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vegetarian

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Peanut Butter Chia Breakfast Pudding

February 10, 2014

Chia_Pudding_1

Let’s talk about breakfast. It is, after all, the most important meal of the day, but you already know that, don’t you? I’m always amazed at how many people don’t eat breakfast. Maybe that’s because I go to bed each night thinking about what I’m going to eat each morning for breakfast.

Breakfast gets your ready for the day and prepares you for whatever challenges you may face. Take, for example, when I put too much shredded beef down the disposal all at once on Saturday and it led to a major clog in our basement drain when all the beef tried to go down the pipe at once. Yeah, can you imagine how happy my husband was about that? I imagine he’ll be even less pleased when we get the plumber’s bill today. Thankfully. I had a large, healthy breakfast to keep the hangry (hangry = hungry + angry) at bay while dealing with said plumbing issues.

Since we haven’t been able to use the sink in our kitchen, cooking has been reduced to zero this weekend. We’ve been eating down leftovers from our fridge and freezer and using paper plates, bowls and silverware. This chia pudding has also been on rotation since it doesn’t require a pot/pan to prepare and is incredibly filling. It makes you feel like you can take on the world and fix all the plumbing issues. Okay, maybe that’s an overstatement, but you get the idea.

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If you’re new to the chia pudding game, don’t be afraid of their less than stellar appearance. The chia seeds plump up as they sit in liquid like milk, water or yogurt, taking on a gel-like consistency similar to tapioca. Chia seeds are packed with fiber, omega-3s and calcium, among other things. Plus, when you’re eating them you just feel super healthy. That’s got to count for something, right?

Since a lot of people (including me) are interested in nutrition when it comes to breakfast recipes, I did a rough calculation of the nutrition information in this recipe, not including the bananas or dark chocolate chips and assuming you’re using stevia instead of brown sugar.

Peanut Butter Chia Breakfast Pudding
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Creamy chia pudding made with almond milk and peanut butter is the perfect breakfast when topped with sliced bananas and dark chocolate chips for a bit of decadence.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1 packet stevia or 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Toppings such as sliced bananas or dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In small bowl, stir together the almond milk, chia seeds, peanut butter, stevia, vanilla and cinnamon until well combined. Continue to stir for 1 minute longer.
  2. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes (or overnight) until the chia seeds are plumped and mixture is thick. Top with banana slices and dark chocolate chips before serving.

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Curried Sweet Potato Hummus

January 10, 2014

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It seems like we’ve been in a constant state of football watching over the last three weeks. Does anyone else feel that way? Not that I’m complaining considering my love for football rivals that of my former football player husband. With bowl games and playoff games and the like, we’ve been doing a lot of entertaining as well.

When it comes to entertaining for bowl games and playoff games, I like to keep things pretty simple. Last week I made a big pot of my mom’s amazingly easy chili and served it with corn chips and cheddar cheese. It meant I could keep the soup hot in the slow cooker, people could help themselves when they were hungry, and I could focus on watching the game instead of tending to guests. Which perhaps makes me a bad host now that I think about it.

I’m also a huge fan of serving dips like hummus and layered taco dips because they’re equally as easy and a little more substantial. In the name of mixing things up, I decided to add a little creaminess and sweet flavor to my most recent batch of hummus by using cooked sweet potato and a sweet curry our friend brought back for us from the Philippines when he was home for Christmas. The flavors played so nicely together that I had to find a similar type of curry if you’re interested in buying some for your home. Just follow the link below for a similar curry to the one I used!

SweetPotatoHummus_1

Sweet Potato Hummus 
Makes about 2 cups hummus
Ingredients
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet and spicy curry powder (such as this kind)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on the heat level you like)
1/2 medium sweet potato, peeled, cooked and cut into cubes
2 to 4 tablespoons water
Salty chips (such as pita chips) or veggies for dipping

Directions
In food processor, combine chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, curry powder, salt, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Blend or process until well combined and smooth.

Add the sweet potato and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until smooth. Add enough water to reach desired consistency. I used about 2 tablespoons because I like my hummus a bit on the thicker side. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate.

Happy Cooking!
Madison

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. I recommend and stand behind any products with links listed and receive a small amount of compensation if you purchase a product through these links.

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Beet-Apple Juice

October 22, 2013

Juice_1

It’s Tuesday. Tuesday is way to early to start making complicated recipes that require a lot of brain power, right? I thought so. Now that I’m curbing my caffeine addiction, I’ve been dragging a little bit. I think I’m over the worst of it, but I’m still not on my game 100%. I just keep reminding myself that the worst is over. But then I got a huge zit on my chin and I’m thinking that somehow that is related to my lack of coffee. It’s like my body is trying to tell me something.

So, instead of sharing a recipe that requires a lot of brain power, I’m sharing a stupidly simple recipe for juice. Do you really need a recipe for juice? Probably not. But if you’re looking for a killer combination, can I suggest beets and apples. Apples because they are plentiful these days and beets because they make your juice pretty and are packed with nutrients.

