Baking Wednesdays May Return
Some people bake when they are stressed but I tend to bake when I am procrastinating. :) In college I participated in a made up Wednesday holiday (Baking Wednesdays) which was designed to made the middle of the week just a little sweeter and give myself a study break from the engineering world.
So what am I procrastinating? The list is long: the real world, bills, unpacking, cleaning, going through 1000+ photos from our trip, and blogging my NY/Boston eats (there are so many ;) ) And with all the talk about fall (which I have yet to see in San Diego) and pumpkins I had to make these Pumpkin Doughnuts.
But first was dinner- leftover quinoa stuffed peppers, and a refried bean taco, and my new favorite hot sauce.
The doughnuts/mini muffins turned out tasty. Not too sweet (I used coconut palm sugar instead of sucanat) and you couldn’t even tell they were gluten free. The batter wasn’t the right consistency though, but it was probably my fault because I don’t measure very accurately when baking, when I know it counts. I added more pumpkin instead of all the almond milk too which could have caused some problems. But seriously still delicious, it was very hard not to eat the whole batch.
Instead of making the glaze I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on the baked doughnuts (which I mainly ate by hand since it didn’t actually stick).
I think baking Wednesdays just might have to continue for awhile!
This episode of baking Wednesdays is brought to you by Christina who gave me these pans on my birthday! More doughnuts to come! Yippeeee.
What I ate Wednesday, #5
It’s that time again! What I ate Wednesday :) Lots of good eats over here even with the gluten free/soy free restrictions. I can always manage to find some food!
Breakfast- Yogurt and fruit! I actually forgot to take a picture so think this picture with apples and puffed millet instead.
For lunch I had some salad with carrots, plums, tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and an orange squeezed on top and on the side. Also on the side were some enjoy life cookies in lemon flavor. Lunch wasn’t really my fave this time, just using up random food we have left in the fridge.
Non pictured snack- Celery and PB and hummus! Yumm! Does anyone else have an issue with the strings? I bit into one this weekend and it literally flossed 3 of my teeth. Awkward to say the least, being in a room of girls for a bachelorette party. Usually to avoid this I will use a peeler to peel off those pesky strings before eating.
And Dinner- How bout them beets? Do you like them? I definitely don’t! But I gotta keep eating them, since they are healthy and in my CSA box every week! I topped the beets with goat cheese and served with a side salad with more mozzarella, tossed in basalmic and vinegar.
Happy Hump day! I’m hoping I can get my act together and work on posting more consistently and frequently! It’s been so busy around these parts lately!
Colorful Caprese Salad
MMMMM…Summer. I have been enjoying the sun and reading and most of all cooking. Most people in San Diego do not have AC, which usually isn’t too much of a problem until your apartment is 83+ degrees inside. That makes turning on the oven a huge turn off, which brings me to summer salads. Cool, flavorful, refreshing and filling are all found in this summer salad. Normal caprese salad consists of basil, garlic, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I added some beautiful mini sweet peppers and it was delicious!
6-8 Mini Sweet Peppers
1/3-1/2 c Mozzarella Pearls (little balls of mozzarella)
3-4 Large Leaves of Basil
5-6 Cherry Tomatoes
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions: Thinly slice the sweet peppers and basil. Cut the cherry tomatoes in quarters and mince the garlic. Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix, adding the oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
I enjoyed this poolside with a new book in hand :)
What I ate Wednesday, #3
This week/month I am giving gluten free another go. I really do think it helps my stomach issues, so I am giving it another shot. So my WIAW is gluten free today! But, that is not super uncommon for me anyway.
Breakfast- Plain yogurt, homemade honey granola, gluten free cinnamon raisin bread
Lunch- Frozen/heated zucchini marinara pasta. I bought these things at costco, they are gluten free and vegan and pretty tasty for a quick meal or snack. I also had some fruit too.
And Dinner- Salmon with sweet potato feta and blood orange steamed kale
Happy Hump Day!
