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WIAW # 19 Odd numbers are weird

It’s my mothers fault I don’t really care for odd numbers.  In birthday terms she says they make you sound older!  Even numbers make you seem younger.  Huh???  Now I find myself feeling the same way…….not really digging the #19 today.  But it is what is it and it is time for another round of What I Ate Wednesday.  Woot Woot!

Jenn over at Peas & Crayons hosts a foodie link up party each and every single Wednesday.  Health and food bloggers write about what they have been eating with a theme without a theme revolved around their vacation or just EXACTLY what they ate yesterday.  I usually give you a highlight of my tastiest meals over the last several days because I enjoy beautiful pictures as well as tasty meal ideas.  So let’s get to it!

Breakfast

Almond  Joy Oats

 Still loving my overnight oats!  With all the flavor combinations you really can’t miss with this breakfast.  And by fixing it the night before there is ABSOLUTELY no reason in the world that you would need to skip breakfast.  Well unless of course, your out of oats!

Overnight Oat Combo:  Oats, Almond Milk, Flake Coconut, Cocoa Powder & Almonds.  It was like eating an Almond Joy for breakfast.  🙂

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you probably already know that last Tuesday I attended another Food Swap at the Greensgrow Farm in Philly.

Philly Food Swap

I’m totally drawn to the idea of food swapping and it’s become my latest addiction as far as how I spend my personal time.  So much so, that two of us are starting our own local food swapping group within the next 4 weeks.  We are in the planning stages and as soon as I secure a place I will be announcing all the details.  Fun things ahead peeps! Fun things!

Look at some of my loot!

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So at last weeks food swap I scored some pretty tasty treats!  Specifically some Swiss Chard Pesto from fellow Philly Food Blogger Casey @SaltedPlates.  She participates in a local CSA and always creates her weekly eats around her CSA delivery!  Really awesome way to keep meals interesting because you never know what your gonna get in your CSA box!  Oh and Casey if your reading I think you should hold a Pizza Monday link up party!  No pressure, but I’m loving my pizza stone!!!!!  Think about it, eh?

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On Sunday I did  a little food preppin’ in the kitchen and cooked over 2lbs of pasta!  Eeeek 2lbs!  Seriously, I pre-cook most of my pasta and put it in the freezer for quick meals during the week when we are short on time.  I eliminated pasta last year during P90X but still use it as quick and easy meal every once in a while if I’m short on time.  It’s so easy.  Cook like normal.  Toss with a little olive oil.  Cool and store in either bags or freezer containers.  Pasta freezes like a gem!  Give it a shot.  It’s super easy and a really kid friendly meal (especially if you have picky eaters)!

Lunch

Angel Hair Pasta with Swiss Chard Pesto and Heirloom Tomatoes

Swiss Chard Pesto

Dinner was also a Sunday meal prep favorite.  I spied this recipe from Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean the other day and was intrigued at how she used apples and chicken in the crock pot and ended up with really tender shredded chicken in only a few short hours.  I had all the necessary components and threw them all in the crock pot and low and behold 5 hours later.  Perfectly tender chicken breasts ready to shred.  I did omit the BBQ sauce and ended up shredding it with just the juice left in the pot.  Used half  in my enchiladas and put half in the freezer for a meal next week. I’m thinking either tacos again and maybe a topping for a pizza.

Dinner

Shredded Chicken & Apple Enchiladas with Black Beans and Rice

Chicken Enchilada

This past weekend was a college visit road trip with my son out to central/western PA to visit PSU Altoona and Indiana Univ of PA campuses.  Super fun weekend and he really fell in love with the IUP campus.

IUP

It is probably where he will end up unless he has a stellar visit to PSU Erie campus in November.  He has an “official visit” with the dive team there and is hoping to continue his diving career in college.  Either way I’m hoping he stays within the PA state lines which will make visits from college so much easier!  I’ve been having some empty nesting mom moments these past few days and I’m not digging it ~ AT ALL!

At any rate, we made the road trip and during the drive stopped and had a few of these Starbucks Spiced Pumpkin Frappaccino’s with Soy Milk!  So good! It was definitely my splurge meal on the road trip.

