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A Far From Royal Life

30 Apr

**Have you entered my GIVEAWAY?? Do so HERE, deadline ends MONDAY!!**

My life is far from royalty.

And although I do live with a princess…and my Hubby is king of the throne…(and we all know what throne I am talking about)

I am nowhere near living the life of a Queen.

In fact, if someone asked me what I did for a living, they would get a list of about 47 different things…

One of them being Throne cleaner.

And another being short order cook.

It just so happens that each person in our ‘Royal Household’ has different taste preferences, and when it comes to any meal of the day, we all want different things.

Of course neither of us is willing to budge, thus dinner may look something like this…

My Hubby, King of the Royal Throne, goes through food phases. I make something that he likes one night, so he request it every night of the week until he get’s bored. (King of the Royal Throne switches to Picky Princess)

This week it’s an egg Sammy.

My plating is also nowhere near Royalty, but considering this was eaten in the manner of a pig at a trough, I would say it looks about right.

It’s really a simple dinner, just some whole grain rolls topped with avocado, humus, and Franks Red Hot Sauce.

My Hubby could swim in a pool of Frank’s Sauce. It probably wouldn’t feel good though, because I am assuming certain things would sting..Which is why swimming in a pool of chocolate would be so much better.

Don’t forget the carton of eggs scrambled with spinach and goat cheese to go on top.

Then comes Ma.

As much as a carton of eggs doused in Franks sounds delicious, I figure I didn’t want to clean another throne anytime soon.

My original plan was the make this meal for all three of us, but when the picky eaters decided otherwise, I decided to make it just for me. 🙂

Layered Cous Cous Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole

adapted from the incredible OhSheGlows

Ingredients:

1 large Eggplant shredded and thinly sliced

1 large zucchini thinly sliced

2 cups tomato sauce

1 – 1 1/2 cups prepared cous cous

2 TB prepared pesto

1 can drained and rinsed navy beans

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup fresh basil

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp.dried parsly

1 tsp. paprika

2 TB nutritional yeast

2 TB olive oil

2 tsp chopped garlic

Salt and Pepper  

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450. On a baking sheet coated with paper or mat, spread sliced eggplants around and bake in the oven for about 13-15 minutes, or until wilted.

2. While eggplants are baking, using a food processor, blend beans, spinach, basil, spices, nutritional yeast, EVOO, and garlic until creamy. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl add cous cous and pesto and mix until combined. Set aside.

4. Take eggplant out and remove and asseble the rest of the ingredients and get ready to layer casserole dish. I used a circle dish that was deep.

5. Start with a couple TB of tomato sauce on the bottom of a greased casserole bowl.

Then add eggplant,

Then bean puree.

Next add half of zucchini slices and more tomato sauce.

and half of cous cous,

Then repeat process over until all ingredients are gone. Top layer should be couscous.

6. Sprinkle a little bit extra of nutritional yeast on top for good measure. Turn down oven temp to 425 and bake casserole for about 30-40 minutes.

Get ready to drool.

I love casseroles. They are so filling and warm and remind me of sunday dinners with my family.

Only problem is Casseroles usually contains ToNs of fat and cream and cheese…which is the main reason why after Sunday dinners, everybody takes a quick 5 hour nap.

This dish is also good for babies because it mashes easily and is soft  enough to chew. Babies meaning Hubby’s who are scared to try new foods.

“Little bites for the Baby Waby. Just chew..common you can do it..Seee?? It isn’t that bad”

You want to talk about what’s bad…

Princess Fluffy Ball of Mohawk

Her hair continues to grow but only in the mohawk/Joe dirt Mullet form..

I can see it now. Pretty soon I’ll be called Ma and Hubby will be Pa..And she will request overalls and roadkill for dinner..

My life is quickly drifting farther and farther away from Royalty.

A Thankful Giveaway!

28 Apr

There are different types of Gratitude.

One type of Gratitude may be that the previous owner of your home never un-suscribed to their People magazine.

Another may be like this…

I just want to say how extremely grateful I am for the enormous amount of kind, thoughtful, loving, sweet, and amazing comments and emails from everyone!

After I posted about how I almost stupidly deleted my blog, there were many of you who reached out to me with kind words that made me feel SO MUCH better! It was so nice to know that I am not the only one who goes through times not feeling good about one self, and having struggles with self confidence. With that being said, I know how important it is for me to appreciate my self for who I am, and recognize that I am an amazing person….

