Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Balsamic Dressing

I invited my lifelong best friend's parents over to my parents house for dinner last weekend so that we could ask her dad to officiate our wedding. I was NERVOUS! LeGreg was making his spaghetti sauce and asked that I make a salad. I opted for a cucumber/tomato/mozzarella salad and assumed my parents would have some of my mom's homemade dressing in the cupboard. Ok FINE, that's a lie, I didnt really think about the dressing at all until we got home from the store, too late to turn back to buy some. After we got home, I twiddled my thumbs a bit and tried to figure out what to do. I took to my Isabel's Cantina cookbook and found just the right recipe for balsamic dressing. It was super easy, and I tossed it over the salad with a little fresh basil on top. 

1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1Tbl packed light brown sugar
1 Tbl minced fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves
1 c. extra virgin olive oil

Mix the vinegar, brown sugar, rosemary and garlic together. As your whisking (I used an immersion blender, which worked wonderfully), drizzle in the olive oil.

That's it!


And deelish.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-free, if you wanna)

I first heard about these cookies on How Sweet It Is, but they're actually from Eat Live Run. When I first looked at the recipe, I was SHOCKED. I had almost everything on that list. Except regular sugar. I know it's weird, but I have zero sugar in my house. Don't judge me.

While looking at stuff to register I told LeGreg, "Well, we obviously have to register for a KitchenAid mixer. Every house needs one of those." To which he appropriately responded, "why do you need one of those? You never even bake!". What a dick, right?


The fact that this recipe is so easy that you can use a spoon to mix it and I didn't even have to use my hand mixer is NOT THE POINT, PEOPLE.

I'm a baker, now.

That's the point.


(Warning: this makes ELEVENTY MILLION cookies)

1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups gluten-free oats (or old fashioned) (I used old fashioned. Or whatever the oatmeal is in my cupboard)
1 10-oz bag dark chocolate chips
1 cup almond butter
2 tbsp ground flax mixed with 6 tbsp warm water
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the coconut oil, almond butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until well blended. Add vanilla extract and ground flax + water water mixture. Keep beating until everything is combined.
In another bowl, mix together the oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips. Mix until just combined—be careful not to overmix!
Roll small balls of dough and place three inches apart on a silpat or parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Do not flatten dough balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffy. Let cool for 5 minutes on sheet tray before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.

First off, I definitely completely forgot the vanilla, and I'm not sure it was missed. Not that I have anything to compare this to, but whatever.

Second off, almond butter is like semi-liquid gold. A cup of it is A LOT. I might have cried a little as I put the almost empty jar that I had just opened that morning back into the fridge. 
They WAY flattened out while they baked, so I used pretty tiny balls of dough. They look crunchy, but they're actually pretty chewy. AND DELICIOUS. 
But a little oily. Between the coconut oil and the almond butter, which is pretty oily itself, they're just a little....oily. I might try to remedy that next time, but I have no idea how yet. 
BUT I'M TOTALLY A BAKER NOW.  So I'm sure I'll expertly figure it out. 
Things REAL bakers do? Forget to buy chocolate chips and use a dark chocolate bar that they find in the back of the freezer (because ugh, you can't binge eat dark chocolate, so why bother?) and chop it up to MAKE chocolate chips. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Easy Avocado-Lime Black Bean Salad

Source (including pic): Oh She Glows

Apparently I'm on a blog stalking roll with another OSG recipe.

I'll just say this.

When she says "easy" here, she is NOT joking.

This literally took about 5 mins to throw together, including the chopping. I added some brown rice, as rice and beans combined makes for a complete protein.

  • Two 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 small shallots, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large avocado, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

Directions: Drain the beans thoroughly and rinse. In a large bowl add the beans and toss with lime juice, cilantro leaves, diced shallot, and ground cumin. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Peel and slice an avocado, and serve the beans at room temperature, with chopped avocado on top or mixed throughout the salad. Note that I did not have any cilantro on hand, but it still tasted delicious! Makes 3-4 servings.
20101102IMG 9400 thumb   Easy Avocado Lime Black Bean Salad

Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl

Source (pics, too): Oh She Glows

That vegan lady strikes again.

As I am officially off of my 6 month eating plan (CAN I GET A AMEN?!), it's time to add some freaking VARIETY back into my diet!! Without blowing it, that is. I don't want to waste all of that hard work, so I got to hunting down some healthy salady foody type thing to keep my eating hole satisfied and intrigued.

I was going to prep a bunch of stuff yesterday for the week, my visit with my irresistibly adorable nephew when predictably late.


Starting to cook when it's already past your bedtime is really super fun, you guys.

But not being prepared leads to snackers anon meetings.

Yield: 6 cups
  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils (yield 2 & 3/4 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup uncooked speltberries (yield 2 cups cooked) OR grain of choice, like brown rice (I used quinoa)
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil, for sautéing
  • 1/2 red onion (~1 & 1/3 cups), chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 3 cups spinach or kale, roughly chopped (I used Lacinato kale) (I used regular ol kale)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 batch of Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing (recipe below)
  • Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
  • Lemon Wedges & lemon zest, to garnish

1. Cook lentils and speltberries (or grain of choice) according to package directions. I did this the night before to save time. Drain and set aside. (To be honest, both lentils and quinoa take a while to cook and I was way tired and impatient and noticed that they have similar cooking times. You see where I'm going with this. I cooked them together. AND IT WORKED.)
2. Prepare the Lightened Up tahini-Lemon dressing in food processor (see below for recipe).
3. In a large skillet over low-medium heat, add your olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic for a few minutes, being careful not to burn. Now add in the chopped red pepper and tomato and sauté for another 7-8 minutes.
4. Stir in the chopped kale or spinach and sauté for another few minutes, just until tender. Stir in the full batch of tahini-Lemon dressing, the cooked & drained grains and lentils, and simmer on low for another few minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the minced parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with lemon wedges and zest. Makes 6 cups.

Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing

Adapted from Tahini-Lemon Dressing.
Yield: Just under 1 cup of dressing
  • 1/4 cup Tahini (it's by the pb in the store, JUST SO YOU KNOW)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional yeast or a bit more, to taste (I have no idea what that is and am too lazy to look it up. I found it in the bulk section at Whole Foods and am trusting that it won't kill me)
  • 2-4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1 tsp kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 3 tbsp water, or as needed

1. In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until smooth. Makes just under 1 cup.

My notes:
Tahini smells weird and is not, in fact, the yogurt sauce that I thought it was. The chick is vegan, Summer, DUH it's not yogurt. It's just like peanut butter, but with sesame seeds instead of peanuts. Weird, right? It separates like a MOFO. Like, rock hard solid crap on the bottom and a ton of oil stuff on the top. Yum?
Also, I was all "omg hey! I totally have some green lentils!!!" and tossed some in with the brown-ish lentils that I had bought. Wrong. SPLIT PEAS ARE NOT LENTILS. I have no explanation. I amaze myself sometimes.
Being tired and cranky and smelling weird things when I made this made me a wee bit hesitant to try it today. But, I did! And it's pretty tasty (although not on my favorites list, to be honest)! And REALLY healthy.
IMG 5706   Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl