Tag Archives: Avocado

World’s most filling breakfast for under 400 calories

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I love breakfast. I want to take Breakfast to the skating rink and buy it a promise ring from the gift shop. Then I want to take my parents’ car and drive slowly by Breakfast’s house over and over.

Most days I eat two breakfasts. That’s because I generally wake up feeling like I’m going to starve to death. This morning I decided to try something new: savory oats. I know, I know, the whole thing just seems wrong. But if it keeps me full for 4+ hours, it’s oh-so-right.

The 4 Hour, 400 calorie breakfast: Savory oats for one, inspired by Womens Health Magazine
-1/2 c rolled oats
-1 cup loosely packed spinach
-1 egg
-1/8 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-1/4 of an avocado
cooking spray
salt & pepper

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Let’s do this:

Add the oats and one cup of water to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until water is absorbed and oats reach desired consistency. Reduce heat, add in spinach and stir for a few seconds until spinach wilts. Remove from heat.

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Get a small frying pan hot and coat with cooking spray, then crack your egg into the pan. I flipped my egg because I’m not one for runny yolks, but I think I’m alone in this. So cook the egg to your desired done-ness.

Add the oats to a bowl or plate, top with shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and the egg. Top with salt and pepper, and hot sauce if you like!

Now I’m going to go write a note to Breakfast that I can pass it during homeroom, asking it to check a box if it likes me. Or maybe I should just text Breakfast?

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Here’s the stats on this breakfast (note I cooked my oats in water, but if you cook yours in milk the calories will be a bit higher):

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The salad I apparently can’t go 2 days without

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There is a cheese & wine shop near my work called Pastoral that sells sandwiches and salads during lunch. One salad in particular has stolen my heart, and I get it at least once a week. This weekend I found myself craving it and decided it was time to recreate this masterpiece at home. Because there was just no way I could wait until Monday.

Pastoral-esque “Health Nut” salad, serves 1

-about 2-3 cups mixed salad greens
-1 small tomato (these are not on the original salad – I added them)
-about 1/4 cup cucumber slices
-roasted spiced almonds (I picked up the rosemary Marcona almonds from Trader Joe’s, which are amazeballs)
-1/4 of an avocado
-about an ounce of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
-amazing red wine vinaigrette, which I came pretty close to replicating, see below

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Top your salad greens with all ingredients and prepare to be addicted.

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Now, there are a few corners you must not cut when assembling this salad:
1. No pre-shredded cheese. Do yourself a flavor (pun intended) and get some real Parmesan and shred it. All the diffs in the world, I promise.
2. No bottled salad dressings.
3. No plain almonds. It just wouldn’t be the same.

Pretty-close-to-amazing red wine viniagrette:
-1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
-1/2 cup olive oil
-1 T dijon mustard
-1 t honey or sugar
-salt & pepper

Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor until combined.

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Single girl dinners, or what to do when you have no food

When the Huz isn’t around for dinner, we’re typically low on food since I don’t do much meal planning when I know he’ll be gone (heck, I  don’t do much meal planning period; when I say “meal planning”, picture me holding something up and shouting across the produce section: “Hey, do you think you want to eat this this week?”).

When we have no food in the house, I regress to a dormitory style of eating that I’m not proud of. This means things like cereal for dinner and other unmentionables, which I’ll mention.

I recommend and endorse the following multi-step approach if you are dining alone and have no food:

1. Stomp around the kitchen complaining that you have no food. See if anyone helps you.

2. Survey the fridge and freezer. Repeat step 1. Still nothing? Start panicking.

(At this point, DR-mom and DR-dad might recognize this routine from high school when I had nothing to wear.)

3. Do you have eggs? Bread? Cheese? If so, how about some version of this vegetarian egg mcmuffin:

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Its a Morningstar black bean veggie burger + 1 scrambled egg + 1 slice cheese on an Arnold’s sandwich thin (add avocado and hot sauce if you have it!). Its super filling, so its my go-to single girl dinner.

