Get Green. Get Ambronite. [Review]

by Sarah on August 3, 2015 · 0 comments

Lately I’ve been saying, “I used to make fun of people who drank their breakfast. Especially if it was green. And now I’ve become one of those people,” an awful lot.

So much so that I should probably stop being defensive and just OWN the smoothie.IMG_1877 (1280x853)

The very green smoothie.IMG_1619 (1280x853)

When the good people at Ambronite offered to send me some of their organic, drinkable supermeal, I was first excited by the use of the word ‘drinkable’…and then excited to try something for free.

I’m just being honest here, people.IMG_1139 (1280x852)

The whole mission of Ambronite is to offer sustained energy for a busy lifestyle, promising to fill you up for 4-5 hours with natural ingredients like. Trading “calories of any kind” for nutritional balance from seeds, greens, nuts, and other crunchy things.IMG_1427 (1280x853)

But again in the vein of honesty, I’m not one to drink a 500-calorie meal replacement. Mainly because I’m a snacker, and I tend to eat a little bit, a lot.IMG_1429 (1280x853)

However, my new assistantship/job and the fact that I’m a PhD student with a somewhat erratic schedule means that I do need to have something in my “arsenal” that will keep me going that isn’t composed of the free donuts in the office kitchen or one of the six (delicious, yes, but often not super filling) “protein” bars I stash in my book bag.

So, I gave it a shot. Sort of.IMG_1421 (1280x853)

One of the articles I read about it said, “You can always just drink half,” so I did.

And it worked. It really kept me full and pushing through until the next time I could have a “real” meal.IMG_1423 (1280x853)

For those of you less accustomed to, well, more ‘natural’ foods (dare I say, “hippie, granola” eating?), Ambronite does taste very, well, green. I happen to love it–and I’m convinced I can actually pick out the slight but distinctive hint of the nutritional yeast–and anyone who is down with kale probably will, too.IMG_1414 (1280x852)

Have I been converted to the meal replacement idea? No. Not completely. But as I’m still drinking those green smoothies I once mocked, I’ve found that adding a bit of Ambronite to the mixture every morning does increase my satiety and energy, so I’ll stick with it, without defensiveness.IMG_1620 (1280x853)

I will own the green.IMG_1856 (1280x853)


Creamy Sweet Potato Kimchi Salad

by Sarah on July 30, 2015 · 0 comments

It was after the third time I visited Mr. Chen’s on the way home from work just to buy kimchi that I realized I might have a problem.IMG_1405 (1280x853)

It probably started with the random Asian/Mediterranean/Southern American salad bar I found near The White House when The Professor and I were in DC, and I realized how much my prone-to-fermentation-and-pickling tastebuds loved kimchi.IMG_20150710_135551_767 (1280x1280)

But the Kimchi Ramen broth from Happyolks I made twice in a week–and even ate for breakfast–was probably what really solidified the obsession.IMG_1123 (1280x853)

So I decided I needed to put a slightly sweeter spin–and substitute yogurt for mayo–on a the Spicy Kimchi Potato Salad recipe that beckoned to me from my New York Times Cooking Newsletter (and Pinterest, subsequently.).kimchipotatosalad

The result? 

I-can’t-stop-eating-so-it-may-not-even-have-a-chance-to-get-cold good.IMG_1443 (1280x853)

Good thing this would totally gross out The Professor.

Because I ate it all by myself in one sitting.*IMG_1467 (1280x853)

*Granted, I doubled the recipe to get what you see below…so it wasn’t THAT drastic really. Right?IMG_1476 (1280x853)

Creamy Sweet Potato Kimchi Salad

Inspired by The New York Times Spicy Kimchi Potato Salad

(Serves 4-6)

  • 4 cups chopped, peeled sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups kimchi, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1-2 tsp. sriracha
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Finely chop 2 Tbsp. kimchi.
  3. Toss sweet potatoes in a bit of coconut or olive oil, salt, pepper, and ground ginger.
  4. Place sweet potatoes in a baking pan and cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Roast/steam until tender, approximately 30 minutes.
  6. While potatoes are cooking, combine 2 Tbsp. finely chopped kimchi, about 2 tsp. kimchi “juice,” yogurt, and remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir well.
  7. When potatoes are finished cooking, add them to the yogurt sauce, stirring carefully to coat.
  8. Stir in remaining kimchi.
  9. Chill in the fridge until cold and ready to serve.