As are ALL OF YOU!!

And since I am SO extremely grateful for all the amazing friends that I have made, and ones that have stuck with me on this journey to living a healthy and happy life, I wanted to show my gratitude by doing a little giveaway of some of my favorite things! 🙂

The very FIRST giveaway on ThE DiVa DiSh!!

Want to know what the prize is??

Ok, well it isn’t just ONE thing..

First off:

Chia Seeds

I have been wanting to giveaway Chia Seeds for a LONG time because they are seriously So.Amazing!

They have so many amazing and incredible benefits.

-They have a great source of Fiber, Omega 3s, Antioxidants, Vitamins, Minerals, and Calcium.

– They are great for easy digestion and help aid digestion in the process, as well as easily absorbed in liquid, they give you energy, they are filling, and can be used as a thickening agent (like replacing eggs in baking)

-You can add chia seeds to yogurt, cereal, granola, salads, green drinks, smoothies, make chia pudding, add them in breads, crackers, sauces, etc…

Are you convinced??

Moving on…

Coconut Oil

I love coconut oil.

I use it when I cook things in a saucepan, add it to homemade nut butters, use it for the fat in baking, and you can even add it in smoothies. (You know I love me some smoothies!)

It is a healthy fat. “The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc. (source)

My Favorite Larabars

Many Bloggers I have to thank for my love of the Larabars.

They have practically every flavor, they are natural, made with whole ingredients, some including dates, nuts,and natural sugars..

Oh and some of them have chocolate.

Definitely a plus 🙂

Justin’s Nut Butters

An assortment of nut butters. Delicious nut butters.

There is Almond butter, Honey Peanut Butter, Classic Peanut Butter, and TWO Chocolate Peanut Butters (Because I heart you!)

Did I mention they use all natural ingredients?!

Oh…and they are freakin’delish!

You will basically have a taste, smear all over your face, and then wish you could lick your face..

(yea that’s right!)

Would you like to win this package of delicious edibles?!?

Here is how to enter: You can do one or all! Each one counts as one entry. US Residents only 😦

1. Leave a comment telling me 3 favorite things about your self 🙂

2. Follow ThE DiVa DiSh on Twitter HERE, then leave a comment telling me that you do!

3. Tweet about the giveaway then leave a comment telling me that you did!

4. Link my giveaway on your blog, if you have one, then leave a comment telling me you did!

Easy as Peanut Butter Right??! 🙂

Want to know three things I am grateful for?

1. My Body-It’s healthy, beautiful, and amazing

2. My family-Especially this little princess who finds joy playing in the pantry with cans of beans..

3. And I am grateful for you my friends!!

Now go enter the giveaway :)!

**Winner will be chosen at Random**

**Deadline is 12 p.m PST on Monday!**

CONTEST CLOSED!!


How to Save $ Buying Food and Squash Pockets

25 Apr

I wouldn’t necessarily say I am thrifty.

In fact, I am the complete opposite…Unless of coarse Hubby is asking me, then I am very frugal, and always shop in the bargain/clearance section.

Ya right.

I wish I could say I could walk into a thrift store and find something worth buying, but..

I.Just.Can’t.

And Probably the most thrify-ish shopping you will find me doing is at Ross or Marshalls.

But since I have been married, and Hubby has been in grad school, you can only imaging we are far from high-rollers. And even though Hubby would bet his life savings that I have it in my mind we are Bazillionaires, I am learning, key word, that I need to be better at how I spend my money.

Especially on groceries. Let’s just say, if one looked at my grocery bill, then you could assume I was feeding a family of 5. yikes. AND, one might also assume, since I am really only feeding a family of 2 1/2, that by the cost of my purchases, we must be hefty eaters.

Not true. Well, hefty eaters, I dunno, I really…really..like food.

So where did it all go wrong? For some time now, I have really focused on my spending, and why I would end up spending so much on groceries. I thought, maybe I should share some tips on what not to do when buying groceries, because like I said, I am still learning on what to do.

