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.

 

Post-run snack

Post-run snack

After a late run last night, I was craving something a little salty but light. I made a quick miso soup with mushrooms and green onions and it was perfect!

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

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.

Snap pea, radish, and edamame salad

Snap pea, radish, and edamame salad

This is another gem out of the Kind Diet book. I had these radishes in my fridge for over a week and needed to do something soon or they were going to start growing roots in my crisper drawer. This wonderfully simple recipe has a yummy lemon “butter” sauce that perfectly compliments the salad. I added some chopped fresh parsley and it was perfect. I ate a little of this salad with some brown rice tonight for a light dinner. I am going to do the same for my lunch tomorrow but more of it!

Quinoa Breakfast

Quinoa Breakfast

I made a big batch of Quinoa for the week and ended up eating most of it for breakfast. It’s a brilliant thing to eat for breakfast because it has everything you would want in a breakfast – fiber, protein, whole grain, low-fat. I warmed up my already cooked quinoa with some vanilla almond milk and cinnamon. Then, I topped it with fresh chopped green apple, walnuts, and more cinnamon. I sweetened my breakfast with a little drizzle of real maple syrup. It was so good and filled me up. My whole oats may be sitting in my cupboard for a while now that I have discovered that quinoa is great at breakfast.