Saturday, June 9, 2012

RTB: Apple Pie Amaranth

I love carbs! I can feel the pleasure centers of my brain lighting up just typing about them. Contrary to some so-called experts, carbs are not bad for us. Half of what we eat every day should be carbs. Our bodies, and especially our brains - need them. Check out the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, specifically the chart on page 15.

The problem comes when we eat too many carbs that are devoid of any nutritional value other than calories. Like white flour or white rice, etc. Not that I don't eat these things - had a great sourdough roll today and rice pudding last night - but they account for less than half of my grain intake for the day. The other half (or more) is whole grains. If you're a carb queen like me, you'll soon fall in love with whole grains - they taste AMAZING! And grains cost ALMOST NOTHING! Especially if you get them bulk. Buy as much or as little as you like and pay for what it weighs.

One of my favs is amaranth. Grain to liquid is a 3 to 1 ratio and it makes a creamy, rich hot cereal. Try it in Apple Pie Amaranth:

1/4 cup dry amaranth
2 tsp Splenda brown sugar blend
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 fresh apple, grated
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 T heavy whipping cream

Combine all ingredients except cream in a small saucepan. Simmer until thickened. Spoon into a bowl and drizzle top with cream.

Calories: 296
Total Fat: 8.6g
Sat Fat: 1.8g
Carbs: 53.3g
Fiber: 10g


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Meatless Monday Missteps

No - I'm not vegetarian, or vegan. Just a foodie tryin' to avoid becoming a statistic in the (cue ominous music) obesity epidemic. Seriously, the way this is talked about in the media, you'd think it was the zombie apocalypse.

I've been doing the lacto/ovo vegetarian thing on Mondays for a while now. That means milk and eggs but no And at the risk of offending the are animals so they are not part of my Meatless Monday routine. Of course, I'm an unrepentant carnivore the rest of the week so I'm pretty much offending someone 6 days a week anyway. Why stop on Mondays!?

At any rate, I've found it pretty easy to do vegetarian once a week so I figured, how hard could it be to do the full on vegan thing?

Apparently, it's pretty freaking hard!!!! No dairy or eggs is takes some planning.

Week 1, I had made my lunch for work, planned dinner and packed snacks - all vegan. Ate vegan breakfast and grabbed my coffee. Annnnnnd realized I couldn't put half and half in it. I take my coffee seriously, folks. The almond milk I tried to lighten it with did NOT cut it.

See what I mean...ewwwwwww!

Week 2, I figured would be easier because I got through week 1. After eating O'soy for a snack did I read the cup to find the active cultures came from milk. Why make a cultured soy yogurt and put a milk based item in it? Why?????!!!!! Then I made my vegan pizza with the home made dough for dinner. Cause I never just follow a recipe like a normal person, I brushed the dough with olive oil and seasoned it up my way. Not a prob until I realized halfway through grating parmigiano reggiano over it, that it was no longer vegan. Dammit! But I built it anyway with the vegan mozz and Italian seitan and it was might tasty.

Now THAT's a crust! (and why do I have man-hands in this pic?)

Never do I back down from a challenge - even when I should - so I am determined to make this happen! (I am so gonna Ahab this Vegan Monday thing until I take the whole boat down with me...)


Saturday, June 2, 2012

RTB: Staycation Day in Princeton, NJ

Me and the fam had a FAB-u-lous foodventure in Princeton, NJ recently. First, we went to House of Cupcakes who you might have seen on Cupcake Wars more than once - they won the first time they were on. My Mexican Hot Cocoa cupcake was richly chocolicious and not shy on the spice at all. My hubby had the one with the pretzels on it and my little miss loved her cuppie with the candy all over the top. 

They were even nice enough to let me come behind the counter for a picture of their great wall of cupcakes:

Then we did some damage up at Carter and Cavero, where you can sample a crazy amount of different balsamic vinegars and olive oils. Trying to decide which of them to buy was harder than choosing a name for my only child.

Oh, and they had an AMAZing selection of other goodies as well, like salts...

We finally made our decisions and came out with our hard won booty:

We rewarded ourselves for not buying one of everything at Carter and Cavero's a few doors down at Thomas Sweet where they have the most heavenly salted caramel candies...

And to reward myself for only eating 3 chocolates at Thomas Sweets, I bought kitcheny gadgets and coffee at Kitchen Kapers. Sorry there's no pic but my hands were full of bags at this point!

If you find yourself with a free afternoon and some decent weather, check out Princeton, NJ. And when you're too full and happy for any more foodie fun, there's a free art museum on the university campus. Not too shabby for a staycation day!


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