Brunch at Jack’s Wife Freda

After hearing (and seeing on Instagram!) so many good things, I’ve been meaning to eat at Jack’s Wife Freda for a while now. I finally stopped in for Sunday brunch. Although I’m not sure you could call it ‘brunch,’ OR ‘dinner,’ for that matter. My friend and I arrived around 4:30 or 5pm. Because… why not? 😛

I started off with a bloody mary. Ever since I moved to New York, I’ve come to realize that restaurants here have a really hard time mastering the bloody. Wisconsin just GETS it — from the spiciness to the garnishes. So I’m always a bit hesitant to order one at brunch. However the one at Jack’s Wife did NOT disappoint. Just look at those specks of pepper! Yessss!

Jack's Wife Freda Bloody Mary

Since it was such a weird time of day, I wasn’t really that hungry. I settled on the Greek salad. No added chicken, as I’ve been trying to eat vegetarian as of late (will get a post up about that whole story soon). Okay, now I know it’s hard to imagine a salad being amazing, but this one really was. Right down to the rich, fresh feta placed on top. Perfectly light, but still flavorful and filling enough to pass as a small meal. Yum!

I’m already looking forward to coming back soon to check out the dinner menu. Only thing I’ll point out is that they only accept reservations for parties of 6 or more, otherwise it’s walk-ins only.

Jack's Wife Freda Greek Salad

Trader Joe’s Multigrain Blend with Vegetables

I’m a sucker for easy weeknight meals. Anyone else? I always keep a few frozen meals on-hand for lazy nights. Trader Joe’s multigrain blend with vegetables has been my latest go-to! With barley, spelt, corn, rice, peas, carrots and zucchini, it makes for a delicious and hearty side or even light main dish. This week for dinner, I heated up half the package and added some extra Brussels sprouts just for good measure. 😉 In my mind, Brussels sprouts are never a bad decision.

At only a few dollars, this dish is packed with veggies, healthy grains and takes just minutes to make. I call that money well-spent! It’s great for a quick weeknight meal, office lunch or simple side dish. Plus, you can eat it both hot or cold. I think next time I’ll add in some kale for a summer salad combo. Yum!

Trader Joe's Multigrain Blend with Vegetables   Trader Joe's Multigrain Blend with Vegetables

Trader Joe's Multigrain Blend with Vegetables

Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

It doesn’t get much better than a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie. Remember when you were a kid? Did you ever come home to the smell of a fresh batch wafting through the air? Nothing was more exciting! I don’t think chocolate chip cookies will ever get ‘old.’ But I sure have, and my taste in ingredients has, too (for the better!). That’s where Chocolate Covered Katie’s flourless chocolate chip cookies come in! I found the recipe while browsing her blog, looking for healthy cookie inspiration. It instantly caught my eye. Rather than flour, she uses ground up oats, and instead of butter, oil (I opted for coconut). See below for the full recipe — and some pics of the final product! 😀 I promise you won’t be disappointed. My dad didn’t even realize they were vegan!

Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies   Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Chocolate-Covered Katie)
Yield: 6-7 cookies — I recommend doubling this recipe if you want more! They go fast.

  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp semisweet chocolate chips (for vegan, use dairy-free)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1-2 tbsp almond milk (warm it to room temperature, otherwise it may solidify the coconut oil) — she says to start by adding just 1, and then add the 2nd if needed.

How-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Blend together the first 5 ingredients in a food processor until fine.
  3. Mix with other ingredients.
  4. Form into cookie dough balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 6 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!!! 😀

 

Sunday Visit to Smorgasburg

It’s finally Smorgasburg season! 😀 Hello, summer! I stopped by the Dumbo location on Sunday for the first time this year. Have you ever been? For those who haven’t, its essentially a “flea” food market, with tons of local restaurant/bakery/food vendors serving up delicious sweet and savory fare. You’ll find everything from doughnuts to barbecue to ramen burgers. Even vegans have options! The event is held in Williamsburg on Saturdays and in Dumbo on Sundays. Both are great, and offer something a bit different (the views in Dumbo are particularly epic, and the Williamsburg location is nearby lots of other cool spots, such as the Wythe Hotel, Radegast and Mast Brothers).

