Blackened Halibut

I have this intense love hate relationship with fish.

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The thought of eating it makes me sick, the smell of it makes me want to (ya know), and the look of it…BAHLSDFKJALDFHKLJDF!!!

But then I went to this sea food restaurant in Newport Beach and had the best tasting halibut of my life, and I’ve dreamt about it once a week since then.

IT’S SO CONFUSING!

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A problem I’ve been faced with a lot since living in Las Vegas is getting ‘fresher’ food, especially meats and fish. We aren’t that far away from the ocean, but it’s just not the same since living in San Diego. I notice the fish smell a lot worse and the fish are colored to look a certain way…(Which makes it sound even less appealing.)

I used to buy salmon because it was the one I was most familiar with, but I don’t think I will ever go back. Many of you have suggested I try halibut, and boy I wish I would have listened sooner! It basically taste like chicken…I mean seriously, it’s the REAL chicken of the sea.

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I’ve also noticed that I prefer my fish blackened, which means it has a little crisp and char on the outside. Also, fish taste amazing with a lot of butter. Buuuutttaaaa. But I recently found out it also taste good with coconut oil too! Which ever you prefer to use, both work great!

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This version can be made on a grill, or if you are like me and don’t own one, then a cast iron skillet works great too! (Even a regular pan is fine!)

And if the idea of eating fish sounds disgusting to your kids, tell them it’s chicken. #greatparenting

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Blackened halibut
 
Ingredients
  • fresh halibut
  • butter or coconut oil
  • fresh garlic
  • old bay seasoning
  • lemon
Instructions
  1. Heat your cast iron skillet on the stove on medium heat. (This allows the pan to get hot!)
  2. For each halibut, melt 2 TB. of oil (or butter) and ½ tsp. chopped garlic clove.
  3. Dip halibut into the melted butter, and coat completely.
  4. Remove the halibut and place on a plate. Sprinkle each side generously with Old Bay seasoning.
  5. Melt 1 tsp. of butter or oil in the pan. Add the halibut, which should make the pan smoke.
  6. Cook halibut for a few minutes on each side until it's cooked all the way though.
  7. Finish off with fresh lemon juice.
  8. Enjoy!

 

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I’d love to know your favorite ways to eat or prepare fish, and which fish is your favorite! I wouldn’t say I’m 100% sold on the idea of loving fish…But, a little convincing never hurt anyone right?!

Mexican Style Salad Naan Pizza

Often times I try and make dinners that can please the whole family, and everyone will enjoy.

That’s in a perfect world though…In reality, my husband wants Del Taco, one daughter is screaming for a popsicle, and the other is eating crumbs off the kitchen floor…And I just want to make peanut butter and honey sandwiches for everyone and tell them to suck it up. (And then I’ll go out and have myself a nice dinner.)

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Nothing’s worse than making this huge dinner to have one person try it, and the rest of the family dabble at it. So glad I spent 45 minutes making dinner for everyone to not eat it.

AM I RIGHT MOMS?!?!

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I’ve learned that effort is good when making dinner, but going all out crazy just isn’t worth it. No matter how many sauces, dips, spreads, spices, and methods I used making that dinner, there is a chance that 50% will eat only a few bites. And then I feel bummed because all the work I put into dinner, so I finish off everyones plate to make up for it.

It’s not pretty.

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So when it comes to dinner, I try and think simple. I remember that I have two kids under 3, and a husband that has the flavor palate of a 15 year old. I also usually try to stick with dishes that can easily be adapted for my kiddos. That means that I can take different parts of that dish and serve them separately to my one year old. For example, this pizza.

I made it so I can serve her the chicken separately, along with the corn, and I can make a quesadilla out of the rest of the ingredients.

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The sauce is so easy that it took 2 minutes to make, just the way I like it! It’s vibrant and green due to the cilantro and avocado, which goes perfectly for a mexican style pizza! I also added this in my girls quesadillas!

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Let’s not forget about the “crust” in this pizza. It’s garlic naan bread, which just took a few hours off my dinner prep. On days where I don’t have the will or time to make homemade dough, naan bread is the perfect sub. It’s fluffy and flavorful, and when you broil it in the oven it has a nice little crunch just like pizza dough would!

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Then there is my husband and I who have completely two different food preferences. So for my pizza, I opted for no cheese to keep it a little lighter.

