After you roll the leaves you fill your baking dish halfway, with water. I decided to add some 21 Seasoning Salute to the water. If I had broth on hand, I’d probably use that for even more flavor.
Broccoli Frittata (Frittatleson!)…
This is coming to you a little late. I actually prepared this frittata last Sunday (9/3) and ate it with the zoodles on Tuesday (9/5). Things are a little cray, but, a great kinda cray!
Anyway! This is a very easy recipe, great for meal prepping.
I made one small frittata – I only used two eggs…
To the eggs, I added:
- 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- The smidgiest-smidge of baking powder (I have a fear of flat frittatas!)
Yes! I did give up cheeses, mainly of the soft variety, because I think I was overdoing it in the “cheese is low carb” department. It is low carb, but it’s not the best choice to make if you are looking for something salty/fatty/healthy. Cheese is salty and fatty and can curb hunger, however, not so healthy. I’ve decided that I should go for avocados, nuts and olives to satisfy that fatty need. BUT, I use parmesan as more of a seasoning. I don’t feel the need to eat a cup of parmesan in one sitting – like I have to stop myself from doing with a block of mild cheddar…Speaking of seasonings…
I add several shakes of each to my egg mixture. Plus, I had some leftover broccoli, which I added as well…
I, most definitely, sprayed my 3-cup Pyrex dish with Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Spray…
I popped it in the convection oven for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
It comes out like this…
Yummy! I cut it into triangles to serve, on a bed of zoodles…
So easy, so delicious! The chickpea flour makes it almost into an egg pancake. It’s not quite as flat as one though, and it’s not as airy as a quiche. It’s so good! I had the other two wedges the next day, so this dish keeps nicely for meal prep (I also had it with zoodles – it was a zoodly week…)…
OH! Frittatleson! – That’s a family joke. When we don’t remember someone’s last name we’ll say its Frittatleson. If we don’t know their name at all, they become Abe Frittatleson. We are all dweebs!
I don’t really remember how I got obsessed with making Burmese tofu. I think I was reading about how terrible soy is for women (especially if you have hormonal dysfunctions like I, and so many women, do), and I was looking around for a substitute (probably, sounds like me). I do remember this was several months ago. I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while now. I had the bag of chickpea flour, just waiting in the wings. When I started making mug cakes and waffles with the flour I knew I had to use it for what I originally bought it for (because I would end up making 101 chickpea mug cakes and no tofu). So, here’s how I started…
- 1 Cup of Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Flour
- 3 Cups of water
- Several shakes of turmeric
- Two shakes of crushed red pepper
- As much garlic as you can stand in your cooking (I can stand a lot!)
- About four grinds of Himalayan Pink Salt
- A few grinds of black pepper
As you can see, I’m really precise (heh). The most important thing is the flour and the water – you can season this however you like. Some people use broth or stock in place of water and, hey, if I had some I’d probably use that too. So, you boil two cups of the water and, in the meantime and in a separate bowl:
- Blend the flour, and the spices, with the remaining cup of water.
Once the two cups of water have reached a rolling boil, add the flour/spice/water mixture. It’ll look like this:
So, you have to whisk-whisk-whisk away to get rid of any lumps and until the mixture looks glossy (like it goes in the picture). You are now ready to pour the mixture into your prepared pan. To get your pan ready, line it with parchment paper. I used an 8×8 Pyrex pan.
Smooth it out in your pan, using a spoon or a spatula.
Then, once it’s spread out in the pan, let it sit until it gets room temperature (so condensation doesn’t form when you put it in the fridge). Which brings us to the next step: put it in the fridge! I let it sit out for about an hour and put it in the fridge for about three hours and I got this:
After it firms up in the fridge, you can cut up your tofu in any shape you want for your dishes. I cut mine two ways – in triangles and small rhombuses (yup, I said “rhombuses” – wait, is it “rhombuses” or “rhombi”?).
