Posted by culinaryneophyte on November 24, 2013
Thanksgiving is really this week?! I refuse to believe this year is almost over, and therefore, I am sharing something very un-TurkeyDay-like while I can: Italian-roasted chickpeas. These little babies taste a lot like pizza and suffice as a meal or a snack. Give them a try!
Warning: I went complete eyeball on this one, so no measurements. Just follow your heart (and taste along the way) and you’ll be happily surprised.
Combine sun dried tomatoes, EVOO, minced garlic, a little bit of parmesan cheese, a little bit of tomato paste, Italian herbs and a squirt of Dijon mustard. You can either use a food processor or an immersion blender (what I did) to blend into a paste.
Drain and dry a can of chickpeas on a sheet for at least 30 minutes. Next, coat chickpeas in the mixture and bake at 350 degrees for a little less than an hour, making sure to flip every 20 minutes or so. The chickpeas will get crispier as they cool.
Total time? 8 minutes prep, 25-30 minutes bake.
Cost? $1 chickpeas, $3.29 sun dried tomatoes, $2.59 parmesan cheese, 79 cents tomato paste
Overall success relative to expectations? 8 out of 10. I love the taste of these and was happy to snack on them while I prepared the main portion of my dinner. While I was in Chicago last month, I had fried chickpeas, and while obviously these are a lot healthier, I still couldn’t get the beautiful crispiness of those out of my head. Only other knock here is that they don’t keep as well as leftovers; when I reheated them the next day, the flavor was still good, but the consistency suffered a bit.
Posted in sides | Tagged: chickpeas, clean eating, Italian, parmesan, pizza, roasted, snacks, sun-dried tomatoes, vegetarian | Leave a Comment »
Posted by culinaryneophyte on October 29, 2013
Today is National Oatmeal Day!
In celebration, I had “breakfast for lunch” and made a bowl of a sort of harvest protein oatmeal with pumpkin, egg white, whey and spices, topped with dried cranberries, pistachios, sunflower seeds, crushed walnuts and pumpkin spice almonds.
Posted in breakfast | Tagged: almonds, autumn, breakfast, cranberries, fall, National Oatmeal day, oatmeal, pistachios, protein, pumpkin, spice | Leave a Comment »
Posted by culinaryneophyte on October 13, 2013
A little love for your Sunday here… goji love! High in protein, fiber and vitamin C, this superfood has powerful antioxidant properties to boost your immune system. Oh, and the package says they are “among the most revered sexual tonic herbs.” Yowzaaaa
Posted in notes | Tagged: goji berries, gojis, herb, sexual, superfood, tonic | Leave a Comment »
Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 9, 2013
Today marks my blog’s third birthday. When I look back at where I was when I started this thing, I simultaneously can’t believe it’s been only three years and it’s been that long.
A few things in my life have remained constant — family, friends, my ability to mess up seemingly innocuous tasks. (Oh, and my beloved car, which also celebrates its birthday this week.) But then, so much has changed. When I started, I baked and wrote to take my mind off the crapstorm my life had become. I was pecking away about mac n’ cheese in my secluded cubicle cave at a failing newspaper, and spending all of my free time on foodgawker. Sometimes I’d be sitting in the dark, the bedroom illuminated only by the laptop, scrolling through the endless trove of food porn until 2 a.m. When I got laid off that winter, I had even more free time to experiment in the kitchen — my roommates often coming home to some strange plate of food on the kitchen table. They would have eaten it regardless of how it tasted or what adjectives I put to it, but it appeared I actually had a smidge of culinary talent despite my sometimes… unconventional methods (or “brilliant” shortcuts that led to burnt eyeballs and broken appendages).
(Not even kidding… As I write this, I just realized I left a wing sauce on the stove for about 15 minutes too long and it is now a burnt, sticky substance at the bottom of my pot. I got lost in my little blogging world over here. Writer > chef.)
The three biggest developments of this last year started with the purchase of my condo in December, which marked the real beginning of my “big girl life,” No more roommates — just me, on my own. Yes, that meant bug killing duties rested solely on my shoulders, but I now had free rein of my [bigger] kitchen and the foreign task of cooking for one.
Once I got settled, I started looking for a new “thing,” and that’s when I fell into a brand new “fitspo” world. Well — not entirely new because I have always been active, and at that time, was playing on three soccer teams, but I wanted more. I joined kickboxing. I started consistently doing “Insanity.” Shaun T became my best friend. I became my downstairs neighbor’s worst enemy. I felt great and knew moving my diet even further along the healthy spectrum would only improve my life. I started “clean eating.” (Enter my friends mocking my “#cleaneating Instagram posts.) I cut back on the bread. I cut dairy almost entirely out of my diet. I relished the challenge of making people drool with things that were actually good for them. Now, I’m teetering on the edge of being “one of those Crossfit people,” but I make no apologies for feeling stronger (both physically and mentally) than I have at any other point in my life, and much of it comes back to the food.