But for my husbands pizza, I added a little bit more chicken, lots or cheese, and a few dashes of hot sauce!

After the pizzas are baked, I drizzled cold plain greek yogurt on top, which brings it all together!

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Mexican Salad Naan Pizza
 
Ingredients
  • For the Pizza
  • Garlic Naan Bread
  • Avocado Cilantro Sauce(Recipe to follow)
  • romain lettuce
  • Cooked chicken
  • corn
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • cheese
  • plain greek yogurt
  • hot sauce
  • (For the Avocado Cilantro Sauce)
  • 2 small avocados
  • 2 small limes (juice)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • ¼ c. chopped white onion
  • 1-2 gloves garlic chopped
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • salt/pepper
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients into a blender, and blending until creamy. Adjust salt/pepper to preferred taste.
  2. To make the pizza, get the naan bread. Spread the sauce on top of the bread.
  3. Then top with chopped romain, corn, diced tomatoes, diced peppers, cooked chicken, and if desired, cheese.
  4. Turn the oven on HI broil, and cook pizza for about 5 or so minutes, until the naan bread is a little crisp and the cheese is melted.
  5. Drizzle with greek yogurt.
  6. Enjoy!

 

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My husband said this was his favorite dish from me. But he totally says that all the time because I’m such an amazing cook so…

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This is what the girls dinner looked like. It wasn’t as colorful, but they enjoyed it! Their quesadillas had cheese and the avocado sauce.

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Don’t worry, tomorrow night I WILL serve peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

 

Sweet Lime Chicken

The very first ‘home cooked’ meal I ever made my husband was chicken. It was disgusting.

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I remember calling my mom every 5 minutes, “Wait, so how do I know when the chicken is done? It’s been in for an hour?”

It was done alright.

I have this fear of undercooking meat, so I tend to go overboard and make sure that it’s really cooked. I remember the look on my husbands face when he first tried my chicken. It was like, “I know we just got married and all but how can I tell my new wife that she’s the worst cook and I wish my mom was here?….”

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Sadly it finally took me a couple years before I started cooking chicken the right way. That’s right…A couple of years. Exactly how many chicken dishes did husband have to force down during that time, I don’t know…But now I know his exact face when I make something that doesn’t taste the best. I always follow that look up with a, “Whaaaaaaat?! What’s wrong with THIS dinner?!”

The secret for cooking chicken, in my eyes, is to buy a meat thermometer. That kitchen tool right there has saved my life.

As for the chicken breast, they say it’s done when the internal temperature reaches 165. So I always cook the chicken to about 160 degrees, and then I pull it out of the oven, cover it with foil, and let it continue to cook a little more. I also make sure the breast are thin and even. It doesn’t cook evenly if one side of the breast is super thick, and the other is super thin.

Bored yet?

Ok, here is the recipe:

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet Lime Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • Chicken Breast or Tenders, desired amount
  • Olive Oil
  • Limes (3-4)
  • Lime Zest of 1-2 limes.
  • Coconut Sugar or Honey
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • *There are no measurements for this recipe
  • Optional: Top chicken with chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add your chicken to a baking dish large enough to where the chicken isn't too crowded together.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on top of the chicken. (Enough olive oil to coat the entire top of the chicken. It's ok to be somewhat generous.) Then Squeeze your limes onto the chicken. (I used 1 and a half limes per side. Don't be shy. Squeeze enough juice to coat entire tops of chicken.)
  4. Grate lime zest over the chicken, one lime per side.
  5. Sprinkle coconut sugar on top of chicken, enough to coat entire top of chicken. If using honey, drizzle on top. Use enough to coat lightly.
  6. Do the same with the remaining spices, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Be generous.
  7. Flip the chicken, and do the same to the other side ; olive oil, sweetener, and spices.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until internal temperature is close to 165 degrees. Cover at let sit for at least 5-10 minutes after baking to let the flavors come together.
  9. Top chicken with chopped cilantro.

 

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My next food to learn how to cook is steak.(P.S. I have a food blog?)  I usually don’t eat steak, but my husband loves it. I feel bad that I rarely cook it for him…Sadly I feel even worse when I DO cook it for him. Let’s just say there is NO red in the middle, and the outside has this ‘char’ to it. Crispaaaaayyyy!

