Main Course

What season is it?

Posted on September 28, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

First day of fall as about a week ago. Before that, we had fall weather; chilly a night, somewhat nice during the day but not cold. But, the day that fall fell (haha…?) on the calendar, it was over 90 degrees. In fact, it was like that for about a week before that. I’m not complaining, I love the heat. That being said, I had that nasty cold everyone had on my last day off. I had originally thought about making this soup then. But it was 1000 degrees and soup wasn’t in my vocabulary at that point.

Today was my day off for…who knows how long? (Probably 2 weeks, I hope. ) My plans included working out (done) and going to the beach. When I woke up to use the bathroom this morning, I checked the weather. 70 – (maybe)75 degrees. Not really beach weather. (The wind coming through my window was cooler than that). I decided to go to the zoo, and to make this soup, cause, why not?

This soup is vegan (just leave off the cheese) good for you, and really quick. Oh, and it has beer in it, what could be better?

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Here’s what to get from the store:

Vegetable Brooth
Beer (an ale of some sort)
Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Corn
Broccoli
Black Beans
Red Onion
Chiplote peppers
Manchego cheese
Goat cheese

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

1 red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, diced
4 ears corn, de corned and divided
1 head broccoli, diced
3 chiplote peppers
1 12 oz bottle beer (I used Spotted Cow)
2 cartons vegetable broth
3 sweet potatoes, diced
1 can black beans
1/2 cp brown sugar
Salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, tumeric

  1. In a dutch oven, saute the onion until fragrant. Add the garlic. Make sure to salt and pepper throughout.
  2. Add half the corn, saute until almost cooked.
  3. Add the beer, bring to a boil and reduce to half.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, peppers and broth.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked, spoon the mixture into your blender (or use an immersion blender) to blend until smooth. You may have to add more broth to the mixture to thin it out.
  6. Once blended, add the rest of the corn, the broccoli and beans. Cook until the broccoli is tender. Taste, then add the brown sugar. You may need more or less than I used, depending on how spicy it is.
  7. Top with manchego and goat cheese, if desired.

One the things I’ve been helping with at Unos has been the beer menu, along with the education. I have to say, it’s been a lot of fun trying new breweries and learning new stuff about beer to teach to my coworkers. I’ve already taught one class, and my next one is slated for 2 weeks from now. Even though it’s extra work, it’s fun work, and I don’t mind doing it especially since my boss trusts me to do the class. Say what you will about the drinking culture, but we have some really cool things to learn.

I’m still able to excersice before work every day, even when I’m tired. If you had known me 10 years ago, you wouldn’t have believed I could do that; hell, even I couldn’t have believed I could. At 32, I’m in the best shape of my life and I couldn’t be prouder.

 

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Time Traveling!

Posted on September 28, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Two posts coming at you guys cause I’m the worst! (It’s been over a month since I’ve posted!)

Working two jobs + hot weather = no motivation to cook anything over smoothies and salads.

Now, saying that, a little over a month ago I was working every day and three of those days a week were doubles. At one point, I realized that just having a smoothie and making my salad weren’t enough to get me through those long days. (To be fair, I was eating cheese at Unos, I love cheese but one can’t live on cheese alone, sadly) I had some time off and decided to make a simple quinoa salad to take with.

Not only is this salad easy to make in bulk, it’s good eaten warm or cold. It’s also 100% vegan and has a decent amount of protein.

Make ahead roasted Veggie Salad

Here’s what to get from the store:

Qunioa
Roma Tomatoes
Red Onion
Cauliflowr
Asparagus
Black Beans

Make Ahead Roasted Veggie Salad

2 cp cooked quinoa
1 head cauliflower
Handfull chopped asparagus
1 red onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 can black beans
5 cloves garlic, smashed

  1. Roast the veggies, except tomatoes, in a 350 oven tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  2. Add the veggies, tomatoes and black beans to the cooked quinoa, mix and season. Store in your fridge, use as needed.

Now that fall’s back I hope to have more time and want to cook. I still work way to much, but the cold at least makes me want to turn on my oven.

