Though 2013 is still young, it has been a pretty good year in food. The shelves of our everyday supermarkets and local corner stores are starting to feature some fit-foods. Even restaurants are getting in on the action.
An easy way to find new food ideas is to get as addicted to Instagram as I am. I use it for a.) peeking at inspirational fit-bods, b.) finding new fit-foods and c.) making myself generally hungry. I mean some of the photos are lick-the-iphone worthy! It's how I discovered Kobocha squash and came to get an education on how it isn't as easy as 1...2...3 to cook. Who knew a squash could be so hard to perfect, especially when every picture of it is absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes it is easier to just buy something in a package...
Let's start with ketchup. I love ketchup. It's pretty much the one thing I'm not willing to give up. Okay, okay that's wine. Who am I kidding?!
I still love ketchup. I swapped the standard bottle of 57 for the Simply line of Heinz, but I know I'm not doing myself any favors. I mean, I'm not a tiny squeeze kinda girl. Salt, sugar, mystery ingredients. Still, I have to have it on my burgers. I once drank from a glass bottle of Heinz. True story.
Right before we left for vacation last month, my Mother and I went to have lunch at PJ Clarke's, Lincoln Square. I ordered my all time favorite turkey burger with avocado and a mixed green salad to share (that they so kindly split for you). It was then that I noticed the Sir Kensington Ketchup Jar sitting on the table. Spicy. Spoonable. The absolute icing on my lean and juicy burger. I mean just look at it! This ketchup is a must buy.
Who on Earth would even bother with that little cup of plain old ketchup when that glass jar is sitting in the background?!
Need more convincing? How about this beauty of a chicken burger (*pictured above) from Iavarone, Grand Avenue, Maspeth? My local butcher has these fresh and always available for a quick dinner. I topped mine with Lisanatti Almond Mozzarella cheese and placed it sitting on a toasted Jospeh's Mini Pita. I mean, nothing, no words can describe how Sir Kensington's jammy, tomato and spice spiked condiment completes this burger. I have lots in store for Sir Kensington. Picture it,...mixed into burger mince for starters, as a marinade for beef skewers and even on top of oven fried shrimp.
Okay, let us move on to convenience food. I like almond milk, really I do. I really like fresh nut milk (OMilk for starters). I've been spoiled with the ease that you can access it here in NYC, despite it being insanely expensive. It's refreshing poured over ice or warming when mixed with unsweetened cocoa and heated for a healthified treat. It makes great overnight oats and works well in a variety of recipes like protein muffins, pancakes and french toast.
Though I have tried to love it in coffee, I just can't. I need frothy, steamed skim milk. Nothing gets as foamy as skim milk. Almond milk just falls flat. So, nine times out of ten, my poor little carton hits the trash before I use a quarter of it. Blue Diamond wisened up and made mini containers (I first spotted them online at Fresh Direct and if you click on my link to sign up for the first time, they'll throw you $50 in free groceries).
Note that these shelf-stable "milks" are shelf-stable for a reason. There are ingredients in them that aren't necessarily pronounceable, but the product is considered natural. I suppose it's relative to why you're drinking almond milk in the first place. To avoid animal milk? Ah, bigger debate and conversation. These little containers aren't as cost effective per ounce, but neither is throwing away a whole container of spoiled milk, right?
Oh Chobani..., I gave up all fruit and flavored yogurts years ago and then you went and tempted me with these. One trip to Target for sunscreen and I come out with way too many of these to count. They have quite a bit more sugar than I'd like for the serving size, but as Chobani exclaims, it's all natural, not added. Okay, I give in, hands up in the air, I take a spoon and dive right into the coffee with dark chocolate yogurt and start romanticizing breakfast meals and late night snacks covered in this stuff. I froze the raspberry with dark chocolate and I also drizzled it on top of warm oatmeal. I topped my waffles with it. I poured raw cashews into the coffee flavor. I dabbled and created. I swirled a little into plain Chobani. I won't go on, it's too much, too much yum.
These are my new "ice cream" for emergency purposes. I can't start replacing my dearly beloved plain Greek with these, but I can certainly keep a stash handy for when serious cravings strike. I advise you now, they are small. They are called bites for a reason. I promise you will be licking the container from inside out.