Monday, April 14, 2014

Food Fight and Other Eats

If my recent meals are any indication, the sun is finally starting to bring some warm weather to the South.  I could enjoy a salad for nearly every meal right now, which is in stark contrast to the complete disgust I had for raw vegetables for the first couple weeks after that stomach bug.  Despite the high pollen counts and yellow dust in the air, I've enjoyed many dinners al fresco with the last hour of sunlight and warmth.  

Mexican Salad, Salsa Rice Chips, and Mango
This was the last meal I had when I was in Atlanta a couple weeks ago and it officially marked my return to raw veggies.  A simple combination of greens, black beans, corn, guacamole, and salsa paired great with a sweet and slightly tart mango.

Sweet Potato, Quinoa, and Kale Ravioli with Marinara and Argula and a side of sliced pear
I was intrigued by the filling for these raviolis and particularly loved that they were cheese-less.  The brand is La Pasta and I found them at Earth Fare.

Tart Frozen Yogurt, Brownie Bits, Raspberries, and Blueberries
Last weekend's call was miserable.  If the number of orthopedic injuries is any indication, summer weather has arrived, and brought with it the endless list of stupid things people do when it's hot and there is alcohol being consumed.  Needless to say, after no sleep on Friday, Saturday was a sleepy haze.  In my mind, Pinkberry frozen yogurt was an absolute necessity.

Arugula Salad with Mixed Veggies and Salmon Salad, Sweet Potato Wedges
I was reading a magazine last week that discussed the great nutritional value of salmon for athletes.  Lunch time was approaching, and I happen to have a can of Trader Joe's wild salmon in the pantry.  I mixed the fish with a generous scoop of plain greek yogurt, dijon mustard, chopped dill pickle, and fresh cracked pepper.

Arugula Salad with Avocado, Tomato, and Crumbled Veggie Masala Burger
Baked crinkle cut french fries with a hefty dip in ketchup never tasted so good!
The Charlotte Food Fight is an annual event which features a food competition between local food trucks with a featured secret ingredient and all proceeds benefiting a local charity.  You can purchase either a wristband worthy of a dish from each of the 13 food trucks for $40, or instead buy individual tickets to exchange for a single dish.  I was initially deterred by the $40 price tag, but when Yelp offered a giveaway for a few lucky people, I was quick to submit my name.  A week later, I was a winner!

You could not have asked for better weather on a spring afternoon.  After a exhausting morning, including a bike, half-marathon, grocery shopping, and laundry, I made my way to SouthEnd and prepared to gather lots of food.  Knowing that there was no way I could eat so much food in one setting, I came prepared with a bag to collect the small plates.

The food trucks had a combination of regular menu items and then a special dish or two which featured the secret ingredient - SWEET POTATOES.  Since it was in fact a competition, you could vote on your favorite dish for the people's choice award.

Tin Kitchen's duck confit and sweet potato taco (the top picture below) was my favorite!  The soft serve frozen yogurt with pomegranate molasses and pistachios was a close second.  Overall, I was very impressed with the quantity and quality of the food truck options.

Can you believe all of this food?!   From the top going clockwise is smoked trout slider with slaw, bahn mi sandwich/smoked salmon on a sweet potato latke/sweet potato maki roll, buffalo wings and buffalo pizza, sweet potato cupcake, sweet potato tiramisu and lemon cookie, sweet potato tots with braised brussel sprouts, sweet potato poutine with smoked beef taco, coconut curry pork and rice, and potato croquettes/lasagna cupcake.

I think I'll be enjoying leftovers for a couple days to come!

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