In a nutshell, pulling your oblique is awkward but quiche is awesome

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Oi.

Where did November go?! All of sudden it was Thanksgiving and now it’s December. Sorry I’m not sorry I’ve been unashamedly listening to Christmas music! Muahahha. I restrained myself until the last day of November, but hey. Thanksgiving was so late this year I felt like it was acceptable. And I somehow managed to watch Love Actually three times before it was even December. Whoops.

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But I’m actually really okay with it being December because now I have an actual excuse to bake cookies all. the. time. And to be stupidly festive. Holidays are fun! And they involve eating, which is even more fun. And butter. And we all know that butter = heaven. Which is why when I made vegan, gluten free pumpkin beer bread for Thanksgiving, I ate it with a large amount of gloriously nonvegan butter. I’m a walking contradiction… if someone needed a quick little slogan to sum me up (besides lentils, organical, and hippie granola), I suppose it would be that: Vegan pumpkin bread with REAL BUTTER. Yep. That’s me, in a nutshell.

In other random news, I pulled an oblique. It’s awkward and bizarrely uncomfortable. A word of advice… try to avoid pulling your obliques.

But anyway. Back to food, because I know that’s why you’re all here, invisible internet friends…

The tortilla pizza has been sort of resurrected! But in a completely different form. So really not a pizza at all… but it involved a tortilla going into the oven so naturally I associated it with the tortilla pizza of earlier postings. But really this is completely different…. it’s a quiche! IN a tortilla. No mussing about with crusts for me when I’m hungry and want food NOW! And this is fun because you can chuck in any lurking leftovers from your fridge.

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yes, that’s ketchup. Sorry I’m not sorry. Don’t worry, it’s organic…

Tortilla Quiche

Recipe idea gratefully borrowed from Kylie over at Imma Eat That, here! Serves 1, I ate half of mine for lunch and half for dinner. Can be gluten free, depending on your tortilla of choice.

  • 1 tortilla (mine are always whole wheat)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 3-4 mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 c raw spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 a bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 c black beans
  • 1/8 c nutritional yeast (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil for sautéing
  • salsa+avo to serve (optional, but… really?!)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a skillet, saute mushrooms, spinach, and bell pepper until soft. In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, pumpkin puree, and black beans. Add salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (if using). Press a tortilla into your pan of choice (I used a 6″ cake pan for a thick quiche), toss in about 1/2 your veggies, followed by 1/2 the eggy mixture, and then the other half of veggies and other half of eggyness. I sprinkled a bit of extra nutritional yeast on the top of it all, mostly because I like sprinkling things…

Pop it into the oven and bake until the egg is set, about 25-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your quiche. My tortilla was small enough that I wanted a smaller pan, but if you bake it in a larger one, be sure to check it around 20 minutes. Let cool briefly before slicing and serving (preferably with salsa and avo or guac if you’re lucky).

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All the lentils, all the time

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Soo… mo’ lentils!

Mmm. For such a tiny little thing they pack a nutritional wallop and are astoundingly delicious.

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In other news… I love when I can walk outside and pick a snack out of my garden.

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And that the crepe myrtle in the front yard is practically exploding. When I was in school it seemed like I would always miss the blooms, but this year it’s making up for it in full force. See? Pink explosion.

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Anyway. OH! I almost forgot. Pluots are amazing right now, you should go eat one.

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Right. Lentil pasta. An excellent idea, not sure why I hadn’t thought to do this before. The sauce texture kind of resembles bolognese but is obviously meat-free, which is a nice alternative and just as delicious. Besides, lentils are cheap and filling and super good for you, so everyone wins! Besides all that there is essentially a metric ton of veggies crammed in here, so you can feel reeeeally good about eating it. Winner, winner, lentil dinner! Ha.

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I don’t think my brain is working too well on account of a really filling and tasty lunch (nap time? I think yes) soooo… I’m going to leave it at that. Pictures for you, hooray!

