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
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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Tundra Season is Back

Posted on December 14, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

I’ve lived in the midwest for 31 years. That’s my whole life. So, needless to say, I’m used to the cold. But, that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it; cause I really don’t. Ever since I started eating better and lost weight, I’ve been more sensitive to the cold than in the past.

At the end of last week it dropped down to the 20s and finally snowed. My toes go numb, I need to wear 2 pairs of socks, and attempt to wear 2 pairs of pants (I really wish I had some pants from when I as bigger so leggings would fit better underneath). Most of last week I ate a lot of salads, mainly because I couldn’t think of anything else to cook. But, during my yoga yesterday, I remembered I had some of my parents’ frozen heirloom tomatoes. So, why not make soup? After that decision, my friend Kati said she needed a study break, and we decided we had to make grilled cheese with the tomato soup.

This soup is very easy, vegan, and completly good for you. Besides the tomatoes, there’s black beans, carrots and mushrooms. It is a little chunky in texture, but it is tasty, a little spicy and very warming.

Tomato Veggie Soup

Here’s what to get from the store: (If you don’t have frozen tomatoes)

Stewed canned tomatoes
Tomato sauce
Baby Bella Mushrooms
Vegetable Broth
Black Beans

Tomato Veggie Soup

1 quart stewed tomatoes
16 oz can of tomato sauce
2 carrots, diced
8 cloves garlic, diced
2 shallots, diced
5 baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 16 oz can black beans
32 oz vegetable broth
Salt, black pepper, red pepper, cayenne, turmeric, paprika, basil, paprika
Balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.

  1. In a large stock pot or dutch oven, saute the shallots until translucent. Add the carrots and saute until bright orange. Add the mushrooms and garlic, saute until garlic is cooked through. Season with salt, pepper and other seasonings.
  2. Add the stewed tomatoes and sauce, bring to a boil. Add the black beans.
  3. Once the carrots are cooked through, use your immersion blender (or spoon it into a regular blender) and blend until almost smooth. Add the vegetable broth, stir and bring to a simmer. Taste to adjust seasonings, add the balsamic and lemon juice. Let simmer to bring the flavors together. Serve with some grilled cheese.

This Friday, the first show I did with Gorilla Tango is closing. It’s a bitter sweet moment because I do love that show, but it was getting a little tired and probably needed an update. I’ll be sad to see it go, for sure. This is also the last weekend of shows before the holidays. After that I’ll be jumping in to train 2 new SMs that can hopefully take over when I’m gone with my new show in April and May. Life is changing, and there’s nothing wrong with it, on to bigger and better things.

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I’m out of corny jokes

Posted on April 14, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Or I just can’t think of any for this for some reason.

I don’t know what it is about showers, but they can be very inspiring. Sunday before work while I was taking a shower, I thought “Polenta” I’m not sure if I’ve ever had it, and I’ve never made it, but it can’t be that hard, right? Right, it’s actually super easy.

Surprisingly, it’s also vegan if you don’t use cheese. It’s not the most healthy thing on the face of the planet, but you just have to watch your portion size. It is also pretty light in flavor, which lends itself very well to other flavors.

This whole recipe is very easy, I’m not going to include the sauteed broccoli and tomatoes, just the polenta and the sauce. The polenta does take some time, about 45 minutes, but that’s about it.

Polenta topped with broccoli, tomatoes and a Blackberry Balsamic Mushroom sauce. (And a broken Poached Egg)

Here’s what to get from the store:

Shredded Cheese (Optional)
Blackberry Wine
Balsamic Vinegar
Button Mushrooms
Red Onion


5 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
Salt, pepper
Shredded Cheese (Optional)

  1. Place the water with a teaspoon of salt in a large pot on the stove. Add the cornmeal and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil, making sure to stir. Once the mixture has thickened, lower the heat and let cook. Make sure to stir every once in a while. The grains will be swollen and taste like corn.

Blackberry Balsamic Mushroom Sauce

3 button mushrooms, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1 cup blackberry wine
1 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt, black and red pepper, paprika, ground mustard

  1. Saute the onions with salt and pepper until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and garlic, saute until the garlic is cooked.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the wine and bring to a rolling boil. Add the vinegar and spices, and let reduce by about half. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve over the polenta with sauteed broccoli and tomatoes.

