Thursday, February 26, 2009

Edamame Ravioli

I love these ravioli, and they contain two of my favorite ingredients--edamame and goat cheese. Edamame is a rock star ingredient, as they are a great source of low-cal protein and fiber. Goat cheese isn't anything to sneer at, either!! As a softer cheese, it tends to be lower in fat than the harder cheeses like cheddar. These positives are just happy coincidences, the real winning thing about these ingredients is their taste :)

Edamame Ravioli
Adapted from Bon Appetit RSVP
Yield: ~25 ravioli (depending on the size)

1/2 lb frozen edamame
4oz goat cheese
2 oz nufatchel (1/3 less fat cream cheese)
wonton wrappers, or homemade pasta

Cook edamame in large pot of boiling, salted water until tender (~5min). Drain, then transfer to bowl of a food processor with cheeses and blend until smooth. Season filling to taste. This can be made a day or few ahead of time, keep refrigerated.

At this point I use the easy route of wonton wrappers, filling 4 at a time. Seal the edges with water and keep covered with a towel until ready to cook to prevent drying out. Cook 3-4 min in a large pot of boiling salted water, a few at a time to prevent sticking.

An alternative to cooking right away would be to place the filled ravioli on a single layer on a cookie sheet in a freezer until, umm, frozen. :) They can then be packaged into freezer bags for longer storage.

I often eat these on their own I enjoy them that much, but the recommended sauce was a browned butter mushroom sauce (which I will have to try when serving for guests!!). This time I made a Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Sauce and served it with some sundried tomato chicken sausage. Which led me to think that sundried tomatoes would also be a good addition to the ravioli filling! I'm sure you could also play with the seasonings in the filling, too.

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Sauce

1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 28oz can fire-roasted whole tomatoes
1 small jar of roasted red peppers (it was 3 peppers worth), roughtly chopped
basil, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes to taste (fresh or dried, whatever you have on hand)

Saute onion in EVOO until softened. Add garlic, tomatoes (with juices), peppers, and seasonings and let simmer for awhile (I just let it go while assembling and cooking the ravioli). If you have fresh herbs, add them towards the end of cooking instead. Cool slightly before blending with an immersion blender, blender, or food processor.

Don't forget to head over to Chocolate-Covered Katie for her Jocolat giveaway. Abbie, at Food that Fit, is putting together an e-cookbook. Check out the details here if you'd like to submit some recipes!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quinoa w/Gruyere & Veggies

Wow, seems like forever since my last post, it's been busy!! I got to dog-sit this weekend, and I had a blast :) It was fun to get them playing with opposite ends of a chew toy! Here are the pups, cause they're just too cute not to share...


Dante, making himself comfortable!

Some other goings-on in blogworld: check out Lauren's post here to help support the Maryland Food Bank and don't go to Hangry Pant's giveaway for Zoe's Granola ;-) You can also check out this list of 10 healthy foods you may not be eating. I can't actually remember if I've tried broccoli rabe (strange...), but I did pick up some at the store a few days ago. I also don't eat many brazil nuts (although this may be leftover from childhood, when all i liked were peanuts!).

Speaking of broccoli... I made this Gruyere Quinoa w/Sauteed Mushrooms & Broccolini which was very yummy. The nuttiness of the gruyere and quinoa played together well with the pan-roasted veggies. I meant to throw in some extra protein (chicken, tuna, or tofu), but I got lazy. I actually just had to look up the difference between broccolini (a hybrid between broccoli and Chinese broccoli) and broccoli rabe (more related to a turnip than broccoli)! Learn something new every day :) We'll have to see what I do with that broccoli rabe... any suggestions??

sorry so fuzzy!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oh Nuts!

A huge thank you to from Tamara at Oh Nuts for sending me some fantastic goodies to sample!! I kept seeing Erin's dried kiwi and just had to try it (i had opened the package already...). Dried cantaloupe (on the right) was alos something that I don't know if I've ever seen in a store!

