Tag Archives: salad

Lemon Quinoa Artichoke Salad

23 Jul

Lemon Quinoa Artichoke Salad

I love quinoa, but without some focused flavoring, it can be on the bland side. Cooking Light has Cooking with Quinoa: 22 Recipes, including one recipe for lemon quinoa with artichokes. I made a few changes from the original version here on MyRecipes. This is an easy recipe for a weeknight meal that can also be lunch the next day. Plus, combining lemon and artichokes creates a sweet and slightly tangy flavor that’s perfect for summer. I couldn’t get enough.

Lemon Quinoa Artichoke Salad Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 diced sweet onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 jar of artichoke hearts (I used a 12 oz jar)
  • 1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • greens of your choice, perhaps mixed greens or a spinach salad


  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and thyme; saute for 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add artichokes and saute for about 2 minutes. Add broth and quinoa, turn burner to high until it reaches a boil. Cover, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 18 minutes or until liquid is completely absorbed.
  2. Remove pan from heat. Stir in parsley, rind, juice, and salt. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature over a bed of greens.

The Month on Instagram

29 Nov

If you follow my personal Twitter account @lizlooker, you’ve probably seen a few Instagram photos. I’m careful about cross-posting social media, because I get annoyed as a consumer when I see the same content five times, so many images are exclusively for the Instagram community. By the way, if we’re not already connected, feel free to leave me your account name in the comments – I’d love to connect.

My account has its fair share of food images (obviously), but very few of them ever make it over to EatingPlaces. So here’s a round-up of Instagram highlights from the last few weeks:

Homemade Cranberry Chutney on a cracker
Cranberry chutney on a cracker (but shortly after this photo I just skipped the cracker and used a spoon)

Raw Oysters from Napi's in Provincetown, Cape Cod

I spent a weekend in Provincetown and enjoyed a fantastic dinner at Napi’s (more on that coming soon), which started with these oysters

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Salad

Pan-roasted brussels sprouts; huge Liz-style salad (lettuce, cucumber, carrots, avocado, daikon, onion, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, black sesame seeds…)

Homemade Steamed Veggie Dumplings

Vegetable dumplings (filling: carrots, daikon, kale, onion, garlic, black sesame seeds)

Hand Rolled Sushi - nori, carrots, and rice

Make-it-as-you-go sushi for lunch

Phish Food ice cream from Ben & Jerry's

Phish Food ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s

Chai Tea with vanilla coconut milk in my Equal Exchange mug

Chai tea with vanilla coconut milk in my Equal Exchange mug

Latte and grilled cheese from Cafenation in Brighton

Latte & grilled cheese at Cafenation in Brighton

Unwanted at Osushi

27 Nov

I have a collection of bad restaurant experiences. Every place is entitled to a bad day and I’ll usually try the location again, but other times a visit is so disastrous that I want to forget I ever consumed the food. I rarely write about either of those on EatingPlaces. But sometimes my dining experience is in a different category. Sometimes the level of ridiculousness makes me laugh. So this I’ll share.

I met up with a friend for lunch at Osushi in Copley Place earlier this month for lunch. The interior is trendy, but comfortable, and the Japanese/sushi restaurant seats about 35 including a small bar. The menu is limited, there are no lunch specials (there’s a lunch menu on their website, but that was nowhere to be found during my visit), and prices are on the high end, particularly considering my experience.

Arriving before my friend, I stepped inside and looked at the menu. There were staff people behind the sushi bar, but no host or server in sight. A few minutes later a man comes in from out in the mall and says to me:

(Smiling, very enthusiastic) Oh hi! Are you Brandy?
No, I’m not Brandy.
Well are you meeting someone?
Yes…but she’s not here yet.
You’re not Brandy?
No. I’m not.

And then he walks past me, picking up an order at the sushi bar, and serves a table inside. Do I not get seated if my name isn’t Brandy? The man doesn’t come back to the entrance, where I’m still standing, for a few minutes. When he finally returns, I say “I’m waiting for a friend, but I would like to sit down while I wait.” And that’s when the host offers to check my coat and I’m seated. Interesting start.

