Category Archives: New Food Friday

New Food Friday- August 8, 2014

New Food Friday is a weekly post that coincides with one of the items on my bucket list; that is, to try one new food or recipe a week for a whole year.

Recently, I went on a date to Atlantic City for the day, and at night we decided to try a new (to us) restaurant.  I really do consider myself pretty adventurous with food and I am generally willing to at least try something.  However, in Atlantic City, things aren’t cheap and I worried that I would get something I didn’t like when we decided on Cuba Libre.  I will admit, I played it a little safe but still went with something I had never had.  That’s right…I never had skirt steak before.  Actually, I only started eating steak in the last year.  For so long, I didn’t eat any red meat, so I am still figuring out what I like and don’t like when it comes to meat.  I love filet, and it’s pretty much the only steak I eat, so this was definitely new for me.  Plus, it came with cooked mushrooms.  Mushrooms weird me out.  It was a “no” food until that night, and low and behold…I liked them!  It’s always fun to surprises oneself!

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Grilled skirt steak, roasted garlic boniato-potato mash, lemon and onion sauce. watercress and rosemary mushroom escabèche salad.

 

Cuba Libre has a great vibe.  We walked in looking for a reservation for about an hour later and they were more than accommodating when we ended up calling after realizing we needed more time.  Upon arriving for our reservation, we were greeted warmly and seated promptly.  The booth was a little funky; my legs were too short and I had a hard time getting comfortable.  I ended up sitting cross legged because my feet were either hitting the middle bar or uncomfortably not reaching the ground.  Besides that small complaint, everything was great.  Our table was small and intimate and our server was knowledgeable and attentive.

I ordered our waiters suggestion of a vodka mojito (I don’t drink rum) and it was delicious!  Their bread was warm and the butter was so good!  It is a sugar butter and so ridiculously good.  Next up came the main course and I was very excited.  However, my knife was defective and I legit could not cut a single piece of the steak!  I was worried because I am used to melt in your mouth type filet, but once I had a new knife, I was good to go!  Everything about the meal was delicious and it was perfect with my glass of Pinot Noir.  The seasoning was done just right and everything went together perfectly.  I probably could have done without the greens, only because they felt a little out of place, but this was definitely a meal I would get again.  And the best part of all, is that I am looking forward to cooking with mushrooms now!

Cuba Libre has quite a few locations; if you live near one, I highly recommend you check it out!

❤ Jillian

New Food Friday- July 25, 2014

New Food Friday is a weekly post that coincides with one of the items on my bucket list; that is, to try one new food or recipe a week for a whole year.

I totally missed last two weeks of New Food Friday, thanks  my laptop crapping the bed.  It is super difficult (think 10 on a scale of 1-10) to blog from my IPad, so I really haven’t been doing to much updating.  However, I picked up my new one last night and now everything is right again in blog world 🙂

Just because I am not blogging about them, doesn’t mean I haven’t been trying new things!

One of the things I made for my birthday was my very first homemade cheesecake.

I decided to make a baked cheesecake because a no bake cheesecake it not even a real thing because it is my favorite dessert.

Now, as you all know, I have been working really hard to eat clean and be healthy.  I definitely made a healthier version, but also kept some of what makes a cheesecake a cheesecake.  I also got close to 16 slices out of it, which made it a pretty good choice, but it is definitely still a treat!

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This was the most perfect dessert!  I was so impressed with myself!  Everyone loved it and it was devoured within 20 minutes!  I have already been requested to make it again!

Recipe-

For the cheesecake:

2 eight ounce bars of cream cheese (I did one regular and one 1/3 fat)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 eggs

1 tbsp of vanilla

*Make sure ALL ingredients are room temperature before making the batter.  This includes the eggs!  First, blend only the cream cheese.  Then, add the sour cream, yogurt and vanilla.  Then, when blended, add in the eggs one at a time.  Do not over mix the batter; you want to avoid getting too much air into it, which will keep it from baking correctly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Take out and let cool to room temperature for approx. 30 minutes.

