Tuesday, February 25, 2014

100 days of Unprocessed Meals (Crockpot)

Rising in popularity is the Paleo diet. I don't claim to know a lot about it but I know it involves eating foods that haven't been processed. Over the last couple of months, it's been my goal to eliminate wheat from my diet. I haven't knocked it out complete but I've stopped by bread/tortillas and I don't buy tortilla chips unless I plan to entertain. 

Today I plan to share a link with you I got from a friend which features a ton of  different recipes that are unprocessed (according to the author). Oh, and these are crockpot meals so I just made your life easier, you are welcome!


Recipes tried thus far...

Because it's winter (and I've been lazy) I've tried only the soup recipes, specifically: Gluten Free Taco Soup, Southwest Chicken Crock Pot Soup and the Crock Pot Cheeseburger Soup.

Of the 3, the Taco Soup was the best. It has a ton of flavor and a lot of veggies in it. My only knock is the chicken was a little bland. You could fix that by seasoning it when you cook it (before adding to the crock pot). If you want to break the rules of paleo, you can add tortilla chips or cheese. Don't worry, I did too haha.

The Cheeseburger Soup was pretty good, especially at first. The potatoes don't soften up as much as I would like but it somewhat reminds me of Smokey Row's awesome cheeseburger chowder. I even threw a few pickles in my soup and it tasted very close to a cheeseburger. I would make this again!

The SW Chicken Soup was a little on the bland side. If you make this, I recommend using FRESH cilantro as opposed to the squeezable cilantro which taste sour and gross. I doubt I'll make this again with all the all other similar options on the list.

See anything you want to make? Recommend any? What Paleo/Unprocessed recipes do you like?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

La Mie - Sausage Omelet

Happy Valentine's day to myself! Shane decided to grace me with his presence with a trip to La Mie. As I've been told, I need some more breakfast places on the blog so Shane suggested La Mie (nestled in the Roosevelt Shops). I was ALL for that choice since I've heard great things but have never been.

Sausage omelet, toast and some green tea
At 9am on a snowy Valentine's Friday, this place was pretty packed but there was still space to sit. The people at the bar where we sat were friendly and the overall energy in the building was nice--it felt like breakfast in a "fancy" big city restaurant.


I chose the Sausage omelet which was decent. It was a lighter egg and a lighter sausage which was actually welcomed after a late night the night before. The taste was solid and it came out pretty quick. It wasn't the most delicious/amazing omelet ever but it was well done. At 6.50$, it wasn't cheap but not terribly overpriced--it was expected with a quality place like La Mie.

The toast wasn't bad either, it was a nicer quality than your average bread but nothing earth shattering. My favorite thing would probably be the endless amounts cups of tea (of various choices). If I had a lazy morning, I could certainly come here to chill and get hopped up on Green Tea.

Salmon omelet, toast and some coffee for Shane
Shane, as always, classed up the place with the Salmon Omelet. I'm pretty sure there can't be too many places in DSM that serve that but he recommended both of our types of omelets so he knows what he is doing.

La Mie had an awesome vibe going that makes me want to go back even though the food wasn't epic (it was still solid though). This would definitely be a place to go if you want a pastry. The guy next to us got the French Toast with Peanut Butter, Bananas, and bacon....that looked awesome. Since I rarely eat much bread based foods, I would save that breakfast for after I run a 5k. I would also like to go for lunch to get this: pepper beef (sandwich) with poblano pepper, roast beef, provolone, onion, mayo dijon"

What do you recommend here? Any other breakfast places you recommend I check out?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Americana - Bacon Wrapped Meat Loaf

For a late dinner after a happy hour, a group of us went to Americana. My decision was between the Americana Burger and the Bacon Wrapped Meat loaf. As a meatloaf enthusiast, I had to go with the latter.


As usual, I took about 3 bites before I remembered I have a food blog...

If you haven't been to Americana, it's only been around a few years but is known for it's awesome weekend brunch special (which I highly recommend). They have an awesome 2 story set up and a modern, semi upscale atmosphere. You know me, I'm a no frills dude but it's always nice to stop in here to class up my life.

So the presentation on the meatloaf was nice, but I really don't care much about presentation. The taste was decent, the "ketchup sauce" they used was a sweeter version (I prefer saltier). The green beans are really thin and a more rubbery version than most of us are used to (rubbery probably means fresh though, right?). The cheddar potatoes were decent, pretty creamy but not overly flavorful. Since this place is upscale-ish, it was $17 which seems high to me but again...I'm cheap and no frills.

Many people at my table got either this or the Americana Burger...I wish I would have chosen the burger as it looked really good. Overall, I still like Americana but since I don't have as sophisticated a palette as others, I would probably only stop by on rare occasions and get the simpler dishes. Overall, Americana is a cool bar that serves some pretty good drinks. Anyone have any favorites here?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Salsa Chicken (Crockpot recipe)

I have yet another crock pot recipe. I got some inspiration from my friend Kristi, who made a taco/shredded/crock pot chicken recipe. I tried to find a similar recipe to what she did to make sure I had all the measurements correct. I found this recipe, which combines things that I pretty much always have on hand. Plus, it's a great protein boost with the chicken and Greek Yogurt (which I used in place of sour cream). Oh, and it is really simple, versatile and cheap.


In the crockpot, I pulled a lot of the salsa/juice out.

On a bed of spinach (and I snuck some tortilla chips in there also)

I was starting to get sick of shredded buffalo chicken (didn't think that was possible) so I thought I would try this because I love taco seasoning and chicken. I am also sick of cutting raw chicken and cooking it in a skillet and I get to avoid both of those things with this recipe. This turned out pretty good! This wasn't perfectly creamy because I used so much salsa but had a nice zing to it and wasn't overly runny.

I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and I ended up using a whole jar of salsa (16oz). If you use a whole jar of salsa, you could probably use an entire bag (2.5-3lbs of chicken thawed). If you use half that amount of chicken as the recipe suggests, then you are probably OK with a half jar of salsa.

This would work OK with tacos (although the chicken might be too wet), great for nachos and salads. I definitely recommend you try this if you like chicken tacos and America!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hessen Haus - Bavarian Stroganoff

Hessen Haus is one of my all-time favorite bars since I turned 21 and was a Drake student. Strong beers and a fun atmosphere. Still to this day, I come here on my birthday to drink a boot with friends. When most people think of the Haus, they usually only think of the beer. The food here is as good as quality as any other Court Ave restaurant.

The menu has a wide array of foods: authentic German food, burgers, sandwiches, pizzas. I really liked their Hunter's pizza (see previous review) and actually convinced my dad to get it. On this trip, I HAD to get something even more German. I always liked beef stroganoff (even if it was Hamburger Helper) so I went with the Bavarian Stroganoff.


Bavarian Stroganoff
German Spaetzle presented in a rich sour
cream sauce with mushrooms, onions and your
choice of lightly seasoned beef or pork 11.99
This was really good. The spaetzle has an awesome soft texture (think Gnocchi). That texture mixed with the thick and creamy sauce makes you so comfortable, you'll want to take a nap at your table. I went with chicken (as opposed to beef or pork) and it was incredibly tender.
If you like Gnocchi, I recommend having a dish with their spaetzle, it's awesome. The only reason I may never order this specific dish is because there are so many other dishes here I want to try. This is comfort food in uber form. What do you like here?