Trader Joes & eats from the weekend

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To say I love Trader Joe’s is an understatement. You wouldn’t believe how excited I was when I learned it was coming to Utah. I never thought it would happen due to the alcohol laws here but they managed to make it happen. My pantry and stomach will never be the same. Even though it is a 45 minute drive to go there it is much better than traveling to Vegas with a huge cooler. Could you imagine if I lived within walking distance? My food budget would probably be through the roof since it is right by Whole Foods as well.

Brown Haired Boy didn’t even stick around while I cruised the isles. He preferred to stay in the car. It was a brief sad moment, until I realized where I was.

I definitely stock up on my favorite items but love to try new things as well.

My Go-To’s include:

  • Chicken Sausage
  • Carne Asada: One of the best I’ve ever had and I’ve been everywhere. 
  • Turkey Slices- thick
  • Portobella Mushroom Caps
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Power Greens Mix
  • Goat Cheese Medallions 
  • Kale
  • Guacamole 
  • Spinach & Kale Dip
  • Hot & Sweet Mustard
  • Hot Pepper Jelly
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Salsas
  • Sunflower seed Butter- – my absolute favorite
  • Marinara Organic 
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil Spray
  • 21 Seasonings
  • Unsalted Kerry Gold Butter- so much cheaper there
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Dates
  • Coconut Chips- Amazing
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips
  • Brown Rice Tortillas- every once in a while
  • Pizza Dough – the Garlic Herb or Plain for Brown Haired Boy

Then I will try a few new things. This trip I also picked up some snacks for our upcoming road trip to California:

  • Shrimp Veggie Stir-Fry
  • Garlic Salsa
  • Mango Yogurt Gummies- Brown Haired Boy loves all things gummy
  • Plantain Chips- Love them but I go through them way too fast
  • 85% Cocoa Bar & Raw Turbinado Sugar for baking purposes
  • Gluten-Free Brownie Mix- – the best! 

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Sunday is my prep day. I absolutely love being in the kitchen on Sundays. I usually prepare veggies, bake yams whole, fries, or chips, protein, frittatas, and pancakes/waffles for the week. It makes my week less stressful and they are all ready for Tupperware to take to work.

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Sunday’s Breakfast: Power Green Pumpkin Pancakes

No idea why I decided to open up a huge can of Libby’s before we leave on vacation but I did.

  • Handfuls of Power Greens
  • 1/3 cup of egg whites
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin
  • added vanilla extract & pumpkin spice
  • Topped with WF chocolate syrup & sunflower butter

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Dinner last night: Turkey Bacon & Kabocha Squash with Salsa

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This was breakfast this morning after a 7 mile run. The muffin frittatas are so easy to make and portable!

Next up is a review on Grilla Bites. Which is why we were up in Salt Lake to being with.

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Black Sheep Cafe

Black Sheep Cafe is a gem.

The food is fantastic as well as the people. I feel right at home whenever I am there. Not because I am used to Native American cuisine but because of the atmosphere there. They definitely remember you; especially when you are a frequent diner like us.  I’ve loved everything about the restaurant since we had the brilliant idea to try the new place a year ago. I love trying new dishes but sometimes when something is so good you just can’t not get it again. However after this time I think I will try some new dishes but I will get back to that later.

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It wasn’t until this year that we were introduced to the mouth watering, melt in your mouth; Hog Jowl Tacos. Oh Man! These tacos can be categorized as one of my favorite foods. It wasn’t even put on the menu permanently until recently. My life will never be the same. . . I might sound like I am exaggerating but seriously AHmazing. They come as an appetizer as four and then also as an entree with two large ones.

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I would explain to you what Hog Jowl is but then you might not want to try it and I want you to try it before you know what it is! You’ll probably ask the server huh.

This visit was my second time going during the lunch hour and the first time that they were serving it during then so me being excited was an understatement. However I was a little disappointed to be honest. For being my favorite item of course I have high standards but they were a little dry this time. It might be because it was lunch hour or its better as the main entree; I think that’s it!

Next up was Brown Haired Boy’s Entree:

Enchiladas: From their websiteSlow-cooked red chile pork and queso menonita wrapped in bleu corn tortillas and covered in our red chile sauce. Topped with more menonita cheese, black olives, green onion, crema, and cotija cheese. Served with cilantro-lime rice and pinto beans.

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He loved it! It wasn’t his first time ordering it either. The dish is huge! He could not finish it. I had to try it this time around especially since I was going to review it. I am not one to order enchiladas they just don’t appeal to me at restaurants. They were definitely good but not a plate that made me keep bugging BHB for more. I would prefer a little more of the pork because I barely tasted it. There was definitely enough cheese though. I was looking for more of a kick in the flavor as well but it wasn’t there for me.

