When Chris messaged me asking if I wanted to write a guest post for iOn Greenville, I jumped at the opportunity! When I first moved to Greenville (three years ago), iOn Greenville and its app were always (and still is) one of my go-to resources for what was going on, where to find local food trucks, or events to check out.
For those who don’t know me, my name is Sarah Moore and I’m the CEO & Blog Founder of Pimento & Prose. This local food blog is dedicated to non-dairy and lactose-intolerant friendly baking and recipes. I also write about meal prep tips & tricks, foodie travel adventures, and our “Weekend Foodie Warriors” segment, which spotlights local businesses, food festivals, and restaurants.
I started the blog originally as a project in college for my mass communications class and named the blog after two of my favorite things. The first part, “Pimento” was the first Southern thing I remember loving since moving to the South, as I had grown up in New England for most of my life and had no idea what pimento cheese was. The second part, “Prose”, harkens back to my love of creative writing and poetry, as I have been writing short stories and poems since I was in 5th grade. One of my poems I wrote in high school made it into a published book on Amazon, and I have the first three chapters of a children’s book in the works, which have been put on hold for the time being, with my blog taking precedence.
About two years ago, I found out I had an allergy to anything containing cow’s milk, which could not be solved by “lactose-free” products or taking the “over the counter” pill. Being someone who adores cheese and ice cream, it hurt to be told I had to start eating one of my favorite food items in moderation, and seeing how prevalent dairy is in cooking, it became even harder to eat at restaurants.
So, the main catalyst that pushed me to really develop the blog was to have an outlet for people like me who still loved cheese and milk products but really didn’t know how to replace them when baking or cooking. The biggest thing I realized in writing up new recipes or changing my current dairy-laden favorites into non-dairy friendly versions was how easy the replacements were in terms of taste and ease of changes. I also found that unlike cow’s milk, I have no problem with products made of sheep or goats’ milk (goat cheese for the win!). Half the time, when I made new dishes for friends, they could not taste the difference, or if they did, liked my updated versions just as much, if not better, than the originals!
I love interacting with people who have similar allergies as me, and helping folks realize they can still eat their favorite foods, with minor ingredient changes. Being able to support my local community through food and putting a spotlight on these small businesses and restaurants that bring such vibrancy to the Upstate is why I do what I do in my free time.
Weekend Foodie Warriors – Aug. 28-30th Updates:
Friday – HolyMolli Grand Opening –
The first Foodie Adventure we went on this weekend was Friday (Aug. 28th) for the Grand Opening of HolyMolli (@eatholymolli), a new restaurant on Woodruff Rd (in the old Rise Biscuits & Donuts location).
This awesome Mexican fusion restaurant has one of the coolest things I’ve tried lately – Mexican sushi rolls! Imagine if you crossed a sushi roll with the ingredients in a taco and you smashed them together, it was delicious!! I love fusion food, so this was a fun excursion to try something new. Luis & Lydia Stark, who own this location, walked me through the menu and explained to me the restaurant’s concept when I visited at lunchtime:
“You can order any of our great ingredients, from steak to carnitas to vegetarian options like tofu, and add them to anything from nachos to a quesadilla to burrito bowls! We love seeing what combinations people come up with.”
For the sushi options, you can add chicken, steak, or a mix of those two, and the other ingredients in the rolls are – seaweed, rice, cucumber, avocado, sliced cheese, Mexican shredded cheese, and cream cheese – all wrapped in tempura batter and fried to crispiness! These are served with imitation crab on top, and a chipotle mayo-based dipping sauce, a special soy dipping sauce, and a sweet hoisin sesame dipping sauce.
I love the idea of this, and it’s so fun to see how other cultures mesh together when it comes to food. They also threw in a couple of the molé sauces for us to try as sides, including their chocolate chipotle molé and jalapeño cheddar molé, which were both delicious.
Go check them out and show them some love!
Sunday – 34th Annual Greenville Greek Festival –
With COVID-19, a lot around us has changed. So when we heard that the 34th Annual Greenville Greek Festival was still happening this weekend, after suffering the blow of so many other food festivals getting cancelled, we were elated at the thought of getting some amazing Greek food despite it all.
I attended the Greek Festival in person last year (see our blog here for those details and pictures), and they always offered a drive-thru option for those who couldn’t attend the festival itself. It must have been a no-brainer for them to skip the in-person part of the festival to be safe, but still be able to spread the love with some drive-thru, homemade Greek food.
We were really impressed with their operation honestly. You know how Chick-fil-A has been expanding their ordering to two lanes to help cut down on traffic? Well, the Greek Festival organizers must have been taking notes. We managed to get through two lanes of traffic and what was the equivalent of two city blocks in the span of 10-15 minutes and had our food hot and ready!
