Category Archives: Salt Lake City

Disappearing Act–It Happens

Here is the thing.  I have been busy.  And also, sometimes, I just want to eat my food instead of snap photos and document every flavor.

Does that make  me a horrible food blogger?  Probably, but deal wid it.  😉

I go back forth between wanting to really delve into the foodie world that is Salt Lake or hover around it in my own voyeuristic way.  Most of the time, I am happier sitting on the edge, keeping it under wraps, and telling you what I like or don’t like in a pretty basic way–without any real deadlines.  The truth is, other sites do that better–and some worse–than I do.  It is what it is.  But then, the disappearing act happens and a month goes by where I just don’t feel like telling anyone about anything I eat.  And that may or may not piss you off. 🙂  My ultimate goal was to one day write for a food and wine magazine….and to start some kind of professional portfolio, which this blog sort of serves as.  But, I am not sure my path is heading that direction anymore. So, I think and I think and I think…..

So, here is a brief recap of some things from the past month:

Key West Vacation–it was pretty wonderful.  Full of sun, beaches, and great seafood (the fresh Lobster roll below was to die for).  Also, a lot of Landsharks and Pina Coladas showed up at our table.  Key West is a great place if you want a Caribbean vacation and don’t want to pay to get your passport renewed (like myself).  The island is small, tropical, and if you make your way to Bahia Honda State Park and Beach you will truly feel like you are in another world.  My thought, while standing in the ocean, white sand under my feet was, “this really exists?”  It does.  And it was magical.

After Key West, there wasn’t much down time before my sister came to visit from Alaska.  I hadn’t seen her in 9 months, which is far too long to go without hanging out with your best friend.  So, you can understand I have been in family hang out mode for the past 8 days or so.  We had a fun BBQ at our house–and even went old school with the charcoal grill.  It just tastes better.  We ate a lot of Mexican food as well.  Baja Cantina in Park City is a favorite spot of ours, and my own baby sister made enchiladas one night.  I have had a lot of guacamole in the past week.  I am not sick of it.  Also, as a life-time resident of Utah, I had never been to the Salt Flats, so a nice little drive got us out there and we had fun taking photos.  Dear Sister, I miss you already.

I am considering how to cross my love of food into my love of other things (in writing).  Currently, I have multiple blogs for my multiple personalities.  I have this little food blog here, which has been pretty successful so far, but I also have a blog dedicated to my poetry (Engel Poems) and I also have a normal blog for ranting and raving and things I find beautiful and lists I make (Calculated Changes by a Math Illiterate Feminist).  I have yet to come up with a way to combine all of these into one cohesive idea.   They all have different readership.  And I am not sure if my food fans would want to read a poem, or vice versa.  And do you all have any interest in reading about what really irritates me or how ridiculously good looking my boyfriend is?  I just don’t know…

So, there are some Nosh Maven thoughts on the first of June (what the hell…it is JUNE!).  Maybe it is time for a Nosh Maven facelift–and attitude adjustment.  We shall see.  Until then, I will keep reading Rilke and try to find some inspiration.

Now, where to go for lunch?

SLC Spring & Coconut Flour Pizza

I think that spring is in full swing here in Salt Lake City.  This means, I don’t feel like cooking.  At all.  No oven, no stove.  So, basically I have been eating strawberries, string cheese, and drinking lots of cold beverages. Spring also means, that I am on the lookout for patio dining anywhere I can get it.

We haven’t gotten out and about too much the past few weeks–Russ broke his arm on the last day of the season snowboarding (rough, rough times), but we finally got out to one of or favorite local eateries last week because he was in need of pizza!  Spedelli’s now has their patio open, and honestly, you just can’t beat their prices. We really like this place.  Go there. 🙂

Our love for pizza kind of takes over our lives sometimes.  One thing that we have been cooking–that is nearly carb free–is coconut flour pizza.  The crust is spongy and a bit lighter (while being more filling at the same time), but if you are craving pizza and want a healthier version, this is for you.

Crust:

4 eggs

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp oregano

1 clove garlic

pinch of sea salt

Combine eggs, yogurt, and sea salt then add the coconut flour and beat until smooth.  Blend in spices and parmesan cheese.  Spray a pan with non-stick spray or whatever you like to use to making sticking go away. 🙂  Pour the batter onto the pan and then use a spoon or spatula to spread batter.  You want to make it pretty thin because coconut flour batter puffs up while cooking.

Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes then remove and add all of your ingredients of choice! Sauce!  Cheese!  Veggies!  Meats galore!  This is your time to be creative. Then, put back into the oven for about 8 – 10 minutes.  Yay!  Pizza!

