Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweet Potato Bisque from Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's is a favorite store of mine. I love their product assortment and how it keeps changing through the months. They have a decent array of vegetables and fruits, not-every-expensive Medjool dates (YUM!), excellent range of cheeses (some vegetarian and some not - you need to check the ingredient list, as always), lots of delicious stuff to nibble on... the most decadent one possibly being Lacey's chocolate cookies. Chocolate, honey, caramel...? Maybe. They are such a treat.

As always, I digress. What I wanted to share with you was TJ's brand of sweet potato bisque. After pouring the soup into a pan for warming, I threw the packet in the trash. And then went right back to take a picture. But P forbade me to post a picture of the trash can. So here's the soup.

It simply needs to be warmed before serving. Surprisingly, this one contains no onions or garlic. Carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, salt. Maybe some other ingredients that I don't recall.

I threw in some basil leaves while the soup was on the stove. Added some freshly ground black pepper and shredded Parmesan cheese before serving.

Excellent soup. The texture is rich and creamy and it tastes mildly sweet. P loved it totally and said so. Again and again. Well, I had made a fresh batch of pesto that he ladled into his bowl. I think that's what he really loved, the combination of fresh basil pesto, root vegetables, Parmesan cheese and black pepper. I didn't taste that version but I can take his word for it!

Next time, I'll take a picture of the packet before I throw it in the trash!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yogli Mogli

Summer is on its way out. Temperatures are dropping, light fades fast, leaves are changing color... Not many days remaining to eat popsicles or frozen yogurt. One day last week, it was really hot and I stopped by at Yogli Mogli.

This is a self serve frozen yogurt chain that I discovered this summer. The yogurt contains no gelatin (yeah, I asked that the first time I visited) and comes in flavors such as Georgia Peach, Cookies-n-Cream, Strawberry, etc. Many of the options are low-fat/zero-fat too. This time, I picked the Georgia Peach flavor.

There are two kinds of toppings. One kind (as you can see on the left) includes gummy worms, M&M candies, licorice candies, cookies, etc. Most kids make a beeline to this section. Who could pass up all that sugar? Sigh. Well, I have. I have never stopped at this section. My favorites lie ahead.

How can you possibly resist plump lychees, tiny blueberries, juicy mangoes and peaches, cranberries and kiwi fruit? Absolute yumminess. I generally load up on fruits, piling them high into my bowl.

That bowl (on the right) cost a little over 4 dollars.

I have got frozen yogurt from Yogli Mogli so many times. And loved it. This last week was good too but the yogurt had a watery texture. I am not sure - did I select non-fat? But it missed that yummy creaminess that sets off the fruits perfectly. Hopefully, it will be nicer next time although I am not sure if that next time will be anytime soon.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lunch @ Cafe Momo

Lunch today came from Cafe Momo. A busy cafeteria nestled inside Peachtree Center, the place has a bunch of vegetarian options, as I discovered today.

I sauntered through the aisles checking out the warm/cold salads, pastas, meats, greens, etc. before going up to the made-to-order items menu. 

Was almost going to get a Roasted Veggie Quesadilla before I changed my mind and ordered a meatless sandwich on multi-grain bread. It contains fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes, fresh basil and spinach with sun-dried tomato spread. I also asked the guy to throw some honey-mustard on top.

 End result? Pretty tasty, actually. The mozzarella was not very soft (I really wonder how fresh is "fresh") and the tomatoes lacked the fresh juiciness that I have been raving about on the last few posts. However, the basil and spinach added a nice chewiness to the sandwich. Also, the sun-dried tomato spread was a great sweet-sour combination that provided the perfect foil to the mozzarella. If the sandwich could have been recreated with fresh seasonal ingredients, it would have been a total killer.

Oh, I asked for the sandwich to be toasted. I like those burnt grill marks plus I am not the biggest fan of cold sandwiches. All in all, a decent lunch.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Samosas... YUM.

Samosas are truly beloved in the Indian snack world. Imagine a deliciously spiced mix of potatoes and green peas encased in a triangular shell of flour and then deep-fried in golden oil. What emerges is a true favorite, the stuff that love stories are made of, at least love stories like mine where food played a big role. P's aunt is well known for her lip-smacking samosas. I, for one, have never even entertained the remotest thought of making this at home. How could I, a mere upstart of a cook, even dream of tackling the mighty samosa?

Well, it's not all that scary making a samosa, I am sure.

Enter Deep Frozen Samosas. Now I am most certainly not a fan of frozen food. Most frozen foods lack praana, the essential life force energy that we derive from food, water, air and so many other sources (meditation being one of the most vital and also my favorite one). But I can make an exception especially when delicious samosas are in question.
These samosas don't contain onion or garlic but they have the perfect blend of spiciness for my palate. Also, the packet contains 2 pouches of chutney. P is confident that the chutney is a mix of coriander-green chilli type and the regular date-tamarind type. Hmmm, I am not so sure because I couldn't discern much of a sweet flavor in there. Anyway, we took the frozen samosas out, thawed them for a bit (probably 15-20 minutes?) and then baked them. 350 degrees, 30 minutes.

Voila, you have the perfect snack for the dull and rainy evenings! And possibly the best accompaniment to your steaming cup of masala-mint chai.