Tag Archives: Cooking

Recipe: Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash

It was starting to feel like fall late last week, so I picked up an acorn squash at the Farmer’s Market on Thursday thinking I could put it to good use this week with the cooler weather. Naturally the temperatures have been in the upper 70’s all week – summer forever, please! – which doesn’t really put me in the mood for a warm fall dish… but I made one anyway. And when I shared it on Instagram and everyone was interested in the recipe, I figured I’d share it with you all!

This comes together pretty easily and it doesn’t require you to do multiple things at once which I always appreciate. I made this as my main dish, but you could easily have it as a side to something else. Acorn squash are great vehicles to stuff with pretty much anything – so get creative!

Stuffed Acorn Squash | FoodosaurusRex.com

Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash
– Serves 2 – 

Ingredients:
1 acorn squash
3 cups kale, roughly chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 can (15oz) black beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cous cous
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used a cheddar blend)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Slice the squash in half, remove the seeds. Spray a baking sheet and cut side of the squash with non-stick spray and place the squash cut side down. Bake for 30-35 minutes. 
3. Meanwhile, prepare the cous cous by bringing 3/4 cup of salted water to a boil. Add the cous cous, stir, cover and remove from the heat. Fluff after  5 minutes. 
4. Heat the tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the kale, sauteing for another 5 minutes. 
5. Add the garlic, beans, spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano). Cook until beans are heated through, about 2 minutes.
6. In a large bowl, combine the kale and bean mixture with the cous cous. 
7. When the squash is done, flip them over and spoon the filling into the squash cavity (it’s okay if it’s overflowing). Top with cheese and bake another 2 minutes until the cheese is melted. 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Home Cooking, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Summer Cooking

It’s no secret that summer is my favorite season. Sure it can be oppressively hot, but the days are long, the sun is shining more often than not, and I can get away with boycotting pants much more easily than during the winter months. It also means that I don’t turn on my oven much… which is something I think I get from my mother. We didn’t have central air conditioning in my house growing up until I was in high school, so the mere thought of turning on the oven to make the house hotter during the summer was unbearable. Just writing about it brings back memories of sitting in front of the giant oscillating fan propped in the kitchen, skin hot and sticky, while in my summer uniform – a bathing suit.

So now that I’m in charge of making my own meals, when it comes to summer cooking you can usually find me throwing something on the grill, occasionally turning on my oven’s burners (but never the oven itself), or making things that do not require any cooking at all. Aside from the heat-in-the-house factor, who wants to be inside slaving over an oven when it’s gorgeous outside, anyway? I could take the “easy” route and just eat the same thing every night, but that’s boring. Enter my most recent creation – vegan curry tofu salad! Yes, it has “salad” in the title, but it’s not the leafy greens type of salad… though you could put it on top of one if you wanted.

The idea to make a vegan curry tofu salad stemmed from my love of sandwiches. As a vegetarian, I often feel like my sandwich options are limited since they so often revolve around meat… which isn’t necessarily the case. There are plenty of ways to enjoy sandwiches as a vegetarian, you just have to get creative! I had been thinking about tuna and chicken salad, and how not only are they quick and easy, but you can really make them as simple or dressed up as you’d like (add some apples, celery, spices… it can get crazy!). Since I don’t eat chicken or tuna, and am not a huge egg salad fan, I immediately thought of tofu as a substitute and tried to figure out how I could make it more than just a mushed tofu sandwich (gross). Throw in some curry powder for flavor, some (vegan) yogurt and mayo for creaminess, and something for crunch, and you have yourself a quick, easy, oven-free salad that you can use as a sandwich, a dip, or a salad topper. I’m pretty proud of myself for this one – I had it for dinner on Tuesday, followed by breakfast and lunch on Wednesday. I guess you could say I liked it!

Even though the recipe is vegan, you can definitely use regular yogurt and mayo for a vegetarian version. Or, you can completely ignore the meat-free part and add in shredded chicken! The possibilities are endless.

Vegan Tofu Curry Salad | FoodosaurusRex.com

Vegan Curry Tofu Salad
– makes enough for 4 salad sandwiches –

Ingredients:
1 block extra firm tofu
1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt
1/4 cup vegan mayo (i.e. Nasoya or Veganaise)
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes*
1 cup red onion*
1 cup diced green apple or celery*

Directions:
1. Drain the tofu for 10-20 minutes (I do this by placing it in-between two plates with a heavy book or weight on top, with a paper towel on each side to help absorb the liquid).
2. Once the tofu is drained, add it to a large bowl and mash it with a fork – you want the consistency to look like scrambled eggs. Chunks are good!
3. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, mayo, and curry powder.
4. Add the curry/yogurt/mayo mixture to the tofu along with your red onion, green apple, and/or celery. Stir to make sure the tofu is evenly coated.
5. Enjoy on bread, a top a salad, or as a dip!

