Monday, June 27, 2011

Daydream Believer

Who am I?

Am I a person who works to live or lives to work? They dont ask you this question in college before they thrust you into the world to make a living. They either assume you know or know there's no way to tell before you hit the pavement with bright ideas about your future. It turns out you just have to live a little to find out the answer. Somedays I decide I am just a person who goes to work, does a great fucking job but loves to have friends a family and travel and enjoys having a paycheck to pay for them. Other days, I day dream about doing something I love. When do you crossover? Are you just born a person who does what they want? Or once you decide, how do you get there?

So on days like the latter I think the best thing that could occupy my brain is a day dream. Without a small business loan or the experience to back up the business success of this venture, I create a breakfast joint. I. Fucking. Love. Breakfast. When I was making the above hash I thought this would be on my menu and then I go down the rabbit hole and make up my perfect menu complete with funny names. Some of these are made up and some are real dishes I've made or would do a variation on.

The Hashtag
A Basted Egg over Peppered Turkey Bacon & Sweet Potato Hash.
Onions, Zucchini and Garlic.

Le Petit Prince
Baked Eggs (w/Herbs De Provence), baked tomatoes, homemade crusty baguette, crispy thick cut peppered bacon.

The Urban Homesteader Benedict
Two Spinach & Quinoa patties topped with poached eggs, smoked salmon, goat cheese and topped with meyer lemon hollandaise.

The Gotta-Regatta-Frittata
Egg Whites, Shrimp, Basil, Sundried Tomato, Pine Nuts. Served with crispy potatoes.

Virtuous Vegan Tacos
Corn Tortillas filled with Scrambled Tofu and Soy Chorizo topped with green tomato and mango pico de gallo. Served with a side of black beans and plantains. Spicy Homemade Taco Sauce on request.

Veggie Villain
Eggs scrambled with roasted veggies (red peppers, onions, asparagus, zucchini) mixed with brown rice, sauteed spinach in a light soy sauce.

The King Of Corned Beef
A homemade bialy, Corned Beef, Fried Egg, Swiss Cheese, pickles. Served with fried Maztoh Ball "potatoes".

Poppin Blue Collar
Eggs Any Style, Bread Any Style, Coffee Any Style, Sage Breakfast Sausage Patties our style.

You're Grounded (Door Slam).
Ground Turkey Omelet with Basil, Cheddar Cheese, Avocado, Black Olives and Caramelized Onions. Served with a Whole Wheat English Muffin

Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Organic Peanut Butter slathered between Brioche French Toasts topped with Honey sauteed bananas. Accompanied by homemade raspberry syrup and powdered sugar.

Gluten Free Gods
Coconut Lemony Ricotta Rice Pudding Pancakes

Pumpkin Eater
3 slices Warm Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Bread topped with cream cheese & raisens.

Fruit Scooter
Homemade granola, greek yogurt, figs, honey.

The Wonderful World of Whimsy
Piping hot fist sized Chai Tea Spiced Donut Holes with Plum dipping sauce. Served with bacon or sausage.

I could go on and on for like 10 pages!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Loving

It's been a busy few weeks for my stomach! First I was in Los Angeles for the E3 Video Gaming Conference, then I was in Palm Springs for my bachelorette party and finally I was in Sacramento for the wedding of my dear friends (and Shawn's fellow Waunakee denizen) Marq Spusta and Dawn Wachsmuth. All of this adds up to an insane amount of eating, drinking and the opposite of calorie counting: calorie BINGING! So here I am two months to go and starting strong with my revived diet. I start personal training this week! Hooray. See below some amazing pictures from my journey (food and non food related):

Anyway - it was a beautiful day on Sunday and we needed some healthy food in our bellys to kick start our metabolisms back to life.

Grilled Lemon Basil Salmon with Toasted Walnut, Steamed Squash & Zucchini

This is pretty simple....

Salt & Pepper the fillets and then squeeze a ton of lemon juice on it. Slice the lemons over it and put a few shreds of basil on too! Grill it as usual (salmon is fast but 10-12m tops!).

Then slice the squash and zucchini, toss in a little olive oil then add garlic salt. Make a pouch of foil and throw on the grill - steamed for 10m as well. On the side toast some walnuts and then serve on top of the steamed veggies.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The 90s Salad Remix

Ah, the Chinese Chicken Salad. Historically speaking your popularity peaked in the 90s along with cesar salad wraps, clear pepsi, snackwells cookies and hackey sack tournaments. Last week when I saw you on the 100th menu I posed the question to myself: in the current state of salads where does this old standard fit in? When we're eating interesting and unique organic ingredients like persimmon and burrata with our greens is there room for this unsophisticated salad? It's pedestrian at best, but we still cant seem to get rid of it! But why? Its not really healthy with all the rice sticks/fried wontons/sicky sweet stick-to-your-fingers dressing. If I could compare this salad to something it would be your best friend's older brother who you thought was SO COOL when you were 9, but now he's grown up and 40 and scratches his butt - and like totally - so what?

