Friday, April 29, 2011

I walked to Teaism today for lunch and lo and behold, no tuna tacos. It was a special for spring that they no longer had. I was pretty bummed and resorted to the usual:

This weekend is shaping up to be awesome. Tonight I'm walking over to Chinatown after work to meet my friends Kait and Jenn at La Tasca and then we're heading over to Bar Louie to watch the Caps game. Jennifer is actually my oldest friend, I've known her since I was about 4.
At a party recently. Excuse the rando next to me.
Earlier today I got a text from my friend Timmy asking if I wanted to go to a Nationals game with him tomorrow. I've never been to a Nats game! I met Timmy in high school.
I'm glad he doesn't read my blog, because I'm not sure he would approve of this old, drunken picture of us. I'm not sure I even approve.
Here's another, slightly more acceptable:
NYE like, three years ago.

Then on Sunday, Jennifer and I are going to my buddy Mikey's shop to get tattoos! Have a great weekend!

Strippin' and Breakfast For Dinner

Yesterday after work I was in such a rush because I signed up for a pole dancing class! I bought a Groupon for five classes of Pole Pressure at Balance Gym, a gym in downtown DC. This was an instance that I would literally not be able to make dinner and make the 6:30 class, so I picked up Elevation Burger!

Two grass-fed patties, tomatoes, onions, pickles, cheese wrapped in lettuce.
See, there are good fast food options out there.

The class was pretty enjoyable. I like to try different ways to work out. I definitely got an upper body workout. Sure, it wasn't the equivalent to doing a serious lifting session, but it was fun and it was something new. I was also in the beginner class, I'm sure it's much harder in the upper level classes. It wasn't seedy or anything, the instructor was great and had a lot of energy. She also gave a lot of positive reinforcement which I really liked. Apparently I can do moves that girls in the upper level classes can't do. Haha.

Around 9 I was hungry again. Instead of making a gigantic dinner, I had an egg fried in butter with a little ketchup and my favorite new way to eat yogurt.

Raw yogurt, maple syrup (I use this sparingly, I intend to stick with raw honey) and cinnamon!

It's a gorgeous day and I'm going to Teaism for lunch! Gotta get those tuna tacos! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm not gonna lie, I did not feel like cooking dinner last night. It was the first day of my period, my lower back was killing me and I'd been running around for the previous 12 hours in the day. I seriously considered just picking up food, despite the fact that it would definitely make me feel worse and I didn't have the money to do so. I got home around 7, remembered that I had salmon, threw it in a pot of warm water to thaw and took a shower. While showering I remembered that I had an onion, pepper and tomato that all needed to be used. Thus, salmon and Italian, cheesy veggies was born.

-1 piece of salmon
-chicken stock (unnecessary)
-half an onion
-half a pepper
-spaghetti sauce

Melt the butter in a pan over medium high heat and add the salmon. Let it lightly brown on each side. Chop the veggies and add them to the salmon with some chicken stock and let the salmon cook through. Remove salmon. Add spaghetti sauce and let it cook down a bit. Transfer to plate, and grate cheese over it.

This came together in TEN MINUTES.

The veggies covered in cheese was so effing good.

So good, that I used the exact recipe above, but subbed sausage for salmon for my lunch today. So I got two meals out of this nifty little recipe.

I really think that if I can run around for 12 hours with a seriously aching body and cramps, get home so hungry that I'm ready to eat trash (not literally) and can still manage to make food for myself, then you can too! One of the biggest excuses I hear for not cooking for yourself is that people don't have time. I don't, but I always want to ask, well what are you doing after work? Are you taking a yoga class? Are you working out? Are you running errands? Or...are you sitting in front of your TV? (I realize this definitely does not apply to all people, and some people have insane schedules.) I empathize with people who have children. But it only takes a little more effort and planning and the benefits are infinite. If you're overweight, sick all the time, fatigued, unhappy, you need to take the time to change that. I firmly believe that it starts with eating right.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

dinner party

On Monday I was trying to brainstorm what to make for Jackie. I know she loves three things: ranch, BBQ sauce and ketchup. These are things I rarely, if ever eat. I'll eat ketchup sometimes, if it's organic. And luckily, on a whim I decided to buy barbecue sauce last weekend at the grocery store (organic and gluten free!). I figured I would make a barbecue meatloaf.
-2 lbs beef (I used half reg half organ)
-1 onion
-BBQ sauce of choice
-2 eggs

