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Friday, January 28, 2011

nothin warms the tummy like a bowl of creamy dreamy...


This was a recipe I found on Snacking Squirrel

Ingredients :
5 cups water
1.5 cups dry split peas (I used green)
2 cups diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrot (I used about 1 large carrot, just because I looooooove carrots!)
1/2 cup cubed potato (I used half of a sweet potato, made for a much yummier suprise)
1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp salt
Pinch pepper
Pinch thyme

I also added:
- 2 tbsp chicken bouillion
- 2.5 tsp Italian seasoning mix

1. Bring water and veggies to a boil.
2. Add split peas, then reduce heat to a simmer.
3. Partially cover and let simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. Add spices near the end of cooking time.
5. Serve.

Look at the colors! :)
My recipe made about 7 - 1 cup servings.
Per serving -  Calories - 82.8, Fat - 0.5g, Sodium - 346mg, Carbs - 12.3g, Protein - 4.4g

My 'Just Because' picture of today:
A carrot muffin with cream cheese icing. Not the healthiest thing, but sometimes that's okay!

It's okay to treat yourself, just don't overinduldge!


Question of the day:
What is your favorite treat to yourself?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brrrrr, it's cold in here!

    Other than baking and cleaning, I haven't really been doing much. It has been CHILLLLLY here! -17 and -22 (and those are the HIGHS) for the last two days! So what better way to heat up the kitchen on a cold winter's than to make some yummy little muffins. My mother made some Crock Pot Minestrone soup, and that warmed up my belly in no time!
       First off, this is not my recipe. But, this is a perfect accompaniment to a bowl of your favorite healthy soup! It is also super easy and a good way to sneak some veggies into your child's food without them really knowing it! ;) So let's get this delightful show on the road!!

Hungry Girl's Cheesy-Good Cornbread Muffins
- 1 cup canned cream-style corn
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (such as Eggbeaters)
- 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions (or green onions, as I have used)
- 2 tbsp Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
Optional (but very delicious!): 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, Splenda, baking powder, and salt until mixed well.
In small bowl, mix together all of the other ingredients: corn, egg substitute, sour cream, cheese and scallions. Add the hot sauce, if you like.

The corn is in there too, I swear!

Add the contents of the small bowl to the large one and stir until mixed thoroughly.

 Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups and/or spray with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute muffin batter among the cups.
Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until muffins are firm and light golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then enjoy!

That's my boyfriend with me. He's pretty cute. :)

Makes 12 servings
For 1 muffin
Calories - 85, Fat - 1.5g, Sodium - 240 mg, Carbs - 14g, Fiber - 1 g, Protein - 4g

Enjoy the muffins, and keep warm!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

I whip my beans back and forth...

Another recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Greens and Jeans.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers
Ingredients: (These are my amounts, you can use more or less if desired)
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1/2 of a can of black beans (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup corn
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 egg
- Seasonings of your choice. For this I used chipotle chili powder and a little bit of freshly strangled black pepper and salt. You could also add some green onion in with the fresh ingredients as well.
This recipe yields 4 decent sized burgers.
For one burger:
Calories - 191.6, Total Fat - 2.4g, Sodium - 76.9 mg, Carbs - 41.1g, Protein 8.6g

      Steam your sweet potato in the microwave, making sure to stab it first with a knife to let steam escape. Mine took about 7 minutes. Scoop out your potato, mash, and let cool. It would also be helpful to do this step the night before, and then you can just mix and go.

      Mix together cooled sweet potato, corn and black beans in a small bowl, set aside.
In another larger bowl, add oats, flour, and any seasonings you may want. Stir lightly to blend ingredients. Beat an egg and add to small bowl of "wet" ingredients. Mix. Add wet ingredients and stir until mixture becomes workable.
I think it's good. ;)
    I just put these in a half of a pita, with a little bit of chunky red pepper jelly and a little bit of extra corn. Very tasty and a new favorite! Enjoy!!

Toe shot!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

turnips, get in my belly!

       When you go upstairs to the kitchen to make breakfast and everything kind of goes downhill from there? Well my friends, I have had one of those mornings.

       I go to the fridge to get eggs to make my morning omelette, no eggs. Okay so oatmeal it is!! Then I make my coffee with two different kinds of coffee, no big deal. Pour the hot coffee in my lovely teetering coffee cup, and I don't know how it happened, but the cup fell over and coffee was EVVVVVERYWHERE on the counter. Imagine me screaming like a madwoman when it dribbles over the counter and onto my feet. Good thing I had socks on!! Needless to say, I was a bit frustrated even after I poured myself another cup.

