Archive for the ‘Eating In’ Category

Trader Joe's Soy Creamy

Of all the delicious food items sold at Trader Joe’s, their Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip dessert is the best.  I discovered it when I first moved to Oregon.  It is a non-dairy, vegan, gluten-free treat.  Each serving is 190 calories and the ingredients are wholesome- organic soy milk and organic cane sugar, which is great compared to the cream, sugar, corn syrup and xanthan gum found in regular brands like Dryer’s.  The Trader Joe’s brand does have more sugars and carbs, however.


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My mom made the most delicious kidney bean and sweet corn chili to go with my cornbread.  It really was the best chili I ever tasted, especially compared to the uber-salty stuff I’m used to in the dorms.  This was made from all fresh tomatoes, garlic and onions from our CSA box of fresh farm veggies.  It’s so healthy.


Veggie Chili

2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cans kidney beans
3-4 cups crushed tomatoes
2 onions, chopped
1 cup corn
3 jalapeños
2 Tbsp. tomato paste

Brown garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Add chili powder and cumin. Meanwhile, mix together tomatoes, beans, onions, chilies and tomato paste in crockpot. Add the garlic and mix well. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Serve with jalapeño cornbread.  Comfort food get in my tummy!

Vegetarian Chili

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This morning the puppy, CeCe, woke me up early before the blazing Sacramento sun discouraged me from heating up the oven.  So I decided to bake cornbread to have for dinner with our garden chili (so many tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onion right now).  This cornbread does have a spicy kick to it, so I would suggest either pairing it with a mild chili or, if you do go all out, have a tall glass of milk ready.

Fresh Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

2 cups of cornmeal (yellow or white)
½ cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups milk
2 Tbsp sour cream
3 jalapeños, diced
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
1 green pepper, diced
1 tomato, sliced
dash of cumin or cayenne pepper

Adding Cheddar, Jalapeño and green pepper to cornbread batter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together dry ingredients. Set aside. Whisk egg, milk and sour cream. Mix with dry ingredients. Fold in jalapeños, peppers and cheddar and spices to taste. Pour batter into greased baking pan and top with sliced tomatoes. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes. Cornbread should be brown on top and pulling away from the sides of the skillet.

Baking is Yummy!

It’s so tasty! Even Cece is lickin her chops.

Recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

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To those people who think it’s hard to eat fresh on a dime, you need to visit Pedrick’s Produce in Davis, California.  My friend Natalie, a student at UC Davis, raves about this place.  You can get a lot of fresh, local fruits and vegetables for incredibly cheap.   They also have packaged candies, chocolates, hot sauces, dried fruits and legumes.  I got a bag of yellow peaches for 49 cents a pound.  It could possibly have been the juiciest peach I’ve ever eaten.  Delicious, but I do imagine the produce would go bad if you don’t eat it right away.  I like to put mine in a vegetable fresh bag and let it work miracles in our fridge.   These bags keep lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, fruit and other delicate produce fresher for at least three times as long as it normally would.

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Chocolate chip zucchini bread is my weakness.  It is so delicious for breakfast, a snack or dessert.  During the summer, we end up with so many zucchini from our garden and our CSAs that I usually double the amount this recipe calls for.  Enjoy it while you have it, because come fall season, it will be all about the chocolate chip pumpkin bread.  I’ll be sure to post that recipe too.  It’s to die for.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg and cardamom
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. In a large bowl beat the eggs. Beat in the sugar and oil. Add the cocoa, vanilla, zucchini and stir well.
  2. Stir in the four, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and chocolate chips. Mix until just moist.
  3. Pour batter into two 9 inch baking dishes and bake at 350 F for 40 to 45 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick into the middle and it comes out dry.

Chocolate Zuchinni Bread


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This is like soul food for the summertime.  It’s not too rich and heavy for a hot night, but it’s got enough buttery, toasted goodness to satisfy anyone.  These heirloom cherry tomatoes are so juicy- take one bite and they explode with sweetness.    I suggest using a batard loaf.  Batard literally means bastard because it is the inferior form of a baguette.  However, it’s large surface and spongy insides are perfect for holding in the delicious flavors of Tomato Toast.

Tomato ToastTomato Toast

6 slices batard sourdough
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 avocado
handful of chopped basil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 slices butter

Heat the butter in a pan until golden brown, add the bread and fry until browned on both sides.  In another pan put the garlic, basil, and a slice of butter and let it brown.  When that is done, mix tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, avocado, and the basil/garlic mixture.  Spoon on top of the bread and enjoy with a glass of Pinot Gris!

Heirloom cherry tomatoes and garlic from Rudolph Steiner Biodynamic Farm

Basil from our garden

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Sometimes you just crave a hunk of meat.  That was me today so today after work, I stopped by Whole Foods where I made a beeline for the meat counter.  Most of their meats are local, pasture-fed, organic products and are very clearly labeled as such, which meant I was in locavore grocery shopping heaven.  I got a Chateaubriand steak, which is a thick Tenderloin cut.

Jalapeño Marinade Marinade

minced garlic cloves

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 Jalapeño, minced

salt and pepper


Let the meat marinate in the fridge for an hour or two.  Then, melt a slice of butter on high heat in a frying pan and add the meat to brown on both sides.  This is a key step that a lot of people forget.  It seals the juices to keep the meat plump and tender while it cooks.

Step 1: Pan Fry

Steak Dinner

Throw the meat back into the marinade and cook on 410 for 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, start making the sautéed mushrooms to be served over bread and topped with asiago cheese.  The full recipe can be found here.  I replaced arugula with beet tops and sorrel because that is what I had to work with in my CSA.

At one point my mom walks into the room and literally stops dead in her tracks.

“Don’t talk. Let me just smell this,”  she said.

The entire meal turned out delicious!

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