Thursday, December 30, 2010

Updates, updates, updates!

Well, hey there blog! Sorry that I have been so neglectful of you, I truly do feel like a terrible failure. Early December was filled with non-stop studying and finals, which was followed by several days of cleaning, doing laundry, packing and being giddy with the anticipation of getting back to Colorado for a few weeks. Naturally, when I'm home I love to cook lots of meals for my family - I guess it's my favorite way of saying, "I love you." And of course Christmas means lots of baking with my mother and sister. Unfortunately, that wasn't in the cards this year, as this is what my mother's kitchen looks like:

My parents had an addition put on their house and the rest of the construction is still going on, so currently my mother has only a a sink and a stove. The dishwasher has been unhooked for quite awhile and the refrigerator is sitting in the living room - it has kind of been like camping without the marshmallows or cheap beer.

So, I guess all of this is kind of my weak explanation for why I haven't really updated in awhile. Although the last few weeks have mostly entailed frozen pizza, grocery store sushi and eating out I have managed to do a fairly minute amount of baking, which means that I do have a few exciting recipes to share with you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Super Belated Birthday Post

So, I had a really awesome birthday, which I meant to blog about. Leon and and I somewhat spontaneously went to Atlanta for the weekend and it was a very welcome change of scenery. I'll let the pictures do the talking. Our main activities were the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Georgia Aquarium, both of which were amazing. I took a ridiculous amount of photos, so trimming it down to the favorites is difficult. I took 500 pictures at the botanical garden alone, which filled up my memory card and meant going back and selectively deleting quite a few pictures to take more. Being away from my family on holidays and my birthday is especially difficult, but getting out of town and having some alone time with Leon made for a very special day.
I have, in the past, claimed that Tallahassee is basically
southern Georgia. Fairly quickly into our expedition,
I realized that this isn't true. There was a very southern feel,
and tons of cotton, which was really cool!

These vibrant jellyfish were almost too amazing for words.
The whale shark at the Georgia Aquarium -
these things are absolutely huge. So cool.

Sea dragons - a relative of the sea horse. Leon and I are still
trying to decide whether these were real or not.

Another shot of the whale shark
The longest escalator EVER. Probably only
interesting to me.
Hilarious sign at the Atlanta lightrail. We really appreciated that
vandalizing and assaulting the employees had to be
specifically forbidden.
The amazing water plants at the botanical garden.
I can't wait to go again when more things are in bloom.

I believe this qualifies as an orchid.
I was especially obsessed with the pitcher plants -
seriously, these things look like something out of Alice in Wonderland
or any other host of psychedelic children's programming.
More amazing orchids.
The bees were crazy - I don't think I've seen bumble bees before, they're huge!
They were so fat that sometimes the plants there were resting on would start tipping!
Me, in front of the fountain with a Dale Chihuly sculpture on top. We match!
Like nothing I've ever seen.
The lone ladybug.

Ok, my intention was to pick like five of my favorite photos, but the fifteen or so here are still the
product of major self restraint.

Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Onions

I'm very much in love with this recipe - mostly for the apples and onions. The combined flavors of the pork, apples and onions are amazing. Best of all, this is really quick and easy! I've also made this with pork tenderloin, which I prefer, but that's a rare delicacy around here. I adapted this from Marta Stewart.
The original recipe calls for maple syrup in the balsamic glaze, which is delicious, but I prefer honey. I have this great whipped cinnamon honey, which is perfect for this. But regular honey and a few sprinkles of cinnamon also works nicely.

That's a salad plate, folks - NOT the world's biggest pork chop.

Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Onions


For the glaze:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsps honey (or maple syrup)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

4 pork chops (or one pork tenderloin)
3 red apples (cored and sliced, wish skin)
1 medium red onion (cut in large slices)
Olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper

Bubbly balsam


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle pork chops or pork tenderloin with some salt and pepper.
2. On a large baking sheet toss the apples and onions with enough olive oil to coat. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and add a sprinkle of cinnamon. When oven is preheated, put the apples and onions in.
3. Meanwhile, put the honey and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan on medium-high heat, stirring frequently until reduced and syrupy. Be careful to not let the reduction get too syrupy and sticky or it won't spread evenly - it shouldn't need to reduce for more than five minutes.
4. Reserve a couple tablespoons of the balsamic syrup for drizzling. Brush pork chops with balsamic syrup and put in the oven, about ten minutes after you put in the apples and onions. Re-toss apples and onions to keep them from getting crispy.
5. The apples and onions should need a total of 15-20 minutes, until onions are tender and apples are at a lovely level of mushiness. The pork chops should need no more than 10 minutes. Monitor the apples and onions closely, it's easy for them to get overly crispy in the high temperature oven.
6. Let the pork chops rest for a few minutes, drizzle with the reserved balsamic syrup and serve.

