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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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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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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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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Shame on me!

Posted on November 7, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Guys, I’ve been a bad blogger. I made a dish probably about two weeks ago and haven’t posted about it yet. Shame on me.

As I’m sure you can tell, I’ve been on a vegan kick. While my diet is omnivore, I don’t generally buy meat and most of the time end up eating vegetarian and vegan foods. I know I’ve talked about this before and you’re probably getting a little tired of it.

It’s officially November and that means Thanksgiving, cold weather, and comfort food. Well… scratch the cold weather part. It’s 71 and sunny today. And I have to work. Of course. (I’d rather be reading by the lake). But, a few weeks ago we did have our normal dip and it did get down to the mid 40s/low 50s. I had been racking my brain on what to make for the week, and kept coming up empty. But then I remembered I had some rice noodles and a large box of coconut milk, and thought of a curry soup. (Yes, I know my last few posts were about curry, it’s good). I also had some asparagus and other veggies, and a soup was born.

I love soups, most of the time I prefer really creamy soups, but the right broth can make any soup delicious. On top of that, soups are actually very easy because making them involves flavor development, down time, and you can throw anything you have into the pot. They can be as healthy or unhealthy as you like, as carnivorous or vegan as you like.

This soup is very easy. Since there’s no meat, cooking time is cut down, but not too much because flavor development is important.

Cumin Spiced Coconut Curry Soup

Most of the things I had laying around, but if you don’t, here’s what to get from the store:

Boxed coconut milk (32 oz)
Asparagus
Baby bella mushrooms
Mini sweet peppers
Carrots
Fresh Basil
Rice Noodles
Seasame seeds
Garlic
Miso paste

Cumin Spiced Coconut Curry Soup

5 cloves garlic, diced
5 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
Handful of asparagus diced
3 mini peppers, diced and deseeded
2 carrots, diced
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
32 oz coconut milk
1 serving rice noodles, soaked in hot water
2 tbsp. miso paste
Salt, pepper, turmeric , cumin, sriracha, lemon juice, fresh basil

  1. Sauté the garlic until fragrant. Add asparagus, carrots,  mushrooms and peppers, cooking until asparagus is bright green Make sure to season with salt, pepper, turmeric and cumin at each addition.
  2. Add the sesame seeds to toast.
  3. Add the miso paste to coat, then the coconut milk.
  4. Bring to a simmer, add sriracha and lemon juice; taste to adjust seasoning.
  5. Lower the tempter and let cook for about 10-15 minutes. Taste one more time.
  6. In a large bowl, place the soaked rice noodles and top with the broth and fresh diced basil

The closer real winter gets the more I’m fearing it; this has been very mild fall and that means January and February are not going to be fun. Being a Midwestern girl I’m completely used to the cold weather, but my recent weight loss over the past 4-5 years has made me extra susceptible to cold. Even though my metabolism is higher, there is not as much padding as there used to be. Expect me to be making a lot more warming things over the next few months.

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Spicy Squash

Posted on April 1, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

When I was getting ready to go home after spending time with my parents on Easter, mom noticed she forgot to give my sister a spaghetti squash, so I took it home. Along with another bag of broccoli…I think there’s only 2 left in the freezer from last season. (I gave my dad purple broccoli seeds for Christmas, so I’m hoping for a rainbow.)

I’d seen recipes for the squash many times before, but I had never thought about eating it. Not sure why, just never appealed to me. Now, since I had a whole one, I decided to make something. I learned very quickly that either I need a new knife, or that squash is just REALLY hard to open. I ended up hacking off the top and sticking my knife in that part and hitting the squash against my cutting board until the knife went through.

This recipe is easy (besides getting the squash open) but the squash does take a long time to cook. It’s on the harder side of the squashes so baking time is almost an hour. Luckily though, after it’s cooked, everything goes by very quickly. This is a very healthy recipe and is also vegan, so eat away!

