If at First Your Car is Frozen…Take Your Boyfriend’s and Head to the Store

After my first attempt this morning failed, I still had hope that I might actually leave the house.  My strategy…the BOY’s car!  Since I was starting our cars every 3 hours or so, I decided that if it started at 1pm, then I would drive off in it.  And it did!  And so I did!

 

My first stop was the Dollar Store, which was sadly closed.  It’s right next to the grocery store, so it wasn’t really a problem!

 

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After the grocery store, I made a quick stop at the party store.  On my way home, I happened to pass Target and since I had my list with me of things we needed, I swung in there too.  I needed to get child locks for Cooper who continues to crawl into our cabinets under the sink with cleaning supplies.  Do you know how hard it is to find child locks when you don’t actually have a child???  Luckily, the store was pretty empty and there were plenty of people around to help.  Hint: they are in baby not home!  When I got back home, after 2 hours out and about, it felt great to soak in some Vitamin D (even in the sub zero temps).  The remainder of my afternoon was spent in the kitchen, baking up more goodies for next weekend and making food for the week ahead before crashing to watch the BCS championship game.

 

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Although we probably would have been for at least the first half of the week, now we are really all set.  It’s not like me to adapt a recipe out of a crockpot and onto the stove, but since Tuesday’s dinner was in the crockpot, I gave it a shot.  This Meatless Monday recipe turned out pretty good, but still not as tasty as our favorite Indian restaurant. I think that next time, I may use the crockpot to allow the flavors to blend a little better.

 

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And just because my phone is full of photos of him, take a look at how Cooper stays warm (yup he’s right in between the BOY’s legs) and grabs some love at the same time!

 

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Hope everyone stays warm, safe, and healthy this week!!!

And keep your fingers crossed that our cars start tomorrow!!!

 

 

What is your favorite meatless Monday recipe?

Share up your links!

 

 

Meal Planning 1/06/13

Monday: Chana Masala

 

Tuesday: Clean Peanutty Thai Chicken

 

Wednesday: Salmon with Veggies

 

Thursday: Leftovers

 

Friday: TBD

 

 

 

Chana Masala

Adapted From 5 Dollar Dinners

 

Ingredients

3 cups water

1 large onion, diced

1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes

1 6-oz. can tomato paste

2 tsp. garam masala

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. cumin

½ tsp. cayenne pepper (use less or omit if you don’t want a quick…a little goes a LONG way)

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. sea salt

2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

 

Directions

Heat oil or cooking spray in a large Pot or Dutch oven.  Add in onions and stir frequently until soft and fragrant, about 7 minutes.  Stir in all of the spices and salt.

The pour in water, tomatoes, and tomato paste.  Stir well and bring to a boil.

Stir in chickpeas and simmer on low, covered, for 1 1/2- 2 hours until chickpeas are soft and flavorful.

Serve with rice or naan.

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All Done

The BOY and I are All Done with Passover!

As is his tradition, he had pizza for dinner.  I’d show you a picture but the entire pie was gone by the time I walked in the door after work.

I wanted something a little healthier and because it’s a week night…easy!

 

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I found this delicious looking recipe in Mama Pea’s cookbook for Thai Veggie Burgers.

 

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I prepped my ingredients in the food processor last night and then refrigerated them.  I have never tried this with veggie burgers before, but I figured it it worked, it would be a great way to make healthy weeknight meals.

 

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When I came home, I heated up a skillet and rolled out my burgers.

 

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I fried the burgers in cooking spray ~7 minutes each side until they were warm on the inside and crispy along the edges.

 

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The Thai flavor in these burgers is strong and the texture is spot-on.  I ate my burger plain with a side of green beans.  The premade burger mixture worked perfectly!  I will definitely do it again!

 

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For dessert, I whipped up a batch of Mama Pea’s brownies (that I found a few pages later).  The toughest part was making these yesterday and having to wait to eat them today.

 

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I was a little nervous because they are healthy and vegan (although I didn’t use vegan chocolate chips, so they are not fully vegan).