My last day at the wing place was a little bitter sweet. While I had been there for 6 years, most of the crew was no longer the same, they didn’t feel like the family I had first gotten to know there. I know that I had been drifting from them for a while; just as they had been drifting from themselves, but the money was so addicting. I’m glad to finally be able to move on to better things. My move is becoming more real and I am so excited. Now all I need is for apartments with July availability to start showing up.

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Posted on February 18, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Besides my family, there are only 3 people I exchange presents with at Christmas now, Shawn, Neil and Maureen. I’ve become Shawn’s Amazon shopper, and she’s become my Macy’s shopper, works out great. Neil and Maureen always ask me what I like, and I never know. This year, I said ramekins. They were something I didn’t have…or have room for, but still, something every cook should have.

I’ve been wondering for about 2 months now what I should make in them first. I don’t know why I thought of this (I think I’d seen something like it before?) but sometime on Monday I thought “Little Frittatas!” And, instead of a crust, why not sweet potatoes? I know the sweet potato crust has shown up on Pinterest a few times.

If you exercise a lot, you need a lot of protein to make sure your muscles grow correctly. Normally I throw a hard boiled egg and black beans on my salad, (I have some REALLY smelly gas…the burlesque girls don’t care, the server and bartender coworkers freak out a little bit…sorry ladies, this is what a healthy colon smells like. OK TMI, I get it). Back to the original story, I wanted something different. I lengthened my yoga practice again so I’ve been building more muscle. Longer yoga practice also means higher metabolism, and I honestly thought they would fill me up (they didn’t).

This recipe is very easy and very customizeable. If you don’t like something I used, you can always switch it out. The whole thing is very healthy because the crust is sweet potato and not a normal  crust.

Spinach, Mushroom, and Pepper Frittata with a Sweet Potato Crust

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet potato
Brussels Sprouts
Red Pepper
Shredded Parmesan

Mini Frittatas with Sweet Potato Crust

1/2 sweet potato, cut in rounds
1 small shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 Brussels Sprouts, chopped
Diced Red Bell Pepper
1 Full egg plus 1 egg white
Handful Spinach

Handful Shredded ParmesanSalt, Pepper

  1. Cut your sweet potato into thin rounds, using a mandoline. Grease the ramekins with olive oil. Put the rounds into the ramekins to make a crust. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. When you take the crust out, lower the oven to 325
  2. While the crust is cooking, saute the vegetables with salt and pepper.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs then add the vegetables and a little bit of cheese.
  4. Put the egg and veggie mixture into the prepared ramekins. Bake for another 10 minutes, top with more cheese, then bake another 10, or until the eggs are cooked through. Top with Sriracha, if you like.

I’ve been SO HUNGRY recently. Problem is, when I get hungry, I get very thirsty. I get thirsty, I drink my weight in water. I discovered, the more hydrated you are, the less sleep you need. Doesn’t matter what I’m doing, I can be awake a lot longer.

Along with the hunger, I’ve had a lot more energy too. I’ve had a lot over the past year, but it’s increased a lot over the past month. I’m not complaining, I’m just surprised how much I can do. I’ve added another sequence of warrior poses and sun salutation to my daily yoga practice, and while it’s hard, it’s not has hard as I thought. I’m so much stronger now, and I can feel myself getting much stronger. It’s really cool.

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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:

Parmesan Cheese
Yellow Squash
Button Mushrooms

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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Stuffin it up!

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

I was going to write this post yesterday..but I was SO UNCOMFORTABLE from all the food I ate.

Ok, I didn’t really eat as much as I thought I would. Ever since my body changed a little bit, I can’t eat a whole bunch before getting really stuffed. I also bloat so much it looks like I have a mini food baby. It’s weird.

This year my mom did Thanksgiving. Normally my Aunt Peg and Uncle Dan do it, but Aunt Peg was helping with a doctoral she wanted to focus on that. I get it, it’s a few hundred pages to edit. So instead of having about 10-15 people, there were just 5. Now that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a lot of food. Mom still made a whole turkey..and 3 pies. I still wanted to have some appetizers as well. I’ve been thinking about baked jalapeno poppers and I HAD to make stuffed mushrooms (Aunt Peg always does them, doesn’t feel like a holiday without them). I did both recipes two ways, with and without meat, for Sarah the vegetarian. She actually doesn’t eat meat, unlike me who still does from time to time.

Sarah and Jacob also got a new dog, my puppy nephew, Odie. That meant I had to make home made dog treats. I didn’t get a picture of those, but I saw his fuzzy face and just had to give him all the treats.


All these recipes are very easy and can be prepped ahead of time to be baked the next day.