Chili Spiced Spaghetti Squash with Asparagus, Broccoli and Spinach

Here’s what to get from the store:

Spaghetti Squash
Asparagus
Broccoli
Orange Bell Pepper
Garlic Chili Sauce
Fresh Spinach

Chili Spiced Spaghetti Squash with Veggies

1 Spaghetti Squash, halved and seeded
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Tumeric, Garam Masala
5-6 stalks asparagus, diced
Few florets fresh broccoli, diced
1/4 orange bell pepper, cubed
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
Hand full of spinach
Garlic Chili Sauce
Black Beans

  1. Drizzle the squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes. About half way through, add paprika, tumeric and the garam masala. Once the squash is fork soft, pull from the oven and let cool.
  2. While the squash is cooling, saute the onions until fragrant. Add the garlic and bell pepper and cook till soft.Make sure to season with salt, pepper and tumeric.  Add the asparagus and broccoli and saute until bright green. Add some garlic chili sauce and let simmer. (Be careful not to add too much, this sauce is spicy!)
  3. The squash should be cool enough to touch, run a fork through the squash to get the cooked meat from the shell. Add that to the veggies,along with the spinach and stir. Let the spinach wilt. Taste to adjust seasonings, then serve topped with black beans.

Today I start my training at Pizzeria Uno in the city. This is the first job that I’ve been hired as a bartender from the start. I still have to prove myself to everyone else, but I know I can. This is the first step to moving and I’m very excited. I will be sad to leave the wing place; I only have 3 shifts left there, but it is time to move on. The friends I made there will always still be there.

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Twice the Fun!

Posted on March 20, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

You guys thought I forgot about you, did you? Last week I was on vacation and I came straight home to an 8 shift week. (I was originally scheduled 5..). Vacation was great…but…I gained a few pounds. We ate out more than I thought we were going to and I noticed it.

I came back and decided I had to fix that. This past week I upped my veggie intake and added a spinach and banana smoothie to my breakfast. The few extra pounds are gone, and my energy is back. (By the end of vacation I was a little run down. I only had time to go through my yoga practice once and it was obvious)

All week I was thinking about doing something for St. Paddy’s day, but I didn’t really want to do anything traditional. I’ve never really been super into white potatoes, but I’ve always loved sweet potatoes. They have a lot more flavor, and you can do quite a bit to them. Because of this, I decided to do a twice baked stuffed sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes are great because they have the extra beta carotene that white potatoes don’t have. Yes, they do have the extra sugar, but adding the right spices makes a really cool sweet and spicy flavor.

This recipe is pretty easy, but it does take a lot of time. Since there is a ton of down time, I went through my yoga practice while the potato was in the oven the first time, and let it cool while the quinoa was cooking. This recipe isn’t vegan, but to make it vegan, all you have to do is not put the cheddar on top.

Twice Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet potato
Asparagus
Fresh Broccoli
Quinoa
Aged Irish Cheddar (Optional)

Twice Baked Sweet Potato

1 large sweet potato
3 pieces asparagus, diced
3 broccoli florets, diced
1 tbsp chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup quinoa
Salt, pepper, Tumeric, Cayenne
Block of Irish Cheddar (Optional)

  1. Cut your sweet potato in half length wise. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until cooked through. About 30 minutes in, sprinkle with salt and pepper.Set aside and let cool.
  2. While the potato is cooling, cook the quinoa until fluffy, about 20 minutes.
  3. Once the potato is cool, scoop out the middle, making sure not to break the skin.
  4. In a saute pan, saute the onion until fragrant. Add the asparagus, broccoli, garlic and spices and cook until bright green. Add the quinoa and sweet potato and mix. Taste to adjust seasoning.
  5. Put the mixture back into the shells and top with the shredded cheese, if you like. Bake for another 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

I’ve started working pretty hard to get ready for my move in July. I’m excited to finally be back in Illinois. While Indiana has been nice, I know the city is where I belong.

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Crustin

Posted on January 27, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

This time of year I see a TON of advertisements for weight loss support groups, apps, diet plans, ect. A lot of them suggest counting either points or calories or whatever. From personal experience, that doesn’t really work that well. When I was using a calorie counter, I’d see that I had worked off X amount of calories in my workout, then would eat as much as I burned. Not really a good plan.

The plan should be to teach you how to make better choices and how to balance what you do eat. I’ve actually gotten to the point where I crave healthy stuff instead of the unhealthy stuff. Yesterday I bought gelato, cause my hormones were asking for it, but I didn’t open it. This didn’t come overnight though, it took a long time.

