Friday, October 30, 2015

Beer Friday: Fresh Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewery

Welcome to the first post in our "Beer Friday" series! Every Friday, I'll share a beer I particularly enjoy, and think you might as well. This series will feature beers from all over the U.S. (and when we're lucky, the world). Cheers!

Fresh Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewery | A Hoppy Medium

Brewery: Deschutes in Oregon (I reviewed their Portland location on my old blog)

What: Fresh Squeezed IPA

ABV: 6.4%

Tasting Notes: A very easy-drinking IPA. Thanks to the Citra and Mosaic hops used in this brew, it's wonderfully juicy, and the apparent notes of grapefruit only add to its appeal. The mouthfeel is nicely effervescent, and the hop profile is obvious yet not overwhelming. This would be a great IPA for those who don't normally enjoy an overly hoppy brew. It's available year-round, and although it's great from the bottle, it's even better on tap (I had it recently at their Portland location).

Pairing Suggestion: I highly recommend pairing this beer with anything spicy (you can never go wrong with hops and spice), or it would also be fabulous with a nice cheddar cheese.

Where Can I Find It? Deschutes Brewery is located in Bend, Oregon (brewery tour, anyone?) and they have a fantastic brew pub in Portland's Pearl District (Get. The. Pretzel. It's amazing!). Otherwise, you can find where you can purchase a bottle near you here.

Are you an IPA fan? If so, what's your favorite IPA?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mango and Curried Chickpea Salad

Mango and Curried Chickpea Salad | A Hoppy Medium

One thing you'll learn about me: I hate salads as a "meal." (Much to Z's chagrin). And when I say "salads," I mean your typical, protein-lacking bowl of greens. They never leave me full. 

It wasn't until a few short months ago that I started being a believer in "protein-packed salads." The salads that provide satiety, but also are full of unexpected flavors. The kind of salads only Yotam Ottolenghi can create...and I can revise to fit my own budget and what's currently sitting in my kitchen. (And can fit my current level of laziness).

This salad is packed with unusual yet complementary flavors - we're talking curry, mangos, jalapenos, sweet onions, and a pack of protein (and texture) from delightful little chickpeas. The salad's warm flavors are just fine enough for autumn, but this is definitely a "meal salad" you can make anytime of the year. 

Dig in!

Mango and Curried Chickpea Salad
Serves 4-6 (4 main courses; 6 "side salads")
Adapted from Ottolenghi's Plenty More 
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground cumin
  • Curry powder
  • Ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 small cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large, ripe mango, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and diced (or 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno slices, diced)
  • 1 heaping cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 heaping cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

1.) In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to become translucent. Add the spices - coriander, cumin, curry powder, turmeric, sugar - turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes, until the onion is completely soft. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2.) In the same pan, heat a little more olive oil over medium-high heat and add the cauliflower. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower begins to brown and becomes tender, about 7-10 minutes. (Don't let it become rubbery - just fork-tender!).

3.) Add the cauliflower to the bowl with the onion. Add the chickpeas, mango, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper; toss together. If you'd like a warmer salad, add the remaining ingredients and serve immediately; if you'd like it on the cooler side, let sit for 5-10 minutes, then add the spinach, raisins, and sunflower seeds before serving. 

Mango and Curried Chickpea Salad | A Hoppy Medium

Hearty and crunchy cauliflower, a ton of nutrients and protein, and oh-so much flavor. It also didn't take three years to make this - it came together in a measly 35 minutes. I also loved how the only dressing on this salad was lime juice, so the leftovers didn't become a soggy mess by the next day. Lunch leftovers for the win!

Mango and Curried Chickpea Salad | A Hoppy Medium

Are you a salad-as-a-meal person? 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Why I Left

Hi! And welcome to A Hoppy Medium - the latest blog venture from me, Michelle Lahey (you can find my original, former food blog here: The Economical Eater). Let's start things off by explaining why I changed blogs - after not blogging for over a year. Shall we?

Over the last year and a half, I've learned a lot - professionally and personally. I originally "gave up" blogging once I started a new, full-time opportunity with a James Beard award-winning chef in Boston. I managed the marketing and events for both of his restaurants, and also acted as his personal assistant. Besides it being a very time-consuming and challenging position, I also learned more about food and the restaurant industry than almost a decade of professional food writing had ever taught me. I began asking myself: How did I ever think that I had the right to judge a chef's food? How could I have ever called myself a legitimate "food writer"?

The job was definitely an eye-opening experience, and had me questioning my chosen profession. A profession I went to school for, and had been practicing for almost 10 years. It definitely made me take a step back from writing and blogging, not only to immerse myself in my new role, but also because I no longer knew where I stood in the food writing world. Or, if I even belonged there in the first place.

Personally, I learned a lot about what I wanted in a career, and my life in general. I wanted to always be learning, always be challenging myself, while also enjoying my personal life outside of work. After over a year of basically working seven days a week, I knew I needed a change - I wanted to get back to the things I loved (i.e.: food writing and cooking), with a new level of knowledge for both crafts that is beyond invaluable. Now, I know that I will always be learning in this profession - I will never be an expert in the world of food, and that's what makes it that much more exciting.

Another personal change was that my husband, "Z," and I decided to leave New England - where we've always lived - for Portland, Oregon. We drove across the country in six days, with nothing but our clothes and bikes (and a few craft beers from our Boston cellar), and made a drastic life change. It's thrilling, albeit a bit scary, but we're both excited for this new chapter - and adventure!

So here, with this new blog/canvas, I'm excited to share with you our new life in Portland, and my new appreciation for all things food, cooking, and writing. Oh, and I like to drink good beer, too. (Hence the blog name - love me a good IPA!). So there will be quite a bit of that here as well.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me!