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Blend!

Posted on July 18, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

So, my parents got me a Nutribullet for my birthday. And because of the time crunch and the fact that it’s warm out, the only things I’ve made with it were my smoothies and one batch of salad dressing. Since I had some time between doing paperwork and chores (yay bill day), I decided to make…something.

Butternut squash popped into my head; there’s a lot of different sauces and soups you can make out of that wonderful gourd. Now, I’m still doing the low carb thing, but I kinda wanted pasta. Luckily Whole Paycheck ( I mean Whole Foods) has pasta made without any grains, so I picked up some red lentil pasta. It’s higher protein, higher fiber, lower carb. That being said, it did get a little mushy while cooking, but it was still pretty good.

While looking for the squash, I decided to add some yellow beets into the dish. I do realize the last few dishes I’ve made have been very yellow, but it’s summer and that’s a bright color.

This dish is very easy (made easier by the Nutribullet, you can still do it without) very healthy, and could in fact be a soup if you don’t want to add the pasta. And, if you wanted it to be vegan, like  a lot of my recipes, just leave off the goat cheese.

Lentil Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce, Tofu and Yellow Beets

Here’s what to get from the store:

Butternut Squash
Shallot
Tomato
Vegetable Broth
Yellow Beet
Tofu
Lentil Pasta

Butternut Squash Sauce with Yellow Beets and Tofu

1 butternut squash, halved
2 shallots, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 cup vegetable broth
1 yellow beet, sliced
1/4 block tofu, cubed
Salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, red pepper flake
Lemon juice
Balsamic vinegar

  1. Coat the squash in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool.
  2. Once it is cooled, scoop the squash out. Add it to your blender along with 1/2 of the shallots, 1/2 of the garlic, the tomato, the broth, lemon juice, balsamic and seasonings. Blend. If you have the Nutribullet, put it on it’s heating system so it warms.
  3. In a saute pan, saute the rest of the garlic and onion until fragrant. Add the beets and tofu. Saute until almost cooked through, then add about 1/4 cup of Balsamic vinegar and let reduce. Taste to adjust seasoning.
  4. Once your pasta is almost cooked, add some of the sauce to a pan, then add the pasta, stir to coat. Top with the tofu and beet mixture, and goat cheese if you would like.

I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to post next, I have no days off in the foreseeable future. Honestly I’m impressed that I’ve been getting up before work to exercise.  I’m the opposite of a morning person, so that’s really hard for me.

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Man I’m Baked

Posted on July 18, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Side Dishes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Potatoes, that is.

First off, I have to say my birthday was the best. Thanks to everyone who came out, mom, dad, Shawn, Kati, Petra, Brian..and everyone who couldn’t due to price or me wanting to go home early.

My low carb diet had gone so well, I decided to keep it up. (That being said, right after making and eating this, I also ordered Dominos, but, balance, right?)

I had been trying to figure out what to do with the broccoli mom and dad brought, and for some odd reason sweet potatoes came to mind. Granted, if you’ve been reading for a little while, you know my feelings on sweet potatoes. I wanted to do something simple, but yet tasty, and something that had buffalo chickpeas involved (no clue why) So I came up with this dish. It was supposed to be twice baked stuffed sweet potatoes, but I can’t ever get the potatoes out of the oven fast enough before the skin falls apart; so they ended up being baked mashed potatoes.

This dish is super easy, super low carb, super healthy and could be a good side dish for a meal. If you want to make it vegan, all you have to do is leave the goat cheese off, or substitute your favorite vegan cheese.

Baked Mashed Sweet Potato with Buffalo Chickpeas and Goat Cheese

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet Potato
Broccoli
Chickpeas
Goat Cheese
Buffalo Sauce

Baked Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Buffalo Chickeaes

1 sweet potato, cut in half
1/2 small head of broccoli, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 can chickpeas, diced
Buffalo Sauce
Salt, pepper, paprika

  1. Coat the potato with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the potato is cooked through.
  2. When the potato cools, scoop out the middle, mix in the broccoli, garlic, salt pepper and paprika. Use a potato masher to mix everything together.
  3. Place the mixture in a greased ramekin, or giant muffin tin. Top with the chickepeas and goat cheese. Bake until the goat cheese is starting to brown.