Some of my favorite incarnations include: Mo's Restaurant in Burbank, the commissary at Warner Brothers (so spicy!), the Thai Crunch Salad from California Pizza Kitchen, The Grind in Lower Haight in SF. The WORST versions include: Panera Bread, The Creamery in San Fran....the list goes on everyone has a version of this salad and they are mostly played out.....

.....................until it grew up and mutated into the 2011 version of the chinese chicken salad. No longer will it be so ingrained in popular culture that it gets a shout out in a Barenaked Ladies rap.
That is so dated!

I also hate giving recipes for salad and sandwiches, as you know, so just consider this a recommendation instead of a recipe. I got rid of all the calorie laden ingredients that made it so fast food tasting (though delicious!).

Not Your Average Chinese Chicken Salad
Use ingredients to your perfect ratio!
Romaine Lettuce
Shredded Cabbage
Chicken cooked with Soy Sauce & Sesame Seeds
Chopped Jicama
Green Onions
No Sugar Added canned Mandarin Oranges
Toss with dressing of choice: I chose The Orignal Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing!

Monday, June 6, 2011

With A Cherry On Top!

What a delish weekend!

Definition of delish: something so rich you have to eat it taking a break every 2nd spoonful - but its better that way so you can enjoy it for longer and the taste memory stays til the next day.... Or something so savoury your fork can barely stop scraping the burned bits from the pan, even when youre trying to be polite and have manners in front of friends....and something so garlicky people think there's horseradish in the recipe but there's not - its just 4 cloves compacted into 1/4 cup of dip....and finally, delish is when its 5 hours later and you realize there's leftovers. and youre drunk. and you dont care about your diet.

Anyway, that was this weekend. We had an amazing(ly) healthy dinner with our friends Marq & Dawn on Friday where we got to commiserate and inspire each other on our current wedding state of mind. They have a much shorter time than we do - 2 weeks! It didnt stop Dawn from making an incredible light and airy meal for us on a rainy Pacifica evening. Proof below! A great Peach, Feta & Onion tarte and a concoction of scallops wrapped in spinach and fish....


Then we had our friends Kris & Darcy over for a "last meal". While they arent leaving for Atlanta until next month, we are all so busy that a chill dinner with wining and dining into the late hours could only occur on Saturday. Also, we made them play killer bunnies.

Here's a glimpse of what a Vegan Greek Menu looks like (with 1 exception, because sister please I need my cheese):

Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip.
1 jar of RRP, 1 bag of walnuts, smoked paprika & lemon juice. Salt & Pepper to taste! Food Process it then serve. Takes 5 minutes.

Grilled Haloumi Cheese w/Oregano & Lemon Juice
Slice it, throw it in a pan until browned. Juice a lemon and chop some herbs. Looks so pretty and tastes so salty.

Spinach, Dill & Chickpea Warm Salad
1 can of chickpeas drained. Saute with olive oil, chopped dill, salt and pepper. Toss in fresh spinach and lemon juice til its all cooked through and serve. Around 15m total.

Tempeh, Bulgar & Mushroom Mix
Saute red onions, mushrooms, garlic - add in 1/2 cup of bulgar in the pan then fill with vegetable stock and let boil until absorbed. Around 15 minutes. In a sep pan break up the tempeh and brown in a pan. Toss in at the end for texture and serve.

Garlic Sauce (like the most garlicky sauce youve ever tasted!)
4 cloves of garlic
4 pieces of white bread, no crust
White Wine Vinegar

..........and finally, the reason for the season:

Chocolate Cherry Vegan Pudding.
1 cup chopped and pitted fresh cherries
1 silky tofu block
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
1 bar 100% cocoa vegan chocolate

NOTE: Your cherries arent fresh if your prep doesnt slightly resemble a murder scene.

Step one: Put 3/4s of your cherries in a blender with the sikly tofu, combine until pureed. Once in a sep bowl add in the agave.

Step two: In the microwave or over the stove, melt the chocolate. Once melted, fold in the tofu/cherry mixture. Whip it quickly and for at least 4 minutes straight! until pudding consistency. After that, put in the 1/4 leftover cherries and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.