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Lentil Marinara

Recipe serves 3 for dinner, with bountiful leftovers (so really 4 for dinner with some change). Healthy and delicious, and relatively fast, this can be on the table in less than an hour.

  • 1 c  lentils, rinsed (I used French lentils, they’re smaller and chewier)
  • 2 c water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic (I used 1/2 of the little frozen chunks TJ’s sells)
  • fresh basil, marjoram, oregano and sage to taste (Dried is fine too)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/6 c (ish) good red wine (Optional. I never measure)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • a few heaping handfuls of mixed greens or spinach
  • 1/2 zucchini, grated
  • 2 c green beans, parboiled
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (just tomatoes)
  • pasta noodles of choice for serving
  • avocado for serving, optional (but recommended!)

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Combine lentils and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook until the lentils have absorbed most of the water and are soft but still have a bit of bite, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a  sauté pan, toss in a bit of olive oil and heat over medium-low. Sauté onions until translucent, about 5-10 minutes depending on your onion-crunchy preference. Add garlic, basil, marjoram, oregano, sage, and wine and sauté a few minutes more. Add in bell pepper, mixed greens, zucchini, and green beans, and keep sautéing, until the veggies are cooked and delicious. Toss in the can of tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and the cooked lentils. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes to get all those wonderful flavors to comingle… then serve over noodles! This is excellent topped with avocado, or cheese if that’s your thing!

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Eggy Pumpkin Mess…?

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Hellooo, I’m back! I know you mega missed me appearing in your inbox, right?

But guess what?! I have something *besides* cookies today! … WHAT. I think the world might have just shaken on its axis a bit. But seriously. Savories!! What a concept. I know I’ve told y’all numerous times about the copious amount of veggies I consume on a daily basis, but I know your types… you require visual proof, no? So… here it is! Veggies. Straight to your inbox, you’re welcome.

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These are two dishes that I’ve made in the last week—I often favor new and quite possibly very strange combinations of food (I wouldn’t want life to get boring, would I?!), and these definitely fall into the first category. Both were surprisingly delicious and supremely good for you. I’m posting one, but the other needs a bit of tweaking until it’s perfect, so you get a picture but you’ll have to wait juuuust a bit on the recipe (trust me, it will be worth the wait).

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this is the one you get later!

The one I’m sharing today is rather like my thought process incarnate… something like this: “Pumpkin and ginger go well together… ooh wait, I could add Bragg’s! And then eat it over sautéed veggies… mmm veggies… oh wait but coconut!! How can I put coconut in there? And I think I need some good solid protein today, so eggs. But eggs… and pumpkin? And coconut? This could be weird. But it could also be delicious… so I’m going to go with delicious and just hope it’s awesome..” And it was. Ohhhh goodness was it delicious.

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this is the one you get now!

I made a single portion so that in case it was terrible, so that I wouldn’t subject my parents to it (aren’t I nice?!) but then they kind of missed out because it was delicious. Oops. Rats, I suppose I’ll just have to make it again…

(And just in case everyone thinks I’ve gone completely crazy, I *did* make cookies after work today… you’ll get them later!)

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Coconut Pumpkin Sauce with Sautéed Veggies and Egg

Definitely thought about calling this one Eggy Pumpkin Mess (which is how it manifested itself in my brain), but I decided to be a little bit more gastronomically appealing. Call it what you want, it’s definitely delicious. And good for you! Pumpkin: beta carotene and Vitamin A; veggies: um. they’re veggies!; coconut: good fats from medium chain fatty acids; ginger: anti-inflammatory; and eggs: well, eggs are just delicious. AND good protein.
The recipe is my own! Feel free to tweak it according to your tastes and contents of your refrigerator… Serves…1! Easily doubled, or tripled.

