Friday, February 11, 2011

Update and Dinner at Jaleo

Talk about swamped ….. Where has the week gone? I can’t believe that I haven’t posted since Sunday. This is definitely the longest that I have gone without posting. Now I am going to try to get you caught up on everything that has been happening and is worth mentioning. ;-)

On Thursday of this week Dan had a meeting in DC and I went with him so that we could have dinner at one of Jose Andres’ restaurants as a treat. I also took the opportunity while he was in his meeting to write a post and let you know what we have been up to since my last post this past Sunday.

I decided to listen to “The Great Health Debate” which started on Sunday. Since the audio recordings for the debate ranged from 2 to 3 hours that has been taking up a huge amount of my time. Of course I have been taking notes while listening which made the recordings last even longer since I was pausing them often. Between the recordings, exercising, and life administration I have had zero time online which I am sure you noticed if you sent me an email. I will reply I promise but it may take me a few more days as my schedule is packed through Tuesday of next week. *rolls eyes* I am ridiculously busy at the moment and looking forward to getting back to my typical “woman of leisure” schedule. ;-)

Regarding “The Great Health Debate” I have found it rather interesting though I wouldn’t actually call it a debate since one speaker talks for an hour or so and then another speaker talks with no interaction between the two of them. However it has been interesting from the perspective that each call so far has had an omnivore and the vegan. There has been some interesting information that has come out that I will be researching further. If I decide to order the recordings and transcripts I will let you know. I am on the fence about that now but may decide to order them.

For the most part the speakers have all agreed on a few things. All of them are very down on processed food and junk food. None of them are keen on conventional food not meat, dairy nor produce. They all seem to approve of raw produce either and many approve of cooked produce. Grains have taken a bashing though some of the speakers think they are fine in moderate amounts. Beyond those few things the speakers are all over the map. Since the event was put together by Renegade Health you would expect many of the speakers to be raw foodists and they are. I have been surprised by how much even they disagree with each other. Overall it is has been very interesting and worth listening too. I only wish it was a little shorter each night as this is taking up a big block of my time. However I assume that is partly the point and will encourage many people to buy the audios and transcripts. ;-)

Before I forget there is also a TEDx talk coming up this weekend that you might want to check out. This one is called “Changing the Way We Eat”. I am most interested to hear Dr. William Li (President, Angiogenesis Foundation) speak but will be checking out the other speakers too to the extent that I can fit them in. The TEDx talk starts at 10:30 and goes until 6 so I may not watch the entire thing. ;-)

I have not been cooking much either lately since I have been ridiculously busy. We have been existing on things like beans (which I pressure cooked) on salad, spring rolls, soup, collard wraps, baked tofu, roasted sweet potatoes and other fast meals. You know I am busy when I can’t find time to cook and write about it. LOL

Here are some random pictures of what we have been eating:

Our usual green smoothies made with kale, frozen banana, freshly ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, powdered ginger, homemade soymilk or water, and stevia for Dan.

A few times the pizza veggies showed up using frozen organic veggies and mushrooms which I topped with red sauce sand walnut parmesan.

You will not be surprised to see that we have been having our recent favorite snack of an orange with two Brazil nuts (for the selenium of course). ;-)

I also made a pot of yellow split pea and sweet potato soup that even my parents liked. Go figure! I will try to get that recipe posted soon. I did write things down but didn’t put the information in the cookbook program yet so I don’t have the nutritional statistics at this time.

A few days we had summer rolls (raw spring rolls) with a quick sauce I made from homemade reduced fat peanut butter, lime zest, lime juice, chili garlic sauce, and water to get the right consistency. The sauce was very good and will be showing up again with the specifics because I liked it that much. It was also a good sauce to dip baked sweet potato fries into.

Speaking of sweet potatoes those turned up a few times in the last few days because they are easy. Once they were baked and dipped into salsa. A different time I used the peanut sauce to dip the fries into.

Another time I there was a baked sweet potato filled with garbanzo beans and topped with salsa.

I also managed to sneak in a few collard wraps these were filled with avocado, black beans, tomatoes, cucumber and salsa.

You will not be surprised to hear that Dan has been having his favorite dessert almost every night.  Yes he could practically eat his weight in strawberry banana soft serve.  ;-)

As you can see there really hasn’t been any creative cooking going on at our place just fast healthy food. You really haven’t missed much in terms of food from me over the last few days.

Knowing that we were driving to DC this afternoon Dan caught a ride into work with Troy and I was supposed to pick him up downtown. I started my morning by listening to “The Great Health Debate” that was released last night. After that I had errands to run. Yippee skippee you all know how much I like to drive, NOT. Since I was out and about I stopped and Marshall’s to see if any bargains were to be had and there were, LOL. I grabbed three shirts and a pair of black slacks for myself.

I also found these adorable tea cups with saucers for $1. Can you believe two cups and saucers for $1 and they were not made in China.  That is what I love about Marshall’s. You never know what you are going to find but sometimes you can get great bargains. I do love a good bargain. ;-)

Then it was time to head downtown to pick Dan up from work. When I was at traffic lights I took a few random pictures of Baltimore to share with one of my out of town friends. Here they are in case you are curious.

