As soon as I saw this recipe pop up in my Facebook feed, I hopped on the bandwagon. I mean, who DOESN’T need something wholesome to eat in between Halloween candy binges? (Oh, Reese’s Pumpkins…you are my nemises…) Buuuuuut when I went shopping my TJ’s didn’t have any beets or sunflower seeds (seriously, WTF?), so I kinda just grabbed anything and everything I thought would taste good together.
Here’s my own riff on this salad, and it’s pretty damn good. Filling, so healthy it hurts, and a great way to change up my daily Big Ass Salad. I’ve had this every single day for lunch this week with some chicken and it’s so much more fun than spinach and tomato. Plus, you know, it’s got superfoods in it. Kale and cabbage and apple cider vinegar, OH MY!
I’ve been on a cereal kick lately. I dunno…I think it’s because I read the article on LBEB criticizing “clean” eating and the constant references to Cinnamon Toast Crunch were getting to me.
My latest concoction is granola, fried apples, and almond milk. Fall in a bowl. I love Fall. Find me a place where it’s Fall year-round and I’ll never, ever leave.
So…you don’t like eating granola like cereal? How bout…on baked apples…on ice cream (or banana froyo!)…on pancakes or french toast…as a topping for banana bread…instead of bread crumbs in stuffing (no, really!)…
Fun Fact: Going on 8 weeks now, there have been paper towels in our upstairs bathroom instead of toilet paper. I’ll let you think about that for a sec. So. How was your day? Yes, that was toilet humor. My mind goes to weird places this early in the morning while I’m writing up a physics lab. Except I’m clearly not working on that anymore. Gotta space it out with other stuff, ya know?
Like takeout. Except you know me way too well–I’m too finicky about my food to get takeout anymore. And too cheap. I find myself Jones-ing for it all the time, though, and most especially Chinese food. Greasy, so-bad-for-you, no-way-in-hell-it’s-authentic-but-who-the-hell-cares Chinese food.
In college I had a thing for the local Chinese place. No shiz, it was called Dong Fong. So wrong…on Friday night in the area you could always hear someone yell, “I want the DONG!” Ew. Except it was reallyreally good. The General Tso’s was famous. Someone even made an ironic T-shirt about it. After class ended Friday I’d go for a run, call down and place my order, shower, put on some clean PT’s, pick it up at Grant Circle with all the other Cadoodles, then come back to my room and chow down. Went down like a rock, lemme tell ya. Ah, memories.
I kind of feel like I live alternately between military and civilian. Mostly because so few of my civilian friends are married, engaged, or even thinking about getting hitched and all my military friends are over here like, “Bitch please…I got married 5 years ago.” Yeah, that was me married at 23. My civilian counterparts are ALMOST done judging me. Oh, except now my military friends are all popping out their SECOND babies. That’s kinda where they left me behind…not only am I not in any way to produce offspring (I’m told it hurts), but the best possible birth control is a good friend with a toddler. Seriously.
Which brings be to my PSA of the week…guys, if you ARE having babies, that’s totally cool. Really. You’re better people than me. But for the love of Christmas can we stop taking creepy infant and pregnancy photos? Here’s a rule of thumb…if you can’t re-create a photo with your adult child without it being normal or at least cute…please, please don’t do it. Or at least don’t put it out there on social media for the world to see. Like balancing your naked baby where your bump used to be…or laying around naked with your naked baby…or tattooing a picture of your naked baby on your bump and taking a picture of yourself with an Abercrombie-like expression. (Yes, I have seen all of those.) Actually, can we just stop taking naked pictures of ourselves and posting them online? Nobody needs to see that. There are special websites for that, and last I checked, Facebook wasn’t one of them (although some of the ads I’m getting have been making me wonder…).
So I made some baked apples this morning for breakfast and then realized I could use the same pan to roast up a bunch of chicken for this week’s lunches. No, I didn’t wash it in between (who does that?) so there was still a little coconut oil, apple goop, and allspice left behind. No big deal or anything, but this is the best damned chicken ever. EVER.
Speaking of chicken…Ross and I are in a roast chicken phase. Like, at least once a week for the last couple months. Whole chickens are super cost effective, even if they’re free range and organic…which they should be because unhappy, drug-induced chickens are no bueno for a lot of reasons. But we all knew that. Anyway, lots of roast chicken means lots of opportunities to make some fresh chicken stock without an ass-ton of added sodium and Goodness knows whatever else goes into the canned stuff. So go roast a chicken and make stock out of its carcass. You know you want to.
And of course, Fall is upon us here in the Mid-Atlantic and so it Soup Season. How convenient! Stock = Soup. I do love a good bowl of soup when the weather gets cooler, and I love soup, too, because it’s so low maintenance. Chop, toss, boil, eat. Boom. This is my latest concoction and it turned out swimmingly. Full of veggies and enough heat to warm you up!
Orange Kitty decided that the space between the keyboard and the end of the desk was perfect for naptime. Makes typing really hard. But I can’t say no to that face.
Sooooo…another vegetarian dinner! I was craving Mexican food like nothing else and figured I’d give some enchiladas a whirl. No, I’m not a Veg Head…but I will say I have my reasons for incorporating more plant-based meals into my diet. Namely, plants are , like, really good for you. And quality meat is expensive and I’m on a student’s budget…which is hard since I’m not 21 anymore and don’t enjoy living in a dorm eating nothing but instant oatmeal packets. Five years of having disposable income kinda spoiled me, what can I say? And I really don’t enjoy knowing that my steaks from the big box grocery store are probably pumping me full of hormones (like I don’t have enough already) and all the other weird crap that filters into the animal’s body fat stores. Factory farmed meat is creepy, y’all. OMG I sound so paranoid. Please don’t think less of me.
