Tag Archives: dinner

Thirty Acre Farm & Outstanding in the Field {Whitefield, ME}

You may or may not have heard of this “farm-to-table” trend and, perhaps depending on who you ask,  it may or may not have hit the road and spread across the country thanks to Jim Denevan. He started a career in the food world as a dishwasher, progressed to second-line cook and, with credit given to the influence of Alice Waters in California, eventually led an Italian restaurant to source locally grown ingredients and be proud of it.

As fate would have it, his brother (Bill Denevan) owned and operated an organic farm in the area. Jim’s idea to source locally to his restaurant’s tables was eventually taken outdoors to an actual on-the-farm table. Years later, he tours the country with his Outstanding in the Field (OITF) team and, lucky for us, opens the farm doors to any and all who wish to dine.

IMG_2817_OITF

A summer trip to the Land of Lobstah was largely planned around the Thirty Acre Farm dinner in Whitefield, ME. An outdoor dinner on a farm on a late-August Maine evening? Yes, count me IN.

IMG_2870_TAF

The “dinner” started in the late afternoon (3pm) with appetizers, generous local beer and wine pours, a farm tour and a lot of photo-taking.

IMG_2814IMG_2832
IMG_2835
IMG_2828IMG_2829
IMG_2837IMG_2839

On the left: Jim & Anna giving the OITF story.
On the right: Jane & Simon giving us the Thirty Acre Farm story!

IMG_2825

Each OITF dinner is BOYP – bring your own plate. This was an excuse to buy new plates, because there’s no reason to trust TSA with this kind of thing, and bring home a unique souvenir! The OITF team kindly cleans them for you before the evening is said and done, and they do have extras laying around just in case you miss the memo.

We sat down to dine around 5pm, with four courses ahead!

IMG_2848IMG_2853

We started with freshly baked artisan breads and, of course, a fresh-from-the-farm salad. Summer tomatoes and arugula have never tasted so good…

IMG_2847IMG_2859

The second course brought us locally sourced grilled Bluefin tuna, the farm’s signature kimchee and a daikon lamiaceae salad.

IMG_2868

Each course is served family-style, with “family” being defined by the lines in the table. We were among locals (Portland, ME) and travelers  (Boston, South Carolina, California, DC…) alike. It makes for great conversation, plenty to eat or a way to pace yourself for the main entrée – depending on your approach!

IMG_2866

For the big hurrah, the table was graced with Thirty Acre Farm lamb, baked Swedish beans and roasted peppers + eggplant. My plate looked a little bit different, with a variety of grilled vegetables, herbs and rice ‘cakes’ (not the cardboard-kind, the kind made with freshly cooked rice and seasonings):

IMG_2869IMG_2874
IMG_2875
(They happily accommodate food allergies, intolerances and/or preferences.)

And while we were all hoping that the deliciously in-season Maine blueberries would make an appearance for dessert, we were instead greeted with a creative spread of sweet breads, homemade granola and sweet spreads:

IMG_2878

OITF_logo

I’ve already scouted events in 2014, as these dinners sell out quickly! It was one of the most unique experiences I’ve had while on vacation. I know no better way to get a feel for the local food scene: support a family farm, meet the traveling farm-to-table enthusiasts and hang with local servers and chefs (huge kudos & thanks to Eventide + Hugo & Chefs Andrew Taylor & Mike Wiley).

If you have the chance to join this crew for a meal, don’t turn it down!

—–

Check out their upcoming events & read more about the OITF family here.

Leave a Comment

Filed under food, things that make me Happy, travel

Friday Four: Feats of Breaking Habit

In this week’s headlines, we have online dating hoaxes, Lance out and honest along with Obamas gearing up for putting another day in the history books. In this little world, we have small feats breaking big habits:

1) Oatmeal, take the bench. We have a new starting bowl in town:

egg & kale breakfast

We experimented with a few new cooking sauces this week (see #3), and while this breakfast bowl would’ve been just fine without the drizzle, that flavor bump made all the difference.

