Another month, another guest post from an awesome blogger! She is sharing an easy-to-make vegetable side that is always a huge hit in our house– cauliflower mash! Think mashed potatoes, but lighter….
I’ve got an awesome, super simple, extra flexible recipe for you guys this week! Waffleritos. Yup, you guessed it, a combination of waffles and burritos, and what could be better than that? But first, some practical tips on how to cook with what you’ve got. The inspiration for the recipe and this post comes from this month’s challenge from The Recipe Redux:
Spring Clean the Kitchen. Cook with at least 3 ingredients that are actually in your refrigerator or pantry right now. Try not to go to the store to buy anything new. Give tips on how to make a healthy dish out of whatever you have on-hand.
This topic is near and dear to my heart and is tied to one of the complaints I hear from people over and over again—that they struggle with food waste—vegetables go bad before they can use them all up, meat is forgotten and goes off, and they are reluctant to buy recipe-specific ingredients because they aren’t sure how they will use the remainders in other recipes. I have even spoken with people who have decided that they’d rather order out instead of grocery shop and cook because the food waste stresses them out so much. I am very sympathetic to this struggle as it is one that I experienced for years when I was first becoming comfortable with cooking. I vividly remember going into my produce drawer and finding slimy green things that made my stomach turn. I also remember struggling with what to do with leftover ingredients from new recipes I had tried (I used to avoid buying cabbage and bok choy at all costs for this reason). Over time, though, as I became more comfortable with cooking and improvising, I found this source of stress started to dissipate and I developed a couple of tricks that were really helpful in avoiding food waste….
“I received free samples of Toufayan Pita mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Toufayan Bakeries and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Shakshuka. Shakshuka is a dish that has been on my list of recipes to blog about for a long time now. When I first heard about shakshuka, a dish in which eggs are poached in a seasoned tomato sauce, I was not enthusiastic (as I have blogged about before, I tend to be a bit of an egg purist), but the dish just kept showing up in different places and was mentioned by chefs and bloggers that I respect and admire. So finally I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and give it a shot. And, of course, it was delicious and super simple to make—a win, win!
But today I want to share with you and even simpler meal that I am calling Shakshuka Pizza. This is one of those meals that is great for a crazy weeknight when you have about 15 minutes to get dinner on the table but everyone is sick of quesadillas and grilled cheese….
As you likely know, more than anything my goal with my business and this blog is to help make cooking accessible. So today I am starting a new feature on the blog that I will offer periodically called: The Recipe Roundup.
With this series I want to give you an honest account of what worked in my kitchen and what didn’t. I’ll share ways that I simplified recipes, ways I adjusted them, how easy or hard I thought they were, and, most importantly, how they turned out. My hope is that this series will show some of the practical tricks you can use to simplify and modify recipes but that it will also exemplify how flexible, creative, and fun cooking can be, even when things don’t turn out as planned…
So without further ado, here’s my first installment of The Recipe Roundup…
This month’s challenge from The Recipe Redux is near and dear to my heart: tacos!!
Show us your healthy, creative take on the taco.
For as long as I can remember, tacos have been a favorite food of mine. When I was a kid, my mom had (still has) special bowls that she used to put out the taco toppings and whenever I saw those bowls coming down from the cupboard I knew that an awesome dinner was in store! I think because I was a picky eater I enjoyed the control I had over my own plate—I got to choose which toppings I used and which I avoided and, if I was feeling brave, I could try something new in a small and safe way. As a kid, the taco options were the same every time: ground beef, kidney beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheese, and salsa. And still, with the exception of raw onions which I am not a huge fan of, I love all of those components and would happily have one of my childhood tacos any night!
For this Taco Tuesday, though, I’m sharing a different version. While the ground beef is great and we definitely eat it from time to time in our house, it isn’t usually something I include with taco night because there are other, healthier sources of fat in the meal. In fact, many times our taco nights are vegetarian, using beans as the protein source. The tacos I’m sharing today involve one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations, black beans and sweet potatoes, along with a creamy avocado-based sauce that makes the whole meal feel special! In fact, the last time I made the avocado crema my 8-year-old said, “wow! This is such a fancy meal!” when the only difference was replacing our standard cut up avocado with the crema.
