Four Things I Ate

1.  WARM QUINOA SALAD :: Delicious! This recipe has all my favorite ingredients, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata and green olives, pepperoncinis and lemon.  I just made the quinoa in my rice cooker.  When it was done I sauteed it for a few minutes with the spinach, just long enough for the spinach to wilt.  Then, I removed from the heat, added the rest of the ingredients then tossed with a homemade lemon vinaigrette.

2.  SHRIMP PESTO PASTA :: To satisfy my craving for carbs, I made a homemade basil almond pesto to add to thin spaghetti and shrimp.

3.  BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE :: I love smoothies because you can get so creative.  I love experimenting with different ingredients.  This one has vanilla greek yogurt, soy milk, banana, blueberries, strawberries, almonds and a handful of spinach.  Sometimes I'll even add some cooked oatmeal.

4.  CHICKEN + VEGETABLE FAJITAS :: I marinated chicken breast in the same lemon vinaigrette above for about an hour.  Then I put it on my stovetop grill with some mini bell peppers and sliced onion.  I also made some salsa and guacamole.  Throw it all together with some pinto beans in a tortilla and enjoy :)


Quick Lemon Vinaigrette

This is my go-to salad dressing, it's so fresh and tangy :)  I also use it as a marinade for chicken or fish.

You will need:

1 lemon, zest and juice
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup vinegar (I usually use red or white wine vinegar)
1/2 cup oil (I use canola or olive oil)
pinch of coarse salt, like kosher salt
cracked pepper to taste

I like to add the ingredients to a bowl with a lid for easy storage.  To zest the lemon and grate the garlic I use a microplane kitchen tool, if you do not have one a cheese grater works, too.

Add all ingredients to the bowl and whisk, or cover with the lid and shake.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

This usually lasts about a week in my fridge.  Enjoy!


Four Things I Ate

1.  BLUEBERRY PANCAKES :: Every Saturday is Pancake Day in our house.  Usually Sunday, too, for that matter.  These were a little special.  I ran out of the mix I normally use to make them, so I had to make some from scratch.  I happen to see this recipe on the back of my Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt package.  I only made a couple changes... I added one more egg, used a full cup of milk instead of 1/2 cup (the batter seemed a little thick to me), and no cooking spray (I have a super cool non-stick pan).  They were delicious!

2.  VEGETABLE SINIGANG :: I kept Nathan home from school one day last week because he was having tummy issues.  The only thing he really wanted to eat that day was one of his favorite meals, sinigang.  I normally make it the way my husband likes it, with pork short ribs, but the kids and I like it meatless.  Would be good with shrimp, too :) It happen to be a gloomy day that day so this nice, warm soup was perfect.

3.  BAKED CHICKEN WITH HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE :: Since we've been married, Mike has whipped up this tangy and easy BBQ sauce.  It's basically a combination of whatever condiments we have in our fridge, i.e. ketchup, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, sweet chili sauce, worchestershire sauce, etc... Sometimes when I make it I'll add some orange marmalade.  We also had a side of sweet potato fries and Thai Crunch Salad.

4.  CHICKEN ADOBO WITH SPICY BEANS :: Mike made one of our family favorites for dinner last night, chicken adobo.  He used chicken legs (we've also used boneless chicken thighs) and cooked them with garlic, pepper, equal parts soy sauce and vinegar, and chicken stock.  I made a side of Spicy Beans, a recipe I learned from a college friend years ago.  Just get some long green beans and saute with chopped garlic, soy sauce and hot sauce.  So yum!  And of course, can't have adobo without rice.


Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Homemade pizza makes a regular appearance in my house each week.  The dough is much easier to make than you might think.  I typically make the dough around lunch time then let it rise until it's time to make dinner.  And the more times you make it, you will certainly come up with your own style and way of making it.  This is how I make it... (or scroll all the way down to find a link to print)

You will need:

1/4 ounce Instant Dry Yeast
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
pinch of salt
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey (optional)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour

Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl
(I use a stand mixer) and leave alone for about 5 minutes until the yeast has dissolved.

Add the oil, salt and honey (if you decide to use the honey).  Then, about a half cup at a time, add the flour, mixing as you go.  Mix using the dough hook on the stand mixer, or by hand if you’re not using a stand mixer. Knead with dough hook, or by hand, for about 10 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth. 

Move the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place (I put it in my turned off oven) for at least 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 475 F.  Punch the dough down to release the air.  Divide it in half, roll each piece into a ball and let rest for about 10 minutes (covered with the damp towel).  You can prep your toppings during this time.

Flatten each ball on a floured surface.  You can use a dough roller, but I like to do it with my hands.  Place each circle on lightly greased pans.

Poke holes in the dough using a fork to prevent air bubbles forming during baking.

I like to brush the outside of the dough (which will become the crust) with olive oil seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper.  Then add the rest of your toppings and bake for about 12-15 minutes.

And that's it!  Next time I make it I will take pictures to accompany this recipe.  You can find yeast in the baking aisle of the grocery store, usually above the flour.

Seriously, it's easy, yummy and better for you than take out pizza. 


Four Things I Ate

1.  Ham + egg muffin with strawberry jam on whole wheat english muffin

2.  Tuna Sandwich with Avocado and Spinach :: I didn't use any mayo, instead I mixed the tuna with some lemon juice, green onion and salt + pepper.  Instead of using mayo on the bread, I smashed up the avocado and spread that on.  Mmm mmm MMM!

3.  Salmon on a bed of quinoa with spinach and red pepper :: The Salmon was marinated in low sodium soy sauce, honey, lime and ginger.

4.  Blueberry vanilla smoothie :: Just some blueberries, vanilla greek yogurt, some ice and about 2 cups of non-fat milk.

What were some of your favorites this week?


Quinoa for Breakfast

As I was poking around Pinterest this morning, I came across this recipe for quinoa (a protein packed seed). I have always liked quinoa (still working on my husband and kids) and make it for dinner occasionally, but never thought about making it for breakfast.  This recipe was from the Martha Stewart website, below is my version with just a few tweeks.

You will need:

2 cups milk (I use non-fat)
1 cup quinoa
pinch of salt
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
8 raw almonds chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh blueberries

Carefully bring milk to a boil.  Add quinoa and salt to milk and return to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until about 3/4 of the milk has been absorbed.

Stir in honey and cinnamon.  Cover again and cook for about another 8-10 minutes or until most of the milk has been absorbed.  Add the nuts and fruit.

Now you have yourself a warm and healthy breakfast cereal.  Enjoy!

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