Seriously, make this.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

[Squashed] Roasted Butternut Squash

Tallahassee has finally been overcome by some bone-chilling, fall appropriate temperatures. And by that I mean that it has finally gotten down to 60 degrees. I've definitely acclimated, because the other day it was around 60 degrees and raining and I was whining and proclaiming that I was going to freeze to death. The Coloradan in me is disgusted - when it's 60 degrees in Colorado people sometimes get excited that it's finally/still appropriate to wear flip flops and mini skirts. But I am excited to feel less fraudulent about making fall food.
Some of the best cold weather food is of the high calorie, comfort variety. But this is a great dish for fall that packs only 40 calories per half cup and packed with vitamins A and C. Tonight I made butternut squash for the first time, and it was super easy and delicious.

[Squashed] Roasted Butternut Squash

Ok, maybe I could have called this "mashed" butternut squash, but that just didn't seem as fun.


1 butternut squash
2 tbsps butter or substitute (I used low fat Fleischmans)
1.5 tbsps brown sugar
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Cinnamon, to taste

The squash, post butter and brown sugar rub down.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Wash the squash and cut it in half. I had to use my santoku knife, but a cleaver or something similar would be good.
2. Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff - I used a fork, but I bet a grapefruit knife would really do it.
3. If the squash won't sit evenly, cut a piece off of the bottom and it will be stable.
4. Spread softened butter or substitute on each half. Liberally add salt and pepper, then rub 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar.
5. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until slightly browned and fork tender.
6. Scoop out the flesh into a medium sized bowl. Use a potato masher to get rid of any chunks and flavor with salt, pepper and cinnamon to taste.

Post-roasing, slightly browned a tender. Yum, yum.

The final product. Verdict: healthy and delicious

Time flies by

Time goes by so fast that I can hardly reconcile it. I remember summer vacations that lasted an eternity, but now the days seem to pass more quickly than I can keep track of. I don't know if it's the nature of law school or my old age, but I never think "It's only Wednesday?" anymore. Anyhow, I wish I could update more, but I thought a quick capsule of the last week with highlights could be interesting - though maybe just to me.

Last Friday: Went to a Halloween Party. I had the idea of going as Don and Betty Draper of "Mad Men," but it was very last minute and Leon wasn't feeling it. I didn't put up a fight, but then I was curling my hair and saw the pearls I was planning to wear and got kind of bummed out. Leon reluctantly agreed, and I fashioned him a "Don after work" look that only required slacks, an white dress shirt with the top couple buttons undone and an undershirt with lipstick marks that certainly didn't match my shade - very scandalous, very Don Draper. I even brought cupcakes and my apron - a very '60s homemaker move.

We went to a fun Halloween party thrown by one of Leon's old roomies then came home with hopes of catching "The Soup." But the long day caught up with me and I quickly passed out on the couch. I woke up hours later and found that Leon had taken up residence in the living room as well. Apparently he couldn't wake me up and didn't want to ditch me on the couch in case I was disoriented when I woke up. Very sweet, Don definitely wouldn't do that for Betty. I was super disappointed the next day when I realized that we never got a picture of our costumes, but I may go for it again next year and put more effort into the look.

Saturday: Caught up on the Halloween episode of "The Office." Pam comes dressed as Popeye's Olive Oil, but Jim didn't dress up and no one knows who she is supposed to be. I express excitement and understanding, because I had the same conversation with Leon about why I couldn't go as Betty alone.

Sunday: I realize that it's actually Halloween, but I feel Halloween-d out and spend the afternoon doing homework in the library.

Tuesday: I experience a little bit of expected depression after spending a great deal of the day keeping up with the Midterm elections.

