{Foodie Friday} Go To Recipes

I don’t have one particular recipe to share but here are a couple recipes I’ve been loving lately that are super easy. I’m a huge fan of easy recipes if you couldn’t tell. I’m quite proud that I’ve done really good eating in since Adam has been gone on his two week training. They were both (mostly) healthy too! #proud

{pita pizza}

{Personalized Pita Pizzas}
whole wheat pitas from Trader Joes
Sauce (I used organic from TJ’s – about 4 Tbsp spread evenly)
mozzarella cheese (I used it generously – put as much cheese as you like)
mushrooms cleaned and chopped

Normally on my pizzas I’ll also include peppers, onions, broccoli and spinach but I was out of the veggies so I went with just a mushroom pizza which worked for me. I would also consider adding some sausage slices.

Preheat oven to 350
Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted

{burrito & rice}

 {Tempeh Tacos & Spanish Rice}

Tempeh grated finely
Spinach/lettuce mix
Cherry Tomatoes sliced
Whole Wheat wrap
1 T sour cream
dash of mexican blend shredded cheese
2 T salsa of your choice
1 pkt taco seasoning of choice

Grate tempeh, cook in fry pan. Add taco seasoning and follow directions til cooked fully.

Not sure why I put this on the  wrap since it’s usually too big to wrap, one of these times I’m going to try baking the wrap so I can make a neat type of taco salad. But it’s still delightful and satisfying and one of my favorite dishes.

I struggled to get up this morning so after work I’m going to go to a 5pm yoga class and possibly a bike ride after, if only a short one.  I figure it’ll be a nice way to kick off the weekend before my swim/bike BRICK tomorrow.

What are some of your favorite go to meals when you’re super busy? 

 

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Running Streak

Sooo….I noticed yesterday on the Twittersphere that Runners World is doing a  running streak from Memorial Day to Independence Day. (At least) one mile per day. As fast or as slow as you want. I missed the one from Thanksgiving to New Years – bummer – but I’m stoked to get in on some running challenges.

I can do that. Never mind that I’ve failed every photo challenge I’ve tried since January but this time? Well this is different. I can’t “forget” to run. That doesn’t happen. I get lazy sure but this is a reason NOT TO. Right? Right.

Adam’s going on his two week training on June 3 through the 18th. This gives me at least another 38 miles to my mileage. I’m about 13 miles away from hitting 250 which I’m hoping to get by this weekends end. Then it’ll be onward to 300! Maybe I can finally get that 75 mile month I’ve been chasing after and hit like…325! I won’t have a 1000 mile 2012 but I could maybe hit 750 right?

Are you in?

On another note…

Last week Whole Foods had $1 burgers. I may have instructed the husband to stock the eff up. Which he did. Among that deal were salmon burgers which we cooked up last night and oh em gee.

I cooked up some sweet potatoes. I threw my salmon burger on a bed of spinach, added some tzatziki sauce from TJ’s. It was…quite noms.

I initially thought about putting some soy sauce on top – I think next time I’ll have make a soy type glaze for them. That would be even more nom.

I’m still not super great with sweet potatoes – generally I’ll do like salsa and black beans but I didn’t think that would fit with the salmon. It would have though ohhh it would have. Hindsight is always 20/20…especially with food. I’m not too experimental with the stove – I cook and eat largely what I know, so this was kind of a step for me (even though I love Salmon…usually with sushi…or something similar). This is also probably why you all see the same FIVE recipes over and over again (okay maybe like ten…) but then again, I’m not trying to be a food blogger so it’s okay.

How do you experiment in the kitchen? Where do you find inspiration??

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Me time & A Recipe

I should have saved this for Foodie Friday but whatevs.

Hubs had a thing last night for his job search so I was on my own for a few hours. I spent time cleaning the tables, the kitchen, finishing laundry and cooking a nice meal. It was a nice relaxing night after all was said and done.

