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important nothings blog

"which of all my important nothings should i tell you first?" – jane austen

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April 2014

Nashville BYOB – Humdingers

humdingers_index

I love to save money. And to eat yummy food.  And to hang out with friends.

And when I get to do all three, oh goodness.  It makes me very happy.

Thus why I want to share with you my new favorite money saving, delicious food secret in Nashville…the first in a new BYOB series!

How many times have you come back from a dinner out and got bar-tab-sticker-shock. It’s happened to me. Too many times.  My Dave Ramsey envelope system destroyed by $10 glasses of wine and $8 draft beers.

Don’t get me started…humdingers
But you can get me started talking about Humdingers in Brentwood.

Yes.  I know. It sounds like a place that you drop off your kids that is full of inflatables.  No, I don’t mean the album by Nappy Roots.  And it’s in Brentwood.  I know. I know.

But here’s the deal.  You get yummy grilled chicken or fish at an affordable price.  And it’s BYOB.  And the people are super nice.

BAM!

The Amberjack has become a favorite – flavorful, fresh…and only $12. What?

I have also become partial to their rainbow trout ($10). Grilled perfectly and topped with a cucumber yogurt.  So good.

Rainbow trout with cucumber yogurt sauce, sweet potato and rice
Rainbow trout with cucumber yogurt sauce, sweet potato and rice

I haven’t had the salmon, but C said it tasted amazing. It’s $12.  And it’s less than 300 calories.

Salmon with piri piri mushrooms, rice and asparagus...
Salmon with piri piri mushrooms, rice and asparagus…

How about this?  Add the zucchini (30 calories), the really delicious rice (90 calories), cucumber & lime yogurt topping (20 calories) and you have a pretty fantastic dinner.

And lets talk about sweet potato fries…or now we discovered their grilled sweet potato slices. The grilling does some fantastic chemical magic that makes the sugar caramelize and make for a slightly sweet and incredibly satisfying.  Oh my.  They didn’t have the nutritional info for that on their site.  I’m glad they didn’t.

The key to South African cooking is apparently the Piri-Piri chili pepper.  What is it?  A spice? An aphrodisiac? You decide – http://humdingersrestaurant.com/our-spices/

Anyway – here’s the tally:
This trip, I had rainbow trout, sweet potato slices, rice and the cucumber sauce.
C had salmon, rice, asparagus and piri-piri mushrooms.
Total – $25.10

We had 3 other friends along, so we polished 2 bottles of wine. Figure they were about $7 for each bottle…as opposed to each glass.

They do not have a corkage fee, and they have wine glasses for you to use if you ask.  But here’s the deal. They are really nice. And the food is really good. So treat your servers well – you’re saving a bunch of money, so share the love a bit…

Just go. If you like fish, you’ll love it.  And bring a bottle of wine. And some friends.

Humdingers
330 Franklin Road
Suite 906D
Brentwood, TN 37027

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Um, who put the beaver anal secretions in my breakfast?

So part of our new healthy adventure involves reading food labels.  I knew one day it would come to this…sadly, that day has arrived.

Seriously? 

As label reading has begun we seem to have taken on 2 camps – C is looking for cholesterol and I just simply try to read the ingredients.  So much sugar!

So many things that I can’t pronounce. I had actually taken pride in our pantry at least being somewhat healthy. 

Then a friend posted a link on Facebook from a Huffington Post “Food for Thought” Post – “9 Disgusting Things You didn’t Know You’d been Eating your Whole Life.” This includes delicacies such as hair, anti-freeze, bio-diesel additives and …. beaver anal secretions.

Mmmmmm.

But here’s the terrible part.  I looked for these items in our pantry…and found them.  (Insert gag reflex)

Image

Castoreum

L-Cysteine

Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)

The whole nine yards.  And these weren’t in super processed foods — they were in taco shells, saltines…and chex cereal?

We need a food revolution. We need to a) stop buying this crap and b) let the grocery stores and the food companies know that we aren’t going to allow them to put these things in our food anymore. 

So I dare you – check out the article – check out your pantry – and just say ‘no more’.  Unless, of course, you like the flavor of jet fuel additives… 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/07/gross-ingredients_n_4063894.html

Happy label-reading!

Adventures in… vegetarianism?

A post I never thought I’d write…

We had a few extended family health scares…we’re talking third cousins, in-laws, people we might possibly be somehow related to…so we decided that yes, it is time to get physicals.

So we got up early. Drank black coffee.  Went to the doctor.  Had nice chats about things not-concerning health…all is well right?

A few days later, I get a message.  My doctor wants me to exercise more, and eat healthier.  My cholesterol is getting a little high. WHAT?  ME??  Certainly there is a mistake.

Then C’s phone rings.  They want him to come in for a retest.

I think I am starting to dislike our doctor.

So apparently it’s true. Being in your 40s DOES mean that you don’t get to eat like a teenager anymore.  It means that you have to take things more seriously. It means that moments matter, and build up.  That food matters.  That we get to start actively participating in our own longevity.

Yikes.

So this blog may turn into reviews of vegetarian foods. C grew up around a lot of those foods, so he is much more likely to appreciate some of these vegetarian options.  So here it goes.  Here’s to health.  Here’s to exercise.  Here’s to changing our destiny…

Sriracha chicken. Reimagined.

We’re obsessed with Sriracha – I know…who isn’t?  It makes just about anything better…

So this Martha Stewart recipe seemed SO intriguing … Granted, she makes everything look irritatingly delicious, beautiful and easy.  Which is, well, irritating.  Anyway – her food is great – and you can find the original recipe here:  http://www.marthastewart.com/964688/sriracha-glazed-chicken

But I think I made a few edits and changes that are quite spectacular.  In my humble opinion.  A little extra flavor…a little extra healthy stuff snuck in there…

First off – the big star – these tubes of ginger!  Best time saver ever.

ginger

Anyway – here we go…

Wisk together:

1/2 Cup soy sauce

5 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp sriracha

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp of the ginger in a tube stuff

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp chia seeds

Put 3 lbs of bone in but skinless chicken thighs in baking dish – with the not so pretty side up. Pour marinade over the top and refrigerate for an hour.

srirachaPlace chicken in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes –

Then pull the chicken out of the oven – turn up that heat to 450 – and flip the chicken over to the pretty side.

Put the dish back in the extra hot oven for another 20 minutes – that way the top gets a really yummy crust on the top… so so so good.

Put this over rice – put a couple of spoons of that delicious sriracha marinade on the rice…we could eat this every week. Come to think of it..we sort of do.

chicken copy

Enjoy!

 

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