 

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But if my husband asked me to make him chocolate cake, well by all means…It would be fantastic!

Clean Out Your Fridge Pasta Sauce

 

Did you know that by the time Sunday comes around we have half a box of cereal in our pantry, a bag of carrots in the fridge, an almost empty jar of peanut butter on the counter, and a full bag of dark chocolate chips in the freezer? Hashtag Priorities.

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I’m never ready for Sunday dinner. I plan dinner out for the whole week, but then it’s like I forgot about Sunday and just pretend that there will be something in the pantry to make and all will be well…

No, Arielle. Every Sunday this happens, and every sunday you forget, and every Sunday you suck.

Sunday is basically like an episode of chopped. I open the pantry, the fridge, and the freezer. Swear a few times because I’m an idiot and should have prepared better for this, hope that honey nut cheerios would make a great crouton on a salad, and pray that everything works out…

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Like most families, I assume that by the end of the week everyones fridge holds the least exciting food in the produce drawer. Its all the leftover produce that didn’t get eaten during the week, which means there wasn’t a desire there to eat them to begin with.

This Sunday, I just so happened to have a Costco amount of tomatoes, carrot sticks, one zucchini, and an ‘older’ bag of celery. Wouldn’t it be great if I could combine all of that into one and my kids would eat it?!

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And that is how this Pasta Sauce was born. I’m sure it could work with the majority of veggies you have in your drawer, which makes cleaning out the fridge all that more successful. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand, you can definitely used canned. Add your favorite toppings, seasoning, or even make it a meat sauce.

If you are lucky enough to have more than the end piece of bread in your pantry, serve it along with an herbed garlic bread for dipping!

Did I mention it’s full of veggies?!

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Veggie Filled Pasta Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is a quick and simple pasta sauce that could easily be made with the veggies that are left in the fridge at the end of the week!
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. coconut oil/olive oil
  • 3 lbs. tomatoes (I used plum)
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 2 large carrot sticks, or a handful of baby carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 zucchini
  • 4 TB. tomato paste
  • 4 TB. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaping TB. dried basil
  • 1 heaping TB. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • salt/pepper-to taste
  • hot sauce (a few dashes-optional)
Instructions
  1. Dice onion and garlic. Add them to a pot on the stove.
  2. Turn the heat on the stove to medium heat, and add the coconut oil.
  3. Toss the onion and garlic and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are clear.
  4. While the onion/garlic is cooking, dice the rest of the veggies.
  5. Add the rest of the veggies to the pot and stir. Add in the paste, seasonings, and vinegar.Cover and let simmer for 15-30 minutes on med-low heat, stirring occasionally. Get the rest of the dinner ready while the sauce cooks. (You can cook the sauce as long as needed, just until the veggies are somewhat tender)
  6. Transfer to a blender, and blend sauce until pureed and thick.
  7. Transfer the sauce back to the pot, taste, adjust seasoning, and serve along with pasta, meat sauce, chicken, etc.

 

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And for dessert?

A bag of chocolate chips. Seriously…

Greatest.Mom.Ever.

 

(My Favorite) Bean Burgers

 

The first time I ever visited my favorite restaurant in San Diego, I wore a bathing suit (no coverup), and I was 6 months pregnant.

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Everything about this restaurant is fascinating. The tables, curtains, clothes, and chairs are all made by the workers of this restaurant. The food grows in their garden, and I’m almost positive there are addictive ingredients added to each recipe on the menu. Everything is THAT good.

I’ve talked about The Yellow Deli many times on the blog, and even recreated my favorite Green Drink a while back. At one point my husband told the hostess he loved her over the phone, and well, then she gave us our dinner for free. Probably so he’d stop calling.

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One of my favorite menu items there is their veggie burger. It’s different than any veggie burger I’ve had, and I truly believe it’s the way it’s built. The toppings make an incredible difference, and I swear one of those toppings is crack.

Maybe not, but probably.

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It’s an onion roll with a garlic spread, warm and perfectly ripe avocado, sprouts, fresh tomatoes, sauteed onions, and crack.

Yup.

I did my best to recreate my favorite veggie burger, and I must say, It made me feel all warm and happy inside. It makes living 314 miles away from there not too bad. (I googled it.) The garlic spread is just a little bit of mayo mixed with some chopped garlic. You can always use veganaise or skip it completely if needed. You could also eat a pretzel and pretend it’s chocolate cake…Your choice.

