Posts tagged ‘cheese’

July 24, 2013

Last Week: Tavern on Camac, Birthdays, Tietra Happy Hour, and Tamalex

This is has been a crazy birthday week in my life, since three of my best friends all had their birthday celebrations. I went out with one of my longtime best friends, Christy on Monday, to a cute Mexican place called Tamalex II which is honestly one of the most amazing Mexican restaurants I have ever tried in my life. I ordered a special there which was carnitas tacos with grilled cactus and I am still dreaming about how delicious the meal was. If that wasn’t enough of a reason to get you to go there, they give you huge cups of horchata for 3 dollars. Needless to say, I am obsessed and the service was incredible. I usually don’t review places I go to on Yelp, but I have decided to since the reviews have helped me so much in deciding where to go. The service was impeccable. I had a fabulous time with my two best friends there, and I cannot wait to go back. On Tuesday, after a really tough yoga session, I went to Slice with another friend because I am obsessed with their pizza. We tried their greek salad which was okay, but the best part was the amazing pizza. They do thin crust so well there. I also love that it is BYO even though I didn’t have wine to bring that night. We went to Sweet Ending after where I love the plain frozen yogurt with moshi pieces (rice cake) and coconut. On Thursday, I went to a happy hour with my boss for a community organization we work with. It was held at Tietra, which is a pretty nice bar with some awesome Mediterranean appetizers. Their hummus was amazing and fresh, as was their pita. The Chardonnay is pretty incredible as well. One of the key restaurants I went to last week was Tavern on Camac, where I met Mackenzie Hilton, the winner of Chopped and $10,000, who is now the executive chef at the Tavern at Camac. She is just as gorgeous and funny in person. Her grilled cheese with tomato soup, a comfort classic, is honestly the best grilled cheese I have ever tasted. I would go back in a a heartbeat. The deviled eggs with chive and sriracha were incredible. reasonably priced, and their house red is fabulously chocolatey. The fries were perfect and whatever was in their cheddar sauce for dipping is so addictive. iI cannot get over how fabulous of an experience it was. They did everything they could to accommodate our large party, and I was so happy that I got to go there. It is a restaurant on the bottom floor, a piano bar on the second, and a club on the third. The restaurant is open until 3am so feel free to get your late night eats on here!  I am not much of a club person but I love that this one had so many options. Hungry yet? Check it out if you are in Philadelphia!



July 11, 2013

July 10, 2013

Avocado Kale Salad with Lime

Kale is a tough green, which means that it is hard to wilt, which means it is great for an on the go salad! Massage the lime and olive oil into the leaves for a vibrant, green flavorful salad!


1 cup kale greens

2 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 avocado, diced

Pink Himalayan salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

2 campari tomatoes, diced

1/3 cup shredded cheese, your choosing


Whisk the pepper and salt with the olive oil and lime to your taste. Assemble kale greens in a  bowl and add dressing, massing the dressing into the greens until the kale turns a vibrant green. Top with avocado, tomatoes, and cheese when you are ready to eat. The kale gets better the longer it sits in the fridge, up to 2 days.



July 1, 2013

Flourless Cauliflower Thin Crust Sheet Pizza

With delicious crust, there will be a delicious meal. This flourless crust is delicious, crispy, and you can add whatever toppings you want.

Serves 4


4 cups steamed cauliflower, riced and drained and at room temperature (To rice my cauliflower, I steamed it and popped it into a blender and blended for 2 second intervals, until the cauliflower was a ricelike consistency and drained in a cheesecloth or paper towel until all the water absorbed through steaming is squeezed out. This is especially important for a crispy crust that doesn’t fall apart when you try to slice the pizza)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast

Pesto, optional

Tomato sauce, homemade or canned (just a warning that the non-homemade variety uses a lot of sugar as a preservative and making your own homemade tomato sauce is a better route if you want to limit processed foods in your home)

Toppings, as desired, e.g. mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, tofu, low fat cheese, ricotta, basil, roasted tomatoes


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the riced cauliflower with the eggs and parmesan cheese until you have a uniform mixture. Top with salt or pepper as desired, but keep in mind the parmesan or nutritional yeast adds a lot of salt. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up or spray/grease your pan well with coconut oil spray or olive oil. Pour your crust mixture in a thin layer onto baking sheet. Spread out as evenly as you can. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until the eggs and cauliflower and cheese have solidified. Top with desired toppings/sauces/cheeses and bake for another 10-15 minutes.



**Gluten free crust, gluten free if you make sure your toppings are also gluten free.

May 29, 2013

Shrimp Frittata with Spinach and Crunchy Quinoa Topping

Frittatas are such a good way to refuel after a workout and it is not uncommon for me to boil some eggs for the week as a take along snack. Eggs get a bad rap sometimes but they are delicious, and full of awesome nutrients. This dish is fresh and simple, and you can make it when you have some time on a Sunday if you want to food prep for the week. I usually steam a couple bags of veggies like broccoli or zucchini and take it to work for the week so I always have veggies on hand with fresh herbs and lemon for flavor. It takes the worry out of my day because I don’t have to go searching for lunch somewhere that is a good option for me around where I work, and buying lunch everyday adds up. Feel free to modify this recipe to your tastes!


