restaurant: masu sushi & robata

We finally got to Masu Sushi & Robata. It has been quite the hot spot since it opened a few months ago and I’ve been pretty anxious to get there – mainly because of their Pork Belly Ramen.

The decor is amazing. It’s fun and interesting, hip and each wall has something interesting for your eyes.

I went into Masu with a few things on my mind: Pork Belly Ramen Noodles, Dried Squid (I know) and Miso Eggplant. I had miso eggplant somewhere in LA a few years ago and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Thankfully since Mercedes and Tyler joined us, we could order many, many items. :)

Their menu is broken down in a few parts: izakaya (small plates), sushi, robata (grilled meat/veggies) and noodles. We decided it would only be right to sample things from each section.

They have a great cocktail menu and while I stuck with wine, the Taster tried a gummi shochu sour, which actually tasted a lot like a gummi bear. I was a little jealous.

Starters included steamed Edamame with Smoked Salt, Shredded Dried Squid and Sautéed Shishito Peppers. The squid was very intruiguing and I’m so glad we tried it – it was essentially squid jerky. :) The Peppers were amazing – smoky and charred yet soft and not at all too spicy.

For our Sushi Course we ordered an Arctic Char roll and the Firecracker (shrimp tempura, crab, avocado, cucumber with spicy tuna and tempura flakes). The artic char had some really good, fresh herbs that added a very different flavor to it and the firecracker roll? Obviously by reading the ingredients you can tell it was amazing.

The Robata Course was interesting. Robata, much to my delight is all grilled meats and vegetables, not the fried food I was expecting. They are tiny little skewers – zucchini, eggplant, bacon-wrapped shrimp and bacon-wrapped quail egg. The vegetables were both outstanding and perfectly flavored, the shrimp was good, but standard and the Taster says that the bacon wrapped quail egg was “Nothing too special, but good.”

The noodles were a tad disappointing. The Pork Belly Ramen was good, but tasted quite bland to me, until I added a fair amount of sriracha. Maybe I hyped it up too much in my mind and was expecting too much?  The Tonkatsu Curry Ramen had a lot more flavor but I’d probably be more likely to try the yakisoba noodles next time.

We will definitely be back to Masu – it is in our neighborhood and I love the different and exciting options on the menu. And while it isn’t exactly cheap, sushi is never cheap when the Taster is involved. ;)

Masu Sushi and Robata

330 East Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis MN, 55414

phone 612.332.6278
fax 612.331.4705
[email protected]

quinoa with tzatziki and blistered tomatoes

You know me, always looking for the greatest meat-free, high protein, and filled with veggies lunches. It started with quinoa. It had been a while since I’d had it so I made it my base. Then came the tzatziki. I love tzatziki but I’ve never thought of using it for the main component of a meal. But with cucumbers? And then with blistered tomatoes? It sounded amazing.

And it was.

When I was eating it for lunch I realized that it is essentially a savory yogurt parfait of sorts. In a delicious sort of way –  I am fully aware that a savory yogurt parfait sounds a little odd. :) It is incredibly filling yet light and cool – perfect for these warm summer days we’ve been having lately.

Quinoa with Tzatziki and Blistered Tomatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 english cucumber
  • 2 - 5.3 oz cups Greek Yogurt (I used 2%)
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • granulated garlic, pepper, dill and red pepper flakes to taste
  • blistered tomatoes (see link above)
Instructions
  1. Prepare quinoa as directed. Let cool and set aside.
  2. Prepare blistered tomatoes. Let cool and set aside.
  3. Dice ⅛ of cucumber into small pieces for tzatziki. (about 3-4 Tablespoons of chopped cucumber)
  4. Combine diced cucumber, yogurt, vinegar, olive oil and seasonings. Set aside. (Best refrigerated for a few hours or overnight)
  5. Slice remaining cucumber down the middle and then in thin slices.
  6. Top quiona with sliced cucumber, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce.
Notes
*I only used olive oil, salt and pepper for the tomatoes. Nutrition facts based on 1 tsp olive oil.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 400 Fat: 17 Fiber: 4 Protein: 25

the wedding weight debate

Every bride (and groom) wants to look their best on the “big day” – myself included. You can bet that I’ll be eating clean, keeping up on workouts and probably trying every face mask, deep conditioning hair treatment (just started Moroccan Oil last week!) and nail growth polish I can get my hands on in the weeks leading up to my wedding.

(source)

Sometimes, a wedding is all the motivation you need to start some healthy habits, but sometimes,  it can also swing a little far on the other side. I’m talking brides losing a significant amount of weight pre-wedding. (Not a few pounds due to stress, etc.) First of all, I don’t always understand it. Wouldn’t you want to look and feel your best all the time? (I do – you can call me vain!) Secondly, it doesn’t seem like looking like a different person on your wedding day would be desirable. And if it is all for one day, is it all lost the day after the wedding?

My views are this: I’m all for people getting healthy and in-shape and feeling their best. For life, not just for a wedding.

Thoughts? Did you start a new, healthy regimen before your wedding?

daily eats 7.9.11 {camp edition}

Saturday was my last full day at camp. I’m definitely feeling a little sad to leave my parents, the campers and our wonderful staff this year. The kids are there until next Saturday, but I’ll be working at my full-time job this week.

7:00 am: sleep in day! 45 minute walk – I have to walk in the morning at camp – it’s typically my only quiet time and I definitely need it.

8:00 am: Coffee with Mom and prep work for the day! We don’t have Dunkin Donuts in Minneapolis and it’s a favorite so I went every day last week. :)

9:00 am: Cooking breakfast with some of the kids. On the menu: Endeavor Egg Sandwich – whole grain english muffin + egg + slice of cheese + tomatoes served with green juice! (All the kids tried the juice and with the exception of one – they all loved it!)

Saturdays are a less-structured, more-relaxed schedule at camp so the morning rotations were various “choice” activities like  a restorative/relaxing yoga class (dubbed “not emily yoga”), a read-in, skill development: wrestling and a beaded bracelets exercise with a special guest.

Lunch: salad greens + veggies + garbanzo beans + tuna salad and celery + peanut butter.

After some pool time it was back to the kitchen for cooking and a few snacks: a Kashi cookie and grape kombucha for a much needed burst of energy. :)

The afternoon cooking session was all about preparing some salads for our cookout dinner – unfortunately they didn’t go over too well and I kind of felt like a failure. Here I was, thinking they would enjoy a break from salads (we have a salad bar at lunch and dinner) but the summer salad and honey mustard coleslaw were not hits. Boo. :(

Dinner: hamburger + sauteed onions + lettuce + tomato and summer salad + honey mustard coleslaw + carrots & celery with homemade ranch dip.

Dessert: handful of m&m’s while preparing the trail mix bar for the kids evening snack to go along with their hoe-down party.

11:30: collapse in a hot cabin.