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(My Favorite) Bean Burgers
 
Everyone loves a good burger! Who says a vegetarian burger can't be delicious! With the right ingredients and toppings, you won't be missing the meat one bit!
Ingredients
  • 2-3 TB. olive/coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 TB. chopped garlic
  • 2 pieces of bread-I used honey chia bread
  • ½ c. cooked barley (or brown rice)-if using rice, add another ¼ c.
  • 1 can drained and rinsed red kidney beans
  • 2 TB. ground flax seeds mixed with 4 TB. water-placed in the fridge
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 TB. dried oregano
  • dash of hot sauce
  • sprinkle of salt/pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add oil to a pan and add garlic and onion. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  2. In a food processor add bread. Pulse until bread turns into crumbs.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor: onion & garlic mixture, beans, barley, flax seed mixture, and spices.
  4. Pulse in the food processor until it's mashed up and a little chunky.
  5. Form into patties and place on a baking sheet fitted with parchment paper. You should get around 6-8 patties.
  6. Bake in the oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes, flipping the patties half way through.
  7. Let burgers sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before serving.
  8. Top with desired toppings. (Tomato, avocado, sprouts, pickles, dijon, mayo, etc.

 

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If you are wondering if this burger is kid approved, the answer is yes. 🙂 Just have your patties sitting on a baking sheet on the counter to resemble a fresh tray of cookies. After my one year old kept screaming “OOKIE OOKIE OOKIE”, I gave in figuring she’d spit it out, but no! She ate the whole thing!

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Sadly, she didn’t mention the difference in the bean burger vs. a real cookie…

Which doesn’t say much for my cookie making skills huh?

Favorite Costco Finds

While most 25 year olds spend their money on clothes, makeup, and pedicures I rack up my grocery shopping bill.

I have a hard time saying no to food, like all the time. Most likely if a creeper in a broken down van opened his door to me and said he had a bag of chocolate chips…I’d probably get in the van.

(Note: Don’t really do that.)

Costco is one of those places that I visit weekly, and a lot of times I am emailed about things to buy to stock a healthy pantry. Now, for those that don’t know, Costco sells food and other items in bulk. Like you don’t buy 1 bottle of ketchup, you buy 7. But there are things that I get weekly there because we plow through food in our house so often, that I have to go there to save money. (Yes husband, I said ‘Save Money’).

Here is a list of some of the things I think are worth getting at Costco. Every Costco is different, so you might not find what’s on this list at your local store. I’m sure in a few months I’ll do a part two because Costco likes to sell my favorite things for a little bit, and then all of the sudden..stop.

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Produce:

Living in Las Vegas, produce isn’t as fresh or as cheap as it was in California. And since we eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, I tend to buy majority of my produce from Costco. It’s the most cost effective for our family since my girls can eat a whole container of blueberries in two days! Often you can find Organic produce for not much of a price difference for non organic too!

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Frozen Fruit:

We love our smoothies in our house, so frozen fruit is a must! Right now I have a huge bag or Organic dark sweet cherries! I usually buy one bag, and use that up until it’s done and then I’ll switch to another fruit. Again, this has just been the most cost effective for our family too since we use it so much!

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Sabra Single Serving Packets

I’m almost positive these aren’t going to last at Costco because I love them so much! They used to see a HUGE tub of Sabra hummus for $5, and now it’s gone! But it’s ok, because now they switched to these single serving packets! It’s perfect for out families hummus obsession, because I can take one out and eat it as a snack without eating the whole tub. I also put this in my daughters lunch for school!

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Mama Chia Packets

These are so amazing! It’s basically a sweet chia gel in a packet that you can suck right out when you need a little something. Perfect for me or the girls, we both love them!

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Chobani

The girls favorite yogurt, especially the strawberry. Usually this is the most cost effective for us since we eat a lot of it!

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Fruit/Veggie Packets

My one year old is obsessed with the apple sauce packets, so when Costco has them I always buy them because they don’t last long! And most often, they are more expensive in other grocery stores!

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Pure Maple Syrup

This is the syrup I use when cooking, baking, pancake making, etc. It’s 100% pure! Maple syrup is SO expensive, but I’ve noticed I get more for my money at Costco!

