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    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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Top Ten 2010 Food Discoveries

Happy New Year!! I’m starting 2011 with a brand new header – what do you think? My friend Sydney made it for me, using a photo I took of those figs back when I made brown sugar broiled figs so I was really happy to be able to use an original photo. I’m so excited to have a real header rather than the one I made previously… in paint. No joke.

Moving along… I thought it would be a fun way to kick off 2011 by talking about the top 10 new-to-me (and some new to the market!) products and foods that I discovered in 2010. Without further ado… Enjoy!

10.) Fresh Figs

  • I can’t believe I had never had a fresh fig before this past year! It’s very unfortunate their season is only a few months because they are absolutely delicious and nutritious. They are awesome on oatmeal, straight up, or broiled with brown sugar.

9.)  Green Monsters

  • Again – cannot believe I didn’t try one of these before 2010! I did a tutorial on how to make one here, but they are such an awesome way to get tons of fruits and veggies in one go. My go-to is 1 cup of milk, frozen strawberries, frozen banana, and 2 big handfuls of spinach. You can add in whatever other frozen fruit you have, or regular fruit and some ice cubes. Delicious, and now that fruits are no points – – VERY low points on WW! (2 pts+ if you just use one frozen banana, a few frozen strawberries, 1 cup of skim milk, and spinach).

8.) Trader Joe’s Light Mozzarella (1/4 cup = 1 pt+)

  • No photo for this one – but my favorite cheese by far. It is only 1 pt+ for a serving, and is absolutely delicious and has a relatively low ingredient list. It’s awesome on pizzas, on pasta casseroles, in wraps, for grilled cheese – literally any way you can think of to use cheese.

7.) Truvia

  • My new go-to sweetener if I need a little sweet in my life. I don’t use it often, but when I want to use something in iced tea or oats, this is perfect. It’s much better and more natural than Splenda, which is what I used to use. I’ll never go back.

6.) Chia Seeds (1 tbsp = 2 pts+)

  • I wrote a whole post about the benefits of chia seeds, but bottom line – they are very good for you. 🙂 I love that they absorb liquid and add an awesome texture if put them into oatmeal, a smoothie, or pancakes (chiacakes as I call them!) I get mine from amazon because they are cheap! 7.50 a pound at that link.

5.) Kale

4.) Quinoa (1/4 cup dry or 1 cup cooked = 4 pts+)


  • Quinoa is an awesome grain because it’s packed with protein and extremely versatile. I normally get it in the bulk bins at Whole Foods where its 3.99 a pound, and I can decide how much to get rather than buying the prepacked kind. To cook it, you use 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water, and bring it to a boil and then a simmer, and cook it until the water is absorbed – about 15 minutes. One of my favorite recipes of the year is my Quinoa Burgers, followed closely by the veggie quinoa salad with honey lime dressing.

3.) Black Bean Sweet Potato Combination

  • I don’t know how I lived without sweet potatoes and black beans together in my life. A sweet potato with black beans and a salad on the side is one of the lunches I have quite often when I don’t have leftovers. I also made sweet potato black bean chili and sweet potato black bean burgers, both of which were great.

2.) Heat ‘n Eat Steel Cut Oats

  • This has been a true life changer for me. I loooove steel cut oats, but just can’t get it together enough to spend 30 minutes cooking them on weekday mornings. Instead, the night before, I take 1/4 cup of the steel cuts, add them to 1 cup of water, bring it to a boil for one minute, cover it, and leave it on the stove overnight. In the morning, the oats are ready to be heated and eaten, and are perfect. Because I pack my lunch the night before, spending 1 minute prepping oatmeal is totally worth it. Lately I’ve been adding peanut flour to them the night before, which adds 16 grams of protein! They keep me full for 4-5 hours.

1.) Trader Joe’s Peanut Flour (1/4 cup = 3 pt+, 2 tbsp = 2pt+, 1 tbsp = 1pt+)

  • This stuff has completely replaced protein powder in my life. 1/4 of a cup packs a whopping 16 grams of protein, and has only 110 calories. The ingredient list is short and simple – just roasted peanuts, and it tastes great. I use it almost daily and love it.
  • Besides mixing it in with my oats, I also mix it with milk or water (just slightly less liquid than powder) and it makes a paste like peanut butter. If you add a touch of sea salt, its perfect. It’s not quite the same as peanut butter, but its really good, low calorie replacement that is packed with protein. It’s also great in smoothies, with yogurt, and in baking – but I’ve yet to experiment with that.

