Main Course

Don’t do this

Posted on April 4, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

The other day I was on Pinterest and I saw a pin that said “Lose weight without exercising!” Here’s the thing guys, if you’re really over weight, you will lose weight with cleanses like that, at first. The problem is, one of two things will happen: you’ll either gain all the weight back, or you’ll plateau. Reason being you haven’t actually learned how to eat better. The “diets” that actually work are ones that teach you how to eat better, and yes, even exercising.

The human body is actually pretty simple, you take in food, the food gives you energy, you expel the energy by doing things. Weight gain happens when you expel less energy than you take in. Pretty much everyone knows that, it’s not rocket science. The issue with a lot of people is that they just eat too much bad stuff. I really do believe this whole country likes to indulge a little bit too much. I’m down for indulging, but not all the time. No one needs to eat fast food/bread/red meat/dessert every day.

Learning to eat better is not easy. Cravings are a real problem for a lot of people, myself included. Currently I want pizza, a little. But instead I made this salad. (Ok that and I didn’t want to spend any money, being cheap is great for the diet.) The trick is to slowly start adding better foods for the bad ones in your diet. I’ve been eating like this for years, so it’s easy for me now. When I first started eating this way, if I wanted something salty or crunchy, I would make stove top popcorn. If I wanted something sweet, I would have dried fruit. The salad part actually came easy for me, I really like raw spinach, it just evolved over the years.

Today is the second day of my time of the month. I’m one of those women who isn’t really hungry during. In fact, I don’t really want any food (except the pizza, but I have a feeling I’d just look at it). I knew I had to eat something, so I cooked some quiona, then sauteed some mushrooms, black beans and chickpeas with garlic and red onions, then added it to a bowl of spinach with a few cut up strawberries. It’s filling and easy.

Spinach Salad with quinoa, mushrooms, black beans and chickpeas

My workout plan is going well (besides the fact I had NO energy today) but it’s weird to me that I’ve gained pounds, technically, but I dropped an inch of my waist. When it was just yoga, my muscles were a little more lean, and now they’re getting a little more bulky. That’s awesome, I love it, it’s just weird getting used to. I do love feeling my muscles firing as I walk around, it’s really cool.

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Taco…Wednesday?

Posted on March 30, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Everyone knows I only eat meat about once a week. I like meat, for me it’s just too expensive to buy a lot of. Most of the time, my once a week meat is eaten out, or delivered. Last week I got sushi and it was SO GOOD. This week, I had a chicken breast left over from the last time I made chicken, and decided to cook it with some veggies. It ended up being tacos because I just had my giant tortilla shells from the vegan burritos I made last week.

Protein is important for a lot of things, weight loss, muscle growth, ect. I hadn’t lost any weight in the past week and I think it was a mixture of not eating enough, and not getting enough protein. I ordered a thing of plant based protein that should be here today, but in the meantime I decided to eat the chicken. Human health is a tricky thing, it shouldn’t be, but it is. We need a good balance of a lot of things, or our bodies won’t work correctly. You can live very well on a plant based diet, but you just have to make sure that you’re getting everything that your body needs.

While I’m not a huge fan of using supplements in place of getting nutrients naturally, sometimes it’s ok. That’s why I’m going to try adding the plant based protein powder. If it doesn’t work, or if I have weird side effects, I’ll stop. When Rocky and I were together, he gave me some vitamin D tablets to help with the winter blues, but they didn’t help, so I stopped. I really do believe that the best way to get everything you need is from the food you eat. That’s why I like to eat all the veggies I do. I had a Dr once say that your body only uses what you need, then you pee the rest out. It makes sense, our bodies do know what they’re doing.

Now, back to the food. Once again this is a very simple recipe, and if you want to cut the carbs you can just eat it without the tortilla. The important part about cooking chicken is to make sure that you don’t overcook it so it gets dry. That means lower heat and patience.

Giant Chicken and Veggie Tacos

Here’s what to get from the store:

Chicken Breast
Asparagus
Zucchini
Black Beans
Chickpeas
Tortilla
Cheddar cheese
Guyere

Giant Chicken and Veggie Taco

1 chicken breast, cubed
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
5 spears asparagus, diced
1/4 cup chick peans
1/4 cup black beans
Salt, pepper, paprika
Lemon Juice
Tortillas
Cheddar
Guyere
Spinach

  1. In a saute pan, saute the chicken until almost cooked.
  2. Add the garlic, veggies, with seasonings until the asparagus is bright green.
  3. Add the beans and the lemon juice, just a splash.
  4. Serve in a tortilla with the spinach and cheeses, top with sriracha if you like.