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Which enticed me to come home and clean up my act and bake this beautiful Kabocha squash.  I think I’m pretty well stocked up on squash for the next year month so lots n lots of squash recipes in the future.  I know shocker right?

Snacks

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 Starbucks Frap, Kabocha Squash with Blueberry Ketchup, Trader Joe’s Orange Cranberry Scones, Pear Slices and my homemade dried cranberries!

So that’s about a wrap folks! What I’ve Been Eating Lately, so now tell me what your favorite meal was this past week? 

WIAW #18 Free Veggies & Blog Love

Welcome to Octobers second week of WIAW posts!  Todays post is pretty exciting (if I do say so myself) because I’ve been super busy in the kitchen the last few days.  And as always a shout out to Jenn @PeasandCrayons for being our gracious host!

Remember yesterday when I said that I LOVE this time of year when people are throwing all their extra garden veggies at me?  Well breakfast today was another fabulous meal from the abundant peppers given to me from a co-worker.  It is so satisfying knowing that my veggies were grown by the hands of people I know and love ~ and gosh darn it ~ didn’t cost me a dime!  Fresh. Cheap! Delicious!

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Breakfast today consisted of 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg mixed with sauteed peppers from the garden stash.  I recently figured out that if I cook my eggs in the microwave the moment I’m going to eat them ~ they taste way better and are a lot less watery.  Re-heating scrambled eggs is kinda gross!  This is a great alternative. The only problem is what to do with the shells and yolks!!!!

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Lunch is still finishing up the big batch of Thai Butternut Squash Soup I made last week. I added a piece of Trader Joe’s Naan to make it a little more filling. Since I am pretty much the only one who eats it between the two of us, it goes a long way.  But never fear it does not go to waste.  What’s nice about this soup is that it also freezes well.  So in the event that I get sick of eating it (which has not happened yet) I can always through it into the freezer for a meal in a few weeks.

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Dinner all I can say is OMG!  Last week when Hannah from Clean Eating Veggie Girl posted the recipe for her Cauliflower Jalapeño Grilled Cheese I knew immediately I was heading home to recreate that sucker THAT NIGHT!  There is not much in the way of recipes that gets me this excited anymore ~ only because I’ve been cooking for what feels like an eternity.  So when I came across this one ~ it was like fireworks going off in my head ~ it was another one of the ingenious ideas that only BLOGGERS could invent!  Let me tell you when I say that this sandwich DID NOT disappoint in any way shape or form.  I think I’ve made it now about 4X’s since she first posted it and if you love Cauliflower & Cheese then this is a must try tonight!  The only difference to my sammy was the addition of real cheese.  I think I used Colby Jack and maybe a Swiss too!

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Snacks around here have been pretty interesting the last few days as well. I chucked a few plantains in my cart during the last shopping extravaganza.  Looking for something different to do with them I finally attempted PurleyTwins Plantain Socca Bread that my two favorite girls created at the beginning of the year.  I’ve been reading Michelle and Lori’s blog now since we first met at Blend and let me tell you when it comes to being creative and inspiring in the kitchen and in the gym ~ these girls know how to rock it!  I am in awe at the fact that this bread is only two ingredients. It is sweet and moist and delicious and has crispy edges and ……well you get the point ~ right?   One ripe plantain and two eggs.  Blend and Bake.  Seriously  delicious!  My pan was empty in a matter of a few bites! Whoops! 🙂

What/Who has inspired your weekly eats lately?

Looking for more inspiration check out my past WIAW posts!

What I Ate Wednesday Posts: #14, #15, #16 & #17

Recipe: Lemon Basil Eggplant Caponata

Don’t you just love when at the end of the growing season friends throw bags of produce your way from their gardens ~ or is that just me? This eggplant caponata recipe is the result of eggplants and peppers from one friend, tomatoes from two others and a few of the last ripe tomatoes from my garden as well.

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Gotta love it when its all FREE!