The DEFINITELY DO NOTS of Grocery Shopping

1. Don’t buy EVERYTHING organic.-I assumed that because it was organic, it was better for you. And although this is definitely the case in some regards, it is not the case in others. Here is how it goes: When buying organic fruits and veggies, follow the rules of the Dirty Dozen. ONLY the items on the dirty dozen list is best to be purchased organic. Items like pineapples and avocados don’t. And trust me, the price of an organic avocado to a non organic one is a great difference. I also always buy dairy and meat for my Hubby organic. No questions asked. That will not change.

2. Don’t buy everything you see.-I am like this in the grocery store: “I’ll take that, and that, and that, and that. Oh wait, how much is it? OK here is my leg and my arm to cover the bill..”

I have learned that going with a list is crucial. At the beginning of the week I have written everything down that I want to make and want to have in the house. That way I go with a plan, instead of using my head/stomach to decide for me.

3. Don’t get sucked into labels. -I will buy something if it says “Buy me, I am Delicious!”, but for others, things like low fat, no sugar, healthy, brand new, yadda yadda can grab your attention. Research products out before spending a hefty penny on something they say is worth it.

4. Don’t Covet-Being a blogger, I read tons of other blogs and get SUCKED into wanting to make what they posted RIGHT.THAT.VERY.SECOND. Alot of ingredients are unheard of, have to be ordered on line, and are pretty darn expensive. RESEARCH! I am not even going to mention some of the ingredients I have in my household that I purchased that I have NO idea what to do with them. Research recipes, research what the ingredients are for and their benefits.

5. Don’t always shop at natural food stores. -There is this certain store by where I live that I call hell. If I walk in there, I am gonna get hell for it when I get home 🙂 kidding, but I really have a hard time not spending Baby Boo’s college fund in there. Certain things I agree are necessary, but not everything. AND a lot of times, the natural food grocers jack up their prices JUST because they can. Rude I know. Smart, but rude.

I hope some of these tips help you like they have been helping me…and my wallet.

And my relationship 🙂

But buying cheap only does so much for the Hubby. It’s the delicious dinners that really win him over..

What a sucker..

Squash Pockets

Ingredients:

(filling)


1/4 large onion diced

1 TB EVOO

2 TB chopped garlic

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup chopped artichoke

2 cups diced butternut squash( i used precooked frozen butternut squash)-

1/4 cup diced walnuts

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

salt and pepper

Thawed Phyllo dough

Directions:

1. In a heated pan, add EVOO, onion, and garlic and cook 4-5 minutes on med-low heat until they begin to caramelize. Stir Frequently. Then add spinach and stir every so often until spinach begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Then add artichokes & squash and stir until combined. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let cook about 6-7 minutes med heat. Stir frequently. Then add in walnuts. Season with more S & P to taste.

2. Prepare phyllo dough according to packages. I cut mine in half.

3. Place a couple spoon fulls of filling at the top of one side of the phyllo dough and add a few crumbles of goat cheese.

4. Fold Phyllo dough all the way down. I folded mine like you were folding up a flag.

5. Repeat steps until all the filling is used. I stuffed my pockets pretty full, so I only got about 5 or 6 pockets, so it all depends on the size. You can fold your pockets any way your want. There isn’t a right way. Maybe there is, I just don’t know about it 🙂

6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until phyllo becomes golden brown.



I had never worked with phyllo dough until this. I have NO idea why I waited so long!?

Every crispy bite made me want to run out an buy more phyllo dough and make more!! hha

See what I mean. Impulse buyer anyone??

I hope Baby Boo doesn’t turn out like me with the whole spending regards thing,

Because I don’t know how many more arms and legs I can sell before I run out…

My Husband Ate Green Pancakes!

20 Apr

Differences.

There are a lot of differences in our cute little family, maybe more than usual. Maybe not.

Differences in the way we sleep. Meaning, Hubby does, and I don’t…

Differences in the way we get ready. Hubby = 5 minutes.

Me = The amount of time I am supposed to get ready in + 20 minutes more.. I am always late.

Differences in what we think is funny.

Baby Boo laughs when I say ‘DUH.’

I laugh with Hubby that I finally took his advice and cleaned out my wallet, and that he was RIGHT! I was surprised at what I found..

and then,

Hubby cries when he see’s my Nordstrom’s Credit Card Bill in the Mail…(I thought it was funny that I found my old Nordy’s card). What I didn’t find funny is that Hubby cancelled it.

Major Differences in the way we eat.

