Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Weekend

Friday morning I woke up determined to blend my beautiful kale into a nutritious Green Monster. The ingredients:

Blend 1 cup of non-fat, plain Greek yogurt with a peeled peach, 3 pieces of frozen mango and two large (torn) kale leaves. Add a bit of water while blending to get things going and serve! Sit back on the couch with your drink while watching the E! special on "Football Wives." OK... that last part it optional.

After my smoothie I felt energized and ready for my trip up to Delaware to visit my boyfriend, Will. Will went food shopping with me on the other end of the phone while I sipped the drink so that we would be ready to feed the masses on Saturday.

Burritos. They're filling (usually), delicious (mostly) and nutritious (if you do 'em right). I felt as though making a TON of burritos-- 15 to be exact-- would be the best way to sneak some vegetables into the guy's pizza-and-grilled-chicken diet. Plus, if the way to a man's heart is his stomach, I figured I'd be granted at least a few minutes on the coveted Rock Band microphone later that night... I was. I made burritos on the very first episode of Veggie Bites and these are a variation on that recipe:

Follow the directions on your rice package to make 9 cups of cooked rice. Approximately 4 3/4 cups of water and 2 tbsp butter in a pot for 25-30 minutes.

Pour a 28 oz. can of crushed tomato into a pan on medium heat with three cloves of crushed garlic. Add 2 tsp. salt and pepper.

Chop one white onion and add to your pan with the juice of one lime. Roll out the lime before cutting and squeezing so that you can get all of those juices out!

After 8-10 minutes, fold in 8oz. of fresh spinach followed by a 15oz can of corn and a 15 oz can of black beans. Make sure that neither of these are pre-seasoned and drain the liquids from both before adding them to the tomato mixture.

Once all of the vegetables are combined, transfer the contents of the pan into the pot of cooked rice and fold in 3 cups of a mix of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses. If you are a vegan, soy cheddar would work wonderfully here because it melts so well! Let the mixture sit for 5 or so minutes on a low heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

Tear a square of aluminum foil that is just a bit larger than your tortilla. Place a tortilla on the foil and top it with a heaping scoop of the vegetables and rice.

Move the mixture to the bottom of the tortilla and fold the two sides of the tortilla inward like closing a closet. Roll the foil up with the burrito as you begin to fold it foreward, keeping your thumbs at the base of the tortilla and holding the sides together with your index fingers.

Serve in the foil with sour cream, salsa, chips or even fresh slices of avocado!

These burritos were a definite crowd-pleaser and the leftovers are easy to reheat since they are already wrapped in foil. Just place a wrapped burrito (or burritos) in the oven on 300 degrees for 8-10 minutes and you'll have an ooey-gooey center even the next day!

After our filling lunch, Will and I decided on lighter fare for dinner. As it was our 4-year anniversary (yes, 4 years!) and Valentine's Day (almost!) we decided to drive into Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia and go to a Japanese restaurant that was recommended to me by my friend Emily. The name of the restaurant is Osaka and as I mentioned in yeaterday's post, it was fresh. Literally. The sushi was some of the best I've had in my 13-or-so years of sushi-eating and that is entirely attributed to the quality of the fish. As a rule, eating sushi should never be a jaw exercise; it should melt in your mouth smoothly and require little to no serious chewing. The sushi, paired with the Asian-chic muted-tones and dimly-lit atmosphere was fantastic. Here's what we got:

Garden of Ginger

(Starting Clockwise) Salmon, tuna, egg, tobiko, avocado and crab wrapped in cucumber; Salmon Avocado Roll; Spicy tuna and crab wrapped in seaweed and rice, topped with avocado and eel; Dragon Roll (eel topped with avocado and eel sauce). The online menu varies a bit from the menu we were given last night so I couldn't match up two of the rolls with their respective names.

Unless you're ordering sashimi, an evening of sushi will usually involve a lot of rice; probably more than you realize you're eating. A roll such as this, which is wrapped in crunchy, light cucumber sans-rice is a great option!

The menu also features a vegetarian section with yummy rolls such as the Yasai Maki which is asparagus, avocado, cucumber and baby greens. Not into sushi? The menu includes Osaka Crab Cakes, Lobster Ravioli, Seoul Ribs and of course several Teriyaki preparations.

It wouldn't be a true celebratory dinner without an outrageous dessert. We opted for the tempura-fried green tea ice cream and banana:

As good as the sushi was, the dessert was definitely the highlight of the meal. Most Japanese restaurants that I've been to have lacked in the dessert department so this was definitely a pleasant and tasty surprise! When eating fried foods, it's always good to have someone to share with :)

I had a fantastic food-filled weekend with my best friend, what could be better?

With health,


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