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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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Branching out

Posted on June 2, 2017. Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

If you know me, you know I can’t STAND cooked spinach. To me, it looks and smells like a dead alien life form. I keep trying to eat it, but every time I try, it’s kinda mushy.

That being said, only eating my spinach salads every day can get a little boring. Today I wanted eggs, but since I hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet, I didn’t have a ton of options. What I did have was some kale, spinach, and beans. I decide to branch out and actually saute the kale and spinach in a tahini tumeric dressing.

I used a lot more kale than spinach; the kale doesn’t doesn’t cook down the same way as the spinach does, so it still had some crunch to it. I was surprised, I actually couldn’t tell the spinach was even in there. Adding the runny eggs on top helped even more.

This recipe is very easy, full of fiber, protein, vitamins A, and K. The dressing I used has been my new salad dressing, so you can make a lot and use it on more than just this dish.

Sauteed Spinach, Kale and Black beans topped with Runny Eggs and Sriracha

Here’s what to get from the store:

Tumeric
Tahini
Apple Cider Vinegar
Soy Sauce
Olive Oil
White Vinegar
Lemon Juice
Garlic Chili Sauce
Spinach
Kale
Black Beans
Eggs

Tumeric Tahini Dressing
(Note, I didn’t measure anything making this, so use your best judgement)

2 tbsp Tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp garlic chili sauce
Tumeric, cayanne, pepper, paprika

  1. In your blender (or a container you can use an immersion blender in) put all of the ingredients. Blend until combined. Taste to adjust seasoning.

Runny Eggs Over Spinach and Kale

2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 cup chopped kale
1 cup spinach
4 tbsp black beans
Salt, Pepper
Tumeric Tahini Dressing
2 eggs, over easy
Sriracha

  1. In a saute pan, saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the kale and spinach, cook until wilted.
  2. Add the black beans and the dressing, saute until warmed through. Serve topped with 2 runny eggs and sriracha.

I recently started a new job at a restaurant that is the complete opposite of every other place I’ve ever worked. It focuses on good for you food and any dietary restrictions a person can have. It’s good because I won’t be afraid to eat there (even though I won’t because bringing food from home is cheaper) and it inspired me to make the new salad dressing. I realized I had been using the same dressing for about 3 years, there’s nothing wrong with changing things up.

I hadn’t been able to keep up with my exercises recently because of all the training at the new job, and because of that, my whole body hurts. It’s kinda cool though, I missed that feeling a little bit.

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Crunchy!

Posted on May 17, 2017. Filed under: Appitizers, Snacks, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Let’s talk snacks. Pretty much all of my posts are either healthy meals or desserts. I never really write anything about snacks. Which is weird, because I LOVE snacks. Like a lot. Especially if they’re crunchy. Even better if you can dip them in something. My favorite? Tortilla chips and queso dip. Or Unos croutons in bleu cheese (judge me, but it’s sooo gooood).

But, when I cut out processed carbs (save a mocha with whipped cream, and yesterday’s rhubarb loaf, I haven’t had any) I had to figure out what to eat for a post show/work snack, or even a during work/show snack. I bought some flavored cashews and almonds, but I wanted more. Then I remembered, I had chickpeas. You know what chickpeas makes? Hummus.

Hummus is such an easy dip to make I’m almost embarrassed to say I had been buying it. But why buy it? It only has a few ingredients, and they’re all pretty easy to find. I say pretty easy because in Chicago, Tahini sauce is pretty common, thanks to the diverse population.

This recipe is very easy, as I said. You can serve it with pita chips, or as I’ve been doing some crunchy veggies.

Sriracha Lime Hummus

Here’s what to get from the store:

Chickpeas
Tahini Sauce
Garlic
Lime Juice
Sriracha

Sriracha Lime Hummus

1 can of chickpeas
1 tbsp tahini
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp Sriracha
Salt, pepper, paprika

  1. Put everything  (including the liquid from the chickpeas) in your food processor and blend until it’s your desired consistency. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve with your favorite veggies.

I’m very proud of myself. I generally have very good self control, except of course when it comes to my favorite snacks. That being said, I’ve now been grocery shopping twice and haven’t even looked at the chips. I did have a dream that I was eating Oreos, but I don’t really crave the bad stuff. Tonight some friends and I are going to Kuma’s Korner for burgers, that’s going to be interesting. Mainly because I haven’t had anything really fatty in a while. Last night I ate a lot of the loaf batter (because, you have to) and my stomach kind of hurt after. So we’ll see how my stomach will deal with cheese burgers.

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More Rhubarb!

Posted on May 17, 2017. Filed under: Breads, Uncategorized | Tags: |

Twice in one day, I know. Sometimes I get on a roll and have to keep going.

I still have more rhubarb at the apartment, and at my parents’ house, so I had to try more recipes, of course. I originally wanted to do a shortbread, but I didn’t have enough butter. I didn’t want to do pie because, well, that’s what everyone does. After a while on Pinterest, I found an old fashioned rhubarb loaf. I decided to use my mini loaf pans instead of a big pan, it was a good choice,

I had to substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream, and almond milk for the regular milk, but it still came out really well. (Ok, I also only had baking soda, but I clearly did the math right because it fluffed out just fine). That being said, the worst part about making this is the dishes.

