Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Foodie Pen Pals

Today is reveal day for foodie pen pals. This month I received a package from Dallas over at Day-By-Day Masterpiece. She spoiled me! Here's what she sent.

-Quinoa Pasta Shells. I didn't try this yet, but I'm a fan of quinoa so I'm sure this pasta will be delicious.
-Pesto.  Dallas must have known somehow that my favorite pasta sauce is pesto!
-Sunflower growing kit. I love spring and flowers, so I can't wait to get my little sunflower growing.
-Hot Cocoa. Already used up both packets, mmm. (we had a few chilly days in Utah)
-Not 1 but 2 bars of chocolate! Dark chocolate with cranberries & almonds and white chocolate.
-Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips. These tasted similar to a churro.  
-Freeze Dried Tropical Fruit
-Water bottle

I loved the dark chocolate with cranberries and almonds.One little square was a perfect treat for when I had a chocolate craving.

I was surprised by the tropical fruit. It was a nice crispy treat. A good alternative instead of chips for when you need a crunchy treat. I gave some to my little boy and he loved them too!

Thanks Dallas for the package! 

If you are interested in becoming a foodie pen pal check out the website here for more info. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Melty Way

Melty Way
821 W. State St. #3
American Fork, UT

Grilled cheese is one of my favorite meals. Some may think it's crazy to go out and order grilled cheese, because a 5 year old could make it. But I'm a sucker for it and couldn't wait to try Melty Way, a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant.

I met up with a few of my old roommates from college. It was a perfect place to meet up with girlfriends.

What We Got...
Tomato Basil Soup-Good tomato soup. It wasn't wanything out of the ordinary, but it was just as good as any other tomato soup.

Artichoke and Tomato ($4.99)-Provolone, pepper jack, marinated artichokes, grape tomatoes, and basil pesto. I fell head over heels for this sandwich.  The artichoke and melty cheese, was delicious.

The Italian ($4.99)-Whenever I see fresh mozzarella or pesto on a sandwich it is an easy decision. This sandwich had both! This was good too, but I preferred the artichoke and tomato.

They also have a variety of dipping sauces that I would recommend trying. I liked the sriracha sauce for a little kick.

This is an order/pay and then they bring out your food. We didn't have a waitress, but the service we did receive was good. Also our food came out quick.

Green Light Restaurant. I loved it. I may be a little biased because of my love for grilled cheese, but you better believe I'll be back to try the many other sandwiches I was debating on getting. 

Scale Rating Descriptions

Green Light: I'll be coming through all the time, call me a regular, recommend to everyone and all, I'll crave this place when I'm pregnant, loved it!

Yellow Light: I'll be slow to go through,  I'd go back if someone suggested it,  nothing special, not something I'm going to crave, it was ok.

Red Light: STOP! Don't go, tried it once and that's enough, warn people not to go, thinking about it brings back bad memories, didn't like it.
Melty Way on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pineapple Thai Curry

One of my favorite meals to make is curry. I grew up eating Japanese curry and had never tried Thai food until I started college.  Thai food is now one of my favorites. My husband was the one who taught me how to make Thai curry. Actually, I think it's the only meal he has ever cooked for me. Anyways, before we started dating, we were part of the same dinner group.  One time he made Thai curry and everyone loved it. We actually liked it so much, we requested he make it each time he cooked. It is still a favorite in our home.

Curry is like soup, you can add whatever veggies that you have on hand. Hope you enjoy one of our family favorites.

1 can Lite Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp Yellow Curry Paste
1 Tbsp Fish Oil
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion chopped
1 cup crushed or chunks of Pineapple
3 Chicken Breasts, diced
2 Tbsp Sugar
Salt to Taste
Green Onions (only the green part)

I first start by cooking my potatoes in a little water to soften them so that they are up to speed with the rest of my vegetables. After they are starting to soften, I pull them out.

Pour 1/2 a can of coconut milk into a big pan. Add in curry paste and fish oil. If you don't like things very spicy cut back on the amount of curry paste. If you like things hot, then add a little more. I like things medium hot and 2 Tbsp was perfect. Stir in the curry paste, until it is dissolved. Add in the potatoes, bell peppers, onion, and pineapple. Bring to a boil.

