Welcome back foodments!

Hello there, Fall friends! It has been kinda crazy here at COTR. Lots of new and exciting changes are coming my way (hint: big move, anyone?) For now, my lips are sealed.

we're moving, mah!!

we’re moving, mah!!

In the meantime, here are a few special “foodments” (food moments) from the last two months:

1. Quinoa Rice Bars. Hello, future dinner of mine. These babies are easy to freeze and easy to devour.



Packed with protein and goodies: quinoa, rice, egg, tomato, spinach, swiss cheese, and any other veggies you’d like to add. Don’t forget to salt and pepper these biddies. Add a touch of red pepper flakes. Magical.

photo 1

1a. Quinoa Rice Patties Leftover. Holy heaven in a hand basket. Well, not really, but you catch the drift. I had a ton of leftover rice and quinoa from making delicious #1. So, I used the same ingredients, made small balls, and smushed them into patties while frying beautifully in the saute pan. Seriously. Best brunch idea ever. Healthy. Delicious. Savory. Mouth watering. Recipe to come soon.

#idie #sogood

#idie #sogood

2. Coffee…in a new Keurig. I belong to this cool review site called Influenster. The nice people there sent me a brand new Keurig on the market to test. WOW.



It was great and I’m not just saying that because they sent it to me. The Keurig 2.0 makes single servings, but now comes with a carafe! I wasn’t a huge fan of the plastic carafe that the Keurig 2.0 comes with, but you can buy a stainless steal version separately. The touch screen is an added plus!


3. Almond Chocolate Chip “Crack” Cookies. Okay, so I don’t really know what crack is like, but I’d imagine that it makes you feel like these cookies do. They’re like macaroons…with chocolate chips and a slight hint of salt.

#ahhell #crackcookies

#ahhell #crackcookies

Just out of control goodness. Recipe coming soon!

4. Kombucha in training. I’ve been attempting to make kombucha from scratch over the past two months. I’ve failed…twice! Making SCOBY followed by kombucha is HARD!



hey there scoby - #youlooklikeabooger

hey there scoby – #youlooklikeabooger


photo 5

You have to be really careful not to contaminate the fermentation process. I may not have succeeded, but I’m not giving up. Once I find the easiest and best way to make it, I’ll share amazing kombucha here on COTR.

5. MY BROTHER GOT MARRIED. I couldn’t be prouder of my brother and his lovely new wife. I hope the man I marry someday looks at me the way Justin looked at Kelly.

Justin and Kelly <3

Justin and Kelly <3

A beautiful day for two beautiful people – congrats guys!

6. Paleo-Friendly Buffalo Chicken Chili. I hit the motherload with the one.

#healthy #chili #paleo

#healthy #chili #paleo

I can’t take credit for the beauty of this recipe – that goes to my fellow blogger at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. I removed the corn and green pepper from this recipe and used chickpeas instead of cannelini. Delicious. Add a dollop of plan greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute and/or have it on the side with some chopped celery sticks. I’m not going to lie, this recipe is HOT. If you’re not huge on taking the heat, cut back on the 1/2 cup hot sauce. I liked the heat and when you heat this up as a leftover, it becomes more of a smoky hot than having it fresh off the stove. Stick with the 1/2 cup and be a champ! 🙂

Be on the lookout for more exciting things to come from COTR very soon!

oh hai :)

oh hai 🙂


Go asian or go home

I’ve turned asian. That’s what happens when you spend 7 years of your life with a man from Japan 🙂

Yes, Brett is Japanese. Most people, upon meeting him, only see his white boy side. He likes to make himself look more like his heritage…



If it wasn’t evident from our blog, lots of our recipes are asian based. We can’t help it. Miso. Ginger. Soy. RICE. shoyu. It wouldn’t be a normal Brett and Dana week without some asian flavah.

I was supposed to cook a stew this evening while Brett was at work. I got distracted. So, in a rush to have something ready before the big man came home, I had the perfect solution: ume-boshi chazuke!

You’re probably looking at the screen thinking “whhhhaaaaaaaat?” When I was a naive, little Irish girl, I was even more confused than you are now. Ume-boshi can be translated into “Japanese salt plums” or “pickled plums.” They are salty, sour and usually served with rice. I’m not a huge fan. Brett and his mom LOVE them – she usually keeps some at the way back of the fridge, which Brett raids when we visit. Ume-boshi has medicinal qualities: lessening fatigue, assisting digestion and eliminating toxins. Hangover remedy central. You’re welcome.

Ume-boshi chazuke, however, is a rice soup seasoning that Brett and I usually use as a tasty seasoning for our meals.


It includes: nori (seaweed), rice crackers, small dried ume-boshi bits, perilla seeds, green tea powder and kelp powder. It probably can’t get healthier here. The ume-boshi comes in small bits, which gives the seasoning a great flavor. Nori is chalk full of vitamins, including the much needed B12 for my Vegan friends. Kelp powder is a great mineral supplement. Perilla seed adds the omega-3s. Green tea powder is an antioxidant and energy booster. The rice crackers are just fun. Brett actually took ume-boshi chazuke packets out on the trail with him during his 50 mile race. Go figure.