The last development builds on last year’s mover and shaker: Pinterest. In last year’s blogiversary post, I made it my goal to make one Pinterest meal per month. I actually did a double take when I went back and read that. Per month?! I’m doing, like, three per week. I will always have a place in my heart for foodgawker, but Pinterest has become my new food porn purveyor. And it helps a Type A-person like me organize everything into neat little boards. Many of my favorite creations have been inspired by something I’ve found in Pinterest.
This past year has brought about a lot of changes. Some good. Some bad. Some itty bitty. Some monumental. I’m in a much different place now than I was when that’s forking good turned two, but for your sake, a few things have stayed the same… I still love writing. I still love cooking. I still love taking pictures. And I still haven’t conquered corn soup.
Posted in notes | Tagged: birthday, blogiversary, clean eating, Crossfit, Insanity, Pinterest, Shaun T | Leave a Comment »
Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 3, 2013
Quickly snapped substandard lunchtime photo. Didn’t need judgment from co-workers.
Despite being fairly busy in the kitchen, I’ve been lax on the posting. I won’t make excuses; I’ll just shut up and post something good for you to make: pesto tuna-stuffed tomatoes.
This was the brainchild of weeknight leftovers and a bread detoxification. I whipped up some homemade pesto to make pesto chicken wings (recipe to come), and when I had 1/4 cup left over, I started searching for uses. ‘Pesto and… tomato goes well together — yeah!’ It just so happened I decided to throw out all the bread products in my house at the same time, and was looking for creative ways to eat enjoy my meals sans the “evil” bread. If I can’t use bread or crackers as a vehicle for the tuna, maybe I can use a tomato? Lo and behold — it worked! And I didn’t miss the bread too much…
♦2 c. basil leaves
♦1/3 c. pine nuts (or almonds if you prefer)
♦1 clove garlic
♦1/2 tsp. salt
♦1/2 tsp. black pepper
♦1/3 c. EVOO
♦1 can tuna
Combine all dry ingredients in food processor. (I used an immersion blender.) Slowly add olive oil to achieve desired consistency. Add to dry tuna (no mayo needed!). Carefully slice a cone shape out of top of tomato, angling knife so you’ll be able to scoop out top and leave hollow to hold tuna. Fill with tuna. Slice and enjoy!
Calories? The pesto recipe will yield way more than you need. For one serving, I used half a can of tuna (45 calories), one large tomato (33 calories) and 1/10 of the pesto yield (90 calories).
Total time? 10 minute for pesto, 5 minutes prep for meal.
Cost? $1 tomatoes, $1 tuna, $6.99 pine nuts (won’t use entire jar – store in fridge!), $2.99 basil
Overall success relative to expectations? 8 out of 10. If you’re a bread fiend, this isn’t going to satisfy you’re craving, but if you’re weaning yourself off stuff, then this is a good alternative. You don’t need to add any mayo to the tuna — just the pesto — so you save calories there, and even though that alone isn’t as dry as you’d think it is, using the tomato adds some juiciness to the meal. Overall, this is a nice summer dish, and can open the doors to more tuna add-in and/or non-bread experimenting.
Posted in entrées | Tagged: basil, clean eating, gluten-free, lunch, no bread, paleo, pesto, pine nuts, tomatoes, tuna | Leave a Comment »
Posted by culinaryneophyte on August 4, 2013
When people ask for my help moving, I typically carry odds and ends and leave the heavy lifting to the big dogs. But yesterday, one of my brothers bailed on helping my dad and stepmother move (and the other left for work with a decent amount to go), so I had no choice but to lift things up and put them down. (Please tell me you get that reference.) By the time I got home, it was that awkward too-late-for-lunch/too-early-for-dinner time, and I was too famished to wait more than five minutes for something small to cook, so I whipped up a sweet snack inspired by a post I saw on Instagram: cinnamon protein rice cake with strawberry jam and chia seeds.
enough for two rice cakes
♦2 brown rice cakes
♦3 tbs. plain Greek yogurt
♦2 tbs. whey protein
♦1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
♦1 tbs. cinnamon (or to taste)
♦Jam/jelly (any flavor, organic if clean)
Mix yogurt, protein, vanilla and cinnamon together. Slather on rice cakes. Top with a dollop of jam and a sprinkling of chia seeds.
Calories? About 120 calories per rice cake
Total time? 3 minutes
Cost? $1.29 rice cakes, $2.99 jam, $1 Greek yogurt
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. These rice cakes helped kill my hunger and give me a little boost after a strenuous morning. The health benefits of chia seeds are plenty, but in this case, the fact that they absorb 10 times their weight in water helped keep me full until dinner time arrived. I am usually a little iffy on yogurt-based things, but this protein “sauce” was delicious. The only point deducted came from how messy this was. This is the first time I’ve topped rice cakes with anything outside of my usual sunflower seed butter or the occasional avocado and cayenne pepper, so I’m excited to experiment some more.
Posted in desserts | Tagged: chia seeds, cinnamon, clean eating, jam, jelly, protein, rice cake, sauce, strawberry | 4 Comments »