I think what really helped them this year was expanding their combination platters to account for people not being able to order certain items like the Dolomades (stuffed grape leaves) and Spanakopita (spinach and feta stuffed phyllo dough) separately. The first things they ran out of though, surprisingly, were the pastries!
We were in line promptly at 11:15 am on their last day, Sunday (Aug. 30th), and by the time we got to ordering, all they had left were the Amygthalota (think the Greek version of what tastes like an Italian wedding cookie, but huge and shaped like a crescent moon), and the Kataifi (imagine all the ingredients of Baklava, but with shredded phyllo dough on top, in the shape of a swiss cake roll!), both of which we ordered.
Of course, I invited all the friends I could fit in a car on this trip, how else do you manage to order one of everything, and that’s happily what worked out menu-wise too. Jamie and I ordered a gyro and the Amygthalota to share along with the Moussaka combination plate; my friend Madison got the Chicken combo plate; and my buddy Noah got the Pastichio combination plate with the Kataifi for dessert. Max just got a gyro but shared quite a few things off all our plates.
Everything was delicious!! We ended up cleaning our plates, every dish was so fresh, and you could tell it was handmade with lots of love. Anyone who has never eaten Mediterranean or Greek food would do well to try this festival out and see how fantastic it is!! We highly recommend it.
Recipe (Chicken & Sweet Potato Hash):
One of our favorite activities (for both COVID-19 social distancing fun and normal fun) is to go camping on the weekends. We typically go more in the off-season, as its less crowded and the weather isn’t as hot. Our top favorite kitchen tool we don’t leave home without is our cast iron skillet! This five ingredient Chicken & Sweet Potato Hash was delish and so easy to make. This recipe takes quite a while with marinating time; however, it’s faster making it at home and just as tasty.
Saturday night of camping weekend is typically the time for big meals. We have all day to prep, marinate, or tend to anything more complicated. On our most recent camping trip, we created a recipe out of thin air a few days before we left, and it did not disappoint! We marinated some chicken in a Mexican lime hot sauce for a few hours and then charcoaled it in the pit.
At the same time, we started cooking our pre-cut sweet potatoes and onions. Prepping your ingredients before you leave is a huge help, so you don’t need to bring a bunch of items like chef knives and cutting boards with you. After both the chicken and sweet potato & onion were done, we combined everything together, which started to resemble a hash. To top it off, we generously sprinkled goat cheese (for our non-dairy folks) over the entire skillet. To see the full recipe, see below or check out the link here.
Since this trip, we’ve done a similar version of this recipe with different vegetables and marinades. The constant is to always have the diced sweet potatoes as the base, a Mexican/Latin American flavored marinade, and a cheese. It is one of our go-to combinations for an easy meal.
Chicken & Sweet Potato Hash
- Prep Time: 1h 30m
- Cook Time: 1h 15m
- Total Time: 2h 45m
- Serves: 6 people
- Yield: 5-7 portions, meal prepped
- Category: Meal Prep
- 1 lb. Chicken breasts (2-4 pieces)
- 6 oz Mexican or Southwestern style liquid marinade of choice (we used one from Lidl called “Tequila Mockingbird”)
- 3 Sweet potatoes, diced
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 pkg Semi-soft tangy cheese (we used a goat cheese with a wine rind)
- In a gallon sized Ziploc bag, start by combing your marinade of choice with the chicken, sealing, then massaging to better coat the meat. Marinade in the fridge for at least one hour or up to one day to fully impart flavor into the chicken.
- Next, prep the veggies! Wash and scrub any dirt off your sweet potatoes and chop/dice them into medium-sized pieces, then do the same with your onion. Place them in a covered bowl (if cooking later that day) or in a Tupperware container (if letting the chicken marinate overnight) in the fridge.
- Cook the chicken over charcoals for about 20 minutes, flipping about halfway through, continuing until the inside temperature reaches 165*F. Set the chicken on a heat safe surface covered in foil to rest for about 10-15 mins before cutting.
- Add the sweet potatoes and onions to a large cast iron skillet and cook over the coals for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until potatoes are fork tender and onions are soft and translucent.
- To finish the dish, cut the chicken into strips or bite sized pieces (we only ended up needing to cut up two breasts, so you may have leftover chicken), stirring into the potato mixture. Finish with chunks or shreds of your semi-soft cheese of choice, stirring to combine/melt the cheese, and enjoy! This dish can be kept in the fridge in a Tupperware container for up to two weeks.