Sunday, March 9, 2014

Foodie Favorites

Spring is in the air! At least for the next few days. And I'm soaking it up while it's here. Walks in the park, sunflowers in the kitchen, an impromptu BBQ in the backyard, and a fresh manicure swapping my winter dark red for a springy light pink. That about sums up the weekend so far, and it's been lovely.

So over the last few weeks I've been amassing a few new food favorites that have popped up weekly, if not daily around here, so I figured a roundup post that touched on some of the things I'm loving lately would be fun. A few of my favorite bloggers do "favorite things" posts here and there and I always love seeing what products and things they're loving, so hopefully you feel the same. Here we go!

1. Tri Color Quinoa

I picked this up at Trader Joe's last month during my stock-up, and was really surprised at how different it is from traditional quinoa. It has a nuttier, chewier texture, and of course the color is fun for something different. I've used in it quinoa salads, veggie curries and just plain as a side dish, but my favorite way to use it so far is paired with TJ's baked tofu, broccoli, sesame oil and Bragg's Liquid Aminos. Super quick and super delish.

2. Fresh Mango

In my first shipment from Door to Door Organics, I received a super ripe mango that needed to be used that same day. I already had a plan for dinner and couldn't figure out a way to incorporate the mango, so in the end just cut it up and served up dishes of mango for dessert. Why have I not done this more often?! Half the time our mangos go unused because I can never decide what to do with them before they go bad, so why I never eat them plain is beyond me. This was so juicy, sweet and delicious and the perfect way to end a meal. I've been ordering them in my D2D box every week now for a fruity dessert.

3. Green Smoothies

Riker loves 'em too! Every time I make one - which is almost daily - he asks for his own or for sips of mine. I change up the ingredients based on what I have around or what I'm in the mood for - swapping between different fruits, regular milk, almond milk or coconut milk, and occasionally using Greek yogurt instead of protein powder - but my most-used combo includes:

- 1 frozen banana
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use Sun Warrior "Warrior Blend" or Garden of Life Raw)
- About 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or organic whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 ice cube
- About 1 tsp. raw organic honey

Slurp! I love the energy I get from drinking so many vitamins first thing in the morning.

4. Rigoni di Asiago Fiordifrutta Cherry Jam

That's quite a mouthful, huh? I found Fiordefrutta when browsing the jam section in our local healthfood store, and was so excited since it's been tough to find an organic jam (that I don't have to make myself, since I'm fresh out until summertime) that also doesn't have sugar in it and is sweetened only with fruit juice. This stuff is crazy good. It's tart and sweet at the same time, and has big chunks of cherries. Riker eats it on PB&J, but Matt and I have been eating it on crackers with goat cheese or cheddar for snacks, and omg what a flavor combo. 

I've also been using it to make salad dressings for salads that have fruit in them - I just thin the jam with a little red wine vinegar, then add olive oil, salt and pepper. Could not be easier, and it pairs so well with leafy greens tossed with berries, apples or pears. Next time I'm going to try the fig spread. Yum.

5. Mint Tea

This is a simple one, I know. But I've been on a huge mint tea kick lately - only not using tea bags, just plain mint. Over the last few weeks I've had two work lunches at Le Pain Quotidien in the city, and was a little surprised the first time I ordered mint tea and was given a little tea pot of just hot water and mint leaves. But it was amazing. It was so fragrant and SO minty, but not in a toothpaste kind of way. I fell in love. I've been keeping mint in the house lately and sipping on this in the afternoons or after dinner. It's a great way to relax and is also good for digestion. I can't wait until my herb garden comes in this summer because I always grow chocolate mint, and how good would chocolate mint tea be??

And there you have it, 5 of my faves the last few weeks. Now I'm off to do some recipe testing in the kitchen for a Real California Milk post I'm working on. I see something cheesy in my future.

Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

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