Thursday, May 31, 2012

beans and cheese

We've been eating lots of beans and cheese this week!  First meal involving two of my favorite ingredients:

"Tomato Tortilla Soup," from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers, with quesadillas on the side.  I had never made tortilla soup before, and I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe -- the ground/pureed tortilla chips gave the soup an incredibly creamy, silky texture, and the simple recipe was a snap to whip together on a busy day.  The quesadillas were made with whole-wheat tortillas, homemade refried pinto beans, and shredded pepper jack, with jarred salsa and homemade guacamole for dipping.

Leftover beans and cheese were later incorporated into breakfast:

Huevos Rancheros!  More protein, please!  :)  Yum.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lunch today

A bed of spinach, arugula, and mixed lettuces from our garden, topped with cucumber, tomato, olives, avocado, hard-boiled egg, and Annie's Goddess dressing. Delicious and extremely filling!

Hello, garden!

John and I spent about 3 1/2 hours on the garden this morning - weeding, chipping, planting, and installing the removable chicken wire frames he built over a month ago. (Our first bunny visitor took down a considerable amount of our chard ... drat! Magnetic fencing to the rescue!) The final planting:
Flowers: nasturtium, marigolds, and sunflowers
Herbs: mint, basil, dill, thyme, oregano, chives, parsley, and cilantro
Greens: spinach, arugula, chard, lacinato kale, and gourmet baby greens
Tomatoes: a red heirloom from Dora, a yellow heirloom from Dora, Romas, green zebras, and large cherries
Other veg: carrots, zucchini, green onions, summer squash, cucumber, bell peppers, eggplant, and sugar snap peas/green beans (green beans to be planted when sugar snaps are over.)

We'll enjoy our first major harvest for lunch today - giant salads with spinach, arugula, and mixed lettuces. WAHOO!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The first harvest!

Dinner tonight was a simple pasta, including some homegrown spinach and arugula! The first harvest from our garden!! Woo-HOO!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

back to it

I have fallen out of two very good habits in the past year or so, and I decided tonight would be the night I officially get "back to it" --

Good habit #1: using my reusable produce/bulk bags when buying groceries

Good habit #2: cooking dried beans and freezing in 2-cup portions

Good habit #2 seemed especially important to me, as money has been a little tighter than usual lately, and we all know how cheap beans are to start with, and how MUCH cheaper they are when you cook them from dried.  Also, I recently read an article in this month's issue of Whole Living that detailed a variety of environmental toxins that screw with female hormones.  I don't have any issues, but I figure it's good to be aware and possibly avoid issues in the future, right?  I'm not ready to give up canned tomatoes just yet, (and oh, how I wish the glass jars of tomatoes were cheaper!), but I figure, skipping the canned beans in favor of home-cooked is a win-win, right?  And I'm taking Michelle's advice this time 'round, and cooking 'em with a chunk of kombu each.

What are your feelings and/or opinions about BPAs?

Maybe we'll have a bumper crop of Roma tomatoes in the garden this year, I'll teach myself some basic canning, and I can actually say good-bye to canned tomatoes?  Fingers crossed!

Monday, May 14, 2012

tortilla pizza

Here's an easy, cheap, calorie-conscious (if you measure your cheese) dinner for one -- a tortilla pizza!  Why haven't I ever thought of this before?  I topped a whole-wheat tortilla with parmesan, part-skim mozzarella, sliced tomato, kalamata olives, and oregano, and baked the whole thing at 400 until bubbly and crisp around the edges.  Dinner served, belly filled, and mouth only slightly burned by boiling hot tomato juices.  ;)

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Simple Sunday night dinner - homemade pita topped with falafel and all the fixings!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

banana milkshake

I think I've finally hit that moment in my early 30s when my metabolism is slowing down . . . darn!  I was hoping spending my days chasing toddlers would take care of that.  ;)  Alas!  Anyhow, in order to avoid buying new pants, which I can't afford, I'm currently counting calories.  Again.  Ugh.  I'm not going to complain too much, but let's just say . . . I'm not a fan of feeling a little bit hungry most of the day, I'm not a fan of washing all of those extra measuring cups and spoons, and I'm not a fan of the tediousness of entering everything I put into my mouth into the app on my iPhone.