Anyway, quick and easy dinner. As long as you have cooked rice on hand, this will only take 10 minutes. I promise it will be worth it.

Tempeh with Ume-Boshi Chazuke and Toasted Sesame Oil (Serves

1 package three grain Lightlife tempeh, cut into small chunks

1 package (between half and whole depending on your preference) ume-boshi chazuke (can be found in any asian grocer or online)

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbs coconut oil

3/4 cup cooked rice

Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add the coconut oil and swirl pan to coat. We buy the Whole Foods brand. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that it’s solid. It ends up lasting us longer than if you were to buy it in liquid form.


Add the tempeh and cook until golden brown, adding a bit of crisp.


keep cookin’

Add half a cup of the cooked tempeh on top of 3/4 cup cooked rice. Sprinkle half to whole of the ume-boshi packet on top. Drizzle lightly with sesame oil to serve.


Tanoshimu 🙂




A good laugh, expletives and some new battle wounds

Waking up at 5am to run when you went to bed after midnight? Stupid.

As we were walking Fred after stumbling out of bed with grouch faces on, I was thinking about how I wanted to go back to bed. I’ll run later. So. tired.

That was the case until Brett bent down to scoop up Fred’s business along with another dog’s mess…

Brett: “Stupid poop*sticks! Clean up your dog’s poop*!

Me: Gasping for breath between laughs – “Did you just say poop*sticks?”

*Edited for severe use of expletives

That was the moment that turned our crank faces into motivational ones. Thanks to Brett’s strange foul mouth, we were ready to start our day in the trails. A good laugh can do wonders for your mood 🙂

We decided to keep it short today since Brett had to be at work and I’m still dealing with a case of Runner’s Knee. We ran 3 miles out and back for a total of 6. Note to non-southerners: Humidity is a torture chamber down here. It was like the wilderness gifted us with a shower…I know, gross.

If you’ve never gone trail running before, please heed my words: You. Will. Fall. It is guaranteed that in your experiences out in the woods that you will fall, trip, and/or stumble at least once on each run. Today was no exception. My foot caught on a root and I was eating dirt face first. Luckily, I have a master’s degree in face planting, so I was prepared. A few scratches, a bloody elbow that I didn’t know was bleeding, and a bruised hip? No big deal. Again, a little laughter can go a long way in these situations.

Of course, post outdoor adventure, we were super hungry (as always) so I decided to make us lunch with what we had left in the fridge. Tempeh, broccoli and white rice? Hey, why not?

Tempeh, Broccoli and Rice (Serves 4)

1 package 3 grain tempeh (Lightlife brand is outstanding)

2 heads of broccoli, chopped and steamed

3/4 cup cooked rice per serving

For the sauce:

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup shoyu

1 1/2 Tbs sesame oil

1 tsp garlic chili sauce

2 Tbs chopped fresh ginger

1 small jalapeño, chopped

*Note: When cutting a jalapeño, you want to slice it longwise and gut the insides. The seeds are the spiciest part, so if you’re a no joke hot tamale leave them attached. After you cut the jalapeño, refrain from touching your face. Your skin absorbs the pepper oils and it’s pretty hard to get off. I’ve found that lemon juice helps, but the ultimate solution is to shower or scrub your hands vigorously with soap.

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/3 cup water

1 Tbs coconut oil

Combine the sauce ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.


Meanwhile, steam the broccoli over boiling water for roughly 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In a sauté pan over med high heat, melt the coconut oil to coat the pan. Add the cubed tempeh and cook, flipping occasionally, until golden brown.


Not quite done yet

Remove from heat and place the tempeh in a mixing bowl. crumble into smaller chunks with a fork. Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup sauce. To serve, place tempeh and broccoli over 3/4 cup rice and add a small drizzle of the sauce on top.


far from poop*sticks, Brett 🙂

We served this with a cold glass of green tea. Ito en genmaicha is our favorite!


Saturday bliss


shoes and gyoza

While Brett’s away, the girls will play. Brett’s mom or “Mrs. D” as I call her, is visiting me for the weekend. We played all the way to the shoe store…


I can just hear Brett now: “Where are we going to put MORE shoes? I have 20 pairs of running shoes that need their space!”

Our response to our significant others is and always will be: “A woman can never have too many shoes.”

Over the past 6 years, Mrs. D and I have developed such a strong relationship. I treasure these kinds of weekends because we have a good time no matter what we do, but shoe shopping is a plus as well as gossiping saying lovely things about our loved ones. One of our conversations went something like this:

Mrs. D: “You know it’s been long enough. You can call us Linda and Greg now. The other kids do.”

Me: “…does anyone else call you Mr. and Mrs. D?”

Mrs. D: “No, only you call us that.”

Me: “Okay then, Mrs. D, let’s hit the grocery store.”