4. Do you have bananas? Milk? How about some version of this smoothie?

5. Things are looking grim. At this point, the mature thing to do is dig out that old can of soup in the cupboard and heat it up. But frankly, the maturity ship sailed after steps 1 and 2, so just forget about that. Do you have chocolate chips? Try eating a handful and see how you feel.

6. We’re officially desperate. Do you have peanut butter? Try eating a few spoonfuls and see how you feel. Think about how good the chocolate chips would have tasted in the peanut butter and do some advanced “meal planning” by writing chocolate chips on your grocery list.

7. Still hungry? Throw in the towel. Order sushi or skip dinner entirely and go get ice cream.

So there you have it. Feel free to print this extremely mature guide and hang it on your fridge to reduce food-related panic attacks. You’re welcome.

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Hey, who charded?*

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Ok, its so ridiculously hot in Chicago that:

  • We just got back from a walk where I ran through an open fire hydrant. Yes, we’re classy like that.
  • The Huz broke down and turned on the air conditioning.
  • I can’t stand the additional heat generated by the grill.

So, we went semi-raw for dinner tonight: Swiss chard wraps!

Swiss chard wraps, serves 2

-6 swiss chard leaves, stems cut
-2 cups carrot, shredded
-1 bell pepper, very thinly sliced
-1 avocado, sliced

Lay out your shard. If the middle vein of your chard is really thick, you might think about cutting it out to make it easier to eat. Ours were fairly thin (as you can see from the picture above), so I left them in.

Add about 2-3 T of hummus to each wrap, then about 1/3 cup shredded carrot, a few slices of bell pepper, and a few slices avocado (plus any other veggies you like!).
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Wrap ’em up and seal with a toothpick!

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*Yes, I went there. This blog post title is for B. Hopefully she’s reading or else I just lost all my female readers with the world’s first Swiss chard/fart joke for nothing.

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Summer Salads: Sweet potato & black bean dinner salad

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As soon as the temperature gets over 80 degrees, I develop a strong aversion for the stove. Last summer I really got into grilling. I don’t really know what I’m doing, so I check the grill with the kind of constant back-and-forth typically reserved for a new mom checking in on her one week old baby to make sure its still breathing. The huz tells me this is breaking rule #1 of being a grillmaster. So I won’t quit my day job just yet.

Anyway, I have become something of a grilled veggie salad connoisseur, and this is one of my standbys for a festive summery dinner.

Sweet potato & black bean summer salad, serves 2

Go get:
-Lettuce (romaine or spinach works well)
-Sweet potato, diced (note, they were all out of sweet potatoes at trader joe’s so I bought these packaged ones and they worked well)
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-2 ears of corn
-1 can black beans
-1 mango
-1/2 avocado
-olive oil
-1 t cumin
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Let’s do this:
Toss the sweet potato in about a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of cumin. Throw ’em on the grill using a grill pan (If you don’t have one, then you can roast them too. But grill pans are super fun, you should get one. Mine is from Williams Sonoma).
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Meanwhile, cut the kernels off the corn, rinse your black beans, and cut up mango and avocado. Find someone who likes empty corn cobs:
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When the sweet potatoes are nearly cooked through (about 8 mins), you can add in your black beans and corn:
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Grill these together for 3-5 minutes, tossing them occasionally. Top your lettuce with the mango, avocado, black beans, corn, and sweet potato and enjoy!
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This salad is great with a citrus vinaigrette. If you don’t have one, you can make lazy girl’s citrus vinaigrette:
1 T olive oil
1 T vinegar (I had an orange champagne vinegar from Trader Joe’s)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 t honey
dash salt
dash pepper

Combine all of these in a jar and shake!
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Hey, that looks like a pee sample. It’s not, I swear.

