Don’t do this

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

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

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

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

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

Spinach Salad with quinoa, mushrooms, black beans and chickpeas

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

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Taco…Wednesday?

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

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

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

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

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

Giant Chicken and Veggie Tacos

Here’s what to get from the store:

Chicken Breast
Asparagus
Zucchini
Black Beans
Chickpeas
Tortilla
Cheddar cheese
Guyere

Giant Chicken and Veggie Taco

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

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

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

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Thank you, kind sirs

Posted on November 10, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Some people shop, others exercise, drink, or paint when they’re stressed. I cook. I used to shop, but I’ve been watching my money and cooking is much more rewarding.

But enough of my feelings of yesterday. Monday I went to the grocery store after not going last week. I got everything I needed, but was trying to figure out what to make this week. I felt that I’ve done a few too many soups/curries in a row and wanted to do something different. I walked around Aldi for what felt the 10th time when I walked past a cute gay couple looking at condiments. One of them said “Oh, for the veggie burgers?” And that threw me back to Shawn’s 30th birthday. She had a party (her birthday is 3 days before mine) and made sweet potato burgers. I couldn’t remember all that was in them, but I figured, how hard could it be? I grabbed a sweet potato and a can of chickpeas and went on my way.

For me, recipes develop themselves in my head over about a day. I come up with the original idea, sometimes mention it to someone, and then finalize it while I’m prepping the ingredients. I worked this morning, and mentioned it to my manager and she said everything sounded a little loose, so I added quinoa. Well, the patty is still a little loose, but it’s almost like eating mashed sweet potatoes on a bun, what could be better?

This recipe is very easy, and while the finished burger isn’t vegan, all you have to do is not use cheese or the Sriracha aioli and it will be vegan. I know I’ve already talked about my love of sweet potatoes, so I won’t delve into why they’re the best.

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Veggie Burger with Sriracha Aioli

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet potato
Canned Chickpeas
Quiona
Sriracha
Sandwich thins
Spinach
Eggs (if you’re doing the aioli)
Smoked gouda (optional)

 

Chickpea Sweet Potato Burger with Sriracha Aioli

1 sweet potato, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
1 small sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup cooked quiona
1 can chickpeas
Salt, pepper, turmeric, paprika, cayenne
Smoked gouda (optional)
Sandwich Thins

For the Aioli

1 egg
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp Sriracha
Salt and pepper

  1. On a sheet pan, put the sweet potato, garlic and onion. Cover in olive oil and season with salt, pepper, turmeric, paprika and cayenne. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the potato is cooked through.
  2. Put the potatoes, onion, garlic and chickpeas in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the quinoa, blend again and taste to adjust seasonings.
  3. Let cool and make the aioli: in a blender, place the egg, garlic, sriracha, lemon juice and seasonings. Blend until frothy. Slowly add the oil while blending until thick. Place in fridge until use.
  4. Preheat your cast iron skillet, but leave the heat on low. Make the mixture into a ball and flatten into the skillet. Brown on both sides then put into a 350 degree oven and add smoked gouda if you like.
  5. While the patty is in the oven, toast your sandwich thins, put spinach on one side and the aioli on the other side. Feel free to add the veggies you like.

Today one of my coworkers brought up a good point. “Vote for who you want, if your person one, you should be happy, but don’t fight about it.” A lot of people I know are mad. I understand, I’m not mad but I’m not happy. While the person who one is awful, his running mate is worse, and his most vocal followers and more worse than that. The next four years are going to be rough. I have many friends that I’m worried for because I’ve already heard of women getting harassed in his name. I have friends who are afraid of conversion therapy and others afraid to face their families. I will stand by all those people. Each and every one of them is an amazing person and doesn’t deserve to be treated badly. This is 2016, not 1950. We need to rise above.

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What do you eat, anyway?

Posted on September 29, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I talk about food at work a lot. It’s an easy thing to talk about and it really gets quiet customers talking. (And I get tired of talking about the weather all the time). I was telling someone about vegan food and he said “what is a vegan meal anyway?” It can be a  valid question, while I do know a lot of people who eat vegan and vegetarian, a wide part of the population doesn’t and I’m sure they don’t realize how good vegan food can be. On top of that, it’s really easy to make.

The weather finally turned and it’s been raining all day today. I walked down to a liquor store and Walgreens and had to giggle to myself. I had on sweatshirt with my hood up, and I passed a few people wearing winter coats.  I sometimes forget that not everyone in the city grew up here. I also forget that while I’m cold right now, some people are WAY colder.

