Football season starts for real this week with the first week of college games followed by the NFL season kickoff next week.
I figured you all might need some help with game day snacks and it’s been awhile since I’ve done a Tuesday Treat giveaway so I’m giving away three of these cool little crockpots!
I love these triple container crockpots because you can easily keep a few different dips or foods warm in the same container. It also comes with a nifty travel container which makes it awesome for tailgating.
Last weekend a friend took Betsy and I out to Dim Sum and then we went hunting for a good Asian market in the Denver area. I love Asian markets so much just because of the wide variety of stuff you can find there. The same ingredients also tend to be much cheaper than at a normal American grocery store.
While we were wondering around we noticed these huge bags of lychee fruits for just a few bucks. There must have been 100 fruits in each bag. I couldn’t help myself and grabbed a bag of them. I really didn’t know what I was going to do with the little guys because I had never used them before, but I figured I could find something fun.
Betsy and I ended up just eating most of them as a quick snack, but I saved a few to make this bad boy.
It’s no secret that this time of year there is an abundance of zucchini. If you don’t grow it, you can get it for super-cheap in stores and markets. To be honest, zucchini isn’t a vegetable that I use a lot. I don’t love it when it gets mushy and I find it to be a bit on the bland side.
What I do love though is zucchini bread! This version is almost like a coffee cake, but somewhat lighter. It has a nice light caramel taste though due to one little trick: browned butter. It’s a pretty easy batter to toss together and so taking a few extra minutes to give the brown the butter is totally worth it and pays huge dividends in the flavor department.
A friend here in Denver offered to take Betsy and I out to Dim Sum last weekend and we eagerly accepted. I hadn’t been to Dim Sum in a long time and was looking forward to stuffing my face. If you’ve never had Dim Sum, it’s a popular (typically brunch) style of eating in Chinese restaurants where you order your food off of carts that zip around the room.
I love it not just because the food is delicious, but because of the chaos of the event. As soon as you sit down, carts storm your table and have all sorts of dumplings, rice dishes, fried foods, and all kinds of fun foods. We completely stuffed our faces and the final bill was like $15/person. Not bad!
After I was done I had to go home and chug a gallon of water because I felt like I had ingested about a pound of salt!
One thing that is prominent in a lot of the very dishes that I had at dim sum is MSG (SHOCK!). As it happens, yesterday a reader emailed me this amazing article from Buzzfeed on MSG. It’s probably one of the better articles I’ve ever read on that particular site. The short of it is that the rumor that MSG is necessarily bad for you is pretty much made up. Whether you realize it or not, you probably eat MSG every day (ever had Doritos?). Anyway, the article is long but definitely worth a read if you have fears, or want to learn more, about MSG.
My favorite quote from the article is about halfway through and pretty much sums up my thoughts on the issue:
“Simply put, the foods that provide an average American his or her FDA-estimated half-gram of MSG daily are not healthy. But not because of MSG.”
This Week’s Meal Plan
This week’s meal plan is all about farmer’s market ingredients. There are some fun, easy, and delicious recipes that feature zucchini, peaches, cherries, and a killer stir-fry that uses all kinds of wonderful veggies.
If you don’t already subscribe to the meal plans, you can sign up here!
Honey-Sweetened Peach Chutney – Peaches are at their best this time of year and if you have a spare few hours, grab a few boxes of peaches and make a good jam or chutney. This one caught my eye this week. (@ Food in Jars)
Avocado Health Facts- Betsy and I eat a lot of avocados. We burn through 4-5 a week to be honest. That said, I didn’t know some of the stuff on this list which will just encourage me to eat more of them! (@ Huff Post)
Connect with me!
Throughout the week I love chatting with people and sharing fun and interesting stuff around the web.
Let it be known! The Internet (or at least this corner of it) is not completely obsessed with cheese. At least I can assume that’s why the grilled cheese didn’t win the poll last week. You lovely readers went for a much more practical quick pasta sauce that was super easy to make and really flavorful.
I kind of messed up the sauce on this pasta from what the original directions were, but it turned out fine. The sauce gets a lot of flavor from chopped olives and capers and you can serve it with lots of different pastas. The original was served with campanelle, but I served it with rigatoni.
For about thirty minutes of work, this pasta is a fantastic weeknight meal!
It has been a long time since I’ve done a Guess the Food. I was wondering through Sprouts recently and spotted these guys and figured it might be fun if to see if people have actually looked at the ingredients in them.
I think these things are very popular with young adult professionals (and probably others). I know before I started cooking regularly, my shopping lists would be lousywith these things. I would burn through a bunch during the week.
The product itself checks a lot of supposedly healthy boxes. It uses mostly organic ingredients, non-GMO stuff, and has no preservatives or anything. That may or may not help you guess the food!
I’ll try not to give away too much while working through this nutritional info. I can tell you that I would never eat just one of these even though that’s the serving size.
This “food” has a pretty good amount of sodium in it for how small it is. There are products that are worse in the same line, but that’s the only thing that stood out to me as possibly an issue. Sure, there is some fat and stuff, but nothing too troubling to me. I would eat this any day of the week.
The thing that can’t be described by the nutritional info is cost. Just one of these guys will set you back $2.50 which is pretty pricey considering what it is and that you can easily make it at home.
This company really wants you to know that their ingredients are organic. I’m a fan of some organic stuff, but to be honest, a lot of stuff on their list isn’t a priority for me. Organic Wheat Gluten? Ok… I guess.
The nicest thing about this ingredient list is I can work through all the ingredients without consulting with Wikipedia! I call that a win!
Organic pinto beans – Normal old beans, except organic. These are the kind of beans that are typically used in refried beans.
Organic whole wheat and wheat flour – I like that they use real flour in this product instead of enriched white flour.
Filtered water – It’s water, but more expensive.
Organic brown rice – A great ingredient. This is pretty much all good food in this sucker.
Organic tomato puree – This is the easiest ingredient list ever.
Expeller Pressed High Oleic Safflower and/or Sunflower Oil - This has a long name, but is actually the higher end of oils. It’s a colorless and flavorless oil.
Organic onions and bell peppers – Good veg although pretty far down on the list. There is more oil than onions and bell peppers.
Organic sweet rice flour – A different kind of flour made out of rice. Not exactly sure what they use this second flour for, but my guess is as a binder of some sort.
Sea salt – Fancy salt.
Spices – Who knows… I would guess some cumin and paprika at a minimum.
Organic Wheat Gluten – Just straight up gluten which I’m sure they use as a thickener and binder.
Organic garlic – I can tell you that I use more garlic than they do when I make these!
Spanakopita is one of my favorite dishes and I’ve had a history with it on this site. I’ve since done some fun riffs on the traditional Greek dish like a pizza version. This is yet another take on it and actually the easiest of them.
It’s a quick meal and really tasty and interesting. The filling sets up a bit in the quesadilla because of the eggs, but since there is some good mozzarella cheese, it gets melty also.