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Showing posts from March, 2012

A Healthy Cabbage and Bean Peasant Dish for Meatless Monday

Sometimes you just have to go with what you've got.

We've been very busy lately with yard projects (we're building a koi pond, getting our vegetable beds ready to plant, etc), so Meatless Monday kind of sneaked up on us this week. Late Sunday night, Cynthia asked me what I wanted for dinner on Monday. Our usually well stocked refrigerator and cupboard were a little lighter than usual, but there was a fresh head of cabbage staring back at me when I opened the fridge. We decided to make that the star of the next night's dinner. Twenty minutes of internet browsing later, we had our answer. On the New York Times Fitness and Nutrition site, we found a recipe by Martha Rose Schulman, the author of "The Very Best of Recipes for Health". Not only did it sound tasty, but we had all the required ingredients. She called the dish Baked Giant White Beans with Cabbage. Since we followed the recipe fairly closely, I'll simply link to the original here.

We love beans and…

Pizza on the Grill? Why Not?

Pizza is probably the most personal of all foods. We all grew up with a particular "style" of pizza, and to a large degree that defines what we think of as pizza for the rest of our lives. For some, pizza was a treat that came out of your Mom's oven. For a lot of us, it came from the local, family run, pizza place. For many others, particularly where there is a less ethnic population, pizza came from the big national chains like Domino's or Papa John's. I've written on this topic before, about the pizza of my childhood, which we referred to as tomato pie.

All that having been said, I'd like to introduce you to a home made style of pizza that, if you take the time to do it once, may change your perception of what a really good pizza can, and should be. I'm fortunate enough to have worked for an Italian company at one point in my career. That allowed me to travel to Italy quite a few times and enjoy the true Italian style of pizza in several parts of t…

Are You Keen For Quinoa?

Hard to pronounce (it's keen-wa), this pseudo-cereal is not, as many believe, a grain. In fact, it is a crop grown mostly for its edible seeds. It is more related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds than to a typical grass family grain.Quinoa is a highly nutritious, complete protein source, due to its balanced amino acids. It's high in dietary fiber and magnesium and is gluten free.

I'll admit that I was pretty unfamiliar with quinoa before I started my Meatless Monday quest back in November. Since then, I have been reading about it and have seen quite a few delicious recipes around the internet. When we talked about what to have for Meatless Monday dinner, Cyn suggested quinoa. She dove into her vast collection of cookbooks and found a recipe from one of our favorites, Mark Bittman's, The Food That Matters. Here is his recipe for Spicy Chipotle Quinoa with Corn and Black Beans. As always, Cyn put her personal touches on the dish. I'll note them in italics. The rest…

Paying It Forward

First, I want to give credit where credit is due. A week or so ago, I saw this tweet: 
Rachel Stephens ‏ @rsteph211{New Post} paying it forward to other

I clicked on the link and saw that Rachel had written a blog post featuring some of the other food bloggers that she admires and enjoys reading. I quickly realized that like Rachel, I have been influence by so many others in my oh so brief blogging career. I started typing these sometimes coherent ramblings back in early November 2011 and, although I know I've made progress in both form and function, I realize I will continue to learn much from those of you that are much more experienced. So, thanks Rachel for inspiring me to do the same -- highlight some of those that have helped me get from there to here.

Alecia at Mangia, Gioia writes that she comes from a Sicilian-Cuban family. I can't imagine a better mixed ethnicity for a foodie! Although I am not a vegan, or even a vegetarian, her reci…

Tacos for two, Meatless Monday style

If you read this, you know that this past weekend was a kind of a meat-a-polooza. Heavy (but delicious) German food that featured schweinhaxen (braised ham hock) on top of a spicy sausage dressing. That was my main course on Saturday night. I have to be honest and admit the leftovers were pretty tasty on Sunday too. Good thing Meatless Monday arrived just in time.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about tacos and making the tortillas at home. You can see that post here. What you can't see there is the funny little email I got from one of my coworkers who had read the post. She, who will remain nameless, is from California you see, said something along the lines of "nice tacos, but let me know when Cynthia masters corn tortillas and I might be interested". OK, it was probably worded a little nicer than that, but who can remember such things?

My wife, never one to back down from a challenge, immediately ran out and picked up some masa (Maseca brand) and was just waitin…

Frozen in Time - Not that there's anything wrong with it....

Our goal of attending one of the Northern Virginia Magazine Top 50 Restaurants the first Saturday of each month continued last night as we took the hour long ride to Fredericksburg, Virginia. Located in a charmingly reclaimed Amtrak train depot is The Bavarian Chef, where chef Chef Jerome Thalwitz attempt to transport you from this historic Civil War town to Germany. Cynthia and I agreed that it was an interesting departure from what many would call "modern" dining. It is likely there is no sous vide immersion unit nor canister of liquid nitrogen in this kitchen. The chef is probably not foaming asparagus essence or conjuring up desserts made from ingredients that probably shouldn't be there anyway. No, this is hearty, old world food, served in generous portions in an environment the feels authentic and by a staff that knows their stuff. Here are our individual thoughts.
Al - First Impressions
As a kid in Trenton, NJ, my parents occasionally took me to a German restaurant …

Two days and counting down......

I don't write about craft beer often enough even though I really do love it. I love it the way a wine lover loves wine. I particularly love the right beer paired with the right food. So, it is hard for me when, once each year, I pick out a thirty day period on the calendar in which I don't drink beer. It's not for religious reasons. It's not particularly related to my health, although I usually drop a pound or three in that thirty days. It's simply an exercise in self discipline. I do it because I can.

Well, my thirty days for this year are almost over. In fact, as I write this, there are two days left. This Saturday, March 3rd, I will officially "release" myself from the commitment I made when I returned from Amsterdam. Now, before you get the wrong idea, I don't really drink what I would consider a lot of beer. In a typical week, I might consume 4-8 beers and almost never more than two at a sitting.

I wrote in an earlier post that I think we are l…