Cold means soup, at least for me. The last time mom and dad came up they brought me some frozen green beans and heirloom tomatoes from their garden. I’m sad I didn’t get any fresh ones (work and moving kind of put a damper on that) but that meant I had to come up with up with something to make with frozen veggies. Soup seemed the best route, specially since the frozen heirlooms have extra water in them to help make a broth.

This recipe is super easy, it does take some time because I used raw chickpeas instead of canned (you can use canned, Aldi didn’t have them the last time I went) and the tomatoes do need to stew down a little bit. Not only is it easy, it’s also vegan and 100% good for you.

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Here’s what to get from the store (if you don’t have fresh veggies)

6 heirloom tomatoes
Chickpeas
Green beans
Carrots
Onion
Asparagus
Corn

Vegetable Soup

6 Heirloom tomatoes, cooked and peeled in their water
1 cup uncooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, diced
2 cobs of corn, corn cut off
1 cup green beans
1 cup asparagus, diced
4 cups water
Salt, pepper, paprika, basil, oregano, red pepper flake

  1. If you already have stewed tomatoes, you can skip this step. If you don’t, quarter the tomatoes, boil them until soft, them remove the skin and set aside.
  2. If you have raw chickpeas, soak a cup of them over night .
  3. In a large saucepan, sweat the onion, carrots and garlic. Once they are translucent, add the tomatoes and their extra water. Stir, season, and squish the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add the uncooked chickpeas. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the fluid is reduced by half. Add the water, season again and let cook until the chickpeas are cooked.
  4. Add the asparagus, corn, and beans. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked. Serve topped with fresh basil.

I’m glad I’ve found yoga, it’s helped me stay focused, and even in a better mood when the weather gets crappy. I’m going to try to not tan this winter, it was my crutch last winter thanks to the warmth. We’ll see how long it lasts.

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Rollin on the Riverrr

Posted on March 29, 2016. Filed under: Appitizers, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Not a bad song, if I say so myself.

Easter was a lot smaller this year than it has been in the past; normally my Aunt Peg hosts, but this year between her eldest getting his PHD and her youngest giving birth to her newest grandson, she decided to not host. (I guess she’s hosting next Sunday, but I’ll be working). So this year, it was just my parents, Sarah and Jacob.

I still wanted to make something. I kept seeing recipes for Buffalo chicken stuff, and decided I was going to do a veggie version. (Sarah’s been a vegetarian since high school). I’m not sure why, but I settled on Buffalo chickpea egg rolls. They’re simple, still pretty healthy, and SUPER good. Like, really good. I put celery in that batch, but I think if I did it again, I wouldn’t put the celery in them again. It ended up getting a little soft for my taste (but dad ate it, and he doesn’t like celery).

This recipe is very easy and takes almost no time at all. I didn’t make the Buffalo sauce, I bought that, but I could have if I’d had more time to prep. I ended up prepping on Thursday.

Buffalo Chickpea Egg Rolls

Here’s what to get from the store:

Chickpeas
Egg roll wrappers
Buffalo Sauce
Celery Sticks
Bleu Cheese Crumbles
Greek  Yogurt
Lemon Juice

Buffalo Chickpea Egg Rolls with Greek Yogurt Bleu Cheese Dip

For the Egg Rolls:
Egg Roll wrappers
Chickpeas
Buffalo Sauce
Bleu Cheese Crumbles
Celery Sticks

For the Dip:
1/2 Container Bleu Cheese Crumbles
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
Splash Lemon Juice
Salt, Pepper, Cayanne

  1. Toss the chickpeas in the Buffalo sauce. To assemble the egg rolls, place one celery stick on the corner, then some chickpeas, then top with bleu cheese crumbles. Roll the rolls tightly, seal with water. Repeat until you feel you’ve made enough. Brush with olive oil, then bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. If you’re pre baking, don’t brush with olive oil, only cook for 5 minutes. Day of, add the oil and cook for another 5.
  2. To make the dip: mix the crumbles, yogurt, juice and spices. Taste to adjust seasonings.
  3. Serve egg rolls topped with extra bleu cheese, more Buffalo sauce and the dip.

I started watching the documentary Cooked on Netflix.  In an episode I watched yesterday, one of the featured interviewees said “Eat whatever you want, you want a whole apple pie? Eat it, you want cookies, cake, eat those to. Just do one thing, make every since part of it. You know what will happen? You won’t make all it” It’s an interesting concept. If you make all of those things, they’ll be better for you than store bought, but, you’ll be so tired and over it afterwards that you won’t want to eat all of it. I’ve kind of always believed it, mainly because I’ve experienced baking a lot of stuff then not wanting to eat it all. And, as you know, I’ve been a huge advocate of cooking for yourself.  You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel physically and mentally after cooking for yourself for a while.

