Cafe Roze: East Nashville’s Cutest New Eatery

I finally made it over to East Nashville to go to Cafe Roze and let me tell you, I was not disappointed! From the outside, the building is unassuming with only a small neon sign alerting you to the restaurant’s presence. Opening the door you immediately feel at ease thanks to soft pastel decor and lovely kitchen smells. We sat at the bar and despite a packed house we were immediately attended to. The menu is the perfect size, with plenty of options without being overwhelming. First, we turned our attention to the drink menu which has an assortment of coffee and teas as well as spritzers, steamers, and cocktails.

Cafe Roze
1115 Porter Rd. Nashville, TN 37206
http://caferoze.com

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Fall Wine Festival at City Winery Nashville

This weekend we were invited to attend the Fall Wine Festival at City Winery Nashville hosted by Nashville Wine Festivals. What a fantastic event! It was everything you need for a party in one place: music, unlimited drinks, food, and plenty of Instagram worthy photo backdrops!

City Winery

City Winery has always been one of my favorite places to go for dinner and a show, but I’ve never really explored the whole building. It’s a huge facility with different bars and places to sit and sip your favorite glass of wine. My new favorite spot is upstairs on the outside patio with a downtown view of Nashville! Not only was the view great, the weather couldn’t have been better – 76 degrees with a slight breeze and not a cloud in the sky. On the patio, I enjoyed a Matua Pinot Noir Rośe and my husband sampled a glass of Relax Chardonnay while we enjoyed the flawless day.

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Isabel’s Whole Roasted Chicken

There’s something about whole roasted chicken with it’s the perfect balance of herbs, spices and lemony aroma! It makes my heart sing and my tummy rumble with joy. It reminds me of all my favorite things; my mother’s house, fall, cozy nights playing cards with my family! Not only is it delicious, it’s also one of those meals that produce little baby meals all week long.

To me, the best part of roasted chicken is the crispy skin. I realize that might gross some people out, but when it’s cooked correctly, it’s delicious. This roasting method gets a nice crisp outside but keeps the meat nice and juicy on the inside. No dry white meat here! You can really use any combo of spices and herbs you want, but I personally love the combo in this recipe.

Serve your beautiful chicken with your favorite sides and you have a delicious dinner for the whole family. My favorite sides are quinoa or rice, steamed broccolini or roasted veggies, and a side salad!

Isabel’s Whole Roasted Chicken

1 organic, free range whole chicken (Mine was about 4 1/2 Lbs)
Tons of fresh rosemary
Two or three large garlic cloves
Lemon
1/2 white onion (optional)
Pink sea salt
Lemon pepper
Garlic powder
Cayenne pepper
Paprika
Olive oil
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F (If your oven runs hot or cold adjust it accordingly).
Pat chicken dry with a paper towel so the skin will get nice a crispy-steam=soggy skin.
The wings will be pointing up when cooking so starting on the bottom season starting with lemon.
After lemon, add olive oil and a good amount of spices.
Flip over and liberally season in the same way.
Stuff the used lemon halves, rosemary, garlic and onion inside the chicken.
Truss the legs of the chicken tightly. (Don’t skip this step!)
Bake covered for 25-30 minutes.
-Tip- be sure that the tin foil or lid doesn’t touch the chicken because when you take it off the skin will come off with it wherever it’s touching.
Baste with juices in the bottom of the pan and season with a little more lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
Cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until internal temp is 165F and skin is crispy.
-I like the skin almost burnt, in some places, as you can see in this photo. If you want it a little less intense just turn down the heat a bit or “tent” with tin foil. This method allows the direct heat to be blocked without trapping steam, which will uncrisp the skin.
Let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting to keep the juices from running out which will make your chicken dry. 
Once you’ve cooked a whole chicken the possibilities are endless as far as where to go next. Plain old leftovers, cold chicken salad, chicken sandwiches, and the best part…bone broth! The process of bone broth involves slow cooking the chicken bones in water with spices, herbs, and vegetables. This takes the nutrients from the marrow of the bones and the vegetables and makes an extremely nutritious broth that can be eaten alone or made into any soup that calls for chicken broth. Homemade is always best in my book! It adds such amazing flavor and depth to your soups that you’ll never go back to store bought!

Isabel’s Meatless Lasagna

Oh, how I love lasagna! To me, it’s the ultimate comfort food! We eat meat around here in Nashville but, I’m of the mindset of having a balanced life. I think that our bodies and the environment can be helped by cutting down on meat and when we do eat meat it’s important to use high quality, smaller farm-raised products if possible.

Here we have a whole lot of powerhouse veggies like kale, carrots, and garlic all smooshed between ribbons of zucchini and cheese. For this particular recipe, I used a layer of gluten free brown rice pasta to make it a little more substantial (for my husband’s sake). I’ve left the pasta out before and it’s totally as delicious and filling for me. Possibly my favorite thing about this recipe is it can be put together ahead of time and kept covered in the fridge!

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Community Farm Day at the Nashville Farmers Market

Nashville is quickly turning into a big city but we’re lucky enough to still be surrounded by farm land that’s only a quick drive in any direction. The Nashville Farmers Market is a bustling hub for all these farmers to sell their produce and goods and for the community to come together for events and learning. Any given day you’ll find farmers selling their organic homegrown produce at the Farmers Market.

Nashville Farmers Market
900 Rosa Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208
Nashvillefarmersmarket.org

Nolensville Lavender

Community Farm Day is a special day that brings tons of farmers to town, giving patrons a chance to sample and purchase just about anything you could think of from over 40 farmers and merchants!