Not only did this little shindig turn out to be the taste of the town, but its pretty darn eye-catching too.  Plus after about a dozen and a half changes in plans for what I’m brining to the next food swap (which happens to be tomorrow night) this eggplant spread ended up to be my final decision. Look out Philly Food Swappers Eggplant Caponata in the house!!!!!

I would imagine if you don’t just eat the whole jar spoon by spoon it would be really great served with a side of pita chips or as a bruschetta type topping. I’m planning on using it as a topper for pasta and as a sandwich condiment!

How would you use an eggplant spread like this one?

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Lemon Basil Eggplant Caponata

  • 2 globe eggplants, peeled & chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cups of sweet red peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup of sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 pounds of tomatoes, peeled, seeded & chopped
  • 1/2 red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of capers, drained
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 fresh basil, snipped
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice

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In a large bowl combine the eggplant and 1 tablespoon salt and toss to coat.  Let stand 1 hour, rinse, drain and squeeze excess water from the eggplant.

In a large enamel or nonstick heavy pan heat the oil and add the peppers, onions and garlic.  IMG_4213

Cook until softened.  Add the eggplant, tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, capers, crushed red pepper, and the 1/2 tsp salt.  Bring to boiling, stirring often.

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Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until thickened.

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Stir in the basil, lemon peel and lemon juice.  Remove from heat.

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Ladle hot mixture into 1/2 pint sterilized hot jars leaving 1/2 headspace.  Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and screw on bands.

Process in a hot water canning bath for 15 minutes.

Makes 8 cups (Recipe adapted from Canning Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications)

WIAW #17 It’s Fall Y’all!

Its been a while since I participated in a WIAW post, but since it’s the first Wednesday in October there is no better time to get back on track with my weekly eats.

Short and sweet its all about fall!  I’ve waited until October to start to bring in all the fall squashes and pumpkin recipes because frankly corporate america rushes my life enough.  But it’s finally October and here are my eats from yesterday!  Pumpkin and squash included!

Big shout out to Jenn & fam for hosting this shin-dig every week!

Breakfast:

Pouched Eggs, Summer Tomatoes & Basil

Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs

Lunch:

Steamed Broccoli Drizzled with Balsamic Fig Dressing & Honey Crisp Apple w/Homemade Pumpkin Pie Almond Butter

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Snack:

Air Popped Pop Corn Drizzled with Coconut Oil & Chili Powder

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Dinner:

Thai ButterNut Squash Soup topped w/Chopped Kale

This squash soup recipe is a fall staple in my house.  Its so easy and so flavorful it SCREAMS fall in my book!

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe: Eggplant Stacks

Eggplant Stacks

Last week on Tuesday I wrote about getting back in the swing of things and doing a bunch of weekly food prep over the weekends.  When I’m in full P90X training I ALWAYS do food prep over the weekend.  I don’t have time during the week to figure out what a healthy meal will consist of unless it is already pre-planned.

I’m not actively doing a regimented P90X schedule right now, but I am trying to get back into prepping at least 4 meals for the up coming week.  It just gives me the extra time I need after a long day at work to focus on something else, like school work, exercise or extra-curricular kid activities.  This is my sons senior year of high school and I already know that it is going to be crazy busy and fly by.  Ugggghhh!  So I’m going to need all the extra minutes I can get my hands on.

Last week I prepped a bunch of veggies including these grilled eggplants.

Grilled Eggplants

I had intentions of making this dish.

It was enough to feed my family a dinner and have leftovers for two (2) of my lunches.

Eggplant Stacks

  • 3 lbs of mixed variety eggplants, sliced 1″ thick
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive oil for grilling
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

I previously grilled the eggplant up and stored them flat in a container in the refrigerator until I was ready to use them in this dish.

Take (2) two slices of eggplant and place on a microwave save dish.  Next add a slice of tomato, then a slice of cheese and continue to alternate eggplant, tomato, cheese.  I used 4 slices of eggplant, two slices each of tomato and mozzarella ending with eggplant on top.

Continue making stacks until you use up all the slices of everything.