*Notes: The ingredients with an asterisk are optional. You can use more or less red pepper flake for a little kick. The onion, celery, and/or apple give some crunch and flavor, but you can choose which you do or do not want to include.

Tell me…
Do you have any favorite no-cook (or minimal cooking required) recipes for summer?

3 Comments

Filed under Home Cooking, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Creamy Spring Polenta

While it isn’t spring yet, I’ve been dreaming about it since mid-January. I’ve been buying everything I can get my hands on from Oiselle’s new Spring 14 line, staring at cute floral dresses, and giving my snow boots the side-eye. I must admit that I prefer summer and fall to winter and spring, but at this point, I’ll take anything over winter! I’m just thankful it didn’t snow this past Monday morning like they had originally predicted.

So, with spring only being 16 days away (but who’s counting?) I’ve been thinking about all the veggie packed meals I’ll be making as the days get longer and warmer. Since it was still bitterly cold on Monday, though, I opted for a dish that is still hearty, but included some vegetables that I typically associate with warmer weather. I had this as a main dish, but you can easily have it as a side with some protein. As a mashed potato lover, creamy polenta has quickly become a favorite of mine.

Polenta is a relatively new food for me. I think I had it for the first time in 2010, when I bought the pre-made and packaged kind that comes in a log. I’ve used it in that form quite a few times-usually for some type of bake-but never in it’s original, creamy state. There is a little confusion when it comes to what exactly polenta is, since some recipes refer to it as Italian polenta, while others refer to it as grits, or even just cornmeal. Well I’m here to make it simple for you – it’s all the same! You can use any of the three aforementioned ingredients to make your polenta, I promise!

Before you get to the recipe, though, I want to point you to the note at the bottom of the recipe, since it’s helpful to time everything so the ingredients are all ready at the same time. I oftentimes look at the ingredient list when planning on making something, but never the directions. There have been plenty of times I’ve gone out of my way for ingredients, gotten everything together, and then realized the dinner I was planning to make would actually take 4+ hours. I’d like to say that I’ve learned my lesson, but I still make that fateful mistake every so often. So in the interest of time and making it as easy as possible for you, I added this recipe note to make sure this is a quick and easy meal for you to prepare. 

Creamy Spring Polenta | FoodosaurusRex

Creamy Spring Polenta
– Serves 3 –

Ingredients:
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup corn grits/polenta
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium red onion
3 cloves roasted garlic [directions below]
1/2 cup smoked mozzarella
Salt + pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
2. To roast the garlic: Cut 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch off of the top of the head of garlic, making sure to keep the head intact. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Bake for 30 minutes and let cool before handling
3. While the garlic is cooking, dice the zucchini, squash, and red onion and combine in a medium bowl. Toss with olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. 
4. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, and evenly spread the veggie mixture onto the sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. 
5. Meanwhile, prepare the polenta by bringing the 3 cups of vegetable broth to a boil over medium-high heat in a large sauce pan. 
6. Once the broth is boiling, slowly whisk in the polenta, and turn the heat down to low. Let it simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. 
7. Add the veggies, roasted garlic, and shredded mozzarella to the polenta, stirring to combine. Serve immediately.

NOTE: To make this time friendly, start with the roasted garlic. After 15 minutes of the 30 minute roasting time has passed, add the vegetables to be roasted. Once the vegetables are in the oven, begin cooking the polenta. That way, everything will be ready at the same time!

2 Comments

Filed under Food Blogging, Home Cooking, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Meatless Monday: White Bean Basil Burgers

One of the things I miss most about no longer eating meat is a good hamburger. I can easily turn down a steak, chicken (even wings!), and seafood. But I won’t try to pretend that I don’t miss a juicy hamburger (well, 99.9% of the time it’s a cheeseburger) from time to time. There was even an period when I was in middle school that my go-to order when out to eat was some type of burger and fries. It wasn’t because I was picky eater – it was simply because I loved them that much! So now that I’m a vegetarian, I think it’s natural that I find myself making some type of veggie burger frequently.