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Incredible edibles

Super-lucky-girl alert: the huz’s coworker has chickens and brought us some eggs!!! I freaked out when I saw them. They. are. adorable.
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Natch, I had to make something special with them. This started out as a frittata. But really, who has the time? It turned into an omelet-foldover-frittata-thingy.

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I threw together:
1/4 c black beans
~1 T fresh cilantro
1/4 c goat cheese crumbles (really, any cheese will work!)
~10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 of an avocado
1/4 c of corn (from the cob)
3 eggs (note these are a little smaller than large eggs from the grosh’)

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Confession: I don’t really know how to make an omelet (heck, I didn’t even know how to spell it right!). I just cracked the eggs in a bowl and stirred them, then sprayed some nonstick spray in a small pan and threw the eggs in until the bottom was cooked. Then I flipped it and threw the remaining ingredients on top, cooked the eggs a little longer and folded it over.

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I feel sorry for you if this wasn’t your breakfast this morning. Maybe you should come over tomorrow morning?

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Margaritaville

I haven’t been cooking too much lately because I had to go to Mexico last week and eat my body weight in tortilla chips. Then I had to drink a pool full of margaritas.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t all hard work.

In the spirit of margaritas and garbage bags full of tortilla chips, I bring you Vegan Taco Salad. We’re quite the taco family (as you might have noticed), and I blame that on DR-mom (DR=DoughingRogue) as she used to make tacos about once a week when I was too young to protest. Now I just can’t help myself.

This is almost an EWM, but I decided that use of the food processor automatically disqualifies a recipe from being categorized as an EWM since the food processor is kind of a biz to clean, if you know what I mean.

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Vegan Taco Salad, inspired by Angela’s Taco Salad for One

Go get:
1 head romaine
1 can black beans (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 T taco seasoning
1 t olive oil
2 garlic cloves
whatever toppings you like on your taco salad – I used corn, avocado, and salsa, but you can also use tortilla chips, shredded cheese, or sour cream!

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Let’s do this:

Process the garlic in your food processor first so you don’t have to mince it. Add the black beans, olive oil, and taco seasoning and process for about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape the bowl if necessary. Add the walnuts and pulse a few times (I like chunks of walnuts in mine!). The result will look something like this:
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Looks like taco meat, right? Tastes amazeballs, I promise.

Now cut up your romaine and your salad toppings and the bean/walnut mixture. Throw it all in a bowl and serve! I like to use salsa as my dressing but I’m also working on a cilantro vinaigrette, so I’ll post it when its perfected.

Ah, perfect summer meal to eat on the porch and wash down with a pool full of margarita.

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EWM: Tilapia Tacos

My new series (who am I kidding, everything is new around here): easy weeknight meals! I call this EWM. Hopefully that’s not an acronym for something disgusting, because I’m going with it.

Side note: the huz recently busted me using the term “money shot” while taking a picture of swiss chard. Turns out, money shot doesn’t mean what I thought it did. I thought it was just a good shot! If you google it, prepare to be disgusted, unless I’m the only one naive enough not to know what it means (quite possible). I’ve been cringing for days thinking of all the times I might have chirped “money shot” in a room full of guys.

Great, now I’ve typed money shot so many times that my blog is going to get flagged for inappropriate content.

Back to the point of this post. You won’t find very many recipes with meat on this blog, but one thing I do like is seafood. So about once every two weeks, I throw together fish tacos, a favorite in our house. My version is really simple and quick, but you can dress it up however you like. In the summer I cook the fish on the grill, but since its still pretty chilly, I baked these on a foil-lined broiler pan.

