Archive for May, 2012

Native Foods Cafe (vegan)

This vegan joint is vibrant and fun. It serves globally inspired cuisine for a decent price. I appreciate the creative menu but think it lacks finishing flavor. Let me explain, while the bangkok curry dish was good, the intensity of curry was very mild, almost bland. And the vegetables were the typical frozen stir-fry mix versus a more local, farm fresh approach. The portobello and sausage burger had some flavor but lost on texture and fell apart in my hands.

I liked that I felt healthy afterwards, but I want more taste in my food.

Portobello and sausage (seitan) burger with sweet potato fries

Apple mint ideas

I picked up some apple mint from three sisters farm stand this past Saturday. It’s a variety of mint that also has a slight apple aftertaste. Herbs are fun to use in most everything; salads, drinks, pestos, drinks… Besides the alcoholic variety of beverage, putting mint in iced tea is easy and perfect for the season. Brewing your own hot tea, then melting ice cubes to cool it makes infusing custom flavors possible. I made apple mint, darjeeling ice tea, adding in the sugar to the hot tea so it would dissolve.

Summer fun.

FMIOTW: sugar snap peas

While the Wendy strawberry’s from Mick Klug farms were unique and tasty, the snap peas from Nichol’s stole the show. I didn’t put those peas near the stovetop because they were crisp, refreshing and sweet as is. I made a strawberry and snap pea salad with a little apple mint and apple cider vinegar. Perfect summer side!!

Flavor burst.

Simple as beans and rice.

Buying dried beans at the farmer’s market seems a little ‘unfresh’ for the market, but at least I know they’re local! I soaked the beans overnight in water. Beans need a pressure cooker, not a normal pot! I threw them in the cooker with some green garlic, onion, cumin/coriander/clove/cardamon (no rhyme to this spice combo), and vegetable broth. Let them pressure cook for 20 minutes and when finished they were tender and tasty. I made some mixed grain rice in veggie broth to assist the beans.

So colorful!

FMIOTW: Spring lettuce

The season is still young and the farmers’ stands are overflowing with spring greens. I love flavorful, delicate spring lettuce in simple salads. I mixed a little olive oil and vinegar with avocado, fresh herbs and lettuce. Season with salt and pepper and you have a light, refreshing salad!

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Nichol’s greens are the best. 🙂

Buena Vista (BYOB Mexican in Lakeview)

I am so full, OF DELICIOUS ENCHILADAS DE POLLO CON MOLE. (chicken was much better than ground beef) I have walked by this store front a hundred times and not until tonight did I experience its tasty, cheap food thanks to a quick Yelp search. Perfect spot for BYOB and/or Mondays when many other restaurants are closed.

I ate this all.

Spinach pesto on everything

The farmers market is full of fresh green things, including spinach and basil. Pesto is a versatile sauce that is easy to blend together and serve on just about anything. I added spinach to my pesto and used an immersion blender -food processor attachment for quick chopping.

My spinach pesto:
-handful of spinach
-handful of basil
-3T. extra virgin olive oil
-juice of 1/4 lemon
-grated parmesan cheese
-salt/pepper

Left out garlic and pine nuts on this version but, again, any sauce like this will add flavor to any dish. I put it on three: egg on toast, buffalo mozzarella and leek and potato soup. Really fresh and healthy!

Handy immersion blender attachment

Over mozzarella was my favorite!

Kefir smoothie: banana coconut milk

Winning combo: plain kefir, banana, coconut milk and honey!

FMIOTW: Leeks

Lots of green starter plants at the first outdoor Green City Market of the season but not a lot of inspiration. Perhaps I need a better imagination? Among the asparagus and greens, I found some meaty leeks and decided to honor them this week. I made a leek and potato soup that was toasty and filling for a cool spring day.

Keepin it vertical.

Sprinkle of lemon juice and a grilled cheese finish.

Thai Pastry Restaurant

Love Asian bakeries, including Thai Pastry which is just south of Argyle and Broadway. Where else can I buy a custard pastry in the shape of a bird?

Cute!

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