Archive for May 22nd, 2011

May 22, 2011

My Top Three

Howdy Bloggies!  I hope everyone is having an excellent weekend.  Mine has been pretty darn good so far.  As regular readers know, I had my race yesterday, and I was pretty excited about it.  I celebrated in the evening with three of my favorite things, pizza, beer, and the Mister.  We tried a new pizza place (new to me, anyway) that happened to be hosting a beer tasting.  Coincidence?  I think not.

I tried two of the beers (in mini cups) and both gave me great respect for the brewery, NoDa Brewing Company.  The first was a delicious IPA  that was chock full of hoppy goodness.  I like the name, Stretch Beerstrong.  It was on the high-end of my alcohol tolerance level, but it was bursting with so much citrus flavor that you did not even notice the ABV, which came to 7.something%.

Samples

Sample of Stretch Beerstrong

The brewery’s other beer was a Choco-Loco Porter.  I was not a fan.  It had a very chocolate taste that also hinted of ultra-sweet roast coconut.   The beer was thick and heavy, though not too strong of alcohol (6.2% ABV).  Even though I was not crazy about this beer, I feel it was more the style that I didn’t like.  The brew itself seemed creative, unique, and artfully crafted with a blend of top-notch ingredients, so I still respect the brewery for this nearly undrinkable beer.  Make sense, right?

NoDa Brewing Company’s beer cannot yet be purchased.  They *should* have growlers available by July and kegs available in October.  Hurry up and get brewing!

Dinner

We also had pizzaaaaaa!  Kev got a better one, and I was jealous.  He at least let me trade a piece.  Mine was still pretty darn good though.  He had goat cheese and kalamata olives.  I had bbq chicken.  MMmm!  I enjoyed my dinner with a Franziskaner Hefe, though I sort of regretted that beer choice.  It suited the weather, but the hefe made for a poor pairing with my pizza.

pizza

BBQ Chicken Goodness

We had two friends come over last night after dinner to just sit, chat, and wrap up the evening.  We plan to pack this morning and go boating in the afternoon.  Pack?  Yes, I said pack!  We’re taking a trip, but I’m not telling you any more about it until Monday.  You’re not going to believe the deets!

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May 22, 2011

Mediterranean Veggie Bowl

I mentioned the ingredients to my Mediterranean Veggie Bowl in a previous post, but I’d like to take a moment and post a real recipe for it.  I plan to add more veggie bowl recipes in the future.  This is partially due to requests, but it is also to help break the mold from frozen meals and deli meats.  I eat my fair share of frozen meals and deli meats, but I try to avoid both when possible.

Frozen meals, such as those made by Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, etc., are expensive.  While they don’t successfully keep me full, they do pump me full of artificial flavorings/preservatives and tons of sodium.  I have decided I’d prefer making custom meals with ingredients I trust on Sunday, then packaging them up for lunch every day.  Luckily, I’m one of those people who can eat something for 4-5 days in a row before getting sick of it!

As for deli meats, I’m not going to go on a huge rant here about those.  I eat them.  My family eats them.  It’s not the end of the world.  However, they are worth avoiding or at least limiting when possible.  There’s a myriad of reasons, and Google will be happy to help you find the ones that tug your heartstrings.  Arguments discuss the treatment of the animals, the quality of the meat, the way packaged meats harm the enviroment, and more.  You can check out a quick recap here if you have time.  No matter your opinion, you can see why I’ve recently fallen in love with my own veggie bowls!

Veggie Bowl

Mmmmediterranean

Mediterranean Veggie Bowl

  • 3 servings quinoa
  • 2 packages chopped frozen spinach (10 oz each) (kale works well too in this)
  • 1 white onion (or whatever’s in your pantry)
  • 1 package of fresh “Baby Bella” mushrooms (or sliced button mushrooms if you prefer)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp basil (I used dried)
  • 1 TBS oregano (again… I used dried)
  • 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (or cannellini beans) (drained and rinsed)
Steps
  1. Begin cooking quinoa according to package directions.  Meanwhile, chop onion and defrost spinach in the microwave.
  2. Pour olive oil in pan to warm.  Add onion and mushrooms, and cook until softened.
  3. Add garlic to pan.  Stir and be careful not to burn.  Add spices and stir until fragrant (about 1 minute)
  4. If quinoa is finished cooking, add tomatoes, beans, and drained spinach.  Stir until heated.  Add contents of pan to pot of quinoa and other goodies.  Stir.  Let cool just enough to package into 5 equal servings.
The total per serving (assuming 5 servings) is 244 calories.  That’s not a lot, so some of you may want to add an additional can of beans, which would bring the total to approximately 321 calories per serving.  If you don’t care about calories, then I would recommend adding feta.  Feta makes everything betta’!  Lastly, I’d like to note that the vitamin C in the tomatoes helps your body absorb the iron from the other ingredients, such as spinach and quinoa.
After a race, you may be too tired to clean your house, but you may still have the energy to build your kitties a two-blanket and two-box fort.  (I think I liked it more than they did.)
entrance

Fort Entrace

Forts = Fun

Attack

Cleo Attacking the Fort

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