Friday, February 26, 2010

Acai Berry Jam

I am a sucker for new/interesting products, and am trying to make a concerted effort to use more of the ingredients I have on hand, as there are quite a few! One of these ingredients (moved from Philly, unopened) was a jar of acai powder (fyi, it's cheaper on amazon) that I unearthed from the depths of my cupboard.

I happened to come across a recipe for Acai Berry Jam that I knew I'd have to try. Better yet, I had some some chia seeds purchased on sale, still waiting to be used. A fun way to use these ingredients, and a mild yet tasty jam that beats a lot of jarred ones :) I can't wait to add it to a slice of toast with almond butter!!

Acai Berry Jam

Have you tried acai powder? What's your favorite way to use it?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Let-tuce Wrap It Up

I've been laying low do to a (self-diagnosed) pulled muscle in my back, and figured it was the perfect time to try some lettuce wraps. This was before I realized how much time I'd be standing on my feet chopping all the ingredients... luckily no harm no foul, the back's almost back to normal!

Can I get a light over here? :)

These aren't something I've eaten alot of, so I consulted some recipes I had bookmarked and ended up using what I already had in my kitchen.



Asian Lettuce Wraps
Serves 1-2

1T neutral-flavored oil (I use Smart Balance blend)
2T chopped shallots
1T chopped garlic
1-2T freshly grated ginger
1/2 block extra firm tofu, pressed quickly to remove water and crumbled
~1c each, finely diced:
mushrooms (i used a blend of shiitake & baby bellas)
red bell pepper
bamboo (i had an 8oz can)
3T hoisin sauce
1T soy sauce
1/2-1t siracha (to taste)
1/2t toasted sesame oil
1 1/2T rice wine vinegar
1T spicy peanut butter (I used PB & Co's The Heat is On, see Nick's recipe to make your own)
butter lettuce leaves (I suspect cabbage or other sturdy leaf would work as well)
freshly chopped cilantro (I used Fresh Frozen)
chopped peanuts

Heat oil in large skillet/wok. Add shallots, garlic and ginger, saute until fragrant, ~2min. Add crumbled tofu and mushrooms, saute until lightly browned, ~5min. Season with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Prepare sauce (I used a small measuring cup) by whisking together hoisin through peanut butter. Add red pepper, bamboo, carrots, and cucumber, followed by the sauce. Stir and saute ~4min. I added the celery in the last minute or two of cooking so it would retain some crunch.

Remove from heat and transfer to serving bowl. Separate lettuce leaves and clean. Assemble wraps by adding filling to leaves and topping with cilantro and peanuts, then devour!

What are your favorite ingredients to add to lettuce wraps???

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Catching Up

*chirp chirp*

Sorry for the unplanned absence!! Two crazy weeks at work, followed by a week of dog sitting (see below) left little time for blogging. I have been eating (don't ever "forget" that one!), cooking a teensy bit... but not really taking pictures.


I finally got around to making some pizza dough (I used all white whole wheat flour), only to have my calzone get eaten at work (really, who does that??? Not cool.) So no picture.

I "un-cooked" Ricki's Carrot & Sunflower Seed Pate (with Pumpkin Seeds instead of Sunflower Seeds...  oops!), and made some killer sandwiches on Nutty Whole Wheat Bread (from the Foodbuzz Festival!) with sprouts and cucumbers.

Carrot & Sunflower Seed Pate
(bad lighting... I know

Hmm, what else... oh, there was Kerstin's Sweet Potato Black Bean Hummus! That was delicious, especially paired with a sauteed kale/onions/mushroom mixture in a whole wheat blanket (aka burrito/wrap).

Fresh flowers to brighten the day!

My commute last week gave me time to read a few good books... Mind Gym (I think it applies to athletic endeavors and life!), Thrive (while i may not go vegan, there are principles and ingredients that I will try to incorporate to my diet), and The End of Overeating (eye-opening, and reaffirms why I'd rather make my own food!). Gotta love the library!

Is it spring yet?

I've been doing a little more cooking and playing with my camera after a visit with Gary Tardiff. Kerstin had a great recap here (thanks for organizing!). White balance, ISO, shutter speed, aperture... steep learning curve here :) We'll have to see how well I can incorporate his tips!

How are you all doing?? :)
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