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beneficial decadence: spring salad w/ pine nuts and ginger

22 Mar

[read time: 2 minutes]

ah yes!  it’s spring, people, and it’s high time for getting in those bitter greens to clean the liver.  the bitter-er, the better.   YUM!

…about those bitter greens…
you gotta do what you gotta do to get to the “YUM”.  it is a bit tricky getting them down, especially when you taste bitter most acutely at the back of the tongue, just few taste buds short of the gag reflex spot.  it is mostly a mental thing. but if you need some help, read on.

Continue reading

foodie friday: tea to the rescue

5 Mar

[read time: 2 minutes]

*sings* “last night a teabag saved my life”

no really, i’m serious.  i had a particularly interesting experience last evening.

i decided to prepare a fabulous meal for myself after a long, busy, and taxing day.  by 7 pm, i was chowing down on curried butternut squash soup with copious amounts of garlic, tastefully garnished with fresh green onions.  i served it with a modest crab cake and a warm piece of cornbread.

thinking of my dear friend, Jemitra, i decided to make it really nice and brew myself a nice pot of bengal spice tea.  i used my little china teapot with the little flower cups i love so much.  i left the bag in and covered the pot with my bootleg tea cozy (a kitchen towel with ends folded over: it works great to keep the heat in whilst chowing or chatting).  everything was, indeed very lovely and in a few minutes, i finished and my lovely dinner and dove into my writing.

so, i’m cranking out my work and a couple hours later i get a hankering for something sweet. then i remembered the corner of overbrewed tepid tea left in the pot.  and BAM!  the last little bit had gotten so steeped that it was like having a tiny spiced cookie, but with no crumbs or chewing.  sweet tooth was instantly sated.

though i had overbrewed this tea before, i had never had it during a sugar craving and it was right on time.  and i thought i’d share my entire list of teas to overbrew with similarly delicious effects.

  • celestial seasonings’ bengal spice (of course)
  • yogi tea’s egyptian licorice
  • yogi tea’s mayan cocoa spice (made even more perfect with a dash of french vanilla soy creamer)

i wonder if any of my out folks there have renegade sweet tooth solutions…

© Copyright 2010

a note to my tea snob colleagues: these spicy herbals are worth the “dive”.   all my greens and whites, however, are whole leaf.  have you had teavana’s white ayurvedic chai or their samurai chai mate?  both very smooth.

beneficial decadence: gingerbread sundae @ mark’s kitchen

26 Feb

dang you, ginger for being so dang good and good for me!

when i saw on the menu at mark’s kitchen that they had a gingerbread sundae, i just had to go for it.  what’s in it: gingerbread, ginger ice cream, ginger topping, whipped cream.

i specifically made sure that my mung bean pancakes and grilled veggie skewers were light enough.  i needed room indulge during my late lunch meeting with my fab photographer Connie Martin Trevino.

as it turns out, this delight was totally worth it. not too sweet.  lots of ginger in all the right places.  and just the right amount of dessert so i didn’t feel like a pig.  best part: we finished up at 3 pm so i had plenty of time to burn it off.


…and if you find yourself in takoma park, md…
check out Mark’s Kitchen, one of my favorite places to meet.

foodie friday: of lenten clowns and kings

19 Feb

photo credit: flickr user - Wallula Junction[read time: 3 minutes]

pretty much every year since i became food nerd (read: a while now), it has been the billboards on the sides of buildings and buses that remind me that spring is just around the corner and the season of lent is upon us.  they used to advertise just one fish sandwich per consumer, now it’s two for $2 or (is it $3 now since the dollar is down?).  by the way, where is the sacrifice or discipline in eating two sandwiches at one meal?

well, well, well… isn’t it all so reminiscent of december’s stage for consumerist shenanigans… for (at least) 40 days, we’re encouraged to buy-to-satisfy and enhance our spiritual fortitude.  we can do better.  let’s be a bit more mindful, shall we?

please do not let a clown in a yellow and red onesie (or some dude who is the king of a sandwich) determine how you spend these few weeks of lent. here are a few other things you do instead of choosing to purchase non-food from uncompassionate retailers for your “meatless friday” needs. Continue reading

Foodie Friday: the Power & Benefit of Chocolate

12 Feb

[read time: 4 minutes]

did you know that chocolate has more antioxidants than kale?