So these enchiladas. They’re a wee bit time consuming only because the tortillas take forever to make. God…first I inundate you with vegetarian meals and then I make them tedious. Cool, real cool. Totally worth it, though. Ross and I killed that entire dish in about an hour. Food coma ensued. But, you know, it had sweet potatoes and kale and fresh peppers and avocados…so basically that means we’ll live forever now.
What do you guys think of this plant-based takeover? Don’t worry…in about a week I’ll start busting out the sweet stuff again, so maybe that’ll win you all back. I’m thinking pumpkin flavored…everything.
Oh yeah, you read right. Ross and I had a VEGAN dinner last night. It was also Paleo…which I tend to get excited about since there is so little that happens to be Vegan AND Paleo AND is substantial enough to make a meal. Seriously, you can’t give me a salad with no meat and call it a meal. You just can’t. So, no, this isn’t a salad.
I do have an strange interest in Vegan cooking despite my taste for flesh. I honestly have a lot of respect for the Vegan movement–like Paleo, Veganism ultimately seeks to better the health of our population with good, clean food and do away with nasty ass farming practices and pumping our food sources full of hormones and antibiotics and stuff. The more militant members of the movement get a little weird, sure, but so do the militant members of the Paleosphere. A healthy diet shouldn’t be intimidating or make us feel like they’re bad people for not buying in. I can be an asshole sometimes, I know, but I hate it when bloggers and spokespeople get condescending–like I’m not truly Paleo if I make Paleo desserts…or include dairy sometimes…or because I don’t follow so-and-so’s definition of Paleo to a tee. Um, yeah. Bite me.
What I do like about Veganism is the focus on the benefits of a plant-based diet. Not all that soy-based crapola, but the emphasis on quality produce and sources of naturally occurring nutrients. Lately, I’ve been working on making my own diet more plant-based…I think one thing we can all do to improve our health is to get more veggies. Animal protein is an essential part of our diet, but a lot of folks, even those who have been Paleo for a long time, believe Paleo is all about eating massive quantities of meat and fat and very little of anything else. I like my steak and bacon and all that as much as the next gal, but seriously. Filling my plate with produce and supplementing with animal protein is much more effective. And colorful. You need veggies and other plant matter to get a number of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants and high-quality carbs that your body can access for quick fuel. For me, thinking less 50/50 animals to plants and more 35/65, perhaps.
So this cheezey spaghetti. I was blown away at how good it was–the sauce tastes like Velveeta. It’ll undoubtedly make an appearance again soon. Like, on a cheeseburger. Or with bacon. Oh, geez, this would make a hell of an eggs Benedict. My quality of life just got soooo much better.
I spent like 2 minutes typing and re-typing the title to this post. Not because I didn’t know what to call it, but because I kept writing “TAOST.” Smart. Real smart.
So, I thought I was the last person ever to get on the Avocado Toast Bandwagon because, you know, toast isn’t exactly my thing anymore. Apparently I was wrong…my sweet husband thought guacamole on bread sounded awful. Whatever. Don’t listen. I’m telling you that the act of smashing an avocado and putting it on toast is freaking awesome even if a little vexing…why did this take so long to become a thing? WHY??
Try this with bacon and eggs, goat cheese (YES), or even sliced fruit (this avocado and grapefruit combo is stunningly addictive)…or whatever. There’s a lot that goes well with creamy mashed avocado and so little that doesn’t.
Welp, class is in full swing again, which I have to admit is kind of refreshing. After 4 years of working non-stop I kind of forgot what a real “summer break” felt like. I’m not exactly good with free time on my hands…Netflix has nothing to hide from me anymore. Nothing.
Oh! I did manage to get away from the house for a week in there and spend a solid week in Oregon with my folks. My dad has this obsession with road-tripping so they rented a car and we drove from Portland out to Crater Lake and Bend back to Roseburg and made our way up the coast to end at a family reunion in Corvallis. Amazing. Except when I got home–post-vacation depression is bad for me. Seriously, I need like a week to recover from a long weekend away…seriously.
With classes going again, the slow cooker is running almost daily again. I really hope it survives the semester…otherwise it’ll be canned tuna and avocados and…I dunno, maybe some apples or something. I’m hopeless.
This recipe rocks because, not only is it a toss-n-go into the crock pot (lots of rough chopping and tossing, oh yes) but it’s an excellent way to use up leftover chicken. Leftover chicken is an issue here since I make a big tray every week to make my lunch salads and haven’t managed to figure out that no, I will not eat 6 pounds worth of chicken breasts in a week. I just won’t. Maybe next week, though.
Score one for three…THREE…ingredient recipes. Especially ones where you just toss and bake.
Well…not counting the pesto, but that’s super easy and I made a HUGE batch a little while ago after my awesome mother gave me a giant bouquet of fresh basil. I miss living in the country sometimes…we always had an awesome vegetable and herb garden but somehow with all the kids out of the house, Mom is pretty much running a farm these days. Having me living close by gives her a convenient way to pawn off the surplus, and I’m not complaining one bit!
¾ c Olive Oil (can be more or less to achieve desired thickness)
Combine the sausage and sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt until fine.
Add the olive oil a little at a time (if you’ve got a food processor with one of those openings in the top, drizzle it in while the power is on as you would for mayonnaise) and pulse until you have reached your desired consistency.
Add the pesto to the sausage and sweet potatoes and mix well.
Transfer to a roasting pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are a little brown and the dish is super-fragrant.