UFood Grill Event & Food Review

I love when the little ping of my inbox reveals event invites from the lovely Rachel who runs Boston Food Bloggers. I can’t resist attending events where I will get to hang out with local food bloggers, eat food, and sip drinks. So last Tuesday night I ventured over to Ufood Grill to chow down on some of their healthy goodies.

Megan, AmandaKathy and I hunkered down at a table, with some wine, to listen to the company philosophy, menu choices, and their nutritional information. I won’t bore you with the details, but the food choices here are healthier than typical fast food places. They don’t claim to be the healthiest options but they strive for healthier food so that it is something that you will consider and order. They also are focused on fast service, meaning that they aim to have food out to your within 3 1/2 minutes. Their strategies to achieve this were interesting, as well as their menu development.  You can read more about Ufood Grill on their website, but I’m going to get to the important stuff… the food!!!

UFood Bistro Salad (312)– organic mixed greens. tomatoes. feta. walnuts. dried cranberries. blueberry-pomegranate vinaigrette.

First course… I really enjoyed this salad. The greens were fresh, the feta was crumbly, dry, and salty, and the dressing did a good job of tying the salad components together. I prefer goat cheese for salads like this, but it was really good.

UnFries (230)- baked french fries

Ufood french fries are not fried french fries. The fries are baked to keep the fat and calories down compared to other fast food establishments. The fries were crunchy and tasted really good.

Fire-Grilled Sirloin Tips– (410) 100% usda choice sirloin

I honestly can say this was my favorite thing I had all night. The steak tips were really juicy, seasoned well, the texture was good (not sringy or chewy) and cooker perfectly. Well, the last part is kinda a lie since mine were a nice medium rare and Kathy’s were more done. I prefer my steaks on the medium-rare to rare side so I was tickled pink about this but it shows that the kitchen didn’t fully cook mine, or keep all th plates cooks consistently. Still, I would get this again with the sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. The veggies were just that, veggies without butter, oil, salt, etc. It was refreshing to get things pure and simple.

Turkey Sausage Pizza- (536) Organic, whole-wheat crust. Skim mozzarella.

Oh and the food just kept coming… we next had the turkey sausage pizza. I feel that this could be great but the seasoning was to heavy on this. The photo even shows the seasoning that was added on top. Aside from the seasoning the pizza was good for a turkey sausage pizza, and for a meal under 600 cal.

Strawbanilla- (290) strawberries. bananas.apple juice. vanilla yogurt.

This is a was a good smoothie. I typically only drink smoothies for breakfast so I don’t know how likely it would be for me to actually order this but I enjoyed it.

Chipotle Turkey Burger- (491) turkey burger. lite jalapeno jack. spicy chipotle mayo

Oops! I took apart my burger prior to the photo. I really enjoyed this burger because it was not dry and the spicy chipotle mayo brighten the flavors of the burger.

I removed the bun so I would not be eating a lot of food with gluten since I have been having issues with it lately (more on that in another post). We actually asked about gluten free options, as well as other food allergy options, and were informed that the are quite a few alternatives for people. The man said that are options, but at that point he didn’t give specifics. I think he didn’t want to make a mistake about which was gfre and which wasn’t. We received a packet of information at the end and it explains that there are a few gluten free options- burgers w/o buns, veggie sides, hearty Three Bean Chili, etc.

Chicken Tinga- (447) tinga chicken slow-cooked inadobo sauce. tinga salsa.

No me gusta. I had a bite but the rice was wet but undercooked and I did not like the seasoning for the pulled chicken. I would never order this.

Berrylicious– (260) blueberries. strawberries.raspberries. vanilla yogurt. apple juice.

I typically go for berry smoothies when I do order smoothies so I have had my far share, and can say that I would order this one first. We had thimble size servers so I’m not sure of the actual serving size but the smoothie would make for a great meal or a light lunch. If you think about it, it would make for a great soda replacement because you would be receiving more nutrition than just junky sugar.

Chicken Pesto Grilled Panini- (630)chicken breast. pesto. tomatoes.skim mozzarella. ciabatta.

The panini typically comes with chicken but this was served without. I think that it is a good option of a quick meal on the go. The vegetarian option was really good.  The bread was toasty and not oily, which often happens when ordering a panini out. The Ufood Grill panini is healthier that Panera’s, saving you about 150 calories.

