Sunday, April 29, 2012

Getting Back to My Roots

So I have this minor obsession with Roots on the Square in Bloomington.  I mean, who can blame me?  It's just so good, like for real...soooo good.  If you are reading my blog and you haven't been, please finish your read, get up, and go to Roots, it's just on the square a little past Kirkwood.  I was anxious for dinner because my Dad is here to move me out and I wanted to take him somewhere good; I'm a health freak and he's obsessed with the environment, so Roots seemed like the best choice.  He chose a tempeh coconut curry and I chose a sweet and sour tofu dish.  Both plates came out sizzling hot with a large scoop of brown rice on the side.  My dad's was full of earthy-tones, the light green broccoli, burnt-orange carrots, brown mushrooms in a light tan creamy coconut broth.  My platter embodied a rainbow of colors.  The bright colors of the vegetables, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, red peppers and broccoli.  My mouth was watering as I bit into my first forkful.  The spiciness of the curry stung my taste-buds as the mix of baked tofu with jagged edge slices of zucchini and carrots erupted in a burst of flavor in my mouth.  To make my meal even better, I grabbed a handful of the spinach leaves, that were meant as a garnish and placed them in my spicy broth.  The added vegetable mixed well with the mushrooms and red peppers.  I sipped on the remaining red broth as the flaming flavor heated up my mouth.  The spice was well worth it as I left the restaurant content with a good feeling of full, not to the point of over-fullness.  I am sad to say goodbye to Roots for the summer, but will be so excited to return to it in the fall.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Keep Calm and Slurp On

In an effort to finish out my meal points for the remainder of the semester, I have eaten in Gresham, and it's been gross, and salads from the C-Store, which are past their prime.  I could not do it anymore.  Today, for my last real day in Bloomington, I decided to give up on trying to finish up my meal points.  A couple friends and I decided to go out for a late lunch to this soup place called Darn Good Soup on the Square in Bloomington.  I have passed this place countless amounts of times and have always wanted to try it.  It just so happened that today was my lucky day!  There were so many delicious options to chose from, Lentil Split Pea, Minestrone, Chicken Tortilla, but the one that caught my eye was Carrot Ginger.  I love carrots and I love ginger, so I figured I would love a mixture of the two.  The soup was a pretty, bright orangey-yellow color, making it look almost too good to eat, but I was not going to let the presentation of the soup stop me from digging in.  The taste of the mush of puréed carrots with ginger was to die for.  It was a sweet and salty combination, each bite creamier than the last.  Some spoonfuls were filled with chunks of shredded crunchy carrots.  Even after I devoured the small Styrofoam cup of soup, the flavors still lingered in my mouth.  I am anxious to find a recipe to make the soup at home and hopeful that it will taste just as good.  Trust the name, this place has Darn Good Soup!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Pepperwich

The start of the weekend at IU can only mean one thing when it comes to eating....the assault of disgusting food to humans from the so-called dining hall which I call Grosshum.  As I approached the entrance, for the third time today, I had a brilliant, beyond brilliant idea.  What about another type of wrap/sandwich/thingamabob.  I had the luxury of going shopping at Kroger the other day and had a fresh, bright yellow pepper sitting in my fridge.  So I decided that I would make an open-faced sandwich using the yellow pepper.  I filled a large salad bowl with tan bean sprouts, dark green skinned cucumbers and bright green jagged sliced juicy pickles, as well as a little condiment cup of yellow mustard.  And for protein, a piece of grilled chicken.  I ripped open the plastic bag containing the pepper and cut it into medium-sized pieces, spread some mustard on the slice, placed half a cucumber slice and pickle on one side, with the other half of cucumber and some bean sprouts on the other.  Then I placed a small piece of chicken on top to finalize my new invention of a meal.  The first bite was unreal.  The burst of sweetness from the pepper was paired perfectly with the tang of the mustard.  The cucumber, pickle and bean sprouts all tasted so different, but so good together.  The chicken molded the entire meal together.  The best part of the meal was how easy it was to make, an accessible although unusual college meal.