 

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Naan Naan Naan Naan Naan….

Posted on February 5, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Winter is a slow time of the year for the restaurant business. People get their credit card bills from Christmas and freak out, and up here, the weather blows and no one wants to go out. So the result of that is I’m working a little less. But, because of the weather, I haven’t really been going out. (I hate cold. Hate. Hate.Hate)

I was trying to figure out what I was going to cook this week, and for a while was coming up blank. But, some time on Pinterest kept showing me a bunch of curry recipies and I couldn’t say no to that.

The first time I had Indian food was in high school. My boyfriend at the time and his mom took me. They didn’t tell me what I was eating and I had NO CLUE. That made it hard to figure out if I even liked it. After that, I didn’t go until Shawn decided I needed to give the cuisine another try. She knew what she was eating and we had some great stuff. I became sort of addicted to Tikka Masala and Naan bread. And samosas, those things are fabulous.

Tikka Masala is a tomato based sauce flavored with garam masala, along with other spices. I didn’t want to use a recipe for the dish this time (I did for the naan) because I wanted to play around with different stuff.

Vegan Tikka Masala with Tumeric Tofu and Naan

Here’s what to get from the store:

Garam Masala (Had to go to Whole Foods)
Tofu
Tomato Sauce
Coconut milk
Chickpeas
Broccoli
Mushrooms
Jasmine Rice
Yeast

Naan
(From Food Network)

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling, see Cook’s Note*
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Melted butter for slathering on the finished naans
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  1. In a large glass, dissolve the dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with 3/4 cup warm water (about 100 degrees F). Let it sit on your counter until it’s frothy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and baking powder into a large, deep bowl.
  3. Once the yeast is frothy, add the yogurt and the olive oil into the glass, and stir to combine. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients, and gently mix the ingredients together with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, use your hands to mix. It will feel like there isn’t enough flour at first, but keep going until it transforms into a soft, slightly sticky and pliable dough. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let it sit in a warm, draft-free place for 2 to 4 hours.
  4. When you’re ready to roll, make sure you have two bowls on your counter: one with extra flour in it, and one with water. The dough will be extremely soft and sticky-this is good! Separate the dough into 6 equal portions and lightly roll each one in the bowl of extra flour to keep them from sticking to each other.
  5. Shape the naan. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a teardrop shape, narrower at the top than at the bottom. It should be 8 to 9-inches long, 4-inches wide at its widest point and about 1/4-inch thick. Once you’ve formed the general shape, you can also pick it up by one end and wiggle it; the dough’s own weight will stretch it out a little. Repeat this method with the rest of the dough. (If you’re making the gluten-free version, you’ll have better luck pressing the dough out with your fingertips, than rolling.)
  6. Warm a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until it’s nearly smoking. Make sure you have a lid large enough to fit the skillet and have a bowl of melted butter at the ready.
  7. Dampen your hands in the bowl of water and pick up one of your naans, flip-flopping it from one hand to the other to lightly dampen it. Gently lay it in the skillet and set your timer for 1 minute. The dough should start to bubble.
  8. After about 1 minute, flip the naan. It should be blistered and somewhat blackened, don’t worry – that’s typical of traditional naan! Cover the skillet with the lid and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more.
  9. Remove the naan from the skillet, brush with a bit of butter and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish. Repeat with the rest of the naans and serve.

 

Vegan Tikka Masala

1/4 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
3 mushrooms, chopped
3 new potatoes, diced
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can coconut milk
1 15 oz can chickpeas
Handfull Cooked Broccoli
Garam Masala, Tumeric, Corriander, Cummin, Salt, Pepper
Tofu, cubed
Cooked Jasmine Rice

  1. In a skillet with high walls, saute the onion until translucent. Add the garlic, saute some more, and add salt, pepper, and garam masala
  2. Add the potatoes and mushrooms, season some more and saute.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and coconut milk, season a little more, and bring to a boil, then a simmer.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, saute the tofu with salt, pepper, tumeric and cumin until crispy.
  5. Serve over spiced Jasmine rice topped with the tofu and naan on the side.

Last week, my friend Maureen went into the hospital because of a blood clot. The Drs and nurses worked very hard and saved her life. She is doing much better and hopefully will go home soon. I was able to visit her and her devoted husband on Monday and was very glad how well she was doing. I’m constantly reminded of how short life can be, but how strong humans can be.