This is a shot from downtown (little Italy to be specific) looking toward the Inner Harbor.

Old red brick buildings are common in downtown Baltimore like this one.

Here is another old building which I think is part of the department of education but I am not certain. It looks like it should be a court house of something equally official to me.

This is a picture of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which I took as we headed for DC.

Here we are arriving in DC at yet another ball park. This is where the Washington Capitals play and coincidentally was around the corner from Dan’s meeting. It feels like a baseball sort of day. Maybe that is because I am SO looking forward to the arrival of spring. ;-)

We came into DC on Capitol Street and you can see the US Capitol over the roof of the blue car in front of us.

DC is also full of these new shiny buildings with zero character. *rolls eyes* I know some people like this type of architecture but I find it rather flat and boring.

After Dan’s meeting we were off to Jaleo. *happy dance* Both Dan and I have loved everything we have ever had at Café Atlantico and The MiniBar so we couldn’t wait to try this restaurant. When I checked the menu I was thrilled to find that they have more naturally vegan dishes than I had anticipated. Let the feasting begin. LOL

Phiet (who works with Dan) was also in the DC meeting and he joined us for dinner. We warned them ahead of time that we are very slow eaters and like to savor the experience and he will still showed up for dinner with us. Brave of him wasn’t it. LOL

Dan and I started with the tomato bread which was delicious. I have no idea how they make something so simple SO good.

Then we ordered the garlic mushrooms which were wonderful.

Next we had the vegetable paella which was huge so over half of the pan ended up going home with us.

The next dish was the potatoes with cilantro, cumin, garlic dipping sauce. I loved the sauce which means I need to make a healthy version of that very soon.

We ended the meal with the spinach with pine nuts, raisins and apples. I expected this to be very much like the Sicilian dish I make with pine nuts, raisins, garlic and hot peppers but it wasn’t which surprised me. I will be making this at home soon too.

We walked back to the car which we parked near Café Atlántico (another Jose Andres restaurant and still my favorite). I thought the lights of the front of the building were cute.

Leaving DC we drove around a little and took pictures for a friend. She wanted to see some of the usual sites like the monuments and the exterior of the museums. Here are those pictures.

Thursday was a long day but a good one.

Happy Thoughts:

I have had a very busy week but it hasn’t been bad just hectic. Here are my happy thoughts:

• While I was busy I was also able to take care of the basics, like preparing healthy home cooked food, cleaning, etc. Overall it has been a good week.

• Thursday was a lot of fun and we enjoyed Jaleo with Phiet. The food was delicious and we had a good time chatting.

• It was fun to see DC through the eyes of a tourist. Since DC is very close to Baltimore (about an hour away) I tend to take it for granted. It was fun to take pictures for someone else and it caused me to look at DC differently.

• I found a few really cute shirts at Marshall’s on Thursday which I really like. Who doesn’t love a bargain?  Those always make me happy.

• Today is Friday! *happy dance* I love Friday’s and that is always something to be happy about. ;-)

• If the weather people are right we will be back to normal temperatures tomorrow and then into the 50’s next week. Could spring actually be around the corner? I hope so. *fingers crossed.

• As I am writing this post I have Binky lying on me supervising what I am doing. We are very blessed to have sweet loving felines to share our home. They greeted us at the door last night when we came home like we had been gone for days. They are such precious little babies, not that I am biased of course.

Signing out:

I need to get a few things done here including listening to the installment of “The Great Health Debate” released last night. I also need to get things caught up around here so the weekend can be more laid back.

I hope to have time to write a post tonight for tomorrow morning. Enjoy your Pre-Valentine’s Day weekend. Talk to you again soon.


  1. We missed you this week! Glad you're back and eating well :-) It is interesting that the speakers views are quite varied...I'll try to remember that TEd talk.
    Have a nice weekend.

  2. Love all the pictures! I'm doing the happy Friday dance!

  3. Yummy post, Ali. You've been missed! Love the pics of Baltimore and's been years since I've been to Baltimore, and I LOVE DC! I especially love your pics of the monuments at night--a few years ago, I did a sunset bike tour of the monuments, was amazing.

    And, as usual, everything looks delish--and I especially love quick and easy. :)


  4. I recently discovered that I love sweet potato + beans! YUM!

  5. i love a good deal too:) as you know! the last time i was at marshalls(sp?) i got shower hooks for 2.58. mom found them...she is the queen of deals:) but "I" benefited:)

    i had been wondering about what the great health debate was, you cleared it up pretty well, thank you.....cept for one thing...why arent you a speaker:)?

    i HAD been wondering where you were!

  6. Great post!
    Loved all of the fotos!
    Angelic Soap

  7. Hope you had a good weekend! It was warm and nice here.

    Those debates sound interesting. I guess contrasting the viewpoints is interesting, even when they don't interact. But that would be more interesting - even if they don't speak to each other, at least to listen to the other point and try to counter it. I'll have to check one out if I have time within their timeframe.

    Looks like a great meal out, as well as more good food at home. I'm so impressed you are able to do that, although I understand it is your priority.

  8. As usual, your food looks DELISH! I would like to listen to those lectures you are listening to. I agree that whole, unprocessed foods are the best. You just feel better when you eat that way. Have a great week! :)


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