May 31, 2010


MONDAY: FM Spinach-Artichoke Calzones  (homemade dough!) with fresh basil and tomatoes

TUESDAY: Sauted FM Kale with EF Spinach-Feta Chicken Sausage, corn on the cob

WEDNESDAY: EF Vegetarian Sloppy Joe, broccoli, oven baked fries

THURSDAY: Grilled Mushrooms/Salmon, beets, asparagus


SATURDAY: Black Bean Tacos

SUNDAY: Tortellini Soup

MONDAY:  Gardein Crispy Tenders and something green

TUESDAY: Kashmir Spinach and brown rice

WEDNESDAY: HT cheese pizza with green pepper and onion

THURSDAY: EF Butternut squash soup with black beans, spinach and feta

FRIDAY: something yummy TBD

SATURDAY: Queen City Taste-tacular?!


As a bonus, since this is the most boring 2 week menu ever, I'll share with you a fun toy from Epicurious! Farm to Table Peak-Season Map

May 30, 2010


YJDKIY hit up some yummy northwestern NC and southwestern VA food stops this weekend!

Watauga County Farmers Market in Boone, NC where we acquired beets, spinach and kale!

Earthfare, where, despite having two pages of coupons, YJDKIY still managed to spend $100+! Lots of yummy bulk items and meats though!

And, since there are no Food Lions in site, I had to hit up The Country's Best Yogurt for

An orange sorbet-white chocolate mousse froyo swirl! That's a small! It was GINORMOUSSE!

Chugalong, chugalong...A few snacks down from White Top Mountain on the Virginia Creeper Trail found us in Taylor's Valley, VA.

Fine kitchens of Virginia? We were order no. 3 for the day!

This was really the perfect trail lunch, YJDKIY has been craving this kind of old skool grilled cheese foevah. However, I'm pretty sure I consumed more calories here than I burned on the 17 mile (downhill) bike ride back to Damascus, VA! It was gorgeous though!

And now it's time to relacticus! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


May 27, 2010

And counting!

One little pepper

Two little tomatoes

Two hundred little basils and thymes!

Local Give Me A Break

YJDKIY supposes this is to be expected, but good grief. I find it ironic the same people complaining about too little government involvement in the Gulf/BP (I'm now referring to that mess as the GULP) cleanup are the same people who were complaining about too much government involvement in health care cleanup reform. Ironically, they're also the same people yelling about this, an environmental issue, that not too long ago were yelling "drill, baby, drill".

I think I'll be finding another Hallmark, thank you. 


Post-partisanship is an approach to dispute resolution between political factions that emphasizes compromise and collaboration over political ideology and party discipline [1]. Often invoked by supporters of both 2008 US presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, its modern renaissance dates back to a Los Angeles conference hosted June 18-19, 2007, by the USC Annenberg School for Communication, to "explore ways to improve political dialogue and decision making." [3]

The 10 principles of post-partisanship

  1. Relationships are as important as convictions.
  2. Criticism needs to be well-balanced by self-criticism.
  3. There must be an overriding commitment to dialogue and deliberation.
  4. There must be an overriding commitment to diversity of opinions and perspectives.
  5. Compromise is not the only endgame.
  6. Be simultaneously creative and practical.
  7. Demonstrate a penchant for big ideas.
  8. Support a bias for action.
  9. Demonstrate concern with values and principles.
  10. Have a long-term vision.

Things that make you go hmmm...

North Wilkesboro ChickenFest gets going this weekend
NORTH WILKESBORO -- The fifth annual ChickenFest will run Friday through Sunday at The Record Park at the corner of Fourth and E streets.ChickenFest, a celebration of Americana music and the poultry industry, will feature more than 20 acts, including David Johnson, R.G. Absher and Friends, The Elkville String Band, Tut Taylor and Friends, the Key City Boys and Wilkes Acoustic Folk Society. Admission is free.The hours will be 6-9:30 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. until late afternoon Sunday, with performances of gospel music through the close of the festival. For more information, call The Record at 336-667-0134. (Winston-Salem Journal)


What will happen if the drilling mud doesn't work?
Using the same tubes and pipes, BP would then try a "junk shot," pumping material like golf balls, pieces of tire and pieces of rope into the blowout preventer.  (CNN)

May 26, 2010


I think YJDKIY's mother made this tofu "egg" salad once when I was little and I thought it was the most disgusting thing to ever cross my little lips.

