Friday, July 30, 2010

July, July

Where oh where has this month gone?? Lost in my whirlwind life! After coming back to Boston from home, i jumped right back into the swing of things!

Teresa Ann Miller and I have been best friends since we were 5 years old. We're most definitely soul sisters and I was so excited to have her come visit Boston and show her the sites.
Run with It We're both running the Chicago Marathon in October together and it was unbelievably nice to have someone to run all of my training runs with. She's a beast, and really pushed me to up my pace.
how can i compete?
like true warriors, we get in fights with sidewalks
I had to show her the greatest running store of all time- marathon sports Where I decided to commit to a pair of minimalist shoes-Saucony Progrid Kinvara
obviously in hot pink
a pretty bad-a 7.7 oz
I'm going to gradually incorporate more minimalist running in my marathon training-look for a post about why soon!

You can find me Poolside-Hotel Indigo Newton Just got so much better with this cooler-than-thou pool and cabanas.

Drink Up: Harpoon brewery tour-tastes of all their beers on tap fo free every day at 4

The best moscow mule in the world at Drink
Eats: We had so many good meals, both out and at my apartment.
It doesn't hurt to have lots of foodie friends who eat grilled cheese with you and then bring you homemade low-sugar apricot preserves
Dinner at Orinocco is always delicious, especially when you have this hot waitress.

Sarah and Steph are Arepa Girls
Teresa and Annabelle and delicious drinks
Retro: Candle Pin Bowling at Saccos is my new favorite activity. Pair with Flatbread pizza-perfection

Bakery Blues: My days at Clear Flour are coming to an end soon. This little bakery will always have a very special place and my heart, and I highly recommend you check it out, especially since it was just named "BestBakery In Boston" by Boston Magazine! I have really enjoyed working there, but with training, school and other things going on in my life, I can't work 40 hrs a week anymore. I have met amazing people there and will be visiting often though!
Guiltless. Stephanie Horton and I launched a new blog which revolves around food and body image, we'd love for you to check it out here or become a fan on facebook!

One last parting thought, something I know:

What do you have planned for August??

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No Longer a Hungry Girl

Want to eat deepfried chicken everyday and not gain any weight? Hungry girl to the rescue! A couple of weeks ago there was an article in the NYTimes about my ex-best-friend, HungryGirl. In fact, I still considered her an acquaintance, until I read this quote from her, and realized we no longer have much of anything in common.
"Hungry Girl is like the Forever 21 of food,” she said, referring to the discount clothing chain where the stock is inexpensive, constantly changing and produced under conditions that a conscientious consumer might rather not think about.
While yes, i do buy clothes at forever 21, i'd rather not have the things i put IN my body be of that caliber. For me food is good. Food needs to be satisfying, wholesome, flavorful and REAL.
Is pretending like fiber-one chicken breast taste like deep fried chicken going to help solve your life problems? Why not recondition those taste buds to love fresh vegetables and real food instead?

Almost everyday people ask me if i feel restrictive by eating a vegan, plant-based diet-if i “miss” dairy, eggs, meat, etc. For me, this switch has been the complete opposite of restriction. By turning away from the staples of my previous “diet” ( slow-churned, sugar-free, ice-cream, coolwhip free, microwaved egg-whites, whey protein up the wahzoo, and spenda-rific lite yogurt, and lots of hungry girl) I have embraced a beautiful new food world that includes exotic, wholesome, exciting, delicious, fresh, REAL food!

A study was just published that showed that subjects who ate foods they perceived as "light" or "diet" ended up consuming more afterward, because they were not satisfied with their meals. Not only will you probably will you not be satisfied with the food you just ate, but once you eat the food you were truly craving, that "light" piece of food adds into your caloric intake for the day.

My friend Janet wrote an excellent rebuttal post to the New York Times article on Hungry Girl here, and i wanted to share some of her eloquent words.