Protein packed and delicious, many of these can be prepped the night before for easy assembly. The quinoa, eggs, and shrimp are just added protein for great muscle healing, so if you don’t want to make this with a protein the eggs are simple enough and taste amazing with toasted quinoa. I like to serve this on a bed of greens like kale or a side of avocado. Superfood plate anyone?

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total: 22 minutes

Fresh herbs, greek yogurt, toasted quinoa sprinkled in shrimp and egg frittata with spinach and the creamy tang of Greek yogurt.


Fresh herbs, I used dill and some parsley

1/2 cup shrimp, I used canned baby shrimp but if you are worried about canned foods, feel free to use fresh or jumbo shrimp

1 cup baby spinach, julienned

1/4 cup greek yogurt, plain or plain regular yogurt

1/4 cup toasted quinoa, (just place dry quinoa in an oven for 10 minutes or so at 350 degrees)

4 eggs, 2 egg whites, lightly whisked

2 tablespoons nonfat milk

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast for topping or parmesan


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a baking dish with coconut oil or any oil you usually use to bake with. EarthBalance is also a great choice. I used a round pan but feel free to use any baking dish you prefer. Mix all ingredients well except for the toasted quinoa. Pour the frittata mixture into the oiled or buttered dish and place in the oven for 8 or 9 minutes until the frittata is almost done. Add toasted quinoa and parmesan/nutritional yeast on the almost set frittata and place back in the oven to finish cooking, about 5 more minutes.




April 28, 2013

Bean Quesadillas

Mashed beans for a luxurious meal topped with cheese and wrapped in your favorite tortilla. I used spinach flat outs for these because I wanted to add some veggie flavors in my wraps but feel free to use any tortilla you like.


1 cup red kidney beans

1 teaspoon or more of red chili flakes, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon roasted garlic, or more to taste

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons vegetable broth

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 spinach wrap or wrap of your choice

2 slices thinly sliced sharp cheddar or cheese of your choice, Mexican shredded blend would be good here


Heat olive oil in a pan. Add beans, garlic, lemon, and spices to taste. Add veggie broth if you want to add that slow cooked flavor. Cook until beans are heated through. This should take around ten minutes on medium heat. Mash when cool and spread on tortilla. Add cheese. Heat through on pan or microwave.




March 31, 2013

Spring Frittata with Asparagus, Leeks and Sweet Peas

This is a green spring favorite, and since I am also a self diagnosed mushroom addict, I added those as well. Frittatas are a fabulous way to enjoy your veggies and get in a fabulous dose of spring for breakfast. I don’t usually make sweet breakfasts because I am more so a savory person in the morning, but breakfast food is so versatile to me. This is something that would be great paired with a fabulous side salad with massaged kale (balsamic, dijon and black pepper are great together) for a quick easy to reheat lunch (super work  and school friendly). I love delicious meals that have some great nutritional power because who doesn’t love those meals that taste great and do great things for your body? With some green superstars like leeks, peas, asparagus, and mushrooms, you cannot go wrong. Get a gorgeous wedge for breakfast with some soothing mint tea, some coffee with cinnamon and some orange slices or some slices of toast if you want.


Serves 4

5 eggs

2 leeks, cleaned and diced

1 cup fresh English peas

1 /2 cup asparagus spears, cut into bite sized pieces

Goat cheese crumbles, as desired, or cheese of your choice

Fresh herbs, assorted, I used fresh flat leaf parsley and basil

1/2 cup nonfat milk, or whole milk (But I never keep this around the house so I use nonfat and I don’t taste much of a difference)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Greek yogurt, plain

Sea salt as desired

Freshly cracker black pepper, as desired

1 cup baby spinach leaves, julienned

Mushrooms, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish, in your desired shape (round probably looks the prettiest). Spray the baking dish with PAM or coconut oil or olive oil. Whisk eggs and then add all ingredients except the cheese. Pour egg mixture into the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until the mixture has set. Keep an eye on this in case the edges brown quicker in your oven than mine.

Happy spring cooking everyone!