I followed the PPK recipe: crumbled the raw tofu, added some chopped up celery. In a separate bowl, mixed 1/3 c. (if YJDKIY actually measured anything, that's what it would be) olive oil mayo, plus some lemon juice, cider vinegar, a lot (more than the recipe calls for) of cumin, turmeric, celery seed, garlic powder, pepper and parsley. Scramble it all up, serve on a mini salad with toasted bread. It was ok, I might make it once or twice a year, and it's a good alternative to nasty egg or smelly tuna salad!

Plus, with my baby basils somewhat grown up, I got a good pick of basil. Enough to invent my new summer drink.

Three fingers lime sparkling water, one finger cranberry juice, and several torn pieces of fresh basil! Such a refreshing and tasty mocktail!

May 25, 2010

Silver & Gold

Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold! In this case, my old friend is gold, and gets the gold! I had a store coupon for $2 off Silk PureAlmond Milk that expired last week, so I thought I'd give it a try. Normally, YJDKIY exclusively drinks Silk Light Original Soy Milk, so after my initial taste test, I thought I'd see how the labels compare to prove (or disprove) my opinion.

First, the nutritionals, for a 1 cup serving.

Almond: 60 cal (25 from fat), 0 choles, 150 sod, 150 pot, 8 carbs, 1 prot; good vitamins E, D, A, calcium

Soy: 70 cal (20 fat), 0 choles, 120 sod, 300 pot, 8 carbs, 6 prot; good vitamins B12, D, A, calcium, riboflavin, magnesium

And the ingredients, which, sadly aren't online for the Almond.

Almond: All natural Almondmilk (filtered water, almonds), all natural evaporated cane juice, calcium carbonate, sea salt, dipotassium phosphate, locust bean gum, gellan gum, sunflower lecithin, natural vitamin E, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2

Soy: All Natural Soymilk (Filtered Water, Soy Flour), All Natural Evaporated Cane Juice, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12. 
 Bottom line
Quite disappointed to see cane juice (sugar) as the second ingredient in both of these, although it is MUCH more noticeable in the tasted like I was drinking melted ice cream (and we know I can't stand that). I wish it didn't need the Carrageenan, but it seems to be a common ingredient for all soy milks. The almond certainly offers some different health benefits, but the main thing that will keep my buying soy is the protein. A 5 gram difference was enough for me to take notice, and upon reflection, explained my 10:30 am hunger! Also, the flavor and higher sodium count, but I also take into account the processed nature of soybeans (Silk, unless you get organic, which isn't available in light [grar], does not say they use organic soybeans). In comparison to milk, or even regular soymilk, the almond gets a silver though!

May 24, 2010

As I go

 YJDKIY totally made this one up. Loosely based on this, but expanded to include some of my farmers market stash. Actually, I just pretty much combined that whole meal into one.

Sauted red cabbage in olive oil, added sliced Tofurky Kielbasa, continued to cook, and added Swiss chard. Added some white wine vinegar toward the end.  In a side dish, I prepared a light cream sauce to coat the egg noodles and combined everything.

An equation to remember: soymilk + olive oil ≠ milk +  butter when making a cream sauce. But, it worked out ok when I added some white cooking wine, parm, garlic powder, nutmeg, white flour, pepper and boiled for a while. It was definitely lighter and less guilty than regular cream sauces, so that was good. Super quick supper, and a healthier vegetarian comfort meal (even if the kielbasas are a little spicier than I'd like)!

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

This turned out to be one of the yummiest (organic, certified humane) chicken tenders recipes I've found in a while. The tenders really sucked up the flavor during their short marinade and they were grilled perfectly! I followed the recipe, mostly, but I didn't measure anything and I added garlic powder and ginger.  Definitely a keeper!

Served with grilled farmers market squash and onions, and steamed kale (also fm!) with garlic rice vinegar.

May 23, 2010


YJDKIY has a love/hate relationship with two of my last three meals. Dinner last night was a falafel pita.

I absolutely LOVE restaurant falafel, and while I like the concept and flavor of the box kind at home, I absolutely HATE the consistency and texture. I assume it is because I bake it instead of fry it, but it is so so dry sometime I can hardly eat more than two bites. This time, unlike my last, I loaded with homemade tzatziki using Oikos, and lettuce in hopes of rememdying this, but no, still like shoving a handful of raw flour in my mouth. How do you make falafel yummy?

