Sunday, July 29, 2012

Of Food Trucks and Spinach.

Have you ever been to a food truck? I hadn't until recently, and I am on a mission to try as many as possible.

Today, I went to the grocery store to do my usual Sunday groceries, and guess what was in the parking lot? A food truck. The best part about food trucks is the unique food that one normally would not find at a regular restaurant.

This particular food truck was an H-E-B food truck with burgers, tacos, and some sides. On the menu was a samosa burger...which I obviously was drawn to.

The patty had a samosa-like texture on the inside with potatoes, etc and a crispy outer layer. I was a fan, and was sweating away due to the spiciness (and due to the humidity).

In other news, I have been battling the greens in my fridge for quite some time. Last week, I bought a 2.5 lb bag of spinach. I came up with an effective way to eat my greens, though.

With curry quinoa and lentils! I cooked lentils and added some ground cumin and coriander, turmeric, salt, and pepper. I then added the cooked quinoa to the lentils and added some lemon juice to the combination and a bit more salt. This tasted great on its own, but worked even better as a salad topper.

I have been eating so much quinoa lately, it's ridiculous. Last week, I made a quick pasta sauce using canned diced tomatoes (fire roasted!), garlic, olive oil, sautéed kale, and oregano. Instead of eating this with pasta, I used quinoa, and instead of cheese, I mixed in some nutritional yeast.

The pasta was not even missed!

Along with the great spinach battle, I was also battling spinach's favorite cousin, kale. While I do love kale, it is quite difficult to handle it raw. I paired it in salad form with some shredded Brussels sprouts, and dressed it with a combination of mustard, vinegar, and olive oil, and topped it with dried cranberries and chopped pecans. The winner here was the dried cranberries. They made the raw kale much more tolerable!

For this week, I am trying to incorporate radishes, which I don't think I have ever cooked with! Let's see how it goes.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pizzas and tacos.

This post is special...because it is the first time I am writing a post from my PHONE! Welcome to the year 2012.

Speaking of phones, there are some health/fitness apps I've discovered that are quite handy. There is one called Health Tips which includes one health tip per page, and it seems that you can scroll from page to page forever. It's a simple but informative app. Another favorite of mine is the Nike Training Club app which I have discussed previously. I also recently discovered that bodyrock has an app as well! The app also includes easily accessible home workouts. As for recipe ideas, the epicurious app is pretty convenient, but I must admit that I haven't used it all that much. Any other favorites that you recommend?

So yesterday, I had a pizza that was much different from the usual veggie pizza.

It was from a restaurant called Renee's Organic Oven, and it included black beans, olives, and cheddar baked on the crust and then topped with greens, salsa, jalapeños, and avocados. It was different but I liked the idea of the black beans as a sauce substitute. And it reminded me of a taco on a pizza.

Speaking of beans, have you tried these double bean burgers? I made them a couple of weeks ago, and not only were they super easy to make (especially with the help of my Ninja!) but they were very tasty. I ate mine atop greens...

And of course, topped with the creamy avocado sauce.

I changed the original recipe a bit, and blended together green yogurt, avocado, dill, and salt. After the success of this sauce, I've been coming up with all kinds creamy sauce ideas. Now to put them to use!

My plan for this week is to make refreshing salads to compliment the hot weather. Not just any salads, but unusual salads! Let's see how this turns out.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The happiest place on earth.

How do these weeks pass by so quickly?! I had a goal to update mid-week, and somehow, mid-week slipped by and now it is Sunday again. And I have 10,000 pictures that must be shared. All of which will not be posted today, so you can now continue reading.

Let's start with my new favorite breakfast concoction. We all know how much I love overnight oats and how I have eaten said overnight oats everyday for far too long. The best part about overnight oats is that the topping/mix-in options are endless. Lately, I've been adding ground flax seeds, unsweetened coconut, and berries. And topped with sunflower seed butter, my favorite!

Never gets old. Despite not including my other favorite ingredient, chia seeds. Soon enough, though, soon enough!

So last week, I brought back the spinach pesto. I tweaked my original recipe a little bit and ended up using the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 cups thawed frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic

I didn't use parsley and used about the same amounts of the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. This version is obviously not "light" considering the walnuts, but I really liked the way that it turned out, both taste and texture-wise! I ate it with some quinoa pasta all week for lunch.

I've also been using my Ninja so much lately, it is getting a bit out of control. Yesterday, I made my own Lara bars. Except instead of shaping them into bars, I made them into balls because...there was less effort involved.

I blended together about 1/2 cup of dates, 1/4 cup walnuts, and 4 small squares of dark chocolate.

Surprisingly, the mixture came out as a sticky paste that was very easy to shape, and it actually holds itself together quite well.

I also used my Ninja this morning to make spinach pancakes.

I know, it sounds strange. But spinach really does not affect the taste of anything! I used my regular pancake recipe (using a whole wheat pancake mix) and blended the batter with a couple of handfuls of spinach. I added some frozen raspberries to the batter afterwards.

Of course, I used sunflower seed butter + maple syrup as my toppings of choice!

So now that we've talked about spinach in pancakes, let's talk about how I went to this place called the Chocolate Bar. I think it is the happiest place on earth. It includes a candy shop full of just chocolate (including chocolate covered fruit, chocolate covered candy, chocolate covered everything you can think of), an ice cream shop with only flavors that include chocolate, and a bakery full of chocolate desserts. I ordered this chocolate tres leches cake:

Unfortunately, the size of this slice of cake is not being portrayed properly, but it was HUGE. And so light. And moist. And delightful. Unfortunately, I didn't feel so delightful after consuming so much of it! But it was nice while it lasted. (I'd do it again).