There was one piece of information that I looked for on the website, but didn't seem to find-- whether their dried fruits had added sugar. Turns out the cantaloupe does, and I have no idea about the kiwi. The first taste- the cantaloupe was way too sweet, almost cloyingly so. The kiwi however I did enjoy on its own, not too sweet or tart. And you don't have to peel them :) I eat enough fiber, don't need to eat fuzzyness!

With some snow in the forecast, I was inspired to make some cupcakes for work that could bring us to somplace warmer. I give you, Tropicakes :)

can you see the chunks of kiwi and cantaloupe?? :)

adapted from this recipe
Yield: 12 cupcakes

heaping cup of chopped dried cantaloupe and kiwi
2c all-purpose flour (or half AP and half whole wheat)
1/4c granulated sugar
1 1/2t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1t salt
2/3c light coconut milk
4T butter, melted (I used smart balance 50/50)
1/4c egg substitute and 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
zest of 1 lime
2T honey
2t pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper/foil liners (or use nonstick spray).

Combine dry ingredients (flour thru salt) in medium bowl.

Lightly beat egg whites and egg substitute in a large bowl. Add coconut milk and butter, whisk well. Add zest, honey, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in dried fruit. Divide batter evenly into 12 cups.

Bake for 16-20 minutes (mine were done at 16min), or until the tops are golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing each muffin and placing on a wire rack to cool.

I brought these into work unfrosted, and brought along some frosting to add. (Thus no picture of the final product) Next time I think I'd just sprinkly coconut on top of the muffins before baking, as in the original recipe, as they were sweet enough :) Or maybe cream cheese frosting...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

I've been meaning to write about this book for awhile now, but I guess better late than never! Bittman's cookbook is a great resource, I have found myself going to if multiple times to learn about a new ingredient, cooking technique, or preparation ideas. An introduction into vegetarian basics, equipment and techniques is followed by pages and pages of recipes. This book is not for the light-hearted, weighing in 996 pages! It reminds me of an encyclopedia, as you can find information about new ingredients, information about various ways to cook said ingredient, and then variations on the theme. You can actually find the book on Google Book Search if you want to preview it.

Awhile back I made some Eggplant Gnocchi , a nice variation on the traditional pasta. Now that I have a potato ricer, I bet these would turn out even beter!!
Eggplant Gnocchi

Since then I've also tried Braised Tofu & Peas in Curried Coconut Milk, which I served over a mix of brown and wild rice. I was a little worried about this one, but I really enjoyed it!!

Braised Tofu & Peas in Curried Coconut Milk

After purchasing some miso for that hummus-turned-soup, I also prepared some Miso Smashed Potatoes & Edamame, which was delightful. I've been meaning to throw some edamame in there, and I'm glad I finally did!

Miso Smashed Potatoes & Edamame

It seems strange to call it a cookbook, as it's really so much more, but I think its a perfect addition to everyone's library! Let me know if you have any other specific questions :)

A few things before I leave...
--Check out Sabrina's recap of a Boston Blogger Meetup! Thanks to Tina for organizing!! I think everyone else has posted a recap too, so click away :)
--Don't forget to head on over to Healthy Tipping point for a RoadID giveaway--it could save your life!
--I made some notes on the Snowball recipe, as I tried out some substitutions to make them a bit healthier for Meghann's Bake Sale and they were still ever so yummy! Lisa wrote to tell me, "They are AWESOME!!!! As soon as I received the box, I had to dig in! Perfect consistency, great flavor...oh so addicting!!! They are very popular here!"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Runnin Runnin

It seemed like there was some interest, so I thought I’d start to tell you how I came to the ‘tri’ portion of my blog name…

I think I’ve mentioned before, I was not a runner for most of my life. Undiagnosed exercise-induced asthma and knee/hip pain made that timed mile we had to do in junior high my least favorite thing to do.