I mixed all this together, making sure not to use too much BBQ. Put it in the over at 400 for about an hour.
Definitely not the most appealing picture. Actually, I'm not going to lie, none of the pictures from last night are great.
As a side, I decided to make creamed spinach.
-large container of spinach
-cheese (I used pecorino and cheddar)

My favorite part of what I made, was stuffed mushrooms.
-the mushroom stems
-a piece of bacon
-herbs of choice
I chopped the stems of the shrooms and sauteed them with bacon and garlic. I diced a piece of cheddar, grated parmesan and mixed it all together. I topped the mushrooms with the mixture.
Cheesy, bacony, delicious.

For an appetizer I make white bean hummus dip.
-1 can white beans
-3 cloves garlic
-olive oil

Served with pita, Mary's Gone Crackers and carrots.
Topped with more olive oil, paprika and salt.

We spent the rest of the night drinking wine and watching Casper (what happened to you, Devon Sawa?!) and Teen Mom.

Sorry for the super shoddy pictures. But hopefully I gave you some good ideas. For more recipes head over to Real Food Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lacto Fermented Salsa

Tonight, our friend Jackie is coming over for dinner/movies/vino. Since we have roommates that are pretty low-key, Kait and I haven't had a lot of house guests (though I'm hoping at some point I can throw a cookout with tons of friends and food). Jackie is amazingly talented. She sings and plays guitar and piano. I'm not saying I like her music just because she is my friend, I genuinely like her music. I wish she'd record so that I could listen to her on a regular basis. Here is a picture of her and Katie D (who hates veggies) that I'm posting without their consent, hope ya'll don't mind!

I have really, really attractive friends.

On the menu:
white bean dip with bread and veggies
stuffed mushrooms (these are more for me, Kait hates shrooms and I'm not sure if Jackie even likes 'em)
creamed spinach
BBQ meatloaf

I'll provide you with recipes tomorrow. I read that when having people over for dinner it's easiest to prep all you can the day before, so last night I made the BBQ meatloaf...and also had it for dinner along with some lima beans.

I guess I was on a cooking spree last night because I also decided to make lacto fermented salsa. I used this recipe. Sort of. Lacto fermented salsa is salsa that is fermented with whey. It is a great source of probiotics, the good bacteria that our guts need.
I used:
-5.5 medium sized tomatoes
-a lot of cilantro
-a medium sized onion
-2 gloves garlic
-1 T salt
-4 T whey

I chopped everything, and added about half to a food processor so it wouldn't be too chunky. When I taste tested it, it was really salty. I'm hoping that dissipates. I canned the salsa and they will sit out for about two to three days, and then I will transfer to the fridge. I'm going to give some away also.

Not sure why so dark.

I'm hoping the flavors really develop over the next couple days.

Tomorrow I'll post recipes and pictures of tonight's awesomeness.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lard Ain't Bad and Mike's Omelette

This weekend I was lazing around in bed and watching Nights In Rodanthe (I have no idea why). There's this scene in which Diana Lane and Richard Gere get all boozed up and start cleaning out a pantry. They're throwing away random items, canned sausages and the like. And they come across some lard. At this point, Richard exclaims, "Do you know what lard does to your arteries?!" The real question is: do you, Richard Gere, know what lard does to your arteries?

Let me tell you a little something about lard. It is a traditional cooking fat that has been used for thousands of years by various cultures. And yet, they never seemed to have had any issues with their arteries. Only did arteries, heart diseases, heart attacks, among other ailments become a problem when we switched from using traditional cooking fats (butter, lard, coconut oil) to using synthetic, hydrogenated oils. In fact, McDonald's even used to use lard to fry with, but then they realized it'd be way cheaper to use crappy hydrogenated oils. Also, if you recently heard about their new "lower fat" oil, you should know it's a blend of canola, corn and soy, all of which I assure you are genetically modified and will make you fat and give you cancer. Anyway, bottom line: traditional, whole fats=good. Get it together, Richard Gere.