My second love/hate meal was lunch today. Since we had a ginormous veggie omelet with wheat toast and fruit at the cute cafe in Salisbury, I still wasn't hungry for lunch by the time noonish rolled around. This allowed the perfect opportunity to make use of the crazy Sunday hours at the Y (open @ 1 p.m.). I think I'll stick to the 6 am slot, after walking out into 90 degrees all sweaty and hot myself. All I wanted to eat was a smoothie!

This one contained the kitchen sink! A little (leftover from February) TJ's tart frozen yogurt, a little swoony Food Lion frozen yogurt, some severely freezer burned berries, a small ration of my frozen farmer's market strawberries, a super tiny drizzle of chocolate syrup, a little light Silk, some leftover OJ from breakfast adventure, some cranberry juice, and a handful of raw oats (my condiment of choice lately!).

The flavor was fantastic...but enter the hate. I can't stand digging out (and washing) the blender accessories. I detest trying to get the perfect consistency and I can't stand melted smoothie so I practically have to inhale it to consume before melting occurs. But, oh, I love the taste and it feels so healthy and refreshing!

May 22, 2010

Of Menus and Markets

 This Week's Market Acquisitions (less than $10!)

SUNDAY: Pineapple Chicken Tenders, Garlic-Tamari Sauted Kale (Correll Farms!), squash & onions

MONDAY: Sauted red cabbage, chard (both Correll Farms!), and brussel sprouts with pierogies  tofurky kielbasa

TUESDAY: Tofu "egg" salad on lettuce bed, bread

WEDNESDAY: Gnocchi & asparagus in pesto

THURSDAY: Fish with sweet potato & zuchs (grilled?)

Remaining Shopping List (greater than $10!)
pineapple juice
tamari/soy sauce
lettuce (why didn't we get this at the market? duh!)
pesto packet
sweet potato
egg beaters
sandwich thins
laughing cow

May 21, 2010

All Stuffed Up and Nowhere to Go

Apparently YJDKIY was a space cadet this week. I totally planned to make stuffed peppers. But all the while, in my little Gilly head, I was picturing this, and when I went to look for the recipe discovered it was stuffed ACORN SQUASH!

No worry, I quickly switched gears to make stuffed peppers, as intended. Which means, of course, it gets blogged, whereas the stuffed squash has already seen its 15 minutes of fame.

Stoplight peppers and a little tomato sauce

I had some evil Bocas burried deep in the freezer to use up, so they're crumbled, sauted with red onion, garlic, quinoa, fresh spinach, basil, garlic powder, oregano and a little rosemary. 

All ready to go in the oven. The canine component was on parm dropping clean up duty.

Topped with tomato sauce and cheese, baked at 350 for 25 minutes. Delish!


And in other Avenue news, leave it to the Republicans. You may remember months ago when I wrote to my congresspeople about school lunches and got an email immediately back from Kay Hagan's office.  Not to be out done, now, May 11, I received a postal mail letter from the other one. Not quite the mark of efficiency or resourcefulness. Furthermore, they got the zip code wrong for the city I do live in, but that's not even the best part. Take a look for yourself (click the image to enlarge if you can't see):

Henceforth, ye shall address your loyal blogger as The Honorable YJDKIY.

May 20, 2010

Tasty Bite

Yes, it is true that YJDKIY has the most wussiest taste buds ever, so I'll just start with that.
Since Tofu/Shrimp Stir Fry was on the menu list for this week, I happened to notice a new product in the aisles of my local HT. Normally I avoid these types of package sauces like the plague, but I generally like Tasty Bite foods, and I was hooked when I read the nutrition panel for this Pad Thai Simmer Sauce. Can you guess which part convinced me to try it?

Water, Raw Sugar, Peanuts, Onions,Tomatoes, Tamarind, Sunflower Oil, Vinegar, Chillies, Tapioca Starch. Contains: Peanuts.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1/2 pack (3.5 oz./100g)
Servings Per Container: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 200  Calories from Fat 90
%Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
   Saturated Fat 1g 5%
   Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates
28g 9%
   Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
   Sugars 23g  
Protein 4g  
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 2% Iron 2%

Not only can I pronounce all the ingredients and don't really see any extras, there is very very little sodium in this prepackaged sauce. SCORE! The sauce was pretty good on some soba noodles, peppers and shrimp, but it was a little too spicy for my liking. I might try it again, but watered down, and, gasp, cut with a little added salt or soy sauce.

So, the big question is....if Tasty Bite can do this, why in the world can all the other packaged foods?

Necessity is the mother of invention

YJDKIY normally does not eat yogurt other than my daily morning Oikos. However, by participating in Stonyfield's reward program, I got a coupon for 2 free regular yogurts, so this was in my lunch bag today. However, I had already ditched my spoon in the trash after breakfast (dishwashered plastic spoons only last so long until craaaack!), forgetting that I would need it later.