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Almond Butter

Almond butter is delicious, especially when you add a little honey and cinnamon to it. This is a great find at costco, especially since it’s all natural with no added sugars! And again, more for your money!

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Almond Butter Packets

These are perfect for lunches or quick snacks! I’m always looking for things like this to make life easier!

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Coach’s Oats

Great brand of oats, and you get a lot for your money!

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Quinoa

I just barely finished my bag  of quinoa from costco that I got MONTHS ago! I keep it in the fridge/freezer so it last long!

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Coconut Oil

$20 for a HUGE thing of coconut oil. If you use it as often as I do, then definitely look into this!

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Quinoa & Brown Rice:

Microwaveable rice that’s perfect and healthy for quick dinners and lunches!

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Chia Seeds

This is similar with the quinoa in that this last forever and I keep it in the fridge until it’s all gone!

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Hemp Seeds

Along the same lines as the Chia seeds! Last forever and more for the money!

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Dairy

I usually  buy my non dairy milks at costco, they have coconut, soy, and almond. (I use a lot during the week.) I also buy eggs there because of the great price!

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Salsa

If costco gets rid of this salsa, I swear I will break up with them! This is the BEST salsa, and it’s gone within the week. I put this crap on everything!

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Fage Greek Yogurt

My favorite favorite yogurt! It’s so thick and creamy, it’s the perfect sub for sour cream and perfect for baking! You get a HUGE tub for like $5!

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7 Superfoods Salad

This salad has kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, pumpkin seeds, etc. I LOVE THIS SALAD! I have this often for lunch with a leftover protein from dinner! It’s seriously the best, even my girls love it! (And my husband!)

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Evolution Apple Juice

Liquid gold my friends. Everybody loves juice, but I’m kind of a snob towards juice that isn’t fresh. It taste SO much better, and this is an example! We fight over this juice in our house, that’s a fact.

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Honey Chia Bread

This is a new find for me, but they give a lot of samples of it with warm melted butter. I’m now addicted! It’s the perfect toast/breakfast bread with a little almond butter, honey, cinnamon, or coconut oil!

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See what I mean…

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Now I will say this…Don’t buy all of this at once. Unless you want to spend $600 at Costco.

What are your favorite things to get at Costco? Did I miss any fun finds? Also, my children were cuddling while I shopped and took pictures for this post. My three year old was tickling my one year old and singing to her…

Costco may be what heaven is like…

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Taste The Rainbow-Eat Your Veggies- Veggie Hummus Pizza

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day….We’ve already covered a Rainbow colored fruit dish, and today is all about veggies!

I think veggies are probably one of the hardest forms of food to convince people to eat, no matter how many servings of ranch you serve with them! (Just ask my husband.)

Ever since I made the switch years ago to eating healthier, I’ve made a commitment to myself to try and include some form of vegetable with almost every meal and snack. It’s hard, and being creative is key, but I truly love (raw) veggies and the sweetness that they do have! The only vegetable I’m turned off by is eggplant. It’s just not right.

The more you eat them, the more you will crave them. I promise.

It’s like chocolate. The more you eat it, the more you want it. And eventually you’ve bought a 5 pound bag of dark chocolate from Costco. The same goes for veggies. Seriously, I promise.

Recently I’ve been making ‘colorful’ veggie sides & dishes for my family because  honestly it’s more appealing than a scoop of broccoli. My girls have been more willing to try their veggies when I’ve combined a few different types/colors, then when I just use one. I do wish their were more pink & blue veggies out there though…

The idea of this pizza came from a meal I had at one of my favorite healthy restaurants in Las Vegas (I’ll share soon!).

It was a flat bread greek pizza, drizzled with this sauce and OMG I wanted to cry! I’ve been making varieties of flat bread pizzas at home ever since, and this one is a quick and easy one any one would love!

The base for the pizza is hummus, which obviously is my favorite condiment/food group. (Hummus is a food group, didn’t you know?) I love using hummus because it has a bean base (Bonus!), lots of flavor, and gives pizza that extra oomph needed when you aren’t adding cheese on top!

Then I topped it with my choice of sauteed vegetables that I cooked for a few minutes in coconut oil and salt & pepper.