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It took me about 3 minutes (2 minutes, then 1 additional minute) to get them heated all the way through in my microwave.  Yours could vary, but I would start with about 2 minutes and work from there.

Add basil leaves under the top layer of eggplant after they are already hot.  This keeps the basil green.  (it will turn brown if you heat it in the microwave ~ but won’t alter the flavor ~ just the look).

Drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar Glaze if desired and season with salt/pepper.

So good ~ and a perfect meal for a hot night when you don’t feel like turning on the stove or grill!  Plus since it’s the end of the summer it is a great way to use up abundant eggplant that the farmers are practically throwing at you!

What meals do you make that use up a ton of end of summer veggies?

 

Sunday Food Prep & Chipotle Roasted Corn Soup Recipe

I woke up with a boat load of energy and decided I hadn’t done Sunday Food Prep in quite a while.  While I had a ton a fresh veggies that needed to be put to good use, I took advantage of the sun and got to grilling’ quite early in the day.

Since I start back to class again tonight and I plan on canning  two cases of tomatoes this week, I needed to be prepared with some type of meals that can be quickly put together.

This is what I prepped for the up coming week for our meals.  I had a ears of corn, zucchini and eggplants that were all screaming for a home  so I decided to make a Chipotle Roasted Corn Soup & Zucchini FrittersI prepped all my veggies first.

Grilled up the corn (husk on for flavor), grilled the eggplant slices after salting and rinsing, and shredded up the zucchini and then squeezed all the extra liquid out.

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I also started two batches of beans for sprouting.  I did one jar of Brown Lentils and one jar of Moong Beans.  I plan on using the lentils to try and replicate some dal pancakes my neighbor made for me the other day and I will use the Moong Beans for a fresh crunchy Sprouted Bean Salad.  I already have some left over roasted chicken to use up and I’m planning on making a batch of Chicken Enchiladas for one night this week.  By doing this small amount of prep each week, it makes throwing together meals a snap.  Almost everything is ready to put together to make beautiful, tasty and healthful meals.  No need to run to a fast food joint with a fridge full of this goodness waiting for us all week.

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Chipotle Roasted Corn Soup

  • 6 ears corn, cooked
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1TBSP Chipotle in adoba sauce
  • 16 oz Half/Half
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • salt pepper and basil to taste
  1. Grill all corn on a hot grill for 30 minutes. IMG_3529 IMG_3534
  2. Take 2 ears of corn and remove from the husks.
  3. Add the corn, onion and the butter to a medium-sized sauce pan.IMG_3543
  4. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is tender.IMG_3545
  5. Add the 1/2 cup of fat free milk cook and stirring until incorporated.  Take an immersion blender and purée.
  6. Add the chipotle and sauce and the half and half and heat through.
  7. Season with salt/pepper and chopped fresh basil to taste.IMG_3546
  8. Garnish with fresh avocado and more fresh corn if desired.

The rest of the week now I have a nice soup to take to lunch along with either a salad or a sandwich or I could use it as my 3pm pick me up snack.  The eggplants I will be using later in the week to make Eggplant Caprese Stacks (recipe to follow) and well I could eat those Zucchini Fritters for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  They won’t last long for sure.

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Lately & Peach Pie Smoothie Recipe

With it being the official kickoff of peach season I must use up what I have left on my shelves before I jump into putting up my reserves for the upcoming winter season!

We canned 25lbs of fresh peaches last year and it was just enough to get me to through the winter. So excited! We were back in the PYO fields this weekend picking fresh Blackberries, blueberries and eggplant.

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But the smell of ripe peaches lingered in the air as we drove by the fields. It’s almost time to put up my stock for next year! I picked almost 3lbs of blackberries and plan on jarring them as part of my FSC Bookclub Assignments.

However, I was so excited about the ripening peaches that I decided to use up the last few jars of canned peaches we had preserved from last year by popping them into this refreshing smoothie.

Peach Pie Smoothie

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  • 1/2 cup fresh peaches
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 packet/scoop of French Vanilla Protein Powder (I used APS)

Put all ingredients into the blender in the order listed top off with desired amount of ice and blend away!