Hubby’s favorite Mexican restaurant is Taco Bell.

His all time favorite American Food is a Double Bacon Western Cheeseburger.

And he thinks it is Genius that someone took two pieces of fried chicken melted cheese in the middle.

Which is why I can justify torturing him at dinner time with the food that I love.

Things like Green Pancakes

When I handed them to him, he asked me why they were green.

I told him…

What you don’t know, won’t hurt you.

One word Sweety Pie…

Nordstroms.

Now eat your Green Pancakes!

Green Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup mutligrain baking mix

1/2 cup oats

1/2 coconut milk

1 banana

1 egg

3 TB maple syrup

1/2-1 tsp. Spirulina

1 TB Chia Seeds

1/4 cup pecans-chopped

1/4 black berries

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Add more liquid if you prefer a less dense pancake. Pour batter onto griddle pan greased and cook on medium-low heat 3-4 minutes on each side.

When it came time to dig in, Hubby was a little nervous.

There was no way these could be good.

That is unless of coarse…

Nothing like a pound of sugar to make something taste good.

He started to eat..

or shall I say, he started to inhale. He was going so fast, I couldn’t even take pictures.

Slow down turbo, Mama has to blog this moment…

Before I knew it, the pancakes were almost all gone. I asked him what he thought of them, and he said, “THESE.WERE.BOMB!”

I couldn’t help but smile thinking that maybe my ‘healthy’ eating ways were finally growing on him..

That was until he asked me if I would pass him more butter…

And then he finished off the rest of the syrup in the bottle.


Drool Worthy Recipes

18 Apr

Lat night my husband and I attended a wedding! And they had a photo booth.

Photo Booth’s at weddings are the best idea! 🙂

Now THAT is one hotty!

Being that we have had somewhat of a busy weekend, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite recipes from previous post back, as well as recipes I have spotted all through out the blog world that make my taste buds to crazy!

Let’s begin with some previous post!

1. Goat Cheese Stuffed Black Bean Burgers

(There is also an amazing Turkey Burger recipe on this post as well)

2. THE MOST AmAzInG pudding EVER!

3. Crispy Peanut Butter Bars

4. Peanut Butter Balls

5. Strong Green Drink

6. Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

7. Black Bean, Quinoa, and Sweet Potato Boats

8. Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting 

9. E.B.T.K.S. Banana Scramble

\

10. Double Chocolate Walnut Almond Butter

11. Healthy S’mores Milkshake (Along with a S’mores Green Drink & Schmall recipe too!)

12. Hearty Whole Grain Basil Bread

13. Peanut Butter Oatmeal and Strawberry Parfait

14. Cherry Chocolate Milk Shake

15. Chocolate Tarts

16. Grilled Lemony Dill Veggie Sammy

Check them all out!

And…here are some recipes through out the inter web that caught my eye:

1. Averi from Love Veggies and Yoga: Peanut Sauce Baked Tofu

2. Angela from Oh She Glows: Spring Chick Cupcakes

3. Jessica from How Sweet It Is: Dark Chocolate Blueberry Muffins  

4. Sarah from Peas and Thank You: Mmmm Sauce 

5. Peas and Crayons: What I ate Wednesday Link Party 

6. Helen from Helen Naturally: Berry Cherry Buckwheat Bake 

7. Katie from Chocolate Covered Katie: Breakfast Polenta 

8. Alaina Rose from Everyday Sweetness: Mega omega Granola 

9. Jenny from Fit Girl Foodie: Casein Pudding 

10. Of Plates and Palates: Spinach Turkey Sliders Stuffed with Pepper Jack Cheese 

11. Jess from Healthy Exposures: Blueberry Dressed Chickpeas and Grain

12. Maryea from Happy Healthy Mamma: Eat Yo’ Greens Soup 

Some of these might make you drool…

Just warning you 🙂

*Note* 

If there is a recipe you want me to link up here on ThE DiVa DiSh, send me an e-mail (thedivadish@yahoo.com), and I’ll gladly do so 🙂


Grilled Lemony Dill Veggie Sandwhich

14 Apr

 

Dear Brain-

Where are you?

How come you always seem to disappear, especially when I need you the most?

How come you can’t be there to remind me to turn off the hose on our sink…

Baby Boo’s face is a perfect target..

Oh, and I’m really sick of the Wet T-Shirt games.