Here I am frying the triangles in some olive oil:
They are SUPER YUMMY! Take a look at this:
Crisp on the outside, a little soft on the inside. Seasoned perfectly (if I do say so myself)!
So, I made some meals with it:
I will most definitely share my stir-fry on Instagram!
So this was an easy, delicious recipe. A success! I can add this one to my repertoire, change it up a bit, make different sides. A great soy substitute!
Saturday Waffle: Squash Waffle!
Yay! It’s Saturday! For today’s waffle I decided to go with something a little autumn-like, a little pumpkin spice-like: The Squash Waffle!
I started with some frozen winter squash that I got from Hannaford (my second favorite supermarket after Trader Joe’s)…
I defrosted the squash in the microwave. It took about 5 minutes. In the meantime, I got my dry ingredients together…
- Scant 1/4 cup of garbanzo bean flour
- 2 scoops of Bodylogix Natural Whey Protein Powder in Snickerdoodle
- 1/4 Teaspoon of baking powder
I am crazy with the baking powder. You can always use a little less, but I’m always afraid that my protein pancakes/waffles wont rise, but they always do!
Then I add the wet stuff…
- Stevia – 1 packet
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon of flax meal + 3 tablespoons of water – let sit in fridge for 30 minutes to gel up)
- 2 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup of the defrosted winter squash
I ended up adding a few more shakes of cinnamon and about a tablespoon more of squash as I was blending the batter. I wanted it to taste really spicy.
As I waited for the batter to become a waffle in the waffle iron (I’m sure there’s a better way to say that) – OH – While I waited for my waffle to cook, I made a small fig shake…
I had some figs that were starting to get too-too soft so I wanted to use them up today. I had a vanilla fig smoothie yesterday morning and it was incredible. Today, I am leaving out the protein powder that I used yesterday and I’m making more of a shake.
- 3 figs
- 1 tablespoon hemp seed
- 1 scoop of MSM powder (my MSM comes with a tiny scoop)
- 1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt
- A couple of drops of vanilla extract
- 1 packet of stevia
- Unsweetened almond milk (till you reach the fill line)
Here is breakfast!
I added some Greek yogurt mixed with cinnamon on top, along with Walden Farms Pancake Syrup (that’s not quite clean, but it’s a syrup with no sugar and no calories!).
To be honest, I wish I had oats to make oat flour for this recipe because the garbanzo bean flour gave it a savory taste, so I should have added even more cinnamon and stevia. Live and learn! Now you’ll know if you try this recipe – use more sweeteners if you use garbanzo bean flour in a sweet dish!
Sunday Meal Prep: Feeling Productive…
As the title says, yes, today was a very productive day. I did everything that was on my to-do list and even a little more. One of the most important things I did today was prepare my dinners for the week. Yes – meal prepping is key to making life a little easier.
Seriously. One of my favorite meal preppers, WorkWeekLunch, mentioned a few weeks ago that we have so many decisions to make during the day, having our food already prepared eliminates the need to make even more decisions. It’s true. Think about it…I know that if I am at work, and I haven’t made my meals yet, I will wonder “What do I have? What can I make?”. Sometimes the answer is “go get pizza” – which is not good, because I can tend to overdo things (know yourself!)…
So, I have been meal prepping for a fairly long time. A couple of years, at least. When you see the pictures I post of older preps you’ll see that I haven’t always made the cleanest, healthiest choices. Oh well. That’s what I felt like eating at the time and those were times when I was in full-on maintenance mode, when I was comfortable making a little dip into the world of carbs and sugars after dieting for a while. Here are some of my preps, I added an Instagram link for the food listing. I actually have a lot more preps on Instagram, but you really have to scroll down and it was pre-iPhone…
Below are some recent ones. Since I work from home most of the week, I don’t have to prep all of my meals, just dinner on the days that I actually do have to go into the office.
Here is the prep from today. I have a busy week, filled with some exciting stuff! Yay!
