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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Stack it

Posted on May 17, 2017. Filed under: Breakfast, Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

The 16th of every month is probably the most responsible day of the month for me. I go to the bank and pay all my bills.Granted, the past few weeks I’ve been overly responsible anyway. Makes for easy living, but slightly boring, for sure. Friends and I are going out tomorrow, it will be quite needed.

After hours of bill paying, cleaning, ect, I had to eat something. I haven’t gone to the grocery store yet, so I don’t have a ton of options, but I do still have options. I still had some sweet potato left (I had bought a huge sweet potato), but I didn’t want to do the same thing I had been doing. I decided to grate it, put it into ramekins, bake it, and top it with black beans and eggs. I have to say, it was pretty perfect. It could be breakfast, I suppose, but not really being a morning person, I made it for dinner.

This recipe is very easy, doesn’t take terribly long and is full of good stuff.

Sweet Potato Stacks with black beans and Eggs

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet Potato
Black Beans
Spinach
Eggs

Sweet Potato Stacks

1/4 sweet potato, grated
Olive Oil
Black Beans
2 Eggs
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, tumeric
Spinach
Sriracha

  1. Mix the sweet potato with some olive oil,  and seasonings. Divide into 2 oil lined ramekins and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the ramekins from the oven, flip over onto a plate with spinach on it. Put the black beans on top.
  3. Cook your eggs however you like, I prefer a runny yolk, then put them on top of the stacks. Put some sriracha on top and enjoy.

Today was the perfect day weather wise. I was able to go and read on the beach for a little bit after I was done with my chores for today. I can’t wait for the summer.

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Who needs em?

Posted on May 11, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

The other day I talked about how I had cut out processed carbs, at least for a few days. I have completly curbed my snacking, no chips, no crackers, nothing. All my snacks have been fruit, vegetables or nuts. Cutting that out, my stomach is flatter and I lost 2 pounds. My muscles have not suffered, so that is good. I had been a little worried that my strength would wain (I also hadn’t been able to exercise since last Friday). That being said, I have the energy and that’s important.

Last night I wasn’t really sure what to make, I was hungry but nothing stood out. Then I remembered that I had some sweet potato left over, and thought that I could make something simular to what I had made the day before, but put it on a spinach salad. I added some pickled red onions and a sriracha honey dressing, and it was fabulous.

I’m not going to post the recipe for the sweet potato part, because it is like the spirilized ones I made the other day. I just cubed the potato instead. I will put the basic recipe for the dressing, though. I don’t ever measure when I make it, everything is to taste.

Here’s what to get from the store:

Spinach salad with roasted veggies, pickled red onions and silken tofu

Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Sriracha
Honey
Lemon Juice

Honey Sriracha Dressing

Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Sriracha
Honey
Lemon Juice
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, tumeric, paprika

  1. In a measuring cup, put equal parts vinegar and oil, then add everything else. Whisk together, and taste to adjust seasonings.

I’ve noticed a lot of the things I made are more “taste to adjust seasonings” I like that, though. It teaches people to actually taste the food they make. If you don’t taste while you’re cooking, how will you know it will be good?

I have been working hard on my exercise as well, I can now do 11 push ups, which is a lot more than I used to be able to. I’m getting stronger all the time, and it feels great.

 

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Scramblin

Posted on May 9, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Recently, Fitbit updated their ap to show some of the nutrients you’re eating. They only track carbs, fat and protein, but it’s a start. I realized that I had been getting way to many processed carbs and not enough protein. I kind of knew that was happening, I’d been buying a lot of snack foods recently. So, I decided to make a change. I cut out all processed carbs, no breads, chips, croutons from work, stuff like that.

Except for yesterday when I shared a piece of cake and some pretzel bites with Kati, I had been doing very well since Friday. I was pretty happy with the results, my stomach is a lot flatter (carbs=bloating!). It’s also super gassy, now that I’m living 100% on fruits and veggies again. I’m going to keep this up until Thursday (or longer, but it’s nice to have a goal) just to see what happens.

I don’t have an issue with carbs, I’ve talked about that before, my issue is with where they come from. The complex carbs that are in fruits and veggies are much better for you than the simple carbs you get from bread, past, sweets, ect. On top of that, fruits and veggies have nutrients that the human body needs, the other stuff is just good for the soul. (I do love pasta, you know that.

