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Archive for the ‘Just for fun’ Category

It’s a little strange to jump right in with a post after over a year of not blogging, but, I’m ripping the band-aid off. Let’s do this!

Thus far, autumn has been chock full of delicious, hearty comfort food. Perhaps it’s the change in season or the change in my own personal scenery, but I’ve felt re-inspired with what I’m creating in the kitchen, and what I’m choosing when I eat out. Here are some of the more delectable and inspired foods I have been cooking, or just straight-up eating, lately:

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While I helped make these cheesy taco cups, the inspiration was all from my boyfriend’s mom, Robin. We made these together for a Mexican themed family party a few weeks ago, and they were a huge hit! To make, layer wonton wrappers, cooked taco beef, crushed tortilla chips, mexican shreeded cheese, and refried beans twice in a cupcake tin. Fill each cup with these layers, then bake until crispy and bubbling. Top with sour cream, cilantro and chives!

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After bookmarking the recipe months ago, I finally made EatLiveRun’s epic babaganoush soup! I’m fairly addicted to babaganoush (the word and the food), so this soup was a no brainer. I definitely did not expect it to be as out-of-this world flavorful and addictive as it was, though – I even went back for thirds! Stir in some grilled chicken for a heartier meal.

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This dish has been a cold-weather staple in our house for over a year now – braised red cabbage with bacon! It’s a bit reminiscent of sauerkraut, which is a fall-winter favorite of mine, but it’s heartier due to the red cabbage and shorter cooking time. The salty – sweet- sour combo of this dish will keep you coming back for more. Inspired by by Kelsey’s Essentials.

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The Apple Crisp pictured above to the right was a throw-together dessert one Friday evening, but it turned out amazingly well. I took three huge honeycrisp apples from the Farmers Market, peeled and sliced them and tossed with some brown sugar and cinnamon. Then, I topped them with a combination of rolled oats, brown and white sugar, butter, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Baked at 350 for about an hour, it was to-die-for! Just don’t skimp on the butter.

Also, the dish on the left is taco-smothered sweet potatoes – also a quick and easy dinner that is so SO satisfying!

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Roasted Sweet Corn! Can anyone get enough of this in the fall? It’s such a seasonal must. I had this corn a few weeks ago during a pumpkin picking expedition to Harbes Family Farm on Long Island’s north fork. They literally DIPPED each ear in a vat of butter. DIPPED! Enough said.

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Inspired by the new location in NYC, last Friday night I attempted to make Umami burgers based off this recipe from the owner. While the burgers tasted great (helped in large part by the heap of caramelized onions), I think the lack of ratios or measurements for the Umami flavorings hurt me. I under-seasoned, and this wound up tasting like a regular, albeit delicious, burger. Thankfully, the oven-roasted rosemary sweet potato fries more than made up for the lack of oooooh-mami!

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Okay. The waffle pictured above probably deserves it’s own post, a trophy, and a holiday named after it. This was consumed at Queens Comfort, an epic hipster brunch spot on 30th ave in Astoria, on Saturday. It’s called a Caramel Apple and Buttermilk Bacon Waffle, which sort of says it all. Basically, a super fluffy, apple laden waffle topped with caramel syrup and huge chunks of crispy bacon. Be still, my heart.

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Not a great photo, but above is the soup I made monday night when Adam and I were both feeling a cold coming on. Inspired by Iowa Girl Eats, this is Spaghetti (squash) and Meatball soup. I loved that it’s a heartier, more marinara-y (it’s a word) version of tomato soup, but full of Italian turkey meatballs and crisp spaghetti squash. This came together in 30 minutes and hit the spot in curing our sniffles.

Reliving these delicious meals and moments from the past month put a smile on my face, and hopefully it will help you feel re-inspired in the kitchen as it has me!

What fall foods have you been cooking lately?

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There’s something about Mother’s Day that makes the meal of brunch take on a more meaningful, magical quality. I have all of these memories from my childhood of waking up super early, while my mom was still asleep (or pretending to be) on Mother’s Day morning to find my dad silently whisking away in the kitchen, whipping pancake batter into perfection while bacon gently sizzled on the stove top. All ready to go on the kitchen table would be a shining tray with perhaps a bowl of berries or cup of orange juice or steaming mug of coffee, depending on the year. Sometimes there was even a special note or a flower. To my childhood self, it all had a sense of mystical beauty to it.