I added a little something extra to it already. There is not enough red or orange for my taste, so I added some Tomato and Onion Salad…
I started by cutting the farmers market tomatoes my grandma gave me today. Seriously, grandmas are the best with the food gifting! I also cut up a little red onion, for flavor…
I seasoned the sliced tomatoes with garlic powder and 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s…
Then I added a little apple cider vinegar, olive oil and more 21 seasoning salute to the jar, then added the seasoned tomatoes and I shook it up!
I didn’t measure, I just wanted enough to coat the tomatoes when I shook the jar!
That should be great for Monday and Tuesday! I’ll have to think of another red or orange for Wednesday and Thursday…
Easy stuff. A little preparation on Sunday, helps you through the entire week!
I guess it’s another “Meat Free Monday”! This is a tweaked version of the recipe I see all of the time for Hasselback Eggplant Parmesan. I didn’t want to add bread crumbs because I am low-carb, but I still wanted some bulk. Enter, greens! Spinach and kale to be exact…
I just wanted to get them slightly wilted, but more importantly, I wanted to load them up with flavor. I added garlic powder, pink Himalayan salt (PHS) and fresh cracked black pepper. After I cooked them to my liking, I added my other filling ingredients…
So there is a scant tablespoon of parmesan cheese and two tablespoons of ricotta cheese, which I will mix with my cooked and seasoned greens. Then I had to prepare my eggplant…
In order to get those groovy Hasselback slices, we have to make sure that we don’t slice the eggplant all the way through. The best tip I saw was to tape down chopsticks around the eggplant so the knife will stop at the chopstick’s level…
It worked! Now, to season the eggplant…
I always listen to Rachael Ray’s tip – you must season every layer of food. Eggplant is very bland – you must not skip this step! I seasoned mine with garlic powder, a little PHS and some Italian seasoning. Now I add my next layer…
Yummy Provolone cheese! I did the math before I even cut the eggplant – I knew I wanted nine Hasselback slices in each eggplant half, so that would be 18 cheese strips. So, six cuts in three slices of provolone (see, this is where the dweeb comes in). Gotta stuff these…
You can lift the eggplant a little in order to season and stuff each slice. Do it gently so that you don’t break a slice off (I almost did, those three on the end are hanging on by a thread)! Now I add the greens and cheese mixture…
Ooh, baby! This looks great already! But, it needs to be cooked and since I refuse to turn the oven on in the summer, I used the crock pot…
I sauced the crock pot with a tiny can of tomato sauce that I seasoned with, once again, garlic powder, PHS and Italian seasoning. Then I put the stuffed eggplants in…
Aww, don’t they look cute? I put just a splash of the sauce on top of the stuffed eggplant. I wanted it to be about greens and cheese, not tomato.
After two hours on high…
YUM! This is what you get! I added some fresh spinach on the side, because I only had that little bit left.
It’s pretty easy to make – you just have to have a little patience when seasoning and stuffing each layer because they are pretty delicate.
Very healthy and delish! Enjoy!
Saturday Morning ~ Zucchini Pancakes
As you might have guessed, I’m a big fan of the Food Network and the Cooking Channel. I haven’t watched it much recently, mainly because some of the personalities I enjoyed have either left, or are doing projects I’m not fond of now. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ZUCCHINI PANCAKES? Answer: Everything…
I happened to fall asleep with the tv on the Food Network (I am a HUGE Chopped fan, and I’ll watch that no matter what!) and when I turned it on in the morning “Brunch at Bobby’s” was on. Usually, I’ll turn the channel if Bobby Flay is on. Not because I don’t like him, I do, but because he’s usually grilling (I don’t do that) or on one of his competition shows (not a fan of those). This time though, I was intrigued. He was making something interesting, something with zucchini, uh, pancakes with zucchini? Now, I’ve seen and heard of zucchini pancakes before. But I had usually seen them done latke style, savory. But that morning, Bobby made them sweet and delicious looking. The way he described them too, “…they taste like banana bread, well zucchini bread”, that got me. I usually don’t bake (I hate being precise in the kitchen), but around the holidays I do bake bread from scratch and my two specialties are Date-No-Nut Bread and Zucchini Bread. So, duh, of course anything you can make into a bread you can make into a pancake! I had to try these pancakes out, especially if they taste like my bread (he-he)…
Since I’m not a chef and I am trying to keep this low(-ish) carb and high protein – I took many, many liberties with this and used many, many shortcuts. I didn’t even make the special syrup he made his with (although I should have, but I just used my last apricot yesterday). Here’s what I used:
That’s pretty much it. Here it is in the measuring bowl:
I used the smallest zucchini I could find and I added a scoop of protein powder, a few shakes of cinnamon (the mix already had cinnamon and it smelled very cinnamony) and a little orange zest (the part I listened to Bobby Flay about). I added some yogurt for even more protein, and used almond milk as the mixing liquid:
And, that’s it! Mix, griddle and serve!