For the topping:1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup strawberries; halved.

After the cake has cooled, apply the icing and then bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cool for one hour at room temperature.

Add strawberries before serving.

Refrigerate until ready to eat.  (Should be refrigerated for at least 4 hours.)

Nutritional stats: (per slice; 8 slices per cake)
Calories- 370.4
Fat- 21.5, Sugar- 28.5, Carbs- 28.5mg, Protein- 9g, Fiber-0, Sodium- 268.9mg

Please Note: Nutritional information estimated based on brands I use and/or calculations using nutriondata.com and sparkpeople.com. Data may not be completely accurate and yours may differ. You should not refer to this data as being exact but as a figure. I do not take responsibility for the inadequacies of the nutrition calculator used. This data is provided for general reference.

 

❤ Jillian

New Food Friday- July 4, 2014

New Food Friday is a weekly post that coincides with one of the items on my bucket list; that is, to try one new food or recipe a week for a whole year.

Last night I was craving something salty/sweet, so it was the perfect time to make the nut butter cookies I had been wanting to try.  The only recipes I could fine were for either almond or peanut butter and I was looking for a mix.  So I took a peanut butter cookie recipe I have had for years and changed it up.

First, I mixed together the peanut butter and almond butter.

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I could seriously eat this by the spoonful!

Then, I added in the rest of the ingredients and mixed it up.

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And viola!

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I reallllly need to work on the food photos!

Recipe:

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1tsp honey

Nutritional stats: per cookie (makes 12 small cookies)
Calories- 117
Fat- 6, Sugar- 10.3, Carbs- 14.1mg, Protein- 3.4g, Fiber-1, Sodium- 40mg

Please Note: Nutritional information estimated based on brands I use and/or calculations using nutriondata.com and sparkpeople.com. Data may not be completely accurate and yours may differ. You should not refer to this data as being exact but as a figure. I do not take responsibility for the inadequacies of the nutrition calculator used. This data is provided for general reference.

These were really good, but they need to be tweaked. I blindly decided how much of what to put it and while they are good, I feel like the ingredients are competing instead of meshing. I’m definitely going to make these again. Less sugar maybe and I’m thinking a mashed banana instead of the egg (which makes them vegan).

In addition to be yummy, these were the perfect start to my day as a quick pre-workout snack. They are pretty darn healthy…you know, for a cookie 🙂

PS- Happy Birthday America!!!!

 

New Food Friday- June 27, 2014

New Food Friday is a weekly post that coincides with one of the items on my bucket list; that is, to try one new food or recipe a week for a whole year.

Let me tell you a story:

When I was little, I had a babysitter, Aunt Phyllis.  She was an older woman (she seemed really old to me then, but I know now she was much younger than I ever thought!) and I loved being at her house.  Even if all the memories aren’t exactly as I remember, what I DO remember is how much she loved us.  She insisted we not just sit around and that while we were under her care we would learn something.  She taught us all how to knit, there was mandatory piano practice and for the kids who didn’t know how to swim (I have been swimming since I was a baby), they certainly knew how by the end of summer!  She had her entire sun room set up as a nintendo (the original- I am aging myself!) room, complete with over 100 games AND the power pad!  She would take us to the park, let us play in her RV (pretty sure never took it anywhere, just parked it in her driveway for us to play in) and we spent many afternoons swimming.

I loved it at Aunt Phyllis’s.  She was caring, kind, loving and made sure we were all well taken care of each day.  I loved everything about it there.

Except for one thing.  A pretty big thing.

Aunt Phyllis and I didn’t often agree on food.

Basically as a child, I lived off of mustard and cheese sandwiches, spaghetti,  kraft mac & cheese and pizza.  I also had a thing for fruit roll-ups.  To say I was a picky eater would be a major understatement.  I did not make it easy on Aunt Phyllis.  But she wouldn’t back down.  If you didn’t eat her food then you simply sat at the table.  All day.  Most of the time I sucked it up and ate the food.  I could only hold out so long and usually I was alone.  There were only two foods I held my ground on.  Cheese Hot Dogs and Tuna Fish.

