“Do you like kin-oh-ah?” my mom asked the other day while on the phone. You mean keen-whaaa? I replied snidely kindly. I confess, it’s hard to pronounce. I’m pretty sure I said it wrong the first 20 times. After giving her a hard time, I said, yes, I love it! And it’s nutty flavor. Did you know it’s one of the most complete proteins you could eat? “Well, I’m looking at a recipe that I think you’d like,” she replied. Moments later it was in my inbox. And days later it was in my belly. You could say it was love at first bite.
Step away from the phone. Put down those coupons. Let’s talk through this.
What if I told you that you could make homemade pizza in less time than it takes the pizza man to deliver? Including the crust. Most definitely including the crust. And what if I told you it would taste a trillion times better? And amount to zero calories? Ok, the last part is not true. Read more
Fall has definitely settled in to Chicago. There’s a chill in the air. At least enough of one to make soup. I love soup. Wait, I should take that back. I love hearty chunky soups. Pureed soups are OK. But hearty chunky soups—they make my fall and winter go round.
We have a couple soups up our sleeve, but taco soup is one of our faves. Typically, because we have everything on hand to make it. It’s time you know—I’m not much of a meal planner. A couple posts ago, I told you that I love routine, which I do. But I also love organized spontaneity. Oxymoron, I know. Here’s how it works—I love routine, but I hate meal planning. It’s a little too planned for me. Make sense? I didn’t think so. But somehow it works for us. So, everyday I come home from work to scavenge the fridge and cupboards (such an old school term, but we don’t have a pantry) in hopes that an idea for dinner will pop into my head. Read more
Back to school (for the husband). Back to routine. And back to eating healthy. My, has summer done a number on us. Our consistent workout patterns have been, let’s just say, more organic. Our healthy eating patterns have been in hibernation. And our routine in general has been on vacation. Read more
It’s back-to-school time again. And it’s kinda a big year for us. No, no little ones on the way. It’s Kevin’s (aka graduate school husband) last year of graduate school. Next year, we leave for internship. Time flies. Three short years ago, we married, moved to Chicago, and Kevin started graduate school in hopes of becoming a clinical psychologist. Hopes are beginning to turn into realities. And I’m gonna have to rewrite the first paragraph of my bio. One year closer to dropping the sugar momma title! Read more
My absolute favorite restaurant serves italian white bean hummus with flatbread crisps as an appetizer. (Please promise me you’ll go here if you are ever in the Chicago area.) I could go just for the hummus and maybe a drink. But you know how that goes—if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk.
Because I can’t abstain from the rest of the menu, I learned how to make white bean hummus at home. It’s pretty darn close, and it’s pretty darn good. Although I have yet to try making the flat bread crisps. Not sure if I can pull those off.
Can I tell you the best thing about this hummus? It brings good friends around a table. Put a couple plates of hummus out. Pita chips. Or grilled naan. A bottle of wine. And that’s a recipe for a good evening.
Place beans in a food processor or high powered blender. Add tahini, lemon juice, salt, cumin, and garlic.
Turn the processor on and slowly pour in olive oil. Process until smooth and thick. Add warm water to thin if texture is too thick. Cover and refrigerate.
To serve, place hummus on a plate. Drag the back of a spoon in a swirling pattern around top of hummus (not pictured). Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Accompany with pita chips, naan, or flat bread crisps.
I’m not sure quite what to call this dish. It was born in our tiny little kitchen a couple years ago. We were looking for a healthy dish. Full of flavor. And veggies. With a couple whole grains and some protein. So I looked in the pantry, pulled out a handful of ingredients, and Thai Stir Fry was born. My husband likes to call him Chinese Chili.
This dish is quick, healthy, colorful, and super flavorful. You’ll have dinner on the table in 45 minutes made completely from scratch. That’s right. I timed it. I even spilled a glass of water, cleaned it up, and washed some dishes during the 45 minutes. Call in some help, and you can cut the time down to 30 minutes. This meal will make you look like a super hero.
You’ll need 3 pots for this—one for the rice, one for the veggies, and one for the chicken. You may keel over at the amount of ingredients in this recipe, but most, if not all, will be in your pantry. If you’re not into all the veggies, leave the ones you don’t like out.
