Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Radish... Okay. I give up. I am no longer cooking dinner because the most genius service has officially come to Chicago to change my life. And hopefully one day yours. 

I heard about this company a while back, honestly I don't remember how but apparently I signed up for it (I guess I am in the habit of blindly signing up for things... I don't even want to think about how many websites have my personal information). Then last week during lunch we were all talking about dinner plans and one girl said "have you ever had radish?" and I laughed thinking she was some imbecile who had never eaten a crunchy little thing in her salad and said "well duh, I use them all the time!" and she looked at me like I was an equal imbecile for thinking she had never eaten a radish before and said "NO!! I mean the company Radish". This led to her raving about the amazing meal she had delivered the night before in 15 minutes from ordering it and ended with her giving me some code that gave us each a $10 credit if I plugged it into the app.

Fast forward to this week: a short week of work, home late on Monday night without a chance to grocery shop, feeling fat from all my eating on vacation and also too lazy to cook, only feeding one mouth... all things that just further enhance the situation of NOT knowing what to do for dinner. Enter Radish.

So Radish is an on demand home delivery service for dinner. Each night from 6-9 (or until they sell out) they have about 9 options of dishes you can choose for your meal. You get to select 3 items from that night's menu - it looks like they generally have two/three main protein options and five or so different veggie/starch sides. Each item has a price tag generally between 3-4 dollars and once you hit the submit button they grantee delivery within 15 minutes. So last night after my workout class from 6-7 I jumped on the app and selected my meal and promptly got a notification that my meal would be at the front door in 17 minutes. Also on the confirmation I got a snapshot of the total calories, grams of protein, carbs, and fat as well as my total for the meal - $11. *Note they do charge an additional $2.50 for the delivery but seriously it was well worth the $13.50 in total. Not to mention they throw in an adorable little chocolate truffle for dessert.

Unfortunately I did get a few more notifications to my phone throughout the delivery window saying it was coming and in total it ended up being close to 20-23 minutes from time of order to time of delivery but guess what... I got an email from the CEO later in the evening apologizing for the delay giving me a $10 credit in my account to try Radish again. Now THAT is customer service!

Last night's Menu Options (from what I remember):
1) Cured Salmon two ways
2) Grass Fed Beef with tomatoes
3) Mashed Sweet Potatoes
4) Watermelon and cucumber salad
5) Quinoa with feta & mustard frills
6) Eggplant and Coconut Stew

I opted for the Grass Fed Beef, the quinoa and the eggplant. And OMG I could not have had a more pleasant experience.

The items came in nice little containers very appropriately portioned and perfect temperatures. The quantities were  just right, enough to make a full plate of dinner but not enough to feel that I gorged myself or overate or had seconds that I didn't need. Seriously I could not have been more pleased with this service and can't wait to try them again (probably tonight!!!).

For anyone in Chicago who is interested in getting a $10 credit to Radish (and earning me a $10 credit when you order) use this code once you go to the site and sign up: itahiz36 

The Beef

Tap each item to see price and details - click add to make sure it gets in your cart!




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

April Roundup

April Roundup... I know we are beyond halfway through May so this post is a little late, but I think I like this whole monthly round up thing. I take pictures of my food all.the.time but mostly those pictures go entirely unused. Since I am not devoting a blog post to every bite I take or scrambled egg I make I figure I should at least have somewhere I can dump pictures of those yummy tidbits so that I can look back fondly on a Dahlicious month, or give you out there in the blogosphere a chance to be inspired or just make you hungry.

So here goes April...

First stop was a new ramen shop in our neighborhood called Ramen Takeya. It was pretty good, but truthfully the half spice at High Five Ramen and the pork ramen at Sushi Dokku are my personal preference in the West Loop if you are looking for insanely flavorful ramen broths with the best pieces of pork in YOUR LIFE. Side note Sushi Dokku has quickly become one of my most favorite restaurants in Chi town. If you get a chance to eat there do not pass up a spot at the bar right in front of the master sushi chefs, you will be infinitely entertained by their artistic abilities.

Second stop in April was a weekend trip to ATL. I did some planning and we found a perfect spot Friday night that I would highly recommend, despite not having taken any pictures. If you love seafood and a cool scene check out The Optimist . The next morning we also ventured to a sweet spot I found online called The General Muir - think hipster Jewish deli. The food was classic Jewish deli food with just the right amount of "twist" - I don't like when classics are twisted too much, and this place had just the right balance. I opted for the Avenue A Bagel which was a perfect open face bagel with schmear (cream cheese), nova lox, diced cukes, small hunks of avocado, tender little pieces of grapefruit, a few salty capers and a sprinkle of fresh dill. OMG - this is a genius combination. The creamy cream cheese and avocado with the fatty lox were complimented so perfectly with the salt and fresh acidity of the capers and most importantly the grapefruit. And the fresh dill... forgetaboutit. (side note, it really comes with diced raw onion but I'm not a fan of those guys so I opted for none).