Friday, April 20, 2012

California Dreamin' in Bloomington

Same old food, different day.  I was looking forward to my adventurous dinner at Malibu Grill on North Walnut.  I have been there once before, and tonight was a special occasion, two of my friends' birthdays, and we were going out for a night on the town.  I perused the menu, of course looking at the salad selection first...because we all know, I am salad-obsessed!  I settled on the Mediterranean Chicken Salad, with fresh Roma tomatoes.  I am not a huge tomato fan, but I've started eating them a lot more ever since coming to school, they add a juicy burst of flavor to my meals.  The large salad came in an eye-catching redish-orange plate, with a bed of mixed-greens, slices of grilled chicken, a circle of red onions, four tomatoes, three kalamata olives and three cubes of feta cheese.  Although everything was layered on top of each other, it was all separate at the same time, but when I dug into salad, I mixed everything together.  Each bite was a different mixture of taste, some with salty crumbled bits of cheese, others with sweetness from the tomatoes.  Within about ten minutes I had polished off my salad, and the rest of my friends had finished their meals as well.
As we arrived back at the dorms in the Northwest side of campus, dessert was on my mind.  As a last resort, I headed over to Gresham and to my chagrin nothing looked appealing as usual.  My friend suggested to try a green pear.  My experience with pears has not been positive and I have always convinced myself that I didn't like them, but I thought why not.  After the first bite, I was in heaven!  I can't believe how skewed my views of pears were.  My new motto is: when in doubt, try it out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Curry for the Common Cold

For the past three days I have been cooped up in my room with a bad cold.  Being sick is a really rotten feeling, and I have a bad case of the sniffles.  Over the past couple days, I've struggled with eating because I really haven't been able to taste anything!  I am sooooooo sick of eating soup and dry foods, because everything tastes like cardboard.  I ordered Matzoh Ball soup from IU Hillel's Matzoh Ball Soup hotline, but it was frozen when it came, so I just shoved it in the freezer and decided to save it for tomorrow.  After some consultation with my Mom, I decided to order in from Roots on the Square, a health-food Vegetarian restaurant on the Square in downtown Bloomington (a couple blocks past Kirkwood).  I decided on the Red (mild!) Curry with a heaping portion of brown rice.  The food came in a speedy 30 minutes, and the smell wafted from the bag up the elevator back to my room.  I opened the container of Curry to find a creamy tan coconut broth with baked Tofu and a combination of mixed vegetables.  I took a spoonful of the grainy brown rice and dumped it in my container of Curry.  My first bite was a mixture of the spicy broth (I wouldn't really say it was of mild spice), with a crunch of a jagged edge carrot and a slice of zucchini.  My spoon reached down further into the broth, revealing pieces of yellow baby corn, translucent onions, dark green broccoli, and bright green snow peas.  Bite after bite my taste-buds lingered for more, as I placed the container on my desk to take a break, I found myself reaching for it back within seconds.  It was too good to save, I thought about the possibilities of saving it for tomorrow, and realized it probably wouldn't taste as good after one day of refrigeration.  As I devoured the final spoonful, the last surprise was a steamed piece of basil, that left a strong flavor in my mouth, one of which I could actually taste.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were a bore yesterday.  I am sick of the food here at school!!  Especially with the Passover restrictions.  Scrambled egg-whites for breakfast, another C-store salad for lunch, and to top it off, a yummydeliciousbutreallyactuallydisgusting salad from Gresh for dinner.  I had had it with the crappy dorm food and was ready for something different.  Two friends and I decided to go to Red Mango on 10th Street for frozen yogurt.  I've been there once before, but it was earlier in the semester, so I was excited to go again.  The place was packed, I guess everyone was into the fro-yo feeling last night.  I am an original flavor girl, because I like the tart flavor, but feeling adventurous, I tasted the blueberry as well as the a citrus flavored yogurt, I ultimately decided on a generous swirl of original, and a dab of the citrus, which amounted to a perfect blend for any palate.  As the line moved quickly, the brightly colored array of toppings came into a full view, there was a section of fresh fruit (my dream come true), and I piled on a heaping amount of fresh red strawberries, a scoop of tangy pineapple, a spoonful of blueberries, some cut mango, and a couple blackberries.  Then, the frosty white mochi caught my eye.  Mochi is a japanese rice cake (sorry Passover, I had to make an exception) made, pounded into a paste and formed into little circular frozen yogurt toppings, they are my all-time favorite.  I finished it off with a waterfall of almond-slivers.  Anxious to try my masterpiece, I could hardly wait to pay.  Finally, it was time for the taste test...the combination of the tart flavor from the original yogurt, with the sweetness of the pineapple, and ripeness of the mango was to die for.  The mochi was a sticky soft complexion, that mixed perfectly with the tang of the citrus yogurt.  The best spoonful was a mixture of everything, a drop of original and the citrus yogurt, with a couple strawberries, a sliver of a blackberry, pineapple, mango, a blueberry, with a piece of almond and a tiny mochi on top.  I have to say, I was most pleased with this combination of goods, it was the best frozen yogurt bowl I've had in a long time.  It was a healthy influenced bowl of yogurt, that was indulgent in a non-guilty way.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