July is the peak of growing season in Tennessee, so every single booth is overflowing with delicious, fresh produce and goods. Community Farm Day not only brings the farmers to town, but it also brings fun activities, artisans, bakers, cheese makers, live music, and, my personal favorite from the day, Nolensville Lavender! This stuff was so strong the whole farmers market smelled of lavender. I bought a bunch and once it’s dry I plan to make some lavender sugar cookies and lavender lemonade! I also found beautiful pottery, metal work, jewelry, handmade soaps and candles, local honey and tons of flea market goodies!  Continue reading “Community Farm Day at the Nashville Farmers Market”

My Favorite Nashville Farm-to-Table Spot: EiO and the Hive

I have found my personal heaven on earth in EiO and the Hive. Owner and Wellness Entrepreneur, Jennifer Masley, has brought her expertise and poured it lovingly into every square inch of this restaurant. She focuses on local and sustainable products, keeping a healing, worldly menu for us to enjoy!

Along with Jennifer is Chef Dale Levitski. From competing on Top Chef to working in some of the finest restaurants in Chicago and now Nashville, I am so excited to have him in my neighborhood!

 

One of my favorite features of this new hot spot is that EiO has a small farm with veggies, bees and chickens. The plan is to start doing education and private meals in the garden.

EiO and the Hive
5304 Charlotte Ave, Nashville TN, 37205
Eioandthehive.com

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Meatless Monday: Jackfruit Tacos

There’s almost nothing more exciting for me than creating new recipes! I’ve seen jackfruit on cooking shows and on the internet and have always been curious about it. I have to admit, I am not sure if I can get a whole jackfruit in Nashville. Luckily, Trader Joe’s sells it so, on a whim, I bought one!

I’m so glad I impulse buy! This stuff fooled my husband into thinking it was chicken and it was absolutely perfect in tacos. I will say it doesn’t exactly taste like chicken. It has a slightly sour taste, but in a taco, with lime juice, it works well. It’s a perfect way to turn tacos vegan! I also made pico de gallo, quick pickled purple onions and topped it all off with sour cream (use dairy free for vegans), cilantro, jalapeño, and avocado!

Meatless Monday doesn’t have to be all salads and fruit bowls. A vegetarian diet does not have to be boring and feeling hungry. I’m not vegetarian, but many of my meals end up being meatless simply because I enjoy eating that way. Cutting out meat occasionally from your diet has many benefits such as increased energy, improved digestion, and a detox boost. Not only is your body not having to break down meat, but it also forces you to get more veggies in your diet which is always a good thing!

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Isabel’s Pretty in Pink Hummus With Roasted Beets

Beets are the root vegetable that are truly amazing to me. The colors are amazing and they are so versatile! Pickled, as a salad with goat cheese, roasted on their own… I just love them.
This roasted beet hummus takes hummus to a new level of awesome. The subtle beet flavor makes regular hummus not so regular and just look at that color! I also roast the garlic. This gives garlic flavor without having the harshness of raw garlic. Beet hummus is great on toast, as a dip with pea snacks or pretzels, on salad…really you could eat it with a spoon. After the roasting, it takes no time to whip up in your food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, get one. It’ll change your foodie life.
Ingredients
1 medium beet
4 large cloves of garlic
1 can chickpeas (drained)
1 1/2 lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
2 TBSP tahini
Optionals
Sea salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Olive oil
Directions
Preheat oven to 400F.
Toss beets in a little olive oil and season with a pinch of sea salt.
Roast beets and garlic (leave skin on garlic) for about 15 minutes or until beets are soft.
Add roasted beets and garlic (skin removed) to food processor with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, spices and a few drizzles of olive oil.
As the processor works it’s mixing magic add more olive oil until it forms into the consistency you like.
Taste and add more seasoning as needed. That’s it! Enjoy!
Tip- To make smoother hummus put chickpeas in a medium bowl and fill up to where chickpeas are covered with about an inch of water. With fingers, mix around/roll and squeeze gently to remove skins from the chickpeas. Don’t squeeze hard enough to break the chickpeas, but just enough where the skin will slide off. You’ll quickly get the hang of it once you do a few. I get really OCD with this but don’t worry about getting every single one off! Voila! Smooth hummus!
For more healthy recipes visit my site or follow @izzycooksinsta!

Samurai Sushi: Nashville’s Favorite Sushi Spot

My favorite restaurants always end up being unassuming spots that almost make you wonder if it’s safe to be walking through the door. I love getting dressed up for a fancy meal, but most of the time, I long for one of my little hole in the wall spots that are so good I can’t help going back over and over.

Enter Samurai Sushi. This tiny little restaurant nestled across from Exit Inn on Elliston happens to be where I had my first date with my now husband and remains one of our favorite places to eat!

Samurai Sushi
2209 Elliston Place, Nashville, TN 37203
http://www.samurainashville.com/

Samurai has been serving Nashville for over ten years and is consistently voted the best or one of the best, sushi restaurants in Nashville for many years. They have all your normal sushi rolls but owner and head sushi chef Yun Ho Choo has created a variety of specialty rolls that you won’t find anywhere else.

The building is small, and Nashville locals know it’s the place to get good sushi. If you go during regular dinner time, especially on the weekends, be sure to give yourself plenty of time because there will be a line out of the door. If you don’t have the time, you can call ahead to order takeout and eat sushi in your PJs, which is always a good idea.

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