Better Bacon Cheeseburger- (630) 100% usda choice ground lean beef. lite american. turkey bacon

Truth be told I skipped this entirely. I was getting maxed out on food and I was not in the mood for another burger. Kathy, Megan, and Amanda split half this burger. They were not that impressed with it- check out their recaps for their thoughts on this and everything else.

Passionate Peach- (230) peaches. strawberries. passion fruit juice. vanilla yogurt.

Another impressive smoothie. I don’t typically come across passion fruit juice so I was excited to have this in the smoothie.

Pesto Pizza- (536) Organic, whole-wheat crust. Skim mozzarella.

This pizza was much better than the Turkey Sausage Pizza. The pizza is roughly the same in calories but I think that the flavor much better than the turkey sausage one. Ufood Grill has several vegetarian options on the menu, this being one of them, and I think this is executed very well.

Fresh Falafel- (730)baked falafel. roasted red pepper hummus.pickled beets. lettuce. tomatoes. spicy tahini sauce.

I understand that they are trying to make a falafel healthy but there are just somethings that need to be served in their full fat glory and falafel is one of them. Their tahini sauce reminded me of russian dressing, which of course made me just want salad.

Getting to attend this event opened my eyes to everything that Ufood Grill had to offer. They specailize in healthier, fast food meals. A lot of their food is fantastic and this is a place that I would stop into to get a meal on the run. I’m so glad to hear that they are in Logan Airport so that I can grab a turkey burger from them and skip the golden arches or the mystery meat chinese places.

Check out Ufood Grill’s website for company information, locations, and their full menu.


Boston Food Blogger Launch Party

I love starting off the week with a party to go to. Especially as one as great as last night’s Boston Food Bloggers’ Launch.

So soon as we arrived Price and I were welcomed with bowl upon bowl of Bacon Caramel Popcorn. This is not your average caramel popcorn. Besides the addition of the bacon, which provided a light smoky flavor, there were goldfish crackers and pretzels. It was a “gangs-all-here” kinds of popcorn.

The servers at The Gallows were fast on their feet serving Cheeseburgers, poutine, vegetarian crostini, and buffalo chicken livers. I was really impressed with the variety of food that was served. Also, the quality was top notch. However, in all honesty, I was not a fan of the poutine. Maybe it was because we just came back from a trip to Montreal, but the cheesy was just not right to me. Either way, I loved the crostini with it’s pungent blue cheese kick.

In addition to the food The Gallows served, SoCo Creamery served up several kinds of ice cream. They brought ginger, esspresso cookie, vanilla, and dirty chocolate. Price and I shared the dirty chocolate which was intense, rich, and very chocolately. Also, Price enjoyed the complimentary beer provided by Pretty Things.

Besides the food, The Gallows provided an amazing setting for the launch party. The Gallows is a beautiful restaurant complete with barn wood ceiling and long fully stocked bar. You def can’t miss the opportunity to saunter up to the bar to get creative drinks like the Missionary’s Downfall and Bear Hunter (pictured).

I’m looking forward to getting to know more food bloggers in the Boston Food Blogging community. I had a great time seeing some familiar faces like Meesh and Jacki from Just Eat Cheese and Molly from Cheap Beets and meeting some new people like Ashleigh from Ashleigh’s Slice of Life and Kara from Peace Love and Food

Thanks to Rachel of Fork it Over, Boston! The party was a huge success and the goodie bag I scored was amazing. I am so excited to visit all those places where I received gift certificates for.

Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.

Holiday Party 2010

Last Thusrday night, my office had our holiday party get together. We headed over to Cambridge to go to the Blue Room. We had a private room to ourselves that featured the lovely Burt Reynolds all over the walls. It was hilarious.

Before the food was attacked and devored I took a few pictures. Boy, let me tell you, the passed hors d’oeuvres were fantastic. I can’t decide what I liked more… the spicy shrimp wontons with chili + soy dipping sauce or the tuna tartare on sesame crisps (pictured). The hors d’oeuvres also included 2 kinds of wood grilled pizza, a plate of roasted vegetables, and an amazing cheese plate.

The servers were on top of things, esp topping off our drinks. As in the case of Price telling a co-worker…”This is my first glass of champagne… I’ve just had it refilled 6 times” (wink wink).

