update: operation clean-out

Hey Guys!

How did I do on my eating challenge?

Well….. I did PRETTY well I think! I do have a few confessions that I will start with, but I also realized that this challenge forced me to get creative in the kitchen towards the end as well as realize the over-abundance of food that I had/have. With so many hungry people out there, I really took a step back and realized I was kind of living a life of excess. Now I still love food and cooking but I’m going to work on being a little more mindful in my grocery shopping. An on-going challenge!


- Some trail mix from Tar-jay that was calling my name

- Happy Hour sushi…trying to come up with a good excuse…nothing is coming to mind :/

-And some of this….because I love it and had to go to the Co-op for a “work-related” trip…

But here are some of my successful clean-out meals:

Pesto Pasta (with some chicken for the taster)

Grilled Shrimp with salad and bread

Crostini (recipe coming soon, SO good!)

Roasted Veggies (Brussels, sweet potato, red onion and zucchini) and Bacon-wrapped scallops
Check out this fridge!!! I’m so happy that I *somewhat* succeeded because today we head out of town for the next week and a half and there will be no spoilage in that fridge!

Have a fabulous Friday friends!!!!

baked goat cheese with garden lettuces

With my obsession with this restaurant, I’m down right ashamed to say that I’ve had this cookbook (Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook) for so long and haven’t made anything yet.
This recipe however is one that immediately caught my eye. Goat Cheese? That always seems to be catching my eye…hmmm

I tried to follow this recipe as closely as possible, I’m not going to mess with Alice Waters. But I didn’t have the exact fresh herbs and unfortunately I don’t have time to make fresh bread crumbs, plus I managed to find some whole wheat panko in the cupboard. Another day Alice, I swear I’ll make them from scratch.

The night started with some fresh bruschetta. It. Was. Delicious. Another favorite summer-time food.

And a side of mozzarella pearls…what can I say? I love cheese :)

Baked Goat Cheese with Garden Lettuces

And the taster’s pork chop…I think it creepily looks like a pig’s head… :(

I marinated goat cheese disks with olive oil, dried sage and thyme and fresh basil. Rolled in the panko and baked until crispy and soft. I served it over a frisee salad with vinaigrette (which I made overly vinegary) But as I told the taster, “There is too much vinegar but the creaminess of the goat cheese balances it out.” Don’t worry, he rolled his eyes too.

thai lettuce wraps

This recipe came from Women’s Health magazine – they often have recipes with only a few ingredients which I think is a great idea, but I must say, I think this is the first one that I’ve actually tried!
The taster grilled some flank steak (all meat HAS to be organic or grass-fed since seeing Food Inc) while I prepared the sauce. It consisted of the juice of one lime, squirt of sriracha and about 1 Tbsp of fish sauce. Gently heated on the stove and poured over the sliced meat.
For the wraps I had some bibb lettuce, carrots, napa cabbage, green peppers, red onions and sliced jalapeno’s. I unfortunately forgot the cilantro which was kind of a bummer, I know I would have loved them that much more!
Served with a side of grilled sweet potatoes (an idea from Gina). These were AWESOME! I will be grilling my sweet potatoes from now on…until the temperature drops to “below grilling levels”, which in Minnesota could be very soon :(
I love dinners like these, they are easy, simple and don’t leave you feeling stuffed and full. This meal however had a little too much sriracha and also left us with burning mouths…always worth it though!

Do you have a go-to light dinner favorite? I need some more of these in my repertoire!

in my cupboard: flackers

I found these crackers at the Whole Foods in Minneapolis and from their website it looks like as of now they are only available in Minnesota, but I have a feeling they will be showing up around the country soon enough. You can also order them online.

The doctor behind these crackers? Alison Levitt M.D., who originally created these crackers for herself and her clients now makes them available to all! I tried the Rosemary variety and have been enjoying them along side some raw lunches.
Why do I love these crackers?
- the nutrition facts speak for themselves: per 3 crackers (which sounds wimpy, but they are pretty big) 110 calories, 7 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein
- ingredients: organic golden flax seeds, organic brown flax seeds, organic apple cider vinegar, vegetable protein from soybeans and purified water, organic rosemary, organic sage
-they are also raw! The packaging doesn’t label them as raw, but I did contact the company and they are sprouted and dehydrated)