(You don’t remind me about the hose, but you sure don’t have a problem reminding me wet t-shirt contest are NOT for me)

Oh, and brain, while I have your attention, can you please remind me why I am so clumsy?

Because each time I spill formula, I am slowly saying goodbye to Baby Boo’s college fund.

Bye Bye Harvard…

Hello Community College.

Oh, and one more question brain..

How come you never remind me to buy Dill?

Because Dill is delicious, and for some reason I always forget.

But not this time. I think I will clearly remember!

🙂

Grilled Lemony Dill Veggie Sandwhich

Ingredients:

1 cup of assorted veggies in slices (I used eggplant, zucchini and tomato)

1 TB chopped fresh dill

zest of half a lemon

juice of half a lemon

1 TB Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Directions:

1. Gather sliced veggies and put them in a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss until everything is coated. Let marinade for 10 minutes.


Then grill veggies, 3-5 minutes on both sides.

2. Prepare sand which.

Add some Hummus and Goat Cheese:

And then some avocado and spinach:

Then assemble your veggies.

Pile those babies high!


And then if you want, sprinkle with some parsley.

Then smoosh the sand which together, like they smoosh in Jersey Shore..

And.fall.in.love.

If you want a light and refreshing lunch that feels like summer..

Then grab your Lawn Chair, Pina Colada, and this Sammy…

OH Wait!

Hey Brain?

Can you remember to bring the sunscreen?

K thanks, your a doll!

So Fresh N So Fabulous

5 Apr

Somebody I live with thinks they are the greatest thing since baby wipe warmers.

I am most positive she believes she is all that and a bag o’ cheerios.

And not to mention, you give her some stunna’ shades, and she suddenly thinks she is mature enough to shake her head no…

What I won’t tell her is that those “stunna’ shades” aren’t so stunna’ when she reaches middle school..

She’s going to have to learn the hard way like her mama.

As for now, she continues to think she’s on some sort of tropical vacation, and her parents are her waiters..

Bring me A Ginga’ Juice!

Make it Fresh!

Ginga’ Juice

2 Carrots

1 cup Fresh Cantelope

1 Cup Fresh Pineapple

1 inch piece ginger

And while she sips on her Ginga’ Juice in a sippy cup she will want entertainment.

(P.S. I really drank this..not Baby Boo :])

But the pressure is high. A shake of the head means your done!

Itsy Bitsy Spider and Twinkle Twinkle don’t make her giggle, they just piss her off now.

It could have to do with the entertainment’s voice.

(But deep down in side, the entertainer knows she has a voice like an angel!)

And after her disappointment from lack of talent, she will want food.

Solid food.

Something to hold her over.

But trust me folks. She won’t want something pureed in a jar. She will want it fresh and homemade.

Something like, Fresh ‘Pasghetti’ Sauce

Fresh Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

Ingredients:

8 medium Tomatoes

1 large sweet onion (chopped)

6-7 cloves of garlic

1 TB Olive Oil

1 TB Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

10 Large Basil Leaves

1 (heaping) tsp. dried rosemary

1 (heaping) tsp. parsley

(tomato paste-optional-I didn’t use though)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut tomatoes in half and place in medium bowl. Add in diced onion and whole cloves of garlic. Drizzle with EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar, and S & P. Mix until everything is coated. Take a prepared baking sheet (covered with either foil or baking mat) and spread mixture onto pan. Bake in oven for about 35-40 minutes.

2. Once done, let cool and gather other ingredients. In a blender add roasted vegetables and the rest of your ingredients. Blend until somewhat chunky or desired consistency. Adjust spices to liking.

3. If preparing other food, you can let sit in a pot over low heat until ready, to let the flavors come together. If you add tomato paste, this will make it thicker. I didn’t do this, but you are more than welcome to. You will have to adjust spices accordingly.

Then the once cocky Baby Boo will become humble again, because once she taste this ‘Pasghetti’, she will realize, she isn’t the only one who is So Fresh N’ So Fabulous.

First Bite, and she will be a changed woman.

That is until her mama comes around and tells Baby Boo she is the bestest most amazing, adorable, loving, fun, talented, and smartest baby there is in the whole wide world!..

And in return Baby Boo will look at her mama and say,

“Give me Baba…Make is Fresh!”