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Goat BurgerHalf-pound beef patty stuffed with goat cheese and roasted garlic, topped with portobello mushroom slices, fire-roasted red bell pepper, arugula, and adobo mayo, wrapped in homemade nanniskadii bread.

I get this dish pretty much every time I go. I love it. You’re probably wondering why my plate looks so bare. I don’t get their very popular bread due to being gluten intolerant so I bet I am missing out! BHB loves when they forget that I ask for it sans the bread because he gets two! The Goat Burger is definitely a hit and miss item only because of the goat cheese. I absolutely love goat cheese. It is my favorite kind of cheese. However whenever I order this dish it’s either barely present or not there at all. My thoughts are that if I am getting a stuffed burger I expect a large amount; especially when its a half pounder! Regardless, the meat is just perfect and knowing that it is local and gras-fed meat makes it that much better.

Now lets talk about these Sweet Potato Fries they use the yellow sweet potatoes rather than most restaurants that use yams. I typically choose a yam over a yellow sweet potato because of the starchiness of them. Keep in mind I don’t like regular potatoes for that exact reason (I know everyone thinks I am crazy). But these fries are a whole other story. They’re more thick than crispy. Some might not like these since its not like the typical fry. They are not greasy either which I love. The dip is similar to fry sauce but who doesn’t like fry sauce. 

These dishes are not the only ones we’ve tried. We’ve tried the following:

Appetizers:

– Bleu Fire Shrimp: Southwestern spiced and smoky shrimp on a duo of creamy bleu and yellow corn polenta, topped with roasted sweet corn pico de gallo. 

The bleu corn polenta is the best polenta I’ve ever had. It is a hit or miss item as well. I love it but sometimes it can have too much oil surrounding it. To me that is unappealing but it wouldn’t phase BHB.

– Black Sheep Wings: Smoky chicken wings in a spicy sauce, slightly sweetened with honey, served with raw sweet potato, carrot sticks and a creamy cotija-chipotle-lime dressing. 

This wasn’t anything special to me. It just tasted like any ordinary wing.

Main Entrees:

– Bleu Burger: Half-pound beef patty stuffed with bleu cheese and topped with caramelized onions, organic mixed greens, smoked bacon, a cabernet sauvignon reduction, and mayo, wrapped in homemade nanniskadii bread. 


If you like Bleu cheese with burgers you will definitely enjoy this dish. I liked it but not as much as the Goat burger. The bacon was cooked perfectly. If I could add that component to the Goat Burger oh my goodness that would be ridiculous.

Navajo Tacos: There are three different kinds. Pinto, Red Chile Pork or Beef, and Green Chile Pork or Beef. They are massive! You can enjoy the sampler of all three which I would say is the best bang for your buck. It is probably their most popular item. Definitely check out their website for the explanation of each one.

Desserts:

Orange Habenero Creme Brûlée: I absolutely loved this dish. It has a kick to it obviously but it culinary genius. The hot and sweet twist to the dish is incredible. A must try!

Carrot Cake: It was delicious! I could only handle a bite. . or two due to it having gluten. Carrot Cake is my favorite and only cake I like due to it having more moisture than cakes/cupcakes. BHB even loved it which is good since he had to finish it off.

Overall, Black Sheep is one of our favorite restaurants in Utah County. Yes it can be hit and miss but that is only because we have such high expectations since it is THAT good! They are ALWAYS accommodating no matter what. If you are gluten intolerant, or vegetarian they do substitutions for you without a second thought.

We wish it was a little more consistent but now that it is getting more popular the consistency might being struggling because of that. Nonetheless, we love the atmosphere and the people that work there. It will always be on our Go-To list. If our budget allowed for it we would definitely go once a week!

Eats and Menus

I am a planner. I have a love/hate relationship with this trait of mine. Not sure when this exactly happened but it was heightened once I got married. Brown Haired Boy is not exactly a planner when it comes to food, working out, or extra curricular activities. After 2 years I have accepted that we are both wired differently.

I love making lists anywhere from menus, workouts, and To dos. Sunday is definitely my mental prep day for the week ahead. I thought I would share some eats from last week and menu for this week.

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I go through phases often. However I cannot kick my pancake and waffle kick. It’s what I want to for breakfast every day. If it was appropriate I would probably eat it for every meal. I usually make a weeks worth of pancakes or waffles on Sunday so it is just easy to heat up in the morning. The topping possibilities are endless. This waffle is my go to recipe. I topped it with Chobani, Peanut butter- Pb Crave, strawberries, and coconut nectar. Always gluten free.