The next night we did a bigger dinner at South City Kitchen where I made my companion share the fried chicken & the shrimp n' grits. I think he was happy with those suggestions.

Lastly on Easter morning we topped the trip off with brunch at Buckhead Diner where I enjoyed eggs benny with grits and asparagus.

Avenue A at General Muir
Fried chicken, collard greens, and mashed potatoes at South City Kitchen

Shrimp n Grits at South City Kitchen
Eggs Benny & Grits at Buckhead Diner

Next up, as you can see, after that decadent ATL trip I decided to go light with lunch to go by the pool at Soho House...Kale Salad with Grilled Chicken... womp womp womp.

Salad... Chicken... good for you stuff

Pasta Galore - my most favorite pasta in all of Chicago is far and away the pappardelle in marinara at Rosebud on Taylor. If you love wide noodles and a perfectly silky buttery velvety tomato sauce do yourself a favor and go. NOW. Also their carbonara is good & their meatballs, get those too.

Fusilli Carbonara
Pasta, Pasta, Meatballs, Face

Home Cookin'... here's some really exciting breakfast at home (not, but it was pretty healthful and fine). Turkey bacon, fried egg, & Greek yogurt w/berries. Also how cute are these little snack bags I made one week for work with mini guacamole pods by Earl's and these super colorful heirloom baby carrots??

Mexican Fruit Salad (Fruta Con Chile as they call it under appetizers) from De Cero Tacos - we got taco's one Thursday night from a place down the street and for dessert we got our favorite little fruit snack to go. The roomie and I have been obsessed with this lately, fresh fruit like watermelon, pineapple and even cucumber with just a sprinkle of chili pepper, a pinch of salt and  big squeeze of lemon or lime juice. UH Mazing - here is the description in their menu:

Fruta con Chile Cucumber, jicama, mango, pineapple, watermelon, Tajin chile, lime, Valentina

Best Bite in Town: My favorite dish in all of Chicago, all of Illinois (okay I haven't really been anywhere else in Illinois), all of the Midwest, honestly maybe of all time is the steak tartare at Gilt Bar. It is beyond perfection and crave worthy at all times of the day. It starts with a homemade sort of sourdough toast as the base. Then it comes with a tangy and super indulgent dijonaise, a perfectly seasoned steak tartare mix with a lovely little gooey yolk and lastly is accompanied by a big old bottle of sriracha. A few dribbles of that over top and an occasional bite of little pickle on the side and you my friend have found your way to heaven.
*Side Note #1: If you go to Gilt with one other person and want the most amazing entire meal here is what to order... Start with the steak tartare obviously, then share the winter greens which is a bunch of lovely lettuces including shaved fennel tossed in a really light lemon vinaigrette. For mains share the salmon (and say yes to letting them cook it with a very rare center) and a side of the mashed potatoes. Then savor every single bite of this combination - the crispy salmon with a tender inside under a sauce of lemon/butter/crispy fried capers along with smooth decadent mashed potatoes. Top it off with their chocolate cream pie which is also the best dessert in town.
*Side Note #2: Go to ALL of the other restaurants owned by this group (Hog Salt) run by Chef Brendan Sodikoff because they are amazing... Bavette's for a steak dinner, Cocello for Italian, Au Cheval for a burger with a side of bacon, Green Street Smoked Meats for BBQ, High Five Ramen for ramen, Maude's Liquor Bar for oysters & a cocktail, and the Doughnut Vault for a long line for great doughnuts. Also apparently a new pizza by the slice place that I have yet to try called Roxie's By the Slice

It's like rays of light from the heavens are shining on this plate of gold, am I right??

With that perfect salad...

Speaking of pizza... I didn't eat this particular kind, but below is a photo of mac n cheese pizza (and some other crazy kind next to it). We grabbed a slice from this famous joint in Madison Wisconsin on our walk home from a wedding. You can imagine how Ian's Pizza is packed midnight-2am with the college crowd....
Too much for me.. I had a slice of pepperoni

Home Cookin' Round Two - I'll spare any details but here are two things I made this month that have already been featured on Dahlicious. Quinoa bowls for lunch at work and Crispy Chicken Breasts

More Pasta... not as good as Rosebud, actually not even close, but it did the trick for a craving of a big bowl of super unhealthy creamy carbs. I present the Farfalle  Polo from The Pasta Bowl.

