Friday, July 31, 2009

New Love

I have tried (and liked) Popchips before, but today I've found a new love. Sorry Salt and Vinegar flavor, you were more of a school-girl crush. BBQ Popchips, this new love must be true love!

These are the most amazing chip I have ever put in my mouth! Yum with a side of yum and more freaking yum. The flavor on these is fantastically smokey and sweet. Everything my beloved barbeque should be, shimmied down on one bite-sized snack. I must be on some sort of chip kick lately, and luckily, my local markets seems to be complying with my every whim because they keep having these dang things on sale.

While I've been reviewing Popchips, evidently they've reviewed me as well--you'll notice the company listed as a "follower" to the side. I'm sure it's just someone working the web optimization but holla to you for amazing chips, and hey, I'm all for sampling some new Popchips products if they taste anything like this! (Was that shameless? I don't care.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Points of Interest

First of all--great news everybody! I busted my 5-mile run barrier this afternoon! Yippee! In fact, not only busted, but rather "smashed" as I actually went a liiiiiittle bit farther than 5, even. Now, I have never been much of a runner, but lately I haven't been able to turn down the idea of a run when gym boredom creeps in. Perhaps it's the draw of outdoor activity when it's so sunny and gorgeous outside...especially after sitting in my office all day?

I've been going on brief runs here and there over the last month or so, and my longest one to date was about 4.5 miles last Friday. Hey, I'm trying not to kill myself here! Anyhoo, I had the bright idea to run home from work today, so that's exactly what I did. I told my co-worker who lives nearby to keep an eye out for me on her way home in case I was lying on the side of the road in a state of shock/exhaustion/heat stroke/being run over, popped in my earbuds so I could rock out and hit the pavement. 5.12 miles later, I was home sweet home. Awesome!

I have been contemplating doing a 10k in a few weeks--after all, it's only 1 more mile. We shall see....

The other thing I wanted to mention is just to show some blogger love for this article written by Katherine Younger from Kath Eats. Y'all probably read her bloggie already if you're as nuts with this hobby as I am, but I wanted to post a link because I think she speaks with a great deal of insight on her subject here. The article is on eating styles and basically being true to what works for your body and not getting caught up in diet comparison or competition. Read please.

No foodie photos for today, just a mini update on what else I'm experimenting with currently. xoxo,

Monday, July 27, 2009


This weekend D and I went up to Wyoming to visit my parents. Yeehaw! The town where they live is pretty small, but has more than 1 horse, 2 stoplights and of course, a WalMart, so it's considered somewhat of a metropolis in the state.

It's a place where there is still a drive through (drive through peeps!) liquor store, kids get an actual hunting holiday from school in September and people pepper their sentences with phrases like " ainnit?," " sumbitch" and liberal doses of the f-bomb. A typical sentence might get strung together like so," Mornin' ya f*%$%n' sumbitch. Beautiful f*%$%n' day, ainnit?"

It's also a place where my Dad likes to cook everything in bacon grease and butter and my mom considers lunch a piece of chocolate and a Diet Coke. I kid, I kid--they're not that bad and they've gotten better with age. My parents were actually excellent role models in the culinary department. I owe some of my experimentarianism to them for always introducing us to new foods (hello feta, perogies, sauerkraut and a million different ways to use an electric skillet!) It's because of my dad that I love to cook and thanks to my mom that I love to bake. We always had a salad with dinner, but we always had dessert too :)

Anyway, I like to help them out on the health food front, so when I come up, I come packin' the veg. I made this beauteous pasta salad with toasted Israeli couscous and a plethora of produce cut in about as liberally as the swear words in Wyo.
Here's what I put in:
  • broccoli
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • carrots
  • purple cabbage
  • onion
  • cucumber
  • red, yellow and orange peppers (gotta keep the theme going here)
I whisked together my own dressing using 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar, 2 tbs. olive oil, 1 tsp. minced garlic, basil, oregano and S&P.

So we had that fancy feast at the chuckwagon, along with an entire farmer's market of fruit salad every day, which left me totally guilt free about the pancakes,waffles, bacon and birthday cake!

