Elevate your iced coffee

30 May

Peppermint.jpgAs we enter the scorching DC summer, I feel that I’m about to exponentially increase my iced coffee consumption. And while plain old iced coffee is delicious on its own, a good friend of mine changed my world last year when she ordered a peppermint iced coffee as we were recovering from a particularly rough Saturday night.

I know you’re thinking – duh, Starbucks has been serving up Peppermint Mochas for years. Except that drink is horrendously bad for you and conveniently not listed on this nutrition page with all the rest of the SBucks calorie bombs. So why not make your own peppermint iced coffee that is NOT more than a suggested week’s worth of sugar intake?

Just add one or two drops of  peppermint extract to your drink for all the refreshing mintiness, but without the added sugar. This allows you to add agave, Stevia, or whatever your preferred sweetener while not having to be that girl requesting “just one pump” of the peppermint simple syrup at the coffee shop.

And while you’re sipping on your low-cal deliciousness, check out my new website, It’s Not About Kale. While food is still my frenemy, you can say your sweet goodbyes now and hop over to It’s Not About Kale; same blog you’re used to with some enhancements.

If this were an analogy on the SATs (do they still do that?), I’d say iced coffee is to peppermint iced coffee as Food is My Frenemy is to It’s Not About Kale.

Let them eat truffles

29 Apr

Truffle oilTruffles sometime get a bad rap because of their pretentiousness and steep price tag. And this is deserved when we’re talking about eating actual white truffle shavings, the most elite of the mushroom family. But because all truffles are so aromatic and earthy, a little can really go a long way, and even in the less pure form of oil or salt.

A few weeks ago, I bought this mini bottle of truffle-infused olive oil for only $10 from Whole Foods and there is almost nothing I won’t put it on. So far, a few drops has enhanced: a mashed cauliflower side dish, scrambled eggs, whole wheat pasta with porcini mushrooms, fresh bread and manchego snack, and the list goes on. I’m planning to add it to my new popcorn maker this week and drizzle some over the white asparagus I bought at Each Peach Market. I’ve even once had truffle oil drizzled over vanilla ice cream at Table in DC and all I can say is Life. Changer.

My point? If you like the taste of truffles (everyone), it doesn’t have to be an added $50 charge at a fancy restaurant. Just a few drops can really make an ordinary meal quite fancy-like.

I’m bananas for this dessert

4 Mar

banana_icecreamBananas were never just a breakfast food for me. I distinctly remember my mom’s fried bananas with cinnamon being one of my favorite desserts as a child. However, I was still pretty skeptical of the “banana ice cream” recipes I’ve seen floating around because I just wasn’t believing that this fruit could pull it off. As I was sifting through a borrowed (and awesome) cookbook last week, I stumbled upon yet another “ice cream” recipe which coincided with me realizing I had a bag of frozen bananas in the freezer that were at their breaking point. And so banana ice cream dessert making commenced:

Banana “Ice Cream” with Sweet-and-Salty Roasted Almonds
From It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into thin rounds and frozen
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted almonds
  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of coarse sea salt

Instructions

Freeze bananas ahead of time on a tray or can throw them right in a Ziploc bag. (I always keep some like this in the freezer for smoothies.) Once frozen, combine with almond milk, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth and scrape down sides to get all bananas broken down.

Meanwhile, mix the almonds, salt and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup for the topping. Spoon the banana ice cream into bowls, top with almond mixture and serve immediately.

I am not lying even a little bit when I say this was an amazing dessert. Dairy free, but tasted like a vanilla frozen yogurt and a banana got together and made a baby. And I would eat that baby any time.

Image Source: It’s All Good: Delicious Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good And Feel Great

No dairy? No problem

10 Feb

Steve'sIceCreamI’ve had my fair share of non-dairy ice creams. And  I have nothing good to say about any of them. Until last night, when I had Steve’s Cold-Brewed Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream.

My favorite part of Steve’s Ice Cream isn’t the delicious coconut undertone (made with coconut cream), or even that a serving has less sugar than most breakfast yogurt. It’s that this product does not contain the insoluble fibers typically added to non-dairy frozen desserts. Instead, Steve, god bless him, uses the more natural pea protein (yes, those peas) which is much easier to digest for sensitive stomachs like mine.

As for the flavors, Steve’s makes tons of them – both dairy and non-diary – and you can find a bunch at Glen’s Garden Market. If you steer clear of dairy like I do, you must give this brand a try. It was creamy, surprisingly satisfying, and straight up tasty.