On the lighter side... We have a great deli down the street called JP Grazianao's that makes Dahlicious Italian subs, but on the particular day of this visit I had to be "good". I chose to have my sub as a salad and went with the tuna. It was a perfect light lunch and more food than I could possibly finish! Also good in the hood for great subs and the best focaccia pizza is Damato's Bakery.

Tuna Salad Sando Salad

And although I didn't eat any doughnuts that day, here is a shot of us waiting in line for a doughnut at Glazed and Infused where we saw what I think need's to be my nephew's next birthday cake...

Happy Eating everyone!!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Shrimp & Tofu faux Fried Rice

Shrimp & Tofu faux Fried Rice...I like to say that I am totally okay eating glop. Meaning I actually do not mind all of my food being all smooshed together. I know there are lots of people with serious aversions to this.. so if you are one of those folks, shield your eyes from the below image.

This was one of those, end of the week, throw it all together meals. On hand I had:

  • Dozen and a half shrimp
  • Half a block of firm tofu
  • About 2-3 cups each of cooked quinoa & raw cauli rice
  • 2-3 cups Trader Joe's Soyaki left in the bottle
  • 1 bag of Trader Joe's shredded Brussels sprouts
  • Edamame
I started by sauteing my Brussels in a bit of oil and 2 cloves minced garlic. While cooking I lightly fried up my tofu and gently cooked the shrimp until pink on both sides. Once the proteins were ready, I added them to the brussels saute and poured in my soyaki and let it get nice and hot and tasty! 

Lastly I added in the cauli rice and the quinoa to the simmering pot. I debated on serving it over these two or adding them in, but ultimately I got lazy and added them in. Hence the glop, with a sprinkle of edamame for some brightness and crunch. Luckily, roomie looked at said bowl of glop and said "This looks amazing!!!". I think I caught him at the perfect moment as the NFL draft was starting and he really wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to what was being served for dinner - but he seemed to wolf it down just fine!

Italian Sausage & Spiralized Zucchini Two Ways

Italian Sausage & Spiralized Zucchini Two Ways... Trusty ol' spiralizer made an appearance this week... actually last weekend. During my Sunday meal prep I spiralized oodles of zoodles... and squoodles?? Do we have a name for squash noodles? Anywho, 3 yellow squash and 3 zucchini, through the spiralizer and in a large Ziploc to use for two dinners throughout the week,

Come Monday & Wednesday I simply popped a couple of Trader Joe's Italian sausages in the oven and tossed my veggie noodles in my choice of sauce. The first rendition including pesto and the second Whole Foods Vodka. A sprinkle of parmesan and that was it. Easy peasy.

Chicken & Paneer Tikka Masala over Cauli Rice

Chicken & Paneer Tikka Masala over Cauli Rice.. So last Friday when I was walking home from work, ravenous and well aware that I was still multiple hours away from dinner, I decided I just HAD to stop at Whole Foods to get a snack. What ensued was the purchase of a snack as well as a block of Paneer. "Why?", you ask.... well so did I. Have you ever seen something at the grocery store that you know you have no current use for but you are so excited or interested in it you grab it simply because you know you want to make yourself use it sometime soon? Well that is basically the big answer to that Why here.

Anywho I gabbed this block of paneer figuring I'd buy the rest of the accouterments for the meal on Sunday in my normal shopping trip, and I did. At TJ's I grabbed a jar of their Tikka Masala sauce, I made sure to get an extra chicken breast for shredding on Sunday in the slow cooker, and lastly a head of cauliflower to make into cauli rice.

On Sunday when I was meal prepping for the week, I made a batch of cauli rice by removing the leaves, giving it a rinse and chopping it into golf ball sized pieces. Then I dropped them in the vitamix and let it turn into rice in just a few short pulses. Into the Tupperware it went until Tuesday night.

The goods...

Come Tuesday night I chopped the paneer into bite sized hunks and fried them in a bit of oil, just quickly over high heat for a minute or less on each side until golden (probably not necessary and more caloric but oh well). Next I removed the paneer and added my sauce to the hot pan. I let it come to a light bubble and added in my already shredded chicken as well as the paneer back in. I let it all meld together and get nice and hot. On the side I was sauteing some broccolini as well as lightly roasting (350 degrees for 10 minutes) the cauli rice on a baking sheet in the oven.

I plated it all together and my goodness didn't it look just like the Indian flag???