Now, for all the trash I talk about my little wild west, it's also the place where I was raised with lovely parents, decent manners and a good home. Everyone knows their neighbors and knows your name--which is a lot more endearing NOW as opposed to when I was cutting class in high school. The same cashier has worked at the grocery store since I was a toddler. Those same good ole boys that call you a sumbitch will shake your hand, open the door for you and not think twice about what brand of jeans your wearing or the car you drive. Although they might look at you a little off center if you're missing the Wranglers and the mudflaps. And while people may cuss at you just for waking up in the morning, it's all out of a mutual love and companionship bred from sharing our home on the range. Yeehaw!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

In a Pickle

You all know I love me some sour stuff, and I also love anything hot and spicy. It's kind of a weird addiction and leads to some interesting food choices as evidenced by my most recent purchase: Boar's Head Sweet Pickle Chips with Horseradish. When I opened them, the little darlings were swimming in a thick sea of spices. The pickle chips weren't quite as spicy as I would have liked, and the horseradish taste wasn't very prominent, but they are a good balance of spice and sweet and are yummy anyway. I rarely meet a pickley-poo that I don't like! Of course I ate some plain, but then I added them to some slices of extra lean ham spread with a garlic and herb Laughing Cow with spicy honey mustard on the side for dipping. This little roll was one of the best things I have eaten in a long time (at least in the past couple hours;) ). I know it's bizarre, but I don't care what anyone says it was delish!
Dill Pickles on Foodista

Friday, July 24, 2009

Super Size Me

Well, not me exactly, but my groceries for sure! Erin was interested to know what else I scored at Whole Foods besides my yummy tea from last night, so here's a peek! Everything was so jumbo! There's only one Whole Foods in the area that carries that huge tub of Fage. It's much more cost effective to buy that large size--it's only $2 more than the 16 oz container! Along with that I got some ginormulous peaches. Holy cow, they're like the size of my head! I also got a garnet yam and a new type of yogurt which I got to try this morning.
Very very unique flavor. As I mentioned in my last post, I don't love orange flavor, but I picked this based on the ingenuity of the combo. The orange flavor was still very prominent, but not too overpowering. Super thick texture and lots of grated ginger for an extra kick in every bite. I loved that it was sweetened with agave nectar--very light handed with the sweetener I might add.

Other ingredients: pasteurized skim milk, candied ginger, orange extract, live active cultures and vegetable rennet. I'm not sure what vegetable rennet is, but I'm guessing it's some sort of natural thickener or stabilizer. Can I just say that it makes me giddy when I find products with so few ingredients!! I mean compare the ingredient list on that luscious, tangy, satisfying little snacklet to the label on any other light yogurt. I guarantee the other yogurt will have a list a mile long, chuck full of preservatives, artificial flavorings and aspartame or sucralose. Not that I completely shun things like that, but the closer I can get to clean eating, the better. 16 grams of protein for this, too!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Favoritea!

Oh em gee! I have a new favorite tea!!! It's so delicious I can hardly stand it. While browsing Whole Foods (dangerous) this afternoon, I found myself in the tea aisle (even more dangerous) and selected this
to try. Look! It's a cascade of yumminess right there on the box! I was a little leery of the orange taste since I don't typically like citrusy flavors (except SOUR lemon!), but I am a sucker for almond so I wanted to give it a try. It's brewed from carob, chicory, cinnamon, orange peel, natural almond flavors, blackberry leaves and anise seed. The tea smells amazing and tastes just as good, with sweet almond notes and a spicy contrast. I was so excited to test it that I brewed some just now even though it's like 100 degrees outside. It was so worth it even though now I'm all hot--and def all hot and bothered for the tea, too ;)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Party Time

As I mentioned here, I don't typically eat potato chips and the like, but the other day I scored an impulse sale buy on some Spicy Thai Kettle Chips and decided to have a potato chip party. Party in my mouth that is--these were bomb! So thick and crispy! All the best parts of Thai food, but with an unfortunate greasy aspect. Visible flecks of green stuff and coarse salt. Definitely spicy and garlicky--make sure you have a toothbrush on hand! Pretty good and luckily not too addictive, so I'll be saving these for a rare treat, and I'd love to try some of the other flavors (cheddar, anyone?). Good thing the husband is becoming very adventurous too--he gets all my leftovers!