 

Hearty Whole Grain Basil Bread

24 Mar

I have always had a slight obsession with bread.

I think it stemmed from my early years…We would go to my grandmas and she would always have a fresh sour dough, or french loaf sitting on her counter.

It made me salivate every time I saw it.

And then I ate it. Alot of it.

I could pack a whole “loaf” or, shall we say yard stick, of that french bread sitting on the counter. Nothing could stop me.

You want to know what’s gross?

I would dip my bread in whole milk. White bread dipped in whole milk.

Doesn’t that make you hungry? No? Well then maybe this will..

You see, for birthdays, we always got to go to our favorite restaurants. I, every year, chose olive garden, and you can bet it wasn’t for the all you can eat salad..It was for the all you can eat breadsticks. And trust me, I ate all that I could eat.

Of coarse, NOW I have learned some self control, but I still drool when I walk past bakeries, and gaze at fresh baked breads through the window. Sure I could have a slice…But I want the whole loaf. Just me, my loaf, some Real Housewives of O.C., and a big glass of milk soy milk.

A girl can dream right.

But I can assure you that I definitely don’t deprive. It may not be a loaf, but it isn’t a slice fit for a Baby Boo either. And although sourdough bread will always have a special place in my heart, I have grown to love whole grains.

It makes me happy to know that I can enjoy one of my favorite foods while still getting a lot of nutrients for my body. Nothing over processed and nothing bleached, it’s just pure and natural grains.

And sure I can buy any kind of loaf like that at the grocery store, but there is something much tastier about fresh bread coming straight out of your oven. Your in control of what goes into it, including the bread and your body. Also not to mention, hot & steamy out of the oven…

Oh, sorry wrong picture,

Hot and steamy out of the oven…

So.Much.Better.

Heart Whole Grain Basil Bread

adapted from MarthaStewart

Two 1/4 ounce envelopes active dry yeast

2 1/4 cups warm water (110 deg)

2 tsp. honey

3 TB. 100% pure maple syrup

4 TB unsalted butter (melted)

3 cups whole wheat pastry four

1 cup whole grain all purpose baking flour (or could sub more whole wheat pastry flour)

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

4 tsp. coarse salt

1 cup fresh chopped basil (large chunks)

1/3 cup millit

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup flax seeds

1 TB chia seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1 egg white

Directions:

1. Soak millet in 1/2 cup warm water for 20 minutes, set aside. In a separate bowl add 1/2 cup warm water and sprinkle yeast in. Add 2 tsp. of honey and whisk together until combined. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until foamy/frothy. Yeast should look like so:

2. In a separate bowl add flours and salt and whisk together. Once yeast is ready, pour yeast into a mixing bowl fitted with dough hook. Add melted butter, 1 1/2 cups warm water, and 3 TB maple syrup. Mix until combined. Then add 3 cups of flour mix. Mix on low speed until smooth. Then add in millet (plus water in bowl), and the rest of the seeds/oats, and basil.

Mix at low speed until combined. Then add remaining flour until dough is combined and somewhat smooth.

3. On a floured surface kneed dough for about 5 minutes until a smooth ball forms,like so:

Place dough in greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for an hour or so. (I did about 1 1/2 hours)

4. When dough has risen, punch it in the face,

Show it whose boss, and then divide dough into about 6 or 7 balls. Form balls and place on cookie sheet fitted with a cooking mat.

5. Take your egg white, and add a little water, and brush the tops of the dough balls. Then cover baking sheet with plastic and let dough sit for about another 1 1/2 hours.

Let those bad boys rise!

6. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees, and when the dough is ready, bake for about 22-25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.

7. Try not to pass out of excitement due to the most amazing smell that will fill your house!

Pull out of the oven…and smile!

(Don’t forget to brush with more butter straight out of the oven :})

I always get so nervous when it comes to baking bread. My first fear is that it wont rise, and my second is that it will be too hard…

Well my friends, it was perfect.

The first thing I did was cut it open. I didn’t even wait for it to cool, hence the third degree burns on my finger…and tongue.

But so worth it. I love the grains and seeds that I get in each bite, with a hint of sweet basil. It’s a beautiful combination.

But.

It didn’t stop.

I wanted more, but I couldn’t just grab the loaf and eat away like it was an apple.

I mean I could have…But I’m raising a daughter..And I think she is too young to learn her MaMa is crazy.