During our earliest years, my dad always made the actual Mother’s Day meal, and my brother and I would be delegated the task of leading the parade up to the bedroom so we could deliver her breakfast in bed with proper fanfare and flourish. Then we’d all snuggle in while she (and we) ate and helped her opened her cards and gifts.

Clearly, as we got older, the prospect of us all eating breakfast together in a double bed lost some of its appeal. But Mother’s Day Brunch has remained an institution, and over most of the past 25 years, we’ve either cooked or taken my mom out for a splendid mother’s day brunch to celebrate.

This year, there are lots of young moms in my family – most of my cousins have several adorable young children, so we’re all going out to a big Mother’s Day brunch at a restaurant so we can all celebrate together. But still, there’s some wistful sense about me that I can’t shake, knowing it will feel a little strange for one of us to not wake up before  mom and cook her a meal all our own.

From what I’ve heard and seen, the tradition of  a home-cooked with lots-of-love breakfast or brunch is something many families join together to do on Mother’s Day morning. With that, here are some of the best breakfast and brunch recipes from the blog that are fit to serve to the most important woman in your life, to show her how much you love her this Mother’s Day!

Sweet Breakfast Eats:

 
Savory Brunch Munches:

Late Lunch Dishes:
Happy Mother’s Day – and Happy Cooking!

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Has it really been a week? Things have been busy around here… For the past week or so, I took a break from coming up with new and delicious recipes to prepare for something that, well, seemed like a good idea at the time! Let’s recap…

I’ve gotten pretty into running since finishing up culinary school earlier this year as a way to fill my newly freed-up weekday evenings (and balance out all the Pistachio-crusted beignets and Cheesy Stuffed Peppers I eat all weekend long). As such, thought it would be a good idea to motivate myself by signing up for an organized race event. After running a 4M in April, a 10K seemed the next logical step, and so I wound up spending most of last week try to run far, and fast, and freaking out that I would trip over my own feet or cramp up and fall over on race day.

Race day was Sunday. Thankfully none of those things happened. The race went relatively well, though I think that’s due in large part to the amazing group of runners that were running 10Ks, half-marathons, and marathons alongside me for the RxR Long Island Marathon. This completely inspirational group of people kept me motivated, excited, and having a blast throughout the entire six-point-two miles – especially the seventy-one year old man who beat me by over a minute! He ran ahead of me for most of the race and every time I looked up to see the back of his tee-shirt, which read, “I’m old and slow – get over it!” I couldn’t help but laugh. It was truly a great experience!

In addition to thousands of other runners and hilarious old men, these cheesy chicken enchiladas are also to thank for fueling Sunday’s success. My parents and I whipped these up, along with a refreshing, limey bowl of guacamole, homemade white flour tortilla chips (these beat out every other chip I’ve ever had!) and a light corn salad. It was a Cinco de Mayo meal to go down in history – so delicious, especially with a cerveza served along side – but then, I learned last summer how amazing these enchiladas are. You’ve gotta try them out!

So, as usual, it takes me a while to get to my point. My point is this – even though I’ve been running instead of recipe developing, I’ve still been doing a heck of a lot of cooking (and not just enchiladas)! Except this time, I’ve been relying on my Google Reader – my link to the food blogosphere – to find the best tasting recipes around. And two of them in particular were just two good NOT to share – so here they are!

First up is this incredibly luscious, slightly spicy, extremely exotic Thai Chicken Curry recipe from Saveur magazine. The recipe comes from the Las Vegas restaurant Lotus of Siam, which many consider to make the very best Thai food in the entire U.S. At home, I make Thai red curry dishes at least once a week (blame it on my coconut milk addiction) because they can be light in fat and calories while still packing huge flavor, and are easy to make with whatever veggies and protein you have on hand.

I was completely surprised, though, that this restaurant-caliber curry recipe was so easy to make! In fact, the simmering-broth method actually proved to be easier than how I have been making curries for weeks now. By simmering the coconut milk and curry paste together, the broth thickens and the flavors meld, giving you a rich, spoon-coating sauce for the chicken and vegetables. Full disclosure: I used Thai Kitchen’s red curry paste instead of Panang curry, as the recipe suggests (I couldn’t find it), and added in some red bell peppers, but the dish still came out beautifully. We served it along with a Spicy Thai Brown Rice Pilaf (recipe to come). Even if the idea of making Thai Curry seems overwhelming to you, I encourage you to give this recipe a shot. It’s straightforward and relatively foolproof – a great way to segue into Thai cooking!