While the pizza was cooking, I made a ‘Ranch’ dressing sauce to go on top. Since the pizza is cheese less, I knew this added bonus would give the pizza exactly what it needed to come together.

If you are ever craving ranch, you must try this:

Greek Yogurt + Organic Ranch Dressing Mix=Heaven.

It’s added protein with that ranch dressing flavor, and it goes perfectly with veggies!

 

I thinned it out with a little non dairy milk to make it liquid-y (is that a word?) to drizzle on top of the cooked pizza! Sprinkled some chopped parsley on top and well…

I promise, eating vegetables will be pretty exciting after this!

(I’ve been making a lot of promises lately…)


5.0 from 1 reviews
Taste The Rainbow-Eat Your Veggies- Veggie Hummus Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
You can change up the veggies, sauce, spread, etc. with this flat bread pizza! It's all up to your taste buds and what you have on hand! Have fun and enjoy tasting the rainbow of veggies!
Serves: 1-2
Ingredients
  • 1 flat bread, tortilla, naan bread, etc.
  • coconut oil
  • salt & pepper
  • choice of chopped veggies. (for this recipe I used green & yellow pepper, red cherry tomatoes, carrots, purple onion, yellow tomatoes, and garlic.)
  • Choice of spread (I used Hummus-favorite brand is Sabre!)
  • Ranch Dressing Sauce-Mixture of a ¼ c. greek yogurt, organic ranch dressing mix, and a few TB. of non dairy milk)
  • Fresh parsley chopped.
Instructions
  1. Chop veggies.
  2. Add coconut oil to medium/low heated pan. Add veggies and toss in oil. Sprinkle in salt & pepper.
  3. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat, until veggies and cooked down a little.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Put your flatbread on a baking sheet. Spread hummus onto flat bread. Add cooked veggies and place pizza in the oven.
  6. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until pizza edges are crisp.
  7. While the pizza is cooking, make the greek yogurt dressing by mixing the greek yogurt with a few tsp. of dressing mix. (Add more or less for desired taste/taste as you add.)
  8. Thin out with a 1-2 TB. of non dairy milk.
  9. Add greek yogurt to a plastic bad and cut a corner edge off.
  10. Drizzle greek yogurt sauce onto cooked pizza. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.
  11. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

 

Honestly my husband could not stop eating this! It made me mad because when I sat down to eat it I asked him if he wanted some and he said, “No WAY!” 1 minute later he’s begging for a bite. Then another. And another…Then he ate 3/4 of the pizza…

Happy St. Patricks Day! Don’t forget to taste the rainbow in a healthy way!!

P.S.

I just love my little cutie!

afterlight

Chickpea Vegetable Curry

The other day, it was around 2 o’ clock and my kids had just rested their energetic bodies down for a nap. I swear that day I had heard, “Do You Want to Build A Snowman?” 856 times, and my mentality was close to a 5 year old. I had a really small breakfast that morning and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet either. For some reason that day was extremely busy, and I’m pretty sure I forgot to put on deodorant. (Not a first.) I was 2 seconds away from calling out and ordering my favorite comfort food, but for some reason I had this motivation to create something in the kitchen all for me.

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My kitchen was oddly spotless and it was way too quiet in the house, so I grabbed what I had in the pantry and decided to try and re-create a favorite comfort food dish of mine. And because I couldn’t live with the fact that my kitchen was clean.

I wish I would branch out more often when we eat at authentic thai restaurants, but every time I order curry. (Along with 5 cups of rice to go with it.) That day I had been craving a curry dish so bad, that I could practically taste it. As soon as I finished making it, I almost convinced myself I would never have to order take out again… (Probably a lie.)

You probably are guessing why the pictures of this amazing curry are not the best pictures. I honestly had NO intention of sharing this on the blog, this dish was really all for me. Selfish? But the more bites I took, the more I knew I had to share. My favorite things about this dish is not only the flavor, but the fact that it’s vegan, full of veggies, and filling. I just ate it straight out of a bowl, but you could definitely add this on top of rice.

