipes, some of which I will share later this week. Stay tuned also for a NuNaturals giveaway! 

One of the new flavors I got was Chocolate NuStevia drops, and I decided to use them to make hubby some no sugar added chocolate milk, using milk, unsweetened cocoa, and the Chocolate NuStevia drops. Since I used whole milk, he got only a very small glass. Smile

He loved the chocolate milk, and it certainly satisfied his sweet tooth (for a while at least).

Questions: Do you have a sweet tooth? I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, although I like sweet things more now than when I was younger, when I didn’t like them at all. If so, what’s your favorite sweet treat? Have you ever tried NuNaturals products? If so, how do you like them? The Vanilla Stevia drops have been a favorite of mine for quite some time. The new flavors are awesome, too!

Be well,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Simple Avocado Dressing & Weekly Meals

When I was little, my mom used to make salad dressing with fresh squeezed lemon juice. I was not a fan as the lemon was too bold for my taste buds at the time. I kept thinking, “Why can’t we have the cool bottled dressings my friends get to use.?” But there was no convincing my mom to buy those “chemicals.”

While I didn’t understand my mom then, I have come pretty much full circle and now make as much as I can from scratch, especially something as simple as salad dressing.

The other day I quickly mixed together the following and everyone loved it.

Simple Avocado Dressing

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 - 1 stevia packet
  • 1/2 small avocado
  1. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and stevia together. I like to put them into an old jar and shake the jar vigorously.
  2. Cut the avocado into small pieces and put it in the bottom of a salad bowl and smash it with a fork
  3. Pour the dressing over the avocado and mix well.
  4. Add your greens and dress your salad.
And here is what we are going to eat this week. I did a lot of cooking yesterday (broccoli soup, ribs, black rice, and Brussels sprouts), so many of the meals are already in the fridge ready to assemble:

Meal 1: Broccoli soup with black rice. I sautéed some onions, two carrots, and two celery stalks for a few minutes. Then I added some garlic and the broccoli. Next I added vegetable stock and cooked everything for about 15 minutes. Then I pureed the veggies with my immersion blender. Last, I added salt, pepper, and a couple tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk.
Meal 2: Braised ribs with roasted Brussels sprouts.
Meal 3: Lemon chicken with a salad. I’ll poach a couple chicken breasts in lemon juice and olive oil and season the chicken with salt and pepper. So simple, but so good as the chicken really gets infused with the lemon juice.
Meal 4: Salmon with a salad.
Meal 5: Leftovers. There should be plenty of leftovers this week.

Questions: What’s on your menu this week? What’s your favorite salad dressing?
Be well,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Curried Quinoa with Peas

I’ve gotten into a routine of making one big pot of soup, a protein (usually fish, chicken, or beans), and a grain on the weekend. I make enough of these foods to last for several meals throughout the week. This is especially convenient for quick lunches. I’ll either pack some soup, a salad with some protein, or I’ll add some veggies to the grains.

For a few weeks, I have been making brown or black rice and was ready for a change. I looked through the cupboard and found some quinoa but wasn’t in the mood for plain quinoa. So I decided to spice it up and also add some peas to make it a bit more interesting.

Curried Quinoa with Peas

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • Curry powder, about 1 tsp
  • Cardamom, about 1/4 tsp or less
  • Turmeric, about 1/2 tsp
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas, defrosted in cold water
  1. Put the water and the quinoa in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the curry powder, cardamom, turmeric, salt, and pepper and stir well.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.
  4. Add the peas and let them heat through.
  5. Serve & enjoy, either warm or cold.
The curried quinoa was a nice addition to salads, and I also enjoyed it with some roasted vegetables. I even added some to some curried carrot soup.

Questions: What’s your favorite grain at the moment? What’s your favorite quinoa dish?
Be well,

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Weekend Fun & Easy & Quick Lentil Veggie Stew

The kid had his first sleepover last night. I can’t believe he is old enough for sleepovers… It went really well, and I learned that some 5-year-olds sleep until 9 a.m.! Our kid, on the other hand, “slept in” until 6:30, which is late for him!

We also went to the Farmers’ Market and picked up lots of fresh veggies and some pretty flowers.

The other day I didn’t have anything for lunch around but needed something quickly. I realized that I had some cooked lentils from TJ’s in the fridge along with carrots and celery. While I prefer to cook lentils myself, the precooked lentils are really convenient for a quick salad or to add to soups.

I decided to make a simple stew. I rinsed the lentils to get rid of some of the salt and the “natural flavor” (not sure how “natural” the flavor really is…).

Lentil Veggie Stew

  • 1 package precooked lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp salt)
  • curry to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Rice vinegar to taste (I decided to use vinegar instead of lemon juice as originally planned; I like to add about 1/2 Tbs vinegar per big bowl right before serving)
  • Coconut oil
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a pot and add the onions, carrots, and celery.
  2. After cooking the veggies for about 5 minutes, add curry, Cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper (use less than you think you’ll need; you can always add more at the end). Cook for a few minutes and then add the garlic.
  3. Add the lentils and the vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Once the stew boils, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Once the soup is done and cooled a bit, add the vinegar and any additional spices as needed.

Questions: Do you like lentils? What’s your favorite lentil recipe (feel free to link in the comments)? What’s your favorite lunch? I love soups and stews for lunch. What was the highlight of your weekend?

Be well,