Thai Stir Fry serves 5–6
2 packets of Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf (Buy at Whole Foods) Veggies
1 bunch of broccoli, chopped
2 red or yellow peppers, chopped
1 onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 c. frozen edamame, shelled
1/3 c. water
olive oil Chicken + sauce 2 chicken breasts, de-thawed
4 garlic cloves, minced
10 oz. light coconut milk
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. natural peanut butter
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. ginger
squirt of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
1/4 c. water
2 tsp. cornstarch Garnish
1. Rice: Begin cooking rice according to instructions. This will take about 30 minutes.
2. Veggies: Chop veggies and place in large saute pan. Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste. Add water. Cover and steam on medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Chicken: Using kitchen shears, cut chicken into cubes and place directly into pan. (I use a non-stick pan with depth so that it can house the sauce.) Drizzle with sesame oil and cook on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large liquid measuring cup or a bowl, whisk together minced garlic, coconut milk, soy sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, honey, brown sugar, sesame seeds, ginger, and Sriracha sauce. Add into chicken. Allow to cook for another 10 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water. Add to sauce in order to thicken. Stir continuously for 1-2 minutes.
4. Garnish: In a bowl, combine rice, veggies, and chicken. Pour sauce over dish and garnish with cilantro and chopped peanuts. (If you’re like me, add a swirl of Sriracha sauce for added heat.)
TIPS: • If you’re looking to save even more time, buy frozen stir fry veggies instead. This will eliminate some prep work. However, the veggies may not be as crisp. • While we love all the different whole grains we get with the Kashi pilaf, feel free to substitute a different rice. I would recommend using a slow cooking rice. Put it on as soon as you start cooking, and it will be done by the time you have prepared everything else. It’s all about timing. • If you don’t have everything in the pantry, here are some ingredients you can omit without seeing a huge difference: edamame, sesame oil, lime juice, sesame seeds, ginger, and cilantro.
I’ve been a big lazy bum this weekend. Reason being—Broomball.
We played Broomball Friday night, and it did me in for the whole weekend. After all the years of playing competitive soccer, I don’t think my body has ever hurt this bad. Maybe I’m getting old. In hindsight, I should have come armed with knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet. Speaking of helmets, I took a nasty spill about 10 minutes into playing, hitting my head on the ice. A goose egg bump ensued. Being the competitive kamikaze athlete that I am, if you can even still call me an athlete, I kept playing. But, oh, I payed for it the rest of the weekend.
You’re probably thinking—”Does she want some cheese, with that whine?” I’ll pass on the cheese, but I’ll take a cookie instead. And that’s exactly what I did yesterday. I soothed my soul with a healthy chocolate chip cookie. I wasn’t about to try making a new recipe to blog about with my head being a little more foggy than normal. There’s no telling how it would have turned out. So I stuck with what I knew—an oldie but a favorite.
This little gem of a cookie will delight your palette. It’s tiny. Cute. With hints of maple. Filled with dark chocolate. And hidden with healthy morsels of whole wheat flour, oats, walnuts, and honey. Even college students, known for their fast food pizza eating habits, love these cookies.
In a sauce pan, melt butter and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, Whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in bowl.
In food processor or high-powered blender, finely grind oats, and add to flour mixture. Then finely grind walnuts. add to flour mixture.
Into cooled butter mixture, whisk in sugar, honey, egg, and vanilla extract until sugar is dissolved and all ingredients are well combined.
Pour butter mixture into flour mixture, and mix until just combined. (Dough will be somewhat dry.)
Mix in chocolate chips.
Scoop cookies with a spring release scoop or roll in ball by hand. Chocolate chips will have a nasty tendency to drop out of the cookies. Give them a little nudge to stay inside. Roll cookies in turbinado and cinnamon mixture and place on silpat or parchment paper lined pan. Do not flatten.
Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes.
You can also freeze these cookies before baking. Do everything up to step 9. Instead of placing the cookies in the cookies in the oven, place them in the freezer on the cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes. This process is called flash freezing. Once they are frozen or hard, you can put them in a freezer proof bag and store up to 2 months in freezer. When you are ready for a cookie or two, set the cookie(s) out on your pan while preheating the oven. Bake for the same amount of time. You may have to add 2 minutes or so. With this method, you can have a freshly baked cookie instead of eating a week old cookie.
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Go ahead and treat yourself to a cookie. A healthy(ish) one at that!