Scrambled Eggs + Kale + Almond-tahini sauce + salt/pepper

Just as easy to put together as my usual bowl o’ oats, and just as filling. Eating kale first thing in the morning seems to provide that defiant “I’m doing something awesome!” feeling. Super green + breakfast = winning. Eggs’ protein has the highest bioavailable value and that almost-tahini sauce added in a dose of healthy fats. Can’t go wrong here!

2) Sunday (Spicy Veggie) Slow-Cooker Stew
Say that five times fast.

It may take a little extra planning, thinking about dinner four hours before you want to eat dinner, but needless to say it’s worth it. This week I just threw in what we had on hand – no plan or recipe in mind – and voila! Dinner + lunch leftovers for two days*:

crockpot veggie stew

In the mix: cubed baby purple, red & gold potatoes, kale, orange pepper, diced fire-roasted tomatoes (with green chiles), diced red onion, vegetable broth & water (enough to cover all veggies), red pepper flakes, garlic powder & cumin.

*Let those red pepper flakes & green chiles sit and your mouth will burn. There’s your warning.

3) Pour on the special sauce

We’re branching far away from the usual balsamic vinaigrette, BBQ sauce & salsa toppings. D blended a few things together this week and officially spoiled our tastebuds. (My understanding is that it was something like: tamari, almond butter, raw almonds, salt/pepper, olive oil & fresh garlic.) I tested out Emily’s Tahini salad and have officially confirmed that it’s all about the special-sauce.

tahini sauce cauliflower salad

4) Be scared. Keep climbing.

To use up our 15 day pass and really get in some good practice, we headed back to Earth Treks last night for a post-work climb session. This time my hands actually reached the 40-ft top on 4-out-of-5 attempts. I could get used to this panicked-but-adrenaline-rushing feeling…

Climb step 1 Climb step 3

Climb step 4
Nope, safety was not compromised in the taking of these photos. I was all of 3-4 ft off the ground.

—–

what would you do if you weren't afraid

What habit are you ready to break?

3 Comments

Filed under dinners, food, Goals, lunches, new things!, recipes, strength train too!, things that happen at the Gym

Roasted Tomato & Quinoa Veggie Pot: Eat Food.

After posting my health library I realized that, while I love flipping through the pages, I’ve never fully read Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. It actually sits on my desk at work, should I ever need some very simple inspiration for a post (work-blog, not here), seminar or handout. Now, it’s sitting on my kitchen table as I realize it could be the inspiration for some new recipes.

I like to think we make up our own rules here in the DOTR kitchen, and that Mr. Pollan would approve. Our “rules” would have to mash together to form something that includes dark chocolate and a hankering for chips & salsa; there are some compromises to be made! But nonetheless, I opened the book to page 5 and started with this:

1) Eat food.

We can do that!

Today’s recipe is a simple one-pot wonder that will put dinner in your bowl/plate/mouth within 30 minutes (or less). If you wanted to roast the tomatoes yourself – power to ya! – then use this on a cooler summer evening with fresh summer tomatoes and go for it (adding some cook-time)! When they’re out of season, I reach for the Muir Glen Organic Fire-roasted Tomatoes because I know them well. The flavor can’t be matched!

Roasted Tomato & Quinoa Veggie Pot

2 cans (15 oz) fire-roasted organic tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz) organic chickpeas, undrained
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup dry quinoa (rinsed)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or one glove garlic, minced)
Salt/pepper to taste

Le Creuset Cooking

Heat oil over medium in a large pot or Dutch oven; add onion and sauté until opaque/softened. Add tomatoes, water, chickpeas, broccoli, quinoa and seasonings. Stir until mixed well; bring to boil and then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for ~20-25 minutes (until quinoa is cooked through). Stir every couple of minutes to prevent any burning.

Let it cool, and then dish it out!

Roasted tomato & quinoa veggie pot 2

This was the perfect, easy and flavorful one-pot creation on a colder DC night. Next up I might finally use that slow-cooker that’s staring at me and waiting to show its power!

—–

What was on your dinner menu this week?

5 Comments

Filed under dinners, food, Nutrition, recipes, vegetarian

Basil Tofu Pesto & Pasta

With D on a ride after work, I had some extra time to assess the fridge’s contents and be creative with its dwindling supplies. I knew one thing for sure, that post-bike-ride stomach is a bottomless pit! Dinner needs to be voluminous, with all of the right nutrients.