Get this burger immediately

3 Feb

palena-burger-main-editFor all you non-vegetarians out there: you know what I mean when I say that sometimes you just need a cheeseburger. And not in the hungover, greasy sort of way, but in the “I’ve been so good about eating healthy and now I want something truly delicious” kind of way.

Palena Cafe has been continuously rated the best burger in DC and is currently the 13th best burger in the country, according to our waiter this past Saturday night. Every accolade I can think of to describe how awesome this burger is has already been said, perhaps most thoroughly by Brian Oh at Serious Eats. Hint: truffle is involved.

Read his review and get your butt over to Cleveland Park like now.

Image Source: Brian Oh – Serious Eats

No (instant) soup for you

23 Jan

blackbeansoupIn the introduction of Cooked, Michael Pollan talks about how Americans spend much less time cooking than we used to, partly due to the advent of convenient food products. And I agree that it’s pretty unfortunate how our country has come to rely on those processed, ready-made meals instead of real food.

There is a solution for this problem though, and I feel obligated to share it with my 50,000 readers. If timeliness is key, consider that there are actually lots of tasty meals you can make in under 10 minutes, soup being one of the easiest by far.

My example for you today came to me in a moment of brilliance when looking though my leftovers. It began as a black bean and onion side dish earlier in the week: Eden organic black beans, sautéed sweet onions, with onion and garlic powders. I took the immersion blender to it, added in some water for a thinner consistency and heated on the stove top. Voila: homemade black bean soup.

Don’t stop at black beans. Consider options like canned beets + coconut milk, or lentils + curry powder +  carrots + broth, or any variety of miso soup. Even my boyfriend can cook these! Except he won’t. #cutebuthopeless

Food lover’s cleanse

16 Jan

chicken-cabbage-and-tangerine-saladI realize you’re over hearing about cleanses for the new year. And frankly, I’m with you. However, I stumbled across this cleanse specifically for food lovers on the Bon Appétit site the other day and thought, I would actually love to eat all of these meals.

Some dishes that jumped out at me were the chicken, cabbage, and tangerine salad, the warm escarole salad with anchovies and mustard seed vinaigrette, and the coconut & pistachio chocolate bark.

Go pick some for yourself and be clean…or just eat the tasty food.

Image source: Bon Appétit

Radishes: The Starr of the meal?

14 Jan

LeDiplomate_Radishes Steven Starr’s Le Diplomate has become known for many things in DC in the few months it’s been open: fantastic service, consistently great food, and the unbelievably long waits if you don’t have a reservation. For me, though, I can’t stop thinking about the radish appetizer I had a few weeks ago.

I know – you think because I’m a healthy eater, I went for the boring vegetable dish. But that is so not the case. The dollop of butter on the plate would quickly convince you otherwise. The Radish Crudite was quite straightforward: sliced and whole radishes served with a generous portion of sea salted and whipped butter. I got skeptical eyes from the others at the table, but they were quickly convinced of my swooning once they tasted it.

I dared to replicate this dish myself and while not exactly picture-worthy, it was pretty good. Doesn’t get much easier than washing some radishes and dunking them in butter with salt.

Check out Tom Sietsema’s review if you need more social proof for Le Diplomate. Or just go and find out for yourself. And enjoy the bread, which an entire blog post could be devoted to, it’s that good.

It’s ALIVE!

8 Jan

TumericElixirTumeric, the spice found in Indian curries and yellow mustard has been proven to be a natural anti-inflammatory food. This means that eating tumeric can reduce the inflammation many of our bodies are constantly fighting, and it’s also been proven to prevent or treat some major diseases.

That’s why I was so excited to learn about this new health drink, TumericALIVE, a line of seven juices made of organic, raw ingredients and best of all, contain 10 grams of tumeric per bottle.

I was doubly excited to find that my local Yes! Organic Market started selling the elixirs. Just tried the Vanilla Bean flavor and loved that it was sweet and gingery with just a hint of saltiness. At 18 grams of sugar per bottle, I don’t think I’d recommend them everyday but it’s a great alternative to typical juices that pack in 30+grams and have no nutritional value.

Get anti-inflamed (?) today!

Winter detox for dummies

6 Jan

chai-gingerbread-shake Sometimes I truly can’t stand the clean diet plans. They are often filled with wonderful detoxifying ingredients… that no one has ever. Every now and then, however, a helpful guide comes along like this one here in goop.

You may not be able to afford any clothes GP suggests, but I’m pretty sure you can make some of these recipes.

Image Source: goop