My Blu Burger Grille Mod
Here’s another quick mod to a restaurant menu I do when we eat at Blu Burger. (Here is my Chipotle Mod. Here is my True Food Kitchen Mod.)
Why do I modify my foods at restaurants? Probably because I won’t truly enjoy my meal if I don’t. Simply put: most restaurants aren’t cooking with ingredients or methods that optimize health (i.e., burgers on grills or health destroying oils like canola oil). I know you might think I’m a bit … errrr … extreme. Hello, my name is Kristen, have you met me?
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Monday, February 16th, 2015
Grass-fed Eye of the Round all sliced up to serve.
I have blogged about grass-fed eye of the round beef in the past. I decided to chat about it again because I made it recently and it was a smashing success (again). It was such a success because it was rich in flavor and mega tender to boot, not to mention cheap.
But, if you know anything about the different cuts of beef, eye of the round is usually known as a tough-y. The game is changed though. Now, you can use a sous vide to gently cook it for hours and hours and hours, effortlessly, and yielding a result that is as tender as any other cut in my opinion. Even better is that you don’t pay out the nose for this particular cut. It’s one of the cheapest so that makes everyone extra happy.
Cheap and Tender – that should be a country song.
Using a sous vide to cook it is the best way in my opinion (yeah, those cost money, but pay for themselves over time when you make things like I’m writing about today).
This past time, however, I made it just a tiny bit differently than the last time. I dare say, I like it better this time. Here’s what I did…
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Sunday, February 15th, 2015
Rosemary Infused Purple Cauliflower Mash. Family style.
I was at the market and saw organic purple cauliflower. Cauliflower isn’t my favorite by any stretch, but it was purple so I had to buy it.
I bought a lot of things that day and I made my way through the rest before approaching the cauliflower. I hadn’t decided what to do with it. Roast it with ghee? Make a purple soup from it? Oh! I know… I’ll make a cauliflower mash.
But, not just any cauliflower mash.
Infused with rosemary.
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Friday, February 6th, 2015
My Big-Ass Brisket with Mashed Potatoes – go big or go home.
My Big-Ass Brisket recipe serves four people. Twice. That’s like eight servings I’m talking about. So, for my family of 2.5, I’m getting around three dinners from this meal (you gotta make the vegetable side dish though).
It’s seriously delicious and mega healthy comfort food. You just want to put your head in the bowl (provided you serve it with seriously buttered and fluffy mashed potatoes, as seen above), and take a nap in it.
I like naps.
That’s the kind of meal I like to make in 2015 since I’m taking it easy this year. It was easy to put together and it fed my family for three nights. Wow. Imagine everything you can do with the free time because your dinner is basically already made for three dinners! I’m thinking reading a book, taking a nap (did I mention I like naps? When will Kamea like naps?), watching an episode of Suits. Oh the options are endless.
Brisket and purple cabbage (from day 2) – mmmmmm is all I can say.
You need to make this.
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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
True Food Kitchen – a pretty darn decent place for a quality meal. #RealFood
Going to restaurants requires some creativity and planning on my part if I’m to be satisfied.
Obviously, for starters, I pick restaurants with (at least) mostly quality food, when possible. One of the places we visit in Scottsdale, AZ is True Food Kitchen because they offer grass fed beef options as well as organic vegetables and dairy (I think the dairy is all organic there – not sure if it’s grass-fed).
The next challenge is making sure I pack necessary items to complete my meal or to make it healthier than it would otherwise be. For example, I’ve been known to bring my own grass-fed butter and MCT oil to restaurants along with the usual things I already carry in my purse like sea salt and organic turmeric powder. I’ve written about how I mod my Chipotle bowl here with a variety of ingredients – check it out.
Still, just going somewhere that has some good ingredients doesn’t mean I’ll want anything on the menu. Luckily, True Food Kitchen likes to satisfy their
picky customers, like me, when I take various components from the menu and make my own meal. (They even have a coffee drink called Paleo Coffee which is similar to Bulletproof Coffee in that it’s organic coffee blended with coconut oil and butter.)
Here’s what I do when I eat at True Food Kitchen.
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Friday, November 28th, 2014
Mama Mia Braised Meatballs
One of my favorite recipes to make is meatballs. Simply, it connects me to my Italian heritage and gives me a warm feeling in the kitchen. As I drop each meatball into the tomato sauce, I think of past generations… wondering what they were thinking about as they made meatballs.
This is an easy recipe that can be thrown together quickly with a few ingredients and some grass-fed ground beef. I intentionally created the recipe with only a smattering of ingredients to inspire myself to make it time and again.
