5/23/16

Ultimate Meatless Monday: Vegan Food At Vinyl In Reykjavik

For the last 8 days, I've vacationed in Iceland with my sister Anna and our friend Jenny.

There were no museums or salsa dancing or farmer's markets (my usual vacation musts). Instead, there was a failed attempt at snorkeling (me!), glacier hike with a hot instructor/ guide Thor, boat ride in the glacier lagoon, amazing scenery, sing alongs and so much food!

We saw and ate sheep/ lamb. We didn't see, but did eat puffin. There was also arctic char, smoked salmon, beef, potatoes, and bread with butter.

Right now I'm sitting at Vinyl which is next to our airbnb and writing a quck post after enjoying a vegan meal and before heading out to the airport to fly back to DC.

YES, you read that right: vegan!

I had a sandwich with flaxseed spread, eggplant, roasted peppers, and "cheese." I'm not planning on becoming a vegan, but this was a lovely change from the meat heavy meals I've had in the last 8 days.

Plus, the restaurant has great decor and plays records! Make sure to check out my instagram feed to see all the photos from my trip to Iceland.

Till the next adventure!




5/13/16

Unofficial Meal: Beet & Sabra Hummus Deviled Eggs, Happy National Hummus Day!

I'm trying my best to ignore that today is Friday the 13th and instead concentrate on National Hummus Day! In fact, for breakfast I had toast with hummus, sliced tomatoes, fennel tops, red onion and salt. SO good!

Of course if you've followed my blog for a while, you know I have a great partnership with Sabra. Today I'm bringing to you a bright, easy and delicious recipe you can have for a snack (aka Unofficial Meal), as an appetizer or even for breakfast (yes, I did that!).

Take hard boiled eggs, add a roasted beet, classic hummus and a few toppings, and you get one gorgeous dish!


Beet & Sabra Hummus Deviled Eggs
Makes 24 halves

Ingredients
dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled, halved, yolks carefully removed with a spoon
1 roasted beet, peeled, quartered
1/2 cup Sabra classic hummus
salt to taste
1/3 cup crumbled feta
3 tablespoons dill

Directions
1. Puree egg yolks, roasted beet and hummus in a food processor till smooth. Season with salt.
2. Put the pureed mixture into a plastic bag, cut off a tiny corner and fill the egg halves.
3. Top the deviled eggs with feta and dill.

Here's a little video for you!

A video posted by @mangotomato on


How gorgeous are these eggs? Trust me, they taste just as great.


If you would like to make this recipe, make sure to grab a $2 coupon to use on your container of Sabra. The coupon is good until the end of today, so hurry up!


I had a few of these eggs for breakfast with a toasted English muffin and coffee. Bonus points if you have a peony in the exact same color as the eggs :P


Disclosure: Sabra provided samples and compensation for the recipe development, but all opinions are my own. Make sure to check out other recipes I developed using Sabra products!

5/12/16

Dine-N-Dash 2016


Live in DC? Love good food? Want to support a good cause? If you answered yes to all these questions, you will want to check out Dine-N-Dash event taking place on June 15th.

I was lucky to have a chance to preview a few of the restaurants participating in the event and am happy to share some information with you.

Dine-N-Dash is organized by Jose Andres, and this will be the fourth year the event is taking place. Once you purchase a ticket, you'll be able to sample food and drinks at over thirty DC restaurants and food trucks in Penn Quarter and on 14th Street.

To receive $20 discount on your ticket, use code PREVIEW when checking out.

If you get a VIP ticket, you'll have a chance to meet Eric Ripert (!!!!) , Jose Andres and Erik Bruner-Yang, as well as attend an after party.

More importantly, the proceeds will benefit World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization working on eliminating poverty and hunger in countries such as Haiti, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

Below are a few photographs from participating restaurants: OyamelDBGB, Ghibellina and Masa 14,





5/9/16

Meatless Monday: Vegan Beet Pesto With Broiled Asparagus


Last week I received gorgeous local asparagus in my produce delivery, and it's been sitting in my refrigerator waiting for inspiration to strike. That inspiration came in the form of beets. Yes, beets! 

I made a vegan beet pesto and decided to serve it on top of simply broiled asparagus. This colorful and nutritious dish is perfect for a Meatless Monday lunch or dinner and is completely vegan! 

