Broccoli Pomegranate Yogurt Salad

broc salad 2

I’m back! And hopefully I will remain so. Life has been busy but I have missed being on here. This side dish is the perfect healthy accompaniment to all the holiday food surrounding you. Its vibrant colors of red and green make it a festive, crunchy, sweet, tasty treat!

broc salad 1

broccoli salad 3

I am still trying to master the art of removing the seeds from a pomegranate. Do you have any tried and true tricks up your sleeve? The hitting with a wooden spoon method hasn’t been very successful yet. I still tear into it in chunks and remove all the seeds with my fingers…

broc salad 4

broc salad 5

Broccoli Pomegranate Yogurt Salad – from Vegetarian Everyday

2 heads of broccoli

1 small red onion (or 1/2 of a large onion) finely minced

seeds of one pomegranate

1 and 1/4 cup of raisins

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1 cup plain yogurt

sea salt and pepper

Wash your broccoli and chop into small, bite-sized, pieces. Finley slice the stalk pieces as well. Place in a large bowl along with the finely minced red onion, raisins, and sunflower seeds. Toss to combine (I used my hands to mix this, even with the yogurt) add the yogurt and toss again. Mix in the pomegranate seeds last to prevent any from bursting. Finish with salt and pepper to taste and serve! Yum!

Get Your Pom On

Pom Pom Pom

and more POM

Hi there. So New York has swallowed me whole.

In less then two months I have become one of the many captives of this crazy city.

Time passes differently here… within the blink of an eye three weeks can go by. Really. Just like that. In all seriousness I must manage my time a bit better. I have so many amazing recipes swimming around in my head and no time to act upon them.

The one thing I am doing lately, however, is eating pomegranates.

Lotsandlotsandlots. of pomegranates.

I passed a crate of them earlier in the week while at market and thought “aren’t these reaching the end of their season?…….and I haven’t had fresh pomegranate yet this year!……I HAVE  TO HAVE FRESH POMEGRANATE NOW!!!”

With a mindset that ice was coming to freeze the city over tomorrow this Georgia-girl bought almost the whole crate…..

so have no fear, I now have plenty of pomegranates.

There is something extremely stress-relieving about de-seeding a pomegranate. My roommates probably think I have lost my marbles, standing in the kitchen for at least a half-hour with my hands covered in deep magenta/red juice and the carcasses of fruit skins scattered over the counter……..all for a bowl of seeds.

But I find it oddly beautiful. These seeds are so tight, that you know they will burst with the slightest touch and you refrain from letting your teeth do just that so you can actually have something left to show for your labor once all is done.

Left to chill in the fridge for a few hours and I swear you will devour every last one within seconds.

I have been topping my morning yogurt with them, throwing them on top of salads, and had them in a ‘outofthisworld’ curry soup the other day that is one of my amazing recipes to come.

So quick, before winter is amongst us, GO! and get yourself a pomegranate.

Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad

I am on a tight budget this week as far as meals go.  Hence $2-3 entrees from Trader Joe’s are my savior.  After a long day at work and the lovely trek back to my room [the staircase next to my door won’t open from inside the stair well..GO FIGURE] so I walk all the way around the building.  Extra cardio, though, right?..[disgruntled noise].

Back to dinner, my stocks were rather low.  So I decided it was finally time to use the can of black beans I’ve been staring at all summer.

~ Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad ~

+ sweet corn [yum]

~ spices ~

My latest department store deal.  I found this bottle of gold at a Marshals…maybe a Ross, definitely a store of a similar nature 😉  It is so good!  and you can spray it on almost anything.

The finished product.  I love the red specs of the cayenne pepper!

Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad ~
1 can of black beans, rinsed & patted dry
1/2 can yellow corn, rinsed & patted dry
1 tbsp or so of honey
sprinkle of cayenne, salt, and cumin.
[I didn’t use exact measurements, so use what your spice levels are comfortable with]
Spray down with garlic grape-seed and sesame oil

Just toss everything together and serve.  Quick.  Affordable.  Easy.  This is a very versatile dish, if I had more ingredients I would have added fresh lime juice and cilantro and served over a bed of lettuce 😉

Afterwards was another Almond Butter Coconut Ball.  I swear these things taste better and better the longer they sit in the freezer.