 

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I sprinkled the top with powdered sugar, and the BOY and I dug into them right after dinner.

 

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I was a little nervous that he would notice the texture difference in the brownies, but he grabbed them and ran.

 

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When I asked about the brownies, he answered with a nod, smile, and a mouth full of chocolate.  That’s usually a good sign : )  These brownies are rich and cake-like…you’ll never know that they are healthy (whole wheat flour) and vegan (minus the chocolate chips)!  I bet you have all the ingredients in your house right now, so go preheat your oven.

 

On the exercise front…

I got in my first double workout this morning.  I was at the track early for a 30 minute run before changing into my bathing suit for a 15 minute swim.  It was an awesome workout with some well-deserved hot tub time at the end.  I am super sore from ‘Barbara Lite’ yesterday, and I am hoping to get registered for my triathlon this week!

 

 

Here are the recipes for Thai Veggie Burgers and Double Chocolate/Single Chin Brownies from Peas and Thank You.

Enjoy!!!

Dealing with Dreary

The weather might be dark and dreary, but that didn’t keep the BOY and I indoors.  Sunday Funday was SUPER fun yesterday because we went into the city to hang with my family!

 

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And had lunch at Revolution Brewery, where the BOY and I have never been, and my Mom has now declared her favorite place to go.

 

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Historically, spring day light savings can be rough, but not this year.  This could be because after losing 3 hours coming home from Las Vegas last year, one hour doesn’t seem so bad.  The good food, brew, and company didn’t hurt either.

 

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We had an awesome day and I was in bed early Sunday night with my book after an eventful weekend.  I had no difficulty falling asleep and only woke up this morning when my alarm started beeping 10 hours later.  This morning’s breakfast was a variation of this recipe smothered in almond butter before CrossFit.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this morning’s workout, but the Harlem shake picture definitely had me laughing.  And I was excited to wear the new headband that I picked up at Athleta yesterday!

 

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This morning’s workout was 7 reps max weight of snatches with rest in between.  We started off by breaking down the motion and then practicing on some light bars.  I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I would be able to do, but I ended up in a group of three girls lifting weight, giving feedback on form, and working together to safely add more weight. I was able to lift 55-65-75-75-75-75-75.  Not to shabby for my first attempt at snatches.

 

After CrossFit, I picked up the BOY for this week’s grocery store run and meal planning.  I was starving and actually craving some protein with lunch on the brain.  Let me tell you…if you are ever shopping at Mariano’s and hungry for lunch, swing by the meat counter and have them grill you up a chicken breast.  I finished my shopping and on the way to check out, scooped up my lunch.  The BOY did the same with a white arugula pizza.

 

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On the way home, I remembered that I had leftover salad from Saturday night (that my friend made and sent home with me).  You can’t see it in the picture, but this salad also has goat cheese, cranberries, pine nuts, and I added chopped chicken and avocado.

 

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The BOY was right when he said that this is a restaurant quality lunch.  I totally agree!  Thanks to Mariano’s and Dana this is one of the best salads I’ve had in awhile!  I only had a short amount of time to eat lunch before it was time to leave again.  Although I didn’t know when I made the appointment that today would be rainy, a massage really is the BEST thing to do on a day like today.  I had a $20 off coupon to use before the end of the month, and I basked in the 60 minutes of relaxation while hands firmly worked out the tension and knots in my back and neck.  It was pure bliss and only afterwards did I return home to camp out indoors for the rest of the day.  With such a busy weekend, I had a lot to do.

 

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Some of which included getting my food prepared for the week ahead.  Nothing says rainy days like chili.  One of the things that I love about this new slow cooker book is that it has separate chapters on soup, stew, and chili.  They are plenty of recipes to choose from!

 

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I used the Mushroom Chili recipe but added in some eggplant since the beautiful purple veggies was on sale.  I ended up with a thick batch of chili, so I decided to stir in a cup of vegetable broth before cooking.

 

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I’m looking forward to digging into this thick and hearty chili soon!

