If you’re a regular reader here you might have noticed that we’re not big night life people. We tend to spend much more time hiking and exploring during the day then prowling around at night. This is due in part to the fact that we often stay in remote places where the after dark scene is pretty much non-existent. Unless you count the roaming packs of coyotes and other nocturnal wildlife that is. Occasionally though we get all wild and crazy and venture out for a night on the town. Usually our night out consists of a restaurant visit, or sometimes just a trip to find some frozen yogurt or ice cream. Eating out in an unfamiliar place can be hit or miss though. We’ve learned the hard way that relying on Internet reviews to choose a restaurant is a pretty unreliable. So needless to say we were very excited when an opportunity arose to spend a night out in Phoenix with a couple who actually live in Phoenix.
We met Jenny and Matt a few weeks ago when they came down to Tucson for the weekend. At the time we knew Phoenix was next on our itinerary and hoped we would be able to connect with them during out stay. When I sent Jenny a message saying we had arrived in town and she asked if we wanted to get together for dinner out we jumped at the chance. Then when she suggested True Food Kitchen I knew it was meant to be. I first heard of True Food Kitchen when we were in San Diego where one of the locations resides. The menu is based on Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet and includes yummy dishes like Tucson Kale salad and Spaghetti Squash Casserole. Since we’ve been following an anti-inflammatory diet for awhile now this restaurant was high on my list of places to visit. Our meal was so amazing that I didn’t remember to take pictures until after it was gone! I will tell you that if you make it to a True Food Kitchen I would highly recommend the Teriyaki Brown Rice Bowl. It was stuffed full of fresh veggies and the sauce was flavorful but not overly salty like teriyaki can sometimes be. Jenny also had the Brown Rice Bowl, Matt had the Red Chili Shrimp and Tim had the Street Tacos. Judging by the empty plates around the table I would say that we all enjoyed our food. We finished the meal with an amazing Apple Crisp with vegan ice cream. How in the world they made a vegan ice cream that tasted so rich and creamy I have no idea. All I know is that it was very good.
After dinner Jenny and Matt insisted that we stop by their house to collect some bags of fresh citrus from their backyard trees. Free fresh citrus? You don’t have to ask us twice! They have a grapefruit and a tangelo tree that are both about 40 years old. These things are massive and produce way more fruit than anyone could ever consume. It was dark when we arrived and I know this photo is horrible, but I had to show you how the grapefruit tree hangs on top of their airstream. It is so full of fruit that you could stand in one spot and pick enough to fill several grocery bags.
We also got a tour of their incredible house. They have completely remodeled the inside of this very cool mid-century modern home and decorated it to be inviting yet funky at the same time. I loved everything about this house- the unique pebble floors, the eye-popping colors, the custom woodwork, the period perfect light fixtures. I could go on and on. Umm…I think I want to move in. I am warning you right now Jenny and Matt. If you wake up one morning to find me curled up in one of your fur lined bubble chairs don’t be surprised!
We were also treated to a show from their three very energetic pups. They have two Boston Terriers named Hank and Molly, and a Pomeranian named Mama. These three are in near constant motion so it was practically impossible to capture their photos.
Our night out with Jenny and Matt was wonderful. It’s nice to meet people on the road and even nicer when you get to meet them twice! Hopefully our paths will cross again somewhere down the road. For now we will remember them fondly as we make our way through these three huge bags of citrus.
I originally thought that we might give some of this fruit away to our neighbors at the campground. After all we have a very limited amount of storage space, and how much citrus can two people really eat? Turns out we can eat a lot. After the first batch of fresh squeezed juice I knew we would not be giving away a single one of these precious fruits. Sorry neighbors. In addition to the fresh squeezed grapefruit/tangelo juice that has become part of our morning routine I also came up with a few other ways to consume this bounty that has been bestowed upon us. Last week I bookmarked a greens and citrus salad that sounded really good. The original recipe called for kale and blood oranges, but I switched it up and used swiss chard and tangelos instead. With the addition of roasted chick peas and quinoa this made for a very tasty dinner salad that we ate two days in a row. I even had a little dressing left over that I turned it into a marinade for grilled chicken by adding garlic, fresh rosemary and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Citrus and baked goods seem like a natural combination so I also made a batch of Chia Seed Tangelo Muffins. This is my own recipe so instead of including a link I’ll add the directions at the end of this post. I have a few more citrus recipe ideas to try including a Grapefruit Sorbet, a Roasted Beet with Citrus & Feta Salad, Grapefruit Salsa and a Tangelo Yogurt Cake. At this rate we’ll need to stop by Jenny and Matt’s for a citrus refill on our way out of town!
Switching gears from great food and even better company, for our second night out we went to a basketball game. Neither of us had ever been to a NBA game before and since we were in town, and found tickets on stubhub.com for really cheap, it seemed like a fun way to spend a Friday night. We don’t follow basketball at all and while Tim is known to occasionally watch sports on TV, I am completely a non-sport watching kind of person so this game was really more about the experience than the game for both of us. That said, we had a great time cheering along with the very enthusiastic Suns fans and enjoying the entertaining between quarter shows.
The best part was that after lagging behind during the first half, the Suns ended up wining against the Atlanta Hawks with a final score of 92 to 84. Go Suns!
As promised here is the recipe for Chia Seed Tangelo Muffins. If you aren’t lucky enough to have tangelos you can substitute any kind of orange. Just be warned that you might want to add a bit more sweetener to the muffins depending on the tart level of the oranges you use. Tangelos are fairly sweet so I used a minimal amount of sugar.
Tangelo Chia Seed Muffins
1 1/2 cup flour (I used 3/4 cup whole wheat & 3/4 cup white)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 egg whites
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 muffins tins with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, chia seeds & salt.
3. In a small bowl mix together the remaining ingredients.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the wet mixture. Stir until just combined.
5. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes until a wooden tester comes out clean.