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Chickpea Vegetable Curry
 
Ingredients
  • 3 carrots sliced
  • 1½ c. broccoli
  • ½ white sweet potato sliced/diced
  • 3 TB. coconut oil
  • 2 TB. flour
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 1-2 TB. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas
  • 3 TB. Madres Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp. Garahm Masala
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over low/medium heat, add oil, onions, garlic, and ginger. Once the onion appears translucent, sprinkle in the flour. Whisk until combined and then slowly whisk in milk, followed by the broth.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce heat a little.
  3. Add in veggies, and sprinkle in spices. Stir together.
  4. Continue to whisk every so often.
  5. Cover and cook for about 20 or 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.

 

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I honestly have no idea how to end this post like I normally do with a quick, whitty, and sometimes sarcastic comment. So….

“Do You Want To Make Some Curry?”

Refried Beans (Pinto Bean)…Soup

A lot of times I hear Tim Gunn’s voice in my head saying… “Make it work.”

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For example, if my daughter has to be at school in 10 minutes, and I’m not dressed/showered, and I’ve got a huge pimple…Make it work. (Solution-Put on gym clothes, huge sunglass, and pretend you were just working out.)

Or if I’ve got two pieces of bread, one egg, and carrots left in the fridge for dinner…Make it work. (Solution-Delivery.)

Just kidding…I’ve NEVER call for delivery.Ever.

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I’ve been on a quest for a while now trying to make our grocery budget smaller and smaller. Trust me, a challenge. What’s helped most is making a lot of stuff homemade and freezing the extra. So I had this bright idea to make a HUGE amount of refried beans. I’d freeze it, make burritos, and all would be glorious. I found the perfect recipe, that was cheap & easy, and got to work.

But then, I did what I ALWAYS do, and didn’t read the rest of the instructions.

Guys. This is a serious problem. I seriously don’t ever read the end of recipe instructions. It’s like, I think I know how it will end, but then like…I don’t.

Like.Like.Like.

So anyways, did you know you are supposed to drain the water off of beans to make refried beans? Ya? Ok.

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So a skip, jump, and a hop and in my blender is this soup of refried beans. For a second I thought it was the recipes fault, but no no. It was all mine.

So then I had about 10 cups worth of this refried bean soup puree, and no one to eat it. My kids aren’t HUGE soup fans, and the only liquid my husband consumes is soda. This wasn’t going to work.

But then I remembered I had a fridge full of toppings left over from THIS meal, and ‘Lightbulb’! Make it work.

Thank you Tim. Thank you!

The thing is, this soup is so darn simple and delicious on it’s own. (And by soup I mean refried beans.) But then you add all  of those flavorful toppings, and BAM! (My fav was the crunchy roasted corn and chips toppings!) I ended up not freezing the soup, and ate it everyday for lunch instead. You could easily freeze it though, whether you made it into soup OR refried beans.

Next time I think I’ll actually make refried beans instead of soup though…That is, if I read the directions all the way through.

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Refried Bean (Pinto Bean)...Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lb. dried pinto beans
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 3-4 TB. diced garlic
  • 2-2½ TB. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • (opt. 1 jalepeno diced and seeded)- I left this out
  • 8 cups water
  • (Toppings)
  • Choice of desired toppings such as salsa, greek yogurt, cilantro, chips, roasted corn, cheese, etc.
Instructions
  1. Rinse beans and remove any bad beans.
  2. Soak beans in enough water to cover them, overnight. (NOTE-I've heard if add hot water to the beans, you won't have to soak them..But I've never tried this!)
  3. Drain beans and place in a crockpot.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients ; onion, garlic, spices, and water.
  5. Cook on High for about 4 hours and low for 2 hours, or until beans are soft and cooked through.
  6. Add beans (Including water) to a blender and blend until soup consistency!*
  7. *These would obviously be just refried beans WITHOUT the water, so you can do that as well. And you can make the soup with less liquid too! (It could be more of a runny refried bean dish! With all the toppings, it would be great!)

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Problem…What happens when you consume an abnormal amount of pinto beans throughout a whole entire week?

It’s called bloating. Try and make that work.

Loaded Nachos! // Fresh, Fun, Healthy!

Honestly, I don’t reeeaaallllyy care about the Superbowl. But since it involves eating food, I’m automatically drawn in. Fact.

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Another fun fact:

When football season started I said that I was going to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks and they were going to win the Super Bowl.

Another Fact:

They won.

Wanna know what else? I should have bet money on that.