In the past my go-to base for a veggie burger has been black beans… partially because I love black beans, and partially because they seem to be the default for most restaurant and packaged veggie burgers. As I’ve delved more and more into a vegetarian diet and cooking in general, I’ve come to realize that you can really transform almost anything if you’re willing to take a little time and get creative.

These particular burgers came about due to a craving for both falafel and a veggie burger. I knew I had white beans at home (but no chickpeas), so my first instinct was to try and make a generic falafel based on white beans instead of chickpeas. While trying to remember what else I had laying around at home, I remembered the fresh basil from the previous week’s fresh box that was definitely on its last legs. That’s when I realized I could use the white beans and basil together, and satisfy my veggie burger craving; enter the White Bean Basil Burgers!

With the perfect combination of basil, red onion, and fresh sliced tomato and mozzarella, these burgers are a great end-0f-summer treat. I didn’t have mine on a bun simply because I didn’t have any, but they would be great on an Italian roll!

White Bean Basil Burger | FoodosaurusRex.com

White Bean Basil Burgers
– makes 4 burgers –

Ingredients:
1 15 oz. can white beans (cannellini beans), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 small red onion, diced
10 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade (just chopped works too)
1 tsp rosemary
2 tsp oil for cooking
Optional: Sliced tomato & fresh mozzarella cheese to top the burgers

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, mash the white bean burgers with a potato masher or a fork.
2. Once the white beans are mashed, add in the rest of the ingredients: bread crumbs, garlic, onion, basil, and rosemary, stirring to make sure everything is combined well. Form into 4 patties.
4. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook on each side for about 6-8 minutes, flipping once.
5. Serve with sliced tomato, mozzarella cheese, and additional fresh basil if desired.

4 Comments

Filed under Food Blogging, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Oh Hello!

Hey friends, remember me?!

I know I haven’t posted in awhile, but that’s because I’ve been busy trying to enjoy the last days of summer (while refusing to believe it’s almost over), and more importantly, because I really haven’t had much to say.

I’ve been in the kitchen cooking up some really great dishes. There have been a few that I’ve come up with on my own and hope to re-create for blog post purposes, but the majority of them have been based on recipes I found online. I’m not one for “photo dump” posts, but I want to share these recipes with you guys, since they were big hits in my house.

Dessert theme, clearly.

Dessert theme, clearly.

Clockwise from the top left:
1. Vegan Oreo Pancakes: Reminded me more of an Almond Joy (it uses shredded coconut) and is awesome. Definitely a “dessert for breakfast” type pancake.
2. Flourless Chickpea Chocolate Chip Blondies: I know, chickpeas in your dessert? It sounds weird, but is absolutely delicious. It’s vegan so you can eat the entire thing raw if you want (and it’s gluten free)! I need to make these again ASAP.
3. Peach & Blueberry Spiced Muffins: I’ve had a surplus of blueberries and peaches from my CSA box, and this was the perfect way to use some. The spices added a nice hint of almost-Fall, with fresh summer fruits.
4. Agave Lime Tofu with Asian Slaw and Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash: First time using The Conscious Cook cookbook I’ve had forever – SO awesome and easy to make.

Aside from cooking and eating, I wish I could say that I’ve been running and crushing marathon training with my ankle issue far behind me. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. I took a full week off per my doctor’s suggestion, and seemed okay when I started back up for that first week. I was a little achy and sore in places, but it wasn’t unbearable. I assumed that I would just have to run through the discomfort, and eventually things would start to feel better. I started the second week after seeing the doctor with a decent 6 mile run, and followed it up the next day with a 4 miler that just didn’t feel good. I woke up the following morning barely able to walk, and extremely frustrated. I saw my podiatrist that afternoon, and he really didn’t have any suggestions for me. He told me to come back in a month, and if the pain was still there, I’d be sent for an MRI. Nothing like a non-answer to make you feel better! I haven’t run since then (it’s been a week), and to be honest, I’m kind of lost. Do I wait until the pain is completely gone from walking (it is now), and try to run again? Do I wait longer before trying to run? I need to find someone with answers, or at least suggestions! I’ve had a few suggestions to go to a chiropractor and get some ART done, so I think that is next on my to-do list. I’m still planning to run (or walk, if I have to) the 10k and half marathon for the Disneyland Dumbo Dare at the end of the month, but I’m undecided if I’ll still run the Richmond Marathon. I may drop down to the half, or defer to next year. I’m so thankful that this particular race at least provides those options!

