18 Year Balsamic-Beyond the Olive & The Market

May 25, 2011 § Leave a comment


Walking into The Market

A few days ago I introduced The Market at Santa Monica Place. Everything sounded so good on the website; I was excited to see what those gourmet vendors had to offer.

The Market is located in a strange place. It’s on the food court level of Santa Monica Place (an outdoor mall). When you arrive on the third floor, you find restaurants, an indoor food court and another indoor area for The Market. (There are too many choices! It unnecessarily caters to everyone. Because of this, business was not good for anyone.)

Walking into The Market, on the right, you’ll find an area where they feature different local vendors on a rotating basis. This week they had jams and spreads, middle eastern desserts and olive oils and vinegars.

From the permanent vendors, I had a $3.00 cookie from The Cookie Guru. It was fresh out of the oven and delicious, but too expensive. THREE DOLLARS! I also tried N’ice Cream’s Mango Lemon and Chocolate flavors. If I were to go for artisan ice cream, I’d rather have Carmela’s.

What I did enjoy was the aged balsamic from Beyond the Olive. It has a thick syrupy consistency with a sweet finish. It works well with salads, breads and desserts.

18 year balsamic vinegar

I bought the 375ml bottle for $20 and you can bring the bottle back for refills at a discounted price.


18 year balsamic with toasted bread & arugula

Though I enjoyed visiting The Market, I’m not sure how often I would visit. I wish they had more variety and incorporated the farmer’s market in that space.




Creamy Yogurt Pesto

May 13, 2011 § 3 Comments

yogurt pesto on crusty multi-grain 

This is an untraditional pesto. The only things similar are the basil leaves and garlic. I like this pesto because it is creamy and a bit tangy. It’s just as versatile, but gives you a slightly different taste. You can use this recipe as a spread or dressing and it also makes an amazing pesto pasta.

Ingredients:

  • ~3 loose cups of basil leaves
  • ~3/4 cup of walnuts*
  • ~1/4 cup of pecans*
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • ~1 cup of greek yogurt (I used Fage Total 0%)
  • 1/2- 1 tsp of chili flakes (depends on your tolerance)
  • salt and pepper to taste

*I wanted to use my extra walnuts and pecans; hence the weird ratio. Feel free to play with the ratio or use different nuts.

Step 1: add your walnuts, pecans and garlic

Step 2: add your basil leaves

Step 3: add everything else

Step 4: blend (I’m using the Ninja)

creamy yogurt pesto (she’s not photogenic)

To Serve:

Step 1: dice some cherry tomatoes

Step 2: toast some bread

photo taken from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes (PBS)

Step 3: serve with some cracked black pepper

I used the whole grain loaf from La Brea Bakery.

serve it alone

with some hummus (learn to make hummus)

or serve it together!

Enjoy!

Chunky Avocado Spread

March 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

When I decided to make my Southwest Jalapeno Patty, I really wanted to add some avocado to it. I absolutely love avocado with everything-especially burgers and sandwiches! I think that it adds such a great flavor to the food. It’s also adds a good some good oils to your diet. I wanted to make something a little different that wasn’t just your typical avocado slice. I thought an avocado spread would be a refreshing twist to adding avocado on the burger/sandwich complex.

Below is the recipe and I encourage you to play with the amounts used to get a spread suitable to your taste. If you like something a little more tart, add some more lemon juice. If you want something with a little more avocado, add another one!

Ingredients

  • Handful of Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • Handful of Parsley and/or Cilantro (I used a little bit of both)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Honey
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

To Make

  • Cut avocado into bit size pieces and toss into bowl
  • Finely chop parsley and cilantro and toss into bowl
  • Cut tomatoes to desired size (I sliced in half)
  • Add rest of ingredients and mix

I added this tangy/sweet delicious avocado spread to my burger below. It will go well with any sandwich, burger or nice piece of toast.

Enjoy!

Easy Hummus

March 23, 2011 § 1 Comment


This is one of my favorite snacks and it’s so easy to make! You will have a delicious snack in under 10 minutes. Traditionally tahini is added, but I don’t really care for it. I never add it and I don’t miss it at all. If you don’t have pita, you can dip use veggies or even put it on some toasted bread. There are no preservatives and you can control the amount of salt added. You won’t buy hummus again!

add 2-3 cloves of garlic into food processor/blender

add 1 bunch of parsley (add more or less depending on taste)

drain 1 can of garbanzo beans and pour in food processor/blender

add juice of 1/2 a lemon, salt and pepper

blend

done!

pita bread to make pita chips

tear pita apart and put on electric grill till crunchy or bake for 9 mins @400 degrees

dip and eat! 🙂

Or eat it with some crusty bread.

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