So I just had to make a “meal” out of it.

Goat cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, and Bitchin’ Sauce…

Have you ever wanted to make out with your food?

Sweet Baby Bread Loaves!

Good thing I have learned some self control..

Because if not..

There was about to be an all you can eat bread loaves…

Pass the milk!

Chick-pea salad sandwich & Breaded Tempeh

16 Mar

I’ve never been a light eater.

Meaning..

The term moderation doesn’t do well with me.

And sure, I am good at taking a bite here and there of delicious sinful foods…but if I have a plate full in front of me..

I finish the entire plate. And even get seconds.

But finishing the entire plate is different for me now, then it used to me way back when…

In highschool, my friends and I hit up the local Chipotle every thursday. Steak burrito, black beans, sour cream, lots a cheese, pico de gallo, and corn…(I remember) Did I eat the whole thing. Heck ya!

Was I full?!? Umm let’s just say I could barely walk. I had this impression that if I wasn’t stuffed to the brim like I had just partaken in a Thanksgiving feast, then I had to eat more. I needed to be to the point where I couldn’t move, and to the point where I felt I needed to go hibernate for the rest of the winter.

I would make myself sick.

And it didn’t stop after burrito lunches. It continued to dinner, and snacks, and breakfast.

I LOOOVED food! (And still do)

But as years went by, I grew up, and so did my willingness to give my body a break. To realize the “true” meaning of full…No matter how tempting that all you can eat basket of chips & salsa are at a restaurant. (Seriously those will be the death of me!) I learned to really listen to my body when I was full, instead of waiting for a plate to tell me.

Although, let me add this. I continue to usually eat everything that’s on my plate. But my plate looks alot different then they did 5 years ago. A whole burrito and a bag of chips is going to be WAY more filling than a plate full of veggies and beans.

And now here is the point where I am going to be honest. Since I have began to cut alot of meat out of my diet, I am constantly hungry. Being a new mamma,with a clingy baby :), and a hubby who is gone all day and busy all night with studying, I don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals, especially ones that include the necessary nutrition I need since I don’t eat alot of meat/dairy. I was beginning to feel like I was missing things in my diet. I needed things that would hold me over, and keep me full. I knew I was lacking on essential nutrients. Vegetables are great, but I needed more.

I need to include more proteins and healthier grains. It’s easy for me to whip up a salad, or blend a smoothie, but harder for me to cook something. So this week that has been my goal. I have been researching lots of recipes, and ways to make my lifestyle healthy and substantial. I really want to give my body everything it needs. I have been scared to try certain foods only because they are “new” to me, and I am unsure the taste. But I am branching out. It’s best for my body, and needs to be done.

Which is why I am EXTREMELY excited to share these two new recipes!

For starters,

Tempeh.

What the heck is Tempeh? It’s cooked and slighty fermented soybeans smashed into a patty. Sounds delicious huh?! Not so much. I wasn’t really interested in trying it because it didn’t sound..tasty, but it’s nutritional information is what got me.

It’s got about 18 grams of protein for starters! That is incredible! It also has amazing source of calcium as well as iron, BOTH of which I need to include in my diet.

The taste is kind of nutty, as well as textured. Nothing like tofu! It definitely doesn’t have a strong taste of anything.

SO, as I was looking for a beginners Tempeh recipe to try, since I have never even tried it before, I found out that Ashley had a recipe. It was breaded tempeh, and sounded delicious!

So I tried it, and fell in love.

If you want the recipe, just click HERE. The only thing I did different was add more seasonings to the bread crumbs. I added garlic, paprika, cumin, and corriander.

It was just what I needed. I dipped it in a Thai Peanut dipping sauce, and was in HEAVEN! My father in law-who is a REAL meat and potatoes guy even said it was amazing, as well as the hubby..Who took too many bites, and left little for me! 🙂

I definitely felt like I had eaten something substantial. I was full and OH SO HAPPY! I will definitely be experimenting with tempeh alot more often. Also, if you have any tempeh recipes you want to share… 🙂

Next we have a different take on a Chicken salad sandwhich..

This time made with Chickpeas!

Chickpea Salad Sandwhich

(If you want to use chicken go right ahead! It works just the same!)