After work today I stopped to grab some tofu. Except for the chicken breast I ate on my salad yesterday, I’ve also been (unintentionally) eating vegan. I have to make sure I’m getting protein, and tofu is a great way  to do that. I could only find some silken firm tofu, they had a sale on the other stuff so they were out, and wasn’t sure what to do with it. Then I remembered the spirilizer I got for Christmas and wondered how it would do with a sweet potato.

I’m pretty pleased with the result. Since I had the firm silken tofu, it broke down and it ended up looking like scrambled eggs. So, if you wanted, you could make this for breakfast.

This recipe is pretty easy; since the sweet potato is cut into small rings, it cooks pretty quickly. I was able to get all of this done, prep included, in under an hour. There are a lot of nutrients, and it’s pretty filling. Half a sweet potato will make enough for 2 servings.

Spirilized sweet potato and tofu "scramble"

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet potato
Chickpeas
Button Mushrooms
Mini Sweet Peppers
Firm Silken Tofu.

Sweet Potato and Tofu “Scramble”

1/2 sweet potato
2 button mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 mini sweet peppers, diced
1/4 cup chickpeas
Salt, pepper, tumeric, paprika, chili powder

  1. Cut the sweet potato into a block and send through the spirlizier.
  2. Saute the sweet potato until partially cooked through. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the peppers, mushrooms, season and saute until the peppers are mostly cooked through.
  4. Add the chickpeas, season once again. Taste to adjust, serve with Sriracha, if wanted.

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty impressed with myself. I tend to snack on stuff at work that I shouldn’t but I haven’t touched anything there since last Wednesday. I have a giant issue with snacking, crunchy food items are my favorite things. My goal is to take the last little bit of padding away from my stomach, I’d like to actually see how my abs look. I like having muscles, they’re fun.

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Hassleback, Hasslehof’s lesser known Starchy Cousin

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

I know I’ve shared my love for sweet potatoes many times. They’re great, for pretty much everything you can use white potatoes for. (I do tend to like white mashed potatoes a little more, but sweet mashed is pretty tasty.)

As with a lot of my recent recipes, I got my inspiration while walking around Aldi doing my grocery shopping. I’m not sure why I thought about making hassleback sweet potatoes, maybe it was the new bags of shredded Guyere, or the fact that I just wanted cheese, but cheese and sweet potatoes sounded like a great combination, and I was right.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I was rushed and the potato wasn’t 100% cooked through, but the flavors were still there. The nice thing about sweet potatoes is that while they are sweet, the flavor is really only brought out if you add the stuff to make it sweeter. The only seasoning I used was salt, pepper, crush garlic and olive oil. Those things brought out some of the natural flavor without making it too sweet.

While it takes some time (because sweet potatoes take FOREVER) this is a very simple recipe. And, believe it or not, even though it’s covered in cheese, it’s pretty good for you. Cheese has protein and calicum, which the human body needs, and sweet potatoes have beta carotene, vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. (I did google that info. I’m trying to make sure I get all the nutrients I need. )

Hassleback Sweet Potato with cheese and black beans

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet potato
Black Beans
Guyere
Cheddar
Bleu Cheese

Hassleback Sweet Potato

1 sweet potato
4 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
Cheddar, sliced
Handful shredded Guyere
Handful Bleu cheese
Black Beans
Salt, pepper
Olive Oil

  1. With a sharp knife, make slices through the potato, almost to the bottom but not through it.
  2. Cover the potato in olive oil, salt, pepper and the garlic, making sure the garlic is in the slices as well.
  3. Place the potato in a cast iron skillet or a baking pan. Bake in a 400 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes or until mostly cooked through.
  4. Take the potato out of the oven. Carefully put the sliced cheddar in each slit, put the black beans on top, then the rest of the cheese. Return to the oven and continue baking until the cheese is melted.  Use as a side dish or a main meal.

Using the work out videos is kind of weird for me. On one hand, I don’t have to go to a gym, on the other hand, I’m not 100% sure if I’m doing the moves correctly. Well, at least until the next day when a muscle group hurts. Today it’ the muscles that control rowing, I’m not sure of the name. The muscle soreness was something I missed from when I started doing yoga. Sure, I was progressing, but not much in the way of muscle strength.

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Soupy!

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

I can’t come up with puns right now, no idea why.