So, while I was watching this movie I got a text from Mike telling me to check my email. Mind you, I'm really hungry at this point. What does he send me? A delicious looking picture of an omelette:
Apparently, it's his new favorite omelette. In the mix:
-3 eggs
-3 pieces of asparagus
-1 small tomato
-1 grass-fed bison hot dog

I'm now determined to buy some bison hot dogs to recreate this.

Weekend Recap

Since I usually go out on Friday and Saturday nights, I was really stoked to stay in this Friday and hang out with this guy:

And instead of making dinner, I picked up some Chipotle.
Wondering why it's so orange-y? All the hot sauce I used.

On Saturday, Mike and I went to the Caps game! I was super stoked because I'd never been to a playoff game before.

Up by 1...

Up by 2...

And we beat them 3-1

Can you tell how high our seats were? It didn't matter though, the game was SO fun. My throat hurt from all the yelling. Verizon Center > Madison Square Garden.
 One thing that has always bummed me out about Verizon Center is the lack of recycling. After a couple beers, I turned to Mike and demanded to know who owned Verizon Center so I could write them a letter about recycling. I wasn't joking; I fully intend to do this.

After the game we were starving so we headed to this sushi joint nearby with a rotating sushi bar! I thought this was the coolest thing ever. I pretty much just started grabbing rolls that looked good. I have no idea what this was, but it was topped with crab meat so it was a-ok in my book.

Mike said there were these dumplings that we had to try, so we ended up getting two plates of them.

They were awesome. I think it was shrimp gyoza/shumai? Who knows. I can't believe I only got two pictures, considering we consumed about twenty different plates of sushi.

On Sunday I met up with my friend Casey at PF Changs for dinner. We started with crab rangoon
It was alright.

And also tuna tartar

Which was pretty good, but I thought I could've made it better. For my entree I got what I always get from Changs, orange peel shrimp.

It was a really fun weekend. Now, we've just gotta tackle this work week.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sticky Rice and Birthdays

So the other night for Mike's birthday, Nick, Dale, Renee and I headed out to Toki Underground. Upon arriving, we realized just how small the restaurant was. It sat about 25, and a wait for 5 people was going to be about an hour and a half. So we instead decided to go to Sticky Rice since it was a couple storefronts away. I like the atmosphere of Sticky Rice, it's just a fun place. I got the coconut noodles,
Sauteed shrimp and vegetables in a coconut pepper
sauce finished with cucumbers, crushed peanuts
and toasted coconut. (Slightly spicy) Choice of noodles...
(I added tons of rooster sauce)
And a godzilla roll:
crunchy shrimp, cream cheese, avocado, spicy sauce, cucumber, with crunchies and tobiko
Mike got two Alaska rolls and a Cali roll (and also ordered scallops that are unpictured and awesome)
Renee got fried mushrooms (it makes me so happy to find a fellow mushroom lover!), dumplings and a Cali roll
Unfortunately, whatever Nick and Dale got went unpictured. But we did split a bucket of tots with that amazing sauce they serve 'em with:

I love that this Asian joint serves tots! Overall it was an awesome dinner with amazing friends. Thanks again to Renee for dinner!

Looking at these pictures makes me pretty hungry, but considering I haven't eaten today it's really not too bad. I've been drinking a ton of water. When I get home I'll probably have some raw milk and maybe a bowl of yogurt with raw honey. I'm unsure if or what I'll have for dinner. But it will be the usual, veggies/protein/fat. I'm thinking lettuce wraps with shrimp, peppers and guacamole? We'll see. Hope you're having an amazing day!

I Am Fasting!

I've decided to fast because I can tell my body is currently out of balance. I've been eating out a lot lately (and not making good decisions when I do). I've been eating grains, and way more processed foods than my body is comfortable with. My digestion is terrible, I'm breaking out, I'm bloated, my lymph nodes are swollen and I've been waking up with a sore throat. These symptoms are not normal.  We experience these symptoms because something in our bodies is not functioning properly. Symptoms are just that, indications that somethin' ain't right. We all need to pay more attention to our bodies and listen to them.

