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Eat/Drank

Faux Açaí Bowls

June 8, 2016

If you have an instagram account and have the slightest interest in fitness, you’ve probably seen gorgeous açaí bowls (pronounced ah-sah-ee!!!!!)  floating around. Açaí is high in antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A & C. They are also high in unsaturated fats which can make for a great post-workout treat.

In Brazil, they are enjoyed by surfers and folks after the beach—I enjoyed my first açaí about 15 years ago and it has been a favorite of mine since then. When the trend first hit the States, I rolled my eyes but was also excited I would get to enjoy a childhood favorite treat of mine. The few times I’ve had açaí here, I’ve been a bit disappointed—I’ve discovered that a lot of time it is made from an açaí powder and it doesn’t really taste like the real thing. Açaí berries can be hard to find and are on the expensive side so I understand why powders are necessary.

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It’s time for some full disclosure: I made this by accident. I was trying to make a green smoothie after a workout and didn’t realize my spinach had gone bad. I was set on a smoothie and the only frozen fruit I had were mixed berries and mangos. I blended them together with some almond milk and was getting ready to drink it. My smoothie was too thick to drink and so I decided to make a smoothie bowl—something that isn’t foreign to me. I topped it as I would any smoothie bowl and started to enjoy it. I was immediately brought back to my youth on vacation visiting family in Brazil and it hit me—this tasted pretty damn close to the best açaí bowls I’ve had.

It isn’t a perfect dupe but it’s pretty damn close. Because this recipe is made with fruit available at most supermarkets, it is easy to get everything you need at a reasonable price. If you are looking for something to supplement açaí berries, go ahead and add some goji berries—these share a lot of the same properties of açaí berries. They are high in antioxidants and a variety of vitamins.

Faux Açaí Bowls (serves one)

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1 cup frozen berries (I used a mix of blackberries, blueberries and raspberries).
3/4 cup frozen mango chunks.
1/2-3/4 cup liquid of your choice, as needed (recommended: almond milk or coconut water).
toppings of your choice (sliced fruit, chia seeds, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, hemp shells, etc…)
optional: 1/4 cup frozen goji berries.

Place berries (goji too if you are using them), mango, and liquid into blender. Blend until smooth. Mixture should be on the thicker side. Pour into bowl and top accordingly. Enjoy ;).

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Let us know how you like these faux açaí bowls (or if you have a cheap supplier of real açaí berries, let me know……) Tag your açaí bowl creations with #30thandweldon!

Eat/Drank

Summer Brew Sampling

June 6, 2016

At this point, most of my friends are used to being roped into blog related activities during any given hang out. (Don’t eat that yet. Come to this art show with me. Can you take a picture of this outfit? Etc.) This weekend was no exception for my good friend (and raddest dude I know), Tony, who came down from Philadelphia and was gracious enough to help me conduct the “research” for this post. This weekend’s project was to select, taste and review a number of seasonally appropriate alcoholic beverages in order to create a comprehensive guide to further the education of our readers.  Which is a fancy way to say we were going to day drink and then talk about which ones were our favorites. Needless to say, Tony did not need much convincing for this one.

We swung by Wine Source and built a six pack (plus a few extras), picking out drinks we hadn’t tried before. Back at my apartment, we sprawled out on my courtyard and took on the tedious and difficult work of sampling all these drinks  (someone had to do it). We rated the drinkability level (how many could we imagine ourselves drinking in one sitting), overall taste notes and what we would pair the drink with.  It was great to have his thoughts as we differed in opinion on a couple of them.  I have ~*pretty good*~ taste but not all palettes are the same. We both found a few new-to-us beverages that I know we will be drinking all summer. I hope our day drinking offers some helpful insight on what to grab on your next trip to the liquor store.

Charm City Meadworks Mango Comapeño

draft mead with mango and comapeño peppers

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Drinkability:

Tony: It goes down easy but because of heat wouldn’t I drink a lot of them. It’s a good starter drink (Tony is not a fan of spicy if it’s in his drinks)

Shae: I would drink a couple, maybe 2-3. I really like the lightness and heat.