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, unrefined
  • 1/2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 of a bag (ish) of mixed greens (mine were TJ’s kale, chard, and spinach)
  • 1/4 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4-1/3 c light coconut milk (Canned)
  • Bragg’s liquid aminos (or soy sauce), to taste—I likely used about a 1/2 tbsp
  • 1 egg+1 egg white
  • unsweetened shredded coconut, for garnish

Firstly: heat coconut oil in a skillet. Toss in veggies and greens, and sauté until fork tender. While the veggies are sautéing, combine pumpkin, grated ginger, Bragg’s, and coconut milk in a small bowl. Once veggies have cooked close to your liking, add in pumpkin sauce. Let cook a few minutes, then push over to one side of the pan. Into the empty side of the skillet, pour in your eggs. Let them cook, scraping the bottom to scramble them. Start incorporating the pumpkin sauce into the scrambling eggs as they cook. When the eggs are done, scoop everything into a bowl (I like shallow ones so that I can see how pretty everything is!). Top with a bit more Bragg’s and shredded coconut, if desired (but highly recommended…).

Eat! Love love love.

mo' veggies!!

mo’ veggies!!

Life is too short for undelicious food

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Lazy girl’s idea of a meal, right here. In a HUGE bowl. I like to eat out of massive bowls sometimes, just for fun…. and then besides, when I make something in a huge bowl and then eat out of it, there’s less washing! See? Lazy.

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But also delicious. Because even when I’m being lazy I still want delicious (and obviously good for me) food. Duhhh. You invisible internet friends have known me long enough by now to know that life is too short for blah and undelicious food. Right? Right.

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Anyway. This is  a textbook example of my random thought process when cooking: “hmm.. I’m closing tonight. Need dinner. Have chunk of time in the middle of the day after lifting… hmmm… I’ll make cookies! Raw date newton bites, those are happening… need more dates… oh wait. Cookies aren’t dinner. Almond butter is dinner! Noodles. Soba. Veggies! Lots of veggies. Random tupperware in the fridge has beans.. corn.. chicken… sweet potatoes. Oooooh. They are ALL going in the bowl… oh wait. I’m HUNGRY! It’s lunch. These noodles are delicious, maybe I should just eat them… Waaaiiittt… this was supposed to be dinner!” *in the middle of a bite out of bowl* *slowly puts fork back down* … “fine. eggs. eggs are lunch. noodles are dinner…… is it dinner yet??” Oi. Sometimes I think my brain has a life of its own. Wait. I KNOW it does, otherwise how would it come up with some of this stuff?! Like putting spinach in way more places than it rightfully should go.

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Mmm. I just ate the leftovers for lunch. Out of a MASSIVE bowl. What an inspired idea…

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Lazy Girl Almond Butter Noodles

This is a riff on an earlier recipe I had on here—the peanut noodles, remember? Anyway, I’ve been off all things peanut for a while now, so almond butter has become my nut butter of choice (again). I love these because they’re a) delicious, b) come together in a SNAP (probably takes 15 minutes, start to finish), and c) suuuuper adaptable. Have leftover chicken or black beans in the fridge? Use them. Weird bits of veggies? Yup, those too. Anything and everything. Out of soba? Use whole wheat spaghetti. It’s delicious however you do it… but I’ll provide the framework for last night’s particularly delicious version. Recipe from… me! Serves 3… ish. With leftovers.

Gluten Free with gf soba noodles, vegetarian or vegan without chicken. Ginger: anti inflammatory and warming, among other amazing things. Soba: buckwheat, a whole grain. Almonds: healthy fats! Veggies: umm.. need I explain this?!

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  • Two heaping spoonfuls of almond butter (as in, your spoon runneth over)
  • about 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos (my version of low sodium soy sauce), with some extra to drizzle to taste
  • 2 bundles of organic soba noodles
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 bag of TJ’s power to the greens (spinach, kale, chard, lots of delicious things)
  • 1/2 box of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 sweet potato, sliced and microwaved until soft
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 c corn, defrosted
  • leftover chicken, sliced

Firstly, raid fridge. Find all the odds and ends you want to use and assemble them on the counter.

