Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spicy Peanut Thai Noodles


I think I have discussed things that I find cute before. But seriously, this is just funny. Ever notice how girls describe things that are funny as cute? I do that. All the time.

So, I am sitting at work talking to our office manager and she was telling me that she was reading some of the comments from our timesheets back in 2010 (remeber the beginning of this decade!?). There was one gentleman who had taken vacation and had submitted comments on his time off. The following is an exerpt from his comments:

Monday: 8 hours vacation - travel day.
Tuesday: 8 hours vacation - sat by the pool and drank a beer.
Wednesday: 8 hours vacation - sat by the pool, went to the beach, had a margarita.

This continued for the full week he was on vacation! Now, most people would think or what a funny guy. Girl reaction out of me was, "how cute is that!" Others may react more like "No one gives a shat what you did on your vacation." Regardless of what your reaction would be in this situation, I think this situation was driven by one of two things: either he wanted to share his vacation and thought it was funny (most likely the correct answer), or he actually really needed a vacation for sanity reasons.

Different people, different reactions. I thought he was just keeping things spicy. Like these noodles.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Apple Tarte

 
I am totally digging this new concept I heard about recently. Its what I like to call nutritional density. And it is just that simple. Its about eating things that are packed full of good stuff and your body can truly fuel up!

I know that when I'm really hungry, the easiest most convenient thing for me to do is to get myself a nice big bowl of ice cream. Sweet, creamy, gone in three seconds. Ok, I'll have a second little bit. Annnd a third....Annnddd now I feel slightly barfy. Yes, barfy is an adjective. This three-bowl ice cream rotation is really a dumpy cycle. I'm guilty. I will admit it.

Now, as silly and health-nutty as this sounds, I can honestly say that when I eat foods that are whole and natural, even if I do gorge my face off, I still feel ok. After a couple of peanut butter cookies (like the ones I recently made), I can get to the point when I feel genuinely full, satisfied, and maybe even content. Nutrient dense foods, like peanut butter and oatmeal, are surprisingly tasty in treats as well. Plus, you feel a bit happy after a treat, so a nutrient dense treat equals body happy, plus treat happy. Simple, but slightly crazy, yes?

Now - here's the deal. I already mentioned cookies in my about rant/internal monologue/epiphany/whatever you would like to call it, and so making treats that are dense in nutrients seems to be the way to go! Here I am thinking fruit crisps, nuts and nut butter anything, pumpkin and apple sauce flavoured comfort, roasted chickpeas, oh the list goes on!

Feel good, look good, do good is the mantra. And when I remove refined sugar, processed crap and mega salt, I honestly think I accomplish that.

Just a small rant for the weekend. So, here's a recipe for salad. JOKES! Let's make something waaaay better.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies


If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad. Right? Yes, thank you Sheryl Crowe. So here is my thought. If you make it at home, it can't be that bad. Right? Yes, thank you MaiTreat!

But really, when you make something yourself, you know exactly what goes in to it. You control everything. There isn't some weird preservative to extend the shelf-life, you can take out ingredients that you don't like (raisins always seem to get a bad rap...), and best of all you put a bit of your love into it. Remember though, if you lick the spoon while you are dropping cookies on to a pan, you are also sharing that little extra love with whoever is lucky enough to receive a cookie. No one really wants to get that type of surprise, but then again, who will ever know. Right? Our little secret.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cherry Cranberry and Nut Granola


Tonight I really wish I had a cat. Some furry, purring, warm snuggle toy to keep pestering me to pet it again. Again. Again! You don't have to talk to it, unless you want to. It just wants your attention. This kitty will just lie there, warming up your lap and serenading you with their completely relaxed state. Sunday nights just scream curling up on the couch with some tea and some company. That last statement makes me think that it is sounding like I have officially moved out of summer mode and in to fall mode.

I'm ok with that. And based on the way I have described cats, I could probably learn a lot from them. But what's a girl to do when the household is lacking in the feline availability? What about a crunchy anytime snuggle? Yup, let's make granola.

Pre and post baked results don't look a whole lot different. They are both fairly light (which is how I like my granola, since I "overcooked" the last batch). The main difference between the pre and post is that once baked, the granola is going to form into clusters and crisp up a bit. The clusters are the tsn turning point of granola. Once they form, you know you have really made a great thing. They are the key - the clusters are really what makes the granola. And since I don't have a cat, these granola cluster are going to have to give me the warm-fuzzies instead. Personally I think it worked out well.


Nice and golden, post-baking



Does life get better than home-made comfort food? I really don't think it does.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

Mega comfort. Soup is always there for you. There to warm you up, make you feel better, calm you down, and fill you up.


The best part about soup is that it really is a choose your own adventure situation. Feeling spicy? Add some chillies! Feeling veggies? Keep it that way. What I like about soup is it never gets complicated. And fact is, somethings are best left as simple.

This recipe is more just a basis for your mood. My mood when I made this? Shrimp, mushrooms and spinach. However, I have used the same soup base and threw in red pepper, carrots, broccoli and chicken. What type of soup will you make?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pumpkin Apple Coconut Tea Bread


Set backs happen. Solution? Make a quick little tea bread, snap some pictures on your smartphone, and share the recipe.

Remember? Everrryone likes it when treats are being shared.


I know it has been a while since I posted something. Life gets busy, it gets frustrating, and sometimes it is just easier to take a small breather from everything. The best way to get back into things is with a moist treat that is loaded with great ingredients, has no refined sugar, and really should you make you feel good about yourself. Win-win.

Pumpkin Apple Coconut Tea Bread (Gluten and Refined Sugar Free, adapted from FitSugar)

Ingredients

1 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup Honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg and 2 egg whites
3/4 cup Sorghum flour
1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/4 cup Arrowroot Flour
2 tbsp Coconut Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda1/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup unsweetened Apple Sauce (easy way to make your own!)

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer add pumpkin, honey and vanilla. Add egg and eggs whites and mix together until smooth. 
  3. Mix together flours, baking powder and baking soda and add to the mixing bowl.  Mix until moist. Add yogurt and apple sauce until just combined.
  4. Pour in coconut and mix until just combined.
  5. Pour into greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and the bread is golden brown.
Makes 16 thin slices, or 12 regular size slices.