I’ve had a lot of energy this week, which is great, but then I can’t get to sleep early, which stinks. But I’ve been really happen and that’s all that matters.

 

 

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Comfortably Healthy

Posted on August 28, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

After the past few weeks, and the chilly weather earlier on in the week, I was really wanting some comfort food. Today was finally my first actual day off with (almost) no social things (Shawn did come over for this food) and no work. I woke up to a request to pick up a shift, but I promised myself I wouldn’t do that.I stayed in bed till almost 1, had a great yoga practice, and got some chores done. All day I was looking forward to this dinner.

I really wanted Mac and Cheese and was going to just make regular mac and cheese, but for some reason, I didn’t want to use noodles. If you know me, you know I like my comfort food and desserts in their normal unhealthy form. But, non the less, I decided to switch out the noddles for cauliflower. I was just going to boil it, but Shawn suggested I roast it instead. I already had the chickpeas roasting, so why not? Roasting was a lot better than boiling, for sure. Boiling vegetables seems to take a lot of the crunchy texture out of them.

This recipe is super easy but full of flavor. I topped it with some buffalo roasted chickpeas that added just enough spice.

Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

Here’s what to get from the store:

Cauliflower
Whole Milk
Shallots
Shredded Sharp Cheddar
Chickpeas
Buffalo Sauce
Greek Yogurt
Goat Cheese
Bleu Cheese

Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

1 head cauliflower, diced
2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 1/2 tbsp flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
Olive Oil
Salt, pepper, tumeric, curry powder, paprika

  1. Coat the cauliflower in olive oil, salt, pepper, tumeric, curry powder and paprika. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until brown.
  2. Make your cheese sauce: melt the butter in a pan then add the shallots. Saute until translucent then add the garlic. Once cooked, add the flour. Stir until the flour soaks up the butter and turns a light brown.
  3. Add the milk and let thicken, stirring constantly.
  4. Once the sauce is thickened, add the cheese, a little at a time to melt. Add the cauliflower and coat. Top with bleu cheese, goat cheese, kale, and buffalo roasted chickpeas (recipe below)

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas, drained
Olive Oil
Salt, pepper, tumeric, curry powder, paprika.
Buffalo sauce
2 tbsp of Greek Yogurt

  1. Coat the chickpeas in olive oil and the spices. Roast in a 375 degree oven on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes until crunchy.
  2. Once cooled, toss in the buffalo sauce and Greek yogurt. Add as a garnish to the mac and cheese.

Last night and today were exactly what I needed. I drove up to watch a play festival that I had worked on before, and got to hang out with some of the women I had worked with at Prologue theater. I’ve always felt a friendly connection to them, and being in an actual theater always makes me feel so much better. When you ever hear of people getting a rush from what they love, theater is that for me. Even though I get distracted by the technical side of things when I’m watching a show, it all makes me so much happier.

I know I’ve said this before, but I still can’t get used to waking up with a flat stomach. I actually took a picture today and compared it to a picture I took a few months ago, and I can see why people keep telling me I look slim. It really has taken me such a long time to see the changes, but after today, I can. My hard work has paid off, and I know that others hard work can pay off. But, it is important to realize that what I do is great for me, but it may not be as great for you. Find the routine that works for you. Don’t give up.

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Creamy Goodness!

Posted on June 10, 2015. Filed under: Main Course | Tags: , , , , |

The past 5 or 6 days have kind of been nuts. As I’ve said before, I have a problem with picking up shifts. So I ended up working quite a bit. Which is fine, I don’t mind it, but I have been slightly tired.

A lot of my friends and some of my customers are so confused at why I have two jobs to begin with. People who don’t know me assume that I have kids. My friends just think I’m nuts. The reality of the situation is that I like to work. My hobbies are food and theater. Food costs money, theater can cost money, and I can’t (yet) do both of those things all the time. Add to that the fact that most of my friends seem to be working the same schedule I do, my days off are generally spent by myself. Not that I mind that, but I’m actually a very social person. I actually had someone tell me I’m single because I work to much. Even though I told him that I AM seeing someone right now. The trick is to find someone who works just as much as you do (they tend to be more understanding)

Anyway! I digress. This is a food blog, right? I actually went to the store last week for this recipe, but I didn’t have time to make it last week (which is the point of my rambling).

Grilled Tofu over Tikka Masala

I really love Chicken Tikka Masala, it may be my most favorite Indian dish. This one isn’t a true Tikka Masala only because I didn’t have fresh ginger and even though I swore up and down that I had cardamom and coriander, I couldn’t find either of them among my spices. So the flavor of the sauce isn’t 100% like the original, it is still very good. I found a recipe on epicurious and tried to follow that as much as possible. I ended up having to add more spices at the end to make the flavor that much better.