Speaking of adventures...check out the giveaways posted on these two very eco-chic blogs! Erin is giving away some hot-yum applesauce and Janetha is greening it up with her customizable water bottles. Thanks ladies!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rockin Weekend, Knockin BBQ

Well friends, we had a ROCKIN weekend thanks to the hospitality of my brother and sister in law down in hotter than h*ll St. George, Utah. The median temperature was 100 degrees with the highs around 115, so when I say that we were a hot mess, I'm not kidding. We ventured down to St. George just to get away from it all, but we had also heard some promising rumors about a barbecue place called Troy's. I checked out the menu online and got pretty stoked to go check it out.

It seemed promising--about as drive-by dive as you can get--and smelled amazing. Our food
looked fantastic....
...but it kind of went downhill from there. I got the pulled pork, with baked beans and salad. My salad was buried under an enormous pile of bacon and cheese, but i did manage to wrangle a few little green pieces after some excavation.

The sauces were standard: Liquid Gold (Carolina Mustard), Sweet n Tangy, Spicy Vinegar and House. It's hard to mess up BBQ sauce, so those all got a pass, but the meat was not to my liking at all. You can see that it looks pretty decent....

...but up close, it was very fatty and greasy.
I ended up eating less than half after picking through it. My dining companions tried the ribs and beef brisket, and had similar complaints. They also thought most of the sides they tried were fairly bland, especially the potato salad. My baked beans weren't too bad, but definitely benefited from an extra generous squirt of some sassy sauce. I think the one part everyone agreed was worthwhile taste-wise were the corn muffins. They were sweet and moist, if a tad oily for my palette. But heck, I was so hungry after my sad little nibbles of pork that I ate it anyway. I know, I know, what can you expect when you dine at a greasy-spoon besides GREASE? ;) So, sorry Troy, not quite my style.

Even though the 'que was a little blah, the rest of the weekend was awesome, so here are some picks to cheer you up after the disappointing meal. We went hiking through Zion National Park--so pretty! Here's my hot mess self and my hubby.

What are we doing in the river, you ask? Well, there's actually a killer hike called The Narrows where you typically walk through a little drizzly stream for a few miles. Evidently the run-off is a tad high this year. We actually waded knee-deep before realizing that we were about to go swimming if we trecked any farther, so we turned around and hiked this instead.

The Emerald Pools
Don't worry, I didn't try to eat THAT...(hmmm...maybe roasted, with some ketchup??)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Yogurt Yeeeechhh

Well, I rarely say this, but this little guy was actually TOO sweet! It had a very, very strong artificial melon taste, and while that was cool for the watermelon flavor, I couldn't stomach the candy cane lane taste on this one. I think with watermelon, it's just more expected to have jake-the-fake taste since no one makes stuff that truly tastes like watermelon. But it's a sad, sad contrast to have Starburst-style yogurt next to juicy, fresh real cantaloupe. I ended up mixing this yogurt with some Fage so as not to waste, and it was much better after that. Thank goodness!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jam Frakas Strawberry Flavor

I actually wasn't too impressed with this bar. It tasted kind of plasticine for some reason. The ingredient list seemed wholesome enough: (All organic)strawberries (Strawberries, Evaporated cane juice), cashews, dates, rice crisps, raisin juice concentrate, sea salt, honey and safflower oil.
3.5 g fat, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein. A little less substance than I usually like in my bars, but it felt like a decent snack size. And while the other stats weren't stellar, the bar does contain a surprising 15% dv of your vitamin C--who knew?

The bar was nice and chewy and had chunks of strawberries scattered throughout. I have a couple other flavors of this brand to try, so hopefully those will be a little more delicious. I love Lara bars and these are made under that brand, so I had high hopes. Oh well. Maybe second (or third) time will be the charm!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Encouraged by the success of my last raw venture, I took a page from Miss Gena and made her Raw Zucchini Hummus. You can find the recipe here. I didn't have sesame seeds, so I followed the modifications listed. The only thing I did differently was the addition of some minced garlic. Garlic makes everything better! I was a little leery of hummus minus the chickpeas, but...the verdict?
Soooo good! I questioned whether or not to leave the peel on the zucchini, but as you can see, I left it on and it turned out quite smooth and even.I think I might cut the tahini down just a smidge, but overall I was totally impressed with the taste and texture.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Going Banankos!