Vegan Beet Pesto With Broiled Asparagus

Ingredients
1 roasted beet, peeled, quartered
1 garlic clove
1 cup packed arugula
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste

asparagus
olive oil
salt & pepper

arugula
chopped toasted hazelnuts
lemon wedges

Directions
1. For the beet pesto, place beet quarters, garlic clove, arugula and hazelnuts into a food processor. Pulse. Drizzle in lemon juice and olive oil while running the food processor. Puree until you get the consistency you desire. Season with salt.

2. For asparagus, preheat your broiler. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil in a single layer for 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus is, making sure to check on it often.

3. Serve asparagus on a bed of arugula topped with the beet pesto, chopped hazelnuts and a few lemon wedges.


I'm glad I took the above photograph with my phone because unfortunately all of my camera photos were awful.

This was such a bright (both in color and flavor) dish! I loved how crunchy asparagus got under the broiler: this may be my new favorite way of preparing this spring vegetable.

As a bonus, I have a fun idea for you. If you, like me, sometimes don't feel like using beet greens in your cooking but feel guilty tossing them, add them to a flower arrangement! In the photo below, I combined peonies with beet greens!


5/5/16

New Plant-Based (Vegan) Restaurant in Washington DC: Shouk


Do you ever want a quick lunch or dinner that doesn't require any effort on your part, but is still healthy, delicious and easy on your credit card!? Well, the newly opened Shouk, which means market, on 5th and K is exactly what you are looking for. I was invited to check out Shouk for lunch and after just one meal, know I'll be back.

First, I love the exposed brick wall in the restaurant and the fact that you can purchase some of the products used in their kitchen for your own kitchen.

Second, the menu takes up only one page, which is good for someone who is as indecisive as I am. There is no tofu, or fake meat: everything is plant-based and whatever your diet is friendly! What a cute slogan.

And, finally, the food. You can get a pita, a salad, a few snacks or a soup. I learned that each dish is named after its main ingredient {think cauliflower, mushroom, black bean, etc}.


This time around I tried Black Bean pita that included sweet potato, red pepper, tomato, arugula and spicy harissa. The harissa gave this dish quite a kick! I loved that the pita was fluffy and warm. In case you aren't able to finish the entire pita, they have awesome to-go containers specifically designed for the pita: make sure to ask for one!

I also tried Beet Salad with sweet potato, arugula, cashews, cashew labneh and pomegranate vinaigrette. I think from now on I'll want cashew labneh and pomegranate vinaigrette on everything. If you love roasted beets as much as I do, you will love this salad. If you want to recreate this dish at home, may I suggest adding an avocado?

I also tried one of Shouk's made to order market sodas which was sweet. spicy and refreshing. They actually make a syrup from spices and fruit! The rosemary lemonade was a bit too much for me, so I was happy the staff was willing to give me a little sample before I bought the entire glass of it.


The food is inventive, non-fussy, and something you could make at home: check out the menu for inspiration for your own cooking adventures!

This is a great place for a quick bite to eat if you are going to an event at 6th & I Synagogue or catching a movie.

I am looking forward to coming back and trying polenta fries with tomato tahina as well as cauliflower pita with tomatoes, scallions, tahina and jalapeno oil.


Disclosure: I was treated to lunch, but all opinions are my own. I'm not being compensated for this post.

5/2/16

Meatless Monday: Roasted Cauliflower With Radishes And Chickpeas

Last year I signed up for a three year subscription plan for Real Simple magazine. I love getting the new issue in the mail. I always think I'll read it right away (or take it on the plane when traveling) and try some of the recipes. My best intentions, however, are usually just that: intentions.

The January issue of the magazine sat on my coffee table since January! ENOUGH, I thought earlier last week. I forced myself to read through the stories, highlight a few products and rip a few of the recipes that looked interesting. 

That's how I finally ended up making a version of Real Simple's Roasted cauliflower and radish salad with soft-cooked eggs.