Enter grad school. I finally asked a doctor about my breathing difficulties and got an inhaler. I joined a lab with a few active people, one of whom was a runner in hs into college. His talk of running piqued my interest, and since I wasn’t playing as much tennis, I tried it again. I still remember the day I ran 3 straight miles on the treadmill (very late in 2003)—I was ecstatic!

Slowly but surely, running got easier, and I really came to love it. A great way to escape and get outside. A great time to think about a problem, or think about nothing at all. Jess has a great list of running benefits which I think are great.

Three guys in our lab and I would go for a run by the river, or hit up the track for some speedwork (I always chased them). They provided so much motivation and support for me, I never would’ve gotten this far without them. Or this fast!! It started with a 5k, then a 10-miler, and finally a half marathon. I think I'm most impressed by my 1:16.33 Broad Street Run (10 miles). From my one half, I can give you the advice to NEVER eat something new before a race. I fought cramping the entire race, but I managed to come in just shy of 2 hours (my goal at the time).

This is all well and good, but longer distances don’t seem to be possible right now. Poor biomechanics are somewhat corrected by orthotics, but I was told that my knees were also not built to handle that much stress (although I’m not doing any damage). For me it’s a balance of running schedule, orthotics, sneakers, PT to strengthen the supporting characters for my knees, and luck. As a consequence of all this, or maybe just bad luck, I've also had a run in with an overuse injury and a random pain/ache in my left foot that hasn't gotten a real diagnosis (despite a few doctors, MRI and PT). Grrr. Now I err on the side of caution, as I'd rather take it easy then be sidelined for weeks or months.

I don’t have a HRM, most days I don’t wear a watch or an iPod, it’s just me and the road. Actually, I try and stay off pavement if I can, running on the sides of paths or on the track. They’re gentler on my joints. I usually run 2-3x a week, with a long run of 4-6 miles, some speedwork (intervals or a tempo), and one other run depending on schedule/my knees/etc. (Yes, training for the 10milers and half marathon occurred on 3 runs/week.) Now that I’m in midst of a Boston winter, I don’t get outside as much.  Philly winters are much milder… Speaking of Philly, if you’re in the area, I would highly recommend the Broad Street Run. This is an amazing race, so many people come out to support, and it’s flat (although I swore there was an uphill portion the first time I ran it). There are also so many people running (close to 15k I seem to recall) that you’re never alone!

Bottom line--everyone is different; your goals, needs, and abilities will not be the same. Find what works for you. Enjoy it. Believe in yourself, you never know what you can accomplish! Writing this all down on paper reminds me of how amazing this journey has been, how much I’ve surprised myself, and how proud of myself I am. Which is welcome, as it has been a rough year. Thanks for listening (err, reading), and I hope it wasn't too boring! You may not be a runner, but I'm a huge proponent of doing what you love. Walk. Hike. Bike. Climb. Crawl? Use your imagination :) Next time I'll ramble on about how I got into (or trained for my first) tri...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Secret Cupid

A huge shout-out to Lee for organizing a V-day blogger exchange, so very exciting when I received my package in the mail yesterday!! Cupid (aka Elise from Elise's Eats) managed to hit all of my favorites--peanut butter, chocolate, tea (even a variety of roobios, which I recently discovered), coconut cream pie... An incredibly cute card and some decadent body butter to help my really dry winter skin rounded out the package! Thank you so much Elise, I've already dug in and will think of you often :)

Have you seen the new Banana Nut Cheerios? Visit The Healthy Hostess for a chance to win!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Orange you glad?