Okay first of all….WHO PUT CHEESE IN A HOT DOG????  No. Stop. Gross.  Second, I already didn’t like tuna or mayo.  Um, pretty much the tuna-fish recipe.  I hated the smell so much, I couldn’t even bear the taste.  I would sit all day.  No chance.

Until one day, when Aunt Phyllis simply had enough.  She was fighting with a child over tuna-fish and she wasn’t dealing with it anymore.  She came right over to me, and stuck the biggest spoonful of tuna in my mouth and made me eat it.  Now, I could be exaggerating, it might have been as small as a teaspoon.  But in my head it might as well have been a dump truck of tuna and I feel like it took me HOURS to swallow.  It was the WORST thing I ever tasted.  But I knew that if I even dared to spit it out, I would just get another heaping disgusting spoonful.  So eventually, I ate it.  I didn’t die or even throw up.  But it scarred me for life.  I never ate tuna again.  Of any kind. Ever.

Until tonight.

I have been looking for different dinner options and on almost every single recipe page, I see tuna burgers.

Now, I am in no way ready to face the fear of eating tuna out of a can with mayo.  No way.  You heard me…scarred for life.

However, I found tuna burgers at Whole Foods and figured why not.

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I baked mine in the oven, topped it with some spinach and onion and then made a sauce to go with it.

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I totally winged it with the sauce.  After googling “can you mix Greek yogurt with hot sauce” I decided to give it a try.  I also added a little ketchup for sweetness.   I was actually expecting it to taste really funny, but you know what?  It was good.  Like, really good.  I mean, it was no ranch dressing.  Let’s not get crazy.  In the future, I would make this sauce again…but when it comes down to it, hot sauce is a million times better with ranch dressing.  Fact of life.

As for the tuna burger…well, it wasn’t the best thing I ever ate.  Right away the smell brought me back to sitting in that kitchen with the spoon in front of my face.  But I really wanted to give it a try and I really wanted to like it.  Honestly though, I think the only reason I liked it was because the sauce was so good.  This is one of those foods where I’ll finish the other ones in the box, but it’s not something I would buy again.  I am glad I gave it a try and now I know it’s genuinely something I don’t really care for; that or I really was scarred for life!!

Here is the recipe for the sauce:

1tsp of Franks Red Hot Sauce

1tsp of Greek Yogurt

1/2tsp of ketchup

Nutritional stats:
Calories- 23
Fat- 0, Sugar- 2.1g, Carbs- 2.1mg, Protien- 2.9g, Fiber-0, Sodium- 52mg
Please Note: Nutritional information estimated based on brands I use and/or calculations using nutriondata.com and sparkpeople.com.  Data may not be completely accurate and yours may differ.  You should not refer to this data as being exact but as a figure.  I do not take responsibility for the inadequacies of the nutrition calculator used. This data is provided for general reference only.

 

It couldn’t have been easier to make the sauce (I mean unless the containers opened and poured themselves) and it uses so little but adds so much!

 

Are there any foods from your childhood that you still avoid as an adult?

New Food Friday- June 20, 2014

New Food Friday is a weekly post that coincides with one of the items on my bucket list; that is, to try one new food or recipe a week for a whole year.

I was struggling to find new foods (there are plenty I want to try, but it’s a matter of budget and finding recipes) and thought, “how the heck am I going to do this for a year” but then I looked up a ton of recipes and now I am good for a few weeks!  So many creative things on Pinterest; I cannot believe how long it took me to join!

I have been making a TON of smoothies lately but I pretty much stick the to same few recipes.  As a liquid base, I only ever use Almond Milk.  However, I wanted to change things up a bit, so I decided to get some coconut water.  I only ever tasted coconut water one time in my life.  After a 7 mile race downtheshore because that is what they were handing out at the finish.  I did not love it.