A Fresh Take on Lasagna
Summer food to me should be fresh, simple, and easy to make. This was a quick meal I whipped up to use some summer veggies and my favorite heirloom tomatoes. It is layered like a lasagna but lacks the heaviness of tradition cheesy and saucy lasagna. The cheese I used on top is super thinly sliced smoked provolone, but you can skip it if you like, or top with your favorite cheese. Please note the cheese makes it look kind of ugly in the picture but it was actually really good and great as leftovers.
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice up all components to the same thickness for even cooking. Spray or grease a glass baking dish with olive oil and begin layering. I did tofu first to line the bottom completely then eggplant next
topped with fresh basil and rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.
Next up were the star of the show, the heirloom tomato, again topped with herbs and salt and pepper.
I really do love these tomatoes and cannot wait to start getting them in my CSA box. Come on where are they??…Please?
Next some yellow squash (I added herbs on this layer too, just not pictured).
Followed by cheese! Bake in the oven covered (with foil) for 15-20 minutes, uncover and allow the top to brown and the veggies to begin to bubble (approximately another 15-20 minutes).
You should let the pan cool off and set for about 10 minutes. Then cut in and enjoy! I ate my leftovers in pitas as sandwiches. It is really versatile, throw in any veggies and any herbs you have! It does get pretty watery from cooking, but just cut and transfer to another container for storage.
Cauliflower w/Crispy Parmesan
I made this last night as a quick side dish to dinner. It is roasted cauliflower (from my CSA box :) ) with some parmesan cheese on top. It is super easy to make and if you love cheese like I do it can be quite satisfying. I couldn’t stop eating the crispy cheese off the pan, it is sooo good!
Cauliflower w/Crispy Parmesan:
1 head of cauliflower
1/4 c or more ;) of grated parmesan cheese
salt and peper to taste
1 tbsp oil to coat pan ( I still use foil for easy cleanup)
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees clean and cut cauliflower into florets. Line a pan in foil and coat with olive oil or use spray oil. Toss the cauliflower in 1 tbsp of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in oven for approximately 10 minutes and then remove from oven and sprinkle parmesan cheese all over the cauliflower (letting some get on the pan to make little cheese crisps). Place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until browned and the cheese is completely melted and crispy. Take out and enjoy!
I enjoyed these with some hummus on the side to dip the cauliflower in.. yummmy
Addicting Roasted Chickpeas!
I have made these twice already in a week! They are super super addicting, I risked burning my tongue and fingers multiple times picking these up straight out of the oven. They are perfect as a snack, in tacos, on salads, and the best part is they are extremely easy. With only 5 ingredients (chickpeas, tajin, lime, olive oil, and cayenne) these babies take less than a minute to prepare and under 30 minutes in an oven to cook. Tajin is one of my favorite newish spices I have been using lately.
Information about the secret ingredient: Well it’s not actually too much of a secret in Mexico. Tajin is a mexican spice with a strong chili and lime flavor which is typically eaten on melon, mangos, or other fruit. I cannot get enough of these so I thought I would share my find with you.
Roasted Chili Lime Chickpeas:
1 Can of Chickpeas
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tajin
Juice from 1/2 a lime
Cayenne to taste
Directions: Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Drain the chickpeas and rinse with water. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat the chickpeas thoroughly. If you want a more subtle flavor use 1/2 tbsp of tajin and increase from there. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Serve/eat immediately as if you could resist ;)
Picture before baking:
Picture from the first time roasting chickpeas (forgot them in the oven..oops, but if you like things slightly charred just cook them longer)
Over the weekend my Aunt treated us to dinner at Native Foods. They are a 100% vegan restaurant and probably my favorite of the ones I’ve been to. Check out the menu here. It is amazing that this little gem exists in the middle of the desert, and they have locations in Los Angeles now too! I ordered the wild buffalo ranch salad ( i subbed in their housemade tempeh) served with Louisiana hot sauce, yes please!
