Sorry that it's been SO long! I actually lost my camera cord so while I've been cooking and taking pictures of all my recipes, I haven't been able to upload them! It's been a long two weeks without blogging... I'm so glad that I'm back. Just beware - this post is going to be pretty long. I have a lot of catching up to do.
One of the things I made a little while ago was a white bean dip to dip veggies or triscuits in as a healthier alternative to normal veggie dip (or even some prepackaged hummuses). I liked the recipe that I used, but I added some paprika and a lot more salt to the dip to make it a little bit tastier.
(I don't have the recipe with me... I'll update this post later with the recipe if you want to check back next week sometime for it).
The trouble with having to catch up like this is that I can barely remember making these dishes, never mind which days I ate them or any specific details. I guess I must have made some yummy fruit salad with some about-to-go-bad fruit because that's what the next picture is, ha ha!
Like I've said before, I almost never have cereal for breakfast. But when I'm in a rush or am just craving the taste, my go-to cereal is Special K Fruit and Yogurt... so awesome!
This night, I had planned to make Brent a healthy version of our favorite cuisine (Chinese food) so I used a recipe for Orange Chicken Stir-fry from my Biggest Loser cookbook. But, of course, something went wrong. I didn't look closely at the recipe and when I got home from work at 7:30pm I realized I was supposed to have marinated the chicken overnight! Whoops! So instead I just made some regular chicken stir-fry and added my own orange-y sauce made from mandarin oranges and soy sauce blended together. It actually ended up coming out awesome... I was surprised!
I used the base recipe for the Whole Wheat Peach Muffins I made a few weeks ago and instead used frozen blueberries to make a healthy version of blueberry muffins. They were pretty good!
One night while Brent was busy studying on his own at his house, I decided to make myself a big batch of yummy Peanut Butter Chicken Stir-fry, a recipe that I made for the first time a couple of weeks ago.
Something Brent and I joke around about is that he loves to rate my food one a scale from 1-"beer bread" (this out-of-a-box bread I made him in January). He ate almost the whole loaf! Honestly, the beer bread is pretty good... but I hate being judged against a boxed recipe. Obviously real food made with love should always win, ha ha! BUT last week I made him these Turkey Meatballs with whole-wheat pasta that he absolutely LOVED! He said that they were even better than beer bread. Wow... what an accomplishment! ;)
One day I got home from school craving a big, stuffed-with-veggies omelette. Since I also needed to use up some eggs before they went bad, it was a good idea. It definitely hit the spot! :) It included mozzarella cheese, red bell pepper, mushroom, and onions.
Last Saturday I had a bunch of friends over since they were home for Spring Break. Since I finally have my own place, it was nice to have people over to celebrate the fact that I have enough independence to host my own get-together. Because I love to cook and was dying to try out this recipe from CookingLight.com, I made Caramel-Marshmallow Brownies. They were SO good! Definitely a recipe I'd try again. And of course, I didn't get around to taking a picture of them until the last one was left... which SOMEBODY *cough*cough*Brent*cough*cough* had taken a bite out of!
Caramel Marshmallow Brownies (from CookingLight.com)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white-chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup mini-marshmallows
- 10 caramel candy cubes, unwrapped (I used caramel-filled Hershey's kisses)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream (I used light cream)
Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with a 12-inch sheet of foil, then grease foil.
Melt butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking lightly until smooth and glossy. Remove from heat.
Whisk in sugar and salt, then beat in eggs one at a time until well blended. Stir in vanilla extract, then flour. Scrape into prepared pan.
Bake brownies until set and slightly springy to touch, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and turn off heat. Sprinkle chocolate chips and marshmallows on top, return pan to oven for 2 minutes, then transfer pan to a rack to cool.
Combine caramels and cream in a small bowl and microwave on medium (50 percent) power for 1 1/2 minutes; stir with a fork until completely smooth. Drizzle caramel-cream over brownies, then let them cool completely.
When cool, remove brownies from tray by lifting out foil, then transfer them to a board. Cut brownies into four pieces, then cut each quarter into four individual pieces.
My favorite thing to eat for breakfast is french toast. But my favorite breakfast of ALL TIME would be the Big Apple Pancake served by a local Rhode Island restaurant Bickford's that sadly went out of business a few years ago. Basically, it's a baked pancake with apples and cinnamon sugar and maple syrup. Basically an apple pie, but for breakfast.
So in order to make a healthy version of this, I based it off a recipe I got from one of my new favorite blogs Healthy Tipping Point. Basically, I used frozen bread cut up into little pieces and poured a mixture of eggs, milk, cinnamon, and diced apples over it, then baked it for about 20 minutes. After it was done, I ended up having to add a little bit of Splenda to it because it wasn't sweet enough (next time I'll add Splenda before cooking it) and then poured a tiny bit of maple syrup over it. It was soooo good! Probably one of the best "healthy" versions of a ridiculously unhealthy recipe that I've ever had.
Big Apple Pancake Adaptation
- 4 slices of crusty whole wheat bread (crustier, the better)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or your milk of choice)
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 peeled and chopped apples
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Chop bread into 1 – 2 inch strips. Place in small greased casserole dish (mine was an 8-inch round).
- Pour mixture over bread.
- Bake for about 20 minutes.
Last week I also made some cauliflower Mac n' Cheese. Brent thought it was a disgusting idea, but I loved it! There was barely any cheese in it, but it came out delicious and tasted almost like real mac n' cheese.
Creamy Cauliflower Mac n' Cheese
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cauliflower, cored and cut into large pieces
- 8 ounces whole wheat macaroni (I used rotini)
- 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used mozzarella because that's my favorite)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard (I didn't have Dijon so I just used yellow and it tasted fine)
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Salt (to taste)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Heat oven to 400˚ and boil a pot of salted water
- In a saucepan, warm stock on medium-low heat for five minutes, turn off heat.
- Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 25 minutes. Put cauliflower in a food processor.
- Cook pasta in boiling water for five minutes, then drain.
- Put pasta in a greased, 9x9 baking dish.
- Process cauliflower with stock, cheese, oil, mustard, nutmeg, and salt, working in batches
- Pour sauce over pasta, toss, and spread evenly in dish. Top with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes.
Overnight oats, mmm! For a tasty twist, I added Cinnamon Chex to the oats to give it some kick and texture. It was pretty good! I thought it was a good idea, because I bought the chex months and months ago for a recipe that I never even ended up making. And I didn't really like them by themselves (and I don't really eat cereal), so adding them to the oatmeal was perfect.
Me in my car enjoying a sunny almost-spring day on my way home from school!
Mmmmm! I made a fruit salad for myself to bring to Brent's house for a snack, but after a few days passed and I still hadn't eaten it I decided to use it to make a smoothie. I added some almond milk and ice to the fruit and it came out soo good! Probably one of the best smoothies I've ever made myself. It had canteloupe, asian pear, and banana.
Thanks for bearing with me through that long post! I promise it'll be better now that I've got my new cord :)