Super simple. I honestly don’t even like writing recipes for something so simple, but I do understand that some people need more instruction with cooking because they’re new at that, and I’m totally fine with that.

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Hassleback, Hasslehof’s lesser known Starchy Cousin

Posted on March 30, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

I know I’ve shared my love for sweet potatoes many times. They’re great, for pretty much everything you can use white potatoes for. (I do tend to like white mashed potatoes a little more, but sweet mashed is pretty tasty.)

As with a lot of my recent recipes, I got my inspiration while walking around Aldi doing my grocery shopping. I’m not sure why I thought about making hassleback sweet potatoes, maybe it was the new bags of shredded Guyere, or the fact that I just wanted cheese, but cheese and sweet potatoes sounded like a great combination, and I was right.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I was rushed and the potato wasn’t 100% cooked through, but the flavors were still there. The nice thing about sweet potatoes is that while they are sweet, the flavor is really only brought out if you add the stuff to make it sweeter. The only seasoning I used was salt, pepper, crush garlic and olive oil. Those things brought out some of the natural flavor without making it too sweet.

While it takes some time (because sweet potatoes take FOREVER) this is a very simple recipe. And, believe it or not, even though it’s covered in cheese, it’s pretty good for you. Cheese has protein and calicum, which the human body needs, and sweet potatoes have beta carotene, vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. (I did google that info. I’m trying to make sure I get all the nutrients I need. )

Hassleback Sweet Potato with cheese and black beans

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet potato
Black Beans
Guyere
Cheddar
Bleu Cheese

Hassleback Sweet Potato

1 sweet potato
4 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
Cheddar, sliced
Handful shredded Guyere
Handful Bleu cheese
Black Beans
Salt, pepper
Olive Oil

  1. With a sharp knife, make slices through the potato, almost to the bottom but not through it.
  2. Cover the potato in olive oil, salt, pepper and the garlic, making sure the garlic is in the slices as well.
  3. Place the potato in a cast iron skillet or a baking pan. Bake in a 400 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes or until mostly cooked through.
  4. Take the potato out of the oven. Carefully put the sliced cheddar in each slit, put the black beans on top, then the rest of the cheese. Return to the oven and continue baking until the cheese is melted.  Use as a side dish or a main meal.

Using the work out videos is kind of weird for me. On one hand, I don’t have to go to a gym, on the other hand, I’m not 100% sure if I’m doing the moves correctly. Well, at least until the next day when a muscle group hurts. Today it’ the muscles that control rowing, I’m not sure of the name. The muscle soreness was something I missed from when I started doing yoga. Sure, I was progressing, but not much in the way of muscle strength.

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Beans, Beans the Magical Fruit

Posted on March 23, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

The more you eat them, the more you toot!

There are two things I eat pretty much every day; beans and spinach. And while they make me a little gassy (sorry coworkers, cast members and directing crew) I love them so much. My spinach salad is super easy to make and it has all the nutrients you could ever want from a plant based diet.

That being said, only eating that salad can get a little boring. Some time last week I had this idea for a burrito with beans and…? While at Aldi on Sunday, I grabbed some zucchni, and the vegan burrito was born, kind of. I can’t really call it a burrito because not only would it not close, it’s not spiced with Mexican spices. So it’s a mix between a burrito and a wrap.

I’m not actually going to write a recipe for this, because I feel it’s almost like writing a recipe for a sandwich. All I did was saute the veggies (zucchini, asparagus, and beans with some garlic) and put it in a tortilla with some seasoned brown rice (salt, pepper, and cilantro) and that BBQ sauce I made for that chicken last week. Super easy.

Vegan Burrtio Wrap with homemade BBQ Sauce

In my defense, I probably put too much filling in the burrito for it to close, but it was super delicious non the less.

We just ended week 4 of rehearsals for my show, previews start April 14, I’m stoked. I love this cast and the director and I get along really well. This is the first non burlesque show I’ve done in a while, and I”m glad I’m back. I’ve missed it so much.