So what about you? What’s your favorite thing that you discovered food-wise in 2010?

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24 Responses

  1. Food discoveries is a great post!!! I discovered kale this year too… and fell in love with it. I still haven’t tried figs, and I want to try the peanut flour. This will be the year.

    Your new header is tranquil and appropriate. I like the colors.

  2. Great post to start out the new year! I can’t think of one particular thing that I discovered this year, but I do know that I’m realizing how easy it is to make seemingly “complicated” things at home, from scratch. I think it’s a lot more affordable and satisfying to make your own fancy dinner at home. And I’m so glad you like the way the header turned out. I think it looks great, if I do say so myself! 😉

  3. I like your new header!

    Peanut flour is def my fave food find of 2010 too. I also tried quinoa for the first time this year as well!

  4. Wow – these look amazing.
    I guess I still have a long way to go!
    Can’t wait to try figs and Green Monsters.
    But I do love the sweet potato+beans combo!
    😉
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  5. I like your new header! I’m so happy to read about heat and eat steel cut oats! This is going to be life changing for me!!!

    Jen

  6. hey beth,

    ive been following your website for a while now, you’ve got some really cool stuff on here, especially this thread…i myself am also obsessed with kale, quinoa and sweet potatoes 🙂 its good to know im not the only one!! also, greek yougurt, agave nectar, winter squash soups, and grapeseed oil on spinach salad with avacado 🙂 i made a version of your quinoa burgers the other night minus the egg (for my vegan sister) and they were a hit! thanks a bunch, look forward to reading more!

    sarah

  7. a lot of my food discoveries are the same as yours!!
    1. Quinoa, 2. green monsters, chia seeds, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, veggie fries, kale, sweet potato/black been combo, puffins, zevia, sunflower seed butter(my fav.!!), coconut oil…gosh I could keep going on an on. It’s been a year of a lot of new foods for me. I changed how I eat dramatically this year for the better!! I love your blog! i look forward to reading it daily!

  8. I would die without peanut flour. Stirred into greek yogurt. It’s like dessert for breakfast.

  9. Oh! I like the originality of this 2010 recap, as opposed to the, “all about me” post which I copped out and did. I tried green monsters in 2010 for the first and used your tut for it so thanks 🙂

  10. You’ve definitely sold me on the peanut flour. It’s #1 on my list for my next trip to Trader Joe’s.

  11. I think my favorite “food” discovery is actually pu-reh tea! I’m hoooooked!

  12. Happy New Year! I think you might want to double check the points on the TJ’s peanut flour. I checked it twice (calculator and online) and it came to 3 P+ for 1/4 cup. 1 tbsp = 1 P+ though. Love that stuff!!

  13. Great post! I love kale, green monsters, and chia seeds! Those are all things that I discovered this year too! I have to try the sweet potatoes and black beans. Looks so good!

  14. I think your recipe for heat and eat steel cut oats tops best innovation of my food life this year! I can make a big batch Sunday night and then just warm it up each morning… thanks!

  15. A lot of the things on your list are things I discovered in 2010 too! Especially the Peanut Flour!!! We don’t have TJ’s near where I live, but when I was in DC a few weeks ago, I stocked up! 😉

  16. nice green monster drink! I just made a new smoothie today using black tea, which I have never done before! check it out if you have a sec and tell me what you think! (http://rundesignfab.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/blackberry_blacktea/)

  17. Beth, Hi. My sister Robin (your mom’s childhood friend) told me about your site and it is fantastic. I just wanted to tell you I tried the peanut flour in a recipe I had for banana bread. (It was James Beard’s recipe). I substituted one of the two cups of flour with the peanut flour and used Splenda (pure, not the blend) instead of sugar. The bread turned out great! Thanks for the great new product. I plan to use it in other recipes as well.

  18. […] night before I went to bed, I prepped some steel cut oats.  I used Beth’s method. It was super easy and made two servings!  I loved how handy it […]

  19. […] been over this one before, but my love for it has not wavered. In fact, I went to Trader Joe’s and picked up two extra […]

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