This is one of my finds from Pirate O's a couple of weeks ago. It's described as a banana foam bar. I looove that fake banana flavor (gross, I know! But I like REAL banana flavor, too!), so I HAD to snag this. Although I could never find the country of origin on the label, it did have ingredients listed in English, Asian characters and a couple of European languages.Weird! I was expecting it to be soft and chewy, like a marshmallow, and while the flavor was reminiscent of a Circus Peanut, the texture was oddly crunchy...and foamy, which I guess is why they call it a banana foam bar. It was almost like a meringue, in fact.I know this isn't "health" food, per se, but I do think it's absolutely necessary for growth and development of the soul to eat a little junk nasty every now and then (or maybe even once a day). Plus, it was fruit flavored... ;)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

All the Fuss

Well, I've tried almond butter before, but now I can see what all the fuss was about! I sampled some Barney Butter a while ago, and for some reason, I just wasn't that impressed.

This stuff, however, was golden!
And it was on sale for only $4.99! I don't know if y'all have Sunflower Markets where you are, but they're like a cheapie Whole Foods minus the to-die salad bar. Sunflower usually has bizarrely amazing deals on produce, like grapes for $.77/lb. Luckily, every once in awhile, they cut the price on other stuff I HAVE TO HAVE (like this AB now), too.

Mmm, nutty and roasty. Total yum! I'd never had nutbutter on an apple before, either, but it just seemed to fit with the idea of almonds. I can't wait to put this stuff on possibly everything else I eat. Almond butter = the new crack.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Taking the Avocado Plunge

Well friends, I finally did it--I took the avocado plunge! After seeing Gena's post on the very odd, but enticing Guacanara sauce, I decided I could give it a go. I figured if I just mixed the avocado in with a seemingly totally unrelated food source, I could just pretend it wasn't in there, which is exactly what I did. Well, let me tell you folks, I think my fat phobia could be cured, or at least partially remedied, because I will most definitely be making this deliciousness again ( and again and again)! The avocado gave the sauce an amazing creamy texture and the spices were spot on!

For the guac, I used 1 whole avocado, cumin, red pepper flakes, lime juice, garlic powder and added a diced tomato.

We were cheater-cheater-avocado-eaters on the marinara and just used Hunt's from our massive supply of food storage. Mixed the two together, and voila, mexitalian yumminess.
I had mine over julienned zucchini a la the original, and D chose to eat his with regular noodles. I think that's the mark of a truly wonderful husband when he'll try just about anything I decide I want to experiment with, but I think it's a little easier when it involves some sort of pasta! This recipe was sooooo easy and delicious.

I have some more Gena-inspired recipes up my sleeve, and after the success of this one, I will probably be posting them sooner rather than later. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chipotle Shells and Black Beans

This was a recipe I cribbed from the Cooking Light web site, but as usual, I modified the bejeesus out of it, so I think it's safe to post my variation. Hubz loved this, although it was very spicy and could benefit from the addition of more cheese.

  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 1 tsp sauce
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbs. flour
  • 1/2 tsp teaspoon chili powder
  • sprinkling of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (or more...we looooove cumin in this house, so I'm pretty generous with it)
  • 1 1/3 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 shredded cheese (like I said, it could def use more, but this was all we had at the time)
  • 3 c. cooked leftover pasta of any kind
  • 1/2 c black beans, drained
Spray a big pot with cooking spray and sautee the onion, adding the red pepper after about a minute. Add adobo chili, sauce, all spices and flour, cook for about one minute. Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly, and cook until the sauce thickens and becomes bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Add cooked pasta and beans to sauce, stirring to coat. Pour mixture into a 9x9 casserole dish coated in cooking spray. Sprinkle more cheese on top and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until warmed through. Makes 3-4 servings.
We added the beans for a little protein power, but I think this would also be great with shredded chicken (and beans!), or more veggies like bell peppers and corn. This served the two of us twice, and the recipe could easily be doubled for more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dannon Light & Fit Limited Edition Watermelon Flavor