Also, spring means getting our yard looking nice and wanting to buy every cute little flower planter, paper lantern, and tea candle light holder out there.  Last night I spent some time potting succulents and sitting on my porch with some lovely candle ambiance.  I hope that everyone’s spring has been as enjoyable as mine has been so far!  Hopefully, I won’t get summer fever too bad and remember to post here once in a while.  I still have to get to Pallet and I want to do a new review of The Copper Onion and see what seasonal changes they have on their spring menu!

Little update on the diet:

While I am not as strict as I was the past three months, I have reached my goal weight and now the key is to keep it off, and if I can knock another 10 lbs off this summer I will be happy.  I have really gotten into Zumba lately, and I think that shaking my bootay 2 – 3 times a week has allowed me to ingest pizza and not have my hips show it! 🙂  I am definitely feeling happy and healthy these days.  Key West in 12 days!!!

Enjoy your noshings!

Plum Alley–It Brings Out the Happy!

A ceiling full of paper lanterns, cozy family-style tables, citrus and spiced meat flavors wafting from the kitchen, and smiling faces.  This is the atmosphere you will enter when you open the door to one of Salt Lake’s newer restaurants, Plumb Alley.

Plum Alley just opened a few months ago.  Ryan Lowder, the genius behind The Copper Onion is also the brains behind the menu at Plum Alley.  This fact alone told me I was in for a treat, as The Copper Onion is one of my favorite eateries in Salt Lake.  However, you will find a very different flavor, literally and metaphorically, at his new restaurant just a few doors down.

Plum Alley is an Asian inspired restaurant with everything from Steam Bums to Dtom Ka Gai soup. Flavors served here are anything but underwhelming. And, the family style seating makes it really easy to tap your neighbor on the shoulder and ask for a recommendation–which we did.  We also gave some ourselves as new guests were seated next to us toward the end of our meal.  My first reaction to family style seating is one of “no thanks, I don’t want to have to talk to people I don’t know”….however, something about Plum Alley makes you friendly, and I honestly enjoyed eating in close approximation to others.  Go figure!

The menu at Plum Alley is great because you can go all out, or you can taste around and still keep your bill modest.  Most things are meant to be shared and come tapa style. Plum Alley has a great selection of wine and beer and some great original cocktails as well (the Pickled Cow sounds interesting with stoli, soju, Worcestershire, and pickled beef…that’s right, pickled beef).  I enjoyed a light and refreshing glass of Bouchard Pinot Noir and Russ, that man of mine, kept it classy with a “Larger” can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

I had heard great things about the Steam Buns ($6 for 2), so that was first on our list to try–we started with the Pork Belly.  The buns were perfect–spongy and light and the Pork Belly was rich, as I was expecting.

We also ordered the Shrimp and Grits ($7) to start as well.  This was a surprising dish, as the shrimp were large with the heads still attached and the ‘grits’ were actually polenta squares.  The flavor was mildly spicy, evened out nicely by the polenta.  I didn’t even mind pulling the heads off my shrimp. The sauce was rich, creamy, and great for dipping the polenta in.

Of course, I always have to order Dtom Ka Gai soup ($9 for 2) if it is available, because I am obsessed with it. Plum Alley did a fine job–although the flavors were much more complex and spicy than I was expecting.  The red chilis hit your mouth like a bomb of fire, however the coconut milk and tender chicken brought the heat back down.  It was certainly more intense than your average Dtom Ka Gai, but outstanding.

Next up we ordered the Vermicelli Noodles & Crab ($11).  This dish was also different than I was expecting.  The crab was fresh and the noddles were light, but the flavor was a little more earthly than I had anticipated. It was good, but probably my least favorite of the items that we ordered.  Something about the cilantro, crab, and sauce wasn’t working perfectly for me–but Russ still ate the entire thing, he loved it.

We decided on one last item:  the Duck Steam Buns ($6 for 2).  These were BY FAR the highlight of our dinner.  The duck with the preserved orange was the perfect combo of savory and sweet.  I could have not eaten anything else the entire evening and had a wonderful dining experience just with the Duck Steamed Buns–they were phenomenal.

