Tuesday, November 5, 2013

slow cooker spicy black bean chili

With winter around the corner, I'm all ready to bust out my crockpot for some tasty soups and stews. This chili is chunky, hearty, and a little bit spicy- yeah, I'll be making this recipe a lot :)
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 Tbl. chili powder
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cans black beans drained & rinsed
  • 2 cans diced green chiles drained
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 package Boca ground crumbles

1. Saute the garlic, onion, and bell pepper in a skillet with the olive oil for 5 minutes, until the veggies begin to soften
2. Add in the chili powder and cook an additional 30 seconds, until everything is coated
3. Place the chili powdered veggies, the tomatoes with juice, the black beans, the diced chiles, veggie broth, cumin, cayenne, and garlic salt into the crockpot and let it cook on low while you're at work or out and about 6+ hours
4. 1-2 hours before you're ready to eat, add the Boca crumbles into the slow cooker, & continue to cook on low
5. When everything is well combined and heated through, season with salt and pepper, and serve it up!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Hey, it's October first! Start your Halloween countdown and celebrate with some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!
Adapted from an already-great recipe in The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes by Kris Holechek

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 Tbs. rice milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

1. While the oven is preheating to 350° F, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a mixing bowl and give it a stir
2. Next, take another medium size bowl and use a mixer to combine the softened Earth Balance, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, rice milk, and vanilla
3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and use the mixer to blend everything together
4. Fold the chocolate chips into the batter and drop heaping tablespoon-sized dollops onto your baking sheet about 2 inches apart
5. Pop the dough into the oven and bake for approximately 12 minutes or until the cookie edges are lightly brown

Thursday, August 29, 2013

food rut: avocado toast

Do you ever get into a food rut? Where you discover a new amazing meal and all you want to do is eat it all the time? I'm totally stuck on avocado toast right now. It's SO simple & SO GOOD!
  • 1/2 bagel or 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • 1/4 avocado
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

1. Place the bread or bagel into the toaster & cook until it's perfectly golden
2. Take a fork and smush the avocado onto the top of the bagel
3. Sprinkle the avocado/toast with a little salt & pepper
4. Serve with half a peach or another fruit for a quick & healthy breakfast - yum! :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

rice noodle bowl with veggies

This easy noodle bowl is fresh, colorful, and totally hits the spot when I'm too lazy to drive myself down to the good Vietnamese places on Federal ;)

  • 1/4 box thin rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup carrot- shredded
  • 1/4 cup your favorite type of sprouts
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 cup red cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 cup your favorite sauce

1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway up with water and bring to a boil
2. When the water is bubbling, remove pan from heat & drop the rice noodles into the liquid
3. Let the noodles soak for approximately 10 minutes while you chop & shred your veggies
4. When the noodles are soft, drain out the water & place them into your serving bowl
5. Top the noodles with your veggies & then slather the entire mixture with your favorite sauce- soy, hoisin or even this easy peanut sauce. Now grab those chopsticks & dig in!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

grilled caprese sandwich

Tomato + basil = an amazing flavor combination. 
Add cheese & smush it in a panini press? Well, that right there is a seriously delicious sandwich.

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella style cheese
  • a healthy pinch of salt & pepper
  • a big dash Italian seasoning

1. While your skillet or panini press is heating up, slice up the tomato & measure out the other ingredients
2. Lightly drizzle the balsamic vinegar onto one piece of bread & the olive oil onto the other
3. Layer the basil leaves on top of one slice of bread and top it with the tomato, cheese, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning & finally the other piece of bread
4. Place the assembled sandwich into your hot skillet or panini press & cook until the cheese is nice & melty & the bread perfectly golden brown- bon appetit :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

friday's fave 5: my first garden

I've always enjoyed taking care of a couple houseplants, but an entire garden has been quite the undertaking- 
It's been a lot of learning, but a lot of fun too!

1. Starting something new is always a little worrisome, but thanks to some cute plants and an amazing homemade planter (thanks Dad!) I've had no problem diving right into this endeavor 
2. My parents have great green thumbs- Not only am I thankful for all their help, but I'm also excited to now share their love of gardening too. It's something that I can't wait to do with all my loved ones ♥
3. This is my very first cucumber EVER! Isn't it amazing what a little sun, water & soil can make?
4. I love reaping the benefits from this garden- Nothing tastes better than a perfectly ripe cherry tomato fresh off the vine- yum!
5. I can't believe how much everything has grown in just a few short months! My little garden has become such a nice place to get my hands dirty in the soil, take a nibble of fresh, homegrown produce, & even just enjoy being outside in the beautiful summer sun.