At least I have this sweet all-sport Picky Bars water bottle to keep me company!

At least I have this sweet all-sport Picky Bars water bottle to keep me company!

Even though I haven’t been running, I’ve been trying to stay in shape. I also figured if I couldn’t run, it would be the perfect opportunity to try and get myself a 6-pack, and increase my overall strength (LOL on the 6-pack). I’ve been participating in Kat’s August Core Focus, and adding in my own variations (hello Pinterest). I’ve also come up with some decent arm workouts that use only your body weight and 5-10lb. dumbbells. Maybe I’ll share it in a fun little graphic one of these days. I’ve done a few biking sessions at the gym, have done yoga almost every single day, and have a swim planned for tomorrow — first time back in the pool in at least a year… wonder how many yards I can do!

The biggest thing I’ve been doing during this whole “situation” is trying to stay positive, which I think I’ve actually been pretty successful at. In the past, as soon as I felt a twinge of discomfort or had a bad run I would immediately freak out and become a ball of misery. Recently I’ve come to terms with the fact that I may not run a fall marathon, but there are marathons all over the country every single weekend, and my health is more important.

Have you ever dealt with a non-injury, injury (or as I’m calling it, a “situation”)?
Any great non-running cross training things I should try?

7 Comments

Filed under Food Blogging, Running, Vegetarian/Vegan

Perfect Tofu

Of course on the same day I blogged about not having any good recipe ideas, I came up with what I’d like to think is a pretty decent tofu marinade. I know a lot of people aren’t tofu fans, but as a vegetarian, the big ‘ole block of soy is a really versatile way for me to get some extra protein. As long as you have a good marinade and cook it properly, I think it can be really delicious. Up until this point, my favorite was this Spicy Peanut Baked Tofu, which is easy, but not extremely versatile. I’ve never really used tofu outside of stir-fry styled dishes or egg replacements, but I’ve seen plenty of seasoned and marinated tofu “steaks” in stores, so I figured I would try my own.

One thing I’ve noticed in most vegetarian recipes that attempt to be meat replacements, is the use of soy sauce. So, I went to my pantry, grabbed a whole bunch of spices that I thought would go well together and soy sauce, and got mixing. This can be thrown together in a matter of minutes, and the beauty of a marinade is that the longer it sits, the better it winds up tasting. I served these tofu “steaks” with some brown rice, black beans, and salsa. I think it would probably be equally as delicious on a baguette with sautéed onions and peppers… I’ll definitely be trying that next!

TofuSteak2

Baked Tofu Steaks
– Serves 2 –

Ingredients:
1 package extra firm tofu
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp liquid smoke
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Press the excess water out of the tofu (for at least 10 minutes). If you don’t have a tofu press, a big cookbook with the tofu between two plates will work – just make sure you have a towel under it! 
3. In a bowl, mix together all of the marinade ingredients (soy sauce, liquid smoke, and spices) and pour into a shallow baking dish or tupperware container.
4. Slice the tofu in half long-ways, and then in half again so you have 4 rectangular pieces.
5. Place the tofu in a single layer in the baking dish with the marinade, and let sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes flip to the other side, and allow it to sit for an additional 15 minutes.
6. Place the tofu on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.
7. Serve with rice and beans for a Southwestern flare, enjoy on a baguette, or by itself!

2 Comments

Filed under Food Blogging, Home Cooking, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Another Week

It’s been a week since superstorm Sandy touched down in the greater tri-state area and wreaked havoc. A week of working from home, running as much as possible, and trying to keep up with the news while simultaneously trying to keep my tears at bay. It’s hard to believe that places I grew up and know so well have been forever changed; and more importantly than that, the friends and family that have had their lives changed as well. As I mentioned last week, I was lucky enough to retain power through the storm and not to suffer any damages myself. My office, as well as my parents, however, haven’t had power since late Sunday, with reports of it not coming back until the end of this week. While it’s easy to get angry at a lack of heat and power, in the grand scheme of things, it could be much worse.

That being said, even though our oven isn’t working, I’ve been cooking up a storm. My most recent creation was vegan buffalo lasagna. All my GI woes have gotten a little better, and while going gluten-free didn’t seem to make a difference, my doctor has suggested I lay low on dairy. I’m still eating dairy, just a lot less. At my last appointment when trying to figure out why I wasn’t getting much better, I just so happened to mention that I loved cheese, and I watched my doctor immediately scribble that information on his legal pad, with exclamation points to follow the statement. Things have been going better, but I’ve also upped my medicine, so we’ll see what happens when I start to dial the medicine back. So, to cater to my new reduced dairy diet and vegetarianism, this particular recipe is dairy and meat free! You can use regular cheese and dressing (and of course add in chicken), but you should give this version a try!