Mini Rhubarb Loaves

Here’s what to get from the store:

Rhubarb
Flour
Sugar
Eggs
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Greek Yogurt
Almond Milk

Rhubarb Loaf
(From Noshing with the Nolands)

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
½ tsp. each baking powder, baking soda and salt
½ cup light sour cream (or Greek Yogurt)
¼ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ cups rhubarb, diced small

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a standup mixer cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each. Alternatively add the flour with the milk and sour cream, starting and finishing with the flour. Mix well. Fold in the rhubarb.
  4. Pour into the prepared loaf pan, smooth top and bake for 60-70 min. until a tester comes out clean. Let cool 10 min. and then remove from pan and cool further on a wire rack. Store in an air tight container for a few days if needed.

Like I said in my last post, I’m so glad the weather is getting better. I do so much better in the warmth.

 

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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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Sometimes, we make mistakes

Posted on May 12, 2017. Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

I was really excited to try this recipe.  I wanted something with less processed carbs, but man, these waffles were dry! Even adding a peanut butter yogurt topping with strawberries didn’t help. I’m going to post the recipe anyway, but man, beware if you eat them. I had added rhubarb to them as well, but not all of it cooked so I think that was not a good choice. That one was my mistake, using the recipe was only half mine. Def not going for anything “low carb” or “gluten free” or “keto” if I’m making anything bread related.

Here’s what to get from the store:

Milled Flax seed
Chia Seed

Flax Waffels
(From Healthful Pursuit)

2 cups roughly ground golden flaxseed
1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
10 tsp chia seed with 15 tbsp warm water
½ cup water
⅓ cup avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon fresh herbs (if making savory) or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  1. Place your waffle maker on the counter and heat on medium, or your desired setting for crisp waffles.
  2. Combine flax seed with baking powder and sea salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine fully and set aside.
  3. Add chia seeds, water and oil to the jug of your high-powered blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds, until foamy.
  4. Transfer liquid mixture to the bowl with the flaxseed mixture.
  5. Stir with a spatula, just until incorporated. The mixture will be very fluffy. Once incorporated, allow to sit for 3 minutes.
  6. Add in your fresh herbs or stir in the ground cinnamon.
  7. Divide mixture into 4 servings. Scoop each; one at a time, onto the preheated waffle maker and close the top. Cook until it beeps and repeat with remaining batter.

Maybe I did something wrong, but these poor things were pretty much not the best. Maybe you’ll have better luck, which is why I posted it at all.

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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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You turn me right ’round

Posted on April 28, 2017. Filed under: Deserts, Uncategorized | Tags: |

Like a record baby…

Anywho. Let’s talk rhubarb. Last year for Christmas I got my dad a bunch of different seeds. The tomatoes grew great, the purple broccoli didn’t (disappointed) and the rhubarb is finally ready. I know what you’re thinking, it took over a year to grow? Yes, according to the research my mom did, you plant it one year, but you don’t get to harvest till next spring. Weirdly enough, the stalks are actually green instead of the normal red color I’ve seen.

They brought me a bunch this last Sunday, and I’ve been looking over Pinterest for recipes. I didn’t feel like going to the store to buy stuff (temperature dropped 30 degrees again…oh spring), so I had to find something that would only take what I have at home. That’s when I found this upside down cake. The only ingredient I didn’t have was nutmeg, so I used cinnamon instead. I also only had almond milk, but it seemed to work just as well as normal milk. This is a super easy recipe and is done in less than an hour. I have to say, it is super good. Sweet, but not terribly sweet and like every other upside down cake, it makes it’s own sauce.

Upside down Rhubarb Cake

Here’s what to get from the store:

Rhubarb
Sugar
Egg
Nutmeg or cinnamon
Butter
Milk

Upside Down Rhubarb Cake
(From Taste of Home)

TOPPING

3 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, melted

BATTER

1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
Sweetened whipped cream, optional

  1. Place rhubarb in a greased 10-in. heavy oven-proof skillet. Combine sugar, flour and nutmeg; sprinkle over rhubarb. Drizzle with butter; set aside. For batter, in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until blended. Beat in the egg. Combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Gradually add to egg mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  2. Spread over rhubarb mixture. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Loosen edges immediately and invert onto a serving dish. Serve warm. Serve with whipped cream if desired. Yield: 8-10 servings.

I still have a lot of rhubarb left and I’m still going to get a decent amount from my parents (mom doesn’t like rhubarb and dad isn’t allowed to have sugar) so I’m going to make a lot of cool stuff. My friend Kati has found some recipes for me, and I’m going to look for some savory ones too, just to spice things up.

The temperature dropped from 80 yesterday to 50 today. I’ve had a headache since last night, and I’m blaming the weather. My muscles are also sore, but that’s from exercising.

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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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