First of all, who knew they made limited edition yogurt? Not me. But luckily I had been keeping an eye out for this flavor since spotting it on a Hungry Girl email a while ago. I had this little gem as an afternoon snackie yesterday. This was very weird, but I kind of liked it anyway! It tasted just like a watermelon Jolly Rancher! The consistency was smooth and creamy, but I think my beloved Fage has spoiled me on all regular yogurts for eternity because I did miss the thickness. 80 cals, 5 g protein. Plus,even though it looks kinds orange in this pic, it was actually a loverly pink color. Nothing bad about a pink snack! I grabbed the Limited Edition Cantaloupe flavor, too, so look for a posting on that soon :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lovin' My Leftovers aka Buff Chix

After my visit to Sugar House BBQ (as chronicled in my last post), I took home some glorious leftovers, including some of that Buffalo Chicken a.k.a Buff Chix for short. Ha Ha. Instead of just shoveling it into my mouth out of the container like I wanted to do about five minutes after we got home, I reluctantly counted down the hours until I could make this:

Behold my Buffalo Chicken pizza creation of YUM. I used an Alternative Baking Co. Whole Wheat Pita topped with a sheeload of Frank's, fat-free mozzarella and a sprinkling of feta along with some of the divine Buffalo Chicken.

It was fabulous and I know you're jealous. Just kidding. Actually, the pictures hardly do it justice and I know it may look kind of gross, but I swear it was a saucy, spicy, gooey and chewy slice of Hea-ven!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sugar House BBQ

As I've mentioned before, there is nothing my husband and I love to eat more than barbecue. Since yesterday was the 4th of July, it seemed like no better occasion to dine on true American cuisine. My parents were in town for a few hours and to celebrate, we headed to our FAVORITE BBQ joint of all time, Sugar House BBQ. Of all the places we've tried, this one is still the no-contest, hands-down winner.

One thing I love about Sugar House BBQ is that all of their meat comes sans sauce so you can add as much or as little or as many combos as you want. Obviously, I make my own mess of sauce, but they have several to choose from: Original (so good!), Southern Vinegar, Louisiana Hot, and Carolina Mustard (the best!).

I have never had a bad meal there, but my top pick is their pulled pork. I got a platter with that, some steamed veggies, and a new menu item: Buffalo Chicken.
The pulled pork was phenom as always, and I really liked the Buffalo Chicken, too, even though it was slightly more oily and a tad greasier than I usually prefer to eat things. I thought it had just the right kick of cayenne, but my mom's eyes popped out of her head a little when she tried it, so beware if your taste buds are particularly sensitive (also beware that they only serve the Buffalo Chicken on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so don't get your hopes up if you come another day).

Hubs got the ribs as usual which are oh so delicious and not at all fatty which is quite an anomaly
. Another great thing about this restaurant is that they have tons of sides to choose from. I always get the steamed veggies, and you can see on Dustin's plate, he got mashed potatoes and stuffing, but they also have roasted potatoes, cucumber salad, coleslaw, baked beans, collard greens, potato salad and each entree comes with cornbread too. I'm not a fan of cornbread in general, but my sister loves it and always leaves with a stack of little bread from me and D.

I definitely recommend this place in the event that you ever decide to embark on you own 'Que Adventures. It was the perfect way to celebrate the US of A, and even better that I have some perfectly patriotic leftovers for lata. :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Red, White and Bluberries

Just for fun...
It's a bee--ee--a-yoo-tiful day here in the SLC and I got my morning off to a rockin start with this gem: Nature's Path fig and flax, cottage cheese, cinnamon and some very patriotic fruits. It's neither that original nor that photogenic, but I thought it was adorable and quite festive :) My husband laughed at me, but I think he was just sad I didn't make his breakfast all fab and fruity too. I can't wait until I have kids so I can do this sort of goofy food fun all the time--loves it! Happy 4th!

Friday, July 3, 2009

With a View

Happy 4th of July! It's so nice to share a 3-day weekend with my hubby, and to celebrate our mutual Independence from work, we went on our first hike of the summer together ( what took us so looong??). This is up one of the canyons near us and is one of the great benefits of living a la Utah.
I wanted to share the view since it's so amazing, and I figured I better throw the eats in there too since this is, after all, a food blog. Nothing too exciting or experimental, but yummy anyways...whole wheat, naturally more pb, raspberries and bananas--who needs jam when you've got the real thing :)
Have a great weekend! I hope everyone enjoys their holiday and lots of fantastic food to go along with it! xoxo
P.S. Miss Fancy Face over at Snackface is having a super awesome giveaway so make sure to check it out along with her amazing blog!