I always slice the veggies first, since it takes the longest. This time, I steamed sliced zucchini, greens, and mushrooms. While the veggies are steaming, start yo’ noodles! Soba noodles cook quickly—after the water comes to a boil, time them for exactly 4 minutes. Once they’re done, drain and rinse them immediately to remove the starch (otherwise they get ruuuul clumpy). In a small separate bowl, stir almond butter, ginger, and bragg’s together. Add a bit of warm water to thin it out—it’ll look weird at first but keep stirring until smooth!

Grab a mega mixing bowl. When noodles and veggies are done, toss them in, followed by an odds and ends from the fridge (corn, beans, chicken, whatever). I like to try to time it so that the sauce goes over warm veggies or noodles, since it helps melt it a bit and distribute evenly. Toss sauce with the contents of the bowl until evenly coated. I usually end up adding a bit more bragg’s to taste towards the end.

Eat. Love your food that loves your body back!

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Sassy savories and other unphotogenic food items

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carpet picnic!

Woah woah woah.

Two savory posts in a row? Is she sick?

..

Nahh. Just inspired! You see… I do make savory food hugely often. Like, my mother says it’s impossible to keep me in vegetables. As in… I eat. Them. ALL. Alllll the time! (And applesauce, that too). Except that usually by dinner time, I have no interest in photographing my food because a) I’m hungry and b) by the time I’m finished photographing it’ll be cold and c) I’m lazy and d) … okay never mind there was no d. Whatever, suffice it to say this is the main list of reasons why I never get around to photographing savory dinners. Also because savory stuff can be kind of uncooperative on the photography front sometimes…. like it’s delicious but it’s freaking ugly. Or it sasses me and gets all unphotogenic when I think it’s going to cooperate. I hate when that happens! No one wants to look at ugly food, right?!

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Anyway… but this time things cooperated! Ish. And I’ve been keeping myself fully stocked in cookies, just so you know (I wouldn’t want you to get concerned, or anything). Besides, I need snacks for after my bodyrock and lifting sessions, durrrr. Sore and shaky definitely qualifies for a snack of a healthy cookie and kombucha…

This dish was a bit of an experiment, which happily turned out well. Gotta love that. It’s easy and comes together in a snap with pantry staples, which is also excellent. ANNDD I invented it! So you should doubly love it and go running to your kitchen, obviously.

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Salmon Primavera with Polenta

Recipe from.. me! The polenta is my favorite recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook. The rest was inspired by the can of salmon lurking in the pantry. Serves 3, with a teeny bit of leftovers (though this does make enough polenta for another serving, there isn’t as much topping left).

  • 1.5  c polenta
  • 5 c water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 can of salmon, flaked and deboned (if necessary)
  • 1 zucchini, grated*
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 box of mushrooms (7-8ish), sliced
  • 3/4 c frozen peas, thawed
  • a good handful of fresh spinach
  • marjoram, basil, salt and pepper to taste**
  • grated parmesan, to garnish

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*I used whatever veggies we had, but any would be good. I like the sweetness of peas with salmon though, so try to have those at least (unless you hate them, of course)

**we grow fresh marjoram, so I used a few sprigs, and 2 frozen basil cubes. I salted the salmon a bit before use and then tossed in a bit later, and as for pepper, don’t use my family as an example as we’re pepper-nuts (read: we use an excessive amount on everything). Do what suits you!

In a saucepan, heat 4 cups of water to a a boil. Combine the polenta and salt with the other cup of water, stirring slightly (this prevents lumps). Once the water boils, toss in polenta and whisk constantly until the polenta thickens (for me, 11-12 minutes as I use a quicker cooking, not instant, polenta). Once thick (and you’ll know, as your arm will be about to fall off), remove from heat and stir in about a tablespoon of olive oil.

In a saute pan, heat a good glug of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add marjoram and basil, followed by grated zucchini, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Saute until veggies are fork tender and the mushrooms have released some juices. Toss in spinach, peas, and flaked salmon and saute a few minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve over hot polenta with plenty of cheese (obvs)!