One of my favorite parts of our visits is that we always try to fit in a night of cooking great food. Her relationship with Brett started in the kitchen and in a way, ours did too. She’s taught me so much about cooking and laughed at me when I’ve done silly things (i.e. the grueling process of learning how to eat with chopsticks. I’d like to point out that I’m now an expert). Brett and I are lucky to have her in our lives.


From left to right: chef, bossy chef, chef

Thanks to the Harvard Common Press and my lovely friend Emily (who’s a rockstar fashion blogger), we’re now cooking in style with a brand new collection of vegetarian cookbooks!


Thanks Emmy!

Tonight, we’ll be making a mouth watering recipe from Herbivoracious. Eat your heart out, Hawaii boys…oh wait, you can’t. We’ll eat your share 🙂 Better said:


Nah nah nah nah Nah Nahhhhhh

Gyoza with Tempeh

 For the sauce:

1/2 cup shoyu (soy sauce)

2 Tbs rice vinegar

1 tsp hot-chile sesame oil or 1 tsp toasted sesame oil and 1/2 tsp chili paste

1 scallion, white parts only

For the gyoza:

3 Tbs veggie oil

1lb tempeh, cut into thin slabs

1 cup thinly sliced napa (I accidentally bought red cabbage, so we’re going with it)

6 scallions, white and light green parts only, minced

4 tsp rice wine

2 Tbs shoyu

Kosher salt

1 Tbs cornstarch

48 gyoza wrappers

1/2 cup water, plus additional if needed


tempeh and what should be green cabbage…whoops

For the sauce: Combine the shoyu, vinegar, sesame oil and scallion in a small bowl. Taste and adjust for salt/vinegar/heat balance and set aside.

For the gyoza: Heat a large cast iron over medium high heat. Add 2 Tbs oil. Fry the tempeh in a single layer, working in batches if needed, until both sides are golden brown. Set aside.

In the same cast iron, add a bit more oil and fry the cabbage until it’s browned and most of the water is cooked out, 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat.


Don’t be shy – add it to the pan!

Thoroughly crumble the tempeh in a bowl. Add the cabbage, scallions, rice wine and shoyu. Taste and add salt as needed. Sprinkle in the cornstarch and toss thoroughly to combine.

To form the gyoza, take one wrapper and moisten the edges with a fingertip of water. Place a heaping spoon of filling in the center. Pick it up, fold in half and seal the edge. Decoratively crimp the edges or if you’re crafty like Mrs. D, go buy a gyoza press from an Asian food store like HMart. Set on a plate or sheet pan seal side up; press down gently to flatten the bottom.

To cook the gyoza, heat the cast iron pan again over medium high heat and add the remaining 1 Tbs of oil. Add the gyoza in a single layer, flat side down, not touching. Fry until they are dark golden brown on the bottom, 1-2 minutes.


Add 1/3 cup water, and cover the pan. Cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the lid and keep cooking until all the water is gone.


Repeat the process for the remaining gyoza until complete. Serve with dipping oil and rice…white rice. You can’t go brown on this one – it’s a sin of epic proportions.


gyoza stuffed #incredible

Combine it with a perfect bottle of red wine and you have the ultimate weekend dish.


Cheers to shoes, gyoza, and great company 🙂




Breakfast Wins – Banana Rice Pudding

We’ve been in a bit of a breakfast rut lately. There are only so many times a week that you can grin and bear eating oatmeal. On Brett’s usual week day morning, he has two fried eggs over greens with some brown rice. My typical morning includes a protein smoothie or 40g of oatmeal with a small protein shake or a hard boiled egg. The problem with breakfast is that it’s the most important meal of the day. So when on the hunt for a healthy breakfast, Brett and I run into the dilemma of finding something with a lot of protein that will keep us going throughout the day. Being gluten free (on my end) also tends to pose a challenge. So, when we revamped a recipe from Cooking Light, we were happy campers. Instead of using rice cereal, we often have brown rice cooked fresh on hand or in the freezer. Our rice pudding is packed with protein, healthy carbs and isn’t overly filling. It’s become a staple in our meal plan at least once a week. Here’s how to make it happen:

B&D’s Banana Rice Pudding
(Serving Size: 1, double it for 2)

3/4 cup cooked brown rice

1/2 cup milk
1 egg, quickly beaten
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sugar (sometimes I only use half)
half a banana in chunks
a handful of pecans to go on top


    • Lightly blend the milk with the brown rice. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Combine the mixture.
    • Add the cinnamon, vanilla and sugar
    • In a small saucepan, heat the rice pudding on medium low heat. Add the banana chunks and stir. This is my favorite part. Everyone has a different preference for consistency. I usually like mine thicker so I let it simmer for a few minutes while stirring every once in a while. If that’s not your cup of tea, remove from the stove once it’s heated through.
    • Pour into a bowl and top with pecans. Brett likes to add a tbsp of maple syrup to his 🙂
    Question: What’s your best healthy breakfast choice?