Yes I am going backwards 😮 , thought I’d start with what was most recently on my mind.  Breakfast today was a quick pomegranate spinach smoothie.

Just some frozen pomegranate kefir, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, cinnamon, and the rest of a bag of spinach.  Blended.  Cold perfection 😀

With an ABC Ball [of course]  possible new addiction? >:)

Trader Joe’s has ceased to please.  Never have I enjoyed a frozen meal as much as the ones at TJ’s.  The freshness and flavor are the same if not better then eating at a restaurant.  Promise.  Today I tried the shrimp green curry on jasmine rice.

It.  Was.  Out.  Of.  This.  World.

Look at this ingredients list!  In my book I don’t want Thai food without all the authentic spices and this dish lived it up in the authentic flavor department.  Thai eggplant and peas, umm AMAZING.

Some more fellow bloggers giveaways!:

http://www.onefrugalfoodie.com/2010/08/18/popular-vegan-cookbooks/

QUESTION:  What do you do for meals when your on a tight budget?

I tend to resort to the famous PB & J 😉

Pom-Spin Smoothie/Sushi/Cutest Pup Ever/Makin’ Dinner!

Return of the pomegranate – spinach smoothie.  It has been too long.

I took pics step by step as I made it 😉

– First 1 tbsp chia seeds –

– Then lots of cinnamon (you can’t ever have too much)

– 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach –

– Frozen B-nana –

– spoonful of peanut butter 🙂 –

– 4-6 ounces of pomegranate kefir (the more you use the more liquid consistency you will get) –

– THEN blenddddd –  [top with more cinnamon]

– And a sprinkle of cacao bits –

My morning was filled with puppy love. [<3]

A co-workers 8 week old boston terrier.

Asleep every other ten minutes! 🙂

Cutest thing in the world.  She took everyone’s attention.

And looked fabulous atop my red purse 😉

🙂

Lunch was a quick trip to trader joe’s

Organic carrot juice.  amazing.

And brown rice california rolls

brown rice and seaweed with avocado, crab, and carrot.

Then rolled in toasted sesame seed good-ness.

Yum

For dinner tonight I was invited to cook at a friends house.  I was so pumped, being cooped up with only a dorm fridge and blender can make you go a little crazy after a while.

I decided to adapt a recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  Sausage filled potatoes, with sides of lightly sautéed zucchini and tossed arugula salad.  It Turned out divine!

The original recipe can be found here.

First we mixed up a sauce for the potato filling and later for the salad dressing.

A bit of mayo, tomato paste, anchovey paste [I had to search for this, sounds gross, but makes the dish.  Like fish sauce is to Thai food]  And trader joe’s dijon mustard which was heavenly.  I have a new love in the condiment category.

MIX

Onion – Chopped

To save on time, the potatoes went into the microwave first then were halved and scooped out.

amounts of cider and trader joe’s olive tapenade were consumed in the process 😉

Onion then went on the stove with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt

Zucchini was washed and then chopped.  In a food processor with a chopping attachment.  I have never used one of these before and felt like a little kid at a candy store, for the very first time.  Out of this world.  If I owned one of these I would be chopping everything and anything all day long for no apparent reason, maybe it’s a good thing I’m not in possession of one yet 😉

Beautiful

Zucchini chopped – and into the pan on light heat with olive oil and sprinkles of salt and pepper.  With a bit of parmesan cheese at the end.

water, more dijon, and lemon juice was added to some of the previous made sauce and tossed with fresh arugula

The potatoes were filled, baked, topped with more dijon mixture, broiled, then set on a plate.

Dessert was a homemade blueberry crumble, made by the host, with fresh blueberries from their back yard.  I don’t think there is anything better.

Topped with vanilla ice cream [the authentic kind….with the black dots] 🙂

What a night.

🙂

This weekend is Southern Belle Swing Dance here in Atlanta, GA.

A weekend of great dancing and amazing performances.

Question – What is your favorite summer dessert??

Puff. Rice. Crunch.

