WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

I really hate coming up with titles… November 30, 2009

Filed under: Products,Salad,Sandwiches,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 8:18 pm

I don’t have anything too exciting to say today.  I did have some really tasty food, though!  So I think I’ll tell you about it 🙂  For breakfast, I had an amaaazing oat mess that contained dried cranberries, almonds, almond butter, and flax meal.  Maybe someday I’ll start taking pics of everything I eat like some of the new ladies I’ve added to my blogroll.  Lunch was nothing at all exciting.  I’ll spare you the details.  Dinner, however, was fantastic… I made a giant salad (we can eat these again since Wayne is off his Coumadin now!) and quesadillas (since even a giant salad is just a snack for Wayner).  I sat at work today thinking of all the stuff I was gonna put into this monster salad… it included…

Mozzarella balls and dried cran from my beloved TJ's


Freakin' amazing dressing from Whole Foods.

and about 20 more items… can you find them all??

In the mix:
*Dill pickles (yum!!)
*Green olives
*Mozz balls
*Tiny bit of cheddar
*Turkey pepperoni
*Deli chicken
*Dried cranberries
*Banana peppers
*Lite honey mustard
*My baby quesadilla had hummus and cheese, Wayne’s was quite a bit larger.  My anal, calorie-counting ways continued today… this whole meal contained about 370 calories!  I love volume.

To back track a little, I had a delicious Z-bar for my afternoon snack today.  I’ve been seeing them all over blog land and picked up a few at Trader Joe’s.  I only wish I would have bought more!  One reason I liked these so much is they’re lower in calories than a Larabar or regular Clif Bar, so I don’t feel bad eating one as a snack.  I loooved the texture and chewiness of this… mmmm.  I even added a case of Z-bars to my meager Christmas list that currently consists of a large baking sheet (to roast more veggies at once!!), a non-metal whisk (so it doesn’t scratch my babies Calphalon pans), and a veggie scrub brush (how do I not have one of these??)

Yes, that's the wrapper I brought home from work just so I could take a pic and blog about it!


More randomness November 29, 2009

Filed under: Breakfast,Holiday,Life,Oatmeal,Pizza — WannaBe Chef @ 8:22 pm

I know, 2 posts in one day… crazy right??  So, the weekend continued in a glorious way.  On black Friday, my mom, aunt, and I drove 2 hours to Ann Arbor for the sole purpose of going to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (who needs that 4 AM-wait-in-line-and-freeze-your-azz-off crap??)  Omg, it was like I had died and gone to heaven!  People may think that’s a little odd, but really, that was totally my idea of a fantabulous freakin’ day!  This was my first time at Whole Foods, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!!  *Sigh* 🙂  I got lots of goodies, and we also had lunch at Whole Foods’ amaaaazing hot/cold bar.  We did go to some other places and got a little shopping done, which made the trip a little more well-rounded haha. 

This morning, I was really excited to make a hearty oat mess and use some of my new goodies!  Trader Joe’s crunchy almond butter is waaaay better than the creamy. 

In the bowl:  1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, 1 small Honeycrisp apple, 1 Tbsp flax meal, 1 Tbsp chopped almonds, 1 Tbsp crunchy almond butter, Splenda.  HOLY CRUNCHY, CHEWY YUM

After I savored this wonderful breakfast, I decided it was time to put up the Christmas tree.  I’m not a big Christmas person, which would explain why this is first time in the 5 years I’ve been with Wayne that we’ve set up an actual tree.  I figured it was time!  It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself!

This was taken before we got our sparkly, silver star topper this afternoon.

To round out the day, I made a lovely dinner.  I bought some whole wheat pizza dough at Trader Joe’s and turned it into some tasty eats.  And just because I was feeling particularly anal today, I measured everything and calculated the calories per slice… 191!  Not bad considering they were huge slices!

Yummy wheat crust with turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green olives, mozarella and parmesan cheese. I had 2 slices... with some veggies to fill up the plate!