I’m still working a lot, but it’s paying off financially, which is what I wanted. I actually like working; sure I’m exhausted and I barely have time for anything, but I get to meet new people and run around instead of sitting at a desk.

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CRUSTY CRAB PIZZA!

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

Ok, there’s no crab in this dish but that’s all I can think of for a title. It’s been a long week, I’m tired.

This week was my first on the floor at the new job. I was planning on easing in; my 5 normal shifts at Unos and 3 at the new place. What happened was I told my new manager I could work more than that. I’ve doubled every day except today.

I’ve pretty much been living on salads, smoothies and Greek yogurt (ok, and the occasional doughnut). Issue with that is I’ve noticed I haven’t really been eating enough. Sad part is, I’ve almost been to tired to eat. I’ll get used to working two jobs again, it just takes a while to adjust.

All week I’ve been thinking about making a pizza with a broccoli crust. When mom and dad came up to see the show, mom brought me some of last year’s broccoli, and I didn’t want to do something normal with it. Cause, why do that?

I had a short trip to the beach today, and while lying on the sand, I came up with the toppings. I’m actually pretty impressed with the result. The crust wasn’t as crispy as I’d like, but I didn’t get all the extra water out of the broccoli so I’m sure that’s why. Since the broccoli I had was already cooked and frozen, I did things a little differently than the recipe that I originally used.

This recipe is pretty easy and very good for you. If you’re doing the low carb thing, this is for you. Or, if you just want to try something different, this is for you.

(Sorry about the picture, it was hard to get a good quality image of this one)

Broccoli Crust Pizza with Black Bean Garlic Puree, Caramelized Red Onion, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts and Fresh Mozz

Here’s what to get from the store:

Broccoli
Eggs
Parmesean Cheese
Fresh Mozzerella
Black Beans
Garlic
Lemon Juice
Asparagus
Red Onion
Brussels Sprouts

Garlic Black Bean Puree

5 cloves garlic
1/2 can black beans
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
Salt, pepper, red chili flakes

  1. In a blender, put all the ingredients. Puree until smooth, taste to adjust seasonings.
  2. Put on top of the broccoli pizza crust

Broccoli Pizza Crust
(From Gimme Delicious)

1 small head of broccoli (about 2-3 cups riced)
2 eggs
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup mozzarella cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)

Toppings

Black Bean Garlic Puree
Fresh Mozzerella
Chopped Asparagus
Caramelized Red Onions
Chopped Brussels Sprouts

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (highly recommend) or grease with oil; set aside.
  2. Process the broccoli in a food processor or shred with a cheese grater until the broccoli is the same consistency as rice.
  3. Place broccoli in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 1-2 minute or until it is steamed. Cool for at least one minute then pour broccoli on a clean washcloth and squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the broccoli until you are left with a dry ball of broccoli.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, eggs, cheeses, and seasoning with a spoon until fully combined. Pour mixture into the pre-lined baking sheet and shape into a pizza crust, ½ inch thick.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven and add the toppings. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted. Cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting.

The one thing I’ve noticed different about myself is that I’ve actually been exercising before my morning shift at work. If you know me, you know I HATE waking up in the morning, so I normally don’t exercise before morning shifts. But, the past three days I actually have. I’d like to say it’s given me more energy for the day, but it hasn’t. I still end up crashing, but it’s no biggie. I’ll get used to it again.

 

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Stack it

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

The 16th of every month is probably the most responsible day of the month for me. I go to the bank and pay all my bills.Granted, the past few weeks I’ve been overly responsible anyway. Makes for easy living, but slightly boring, for sure. Friends and I are going out tomorrow, it will be quite needed.