Is it really, really worth eating this stuff in order to be “healthy” and save a few calories? You know what else is low-calorie, satisfying, and way tastier and better for you than gelatinous, fishy noodles or a tiny portion of Oreo-like “cookies”? Vegetables. Air popped popcorn. An apple. Kale chips. Strawberries. With only a small amount of effort, you have so many options, and the rewards are so great. The way to be healthy – and even to reduce your calories – isn’t in the center aisles of your local megamarket. It’s at the Farmers Market and fresh food sections and in your kitchen, where food comes from the ground, instead of from packages. I’m not saying I don’t buy packaged foods – I most certainly, carefully do. I’m definitely not opposed to treats. But if you’re going to buy packaged food (which we almost all do), look at the ingredients. Think about the material the item is packaged in and what will happen to it once you’re through. Make sure you know what’s in there and not just what’s not. TASTE your food. Buy the real thing.

Instead of tricking our hungry bodies, let’s feed it what it wants and needs-REAL food!

Are you a HungryGirl Groupie or do you prefer your food closer to the source? Remember-no judgement here, I'm just curious!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Foodbuzz 24x24: Grown Up Grilled Cheese

Two things that always remind me of being a kid are grilled cheese and lemonade. I doubt any of us are lacking in childhood grilled cheese experiences. Whether it was a slice of kraft american cheese stuck between two pieces of wonderbread served with hot campbell's tomato soup or my little sister's inspired grilled cheese with mashed potato inside. But what happens to grilled cheese once it grows up? How can we transform an ordinary sandwich into something mature, and sophisticated? On this fine July night we attempted just that with Grown Up Grilled Cheese.

I have had the pleasure of starting a small series of food-inspired dinner parties that revolve around a central type of food with the lovely men of Observational Gastrophysics and Friends.
First there was Haute oats, then there was [Sushi] Rollin with my homies. John McGee, Naveen Sinha and Sarah Douglas were the geniuses behind Grown-Up Grilled Cheese and we picked a date that fit into all of our schedules and ran with it.

Apparently July 24th worked out well for Foodbuzz as well, and soon after our decision was made I received their email for 24x24 Submissions. Hey-if we were going to have a grilled-cheese party, might as well also raise some money for a charitable cause! Normally Foodbuzz will give the winners $250 reimbursement for their party, but this month that money goes to victims of the Gulf Coast Oil Spill. I can get behind that!

Who: Good Friends, and lovers of all things food and cocktail-related. a delightful mix of Stanford Alums, Harvard Grad students, BU Undergrads, Bio/chemistry/physics/nutrition/pre-med academics, and artists. Bright, Brilliant People.
What: Grown Up Grilled Cheese- DIY Grilled Cheese. Bring your own cheese, and a topping, and don't forget what you learned in Kindergarten about sharing.
Why: because we're mature, but still nostalgic
Where: The McGee-Douglas Residence, Somerville, MA.
When: July 24th, 2010. A very hot and humid day in the metro boston area.

On a hot evening, one must cool down before they begin to heat up the house even more. My solution? Lemonade-the quintessential summer beverage, but to keep with the theme, with an adult twist.

Rhubarb Vodka Lemonade
  • 1 bottle of fine Vodka (I used Karlsson's Gold Potato Vodka)
  • 2 stems of Rhubarb
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • Seltzer Water
  • Sweetener of choice to taste.
8 hours prior to party, chop rhubarb and immerse in vodka. Let sit. Vodka will turn a lovely shade of pale pink, at which point you can either remove life-less rhubarb or keep it in place. In a pitcher mix vodka, fresh lemon juice, seltzer water, and sweetener of choice ( I used stevia), until you reach desired tartness. Best Served over ice, outside.

If you don't already, find a friend that has a porch and roof access.

A bit on the warm side for hot tomato soup, we first cooled down with gazpacho and adult lemonade.