Mara, over at What's for Dinner?, picked oranges for this week's BSI. When brainstorming what to make, I thought of the Mashed Sweet Potatoes w/Orange Essence that I made for Thanksgiving. I came up with a few ideas, but I gave into my lab's desire for treats and made some Chocolate Orange (Mini) Muffins first. Or muffcakes/cupffins, as we were discussing the question of which they really were :)

The Stars of the Show

I followed this recipe for the muffins, using the chocolate above and adding the zest of 1/2 a blood orange that I had. They were awesome, the flavors of the zest and the chocolate bar really complemented each other well. Totally reminded me of those Chocolate Oranges Caitlin has been talking about lately :) Next time I might try to sub some applesauce, as they were a tad dry (although this could've been due to slightly overbaking, but I was watching it pretty carefully...).

Some Contests-

Bobbi (N Her Shoes) is offering up some WIN, which I've reviewed before. But don't go enter, I need more!!

Head over to Marx Foods to enter to win some artisan ravioli!!

ps- The recipients of the biscotti (my parents and my secret valentine) gave them rave reviews, so this recipe's a keeper!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Has everyone heard about Meghann's Bake Sale?? She's raising money for her Team in Training efforts, culminating in a marathon on May 31. So many good things up for bidding, but I thought I'd also let you guys know that I'm offering up some Snowballs. A traditional christmas cookie in our household, these things are delicious! I've been meaning to try them with Smart Balance 50/50 sticks and maybe some WW pastry flour, so maybe now will be my opportunity... I heard from my aunt about the baking temperature that evaded my mom's recipe card, so here it is, as promised!

Grandma's recipe
Yield: a LOT of cookies (I got almost 3 dozen from half recipe)

2 sticks butter (Smart Balance 50/50 sticks work well)
1 1/2c sifted powdered sugar
1 egg (for half recipe, 1 egg white)
1t vanilla
2 1/2c sifted flour (I have sub'd up to 1c WWW flour or WW pastry flour)
1t baking soda
1t cream of tartar
1/4t salt
1 1/2c chopped walnuts
powdered sugar for coating

Cream butter. Gradually add sugar and cream until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat well.

Sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt). Gradually add to creamed mixture.

Stir in walnuts, then chill dough.

Preheat oven to 400deg. Roll dough into balls (large marble size) and bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 min. Roll immediately in powdered sugar then set on newspaper to cool. Roll again in powdered sugar and then try to not eat them all!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I was thrilled when I heard the forecast for the weekend, since it meant a run outside! I can deal with the 37mph wind gusts when it's 48degrees in Boston. In February :) (Talk about unexpected!) The most annoying part was stopping all the time to walk around the huge lakes--err, puddles-- from the melting snow. Not that I'm complaining, it really was a fabulous day!

For last weekend's fun, I set out to make some Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Hummus, using this recipe. Sounds good, right? Well... I ended up with soup. If I hadn't been doing 5 things at once (ok, maybe only 3), I probably could've salvaged a hummus-like consistency. It took me 3 times of re-reading the recipe to realize that I used 1/3 the amount of lentils. Oops! That extra cup of lentils probably would've done a good job of absorbing all that liquid! Anyways, my unexpected soup was actually quite tasty, and I had it with some leftover Caramelized Fennel Flatbread, crisped up in the toaster oven. Fabulous!!

I also used some really ripe naners to make some Banana Biscotti, I hope they are enjoyed :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cauliflower Pasta

I looked through my recipes for awhile, wanting to do something a little different with the cauliflower I had picked up on sale... I ended up with a take on Rachel Ray's Pasta w/Cauliflower Sauce. For two servings, I used 4oz penne (Barilla Plus), a little over half of a small head of cauliflower, water instead of stock, half of yellow onion instead of red, fresh thyme instead of rosemary, and goat cheese instead of romano. Apparently I didn't look too closely at the recipe when I decided to go for it! haha. Anyways, I was actually quite surprised at how tasty this turned out, despite the bland colors. Purple or orange cauliflower would be quite delightful in this!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More Super Eats

To roundout the eats for the Superbowl, I made two chilis to acomodate different appetites :) The first was a Turkey & Butternut Chili, with ground turkey sub'd for the beef. I also added some smoked paprika, more chili powder, and a bit of cayenne at the end as I thought it needed a little somthin somethin! In terms of prep, I made this on Saturday and then just threw it in the slow cooker a few hours before kickoff, so it was a very no-fuss dish.