Not to let my yummy pomegranate berry smooth & creamy go to waste, or be outsmarted by my lack of forethought, I began searching my (very) messy office drawers for something that would do as a spoon. I could have just used the foil lid, in fact, I think I've done this. But who knows what grocery store stocking clerk had his grimey little hands on that. I briefly considered fashioning something out of paper, but quickly realize the flaw in that plan (paper + liquidy yogurt = wads of mess in my mouth!).

Behold! I give you the ScotchSpoon made completely from tape. 3M should endorse me to create more objects for them. This little crafty problem solving adventure reminded me of an OM project from back in the day...

and was a fantastic display of this Venn diagram that I have posted on the wall beside my desk. Now, if I could just get rid of that slightly sticky/plasticy taste* in my mouth!

*does anyone know the ingredients for scotch tape? (dare you to click that link!)

May 19, 2010

Local Um?

Sign of the times I guess. Today YJDKIY was bopping around the USNWC website looking at activities available for Spring and Summer adventures. My one experience with this place a couple years ago, flat water kayaking, my first attempt!, was quite enjoyable. We had the river to ourselves and even saw an otter. My overall impression was "great facility, so poorly underused I have no idea how it will stay afloat" (pun intended, because YJDKIY is like that).

They have this one that I've always thought would be cool to play with, since it is included in the AllSport and CoolSport passes (I think that's a pretty good deal for $30 or $50 bucks of day fun). However, when reading about the MegaZip, I was greeted with the following, quite disappointing, statement:

The Mega Zip at the USNWC is currently under annual maintenance.  In order to expand the weight limitations we have decided to upgrade to a new system that will accommodate more guests. We expect to have the new and improved experience available shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Disappointing you ask? The weight max is already 230lb. Perhaps this is related to a few facts I read this morning:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1971 and 2000 American women increased the number of calories they consumed by 22 percent (from 1,542 to 1,877 per day), while men increased their intake by 7 percent (from 2,450 to 2,618 calories).
  • Serving sizes at national restaurant chains have become two to five times larger than they were in the 1970s. 
  • During the thirty-year period covered by the study, obesity rates doubled, and two-thirds of Americans are now considered overweight.
  • In 1978, fast-food sales totaled $9 billion—a figure that rose to $106 billion in 1998.  

May 18, 2010


YJDKIY is tired of hearing that weight training is wrong for women and seeing only the old men at the Y using these exercise. Don't get me wrong, we all need 30-45 minutes of intense cardio. But I truly think lifting "heavy" weights is good for you, and makes you feel good. I learned this by working with a trainer using the Metabolic Effect method, and by seeing the results this strategy warranted.

Here is a nice collection of links of interest proving this point. 

Top 10 Reasons Heavy Weights Don’t Bulk Up the Female Athlete

CNN: Weight training, calcium, hormones the key to fighting osteoporosis

The Best Strength Training For Women

Myths of Women's Weight Training and Female Bodybuilding

Lift Weights – Why You Should Lift Weights if You’re a Woman

I can't believe we ate that many strawberries already

Says the other YJDKIY diner. $11 worth in 1.5 days (granted a sandwich bag full was frozen, but that still leaves 3.5 qts). There was oatmeal pancakes with strawberry topping, baked strawberry crumble (also involved oats, see a pattern here?), and then this, which I had totally forgotten about as a strawberry recipe until this evening.

Spinach salad with strawberries, pumpkin seeds, red onion and balsamic/olive oil dressing! So tasty-tangy.

Served with baked sweet potato fries (olive oil, cinnamon, kosher salt) and cumin-cilantro-lime-agave baked tilapia.

May 17, 2010

The Ave-cado

The perfect summer sandwich...

Arnold Multigrain Sandwich Thin (lightly toasted)
2 crispy Morning Star Farms (fakin) Bacon
1/2 Laughing Cow Original Light wedge
D&W Cranberry Mustard
Avocado (normally YJDKIY likes this mushy and ripe, but for sandwich making, a little firmer is actually good for slicing and staying put!)

This one was missing the sprouts, nonetheless....

I couldn't even wait to get to the table before taking a bite...or two. The best part about it is the mushy avocado and crunchy fakin bacon. It reminds me of eating pimeto cheese sandwiches with fritos on them in college (or maybe that was high school...I can't remember who taught me that!).


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