The key ingredients are:
2 tilapia fillets (I buy the frozen tilapia fillets from Costco so that I always have some on hand)
1 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1 T olive oil
1 T taco seasoning
1 avocado
a few slices red onion
4-6 corn tortillas

Tonight I was feeling crazy so I dressed ours up with:
1 mango
2 T unsweetened coconut
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Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Thaw tilapia fillets if necessary by running under lukewarm water 5-10 minutes (the Costco fillets come in a sleeve so I keep them in the plastic while thawing).
Mix the lime juice, olive oil, and taco seasoning in a small bowl.
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Brush the taco seasoning mixture over both sides of the fillets.
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Bake the fillets in the oven for 20 -25 minutes, or until the fish starts to flake a bit. (The best thing about tilapia is that I can never seem to cook it incorrectly – once I left them on the grill for an extra 10 minutes and they were still good!).

While the fish is cooking:

  • Wrap the tortillas in tin foil and toss them in the oven for the last few minutes that the fish is cooking.
  • Cut up your onion/avocado/mango/any other toppings

When the fish is ready, cut into pieces and divide among tortillas. Add toppings. I like to have two tacos:
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The huz likes three:
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Other topping ideas:
salsa
cheese
red cabbage
black beans

If you have other toppings for your tacos, leave them in the comments!

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Reader Request: what’s in your fridge?

A loyal reader recently asked me to do a post about the essentials I keep in my fridge. A few months ago, I might have considered taking a picture of the inside of my fridge for this post. But ever since Kath showed us in the inside of her fridge, I’ve been very self conscious about my fridge. Attempts to minimize the contents were met with tears, so I’ve finally accepted that my fridge will always be jam-packed with leftovers and produce.

I’ll do one post on my perishables and another on dry goods. Here’s what I have to have every week, or I’ll prolly starve:

My Perishables (lowest cost option is in green):

Unsweetened vanilla almond milk: I’m a big fan of almond milk because I don’t like cow’s milk (lots of reasons – this could be a whole post in itself – but suffice it to say that I first started straying from milk when I noticed that I would feel really badly on my Saturday morning runs after I had dairy on Friday – I was lethargic and sometimes would get sick). Needless to say, there is a lot of controversy around soy, so don’t prefer soy milk. I already have tofu in my diet, and adding soy milk to that would put me over the edge in the soy department.

You can get the 365 brand almond milk at Whole Foods, which is my fave. Almond Breeze is also good and they have it at most regular grocery stores. I use this for my morning smoothie every day, and its sooo delish with cereal or granola. If you have never tried it, you can get a 32 oz carton at Trader Joe’s or Jewel (local grocery store), which is low-commitment. Here’s the price breakdown:

  • Trader Joe’s: $.05 to .06 per oz, depending on brand. They have both Almond Breeze and Pacific brands. I believe Pacific is organic and usually its a little cheaper.
  • Whole foods: $.05 per oz for the 365 brand. Note that this is based on the refrigerated half gallons ($3.39 regular price). They also have shelf-stable options, but I don’t usually stop in that aisle so I haven’t price compared in a while. Based on taste, the 365 brand is my fave.
  • Costco: $.04 per oz. Costco sells the Silk brand, which is sweetened (slightly higher calorie and has evaporated cane juice), but you really can’t beat the price. This comes out to $2.66 for a half gallon, which is almost $.75 cheaper than Whole Foods.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the nutritional stats. Note that the Silk brand is sweetened, so it has added sugar and calories. The 365 brand also has the shortest ingredient list (always a plus in my book) and doesn’t have the elusive “natural flavors” as part of the ingredient list. If you are wondering why I have all three of these in the house right now available for photos, see my initial comment about messy fridge. I also hoard things when they go on sale.

Bananas: I always have these on hand for smoothies and snacks!

  • Trader Joe’s: anywhere from $.29 to $.49 per pound
  • Whole foods: closer to $.99 per pound, but I usually don’t pay attention because I’m not crazy enough to think they will be cheaper here
  • Costco: $.27 to $.44 per pound

Spinach: I try to have this on hand to toss into my morning smoothie and up the nutritional content – it becomes a Green Monster! Its also great to have on hand for a quick mid-week dinner salad. The best deal I have found for spinach is the huge tubs at Costco, but there is a produce market by us (Stanley’s for you locals) that is much cheaper, but non-organic. Spinach is something I prefer to buy organic since it’s one of the dirty dozen.

