Friday, June 22, 2012

Recipe: Peanut Tofu Noodle with Greens

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Peanut Tofu Noodle with Greens

Peanut sauce is one of my very favorite sauces to enjoy with some pasta and whatever veggies are in season. It's a delicious and decadent way to dress up a healthy meal, like this one, which includes a lot of leafy greens.

If you're not a fan of dark leafy greens, this peanut sauce just might change your mind. I used Nappa cabbage and bok choy to create this colorful and healthy dish, but broccoli and carrots also work really well. Later on in the fall when winter squash is in season, I often substitute the spaghetti squash for the soba noodles, making the dish a bit lighter with less carbohydrates and less calories. Whole wheat spaghetti noodles would also be a great substitution.

Dont let the peanut sauce keep you from adding your nut of choice for some crunch
  • Kelly Davis
  • Don't let the peanut sauce keep you from adding your nut of choice for some crunch

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Recipe: Thai Curry Chicken Salad

Posted By on Sat, May 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM

I believe in giving credit where credit is due and I cannot claim credit for this recipe. This recipe is completely my husband's through and through. It was one of the very first meals we made together five years ago when we first started dating, and I first started experimenting in the kitchen with his encouragement.

Thai Curry Chicken Salad

I had never eaten Thai green curry in my entire life, much less cooked with it! But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I absolutely love the taste of spicy green curry and especially love the contrasting texture and sweetness of the green apples in this recipe.

Green Curry Chicken Salad

I should be fined for my overuse of the term "simple" when referring to the recipes I make, but I swear this little dish is so very simple. You can complicate things by roasting your own chicken, but I prefer to keep it easy and purchase a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

Eat this chicken salad your favorite way - on a sandwich, in a pita, on a salad, with some crackers - whatever strikes your fancy.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

All you can eat Mac 'n' cheese

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Gluttony in the name of charity is gluttonous no more, right?

Eat me. It's for CHARITY!
  • Eat me. It's for CHARITY!

Participating in Whiskey Warehouse's Mac 'n' Cheese Eating Contest may present a slight risk to your cardiovascular health, but it does serve to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. If you've ever felt compelled to stuff yourself silly with this rich side dish, now's the time to do it, guilt-free. Plus, the winner gets two tickets to September's Brewer's Ball.

TONIGHT! Monday, May 21. 7 p.m. Whiskey Warehouse, 1221 The Plaza. 21+.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Recipe: Tempeh Qunioa Stir-Fry

Posted By on Sat, May 19, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Tempeh and Qunioa Stir-Fry

Stir-fries are the first thing I think of when I get a hankering for an Asian-inspired meal. They're so incredibly simple, healthy, and easy to make. You can literally make a stir-fry with most anything in your fridge. Well, except leftover birthday cake. What I mean to say is that you can make a stir-fry with most any vegetable, grain, and protein in your fridge.

The simplicity of a stir-fry

When I first started cooking meals for myself as a junior in college, stir-fries were one of my go-to's (Note to Mom: I did eat actual meals in college, Mom. They were just of the easy-mac and dining hall variety).

Back then, I lacked creativity. Every stir-fry, without fail, consisted of chicken, rice, green peppers and soy sauce. It was only more recently that I've changed my stir-fries up quite a bit, and that includes adapting my sauce of choice (soy sauce) to something a bit more unique. Trust me, fig jam sounds a bit odd in a stir-fry recipe, but I assure you, it's very tasty and adds a slight sweetness that makes this dish.

In this particular recipe, I chose the powerhouse duo of protein: tempeh and quinoa, but if you prefer chicken, by all means, use chicken. If you would rather enjoy the traditional rice, feel free to make that substitution as well.

Stir-fries are flexible like that.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Photos: 5Church

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 10:26 AM

A new restaurant in an old spot,5Church opens to the public today. Executive chef Jamie Lynch, most recently at Barrington's, is manning the kitchen, serving up traditional yet technique-driven American cuisine. And let me tell you, from what I've tasted, IMHO, this place is going to do quite well.

5Church is located at the corner of 5th and Church streets. Anyone who's been in Charlotte a few years knows this spot to have been a number of other concepts. Before Patrick Whalen, Alejandro Torio and Mills Howell took over, the location was a Scottish pub. But any remnants of those previous tenants have been completely wiped away with a total makeover. And we're not just talking a few coats of paint and new chairs. No, the vibe in this spot is uptown sophisticated, with a splash of artsy cool and geek chic.

But the food. That's why you're reading this post, am I right?

Last night, we had the opportunity to sample some of the dishes that will be on 5Church's menu. All night long, all I heard was good reviews. Here's what we had:

First Course

CHILLED ASPARAGUS with soft boiled quail eggs, arugula, house-cured lox, radish
  • CHILLED ASPARAGUS with soft boiled quail eggs, arugula, house-cured lox, radish

MOREL GNOCCI, pea shoots, bacon
  • MOREL GNOCCI, pea shoots, bacon

GRILLED SHRIMP FLAT BREAD, arugula, red onion, borsin cheese
  • GRILLED SHRIMP FLAT BREAD, arugula, red onion, borsin cheese

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The 3 B's of goodness: Tonight at Queen City Q

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM

If there's one thing we can all agree upon in Charlotte, it's good beer and BBQ. But our bourbon drinkers should get some love, too. Tonight, they, at Queen City Q , they can. Bust out the wet-naps and come with an appetite - this event is setting out to ensure sauce stains and satisfied stomachs. And maybe even a few alcohol-induced hiccups.