 I was also extremely pleased to have some leftovers to turn into a Dahlicious quinoa bowl for lunch the next day!!! I added a few large spoonfuls of quinoa & chick peas then layered on the leftovers and voila!

Sunday Lunch at Home: Lentils & Burrata

Sunday Lunch at Home: Lentils & Burrata... This was so simple and just basically using up things that needed to be used but it turned out soooo Dahlicious that I had to take pics and share.

I had a handful of assorted (mostly kalamata) olives that needed to be used, some heirloom grape tomatoes, half a ball of burrata, and TJ's lentils. The lunch basically became a big bowl of warm lentils topped with diced salty olives, bright tomatoes, and creamy burrata with a tiny drizzle of grapeseed oil to bring it all together. Voila!!


The finished perfection

His & Hers Sunday Lunch

Homemade Quinoa Lunch Bowls for Work

Homemade Quinoa Lunch Bowls for Work... I have to confess that every week I struggle to figure out what to bring for lunch. I try to bring my lunch at least 4 days a week to be healthful and economical, but it's not easy. I would say you have to be really well organized and prepared at the beginning of the week, and you have to be OK with eating repetitive things, because creating something totally new each day is also hard. UNLESS you go the leftovers route which is a great route and trust me there are plenty of weeks where I just make extra dinner knowing it will be the next day's lunch. But for the last two weeks I have been making quinoa "bowls" if you will and they have been awesome! I have never been one who likes bringing salads, I just don't find them satisfying so this is a great alternative if you are like me and can't eat a bowl full of lettuce for lunch.

I start off by making a big batch of quinoa on Sunday. I have been doing about 2 cups of dry quinoa and that is plenty to last me the full week. Simply follow the instructions which likely include just bringing the quinoa and water (add better than bouillon or use chicken stock for more flavor) to a boil then on low for about 15-20 min covered until the water is gone. Store in some sort of sealed Tupperware,

I also make a batch of shredded chicken in the slow cooker. Pretty easy just 2-3 chicken breasts with a few cups of water (salt/pepper/seasoning for flavor). On high for 3-4 hours. Pull out the chicken, shred with two forks and store in some sort of sealed Tupperware.

Once you have those staples down, then pick the additions you'll add - so far mine have included:

  • Trader Joe's Lentils (pop in the microwave, fluff, and store in Tupperware
  • Chick Peas (Drain, rinse, dry, store in Tupperware)
  • Cucumbers (chop/dice/slice to your preference, store in Ziploc or Tupperware)
  • Radishes (chop/dice/slice to your preference, store in Ziploc or Tupperware)
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Avocado (I usually bring a whole one to work and chop it up at lunch time to add in so it doesn't get brown)
  • Edamame (I generally grab the already shelled stuff at Trader Joe's to spoon in as needed)
  • Tomato (I usually just throw in a handful of washed whole little cherry tomatoes)
  • Cheese (Probably better a hard cheese like feta or Parmesan, but experiment!)
  • Dressing (I have a favorite homemade dressing which includes grape seed oil, white balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of grainy mustard, salt, pepper, & dried oregano). I generally pack it in a mini Tupperware on the side to add at lunchtime.
I use a tall Tupperware to bring mine and so far it has worked out well. I basically just layer it all in there the night before and then give it a big old shake at work when I'm ready to devour it! Check out some pics below.... oh also how about these genius little guac cups from Whole Foods?? As a snack with little heirloom carrots - gorgeous!

4 days of carrots with guac!

4 days of quinoa


Qunioa/edamame/radishes/chick peas/cukes/dressing


Seeduction Toasts

Seeduction Toasts... I struggle with bread at home. I LOVE good bread, but if it's around I'd be tempted to eat it, so I have to keep the stocking of that Dahlicious stuff to a minimum in my home. That being said, I like to have some sort of healthful bread option around especially for weekend mornings, when all I want is a hearty piece of toast with some yummy topping. I think I have found my perfect solution in the Seeduction loaf from Whole Foods. It is super dense and while it is soft it's full of these crunchy seeds and nuts that makes it super filling. I have found that it works well with both sweet and salty toppings which I am totally loving. On the flip side, it's not exactly Dahlicious enough to be tempted to slather it in butter and dunk it in some sauce or soup. Hence, my perfect solution.

B-fast toast with peanut butter & fruit

A bite of  raspberry, a bite of banana, repeat.

Afternoon toast with burrata and olives

Anytime toast wtih smashed avocado, lemon juice, salt

Avocado/lemon pepper toast,  up close & personal with the seeds