The demon coffee...

       Work was decent. Same people, different day pretty much. I was rushing to get everything organized at first and then it was steady for me all day, which was nice!!

       Anyway! On to the main event, and the shining star! MR. TURNIP!! With his trusty sidekick Mr. Sweet Potato.
Crunchy, raw deliciousness

All ready to go into the sauna of the turnip gods

What is this strange and wonderful thing in my oven?

       These were so so SO SO good. I used a little bit too much olive oil though. The next time I make them, I will cook them at a lower temperature for a longer period of time, as some of the larger fries were not cooked enough. But these fries were so awesome and so different from anything I've had before. They were sweet and delicious and hot (because I used chipotle chili powder, woops ^__^)

Look at that caramelization!! Hnnnngh.

Definitely going to make these again
       These turnip fries were totally enjoyable, and I cannot wait to try different flavorings and spices on them. To make them all you need is the following:
-1 small turnip
-splash of olive oil
-your choice of seasonings (I used chipotle chili powder and seasoning salt)
       Preheat oven to about 375 degrees. Peel turnip and cut into slices. Cut slices into fry-like strips. Rinse fries under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. In a bowl, drizzle fries with olive oil (if you prefer) and add your seasonings. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook 40 minutes or until preferred tenderness. ~~ENJOY!!~~

       Also, thank you to my wonderful boyfriend for bringing me eggs so I can make my omelette breakfast tomorrow! ♥

Until next time, toodleloo!

the inevitable first post..

♪ Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely woooooooorld... ♪ Oh. Wait. This isn't Glee. Dangit!!

My name is Lauren. I've been on this lovely earth for approximately 11,302,620 minutes (most likely more by the time I'm done here.) This blog will be a lot about food, healthy eating, friends, and what makes me happy in life. I'm not here to be Gossip Girl or anything (XOXO), I'm just a normal girl wanting to share thoughts and ideas and recipes. I enjoy everything to do with cooking. Eating my creations can be pretty satisfying too. But it wasn't always that way...

I moved from the East Coast to the Prairies with my family about 4 years ago, and for me, it was a bit of a culture shock. I had NEIGHBOURS that weren't a few minutes down the road, there was actually a gas station right in town, and you didn't need to drive forever to get somewhere. Everything was in this little town I had suddenly been thrust into. What actually got me at first was the food here. I noticed there was a little Chinese restaurant, and a Greek restaurant. There was also a Thai/Western restaurant that opened 2 years after I came here, a bakery & cafe, and a drive through for your daily (monthly? yearly? for after those rough nights only?) grease fix. There were quite a few things that I had never had!!

My flavor palette has exploded expontentially in the last few years, because of my mother, and also because of the places I have worked. I had always been a meat and potato and normal veggies and foods kind of girl. No ketchup, no onions, no pickles, no peppers, no NOTHING that might add any bit of flavor to my food. After about 4 months of being in this town, I got a job as a waitress at the Greek restaurant, and that opened my eyes. There were things that I had never even heard of or had. THAT is how much my family and I went out to eat. I was introduced to Greek dishes such as Moussaka, Spanakopita (TO. DIE. FOR.), Baklava, Kalamari, and delicious Tzatziki sauce. The use of herbs and spices and lemon and wonderful olive oils and spinach and FETA. Oh my goodness the feta cheese!! The love affair began there I think. I worked there for 3 years and I think I ate my weight in Greek food , especially the Greek Salad.

Along with feta cheese (and any other kind of cheese really), I have a love affair with sweet potatoes. And I definitely cannot say no to a big steaming plate of delicious veggies. They are a staple in this household. This becomes a bit of a difficult concept for my father to grasp when he comes home. Hehe, love you Dad! Either you go hard or you get the frig out of the kitchen!!

Which brings me to my next adventure. Turnip. More commonly known as the rutabaga. I am going to make me some HEALTHY fries in the oven with these bad boys. A few months ago, I was looking at a blog that my mother had posted on her Facebook group, I See Fit People. I`m pretty sure it was about Cinnamon Peanut Butter chickpeas or something like that. ANYWAY. This girl Peanut Butter Fingers aka Julie, had made some fries out of turnip. My first thought was YUMMMMM. That thought got pushed out of the way. I didn`t really think of them until yesterday, when I was reading yet another food blog, and she was having turnip fries with her lunch. So I said to myself, OKAY. You are making these fries SOON. I got a small-ish one today at the grocery store, and it is all chopped up waiting for a splash of olive oil and some seasonings for when I throw them in the oven tomorrow after work. So excited!!

Just because I can.....