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Posts Tagged ‘Carrots’

I live by the motto “never judge a book by its cover”; some of the best things in life come in unexpected forms. I always try to keep an open mind and will try anything once (within reason). It is with this mentality that I have discovered my love for things like escargot and raw fish. I was hesitant to try these things at first, but I’m so glad that I did.

For breakfast this morning I had a bowl of unconventional oats. I used 1/2 cup raw rolled oats, 1/3 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/3 cup pumpkin, 1/2 of a large banana, ground flax, honey and cinnamon. With inspiration from Catlin, raw oatmeal is quickly becoming one of my favorite breakfast dishes. I did not think it sounded appealing at first, but after trying it I immediately fell in love. It has a better consistency than overnight oats and is far more substantive than granola or cereal. It keeps me full, satisfied and happy all morning long.

Lunch today is also “off the beaten path” so to speak. I packed my lunchbox with a sunflower seed butter, spinach and red bell pepper sandwich on whole wheat with two large carrots, an Empire apple and a super-charge me cookie. Allie sent me my very first jar of sunflower seed butter a few weeks ago and I have been dipping into it non-stop. I have added sunflower seed butter to everything from bread to yogurt, and found that some of my favorite surfaces have been vegetables. In fact, I think the best combination I tried was raw broccoli dipped in sunflower seed butter. Sounds odd, but it was so good. Remember my motto?

Hopefully my day will be as interesting as my food!

Happy Monday,

Nora

What is the best “odd” combination you have tried?

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Happy Memorial Day!!

I hope everyone is taking advantage of this beautiful weather and enjoying the company of family and friends! I also hope that everyone takes a moment to pause and remember the meaning of this holiday. I want to send a big THANK YOU to our troops and all of those who have devoted their lives to our country. You are constantly in my thoughts, and I am so grateful for your commitment.

Today has been a patriotic day for my food. One of the reasons why I love coming home is to use my mom’s dinnerware. I swear she has plates, cups and place mats themed for every major holiday. The summer months are all about the stars and stripes!I woke up this morning around 7:30am, and geared up to go for on a “Memorial Day Run” with my dad. Before heading out the door I had a light breakfast that consisted of 1/2 of a large banana, strawberries, sunflower seed butter and coffee (in my themed mug!) while reading my horoscope and completing the easy Monday sudoku puzzle in our local paper. Fun fact: I’m obsessed with sudoku. Every time I am home I retrieve the newspaper from our mailbox as soon as I wake up so that I can do the puzzle while watching the news and having breakfast.

My dad and I ran a surprising 5.5 miles (it has been an EXTREMELY long time since I have done this distance, 3 is usually my max.). The sun was hot during our run and we were BEAT by the time we returned home. My dad, aka The Breakfast Man, whipped up some omelets for brunch. My omelet was made with  Swiss cheese, basil, mixed cherry tomato and broccoli with a glass of orange juice and a large carrot on the side (don’t ask, I was craving a crunchy vegetable haha). We had brunch outside on our patio and it was fantastic!  I don’t want to be repetitive, but I LOVE COMING HOME! There is something distinctly  special about family time and good food.The run took a lot out of me, and I decided that I needed a bit more protein. I extended this brunch with a 1/2 cup of Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, strawberries, a handful of roasted almonds and cinnamon.The sun was out in full force today, thus the shadows in many of these pictures.

I’m off to do a few tasks before heading back to school my apartment later today. WHOA! I actually typed school and it took me a minute before I realized that I just completed college and now am in the working world. So the song goes, times are a changin’. I think we will have an early Memorial Day barbecue before I head back. I have to take advantage of our charcoal grill while I can because it’s back to a cast iron grill pan when I return to my mini apartment!

Always Remembering,

Nora

What are your plans for Memorial Day?

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Well, it finally happened. I graduated.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day for graduation. The sky was a brilliant shade of blue, the sun was shining and the temperature was mild. Our main ceremony lasted nearly three hours and I left thinking, “That’s it?”. Four years and it is over in the blink of an eye? My parents and brother joined me in the celebration and presented me with a beautiful bouquet of pink roses after the ceremony (THANK YOU!!). We went to brunch at a local cafe (a few minutes from my new apartment!) and I ordered a breakfast sandwich with two eggs, goat cheese, portabello mushrooms, tomato, basil and ham on sunflower bread. I have more pictures but unfortunately I left my camera uploader at my apartment, so I’ll have to post them on Tuesday.