Every time I see my parents now, my mom asks if I want some more frozen broccoli and tomatoes. I’m pretty convinced that they could have supplied a grocery store with tomatoes and broccoli this past season…

I only took broccoli this time, and decided I wanted to try out one of those “pizza” crusts with it. It was very easy to make, but I didn’t grease the pan, so it didn’t want to come off the foil (my fault). Other than that, it was pretty good. Broccoli doesn’t have to strong of a flavor so topping it was pretty easy.

If you’re looking to cut carbs, this would be a good way to do it with adding some extra vitamins into your dish.

Broccoli "Crust" Pizza Topped with Yellow Squash, Asparagus, Mushrooms and Shallots in Baslmic Reduction

Here’s what to get from the store:

Broccoli
Parmesan Cheese
Yellow Squash
Asparagus
Button Mushrooms
Shallots
Balsamic

Broccoli “Pizza” Crust

1 cup broccoli
1 egg
Parmesan Cheese
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot, chopped
Asparagus, chopped and blanched
1 Yellow Squash, diced and sauteed
3 Button Mushrooms, sliced
Balsamic Vinegar

  1. Pulse the broccoli in a food processor until it is chopped as much as possible. Add one of the cloves of garlic and process some more.
  2. Put the broccoli in some paper towels to squeeze out as much of the water as possible.
  3. In a bowl, mix the broccoli with one egg, and some Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread onto a greased cookie sheet to resemble a pizza crust.
  5. Cook in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or when the edges start to brown.
  6. While the crust is in the oven, saute the shallots and garlic until fragrant. Add just enough Balsamic vinegar to cover the onions, and let reduce.
  7. When the crust comes out of the oven, add your toppings, finishing with the reduction and some more cheese. Put back into the oven to melt the cheese. Cut into pizza slices and enjoy!

I’ve upped the intensity of my yoga practice recently. I can actually get into a triangle head stand and I’m trying to not use the wall. The result are some very sore shoulders, but it’s a great feeling. I’m trying to flatten my stomach out just a little more before Shawn and I go to L.A in March, and I think I can do it.

I’m coming up on my year mark of my yoga practice, and I’m proud of myself. It was an amazing decision to start and I am much healthier because of it. Whatever you decide to do should make you feel just as great as my yoga makes me feel. Don’t give up.

 

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Potted Chili

Posted on December 3, 2015. Filed under: Dining, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Sorry, couldn’t figure out a good pun for that one.

Shawn and I went ice skating last night, Valpo put in a rink and I really wanted to check it out. She had been skating about 3 times before, this was my only second time. But, I didn’t fall, so it’s all good. I didn’t even hold on to the wall…that many times haha.

I had been wanting to make a chili pot pie for a while. I thought a warm chili with a corn bread crust would be the ultimate comfort food. I also wanted to do a vegetarian version because meat is just expensive. This meal (Ok, more like the next 5 meals..there’s a lot guys), plus a week of groceries was just over $50.

I wanted something that would be filling, warming, and healthy. Hard order to fill, maybe. I decided to use sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, asparagus and a bunch of beans. Those are pretty much all my favorite vegetables that I cook.

IMG_20151203_154528

Vegetarian Chili Pot Pie

This recipe is so very easy and can be made in a crock pot, prepped the night before.

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet Potatoes
Asparagus
Brussles Sprouts
Tomato Sauce
Shallots
Jalapenos
Pinto Beans
Chickpeas
Blackbeans
Cornmeal

Vegetarian Chili

2 Sweet Potatoes
1 Bundle Asparagus
10-15 Brussles Sprouts
1 Shallot
2 Jalapenos
30 oz tomato sauce
1 Cup Water
1 Can each, pinto, chick peans, and black beans
Salt, pepper, curry powder, paprika, cayenne, turmeric

  1. Dice the vegetables and layer in your crock pot. Char the jalapeno on your burner before dicing. Cover with the tomato sauce and water, then add the spices and stir.
  2. Cook on high for 3 hours, or low for about 5. Taste to adjust seasoning. Near the end, add the beans.

Drop Cornbread Biscuit Crust
(Based off Martha Stewart)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup shredded cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Transfer to a food processor, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger clumps remaining.

  3. Add the cheese and pulse some more.
  4. Pour in milk; using a rubber spatula, fold milk into dough, working in all directions and incorporating crumbs at the bottom of the bowl, until dough just comes together. The dough will be slightly sticky; do not over mix.