Vegan Buffalo Lasagna
– Serves 4 –  

Ingredients:
1 block firm tofu
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 cup Frank’s red hot
1 cup vegan Ranch dressing (i.e. Follow Your Heart)
8 oz. vegan shredded mozzarella cheese (i.e. Daiya)
9 “no boil” lasagna noodles

Directions:
1. Press the tofu to get out as much water as possible.
2. Meanwhile, combine the Frank’s and ranch dressing together in a bowl.
3. In a separate large bowl, break up the tofu using a fork until it resembles ricotta cheese.
4. Add in the nutritional yeast and 1/2 cup of the dressing mixture, stirring to combine.
5. Take 4-6 tbsp of the dressing mixture to generously coat the bottom of your slow cooker.
6. Layer 3 no boil noodles, followed by 1/3 cup of the tofu mixture, and a 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat.
7. After adding the last 3 noodles, pour the remainder of the dressing mixture, being sure to coat everything. Top with the remaining cheese.
8. Cook on high in the slow cooker for 2 hours.

5 Comments

Filed under Food Blogging, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Quick Fried Rice

About a week ago, I mentioned on Twitter how much I love Trader Joe’s “Indian Fare” dishes. They sell them in the prepared foods aisle, and for $1.99 you can have yourself a super quick and easy meal; I’ve even blogged about my love affair with them before. The folks over at Tasty Bite saw my tweet, and offered to send me some of their own equally quick and easy Indian dishes. Always willing to try something new, I eagerly sent them my address and a few days later I had quite the variety pack on my hands!

I’ve sampled two of the three Indian dishes so far, the Chana Masala and the Jodhpur Lentils. While I’ve had Chana Masala before (it’s one of my favorite Indian dishes), I’d never tried Jodhpur Lentils. Both were really flavorful, and you can’t beat the 90 second cook time! In addition to the Indian styled dishes, I also received two kinds of rice – a package of basmati and a package of brown rice. I saved the basmati rice to pair with my last Indian dish, Punjab eggplant. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with the brown rice, but when I was trying to figure out what I could do with leftover carrots and scallions from my Fresh Box, I had a genius idea – fried rice!

At first, I didn’t think the fried rice was going to be blog worthy – I mean, it was just some brown rice mixed with a few vegetables, eggs, and some soy sauce. Sure, it’s simple, but it’s really good. I’m talking about the kind of good where you take a taste and eagerly look over at your dining partner to see their reaction. I think that’s my favorite part about cooking – seeing the reaction and getting feedback on things I’ve made. It’s always nice to hear when someone is extremely impressed with a dish you’ve made!

The beauty about this recipe is that it can really work with any type of vegetables that you deem appropriate, making it perfect for an end of the week “clean out the fridge” kind of meal. So feel free to get creative with your ingredients, and if you do, let me know what you use!

Quick Fried Rice
– Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side –

Ingredients:
1 package Tasty Bite instant brown rice (or 2-3 cups of cooked brown rice)
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 medium sized carrots, diced
2 large eggs
4 scallions, diced
¼ cup soy sauce (I used ginger soy flavored for an extra kick of flavor)
2-3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp oil of choice (olive, canola, vegetable, or sesame will work)
Sriracha or other hot sauce for garnish

Directions:
1. Heat your oil of choice in a skillet over medium-high heat, and add your diced onion and diced carrot. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to look translucent. 
2.  Add in your soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and mix well. Crack in your eggs and constantly whisk them – your goal is to have a scrambled egg consistency. 
3. Once the onion and carrot is mixed with the egg and sauce, add in your  rice and scallions, stirring to combine.
4. Cook for an additional 5 minutes to ensure everything is heated through. Enjoy with some Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce!

Disclaimer: Tasty Bite sent me these entrées at no cost to me, and required nothing of me in return. Because I enjoyed the product so much, I decided to share it with you! All opinions and the recipe are my own.

3 Comments

Filed under Home Cooking, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

This Week in Yum

I haven’t done one of these posts in awhile, but figured it was worth bringing back. There weren’t any tests this week for the first time in a month (though I’m getting ready for a HIDA scan right now – fingers crossed I get a superpower as a result of the radiation!), so my schedule was pretty normal.