My friend arrives and we’re offered menus from who I think will be our server. He’s friendly and seems attentive. He brings water with the menus and we ask for tea. Nothing for 10 minutes. Our server comes back with the tea and takes our order. I ask for the ‘Mini Combo’, which comes with miso soup, salad, four pieces of sushi (saba, whitefish, tuna, and salmon), and a California roll or Spicy Tuna roll ($15).

30 minutes go by without soup or salad. When we first sat down about half the tables were full, but at this point (we had been there for 45 minutes) the lunch hour was passing and there were 8 or 10 people in the entire restaurant. Maybe they’re making the miso?…

Miso Soup with Mushrooms at Osushi

The miso soup arrives, which was the best part of the meal. Unfortunately.

Tiny salad in a huge bowl at Osushi

A tiny salad follows, brought over by someone else. I was still ready to devour 5 rolls of sushi at this point and a huge white bowl with tiny anemic end pieces of lettuce was not what I had in mind. For reference, that’s a cherry tomato in the photo.

The waiting continues for about 15 minutes, until we receive the sushi from a third person. And there is no soy sauce. So we wait another few minutes until we could get anyone’s attention (our server(s) had disappeared, I think I asked the runner from the restaurant to the hotel for soy sauce).

Sushi and Spicy Tuna Roll at Osushi

I start with the spicy tuna roll and it’s not spicy, nor is it flavorful or constructed with any skill. I could put together a better-looking pile of rice and tuna. Then I move on to the sushi – the salmon is great, the saba was a strange texture and seemed off, and I literally do not know which is the tuna and which is whitefish because neither look like tuna and both were the fishy smell you never want associated with raw fish. So, as you may have guessed by now, our server didn’t come back once to check on us. I ate the salmon and some of the Spicy Tuna roll, leaving the rest.

My friend ordered the Makimono Combo (one tekka maki, one California roll, and one una-avo roll with soup and salad), which was a slightly better choice because there was less raw fish, but we were both very unsatisfied by the end (because of the food; our visit together was great – how often do you get to sit in a Boston restaurant, completely uninterrupted, for nearly 2 hours?).

Our bill arrives from the original server who gave us the menus, we paid, and the Are-You-Brandy-Host/Server is still gone, so I picked up my coat and returned the coat tag myself. First time for everything! I’m not sure why they would offer to check my coat if they weren’t planning to return it. We left with significantly less money (especially for lunch) and I was still hungry. Thank goodness for fun company.

This place is only surviving on Groupon deals and unaware conference attendees. Don’t go to Osushi (it’s difficult to find in the mall, so maybe if you tried to go, you gave up and went somewhere else, anyway). There are plenty of less expensive sushi places in Boston that have fresh fish and good service.

Not that you need it, but:

Osushi, Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA

Tossed at the Prudential Center

11 Mar

March is National Nutrition Month. It’s the perfect time: two months after New Years Resolutions, one month after failed New Years Resolutions. December holidays always disrupt my healthier habits.

Creative and well-balanced foods are sometimes difficult to find outside of my own kitchen, so I focus on healthy eating at home and save the calories for when I’m out. With National Nutrition Month in mind (and I’m always searching for healthy and easy lunch options), I tried Tossed.

Beginning in New York City during the 1990s, Tossed offers ‘garden fresh’ salads, sandwiches, crepe wraps, soups, and catering. Meals are packaged for take-out in to-go containers and a plastic bag. During my visit I saw business people, conference attendees (the Prudential Center location is conveniently across from Hynes Convention Center), and a few families.

Tossed is set up like many other make-your-own salad establishments: suggested salads are on the menu (such as the southwest blackened chicken salad below), or you can create your own.

smoked turkey and avocado sandwich ($8.95)

seafood soup ($3.95)

southwest blackened chicken salad ($9.95), strawberry smoothie ($3.95)

The highlight of Tossed is that you can quickly create a healthy and flavorful salad on a lunch break. My pre-designed salad was light on the lettuce and heavy on the protein, so (being a veggie lover) next time I would make my own. Also look out for sugar (the smoothie was very sweet) as well as cheese and carbs outweighing vegetables in sandwich options. There is a lot of healthy lunch competition that would rank higher in taste and freshness, but Tossed should pride itself on convenience: location (if you work near Prudential) and speed were impressive.

Tossed provided compensation for this meal, but the thoughts in this post and all others on EatingPlaces are honest and true to the authors’ experiences.

Tossed on Urbanspoon

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