Mama Mia Braised Meatballs is one of my family’s favorite dinners, too. Kamea has fun eating the meatballs because, well, they’re balls. And, Greg? He just chows down without saying much between bites, and then proceeds to lick everyone’s bowl of leftover sauce. Read More »
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Kristen Suzanne in books
, food journal
, grass fed beef
, hemp seeds
, Kristen Suzanne
, MAC knife
, pastured eggs
, raw eggs
A mini-van almost packed to the gills, ready to roll.
We are a family who loves to travel, and our most recent epic road trip took us to Michigan. But, travel can wreak havoc on anyone’s best attempts to eat healthy. Not always. Check out my post below where I show how we traveled across the country while (almost exclusively) staying on our Real Food Foodie Lifestyle (i.e., we ate really healthy in spite of being on the road). It meant extra work, which isn’t always the thing you want to do after a day of being in the car, but I’m simply not willing to eat crap food which is most often what’s served in restaurants.
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Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Sunday Grass-Fed Brisket
Grass-Fed Brisket… a wonderful dish that I’m eager to share. It makes such a lovely dinner for family and friends, which is how we always have ours. I make it and I invite our most cherished friends and family. Sharing food is one of my favorite things to do, and making a dish with the grass-fed brisket cut of beef makes it an inexpensive (and nutritious) way.
I learned the basics for cooking brisket this way from Cook’s Country, but I couldn’t follow their recipe precisely because it called for cola. Um… gross. So I made my own version, using their technique for prepping and cooking the brisket, with a twist on the ingredients of my own. It turned out unbelievably fantastic.
I call this Sunday Grass-Fed Brisket because the way I made it required being in and out of the kitchen a bit for the day, but an enjoyable experience. Typically this could be made in most homes on a Sunday, as a result, so you can tend to it. Also, Sunday is when many families have big dinners. Sunday Brisket makes a lot of food, perhaps feeding 6 to 8 people. Therefore, either make it and invite everyone over, or make it and eat it for a few days. Or, make it and freeze the leftovers.
I buy my dry-aged, grass-fed, organic beef from Alderspring Ranch. They’re a beautiful company where the rancher, Glenn, sends email updates on the animals that are darn near poetic. I also appreciate their values, one of which is “Absolute Traceability: Each cut is labeled and traceable to a single beef.” I really like Alderspring Ranch.
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Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Cast Iron Seared Grass-Fed Filet Mignon Steak Au Poivre #CoyoteCafe
We recently enjoyed a summer road trip all the way to Michigan from Arizona. Yes, that’s a looooong trip which is why many people ask why we don’t fly. Well, to be honest, apart from kind of enjoying time in the car (I get a lot of reading done: here’s a great book), there’s an important factor with which I am obsessed: Food. By traveling in the car (our mini van, specifically), I can pack things from my kitchen so that I can cook on the road for my family (induction hot plate, anyone?). As I like to say, “have induction hot plate, will travel.” Eating healthy and delicious food is my main passion so I do whatever it takes to make that happen.
We ventured to Michigan because that is where I grew up, and my brother, his wife, and their kids are there, plus my dad, step-dad, and dear sister-in-law-ish. At the time of our journey, our daughter had just turned four years old, and that meant shorter stretches of driving. Therefore, our days in the car maxed out at around 7 hours, if we could help it. That means lots of nights in hotels. How did I make high-quality, Real Food on the trip in hotels? It was fairly simple… with smart planning. I’ll detail it all in a blog post soon because I have a lot to share on the topic. I’ve made the trip twice now, a bit different each trip, and I like to think I have it figured out.
We didn’t eat every single meal as homemade though. Some of our meals, although just a couple, were enjoyed in restaurants. Enter: Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, NM.
On the trip back from Michigan we decided to spend a couple of days in Santa Fe as a little break from the non-stop driving and to enjoy the local atmosphere of Santa Fe. So lovely.
One of the best meals of my life. And to think I almost opted for a different restaurant because of the Yelp Review stars I saw. Glad my husband urged us to go to Coyote Cafe. Greg had been there about 20 years ago (the place has been around about 27 years), and was itching to try it again.
The presentation of the meals was gorgeous and thoughtful. The decor of the restaurant was open and pleasing, artful, and chic although a bit dated. It is showing the years of wear and is overdue for a refresh.
The service was top of the line. Our server was Lynsey and she catered to our every need. I’d also like to mention that the support staff were equally great. So much of a restaurant experience goes beyond the food.
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Bareburger (NYC) for “Real Food” friendly burgers. Grass-fed. Organic. Sliders shown here.
The last (and best) place I want to share with you about our recent trip to New York is for Bareburger, a “micro-chain of organic burger restaurants” (and like Don Antonio’s Pizza), we chose the location of our AirBnB rental to be between Don Antonio’s and Bare Burger. They’re that good. When we’re in New York we eat at Bareburger every couple of days, sometimes multiple days in a row. Thank you to Lauren for sharing this with us!
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