Weeknight Meal

I have gotten back into meal planning.  Working for an organic food market can make you go a little crazy with shopping, and I wasn’t really saving any money compared to my pre-discount days.

Tonight I created a millet and amaranth bake with hummus, veggies and chickpeas.

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Weeknight Bake

  • 1.5 cups cooked millet and amaranth combo – I cooked 1/2 cup amaranth and 1/4 millet in 2 cups of veggie broth
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas – canned or home cooked
  • 1/2 cup hummus – flavor of choice.  I used roasted red pepper
  • 1.5 cups diced and cooked veggies that you have on hand – I used red pepper, garlic, zucchini and some frozen spinach
  • sprinkle of herbs on hand – I just used an Italian blend
  • S&P to taste

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Once all of the elements are cooked mixed everything in a large bowl and place them in an olive oil sprayed pie dish and bake for 20min.  Total time is about 50min, which is kind of long for a weeknight, but you could always cook the grains before to cut out some time.IMG_1755

 

The reason I like this meal during the weak so much is you can mixed and match grain, protein and veggies with whatever you have on hand.

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What is your favorite weeknight meal?  I think ours is actually enchiladas.

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Best Dressing To Date

Today I may have made the best dressing ever.  It may look like super gross baby something or other, but if you like smoky and lemony flavors, this is for you.

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Smoky Avocado Dressing – approximate measurements, coasted 3 servings of quinoa veggie salad

  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 TSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 TSP smoked paprika
  • 1/2 TSP fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 TSP sea salt
  1. Mix together and stir in with a naked pasta, quinoa, or rice saladIMG_1557

I made this one up this afternoon for Nick and I to have for dinner.  I am working late so I can take half and he can re-heat when he gets home.  Win-win.  Besides the dressing there is quinoa, onion, mushroom, zucchini, tomatoes, and kale.  We shall see how it all turns out.  I bet it will be amazing coated in all that smoky deliciousness!

What was something amazing that you made recently?


Dry Rub Catfish

There was a new fish on the dinner plate tonight!  I have always known catfish to be southern and fried, but I also know there are a ton of them swimming in the rivers of North America.  I consulted with my fish expert Jess, and she said that catfish was a good choice when looking for a fish species to feel good about eating in terms of sustainability.

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My former fish market boss said the best way to cook catfish is blackened.  I just made Emily’s blackened tofu last week so I thought I would go with about the same spice mix but bake it on high heat until it started to crisp.

I mixed together garlic powder, cayenne, celery seed, paprika, salt, pepper, coriander, and oregano, then coated my fish before baking it at 425 for 17min.

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It was good but I think I like trout better.  Something about it was just off.  I’m not really sure what?  Maybe it does need a good sear in some oil.

Along with the catfish I cooked up a wheat berry salad with baby kale, onion, garlic, beets and smoked paprika.IMG_1533

The sweet onions were a good compliment to the slightly bitter kale.

I will give catfish one more try, but given a choice I would pick another sustainable fish.  Next up, mussels!

Have you eaten catfish?  How was it prepared?  Did you like it?


Eggplant Bake

The original plan for tonight’s dinner was eggplant parm, but I forgot the parm!  I did however pick up some delicious fresh mozzarella cheese so I went with it.  I started by doing the normal egg, breadcrumb and bake portion of eggplant parm.

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Eggplant Bake

  • 1 large eggplant sliced into rounds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs of choice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian spices
  • 1 cup favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 cups frozen greens
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 ball mozzarella, sliced

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  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Slice eggplant into rounds and dip in egg then mix of breadcrumbs, spices, and garlic powder before placing it on a baking sheet and baking for 30min
  3. 15min into cooking sauté the onion and garlic clove in EVOO until clear then add frozen greens and pasta sauce
  4. Pull the slices out of the oven and begin to layer – sauce – eggplant – sauce – mozzarella – eggplant – sauce

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5.  Put her back in the oven for 20min more, slice and serve!

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Super cheesy and delicious!  A fortunate accident of forgetting a key ingredient.

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Nick approved, and Sissy begged for a taste.IMG_1491

Not really, she was staring at the light fixture, but we have been missing Sissy pictures on the blog lately.