Baked Cheesy Ziti with Sausage

Ingredients
whole wheat pasta
skim ricotta
sausage (I used TJ sweet apple chicken sausage)
1 egg
mozzarella cheese
sauce of your choice – i used 3 cheese

Cook sausage and pasta as directed. Mix ricotta cheese with an egg and italian seasoning. Mix pasta, ricotta mix, sauce and sausage in pot. Move to casserole dish. Top with remaining sauce, and mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes (I baked for 20 at 400 degrees and it was a little more crispy than I would have preferred)

 Donezo and a little over cooked? Tasted fine to me!

It was a pretty tasty dish. I’m pretty stoked that I have more for lunch tomorrow. I know it wasn’t the healthiest of dishes but I live by the motto that everything is fine in moderation.

I spent the rest of the night catching up on bad television and getting rid of junk mail. There’s something incredibly refreshing about purging crap from the house.

Time for bed – gotta run in the morning since I’m going to a happy hour and hopefully will have more info about checking another item off the 30 before 30 – may be joining a team for the Miami to Florida Keys Ragnar Relay in January! (!!!!) More info soon!

What do you do during “me time”??

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Foodie Friday: Improv Edition

The other night I improved. I’m not really much of an improv artist, I usually stick to recipes I know and modify to my taste or just stick to a recipe in full.

So the other night I was jonesing for mac and cheese. But soon realized that I didn’t have the Annie’s mac and cheese that I love oh so much (seriously, I can down a box of that on my OWN…) then i saw nacho chips…and maybe I wanted nachos. Seriously, when I don’t know what I’m craving to eat, I can be the most indecisive person EVER. Especially when I don’t have a menu.

So a friend of mine suggested I make my own mac and cheese.

So I quickly looked up recipes and was like, cheese? milk? butter? noodles? I’ve got all that. I kind of hemmed and hawed for a minute but then cooked it up.

Noodles.
~1 c. 4 cheese mexican blend
1 c. almond milk
3 T butter
~1 c. mozzarella cheese
2 dashes of parmesan cheese
1 c. frozen organic broccoli

cook pasta as directed, add frozen (or fresh broccoli) when pasta is close to done to blanche for about 2 minutes or until cooked. Melt butter in separate sauce pan with almond milk (or skim) when melted, add cheese and melt cheese until soupy. When pasta is cooked, drain and return to pot. Stir well to mix broccoli in. (set some pasta aside if you want – I did to use here) Add cheese and mix well. May be stringy (depending on what type of cheese you use. I used what I had. Would have preferred cheddar though…). Added salsa to top and wham bam thank you ma’am – it’s like a macaroni and cheese nacho plate without the chips.

All in all? A tasty, quick, improvised meal. I’m less and less afraid of improving 🙂 And I’m looking forward to more foodie friday posts for you all!

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Foodie Friday – Thanksgiving Edition

Yesterday was a really tough day. Well, tough in the sense that I missed family and the husband with an aching in my heart. Thanksgiving is lonely when you’re not surrounded by half a dozen cousins and aunts and uncles – my family is a boisterous bunch and even at hubs’s family’s house there’s always hustling and bustling. So yesterday was quiet. A nice quiet but a lonely quiet no less.

But not so tough that I spent all day alone. I spent the morning running 5 miles in the Fleet Feet Turkey Trot (SO FUN!) I finished in 54 minutes or so – it was about 5.15 miles according to Garmin.

Then i went home. Lounged. Relaxed. Had a date with my foam roller (you know, typical post run activities)

Then I cooked. I had dinner with Sarah and her family – who opened up their lovely home to take in my Thanksgiving orphaned self. I had a few options but this one was close to home which meant the most to me.

So this Foodie Friday – I’m sharing one of my favorite Turkey Day traditions.

Stuffing.