Turkey & Butternut Chili

Meat would have been unsportsmanlike for the Adobo Cornbread Casserole. Somehow it evaded my camera, which is unfortunate as it was kinda purt-y with it's golden crust :) I used a small square baker and 2/3 of the cornbread mix to create a thick, hearty layer of chili in between the cornbread. I kept a touch of agave in the cornbread mix, making it a little sweet. Delish!

Last but not least, I made a recipe for Chocolate Beet Brownies. I'd call them moist chocolate cake bites, as they weren't really like fudgy brownies (I cut back on the butter a little bit...). But they were tasty :) And with beets, wheat germ, and some walnuts, they're good for you, too!

Anyone up for some chocolate? silly question, right? :) Hit up One Frugal Foodie for a giveaway here!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Catching up to the Superbowl Apps

Phew. What a week! In the middle of last week's snow storm I got to "retreat" into the White Mountains of NH. Luckily the drive wasn't too bad and the snow made for some amazing cross country skiing.

I made it back just in time for a fabulous Tea Party (in Boston--ha. don't worry nothing went into the harbor!). A huge shoutout to Starbucks (and Bjorn and Missy and the other guys I'm forgetting their names) for hosting the event. It was a great experience to try their new tea products and hear about the pairings with pastries they offer. Better yet was meeting some fellow Boston bloggers-- including Tina, Bridget, Elina, Pam, The Boston Foodie and The Boston Tea Cup. Check out their links for the lowdown, complete with photos :) The tea infusions (apple and berry) were quite sweet, and I think may be good iced. I did enjoy all the lattes, they seemed like a fantastic way to end a meal (instead of one of those vanilla scones that were also quite tasty...). I don't normally add sweetener to my tea, so I'd go for them light on the milk, unsweetened, with soymilk (which would impart a little sweetness on its own). Picky, aren't I? I always felt like that was asking too much. But you are paying for it, so they should make it how you want it!

And then there was the Superbowl. I got to do my first entertaining and had a great time :) I have been wanting to try fennel for awhile now. My hesitence has come from a dislike of liccorice... so I took the opportunity (of not having to eat it all myself in case I don't like it) to make Carmelized Fennel Flatbread. No worries here, it was fantastic, and I really enjoyed it!!

Caramelized Fennel Flatbread

I also made a Spinach Feta Dip that hid next to Daryl's guacamole :) It was good, but somehow avocados win me over more than feta! This will make a fantastic addition to my lunch sandwiches this week though!!

Spinach and Feta Dip
Adapted from this recipe

1 garlic clove, pressed
1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed
1 small onion, chopped
8oz greek yogurt (mine was TJ's 0%)
3oz crumbled feta (I had a light feta on hand)
2oz Nufatchel cheese, softened
1/4 light sour cream
1t dried dill (or 1T fresh)
1/8t black pepper

Saute onion in a little EVOO until softened, add spinach and garlic and cook a few minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. Combine yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, feta, and spinach mixture in bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, stir in spices, cover and chill. I did this a day ahead so it was ready for game time :)

Ok, I need some sleep, so the rest of the goods will have to wait. Hopefully I will have a chance to catch up on all my blog reading too... I hope you forgive me! Before I go, there are some giveaways-- Pop Chips over at Missy Maintains (their wasabi flavor is quite interesting!), and Hangry Pants is offering up some almond butter!!

And I need to thank Foodbuzz for giving me the oppotunity to try some of Quaker's new snacks!! I had been eyeing those banana-coconut-macadamia ones that popped up at the Chicago Quaker Convention and couldn't wait to sink my teeth in. Yummy, for sure, I think these are a nice, easy dessert option ;-)

Thank you Foodbuzz!
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