Ryan and my aunt both got the special which was a portobello sausage burger (made with housemade seitan) with a side of choice. And we all got some amazing, refreshing hibiscus iced tea.
I have never been disappointed at Native Foods, even the cookbook I have from there is amazing! Fresh ingredients and delicious vegan food!
Peanut Tofu and Chard
Simple easy recipes are my favorite for my lazy days. Sometimes I just don’t feel like spending an hour or two in the kitchen especially on warm summer nights. Chard is a common green we get in our CSA box and it can get hard to find ways to eat it all up. I made a chard and tofu stir fry with peanut sauce, which turned out tasty and took less than 20 minutes.
Tofu And Chard Stir Fry:
1 block of tofu
1 bunch of chard
Peanut sauce (work in progress):
3 tbsp peanut butter (i used this)
1-2tbsp tamari to taste
1/2 tsp salt
2-3tsp red chili garlic sauce to taste
4+ tbsp milk (i used coconut milk that you can drink, not the canned kind, almond milk would work too)
Directions: Mix the peanut sauce ingredients together and set aside.Chop tofu into cubes and fry in non stick pan until browned remove and set aside. Saute chopped chard until tender. Add the tofu back to the pan and add the sauce and combine well.
The result was tasty, or course devoured with large quantities of sriracha. The peanut sauce was a bit thick but I was in a serious mood for peanut butter so it was fine. If you want less peanut butter taste add more milk, also you can add any other veggies you have in the house so easily. Bell peppers and broccoli would be great!
Trying New Things
So if you know me you know I am not the most adventurous person. It really isn’t that I am afraid of the world, minus a few irrational fears, I just don’t like going too far out of my comfort zone. I like routines and I like to do things I know I enjoy. I recently embarked on a mission, to find a type of exercise I ENJOY. While it might not sound like a large endeavor, it is for me. I used to dance for fun, but with my knee/back injuries I really can’t get back into it until I am stronger. I have recently tried out yoga and loved it, minus the outrageously large price tag. Biking outdoors is an option, but having to stop at a million stop signs and traffic lights kind of aggravates me. The gym? NO WAY. I do it, but hate every minute of it. Stationary bikes? Really? I feel like I am not going anywhere. Don’t get me started on sports…
So now what is left..running? swimming? Well I decided to give both a try yesterday. Ran about 3/4 mile and I thought I was going to die. My ear plugged, I was coughing and couldn’t breathe. Out of shape or asthma? Who knows probably a combo, but I will give it a try again soon maybe at a slower pace. Ryan kept warning me to slow down but I am a person who wants to get somewhere, jogging seems unnatural. Swimming went a little bit better. I mean I can doggie paddle nicely. You would think growing up with a pool in my backyard would make me a great swimmer, but it is just not the case. I think I am meant to be a couch potato. But on a serious note, I think I could enjoy running and swimming more if I ease into it, and I will give it a serious try.
After all this hard work phew! Dinner was made..Squash pasta, baguette (from bread and cie), roasted garlic, and a beer.
We have been getting tons of squash in our CSA box and farmer’s markets. Just trying to use it up in different ways so we don’t get tired of it.
5 yellow or green squash
1 cup pasta sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
Kosher Salt to taste
Directions: I used a peeler to make squash ribbons, though this only lasted for 3 squash because I got lazy and thinly sliced the last two. Saute the squash in the olive oil until tender (approx. 5-10 minutes) and add salt to taste. I sauteed the squash in batches because I didn’t have a large enough pan to do it all at once. Top with any pasta sauce of your choice, or eat as is!
1 head of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the outer layers of the garlic skin, leaving the head intact. Cut off 1/2 inch of the top to expose the garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and cover in foil. Place in oven for approximately 30 minutes or until soft. Eat on top of pasta or bread or crackers. Delicious!
What is your favorite exercise?