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Lightning-fast mooching abilities and other skills

Mmm. Kebabs.

Why is it way more fun to eat things on sticks? Is it some kind of childish relapse I’m having? I doubt it, considering I hated (no wait, loathed is waaay more accurate) corndogs as a child. Which is like the quintessential kid-food-on-a-stick. Gross. I STILL think they’re gross. Probably even more now than I did. Anywayyy. There’s something about eating chicken on a skewer which makes it waaay more fun than just eating chicken. Boooring.

Besides, then when you’re finished, you can poke your dinner partners with your skewers. Muahahhaa.

Not that I would ever do such a thing…

You know what that makes me think of?! The Mooch Fork!!! I WANT one of these: they’re basically a telescoping fork that can be used for swiping choice bits of food off of your unsuspecting dinner companion’s plates!! What a genius idea. They take poaching to an entire new level. No longer will I have to do one of these: “WAIT! Ohmygosh there’s a METEOR outside, look look look!!” *semi-spastically points out the window while simultaneously gesticulating wildly and sneakily swiping bread or whatever while no one is looking*. Oh no. With a mooch fork, I could just telescope away. No one would able to stop my lightning speed mooching. It might also be useful in the grocery store around the holidays—perhaps to fend off those crazies who try to steal the last can of pumpkin (long range poking might come in handy, you never know…). Does anyone know where to get one of these?! Because I want one, pleaseandthankyou.

Anyway. Food on a stick.

These kebabs are deceptively simple. All they really require is a bit of advance planning and some time. But they make a fab change from everyday chicken…AND you get to play with your food! Winning all around.

uh huh. MOOCHING

Caribbean Chicken Skewers

My family usually makes 6 skewers, so 2 per person. We use wooden skewers that we soak for at least an hour beforehand (to prevent them from burning), with 4 sticks per person (if you use two sticks per kebab, the meat can be flipped evenly on the grill without sliding around…does that make sense?!). I’ll include the amount of food we use for 3 people, so adjust according to your needs.

The marinade recipe is from The Cooks Illustrated Guide to Grilling and BBQ, and is delicious. It makes more than we need, so we’ll usually save some.

Whatcha need:

  • enough skewers to feed your peeps
  • 2 large or 3 smallish chicken breasts, defrosted and cut into chunks
  • 2 large bell peppers (I used one red and one purple), cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, sliced into skewer-able pieces
  • 2 apples, cut into chunks
  • mushrooms, halved
  • zucchini is good too, if you have it!

Marinade:

  • 1/2 c good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

About an hour before, soak the skewers in water.

Heat the grill to about 500 (ish), enough to get a sear on the meat.

Defrost the chicken, and cut into smallish cubes. Let it sit in the marinade for at least a half an hour, preferably an hour for the best flavor (although that never happens around here). While meat is marinating, cut up veggies so you’re all ready for blastoff…

Once meat has sat for a bit, thread the meat and veggies onto the skewers, alternating so they look pretty! Use two skewers, as I said before, so that you can rotate the meat on the grill without it just spinning on the skewer. Grill for 2 minutes per side, uncovered, rotating the kebabs a quarter turn every 2 minutes, until meat is fully cooked and meat/veggies/fruit are lightly browned (about 8 minutes total for white meat). Remove when there is no pink at the center and the meat is opaque. Serve immediately! I like mine with a sweet potato and mo’ veggies on the side :)

What?! Something savory? No, you must be joking…

mmm, AVO!

Are you sitting down?

Okay. Good.

Because I have something SAVORY for you today! You know, as in… not sweet. Woah. Yeah. I think I may have just felt the world move.