However, coconut water is VERY good for you!  And for me 🙂

Here are just a few things coconut water is good for:  boosting hydration, facilitating digestion, reducing blood pressure, regulates circulation, keeps the kidney stones away, treats bloating and has anti-aging properties to help keep skin healthy and glowing!    Oh, and for you beer guzzlers or winos, it is also the KING of hangover remedies!  You can thank me later!

 

I had more than enough reasons to give coconut water a second chance and in the smoothie and since all I could taste was the fruit, it was delicious!

 smoothie

I only just now realized I have a Proctor, not an Oster. Haha.

 

1 container of coconut water

1 cup strawberries

1 banana

3/4 cup Chobani 0% plain Greek yogurt

 

This filled my cup completely with a little extra.  It was very tasty, although a little on the thinner side than I like.  I will be tweaking the water/yogurt ratio in the future.

 

Nutritional stats:
Calories- 298
Fat- .6, Sugar- 37g, Carbs- 56.5mg, Protien- 19.3g, Fiber-5.2g, Sodium- 140mg
Please Note: Nutritional information estimated based on brands I use and/or calculations using nutriondata.com and sparkpeople.com.  Data may not be completely accurate and yours may differ.  You should not refer to this data as being exact but as a figure.  I do not take responsibility for the inadequacies of the nutrition calculator used. This data is provided for general reference only.

 

In other news, my Vitamix came today!!!!  I could not be more excited!  If you have any recipes you would like to share, I am all ears 🙂

 

❤ Jillian

New Food Friday- June 6, 2014

New Food Friday is a weekly post that coincides with one of the items on my bucket list; that is, to try one new food or recipe a week for a whole year.

So this week was a stretch.  It was the second busiest week of my school year…the last week of school.  Everything is in overdrive leading up to 8th grade Graduation and there are so many balls in the air and a lot of late nights preparing; my days fly by and when I do finally get home, I pretty much collapse and go to sleep.  That made trying something new this week tough because not only was I eating simple, but I was in routine mode.  Every day same breakfast and lunch and dinner was basic.  However, I got home early enough Wednesday night to make dinner and knew that would be my chance.  The problem was, I was only in the mood for something light (had a huge lunch out in town to celebrate the graduation) and didn’t have ingredients in the house that were new.  This meant coming up with a new recipe using stuff I did have in the house.  Of course I ended up with a salad!

And here is why this is really a stretch.  This salad is nothing new.  I mean, it was new to me…but let’s face it, this simple salad is popular on the internet.  A simple search for “strawberry, feta, walnuts” brought up hundreds of pages.  Every one of them had different amount of each ingredient and some included additional ingredients that I either didn’t have on hand or didn’t want to add.  On the bright side, many of them included dressings that sound delicious and that I bookmarked to make a later date.  For mine, I just used a few tablespoons simple balsamic dressing.

 

Spinach, Feta, Walnut Salad

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2 cups Spinach

1 and 1/4 cup sliced strawberries

1/4 cup feta (I use Athenos)

1/8 cup plain walnuts

This was legit the easiest salad to make.  I cut a few too many strawberries, but as far as I am concerned, you can never have too many of those!  Again, I really need to work on my food photos because A- all the feta is clearly on the bottom and all the strawberries on top and B- my food photos never show how good something actually looks or tastes!  This salad was delicious!  It was super quick to put together, the flavors went perfectly with one another and  it is so healthy; high in protein and fiber and the walnuts are a very healthy fat.  It will probably be a summer staple for me!

Nutritional stats:
Calories- 316.6
Fat- 16.5g, Sugar- 11g, Carbs- 19.7mg, Protien- 12.4g, Fiber-7.7g, Sodium- 400mg
(note: this does not include dressing)
Please Note: Nutritional information estimated based on brands I use and/or calculations using nutriondata.com and sparkpeople.com.  Data may not be completely accurate and yours may differ.  You should not refer to this data as being exact but as a figure.  I do not take responsibility for the inadequacies of the nutrition calculator used. This data is provided for general reference only.

 

What is your favorite summer salad?

 

❤ Jillian