My posting has become a little erratic and I apologize for that. I’ve decided I don’t want to post the recipe the same day I make it, but then what happens is that I forget to post for over a week. I’m going to have to go back to posting the day I make the food.

Last time I talked about wanting to make soup but it was still a little to warm for that. Fall is officially here, and it’s started to cool down. (Granted, when I made this, it was still a little on the warm side). I had some sort of squash soup running around my head, and when I went to Aldi they finally had squash, and I settled on butternut. Who doesn’t like butternut squash? It’s delicious.

I wanted to make something creamy and vegan, which is actually really easy in soup if you do it right. Butternut squash adds a creamy element to any dish and the flavor can be amped up if you use a little bit of coconut milk. This recipe was exactly that, it was easy to make, very creamy, had great flavor and was vegan. My only issue is that I had made too much, didn’t have anyone to share it with and couldn’t fit it in my fridge. So I ended up having to waste it, which was depressing, it was awesome.

Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Here’s what to get from the store:

Butternut Squash
Sweet Potato
Jalapenos
Vegetable Broth
Sweet Vadalia Onion
Coconut Milk

Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash, halved
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
2 jalepenos
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 onion, diced
32 oz vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk
Salt, pepper, paprika, sriracha, tumeric, garam masala, fresh basil

  1. Cover the squash and potatoes in olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until soft. Let cool slightly and scrape the squash out of it’s peel.
  2. While the squash and potato are in the oven, scorch the outside of the jalapenos with your stove. Let cool then peel and chop them.
  3. In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the peppers then the vegetable broth, squash and potato. Stir while smashing down the lumps.
  4. Using an emersion blender or a normal blender, blend the soup until smooth. Season and taste. Let simmer for a bit before adding the coconut milk. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve topped with fresh basil and crusty bread.

I had to skip yoga about 4 days the past week. I’m really glad that now I’m in shape it isn’t a huge thing if I do have to skip. Sure, I gained  a few pounds, but then again, people go up and down about 5 pounds a week, so it’s not that big of a deal either. I still feel strong, and that’s amazing.

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In the Morning, I’m making Waffles!

Posted on May 13, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

I can finally eat real food again! My tooth is pretty much done swelling and I’m about to take my last penicillin. I have to say my body was NOT happy about being on the soft food/mostly liquid diet last week. I’m probably going to end up back on it after my root canal, but we’ll see.

I took the spicy sweet potato mash that I made to work the other day, completely forgetting that the habanero marinated and it became a LOT more spicy. I didn’t want to throw it away but I also didn’t know what to do with it. Randomly on Tuesday I thought “Why not make a savory waffle?” Savory waffles have been a thing for a while now, and how hard could it be? Not hard at all, actually. Adding the flour to the mashed toned down the spice quite a bit.

This recipe is beyond easy, and you can use whatever left over mashed potatoes you have in your fridge.

Left Over Sweet Potato Mash Waffle

What to get from the store:

Flour
Baking Powder

Left Over Mashed Waffle

1/4 cup left over mashed potatoes
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder

  1. Mix all the ingredients until smooth.
  2. Oil your waffle iron and preheat it. Place the dough on the iron, close it and cook until browned on both sides. Serve topped with cheese or butter.

Monday I discovered I now have a pair of pants that is to big on my waist and tight on my legs and..my butt! The one good thing about the liquid diet is that I got rid of some of the fat on my stomach and now it’s truly flat. It’s crazy to me and I still don’t believe it. I love that I’m feeling the way a healthy person should.

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Sweetly Spicy

Posted on May 7, 2016. Filed under: Side Dishes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

This week has been a little rough. Monday at work I was eating some soft pretzels and a piece of the salt aggravated a tooth I’ve been ignoring. I woke up in a lot of pain (if you call when I got sleep) and my face was starting to swell. I called a dentist but they couldn’t get me in until today. They suggested I go to the Dr or the ER. I chose the ER because the Dr I’ve been to here in town kind of blows (they misdiagnosed my mono a few years ago). $500 later armed with penicillin and strong pain killers, they sent me on my way. I went into work for a few hours, all the while my face getting bigger (I looked the like elephant man.) Luckily a coworker came in to finish out the shift. Thankfully the swelling has gone down quite a bit, and I have a plan for the dentist. I have a deep cleaning, root canal, a crown and wisdom tooth extraction (they aren’t bothering me, but the dentist said they can cause the same problems I’m having now so…out they go!) I wasn’t sure how good my dental insurance is, and luckily, it’s not bad. It’s going to cover about half of the work, which I find awesome.