For the Pot Pie
Vegetarian Chili
Drop Biscuit Dough
  1. Pour the chili into small bread pans or ramekins. Place the biscuit dough on top in little mounds. The dough will spread out as it cooks.
  2. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes, or until the biscuit dough is starting to brown.

I hired 2 new stage managers at Gorilla Tango and I’m pretty proud of myself. This isn’t the hardest production stage manager position, but I actually enjoy the added responsibilities. I feel so lucky that I found what I was meant to do with my life. I know so many people who may never find that, even though I really do hope everyone gets to feel the rush and joy of doing something they truly love.

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You Butter-not be lying

Posted on November 7, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

I got a new tattoo the other day, and while he was working on it, we talked about a bunch of things (I’m friends with my tattoo artist, but even if you’re not, it makes the time go by faster to talk to your artist). One of the things he said as that he needed another creative outlet, since his job is centered around drawing and painting. I said that’s why I cook, and he said one of the deepest things I think I have ever heard. “Art doesn’t have to go on a wall”. And he’s right; art is more than just painting, it’s molding, cooking, singing, acting, designing. Art is everywhere, even if you don’t think it’s involved. That’s why you need the arts in school, people.

Ok, time to get off my soap box (I really should use the thing more anyway).

You ever wake up and think “What am I going to do with the extra butternut squash I bought?” Anyone? No? Just me? That’s fine. I got the idea during the day to make a butternut squash chia pudding, but that would only take up half off the squash. What to do with the other? In the middle of driving around (had to recharge my car battery) I came up with a butternut squash risotto, cause, why not? Add some asparagus and you’ve got heaven.

The chia pudding is easy, super easy. The risotto is also easy, just takes patience. It’s one of those stick-to-your-ribs meals, considering the weather dropped 40 degrees in 12 hours…(stupid Midwest falls)

Butternut squash and asparagus Risotto Butternut squash Chia Pudding

Here’s what to get from the store:

Butternut squash
Asparagus
Arborio Rice
Vegetable Broth
Feta Cheese
Spinach
Almond Milk
Chia Seeds

Butternut Squash and Asparagus Risotto

1/2 butternut squash, cubed
1 shallot, diced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
Feta cheese
Salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, garlic powder

  1. Coat the squash in olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger and garlic powder. Roast in a 400 degree oven until fork tender.
  2. Blanche the asparagus in boiling water until bright green; drain and put aside.
  3. Saute the shallots in a large pot with olive oil until fragrant. Add the garlic and saute a little more.
  4. Add the rice and wine, and stir. Add half the broth and cover. Let simmer until the broth is cooked out.
  5. Slowly add the rest of the broth in small batches, stirring each time until the broth is absorbed. This should take about 20 minutes; the rice will look creamy.
  6. Remove from heat and add the asparagus, squash and cheese. Stir to incorporate. Serve topped with fresh spinach and more feta cheese.

Butternut squash Chia Pudding

1/2 butternut squash
3 cups almond milk
3/4 cup chia seeds
Cinnamon, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

  1. Cover the squash in cinnamon, salt, pepper and cayenne. Roast in a 400 degree oven until fork tender.
  2. Scrape the squash from the skin and put in your blender. Add the almond milk and blend until smooth. If you want, you can add honey to sweeten, but the squash is pretty sweet.
  3. Place in jars, and add the chia seeds. Shake to mix. Let sit overnight.

Yoga is one of those practices that you can be perfect one day, then fall out of a pose you’ve never fallen out of the next. But, if you keep with it, stretch a little deeper, add one more sequence, you’ll be surprised at what your body can do. After practicing for 9 months, my muscles have become longer, leaner, and more stretchy. People tell me all the time it looks like I’ve lost a bunch of weight, but in reality, I’ve been the same weight for a few months now; I’ve just become more lean. I’ve also become stronger; the things I can do amaze me. I pushed myself further than I normally do yesterday, and while my legs were shaking by the end, I felt so powerful at the end. Granted, today was one of those days where I fell out of most of my poses. Still felt amazing though.

Bottom line, find whatever exercise makes you feel like that. It could be anything, from walking, to weight lifting, to Zumba; as long as it makes you feel strong and powerful.

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