Apr
21

Earth Day Eats

by

In honor of Earth Day, here are a few of the SacFoodies’ favorite earth-friendly eats:

Megan Foster: When it comes to beef, grass fed is all I eat. My favorite brand is SunFed Beef (particularly because my fiancé raises the cattle!). I like that SunFed beef is grass fed, locally raised on California ranches and sustainable. I feel good knowing that the animals are born and raised in wide open spaces, handled with care and consume only the wild grasses nature intended them to forage on. It’s available locally, too!

cow

Maria Kniestedt: I love supporting certified farmers’ markets. My favorite is the one on Sutter Street in Historic Folsom. Not only do I get fresh local produce, I love seeing what’s in season and getting to know the people who produce the food I feed my family. It’s one of the ways we can support and preserve California’s family farms.Farmers Market

When we posed the question to friends and family, no one was shy about sharing their favorite ways to support eco-friendly food. Here were a few more suggestions:

  • Farm Fresh to You offers home and office delivery of organic produce in various sizes for surprisingly affordable prices.
  • Many grocery stores offer sustainable products, such as Wild Planet’s Wild Albacore Tuna.Tuna

Tell us, how do you support Earth Day, every day?

 

Share | Tags: · · ·
Apr
14

Top 5 Healthy Packaged Foods for Work

by

I’m all for eating whole, just plucked from the ground foods, but realistically, sometimes you have to rely on your packaged friends. When it comes to fueling the workday grind, it’s best to come prepared with a nutritious emergency stock. Maybe you didn’t have time to make it to the grocery store or farmer’s market this week, or maybe you simply left your lunch in the home fridge (been there, done that…too many times).

Thankfully, there are plenty of packaged foods that pack flavor, nutrients and all-around good vibes. Here are my top 5 workday staples!

#1: FAGE Total 0% (6 oz.)

Photo courtesy of Fage

Ingredients: Grade A pasteurized skimmed milk, live active yogurt cultures (L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei).

Comments: So rich, so creamy and a terrific blank canvas for a variety of toppings. Trust me, I’m not afraid of fat (see my post about Bulleproof Coffee), I’ve just really come to love the mildly tart taste of Total 0%. The 6 oz. size is perfect for controlling portions and it packs a whopping 18 grams of protein. Plus, the live active cultures make for one happy gut.

#2: KIND Healthy Grains® Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds

KIND Healthy Grains Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds

Photo courtesy of KIND

Ingredients: Whole grain blend (oats, brown rice, oat flour, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa), dried cane syrup, canola oil, chia seeds, maple syrup, molasses, brown rice syrup, natural flavor, sea salt, Vitamin E (to maintain freshness).

Comments: This gluten-free, non-GMO and slightly sweet concoction is a slice of crunchy heaven. It boasts five super grains that are rich in nutrients including fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. If I don’t have fresh fruit on hand, I like to top my FAGE Total 0% with 2 tablespoons of these clusters.

#3: Justin’s Maple Almond Butter

Photo courtesy of Justin’s

Ingredients: Dry roasted almonds, maple sugar, palm fruit oil (sustainably sourced), sea salt.

Comments: This stuff is seriously a-maz-ing. I like to pair a tablespoon of it with a banana or apple, but more often than not, I enjoy a spoonful solo for a mid-day energy boost. You know it’s good when the founder himself, the Justin, claims that it’s the most perfect tasting nut butter on the planet.

#4: Roasted & Salted Wonderful Pistachios

Roasted & Salted Wonderful Pistachios

Photo courtesy of Wonderful Pistachios

Ingredients: Pistachios, sea salt.

Comments: The chip-filled break room doesn’t stand a chance–when salty cravings call, I always reach for these little green beauties. We’re fortunate to have Wonderful Pistachios as a client and my office is constantly stocked with all kinds of pistachio goodies. I love that in-shell pistachios take longer to eat, which encourages me to slowww down and be more conscious of what I’ve eaten.

#5: Yogi Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy™

Photo courtesy of Yogi

Ingredients: Assam black tea, green maté tea leaf, lemongrass, green tea leaf extract, lemon myrtle, natural and organic flavors, stevia leaf, essential oils, citric acid, ashwagandha, basil leaf, shankpushpi leaf, ginseng and eleuthero root extract, eleuthero root, natural orange flavor, natural tangerine flavor, natural lotus flower flavor, organic orange peel oil.