But there are some things I'm a fan of, like banana milkshakes:

Containing nothing more than a frozen banana, a cup of unsweetened almond milk, a teaspoon of agave, some Penzey's "Baking Spice," and 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla, this baby is definitely more than the sum of its parts.  High in calcium, potassium, B6, C, E, and fiber, but low in cholesterol, low in fat, and low in calories, (at only about 160,) this is definitely a "bargain" dessert!  Sweet, creamy, flavorful, and delicious.

And I have to say, this whole "counting calories" thing isn't really all THAT bad.  It's forcing me to be more planful about my meals, which is a good thing, and definitely reminding me to be more mindful in my eating each day.  (Being around kids and their endless snacks can be challenging at times!)

Any other tips, ideas, or simple recipes you'd like to share?

With that said, I better go pack my breakfast and lunch now . . .

Sunday, May 06, 2012

today in food

After an incredibly busy day yesterday, which involved spending WAY too much time in the car driving all over the metro for a variety of reasons, we made today a quiet day.  We did little besides cook, eat, and lounge, although we did get out for a walk this afternoon.  Here's today in food:


Homemade buttermilk pancakes, topped with strawberries and syrup, with a side of maple-glazed breakfast sausages!


Homemade pizza, using up leftovers from the party last weekend, with a spinach, cucumber, and tomato salad on the side.  (P.S. LOVE "Goddess" dressing.  The only bottled dressing I buy.  Anyone have a good recipe for a homemade version?)

Afternoon baking project:

I can't think of anything better to do on a dreary Sunday afternoon besides lounge around watching Forrest Gump, while periodically stirring the granola -- can you?


Chili-Glazed Tofu Over Asparagus and Rice was a new recipe, and a good one!  I, of course, didn't follow the recipe as written . . . I pulled the asparagus component out of the rice pilaf, roasting it in the oven instead, and added red bell pepper and mushroom to the pilaf, per a suggestion someone made the comments section of the recipe.  Kept the glaze on the tofu the same, though, which was excellent!  I'll definitely make this again -- healthy and easy.

Off to finish the movie . . . !

Friday, May 04, 2012

Simple, but fancy

Friday night dinners pretty much always have to be simple, in my opinion - I'm usually WAY too tired out from the week to attempt much cooking. Tonight's dinner was fairly simple, in my opinion, but kind of fancy-looking -- Cheese & Spinach- Stuffed Portobellos, from Eating Well:

Thursday, May 03, 2012

5-a-day? Indeed.

Something about the whole 5-a-day thing has always confused me a little.  I understand the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, of course, but what I don't understand is, why is it so hard for so many people?

 I had at least 5 produce servings just in my dinner tonight!

Avocado, mayo, and sprouts on toasted wholegrain bread, roasted asparagus, and Terra Chips.

And a post-dinner baking project resulted in one heck of a fabulous dessert:

Honey & Goat Cheese-Filled Fig Muffins are TO DIE FOR.  (I did sub Neufchatel for the goat cheese, as I wanted a little leftover for my bagel tomorrow morning . . . !!)  I practically inhaled this muffin warm from the oven, and I can't wait to try them chilled for breakfasts or snacks.  A tad sweeter than the average muffin, these definitely walk the dessert line, but are still 100% whole grain (and pretty high in protein, for a muffin,) so they would still make a decent breakfast.  What is it about figs that makes things seem a bit more decadent?  I'll probably never understand.  But I'll keep eating these muffins, in the hopes of figuring it out.  ;)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

baby garden

No, we're not growing baby people . . . baby vegetables!  Here are a few pictures of how the plants are doing:




 Green onions!


 Mint!  (transplanted from another area of John's yard)

Everything else is coming up, too; my camera was just being difficult, and many of the photos I took were blurry and useless.  Oh well!  Growing food is fun!  I feel very lucky that I have someone that wants to try to grow food with me, and a space in which to do it!  Have I ever mentioned I've always wanted a garden?