So I have a new obsession.  wait for it.  Puffed Brown Rice. 🙂  It’s so airy and care free that I find myself wanting to include it with everything!  Not to mention the crunch, and who doesn’t like a good crunch now and again?

Today’s Breakfast was another Pomegranate Spinach Smoothie..with a side cup of puffed rice 😀

Pomegranate Spinach Smoothie
Ingredients:
1 tbsp of ground flax
lots of cinnamon
1 frozen banana
two large handfuls of fresh spinach
4-6 ounces pomegranate kefir
spoonful of peanut butter
and blenddd.
Topped with some cacao nibs and copious amounts of puffed brown rice.  Delish.

Lunch today was another trip to metro fresh, where I had a divine sugar plum salad.  TONS of fresh chopped plums with walnuts, celery, and basil in an orange maple vinaigrette.  omg.  This deserves the honored title of party in your mouth.  A glorious fruit salad!

This was followed by a chicken and farfalle pasta salad in a basil pesto with corn and peas.  This was good but very skimpy on the pasta with way too much chicken.  Ah well.  The basil infused meal was pretty good and I even had some left for dinner 😉

Before Monday night dancing [it’s called Hot Jam on Monday nights(!)]  Their was an array of snack-mania.

Peanut Butter and the new addition to my fridge, the godly raspberry jam, on a cinnamon TJ graham cracker.  This Jelly is like a drug, no joke.

Then I decided to use the last of my pomegranate kefir [tear] on a bowl of surreal awesome-ness.

Base: A broken TJ cinnamon graham cracker, then piles of puffed brown rice, a tbsp of peanut butter, a sprinkle of chia seeds, a dash of cacao nibs (can you dash cacao nibs?) and the biggest spoonful of raspberry jam.  This resulted in the biggest food induced smile ever.  Beautiful.

– Jam of the gods –

Jam before Hot Jam 😀

Then their was some Trader Joe’s Roasted rosemary pecans and cranberries.  I bought this after seeing a sale ad for it online and it is quite good to say the least.

There are actually sprigs of rosemary all throughout this trail mix which makes it quite intoxicating.  It reminds me of the fish my mom would always marinate with rosemary from her garden growing up.  <3.

This would be even more fabulous if made in my own kitchen, can you imagine the smell of roasting nuts and rosemary wafting out of your oven as the cooler days are looming ever closer?

Alas when I am reunited with a kitchen this can be a reality.

Before running of to dance I grabbed one of these sample bags I snagged at whole foods this past weekend.

Great, as always.  I wasn’t expecting them to be as spicy as they were, but a lovely kick 😉

Song of the day – “Help I’m Alive” by Metric.

This band is my new obsession.

Question: Since PP & J is one of my favorite foods, does anyone have a specific way they enjoy this combo?  Anything out of the ordinary?

Pomegranate~Oat B-fast. a.k.a. Dessert.

This mornings Breakfast was so heavenly it shouldn’t be allowed … or should more often maybe 🙂

Pomegranate~Oats

You better bet I had a frozen banana ready and waiting for this mornings breakfast.  I even put my normal ‘lazi-ness’ aside and removed the soft serve from the blending cup and into a stylish mug.  A result of Saturday I dare say.  This was an amazing combo, the graham crackers were from Trader Joe’s and are a bit thicker then normal ones, which is for the better 🙂

Pomegranate~Oats
4-8 ounces pomegranate kefir [up to you on consistency]
1 frozen banana
splash of vanilla extract
lots of cinnamon
1/3-1/2 cup raw rolled oats
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 cinnamon graham crackers [broken into pieces]
Blend banana with cinnamon and splash of vanilla extract, empty into dish.  Top with kefir, oats, graham cracker pieces, and chia seeds.  Then garnish with a bit of shredded coconut, cacao nibs, and more cinnamon, it is up to you 😉
Mix ~ Enjoy

After running some errands I decided to stop by whole foods.  Again.  I blame this on not having access to one till last month so I’m trying to make up for lost time.  ALSO there are samples galore on the weekends, a college girl on a budgets dream.  Everything from wild caught breaded fish with organic ketchup and raw granola to locally made yogurt and a frozen chili chocolate cheesecake that should be illegal.