Apple Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients

1 bag large size of stuffing mix (I used a bag and a half of the organic stuff from Whole Foods)
1 1lb bulk sausage (I used a turkey apple stuffing)
2 apples
1 c. chicken broth
1c. apple juice or cider.
1/2 large sweet onion (~3/4 c.)
2-3 stalks celery (~ 3/4 c.)

Directions

Cook up the sausage make sure it is crumbly ( broken up) then drain. Slice onion and celery and heat on stove until just cooked.

Slice and dice up apples – you can leave the skin on if you choose. Mix apple, sausage, celery and onion in large bowl. Add the chicken broth and apple juice (or cider which ever you choose to use) and mix with stuffing mix. If you don’t think it’s moist enough add extra apple juice or chicken broth.

Evenly distribute to an oven safe baking dish, bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.

For a stuffing, I love that it’s full of fresher ingredients than most and that you can totally healthify this recipe with other veggies if you like – carrots anyone??

I got this recipe from my father-in-law who is an amazing cook. It’s a favorite among hubs’s family and since I’ve been a stuffing hoarder since I was a wee one – my sister and I used to fight over the leftovers. My mother however, was more of a Stove Top kind of cook so this recipe? Converted me to more “home made” stuffings and has been a favorite since I had my first holiday in Connecticut.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving/Holiday recipe??

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Recipe: Veggie Tart

I’ve been cooking a lot this week. Given my pre-detox/cleanse state, I’ve been cooking up lots o’ veggies.

I found this new amazing blog recently and one of the first things that caught my eye was this recipe. I quirked it a little bit, but all in all it came out magnificent and will definitely be a regular in the recipe rotation – let’s just hope next time I remember the whole wheat flour. Whoops?

Deep dish Veggie Tart {as seen on the Neverhomemaker}

Ingredients –

For the dough…

* 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour {i used regular flour because i forgot…wamp wamp. Meant to use whole wheat though!}
* 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon dill (or other dried herbs)
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/2 cup cold water

for the filling…

* 2 medium zucchini, sliced into thin “coins”
* 1/2 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
* 1-1/2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* pinch of kosher salt
* 1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes {I used a can of diced tomatoes pureed in my cuisinart}

Directions…

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a tart pan and set aside.
  • Toss the zucchini coins with 1 teaspoon of salt in a dish to extract some of the moisture. Set aside while you prepare your crust.

To make the crust…

  • Whisk together the flour, salt, and herbs. Add in the oil and water. Mix with a fork . . . and then give in and use your hands. The dough will be slightly sticky. You may add more water, if necessary. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough so it’ll fit your tart pan about an inch in diameter thicker… Quick rolls are best, you don’t want to handle the dough too much. Very carefully transfer the tart dough to the pan. Fold over the excess dough to make the crust thicker. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in your refrigerator for half an hour to an hour.

For the sauce…

  • In a food processor {i just got one! her name is Fran..yes I named my cuisinart}, combine the garlic, canned tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Heat over medium-low heat on stove to warm and let flavors mingle. However, you don’t want the sauce scalding hot when you put it in the crust. Warm is the key word here. {mine was boiling. whoops?}
  • Prick the bottom of your tart crust with a fork a couple times. Bake on the middle oven rack for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool (I waited 20 minutes).
  • Lower your oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  • Then let the layering begin! Start with 1/2 of your cheese on the bottom. Then 1/2 of your sauce. Then pile your zucchini coins in a circular pattern (again, using 1/2 of them). Then add all the black beans. Then another layer of cheese. This time, only add about 2/3 of what is left. Then another layer of zucchini. Then the rest of your cheese. Then the rest of your sauce to top it all off. Smush your ingredients just so — you don’t want them toppling over the top of the tart pan.
  • Get out a rimmed baking sheet — you don’t want juices wandering to the bottom of your oven — and place your tart pan on it. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool before serving (10 minutes or so). {I totally didn’t use a rimmed baking sheet. Whoops.}

All in all pretty tasty. The dill added some great flavor to the dough, and I love me some black beans and zucchini. In all seriousness though, uber tasty, pretty easy considering, and definitely healthy. Highly recommend.