Ingredients:

3/4-1 cup cooked chickpeas

diced tomatoe

diced cucumber

golden raisins

1-2 TB diced walnuts

2 TB diced fresh basil

1/4 cup + 1 heaping TB of hummus (I used garlic artichoke)

1 1/2 tsp. Nutritional Yeast

salt & pepper (to taste)

Paprika

Directions:

1. In a bowl, mash chickpeas a little bit so they are somewhat chunky and mooshed 🙂

2. Then add tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, raisins, walnuts to the chickpeas. (These ingredients are what I had on hand. Throw whatever you like into your normal “chicken” salad sandwiches.)

3. Then add hummus and spices and stir until desired consistency is reached. Adjust spices to taste preference.

4. Enjoy!


I love this!

Chickpeas are SOO versatile. It was quick to make, and I had leftovers, so I saved some in the fridge for next time I need a quick snack!

I also always use hummus in replace for mayo. It works just the same, and taste alot better..to me any ways..

I am really excited about branching out with different foods, styles, and flavors. I hope that I find a few good ones to share with you along the way!

Question:

Have you ever or are you currently branching out with your cooking? How so? Do tell 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Protein Power Sweet Potato Boats

24 Feb

I have been StRuGgLiN’ in the kitch lately!

It’s been one thing after another…

It all started on Tuesday..

I was trying to make a Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole…

Instead I got Goop/Blob/Snot/Poop…

Oddly enough..

I ate it any way.

And it was delicious.

But I’m not going to give you the recipe to Goop. I don’t think there is AnYtHiNg I could say to make you try and make Goop.

But I’m working on turning Goop…Into…

Not Goop =]

Then on last night as I was browsing the interweb, I noticed a recipe for healthy homemade cinnamon toast crunch cereal.

I HAD to make it! So this morning when Baby Boo got up at 530, I got to work…

Everything seemed to be working out perfectly. But between A cranky Boo Boo and a messy kitchen…

I forgot to take those cereal bites out of the broiler…

The Broiler…

And instead of cinnamon toast crunch, I got cinnamon toast charcoal.

And oddly enough…

I ate it. And it was delicious.

But I’m not going to give you the recipe to cinnamon crusted charcoal.

(Although some of you may want it if you like me and think burnt things taste like chocolate)

I am however going to give you the recipe to the one dish that turned out for me this week…

Protein Power Sweet Potato Boats

Ingredients:(Quinoa)(Bottom Layer)

*At the beginning or every week, I make some sort of grain. It’s usually Quinoa because I love it! SO for this recipe, I just used 1/2 of prepared quinoa that I had in the fride. I then added the following to it:*

Dash of Salt

Dash of Pepper

Dash of Paprika

1/2 tsp. Lime juice

*If you making the quinoa, just prepare according to package, and then ask the rest of the ingredients.*

 

Ingredients: Black Beans (Middle Layer)

1 Can Black Beans

2 tsp. finely diced garlic

1/2 chopped sweet onion

Dash of Salt

Dash of Pepper

1 tsp. Paprika

1 TB Olive Oil

Directions:

1. In a skillet, add olive oil, garlic, and onions. Keep stiring so the onions carmalize, for about 5 minutes. Add black beans and spices, and stir in skillet. Let beans simmer over medium to low heat for about 10 additional minutes. Continue to stir every once in a while.

 

Ingredients: Sweet Potato Mush (Top Layer & Boats)

Ingredients:

1 small sweet potato

dash of nutmeg…(very small)

dash of non dairy milk( i used coconut)

Dash of salt

Dash of pepper

Directions:

1. In a toaster oven or regular oven, set the degree to 325. Pierce the potato with a fork, and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

2. The cut the potato in half and remove the insides, leaving a little around the edges so the skins still hold up.

3. In a separate bowl add the sweet potato and drizzle a dab of milk just to thin in out a little. Mush the potato to your desired consistency, and then add spices to taste.

 

Assembly:

1. Stuff potato “boats” with quinoa first, then black beans, then sweet potato.

2. Then place “boats” in oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

3. Top with desired toppings. I used roasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

4. Enjoy!

These made me feel all better inside.

I was starting to think I lost my groove in the kitch.

One bite of these, and I wanted more. I probably could have consumed a couple of these…

You want to know the best part..?

(Do i always say that?!?)

I have leftovers!

I think I am just gonna eat these until the week finishes out….

considering my luck.