The second fantastic recipe I wanted to share is this Lightened Up Vegan Sundried Tomato Basil Pesto from Angela over at Oh She Glows. Holy freaking yum! This popped up in my GReader yesterday morning, and even though I hadn’t even made it to lunch yet, I immediately started drooling and scribbled down the ingredients on a post-it to pick up after work. Adam and I were planning to have a date-night dinner and this seemed like the perfect dish (the boy loves his pesto)!

Well, this recipe did not disappoint. Not only did the pesto come together in a flash – five minutes! – but the flavors and consistency were dead on. This has all the basil, garlicky goodness of a traditional pesto, but with an excellent added tang and sweetness from the sundried tomatoes. The walnuts are a creative and well-matched spin on pesto’s traditional pine nuts, and with a few sprinkles of nutritional yeast, you definitely won’t miss the parmesan cheese. It also goes quite well with a glass (or two) of Pinot Grigio, I might add.

Pesto is actually one sauce I usually steer clear of since it can often be loaded with extra fat and calories from cheese, nuts and oil – but this pesto was light and super packed with flavor, meaning a little goes a long way! Angela’s recipe made about 3/4 of a cup (as stated on her blog), and I found this to be about six servings – two tablespoons was more than enough per serving of pasta. We tossed the pesto-pasta with some roasted asparagus, sauteed mushrooms and spinach, and pan-roasted chicken breast – what a delicious dinner. Thanks Angela for the awesome recipe!

One more thing I wanted to mention. For those in the NYC area, there’s a great food festival coming up weekend after next (May 19th – 20th) called The Great Googamooga (crazy name, I know)! This food / music / art festival is going to be held in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, and will feature over 70 food vendors, beer, wine, and music, as well as prominent chefs, artists, and food personalities who will be doing demos, giving talks, and meeting fans. I believe Googamooga is still giving out the occasional free tickets and tickets are also available to buy. I’ll be attending and blogging about Googamooga – hope to see you all there!

Well, that’s all for now! Stay tuned for some more great recipes coming up this weekend…

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This weekend, I was invited back to Old Westbury Gardens on Long Island for their annual Taste of Spring event. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you might remember that  I attended (and blogged about) the Taste of Spring for the first time last year.

This time around, I brought my whole family along with me since it was my mom’s birthday weekend, and we all had an amazing time at the Gardens. We got extremely lucky in that the sun was shining and the weather was pretty mild compared to how cold it’s been, which really allowed us to appreciate to the gardens’ breathtaking views and ambiance.

From six to nine, we visited various tents that were set up behind the Garden’s main house (read: mansion), which were filled with treats from the event’s caterers and purveyors. We wandered around the stunning main mansion, sampled endless bites, sipped local wine and beer, and mingled with friends. All in all, it was a wonderful night.

This year, the highlight for me was the spread put out by Sterling Affair, which has had possibly the best “tastes” for two years in a row now. Both the mushroom risotto and trout salad in purple potato cups were out of this world, and their display was elegant and modern!

Across the patio, there were not one but two tables with taco tastes. First was this amazing pulled pork tacos – so simple, but savory, saucy and satisfying with just the right amount of heat. But my favorite were the ahi tuna and mango salsa mini tacos with micro greens from K Pacho! No party like a taco party 🙂

Another favorite back from last year was the thick, juicy, unbelievably tender beef filet served up by Bryant and Cooper steakhouse, which was served with a thick, dreamy mushroom and shallot sauce. It was meltingly tender.

Totally in character for me, I had two top desserts picks. First was a poached pear with Gorgonzola whipped cream and a white wine reduction. This brought me right back to our culinary school poached pears, that I topped just about every pie and pastry with since I couldn’t get enough. The tart bite of the Gorgonzola cream complemented the super sweet pear really well.

The other was the pistachio-crusted beignets. Oh. My. God. These were unreal. I must have ate about twenty of them, as I kept going back to grab more (and when the Sterling booth quickly ran out, I felt kind of guilty). A dense, cakey doughnut filled with a raspberry jam, and rolled in crushed pistachios and a slight bit of sugar – absolutely addicting! I’m already brainstorming all the confections I need to try this crumbed pistachio topping on. I’m thinking pancakes might be first…

Sixpoint and Blind Bat Breweries were also there, doing really enjoyable and informative beer tastings. Though there was delicious wine flowing as well, this year we really couldn’t get enough of the beer! The Golden Ale, also known as Hell Gate, from Blind Bat was my favorite – a slightly maltier version of a traditional Pilsner – crisp and refreshing!