Hull Pea Salad with Peaches & Arugula

by Sarah on July 27, 2015 · 1 comment

At the market on Saturday morning, I was told for the first time that I  “couldn’t be from around here.”

I must admit, it was a bit of a blow to my “you’d never know I was a Yankee” faux–but generally convincing–Southern persona.

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What brought down this miraculously built Southern house of cards?

Hull peas.IMG_20150725_075849_075 (1280x720)

Apparently having never shelled and cooked these peas marked me as an outsider in the heart of Dixie.*

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*Although school systems and political leanings do not make me feel particularly inclined to WANT to align myself with Alabama…but that’s a whole different discussion.

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And I swear, I was going to follow the cattle rancher’s wife and Farmer Dan’s advice and cook ’em up with bacon and onions, but when I saw they were kissing cousins to black-eyed peas, well, I decided to go in a different direction.

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But it was inspired by Southern Living.IMG_1543 (1280x853)

And used local peaches.IMG_1549 (1280x852)

So I’ll claim it as a Dixieland Delight and go back to inadvertently hiding my Yankee heritage behind my overuse of y’all, love of men in bow ties, and inability to drink out of anything but a mason jar.IMG_1504 (853x1280)

(Also, coincidentally, what I mixed the salad dressing in.*)

*Just the right amount of orange marmalade left in it!IMG_1595 (1280x853)


Hull Pea Salad with Peaches & Arugula

(Adapted from Southern Living’s Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad)

  • 1 lb. hull peas, shelled and rinsed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup  chopped peaches
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely diced (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  1. Cook peas in vegetable broth for 30-40 minutes at a low simmer, just until al dente.
  2. Drain and allow to cool.
  3. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar.
  4. Combine cooled peas, bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno in a mixing bowl.
  5. Pour vinaigrette over vegetables and stir well to coat.
  6. Chill mixture 8 hours or overnight.
  7. Just before serving, toss pea mixture with spring mix and peaches.

Salt & Pepper Tofu Asian Slaw

by Sarah on July 24, 2015 · 0 comments

The chef at my favorite local restaurant told me that you can’t really call a cuisine Asian, because, um, hello? There are subtle and significant differences among all of the Asian countries: India, Korea, China, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand…

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But this recipe has incorporated the flavors of Thai, Korean, and Chinese food (at least, I think it has done), so I’m going with Asian regardless.IMG_1399 (853x1280)

You see, Simply Proteinmy favorite protein bar company--is currently sponsoring a recipe contest using any flavor of their Simply Protein Chips.

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When I found out they had a new flavor–salt and pepper–I was immediately inspired to cook. Cook what? Well, all I could think about was Salt & Pepper Tofu.IMG_1316 (1280x853)

Something I’ve never actually eaten.

So that was weird.IMG_1319 (1280x853)

Yet, sometimes just “going with it” works out in your favor.IMG_1337 (1280x853)

Combining some easy to find ingredients with some of my favorite flavors makes for a deliciously addictive, creamy, protein-packed slaw with a fun crunch from the salt &  pepper chips. (Just be sure to add them RIGHT before serving or you will have a bit more of a soggy slaw than a crunchy one…)

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So, I may have never actually had Salt & Pepper Tofu, but I’ve had something that may or may not taste like an arbitrarily designated Asian interpretation of it. :)IMG_1364 (1280x853)

Salt & Pepper Tofu Asian Slaw

(Serves 4-6)

  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 red chile, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 package Simply Protein Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper Protein Chips*
  • 4 oz. silken tofu (1/4 of a 16 oz. package)
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1″ nub fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

* I imagine any salt & pepper pita-type chips would work in place of the Simply Protein Chips.

