In an effort to save money I’ve been avoiding the grocery store and cooking from my pantry, of which I have to say I’m quite proud. It’s fully stocked and newly organized. It’s a walk-in pantry and one of my favorite features of the house. Sometimes, especially when the rest of my house has become cluttered, I just take a walk inside my pantry and stare at the neatly packed shelves.
The process of organizing the pantry was a lofty undertaking but a necessary one in order for me to take stock of what we actually had on hand, which turned out to be a lot. So, this week I’ve been cooking solely from the pantry, trying to use canned items, dried beans, oils and vinegars, etc. One item I’ve used twice in two different dishes is lentils.
Dish # 1 was lentils, spinach and chicken sausage. It was flavored with bay leaves and thyme and salt and pepper. Very hearty and healthy. I used brown lentils in this one. Recipe to come.
Dish # 2 was this delicious lentil curry. The dish reminded me of Indian Dahl because it utilizes some of the same flavors like garam masala, turmeric, garlic and ginger. I used a spicy curry paste to kick up the heat and added a splash of lime juice and cilantro to brighten the whole thing up at the end. It was spicy, warm and comforting, especially served with naan for dipping. I had to stop myself from going back for seconds…or, if I’m being honest, thirds. (more…)
I’ve been drinking a lot of smoothies lately which means I have not been cooking all that much, but when I do cook, I want it to be healthy and this Slow Cooker Tex Mex Chicken fits that bill.
I wasn’t sure what to call this actually. There are probably a million variations of this recipe because it’s not at all complicated. I’ve made something similar before and the recipe I followed called it Santa Fe chicken. I thought about calling it Mexican chicken because the dish does utilize Mexican flavors, but it’s not authentically Mexican. The recipe felt more like a Tex Mex recipe to me. It calls for flavors like fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, cumin, chili powder, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Hence, the name slow cooker Tex Mex chicken. (more…)
I’m constantly looking for ways to eat more vegetables and if your curious as to why, check out my previous post and my recommendation for C.J. English’s book WTF Am I Supposed to Eat?: A Dieter’s Manifesto. I also love chili. It’s super flavorful and comes together really fast. There are lots of variations of chili from the type of meat you use, or lack of meat, i.e. a lentil or vegetarian version, to the spices, vegetables and liquids you choose to flavor it with. I love the versatility of it. This one uses lean ground turkey instead of beef and is packed with flavor from cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. It’s also full of veggies like tomatoes, beans, spinach and onions. (more…)
During the month of February I basically revamped my diet, which has been a long overdue project I’ve been avoiding. I’ve been carrying an extra 20 lbs around for the past 4 years and I finally decided I’d had enough and it was time to get my eating habits under control. I have been unhappy with my weight for a long time and so, instead of complaining about it like usual, I tackled it and really committed to healthy eating. Sigh. It hasn’t been easy especially when results have been slow, which are due to a number of factors that I am ironing out and won’t bore you with here. But I’ve lost about 6 pounds, which is better than nothing, and I feel healthier, which is key. I think my hair is shinier and my skin looks better. So, needless to say I’m going to stick with it. I might not be able to keep up the no dairy, no carb, no sugar, no alcohol thing for much longer but I feel like I can keep those things to a minimum now. After all we really shouldn’t be “on a diet” so to speak. We should be making a “lifestyle change”. Any health expert or doctor will tell you that. (more…)
When I was in college, I ate my fair share of Ramen noodles. Shocker, I know. I always had a stash somewhere and when there was nothing else to eat or I was too lazy or too poor to go out, I, like all other college students everywhere, would reach for that block of dried noodles and that yummy seasoning packet full of MSG and call it a day. It was tasty, and salty and not very good for you but it provided the nourishment and the satisfaction needed during those long nights of studying for midterms. It had it’s place. (more…)
Let me start off by saying this is not the healthiest of dishes…Yes, it has healthy components like a whole bag of spinach and a bunch of mushrooms, but pasta is the base and it’s loaded with parmesan cheese and olive oil and pine nuts (as most pestos are). So, if you’re trying to eat healthy this may not be the dish for you. But if you’re looking to treat yourself and still want to eat something nutritious, this recipe is totally worth the calories. Also, read on if you’d like to know how to still enjoy a dish like this but not ingest a ton of calories.
I recently lost 10 pounds and have been trying to keep it up and eat healthier…but I also love food. Anyone who has looked at this blog for more than two seconds should know that. And I’ve learned that I can’t ALWAYS deprive myself of the stuff I want to eat. I’ve also learned that I can’t ALWAYS just go for it either. So, I made a bit of a compromise and for those of you who also love food and pasta but are trying to eat healthier or lose weight or cut carbs or whatever, this is what I did with this dish to alleviate a bit of the guilt. (more…)
I almost never serve a meal without vegetables, but, if I’m being honest, that doesn’t always mean the meal is completely guilt free. It has healthy components, but there are usually some guilty pleasures involved too. Not so much with this dish. I’ve been on a pretty strict diet which has involved serious calorie cutting and sticking to a basic clean eating plan. This black bean and butternut squash chili fits the bill. I cheated a bit with the beer, but it really adds a ton of flavor and when all the other ingredients are guilt free I figured using beer as part of the cooking liquid wasn’t that bad. If you want you can omit it and just add more vegetable or chicken stock. (more…)
A few weekends ago I went to Carrabba’s Restaurant for lunch. I don’t go to Carrabbas that often but when I do it’s hard for me to pass up their spicy sausage and lentil soup. It’s probably my favorite thing on their menu. As I was eating it for lunch that day, I thought to myself, this can’t be too hard to make. I tried to really taste the different flavors and components so I could replicate it at home. And I think this recipe comes pretty close. It may not be exactly the same as Carrabbas famous soup but it’s close enough, and really delicious. (more…)
I very rarely buy sweet potatoes. I know, I know. They are super healthy and packed with loads of vitamins and nutrients. They are really filling and great for muscle building. I know. It’s not that I don’t like them, unless they are candied and topped with marshmallows. Yuck. I’ve never been into that Thanksgiving staple. But in most cases, I like them. I guess I just find them a bit boring? Unless you eat them like this…In which case, the fat content in the rest of the ingredients probably outweighs the health benefits of the sweet potatoes. Anyway, sweet potatoes can be boring if they are baked and served plain alongside some kind of a roast. Blah. (more…)
Let’s talk about resolutions. It’s January. 2016. I seem to have a recurring conversation this year in regards to New Year’s resolutions and it goes something like this: (more…)