RECIPE: Quinoa…Keeen Whaaaa’? Q-U-I-N-O-A

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Quinoa with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese, served with roasted potatoes.

Q-U-I-N-O-A (pronounced “Keen-wah”) is perhaps the holiest grain of them all, in terms of health freaks, fanatics, vegans, and vegetarians. What’s funny is that this “grain” isn’t even a grain at all, but instead holds the title of “pseudocereal” being that it is a species of goosefoot, a grain-like crop that is grown primarily for its seeds. What’s even weirder than the afore-stated information is that this stuff (unlike much other “health” food) actually tastes good – no, not just good, but great, awesome, delicious, stupendous, if you will. If prepared correctly, quinoa has a nutty flavor, which supersedes the bland qualities of rice and pasta, and instead lends flavor to any of the vegetables, cheeses and spices that you’d like to scatter within it. What’s even better about all that info.? The fact that quinoa truly is a very healthy food item, being that it has a very high protein content, a healthy handful of amino acids, and contains a tasty source for iron, dietary fiber, and magnesium. No wonder the Incas referred to quinoa as the “mother of all grains.”

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A Cage Free Rowan

Rowan University (the college that I’m like >>this close<< to graduating from) is, much to my surprise, taking a stand against the food coming from the Sodexho-run dining halls, particularly the eggs that are being used in the Rowan Marketplace. Now, I have to say, I nixed my college meal plan a good three years ago because the limited (or should I say, barely there) quantity of fresh, healthy, and whole food (and by whole food I mean food that I can look at and clearly indicate what kind of animal it came from) was too much to bear. I was happy to read in the past issue of The Whit, however, that the Progressive Student Alliance was taking their turns to stand up against the nasty dining hall and petition against their use of caged chicken eggs.

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Interview with City Paper’s Food Editor Drew Lazor

Although the fact has been alluded to in the past, I find it necessary, especially in helping you folks to understand the context of this post, to remind you that I am a dedicated intern at City Paper. My time, so far, working at C.P. has afforded me the opportunity to meet some fairly interesting individuals, of whom include the paper’s very own associate editor, web editor, and food columnist, Drew Lazor.

Having spent some time in the office now, watching this guy snack on everything from Pocky Sticks to a gigantic, clump of licorice coal (which I must state was largely the product of Listing Editor, Holly Otterbein’s persuasion) and perusing his writings on the food blog (which are accompanied by Felicia D’Ambrosio’s writings), I’ve found that Drew Lazor, perhaps to some people’s disappointment, is a regular guy who happens to write really well about food. Never overly critical, and rarely announced as a picky eater who’s too good to chow on a greasy sub ever now and then, Drew is the furthest thing from an elitist food snob who has his nose too high in the air to even see what’s on his plate, which makes me wonder:  How’d he get his start?

Through some simple persuasion in the form of cookies, I got Drew to answer my questions about food blogs, what it’s like to be a food columnist and what his advice is for the foodie in training.

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RECIPE: Banana Nut Muffins

For whatever reason I’ve recently been craving anything possessingdscn1737 bananas, nuts, and sugar. So, to appease my needs I’ve been taking those slightly browned bananas that hadn’t quite made it to my morning bowl of cereal and creating different versions of banana breads, muffins and the like. While all the recipes I’ve tried have turned out good, I’ve found that the the most satisfying is this simple recipe (which I modified slightly) for banana nut muffins. There aren’t any tricks, twists, or unnecessary doodads to these baked treats. Just simple comfort food served warm with some butter. Continue reading

The Illustrious and Ever So Industrious French Press

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I love coffee. The taste, the smell, the copious amounts of caffeine are all reasons as to why I work to imbibe this delectable liquid each and every day. And having worked at a coffee shop for a coupla’ years, I’ve come to learn the ins and outs of what makes a good brew good and what makes a crappy brew taste like tar. Part of understanding how to make coffee taste good however, is learning what the best vessel to cook and stew your beans in is, which brings me to the topic of my post today:  The French Press. Continue reading

NPR says the darndest things (about Chinese food)

Speeding home from my internship to class on Wednesday afternoons I almost always seem to come across an awesome interview being held (see Mark Bittman post) on, the only radio station I really listen to, NPR. Today was no exception, my friends, and I learned some fascinating facts about the beloved Chinese restaurant (the most compelling being that there are more Chinese restaurants in the U.S. than K.F.C.s, McDonalds and Burger Kings combined!).

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Robin Young, host of Here & Now, revisited a conversation a correspondent of her show had with Jennifer 8. Lee, author of the recently released book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, to talk about the book, what she sights as the differences between “Chinese Chinese” food and “Chinese American” food, and why she thinks Chinese food is as American as apple pie. Continue reading

Spring Break Eats

What did I eat while on Spring Break? Well funny you ask, because I took some pictures!

Acai Berry Sorbet with Fresh Fruit and Granola, another treat from the 101 Diner. I didn't even hear my older brother order this, but I'm glad he did. The sorbet was rich and not overly sweet and the granola gave great texture to the dish. P.S. Isn't my niece precious?!

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