Quiona or Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms


Baked Jalapeno Poppers with blackberry bbq sauce

Here’s what to get from the store:

Large jalepenos
Cream Cheese
Sharp Cheddar
Shredded Gouda
Crescent Dough
Button Mushrooms
Mild Italian Sausage
Brown Sugar
Hoisen Sauce
Whole Wheat Flour

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 Cup quiona, cooked
2 Mild Italian Sausages
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
Shredded Cheddar and Gouda
Button Mushrooms
Salt, Pepper, curry powder, paprika

  1. Cook the quiona, add cheeses and spices, set aside.
  2. Brown the meat, adding garlic, salt and pepper near the end.
  3. Remove the stems of the mushrooms and scrape out the black gills. Stuff with either the sausage or quiona.
  4. Bake in a 325 degree oven until browned.

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

2 Cans Cresent Roll Dough
2 8 oz blocks cream cheese, softened
1/2 cp shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cp shredded gouda
Garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper

  1. Slice the jalapenos in half length wise and remove the seeds.
  2. Mix the cream cheese with shredded cheeses and spices.
  3. Stuff the cream cheese mixture into the jalapenos. Wrap a slice of bacon (optional) then a piece of the crescent dough.
  4. Bake in a 325 degree oven until crescents are browned. Serve with Blackberry BBQ Sauce (recipe below)

Blackberry BBQ Sauce
(I didn’t measure anything for this..sorry!!)

Apple Cider Vinegar
Brown Sugar
Hoisen Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
Salt, pepper, garlic powder

  1. Mix everything in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Add the flour to thicken. Take off the heat and blend with an immersion blender.

Homemade Dog Treats
(Based off a recipe from Damn Delicious)

2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
3 cups whole wheat flour, (I used 2, air here is DRY)
Shredded Cheddar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky.
  3. Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely.

I’m getting a little frustrated with all the global negativity that’s been surrounding me. It’s insane that people are trying to create the same problems we’ve been through many times in the past. I’m about to start getting rid of anyone who posts anything raciest or anti-Muslim or “war on Christmas” I’m pretty much done. If you refuse to at least see the other side of the story, there’s almost no point in trying to talk to you.

Ok. Rant over. Trying to get around SAD is hard, but I’m pushing through.

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Posted on September 17, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Does that work? No, I don’t think it is…I don’t know where the dad jokes came from, but, here they are.

I have to say, I have been very impressed with the younger crowd I’ve been serving and very dissapointed in the older crowed I’ve been serving. I don’t know what happened, but instead of the older crowd being polite and tipping well, they’re being rude and yelling at me while I’m at other table and the kids are tipping like they’re made of money. So, in other words, today was kind of stupid at work.

After the success of my pho, I wanted to make a curry. I searched online for a few recipes but I really didn’t like any of them. I decided to wing it instead, and that was the best decision I’ve ever made. My curry is probably the best thing I’ve ever made, and I made it using techniques I’d seen on Chopped a few times and mixed it with a technique I used for the Pho. The only recipe I actually used was for the roti I had on the side, and I honestly didn’t even need it.

This curry is perfectly spiced so you don’t burn yourself, but still burns enough. The flavor is some of the best I’ve ever created.(And, I think, it’s vegan) Yes, that’s overly cocky, but I have never been so proud of something I’ve made before.

This is actually a pretty easy thing to create, but it does take some time. I tried to only make one serving, and I still got 2 somehow. (Not complaining).

Coconut curry with Tofu, Chickpeas, and Veggies

Here’s what to get from the store:

Firm Tofu
Red Curry Paste
Coconut Milk
Fresh Ginger
Jasmine Rice
Fresh Cilantro
Coconut Oil
Wheat Flour

Coconut Curry with Tofu and Chickpeas

1 cinnamon stick
2 full cloves
1 tsp diced fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
1/4 red onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 piece of celery, diced
1 can of coconut milk
1/2 jar of red curry paste
1 Can of Chickpeas
1 cup jasmine rice
Fresh Cilantro
Red Pepper flakes, tumeric, cummin, salt and pepper
Firm tofu, cubed
Coconut oil
Olive Oil