HOWEVER. Don’t let this temporary lapse throw you off for long, because I have sweets planned for tomorrow. Yep. BIIIIIG plans. But anyway… back to the first wonder of the [savory] [not sweet!] world… How long has it been since I posted a savory recipe?! Ages, that’s how long. I promise I do actually eat something besides dessert. Really. I do. I’m usually just too lazy and too hungry to photograph them pre-lunch or dinner. But this time, I finally got around to it! Except it was sort of a mid-lunch, spur of the moment idea, so I apologize for the semi-less-than-stellar photography. Ehhh, you win some, you lose some. But it’s delicious, I promise, despite being less than awesome on a plate. Or rather, in a bowl as it were (I LOVE eating out of bowls. I would eat out of a bowl at every meal if that was a possibility… Kira can vouch for this small peculiarity, hehe).

half-eaten bowl. don’t be judgy!

This particular incarnation reflects my love for my “bowl” lunches/dinners, which are essentially some form of a grain or some such for the base (or a salad, as the case may be), and then a ridiculous amount of veggies + maybe a bit of cheese + definitely an egg/some type of proteiny goodness. This particular bowl combines quinoa and black beans together, so I used it more as part of salad. It was delicious! I mega recommend it if you’re a quinoa fan (and if you’re not, you should be. SO good for you and SO tasty!). It’s suuuuper easy and super fast, and can be adapted to suit the whims of your pantry gods/your particular mood at the time– it’s a very forgiving dish that makes a great side or a tasty main.

gettin’ up close and personal with some quinoa

Random Quinoa Bowl o’ Goodness

I loosely adapted this from Grumpy When Hungry, here!

Poke around in your kitchen and gather up something that resembles this:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove (or little frozen blob) of garlic
  • pepper to taste
  • small glug of olive oil
  • 3/4 c uncooked quinoa (I used the tri-color variety)
  • 1.5 c chicken broth (free range, organic if possible, pretty please!)—veggie broth if you want a vegetarian dish
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • a few sprinkles of curry powder, cajun seasoning, and chili powder, to taste preference
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 sweet bell pepper
  • 1/2 c frozen corn, defrosted
  • grated cheddar for topping purposes (don’t pass this up!!)
  • avo! But only if you have it… though it’s pretty fantastic in this

//

Start putzing:

Add a glug of olive oil to a medium saucepan, and heat the pan on medium/high heat. Finely dice onion, and sauté with the garlic  and a few twists/shakes of pepper until onions are translucent. Toss in quinoa and chicken broth, and then cumin, curry/cajun/chili (if using). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for about 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking, steam zucchini and bell pepper (or any other veggies you have), until just fork-tender. With the heat still on low, stir black beans into quinoa pot, followed by zucchini, bell pepper, and corn, and cook a few minutes until heated through. Remove from heat and serve! This is fab over spinach/lettuce as a warm (or cold) salad, topped with grated cheddar and chunky avo. Yum yum yum for a complete veggie protein from the beans + corn, not to mention quinoa (it contains all the amino acids needed to be a complete protein)! Nutrient powerhouse is a winner winner [non] chicken dinner! hehe.

I’d eaten most of the salad by this point….use your imagination and visualize more spinach!

 

one more avo. Only because they are soooo beautiful!

The ginormous dinner rut, and what to do about it.

easy pizza!

Okay, so I’m on a roll. Now that I’m not thesising, I have to come up with SOME way to entertain myself, right?! Heaven forbid I should be bored between now and graduation. Psssh..

Anyyywayyy. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been in a dinner rut the size of the Grand Canyon. BUT. I’m slowly starting to scale the walls towards more variety! Huzzah! I mean, I do love my steamed veggie-protein-grain combo, but hey, let’s face it… that gets just a wee bit old after awhile. At least, I like to eat this combo in a variety of forms, say like a quinoa bowl, savory oats, or a quesadilla. All delicious, to be sure. But I was… bored. And still (until yesterday) thesising. Which meant that dinner kind of got the short end of the stick. I did, however, stumble upon a fast and tasty quesadilla alternative in my quest for variety… tortilla pizza! Genius idea, you’ll see. It’s like… insta pizza. Especially if you like the super thin crust variety.