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Obviously Super Bowl Food is like chicken wings and ranch dressing, which let’s just be frankly honest, I could eat ranch dressing by dipping my finger in it. Add on the amazing cheesy dips, brownies and football decorated strawberries, and well Monday morning calls for sweat pants and your husbands T-shirt.

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I took on the challenge that party/football food can be healthy and delicious, all you need is to play up the flavor and fun!

I decided Nachos was the perfect solution, because you can’t go wrong with colorful, fresh, flavorful toppings. Roasted corn, garlic lime black beans, tomatillo salsa, salty guac, green onions, sweet and spicy ground turkey,  jalepeno…the list goes on! It’s also completely vegan/vegetarian friendly!

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You would THINK you would miss the fake cheese sauce on top, but with all those toppings only a little bit of cheese on tops does wonders! It’s a fun & fresh twist on nachos that even a football loving ranch dressing eating person would approve of!

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Loaded Nachos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Nachos can sometimes get a bad rap as being a completely unhealthy! But i'm here to tell you that nachos can be enjoyed without the bad fats, loads of calories, and unhealthy toppings! WIth the right ingredients jazzed up with tons of flavor, you won't be missing the cups of fake processed cheese sauce doused over chips! (These are easily vegan/vegetarian friendly!) There are SO many fun delicious toppings, that you won't need a ton of cheese. Just a sprinkle does the trick!
Ingredients
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Diced green onions
  • Fresh grated cheese
  • Diced black olives
  • ½ bunch cilantro finely diced
  • 1 can diced jalepenos
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • greek yogurt
  • (For Black Beans)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed black beans
  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • 3-4 TB. chopped garlic
  • juice of ½ lime
  • salt, pepper, cumin
  • (For the Guacamole)
  • 2-3 avocados
  • juice of ½ lime
  • ½ bunch cilantro finely diced
  • salt, pepper, cumin
  • (For the corn)
  • 1 bag frozen/fresh corn
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • salt, pepper, paprika
  • (For the Tomatillo Pico De Gallo)
  • 2 tomatillos
  • ½ large onion
  • 3-4 TB. chopped garlic
  • ½ large bunch cilantro
  • 1 jalepeno, stem removed (and seeds if you don't want spice!)
  • 4-6 tomatoes diced.
  • 1 lime
  • salt, pepper, cumin
  • (For the Turkey)
  • Ground Turkey
  • 1-2 TB. oil
  • Taco Seasoning-**Link for homemade version next to Taco Meat Picture**
  • 1 TB. coconut sugar
  • 2-3 TB. water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Arrange corn on a baking sheet. Coat with oil and sprinkle a nice helping of the seasonings over the top. Toss and bake for 30 minutes in the oven. (This seems long, but you will be preparing all the toppings during this time!)
  2. Assemble the toppings into different bowls. Chop the toppings and separate into different bowls. (Green onions, black olives, cilantro, jalepenos, lime, greek yogurt.)
  3. Prepare the Tomatillo Pico De Gallo.
  4. In a food processor add the onion, cilantro, jalepeno, and garlic. Pulse a few times until finely diced.
  5. Add mixture to a bowl along with diced tomatoes. Add lime juice and a nice sprinkle of the seasonings. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
  6. Prepare the Black Beans
  7. In a sauce pan add oil and garlic. Saute for a few minutes, then add black beans. Cook for a couple of minutes, remove from heat and add lime juice and a nice helping of spices. Toss, cover with foil and set aside.
  8. Prepare the Guacamole
  9. Mash the avocados. Fold in cilantro, juice, and spices. Cover and set aside.
  10. Prepare the Ground Turkey
  11. In a saucepan, heat the oil.
  12. Add the ground turkey, and sprinkle the spices and coconut sugar over the top. Ground the turkey, and then add a few TB. of water.
  13. Continue to cook turkey, grounding it as you go, and cook until turkey is cooked all the way through.
  14. Once done, cover and set aside. (Drain any excess water if needed.)
  15. Remove corn from the oven.
  16. Take out guacamole and salsa.
  17. Add corn, turkey, and black beans to a serving bowl.
  18. Have everyone load their favorite toppings to the nachos, and enjoy!

 

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I’ve been making my own Taco Seasoning lately, and I love it! Taste so much better than the packaged kind!

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I’m looking forward to the next event that I don’t really care about where food is involved!!