It’s like a peach pie in a glass! If you don’t have french vanilla protein powder I would recommend replacing it with a dash of vanilla extract.

Next week I will be attending the Collingswood Food Swap for the first time. I heard of the Collingswood Food Swap from reading about it over at Salted Plates. She was so excited about all the food stuff she swapped that night, that I found her excitedment contagious.

I have been wanting to attend one since last year sometime, but didn’t realize there were any in our area until I became friends with Casey! Now not only did I find out about the one, but there are actually two our area. The Philly Food Swappers also holds a food swap at the Reading Terminal market here in downtown Philadelphia. But I didn’t want to wait so we decided to make the haul to Collingswood, NJ. It will be about a 45 minute drive for me, but a co-worker and I signed up and have already planned on what we will be bringing. So excited!

If you are not familiar with what a food swap is, it is basically like an old fashion cookie swap where people gather together and trade/swap homemade food items that are either home made, home cooked or home grown. I plan on bringing Sweet Tomato Chutney and the Blueberry Ketchup that I made as part of the FSC Bookclub Assignments.

Pictured here are Cherry Almond Relish & Blueberry Ketchup served with a 3-cheese log rolled in crushed nuts and chopped cranberries. It was a hit a party I attended Sunday! 

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Stay tuned for updates on how I made out next week. The Collingswood Food Swap takes place on Tuesday August 13th and you can find out more about it on their Facebook page Collingswood Food Swappers.

Last but not least, don’t forget to sign up to win a FREE race entry to the Reebok Spartan Race. Giveaway entries close at midnight on Friday. You can find out more about the giveaway here. Good Luck!

 

 

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday + Recipe

I love Wednesdays! 

I repeat that each week on ….well….Wednesday!  But its true.  This has become one of my favorite days to blog because I am so passionate about food and making healthy choices and sharing them with everyone that I just can’t help myself when it comes to Wednesdays. 

For today’s WIAW post I am actually going to show you yesterday’s eats because frankly ~ they were just wonderful. 

We had planned a college visit to East Stoudsburg University yesterday for my son who is frankly growing up to fast.  I can’t believe I am old enough to have a son who will be very shortly heading off to college!  Can I get a YIKES!

So I had off yesterday and the first thing that happened was that my mailman rung my doorbell and left a box on my doorstep.  He quickly shuffled off but not so fast because he still heard me squeal in delight when I realized it was my APS  prize pack that I recently won from FromFriesToFit.com.   I wasted no time in opening up that box and quickly making my way through all the goodies.  APS was generous enough to provide me with a whole box of Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder in French Vanilla plus a bunch of other goodies. 

We had a long day ahead of us and I knew exactly what I was going to do with the protein powder and soon as the box came. 

BLUEBERRY BANANA PROTEIN PANKCAKES

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I whipped up these buggers like it was going to be my last meal on earth.  Thankfully it wasn’t because I get to share the recipe with you today 🙂

I think my son scarfed down 4-5 pancakes and we were on our way to ESU.  I had packed some snacks for the ride up because I am pretty much always prepared with snacks that travel.  Riding up the Northeast Extension I opened up my travel lunch sack and pulled out a Chobani Bite in Dark Chocolate Coffee. 

chobani bite

We made our way after about hour and half of driving to the college and had a very nice visit.  The tour lasted approximately a little over an hour and we were back in the truck on the way home.  The visit at ESU was nice, but I think it still not on the top of his list.  We still have about 4 more college visits planned so hopefully he will be making a decision to narrow them down soon.

I was actually glad the we were out of there rather quickly because one of my co-workers is retiring this week after 30 years of service.  They asked me on Monday to accompany them to dinner to wish him well but I knew I had already made plans to visit ESU.  Fortunately I made it back in time and we headed out and made our way to Steak & Main in Northeast MD

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You might be familiar with this place if you watch Man v Food. 

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It was featured on an episode because of their Great Steak Challenge.   However 5.5lbs of meat plus baked potato and veggies just doesn’t sound all that appetizing to me, but to each his own. 