Pretty easy! I served it with orange slices because “Waste Not, Want Not”. C’mon now, did you think I’d use an entire orange just for a 1/4 teaspoon of zest? Eat that thing up! And that, I did…
Yum! Tastes like Christmas…
Taco Tomato Tuesday (I Won!)
I think I might have won Taco Tuesday. I know, it’s not a contest. But, if it was, I’d be taking home a blue ribbon right now!
So, I was inspired to make this from one of those videos on Facebook. I wish I could remember which site, because I’d totally shout them out (ETA: I remember! It from Delish!). In the video, they used regular sized tomatoes. I took one look and thought “One GIANT tomato!!!” So, I went to the farmers market and set out to find the biggest most beautiful tomato I could find…And I found a one pounder…
Hey – It is huge, yes. However, it’s a tomato. It’s not a deep fried taco shell or a (not carb friendly) flour tortilla. It’s a tomato. A big , beautiful, locally grown tomato. I feel very good about eating the entire thing in one sitting. So, anywho…
I start by slicing this huge tomato. I don’t want to slice all the way down and I kind want to fan it out, like this:
Then, I season that bad boy! Yes. The tomato itself must be well seasoned. I learned that from Rachael Ray – you have to season every part of the dish to get maximum flavor. I used Trader Joe’s Chile Lime seasoning, Trader Joe’s Pink Himalayan Salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked black pepper.
Then, I fry my ground turkey (sorry no pics). I use the same seasonings I use for the tomato.
I top the tomato with the fried ground turkey and top that with a few slices of pepperjack cheese.
I place the loaded tomato in my toaster oven, set on broil. Really just to melt the cheese and in the meantime, I get my guacamole ready…
I make the easiest guac in the world. I just use an avocado (duh), lime juice and Trader Joe’s Chile Lime seasoning (can you guess what my favorite store is?). That’s it.
So, I didn’t take a picture of my tomato just out of the toaster oven. I was so excited to get all of my taco topping on it. Take a look…
This is easily THE MOST DELICIOUS THING I’VE EVER MADE!
Wow! I think I owe it all to the hearty, delicious, juicy, incredible tomato I got at the farmers market on Saturday. That made all the difference!
MAKE THIS! It’s so easy (it’s a taco, in a tomato) and so delicious. YUM!!!
What I Ate…(Meat Free Monday)
…today. Okay, so today was an unintentional “Meat Free Monday”. I saw what I had planned to eat and noticed that it was all vegetarian food. Even the smoothie shop I went to for dinner caters to the vegan/vegetarian population. Cool. I was actually a vegetarian from the age of six, up until the age of 25. I didn’t eat any red meat, and I rarely ate chicken. I was more of a pescatarian now that I think about it. Something changed when I hit 25 though. I don’t know what it was, but I suddenly wanted to eat burgers. I can’t really explain how it happened and I don’t remember the exact meal that broke my 19 year long stretch. When people ask I usually say, “I just wanted a Big Mac. I had one, and I fell in love!” I don’t know what they want to hear, but it wasn’t some big to-do. It happened over the course of time.
Anyway…What did I eat today?