Fasting has been done for thousands of years, for health and spiritual purposes (it brings about mental clarity). Even when we are sick, our appetite disappears. This is not coincidence. We have no appetite so that our bodies can focus on healing, destroying whatever sickness plagues us, and not focusing on digesting and breaking down the food we are eating. Fasts can be long or short. This one will be short. There are several types of fasts: juice fasts, milk fasts, water fasts, etc. Mine will be a bit of each. I intend to juice, drink raw milk and drink a lot of water. Fasts are tricky. They can be extremely dangerous if not done properly, so if you're interested in doing one I suggest you consult a professional. My fast will last for about 24 hours, I started today, and have successfully drank a ton of water thus far. It is important to relax when fasting, and though this would be better done on a weekend, I feel I need it now. I will not work out. If it's nice out, after work I'll lay in the sunshine and read. I'll go to sleep early. Fasts help detoxify our bodies. When we are not putting food into our systems, our bodies, instead of focusing on digestion, focus on cleaning up our systems. Toxins are released when fasting, through the skin, bowels, liver, lymph, lungs and kidneys. It helps realign and balance out our systems, which is exactly what I need.

It is recommended to eat light before a fast, mostly veggies. For lunch yesterday I had organic, free range chicken and herbs with cabbage and broccoli in butter. For dinner, I had a whole wheat wrap with avocado, herbed cream cheese, organic turkey, tons of alfalfa sprouts, tomato and onion. I personally know my body does best eating this way (minus the wrap, but I was at 9:30 Club and it's all they had), and it is still high in veggies. I have also fasted before, so I know this works for me. Today I plan on lots of water and coconut oil. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats (remember, saturated fats are good for you) as well as being anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and can even kill parasites. I will also be doing an oil pull using coconut oil. Oil pulling pulls toxins out of the system through the mouth. Basically, you swish the oil around (without swallowing!) for about twenty minutes. You can read about oil pulling here. Throughout the day I will drink water, filtered via my Brita and spring water. I will juice some veggies also, whatever I have on hand. I think lemon, romaine, celery, cucumbers and carrots. While I could also eat a salad, a benefit of juicing is that our bodies to not need to digest this juice, so all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can be readily absorbed. I'm hoping I can actually make it longer than dinnertime tonight. But if I feel starving, I'm not going to deprive myself. Introducing food to your system again is also tricky. You don't want to eat anything heavy, or processed. I'll probably have some raw yogurt and/or a salad.

I'm not fasting because I want to lose weight. I'm doing this because I know it is good for me and it's what I need right now.

*Again, consult a health care professional before beginning any new diet or routine.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bacony and Cheesy Stuffed Peppers

Okay, so I know I say a lot of the food I make is awesome. But this is one of the best things I've ever made. And I'm sure it would appeal to non health freaks (like my friend, Katie D, who literally hates veggies). Plus, it involves cheese and bacon, two things you can't go wrong with, especially when combining them together. The green pepper was soft, the meat was smoky and cheesy, and tangy and full of flavor. It was just amazing. But first things first, I had a serious hankering for salad. This doesn't happen often, and I think my body really needed all the raw veggies. I didn't even want a juice, just salad. I combined romaine, yellow bell peppers, tomato, cilantro, nutritional yeast, carrots and cucumbers. I tossed mine with olive oil, apple cider vinegar and chipotle powder. And topped with an avocado.

I know most people aren't that into salads, but this genuinely was good. I love adding chipotle powder to my salads, and I have leftovers that I'm about to eat before lunch.