We sat down and ordered drinks.  I ordered the house Steak & Main IPA.  Is was dark and delicious.  Just what I needed after driving so many miles. 

I then noshed on Oysters on the half Shell with Mignonette dressing.  So good.  Oysters are one of my all time favorite foods. 

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We also ordered a plate to share of Fried Calamari that was served with Sirachi Chili Sauce and a Plum Sauce.  The calamari was light and crispy and perfectly fried. 

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My dinner consisted of the Pan Seared Scallops wrapped in Bacon with a Roasted Corn Cream Sauce served with a side of jullienned vegetables. 

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For dessert I ordered (but only ate half) the Peanut Butter Tower. 

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We thought long and hard about ordering this because also on the menu was something called Big Fat Piece of Chocolate Cake.  This name truly did it justice ~ I am not lying. 

The gentleman across from us ordered this desert as well and when we asked him what it was his reply was “his demise”  That piece of cake was like the size of my head ~ no lie!  Like it was a quarter of a 10″ round cake Served with a mound of whipped cream.  Not my style when it comes to desserts, but for a chocolate lover and dessert lover this would be the perfect ending to a perfect meal. 

I want to wish my co-worker Tom best wishes on his Retirement.  He will be missed and the office will surely not be the same.  Tom keeps tabs on almost everything that goes on, so now not only will we not know where our boss is, it will be very quiet on the work front.  Best Wishes Tom! 

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After this day of eats, I was truly stuffed to the brim.  Went directly home and fell asleep on the couch.  Needless to say I will be working my butt of over the next few days to make up for this indulgent dinner.  But I wouldn’t change it for anything.  I had a great day with family, friends and co-workers.

If you are interested in participating in What I Ate Wednesday head on over to Peas & Crayons and check out the deets. 

Everyone else is over there sharing in the party as well, so if you walk away and not know what your going to eat for dinner ~ shame on you. 

Now for the recipe for the:

Blueberry Banana Protein Pancakes

  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet of french vanilla protein powder (I used the one from APS)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup of fat free milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries

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Sift together both flours, protein powder, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Mash the banana and add the milk and the egg.  Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and lightly mix leaving some lumps.

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Spray a non-stick pan use about 1/4 cup of batter. 

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Cook on the one side until bubbles form in the batter and flip for an additional 1-2 minutes until cooked through.  You can tell you pancakes are fully cooked when the middle springs back when touched with your finger.  

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My yield was approx a dozen 3.5″ pancakes.  Yield will vary according to how much batter you use per pancake.

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Vegan Spring Rolls w/Ponzu Dipping Sauce

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I mentioned a few weeks ago that I went to a new farmers market that seemed like I had died and gone to heaven.  It was not a fancy place or even a photographic place, but the market was jam-packed from wall – wall with exotic fruits, hard to find items, and things I’ve only seen in magazines.  It had the ingredients that normally I would have to order online if I wanted to try out a new recipe.

The Newark Farmers Market had everything.  One of the things I picked up were these rice paper wrappers.  They had as many sizes and shapes to pick from as letters in the alphabet!  I decided on choosing the large square size because of my skill level in wrapping, and I figured the bigger the better.

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These little spring rolls are a show stopper for sure.  They present well on the plate, they are super easy to put together and rolling was nothing to be intimated by……It is almost guaranteed I will be serving these gems at my next shin-dig.  Let me show you how I did it:

Vegan Spring Rolls w/Ponzu Dipping Sauce

  • 6 –  8″ squares (22cm) of rice paper (Bahn Trang is the brand I used)
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 large romaine leaves, torn in pieces the size of your palm
  • handful of rice noodles, cooked

Cook the rice noodles or cellophane noodles according to package directions.  Mine were a little larger than what is normally used, but it is what I had on hand and worked perfectly fine.  I think they cooked about 5-7 minutes but I’m not completely sure because I wasn’t timing. 

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I also used a nifty peeler that juliennes the veggies for you with a quick shaving motion down the side of each vegetable.  If you don’t have one of these tools, I highly recommend investing in one, especially for this project.