Taste Notes:

Tony: This reminds me of white wine or champagne, I think it’s a little too light for a beer drinker

Shae: I love a good dry mead. I like that the heat from the peppers hit you in the back after a mild start

Best Served:

Tony: with a salad

Shae: with fish tacos and cabbage slaw

 

Stiegl Radler 

beer with grapefruit soda

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Drinkability:

Tony: It smells delicious. I can drink this all day but as a disclaimer I do really love citrus.

Shae: This one is a little too sugary for me to drink all day, I could have 1-2 then need to switch to something dry.

Taste Notes:

Tony: Alcoholic Pellegrino. It’s not too heavy on grapefruit a so if you aren’t too big on citrus you may still enjoy it.

Shae: I second the alcoholic Pellegrino soda. It’s supposed to be beer with fruit soda but I would say it tastes mostly like fruit soda.  Very refreshing.
Best Served:

Tony: with a beach towel & no worries

Shae: with sandy toes and a bikini
Flying Dog Numero Uno

agave cerveza with lime zest

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Drinkability:

Tony: Light, easy – I could stick to this all day.

Shae: Definitely an all day drink.

Taste Notes:

Tony: If Corona and Bud Light Lime had a baby this would be it.

Shae: I’m getting fancier Corona but I want more lime.

Best served:

Tony: At a barbecue or cookout.

Shae: I was gonna say barbecue! Definitely outside with food.

 

Sixpoint Cycliquids Jammer

ale with sea salt and coriander

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Drinkability:

Tony: All day, salt alone is gonna keep me coming back

Shae: 6 pack

Taste Notes:

Tony: Smells like I could bathe in it, like, the smell sets you up to enjoy it. The sea salt makes you thirsty for more.
Shae: The sea salt taste comes through right away and it does smell really nice. I can smell the coriander more than I can taste it

Best Served:

Tony: with meatballs – sweet and sour

Shae: with barbecue sauce and meat for sure – maybe chicken

 

Founders All Day IPA

session ale

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Drinkability:

Tony: As corny as this may sound- all day, because the hops aren’t over whelming.

Shae: One but that’s actually a lot for me.

Taste Notes:

Tony: Good citrus flavor, not too hoppy, easy to drink.

Shae: I normally don’t like IPAs but I could drink this one. It’s lighter on the finish

Best Served:

T: with a burger, sweet and spicy bbq and coleslaw

S: with pulled pork

 

Southern Tier 3 Citrus Peel Out

wheat ale with blood orange juice, tangerine and grapefruit peels

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Drinkability:

Tony: This is a wheat ale so it’s easy to drink – all day

Shae: I could drink this all day
Taste Notes:

Tony: This is a real beer (as opposed to some the half beer with sodas we have been drinking) with citrus notes on the end.

S: I really enjoy this one. The blood orange flavors really make this one.

Best Served:

Tony: with summer

Shae: with anything but specifically I want Peri Peri chicken with it.
Evolution Pine’Hop’le

ipa brewed with pineapple juice

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Tony: It’s drinkable but I wouldn’t drink many

Shae: Maybe 1?

Taste Notes:

Tony: They went mild with this one. I don’t get pineapple or hops and the pineapple is artificial tasting.

Shae: The pineapple flavor comes out more as you drink but it’s still disappointing.
Best Served:

Tony: I don’t even know what I would serve this with.

Shae: with grilled pineapple to bring out taste

 

Schöfferhofer Grapefruit

unfiltered hefeweizen beer with grapefruit flavoring

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Drinkability:

Tony: It’s too sweet for me, one, maybe not even.

Shae: It’s sweet but enough beer taste to drink it. I could do a couple of these.
Taste Notes:

Tony: You can definitely taste beer in this one. It’s not quite as crisp as the Radler.

Shae: I’m getting a sweeter Blue Moon. That bright orange color is very deceiving – I was expecting it to be more like soda but the fact that is it a hefeweizen helps balance it out.
Best Served:

Tony: Solo

Shae: I want a hot dog but maybe because it’s orange I’m thinking baseball.