Starting at 5 p.m., the restaurant will feature BBQ plate specials, along with craft beer and bourbon flights to wash it all down. Play a few rounds of cornhole while you sip your brews, or enjoy the live music as you chow down. Either way's a tasty way to spend a Hump Day afternoon.


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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eating With Your Dollars: The best fast food money can buy

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Sawadee ka from Thailand!


Drinking fresh raw organic vegetable juice is one of the fastest and easiest ways to stay in tip-top shape while vacationing. It also happens to be one of the best ways to "Eat With Your Dollars." It's something I do no matter where I am in the world (including here in Thailand) and do almost daily back home. And I'm not talking about opening a can of V8 or buying a ready-made juice like Naked that has been pasteurized. I'm talking about drinking the juice of this many vegetables (see photo below) at one sitting - raw, fresh and straight out of a juicer.


The reasons to drink vegetable juice seem endless to me, but here are just three reasons why adding this habit to your repertoire is the key to ultimate health.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Event: Eating Local in the New South

Posted By on Sat, May 12, 2012 at 8:30 AM

On Thursday, May 15, from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., the Levine Museum of the New South will host a lecture about the eating local movement in the Charlotte area.

Local foods is the bread and butter at Harvest Moon Grille
  • Local foods are the bread and butter at Harvest Moon Grille

The event will be hosted by Dr. Tom Hanchett and will feature Cassie Parsons of Grateful Growers Farm of Lincolnton and Harvest Moon Grill of Charlotte, as well as Kristin Davis of Mecklenburg County Cooperative Extension. Speakers Parsons and Davis will both discuss how local eating and farming has affected the region while participants enjoy wine and a Southern buffet dinner from Mert's Heart & Soul.

Cassie Parsons, who wears many hats as a business owner, farmer and chef, will specifically speak about the history of the locavore movement and the economic potential created by this movement. She believes that the Charlotte region has a unique opportunity due to our close proximity to farmland and, thus, quality local products created by these farms. Parsons will also address how Charlotte is the perfect place to bridge the gap between farms and the culinary arts, championing the collaboration between farmers and chefs and its potential for limitless positive effect on the local economy.

Chef Cassie Parsons wears many hats as a business owner, farmer, and chef
  • Chef Cassie Parsons wears many hats as a business owner, farmer, and chef

Parsons also will provide details of how Charlotte residents can participate in the local foods movement. Her joint business venture of both farm and restaurant has a 1.4 million dollar economic impact on the local area and she stands by the fact that every dollar spent on local foods has a multiplying effect on the local economy. Her ultimate goal at this lecture is to illustrate an opportunity to create a win by connecting farmers, the community, and the chefs.

This event is free for Museum members, $10 for non-members and includes program, wine and buffet. The lecture and dinner is presented by Marsh Properties, sponsored by Mert's Heart and Soul, The Charlotte Observer and WFAE 90.7.

Reservations required. RSVP by calling 704-333-1887 ext. 501 or

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Going green: VegFest venerates all things veggie

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2012 at 10:30 AM

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." -Michael Pollen


They say you are what you eat. Few can claim total ignorance to the importance of eating fresh, unprocessed foods, but the task of finding prepared food that's delicious without being dependent on animal products can leave many would-be vegheads beefin' pretty hard. Saturday's VegFest should take care of all that.

Sponsored by Eco-Licious and Charlotte Veggie Business Union, Charlotte's first VegFest gives fest-goers a chance to enjoy food provided by several local veggie restaurants, check out lots of local vendors, jam out to local musicians and participate in several other family-friendly activities. There's even a vegan dessert competition, and you can be one of the judges. Dessert that's good for you? Sign me up.

The event's proceeds will go to the North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue.

May 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 1916 Commonwealth Ave.


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Discovering culture on Jane Jacobs Walk Munching Tour

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM

On May 5, hundreds of Jane Jacobs Walks happened all over the world, including one here in Charlotte. These walks are held to celebrate the life and work of Jane Jacobs. Here in the Queen City, a group of people, myself included, set out to learn more about the diversity, the culture, and the food of a very small area on Central Avenue - via a munching tour.

Dr. Tom Hanchett challenges the grout to take in their surroundings
  • Kelly Davis
  • Dr. Tom Hanchett challenges the group to take in their surroundings

Jane Jacobs Walks attempt to engage communities in a reflective sidewalk ballet - one that encourages learning and reflection, not merely participation.

A waitress serves salad spring roles at Ben Thanh
  • Kelly Davis
  • A waitress serves salad spring roles at Ben Thanh

Shrimp spring roll at Ben Thanh

The tour began at Ben Thanh, an authentic Vietnamese restaurant. Here, walk participants greeted one another and enjoyed salad spring rolls stuffed with either shrimp or tofu. Before beginning, tour leader Dr. Tom Hanchett of the Levine Musuem of the New South and Mary Newsom, associate director of the tour sponsor PlanCharlotte, introduced participants to the work of Jane Jacobs. Neighborhood residents and participants of the walk also provided some insight about the local culture and population.

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