Wednesday: I decide to be an upstanding law student and spend the late afternoon and early evening in the library with the promise of America's Next Top Model and a glass of wine for my efforts. I felt energized as a left the library, felt a little of that rare Fall spirit as the brisk outside air hit my face, and then felt really annoyed when I realized that the really loud music I was hearing was coming from a concert at the bar behind my apartment. Sigh. Thankfully a little bit of rain got them to wrap up early and I didn't feel overly accosted.

Today: Leon is taking the MPRE tomorrow (the ethics exam you have to complete along with the bar exam to become an attorney) so I have been doing my part by watching "Say Yes to the Dress" and lots of HGTV to keep him from getting distracted :). I also made butternut squash for the first time - recipe to follow.

Days and other items not accounted for were comprised of lots of school stuff so boring that it would make the rest of this look downright interesting.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Roasted Potato Fennel Soup

I'm not crazy about following recipes generally, but I am crazy about Ina Garten. And I'm trying to become a better cook, which probably won't happen if I'm just always making stuff up without a ton of direction. I have recently acquired quite a few new cookbooks, so I'm hoping to expand myskills and learn some new techniques, which I can in turn pass on to you! The first thing I made out of "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook" was this Roasted Potato Fennel Soup. It took a good bit of time (as soup generally will), but it was definitely worth it. I'm in a fall state of mind, even if it's still sundress weather around here for the most part. This was my first time using fennel, and I absolutely loved it. I still have a big tupperware container of this in the freezer, and I'm pretty sure Leon and I will have gotten about four meals out of this soup when all is said and done. Ina's recipe is supposed to serve 10-12 and I halved it. I'll post herportions so that you can adjust as you like.
This was a really nice, hearty and earthy fall soup. I'm not huge on potato soups typically, but the fennel adds a whole other dimension to this. Potato, fennel and onions should be cheap and easy to find in your grocery store during the colder months, unlike a lot of other produce. Serve with a cold salad or some crusty bread while wearing a pair of warm, fuzzy socks for maximum enjoyment.

Roasted Potato Fennel Soup


4 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic (about three cloves)
1 tbsp. kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chopped yellow onions (4 onions)
4 cups chopped fennel bulb (about 2 pounds)
3 quarts chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream

Chopping that delicious, aromatic fennel

The soup boiling, shot with my new fisheye lens :)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, until cooked through. (I try to use high calorie items like butter and oil sparingly, so I used a little less than this but it still coated the potatoes).
3. Saute the onions and fennel with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stockpot on medium heat until translucent, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Add the roasted potatoes (including pan scrapings, for flavor) and the chicken stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the head and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until all of the vegetables are very soft. Add teh heavy cream and allow the soup to cool slightly.
5. Pass the soup through the largest disk of a food mill or chop coarsely in the food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste and reheat if necessary.

Note: I used the food processor to homogenize the soup. The first time I put it through for a little too long, so there weren't any chunks of potato or other veggies. Just a couple pulses should do, check frequently to make sure that you don't over-process it.

One [run inhibiting] thing after another

I really hate looking and seeing how long it has been since I've updated. The last month has actually been kind of busy for me, in some good and bad ways. Things were going well with the running and I was excited to be really pushing myself. Then came the shin splints. I tried to work through them and do a run anyway, and completed it, but then I went to Zumba afterwords and had to leave after 20 minutes because I felt like I was about to die. I was hobbling up and down the stairs at school looking mighty pathetic, but I kept stretching so that I could jump back into running as soon as possible. My shins started feeling better and I was even comfortably bending my legs to go up and down stairs - great success! Then Leon and I both got sick and I was out of commission for another week. Things were looking up and I was finally ready to get back to my regular Monday Zumba class and climb back on that treadmill, but my car wouldn't start. This was probably the saddest roadblock of all.
I had been driving my Suzuki Swift for six years and we had spent over 50,000 miles driving together, from going out to lunch with friends my senior year of high school, to accompanying me on the first of many commutes to UCCS and eventually around Tallahassee - my new home far away from family. Sure, it looks like a clown car, but I bought it in high school with my hard earned McPaychecks from my first job. I knew it wasn't fancy, and decided that instead of a bumper sticker I would affix a BMW logo (which had fallen off of my father's motorcycle) to the back of my no-frills Japanese car to take advantage of the hilarious irony. I confused a few people over time who thought that I really did drive the shittiest BMW they had ever seen. I still chuckled when I saw the sad, worn BMW logo on the back of my car, which had acquired a few bumps and bruises over the years. The lack of power steering, power locks and decent acceleration didn't bother me much; however, having no air conditioning in Florida was a lot more horrible than going without it in Colorado. Even so, my little car kind of became symbolic to me, and it was sad to see our relationship coming to a close. Of course, I was a little less sentimental and a little more annoyed when I hadn't been to the grocery store in like a week and a half, couldn't go to the gym and was starting to rely on Jimmy John's to feed me the sentimental aspect wore off.
Nevertheless, things actually worked out quite well. Leon and I rented a car to go visit my grandmother and aunt in central Florida and a member of my aunt's family who works at a car dealership gave me a good deal on Toyota Corolla. It's pretty fancy compared to the good old Suzuki Swift, what with its air conditioning and non-crank windows. I sold the Swift about a week later and have already spotted it driving around town once. Finals are looming on the horizon now, so I don't know if my work out schedule is going to stabilize any time soon. This turned out to be a little longer than I had planned, but it's good to pay homage to my car, which I seem to have attributed a personality to over the years.

The last picture of me with the Swift, with my new car on the other side.
Needless to say, I was feeling very MTV Cribs-esque.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Operation Active

I've been working hard over the last couple of weeks to be more active. I wanted a goal to work toward so that I would feel more motivated, so I signed up for a 5k in October and have been working through the Couch to 5k Running Plan. I was chugging along pretty well, but on Monday I started week three with terrible shin splints. I ran a little more than I was supposed to during week two, which I felt great about at the time, but now I'm definitely regretting it. I finished the first run of week three and went to my usual Zumba class after, but I had to leave after twenty minutes because my legs hurt so badly. I've been trying to take it easier and stretch this week, but I'm really disappointed that I'm not on schedule. But I don't want to let this little bump in the road deter me. My ultimate goal is to complete the 5K in October in 30 minutes, but if that doesn't happen it's OK. Really, this is about being healthy, making some lifestyle changes and losing some weight.
Last week as part of the "get active" effort, Leon and I went canoeing at the FSU Reservation. We had a little picnic before we got out on the water. Last time we went we each had individual smaller canoes, but this time they gave us a big metal canoe. The individual canoes were really stable, but the big one we got this time was NOT. Thankfully we didn't flip, but it got a little touch and go :)
It was a super hot day, we went in the afternoon and it was 95 degrees, but a little breeze coming off the water made a huge difference. There are some cute houses bordering the water, but what I really love are all the crazy trees. They have this beautiful swampy quality, and I love how they grow right out of the water.

Taking a quick photo break, isn't it gorgeous?

Me, feeling zen out on the water.

Leon, clearly not feeling so zen.

I wish I could have brought my good camera out, but you get the idea.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vegan, One Ingredient, Low Calorie 'Ice Cream'

I've made this several times and I must say, it's pretty amazing. I know the title of this post sounds humorous, and me saying that it's "amazing" may take it from humorous to hysterical. But it's true! So, what is this amazing single ingredient that contains no animal products or by-products, yet can magically form a substance quite comparable to ice cream? It's that breakfast staple that comes in its own vibrant packaging: the banana.
Ok, so it doesn't magically taste like Chubby Hubby, but the texture is pretty well spot on. This is a great low-calorie, healthy way to treat yourself. Oh, and did I mention that it's super cheap!
So, all you need to do is peel a ripe banana, cut it in about four pieces and freeze it. When the banana has completely frozen, throw it in your food processor and pulse for a couple of seconds at a
time. The banana will probably not be smooth and will look fairly crumbly. Fight your desire to blend it for too long and use an ice cream scoop to remove it. Voila! You have a satisfying frozen treat.
I added a mixture of equal parts almond milk and nutella, which I microwaved for around thirty seconds until it was warm and mixed. I used about two teaspoons of each.Enjoy!

Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

This is a highly adaptable recipe with so many possibilities that I want to make it again, like, now. You can certainly forego the mushrooms entirely, switch them out for caramelized onions, add in a couple handfuls of spinach, mix in some fresh grated parmesan - they would all work well. Regardless of how you do this, it's a perfectly light, flavorful dinner to pair with a cold glass of white wine on a warm summer night.
I bought organic mushrooms, which I found to actually be of better quality than what I generally get at the grocery store. I cut them fairly wide so that they would be substantial enough to stand up on their own in the dish.

Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese


1 pkg. spaghetti or other long pasta
1 pkg. cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 oz. herbed goat cheese
1 tsp. lemon zest
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil
Herbes de provence
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Basil, for garnish


1. Begin cooking pasta according to package directions.
2. Saute the garlic in a pan with a bit of olive oil. When garlic becomes aromatic, add the mushrooms and more olive oil as needed. Season mushrooms with salt, pepper and herbes de provence. Cook until soft.
3. In a large bowl, mix the goat cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest and a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pasta and mushrooms and toss to coat.

Notes: My lemon was particularly juicy and the dish was a little more lemony than I would have liked. I would suggest only adding a bit, tossing the pasta and tasting it to see whether more lemon is desirable. The lemon zest is much more flavorful than the juice, so be careful to not add to much of that either. Roll your lemon on the the counter for a few seconds to make it easier to juice.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Extreme Makeover, on the Cheap

Over the last year my apartment has been a major work in progress. I moved down here with two pieces of furniture in my possession: an office chair and a mattress. It has been a slow process over the last year turning this apartment, with its many quirks, into home. The place isn't so bad, but the main reason we moved here is its proximity to the law school. It's probably a one minute walk, but for obvious reasons I haven't timed it. The bedroom has never felt quite right, but I gave it some attention over the summer and I'm pretty pleased with the result. The room has always felt a little too bare and asymmetrical to me, but changing up the color scheme and adding some decor to the walls has made a great difference. It was fairly inexpensive - I got the new bedding set for around $80 on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond, a featherbed from purchased the frames above the bed for $1(!) each at Wal-Mart and printed out some of my own photos to put in them, which was only around $3.00.
The blue, white and black scheme is much more zen than the bold red and the featherbed makes my bed feel so much more luxurious. You definitely have to fluff it up every few days, but it's definitely a great way to make a less than perfect mattress feel a bit better. I would love to paint, especially since I'll be here for another two years, but the walls aren't in the greatest condition and I don't know if it would be worth the effort.



Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Mushrooms are one of my favorite things, but I have always been too cheap to buy portabella mushrooms. But I was in the grocery store recently and realized that they weren't really all that expensive. I only paid a few dollars for two, and if you use it in place of meat the meal isn't all that expensive. You can really switch this recipe up quite a bit - mozzarella, feta or bleu cheese would work instead of the goat cheese. I used A LOT of onions, so if you're not crazy about that tone it down. I really liked how these turned out, and they were relatively simple and quick to prepare. The meaty, savory flavor of the mushroom paired with the sweetness of the onions and the creaminess of the cheese makes for a really amazing combination of flavors, I know I'll be making this again.

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
Yield: Four


Four portabella mushrooms, stems reserved
1 red onion, medium dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 bag spinach
1 small tomato, diced
4 oz. herbed goat cheese
Olive oil
2 tbsps. sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel; washing them will cause the mushroom to absorb too much water. Cut off any dry portions of the mushroom stem and roughly chop.
2. Sauté the minced garlic and shallots in a pan with a bit of olive oil. When the garlic and shallots become aromatic, add the mushroom stems, onions and sugar. Keep the burner at medium heat so that the onions can slowly caramelize. Add some salt and pepper depending on your preferences. When the onions are fully cooked, add the spinach and stir until the spinach is all wilted, probably around a minute.
3. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the mushroom caps to keep them moist and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put an equal amount of the spinach and onion mixture among the mushroom caps. Top with crumpled goat cheese and tomato.
4. Bake the mushrooms for around fifteen minutes, until the cheese is slightly melted and browned and the cap is cooked through.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grilled Maple Peaches

It's that wonderful time of the year when peaches are in season, which is depressing in a way because I know it won't be long until perfectly soft, juicy, fragrant peaches will be a distant memory. Unfortunately, this line of thinking also tends to make me impulsively buy more peaches than I can possibly eat. But on a happy note, it resulted in the perfect dessert for a hot summer night - grilled peaches. I made these on my charcoal grill after I made dinner, but you can also throw them under the broiler.