That being said, today’s post isn’t really a recipe, per se, but is rather more of a suggestion. This recipe is great since it’s infinitely adaptable… all you really need is protein of some form, veggies, and whatever else you want… cheese is nice, of course. I plan to keep experimenting with topping variations, since this has become my new favorite quickie dinner!

/

Tortilla Pizza!

Dreamed up by my hungry thesis-brain. Serves one!

  • Tortilla of choice
  • veggie variety
  • protein? If you want it… chicken is good, and so is sausage.
  • grated cheese of some form, however much depending on personal preference.

up close and personal

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly de-stickify a cookie sheet (I used a light smear of coconut oil). Place your tortilla of choice on the prepped cookie sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. While the oven is heating/tortilla is baking, prep your toppings. For mine, I tend to steam a variety of veggies: usually mushrooms, bell peppers, and spinach, and use some form of animal protein, either chicken or chicken sausage. Cheese is up to you—I’ve used both cheddar and toscano, and both have been delicious.Top the pre-baked tortilla with toppings of choice, and bake for another 2 minutes, ish, until the cheese is melty and delicious. Slice and eat immediately while it’s gooey and warm. Mmmm.

The pizza in the photos was a combo of steamed veggies, Trader Joe’s chicken-apple sausage, and Syrah-soaked Toscano cheese. It was unbelievably delicious, which is what prompted me to share this. Before eating, I tossed on some cucumber for extra crunch.

Another fabby combo was steamed mushrooms, bell peppers, and spinach, Tillamook sharp cheddar, and chicken tossed with cinnamon and curry powder. That one was uglier though, so it didn’t get to star in the pictures… I fully intend on making a black bean version of this at some point in the very near future.

Yum yum yum :) Easy and delicious. And quick. Added bonus!

//

Never enough peanut butter

Double whammy on the blog posts… I’ve been making interesting things lately, I promise! They’ve just been… ugly. I really didn’t want to show you the amoeba-like beet and goat cheese ravioli… Tasty, but… ugly. Luckily, recipes lately have been delicious AND aesthetic, which appeases the art history major bit of me.

Anyway, recipe bonanza for you! Yay.

And no. This one isn’t even orange!

*gasp*

I told you, we’re striving towards variety! Besides, we have enough orange leftovers to last us a bit… I really don’t think we’re lacking in the beta-carotene department over here. Really. I definitely don’t want to venture into oompa loompa territory. Let’s not.

No, this isn’t exactly a recipe, either.

It’s a loose adaptation of a noodles and sauce recipe that Gillian and I discovered last year when we were sorta kinda studying for nutrition (but really having much more fun discussing vegan chocolate cake and baking techniques). However. Even though it’s not a recipe, it’s one of my favorites! Infinitely adaptable to whatever you have on hand (or whatever is lurking in the depths of the vegetable crisper), and ridiculously quick and simple to whip up.

Besides. Peanut butter is A-MAZING. Well. Actually all nut butters are amazing. I’m surprised I don’t resemble a jar of almond butter (perhaps with an orangeish tinge? Ew.)… I may or may not eat about a jar a week. (And I’ve gotten my roomie addicted, muahhahah). Although now I’ve fallen back in love with peanut butter, so I alternate. But still. There is a ridiculously embarrassing amount of nut butter consumed in this apartment weekly. Going with this vein, I really like finding new ways of conveying nut butter into my face, besides the obvious option of some form of bread/pancake/muffin/scone/carrotish thing. Pasta seemed like an excellent choice…. and then you can decorate with veggies! This way all those antioxidants can have a party in your digestive tract, and in the process, annihilate all of the free radicals floating about and trying to cause problems. And all that whole wheat from the pasta can party with the veggies, increasing your fiberous intake and lowering your cholesterol and blood lipids. Everybody wins! (Except those nasty free radicals, but we don’t like them).

Enter: Peanut Noodles with Veggies! Thai inspired, probably… but eventually simplified to be pantry and budget friendly. YAY!

