Delicata squash and carrot soup

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I had these 2 delicata squash that I needed to use because they were getting old. I was home all day so I roasted them in the oven following the instructions on the sticker that was on it.

To roast the squash: cut lengthwise and put cut side down with a couple tablespoons of water in a baking dish. Cover and roast at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes.

Recipe for the soup follows:
2 delicata squash roasted and removed from skin with spoon
24 baby carrots boiled until very soft
2 cloves garlic peeled and boiled withe carrots
Half inch size of fresh ginger peeled and also boiled with the carrots
Everything went into the blender even the boiling water. Seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Added some soy milk -about half a cup- to get things moving and voila!

Oh! I also put about a teaspoon of curry powder in the blender, too.

Asian inspired dinner – Turkey lettuce wraps

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It’s been a while since I’ve paid attention to this dear blog but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking. We finally had our housewarming party and I made all the food right down to the sangria.

This brings me to today. I have had an itch to make some turkey lettuce wraps since I had this ground turkey in my fridge. I had never made them before so I did what most people my age do. I looked on Pinterest! I made my own recipe based on a few good ones I saw. The only thing I wish I had is ginger… I would definitely add some fresh ginger next time! See my recipe page for ingredients and how I did it.

Next post: Orange chicken

Lovely spinach salad with cannellini beans

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The thing about getting back to my normal diet of rabbit food and beans is that I am always hungry! It sucks! I put a half cup of rinse and drained cannellini beans on top of my salad so I’m hoping it hold me over at least until after the gym.

Either way, I am already feeling lighter and that’s what I really want.

The recipe is as follows:
Two three handfuls of baby spinach (romaine would have been good, too)
One tomato
One carrot
Handful of fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley
Half cup of cannellini (aka white kidney) beans
For the dressing:
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Ground cumin

I tossed all except for the beans in a large bowl and tossed. Then I piled the beans on top. That’s it!

I did a calculation using myfitnesspal.com and this huge salad is only 210 calories! Not bad! With the calories that low, guess who’s having a homemade chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich later?

Getting back into the routine

538405_10200211875682033_121956455_nOk, it’s day 2 of the new year and I’m starting out on a good note. It was a vegan dinner tonight made with a no-recipe recipe because they were almost all leftovers! Yes! On the right side of my plate, I have leftover couscous from the lunch I made on Saturday (see previous post). After I stuffed those acorn squash, I had a bunch leftover and I couldn’t let it go to waste. In the middle are some lovely green beans that I bought at Sprouts yesterday. I steamed them in the microwave (about 5 minutes) then melted some Earth Balance over the top and added salt and pepper. Then, on the left, are leftover Brussels sprouts and potatoes from our New Years Eve dinner at Union Public House. It was hearty and satisfying and delicious and I am feeling good about myself right now! After eating these Brussels sprouts tonight, it reminded me how much I absolutely love them. I am going to have to get some to make more this week.

 

Recipes for Girls Night dinner at my place

I had two of my girlfriends over for dinner two weeks ago and they loved what I made so much that they begged me on hands and knees for the recipes! Ok, they didn’t beg but either way I thought I would share them with you, too. I literally copied and pasted my email entry to my friend and put it here, so that is the reason for some of the language (you’ll see what I mean when you read it).

Apple, Sweet Onion, and Toasted Walnut Salad

Ingredients:

Romaine lettuce

Raw Spinach

Gala apple – but Honey Crisp or Granny Smith would be good here, too

Sweet onion (like Vidalia), they’re at Trader Joes right now

Lemon juice

Salt and pepper

First I put the washed and chopped romaine lettuce and spinach in a big ass bowl.

Next I chopped some walnuts and put them on a skillet on medium high heat. You gotta watch these because they go from perfectly toasted to burned in a flash! They will be brown and you will smell them when they are ready. When they are done, put them aside.

Next, I sliced one smallish onion with my mandolin so they were thinly sliced – like ¼ inch. If you don’t have a mandolin, no worries just slice them with a sharp knife. Put the onions and a good amount of olive oil  – like 2-3 Tbs – in the SAME skillet that you toasted the walnuts and sort of stir fry on medium high heat until they are turning brown and caramelized, then add some salt and pepper to taste. Once they are cooked, put the skillet aside and let them cool.

Now you’re ready to assemble. Chop or slice the apple – however you want – and top the lettuce with the apple. For the dressing, add the juice to the skillet with the onions and stir a little bit with one of those rubber spatula thingy’s. Scrape the onion mixture over the salad then take tongs and toss the salad so everything is well coated. Don’t worry if everything falls to the bottom of the huge ass bowl because you’re going to plate these salads and everything will be on top again. Wait to assemble the salad until right before you are going to serve it because the lettuce will get too wilty otherwise. After you have plated the salad, top with the roasted walnuts.

*Tip* If you like blue cheese, crumble a little on top of the salad at the end. I would have done this but I just didn’t have any when you guys came over.