Grilled Maple Peaches

Cut peaches in half and remove the pit. Lightly brush the peaches with canola oil, sprinkle with brown sugar and drizzle with pure maple syrup. Let them sit for a few minutes so that the flavors seep in. Put peaches on the grill, cut side down. Leave them on for three to five minutes, until sugars have caramelized and there are faint grill marks. Eat alone, top with ice cream (I only had chocolate, vanilla would be preferable), or sweetened sour cream.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes

Sour cream is kind of my secret weapon - it adds creaminess, it's actually very versatile and it's decently cheap. Some of the unexpected places I put sour cream: boxed macaroni and cheese (in lieu of butter); over fruit (mixed with a little sugar or sweetener); on top of cheesecake (though that's fairly traditional) and, perhaps my favorite - pancakes. I also don't really notice much of a difference between regular sour cream and light or fat free varieties. I always buy fat free, which has about a third less calories than the regular. These are adapted from a recipe by the fabulous Ina Garten. I haven't actually made her version with the bananas, but I probably ought to. The couple of times I have made these I have omitted the fruit, but the tanginess of the sour cream still makes them special and unusual.
I made these to kick off a fairly busy and un-fun day of going to Comcast for a new cable box, picking up text books for this semester along with the other 40,000+ students at my university and various other errands. The Comcast situation was horrible, we had to go back like three times over the course of a couple days because they kept on giving us broken cable boxes. The book situation was not so bad, I was able to rent a couple of them and I found one used for the low low price of $130. I was actually pretty relieved to spend under $400, which is pretty sad. But yes, a day that includes three broken cable boxes and $400 on books that I won't have fun reading necessitates a nice breakfast.

Sour Cream Banana Pancakes

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
4 tbsps sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1.5 tsps salt
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
3/4 cup plus one tbsp. fat free milk
2 eggs
2 tsps. vanilla extract
splash of lemon juice
1 cup blueberries


Sift together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Stir dry ingredients into the wet, when incorporated gently fold in the blueberries.

Heat some butter or non-stick spray onto a skillet until melted. Spoon batter onto the skillet and stir batter as needed to keep blueberries distributed. The blueberries may make it more difficult to tell when the pancakes are ready to be flipped, so keep an eye on them. Enjoy with maple syrup or even plain.

The Burrito Bowl: Now with whole grains

I live in a city with no Chipotle, which is quite depressing for any native Coloradan like myself. Perhaps it's not such a bad thing considering that it's so high calorie, but I still have major Mexican cravings. That's not to say that this is really any sort of Chipotle copy-cat recipe, but it hits the spot and I didn't feel too guilty about eating the leftovers for lunch twice this week. This re-heats really well and it's definitely tasty enough that you probably won't get bored with it.

Burrito Bowl:


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
1 can black beans
1 bell pepper (I used green), sliced
1/2 of a red onion, diced
1/2 cup diced tomato
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 can of beans (I used black, pinto would be good too), drained and rinsed
1 package of fajita seasoning
Fresh cilantro, to taste
1.5 cups instant brown rice
olive oil, as needed
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste


Drizzle some olive oil in a deep or large pan on medium-high heat (you'll need a lid). Saute half of the garlic for a minute or so until fragrant. Add chicken and saute until it's no longer pink. Remove the chicken and add the onion, pepper and the rest of the garlic plus more olive oil. Saute the vegetables until they are close to your desired level of doneness. Return the chicken to the pan, add the fajita seasoning and stir. Add the beans, tomato, rice and a cup of water. Stir ingredients until incorporated. Cover until rice is tender and excess liquid is absorbed.

Top with fat free sour cream, avocado slices, mexican cheese and some of my homemade salsa.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chicken Tenders for Grown-Ups

I had the internal "grown-ups versus adults" dialogue while titling this post - the one where if you are one, your word choice is "adult" and if you aren't it's "grown-up." But then I decided that I don't really care, and on most days I only feel like I'm about 70 percent "adult" anyway. Regardless, these baked chicken tenders appeal to my adult desire to avoid high-fat, fried junk and my child-like desire to eat things with my hands. Score! In seriousness, these are easy, tasty, low-calorie and fairly cheap to make. I paired mine with baked Alexia brand sweet potato fries, which I also highly recommend.

Baked Dijon Chicken Tenders

Brush chicken tenderloin pieces (or breast pieces cut into strips) with dijon mustard, (I like Grey Poupon). Roll the chicken in breadcrumbs or shake and bake mixed with dried rosemary, herbes de provence or other seasoning of your choice. Bake at 325 degrees for around 15 minutes, until tenders are browned and chicken is cooked through.