Thanksgiving Re-cap

Filed under: Beverage,Holiday,One dish meal,Potato,Side dish,Sweets,Turkey,Vegetable,Ziggy — WannaBe Chef @ 12:46 pm

I did plan on blogging over my four day weekend, but unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera cord to my mommy’s.  Oh well, better late than never, right?  I had a lovely holiday and break from work.  It all started on Wednesday night.  Mom and I enjoyed a nice cocktail while getting some night-before-prepping done (aka… Amanda chopping mountains of celery and onions for the stuffing, as per usual) 

According to Bailey's: chocolate martini = Bailey's + vanilla vodka. According to mom and I: waaaay too strong, so copious amounts of milk was added.

Then came Thanksgiving day.  I was a bad blogger and didn’t take a whole lot of pictures.  Here’s Martha Stewart’s my mom’s festive table.

Lots and lots of food was had.  I only took this one pic of my first plate (yes, first plate).  Just for list-making sake… we had turkey breast soaked in yummy brine overnight, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, sesame green beans, whole grain rolls, obligatory canned cranberry sauce, gravy, waldorf salad, relish tray, and dessertssss. 

My apologies... I didn't realize this was so blurry until far after I inhaled this. On the plate: squash, cranberry, turkey hiding in the back, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, waldorf salad. Holy yummmmm.

We waited about 2 seconds to have dessert.  I, as always, was so full that I could barely move… but does that stop me from packing in a little dessert??  Not really.  I’m not much of a fan of pumpkin pie (it’s a texture thing… I like to call it the “gag texture” haha).  So, I had a little taste of the apple crisp and some pumpkin mousse (sorry, no pic of this!).

Martha comes out again with the decorative pumpkin pie

Once we all stuffed our faces, the dishes were done, and the leftovers were compiled into things like this: 

Best thing ever: stuffing on the bottom, then turkey, and frosted with potatoes. Just slice it, heat it up, and top with gravy and a side of cranberry. Delisssshhhh.

And for entertainment?  I brought my son along and got to witness the 23412 standoffs with my childhood, 15-year-oldish cat Missie… hilarious.  Don’t worry, no harm was done, they’re all talk.


Recent eats November 24, 2009

Filed under: Meatless,Sandwiches,Sweets,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 10:17 pm

I’ve seen variations of these “babies” all over the blogosphere… but mainly on Chocolate Covered KatieLast night I got a wild hair and decided to throw some stuff into my mini food processor… and by “stuff,” I mean 3 ingredients haha.  Unfortunately, I did no measuring (as usual), so I hesitated to post this…. buttttt of course I’m going to.  I’ll do my best to estimate what I used in these! 


Almond Babies
Next time I’ll measure, promise 🙂

Approx 1 cup whole almonds
Approx 12-15 whole, pitted dates
Squirt of maple syrup

– Grind up the almonds first, then remove and set aside
– Grind up the dates (this totally almost burned up my food processor… maybe because the dates were cold and hard??)
– Pour the almonds back in and grind together until you get a fine-ish consistency.  Mine was a little dry, so I added a squirt of maple syrup, too.
– Roll into balls… you really have to smoosh them together to hold.  Ooooor just use more dates and/or syrup to make them more moist. 
– Store in fridge.  DELICIOUS… and pretty much a homemade Larabar!  Of course the combinations are endless… check out Chocolate Covered Katie for a tonnn of ideas (and actual recipes!)

Just for fun…. my dinner tonight… pretty good with barely any groceries! 

Black bean burger on whole wheat tortilla half w/Laughing Cow, cukes, BBQ; bistro mushroom mac and cheese (from a box, sshhh); the last of my beloved TJ's french green beans


Vacation’s over! November 22, 2009

Filed under: Meatless,One dish meal,Sandwiches,Soup,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 8:13 pm

The hunter has returned… deerless…. which is totally fine with me.  It was kind of nice to have some time to myself, but it’ll sure be nice to get a full night’s sleep again.  Living in the dark, kind-of-secluded woods and sleeping alone for a week wasn’t all the great, believe it or not.  So I’m pretty much out of groceries, and I wasn’t about to go shopping after a long weekend of work.  Remember that tomato spinach soup I mentioned the other day?  Well that was about the only option for tonight’s dinner.  The soup alone would have sufficed for me, but I felt the need to make some chicken too since the carnivore was back. 