Peanut Noodlies with Veggies!

Semi-created by Hayley and Gillian.

Simple, really. Boil water! Choose your fave pasta (I like whole wheat soba for this, but whole wheat spaghetti works too), and cook it until al dente (eewww, please no soggy pasta). Drain and rinse.

Slice up a block of tofu into smallish cubes, and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine:

  • A decent amount of peanut butter (say, 2 heaping tablespoons)
  • juice of one lime
  • grated fresh ginger
  • a drizzle of honey or agave
  • a squirt (say, 2 tsp) of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or other soy sauce type thing)
  • Sriacha, if you like it spicy!
  • water to thin it out

Keep in mind all these measurements are approximate—I usually taste and fiddle as I go along, and I never measure for this one. Mix everything together until the consistency is as you like it, then let your cubed tofu marinate for a bit.

While the noodlies are cooking, steam or saute veggies of your choice. I like bell peppers, broccoli, snow peas, or carrots—crunchy veggies are always good in this. We topped ours this time with diced cucumber, which was quite tasty. Toss the marinated tofu and sauce with the veggies and noodles, and serve. Eat. Love!

Cheese is clearly the food of the gods.

Do you see that beautiful tomato?!

Ambrosia nectar? Psh. NO. Cheese is clearly the food of the gods!

So delicious.

Cheese on pizza?

Even better.

Good cheese on HOMEMADE pizza?

The best! Especially when said pizza is made with a whole wheat crust and a million tons of veggies! A perfect meal for a chilly fall day (because YAY! Fall has arrived in Salem, with rain and chilly weather. My favorite!). Besides, what better thing could you think of to do on a Wednesday night with your roomie, besides making homemade pizza? Right. Nothing, that’s what we thought.

And then you can have a carpet picnic in your strangely bedouin-looking apartment, which is clearly awesome due to the number of tapestries, and conveniently large amount of floor space, ridiculously conducive to roomie yoga and pilates. And floor picnics. Apparently we really like spending time on the floor… who needs furniture?! Psh. Besides. We have nice carpet.

Anyway… I’m tired and therefore rather tangential (although when am I not?! I’m either being tangential or parenthetical. Clearly it’s part of my charm and therefore why you love me enough to put up with this blog and its blather, haha). But aside from being tangential, this pizza was delicious! Especially since Kira and I were all relaxed from yoga, and all we had to do toss on the toppings and fling it into the oven for 15 minutes. Delicious dinner, practically pre-made? Yes. Be jealous.

But just so that you don’t have to be too super jealous… I’m sharing the recipe! Aren’t I nice :) Here it is! I’m posting what we did/toppings used, although it’s extremely flexible. Sort of one of those recipes that can be adapted to whatever you find in your fridge that looks like a tasty combo. Kira and I are defs putting this on the dinner rotation—our plan is to make dough in advance and freeze it.

Whole Wheat Pizza with Veggies!

Serves 2. Ish. We were hungry. Adapted from here!

Crusty business:

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp cornmeal

Mix water (not too hot—we don’t want to kill the yeasties), yeast, and honey, and let sit for 10. While this is frothing, mix the salt and whole wheat flour together. When the yeast is ready, mix in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes. Feel free to add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Leave in a warm spot and let rise for 20-30 minutes, covered. (We refrigerated ours overnight and then used it—this is also fine)

Preheat the oven to 425. Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza-baking device of your choice (we used a cookie sheet). Roll the dough out thinly and top away!

Ours featured a few rogue mushrooms, an orange bell pepper, cherry tomatoes in the veggie department. We brushed the top with olive oil and a bit of garlic, and sprinkled on grated mozzarella and some fresh basil, courtesy of Watson the Basil Plant/Pet. I highly recommend this combo, it was EPIC!

Bake for 15-20 minutes on the lowest rack (ours was more like 12, but our crust was starting to brown rapidly, so we took it out), or until crust is browning and cheese is bubbly.

Eat. Love. Food coma!