 

Rosemary Garlic Chicken

First, you should know that I took the chicken breasts and cut them in half so they weren’t so big and would cook more evenly.

Ingredients:

Boneless skinless chicken breast – I used 6 half chicken breasts so adjust depending on how much you wanna make

Rosemary – I used the leaves from two long sprigs and chopped them (fresh!)

Garlic – two cloves, diced super tiny (also fresh!)

Olive oil – a few drizzles, depends on how much you’re making

Salt and pepper

I marinated my chicken in the rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper overnight in a ziplock bag in my fridge.

The next day, get your grill pan hot and put the chicken on. I cooked them about 4 minutes on each side. I think it helps to leave the chicken out of the fridge for 10-15 minutes so they are not super cold when you put them on the grill.

And that’s it!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Vegan Cumin Aioli

There is a difference between sweet potatoes and yams but for this just use the longish orangish potatoes that are usually called “garnet yams.”

Ingredients:

For the fries:

Sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into fry-like shape

Olive oil

Chili powder (not to be mistaken with cayenne but you could use that too to make them spicy – Yum!)

Paprika

Garlic powder

Salt and pepper

For the aioli:

Veganaise (but you can use regular mayo)

Juice of half a lemon

Cumin – about 1 tsp or to taste

Once your sweet potatoes are all cut up how you like, get your baking pan ready with parchment paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray – you don’t want these guys to stick. Get your oven ready at 400 degrees so it is nice and hot and ready to go – just like your man will be after he eats these ;). Next, toss the potatoes in the oil (about one Tablespoon), and the spices. I used about 1 tsp of each spice but just eyeball-it. Once the potatoes are all coated and covered evenly with the spices, put them on your baking dish and put them on the middle rack of your oven. Timing is tricky because every oven is different so I would recommend checking them every ten minutes or so to see if they are done to your liking. Shake the pan every now and then to get them moving.

While the potatoes are baking make the aioli. Put the mayo (however much you want but I used about ½ a cup) in a bowl and add the juice and cumin. Stir and let sit. The longer you let it sit them better it will be. You could always make extra and use it for dip or a spread on your sandwich.

And that’s it!

PS everywhere I say “Olive Oil” I actually mean extra virgin olive oil

Diiinnneerrr!!!

Diiinnneerrr!!!

Sometimes I wish I had one of those bells to call the gang to the table. These are my stir-fry veggies on a fluffy bed of rice. In the background is my hunny’s steak. At least I got him to eat that mountain of vegetables underneath the steak.

Weeknight stir-fry veggies

Weeknight stir-fry veggies

Brocollini, carrots, edamame, onions… all the veggies I had in my refrigerator that were screaming at me to become a delicious and QUICK weeknight dinner. Warmed up some brown rice that I had already cooked and dinner was done in like 15 minutes!

My favorite salad

My favorite salad

This one right here, as the title indicates, my favorite salad. I love it because I almost always have all the ingredients in house and it is the perfect lunch or light dinner. I use whatever lettuce I have on hand but my favorite is romaine lettuce for this combination. I add creamy cannelini beans, thinly sliced red onion and fennel, then, salt, pepper, lemon, and a drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil.

Monday food plan

Good morning! I’m sad to say I did not wake up early enough to go on my run this morning but I did drag myself downstairs, pulled my yoga mat out, and did some poses and strengthening moves for about half an hour. I’m happy I did something!

I went ahead and planned out my day in meals last night and thought I would share it. So far, I have already eaten my oatmeal and am still working on my coffee.

Breakfast:

Oatmeal prepared with one cup unsweetened coconut milk, dried fruit mix, raw walnuts, and cinnamon.

Coffee with soy creamer

Snack: 1 organic pear and 1/4 cup raw almonds

Lunch:

1 cup Snap Pea, Edamame, and Radish Salad with 1 cup brown rice

Spinach salad with tomato and goat cheese crumbles, lemon for dressing

Snack: 2 cups green grapes, 1/4 cup walnuts

Dinner: Big ass Romaine salad with canellini beans, red onion, fennel, parsley, and my delish cumin, lemon, olive oil dressing

After dinner, I am going to stick to tea if I need a sweet fix. I love Good Earth’s Original herb tea. It is naturally sweet and decaffienated. It reminds me of the Market Spice Tea I used to get at Pikes Place Market in Seattle.

I’m going to try to go for a run this evening since it is finally starting to cool down at night. Now I just need to log my meals in myfitnesspal.com so I can really see where I stand. Happy Monday!

Light Monday Night Dinner

Light Monday Night Dinner

Another easy-peasy recipe. I always like to pound out my organic chicken breast before I put it on the grill – I think it cooks faster and more evenly that way. I don’t have a meat-pounder-thingy so I just use a heavy sauce pan and it works like a charm. Olive oil, salt, pepper and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute and that’s it on the chicken. For the salad, it was a simple mix of spinach, arugula, shaved carrot, cucumber, and peas. The salad was dressed simply with olive oil, sesame oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Simple, light and delicious.