Add the rest of the coconut milk along with the raw diced chicken. Let the chicken cook for about 8 minutes. After 8 minutes add the sugar and turn to low. Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer.   It's good to let everything sit and  absorb the flavor of the curry. Simmer on low for at least 15 minutes. Salt to taste (I usually add about 1 Tbsp).  Serve over rice and sprinkle with green onions.

**You can easily make this vegetarian. I have substituted black beans for the chicken and it tastes just as good.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Harvest Restaurant

The Harvest Restaurant
3003 N. Thanksgiving Way
Lehi, UT

The Harvest is tucked away at Thanksgiving Point and I don't think very many people know about it. It has a more up scale feel but the prices are reasonable. We saw two prom groups come in as we were eating, if that tells you anything. The painted murals on the wall made us laugh because a pig was peaking its head through a window.

What We Got...

Butternut Squash Soup (green light)
I love this soup. The pumpkin/squash seeds that they sprinkle on top are a great touch.

Homemade Meatloaf (green light)
The waitress said that people come back just for the meatloaf, so I had to give it a try. I can see why people come back for it because it was amazing. The sauce on top was sweet and savory. The texture was spot on with a slight crunchy top with moisture in the middle. The mashed potatoes and green beans were delicious.

Halibut (yellow light)
It was ok, but nothing special.

Green Light. No complaints about the service. The waitress suggested the meatloaf because it's the most common dish that people come back for specifically.

Yellow-Green Light restaurant. It's a perfect date night restaurant and I highly recommend the meatloaf. I give it a yellow because the halibut wasn't anything special.

Scale Rating Descriptions

Green Light: I'll be coming through all the time, call me a regular, recommend to everyone and all, I'll crave this place when I'm pregnant, loved it!

Yellow Light: I'll be slow to go through,  I'd go back if someone suggested it,  nothing special, not something I'm going to crave, it was ok.

Red Light: STOP! Don't go, tried it once and that's enough, warn people not to go, thinking about it brings back bad memories, didn't like it.

Harvest Restaurant at Thanksgiving Point on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Skinny Cream of Asparagus Soup

Oh, I think I've died and gone to heaven. This soup is so delicious I'm sure I could eat it every day for the rest of my life and be happy. You probably don't view cream of anything soup as something to fall in love with but this one is different. The smooth savory taste of asparagus with just the right touch of cream (which is actually Greek yogurt!) is scrumptious. Try it, I know you'll love it!

Cream of Asparagus Soup
2 lbs asparagus (2 bunches)
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups fat free chicken broth
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
salt and fresh white pepper to taste

In a large pot, melt better on low heat. Add onion and sauté on low for about 2-3 minutes. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and disgard. Chop the asparagus into 2 inch pieces. Add to the pot with the onions. Add chicken broth, salt and white pepper. Cover and cook about 20-25 minutes or until asparagus is very tender. Remove from heat, add yogurt an immersion blender, puree until smooth.
Slightly adapted from Skinny Taste

Friday, April 5, 2013

Power Oatmeal Pancakes

 I love the idea of oatmeal pancakes. I don't love the idea of grinding oats every morning though. Enter: this recipe. I didn't add this recipe to my list of Make Ahead Breakfasts because I never make it ahead of time. It is relatively easy to whip up as I'm making pancakes for my kids in the morning. It has 11 grams of protein and only 230 calories! If you are eating this as a post workout meal then you can add a bit of protein powder to it as well!

Power Oatmeal Pancakes

1/4 cup quick oats
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
1/2 of a ripe banana, mashed
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp splenda
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp milk
Protein powder (optional)
1/4 cup blueberries (optional)

Mix all ingredients (except blueberries) in a bowl. Heat griddle to medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour batter onto griddle in one or two pancakes. (I do two, it's easier to flip.) Dot blueberries on pancakes. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side.

Top with more bananas and blueberries and whatever syrup you love! I use Sugar-Free.