  1. Toast the cloves and cinnamon until slightly charred. Add the fresh ginger, toast for another half minute.
  2. Add a spoon full of coconut oil to the pan. As it melts, add the onion, celery, and carrots. Saute until the onions are fragrant. Add the garlic and saute a little more.
  3. Add the coconut milk, curry paste, mushrooms and seasonings. Bring to a boil, keep stiring and let reduce. Taste to adjust seasonings.
  4. While the curry is reducing, cook the rice like you normally would, in boiling water until it soaks up the water. Add cilantro, salt and pepper.
  5. Coat the tofu in siracha, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pan fry until crispy. Add the tofu and chickpeas to the curry and mix well.
  6. To serve, put the rice on the bottom and spoon the curry on top. Serve with roti (recipe below)

(From, All Recipes)

2 cups durum wheat flour (Or regular wheat flour)
1/2 Tsp Salt
3/4 cup water

1 tbsp Water


  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, water and oil, until the mixture pulls away from the sides. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Knead until smooth and pliable, about 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat an unoiled skillet or tava to medium high heat. Divide dough into 12 equal parts, form into rounds and cover with a damp cloth. Flatten the balls with the palm of your hand, then use a rolling pin to roll out each piece into a 6 to 8 inch diameter round.
  3. Cook the roti for 1 minute before turning over, then turn again after another minute. The roti should have some darker brown spots when finished. Best served warm.
At the beginning of the week I thought about picking up a shift for tomorrow night, my only night this week. But, I ended up working a full 16 hours last night and decided to not press the matter. That, and all my bills for next month are paid, so it’s not like I HAVE to work. I SHOULD buy myself something fun. Problem is, I’m super picky. I’m probably going to spend some time online shopping and maybe buy some things….we’ll see.

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Doesn’t Have to be Hard

Posted on June 13, 2015. Filed under: Main Course | Tags: , , , |

Good food doesn’t have to be hard, and healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. I feel like people forget those things quite a bit. I try to live my food life pretty simply, even though it doesn’t really look like it sometimes. Good food can actually be very easy and very healthy. The salad I make for myself most days is very easy (just some chopping), very healthy, and very delicious.

The biggest excuse I hear from a lot of people is that they don’t have time to cook healthy, fast food is easier and quicker. While on the surface that’s true, all you need is a little bit of planning. I always have bananas, apples and Greek yogurt in my fridge. Those are quick snacks that are more healthy than fast food and even cheaper. Not only that, but fruit and anything filled with fiber or protein will fill you up more than the burger you would be eating. That, and you don’t have to refrigerate apples and bananas so it’s perfect if you don’t work in a place with a fridge.

Today’s recipe uses the left over tofu from the Tikka Masala I made earlier on in the week with a few added ingredients. Cook time was just under twenty minutes.

Grilled Tofu Skewers over Chopped Spinach

Here’s what to get from the store (assuming you have left over tofu and Tikka Masala sauce)

Mini Sweet Peppers
Red Onion
Button Mushrooms
Fresh Spinach
Lemon Juice

Grilled Tofu Skewers Over Spinach

Marinated Tofu
Mini Sweet Peppers, Halved
Button Mushrooms, Halved
Red Onion
Tikka Masala Sauce
Spinach, Diced
Radish, Chopped
Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper

  1. Put the mushrooms, peppers, red onion and tofu on skewers. Place on pre heated grilled pan, turning every few moments to grill evenly on each side.
  2. While the skewers are cooking, dress the spinach in lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix with the radishes.
  3. Once the skewers are almost done cooking, baste both sides with the Tikka Masala sauce and grill a little longer.
  4. Remove everything from the skewers and add to the spinach.

I love grilling peppers because it brings out the sweetness of the peppers and while adding that beautiful grilled chard flavor we all love.

I remember when I used to get filled up by a recipe like this, but not so much anymore. I had grapes for dessert for dessert and now I’m full (so much fiber!) but it won’t last terribly long, I’ll probably have to bring a smoothie to work with me tonight.

This coming week I have two whole days off, even though I want to pick up shifts I’m trying to make myself take at least one day just for myself. We’ll see what happens…I really need to go to the beach….

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Wait…it’s a virtue?

Posted on March 17, 2015. Filed under: Main Course | Tags: , , |

If you know me, you know I do things pretty quickly. I’m not sure why, I’ve always wanted to do things faster than every one else. I was the first done with tests in school, I even try to get out first when I close the bar at work. I guess you can say that I’m not really that patient. My brain is moving quickly, which means I’M moving quickly. I’m like that when I’m cooking (weirdly enough, not when I’m waiting on other people to cook the food I’m serving). I generally turn the heat up a little higher so I can get things done faster (I need to do Chopped, 20 minute appetizer? I got that in the bag!) But, some things need to be done a little slower. I’m pretty good with dealing with things that take a long time to cook, but I’m not doing much; for instance, my 2 day turkey chilli. But, things like that are very inactive cooking time. Other things, you need to be more active. I forgot this when I decided to make risotto for dinner.