Is anyone else having fun in their first garden this summer? What are you growing?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

eggLESS egg salad sandwich

Craving egg salad but skipping on eggs? Look no further than this tofu version- it's fast, easy & so tasty you'll be like, eggs? What eggs? 
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/3 block firm tofu- squeezed
  • 1 Tbs. Vegenaise
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • A dash of garlic salt
  • 2 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 Tbs. spicy brown mustard

1. Place the 2 slices of bread into the toaster & let them brown to your desired crispiness
2. Meanwhile, take the squeezed tofu & crumble it with your fingers into a bowl
3. Add the Vegenaise, salt, pepper, & garlic salt to the tofu & mash everything together with a fork until all the ingredients are entirely combined
4. Spread mustard on one piece of toast, top it with the tofu mixture, then the romaine lettuce, and finally the second piece of toast- enjoy! :)

**This recipe is so great and simple, it also makes a good baseline for more flavorful add-ins, like shredded carrot, diced onion, or chopped celery. Your eggless salad? The sky's the limit! ;)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

easy peanut sauce

A quick, easy, Asian-inspired peanut sauce. I'm not the biggest peanut butter fan, but this sauce is still one of my favorites!

  • 2 1/2 Tbs. your favorite peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbs. hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. water
  • A dash of chili garlic sauce
  • A splash of lime juice

1. Pour all ingredients into a bowl and stir vigorously until everything is well combined
2. Adjust flavors and spiciness to your liking
3. Serve as a dipping sauce with fresh spring rolls, or pour on top of a stir fry or noodle bowl

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

grilled brussels skewers

Summertime is BBQ-time, and if you're looking for a crowd pleaser, try these brussels sprouts skewers, 'cause they're seriously amazing!

  • 2 lbs. brussels sprouts
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 package wooden skewers

1. Place the skewers in a large dish & cover them with water to soak while you prep everything else & heat up the grill
2. Toss together the brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt & pepper in a large mixing bowl or plastic bag
3. When the sprouts are evenly coated with the oil & spices, slide them onto the skewers
4. Place the skewers on a hot grill and cook for approximately 5 minutes on each side
5. When perfectly blackened, serve them up & dig in! Yum!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

erin's favorite salad

Salads can be seriously boring, but this one is full of color, texture & flavor. This is my absolute favorite, go-to salad, and I could eat it everyday.

  • 2 large kale leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage chopped
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1 Tbl. ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp. your favorite spice or dried herb
  • 2 Tbl. your favorite salad dressing

1. Chop, shred, measure, grind, and get all the ingredients prepped
2. Combine the veggies, flax, and spices in a bowl or on a plate and top with dressing
3. Grab a fork and dig in!

* If you're looking to add some protein, top off your salad with 1/2 cup beans, hard-boiled egg, or a sliced Boca chik'n patty :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

slow cooker lentils & veggies

Crock pot cooking isn't just for the winter months! Throw everything in, go to work, and come home to a hot, tasty meal without having to heat up the kitchen. Lentils & veggies? Yes please.

Adapted from this Lentil & Veggie Stew recipe on Skinny Ms.

  • 1 large garlic clove diced
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 4 carrots sliced
  • 3/4 onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery sliced
  • 12 oz frozen green beans
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 3 cups low-sodium tomato juice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup dry lentils

1. Prepare all the ingredients by chopping the vegetables & measuring out the spices & liquids
2. Place everything except the lentils into the crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours
3. After 8-10 hours-ish, add in the lentils and cook for 1 more hour
4. When the lentils are tender, adjust the liquid and/or seasoning to your liking & dig in! - I like my portion served with hot sauce :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

frozen yogurt popsicles

I broke out my popsicle molds for the first time last week, and I can already tell that these frozen yogurt pops are going to be my obsession for the summer!
  • your favorite yogurt- I used Chobani non fat Greek yogurt, since it was on sale at the store :)
  • popsicle sticks
  • popsicle molds or dixie cups

1. Peel the lid off the yogurt and stir it up until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined
2. Pour the yogurt into the popsicle molds or dixie cups and place them in the freezer for 30 minutes
3. After 30 minutes, shove a popsicle stick into the middle of the yogurt & leave them in the freezer overnight
4. When you want a frozen treat, run the mold or cup under hot water & remove the yogurt pop

Seriously, I'm obsessed. They're healthy, easy to make, and the perfect summertime treat. I can't wait to spend the next few months experimenting with different flavors! Any suggestions?