*the author briefly imagines and rapidly dismisses the idea of chocolate covered dino kale*

while briefly reviewing my posts, i realized how many of them reference chocolate–a lot!  the pattern of continual cocoa reference indicated that i just need to go on ahead and come out of the closet as a chocoholic.  ok… here it goes.

hello. my name is tazima and i am a chocoholic.
…hmm that wasn’t so bad.  i can live with myself.
and just to be clear, i am a bit of a connoisseur,  i’m rather discriminating with my shit, so please don’t start sending me waxy-ass, un-decadent grocery-store-check-out-aisle chocoCRAP bars.  thanksmuch…mmk!

for my fellow chocoholics out there
below is more than enough justification [and encouragement] to indulge and a bit on how to be smart about it.  Continue reading

Foodie Friday: Be a Chocolate Snob

5 Feb

Before you rush down the aisle and grab 2 or 3 bags of seasonally appropriate, foil-clad, fun-sized chocolates on the cheap, consider the source.  If you are getting that much product for next to nothing, then who IS paying?  Is it a quality product?  Are you really getting enough bang for your buck?

Choosing Clean Chocolate
Below are a few things to ponder when selecting the chocolaty goodness… Continue reading

foodie friday: how to defeat portion distortion

15 Jan

[read time: 2 minutes]

eating out in modern day america can really screw with your senses… know this: no matter what your mama said, you don’t ever have to [and you probably shouldn’t] clean your damn plate.  that coupled with a tendency to repeat the gargantuan portions can, and will, exponentially increase your waist line.  here are a few things you can do to maintain and improve your physique and beat the perenial american glut. Continue reading

foodie friday: adults too “smart” for their own damn good

13 Nov

small delux organic box - photo credit: WordRidden

[read time: 4 minutes]

during the past week, i spent several rewarding hours teaching kids about real food in baltimore-area community centers.  the many hours i spent commuting were rewarded by the joy of hearing their fresh and candid takes on what i have to share.  and the heartwarming highlight: Continue reading

Foodie Friday: Completely Justifiable Indulgence

6 Nov

self explaining addiction - photo credit: procsilas[read time: 3 minutes]

everyone earns the right to indulgence once in a while, whether it be a celebration of an accomplishment or just trying to cope with a crappy day.  i am all in favor of infrequent, completely conscious self-medication with a mindful measure of moderation.

the only thing i find more miserable than austere dietary regimen is perhaps the subsequent self-degradation and the ensuing guilt that follow the inevitable “infractions”.  such intransigent behavior can only lead to more suffering.

to circumvent the aforementioned train wreck, i offer the thoughts below as you ponder options when the next moment of weakness arises. Continue reading

Foodie Friday: Snap, Crackle, and pop deserve a beat down

30 Oct

[read time: 4 minutes]immunity-haha-are you friggin' kidding me? photo credit: empress tazima.

and Rakim (of Eric B and Rakim) says “you could get a smack for this”

my friends and colleagues have heard me use the phrase “it’s like putting frosting on a dog poop cupcake” to refer to positive thinking without doing the underlying work.  another is to masquerade one’s hot garbage as something beneficial.

the picture to the right, my friends, is a proverbial chocolate frosted dog poop cupcake!

walk with me…
a couple weeks ago,  i subjected myself to the rare and exquisite self-torture of a stroll through the cereal aisle at my local conventional grocery store.

self-torture? absolutely: having worked for these fools, i know far too much about food companies, the source of the boxes that line these aisles, as well the implications of non-wholesome products housed therein.  exquisite? yes, i kind of love working myself up around food issues and then ranting about it; hence this blog post… god bless the internet.  please read on…

during said stroll, i encountered the perplexing [i may as well say, vexing] display evidenced at right and captured it on my phone’s camera with reasonable fidelity.  the confident and almost authoritative bold “true-blue” text on these labels reaffirmed that, not only have nutritionists and food scientists lost their “natural born minds”…  Continue reading