This recipe is gluten and dairy free, but could be easily adapted either way:

tofu basil pesto ingredients

When I pick up the Trader Joe’s organic infinite Basil, it is with well intentions and an ambitious mind. It’s tricky to get through that entire box before leaves begin to bore and brown. Pesto is a quick fix for that!

Knowing that riding in the 100* heat wouldn’t create an appetite for a steaming bowl of pasta, I cooked these brown rice noodles about an hour beforehand, and let them cool in the fridge.

Then, I photographed things and got to thinking…would this work? Dinner, let’s play, and see what happens!

Basil Tofu Pesto & Pasta

4-6 oz brown rice pasta* noodles (3-4 servings), cooked & chilled
1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 block extra firm {sprouted} tofu, drained
1/4 cup raw pecans
1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Splash of unsweetened Almond milk**

Optional add-in: steamed kale leaves, or other greens (spinach, mustard, etc.)

*Use any noodle/pasta you have on hand.
**Or other milk substitute (soy, rice, etc)

Before chilling the pasta, stir in 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and season with pepper.

Slice tofu block into pieces; add to food processor with pecans, basil leaves and salt/pepper. Pulse for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle remaining 1/2Tbsp oil and add in a splash of Almond milk (or other milk substitute). Continue pulsing for an additional ~3 minutes, until reaching a smooth, creamy texture.

tofu basil pesto

Stir tofu basil pesto with pasta to coat and mix together. Add in steamed greens.

tofu basil pesto pasta bowl

Quick, easy and perfect for a hot summer evening! The texture was the middle ground between traditional pesto and alfredo sauce, without any heavy cream or excessive oil. The sauce was smooth enough to spread around easily, but strong enough to really stick onto each twisted noodle.

I added in kale leaves because we had them on hand and I love an extra dose of color for nutrients and flavor. Any vegetable of preference could be substituted in there, or even a medley of them – I’m thinking sautéed summer squash & red onions, or sun-dried tomatoes and spinach for next time!

Either way, this tofu basil pesto will not disappoint, and could even trick a meat-eater with a bowl of creamy pasta & a full on flavor punch. You have your protein, multiple sources of healthy fats, carbohydrates and veggies! In other words, you can’t go wrong with this staple.

—–

Happy Friday!

Have you tried a twist on the traditional pesto before? Our last experiment involved avocado and sunflower seeds, and that was a hit, too! Pesto can wear many hats.

7 Comments

Filed under dinners, new things!, recipes, vegetarian

Summer Yogi Salad

Biking to and from free Yoga (courtesy of the Running Yogis!) at the Georgetown lululemon last night provided the sweat-overload that the unheated class did not. A mere 6 miles on the bike should never be that taxing, but Summer has its point to prove.

The absolute last thing I would’ve done is turn on the oven to cook/bake. Our kitchen is narrow and cozy – cute? Yes. Airy and Open? Not so much.

We barely avoided the cereal-for-dinner trap, instead deciding to use up the last of our salad greens (spinach leaves & lettuce) to fill up on real nutrients.

{Simple} Summer Strawberry Salad

Perfectly refreshing after a hot summer workout – whether your version of that involves heated vinyasa, cycling, running, etc.

Strawberries, sliced
Cucumber, sliced
Pecans, crushed
Tofu (sautéed in olive oil)
Salad greens
Pepper
Balsamic Vinaigrette

Measurements are up to you – fill up and enjoy!

Strawberry tofu salad

There is nothing out-of-this-foodie-world creative about this salad. It’s simple, and sometimes we need a good reminder that that’s just fine. We gave ourselves points for going with a colorful bowl of fresh produce instead of what we’d probably have for breakfast less than 12 hours later. Tofu is our choice of protein, but to each their own!

——

What’s on your go-to oven-free dinner menu?

We have our first 100* day here in the District, with many more surely to come. All suggestions welcome!

10 Comments

Filed under dinners, food, groceries, Lululemon, lunches, recipes, Yoga