  1. Combine all vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a food process or blender, combine tofu and remaining ingredients (except chips).
  3. Process dressing until smooth.
  4. Stir dressing into vegetables until well mixed.
  5. Just before serving, stir in crumbled Simply Protein Chips. (This is very important to do last, otherwise they may get soggy.)



This month’s Recipe Redux theme is Fresh from the Garden.IMG_0629 (1280x854)

Sharing the bounty of the season (not the paper towels…although you may use them for drying your produce?) IMG_0584 (1280x853)

I’ve already shared quite a few “garden fresh” recipes, including the Blueberry & Avocado Couscous with Vanilla Lime Vinaigrette that took advantage of my beautiful, tasty, homegrown cucumbers.IMG_0988 (1280x852)

Those same cucumbers made an appearance in the Thai Pineapple & Cucumber Salad of which I was particular fond–and reluctantly shared at our Summer Solstice Party.IMG_0625 (1280x853)

Sadly, the Lawn Boy killed my cucumbers.

And now all I’ve got left i my garden is some basil, one lone eggplant, and a plethora of tiny orange cherry tomatoes.IMG_0896 (1280x853)

But that won’t stop me from utilizing OTHER people’s produce. :)IMG_20150620_074403_644 (1280x720)

This is a recipe I made up, and then made even better after a few Pinterest perusals. I’ve given it out so many times, and made it just as many–that I don’t even have a real recipe for it. It’s all in taste and preference…and the number of people you are feeding.IMG_0636 (1280x853)

Shaved Summer Squash Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Parmesan, & Basil

  • Take two or three zucchini and summer squash (I think they have more flavor so definitely those yellow!) as long as you can find.
  • Use your vegetable peeler and just go back and forth really fast to shave it until you hit the seeds.
  • Then add lemon juice and zest, spray olive oil, add salt and pepper and fresh basil…toss all together with a fork or your hands.
  • Sprinkle on shaved parmesan (just as long as its not the superfine shaker jar kind) and toasted walnuts.IMG_0638 (1280x853)

P.S. The leftover center of the squash makes great soup after roasting with garlic, salt and pepper, then pureeing with unsweetened almond milk. Stir in lots of Parmesan for serving. :)


Sweet Heat Carrot Sriracha Hummus

by Sarah on July 19, 2015 · 1 comment

Yes, another recipe with Sriracha in the title. Whatever.IMG_1079 (1280x853)

I can’t help it if sometimes you buy a two pound bag of baby carrots right before you go on a week-long vacation, just because they are on special for $2 off at Target, before realizing that you already have a pound of carrots in the fridge and WTH are you going to do with all those carrots?

So you boil them, puree them, and freeze them. Because freezing solves all food waste crises.IMG_1091 (1280x853)

And then, when it’s time to figure out what to do with all that carrot puree, well, with two parties to throw in two days,  hummus seems like a good idea.

(As is using peanut butter instead of opening a jar of tahini.)IMG_1076 (1280x853)

Just make sure you  warn small children that while the actual hummus isn’t that spicy–and actually subtly sweet—they may want to avoid the decorative red-orange drizzle.*

*After watching a small child accidentally drink straight up Texas Pete hot sauce last week, I’d say you can never be too careful.

Carrot Orange Sriracha Hummus

(Makes about 2 cups)

  • 1 cup carrot puree (made from about 1/2 lb. baby carrots)
  • 1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1/3 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. sriracha (plus more for drizzling)
  • lime juice
  • salt + pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve with veggies or pita chips…or just eat with a spoon.