A few years ago I was really desperate to find ways to get vegetables into my younger son. I had tried the battles, I had tried the pleading, and now I was trying to use the division of responsibility approach, which meant that I would choose what foods were offered but that he then would have the freedom to choose what he ate out of what was on the table and there would be no special meals or negotiations. What that meant for our family was that some nights I made a dinner that had vegetables on the side, which he almost never ate, and some nights I made a one-pot meal that included the vegetables in the dish. Often times he would pick around the vegetables, but sometimes I would find a dish that he loved so much that he would plow right through, not even noticing the vegetables.
There were two types of one-pot meals that tended to work for us. Soups and baked pastas. The kid loved (and still loves) pureed vegetables soups, which was very helpful when I felt like I was going to lose my mind. And while he would sometimes pick around the vegetables in a baked pasta, some strays would make it into his mouth and he was always cheerful when pasta was involved. Win-win. So when I discovered lasagna soup I knew I had to give it a go….
We’re not big Valentine’s Day people in our household. One of the first times my husband and I ever really hung out was at an anti-Valentine’s gathering. But I’m a sucker for special meals on special days… so since I am on a big beet kick right now I couldn’t let the holiday go by without a red-themed recipe and this one is a keeper!…
It’s Ground Hog Day! The day when we hear whether we are going to have an early spring or a late one. This is a day when I always roll my eyes, chuckle about how it isn’t really true, and then desperately want to know what the outcome was. Did the groundhog see his shadow?! Is spring on its way?!
I am sad to report, in case you didn’t hear, that, according to Punxsutawney Phil, we’ve got 6 more weeks of winter ahead of us. (womp, womp). So what does that mean for those of us who are sick of our sweaters, desperate for the sun, and eager to eat fresh produce? We’ve got to get creative!
Last week I shared my Wild Blueberry Flavor Burst Smoothie, which has been helping on the fruit front (even my 8-year-old smoothie-hating son liked it!), but what about the vegetables? I mean, I love soups and stews probably more than most people but even this veggie-fiend can get a little desperate…
So this week I reached out to some of my food blogger friends to ask them to share their favorite ways to get more vegetables in during the winter months and they all shared salad recipes!…
By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
The other night I stopped by a friend’s house and we got to lamenting the fruit selection at this time of year. The citrus is ok and sometimes you can find a good pineapple, but the apples are past their prime and berries are way out of season. In short, it is a bummer. So that is when I shared my secret to surviving the mid-winter fruit doldrums: frozen fruit! This is the time of year when I stock up on frozen berries each week and use them to mix into yogurt and oatmeal, bake them in desserts, and make smoothies. So when I was invited to participate in the Wild Your Smoothie Recipe Contest I was psyched because it meant I could share one of my absolute favorite smoothies made with my hands-down favorite frozen fruit: wild blueberries.
If you have never tried wild blueberries, you are missing out! They are what blueberries are supposed to taste like—a sweet and tart flavor explosion in your mouth! They have a much stronger blueberry flavor because the plants are wild and genetically-diverse with thousands of interlocking plants spreading naturally across fields called barrens. As I kid I loved picking wild blueberries, but they can be hard to find, so now I depend on the frozen version, which miraculously keep their flavor and nutrition since they are individual quick-frozen at harvest. The other perk of wild blueberries is that they have twice (!) the antioxidant capacity of the larger, cultivated blueberries and can help with gut health, diabetes, cancer, and brain health. Pretty amazing, right?! And here’s the best part: frozen wild blueberries are super easy to find since almost every grocery store has them!…
I am so excited, you guys! Today I am bringing you something new on my blog: my first ever guest post! And it is a great one! Today I am introducing you to my friend, Chelsey Amer at C it Nutritionally. She is here sharing important and super-manageable information on navigating food allergies. This is essential information for all of us, even if we don’t have food allergies ourselves, as we are guaranteed to have friends or family members who do….