March 26, 2013

Creamy Scrambled Tofu with Fresh Herbs

Tonight was productive. I watched Lars and the Real Girl (incredible by the way, why Ryan Gosling does not have a national holiday named after him is beyond me), planned some recipes to make this week, juiced, went to a meditative but also physically challenging yoga class, perused for the perfect thank you card, found the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe I need to test out on my office before mailing to a dear friend in Chicago, and now I am in bed with a cookbook and some fictional reading to ease my mind before I have to get up and do it all over again. Tomorrow should be exciting though because I am going to a happy hour at one of my favorite places in Philadelphia, Tria, with some college friends, Andrew and Allyson, and maybe I can catch a yoga class before a late movie. Even though I am very very sick of Philadelphia, it is home, and I need to explore as much of it as I can before saying goodbye to it once and for all. I am not sure when that will be, but I never imaged living here for a long time. It isn’t where I want to put roots down, and maybe that is normal for someone who is 23 and can’t imagine being rooted down anywhere, but living here for most of your life really makes it one small town instead of a city. It is the perfect place for some people, it just isn’t the perfect place for me. It’s taken on that charmless charm that only comes about after staring at something too long. You stop seeing the beauty of it. To fix this little dilemma of me underappreciating my little town city, I made a list of happy hours to hit soon with one of my crazy gorgeous best friends and decided to take advantage of the free Art Museum nights coming up.

My family does not eat much of my cooking. They adore my baking mostly because it is sweet and they are suckers for that sort of thing, and surprisingly enough they also like my lightened up baking.

My mom doesn’t enjoy most of my plant centric foods, and she would rather slap a small child than drink one of my green smoothies, even though she needs it more than any other family member. This is one dish she can’t get enough of. Her arteries are thanking her. So for all your picky friends, this one is a winner.


1 package silken tofu

Assorted fresh herbs, I used thyme, parsley, cilantro

Juice of one lemon

1 dollop plain greek yogurt

Chevre, about 3 ounces, or any other soft creamy cheese

1/2 cup jarred red peppers, rinsed

Freshly cracked black pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil


Drain silken tofu and cut into rectangles, and then halve them. Preheat skillet and add olive oil. Add tofu and all ingredients except pepper and cheese. Cook through, about six minutes or until the tofu is browned and golden. Add pepper and cheese and serve with a side of fresh spinach salad or wheat toast.

Good as a breakfast, lunch or dinner.

March 11, 2013

Grocery List

I don’t always go out and buy this every week, but here is a list of what I keep on hand most of the time. The veggies and fruits change depending on the season. As most of you know I can’t really do gluten so I have to keep my pantry stocked with gluten free grains.


  • Quinoa
  • Gluten free orzo
  • Gluten free penne, ribbed
  • Gluten free elbow mac, ribbed
  • Trader Joe’s grain mix
  • Plain steel cut oatmeal


  • Sriracha
  • Tamari, low sodium (this is the gluten free version of soy sauce)
  • Plain and flavored hummus, usually Sabra
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Grey Poupon
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Pam
  • Earth balance buttery spread
  • Black bean hummus
  • Coconut Oil


  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Frozen raspberries
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Prunes
  • Dried figs
  • Pears
  • Lemons
  • Grapefruit
  • Pineapple rings, canned

Veggies and Herbs

  • Spinach
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Watercress
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Frozen cauliflower
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Red and yellow bell peppers
  • Butter lettuce
  • Thyme
  • Kale
  • Black beans
  • Cannelini beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Ginger
  • Kidney beans
  • Celery


  • Eggs, free range and organic if possible
  • Roasted chicken slices, free range and organic if possible
  • Tofu blocks, extra firm and firm
  • Sliced organic free ranged turkey slices
  • Salmon, usually fresh caught and I get the sealed freezer ones
  • Tilapia
  • Halibut
  • Tuna packets, not added sodium, usually herb and garlic single packets
  • Smoked salmon
  • Chicken breasts, Perdue, free range and organic


  • Fork split english muffins, gluten free
  • Flat out spinach light tortilla wraps


  • Laughing Cow light cheese wedges
  • Low moisture low fat mozzarella sticks
  • Sargento light cheddar slices
  • Sargento light pepper jack slices
  • Coconut light milk
  • Light Vanilla soy milk
  • Unsweetened almond milk

Teas and Coffees and Drinks

  • White tea
  • Coconut water
  • Peppermint tea
  • White pomegranate tea
  • Green tea
  • Chai Homemade Spice Mix

Seeds and Nuts

  • Plain almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds

This is a working progress and I might have missed a bunch of things, but I will keep you updated as it goes along.



What are your favorite things to keep on hand?

March 11, 2013

Quinoa Egg Frittata

A veggie loaded superstar that fuels you all morning with a great combination of proteins and nutrients. Also it is so easy, you can make it for the week and it stores great in the fridge for you to warm up every morning.


Serves 6

6 eggs

1/2 cup egg whites

2 cups cooked quinoa

5 baby portobella mushrooms, chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups spinach

2 sprigs parsley, chopped

1/2 cup low fat cheese, I used mozzarella

1 teaspoon pesto

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything except cheese  in a big bowl and pour into a sprayed baking dish. Top with both cheeses and bake for 25 minutes or 30 depending on your oven. Slice into pieces and eat a slice in the morning all week, or great for a crowd!