Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Make Your Own Pizza...on a Salad!

I am not a big fan of pure carbohydrates.  I prefer the substitute ones: pretzels, popcorn, cereal, etc. rather than an actual piece of bread.  So tonight, when it was time for dinner, I was determined to make a crazy concoction using all the ingredients for "make your own pizza", but...not on a pizza.  I took a large salad bowl and filled it halfway with a previously prepared Greek salad, consisting of a lettuce mix, red radishes and chopped up scallions.  Then I moved over to the actual salad bar, where I added in some darker romaine lettuce, black beans, a little bit a Feta cheese and then the pizza toppings: chopped up juicy tomatoes, caramelized red onions, a couple spoonfuls of sliced mushrooms and miniature pieces of broccoli.  To finish it off, I poured a little bit of tomato sauce on the side of bowl as a make-shift dressing.  I mean hey, I had to finish off the "pizza", right?  My first forkful was a mish-mosh of everything.  It was full of flavor, the tartness of the radish mixed with the garlic-spiced caramelized onions, the sweetness of the tomatoes, the crunch of the black beans and the hearty flavor of the tomato sauce.  The pungent taste of the scallions left my mouth with a minty-like taste, but it quickly disappeared when I took my next bite filled with mushrooms, more onions, tomatoes and little chunks of feta cheese.  My creation of a meal was different and innovative and extremely tasty!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Spice World

Tonight could have easily been classified in my book as the best night ever.  Okay, I take that back, the best meal ever.  As a couple us sat in the kitchen discussing where to go to dinner, people were throwing out different types of restaurants with various types of cuisines, but I had one favorite tucked in the back on my mind...Roots on the Square on the corner of North Walnut, which became the ultimate decision.  I've been sick with a cold for the past week, which has limited my food palate, because everything I eat tastes the same.  I was anxious for a place with flavor and spice, a meal with a kick! 
As we walked into the restaurant I was overjoyed with great memories had here.  I decided on the Panang Curry dish.  As we waited for the meal to come, my stomach growled with a feeling of emptiness.  I could not contain my excitement as my meal was placed in front of me.  Some people get excited about going to a party, I get excited about delicious food.  I started with taking the spring mix lettuce leaves that were surrounding my bowl and placing them into the Curry sauce.  Then I stuck my fork into a dark green piece of zucchini, the bite was crunchy but the softness of the vegetable melted in my mouth.  My mouth was on fire from the Panang spice and as I peered down into my bowl, I noticed the red specks of spice floating around in the Curry sauce.  The carrots, broccoli and mushrooms were all cooked to a perfection and they mixed well with the soft baked triangular shaped pieces of tofu.  To block out part of the spice, I broke the circular scoop of brown rice in half and combined it with the Curry sauce.  This meal has been the best so far in Bloomington, hands down.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Fresh Start

The day had finally arrived, it was move-in day at Indiana University, which meant some serious unpacking and unloading.  After about an hour and a half of unpacking the suitcases from home, it was time to make a dent in the 6 boxes I had stored here over the summer...but they were oh, so daunting, and to top it off, I was famished.  My dad and I got in the car to go out for lunch, we decided on The Laughing Planet on East Kirkwood Ave.  A small, healthy, semi-vegan restaurant filled with locally-grown organic vegetables.  We've been there once before and were anxious to try it again.  I decided on the Steamed Veggies Bowl with baked tofu.  In a matter of 10 minutes, I was presented with my meal, a large bowl of food separated by layers.  The base layer was a heaping portion of steamed brown rice, then came the veggie mix: boiled broccoli, crunchy green snow peas, circular cuts of orange carrots, miniature pieces of celery and green napa cabbage.  There were pieces of baked brown tofu scattered around the sides of the bowl as well as a peanut Curry sauce on the side.  I dipped my fork in the Curry sauce and scooped up the brown rice that was covered in fresh crisp vegetables.  The flavors of the vegetables were so subtle but they mixed well with the sauce.  The tofu was firm on the outside but squishy on the inside.  The meal was extremely satisfying, making it a great start to being back in Bloomington.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Indian Summer

Tonight was my last supper...well, my last supper home this summer.  I leave to fly back to Indiana tomorrow so we took one final night out as a family.  I chose the restaurant Saffron Indian Kitchen on Montgomery Ave. in Bala Cynwyd, PA.  We walked into a small, crowded room and were led to a small table on the left side of restaurant with a view of the outside world.  We ordered a vegetable curry in a brown sauce, chicken Tikka Masala, lamb Roganjosh and Tandoori chicken.  My dish, the vegetable curry was filled with fresh green snap peas, jagged-edged cuts of zucchini and carrots, a single pale white piece of cauliflower, a couple heads of dark green broccoli and a handful of chickpeas all doused in the brown curry sauce.  The spices of the soupy curry were so powerful, each spoonful was filled with a strong, tangy flavor leaving my mouth watering and my taste-buds lingering for more.  After my first helping all I wanted was a second.  I took a piece of bar-b-qued Tandoori chicken and combined it with my curry sauce and vegetables.  The chicken was dry but it mixed perfectly with the liquid-curry sauce.  The lamb Roganjosh was filled with spices of ginger and onion in a creamy plain yogurt and garlic sauce.  The chicken Tikka Masala were pieces of cubed chicken in a tart tomato yogurt sauce.  The four polar opposite dishes meshed very well together.  This has been a foodylicious summer and I am looking forward to the treats waiting for me in Bloomington, IN.  Keep your eyes pealed for the next blog post!