Of course the most interesting meal of the week is going to go undocumented, but I still think that you need to make them. I found the recipe on Pinterest (of course), and it ruled. I mean, how could pizza cupcakes not rule?! I made a few adjustments (used veggie sausage and no pepperoni, and added some red pepper flakes and oregano), and was pleasantly surprised. These were baked in a regular cupcake tin, but I could see them being a really great finger food at a party if you use a mini cupcake tin instead. Check out the recipe over at Make Ahead Meals.

I mustered up enough self-restraint to snap a picture of everything else I made for the week, and first up was salmon. While there isn’t anything special about the salmon when you look at it, what matters is the cooking method. I’ve had a jar of coconut oil in my pantry forever (that stuff really lasts!), and I’ve used it numerous times in baking. However, I never thought to use it as an oil replacement in savory dishes. I was afraid the fish would be a little too sweet with the light coconut flavor, but I was pleasantly surprised. Served alongside some sautéed zucchini with red onion and some brown rice, this was a great (and filling!) meal. I’m definitely going to try cooking with coconut oil more.

Mac ‘n cheese was the next (easy) adventure in the kitchen. I stumbled upon Budget Bytes a few months ago, and have made a ton of stuff from it. Everything is so quick and easy, and obviously budget friendly. All you need for this is milk, cheese, noodles, and then any type of spices you want to add. I also threw in some nutritional yeast to pump up the cheese factor (since I don’t think you can ever have too much cheese), and it was delicious. I could definitely see adding some vegetables into it, especially for kids that typically don’t eat their vegetables. While I didn’t wind up eating it until almost 9pm (hello marathon training), it was well worth the wait. I like when pasta dishes come together in about 15 minutes!

My last creation was far from creative – a Dr. Praeger’s California veggie burger with a fried egg on top. It was so simple, but so good! I love veggie burgers that taste like veggies, and Dr. Praeger’s is just that – the California burger has whole peas and pieces of carrots – so good. Sometimes (ok, a lot for me) you need something quick and easy on hand just in case you don’t feel like cooking. Having options in the freezer is always a good thing. Plus, you can dress them up when you are feeling a little creative.

I already have my meal plan for next week, and things are looking good again. So, if all goes well hopefully I’ll have another yummy week to report back on!

But, I want to know: did you have anything delicious this week? Do you have a go-to “no-brainer” meal? Do share! 

3 Comments

Filed under Food Blogging, Home Cooking, Vegetarian/Vegan

Pinning Away

For those of you that follow me on Pinterest, you know I pin a lot of recipes. So many, in fact, that the majority of the meals I’ve been making over the past few weeks have come from what I’ve found on the site.

My husband’s birthday was last Sunday, so I had to make some sweet treats for the little get together we had. First up was a batch of peanut butter and chocolate protein cookies from The Frugal Girls that were filling and good for you! I found the recipe Saturday morning, and just knew I wanted to make them.

So easy. So delicious.

Next up was a batch of brownie batter dip. Oh yes. I’ve seen plenty of recipes for cookie dough dip, but this was one of the first brownie batter dips I’ve seen, and I’m so glad I made it. It’s from Crumbs and Chaos and is super easy to make, and you can’t go wrong when it’s paired with some animal crackers. Everyone was impressed with the treat, and I had enough leftover to take a little spoonful here and there throughout the week.

You need to make this NOW.

Aside from desserts (which are the majority of pins I see), I’ve made some really delicious dinners as well. Since it was so hot the past few weeks, I wasn’t feeling anything too heavy or that required serious oven time, so I made this chipotle chopped salad from Nutmeg Notebook one night, which was SO good. I subbed the sour cream for plain Chobani, and served it alongside some “chicken” fingers to bulk it up a bit. I would absolutely eat this salad again, for either lunch or dinner.

Just like a Chipotle salad!

We also had some buffalo chicken chili since it got cooler as last week progressed, and I subbed out the shredded chicken for tempeh. It was really good, and I could definitely see it as a crowd pleaser during football season. You should really check out Closet Cooking’s blog – I want to make pretty much every single recipe.

After spending some time perusing Pinterest, I think I have some inspiration and ideas for some of my own recipes that I’d like to try. Hopefully I can make at least one a week, and share them with you!

 

4 Comments

Filed under Food Blogging