The siren song of gooey cheese lured us from our nice rooftop perch back down into the kitchen as guests took control of the stove and pulled together the pieces of what everyone brought, and assembled their own unique grilled cheese creations.
Bread-From Clear Flour Bakery- Olive Rolls, Whole Wheat, Sourdough, Pain Meunier, Seeded 7 Grain. Also a homemade loaf of cheesy bread.
Cheese- Dubliner, Vegetable Ash, Munster, Brie, Jalopeno, Swiss, Gruyere, Brie, Buffalo wing cheese, tomato basil Cheddar, goat cheese, havarti and too many more to keep track of. Formaggio's Kitchen saw a small dent from this party I'm sure.

Add-Ins- kiwi, apple, tomato, spicy cranberry relish, apple cider jam, onion jam, 77% dark chocolate, Wild Boar Bacon ("Why bother eating it if it didn't try to kill you first?"), pico de gallo, new mexican green chilis, peppadew peppers, mushrooms, avocado.
Drinks: The Cocktail enthusiasts (mostly John McGee, John Rutherford and Michael Betancourt) kept all the guests' drink needs satisfied, recreated the classics and were innovative with basil, creme de violette, and spicy cranberry relish (not all at once!)
Bourbon, tequila and chartreuse were emphasized and drawn from this beautiful bookshelf/liquor cabinet
Pabst and were also spied in the fridge. Bros may have iced bros.
Bubbly was also popped

Turn on some tunes [Everything from Theivery Corporation to JayZ] and let everyone get a grillin' (due to some silly building rules, we rocked the skillet method of grilling cheese)

Sandwich Spottings:
  • Brie and Apple Cider Jam
  • Smores-marshmellow with hershey chocolate on 7 grain
  • Sourdough with dubliner cheese, wild boar bacon and apple slices
  • Chedder and Mozzerella with mushrooms
  • Buffalo Wing Cheese on Whole Wheat
  • Kiwi with goats milk cheese
  • Open-faced with pico de gallo
the best thing about grilled cheese is that it can be eaten formally, sitting down. or it can become more casual and be eaten standing up.
and if you can't decide what to make, make several small!
you thought grilled cheese couldn't be sexy? think again my friend.
john and michael win for the first sandwich made.
Teresa gets extra points for traveling the furthest for this party. Wyo-> Bos
Good people, good music, good bread, good cheese, good drinks-what more does one need?

But you don't eat cheese.... Because I am not a cheese gourmet and definitely do not want to get in the way of people and their cheese of choice Naveen and I delved alone into the realm of vegan cheeses
daiya (which I find taste surprisingly like cheap chedder popcorn, also eaten as a youngin)
and Vegan Gourmet
1. Pain Meunier with Daiya, granny smith apple and apple cider jelly. Sweet, tart and savory.
2. a mexican grilled cheese, also known as a quesadillo, with new mexican peppers, fresh pico de gallo, and spicy vegan cheese. Best dipped into cold gazpacho.

Cooldown After making a very hot kitchen even hotter with lots of bodies, and stove heat, we all escaped up to the roof to cool off, cocktails in hand, under the full moon. Catching up with old friends, making new friends, and enjoying the night.

Dessert: For the final course, a round of smore's grilled cheese. Marshmallows and Hershey's chocolate, just for old times sake.

Cheers Dears!
here's to a quick oil spill relief and future dinner parties!

A HUGE thank you to everyone that came, and to John and Sarah for letting us use their lovely apartment. You are all loved.

Need inspiration for your next dinner party? check out past 24x24-there are some great ideas!

What's the best dinner party you have ever attended or hosted? We're working on August's theme now!

*** this is much more of a foodie post than a nutrition post, and is by no means entirely plant-based. Part of a healthy relationship with food and your body is your ability to enjoy a meal, to enjoy time spent with friends and the quality of food presented rather than worrying and obsessing over the nutritional content of a meal. If you're just dying to know more about nutrition of cheese, i ran across this yesterday. Check it out***