Finally, my friend Ashley who is a reporter for Long Island cable provider Optimum was at the Taste of Spring, covering the event, and interviewed me about the event since this was my second year attending. I’ll be sure to post a link to the video on the blog as soon as that hits the web.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! What do you do to celebrate the start of spring? 

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Last night, during a particularly aggressive bout of spring cleaning, I found a long-lost treasure in a hidden corner on top of my refrigerator.

Double-Zero (00) Flour. I was pretty dismayed to realize that this quality Italian flour had just been hanging out hidden from sight for almost two years! You see, a few summers ago, after my parents came back from a three-week-long trip to Italy where they had sampled some of the “best pizza of their lives,” they went on a bit of an online shopping spree to order the flour used to make that very special authentic Italian pizza crust. You know, the kind you just can’t get in America (this was before we found Keste, of course). Well, my dad was a little overzealous with the online flour purchasing, and they wound up with several two-pound bags of Caputo ultra-fine flour. Realizing there’s only so often two fully-employed adults will take the time to make (and rest) their own pizza dough for dinner, they graciously turned a couple of bags of said flour over to me. Because really, who’s better to unload your excess flour bags on than your epicurean daughter?

The only problem was, back in my culinarily-immature days, I didn’t do the necessary research on 00 flour before using it. And after one giant kitchen flop using the Caputo (incorrectly, I should add), the bright red sacks were relegated to a high, hidden corner of my kitchen, and forgotten about.

Until last night. While scrubbing every last corner of my countertops, I suggested to Cara and Adam that we finally put that 00 flour to good use – the way it was intended. My cleaning spree had also unearthed a few packets of Dry Active Yeast, and with that, a pizza plot was born.

One of the best things about pizza is the ability to customize it. Sure, pizza is traditionally Italian, but really, crust is just bread – a good, starchy base for whatever toppings fit your fancy. So while you can cure a craving for traditional Mediterranean with a simple crushed tomato sauce, a few slices of fresh, creamy mozzarella, and some sweet basil, you can also take your pizza south of the border with Queso de Papa and ground seasoned beef, or do something slightly less conventional – and more delicious – like my new favorite, barbecue chicken pizza!

Last night, Cara and her friend Carlos took a trip to one of our favorite markets, Agata and Valentina Fine Foods, where the upper east side gains access to some of the most delicious and authentic Italian specialties money can buy. They returned with big bags just brimming with everything from fresh basil and bright ripe tomatoes, to delicate, crepe-thin slices of Serrano ham, dense links of chorizo, and buttery, salty manchego.

Oh – and three balls of burrata. Have I told you all about burrata? Imagine the freshest, sweetest mozzarella you’ve ever had, except when you slice into it, the center is full of rich, creamy cheese – almost the consistency ricotta. The contrast of the silky smooth filling with the slightly denser exterior is pure heaven – particularly on a thin slice of ripe tomato, topped with a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel…

But I digress! After snacking on the various toppings as we sliced and diced, we cranked our baby oven up to 550° F and started rolling out our dough. Because we were trying to achieve a perfectly thin crust, and were working with limited counter space (and square pans), we opted to roll the dough out with a rolling-pin, and it worked beautifully. The result was perfectly thin sheets of pizza crust that cooked and crisped evenly in the oven, and though thin, stood up to the hefty load of toppings we piled onto it.

In the end, we made two each of three type of pizzas. That’s six pizzas. For four people. (Please don’t judge us.) But when you have this dough, this beautiful dough, and so many toppings, how can you not experiment and indulge? Our group just couldn’t resist.

Pizza numero uno – a new favorite, juicy barbecue chicken breast, caramelized red onions, roasted red peppers, hot sauce, more barbecue sauce, and plenty of manchego cheese. This pizza came out bubbling, ooey-gooey, and the perfect mix of salty from the manchego and sweet from the onions, peppers and sauce.

It was to die for!

Our next pizza was a classic for the second course – pizza margherita. We smeared the crusts with a little bit of tomato sauce, then topped it with thin slices of fresh tomato and chunks of burratta, adding some wine-soaked mushrooms to half.