After hours of bill paying, cleaning, ect, I had to eat something. I haven’t gone to the grocery store yet, so I don’t have a ton of options, but I do still have options. I still had some sweet potato left (I had bought a huge sweet potato), but I didn’t want to do the same thing I had been doing. I decided to grate it, put it into ramekins, bake it, and top it with black beans and eggs. I have to say, it was pretty perfect. It could be breakfast, I suppose, but not really being a morning person, I made it for dinner.

This recipe is very easy, doesn’t take terribly long and is full of good stuff.

Sweet Potato Stacks with black beans and Eggs

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet Potato
Black Beans
Spinach
Eggs

Sweet Potato Stacks

1/4 sweet potato, grated
Olive Oil
Black Beans
2 Eggs
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, tumeric
Spinach
Sriracha

  1. Mix the sweet potato with some olive oil,  and seasonings. Divide into 2 oil lined ramekins and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the ramekins from the oven, flip over onto a plate with spinach on it. Put the black beans on top.
  3. Cook your eggs however you like, I prefer a runny yolk, then put them on top of the stacks. Put some sriracha on top and enjoy.

Today was the perfect day weather wise. I was able to go and read on the beach for a little bit after I was done with my chores for today. I can’t wait for the summer.

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Who needs em?

Posted on May 11, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

The other day I talked about how I had cut out processed carbs, at least for a few days. I have completly curbed my snacking, no chips, no crackers, nothing. All my snacks have been fruit, vegetables or nuts. Cutting that out, my stomach is flatter and I lost 2 pounds. My muscles have not suffered, so that is good. I had been a little worried that my strength would wain (I also hadn’t been able to exercise since last Friday). That being said, I have the energy and that’s important.

Last night I wasn’t really sure what to make, I was hungry but nothing stood out. Then I remembered that I had some sweet potato left over, and thought that I could make something simular to what I had made the day before, but put it on a spinach salad. I added some pickled red onions and a sriracha honey dressing, and it was fabulous.

I’m not going to post the recipe for the sweet potato part, because it is like the spirilized ones I made the other day. I just cubed the potato instead. I will put the basic recipe for the dressing, though. I don’t ever measure when I make it, everything is to taste.

Here’s what to get from the store:

Spinach salad with roasted veggies, pickled red onions and silken tofu

Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Sriracha
Honey
Lemon Juice

Honey Sriracha Dressing

Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Sriracha
Honey
Lemon Juice
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, tumeric, paprika

  1. In a measuring cup, put equal parts vinegar and oil, then add everything else. Whisk together, and taste to adjust seasonings.

I’ve noticed a lot of the things I made are more “taste to adjust seasonings” I like that, though. It teaches people to actually taste the food they make. If you don’t taste while you’re cooking, how will you know it will be good?

I have been working hard on my exercise as well, I can now do 11 push ups, which is a lot more than I used to be able to. I’m getting stronger all the time, and it feels great.

 

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Scramblin

Posted on May 9, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Recently, Fitbit updated their ap to show some of the nutrients you’re eating. They only track carbs, fat and protein, but it’s a start. I realized that I had been getting way to many processed carbs and not enough protein. I kind of knew that was happening, I’d been buying a lot of snack foods recently. So, I decided to make a change. I cut out all processed carbs, no breads, chips, croutons from work, stuff like that.

Except for yesterday when I shared a piece of cake and some pretzel bites with Kati, I had been doing very well since Friday. I was pretty happy with the results, my stomach is a lot flatter (carbs=bloating!). It’s also super gassy, now that I’m living 100% on fruits and veggies again. I’m going to keep this up until Thursday (or longer, but it’s nice to have a goal) just to see what happens.

I don’t have an issue with carbs, I’ve talked about that before, my issue is with where they come from. The complex carbs that are in fruits and veggies are much better for you than the simple carbs you get from bread, past, sweets, ect. On top of that, fruits and veggies have nutrients that the human body needs, the other stuff is just good for the soul. (I do love pasta, you know that.