Comments: Okay, this tea isn’t technically a “food,” but it’s most definitely one of my afternoon staples. The harmonizing and citrusy aroma helps energize and elevate my mood without fail. It also helps that each tea bag comes with a cute little inspiring message, i.e. “Be proud of who you are.” Thanks, Yogi!

Share | Tags: · ·
Apr
11

Game of Thrones Kickoff Recipes

by

With a few Game of Thrones fans here in the SacFoodies office, we thought it would be a great idea to do a roundup of some of the coolest G.O.T. themed dishes and drinks we could find. So get ready to wow your guests at Sunday’s season premiere – these picks are sure to impress (or just totally creep people out).

GoT Cauliflower Steaks

cauliflower

Courtesy of geekmom.com

A Shot of Ice and Fire

Courtesy of cookingwithgifs.com

Courtesy of cookingwithgifs.com

Skewered Honeyed Dormice

Courtesy of footlooseandfamished.com

Courtesy of footlooseandfamished.com

The White Walker

Courtesy of aheapingspoonful.com

Courtesy of aheapingspoonful.com

Khaleesi’s Dragon Nests

Courtesy of cccakery.com

Courtesy of cccakery.com

Game of Thrones Fire & Blood Ale

Courtesy of bevmo.com

Courtesy of bevmo.com

GoT Cake Pops

Courtesy of notyourmommascookie.com

Courtesy of notyourmommascookie.com

Direwolf Bread

Courtesy innatthecrossroads.com

Courtesy innatthecrossroads.com

Jamie Lannister Handcakes

Photo courtesy gameoflaughs.com

Photo courtesy gameoflaughs.com

 

Share | Tags: · ·
Apr
10

Strawberry and Cashew Milk Smoothie

by

Spring had definitely sprung during my recent visit to the Midtown Farmers Market, and with the warm midmorning air and sunshine, I couldn’t resist buying a flat of fresh, organic strawberries from Rodriguez Farms. An entire flat may seem like a lot to consume before my strawberries start growing fuzz, but I am a prolific smoothie maker when the weather is fine. After hauling my flat home – and admittedly losing a couple strawberries on the way – I took stock of my fridge and decided to try out my newly purchased cashew milk by Silk to make the following strawberry smoothie for breakfast. The result was delicious. I have to say that cashew milk might just be my new favorite nut milk! 

FullSizeRender (5)Ingredients
½ cup strawberries
¼ cup raspberries
1 cup Silk Unsweetened Cashew Milk
1 tablespoon Greek Gods Honey Greek Yogurt
5 ice cubes
Makes one big serving you’ll enjoy not sharing. 

Directions

Throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth. I love my Vitamix blender because I like my smoothies ultra-smooth, and it pulverizes everything including berry seeds for a wonderfully thick and silky texture similar to Jamba Juice.

Notes:

To make this smoothie completely dairy-free, substitute a teaspoon of vanilla extract plus a teaspoon of honey for the Greek yogurt. If you stick with the Greek yogurt, I like using this one from Greek Gods because it isn’t fat free (the fat free Greek yogurts that proliferate the grocery aisles seem to always make up for the lack of flavor by packing in tons of added sugar).

Share | Tags: · · · ·
Apr
03

Why You Need Bulletproof Coffee in Your Life

by

bulletproof coffee BGAlright guys, I have to admit something: I’ve been drinking the Bulletproof® Coffee Kool-Aid, and the Kool-Aid tastes surprisingly good. Yes, many of my fellow Sac Foodies have given me that “you’re certified crazy” look when I tell them that I now take my coffee with butter and oil. Today, I’m here to spill the beans about why this fatty concoction is indeed crazy, in an awesome kind of way.

Let’s start by breaking down the importance of the three main ingredients in the recipe for Bulletproof Coffee (jump to the bottom of this post for the full recipe):

#1: Upgraded™ Coffee Beans

Dave Asprey, biohacker extraordinaire and creator of Bulletproof Coffee, claims that Upgraded Coffee is the result of an obsessive pursuit to find the absolute highest performance coffee beans on earth. Moreover, it took him more than 10 years to identify every step of “performance-robbing toxin formation in coffee” and to find a reliable source of beans that always make you feel great. “Normal” coffee can give you the jitters and makes you feel cranky, but this coffee makes you feel noticeably better. And it doesn’t skimp out on taste—it’s a well-balanced coffee with a full body and undertones of caramels.

