Facebook, Friends & Food

So I came across a fb post of a friend asking for dinner ideas.  Every mom has been down this road before…struggling to find something new but family approved bc your tired of the same old meals.

So in the spirit of networking I posted the same question to my fb friends.  I compiled a list of the delicious results for all my lovely cooks out there.  We all need ideas sometimes even if it’s to  spawn our own creation!

And bc I’m a sucker for lists & like to research food, I found some recipes for each of the food suggestions.  (I like to have a base recipe to tweak when I’m trying new stuff)

Quick Easy Taco Soup
(This is cooking on my stove right now!)
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Taco Soup
Pizza Pasta Casserole
(super easy & delicious & easy to customize)
Doritos Taco Bake
(This recipe is almost exactly how I create my casserole.  It’s easy to adjust & kids love it!)
Enchilada casserole
Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings
Chicken Alfredo Ziti
Classic Ziti
Vegetarian Ziti
Chicken Crescent Rolls
(The recipe that was shared with me was very different than this but this is a base recipe that I can’t wait to try!)
Stove top meatloaf
Cheez It Meatloaf
(My friend suggested turkey meat in the cheez it meatloaf but I couldn’t find a recipe for that)
Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
Crockpot Bbq Sandwiches

Riding, really?

So I casually stroll in to Dick’s today.  Thought I’ll look around.  I’ve been pricing bicycles for about 3 months now…kinda have to cycle if you wanna do a triathlon.

I start talking to the guy in their bike shop & they have sales.  I found a women’s Nishiki orig $359 marked down to $219 then 25% off that. What?!  $165.  I had to have it.  $250 later,I have a helmet, 2 yr warranty & a bike for less then the original price of the bike!

Well it won’t fit in my car.  So I buy bungee cords & strap my trunk down with this bike hanging out the back.  Of course, I’m stupid excited to ride.  After a quick nap,  off I go.

I haven’t been on an actual bicycle outside of the gym in probably 17 years…. yea 17 years.  I should’ve went to the park….but noooo I got this….

Nope I sure do not have this.  I live on a main road with a sidewalk a half mile from backroads.  Surely I can get a half mile then turn off the main road.  I about topple over the minute I start riding, multiple times.  Riding a bike is NOT “just like riding a bike”.  I finally get off the main road &I realize I’m struggling bc my seat is too low…I also need to adjust my brakes. 

I feel like an awkward tween with long dangly legs that never learned to ride a bike as a child.

So I made it whopping 2.68 miles today.  I will figure out how to adjust this thing & drive to the park tomorrow then see how far I can ride. Lol.

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Southwest Spaghetti Squash

If you haven’t eaten spaghetti squash, you are absolutely missing out!  This winter squash is the low carb dieter’s paradise & a wonderful staple in my vegetarian season.

Spaghetti squash looks very similar to spaghetti noodles for a quarter of the calories & carbs plus it’s squash so it has good nutrients in it too!

Today for the rest of the family I made a dorito taco casserole.  Their casserole was layers of black beans, doritos, salsa, ground turkey, shredded cheese & onions.

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The version I ate, I married spaghetti squash into the recipe.  I simply subbed the ground turkey for spaghetti squash.  It’s freaking amazing!

The trick was seasoning the squash layer with taco seasoning.  Then I topped the finished product with sour cream & green onions!  Omg, I’m getting good at this :)

Winter Woes

If you don’t know me, you might not know. I hate winter. HATE.  It’s the only thing I truly hate.   I saw 10 inches of snow for the 1st time in my life & watched people who grew up in this awful weather spin their tires & slide their cars into ditches.  Worst of all its the only time I get sick.  I normally only get sick once.  This year I got it twice.

The worst part is I’m craving comfort foods…normally when I’m sick I go to KFC & buy chicken tenders, mashed potatoes & macaroni.  I’m trying to stick to my vegetarian-ism so I’m making homemade soup today.

Today’s recipe is White Bean Potato Soup.

5-6 red potatoes (about 4 cups chopped)
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed (white kidney)
1/2c chopped onion (to taste)
1/2 celery stalk, chopped finely
1 carrot, grated or chopped
2 tsp powder vegetable broth stock
2 garlic bulbs, chopped
White pepper, to taste

Put all ingredients in pot (except beans) cover with water & boil till potatoes are soft.  Then rinse beans & add to pot, reduce heat & simmer for 15ish minutes.

If you can’t find or don’t have powdered broth or bouillon you can boil potatoes first, strain some of the water out and add a cup or 2 of canned/boxed broth.

I topped my soup with shredded cheese & chopped green onions.  As with all my recipes, it’s very easy to adjust or add/subtract for your taste buds.  Simple is my kind of recipe!

Blueberry Baking

So I woke up today craving blueberry muffins.  So I start looking for a recipe that has 3 or 4 ingredients bc I’m not trying to get complicated, I have to work in a couple hours.

Trial 1. Failed.  3/1/15.