After work today I stopped to grab some tofu. Except for the chicken breast I ate on my salad yesterday, I’ve also been (unintentionally) eating vegan. I have to make sure I’m getting protein, and tofu is a great way  to do that. I could only find some silken firm tofu, they had a sale on the other stuff so they were out, and wasn’t sure what to do with it. Then I remembered the spirilizer I got for Christmas and wondered how it would do with a sweet potato.

I’m pretty pleased with the result. Since I had the firm silken tofu, it broke down and it ended up looking like scrambled eggs. So, if you wanted, you could make this for breakfast.

This recipe is pretty easy; since the sweet potato is cut into small rings, it cooks pretty quickly. I was able to get all of this done, prep included, in under an hour. There are a lot of nutrients, and it’s pretty filling. Half a sweet potato will make enough for 2 servings.

Spirilized sweet potato and tofu "scramble"

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet potato
Chickpeas
Button Mushrooms
Mini Sweet Peppers
Firm Silken Tofu.

Sweet Potato and Tofu “Scramble”

1/2 sweet potato
2 button mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 mini sweet peppers, diced
1/4 cup chickpeas
Salt, pepper, tumeric, paprika, chili powder

  1. Cut the sweet potato into a block and send through the spirlizier.
  2. Saute the sweet potato until partially cooked through. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the peppers, mushrooms, season and saute until the peppers are mostly cooked through.
  4. Add the chickpeas, season once again. Taste to adjust, serve with Sriracha, if wanted.

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty impressed with myself. I tend to snack on stuff at work that I shouldn’t but I haven’t touched anything there since last Wednesday. I have a giant issue with snacking, crunchy food items are my favorite things. My goal is to take the last little bit of padding away from my stomach, I’d like to actually see how my abs look. I like having muscles, they’re fun.

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Avod-caredo

Posted on April 27, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

This post has nothing to do with advocare, I’ve done a tuna pun recently so I thought this one would work. It did, it’s hilarious.

The show is open, tech week is done, previews are done, and we’re open. Normally, I don’t get post show depression until after a show closes, but the rehearsal process for this one was one of the best I’d ever been through. On Sunday after the opening, I was talking to Scott’s (my director’s) wife and she told me that he had been saying the best things about me at home. Granted, he had been saying pretty much all of those things to me; it was a weird rehearsal process in part but we had the best director/stage manager relationship and I’m going to miss it. I really hope we get to work together again.

That being said, I’m back to a somewhat normal schedule with work, which is also nice (I like money). I’d been living off my smoothies and salads for the past few weeks, and while they’re good, I wanted something different. I don’t know why, but tuna salad popped into my head.  I don’t miss my ex as a person, but his tuna salad, now that I miss. That was good. But, it was mayo based. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love mayo probably a little too much. That being said, I wanted to make something a little healthier. That’s where avocados come in. Avocados are great, they creamy, they have healthy fat and they make things taste so good. They’re a pretty great substitution for mayo in a lot of instances.

This recipe is very easy and doesn’t take any time at all. The longest part of this recipe is making the hard boiled eggs. I made a melt out of it (because, cheese) but if you want a  less carby option, you can throw it on a salad.

Avocado Tuna Salad Melt

Here’s what to get from the store:

Avocado
Eggs
Pickles
Dijon Mustard
Tuna

Avocado Tuna Salad

2 Avocados
2 Hard boiled Eggs, diced
2 pickle spears, diced
1 can of tuna
4 tbso dijon mustard (or more to taste)
Salt, pepper, paprika, lime juice

  1. In a bowl, mash the avocado until smooth. Add everything else and mix. Taste to adjust seasonings.

Super easy. The easiest.

I am now back to the size I was when I moved, but because I have more muscles, I’m technically heavier. It’s slightly annoying, but I have muscles now, so I can’t complain too much. I also know I’m in way better shape because I can go through a 40+ minute cardio workout and still go through 30-40 minutes of my normal yoga without feeling like I’m going to die. I’m hoping my abs will start coming through, they’re there, they just have a little bit of covering on them.

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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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