Here’s what to get from the store:

Extra Firm Tofu
Heavy Cream
Chickpeas
Onion
Tomato sauce
Lentils
Cumin
Paprika
Ginger
Nutmeg
Curry Powder
Tumeric

Chickpea Tikka Masala with Grilled Tofu and Lentils

For the tofu:

Extra firm tofu
Seaseme oil
Lemon Juice
Apple Cider Vinegar
Siracha
Honey
2 cloves garlic
Curry Powder
Tumeric

For the sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups canned tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 can chickpeas, drained

For the lentils

1 cup lentils
1 cup vegetable broth

  1. Marinate your tofu: Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl. Slice the tofu into squares and put into a dish. Pour the marinade over, cover and put in the fridge.
  2. While the tofu is marinating, work on your sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the coriander, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne, and grated ginger.
  3. In a heavy, wide 4-quart pot or sauté pan over moderately high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until light brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to moderate then stir in the spice and ginger mixture. Add the tomato purée, water, heavy cream, and salt, and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to gently simmer the sauce, uncovered, until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add some more if you feel it is off. I added more paprika, cumin, curry powder and tumeric. Add the chickpeas right at the end.
  5. While your sauce is cooking, cook the lentils. Boil them in water until most of the water is cooked out. Add the broth and cook down a little more. Add salt.
  6. While the sauce is reducing, grill your tofu. Pre heat your grill pan and cook only a few pieces at a time. They will cook very quickly, make sure to turn every few moments to get an even char and good grill marks.
  7. To serve: Pour the sauce over the lentils then add your tofu. If you wish, serve with naan bread.

I’m going to try putting pictures with my posts to help get some more readers, Shawn suggested it and I think it’s a good idea. I’ll still be posting them on instagram, but you may noticed pictures popping up on older posts as well.

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Addiction

Posted on May 4, 2015. Filed under: Appitizers | Tags: , , |

So, I have this problem where I constantly think about a food until I just break down and eat it. Recently it’s been food that I’ve been making and NOT crappy fat food (thank GOD). This week it’s been hummus. Hummus is one of my favorite things to eat because it’s healthy and so customizable it’s insane.

I saw this picture on Pinterest for spinach hummus and I’ve been thinking about it all week. I only had a huge can of chickpeas so I made a huge batch of it, which is fine. I didn’t really measure anything for this recipe; most of the time I was just eyeballing everything.

Here’s what to get from the store:

Chickpeas
Spinach
GarlicLemon juice

Spinach Hummus

1 large can chickpeas
3/4 bag spinach
4 cloves garlic, peeled
Siracha, salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil

  1. Put the chickpeas with the garlic in the food processor and turn it on low. Once they have been ground down enough, add the spinach, spices and lemon juice and turn it back on. Drizzle the olive oil in while it is blending and blend until smooth.

I’m randomly off on a Sunday night and I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but hey, it’s kind of nice at the same time?

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Snacking, snacking…snacking

Posted on March 13, 2015. Filed under: Snacks | Tags: |

There are two things that seem to be the hardest thing when you change your eating habits; giving up drinks that aren’t water, and what you snack on. Trust me, I get it. For me, giving up pop was actually pretty easy, I just didn’t want to spend on the money on it and I’m not a huge fan of carbonation. Snacking on the other hand was REALLY hard. I love all things crunchy and salty. Chex mix? Oh yea. Chips and queso dip? You know it. I started to try to fix it a little over a year ago where I would switch other salty snacks for stove popped popcorn. That really helped. That, and I just stopped going to that part of the grocery store (except for the occasional triscuit).

I’ve seen ton of recipes for oven roasted, crispy chickpeas online. Chickpeas are my favorite bean, so I thought, why not? That would be a very healthy snack. Not only was the result very tasty, I ate an entire can’s worth of chickpeas in one setting. I got my basis for these beans from Chow.com but the seasonings are all mine. This is something you can do if you don’t have a ton of time, and they last in a bag at room temperature for about a week (unless you eat them all like I did)

Here’s what to get from the store: (Assuming you have the spices)

Chickpeas

Crispy Oven Roasted Chicpeas

1 can chickpeas, drained
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder

  1. Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and seasonings until coated. Spread on a baking sheet with foil and cook in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Healthy food doesn’t have to taste boring; it’s all about the seasonings you add. Even the little changes you make day to day will have a giant impact on the rest of your life.

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