For dessert, who can pass up a homemade donuts?  Yeah, not even this girl who has been avoiding sugar at all costs.  We had to get one–the folks dining next to us wouldn’t have let us get away with passing it up.  Fluffy, not too sweet, lick your fingers, delicious.  The dipping sauce was to die for.  WORTH EVERY CALORIE!  😉

Check out Plum Alley on 111 East Broadway the next time you are looking for a dining experience that is different, unique, tasty, and fun.  Enjoy the atmosphere, the great service, a delightful glass of wine (or even a tall boy of PBR for all you hipster kids), and sit back, chat with some new people, and leave happy and full.  We will definitely be going back soon.

111 East Broadway
Suite 190
801-355-0543

Plum Alley on Urbanspoon

(please excuse the photo quality in this post–my camera’s battery died upon arrival and I had to resort to my HTC…so frustrating!!)

What I Have Been Eating Lately….

Tomorrow is the one month mark!  Hurray!  Things are still going pretty well.  The weight loss has slowed down, but I have met the 15 lb mark–which is awesome. I figure if I can knock out another 10 in the next two months, I will feel super happy.  I am really looking forward to incorporating some vino back into my diet.  Really.

BUT–I thought I would share some of the things I have been eating the past few days.  Please note:  my camera phone is NOT a professional device. 😉  Most of these were taken with my HTC and not intended for super great results.  At this point, I am not doing reviews, per sae’, but just documenting for those who want to see some low-carb, low-sugar eating happening.

Blueberries. LOTS of them. They are really delicious right now for some reason. Very plump and juicy!

Eggs and cottage cheese. I am addicted lately. Add some lime Cholula and you are set!

Taco Salad: ground turkey with taco seasoning, lettuce, sour cream, and some homemade guac. YUM!

Steak marinated in olive oil, red wine vinegar, and red onion with zucchini noodles, artichoke marinara, and ricotta cheese

New favorite dessert: 1 large container of plain greek yogurt with one packet of sugar-free jello (this was cherry). Mix together, heat in the micro for about 2 minutes, stir WELL, and then let sit for an hour. Add berries or fat-free whipped cream!

Eggplant with parmesan, mozzarella, and marinara. Cook on 350 for about 20 minutes.

Also, we went to dinner at the lovely Silver Fork Lodge in Brighton, Utah this weekend.  I had THE BEST golden beet salad.  It was probably one of the most amazing, flavorful, wonderful salads I have had in a long time–if not ever.  It is on special right now and I highly suggest going to try it out. We also had their amazing tomatoes and warm mozzarella–the roasted garlic was delish!  I was getting sort of tired of the same old cold tomato, cold mozzarella, olive oil, basil dish.  This was nice, hot, and so flavorful.  The pesto was such a good substitution for simple basil.  A very well thought out dish, certainly.

Also, I have been drinking too much coffee and a lot of sparkling water (still).  I will be honest, this week was kind of rough.  It is easy to get bored with the food you can eat and staying home because you don’t want to ruin your diet or go somewhere where people are drinking and you aren’t. I feel great, but haven’t quite felt like…myself.  Which is an odd feeling.  I am keeping up with it though.  But yes, quite looking forward to adding some “normal” things back into the routine.  Blueberries are giving me way too much happiness at this point. 😉

-Nosh

 

Weekend Eats & Omar’s Rawtopia

Weekends can be tricky.  Food that is easy to regulate during Monday – Friday can get all messed up.  However, this weekend, I stuck to my guns.  It was a mellow weekend–not much going out other than a few meals and a wedding reception full of ice cream. 🙂  So, here is the run down.

Friday

Breakfast: 1 string cheese, celery with cheddar cheese spread

Lunch: leftover chili (even better the second day!)

Dinner:  We tried a new place!  Omar’s Rawtopia!  I have heard from a few people that this place is great–but have never checked it out.  We decided that this would be a perfect place to try while carbs and sugar are out of the question.  And, it was delicious. Omar’s has a great philosophy about living food increasing the amount of nutrition one can get from eating raw.  Click HERE to read more about their story.

We ordered Seaweed a Noodles for an appetizer ($8), which had awesome flavor.  Seaweed marinated with nama shoyu and ginger served on
zucchini noodles, topped with avocado, tomatoes, celery,
red bell peppers, cucumbers, and onion.

For our meals: Raw Pasta ($14)–Tomato sauce, basil garlic pesto, and alfredo nut sauce mixed in with zucchini noodles, tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions, olives, topped with avocados, our famous seed/nut cheese.  THIS WAS SO GOOD!  The sauce was rich and it was very filling.  Tabouli Salad ($12)–A mix of parsley, tomatoes, red onions, scallions, hemp seeds, and mint. Marinated in
olive oil, lemon juice, and Celtic sea salt. Served with cabbage, lettuce, or a bed of greens, topped with avocados.

