28 August 2010

If it ain't twisted...

... It's not a burger!

Ever since Twisted Root opened near downtown Dallas I have been a fan. Even before "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" hit the scene, the line at lunch often ran down the block. So, what's the big fuss over a burger joint?

Twisted Root is run by 3 professionally trained chefs using the best local and seasonal ingredients in all their products. When it's in season, you can find Elk, Bison, Venison, and Ostrich on the menu. Their veggie burger is spicy and house made with balck beans and corn. The sesoned curly fries are amazing, that is until you try the fried green beans and onion strings!

After placing your order, you are given a laminated card with a celebrities name on it (last time I was Brittany Spears). When your order is ready, Chef Quincy Hart calls out your name using impressions and sound effects. He is a hoot!
On my last visit, I ordered the veggie burger on a whole wheat bun (vegan!) topped with sauteed onions, lettuce, cheddar, and guacamole. All of the sauces are made in house, and I recommend Granddad's Famous BBQ Sauce. I also love the chipotle ketchup and dijon horseradish mustard. To go with my fairly healthy option, I split the Fried Ride with my two buddies. This basket of sides, more like a tray, contains servings of fried pickles, green beans, onion strings, curly fries, and sweet potato chips served with buttermilk and southwestern Ranch dressing. Total coronary but worth it!

To wash it all down we each had an Amaretto-Oreo Adult milkshake- yum! All in all, it wasn't a very balanced meal and sure, that much fried food isn't really good for you. However, I think it's important not to deny your self what you want (as long as you aren't hurting anyone) and some times a few onion rings are just what the doctor ordered!

25 August 2010

When You're On The Go!

I have been super lazy about cooking recently. I think it was the heat, or at least that's what I'm blaming! I am excited about some awesome products I've recently discovered. I wonder if it's like this for all people transitioning into a vegetarian diet, but I've become obsessed with the array of easy, meat free, processed foods available to me. The whole point was to eat more organically and naturally, and now I can't stop thinking about Quorn breaded chik'n breasts.

Quorn is a UK brand of meat and soy free products (though not vegan as some contain eggs). It is made from mycoprotein which is a type of fungus like mushrooms or truffles. So far, this product is the closest in taste and texture to chicken that I've had. That is not to say it actually tastes like chicken, it doesn't, but the texture is more enjoyable than other products on the market. It is low in fat and cholesterol, and high in protein. Yum! I've tried the Chik'n Nuggets, Naked Chicken, and Garlic & Herb Chik'n Cutlets. All are delicious and easy to incorporate into any meal. I've made mock chicken salad with the naked chicken and it's a great sub in your recipes. I cannot wait to try the meatballs, turkey roast, and stuffed chik'n breasts. (Watch out Mom & Dad! This is what I'm bringing to Thanksgiving dinner). Now, if only they had coupons...

I am also obsessed with Newman's Own Organics Ginger O's. My sister turned me on to these and I've tried to be "good" and not buy them but my resolve wore out. These cookies (hell, the whole line or Newman's Own) is delicious and the profits after taxes go to charity. I love that they use organic ingredients, are free from trans fats, and taste delicious. You can have your cookie and eat it too! You can find coupons for Newman's Own here.

The other night, I tried WestSoy Seitan strips in a Szechuan style stir fry. As of now, the company website only lists their soy milk products so I'm not listing it here. It's weird and I don't know why they would ignore the other half of their catalog. Oh well... The stir fry was awesome! I was inspired by the scechuan style string beans I had from my favorite Chinese take out place. The sauce is spicy and delicious. Here's what I did to the best of my memory:

Brown the seitan strips in a bit of peanut oil, then set aside on a paper towel to drain. In a small pot, par boil green beans and chopped carrots. Add a bit more oil to the pan and add sliced onion, garlic clove, and orange pepper until tender. Add vegetable stock, hot sauce, tamari (or low sodium soy sauce), red pepper flakes, and a touch of flour to thicken. When reduced by half, add the green beans, carrots, and seitan. Saute until coated and serve with rice or quinoa.

Super yum and easy!

Which brings me to my last obsession: Tamari. I first heard about it in "The Kind Diet" and have been loyal ever since. Tamari is a richer, more complex, gluten free Japanese shoyu. My favorite brand is San-J which is available at most major groceries, Whole Foods, and Asian markets. It has a depth of dimension or umami (thanks Iron Chef!). Trust me when I tell you, you will never want soy sauce again!

15 August 2010

How much?!?

This is a pretty cool article from Wisegeek.com on what 200 calories looks like. They use common foods, including some junk food, to show exactly what your getting. I would love to see another post demonstrating what your daily fat, protein, and fiber intake looks like. Check it out and tell me what you think!

(Special thanks to Alejandra from Always Order Desert for turning me on to this site)