My Blog on WCCO-TV: Bite of Minnesota

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sugar Topped with Sugar and Wrapped in Sugar

Here's a little something I made for Ryan's work potluck last week...

I love making candy sushi. It's fun making the sushi and eating all the "scraps". Let me warn you...too much sugar WILL keep you up at night.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Roasted Broccoli and Tofu with Garlic and Cumin

Sunday night dinners should be a bit on the healthy side for one reason: to get you set up for healthy eating throughout the week. We were so tempted to grab a couple pints and some greasy food at a local Irish hangout in an attempt to extend our weekend, but we resisted the temptation! Instead, we got to work in the kitchen to make one of my favorite broccoli dishes, Roasted Broccoli and Tofu with Garlic and Cumin.

It’s quite easy to put together and only uses a bowl, 2 baking sheets, a knife and a cutting board. Here’s what you do:

1.) Press 1 pound of tofu (I wrap mine tightly in a towel and use my heavy Dutch oven pan to press it for 1 hour)
2.) Mix together 5 minced garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds, and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
3.) Trim 1 ½ pounds broccoli into small florets. Put on a baking sheet and toss with oil/garlic mixture.
4.) Cut pressed tofu into ½-inch cubes. Put on a second baking sheet and toss with oil/garlic mixture.
5.) Bake at 400° for approximately 30 minutes or until tofu is crispy on the outside (but still soft on inside) and broccoli is roasted.

I also had a packet of dried porcini mushrooms in my cupboard, so I made up a mushroom brown rice pilaf to serve alongside the broccoli.

Ryan and I both love this dish! It's low maintenance and rich in veggies. It also makes for great leftovers as it's equally good cold. I'm not much of a fan of cumin in ground form, but for some reason I have no problem with cumin seeds, so I urge you to try this dish even if you're not a cumin fan.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Superbowl Food & Zukay Live Foods Review

I’m finally posting our Superbowl eats! We didn’t go anywhere or have anyone over this year, so it was a pretty low key evening. Usually, we spend the Superbowl with friends or family, so it was quite odd to have an absence of noise and conversation!

We kept the food prep pretty easy. I just received an issue of Eating Well magazine and was eager to try their Chile Con Queso dip. We loaded it with onions and tomatoes, so ours turned out pretty chunky. We both agreed that it was a good low-fat queso dip that didn’t use processed cheese food weirdness, but it wasn’t totally spectacular.

Since I bought 2 bags of tortilla chips, we had plenty to use with my gifts from the folks over at Zukay Live Foods. Scott contacted me a couple weeks back asking if I’d be willing to try their products and I said, “of course!!”

Here's what arrived at my doorstep (yes, I know this pic is sideways - blogger is acting up):

Zukay Live Foods produce both salsas and relishes chock full of veggies and live active cultures (all that good bacteria). I could tell immediately that they used fresh ingredients – their ingredient label lists “tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, green peppers, water, salt and live active cultures”. I tried both the mild and hot salsa and found the mild to have a more chunky-tomato taste and feel while the hot salsa had more finely chopped veggies. I didn’t detect any heat in the hot salsa, it just had more flavor dimensions.

Remember how these salsas have live active cultures in them? Well, it causes them to be a bit fizzy and bubbly. I experienced this right away when opening the hot salsa as it bubbled over the rim like a glass of champagne that was over-poured. I was told this is normal, so no worries here.
I was really excited to try these and had read the info on the product possibly bubbling, so I felt I was quite prepared. I let the product sit for awhile to calm down, but it was just as active as ever! The salsa would actually bubble while I was bringing the chip to my mouth, which was totally different. Overall I didn’t really like the fizzy taste and feel in my mouth. I do have to say that knowing there were healthy bacteria and fresh veggies in the salsa kept me eating this for awhile.

Zukay also makes relishes and I had both the Horseradish Dill and Garlic Dill flavors. I’m going to be honest – I don’t like dill. Love horseradish and garlic, but really don’t like dill. So, I was a bit hesitant to try these. I was happily surprised that they weren’t fizzy like the salsas, nor did they taste bubbly. Both flavors had a lot of veggies in them and they tasted very similar. I didn’t get any heat from the horseradish one like I would have expected. If you like cucumbers and dill, these would be awesome products for you! Zukay products are sold in the Northeast and in Northern California or you can buy them online. They ship in a nice little cooler all ready for you to eat. The bonus to their products is that the label can be easily removed so you can reuse the jars!

To round out the game day spread, we also had a bit of dessert. I used up my last Tastefully Simple cheese ball thingy to make a key lime cream cheese dessert and served them with sliced apples and bunny grahams. This was a great little lunch snack for the next day too, but I swear I’m not buying anymore cheese ball mixes – it’s time to move onto more healthy items! We felt so unhealthy after mowing on chips, cheese, cheese and more cheese. At least we had the healthy salsas to help us out a bit!

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