Friday, June 28, 2013

Foodie Pen Pals

A few months ago I started participating in the Foodie Pen Pals exchange hosted by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean. Each month the box that I have received has contained such fun, thoughtful and tasty items, and they just keep getting better. It's really a fun exchange to participate in.

The first month's box contained some southern goodies from Ocracoke, NC. The second box had delicious midwestern treats, and this third box was all about great ethnic flavors. My June Foodie Pen Pal Dan, a bad ass librarian from New York, reached out to me and asked some great questions to help guide his food choices. I told him that I love Indian and Asian food, regional fare, and any kind of condiment. He took my suggestions to heart and sent me a fabulous box!

The Holland House: Foodie Pen Pal

The box included: green tea soba noodles, soy wrappers, tamarind candy, Yuzu juice, and two different spices- Zaatar and Vadouvan, along with a fun handwritten card. Given that there was a general theme, I wanted to do my own version of "Chopped" with the items he included. Of course the soy wrappers were the driving force in putting together something fun and healthy for lunch. So I baked some Yuzu juice marinated tofu, cut up some veggies, and cooked the noodles to make a fun Tofu Wrap (though mine didn't turn out as pretty as the ones on the cover of the package).

I also made the most amazing Yuzu Vinaigrette to pour on top of the wraps, and also to use with the leftover noodles. It was delicious, and I will be making more to use again in the future. In case you're wondering, Yuzu is a citrus juice, a combination of lemon/lime/orange. It's a great condiment to add to a variety of dishes if you want to freshen them up a bit. I made the dressing up as I went along, so there is no way I can try to recreate the "recipe", but below are the ingredients that I used. (Yes- I dissolved a candy or two in the dressing to sweeten up the tanginess just a bit.)

The Holland House: Yuzu Vinaigrette

The final product was a fresh, tasty and healthy wrap that made for a fun Monday lunch. The only ingredient that I did not use was the Zaatar, but I have plans to make a roasted beet dip with it this weekend.

The Holland House: Tofu Wrap

The Holland House: Tofu Wrap with Yuzu Vinaigrette

I'm so thankful to Dan for putting so much thought into this box, and sending some fun (and very new) things to try out. The Tamarind Candy was an experience for sure, and I probably never would have thought to try them on my own. Thanks Dan!!

This month I sent a "Texas Peaches and Pecans" themed box to Cora at The Cereal Mom. You can check out her blog to see what she thought.

If you're interested in joining the fun, click on the link below to read more details about Foodie Pen Pals.

The Lean Green Bean


  1. oh wow that looks like a great box, I always need tamarind when I don't want to drive across town to the Asian supermarket to get it. And Zaatar is amazing! Lucky you :)

    1. I have never used Zaatar before, but came across a great Roasted Beet Dip that uses it that I can't wait to try. Need to find more uses for Tamarind as well- any good dish recommendations?

  2. I'm so glad you liked the box, Amy!! That is some delish looking result. And nice use of those candies.

    I may be the "bad ass" but YOU bring it, cooking wise!


    1. Thanks Dan! We've had so much fun with the ingredients, and I am HOOKED on the vadouvan spice. It's amazing!

  3. Those wraps look amazing. I need to get more adventurous with my cooking!

    1. Hi Jessica! I watch the show "Chopped" way more than I should, and have always wanted to challenge myself like that. It helped that I had some great ingredients, but the process of putting something together was a lot of fun.

  4. This sounds excellent. I might think about telling my next person I want a particular type of food like what you did.

    1. He sent some great questions that I used for the person I was sending food to also. I know it's helpful for me to shop when I have a little more guidance. Below are his questions if you want to use them.

      1) Are you allergic to anything?
      2) Is there any food/flavor you just don't like?
      3) What food do you love?
      4) If there was one thing in the box that would make you go "Yayyy!!!", what might that be?


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