Scrambled Egg Salad

by Sarah on July 15, 2015 · 0 comments

The theme of my week-long trip to Virginia was sandwiches.IMG_20150712_170427

OK, so there was also a wedding to attend, much wine to taste, old friends to visit, and general nostalgic joy to be back in my homeland (in title, if not birthright).IMG_20150713_143251

But I did seem to eat a lot of sandwiches.IMG_20150714_173044

Maybe that’s why I found myself craving an egg salad sandwich the day after I returned home?IMG_1060 (1280x853)

Of course, I was foiled by two pesky farmer’s market eggs that decided to crack at, literally, the slightest touch of pressure upon removal.IMG_1029 (1280x853)

What to do but scramble them?IMG_1023 (1280x853)

And why can’t you make egg salad out of scrambled eggs instead of hard-boiled ones?IMG_1041 (1280x853)

It sure starts off creamy enough to use less mayo/yogurt, and takes a lot less time and effort, so instead of boiling and peeling and allowing to cool…IMG_1059 (1280x853)

…I can get back to consuming more sandwiches.IMG_1042 (1280x853)

Scrambled Egg Salad 

(Serves 2)

  • 4 eggs
  • salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, dried herbs
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise, low fat plain yogurt, or some combination*
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

*I used 1/2 Tbsp. mayo and 1 1/2 Tbsp. low fat yogurt. It was SUPER creamy, so you can probably get away with less.

  1. Crack eggs into a small frying pan, coated with oil, over medium heat.
  2. Using a spatula, slowly scramble by stirring and pulling the edges back from the sides of the pan.
  3. During cooking, season with salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, and any dried herbs you desire. (I like dill and basil.)
  4. When eggs are just set, transfer to a small mixing bowl.
  5. Allow to cool about 5 minutes. (This is a good time to toast your bread,slice your tomatoes, etc.)
  6. Stir in yogurt or mayo and mustard to eggs.
  7. Adjust seasoning to taste.

I said I was going to keep it simple for the 4th of July: less people, less prep work, less stuff made by me.IMG_0984 (1280x853)

But then I just happened to enter “couscous” into the Pinterest search and, well, I just happened to be inspired.IMG_0972 (1280x853)

The original recipe involved strawberries, corn, and avocado. I didn’t have (more) strawberries or corn, but I did have blueberries and cucumber.IMG_0955 (1280x853)

A cucumber, I might add, I didn’t even realize was growing–I’m not much good at weeding–until I looked down that morning while picking tomatoes and saw its giant green back staring up at me.IMG_0981 (1280x853)

I also happened to have an avocado, a random green onion, some wilting cilantro, and an “open garden” policy with a neighbor growing every herb imaginable, including mint MUCH prettier and tastier than mine.IMG_0934 (1280x850)

Exactly one cup of couscous in the bag? Seemed like fate, no?IMG_0964 (1280x853)

So, there you go.IMG_0997 (1280x853)

I added a smidge of vanilla to the vinaigrette just for intrigue, and sweetened it with stevia, but only because I found that before the agave (and, well, why not?)IMG_0941 (853x1280)

The dressing alone is delicious, but the whole mess together is even better.IMG_0988 (1280x852)

If you think about it, I’m still keeping it simple (stupid), right?IMG_1013 (1280x853)

Blueberry Avocado & Cucumber Couscous with Vanilla Lime Vinaigrette

(Inspired by Damn Delicious)

  • 1 recipe Vanilla Lime Vinaigrette (below)
  • 1 cup whole wheat Israeli pearl couscous
  • 1 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup avocado, chopped (about 1 Hass avocado)
  • 2 Tbsp. green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup combination of fresh mint and cilantro, chopped
  1. Prepare Vanilla Lime Vinaigrette. Set aside.
  2. Combine blueberries, cucumber, avocado, herbs, and onion in a mixing bowl.
  3. Bring 1 1/4 cups salted water to a boil. Add couscous and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes, or until liquid has cooked away and/or been absorbed.
  4. Add couscous to the mixing bowl.
  5. Stir well to combine.
  6. Garnish with more chopped mint or cilantro, if desired.
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Vanilla Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbsp, lime juice
  • lime zest (however much you like…I find it impossible to measure)
  • 3 drops liquid Stevia* (or 1 Tbsp. agave)

*I use NuNaturals.

Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake or stir well.