Beet-Apple Juice
4 red beets (or golden beets, but it won’t be as pretty)
4 apples

Instructions
Put in a juicer and drink! :)

Madison

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Making Hummus at Home

October 13, 2013

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Being a vegetarian, I consume a lot of hummus. It’s a great source of protein and makes a super healthy dip to enjoy while watching football games on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It’s no secret that I slather hummus on everything from sandwiches to veggies to pizza.

I’ve known that making hummus at home is easy for a long time, and I’ve even made a couple batches of hummus in the past, but I never got into the habit of regularly making it at home from week to week. Instead, I would shell out a lot of money for hummus at the grocery store. I think what deterred me was the fact that most good hummus recipes called for the inclusion of tahini, or sesame seed paste, in order to get the taste and texture achieved by store brands. And since a jar of tahini can be a little pricier (on par with a nice jar of almond butter) I thought it seemed silly to buy a jar just to use a couple tablespoons in a recipe for hummus. I didn’t really take the time to think about the fact that a single jar of tahini could last me weeks of not months.

For the past couple months, I’ve been making it a weekly routine to whip up a batch of hummus for the week. It’s much less expensive than buying it at the store and the results are delicious. Plus, I love being able to customize the hummus I make and control what ingredients are put into the mix. This recipe has been in heavy rotation at our house, and I think the addition of buffalo wing sauce really punches up the flavor. It’s not so much that you’re overwhelmed with buffalo flavor, just enough to add a little heat. Of course, you could leave out the buffalo sauce and sub a little bit of extra olive oil and water instead.

Buffalo_Hummus_2

Buffalo Hummus
Ingredients
*2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
*1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
*1 to 2 tablespoons water to thin, if necessary/desired
*1/2 to 1 tsp. salt (taste at 1/2 teaspoon and add more salt if desired)
*1/2 teaspoon paprika
*1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

Directions
*Combine all the above ingredients together in a food processor and process 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary, until hummus is smooth and well blended. If desired, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons water to thin the hummus a bit, or omit the water completely for a thicker hummus. Transfer to a plastic storage container to store. Store in refrigerator.

Happy Cooking!
Madison

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Tuscan Kale Salad with Feta

September 11, 2013

Kale_Salad_1

Let’s take a little break from talking about all things travel and talk a bit about food. Since, you know, this is supposed to be a food blog. I think I mentioned that I was heavily influenced by the food we enjoyed while in Tuscany, right? Well in case you missed that tidbit, I was totally enamored with the food we ate in this amazing region of Italy. Actually, I was really surprised at how different the food was as we traveled throughout the country. I naively believed that the cuisine would be very similar everywhere we went. And while there are a lot of similarities from region to region, each place we visited was very distinct.

Joe and I both agreed that the hearty, earthy and complex flavors we tasted in Tuscany were our favorite. I fell head-over-heels for ribolita (a bread, bean and vegetable stew) and the heavy use of spices like rosemary and thyme. While we were at our wine class we learned that many times the types of cuisine present in an are were influenced by the types of wine native to that area. The rich, earthy flavors found in Tuscan cooking perfectly compliment the Chianti and Brunello wines grown in the region. Those Italians know what they’re doing!

Ever since I returned home, I’ve been pulled to earthier flavor profiles and simple, yet tasty dishes that are heavy on the crusty bread. I can’t get enough of that stuff! After returning from Italy, I also had a renewed commitment to cooking with high quality ingredients. Maybe that’s why I shopped entirely at Whole Foods for our groceries this week? Good thing I did because I was able to pick up two bunches of this beautiful Tuscan kale for only $4!

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Prior to my trip to Whole Foods I had been unable to find Tuscan kale (also known as lacinato kale) at the local grocery stores. The leaves of this type of kale are flat rather than ruffled. I really love that there are fewer ribs in this type of kale, meaning you only have to remove the center rib in the kale before cooking. If you can get your hands on this variety, I would highly recommend it.

As for this salad, it’s about as simple as you can get. The kale is seasoned and sauteed in a skillet, then tossed with toasted bread cubes drizzled in olive oil and topped with feta cheese. It’s not directly inspired by any dish we ate while on vacation, but the flavor profile is heavily influenced by our trip, and the dish is ultra satisfying. I’ve enjoyed it for dinner twice already this week!

Tuscan Kale Salad with Feta
Makes 1 meal-sized serving
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups Tuscan kale (aka lacinato kale, which I got at Whole Foods), ribs removed and chopped roughly
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of dried thyme and rosemary
1 thick slice whole grain crusty bread, toasted and cut into cubes
1 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Directions
In large skillet over medium heat, combine the kale and 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil, the salt and thyme and rosemary. Use your hands to work the oil into the kale to coat completely. Cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 6 minutes or until kale is softened and slightly crunchy around the edges. Remove from heat.

Drizzle remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over bread cubes. Add bread cubes to skillet and toss to combine. Transfer to bowl. Top with the cheese. Serve immediately.

Happy Cooking!
Madison

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