Thursday, September 22, 2011

What I've been cookin' and we've been eatin'

Remember when I said we were going veggie?  Yeah, that was awhile ago in "I'm going to be a vegetarian" terms.  It actually been going quite well.  I haven't eaten any meat since then, and it's not been nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  In addition, it's been kind of fun.  I'm spending more time thinking about eating and preparing for eating than before, for sure.  But, I feel good, and Hubs is pretty into too.

So, here's a little taste of what we've been chowing down on at home lately.

Mostly, we've been keeping it simple.  Eating real food, without much fuss.  There are tons of fresh fruits and vegetables out there right now at the Farmer's Markets and grocery stores, so it's been easy to do it that way.  

Here we noshed on some baked sweet potatoes (with cinnamon), some fresh sweet corn and a salad topped with cherry tomatoes from our garden, grilled portobello mushrooms and walnuts.  A yummy natural strawberry balsamic dressing topped it off.

A close up of the delicious salad with fresh greens...oh yeah, and let me just add again, sweet and fresh from the vine cherry tomatoes from the garden a la Erin and Hubs. :)

Getting a little more veggie, and maybe going a little too far for some of you out there...a tofu veggie stir fry.  I started with a firm tofu (this is the first time I have ever cooked it).  I decided to pan fry it in oil first because every time I have eaten tofu, I tend to like it more firm and little crusty rather than having a soft, creamy texture.  I thought it was perfect.  I actually even enjoyed the tofu and the squash, green beans and red pepper over quinoa are super healthy, right!?!  Green, red and super healthy grains...score!  This one was nice and filling too.

Another delicious and filling veggie dish we had were these Boca crumbles tacos.  These were awesome!  Now, I'm trying to make something taste like meat when it's not meat, or maybe I am, I dunno.  These boca crumbles are a really good ground beef substitute, for sure.  I seasoned them with some Frontera seasoning (see below, because this stuff is amazing, and it doesn't even have that many ingredients).  It's helps flavor and give some good juiciness to this dish.  Add on some avocado, sour cream and some more o' those tomaters from ze garden...and voila!  Don't forget the corn tortillas...they are not to be done without.

Good stuff!

Lastly, and admittedly the least veggie is this easy peasy salmon meal.  Again, the sweet corn, because it's out there and it's fresh and Hubs loves it.  Some pineapple deliciousness goes nicely with the fish.  The salmon is wild Alaskan King Salmon, which costs about 3 arms and a leg.  I usually get the farm-raised salmon because it's so much more reasonable priced, but because I was veering slightly from my vegetarian week, I decided to get the super good for you stuff.  Not sure I can do that all the time, but I do love some salmon.  And, it's good for you, so why give up something that's good for your body, right?  I think we'll probably be sticking with eating fish sometimes and not feeling like we're cheating.  The point of all this is to eat better, feel better and to change out diets in a positive way.  So, crazy strictness isn't our bag.  That being said, onto the weekend.  Hubs parents are visiting, so time to try some "new" restaurants.  Or, at least they'll seem new because I'll be ordering from all new menus...the veggie sections.  Wish me luck!

PS - I made some gluten free zuccini bread too!  It turned out really good, super moist and springy. We ate it for breakfast all last week.  Heated up with a little spread...mmmmm.  It was probably the prettiest thing I cooked all week, so of course I didn't take a picture of it :)  Check out this link on the Gluten Free Goddess blog for the recipe.

Happy Eating Foodies!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our last hurrah...or not, but maybe.

A semi-large decision has been made.  Hubs and I are going to get serious about being kind of vegetarian. about non-committal.  "Hey, I'm Erin, I'm a kind of vegetarian."  Yeah, that's how I roll.  Anyway, so that's how my week started.  It's something we think about and talk about quite a bit and certain documentaries (Forks Over Knives and Food Matters) and thinking about what we need to do to be's what we've come up with...kind of vegetarian.

For someone who is going to become kind of vegetarian, you have to have a last hurrah, right?  Well, I didn't know it would be a last hurrah at the time, but it seems it was.  We revisited 10-01 Food & Drink after a pretty decent visit not too long after it opened.  We were in the area, and something made me want to go back.  I wasn't sure if I was going to blog about it, but upon eating, I decided heck yes.

The Place

I won't rehash all the place business from my first's still the same.  Although, we did sit on the patio this time and it was cool.  I thought it might be loud out there being so close to Broad Ripple Ave., but it wasn't a distraction at all.  I recommend getting out there before you can't anymore!

The Food

This is what made me want to reblog this place so soon after my first visit.

I'm going to mostly let the fact that this is homemade mac n' cheese topped with the most delicious bacon ever accompanied by duck chili, speak for itself.  Yeah, I said it, duck chili and yummy, yummy bacon.  Neither of which are you may be able to see where I am going with the whole last hurrah bit now.  Both of these dishes I ordered off the starters portion of the menu.  I went with it and decided to order what sounded good and didn't worry about getting  a complete meal.  Maybe some of you do this all the time, but often I feel some weird pressure to get a meal when I go out to dinner...especially if I'm going to blog about.  But, since I've already been to 10-01, I think that pressure subsided a bit...and am I glad it did.  That duck chili was to die for!

The wrapness

I was super happy with my second visit to 10-01.  My favorite parts of this visit were the bombtastic duck chili and the mac n' cheese was not at all shabby either.  It was a good last meat meal for a little while.  Also, this cannot be overlooked, our service was awesome!  Our waiter was super friendly and actually stood out as one of the best waiters I've had in awhile.  10-01 is getting it right with the whole package...I'll go back...for some salad, I guess :)

PS - Look out for all the creative things we are going to be up to with our new diet.  I will be posting more meals at home, I think, and definitely getting a new perspective on some old and new restaurants.

10-01 Food & Drink on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 2, 2011

Al-Basha Broad Ripple

There are all of these little hole in the wall joints all around in Broad Ripple, from chinese to burgers to sandwiches and gyros.  We really have not tried any of them since we moved here because we are always so wrapped up in all of the restaurant options.  And, I think you know, there are MANY options to partake in.  Before we moved here we had a go to gyro place that never disappointed, but was a total hole in wall that also sold hooka pipes, mediterranean canned goods and some kick butt baklava.  Random, I know, but it was good.  Gyros Plus...we do miss you, but we must move on.

The place

Moving on for now is Al-Basha on Broad Ripple Ave.  It looked hole in the wallish enough to consider, so we gave it a go.  Surprisingly, masked by its shopping strip facade and its location next to a head shop, a running store, a breakfast place and a chinese take-out restaurant, it was MUCH cleaner and nicer than our old stand-by Gyros Plus (in Gainesville, FL), ever dreamed of being.  So, good start.  I don't mind eating at not-so-clean places, sometimes the food is just that good.  But, I'm not gonna fault a place for being clean and having nice tables to sit at!!

The food

I of course had to order what I ordered at my old fav, just for comparisons sake...and I think it's pretty well established that when it comes to my favorite foods, I find it very difficult to stray.  I very typically find my most favorite things to order at each restaurant I go to and will only order that item at that place.  It's comforting, and there are rarely surprises that way.  When I'm hungry, I get grumpy...I have to like what I eat or there are troblems (= troubles & problems).
I digress, the food.  Hubs and I both ordered the falafel sandwich combo.  Falafel sandwich, obvs, french fries and a beverage.

My bad, I totally forgot to take a picture before I started devouring.  Although, in hindsight, I think this may have worked out better so you can see the falafel??  I mean, it looks chewed up, but you get the idea, right?  So, pretty casual.  The falafel was really good though.  It had some really cool mediterranean seasonings that I haven't really tasted in my previous exposures.  The falafel were big and tasted really fresh. The flavors were not overwhelming, but made it a little more sophisticated than falafel that might be a bit bland without being doused in mediterranean sauces.  Hubs really liked his too.  The fried were also excellent.  They were cooked just the way I like them and they looked pretty sprinkled with paprika.

The run down

All in all, this was an easy meal.  It was cheap and good and fresh.  I will definitely be going back here for my falafel.  Yum.  Maybe if I figure out what any of these spices are for in cooking, I could go back for some of those too.  Have you ever seen such good looking shelves?!?  Somebody at al-basha is very organized!

Al-Basha on Urbanspoon
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