You know that feeling where you're always hungry?  Where you never really feel full, and your stomach feels empty?  That is how I feel every single day of Passover.  And let me tell's not a pleasant feeling.  In order to prepare myself for the coming week, I signed up for the meal plan at Indiana University's Hillel for the week, gorging myself on food that is K for P, food that I am actually able to eat.  Tonight, during dinner at Hillel, I was glancing at the plates of my friends, trying to figure out what to eat, when this dark green reddish dish caught my eye.  A stuffed green pepper covered in this spicy red sauce.  It looked absolutely delish, but I couldn't really figure out the mystery meat, it looked a bit like Gefilte Fish (and I hatehatehate fish).  Skeptical as I was, I decided to try it anyway because my stomach was grumbling, and was hooked after the first bite, cutting a piece of pepper and pairing it with the saucy meat.  I finished it off within 5 minutes.
However, as I mentioned before, even after my meal...I did not feel full.  So, I looked around the room again for a snack and found myself staring at the little round container of red Horseradish, as the wheels in my brain started to spin with ideas.  I jumped up from the table and ran to the salad bar, where a loaded a cup with broccoli, carrots, and celery (three of my favorite vegetables), and a nice-sized glob of horseradish.  The horseradish was easily spread along the inside of the celery, dipped into by the carrots, and patted on the top of the broccoli heads.  The burst of flame from the spice of the horseradish got me teary eyed...again, but it was totally worth it.  I wouldn't say I felt full, but there was a feeling of satisfaction, which was a true Passover miracle.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Not a Seder to Pass Over