#2: Unsalted Grass-fed Butter

Kerrygold butter (my personal favorite!) or another brand of grass-fed butter really matters because grain- or soy-fed cows don’t have the same nutrition profile. Ever notice that grass-fed butter is yellow and grain-fed butter is almost white? That’s because grass-fed butter has more beta-carotene and Vitamin A. Grass-fed butter also contains higher quantities of omega-3, among other nutrients. Plus, grass-fed butter just undeniably tastes better. There’s a reason there have been multiple shortages of grass-fed butter in the last year!

#3: Brain Octane™ Oil or MCT Oil

Brain Octane oil, derived from the heart of the coconut, is 18 times stronger than coconut oil and three times stronger than MCT oil. Our bodies convert Brain Octane into energy quickly so it can be used as brain fuel, giving you a mental boost. Asprey claims that Brain Octane can also promote weight loss and prevent food cravings.

Now, blend it all together and what do you get? Bulletproof Coffee, aka the creamiest, most delicious coffee that makes early call times much more bearable! I’ve also found that I’ve become way more productive in the morning and I stay full until about lunchtime.

Below is the official recipe for Bulletproof Coffee. You owe it to yourself to try it this way at least once!

Bulletproof® Coffee

Ingredients

2 ½ tablespoons freshly ground Bulletproof® Coffee Beans

1 tablespoon Brain Octane oil or MCT oil

2 tablespoons grass-fed unsalted butter (please do NOT use salted butter)

Directions

Brew 1 cup (8-12 oz.) of coffee using filtered water, just off the boil, with 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons freshly ground Bulletproof® Coffee Beans. (I use the pour over method.)

Add in 1 tablespoon of Brain Octane oil or MCT oil to the hot coffee

Add 2 tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter

Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it is frothy like a foamy latte

Share | Tags: · · · ·
Apr
01

April Fool’s Day

by

Today the SacFoodies office was hit with a cruel April Fools Day prank! We really wanted those brownies… For the sweetest ways to fool foodies in your life, check out the great ideas below:

FullSizeRenderApril Fools/Easter Cupcake Eggs

Easter+Cupcakes+11

Courtesy of cupcakeproject.com

 

April Fools Fried Chicken and Sides

kfcWATERMARK4

Photo courtesy of kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com

 

April Fools Grilled Cheese Sandwich

grilled cheese

Courtesy of allrecipes.com

 

Fried Egg April Fools

fried egg

Courtesy of food.com

 

Share | Tags: · ·
Mar
31

5 Meatless Entrees That Aren’t Pasta

by

In looking for meatless recipes these past few weeks, I’ve come to find that no meat means “pasta” for many of us. It’s no surprise—who doesn’t love pasta? It’s easy, versatile and delicious. But, let’s be honest, the sweet creation that is pasta isn’t exactly the most forgiving food if you’re looking to maintain your waistline! Here are a few meatless recipes from some of my favorite sites that look beyond pasta.

What are some of your favorite meatless recipes?

Cheesy Quinoa Vegetable Bake
Cook time: 15 min.
Serves 4
Get the recipe

Cheesy Quinoa

Photo Credit: BunsinmyOven.com

Spicy Roasted Corn & Cauliflower Tacos
Cooke time: 15 min.
Serves 4
Get the recipe

califlower tacos

Photo Credit: TheForestFeast.com

Minestrone with Gnocchi
Cook time: 30 min.
Serves 4
Get the recipe

minestrone

Photo Credit: FoodNetwork.com

 Eggplant Ricotta Bites

Cook time: 10 min.
Serves 6
Get the recipe

eggplant

Photo Credit: FoodNetwork.com

 Grilled Eggplant & Pesto Sandwich

Cook time: Approx. 5 min.
Serves 4
Get the recipe

sandwich

Photo Credit: LoveandLemons.com

 

Share | Tags: · ·
Mar
27

Brunch at the Porch

by

The Porch has been my favorite restaurant in Sacramento for the past couple of years, but somehow I had never made it in for brunch. I now know how much I was missing out.