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Left overs:: We had some friends over for dinner. I made Cheesy Spinach and Chicken Enchiladas. I Didn’t use all the corn tortillas that the recipe called for. It turned out amazing and you better believe this will be in our rotation. http://mangiablog.com/2012/06/18/secret-recipe-club-reveal/

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My bananas started to smell. They were extremely brown. At first I didn’t want to make banana bread but I knew it was inevitable. I usually make the same recipe but this time I changed it up. It hit the spot and made me want to listen to Jack Johnson the rest of the day. I decided to make french toast with it this morning. Topped it with some greek yogurt and strawberries. If you can’t tell already but breakfast is my favorite meal. Now if I could only get BHBoy to eat breakfast.

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This masterpiece came together in five minutes when the craving for a chocolate chip cookie hit. I created my own version of a Gluten free & dairy free mug cookie. I didn’t measure anything this time. But when I make it again, which is probably tomorrow, I will definitely measure.

Ingredients used:

– Kerry gold unsalted butter

– Coconut flour

– Unsweetened Almond milk

– Coconut palm sugar/ coconut nectar

– Egg yolk

– enjoy life chocolate mini chips

Menu for the week. I am trying hard to not go to the grocery store until Thursday.

Sunday: Crockpot BBQ Chicken drumsticks with side salad

Monday: Cauliflower pizza crust with left over BBQ Chicken

Tuesday: Goat cheese stuffed Grass-fed burgers with baked sweet potato

Wednesday: Veggie Frittata with baked yam chips

Thursday: Tuna cakes over zucchini chips (Grocery Day)

Friday: Out

Saturday: TBD – Date night

Next I will be reviewing Black Sheep Cafe

Tortilla Bar

Mexican food is our absolute favorite kind of food. Brown Haired Boy loves any place that mimics the authentic stuff; however I care more for the quality of the ingredients rather than feeling as greasy as the fried tortillas. Some might say I am not a true Mexican food fan but I don’t care. Nonetheless this restaurant was right up my alley.

This was the second time I’ve been but the first for the husband. The Tortilla Bar is very small. The size of this restaurant is declared loud and clear whenever you Google the name for reviews. As someone who gets overwhelmed pretty easily I decided the best time to go would be for lunch. We arrived a little before 11. It was obviously empty when we walked in and the chef was rocking out to the music as loud as possible. It definitely put a smile on my face when showed us to our table after he turned it down. The atmosphere is very modern but with a twist of comfort.

The menu is one page. Which I love. Brown haired boy was a little confused with the menu being so short. I was excited to try different tacos like the pork belly this time around but was a little disappointed when certain items were not available yet since it was a Monday. All of their meat except for the fish is local, organic and grass fed. Most of the menu is also Gluten-Free which is perfect for me. I knew exactly what I was getting and BHB did too.

Since we were the only ones there the chef actually took our order. Before we even ordered he saw me shivering and asked if I wanted Hot Chocolate. Of course I said yes. . who turns down that kind of offer especially when I knew it would be Mexican Hot Chocolate. The husband warned me thinking I wouldn’t like it since I have such a sweet tooth and Mexican Hot cocoa is known to be a little more bitter. It was absolutely delicious. I burnt my tongue which is nothing new. Who has the patience anyways?

Down to the good part: What we ate!

I ordered exactly what I got last time but I would be perfectly content eating this on a daily basis and not get sick of it. The tacos come with 2 so perfect for sharing. They look small but they are filling!

What we ordered: the Avocado Taco and this time around I decided it was my favorite out of the two; goat crumbles with avocado and a crisp red beet and golden beet. Expect it to get a little messy. The juice/oil will definitely come out the end. The messier the better in this case!

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The next taco was the Hanger Steak, with julienne organic green apples and jalapenos. The first time this was my favorite. Brown Hair Boy definitely took over on this plate. He thought it was genius to pair the jalapeno with the tartness of the apple. The meat was cooked perfectly.

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The plan was to have one of each. We each ended up having two bites of the others and then we decided to switch again. Me finishing off the avocado and he put away the steak.

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Then I couldn’t help but order the Plantains and Crema again. I am never one to order anything fried- not the case for BHB. But these fried plantains are the exception since they are in my opinion the best appetizers around. The combination of the texture from the raw almond butter, the sweetness from the plantains, and the perfect amount of crumbled fresco queso is permanently imprinted on my brain. It is suppose to be an appetizer but it came out after the tacos and it was the perfect way to round out the meal. BHB tried one and I finished the rest. I definitely liked it more than him. Go big or go home!

Recap

The service  at Tortilla Bar was perfect and fairly quick. I love that they use Square Up. It is so easy to pay that way! Some reviews complain about the prices but honestly it is good quality food that you get. It is not a cheap place to go to though. Regardless of it being a little expensive it is completely worth the extra couple of dollars per plate.

Overall I didn’t care that I had the same thing as the first time. It was just as delicious if not more so! I didn’t feel like I was dragging the Husband to go there either. Since it is relatively healthy food. He loved it and said it will definitely be in our rotation!

Until next time!