Breakfast: Raspberry Cocoa Latte and a string cheese…
I use the same formula for my lattes:
- Almond milk, heated
- Packet of stevia – one in the cup, one in the pan with the milk
- A small swig of vanilla in the almond milk, while it’s heating
- Powdered flavoring – usually 1 to 2 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
So, that’s how I made today’s latte. Powdered flavoring=Cocoa Powder and I substituted the pack of stevia in the almond milk pan for one raspberry honey stick that I got from the farmers market. That’s it! It was good. The raspberry flavor was slight, that’s probably because it was natural and not filled with sugar.
Lunch: Feta Dip, Veggies and Olives
Okay, this was awesome!!! The dip was so easy too…
Only four ingredients: Feta (half of a small container – I’m really precise – Ha!), cream cheese (about 1/3 of a softened brick), olive oil (about a teaspoon) and garlic powder (depends on your taste, I use a lot)…Simple. One of those back pocket recipes.
Beverages: Seltzer with lime or apple cider vinegar
I LOVE seltzer! Seriously, I stock up on whatever brand is on sale so I am never without it. Polar is amazing. LaCroix is great, but sometimes I’m not willing to spend that much. Vintage and store brand will do just fine, thanks! I used to have a SodaStream, but it broke a couple of years ago and I’ve yet to get a new one. I should (re-)invest. It would be worth it!
Dinner: Italian Kale…
***Warning: I turn into a bit of a smartass here, I was highly annoyed. Feel free to read this section in Sarcasm…***
Okay. So I had planned to go to a new restaurant in town to get a salad for dinner. And I went, with my cousin…
I ordered what was called a “Buddha Bowl” salad. And I got what is seen above. It had everything it said it would, but it was not really a “bowl”, it was more like a plastic carton of produce. I paid $8.00 for a plastic carton of kale that is on sale for .99 a pound at Shop-Rite this week! The kale wasn’t even massaged! I know that sounds like something a snob would say, but massaging kale is a real thing. A real and VERY IMPORTANT thing. It helps break it down so one can chew and digest it easier. Seriously, I took one bite and I nearly choked. I actually need to warn this restaurant – this is a potential hazard. I just was not in the mood to argue tonight, so I just left…
…And, I did what any person who spends $8.00 on a carton of produce does: I took it home to cook it myself!
Yup. I massaged EACH piece of kale (you could HEAR it breaking down as I kneaded), added the contents to a pan with olive oil and garlic powder and…
…Yum! Success! I turned this meal around! I sprinkled some parmesan on top, as you can see.
So, there you have it, a full day of vegetarian eats. Pretty clean eats too…Yay!
Thirsty Thursday – Summertime!
I have made some awesome beverages since the summer started. They hardly get any love on Instagram, even though the photos are gorge and they taste delish (yes, so good I have to use the shortened words)! So here they are, in their beautiful, refreshing glory…
We’ll start with Beet-Ginger Lemonade…
This screenshot was taken from a short video demonstrating how awesome my frother is (I LOVE MY FROTHER!)!
I make the beet ginger lemonade in 16 oz mason jars. The ingredients below are for one mason jar:
- 1 teaspoon of ginger (I like lots of ginger! You can use less, more…)
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice (a scant 1/4 cup, not over & I’ll show what I use below)
- 1/2 teaspoon of beet powder
- Enough water so the jar is almost full
- Several drops of liquid stevia (to taste, you have to find your perfect dropper amount) AND…the secret ingredient…
- The juice from half an orange!
Just blend this all up until it looks pink and lovely! The orange adds more sweetness and goes so well with the beet flavor. I might have Beet Orangeade coming up soon!
Now, on to the trendy recipe – Mermaid Lemonade!
See, remember how I said that I don’t really keep up with food trends? Well, here is another exception to that rule. Spirulina. I actually like it. Not only is it good for detoxing your body (or making it feel detoxed), loaded with vitamins – it makes things pretty. And that’s the most important thing.