It was a fantastic night. The best part was that I was able to go since a project I am working on had a BIG presentation on Friday. So happy to get out of the office on time and have a great presentation the next day. Perfect way to wrap up a hectic week.

**If the guy in the left picture looks familiar it’s because he was on Season 2 of HGTV’s Design Star. Tom was up from our NY office working on some projects so he came out to celebrate with the Boston Office. **

Cranberry Ginger Margarita

Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake Bar and Grill is one of my favorite places to eat. Chef Brian Poe has transformed this bar and restaurant into a place that I actually want to go to. Prior to coming to the Rattlesnake the only reason to go was because of it’s roof deck, and since that was it’s only positive thing the line to get up there was maddening. Now, I don’t give a crap about the patio, I just want the food and drinks. We have been there for several birthday’s now, and  several ‘just because’ times. Just because I would like corn bread time. Just because I would like to go there for brunch, but incorrectly assume it opens at 11, and wait outside for 30 minutes time. Just because it’s Tuesday. (swoon)

When I saw a drink contest posted on their Facebook page, I knew I had to give it a try. I’ve spent the night making Cranberry Ginger Margatias for Price to try and give me feedback on. Such a difficult task!! ‘ Too Sweet” “Not enough tequila” “Needs lime?” “The sugar works, but…” So, I’m hoping that this recipe will make it into the top 3 for voting. Fingers crossed.

The first thing that came to mind was to make a margarita with cranberry juice. Why? Well why the hell not? But really it had everything to do with the upcoming season. The fall just screens cider and cranberries to me. Ruling apple juice/cider out I moved forward with the cranberry base. The second thing that came to mind was ginger. I have been on a major ginger kick this year, mainly making a lot of ginger infused simple syrup for seltzer. Instead of a ginger simple syrup, I decided to use Domaine de Canton, a French ginger liqueur. The combination of cranberry and ginger worked well, so full steam ahead. The rest fell into place- a gingered sugar for the rim, and a squeeze of lime to add tang.

The result is a margarita that has bite, since the cranberry brings acidity, much like the normal margarita. However, the sugar and liqueur bring some sweetnes, to cut the tartness. The Cranberry Ginger Margarita makes for a great fall cocktail because of it’s seasonal flavors. It can even been accessorized with some fangs for Halloween- this margarita has bite!

Cranberry Ginger Margarita

4 oz of cranberry juice cocktail
1 1/2 oz of tequila
2 oz of Domaine De Canton (ginger liqueur)
wedge of lime
cranberries (for garnish)
Sugar for the Rim
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Prior to mixing the drink, combine the sugar and ginger on a plate to rim the glass. Wet the edge of the glass with water, drip into the sugar mixture, remove and let dry while mixing the drink.

Fill a glass half way with cubed ice, pour in the cranberry juice and add the cranberries. Add the tequila and Domaine De Canton. Squeeze the wedge of lime into the mix. Pour drink into rimmed glass.


Canning Adventures

Every now and then Emily and I have these adventures where crazy hijinx occur. Such past adventures include our day at the Brimfield Antiques fair, our trips to the Quite Corner, and our day visiting the cape. With the summer winding down and the start of school fast approaching for Em we decided we needed one of these adventures. Well instead of going somewhere we decided to say local, very local in fact…. my kitchen. We decided would would make jam and can it!!!!!

Last Christmas I got a pressure canner and a canning accessories kit (thx amazon wishlist and Mom!)  Since then I bought 2 books on preserving home made food, starting to hunt down some canning blogs, and follow people on twitter. So with the equipment, some ‘knowledge’, and a desire we set out to make jam and can it.

Hijinx did ensure. We ended up with plenty of burns from hot jam and steam, a sticky floor, well used aprons, and got to prove that my smoke dectors do in fact work ( I already new that the one in the kitchen worked but sure enough, the one in the living room does too!). Luckily Price and his friend Chris were out getting us more jars when the apartment filled with grey smoke. Of course, Price knew when he called with a question that from our laughing and hint to ‘take your time’ that something was up. Price sums it up best… we are bad news. Yes, but we love it 🙂

So we ended up with 26 jars of 3 types of jam. Everytime a jar popped we would squeel, jump, or give each other high fives. eek! We have not cracked open any of them. I’ll describe them when I post recipes next week.

Enjoy our video…. be sure to leave some jam or general canning suggestions. I’m going to do another round of canning at the end of August!