When the pizza came sizzling out of the oven, we hit it with some fresh chopped basil that wilted and imparted amazing fresh flavor onto the pizza. The only thing we agreed we’d do differently was roast off those sliced tomatoes first – they gave off a lot of liquid while the pizza cooked, and left the crust a bit soggy in the center. Still – it was really delicious.

Finally, last but certainly not least, our Spanish stallion of a pizza – Serrano Ham, chorizo, burrata, manchego and caramelized onions. Holy pizza! This was ridiculous – the Serrano ham was so thin and delicate that it practically melted into the crust, leaving behind its rich meaty flavor. And the chorizo was exactly what I always wished pepperoni was – salty, slightly spicy but complex in flavor, and each piece was bite-sized. These toppings are a combo we’ll definitely be trying again.

After having a blast in the kitchen, a great time with friends, and more pizza than our stomachs could reasonably handle, I can’t help but pass along this recipe for an amazing 00 flour pizza crust. Sure, getting your hands on this special flour might take a little extra work – like a quick trip to your local Italian specialty store or a quick search online – but it’s complete worth it. This flour has a long shelf life, and the crust it makes gives you the foundation for a perfect pizza, and a perfect evening with friends.

And, really, what’s more fun than a pizza party?

Perfect Pizza Crust – Makes 3 – 12 inch crusts

Barely adapted from Tyler Florence

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of warm water (around 100° – 110° F)
  • 3 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 3 cups of 00 flour, plus more for dusting

Method

1. In a large bowl, combine yeast and sugar. Add warm water and stir to dissolve. Let stand for about 10 minutes or until yeast start to foam (you should see small bubbles).

2. Add the salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and stir to combine. If using a standing mixer with a dough hook, assemble at this time. Add the flour a little at a time, stirring after each addition to incorporate. If you are mixing by hand, once about half the flour is added you will need to start kneading the dough with your hands. Continue until all the flour is incorporated; if the dough starts feeling very dry, add another tablespoon of water until it has a nice, pliable consistency.

3. Form the dough into a large ball in the center of the bowl. Add the remaining olive oil and coat the dough. Cover with a dish towel and place somewhere warm (like next to the oven) to rest. Allow dough to rest until it has doubled in size – about 60 to 90 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 550° F.

5. Once the dough has risen, divide it into three equal portions and roll each into a ball. Return dough to the oiled bowl and allow to rest until you are ready to use. If you are not going to use the dough immediately, it can be wrapped up in plastic wrap and refrigerated or frozen at this point.

6. Roll or pat dough into desired shape and thickness (each of the three balls will make a 12″ circular pizza). Place on a pizza stone or sheet pan. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and top with desired toppings. Bake for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until crust is firm and lightly golden and cheese is bubbling. Allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.

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Recently, Sundays have become a whole new kind of day-of-rest in my life. An non-denominational sabbath, if you will. The fact is, when your weekends are condensed to just one day, you really have to make that day count. Here’s how it went down.

If you’re wondering about the food coma…

It happened.

Twice.

(Slightly dangerous when the Long Island Rail Road is involved)…

But totally worth it.

Food, family, and most importantly, schlag. A very successful week-end-day.

In other news, I’m desperate to recreate the most fabulous, soul-warming (and completely vegetarian) Lentil Soup that one of the cooks at the restaurant whipped up for Family Meal on Saturday. Who would have guessed that lentil soup (with crumbled cornbread on top, sigh) could be so life-changing? I frantically scrawled some recipe notes and ingredients on the back of my time sheet during service, so I’ll hopefully nail that one down in the next week or two and share it all with you as soon as possible. Til then, happy eating!

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Happy Friday! Whew – it’s been a busy week around here! Between the Super Bowl, getting ready for Valentine’s Day and a certain wonderful Dad’s birthday, and a lot going on at work, it was a shock to my system to wake up this morning and realize – it’s Friday?! Time to start my “other” work week 🙂

To be completely honest, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to cook this week – there was some ordering in, a bit of throwing things together, and a little kitchen experimentation that didn’t exactly hit it out of the park. In lieu of not having a wonderful recipe to share this week, I wanted to share a few of the other things (foodie and otherwise) that I’m loving right now.

First things first…

Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Spinach and Kale Dip

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Let’s all be honest here – who doesn’t love dip? I could probably subsist on meals that could be dipped alone – and this goes for not just savory, but sweet as well… in fact, I could be found dipping a pound of strawberries into marshmallow fluff during the Super Bowl halftime show last week. Not something I’m proud of, but you get my point.