Le wrap contains chicken, hummus, laughing cow cheese and BBQ. Yummy.

Tomato Spinach Soup
I saw this recipe originally on a Rachael Ray show yearsss ago.  I used to make it in college all the time because it was so easy and low-calorie.  I never really had the “recipe” for this, so it comes out a little different every time.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can chicken broth
3 cans tomatoes of your choice (I used 2 cans petite diced and 1 can sliced stewed.)
1 bag fresh spinach or 1 box frozen spinach, thawed with excess water squeezed off (I prefer fresh but only had frozen today.) 
Salt, pepper, olive oil, and other seasonings if you desire
Parmesan cheese

Sautee the onion with olive oil in a soup pot.  Add garlic once the onions have softened and become translucent.  Cook another minute or two.  Add all the other ingredients, bring to a boil for a few minutes then let simmer.  Top individual servings with plenty of parmesan cheese.


Just for fun… November 20, 2009

Filed under: Breakfast,Fish,Meatless,Products,Salad,Sweets,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 10:58 pm

I had the day off today because I have to work all weekend (uuggh).  I slept in, did some stuff around the house, and basically just relaxed all day.  So, for sh!ts and giggles, I thought I would photograph everything I ate and make a post out of it.  The only thing that escaped the camera was half of a Larabar 🙂 

Breakfast:  Not consumed until 10AM!!  Ssshh!!  1 egg + 1 white, scrambled with Laughing Cow cheese wedge and salsa.  Sandwich thin w/margarine and coffee with organic vanilla creamer on the side.  Delishhh. 

Lunch:  Sort of Hugh Jass salad with crumbled Morningstar Asian burger, red pepper hummus, sprouts, cheese, cucumbers, and Light Asian dressing… with leftover roasted squash on the side (even better the next day!).  This tasted great as I was trying to figure out why the heck Brad, of ATWT, is now a ghost. 

Dinner:  This was probably one of the most random meals I’ve come up with.  My stash of groceries is dwindling, and I just didn’t feel like making the tomato-spinach soup I planned on (maybe tomorrow…).  On this snack plate of sorts was salsa, Trader Joe’s Veggie and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips, tuna mixed with Laughing Cow wedge, Frank’s, and pickles, honeycrisp apple, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas.  Delicious, random, and full of different textures (*love*).  Oddly enough, the best combination of flavors was the apple and chickpeas.  After roasting, the chickpeas get all chewy and nutty.  I’ll definitely be making these again.   

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Recipe found in Clean Eating magazine Nov/Dec 2009 issue.  I did no measuring.

2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I used 1 can of beans)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp maple sugar flakes (What the heck are these??  I used brown sugar.)
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander (I omitted)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Toss all ingredients together and spread on foil-lined baking sheet.  Roast at 425 for 20-25 minutes or until browned in spots.  Toss mixture half-way through cooking.  Store in fridge.

Snack time:  Chobani vanilla greek yogurt, 2 low-fat cinnamon graham crackers, mini chocolate chips… stirred all together to make a nice mess.  Very tasty, but not as good as last night’s mess (strawberry Chobani with cinnamon Puffins and choc chips 🙂 )


Veg-a-licious November 19, 2009

Filed under: Meatless,Sandwiches,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 9:33 pm

So I had all these great dinners planned for the week, right?  Well, apparently I’ve forgotten what it’s like to cook just for myself.  I have all these leftovers and veggies and sandwich thins that I need to eat before they go bad.  Tonight’s roasted squash was originally on the menu, but instead of chicken, I decided to have a black bean burger instead.  Tasty, indeed 🙂

Butternut and "Golden Nugget" squashes, with a side of hummus for dipping. The squashes were roasted at 425 for about 40 minutes with salt, pepper, garlic powder and maple syrup. Loooved the butternut, wasn't a fan of the golden nugget.. too bitter.

From top to bottom: Arnold's sandwich thin, BBQ sauce, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, MorningStar spicy black bean burger, alfalfa sprouts, Laughing Cow french onion cheese wedge