Also, you should totally pop over to the Never Homemaker and tell them how fabulous their blog is! I for one am a huge fan!

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If You Can’t Stand the Heat…Get Out of the Kitchen

I’m a lazy cook. I aspire to have the motivation to take cutesy photos like some of my favorite fitness/food bloggers of everything I eat. But let’s face it, my food is not that interesting. I’m too lazy to carry my camera when I’m running, and I just…don’t really care to ask everyone around me to take pictures of me. Thus, my transition to a full on healthy living blogger has been a little slow. Not to mention there needs to be some rebranding here. including a new header for the blog eventually, and just…yeah. I’m slow but it’s coming along (don’t worry the book reviews won’t stop!)

Maybe I’m not meant to be the kind of healthy living blogger (which I’m trying to transition to) that I aspire to be. However, whenever I have a great meal, or a great workout, you can bet I’ll be sharing it with you guys. Seriously.

Last night, I whipped up this bad boy. I wasn’t feeling a huge meal, since it was so gawd awfully hot outside, and the heat makes me nauseous. I was originally going to do shrimp kebabs but I forgot to pick up skewers on our grocery shop last night (FAIL) so instead I improvised and used these bad ass noodles I grabbed because they looked interesting. Lesson: going grocery shopping when hungry causes you to grab random food. No lie. Thankfully this turned out to be a pretty cost effective dinner, so go random purchases that weren’t on my list!

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Shrimp with Vegetables
1/2 lb shrimp (i think there were 12?)
1/2 c. pineapple chunks
2 peppers (1 red, 1 green) sliced
1/4 c. onion sliced (i used half of a sweet vidalia onion)
1T sesame (or vegetable oil) oil
1 package noodles (I used Yakisoba stirfry noodles)

I followed the directions on the back of the noodles package – chopping the veggies, heating up the noodles in the microwave for 1 min to separate them. Heated the shrimp first for about 3 mins (ours was frozen because I’m cheap and got the frozen easy to peel shrimp which was only like $3 for half a pound! win!) added the vegetables (peppers and onions) cooked for about 2 minutes, and then added the noodles, separating them further with a fork, stirred them up adding the included seasoning and about 1/4c water.

Delicious AND nutritious!!! Seriously. You could probably sub the stir fry noodles (which were seriously only like $2) for rice noodles, or any other type of noodles depending on what you have 🙂

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Show me some sausage!

I like to think I’ve gotten ten fold better at eating better. Seriously. I have. I’m eating eggs not cereal for breakfast (per the suggestion of a coworker who told me I might as well “have a doughnut” if I was going to eat cereal. Who knew!). I bring my lunch every day. I eat more beans and more protein in general. And I’ve been making a pact to eat at home more often.

So last night, instead of taking lazy man’s way out by going to the nearby Chinese Buffet for $6.99/lb (seriously, places that weigh by the pound? No dice.) we went on a quick grocery shop for the week and made dinner.

I should note, I hate eating late. I think it’s bad for the system – and it is – one should eat at least 3 hours before bedtime. Eating at 8:30? Not really 3 hours before bedtime. Whoops?

I have a tendency to save recipes on the google reader that I like, I’ll star them and come back to them when I’m looking for ideas. Generally, I don’t like meals that are going to take me longer than an hour to prepare. Half the week I get home at 7:30 earliest and the other half we usually have some crap going on or it’s just me at home for dinner.