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That’s a Hot Chick

Posted on March 14, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: |

So, normally, as I’m sure you all know, I do vegetarian and vegan dishes. However, a few weeks ago I was stumped and uninspired. So what does one do when that happens? Post on Facebook and ask for suggestions! I didn’t get many, but one was a healthier soul food option.

Now, originally this was supposed to be a baked fried chicken using milled flax seed, however, since I didn’t use egg in mixture, the breading didn’t stay on. It did however, keep the chicken moist. Because we all know the worst thing is dry poultry.

This recipe is pretty simple, and even though the breading fell off for me, I’m going to write it with the breading because it did help with the moisture. Surprisingly enough, it was also pretty cheap, thanks to Aldi prices.

My goal for this recipe is to make something that feels like a BBQ meal, without actually being too terrible for you. The sauce that I made is low in sugar (I used honey) and the flavor comes from spices. The warm salad served with it is very simple with no added butter.

Baked Chicken over a warm bean salad with sweet and spicy BBQ sauce

 

Here’s what to get from the store:

Boneless Chicken Breasts
Milled Flax Seed
Whole Wheat Flour
Almond Milk
Apple cider vinegar
Tomato Paste
Sriracha
Chickpeas
Black Beans
Mini Peppers
Asparagus

Baked “Fried” Chicken

Boneless Chicken Breast
Almond Milk
Equal parts milled flax seed and Wheat Flour
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Parsley, Oregano, Paprika

  1. Put the almond milk in one bowl, and the flours with the seasoning in another.
  2. Dip each breast in the milk, then the flour, twice each.
  3. In a preheated cast iron skillet, brown on each side, then put in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 bottle of apple cider vinegar
1 can of tomato paste
1/4 cup honey
Sriracha
Soy sauce
Dijon Mustard
Salt, pepper, paprika, dried mustard, turmeric, cumin

  1. Sauté the garlic until cooked, add the vinegar and tomato. Stir until combined.
  2. Add the honey, mustard, soy sauce and some of the spices. Warm to almost boiling. Taste to adjust seasoning. Remove from heat until ready to use.

Warm Bean Salad

1/4 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup black beans
4 stalks asparagus, diced
4 mini sweet peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
Salt and pepper

  1. Sauté the garlic, then add the asparagus and peppers until the asparagus is bring green. Make sure to add salt and pepper.
  2. Add the beans, and only sauté until warmed through.

This was the first meat dish I’ve made in a long time, I don’t think I’ve even bought meat since I’ve moved. As I’ve said before, I’m not a vegetarian, not really, I just don’t eat a lot of meat. I do feel that we eat way too much meat, among other things. Balance is key, my friends.

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Perfectly Spicy and a Little bit Sweet

Posted on March 6, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Just like me. Or not. Ha.

Sometimes you have no inspiration on what to cook next, and you ask friends on Facebook for suggestions. Then you spend a crazy amount of time staring at Pinterest on your phone and get hit with a moment of brilliance. A lot of my Pinterest feed had fritters, one particularly had lentils. I then saw something with honey Sriracha tofu, and then the light bulb went off. I knew I had lentils, why not add some quinoa and beans and make a patty, then cover it with some sweet and spicy tofu?

I originally started this recipe Friday night, the quinoa and lentils were all cooked, then my manager called me into work for a few hours. So that mixture sat in my fridge until today. That actually helped because I was able to go grocery shopping so I could add some spinach to this recipe. (When don’t I add spinach, I know)

This recipe is actually pretty easy, and it doesn’t take that much time if you pre-cook the grains like I had been forced to. The one thing you will need for this is a cast iron skillet; you start the patty on the stove then move it into the oven to finish cooking it off. The nice thing about it, is that you can pre make a lot of the mix and it will stay in the fridge.

Veggie Patty with Honey Sriracha Tofu

 

Here’s what to get from the store:

Lentils
Quiona
Spinach
Tofu
Oatmeal
Chickpeas
Black Beans
Sriracha
Honey

Veggie Patties with Sweet and Spicy Tofu

1/2 cup cooked lnetils
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
4 cloves garlic
Handful of Spinach
1/4 cup Oatmeal
1/2 can chickpeas, with the liquid
1/2 can black beans, with the liquid
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Handful of tofu
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Honey
Sriracha
Salt and Pepper

  1. Put the lentils, quinoa, garlic, spinach, beans and spices and blend until combed. Slowly add the oatmeal until the mixture isn’t as wet.
  2. In a pre heated cast iron pan, form the mixture into a patty and brown on both sides. Place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, flipping half way through.
  3. For the tofu: sauté the tofu until browned. De glaze the pan with the broth, then add the honey and sriracha. Let reduce by half. Place on top of the patty with some red onions.