After perusing for an hour or so the salad bar lured me to its never ending variety and I ended up coming home with dinner B-)

Mixed greens and spinach….

Roasted Sweet Potato things = God these were good.  Has anyone ever had sweet potatoes that they haven’t liked?

Chili tofu and balsamic tofu

Roasted garlic cloves, edemame, shredded squash and zucchini, some spinach and orzo, some asian cabbage with sesame

Who knew tofu was so camera friendly?

Green and kalamata olives galore ❤

I swear this salad bowl was not the size of China, I have a bad time resisting putting one of everything in there though – crazy combinations result.

Tonight I wanted to try some new booty from my recent grocery trip.

Apple.  Sliced thin and wonderful.

Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter.  I bought some individual packets of this brand because if truth be told…I have way to many open nut butters right now but have never tried Justin’s before.  If only there were sample sized packets like these of everything!  A solo eaters dream…..

Next up was a new Jam.  Having just used up the jar of apricot I purchased Raspberry today.  Probably one of my favorite flavors.  A spoonful on top of 4 oz of brown rice crisp [another of today’s purchases I can’t wait to have fun with] and a splash of pomegranate kefir.  I love to use splash as a measurement… anyways this hit the spot.  I swoon for raspberries of all forms. 🙂

Too much flash

Seeds are always a plus in jam…

Song of the day: “An Honest Mistake” – by The Bravery

One of my favorite songs by them.

And Keep Posted!!! – I will be having a giveaway coming up 😉 so don’t miss out.

Pad See Ew Please

So This morning started off with a long awaited Green Monster!  An Almond Butter, Banana, Pomegranate green monster to be exact.

Last night was amazing, I had some great dances and even did a few moves … IN THE AIR … I will definitely be finding that partner again 😀  Needless to say I slept well afterwards.

I awoke ready to get my green on.

Almond Butter, Banana, Pomegranate Green Monster :
1-2 tbsp chia seeds
lots of cinnamon 😉
2 extra large handfuls of fresh spinach
frozen banana – broken into pieces
1 tbsp almond butter
4-8 ounces pomegranate kefir – depends on desired consistancy
topped with a swirl of almond butter and Udi’s artisan granola

This was like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in liquid form.  It was a heavenly combination, refreshing, party in my mouth.  I will be making this again soon! 🙂

Song of the Day:  “Elephant Gun” by Beirut.

I came across this band a little over a year ago and fell in love.  They are without a doubt on my list of bands to see live.  This particular song was the one I chose for my reel on my website as well.

At work today I came across a photo link from a performance I did back in February with my college’s swing dance group.  I didn’t even know these existed!

BSA Dance Photos

I am the one wearing the tiny black hat. 😉 Kind of weird to be browsing through videos on you tube and come across a slideshow of yourself, though …

Lunch and dinner were Pad See Ew.  I waitressed at a family owned Thai restaurant for 2 years and got to eat for free while working!  I was spoiled rotten in the category of Thai food.  So I was so excited to go for Thai with the office.  The portions were so big that I easily made dinner out of it.  Two birds with one stone 😉

I asked them to make my tofu ‘soft’ tofu – which means they cook it with the rest of the meal instead of deep frying it first.  I like the tofu better this way, it takes on a bit too much of a spongy texture when fried + is better for you.  Two stones again? 😛  It was just the way thai noodles should be with a good bit of vegetables in the form of broccoli, cabbage, onions, and bean sprouts.

After a 45 min trip to the gym I had an amazing apple.

A very photogenic apple 🙂  Do you find that an apple sliced thin like potato chips is more appetizing then one normally??  I found it to be so.  A thin, crisp burst of apple goodness with every bite.

Still Craving something else I turned to the mini peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Trader Joe’s organic creamy peanut butter with apricot jelly on small rice crackers.  Why I love small rice crackers? – The serving size is about 35-40 crackers!               .. in love –

You can eat them open faced…

Topped with dried cranberries…

Or as an actual sandwich 😉

PB & J can be too much fun, on your night off.

What’s your favorite way to eat Peanut Butter and Jelly?  Do you prefer a different nut butter?