Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kale & Spinach Soup

I was reading an article on CNN.Com about this super food soup that had Kale and spinach and thought this sounded great.   I told my other half that I was thinking of making it and he made a face.   He stated that it might not be good.  I said it didn't seem any different than the Naked smoothie he liked.  But he pointed out the amount of juices added to sweeten it and not be so kaley or spinachy.    So I started to think about another soup I love to make from the Flexitarian cookbook.   I thought maybe I can combine the two recipes and come up with something that would be hit with the hubby and still have the healthy super food effect. 

Kale & Spinach Soup

1 large Vadalia onion sliced (this is a sweeter option)
3 cloves of garlic
3 medium to large carrots diced
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 clam shell of spinach
1 clam shell of kale (can be purchased at Whole Foods or by Earthbound)
1 32 oz box of vegetable low sodium stock
1/2 cup of basmati rice
1 cup of goat's cheese (optional if you are lactose intolerant)
salt & pepper to taste.

In a large soup pot, heat up the olive and add the onion, garlic, carrots and cayenne pepper.  Cook until the veggies are tender.  Add in the stock and rice.   Next add in the kale and spinach.  Let it wilt down.  Add the salt and pepper periodically to your taste.

Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer.  Approximately 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Turn off the heat and using an immersion stick, begin to blend the soup down.  If you are adding the goat's cheese add mid point of the blending.
Serve with a good bread and a squeeze of lemon juice to bring out the flavor even more.

TASTE! Street Vendor Food Awards

 Last weekend I got a chance to experience the First Annual (yes I hope there will be more) Street Vendor Awards.   I have become a huge fan of the food truck revolution happening here in Minneapolis.

It was great to see all my favorite vendors (and great DFI foods) like Chef Shack, Vellee, Twisted Sister, World Street Kitchen and Scratch.   It was also great to get a chance to try a few other trucks that mainly stay in St Paul. 

The event itself was well planned and orchestrate beautifully.  Although Taste! itself seemed to cater to a more high end individual, it was great to see a good mix of all people since the food trucks have tons of fans. 

The judges were local celebrity foodies including Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak.   The judging panel tried a signature dish from several of the food trucks to determine who would be the Street Vendor of the year.   There was also a chance for the foodie fans to get involved with a People's Choice Award.

After the deliberation, the awards were announced and the winner was the new kid on the block Scratch!    People's choice award went to the Gastro Truck (a St Paul favorite).

All in all it was an amazing way to celebrate a beautiful autumn afternoon and celebrate local vendors.    I highly recommend going next year!  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kitchen Diva: Minneapolis Food Trucks - The DFI Addition

Kitchen Diva: Minneapolis Food Trucks - The DFI Addition: Since being diagnosed with DFI, I have found it is hard to find a good quick lunch downtown. Most of the people behind the counters cannot...

Minneapolis Food Trucks - The DFI Addition

Since being diagnosed with DFI, I have found it is hard to find a good quick lunch downtown.   Most of the people behind the counters cannot tell you what the ingredients are in many of the dishes they are selling.   Thus began my love affair with the Food Truck revolution.   Each day there are 4 to 5 food trucks parked along the street by office and they have opened up a new world of lunch edibles for me.    One of the great things about the food trucks is everything is made right there and you get to ask questions and know what is exactly in the food they are preparing. 

My first experience with this revolution was Chef Shack.  And like any first love, you keep coming back to the memory of the magical moment you first tried their food.   But because I could only see them on the weekend, I began to stray towards other vendors, savoring more and more the wonders that were being made in these tiny spaces.  Oh the magical flavor combinations and perfect for this DFI foodie.

Here is my list of my favorite food carts and a sampling of what you should try:

Chef Shack
I have yet to have anything bad from here.  The bison burger with egg has become a must have for me BUT if the donut truck is around .... run fast and get a bag of the hot doughy love you are about to experience.

Twisted Sister
First these guys are fun!   Try the Trailer Park Dog.  Orange nacho cheese with chips of your choice crumbled on (Lays are the only ones that don't have corn syrup and the safest bet)

Hola Arepas
Who knew a small package could hold so much food.   Try the Cuban ... you won't regret it.

Dandelion Kitchen
I love the roasted chicken sandwich but nothing compares to their home made soups. 

World Street Kitchen
Yum Yum bowls are very popular but I do love their hummus.

This truck has become a new love.  The burrito stuffed with short ribs and kimchi melts in my mouth but a must have is the pork spring rolls.

There are still more to explore and I will be hunting them down until the Food Truck season comes to a close.
Here is a chance for you to come and explore these wonderful Food Trucks.  On October 1st at TCF Stadium, 300 Wines, 40 Chefs, 10 Food Trucks All in 2 Days At Taste! MPLS.ST.PAUL’S ULTIMATE WINE & DINE.  

If you would like to go check out this link and use the code AMY to get 46% off on your tickets.

The Street Food Vendors who are participating will be:

Gai Gai Thai, Chef Shack, Turkey-to-Go, Gastrotruck, Vellee Deli, World Street Kitchen, The Twisted Sister House of Hunger, Smack Shack, She Royal, Scratch, Cupcakes On The Go, and NateDogs