  • Trader Joe’s: $.33 per oz (organic)
  • Whole Foods: $.37 per oz (organic)
  • Costco: $.24 per oz (organic)
  • Stanley’s: $.15 per oz (non-organic)

Lemons: I can’t drink my water plain, so I always keep lemons on hand to keep my water interesting!

  • Costco: $1.29 per pound
  • Stanley’s: $.98 per pound

Kale: I really love kale for juicing and for making kale chips! If you’ve never made kale chips before, I highly recommend them lieu of potato chips next time you are making burgers.

  • Whole Foods: usually $2.49 per bunch (organic)
  • Stanley’s: $1.49 to 1.98 per bunch (organic)

Morningstar Black Bean Burgers: I usually buy the big Morningstar bean burgers at Costco because I love these so many ways: scrambled with an egg, crumbled on a salad, or wrapped in a tortilla with some avocado. They are $13.69 for a 12 pack of big burgers (note these are 4 oz burgers, which are bigger than the 2.75 oz burgers sold in regular grocery stores).

Eggs: Some days, I just really crave a scrambled egg on toast with a little cheese, so I try to keep eggs in the fridge most of the time. I splurge a bit and get free range organic because I’m paranoid and I don’t buy them that often so its worth the spurge (here’s a simple guide to eggs). I don’t usually price compare these because I just pick them up at Whole Foods when I run out, and they are less than $3 for a dozen (at $.25 each, that’s a pretty cheap and quick dinner!).

Tofu: I usually have this in my fridge to make my version of a chocolate milkshake!! Its a nice protein boost for smoothies and I use it for desserts or stir fry occasionally. I typically buy firm because its the most versatile. My favorite tofu is sold at the farmer’s market by Tiny Greens, but when I can’t make it to the farmer’s market…

  • Trader Joe’s: $.11 per oz for organic firm tofu and $.09 per oz for non-organic firm.
  • Whole Foods: $.12 per oz for organic 365 brand.

Avocado: I like to have one or two avocados on hand to add to fish tacos (post forthcoming) and salads. They never go bad in our house. The price for these are so volatile depending on the time of year, so I usually pick these up at Stanley’s. Avocados are on the clean dozen list, so I don’t fret too much about buying organic.

I think that about covers it for perishables. I always have random fruits and vegetables around as well. This week I stocked up on oranges, grapefruits, and brussels sprouts, so those are currently spilling out of the fridge and fruit bowl. I’ll be back with my must-have dry goods!

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Green pea and edamame guaca-molly

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Among a very exclusive circle (read: 3 people) my guacamole is pretty famous. They even call it guaca-molly.

So when I saw a green pea guacamole recipe in the Whole Foods flier last week, I knew I had to guaca-molly-ize it. The first time I made it, I thought it tasted to much like peas (at this time, its only appropriate to link to this video because it cracks me up – love the lady almost spitting out her water).

Good times. So anyway, my version cuts the peas in half and adds edamame and a little extra avocado. Like guacamole, you don’t want to make this too far in advance because it will go brown. But you do need a little advance planning because you’ll need to thaw the peas and edamame – I just tossed these in the fridge the day before to defrost.

1/3 cup cilantro
1 cup frozen green peas (thawed)
1 cup frozen shelled edamame (thawed)
1-2 avocados, peeled and pitted (I only had 1 1/2, but would have used 2 if I hadn’t used half on my salad earlier!)
4 green onions, roughly sliced
3 cloves garlic
juice of one lime
1 t sea salt

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Add the garlic and onion to the food processor and let ‘er rip (I always process garlic/onion first to save myself chopping time). Add the cilantro and process again.

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Add the remaining ingredients and purée until smooth.

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Serve with chips or veggies!

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