Stuffed Green Peppers:
-3 large green peps
-1 lb ground meat (I used organ meat, which I found out includes heart, liver and tongue)
-3 or so pieces of bacon
-spaghetti sauce
-Worcestershire sauce
-1 egg
-cheese of choice
-1 can diced tomaters
To a food processor add three pieces of bacon, garlic, onion and tons of cheese. I used pecorino and mild/raw cheddar. In a separate bowl combine one egg, one pound of grass-fed beef, Worcestershire and spaghetti sauce, as much as you like. Incorporate well, using your hands! Stuff meat mixture into your peppers, and feel free cover with more cheese. To a baking dish add the can of tomatoes, and assemble the peppers on top. Cover and bake at 400 until the meat is cooked through. Which took me about 40 minutes. I served this with my buttery cabbage and onions.

When they came out of the oven:

(check out that cheese!!)

Cut into:
So, so good. I can't emphasize enough how well the cheese, and bacon, and onion and garlic tasted together. A dinner with tons of veggies and some nourishing, grass-fed beef. This will definitely be a regular dinner.

And just for good measure, a closeup of Caedus:

Today is Mike's birthday and we're going to Toki Underground with his brother, Dale and his mom, Renee tonight. Toki is a (real) Japanese restaurant that serves ramen! Not like, the crap ramen that comes in plastic. Authentic ramen. It opened recently and I've been dying to try it. I've already decided that I'm also going to order the seafood dumplings, among other things. So stoked!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicken Parm Attempt II

I'll be honest, I didn't like my last attempt at chicken parmesan all that much. I blame the breading. This time, I rolled with a simpler and more traditional recipe.

-1 can diced tomatoes
-2 cloves garlic
-half jar spaghetti sauce
-raw cheddar (or mozzarella)
-pecorino romano (or parmesan, but I love pecorino)
-4 pieces of chicken

Sear the four chicken breasts in butter over high heat, creating a sort of crisp on each side. While you are doing this, add the diced tomatoes and garlic to a food processor. You can definitely omit this, but I had a can of tomatoes that needed to be used. Once the chicken is seared, add that to a baking pan with the diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. Cover liberally with cheese, cover with tin foil and bake at 400 until the center is no longer pink.

You see all that cheese?!

I also made it with one of my all time favorite side dishes. Sauteed cabbage and onions! I'm aware that most people are not big cabbage fans. I am. I attribute this to my grandmother, who often made amazing cabbage recipes when I was growing up.

-shredded cabbage
-chicken stock

Add the shredded cabbage, sliced onion and garlic to a pan and just cover with chicken stock. Let it reduce, then add butter. Saute until desired tenderness.
I loved this dinner and I'll probably make it again soon. The tangy, tomato-y, cheesy chicken was great with the buttery cabbage and onions. Protein, veggies, fat. For more recipes check out Monday Mania.

Tonight I'm going to clean my room, get in a workout, make stuffed peppers, force myself to make veg juice and chill, maybe on my roof. Hope you have a nice night!

Love Summer Love Life

This weekend was super fun, it just went way too fast. I guess it technically got started on Thursday. Kait and I grabbed some Elevation Burger, wine, and sat on the roof right outside of my room.

Plus a salad. I get my burger wrapped in lettuce. As always, it was delicious.

 On Friday, I went to a hockey party (a bunch of my friends are on a hockey team) at Growlers. We watched the Caps beat the Rangers and I got an avocado salad with lots of veggies and grilled tortillas with a side of calamari. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture but the food was awesome. Especially the salad.
On Sunday morning, Kait I decided to try this Ethiopian coffeehouse/restaurant by our house. It had great reviews on Yelp so I figured we'd check it out, even though I've never had Ethiopian. I got this split peas/veggies/spices dish while Kait got a lamb stew. The food was really good, but Kait's definitely took the cake.

They were served with bread, topped with salad, spicy lentils, collards and cabbage.

In the afternoon I had a delicious Peuvian cookie. Seriously amazing:
Yes, I really do need to do my nails.

Then we hung out on the roof some more, reading and enjoying the sunshine with some beers.
"Love Summer, Love Life"
Of course I had some raw milk as a side. Had to get my daily fix.

For dinner we went to Franklin's Brewery, which is super close to my house. We started off with the mussels.

Kait got BBQ pulled pork.

And I got the papusas.

View of my street from where we were sitting, you can actually see my house.

It was a really nice weekend, though I definitely wish I would've cooked for myself a bit more. Have a great week!