Category Archives: Cooking

What’s Cooking

After several weekends of poorly planned grocery shopping that led to dinners of cereal and frozen ravioli, I sat down and made a good grocery store list on Sunday.  I was ready to cook!

I ended up making these Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas.

Stacked enchilada casserole

I tried to make mine a tad lighter by roasting the veggies with two tablespoons of oil instead of three and using one cup of cheese instead of two.  I also used flour tortillas (three large ones) instead of corn and a baked potato instead of a sweet potato.  This meal was not something I’d make on a weeknight.  It wasn’t hard, but it had a long cooking time because the veggies needed to be roasted first.  That said, it was pretty tasty and gone in about a day.

We also had these bananas sitting on the countertop.  I’m sure you know where I’m going with this.

Bad bananas

I mean, throw them away or make banana bread?  Tough choice, right?  I found this recipe for Skinny Chocolate-Caramel Banana Bread. It featured an interesting ingredient.

Skinny cow clusters

I know Skinny Cow is all processed and all, but I like their desserts, what can I say.  I’d never had these clusters before, so of course, I had to try them.  It helped that the box had six individual packs and the recipe only called for five.  Wonder where that other pack went?  If you guessed my mouth, you’re right.  They were really tasty.

When I was getting the bread ready, I realized I didn’t have applesauce, so I just used an extra banana.  Seemed to do the trick.  I also used half whole wheat flour and half white flour.

Banana bread

This was really good, but I have to say that baking the caramel clusters made them taste just like regular chocolate chips.  They lost their caramel crunchiness.

Those two recipes were good, but my favorite thing ended up being something super simple – Hearts of Palm and Avocado Salad. This was so good.  I added some feta to give it more protein which was a wise choice.  Maybe I do know something about cooking.

Hearts of palm avocado salad

Not the best picture, but so good and so easy.  It helps if you love avocados.  And cilantro.  If you have that soap cilantro gene, I don’t know what to tell you.  You’re missing out.  I wanted to eat the entire batch, but I refrained… and ate the rest of the banana bread instead.  Umm, oops?

The First Pin

I don’t understand people who don’t “get” Pinterest.  It’s like my go-to site for when I’m bored.  I mean, who doesn’t want to look at millions of pictures of whatever they’re interested in?  Unsurprisingly, the majority of my pins are food-related.  Though I have a fashion and makeup board too.  You might be surprised at that actually.

So, I pin a lot of food and I actually make a decent amount of it, at least when it comes to main dishes (dessert, apps and side dishes, not so much).  But my problem is that I have so many recipes pinned that I get overwhelmed by the choices and end up making nothing.

So, when I was making my grocery store list for the week, I decided to go the first entree that I’d pinned and make it.  Sure, it was from like over two years ago, but this Quinoa con Queso still looked appealing.

I made three small changes to the recipe and one was totally by accident.  I used feta instead of queso fresco, almond milk instead of regular and the accidental change was that I used two tablespoons of tomato paste instead of two teaspoons.

Quinoa con queso

My pictures aren’t nearly as pretty as the site where I found the recipe.  I need to work on that.  I just get so damn hungry nowadays.

Quinoa con queso2

This was decent.  It falls into the “I will eat the leftovers, but I wouldn’t necessarily make it again.” category.  I asked Jason what he thought, since he tends to have a more traditional palette than I do, and he said it had good flavor, but it was more of a side dish.  He ended up turning his into a burrito by putting some in a tortilla with lettuce, sour cream and salsa.

So, we’ll see if making my pinned recipe thing in reverse order really works out.  If so, next up is some sort of enchiladas.  Maybe next week.

Trying to Recreate

For someone that likes to cook and likes to eat, I’m really not good at making up my own recipes.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know what goes together well and I know nothing about how to use herbs and spices.  I’m always sort of jealous of people who go to restaurants, eat something delicious and recreate it at home successfully.

It never really works out that way for me.  I went to this vegan restaurant near my office, Loving Hut, last week for some takeout and got their kale and quinoa salad.

Kale quinoa salad

It was delicious.  So I decided to try to make some kale sans recipe at home.  I wasn’t aiming for this particular salad, but just something with kale in it.

Kale salad

Kale fail!  This was basically kale, avocado, nutritional yeast and salt.  It’s a combination that I’ve done before (I think) but it just wasn’t that great.

We had our friends Joan and Sean over for dinner last Saturday night.  Instead of serving plain ol’ hummus (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), I made this Greek Dip Platter.

Mediterranean dip

It was delicious.  I ended up eating way too much and was too full to eat my meal.  Oops.  This wasn’t really something I could recreate since I followed a recipe to actually create it, but I made something good out of the leftovers.

Couscous

Not the best picture, but it tasted good.  We ate all of the dip, but had leftovers of everything but Greek yogurt.  So, I cooked some Israeli couscous and mixed it up with the hummus, olives, onion, tomato, parsley and feta.  Not exactly what I’d call a recipe, but it really did taste pretty good.

Now if I could only recreate these awesome cookies that I’m obsessed with.  Or maybe that’s not the best idea.

Lemon cookies whole foods

Can you recreate (or plain ol’ create) a recipe?  Teach me!!

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