They were tasty. But they didn’t rise & the oat flour made them taste like blueberry oatmeal cookies.

I have a clean recipe from a friend. It has like 15 ingredients tho…real life right now for me is the less ingredients the better.  If I can make fluffy pancakes with 3 ingredients, I should be able to make muffins!

If this is gonna be a trial & error, I guess I’ll try to make them protein muffins!

Mainly Meatless?

Probably not.
So I’m 9 days in to this meatless madness.  People keep saying well you can eat fish right?  Yes I can eat fish.  Hell I can eat chicken cow & pig if I want to…but I’m challenging myself to go the whole 40 days without meat.

So now I’m faced with tomorrow.  Tomorrow is a 10 hour day in a restaurant. I’ve been debating on eating fish tomorrow.  I got home at 1am tonight, I’m still awake & I have no delicious meatlessness prepped for tomorrow.

Determination.  I can do this.  People are vegetarians everyday, all over.  I sat & thought about food for 25 minutes before bed tonight.  Do I get up & cook bean burgers? No I’m lazy.  Do I eat salad & beans & rice tomorrow?  No I eat that all the time.  Can I work 10 hours on salads & protein smoothies?  No my team will hate me.

I got it!  Egg salad.  I’m making egg salad before work!

Yes that running commentary of random questions is what goes thru my head regularly.  I might be missing a screw.

Or two.

Crochet Chapter 1

So last December I was chatting with friend Kadie as I admired her crochet stockings, expressing my interest in learning crochet.  At that point I didn’t know if I really wanted to learn or if I was intrigued because it was something I knew nothing about.

That night I was sitting on mom’s couch, after Kadie graciously sent 3 crochet needles home with me, explaining to mom how I LOVE making things by hand.  She was adopted & had 13 siblings & was raised with homemade clothes & stuff so she didn’t understand my desire at all.  So after explaining my love for all things homemade & handmade we ventured to Wal-Mart (at midnight) for yarn.

At this point, I still had no idea whatsoever even how to try to crochet or even how to hold the needle.  God bless my mother & her patience.

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After 20 minutes of her trying to explain & laughing at me because I was so confused, she realized she was teaching me right handed & I was trying to understand left handed.

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January brought a lot of ugly squares, bad stitches & a not terrible scarf.

This month I’ve become a little more comfortable & made my first infinity scarf & I’m actually proud of it!  I’m ridiculously determined to make a decent hat now.

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Happy stitching folks! More to come later!

Painless Protein Pancakes

Pancakes are one of the great food loves I stopped eating a long long time ago.  Recently I discovered protein loaded dessert substitutes.

I never understood why there were so many weird flavors of protein. Now it’s one of my fav things to buy.  I think currently I have 5 flavors of protein.

So back to the pancakes.  I’ve tried multiple recipes for protein pancakes, this
morning’s lazy version was the easiest.

1 scoop of GNC Lean Cinnamon Swirl protein
1/4c oat flour
1 egg
1 to 2 Tbsp water

Whisk the 1st 3 ingredients in a bowl with a fork, then add water to get pancake batter consistency.  Then cook in your fav oil over medium heat.  When batter starts to bubble, flip the pancake.

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This is a single serving recipe, it’s about 300 calories & makes 2 to 3 pancakes. 

I haven’t really experimented with other protein flavors in pancakes bc I like the cinnamon but I do have a cookies & cream that might make a delicious pancake!

Happy breakfast loves!

Better Bean Burger

In honor of my 1st meatless week of Lent, I think it only fair to share my delicious homemade version of a veggie/bean burger.  Now with everything I cook, it changes every time but I have made this delicious “burger” 3 times this week & it keeps getting better!

1c mashed black beans*
1/3c oat flour**

Flavor options:  Diced onions, bells, garlic, salsa, jalapenos etc.

Seasoning options: salt, pepper, garlic, onion, chili, cumin, Cajun etc.

Directions: mix flour & mashed beans with whatever combo of flavor you want. Spoon a dollop into pan & cook in your fav oil over medium heat until crisp on one side, flip & flatten into a patty & cook until crisp.

*any beans will work. I’ve used cooked dry beans, canned beans, black, red & pintoes.

**any flour will work as well. I use whatever is closest to the stove :)

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I think next time I’m gonna try to make “Bean Balls” even tho that sounds pretty awkward.

Lent 2015

So another season of Lent is upon us. I know to some this means nothing, to some it means everything & the rest are just confused.

Yes, I’m Catholic.  No I don’t attend regularly. Yes, I’m comfortable in my faith & everything that comes with being Catholic.

Now that I got that out of the way, lent is a period of reflection for me personally. But this year, I’m giving up meat.  This is a good opportunity to focus on my diet while my religion enforces it.  I consider this part of my “work smarter, not harder” motto.

Today is meatless day #7 & I’m ok. Not sure if I’ll be ok in 5 more weeks but we will see.  If I go into a carnivorous feeding frenzy stay away…