It was about 80 degrees on Sunday when I went, so I had a SERIOUS ice cream craving! Alchemy Creamery to the rescue! I first discovered them on Instagram, and as soon as I saw their booth, I knew I had to stop by. They offer non-dairy ice cream made of almonds, cashews and hazelnuts. Yes, please! Their aim: “to make incredible desserts for the dairy-free and animal-friendly.” Mission accomplished! I ordered a coconut cone with one scoop of vanilla almond and one scoop of banana peanut butter. Possibly one of the creamiest, most flavorful ice creams I’ve ever tried!

Alchemy Creamery at Smorgasburg

One of the best parts about the Dumbo Smorgasburg is that it’s right next to the Brooklyn Bridge! Perfect excuse to walk across and take in the stunning views of Manhattan. Especially after an afternoon of nonstop noshing! (Warning: watch out for the selfie sticks!). Sometimes it’s nice to be a “tourist” now and again! For anyone considering visiting Smorgasburg, I highly recommend making a whole day of it and discovering all that Dumbo has to offer! You won’t be disappointed.

Smorgasburg in Dumbo Views from Smorgasburg in Dumbo

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge Walking the Brooklyn Bridge Walking the Brooklyn Bridge Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

Coconut Chia Quinoa Granola (Vegan)

Oh, how I love granola! It’s basically just ground up oatmeal cookies. (Let’s be honest.) I sprinkle it on cereal, oatmeal or just eat it by the handful. 😛 Some of my favorite granolas are from Trader Joe’s (pumpkin and coconut cranberry), but recently I made my own “healthified” version at home. Read on for the recipe!

Vegan Chia Seed Quinoa Granola

Vegan Chia Seed Quinoa Granola

I worked off of Bran Appetit‘s cherry almond chia granola recipe, and made a few alterations. The results were oh-so-delicious! I never would have thought to try quinoa in granola, but it TOTALLY worked. I loved the extra crunch. (PS — note the snowflake PJ pants below. This pic was taken in February, not May FYI. Haha!)

Vegan Chia Seed Quinoa Granola Vegan Chia Seed Quinoa Granola The best addition was the unsweetened coconut! Since I knew I loved the Trader Joe’s cranberry coconut granola, I figured it would work well in this recipe. Success! It complemented the coconut oil perfectly!

Vegan Chia Seed Quinoa Granola

I would totally make this again! Maybe even as a gift, packaged in a cute mason jar with a ribbon. Cheap, chic and homemade!

Vegan Coconut Chia Quinoa Granola

    • 2 cups old fashioned oats
    • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
    • 1/3 cup chia seeds
    • 1 cup sliced almonds
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup (or more, if desired) shredded unsweetened coconut (I love Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Flaked Coconut)

How-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 225° F.
  2. Place oats, quinoa, chia seeds, almonds, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Toss / mix together.
  4. Pour vanilla, maple syrup and coconut oil over the granola mixture and stir to combine. Make sure that the liquid mixture has coated everything.
  5. Spread granola onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 60-90 minutes until the granola is crunchy and lightly toasted.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool. Break apart any clumps.
  7. Mix in coconut shreds.
  8. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Jumbles

I love chocolate. I love quinoa. But TOGETHER? Hmmm. Leave it to Trader Joe’s to test the waters with this unlikely combo (successfully!). I give you: milk chocolate jumbles!

Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Jumbles

These chocolatey treats are actually quite delicious! Pecans, toasted quinoa, caramel, chocolate and Himalayan pink sea salt offer the perfect balance of crunch and salty sweetness.

Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Jumbles

Once you bite down, the toasted quinoa has sort of a rice krispie effect (in the best way possible!). Crunch factor = SPOT on. I don’t say this often, but you could be satisfied with just ONE of these. Win!

Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Jumbles

They’re a close cousin to sea salt caramels… with a twist! I highly recommend picking up a box. For more information about the jumbles, visit this post on TJ’s website.

Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Jumbles