Risotto is one of those things that takes a lot of work. There are many steps and you need to be staring at it while it cooks to make sure everything is cooking correctly. Not going to lie, I was staring at it a little too much and it felt like I was watching paint dry. That being said, the hour and a half of work I put into this dish was WELL worth it.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that healthy food takes too much time; I get it. That’s why most of my recipes take under a half hour to make. People also say that good food isn’t healthy, that’s just a complete lie. While this dish is very creamy and full of starch, it’s not that bad for you.  Good food that is good for you needs just a few things: fresh ingredients and good spices. That’s it. You don’t need to cover it in fat, or deep fry it, or cover it in bacon (I know, I said it), you just need to learn how to season. I feel like a broken record, but seasoning makes the difference between ok food and really good food.

This recipe takes a while, but it’s worth it. Make it as a day off meal or a weekend dinner. It makes a lot so you can feed a ton of people and EVERYONE will like it. I used Alton Brown’s recipe, and he calls for wild mushrooms; I splurged and used shiitake. He also didn’t call for garlic, but you know I added a few cloves. Don’t be afraid of this; it seems difficult, but it really isn’t.

Asparagus and Shiitake Risotto

Here’s what to get from the store:

Fresh Mushrooms
Vegetable or beef broth
Arboiro rice (it’ll either be in the international section or the soup section…stupid Town and Country)
Dry white wine (I used Pinot)
Parmesean Cheese

Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto
(From, Alton Brown)

6 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Arborio rice
5 ounces wild mushrooms, cooked and coarsely chopped, approximately 3/4 cup
7 ounces asparagus, cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces, approximately 1 1/2 cups
2 ounces grated Parmesan, approximately 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  1. In an electric kettle or medium saucepan with a lid, combine chicken broth and white wine and heat just to simmering. Keep warm.
  2. In a large 3 to 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the grains are translucent around the edges. Be careful not to allow the grains or the onions to brown.
  3. Reduce the heat to low. Add enough of the wine and chicken stock just to cover the top of the rice. Stir or move the pan often, until the liquid is completely absorbed into rice. Once absorbed, add another amount of liquid just to cover the rice and continue stirring or moving as before. There should be just enough liquid left to repeat 1 more time. It should take approximately 35 to 40 minutes for all of the liquid to be absorbed. After the last addition of liquid has been mostly absorbed, add the mushrooms and asparagus and stir until risotto is creamy and asparagus is heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, lemon zest, and nutmeg. Taste and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Alton uses ounces because they are more accurate, but if you don’t have a kitchen scale, don’t worry, I don’t have one either.

Try something different today, you may be surprised at what you end up liking.

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Posted on March 23, 2012. Filed under: Breakfast, Main Course | Tags: , , , |

Every once in a while, probably for about a week or two, I eat eggs pretty much every day. It’s not planned or anything, I just wake up one day wanting eggs, so I make a lot of egg dishes. Luckily, eggs are very versatile and you can do a lot with them. Earlier on the week I made eggs in a basket (Matt insists on calling them Toad in a hole) with whole wheat bagels instead of bread. Why? Cause the idea popped into my head and that was all I could think of, that, and I had no actual bread.

The other day I saw a picture of some fried eggs on a tortilla, and thought that was good. Yesterday I bought pita to make a sandwich, and decided to try the same with pita bread. The result was pretty delicious. The only thing I would have changed would be to not use so much olive oil when I toast the pita, the bread soaks up a LOT. I ended up pulling some out with paper towels. I also had the pan too hot, and my over easy eggs quickly had to turn  into scrambled, but that ended up working out better. Enjoy!

Eggs on Pita

1 pita bread
Olive Oil
Small handful fresh mushrooms
2 eggs
Handful of fresh spinach
Feta Cheese
Salt and pepper

  1. Heat a skillet with some olive oil to medium high heat. Toast the pita on both sides until dark brown.
  2. Saute the mushrooms in the same skillet, and top the pita.
  3. Cook the eggs however you like,  I suggest fried or scrambled, don’t forget salt and pepper!. Top the pita with the eggs, handful of spinach and feta cheese. Eat it with a fork or knife, or squish it up into a sandwich.
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