The Secret to This No-Dairy-and-Sugar Ice Cream? Shhh . . . It’s Bananas

Chocolate Almond Banana Ice Cream

Guys.

I am such a bad food blogger. I’ve been enjoying this ice cream all summer long and I haven’t shared it with you until now. The biggest reason why? I can’t stop eating it long enough to take a picture.

But that’s okay, because there’s nothing bad in here at all. It’s literally just bananas, cocoa powder, and a hint of almond butter and vanilla. No dairy or sugar for those of us on anti-inflammatory diets, yet you’d never in your life know it. Technically, that makes it a banana sorbet, not ice cream, but who’s really counting? Whatever it is, it’s delicious and healthy yet feels like you’re indulging. Continue reading

Squeeze Out the Last Bit of Summer With This Black Bean Salad

Black Bean, Corn, Red Pepper, and Avocado Salad

Even though there’s a good three weeks before the official start of fall, summer’s been winding down for a while now, and for most people, this weekend marks the end of the summer grilling season. If you’re hosting or attending one last cookout this weekend and looking for an extra side dish, have I got a salad for you. Continue reading

Combine Quinoa, Blueberries, and Greens for a Sweet-Savory Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouse

quinoa blueberry pistachio salad over greens

Although some might call quinoa a fad by now, it really has its place in an anti-inflammatory kitchen. It just so happens that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has deemed 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa,” so I guess it’s doing something right.

It’s cooked and served as a grain, but quinoa is really a seed, and therein lies the secret to its nutritional value. Like most seeds, it contains everything needed to grow a new plant: it’s like the plant version of stem cells. According to the Year of Quinoa site, the seed has several advantages over traditional grains: it’s higher in protein, calcium, healthy fats, iron, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, and vitamins B2 and B3 than your everyday whole wheat. Continue reading

What Is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet, and Why Am I Eating It?

anti-inflammatory dietCopyright Natalie Maynor, Flickr.com

Remember the food cleanse that wasn’t? Turns out, all I need to follow a plant-based diet is a little extra motivation.

Somehow, beyond all reason, in the past year I’ve become a runner. As any runner will tell you, runners are crazy—they’ll do anything and continue to push themselves in order to get that running fix. Threaten to take that away from them, and they resort to desperate measures.

Such as essentially going vegan. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Continue reading

Thymus and Rabbit and Snails, Oh My! I Get Adventurous at Graffiato

Graffiato cauliflower

Sometimes peer pressure can be a good thing, especially when it comes to food. At least that’s what I realized after a food nerd trip to Graffiato in Washington, DC. The experience also reinforced the notion that food is indeed a universal unifier, a truth that most of us know already.

I was in DC for a work trip at the end of April (yeah, April; here’s why it took so long for me to write this) when I found myself at the restaurant with small group of foodies, one whom is a good friend, one whom I mostly connect with through social media, and three others I had literally just met. Eric (the social media friend) lives in the area and arranged the meet-up at this hard-to-book restaurant run by Mike Graffiato of Top Chef fame.

If you know me, you know I’m kind of socially awkward, especially when it comes to small talk with new people. I have an insane fear of not knowing what to say, which manifests by me usually not saying anything at all or just responding to other people’s well-meaning, conversation-starting questions with conversation-killing answers. Brilliant, right? It happens every time.

But shockingly, it was not the case this time. Because again, food is the universal unifier. Even if we had nothing else in common, we all loved and appreciated good—and, as I learned, moderately adventurous—food. Continue reading

I Know It’s Been a While. But I’m Back Now.

kitchenLooking forward to sharing more of what I’ve been doing in here lately!

Yes, I’ve been away for a while. It’s been a number of compiling reasons, really. What started with a lack of time and good lighting this winter for food pictures turned into a lack of inspiration and focus.

You see, I decided to run a half-marathon this spring, so my winter weekends normally spent cooking and photographing were instead spent on long runs and recovering from long runs. Half-marathon day finally hit, but I ended up injuring myself and not having the race turn out the way I had wanted to. So my weekend long runs were then replaced with twice-weekly physical therapy sessions, and my nights previously occupied with web surfing for recipe inspiration were replaced with Google searches to educate myself about ITBS (that’s illotibial band friction syndrome) and performing the exercises I had learned in PT.

Then the more I realized how long it had been since I last blogged, the more performance anxiety I felt. “It’s been too long,” I’d tell myself. “I should have never let it go this long. What will I write or do now???” Continue reading

Dabble in Molecular Gastronomy by Making Chia Seed Pudding

dark chocolate chia pudding

I confess: I’ve jumped on the chia seed bandwagon. At least when it comes to chia seed pudding.

You may be familiar with chia seeds from the chia pet craze of the 1980s.* Turns out, those quick-growing seeds are also a mini nutritional powerhouse, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a variety of amino acids (protein), and heart- and gut-healthy fiber. Yeah, that’s all well and good, but what’s really fun about them is the way they react to liquids. Continue reading