Recently, I was contacted by Safeway and asked if I wanted to try some products from the new Marcela Valladolid line and enter the Safeway Real Taste of Mexico Meal Solution Challenge.* Being a huge fan of Mexican food, I decided to take them up on their offer – and also because I could give a $50 Safeway gift card away on my blog! And if you don’t live by a Safeway, don’t worry, it’s also good at a number of other stores (see below).
In starting to develop a recipe for the contest, I kind of veered away from Mexico a bit and accidentally wandered down to Argentina and Peru (let’s call it pan-South American, maybe?). But hey, that’s a useful thing about these Marcela Valladolid products – you can experiment a bit and see where your imagination and other ingredients take you!
I chose to use the Flank Steak for Arrachera, which is seasoned with a tasty mix of citrus, rosemary and thyme. And while it would have no doubt made great tacos, it also worked very well in this soup. Versatility! We also used the corn tortillas . . . → Read More: $50 Safeway Gift Card Giveaway + Grilled Flank Steak & Quinoa Soup with Cilantro Chimichurri
A few weeks ago I was contacted by one of my favorite Northwest companies and asked if I would like some of their Truitt Brothers Beans to play around with for recipes and also to give away on my blog. Of course, I said yes! I was actually familiar with the company before this offer and they are already my bean of choice. How about you? Would you like to try all five (Garbanzo, Kidney, Black, Pinto and Navy) kinds of beans from Truitt Brothers?
These are sustainable cultivated on family farms in the Pacific Northwest, specifically in Central Washington by Haricot Farms. Haricot Farms utilizes innovative no-till farming practices that preserve soil and water resources while creating delicious beans that are packed simply with sea salt and water into TetraPak cartons.
For a chance to win a box of all five varieties of beans, just leave a comment on my blog by Friday, July 12 at noon, Pacific time telling me your favorite bean dish. I’ll randomly pick a winner, get your address, and Truitt Brothers will send your beans out to you.
. . . → Read More: Roasted Shrimp, Fennel, & Garbanzo Beans with Parmesan-Spelt Breadcrumbs, Plus a Beans Giveaway!
So, yay! It’s Portland Dining Month in June! What’s that you ask? Well…”Beginning June 1, Portland Dining Month returns to the Rose City for the fourth year, with restaurants offering three-course dinner menus – including an appetizer, entrée and dessert – for just $29.”
To celebrate, Portland’s Downtown Marketing Initiative has given me a gift certificate for a meal for two at Oven and Shaker, for the special dining month menu to giveaway! So exciting!
Here’s Oven and Shaker’s Dining Month awesome-sounding menu:
First Course: Focaccia panzanella – roasted summer vegetables, olives, red onion, champagne vinaigrette and Grana Padano.
Second Course: Squash pizza – ricotta salata, wild oregano, chili oil and cilantro.
Dessert: Fruit pie gelato – buttermilk, honey and pie crust pieces.
Want to win this meal for two? Just leave a comment on my blog by noon (Pacific time) on June 4th and I’ll randomly pick a winner, contact you, you’ll send me your address, and DMI will send you the gift certificate for Oven & Shaker to use during the month of June!
So, note: this really only works if you live in Portland, OR/will be visiting pdx in June 2013. WINNER HAS . . . → Read More: Portland Dining Month Gift Certificate Giveaway!
Recently, Freekehlicious offered to send me some Freekeh from to try, which was very exciting, as I had heard of the grain before and had wanted to experiment with it for awhile.
So, what is freekeh, you ask? Well, freekeh is a grain that I think looks a little like spelt. “Young roasted green wheat is harvested while still young and green, then parched, roasted and dried. The process captures and retains the grains at the state of peak taste and nutrition.” And besides that, it’s just a really tasty whole grain and a healthier replacement for rice (or even pasta).
The cooking time is about what you would expect — 20-30 minutes. For the sake of experiment, I tried soaking it for 8 hours, while I was as work, before cooking and was able to then cook it in about 10 minutes (this was the cracked freekeh, but I’m sure that would work with the whole grain freekeh as well).
When looking for inspiration for freekeh, I turned to one of the cookbooks that I usually look to first when I need some ideas on what to do with . . . → Read More: Freekeh with Green Onion Sauce, Toasted Walnuts, Asparagus and Tuna + a Giveaway
I really enjoy finding a new ingredient that I’ve never cooked with before and discovering something fun to do with it. That’s exactly what happened with me and oat groats. To be honest, when I first got the bag I wasn’t even sure what an oat groat was — oat kernel with its hull removed. But one thing I’ve learned about oat groats? They can be delicious!
I came across a recipe for savory oat groats and used that as a starting place and ended up with a creamy, kale-filled, risotto-like dish topped with herbed, garlicky shrimp. Oat groats can also of course be cooked for breakfast as a more traditional porridge. But, as I tend to do, I opted for the savory, cheesy option and now, oat grouts have turned into one of my favorite grains.
Win a Bob’s Red Mill Giveaway $50 Gift Card: Would you like to find your own new favorite grain? Bob’s Red Mill is a great place to discover new whole grains and they’ve given me a gift card to give away on my blog! Leave . . . → Read More: Savory Oat Groats with Kale, Feta and Shrimp, plus a Bob’s Red Mill Giveaway!