Sweet and Hot Sesame Cucumbers

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I mean, I should just give up.

Actually, I have thought about giving up blogging several times.  It takes a lot, A LOT, of time, energy, planning… all things that I have very little of.  And I don’t like to do things half-way; if I’m not automatically great at something, I like to quit while I’m ahead.  Or behind.

At any rate, I really don’t want to quit. I’d rather give excuses. I have a few good ones for my major blogging deficiencies that have been eating all of my time:

  • I’ve been taking a dance class,
  • I’ve been traveling for work,
  • I started tutoring at this AMAZING volunteer after-school program, and
  • I. MOVED. AGAIN.

Yes. I moved again. You know what? Continue reading

White Cheddar Cran Ball

 

Oh, hi.  It’s me.  I hope you had an epically fantastic holiday!  I did, which is partly why I am just now writing, two weeks later.  Whomp whomp.

I spent several bliss-filled days with my two 10-ish-year-old nephews.  and my 8-month old niece. I love spending time with them so much, and get so depressed when I have to drive back to Boston, far, far away from them.  My niece is without a doubt the most adorable baby on the planet, and happens to be the heaviest thing I’ve held since Nam.  Seriously, after Day One of my visit, my biceps were sore.  Why is it that rolls of fat on my niece’s thighs are adorbs, but not so much on my 30-year-old legs?  Oh, the humanity. Continue reading

Kale Chips

Oh my me oh my.  I turn 30 in 30 days.  Can you believe?!  Don’t answer that.

Like I said last year, I get very reflective around my birthday.  I tend to look inward a lot this time of year– taking into account where i am in my life, what I have achieved thus far, what I have yet to achieve and still want to, and changes I want to make.  With such a large milestone as this,  I am pretty much in a constant state of self-reflection.  Soon, I will be revisiting my “things to do before 30” list, and see where I’m at.  For now, I am thinking about where I am in my life in a larger sense, and what BIG changes I want to make.  I’ve decided that I need to make some changes in my life, and have put myself on a timeline to really kick myself into gear. Continue reading

Mashed Garlic Cauliflower

Yes, I realize this is the second cauliflower recipe in a row.  Two things to say to that:

  1. I don’t love this veggie, so I always have too much on hand when I buy it.
  2. No one asked you.

Anyway, I have just hit the low-cal jackpot. Continue reading

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

So I may or may not have mentioned that I am a Dallas Cowboys fan.

Okay, how many of you did I just lose by that statement?

It’s the truth though–I have been since Nam.  Not going to change, regardless of my location.  So you can imagine how I am feeling right now going into Week 3 with Romo’s busted collar bone.  Oh well, winning was fun for a while.  #bringbackAikman

Anyway, on to food! Continue reading

Easy Mushroom Broth Bowl

Never live with regret.

That’s something that’s been ingrained in me since I was in junior high:  no regrets.  It’s led to some dumb decisions, a lot of YOLO moments, plenty of scars and stretch marks.  Looking back, jumping off that bridge wasn’t a smart idea.  Eating that entire cake myself was a mistake.  But overall, it’s been a blessing, and something I would and could never change.

When I look back at my life now, there’s plenty of face-palm moments, but very little anything I actually, truly regret. Our choices shape who we are, including our mistakes.  We learn from them, we grow from them.  As I continue to age (7 weeks until 30 now!), I want to look back at my life feeling proud.  Feeling accomplished.  Feeling like I lived it.

That’s what makes me so annoyed sometimes about others who don’t get this.  Assuming that you live a full life and aren’t taken suddenly (which makes this whole thing even worse), are you going to look back and say:  Boy, I wish I spent more time in front of the TV?  Who uses their last moments thinking if only I exercised less and sat around more?  Who looks back on their life of monotony with a satisfied smile, glad that they never saw the world, had an adventure, tried new things?  Perhaps the worst of all, who could ever be thankful that they were cold and unwelcoming to others (especially “Christians,”  but that’s a soapbox speech for a different day)?

I encourage… no, I URGE you, to live.  Live your life.  Try new things.  Love more.  Be a better person.  Be able to look back on your life with no regrets.

