My Life Through A Menu

March 2, 2018

Hi, I’m Annie and I’m new here!

Introductions can be kind of awkward. And I can be kind of awkward, so we have ourselves quite the combo here. But I know food is good. And everyone likes food. So I suppose that is the move for this intro… because, after all, you can learn a lot about a person based on what they eat (or so I’ve heard).

Breakfast: black coffee + oats.

Tales from a morning person. Yes that’s me. Mornings are sort of my jam. Seeing the light change and feeling the crisp air is something I am quite fond of. The greatest of the great mornings start off by getting a few miles on my feet, consuming hot coffee and oats, and resting in quiet time spent reading my Bible. And we certainly can’t talk mornings without talking hot coffee and oats. It’s not often you find me deviating from my signature breakfast.

I became an avid oat consumer my sophomore year of college. I’ve since remained loyal to the grain, consuming at least a half-cup every morning. Yes, every morning. Which puts me at roughly 450 cups of oats in the past 2.5 years. You might be getting a sense that I am rather proud of the quantity my oat consumption. You would be right. I am a huge advocate for the heart-healthy, natural fuel this faithful grain provides. I’m such an advocate that two of my roommates and I (also avid oat gals) started a catering business serving specialty oatmeal bowls this past December.

Shameless plug to check out @Minneoats and how we serve up a fresh twist on the classic breakfast.

Lunch: Veg Bowl

Kale + quinoa + chickpeas + sweet potato + broccoli + cherry tomatoes + avocado + asparagus + Greek yogurt 

The midday pick-me-up consists of a spin on the classic burrito bowl. The veg bowl brings a colorful, creative and flavorful meal. Completely customized to today’s cravings, it is notorious for leaving taste buds dancing in a veggie-filled flavortown craze. The more veggies the better. Too many veggies? Not possible. Bland tasting? Not a chance. The veg bowl has become a go-to, classic, customizable option as I’ve entered in adult life. Yes, it would appear that I can say that now.

I graduated from the University of Minnesota this past December and am now coming to you live as a proud Golden Gopher alum. In school I studied marketing and worked for Gopher Sports doing all things video production, content creation and talent. A college job getting paid to attend Big Ten sporting events every week? Yeah, it wasn’t a bad gig, and it sure taught me a lot.

My time with Gopher sports opened my eyes to video production, storytelling and creative content building — all of which remain passions of mine. It also taught me never to jinx a broadcast with the word “overtime” and to keep my eyes on the ball — my most embarrassing moment to date remains getting drilled in the side of the head by a shanked field goal while shooting football practice.

Dinner: Loaded sweet potato

Sweet potato + spinach + black beans + smashed avocado + sweet onion + Greek yogurt whip + red pepper flakes

On to dinner. This evening’s star is my favorite food: sweet potato. There are two very important things to understand about my relations with sweet potato:

  1. I believe the sweet potato is under-utilized + under-appreciated
  2. I consider myself to be somewhat of a sweet potato connoisseur

In my world, sweet potato is to be sliced, diced, mashed, sautéed and incorporated in any and all dishes. I’ve been told you can learn a lot about a gal based on her love for sweet potato. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I am sure that I will continue to eat it every day. And this sweet love for sweet potatoes cannot be kept to myself — in fact, it is my favorite food to serve others. Why? The surprise and delight of nay-sayers enjoying the bright superfood and asking for seconds. Which brings me to one of my greatest joys: cooking for people! I lived in Leeds, England for five months last spring and discovered the joys of slowing down, sitting around a table and enjoying a meal together. Especially if that meal includes sweet potato. So I challenge you to live a life where you say yes to sweet potato. You won’t know unless you try. Heck, I will even cook it for you.

Treat: dark chocolate banana ‘nice-cream’ + PB drizzle + sea salt

The grand finale: Tonight’s rendition of dark chocolate after dark. I label it a rendition because dark chocolate at night has become somewhat of a habit for me. And similar to my coffee preferences, the darker the chocolate, the better. 90 percent cacao? Sign me up. I know what you might be thinking: This girl is a particularly nutty health nut. And you have the nutty part right for sure, but just as life needs dark chocolate and peanut butter, it needs balance. My veg bowls and frozen banana treats are complimented with spice cake donuts, red-velvet cream cheese dip and overflowing cups of fro yo.

So now you’ve seen my menu and hopefully a bit of me too. I am stoked and grateful to have the opportunity to work at Fast Horse through the Integrate program. Cheers to new friends, new experiences and a whole lot of learning!