Today I had my 5 rehearsal, 4th staging rehearsal with City Lit. Before tech, there’s not much for me to do besides take blocking until they’re off book. That being said, I really love every minute of it. The cast is awesome and talented and so is the director. I’m so happy I’m back to doing what I’m best at.

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En-CURR-A

Posted on February 22, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Again, I’m hilarious. Get on the pun wagon.

I’ve learned a decent amount in the past few days that I’ve been eating vegan. 1: When I give up cheese and the like, I accidentally give up crabs. 2: I can still control myself at work around cheesy garlic bread (my most favorite thing there) I did slip up today because Kati wanted to get Pho and I had some beef egg rolls with her. I had veggie Pho, however. (I actually like that better)

The past 4 days have been extra warm in Chicago. Like, around 40-50 degrees over the norm. Because of that, I’ve been able to pick up extra shifts serving on the patio at work. Yes, we’ve had people eating outside. Last night I got home and was STARVING. I had eaten my salad during work, but you run around for 9 hours, you’re going to be hungry. I had a half of a can of coconut milk left from the satay, and thought I’d do a quick curry. While it was simmering, I realized I needed some sort of carb, so I added rice.

This curry is super easy, full of fiber and protein. When you’re not eating meat, you need to make sure you have enough protein, and what better way than black beans and tofu? The longest part of this recipe will be making the rice, so don’t worry if you’re in a rush.

Quick Veggie Curry

Here’s what to get from the store:

Coconut Milk
Tofu
Black Beans
Brussels Sprouts
Broccoli
Jasmine Rice
Red Chili Paste

 

Quick Veggie Curry

1/2 cup cubed tofu
1/4 cup black beans
4 cloves garlic, diced
4 Brussels sprouts, chopped
1/4 cup diced broccoli
1/2 can coconut milk
1/4 tsp red chili paste
Salt, pepper, turmeric, paprika
Cooked Jaime Rice

  1. Sauté your garlic until mostly cooked, add the broccoli and sprouts, cook until bright green. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Add the black beans and tofu with some turmeric and sauté until the tofu is browned.
  3. Add the coconut milk and chili paste and bring to a simmer. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve over cooked rice.

I’m really glad to have started working more again. I am partially grateful to mother nature for this, but this does make me more concerned for climate change. Even if you don’t believe climate change exists, please be more careful with the environment, it’s the only one we have.

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You Sat-ay right there

Posted on February 17, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

I crack myself up guys.

After gaining about 10 pounds in the past 6 months, I had to kick myself in the butt. Part of the gain was because my eating habits, and part of it was drinking. So yesterday I decided to be completely vegan for a week, and to cut down my drinking. Luckily since I eat a mostly vegetarian diet anyway, the only thing I have to really cut out is cheese (tragic) and switch the Greek yogurt in my smoothie to peanut butter.

I had originally wanted to make a stir fry with a Tahini sauce, but when I went to Jewel today and it took me along time to find the Thaini sauce (why was it with the Italian stuff?) that I decided to make peanut satay sauce instead.

I know I’ve probably said this before, but most food from Asian countries is kind of awesome for the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. They generally don’t have milk so you never have to worry about sauces, and they tend to use a lot more vegetables than we do in Western cultures.

Satay sauce is SUPER easy. It can be a little calorie dense, thanks to it being coconut milk based, but it’s still pretty good and you can choose how much to eat.

 

Here’s what to get from the store:

Coconut milk
Peanut butter
Red curry paste
Apple Cider Vinegar
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Mushrooms

Thai Peanut Satay Sauce
(From Rasa Malaga)

1/2 cp peanut butter
3/4 cp coconut milk
2 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp ground peanut
Salt to taste

  1. Put everything except the ground peanut into a sauce pan, bring to a boil and stir until combined. Top with the ground peanut.