Friday, May 24, 2013

friday's fave 5: japan travels

Traveling to a new country is always exciting & my recent trip to Japan already has me wistfully thinking of some of my my favorite things

1. Seeing one-of-a-kind places. Itsukushima-jinja in Miyajima was absolutely stunning, and totally unique- unlike anything I've ever seen before
2. Trying new experiences- I rode my first electric bike all over the island of Naoshima & it was a blast!
3. Seeing old friends & making new ones- Matt, Michael & I were college roommates, and getting to reunite in Japan was way too much fun ;)
4. The FOOD! Is there anything better than eating in a foreign country? We ate so many strange & amazing things, but one of my favorite items was the tofu! This one was soft, creamy & layered. Yum!
5. THE DRINK! Matcha, Sake, green tea & beer. Maybe it's the experience, or maybe it's because it's so fresh, but everything just tastes better when you're traveling

After such an amazing adventure, it's always hard to get back to normal life. Luckily, I have lots of photos and tasty memories that will get me through until the next exploit :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

friday's fave 5: leftover Easter eggs

Easter celebrations usually mean leftover hard-boiled eggs, and while there are 100 ways to eat them, here are just a few of my favorites

1. Top half a whole wheat bagel or english muffin with chopped egg & a sprinkle of salt & pepper
2. Slice up an egg and place it on top of your favorite big, leafy salad for some added protein
3. Mix up diced egg with a little onion, salt, pepper & Vegenaise for a quick & easy egg-salad that's great between toast with lettuce
4. Place slices of hard-boiled egg on top of your pizza! Sounds weird, but it's totally delicious :)
5. And finally, don't forget about plain- grab an egg for a post-workout snack or a quick breakfast on-the-go. All the fancy stuff is fun, but hard-boiled eggs are awesome all on their own too.

What's your favorite way to eat those leftover hard-boiled eggs?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

cinnamon breakfast quinoa

Quinoa. It's not just for dinner anymore!

  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 apple diced
  • 1 Tbl. raisins
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 8 almonds chopped

1. Place the quinoa and 1/2 cup water in a small pot and bring to a boil**
2. Turn the heat down to low, cover & simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes while your chop and measure the other ingredients
3. When the quinoa is cooked, toss it in a bowl with the apple, raisins & cinnamon and give it a stir until everything is combined
4. Pour the milk over the concoction and top with the chopped almonds
5. Dig in!

**Note: If you're often short on time in the morning, make a big batch of quinoa on Sunday & use it all week. I scoop out 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, mix it with the other ingredients, microwave it for about a minute, and it's still delicious :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

lazy-bones jambalaya

Jambalaya is a slow cooking dish, so if you're in a hurry to eat before the night's festivities, look no further than this super quick version

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/3 block firm tofu squeezed
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes drained
  • 1/2 cup rice- already cooked
  • 1 tsp. cajun seasoning

1. In a skillet on medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic & carrot in the olive oil, about 2 minutes
2. Throw the red bell pepper into the mixture, and cook until all the veggies are starting to get tender
3. Add the diced tomatoes, tofu & cajun seasoning and let simmer until all the flavors are well-encorporated and the vegetables are as soft as you'd like them
4. Stir in the cooked rice & give everything a good dash of ground black pepper & maybe some cayenne if you like a little heat
5. When the rice is heated through, slice up the king cake & dig in!

Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

roasted brussels sprouts

Brussel sprouts may have been your childhood nightmare, but now that you know how to roast them properly, you'll have to change your ways!

  • approx. 1 1/2 lb brussels sprouts
  • 2 1/2 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

1. While the oven is heating up to 400° F cut the brussels sprouts in half & place them in a single layer on a baking sheet
2. Sprinkle the sprouts with the olive oil, salt & pepper, & and toss them with your hands so they're evenly coated
3. When the oven is hot, pop the baking sheet into the oven for 10 minutes
4. After 10 minutes, stir the brussels sprouts around & place them back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until they're tender & slightly blackened 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

fried pickles

Are you hungover? Is it the Super Bowl? Maybe a combination of both? Fried pickles are the answer.

  • Your favorite kind of pickle- chip cut
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup canola oil

1. Start by placing the flour, rice milk and bread crumbs all in separate dishes
2. Pour the oil into a large skillet or wok, and heat on high
3. Coat the pickles by dunking them in the flour, then the rice milk, and finally the bread crumbs
4. Toss the breaded pickles into the hot oil and fry approximately 1 minute on either side, or until they're golden brown
5. Serve with ranch dressing, and gobble them down- nom nom nommm

Thursday, January 24, 2013

curried lentils

I love lentils, because they're high in protein, easy to make, and I can eat the leftovers for a full week!
Oh, and did I mention they're delicious too?

  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 Tbl. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried lentils rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes drained
  • 4 cups water

1. In a large skillet, sauté the chopped onion in a little olive oil, until the onion is soft
2. Throw in the diced garlic, and cook it with the onion for about 1 more minute
3. Stir in all the spices- the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, salt, chili powder & cinnamon & give it a good stir so the onion & garlic mixture is coated
4. Add in the rinsed lentils, diced tomatoes, 4 cups of water, and let the entire concoction simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, and most of the water has been absorbed
5. When the lentils are soft, season it to your liking, serve it up & then gobble it down :)