Friday, February 18, 2011


The continuation of this blog can be found at: Four Letter Life, where you can also read about our camping/traveling, attempts at fitness, and life lessons.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Asian Noodle Salad

Having just finished Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food, I was in the mood for something with an abundance of vegetables, which is why I turned to The Pioneer Woman's Asian Noodle Salad.

After chopping the mountain of vegetables called for in this recipe and lopping off part of my fingernail in the process, I don't think I would have cared if this salad tasted horrible after the length of time I spent to prepare it. Luckily, it is a very beautiful salad of fresh ingredients with a light dressing that is very aromatic in addition to being very tasty. This recipe makes a huge amount of salad, so you may want to invite friends over if you choose to make it. I don't think that the quantity or size of the vegetables matched the long and skinny linguine noodles very well, especially when trying to pick up portions with my fork, so next time I may try this recipe with penne, farfalle, fusilli, or rigatoni pasta. A shorter pasta shape may make for easier vegetable stabbing.

I made this salad back in September 2008, so I will need to make it again soon.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

118 Degrees

Although I subscribe to an alternative diet, I don't consider it particularly restricting. I don't tend to have problems eating out and at this point, friends and family easily and graciously accommodate my pescetarian diet. Having tried vegan cuisine, the same friend who took me to Native Foods asked us to join her for dinner at 118 Degrees, a raw food restaurant.

118 Degrees derives its name from the maximum temperature a food can withstand while still being considered raw. Beyond 118 degrees Fahrenheit, raw foodists consider the food to be cooked, which they believe strips food of its natural nutrients and can be harmful to our bodies. This conjured up images of carrot sticks, apples, salads, and sashimi.

Located in The Camp shopping center in Costa Mesa, 118 Degrees is appropriate amongst vegan cafes and restaurants, animal friendly salons and clothing stores, and a scuba diving school. While perusing the menu, my friend warned us that this isn't the place to get stuffed with food.

Trying raw cuisine for the first time, Devin and I decided to share the Trio of Enchiladas which came accompanied with a salad topped with marinated tomatoes. To make the wrap of the enchiladas, vegetable puree is dehydrated in a thin layer reminiscent of fruit leather such as Fruit Roll Ups. The first enchilada encompassed marinated tomatoes and sweet corn and was very sweet and refreshing. Second enchilada was spicy and was made up of thinly sliced zucchini. The third enchilada with its portobella mushrooms and avocadoes had a deep earthy flavor. I really liked the woodsy flavor of the portabella mushrooms, but I think my favorite was the tomato and corn enchilada. Drizzled atop the enchiladas were guacamole and sour cream made from pine nuts.

My friend, having tried several dishes off the menu, decided to get something new and had the Macadamia Coconut Curry Wrap. Similar to the enchiladas, the thin wrap was made from dehydrated vegetable puree. This wrap encased a vegetable and yellow curry mixture and was topped with a slightly spicy sauce.

For dessert, we shared the Chocolate Strawberry Fondue. The vanilla dip was made from pine nuts and I don't remember what was in the chocolate sauce (maybe carobs? we ate at this restaurant back in August 2008). The vanilla pine nut had a very woody flavor and was thicker than the chocolate.

2981 Bristol Suite B5
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Friday, February 4, 2011

Yard House

Although Yard House may be most known for its seemingly endless row of beer taps and tall beer glasses, Devin and I often go there just for the food. I enjoy ordering their sushi cakes, while Devin likes their burgers, especially the fries that accompany each burger. This is from a visit to the restaurant in July 2008.

I frequently order the Spicy Tuna Roll from the appetizer menu when visiting Yard House. Instead of a cut roll, the Spicy Tuna Roll from Yard House comes as a sushi cake, piling seared rare ahi, avocado, edamame, cucumber, wasabi soy sauce, carrots, sprouts, and red cabbage in layers. I used to get the California Roll (made in the same layer cake fashion) but I definitely prefer this spicy tuna rather than the cooked crab of the California Roll. The sirachi not only adds heat, but I love the spices this chili sauce lends to a dish. The one thing this Spicy Tuna Roll leaves wanting is rice.

Although Devin ordered his Avocado and Swiss burger medium, it came as medium well with the edges slightly over-charred. The burger came with avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion, melted swiss cheese, and roasted garlic aioli sauce on a potato bun with a pickle on the side. The very skinny fries are tenderly cooked and appear to have a very light batter coating which leaves Devin to describe them as "juicy" and thus Yard House is one of Devin's favorite places to order french fries.

1875 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627