 

Tony’s Top Picks

3 Citrus Peel Out

All Day IPA

Jammer

Shae’s Top Picks

3 Citrus Peel Out

Jammer

Mango Comapeño

Eat/Drank

Coconut Chia Pudding

May 17, 2016

Chia seeds, if unfamiliar, can seem daunting. At first I would just sprinkle them over some granola or add to a smoothie. I didn’t realize how easy and versatile it was to make chia pudding until my mom shared some of her secrets with me a few years back. I’ve been making and eating chia pudding for quite some time—it’s a guilt-free way to enjoy something sweet, can be breakfast and dessert, and can be made in a bunch of different flavors to add variety.

coconut chia pudding

Chia seeds are a lower calorie/low carb food and are great source of quality protein, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. They’re good for our bone health and have been linked to help lower cholesterol and help lower the risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Because they are merely a seed, most people with special dietary restrictions can eat chia—chia seeds can be eaten by folks who follow gluten free, soy free, vegan/vegetarian, paleo and plant-based diets.

I was recently out in California on a work trip and my favorite lunch place had the best chia pudding. It was light, creamy, and had the perfect amount of coconut flavor—I would eat it almost every day after lunch. I’ve tried to recreate it a few times since coming home and have finally gotten it to a place where I am happy with it. Coconut is a perfect flavor as the weather gets warmer and chia pudding is so so easy to make.

Coconut Chia Pudding (makes 4 servings)

coconut chia pudding

1 cup canned coconut milk, full fat & stirred.
1/2 cup chia seeds, ready to eat.
1/2 cup almond milk (or coconut water).
1 – 3 tbsp agave nectar, depending on preference. You can sub honey or maple syrup as well.
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional).
Optional toppings: Fruit, chopped nuts, toasted coconut, sunflower seeds, etc…

In a medium-sized bowl, combine chia seeds, milks, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Stir until fully mixed together. Pour into a glass jar and close tightly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving (but up to overnight). Serve with your choice of toppings and enjoy as a protein-packed breakfast, a refreshing mid-day snack, or a guilt-free dessert.

coconut chia pudding

Have you dabbled in chia pudding? Is this your first time? What are some of your favorite combinations? Comment below to join the conversation & tag photos of your creations with #30thandweldon.

Eat/Drank

Eggy in a Basket How-To

May 13, 2016

In a scene of one of my favorite movies, V for Vendetta, the masked vigilante, V makes his protégée/refugee, Evey Hammond, an eggy in a basket for breakfast. My mind was blown. This was a  delicious looking way to eat eggs that I had never encountered before, my parents typically sticking to omelettes and scrambled eggs for breakfast. Eggs and bread together? Sign me up. Needless to say I was fascinated by the idea – mostly so I could pretend I was Natalie Portman on the run from an oppressive government in a post world-world/1984-isque world – but also because I love dippy eggs/fried eggs/runny yolks and I love breakfast.

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The first time I made eggs in a basket it did not go well. The second time I made eggs in a basket it did not go well. The third, fourth and sixth time it did not go well. (Nailed it on the fifth try but it was purely by chance.) I would burn the toast, overcook the egg or rip through the bread while trying to cut a hole in it. Even after getting it right a couple times I would still mess this up occasionally because I wasn’t paying attention or didn’t judge the cook time correctly. Years later, I can confidently say I have mastered the eggy in a basket (basically I’m Hugo Weaving in a mask now) so I’ve broken down my tried and true method so you can cook this right on the first try.

Ingredients

1 piece of your favorite kind of sandwich bread (oatmeal or panini bread for me)

1 large egg

2 teaspoons of salted butter

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Melt one teaspoon of butter in a small frying pan on medium/medium low heat. While the butter is melting cut out the middle of the slice of bread in the shape of a circle. Don’t get too close to the edge of slice of you run the risk of ripping the bread in half. Keep the circle cut out.

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Once the butter has melted throughly and starts bubbling slightly, place the piece of bread and the cut out in the pan. Rub the bread around in the pan to make sure the bottom of your slice is fully coated and soaks up the butter.

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After about a minute check to see if the bottom of the bread is browned. If yes, remove from the pan. If no, let it go for another 30 seconds or until browned to desired level and then remove. Set aside the cut out to eat with the dippy egg in the basket or eat right away because it’s bread cooked in butter and it’s delicious #breadisbae.