Again, 16 oz mason jar servings:
- 1/4 cup of the lemon juice I’ll show you below
- Several drops of liquid stevia
- 1/3 teaspoon of spirulina powder
- Water until jar is almost full
Mix with your frother(!) or you can put the top on and shake for more fun!
Okay, now for something exotic…
Prickly Pear Lemonade
You know how you have that sense memory, and if you smell or taste something it just takes you back? That’s what happened when I made this. It reminds me of a brunch I had at Citrus in NYC several years ago. I had Crab Cakes Benedict (eggs, hard poached. Yes, I’m that dweeb) and Prickly Pear Lemonade. It was my first time tasting prickly pear and I was a little nervous. Why? Because I have so many odd allergies, duh (dweeb). But it was delicious! And I wasn’t allergic! So, I had the brunch and then I saw Shel’s Shorts – 14 Short Plays by Shel Silverstein – it was a nice Sunday!
Anyway…I was at my local fruit stand and I saw a tiny basket of these magenta fruits and I had to buy one and try to make that lemonade I had all those years ago (well, only like 9 years ago, but whatever)…
First, break down the pear:
- 1 prickly pear
- 16 oz water
Blend in your blender (Nutribullet, Ninja, Vitamix, whatever) until smoothish. Use a fine mesh strainer to add the mix to:
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice (it’s coming, I swear!)
- Several drops of liquid stevia
- Water to fill the jar
Put on the lid and shake, or mix with your frother!
I can’t really describe the flavor. Okay, maybe like a deeper watermelon. Like a watermelon with depth. You know what I mean. Heartier! Yes! A heartier watermelon. Phew!
So, now that I’ve finished up the lemonade section I can finally show the juice I use…
Ta-da! That’s it! Santa Cruz Organic Pure Lemon Juice! I’m sure you have some already, I was just being dramatic. I use this in everything! I’ll buy bottles of unsweetened tea, add this and stevia and bam! It tastes like something I’d actually want to drink!
Speaking of iced tea…
Here’s some Goji Berry Green Tea for ya!
So, to me, goji berries taste similar to craisins (that was easy), and they have some great health benefits, such as antioxidants, which make it known as a superfood. I added it to another superfood, green tea, and it tastes great! I am a fan of this one…
For 3, 16 oz mason jar servings:
- 3 mason jarfuls of water
- 9 green tea bags (they don’t have to be special, unless you want them to be…)
- The juice of three limes
- 3 heaping tablespoons of goji berries
- Liquid stevia drops, to taste
I like to put a heaping tablespoon of the goji berries in each of the jars first. Then juice each of the limes in each jar. While the juice and the berries sit in the jar, I bring water to near boil in a saucepan (I’m fancy) and add the tea bags. Let them steep, but not for too long because green tea gets bitter quickly. I remove the tea bags and pour the green tea over the goji-lime mix. After all of that I add the stevia drops…
Then, into the fridge and a few hours later…beautiful, tasty tea!
Speaking of beautiful tea…I’ll end this post with my favorite tea and favorite beverage picture…
Grapefruit Green Tea
This is my favorite! I love grapefruit! I am a fan of tartness and this is just so perfectly tart and sweet! Yum!
For 3, 16 oz mason jar servings:
- 3 mason jarfuls of water
- 9 green tea bags (whatever brand…)
- The juice of three ruby red grapefruits
- Liquid stevia drops, to taste
It’s so simple, too. I mean, just juice and strain the grapefruits right into each jar and make the tea, like I painstakingly explained in the last recipe, and combine! Add your stevia in the end and, yay! Delicious…
Actually, with all of these recipes, you might think you added enough stevia but once you taste them a day or two later, you will want to add a few more drops. That’s just what I’ve found.
Yay! So, make these drinks before summer ends! I can’t believe it’s August already! Next week, where I in the Hudson Valley, it’s supposed to be rainy and in the mid-70s! Wow! Actually, if it wasn’t raining I’d be really happy about the temperature drop (I hate the heat)…