P.S. It's kind of annoying that the word "protein" doesn't follow the i before e rule. I misspelled it every time I typed it. Haha!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Black Sheep Cafe

Black Sheep Café
19 North University Ave
Provo, UT

Black Sheep has a wonderful, unique menu and that's what I liked most about it. Their menu is always changing and the newness of the favors is refreshing.

What We Got...

Cactus Pear Lemonade
The bright pink and purple hues of the lemonade are intriguing and make you want to try it. It is made in house. I was expecting a unique flavor but it just tasted like normal lemonade.

Blue Burger with Southwestern Street Corn
Blue cheese in the middle with bacon and onions. It was a good burger. The street corn was a cob of corn with parmesan cheese and a little kick of spice. We tried a few sweet potato fries off our friend's plate and I wish we had gotten them instead. They were the best sweet potato fries I've ever had.

Hog Jowl Blue Corn Tacos with Beans and Rice
This dish won best of State. The waitress said it would be life changing and really sold us. It was very colorful with purple cabbage and blue corn tortillas. The meat was seasoned perfectly but the beans are what I would rave more about. We licked the bean bowl clean! They were good. I think because waitress talked them up so much I was a little disappointed. I won't go as far as saying they were life changing but they were good.

Green light service. Our waitress was nice and sold us on the "life changing" hog jowl tacos. My only complaint, and no restaurant owner would call this a complaint, is she talked up the tacos too much, and my expectations after her pitch weren't met. ( I know, I know it's her job and she is doing a good job, but I just regret not getting the Navajo Tacos!)

Yellow-Green Light Restaurant. I give it a yellow-green because I left wishing I had ordered
differently. I thought our entrees were ok and the sides (refried beans and sweet potato fries) were more life changing. I think this is backwards. But, because of the unique menu and tastefully thought out dishes it makes me want to come back. I wish I would have gotten the Navajo tacos because once I saw them come out I regretted my decision. The fry bread looked yummy. Oh well, I'm going to give it another shot because I know exactly what I want to order and I'll be sure to order the navajo tacos.

Scale Rating Descriptions

Green Light: I'll be coming through all the time, call me a regular, recommend to everyone and all, I'll crave this place when I'm pregnant, loved it!

Yellow Light: I'll be slow to go through,  I'd go back if someone suggested it,  nothing special, not something I'm going to crave, it was ok.

Red Light: STOP! Don't go, tried it once and that's enough, warn people not to go, thinking about it brings back bad memories, didn't like it.
Black Sheep Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 1, 2013

Foodie Pen Pals

This was the first time I participated in foodie pen pals.  Short version of the program. It's the same idea as a pen pal, but you send food! Awesome idea, right?

I had fun shopping for my pen pal, but the anticipation of getting a package, was even better!  Carly from Snack Therapy got my name. Carly is a big snacker, and that was the theme of her package. Here is what she sent.

Snackimals Crackers
Plantain Chips
Robin Eggs
Clif Bar-White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
Larabar-Chocolate Chip Brownie
UC Davis Olive Oil Lip Balm

I wanted to highlight a few of the products.

Tuscan Almonds with Herbs. The almonds, oh the almonds, were delicious!  I had never tried them before, and I didn't want the package to end. They were good, with parmesan and a spicy kick. I added them to my salad that day but ate most of them plain. I am now going to have to find a store that carries them. 

The Clif Bar was good too. I'm not a huge protein, fiber bar type person, but I enjoyed the macadamia nut. I ate it on a walk with my little boy. 

The plantain chips were surprising to me. I was expecting more of a sweet banana flavor, but it tasted like a thick baked lay. No hint of a banana flavor at all. I crumbled this on top of my yellow Thai curry and it added a nice crunch. I liked them alone too.

 It was fun that Carly included something unique from her campus with me. Olive oil lip balm, my husband will like this :)

It was so fun to get a package in the mail with FOOD! Shout out to Carly for a great package. I can't wait to see who gets me next month and the new foods I will get to try. If you are interested in joining the program check out the website here for the details and be sure to sign up before the 4th of the month.
From one foodie to another, thanks Lindsay for setting up such a fun foodie inspired program.