Bow Ties Sausage Tomatoes and Cream (via All Recipes)

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) package bow tie pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage and pepper flakes until sausage is evenly brown. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes, cream, and salt. Simmer until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir cooked pasta into sauce, and heat through. Sprinkle with parsley.
Now I should note, that I did not follow directions. I did not read the part that said to drain and chop the tomatoes so instead, I added the whole damn 28oz can juice and all. The sauce was a bit…well…saucier than I think it was supposed to be. I added a small can of tomato paste, and I didn’t really follow the seasoning part well either. I added in a dash or two of oregano, basil and Italian seasoning with some parsley (not fresh. whoops.)
Still, though Hubs and I were huge fans. It was an easy recipe and it didn’t take too long for a late Sunday night. We served it with some whole wheat garlic bread, which definitely was a nice addition. Certainly not the healthiest of meals, but anything is healthy when you eat in moderation. Right? Right. At least that’s what I tell myself.
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Recipe Alert: Slow Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs

Last week we invited my in-laws down. You see, my brother in law lives about a mile from us so when they come to Stamford, they see not one of their children but two of them. Three if you include me.

So I offered up to cook dinner – which I’m always happy to do – I lurrrve hosting, and I lurrrrrve getting to use all the fun dishes and gadgets that we got from the wedding.

The meal? A huge hit. I wish I had taken pictures. I always forget that.

However, I am considerate enough (I kid, I kid) to share the recipe with y’all.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs

Ingredients

Directions

1 1/2-2 lbs ground beef
1 1/4 c. italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes (or tomato puree)
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
basil (i used ~1-2T)
italian seasoning (2 t)
parsely (1 t)
3 eggs

1/2 pound of pasta of your choice – I used Rigatoni

Directions
In a bowl mix together meat, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan cheese in a big mixing bowl.

Form meat into 1-2″ balls. Place in bottom of slow cooker. Add tomato sauces so meatballs are covered, add spices (i added them to taste so estimates are rough estimates). Cook on high for 4 – 5 hours or until meatballs reach 165 degrees F. When ready, feel free to skim some of the grease off the top of the sauce

{FYI – if sauce needs to be thickened add 1-2 T of tomato paste}

A great weekend recipe, full of flavor and ohemgee it was SO GOOD. I figure any recipe that I cook that gets the approval of Hubs’s dad who’s super cook (seriously the man can cook anything) that gets his approval is a win in my book. I’ll be cooking this again soon. Next time, I’ll remember pictures. Promise.

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Recipe Alert: Pulled Pork

I’ve done pulled pork before, and while unfortunately, I forgot to bust out the camera, while it lacks visual confirmation if you will, I can assure you, this recipe is amazing.

Hubs had bought a pork shoulder on sale a few days ago, and I finally got around to throwing it in the slow cooker – which by the way, was one of the greatest inventions ever. So while I couldn’t find the recipe I used last time, I googled around for one that included the homemade BBQ sauce and found this one over at Baking Bites. I whipped up some cole slaw (thank you Dole salad bags!) and we threw it all on some hamburger rolls (should have gotten better rolls – next time), and had a great southern inspired meal!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

5-6 lb. pork shoulder/pork butt
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup tomato paste
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp mustard
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup water

Place onion on the bottom of your slow cooker. Place pork shoulder, trimmed of any obvious excess fat, into slow cooker on top of onions.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients to form the barbecue sauce. Feel free to adjust salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Pour half of the sauce over the pork and cover. Set remaining sauce aside.
Cook over low heat for about 8 hours (or according to your slow cooker’s presets).

Remove pork to a large bowl and shred with two forks. Transfer meat back into slow cooker and cook for a few more minutes, until meat has soaked up the sauce. Pulled pork can be held on the “warm” setting in the slow cooker for serving.
Serve on soft sandwich rolls, topped with extra barbecue sauce.

Serves 10-12.

Hubs was a HUGE fan. I added a bit more cumin and a touch of crushed red pepper to give a little heat to it but the sweetness combined with the savory heat made for a great sauce. I highly recommend this recipe – it’s incredibly easy to prepare and the slow cooker adds less clean up factor as well. We have plenty left so I’m sure we’ll be having this again at some point this week.

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