 

 

This Week’s Meal Plan…

 

Monday: Breakfast for Dinner (the BOY’s request)

Featuring Challah French Toast, Eggs, and Potatoes

 

Tuesday: BBQ Turkey Meatballs

 

Wednesday: Chicken or Salmon with Veggies

 

Thursday: Leftovers

 

Friday: Trip to St. Louis!!!

 

Lunch: Portobello and Eggplant Chili (recipe below)

 

 

 

Portobello and Eggplant Chili

Adapted from The Big Book of Slow Cooker Recipes

 

Ingredients

3 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned well and cubed

1 small eggplant, cubed

1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 28 ounce and 1 15 ounce canned tomatoes, drained lightly (or you can use chopped fresh tomatoes)

1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and minced

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup low sodium vegetable broth

 

Directions

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray.

Stir well and cook on low for 8 hours.

 

 

How do you deal with dreary?

Me? I dream of SPRING!

 

Meatless Monday for All

Hooray for Meatless Monday!

Even more exciting…the BOY participated this week : )

 

Source

 

For dinner, I decided on Curried Veggie Burgers from Pinch of Yum.  And to my surprise, I got no protests from my roommate.  Although we both eat meat, I love exploring vegetarian recipes that focus on quality ingredients and fragrant spices.  I picked up all of my ingredients at the grocery store today.  I was impressed with all of the nutrient-packed ingredients in these burgers, and couldn’t wait to see how it all came together.

 

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My one hiccup came when I couldn’t find canned lentils at the grocery store.  Does anyone know where they are?  Instead, I boiled up a batch of my own lentils, which was a bit of a disaster.  I always use lentils in recipes, but have never made them plain.  What I got was a huge mushy mess.  I didn’t worry about that too much though because I knew they were heading into burgers.

 

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I was surprised to see cashews in these burgers and excited to toast them up, take a taste, and then create the paste.

 

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Also into the mix…chickpeas, onions, carrots, spices, and brown rice.  Somehow, I didn’t have any TJ’s brown rice in the freezer, but this mix made the perfect substitute.

 

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NOTE:  This is important!  If you have a smaller food processor (like mine which is 7 cups), you might want to cut this recipe in half!  I had to do 2 batches in my food processor which made it difficult to evenly mix the spices.

 

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Ok, so once you have your doughy mixture, there is a decision to make.  To bake or to fry? 

Since I had an abundance of burger mix, I knew that I could try both.  So I threw one batch of burgers in the oven and pan fried the rest.  In the end, I think I finished with, like 20 burgers.  The fried ones were warm and soft (I liked the olive oil coating).

 

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But the baked ones were toasted and crunchy.  Both tasted great, but I think next time I would add some extra curry powder!  BTW, Lindsay suggests baking then frying the burgers!

 

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The BOY made his burger into a wrap with a variety of toppings.

 

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We both had roasted broccoli on the side, and I spread a layer of hummus over my flavorful burger.

 

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I have plenty of leftovers, so it looks like I am all set for lunch this week.  Topped with hummus and avocado, I know this will make a filling midday meal!

Lindsay’s website has the full recipe and all of the tasty details, so definitely head her way before next Monday!

 

 

Did you go Meatless today?

What are your favorite meat free meals?  Links Welcome!

 

 

More Meatless Monday Ideas

Baked Barley Casserole with Mushrooms and Squash

Chickpea Tagine

Moroccan Couscous with Saffron

Spiced Quinoa Stuffed Squash

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry

Vegetable Quinoa Burgers

Waiting for the Storm

There has been talk since yesterday of a big, dangerous ice storm heading our way.  Yuck!  When I spoke with my parents last night, they both said that we should plan on laying low today.  When I woke up around 8am, the weather still looked fine, so I decided to head out to the grocery store for some staples before the expected 10am winter mix.

 

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I don’t think I have ever been to the grocery store before 9am. The store was quiet, which was nice, but the pharmacy didn’t open until 10am (which stinks before I needed some allergy meds).

