A Nashville Favorite – Rolf and Daughters

A dear friend – and fellow blogger, seededinthesouth.com – of mine came to Nashville last night for work. As soon as she said she would be available for drinks and dinner, I knew I exactly where I wanted to take her, my consistent favorite, Rolf and Daughters in Germantown. Even on a cold, snowy Wednesday night, Rolf & Daughters was brimming with patrons. Walk in’s are available and welcome, but regardless of the night I recommend a reservation. After a cocktail at the bar, we were seated at a cozy, two top and had the perfect winter meal. Natalie and I shared everything. We started with crostini with broccoli, then had lettuces with butternut squash, apple, and puffed quinoa. The “puffed” quinoa added a delightful and unexpected crunch. After our starters, we split the chicken with preserved lemon and garlic confit and my ever favorite the garganelli verde with pork ragout. I would order this exact meal again and again. Thanks to Rolf and Daughters for another impeccable evening!

Tuesday’s Table : Mexican Chicken Soup

Our Mexican Chicken Soup is warm and filling but also very fresh and healthy. This is one of my favorite soup recipes and just what I need when it’s still freezing outside.  (Side note, I eat this in the warmer months too because I love it so much!) Many of my friends and family have had this recipe during casual dinners at our house. Lime is the key to making this soup really pop!
Mexican Chicken Soup:
Ingredients – 
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 large diced Sweet Onion (or 2 small)
1 diced Jalapeno Pepper
2 Tbsp minced Garlic (about 4-6 cloves)
Juice of 2 Limes (could use 3– plus extra for garnish)
1 cup Cilantro leaves (plus extra for garnish)
6-8 cups Chicken Broth (I did about 6 cups stock, 2 cups water)
1 can Fire Roasted, Diced Tomatoes, including liquid (could use 2)
1 can rinsed, drained Black Beans
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Chili Powder
2-3 dashes Cayenne
1 Rotisserie Chicken – shredded (for gluten free make your own chicken either roasting or cooking in crock pot, then shred)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
** Adding Shoepeg Corn and/or chopped Zucchini are both good optional ingredients to make the soup more hearty**
Optional Garnishes:
Your favorite Mexican hot sauce–My favorites are Valentina or Cholula
Green onions
Tortilla chips (2 crunched tortillas per bowl)
Grated Cheese
Directions – 
In a large pot, heat oil, add onion, let soften (2-5 min), add jalapeno and garlic
(5-10min), add chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, spices and bring to boil.
Turn down heat and let simmer.
Add chicken, then add lime juice and cilantro leaves, simmer. Perfect after a long simmer and even better the next day!
Tastes a lot like my favorite tortilla soup from La Paz.
Use a big squeeze of lime right before adding garnishes.
ENJOY!!

Afternoon Pick Me Up Green Smoothie

One of my very favorite green fruit and veggie combos is full of flavor and vitamins. Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron, Potassium and Antioxidants will leave you feeling great. I whipped this up for myself Sunday afternoon after a wedding weekend with college friends in Mobile, Alabama, and it was a huge help. The flavor profile is opposite of our morning almond milk, berry and banana smoothie. This combination is bright and refreshing; the closer we get to spring and summer the more I will be drinking this green blend.  All of the ingredients can be adjusted according to taste, but here are measurements to get you started. Give it a shot!

Afternoon Pick Me Up Green Smoothie:

1/2 c. Frozen Pineapple

1 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro

2 c. Raw Spinach

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

1 c. Coconut Water

1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds

Optional but recommended – 3 Slices of Jarred Jalapeno

(you could use a tiny bit of a fresh jalapeno instead)

Enjoy!!

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The Oscars and Perfect Popcorn

The Oscars are coming up this weekend, and there are so many great Best Picture nominees, I don’t know who I want to win.  Birdman? The Imitation Game?  The Grand Budapest Hotel?!  What I do know is I’ll be watching the whole thing eagerly with a hesitant fiancé by my side and a giant bowl of homemade popcorn between us.  A bottle of champagne and your own Oscar ballots can make for a fun, competitive evening.  We found ours on Glitter Guide. But let’s be honest, we’re all watching for the dresses! 006 Not only does homemade popcorn taste way better than the store-bought stuff, but it also isn’t full of weird chemicals.  Plus, it takes the same amount of time to make!  You can use any kind of oil you have on hand, but if you’re looking for that movie theater taste like I am, then go for coconut oil.  Add it to a large pot over medium high heat.  Then add your popcorn kernels and cover.  Shake the pot lightly while it’s still on the burner.  Then listen carefully… To the popcorn, that is.  When you only hear one or two kernels pop over a few seconds’ time, remove the pot from the burner, carefully take off the lid (a few rogue kernels may fly out), and pour your popcorn into a giant bowl.  Toss with salt and any other seasonings you may like (a combination of cayenne and garlic salt is wonderful, and throwing in some M&Ms never hurt anyone) and enjoy the show! 003

Perfect Popcorn

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/2 c. popcorn kernels

salt to taste

Simple Green Smoothie

It’s is snowing! Again. But I will not allow myself to continue to eat junk – thank you Fat Tuesday + Snow Day. So I am starting the morning off with my go-to green smoothie. When I was first starting the green smoothie kick, I would experiment every day, but now I have it down to two or three that I make. I use a NutriBullet, but this could be made in any blender easily. This is an under 200 calorie breakfast that will provide you with vitamins and nutrients as well as keep you full – My Fitness App says the ingredients listed below ring in at 193 calories and are full of Calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron and Antioxidants. Enjoy!

Simple Green Smoothie:

1/2  Frozen Banana

1/3 c. Organic Mixed Berries

2 c. Raw Spinach

1 c. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

1 Tbs. either Chia Seeds or Almond Butter

Enjoy!!