Needless to say, solid food has been kind of a no go this week. I tried some of the apps at Blue Pointe’s grand opening (fabulous, go eat there!) and my mouth couldn’t open to wide. Last night I tried a falafal wrap when I took mom out for Mother’s day. I thought that would be fine, but the pain started again when I got home and I had to go to the strong stuff.

Wednesday night I made pureed black beans, carrots and avocado (baby food, essentially). I didn’t post about it because, well, it looked like turds. I wanted to make something yummy today, and for some reason, the jicima at the grocery store was staring back at me.

Jicima is a South American root vegetable with consistency of a potato. The difference between jicima and potatoes is that you can actually eat jicima raw. I didn’t do that, I added it to sweet potatoes and a habanero to make a sweet and spicy mash.

This recipe is easy, but it does take time to cook the starches down. I was really surprised that the jicima took longer to cook than the sweet potato. The habanero adds a nice spice to it, but BE CAREFUL. It’s a very spicy pepper, so you really don’t need more than 1. And, make sure to wash your hands after you handle it. (Ever get jalapeno juice in your eye? Yea, this is worse) Really, this would normally be a side dish, but considering chewing is still hard for me, it was the main course.

Sweet and Spicy Jicma and Sweet Potato Mash with Black Beans and Gorgonzola

Here’s what to get from the store:

Small jicima
Small sweet potato
Habanero Pepper
Gorgonzola
Greek Yogurt
Lemon Juice

Sweet and Spicy Jicima and Sweet Potato Mash

1 small jicima, peeled and diced
1 small sweet potato, diced
1 Habanero
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
2 cloves Garlic
Splash of lemon juice
Salt, Pepper, Tumeric, Paprika
Black Beans

  1. Add the jicima and sweet potato to a pot of salted boiling water. Cook until fork tender, about 45 minutes.
  2. While the starches are cooking, char the habanero on the burner. Cool, then de seed and dice. (Wash.Your.Hands)
  3. Drain the starches and add them to your food processor along with the pepper, Greek Yogurt, lemon juice and spices. Blend until smooth. Taste to adjust seasonings, then add the cheese. Serve topped with black beans and more cheese.

After having to skip my yoga for 2 days due to pain, I decided I had to on Wednesday. It was a great decision. It’s amazing how much endorphin can lift someone’s mood. I can be exhausted and go through my practice and feel so great afterwards.

I’m really excited it’s getting warm out so I can show off more of my awesome new muscles.

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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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Hummus? You Barely Know Us!

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

According to Facebook, 8 years ago yesterday, my college roommate, Katie and I cooked all the food. For not that many people. I get like that sometimes, I start cooking and I can’t stop. Yesterday was another one of those days. I used only half of the sweet potato for my frittatas, and I didn’t want to just leave the rest of it.

So, I decided to make chips. And with chips, I need something to dip the chips in. I have a bad addiction to dipping things. I get made fun of at one of my jobs because I’ll get fries and about 6 different sauces. Anyway, I had seen avocado hummus online before and had all the ingredients, so why not?

This is very easy to make, and very healthy. The chips are oven baked and everything in hummus is good for you, packed with protein and fiber.

Garam Masala Spiced Sweet Potato Chips with Siracha Lime Avocado Hummus

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet Potato
Garam Masala
Chickpeas
Avocado
Lime
Tahini

Garam Masala Spiced Sweet Potato Chips

1 sweet potato
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, Garam Masala, Tumeric

  1. Slice the sweet potato into rounds using your mandoline, if you have one. Toss them in the oil and spices and spread on a baking sheet.
  2. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, making sure to stir. The thinner you cut the chips, the more crispy they will get, but make sure not to burn them!

Siracha Lime Avocado Hummus

1 1/2 avocado (you can use 1, I had a half lying around)
1 can chickpeas
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tahini
Juice of 1 lime
Salt, Pepper
Siracha

  1. In your food processor, dump the can of chickpeas (liquid included), the avocado, garlic, tahini and lime juice. Blend until smooth, then add seasonings and siracha. Blend again, then taste to adjust seasonings.

I may have over done my yoga last night, my back is very sore today. It’s not awful, it’s kind of nice.

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