Category: Food

All things related to Food – cooking, recipes, restaurants, products, etc.

Washington DC restaurant recommendations

Balkan Cuisine at Ambar in DC

My husband and I spend a couple days in Washington D.C. every summer. I’ve fallen in love with it and it’s become one of my favorite cities. I love the history and beauty of it. It’s quieter than most cities but still has the feel and vibe of a big city. No matter how many times I’m there, I love to walk through the National Mall and all the outdoor parks. And close to the top of the list of reasons why I love Washington D.C. is the food scene. I’m lucky enough to live in central Jersey, which offers a wide variety of restaurants itself, but also happens to be 45 minutes away from both Philly and Manhattan. Needless to say there is no shortage of fabulous restaurants and good food in my neck of the woods. However, I daresay DC’s food scene can rival that of New York and Philly with it’s diversity and quality. Here are my picks for where to eat in DC. Bring on the food porn! (more…)

Cucumber, tomato and chickpea salad

Cucumber, tomato & chickpea salad

I make this cucumber, tomato and chickpea salad, on average, once a week. It’s so easy I could probably make it in my sleep. It’s my go to healthy snack or a quick side for lunch or dinner. I’m sure hubs is sick of it at this point but he continues to eat it with a smile on his face so I will continue to make it.

I make a lot of variations of this salad but the recipe below is generally the basis. It takes 5-10 minutes to put together, depending on how good you are with a knife and prepping the veggies, which is really the only work you have to do. This recipe makes a lot but I keep it on hand in the fridge all week long and, as mentioned above, eat it for snacks or serve it alongside whatever I’m having for dinner.

FYI, this salad screams summer. It’s great to bring to a pot luck or a barbecue. It’s a perfect, easy side dish for any summer party. (more…)

Avocado toasts with scrambled eggs

Avocado toasts with scrambled eggs

I know avocado toasts are all the rage right now. They’re even on the verge of getting too popular, like kale was a year or so ago. Food, like everything else has its trends and when something gets too much publicity it suddenly becomes uncool. But I don’t care. I’m late to the avocado toast game and I’m sure I’ll get a few eye rolls for this one but avocado toasts are amazing and I <3 them. So, food snobs who are over avocado toasts, look away! Read no further!

These avocado toasts are pretty basic. I made them on Saturday morning when I wanted to eat something healthy but not too healthy and I didn’t want to make anything complicated. So, these are my semi-healthy, uncomplicated avocado toasts. (more…)

Lentil curry

Lentil Curry

In an effort to save money I’ve been avoiding the grocery store and cooking from my pantry, of which I have to say I’m quite proud. It’s fully stocked and newly organized. It’s a walk-in pantry and one of my favorite features of the house. Sometimes, especially when the rest of my house has become cluttered, I just take a walk inside my pantry and stare at the neatly packed shelves.

The process of organizing the pantry was a lofty undertaking but a necessary one in order for me to take stock of what we actually had on hand, which turned out to be a lot. So, this week I’ve been cooking solely from the pantry, trying to use canned items, dried beans, oils and vinegars, etc. One item I’ve used twice in two different dishes is lentils.

Dish # 1 was lentils, spinach and chicken sausage. It was flavored with bay leaves and thyme and salt and pepper. Very hearty and healthy. I used brown lentils in this one. Recipe to come.

Dish # 2 was this delicious lentil curry. The dish reminded me of Indian Dahl because it utilizes some of the same flavors like garam masala, turmeric, garlic and ginger. I used a spicy curry paste to kick up the heat and added a splash of lime juice and cilantro to brighten the whole thing up at the end. It was spicy, warm and comforting, especially served with naan for dipping. I had to stop myself from going back for seconds…or, if I’m being honest, thirds. (more…)

Spring Vegetable Bars

spring vegetable bars

I came up with this recipe on Easter Sunday because I felt like we needed another appetizer. We really didn’t. There were six of us and we had enough food to feed about twenty people but I like to be excessive on Holidays. And parties. And really any occasion where food is involved. So, I made this. I wanted something spring-y and I happened to have zucchini, asparagus and spring onions on hand and I always have a bag of frozen peas in my freezer. I also happened to have on hand my new favorite refrigerator staple, a Pillsbury ready made pizza crust. These things are amazing. They take no time to cook and are super versatile. I mean you can do so many things with pre-made pizza crust. But what you should do is make these spring vegetable bars. (more…)

Slow Cooker Tex Mex Chicken

slow cooker tex mex chicken

I’ve been drinking a lot of smoothies lately which means I have not been cooking all that much, but when I do cook, I want it to be healthy and this Slow Cooker Tex Mex Chicken fits that bill.

I wasn’t sure what to call this actually. There are probably a million variations of this recipe because it’s not at all complicated. I’ve made something similar before and the recipe I followed called it Santa Fe chicken. I thought about calling it Mexican chicken because the dish does utilize Mexican flavors, but it’s not authentically Mexican. The recipe felt more like a Tex Mex recipe to me. It calls for flavors like fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, cumin, chili powder, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Hence, the name slow cooker Tex Mex chicken. (more…)

Healthy turkey chili over spaghetti squash

turkey chili and spaghetti squash

I’m constantly looking for ways to eat more vegetables and if your curious as to why, check out my previous post and my recommendation for C.J. English’s book WTF Am I Supposed to Eat?: A Dieter’s Manifesto. I also love chili. It’s super flavorful and comes together really fast. There are lots of variations of chili from the type of meat you use, or lack of meat, i.e. a lentil or vegetarian version, to the spices, vegetables and liquids you choose to flavor it with. I love the versatility of it. This one uses lean ground turkey instead of beef and is packed with flavor from cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. It’s also full of veggies like tomatoes, beans, spinach and onions. (more…)

Quinoa, kale and chicken bowls

quinoa, kale and chicken bowls

During the month of February I basically revamped my diet, which has been a long overdue project I’ve been avoiding. I’ve been carrying an extra 20 lbs around for the past 4 years and I finally decided I’d had enough and it was time to get my eating habits under control. I have been unhappy with my weight for a long time and so, instead of complaining about it like usual, I tackled it and really committed to healthy eating. Sigh. It hasn’t been easy especially when results have been slow, which are due to a number of factors that I am ironing out and won’t bore you with here. But I’ve lost about 6 pounds, which is better than nothing, and I feel healthier, which is key. I think my hair is shinier and my skin looks better. So, needless to say I’m going to stick with it. I might not be able to keep up the no dairy, no carb, no sugar, no alcohol thing for much longer but I feel like I can keep those things to a minimum now. After all we really shouldn’t be “on a diet” so to speak. We should be making a “lifestyle change”. Any health expert or doctor will tell you that. (more…)

Ramen noodle and veggie stirfry

ramen noodle and veggie stirfry

When I was in college, I ate my fair share of Ramen noodles. Shocker, I know. I always had a stash somewhere and when there was nothing else to eat or I was too lazy or too poor to go out, I, like all other college students everywhere, would reach for that block of dried noodles and that yummy seasoning packet full of MSG and call it a day. It was tasty, and salty and not very good for you but it provided the nourishment and the satisfaction needed during those long nights of studying for midterms. It had it’s place. (more…)

Food in Ho Chi Minh

Pho

I recently returned from an amazing trip to Southeast Asia. Vietnam had been on my “to see” list for a long time so, after trekking and schlepping halfway around the world to Bangkok and spending a few days there, I decided it would be ludicrous not to take the short one hour flight from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City.

And I’m so glad I did. (more…)

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