 

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I was home before the BOY even emerged from the bedroom.  The weather outside was gray, but warm.  If a storm wasn’t heading our way, I might have bundled up for a run. Instead, I put some errands on hold to stay in my warm, comfortable home.   I made us some eggs for breakfast and sat down to watch last week’s Biggest Loser.  Meanwhile, I got started on moving some files form old computer to my new computer.  2 hours later, there was no wintery mix insight, and I was beginning to feel guilty about sitting on the couch in my jammies all day.  My mom called around noon and mentioned that some rain had started by their house.  She invited us over to brave the storm with some television and chili.  However, I had the same idea here!

 

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The BOY turned on the Indiana basketball game, and I started chopping up veggies for Lentil Chili.

 

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This is a vegetarian recipe from one of my new cookbooks.

 

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I was super excited to try this chili.  It has a complex flavor profile, and I even picked up cayenne at the grocery store this morning.

 

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This chili is jam packed with vegetables!

 

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Before you even add in your lentils, beans, tomatoes, and veggie broth.  I used only 4 cups of broth due to space limitations in my pot.

 

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If I was going to spend the day, hiding from the rain, I decided to make the most of it.  I kept plugging away at my computer getting to know Windows 8 and started a few loads of laundry.  I also sat with the BOY cheering on Indiana during a stressful conference game.  By the time Indiana secured a victory against Michigan State, my chili was ready for consumption.

 

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And OMG…it is GOOD!

 

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So simple and rich, the chili tasted amazing covered in sweet avocado.

 

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I recommend saving this recipe for your next rainy Sunday (or even Superbowl Sunday)! 

 

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The rain never came down as hard as I expected, but a few minutes ago, the BOY looked out the window.

And my car…is covered…in a sheet of ice.  Yikes!  I will definitely have to thaw it out in order to get to CrossFit tomorrow.

 

 

Did you get hit with a winter storm today?

How did you spend your Sunday?

 

Mine was much lazier than expected, but I am happy to be moved into my new computer!

 

If you are having a quiet day in (like me), here are three more veggie chili recipes that I love!

Crockpot Vegetarian Chili

Crockpot Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

Ultimate Vegan Chili

 

And…dinner is already in the crockpot, which means that I will have another easy recipe coming your way.  Clue…this one involves homemade peanut butter!

 

 

Lentil Chili

From the Forks Over Knives Cookbook

Ingredients

3 yellow onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 bell peppers (1 red and 1 green), chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups 4 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground chipotle powder or smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups red lentils, rinsed
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
zest and juice of 1 lime

 

Directions

In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, sauté onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and garlic in 1 cup of the vegetable broth. Stir occasionally and cook until vegetables soften, approximately 5-7 minutes.

Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, ground chipotle powder, and cayenne pepper and cook for an additional minute, stirring well.

Add lentils, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, and remaining vegetable broth into the soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer until lentils are soft, approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

*Note: this recipe made 12 cups of chili, which is more than enough to eat, share, and try freezing.

First Workout of the Year

Finally!

I made it to Hot Yoga yesterday morning with my Mom!

 

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recycled picture but we were just as bundled up!

 

I really haven’t done much activity the past few weeks, so I had to remind myself a few times during the intense class that it is okay to hold back and rest.  But I LOVED getting back into my weekly workout routine, and it was even more special to have my Mom yoga-ing right next to me.  After class, I tried to convince her to come to Whole Foods with me, but she was headed another direction in search of veggies for her own Healthy New Year Soup.

 

I love shopping at Whole Foods!

 

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I picked up some fresh fruits and veggies to make one of Jenna’s hearty stews.

 

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And then came home to chop veggies and warm up the crockpot.  Right on cue, the BOY started to smell the Indian flavors from upstairs and hollered down ‘Honey, what are you making? Smells Good!’

 

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I’m hoping that he will dig right into the stew and won’t even notice the butternut squash.