I received free samples from Bumble Bee Seafoods that are mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Bumble Bee Seafoods and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.IMG_0687 (1280x853)


Although I practically always try to vegetarianize meat or poultry recipes I  find, the conversion to an eater of all things from the sea was an easy one for me, and I continue to consume any and all fish or crustaceans I can find, with relish.*

*Both the verb AND the noun (if that should be an option).IMG_0882 (1280x853)

So, when I found out that the latest Recipe Redux Contest/Challenge involved Bumblebee Canned Albacore Tuna, I was, needless to say, thrilled.reciperedux_bumblebee

We know, of course, that seafood very well may be “the single most important food one can consume for good health”–at least if we believe researchers at Harvard–and that the health benefits of the DHA and EPA omega-2 fatty acids are innumerable. Should we also discuss the Vitamins B6 and B10, selenium, and niacin found in canned tuna? Dietary guidelines promote consuming fish at least twice a week (and I, personally, aim for 5!) and one of the best ways to do that is with canned fish.IMG_0691 (1280x854)

Bumblebee would say that canned seafood is convenient, affordable, nutritious, and delicious, and I would simply say that it is like a blank canvas for creativity, easily adding protein to soups or salads, and always tasting fresh and light.*

*Although I guess that depends on preparation. IMG_0831 (1280x853)

This version of tuna salad was inspired by the fact that I am always the “special request” customer at restaurants.IMG_0846 (1280x853)

But, well, what does Avenue Pub expect if they offer a burger with Strawberry Sriracha Sauce on it? The fish eaters of the world are going to reject that beef straightaway but demand the sauce for their fish-topped salad.IMG_0837 (1280x852)

And then recreate the flavor profile at home.IMG_0865 (1280x853)

You can leave the yogurt out…IMG_0851 (1280x853)

…or not.IMG_0863 (1280x853)

But with a salad that is equal parts sweet, spicy, savory, AND summer…you can’t go wrong.IMG_0872 (1280x853)

Strawberry Sriracha Tuna Salad

  • 1 5-0z. can Bumblebee Solid White Albacore Tuna (in water), drained of excess water
  • 2/3 cup strawberries, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. green onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped cashews
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. plain yogurt (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp. sriracha (adjust as needed)
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except cashews.
  2. Using a fork, mix and mash everything until well incorporated.
  3. Just before serving, sprinkle on cashews.*

*They will get soggy otherwise!



It must be a holdover from when I was a much “better” vegetarian (and one time “hard core” vegan), or perhaps just a natural inclination towards veggie-based meals, but when I see recipes in magazines for meat or poultry, I almost always immediately think about how I can make them vegetarian.Mustard & Molasses Baked Tempeh with Balsamic Blackberry Sauce from The Smart Kitchen (2)

Like these Pork Tenderloin Sliders with Blackberry Honey-Mustard Sauce from the May 2015 issue of Southern Living.

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Obviously the same seasonings used to flavor the pork could (should?!) be used to flavor tempeh.IMG_0307 (1280x853)


I have to say, this was a winner. Of course, I’ve got no other tastebuds to testify to this, because although I’ve successfully snuck (sneaked?) tempeh into The Professor, it was very well hidden.IMG_0328 (1280x853)

And this…well this is tempeh in all it’s Gavin DeGraw “I Don’t Wanna Me Anything Other Than (Not) Me Meat” gloryIMG_0334 (1280x853)

Not that that’s a bad thing.Mustard & Molasses Baked Tempeh with Balsamic Blackberry Sauce from The Smart Kitchen

(I got lazy with the blackberry sauce, but a vanilla balsamic blackberry smash worked just fine.)

Mustard & Molasses Baked Tempeh

  • 1 block tempeh
  • 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  1. Cut tempeh in half cross-wise, then slice those halves lengthwise down the middle (cutting from the side)  into flat rectangles.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.
  3. Coat tempeh evenly with sauce (on both sides).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
  5. Serve warm, on greens with blackberry sauce.*

*Warmed, well-mashed (perhaps previously frozen) blackberries with a dash of vanilla extract, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt.Mustard & Molasses Baked Tempeh with Balsamic Blackberry Sauce from The Smart Kitchen_2