After brunch, I attended my department ceremony to receive my diploma. It was a small ceremony and only lasted an hour. As soon as it was over I sprinted back to my dorm-apartment and went into a packing frenzy. I didn’t even stop to take my high heels off, I just wanted to GET OUT! I ate my last Jonagold apple and started throwing things here and there until everything was in the car. I have been ready to leave for so long and did not want to spend MORE time than was necessary. My parents joined me in the packing craze and we were out of there in about two hours. I think we were all surprised by the amount of  ‘things’, especially kitchen gadgets, that I have collected over the year. It barely fit into two cars!

The insanity continued as we hulled garbage bags full of random items in to my new apartment. It was such a long day and I was so thankful to have my parent’s help. When we finished, we were extremely exhausted and still had a 1.5 hour drive home. It was nearly 8:30pm when we finally got back and dinner was Chinese food. My dad and I shared some Middle Ages Wailing Wench beer as we settled down and we feasted on wonton soup, mixed seafood and vegetables, rice and fortune cookies with a glass of Dr. Loosen Riesling. (pictures will be  posted later!)

I fell asleep approximately one hour later and woke up this morning feeling refreshed. I’m glad that I was able to come home for a few days to spend time with my parents and organize myself before starting the next phase of my life. I know that if I stayed in my apartment last night  I would have been anxious about getting settled and entered into another sleepless night and unpacking furry. I’m the type of person that likes to be completely organized before I can relax and focus.

I was really hungry when I woke up and after searching the contents of my parent’s cupboards and fridge, decided to create a gigantic yogurt mess with Greek yogurt, sliced almonds, Cheerios, banana, strawberries and cinnamon for breakfast.

I spent much of this morning generating a to do list, doing laundry, and configuring my computer. My generous parents bought me a new computer for graduation (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and I am organizing files on my old one before the transfer. This has NOT been an easy task. Much like my room at school, my computer is packed full of random files and pictures in an extremely unorganized fashion.

After a few hours of stressful computer sorting I made a peanut butter, banana, strawberry and cinnamon sandwich on two slices of whole grain bread with a side of baby carrots. Shortly after, I snacked on vanilla yogurt, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and cinnamon. I’m basically eating whatever I can scrounge up in my parents fridge. I’m hoping dinner has some sort of vegetable because today has been a fruit, nut and dairy filled day (good thing that those are my favorites!).

I’m off to do more computer work. I’m heading  into the real world tomorrow to face my apartment mess and work. I’ll be sure to post but I can already tell that insanity is in store.

Crazy,

Nora

Are you an organized person? What are your tips and tricks?

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I am officially starting to move in to my apartment this afternoon, which means I had to clean and organize the contents of my pantry and refrigerator yesterday. I woke up yesterday morning CRAVING cold cereal. It was a blessing in disguise because I was able to finish the last of my Kashi Heart to Heart and an aging banana.This bowl contains about 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch, 1/2 cup Kashi Heart to Heart, 1 large banana, 1 cup vanilla soy milk and cinnamon. I haven’t had cold cereal for breakfast in a really long time and it hit the spot. I was hungry shortly after and had a big, crunchy Jonagold apple.

As I began the cleaning process, I had to face the reality of my snack bar collection. I have been trying to go through it for a while now but some how always manage to purchase more. Give and take a few bars that are hiding in my car, this is my collection at it’s finest:Lunch was a production that I like to call “contents of my fridge”. I made a big spinach salad with goat cheese, broccoli, sprouts, strawberries, button mushrooms, cucumber, 1/3 block of tempeh and balsamic vinaigrette. I had two carrots and an unpictured apple on the side.After lunch I decided I needed a bit more fuel before I started packing and heated up a Medjool date with crunchy almond butter. I seriously love this combination. Midway through eating I came to the realization that I needed another stuffed date but this time tried something new: a Medjool date with MaraNatha Chocolate Almond Spread. Needless to say, it was divine.