Veggie Stir Fry

Broccoli, diced
Mushrooms, diced
1 small onion, diced
Brussels sprouts, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
Tofu, diced
Satay sauce

  1. Sauté the vegetables until cooked, add as much of the satay sauce as you would like.

I know, these were super easy, but that’s kind of the point. There was a guy on a dating site who said he liked cooking vegetarian because he said it was harder. As someone who does that all the time, I disagree. Cooking without meat makes things a lot easier, vegetables cook a lot faster, and if you do under cook them, they won’t kill you. The most important part about cooking vegetarian or vegan is to use the right spices. Spices are very important for any meal, and they don’t add any calories. Some spices have added health benefits, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Vegan Saute with Peanut Satay Sauce

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Gimme a Pizza yo Mind

Posted on February 10, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

I was originally going to write a post about the pickled red onions I made the other day, but my Domino’s app (don’t judge me, we all have that one awful food we have to have) told me yesterday was National Pizza Day. How could I pass up an opportunity to make pizza?

Kati and I normally hang out on Thursdays so I suggested pizza and said I was going to make it. I came up with a whole wheat crust (which turned into a beer whole wheat crust) with the pickled red onions, and Kati picked mushrooms. Both of us love cheese so there would be no less than 5 cheeses. vc bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbg4aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Above was Batman, he’s not a pizza guy, but Ghost doesn’t like typing. (Yes, crazy cat lady is in full effect this winter)

Now, let’s talk about the red onions that were the star of the pizza. I had been annoyed with Aldi because the only way to buy red onions was to buy them in a bag. I like putting red onions on my salad, but I don’t go through them that quickly to justify buying a bag of them. Last week my parents and I went to MSI for my mom’s birthday. For lunch I had a spinach a bleu cheese salad that had pickled red onions. And it hit me, duh, why not buy the bag of onions and pickle them? Humans have been pickling vegetables for a long time because we didn’t always have fridges or chemicals to keep food from going bad. I had finished 2 jars of my mom’s pickles, and figured why not clean them and use them again? The onions didn’t take long to make and I’ll have onions for my salads for a long time.

The pizza dough itself was pretty easy to make. It’s just the normal dough with some beer added in. I love using beer in baking because not only does it have it’s own yeast, it also adds an extra flavor that most breads don’t have. The recipe I used suggested a dark beer, but I added a wheat beer and I actually liked the flavor.

Whole Wheat Beer Pizza with Picked Red Onions, Mushrooms and 5 Cheeses

 

Here’s what to get from the store:

Whole wheat flour
Beer of your choice
Yeast
Red onion
Apple cider vinegar
Peppercorns
Mozzarella
Sharp cheddar
Asiago
Goat cheese
Parmesan

Whole Wheat Beer Pizza Dough
(From Veggie and the Beast)

2/3 cp room temp beer
2 1/4 tap active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp. Olive oil, divided
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cp whole wheat flour (plus more for kneading)

  1. Whisk together the warm beer with the sugar and the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, until bubbly and foamy.
  2. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pour in 1 1/2 cups flour and the salt. If you have a stand mixer with a knead hook, let it do its thing for 5 minutes. If you don’t, use a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. This is the stage where you may need to add a few more tablespoons of flour. It will come together and be more elastic. You want the dough to bounce back when you poke it.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly-oiled bowl and flip it around so the oil coats it fully. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a parchment-lined surface. Cover with a warm, damp towel and let rise for another 20 minutes. (I actually skipped this step, the crust ended up being crispy and we loved it)
  5. At this point you can refrigerate the dough if you’re not using it right away.
  6. Preheat oven to 400. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven while it preheats.
  7. Roll the dough into a 10-12 inch circle (depending on how thick you want the crust) Pinch the sides to form a slightly raised crust. Brush 1 tablespoon of oil on the top of the crust.
  8. When you’re ready to bake, add your favorite toppings, and then bake for 20-25 minutes.

Pickled Red Onions
(From the Kitchen)

1 medium red onion, about 5 ounces
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar

Flavorings (optional):
1 small clove of garlic, halved
5 black peppercorns
5 allspice berries
3 small springs of thyme
1 small dried chili

  1. Slice the onions: Start 2 or 3 cups of water on to boil in a kettle. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately 1/4-inch moons. Peel and cut the garlic clove in half.
  2. Dissolve the sugar and salt: In the container you will be using to store the onions, add the sugar, salt, vinegar, and flavorings. Stir to dissolve.
  3. Par-blanch the onions: Place the onions in the sieve and place the sieve in the sink. Slowly pour the boiling water over the onions and let them drain.
  4. Add the onions to the jar: Add the onions to the jar and stir gently to evenly distribute the flavorings.
  5. Store: The onions will be ready in about 30 minutes, but are better after a few hours. Store in the refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks, but are best in the first week.