Last weekend some friends and I stopped by for some midmorning munch and drinks at The Porch, and the end result was me taking a big post-brunch nap due to the delicious food-coma that ensued.

FullSizeRender (3)The Porch’s classic Southern chicken and waffle plate.

FullSizeRender (2)This is probably some of the best Eggs Benedict I have ever eaten with crispy yet fluffy potatoes on the side. Note The Porch’s Snickerdoodle cocktail in the background – it’s as if they took a white Russian, added a cookie and made it somehow lighter and more refreshing.

FullSizeRender (4)Our epic spread at the table. And that’s not a mimosa we’re drinking, it’s a Champagne Julep. Made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, simple syrup, mint and champagne, this morning cocktail will make even non-bourbon drinkers ask for seconds. I did.

The Porch Restaurant and Bar
1815 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 444-2423
www.theporchrestaurantandbar.com 

Share | Tags: · · ·
Mar
26

Sacramento Food Film Festival Launch

by

Last Thursday I had the delicious opportunity to attend the launch of the Sacramento Food Film Festival at Goldfield Trading Post, presented by the Food Literacy Center. It was a fun evening of unique bites provided by Jay Veregge of Ten 22, Aimal Formoli of Formoli’s Bistro, Michael Thiemann of Mother, Brian Mizner of Hook and Ladder and Hank Shaw, a James Beard Award-winning author. With such great names collaborating, the food definitely shared center stage with the film. By far, my favorite dish was the spicy cauliflower from Mother, a spicy Asian-inspired creation so full of savory flavors and satisfying texture that I didn’t even miss the meat.

On the film side, the selection of shorts shown throughout the evening was an eclectic and entertaining mix, but the kicker bit of entertainment for me was having each course served by a mini chef in uniform. It was great to see that the Food Literacy Center gave the children they provide services to a role in the event as fledgling foodies themselves, doling out each delicious bite as they balanced a full platter above their stiff white hats.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Sacramento Food Film Festival’s events, running through March 29. Get the full schedule here or check out our March 19 SacFoodies post  with the events roundup.

IMG_2241My favorite bite of the night. Spicy cauliflower from Mother.

FullSizeRender (7)A mouth-watering, sweet berry and wafer concoction I could have eaten a platter of.

FullSizeRender (8)Attendees enjoy film shorts presented at Goldfield Trading Post.

Share | Tags: · · · ·
Mar
23

My Blue Apron Experience

by

I recently took up a discount offer from Blue Apron and finally had my first food subscription experience. Undeniably, I was just plain thrilled about the idea of having three days’ worth of (good) dinner ingredients and recipes delivered right to my door step! You can choose from the “2-person plan” or the “Family Plan” and can request that your box be delivered on any day, Tuesday-Friday.  The recipes are different each week and you can always opt to skip out on certain weeks when you don’t want a box. I was able to cook two of the three recipes I received with my “2-person plan” and then I gave the third to a friend, as I had dinner plans and didn’t want to risk the final recipe ingredients for the Tilapia Meuniere going bad.

My recipes:

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Braised Lettuce, Kimchi & Maitake Mushrooms

Lamb & Beef Shawarma with Creamy Radish Salad

Tilapia Meuniere with Moroccan-Spiced Lentils & Rainbow Chard

photo 1-ingredphoto 1-ingredients

The recipe concepts were a little intimidating, I’ll admit, but the recipe sheets in your box clearly outline every detail, not to mention the ingredients are already pre-measured and individually labeled. I was also pleasantly surprised to find all ingredients, from meat to herbs, were totally fresh!

photo 2_chickenphoto 4 shawarmaA subscription like this is convenient not only for people with no cooking skills at all, but also for people with an experienced palette who just want easy-to-cook, quality meals. I loved that this particular selection of recipes were concepts that I would have never thought to whip up myself, yet now I know how to do it on my own. The Crispy Chicken Thighs and Lamb & Beef Shawarma were amazing and there was plenty for two people. I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to try the tilapia, but I have no doubt it was just as delicious.

I would definitely order again, but most likely only for a special occasion, such as right before a trip so that I wouldn’t have to stock up on groceries. If you’re interested, you can easily sign up online and/or take a look at their recipes online!

Share | Tags: · · · · ·