 

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Without interesting (to me anyways) football today, I was a little bit lost with what to do with my Sunday.  After I got my stew into the crockpot, I baked up some Pumpkin Pear Bread.  Then did a little bit of cleaning and organizing before settling into some comfy clothes on my couch.  I was really excited to finish my book Eat & Run, and it did NOT disappoint!

 

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This recipe requires about 10 hours to get a thick and hearty stew.  Perfect for a Sunday!  The only problem…I was exhausted last night and not going to be able to stay awake until 10pm.

 

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So I put the BOY in charge of unplugging the crockpot and putting my stew into the fridge before he came up to bed.

 

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I was eager to see (and taste) the results this morning!

 

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These pictures don’t even do it justice!  Not only is this the ideal stew texture, but the flavors are incredible.  Everything blends together marvelously, so you know what I will be eating for lunch today.  I love having a house full of healthy food options and fingers crossed, I will be getting in workout number 2 today!

 

 

Crock Pot Chickpea, Butternut Squash

and Red Lentil Stew

From Eat, Live, Run

 

Ingredients

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 tbsp olive or canola oil

2 large carrot, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

2-3 tsp garam masala

1 butternut squash (about 3 lbs–average sized), peeled and chopped

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes in tomato juice

1 quart vegetable broth

1 cup red lentils

2 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)

 

Directions

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot and jalapeno and sauté for about six minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds, and then add the garam masala, stirring well to coat. Take off heat.

Place the chickpeas, butternut squash, canned diced tomatoes, red lentils, vegetable broth and onion mixture in your slow cooker. Turn the heat on LOW and cook for 8-10 hours…the longer you cook, the thicker your stew will be.

Season with sea salt to taste and serve with minced cilantro on top (I didn’t do this). This stew freezes extremely well and will keep in the fridge for up to five days.

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms {Revisited}

First up, a ‘I’m sick of being sick’ update…

I saw the doctor today and am beginning round II of antibiotics tonight.  This one is a super big pill and the gold standard in sinus infections, so I am ever hopeful!  It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve gone for a run, and I am in need of some activity.  It appears that the weather will be warming up next week (40 degrees), so I’m hoping to have some exercise posts to share.  Although the doctor suggested not heading out for a run just yet.  Thanks to everyone for your warm wishes…I really appreciate it!

 

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Even though I haven’t worked out in 2 weeks (other than one yoga class), I have had plenty of food to share.  As is our NYE tradition, the BOY and I spent the night working together in the kitchen to create a an incredible dinner!

 

What was on this year’s menu?

 

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Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Crab Legs

Lobster Tail

Roasted Broccoli

Grandma’s Brownies

 

The stuffed mushroom recipe comes from Real Simple magazine.  The first time I made it a few years back, I was amazed that such a decadent tasting recipe could come out of my kitchen.  Since then, it has become a New Year’s Eve tradition.

 

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Last year, I used a few large mushrooms, but this year I went back to the original recipe.

 

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I like to add a little extra garlic and parmesan to my mushrooms which enhances the flavors and it makes it difficult to stop eating this mouth watering appetizer.

 

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And any leftovers heat up nicely!

 

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If you’re looking for an easy appetizer for a weeknight meal or to impress your friends at a dinner party, save this recipe for your files!

 

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With the oven hot, we also roasted up some broccoli with olive oil and sea salt

 

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And that sat down to enjoy this special meal!

 

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I definitely won’t be waiting until next year to make these mushrooms again!

 

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Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Adapted From Real Simple November 2010

 

Ingredients

24 medium mushrooms (about 1 1⁄2 pounds total)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 5-ounce package baby spinach, chopped

kosher salt and black pepper

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan, grated (2 ounces)

 

Directions

Heat oven to 375° F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms; finely chop the stems and reserve. Coat a baking sheet with oil. Bake the mushroom caps, stem-side down, until just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped mushroom stems and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes more.

In a bowl, combine the spinach mixture with the bread crumbs and cheese. Spoon into the mushroom caps and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Store for 1-2 days in an airtight container and reheat in the microwave.