My laptop is currently being fixed so I’m on my tablet. I actually like my tablet, but I do miss my laptop. I was hoping to get it back today, but come to discover I had ordered the wrong part, so I had to order the right one, I hope he’ll have it back to me next week.

I’m not sure what it is, at the beginning of the week I had so much motivation to go through my yoga practice, but yesterday and today I just don’t. I forced myself through it yesterday and I’m glad I did, but today I’m not sure if I’ll go through it. I still have a few hours before I have to be on the train to go to my show so hopefully I’ll get a little more motivated. I’m currently writing this in front of my therapy light with Batman lying in a weird position on my leg.

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Holy Fiber Batman!

Posted on January 12, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Sorry everyone, I got really lazy after Christmas and just didn’t post. I’ve also only cooked one thing. Everything else has been dinners of crackers, cheese or my salad. This time of year messes me up, and for some reason, I’ve lost the desire to even cook anything new. I’m hoping it’ll change soon, something will pop up in my head.

The week after Christmas is pretty busy at work, so making something that would last a while was key. I worked quite a few 1-9 shifts so I also wanted something filling. I also didn’t want to have too much active time. It had been a while since I had used my crock pot, so why not? Crock pots are great because you can just throw everything in there and just leave.

When I was looking at vegetables to add to my dish, which I’ve called a chili/stew, I came up with sweet potatoes, zucchinis and a crazy amount of beans. I had a bag of my parents’ frozen broccoli and some of their frozen tomatoes, so why not add that? The result was tasty, filling and FULL of fiber. Like, lots of bloating. Lots and lots. Something cool that happened was the broccoli actually disintegrated into the broth, adding some extra body to the base of the stew.

This recipe is super easy. Prep is about 15 minutes, and as long as you stir every once in a while, you don’t have much else to do. In risk of sounding like the Barefoot Contessa, if you don’t have organic broccoli and tomatoes in your freezer, store bought is fine. Just make sure the broccoli is diced very small so it will melt into the broth, and just double the amount of canned tomatoes you used.

Vegan Chili/Stew with Zoodles

Here’s what to get from the store:

Canned diced tomatoes
Frozen broccoli
Carrots
Green Beans
Zucchini
Jalapeno
Mini Sweet Peppers
Shallots
Onion
Sweet potato
Kidney Beans
Chickpeas
Black Beans
Veggie Broth

Veggie Chili/Stew

32 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 qt frozen broccoli
2 sweet potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 Jalapeno, diced and deseeded
5 mini peppers, diced
1 cup green beans
1 shallot, diced
1 sweet vidalia onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
32 oz veggie broth
1 can kidney beans
1 can chickpeas
1 can black beans
Salt, pepper, turmeric, cayenne, paprika
1/4 zucchini per bowl

  1. In the order of the listed ingredients (save half of the can of tomatoes) layer everything but the beans in your crock pot. Pour the broth and the rest of the tomatoes over top after seasoning. Turn the crock pot on low, cook for 5 hours, stiring on occasion.
  2. When the sweet potatoes are almost cooked through, add the beans and cook for 30 minutes more.
  3. Using your spirilizer, make some zoodles and place them in the bottom of each serving bowl. Pour the chili/stew on top.

Rocky and I are no longer seeing each other. I’m sad and I’m still trying to process it a little. It’s crazy how knowing someone for only three months can impact your life.

Instead, I’m trying to focus on myself again. I hadn’t been practicing my yoga as much as I should have and I know that was not only affecting my energy level, but my body image. This time of year is hard on a lot of us, and we need to focus on being mentally healthy, not just physically healthy.

I lost my little fitbit zip last week, and decided to take my saved money and bought one of the new Charge 2s. (And some new yoga pants…and wine and coffee…I went to Targer). It not only does the normal stuff, but it also keeps an eye on heat rate and sleeping patterns. I’ll be interested to see what my sleeping looks like.

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