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Melt the second teaspoon of butter in the pan. Flip the bread slice over to the non-browned side and place this side down in the pan, making sure to rub the bread around in the butter like before. Crack the egg into the center of the bread. Cook for about a minute on this side.

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Flip the bread back over to the original side and cook for 20 /30 seconds depending on runny you like your yolk to be. Remove from pan.  Pretend you are Natalie Portman and that a man in a Guy Faukes mask made you breakfast and serve with Sriracha, salsa, avocado, sausage gravy, whatever you want.

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Eat/Drank

Paleo Pad Thai

March 3, 2016

If you have been anywhere around me or my social media presence these past few months, you’ll know I’ve started following the paleo diet. What is the paleo diet? The paleo diet is, in the fewest words possible, a diet that promotes a modern-day paleolithic/pre-agriculture diet fully restricts consumption of grains, dairy, and legumes. There’s a bit more to it, but that is the most basic explanation I can give. So far, it has been working well for me and as restricting as it is, I don’t feel restricted. I am finding that I need to get a bit more create with cooking and meal prep, but that isn’t a bad thing. I also find myself wanting to make dishes that are usually served over rice or noodles and looking for a healthy alternative. I’ve started eating spaghetti squash as a great way to feel like I am eating noodles without actually eating noodles (I am waiting to see if I stick with paleo to justify buying a spiralizer to make ‘noodles’ out of zucchini and sweet potato and rutabaga and other delicious veggies). I recently was craving thai food—pad thai specifically—so I decided to hit Pinterest to find some recipes for paleo pad thai.

I found a few that I liked but ultimately decided to use those as inspiration and create my own. My spaghetti squash paleo pad thai recipe uses cashew butter instead of peanuts (see: legumes), is high protein and filled with good fats. I used chicken as the main protein but I think beef or shrimp would be really tasty too. This paleo pad thai is gluten-free as well and can be adapted to a vegan diet if you just remove the chicken!

Spaghetti Squash Paleo Pad Thai (makes 3-4 servings)

NOODLE MIXTURE

spaghetti squash paleo pad thai
1/2 spaghetti squash,
roasted and shredded. I roasted the whole thing and saved half for another meal. I use this technique—I find it works quite well.
4 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion (or 2 small)
2 cups broccoli (optional. I added this for some extra veggies but this is totally not authentic. But neither is a paleo pad thai for that matter… It does work with the dish nicely though).
2 eggs
2 chicken breasts, cut into small strips
3 cloves garlic

CASHEW BUTTER SAUCE

paleo pad thai sauce
1/3 cup cashew butter.
If you follow a paleo diet, make sure to read the ingredients list. I have found quite a few nut butters made with safflower oil/other non-paleo oils so be mindful if this is something that is important to you. 
1/4 cup coconut milk
. I’m talking the full-fat canned real deal. If you are paleo, read the ingredients list to make sure there are no additives and that the coconut milk you’re purchasing is truly paleo.
Juice from 1/2 lime
Ginger (1 in piece)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes 
(or more to taste).

GARNISH

paleo pad thai garnish
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 lime, 
cut into wedges
1/4 cup mung bean sprouts
1/4 cup crushed cashews
1/4 cup scallions, 
chopped.

Roast your spaghetti squash (again, I’m a big fan of this simple technique from the Kitchn). Add all sauce ingredients to a food processor. Pulse/blend until smooth. If sauce seems to thick, you can add a bit of almond milk. Set aside. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil on skillet. Scramble eggs once coconut oil is melted. Remove eggs when cooked, cover with foil. Heat another 1 tbsp coconut oil on skillet and cook chicken. Remove chicken once cooked, cover with foil. Heat remaining coconut oil and cook onions until soft. Add garlic, brown onion & garlic. Add broccoli and cook until soft (I half-boil mine first, to get it started). Add spaghetti squash, chicken, egg, and a half portion of the cilantro, scallion, and mung bean sprouts to skillet and mix everything together. Stir in sauce until everything is coated. Serve and garnish.

paleo pad thai

Again, you can definitely play with the protein in it and may be able to sub another nut butter for the cashew butter. Share your recipe modifications with us below!