Last night was our Senior Ball. It was a really lovely evening at a hotel with about 600 members of the Class of 2010. It reminded me of highschool prom amplified by 100. Before leaving my roommate and I prepared a fancy swordfish dinner. I pan-seared the swordfish and we had leftover pesto pasta and a mixed green, cherry tomato, feta cheese and avocado salad dressed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I absolutely loved the combination of the three elements, and the salad was creamy and delicious!To honor our wine tour earlier in the week, we had a glass of Anthony Road 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling with our meal.

I’m off for a day of moving and graduation rehearsal! I can’t believe how quickly this week went by!

Nearing The End,

Nora

Do you tend to go out for a meal before a nice evening or do you prefer making something at home?

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When it comes to making sandwiches and wraps, I am full of issues. I want to add so many topping that I can hardly close them and eat them in a civilized manner. Some examples of this are:

This is BARELY closed.

I will never learn... Could not get it closed.

How many things can I put between two slices of bread?

Today, I didn’t even try. It was one of my rare days where I had time to make lunch at home and I wanted to take advantage of my warm toasted bread. As soon as the bread popped out of the toaster I slathered Cedar’s Original Hummus on both sides and added slices of Swiss cheese to melt on top. I added my other toppings: turkey breast, spinach, mushrooms, Roma tomato, sprouts and cucumber and ate it as is. I decided that it would be much more enjoyable to eat it like this rather than trying to push it down and wrap my mouth around it. I ended up cutting each slice in half to reduce the mess-factor and happily ate my “sandwich” (can you still call it that if it isn’t actually sandwiched together?). This was to die for. I LOVE (strong emphasis) toasted bread. It brings out all of the flavors in the nutty grains and has the best texture, that is sturdy enough to hold all of my toppings. I also think there is nothing like warm hummus and melted cheese. It is so…cozy, I only wish I had some cool avocado to lay on top of it, then it would have been the ultimate sandwich. I had some green grapes and a big carrot on the side. It was such a relaxing and delightful lunch.

In fact I was so relaxed that I ended up having a piece of chocolate and a cup of tea right after then promptly took a nap! I NEVER take naps, but it was just one of those days. I’m getting ready to go to the etiquette dinner this evening, which should be entertaining. To be honest, I’ve never really learned what all of those forks and spoons are for. I’m sure my bad table manners don’t stop there either. In fact I know they don’t. If you were sitting with me eating that sandwich today you would have probably been repulsed by my messiness, as my toppings were falling EVERYWHERE!

Living and Learning,

Nora

Have you ever learned proper dining etiquette?

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After seeing last week’s Cook’s Mission competition, I knew I needed to get in on the game! I impatiently waited until Saturday when the ingredients were announced: Celeriac (celery root) and apples. I thought this would be a “no-brainer” because I have seen them prepared together before, and although I have never cooked with celeriac, have seen it prepared in a variety of fashions. The first thing that came to my mind was celeriac-apple puree. Done and done. That just didn’t seem good enough so my next thought went to celeriac-apple soup. Hmm…I have seen/heard of these before. As I searched online for recipes, I just became more confused and my creative juices slowly died. I didn’t want to make a dish that was typical or done before. I peeled myself away from celeriac-apple research and waited until one came to me: Risotto. Initially I was going to integrate the apples into the risotto but I already had thoughts of cranberry-apple chutney in my mind. (Hello THANKSGIVING!)  I decided to use the elements separately, but in a way that really complemented each other. I ended up mixing the chutney into the risotto and it was fantastic! All together my dish was: Celeriac Barley Risotto with Apple-Cranberry Chutney. After tasting the risotto and the chutney I decided to make a side dish of Honey-Orange Carrots and prepare a Pan-Seared Chicken Breast to round out the meal.

SERVES 1:

Barley Risotto:

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS minced garlic

1/4 Lemon, juice and zest

cracked black pepper

1/2 Leek (white and light green parts only)

1/2 medium Celeriac bulb

1/4 cup quick cooking barley

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 cup Low Sodium Chicken Stock

2 TBS shredded Parmesan cheese

1 cup torn baby spinach

In a medium sauce at a medium heat add olive oil, garlic, black pepper and leeks; cook until soft. Add celeriac, lemon juice and zest; cook until celeriac is tender and slightly brown. Add barley and stir 1 minute. Add white wine and allow to simmer, then add chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then to a simmer. Allow to cook ~10 minutes stirring occasionally until all the liquid has absorbed. Take off heat and wilt in spinach and mix the parmesan cheese. The result is a creamy “risotto”!