Okay, now that you’re feeling warm inside spiritually, warm your insides physically.  This is the simplest, yet perfect fall food.  Good for the soul.  Enjoy 🙂

Materials:

  • small pot with lid (for rice)
  • large pot/pan (for sauteing)
  • wooden spoon/spatula
  • knife and cutting board

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized mushrooms, sliced (I used baby portabella)
  • 1 shallot
  • 1.5 cup beef broth
  • 1 c instant brown rice

Directions:

  1. In a small pot, cook rice according to directions.
  2. Thinly slice shallot.   IMG_5816
  3. In a large pot or pan (I used my Dutch oven, because it cooks evenly), heat a small amount of broth or oil.
  4. Toss shallots into large pot and cook for about 3 minutes.  Toss in mushrooms and broth.  IMG_5817
  5. Cook mushrooms, shallots, and broth for about 6 minutes, or until instant brown rice is done (mine took 10 minutes).
  6. Serve by placing rice into bowls, and pouring broth mixture over the rice. IMG_5822
  7. Enjoy!

Easy Mushroom Broth Bowl

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Materials:

IMG_5822

  • small pot with lid (for rice)
  • large pot/pan (for sauteing)
  • wooden spoon/spatula
  • knife and cutting board

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized mushrooms, sliced (I used baby portabella)
  • 1 shallot
  • 1.5 cup beef broth
  • 1 c instant brown rice

Directions:

  1. In a small pot, cook rice according to directions.
  2. Thinly slice shallot.
  3. In a large pot or pan (I used my Dutch oven, because it cooks evenly), heat a small amount of broth or oil.
  4. Toss shallots into large pot and cook for about 3 minutes.  Toss in mushrooms and broth.
  5. Cook mushrooms, shallots, and broth for about 6 minutes, or until instant brown rice is done (mine took 10 minutes).
  6. Serve by placing rice into bowls, and pouring broth mixture over the rice.
  7. Enjoy!

Zoodles

Food swap trends.  They are everywhere.  Cauliflower “rice,”  no-nut butters, facon (fake bacon… I draw the line there).  Whether it’s food allergies or diet fads, food swaps are constantly bombarding my newsfeed.  Did you hear about the new yada yayda?  It tastes just like real blah blah blah, but with 1/4 of the calories.  Yup, and does it really taste just like the real thing?  Not a chance.  But, I will never discourage folks from eating better, especially when they are making clean food swaps.

So, that brings us to zoodles.  Zoodles are simply zucchini that are cut into thin strips and cooked, to mimic noodles.  Is this an equal swap for pasta?  No freakin way.  Coming from someone who LOVES her wheat corkscrews, zoodles cannot replace the thick, wholesome, starchy goodness of real noodles.

That being said, they are easy to make, and can be swapped in place of noodles for a delicious, but different, alternative.  I wanted to experiment with this trend (don’t knock it before you try it, right?), so I whipped up a batch and served it with some store-bought vodka sauce I had in the pantry.  The result?  Really, really good!  I would totally make these again, especially when I need to cut down on the carbs.  The biggest downside is that you’ll need equipment for this one:  either a spiralizer (which I do not have, but they are very cool!), or a mandolin (which I used).  If you’re craving noodles, do yourself a favor and eat some pasta; however, if you’re open to some veggie variety, give these a go!

Materials:

  • spiralizer, mandolin, or grater that can cut zucchini into long, thin strips
  • pot or saute pan
  • tongs, spatula, or wooden spoon

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp garlic (minced)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Carefully shred zucchini into long, thin strips using mechanism of choice.FullSizeRender (9)FullSizeRender (10)
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Toss zucchini, garlic, salt, and pepper into the pan.  Saute for at least 5 minutes, until tender.FullSizeRender (11)
  4. Enjoy on its own, with parmesan cheese, or with your favorite sauce!

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Zoodles

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15 min
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Materials:

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  • spiralizer, mandolin, or grater that can cut zucchini into long, thin strips
  • pot or saute pan
  • tongs, spatula, or wooden spoon

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp garlic (minced)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Carefully shred zucchini into long, thin strips using mechanism of choice.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Toss zucchini, garlic, salt, and pepper into the pan.  Saute for at least 5 minutes, until tender.
    1. Enjoy on its own, with parmesan cheese, or with your favorite sauce!