Monday, October 4, 2010
This recipe also inspired me to start thinking of potatoes as an alternative to pasta or rice as the base for a meal. What toppings do you think would turn a potato (or sweet potato) into a satisfying main dish?
Pesto Potatoes serves 2 l 30 minutes or fewer
A baked potato tastes good 24/7 and fills you up like a meal. Stuffing spuds with tofu, pine nuts, artichoke hearts and Parmesan-laced pesto turns them into a protein-packed one-dish lunch or dinner with a Mediterranean flair. Share this overstuffed treat with an office mate or college roomie, or just save half for later.
1 medium-size baking potato
3 canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I used frozen)
2 Tbs. soft silken tofu
2 Tbs. prepared pesto
2 Tbs. pine nuts
3 purchased croutons, crushed
1. Prick potato 4 or 5 times with fork. Microwave on high 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender in the center. Cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, mash together artichoke hearts, tofu, pesto and pine nuts in bowl. Hold potato in paper towel, and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out flesh, leaving thin layer of potato on skin, and mash it into tofu mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refill both halves of potato, mounding filling. Sprinkle with crushed croutons, and return to microwave. Cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until hot.
PER SERVING: 295 CAL; 10G PROT; 13G TOTAL FAT (2G SAT. FAT); 38G CARB; 2MG CHOL; 639MG SOD; 4G FIBER; 4G SUGARS
recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine http://www.vegetariantimes.com/features/editors_picks/492
Saturday, September 18, 2010
The Farmers Market
Before entering the restaurant, we browsed and sampled at the Farmer's Market in the restaurant's parking lot that runs Fridays from 4-8pm through Sept 24th. Although it was a small market, it had a lot to offer. We thoroughly enjoyed samples including barbecue blue-cheese nuts (from Sweet Sophie's), honey caramel and citrus truffles (Katherine Anne Confections), fresh salsas and golden tomato jam (from Harvest Moon Organic produce) and Rain Organic Vodka. There were also several vendors with handmade jewelry and crafts.
Organic Rooftop "Farm"
Next, we went up to the restaurant's rooftop deck to explore the certified organic rooftop "farm". The produce and herbs grown here are used in dishes served at both Uncommon Ground locations. We spotted vine after vine of cherry tomatoes, countless peppers, fresh sage, and "companion plants" of marigolds. In a secluded corner of the deck, several bee hives were abuzz - serving as a means to pollinate the garden, help the in-crisis bee population, and also providing honey for the restaurant to serve.
Finally, with expectations very high, we entered the restaurant through the front doors, plastered with proof of the many awards and certifications they've won for their both their food and their ecological accomplishments. And this is where our shining experience started to go dim.
The menu was speckled with names of local farms that also provide many of the ingredients. And while not a vegetarian restaurant, there were at least 3 appetizers and 3 entrees (orchiette, gnocchi, and a portobello sandwich) which I could choose from.
We started with an appetizer of summer-vegetable dumplings. We raved over the sweet, crisp bits of corn garnishing the plate, but sandly the garnish was all that shone. The vegetables in the dumpling lacked flavor and were stifled further by the overcooked wonton exterior.
My next course was the gnocchi. The gnocchi itself had no flavor. While I did enjoy the sauteed patty-pan squash, mixed veggies, and generous sprinkling of fresh parmesan mixed with the gnocchi, the dish simply didn't meld.
My boyfriend said his salmon was wonderful, but based on the underwhelming majority of the meal, we decided not to bother ordering dessert.
Regardless, it's still a uniquely green place in the city, and I will give them another chance someday, but with lower expectations. I've had better luck before at their Wrigleyville restaurant, and though that location lacks a farmers market and garden, it's full calendar of musical performances makes up for it.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.
--A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Hate to find out that the plastic cups, plates, forks, etc you bought aren't recyclable?
Check for the recycle symbol on the product in the store before you buy. Compare products to find one that's not just a good price, but also can be recycled locally.
Although this seems obvious, I'd never thought of this before until I learned it from her.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
On the way home from the airport, I was lucky enough to ride in a Prius taxi. After the ride, I started noticing Prius taxis everywhere - counting two yesterday in a 5 minute walk to the train. Every little bit helps, and I hope to be seeing more hybrid taxis around soon!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Now, here's an interesting concept - CHEW Chicago's tour of Lincoln Park's most health-minded retailers. Although I've taken a number of visitors to the farmer's market and whole foods market myself, it never crossed my mind that tours of these places might make a good business. As a local I've been to most of these places before and would be unlikely to ever take the tour, but I think this could be a great orientation for anyone new in town. What do you think of the idea? Love it or Hate it? See below for more information.
Excerpted from Groupon.com:
CHEW Chicago—"CHEW" standing for "Complete Health Education & Wellness"—frees feasters from fast-food-blanketed prisons of bad eating habits with numerous nutrition-minded programs and workshops. On the Taste of Wellness Tour, guests will embark on a three- to four-hour walking tour of a Chicago neighborhood and its healthy hot spots. CHEW's Lincoln Park Taste of Wellness Tour, for example, hits the L. Frank Baum–haunted streets of Lincoln Park for a three-mile tour capable of burning up to 500 calories. Highlights include the smoothie-and-yogurt-packed Starfruit Café, the fresh fare of Karyn's Raw, the natural beauty products of LUSH, and a tour of Whole Foods Market (lunch is available in the store's café, but is not included with this deal). Unwind with a 20-minute introduction to yoga from Infuse Yoga Spa, stretch out at Lululemon, and pilot through Pilates with the aid of Balance Health + Wellness. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, Taste of Wellness tour-takers will also tour the Green City Market, sampling local, sustainable eats while quizzing farmers about episodes from the second season of Fringe, which returns to FOX this fall.Included with the Lincoln Park tour is a reusable CHEW Chicago goodie bag of snacks and coupons, as well as a complimentary nutrition consultation from CHEW Chicago founder Jessica Marie. Tours are limited to 16 people per tour, and guests are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and asked to show up on time when taking the tour. Dig the family sneakers out from storage, affix a watch to one of your limbs, and join CHEW Chicago on a health-helping hike through the city's wealth of wellness.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
While Cibo express is far from perfect – the prices are high and several items did not have price labels– its offerings are a big improvement from the usual airport fare. The shelves are stocked with all natural products (like Late July Dark Chocolate sandwich cookies) and international chocolates (Ritter Sport - yum!). Their vegetarian sandwiches have flair - like a sandwich with homemade boursin cheese, apples, cheddar, and arugula. And most importantly to me – to my knowledge they are the only vendor in the airport that serves what I am always craving – “fake meat”!
The Chicago O’hare Cibo Express has fresh food from Soul Vegetarian Restaurant on Chicago’s southside. Tonight I dined on “Barbecue Bites”, seitan sticks in a sweet barbecue sauce, for $5.99. Also on offering from Soul Vegetarian were a Jerk Tofu Wrap and a “Buffalo” plate with buffalo “chicken” and celery sticks. For $2.50 more I added a healthy side of Cibo's own roasted root vegetables.
According to the website, Cibo Express also has a location in O’hare’s Terminal 3 by gate H1.