I came across this dip during my weekly Trader Joe’s trip. While I was waiting on the 30 minute check-out line, debating breaking into my blueberries as my stomach painfully growled, samples of this glorious dip were being handed out at the Trader Joe’s sample booth (best thing ever?), along with some super crunchy, yummy “falafal chips.” I had a dipped-chip, and immediately was reminded of this epic, delicious, and totally indulgent spinach dip my roommate makes for special occasions. That dip is loaded with sour cream, mayo, and calories, and I die for it when she serves it in a pumpernickle bread bowl at Christmas Parties.

Curious, I checked out this lighter dip’s label, and saw that the Trader Joe’s rendition was packed with super healthy spinach and kale, and used primarily Greek Yogurt to achieve it’s creamy base, rendering it just a mere 30 calories per serving. Feeling like I’d just won the jackpot, I got this baby home and have been enjoying it all week on everything from cucumbers to whole grain chips to inside my lunch wraps. It’s by far the best “Guilt Free” dip I’ve ever tasted – I highly recommend picking some up for your next party or just for fun – you won’t know the difference!

5K Runner – The Couch to 5K App

Now, one may argue that running has nothing to do with Epicurean Bliss, but let’s face the facts – if we all ate everything delicious in sight (and half the things on this blog) on a regular basis without the occasional sweaty workout, we’d be jumping on the Paula Deen bandwagon right now, and who wants that? After a year of culinary school indulgence and no regular exercise plan, one of my 2012 resolutions was to get back to making my health – and fitness – a top priority! Now, I’ve never been a strong runner (you could always find me at the back of the pack during three-mile runs in middle school field hockey practice), but it’s something I try and keep up with, with the hopes of getting stronger and stronger as time goes by. I was finding it particularly difficult to get my endurance back up in early January, though, and decided to give the 5K app a whirl after hearing about it on one of my favorite blogs, The Daily Garnish.

After a few weeks of working my way through the 5K run/walks, I now have renewed hope that not only is my endurance, strength, and fitness level building, but perhaps I’ll even be 5K ready by spring! The app keeps me motivated with daily checkpoints, and allows me to get in the zone during my run by telling me when it’s time to change my pace.  I’d highly recommend this app to anyone who’s looking to become a runner (and for those who are interested in training for longer distances, there’s a 10K version too)!

Peter Luger’s Steakhouse

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This isn’t exactly a new favorite, as I’ve been a huge fan of Peter Lugar’s for years, ever since I tried their magnificent dry-aged steaks many moons ago. But, since I’m heading back to this famous steakhouse on Sunday for my dad’s birthday, it’s rather timely to once more tout the virtues of the Lugar. If you love steak, and are in the tri-state area, you should put a dinner at Peter Lugar’s on your bucket list. Their dry-aged steaks are by far, the best I’ve ever had, and the whole old-school steakhouse experience is just as craveable as the meat. Check out my full review of Peter Luger’s here.

Paleo Plan

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I debated blogging about this, but in the end, decided to put it on here because it’s about food, it’s interesting  – and it’s controversial on many different levels. For a while now, I’ve been contemplating the notion that really, the healthiest way for humans to eat would be the way our ancestors – the earliest humans – ate, relying on food that was readily available to them through hunting and gathering, and eating what appealed to them because it’s what their bodies could easily digest and what would sustain them. It seemed to me that this would be the ideal human diet because it is the original human diet, and as suspected, someone out there had already put this all down in writing as a marketable diet plan.

Enter the Paleo Plan, an eating plan based on our Paleolithic ancestors. The Paleo diet relies on lean meats, wild greens and vegetables, fruits, nuts, and healthy fats – in essence, removing anything refined, processed, or not in its purest form. Perhaps this is a logical, pure and healthy way to eat, but the contrary argument does exist – will we miss out on crucial nutrients by eating this way? Has the human body continued to evolve to not only be able to digest, but actually need the nutrition from dairy, legumes, grains, and food products made from them? And perhaps most more importantly, where’s the fun in life if you’re restricting so much of the most delicious foods in the world from your diet all the time? Despite the potential health benefits, I can’t see myself eating like this 100% of the time any time soon – but, it’s definitely an interesting concept and worth understanding.

At any rate, it did lead me to this awesome recipe for Gingery Beef and Broccoli, which we had last night to great enjoyment. Check it out!

Well, that’s all for now – time to buckle down for the rest of the weekend work. Hope you enjoyed a few of my February Favorites!

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