Seaweed and Noodles

Tabouli Salad

Raw Pasta

Delicious Raw Pata Sauce!

Tabouli Salad

Omar’s was great.  The pricing is a little high, but for the preparation and high quality ingredients, it is worth it.  Also, enjoy their fresh juices!  I couldn’t just yet due to the fruit, but can’t wait to go back and try some.

Omar’s Rawtopia

2148 Highland Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Phone: 801-486-0332

Saturday

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with fat free cheese

Lunch:  Delicious smoked tofu (grilled with some worchestire sauce and sea salt) and cauliflower with cheese sauce.

Dinner:  Fiddler’s Elbow Black and Bleu Salad with half the dressing served.  The steak was delicious!  And, skipped all the ice cream at the wedding reception.  🙂

Sunday:

Breakfast:  Celery with cheddar cheese spread

Lunch:  Homemade stuffed mushrooms (mushrooms stuffed with low-fat sausage, fat-free cream cheese, and some fresh garlic).

Dinner:  making taco salads!  🙂

And, weighed myself today, 6 days in, and have lost 5 lbs!  No carbs and no sugar works.  Looking forward to adding some fruit back in though…

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

–Nosh

Omar's Rawtopia on Urbanspoon

Day Three–I didn’t have to cook!

Breakfast:  1 string cheese, 1 sugar free jello, 4 celery sticks Kraft Old English sharp cheddar spread (this is my new favorite)

Lunch:  Green Giant frozen cauliflower with cheese sauce (50 calories per serving and is seriously almost as good as eating mac and cheese), fat free cottage cheese with tomato, balsamic, and sea salt

Snack: string cheese, sugar free chocolate pudding

Dinner:  Chili made by my amazing boyfriend with fat free sour cream and fat free cheddar cheese.  This is a great carb free item because it is hearty and you will have leftovers for lunch the next day!

Dessert: 1 sugar free fudge pop (40 calories)

FEELING GREAT!  And, I have to say, the no drinking thing was hard today.  I had a long day at work and really could have used a glass of wine.  However, I am not tempted enough to even consider it….even when Russ had a beer. 🙂  That is steadfastness!

Some photos from today’s food:

Side note:  Russ’s chili is an amazing concoction of turkey, white beans, chili beans, kidney beans, celery, white onion, and a myriad of spices including one chili seasoning packet.  I know everyone is really picky about their chili recipes and you can always cut fat by using turkey or chicken or wheat meat.  Really, most chili is a great carb-free meal!

–Nosh

Noshy New Years! Happy 2012!

Well, it is that time of year!  Yes, I know that setting New Year’s resolutions to loose some weight or get healthy are a dime a dozen–and in that aspect, I am no different than everyone hitting the gym or cutting the calories.  If there is one thing that the holidays do for me, it is becoming genuinely sick of eating. Can you believe it?  By the time the first of the year comes around, I want nothing to do with sweets, carbs, or even alcohol.  I know, I know.  So ridiculous. 😉

So, today is my first day starting on a few different goals in regards to the things I am putting in my body.  Noshing and reviewing is great, but when I am really focusing on this here blog, I tend to gain a few.  Crazy, right?  Who would have thought?  Anyway, I never tend to write much about the times when I under-indulge to keep my body from expanding way beyond what it should. I have never been one of the lucky few who can eat what she wants and not see it on her hips.  Oh, how my hips see it.

Starting today, there will be no alcohol of any kind until Feb 25th.  The 25th is my birthday and that seemed like a good goal to shoot for.  Two months alcohol free will be difficult for me, but if you want to shed some lbs, it is sort of mandatory.

Also, starting today for at least 3 weeks, no carbs and no sugar.  Ouch.

After three weeks, I will start to filter back in some fruit–and then after 2 months, probably around the birthday mark as well, I will start to add back in some whole wheat carbs once a day (at the very most).  I am definitely one of those people who weight is directly related to carbohydrates.  Sigh.  But, the good news is that I have had enough pizza in the past two weeks to suffice for a good long while.

In short, the for the next little while, Nosh Maven is going to be more about re-energizing, restarting, and regrouping.  Essentially, I am resetting my blood sugar and getting my body back on track after 2 – 3 weeks of overindulgence. I hope to be at least 20 lbs lighter by April.  And, it is very doable if I stick to it.  This isn’t about a crash diet, but rather, getting back to a way of life that is healthy.  I am very ready.

So, look forward to some healthy eats as I chronical the next several weeks of meal plans and menus!

Happy 2012!

-Nosh