Roasted Cauliflower With Radishes And Chickpeas
Slightly adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients for 4
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
10 radishes, halved
2 cups chickpeas {I used home-cooked ones, but you can use canned}
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
4 eggs
dressing: olive oil, whole grain mustard, sherry vinegar {about equal parts of each}
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
4 slices of toast



Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425F. In a bowl, combine cauliflower, radishes and chickpeas. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes in a single layer on a large rimmed cookie sheet, shaking the pan occasionally. For a bit of crunch, broil the vegetables for 5 extra minutes.

2. Meantime, poach your eggs.

3. Whisk together ingredients for the dressing, taste, season with salt and pepper.

4. Serve roasted vegetables in a bowl topped with a poached egg, a drizzle of the dressing, chopped hazelnuts and cilantro and a slice of toast.


My poached egg flipped upside down when I was placing it in the bowl and the yolk completely leaked. I'm sure you'll do better!


This was a satisfying lunch and would also make a fun brunch dish. You can roast the vegetables in advance and serve them at room temperature or reheat.

Also, don't forget to follow me on instagram for other things I'm cooking and eating ;)


Happy Meatless Monday!

4/30/16

What To Do With Carrot Tops?

Let's say you bought organic carrots that came with beautiful green tops still attached. What shall you do with those tops?

Some people would make pesto out of carrot tops. I added them to a pitcher with tulips: instant flower arrangement!


4/28/16

What's For Dinner Tonight: Mushroom, Spinach & Hot Dog Toasts


Some people believe things happen for a reason. I'm not one of those people. Occasionally, though, I can see how something positive can come out of a negative situation.

One such thing happened over two years ago when I broke my arm and started using Washington's Green Grocer to get fresh produce delivered to my door. My arm has long since healed {knock on wood}, but I've remained a loyal customer of Washington's Green Grocer. It's convenient, delicious, and the customer service is superb.

The photo above shows some of the items I received on Wednesday. One of those tomatoes is already gone.

Last night for dinner I used one of the portobella mushrooms and a few slices of bread from this week's box with spinach I had left from last week's box to make a simple and satisfying dinner.

Mushroom, Spinach & Hot Dog Toasts
Makes 2

Ingredients
drizzle olive oil
1 portobella mushroom, sliced
1 bunch spinach, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
salt & pepper to taste
2 hot dogs, sliced
red pepper flakes
2 slices of toast
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes.
2. Add spinach, garlic cloves, salt & pepper {to taste} and hot dogs and continue to saute until spinach wilts and the hot dogs are cooked through. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
3. Toast the bread.
4. Top each piece of bread with mushroom/spinach/hot dog mixture, sprinkle with cheese and broil for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.


I took this photo at 7pm last night, so don't judge ;) This was a really great meal!

4/25/16

Not Your Bubbe's Matzo Ball Soup: Boxed Matzo Ball Soup With Broccoli, Fennel & Peas


It's Passover! Are you celebrating? I must admit I'm not giving up bread. Or pasta. Or rice. Nothing really. Still, I thought I should do something Passover'ish...and so I bought a boxed mix of matzo balls at my store.

No shame in starting with a boxed mix!

As always, I added a few extra ingredients to the matzo balls themselves and to the broth.

Not Your Bubbe's Matzo Ball Soup: Boxed Matzo Ball Soup With Broccoli, Fennel & Peas

1) When making matzo balls, I added chopped fresh dill and freshly ground black pepper. I did not have any vegetable oil and used sunflower oil instead.

2) To the chicken broth (store-bought), I added a few outside layers of fennel as it simmered.

3) Once the matzo balls simmered for 15 out of 20 required minutes, I added sliced fennel, broccoli florets, and defrosted peas and simmered everything for 5 more minutes.

I'm having a bowl of this soup for lunch!

If you want to make this into a Meatless Monday meal, clearly use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Thanks Dana for catching this!!

4/22/16

TGIF! Cheers To The Weekend: Drink UP ;)


Cheers to Friday and here's to a great weekend! I'm meeting one friend for breakfast on Saturday and another for lunch on Sunday and will also attempt to do some shopping, dancing, and napping.

To stay hydrated, may I suggest you make the above pictured beverage? It was so refreshing and GORGEOUS when I made it earlier this week: fresh pineapple chunks + fresh watermelon chunks + a bit of water: add all to a blender and puree. And if you want to add a bit of booze, who am I to stop you!? :)