Afternoon Snack Attack

Every work day at 3pm, I have a snack.  It is just the way my work eating schedule works and it is about an hour and a half before I get to the gym.  For awhile I fell into the patterns of buying granola bars because they are easy to grab and go, but they always had so much sugar and many contain soy for some odd reason.  I took it upon myself to create a healthy afternoon snack that would get me through the gym and to dinner (to be honest, sometimes my lunch it too small and I have to eat two of these suckers to make it up dinner).

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I based my recipe on a combination of The Super Charge me Cookie from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan and the Walnut and Dried Cherry Bar from Healthy Appetite by Ellie Krieger.

LilyBean’s Afternoon Snack Attacks

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 2 TBS flax meal
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • 1/4 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP vanilla extra or almond extra depending on flavor profile
  • 1/3 cup honey or real maple syrup – depending on what flavor you are going for
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg (you could make a flax or chia “egg” to make these vegan)
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried fruit of choice – I have used guava, apricots and cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts – I have been using pecans because that is what I have on hand
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Mix vanilla, egg, honey/maple, applesauce in small bowl.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Add wet to dry.
  5. Scoop out with 1/4 cup measuring spoon to achieve 9 cookies onto either a silpat or a sprayed cookie sheet.  Flatten to cookie shape.
  6. Bake for 12-15min, flipping after 10min.

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The thing I like best about these are all of the different combinations you can make.  You could also add coconut or even cacao nibs or chocolate chips.  The possibilities are endless!

I even broke down the nutrition of an apricot-pecan cookie for those interested.

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Let me know if you try them!IMG_1451


Sweet Potatoes for a Picky Crowd

Every time we have an office party when we are asked to bring something for the crowd, I get worried.  Most of the people I work with are not fans of vegetables (I know I am generalizing here but overall I would say they are a meat and potatoes group).  I always want to bring something healthy to show them that healthy doesn’t mean tasteless.  Today was our deputy directors going away party and I made my best recipe yet!

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Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Salad.  I got this idea from our wedding actually and added some chickpeas for some veg protein.Warner-9659

Above from wedding.

This recipe was seriously simple and I got a ton of compliments on it.  The only thing you have to cook are the sweet potatoes and they take 20-25min.

Chipotle, Lime, Sweet Potato Salad

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup frozen corn (I used sweet white)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 finely diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – can add more peppers for more heat
  • juice of 3 limes
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp olive oil – divided into 1 tbsp and 2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large clove of garlic pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 bunch of cilantro chopped fine
  1. Toss peeled and cubed sweet potatoes in 1 tbsp of olive oil and bake at 400 for approximately 20-25min until fork tender.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking whisk together remaining ingredients minus the corn and chickpeas.
  3. Mix in the chickpeas and corn.
  4. Add potatoes while warm to lime mixture and fold in to get the potatoes fully coated.
  5. The longer you can marinate, the better. (It is good hot out of the over too!)

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Deeeeelicious!


English Peas

Tuesday are always my favorite in the summer because of the farmers market!  Today I picked up lettuce, arugula, kale, English peas and cherries.

Tonight I attacked the English peas!

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I love peas!  They are so cute and sweet to the taste.  I even had a cat that used to eat them frozen!  This afternoon I shelled a bunch of peas and thought about how to showcase their flavor.

I grabbed some basil and a pepper that I knocked off my accident Sad smileIMG_1090

What I came up with was garlic peas with basil and olive oil.  Simple and easy, not even really a recipe but I wanted to showcase the peas!

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Garlic Peas

  • 1 clove of garlic pressed
  • ~ 1 cup of fresh peas – frozen would work too though
  • small bunch of basil
  • S&P
  • Olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add garlic.  Start browning the garlic and add the peas for flavoring.  After a few minutes of saute add enough water to cover the peas 1/2 way and cover.  Cook the peas for about 5min then stir and add S&P.  Recover and cook another 5min.  Remove lid and cook until liquid is gone or peas are cooked to your liking.  Add the basil and stir until just heated then serve!

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Delicious garlic and basil flavors.IMG_1094

Eat your peas (and carrots)!  I swear I was enjoying this bite.

Look who I caught snagging a snack while we were out on the deck!IMG_1089

Bad Sissy!