Happy Dance

Posted on February 2, 2018. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Man, I’m going to gloat for a second, I’m a phenomenal cook. Like, really. Today’s dish actually made me giddy. Cooking itself isn’t really that hard, as long as you can follow directions, you can cook. But, it does take some imagination and willing to try to make a good cook.

A while ago I discovered the chickpea pasta you can buy at the store. Sunday I thought, why can’t I just make it at home? I’ve made other pasta at home, so why not this stuff? Like anything else, there’s a ton of recipes for it online, but I wanted to go no grain, and was able to find a really easy, vegan chickpea pasta from Wholefully.com

This recipe is SUPER easy. The pasta has only 3 ingredients. And, even though it has a nutty flavor while raw, it tastes and feels like normal pasta. It is a little too dry to put through a pasta roller, but it cuts and shapes very well. I decided to do caprese because I did want something light, and the shrimp because it was $6.99 a pound. (That’s a lot of shrimp, people.)

Chickpea and Flax pasta, pre boilShrimp Caprese Chickpea and Flax Pasta

Here’s what to get from the store:

Chickpea flour
Milled Flax seed
Fresh Mozzerella Balls
Fresh Basil
Roma Tomato
Shallot
Raw Shrimp

Chickpea Caprese Pasta
(Pasta recipe from Wholefully.com)

For the pasta

2 tablespoons ground flax seed
6 tablespoons warm water
1-3/4 cup chickpea flour (plus more for rolling)

Shrimp Caprese

6 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 Shallot diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 Roma Tomato, diced
5 leaves basil, diced
1 small mozzarella ball, sliced
Splash of lemon juice
Splash of Balsamic
Salt, pepper, red pepper flake

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flax seed and warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until thick and gelled.
  2. On a large baking board, pile chickpea flour and make a well in the middle. Pour in flax seed mixture in the well.
  3. Begin gently mixing the flour with the flax seed mixture until well combined. Form dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
  4. After resting time is up, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
  5. Divide dough disc in halves or quarters (depending on how big your rolling surface is) and roll out to very, very thin on a floured surface.
  6. Trim dough into desired pasta shapes.
  7. To cook, drop pasta into rapidly boiling water. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until all pasta is cooked through. Keep a close eye on it, because it’ll overcook quickly. It is still delicious when overcooked, just fragile. Drain and serve!
  8. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, saute the shallot and garlic until fragrant.
  9. Add the shrimp, saute until mostly cooked, add the lemon juice then the vinegar.
  10. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to the shrimp along with the tomato and basil. Taste to adjust seasonings
  11. Mix everything together and take off the heat. Add the cheese and mix until incorporated.

The pasta recipe makes more than enough for one serving, but you can wrap the remaining dough and put it in the fridge, it should hold.

The great thing about pasta is that you can make it whatever you want. Since this recipe is vegan, it’s even easier. Don’t want the cheese? Tomato and basil. Add more veggies, hell, cover it in butter and cheese. Pasta, like a lot of the carby foods (tacos, pizza, sandwiches) is so customizable, and I love it.

Had my first 8 am open training shift today, and, of course, my body didn’t want to go to bed last night. The shift was slow, but it went well. That job is awesome.

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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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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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