The clock struck 5 - my stomach grumbled.  I wanted to eat, but it was the first night of Passover and the Seder was starting at 6.  I forced myself to be patient and wait, trying to ignore the harmonious smells of the food cooking in the kitchen as their aroma wafted throughout the house.  Finally, after what seemed like forever (less than an hour), the Seder began.  However, food was still a ways off.  We started to read the Haggadah, the book describing the story of Passover, around the table...
Then came the moment I had been waiting for...the Charoset, representing the mud that ancient Israelites used in their pyramids.  It was a dark colored paste of red wine, chopped apples, and chopped walnuts, with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  The sweetness of the ingredients melted in my mouth.  Then came the traditional "Hillel Sandwich", a piece of matzah with Charoset (the sweet), and Horseradish (the bitter).  I was feeling daring, as I scooped a large spoonful of white Horseradish which has a strong fiery taste with a little bit of Charoset.  At first bite, the taste from the Horseradish was so strong that it cleaned out my sinuses.  My eyes began tearing because of the heat.  Although, the white Horseradish was good, I decided on sticking to the red Horseradish, seeing as it was the less-hot version.  After we read through the Hagaddah, the feast began.  We started with Matzoh Ball Soup, which is my favorite, so I could hardly sit still.  The soup had been cooking all day, allowing all the spices and various flavors to settle in, with chopped carrots, tomatoes, celery, chicken, and large matzoh meal balls.  I graciously accepted my large bowl, and slowly sipped the steaming soup.  The matzoh balls were fluffy and light with a soft center.  Then came the remaining dishes.  First was chicken with chives and tiny scallions.  I wanted to try everything, so I took a small piece of chicken and a glob of red horseradish, which I ate with a salad made from carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, orange peppers, and romaine lettuce.  Then came the almighty brisket, which had been slow-cooking in the crock-pot all day.  The dark redish-brown brisket was cooked to perfection.  It was tender, juicy, and served with stewed red and orange peppers, making it twice as good.  I could hardly contain myself, every next bite was better than the rest, if only I could bring this back to school with me.
Finally, came dessert.  A large platter of my favorite fruit, ripe red strawberries, luscious blackberries and blueberries, bright yellow pineapple, mouth-watering watermelon, and fresh cantaloupe.  Then there was a platter of dried fruit with dried apples, pears, plums, apricots, kiwi, prunes, papaya, and mango.  And as always, the actual dessert sweets - flavored chocolates, toffee-covered matzoh, coconut macaroons, and K for P chocolate chip cookies.  To put it simply, this Seder was unreal, it made me feel right at home.  And I must  say, homemade Seders are way better than store-bought ones.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Love at First Bite

Welcome to Chi-City!  I have the pleasure of spending Passover in Buffalo Grove, IL with a friend from school.  I have never been to Chicago (okay, in this case, the suburbs of Chicago) before, and I am so excited to be here.  In order to prepare for the Passover holiday, we have to get rid of all the bread in the house, and replace it with Kosher for Passover (K for P) food.  We had our last carbo-licious meal last night of pasta with mushroom sauce and steamed broccoli and asparagus. 
Today, my friend insisted that she take me to this little local restaurant called Go Roma, very similar to Cosi and Corner Bakery.  We both decided on the Tuscan Salad.  However, I ordered it without the pasta and instead of with roasted chicken.  When the salad came, there were many surprises.  It was a gorgeous bowl filled with fresh spring mix, chopped roasted chicken, sliced cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and green beans!  I for one have never had green beans in a salad, and was anxious to see how they would fit into this combination.  I was hooked after the first zesty bite!  The chicken was cooked perfectly, the roasted red peppers full of spice, and the green beans added an extra crunch.  This salad was delicious, filling, and easy.  Watch out Chi-town, because this foodblogger is about to get cray, K for P style.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Best. Meal. Ever.

I walked into Gresh for dinner and I couldn't believe my eyes!  I was shocked, literally, shocked.  I stopped dead in my tracks and noticed how much food there was in Gresh...mountains and mountains of food!  Filet mignon, chicken parmigiana, lamb shish-kabobs, grilled vegetables in Eat Right, fresh vegetables in the salad bar, and fresh fruit in the red bins right near the cashiers.  It was a miracle, I can honestly say, I have never been more excited to eat in Gresh than I was tonight.  I didn't know where to begin, I wanted everything.  I settled for a medium-rare filet mignon and a platter of grilled mushrooms, eggplants, yellow squash, and red onions.  I grabbed a bright sparkling green Granny Smith apple on the way out to complete my meal.  I sat down in the dining room and eagerly ate my food, cutting up the juicy steak and mixing it with my freshly grilled vegetables, devouring every last bite, until I was stuffed to the brim and couldn't imagine eating anymore.

Then I got up and realized that Gresh was playing a practical joke on me,

As I am on you...