Cranberry-Apple Chutney

1 tsp olive oil

1 shallot (white and light green)

2 sprigs of thyme (chopped)

1/4 Lemon, juice and zest

1/2 orange, juice and zest

1/2 cup orange juice

cinnamon

nutmeg

ground cloves

1/2 cup frozen cranberries

1/4 cup jumbo raisins

1 small Gala apple

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a small sauce pan add olive oil, shallot and thyme until tender. Add spices, apple, cranberry and raising and mix. Add lemon and orange juice and zest. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and add walnuts before serving.

I was going to make this tomorrow and use MY NEWEST PANTRY ITEM that came in the mail today, but I am going to Passover Sedar with my friend tomorrow night! She had too much going on this evening and decided to go to services tomorrow instead. I am so happy that I am going to be able to go after all. My how things change through the course of a day.

What is my newest pantry item you ask? Well, I am a sucker and couldn’t pass up on Kath‘s Open Sky deal for Kodiak Cakes. I have been eyeing these babies for a while now and can’t wait to give them a try. I had a savory pancake in mind for dinner, but you will just have to wait for another day to see my creation :).

Monday Funday (In The Kitchen),

Nora

Have you ever made a dish that is traditionally sweet into something savory or vice versa?

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In honor of the Ginger Snap Lara Bar I tried over the weekend, I added a new addition to my oats today: ground cloves. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the warm flavor, and knew it would be a nice addition in my morning oats. Cloves remind me of the winter holiday season where items like dried fruit, nuts and spices are staples in every meal and dessert. I wanted something hearty, creamy, dynamic and sweet to start my day so I decided to make Banana Fruit Cake Oats: 1/3 cup almond milk, 1/3 cup water, 1 sliced banana, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 2 TBS oat bran, 1/2 TBS chia seeds, 1 chopped Medjool date, 1 chopped apricot, 1/2 TBS dried cherries, 1/2 TBS dried cranberries, 1/2 TBS raisins and 1 TBS natural almond butter. I added the milk, water, spices and 1/2 of the banana (reserve other half for top) into a small sauce pan until it starts to boil. I reduced the heat and added the oat bran, oats and chia seeds for about 8 minutes and topped with the dried fruit, banana slices and almond butter. Oat bran is a new product for me. A few weeks ago I was adding about 2 TBS of instant oats (an attempt to get rid of them) to my rolled oats and noticed that they added a lot more volume and creaminess to my bowls. I wanted to find a product that would give this same feel, and the fine grind of oat bran did the trick! This was delicious and SO filling. I had  small apple mid-morning but this held me over for hours!

For lunch I was oddly craving hummus and carrots. I made a big spinach salad using: spinach, 1 large grated carrot, 2 inch piece of an English cucumber, 1/2 Roma tomato, 1 stalk of celery, 3 white button mushrooms sliced, clover sprouts, hummus, goat cheese and hot sauce. I really like the addition of hummus to big salads, and always put ~2 TBS right on top of the clover sprouts to spread it around. It is such a delicious combination. On the side I had a handful (plus a few pre-photo!) of Food Should Taste Good The Works! Chips. I’m not really a big chip person, but I do like blue tortilla chips and fancy chips from time to time. This company makes so many “different” chips including sweet potato and chocolate! I saw that The Works was a mixture of caraway and poppy seeds, minced garlic and onion and HAD to pick them up. I love the flavors of caraway and poppy and haven’t had them in a long time. These chips were a bit salty but paired nicely with the hummus and hot sauce. After lunch I needed something sweet to cleanse my palate and had 1 sliced kiwi, 2 sliced frozen strawberries and Chobani Greek Yogurt; light and refreshing.

I just found out that I won’t be able to attend the Passover dinner with my friend tonight. I’m a little bummed because I was looking forward to experience her religion and see the traditions, but I received an exciting little something-something in the mail today that might make an appearance around dinner time!

Creative Thoughts,

Nora

If you are an oatmeal person: what types of oats do you use and what are essential ingredients in the base of your oats?

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