It was a snap to do both the carrot and the cucumber.  I only did the four sides of the cucumber and discarded the middle with the seeds.  I also didn’t peel the cucumber so the beautiful green skin was intact.

Slice the avocado in 8 sections.

Using a 9×12 baking dish filled with approximately and 1″ of tepid water, start but dipping one side of the rice paper into the water and flipping it over and repeating on the second side.  Let excess water drain for just a moment and place the rice paper wrapper on a plastic cutting board (they might stick to some wooden cutting boards).  Lay it down on the cutting board diagonally (one point facing you).

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Starting 2″ from the corner place the lettuce leaf, a few strips of carrot, a few strips of cucumber, a few strands of rice noodle, and the top with the avocado.

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Pick up the corner of the rice paper sheet that is closest to you and fold it over the filling and using your two index fingers tuck the corner under the veggies and tightly roll two rotations.  This should bring your roll up to the center of the two side corners. 

Carefully fold into the center the two side corners and continue to “tuck and roll” tightly to finish your spring roll.

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Set aside your spring roll under a damp linen tea towel or paper towel and repeat for the remaining rolls.

At this point, you can slice and enjoy or to store for a few hours, place the rolls on a plate with a little room between each one so they do not stick together and tear and cover with both a damp wet towel and cover with plastic wrap.  I’ve read that they can last in the refrigerator like this for up to 5 hours.  I used this technique and mine were still perfect after about 2.5 hours. 

Prepare the dipping sauce:

Ponzu Dipping Sauce

  • 4 Tbsp Ponzu Sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame Oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp scallion, minced

Mix all ingredients in a small container and set aside until ready to use.

This particular recipe is vegan , but you can customize your spring rolls with whatever veggies and protein sources you enjoy!

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Filling Suggestions:

  • Steamed shrimp
  • Tofu
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Ground Meat (pork or chicken)
  • Carrots
  • Jicama
  • Cucumber
  • Baby Spinach
  • Lettuce, Romaine or Mixed Baby
  • Cabbage
  • Sprouts
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Mint
  • Rice Noodles
  • Avocado

The combinations are completely endless! 

What do you consider hard to find ingredients?  What do you like to make with them?

What I Ate Wednesday {WIAW #11}

Jersey Tomatoes.  That’s the theme to this weeks WIAW post!  There is nothing like a fresh ripe jersey tomato.  Don’t try to compare it , you just can’t and I will argue it to the death. 

If you have never had the pleasure of enjoying a Jersey Tomato, I think it is  something you should put on your To-Do List.  Because frankly, during the summer months I could live off of them, they are that good!

Thanks again to Jenn for hosting this crazy foodie-people party every Wednesday.

Breakfast: Jersey Tomato, Egg & Cheese Omlete that I split with my son &  fresh watermelon, carrot and cucumber juice!

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Mid-Morning Snack: NatureBox South Pacific Plantains & cup of tea

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Lunch:  SPALT!  Spinach, Avocado, Lettuce & Tomato Sammie on two fresh slices German Rye bread from Big Sky Bread a local artisan bakery I found at one of my many trips around to local farmers markets.  I drizzled the avocado with lime juice to add a bit of zing and added a colorful side of sliced bell peppers and basil from our garden plot at work!

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Afternoon Snack: I came home to find my little neighbor kids selling lemonade. This little cup set me back $.50 It must be the inflation. LOL! But I gotta support small business peeps when I see them, even if they are only 7 years old!  

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I enjoyed the lemonade with my first shot at a Quest Bar that I was lucky enough to receive from The Vitamin Shoppe.  This one is Vanilla Almond Crunch. 

With 20g of protein this was perfect for my pre-workout meal this thing tasted like a creamy/crunchy salt water taffy all rolled into a neat little protein bar!

Quest Bar

Dinner: Corn on the cob!  Yes ~ just corn on the cob!!  Perfect for a scorching hot day!  I like to have my ears of corn with a little butter and fresh ground pepper and lime juice! I think I polished off like 3 total! 

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What easy summer meals do you like to prepare during the dogs days of summer?  How do you like to change-up the classic BLT?

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