WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Burgers with a question March 31, 2010

Filed under: Beverage,Breakfast,Life,Sandwiches,Turkey — WannaBe Chef @ 5:50 pm

So, the hunger continued last night, and I had the major munchies.  I had two medjool dates stuffed with raw almonds and Naturally More PB along with random other grazings.  I’m hoping it’s just hormones, if you know what I mean.  TMI anyone??   

Breakfast was boring and of the white/yellow variety:  1 egg with feta and Frank’s on a whole wheat English muffin along with some pineapple topped with vanilla Chobani and cinnamon.

Lunch was leftover soup from last night’s dinner, no picture because, well, that would just be repetitive :-p  And judging by the amount of soup that’s left, I will be eating it for the next week.  Afternoon snackage was a lovely smoothie served in a wine glass.  I didn’t measure, but in the smoothie was approx.:  1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, 2 big spoon-fulls vanilla Chobani, 1/2 scoop Jillian Michael’s vanilla creme protein powder, and a splash of skim milk to get things moving.  Yuh-um!!  Love the color.  I need a real blender, though, cuz the food processor doesn’t really get it completely smooth.

You may be wondering why I’ve purchased protein powder, or then again, you may not.  Being a RD, I tend to prefer a balanced diet of whole foods and stray away from supplemental stuff.  I’m not saying supplemental stuff is bad, it’s just how I’m wired.  Well, to cut to the chase, blogland has simply made me want to try new things.  I know that protein prolongs satiety, so I’m trying to test that a little.  I’ve also ordered a couple “superfoods” online that I plan to experiment with, and of course, share with you!  AAANYWAY!  On to dinner… MAN, these were awesome!!

Turkey Tequila Burgers
My version of Chicken Tequila Burgers from Cara’s Cravings

1 lb extra lean ground turkey
large handful cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1.5 shots tequila
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
zest of 1 lime plus a squirt of the juice
salt and pepper
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
sauteed bell peppers and onions, for topping, if desired

–  Combine all ingredients (except sauteed peppers/onions) in a large bowl
–  Split into 4 patties and place on foil-lined sheet pan that’s been coated w/cooking spray
–  Broil burgers for about 10-12 minutes total, flipping halfway through
–  Serve on buns or sandwich thins with sauteed peppers and onions
QUESTION!!  I’m still having blog identity problems.  What do you guys think… food-diary, random style or recipe format?  Do you get sick of seeing boring breakfasts on paper plates, snacks in my dry/cracked hands, and random cat pics?  Or should I go recipe format?  Sometimes I like the simplicity of a recipe with a short explanation and a really awesome picture.  Or maybe just stick with both formats?  Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated!!    


Black beans and cilantro, again? March 30, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Fruit,Life,Meatless,Products,Sandwiches,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 6:18 pm

Another day in the life… woot woot, right? 

Breakfast was something I rarely have… pancakes!  I first saw these over on HEABbut the original recipe comes from Pimp My Protein ShakeThe recipe calls for 1 egg + 1 white, but I wasn’t sure the yolk would whip up very well, so I just used 2 egg whites.  I also subbed whole wheat flour for the coconut flour and blueberries for the blackberries.  I couldn’t decide on which topping I wanted, so I used vanilla Chobani on two, Naturally More PB on two, and raw almond butter on one.  I also added a little bit of light syrup for moisture.  The PB was definitely the best topping.  These were really tasty, but the texture was different than I expected.  It was very light, souffle-like, and egg-y.  One downside, though, is they didn’t keep me full for very long (try 2 hours or so…).  However, I have been abnormally starving today. 

Starving, you say?  TJ’s trail mix to the rescue.  Yes, I only had this one handful to tide me over till lunch. 

Lunch was a gorgeous, artsy snack plate of sorts.  Playing with your food is so fun, especially when all you have is time on your hands!  Starting at the 11:00 position and going clockwise (as if you can’t see what it is…) we have: horseradish pub cheese, carrots, pineapple, like 4 pretzel slims to fill space, TJ’s organic tofu veggie burger clone from yesterday, Viactiv calcium chew, and baby dills.  Hot, cold, crunchy, soft, sweet, salty… *Love.* 

So, after lunch I finally tackled the last of the “piles.”  This annoying pile contains randon things from our HUGE pantry and back room at our house – two things we don’t have here.  And that big cardboard box and purple crate might be full of shoes. 

Good lord, it was only a couple hours later and I was freaking hungry again.  I just felt this hollow hunger all daaaay.  I tried drinking some more water and coffee to fill the void.  Yeah, right.  I succombed to the hunger and fed it this Luna bar, hoping it’s 180 cals, 9 g protein, and 3 g fiber would do the trick.  Eh, not so much.  The flavor is OK, not very smores-esque, though. 

Dinner was another black bean and cilantro dream.  Along with sweet potatoes, I would say this soup has 3 of my favorite ingredients ever.  You can find the recipe HERE, over on Two Pea and Their Pod.  I made a couple changes – I used 2 cans of beans instead of 3, omitted the red pepper because I forgot it at the store, and used a little Frank’s instead of the red pepper flakes.  I also stirred in the cilantro at the very end.  This soup was delicious and full of color.  Unfortunately, I didn’t taste it before I added the Frank’s, because if I did, I would have known it was plenty hot already!  Yiiiikes, I’m still sweating a little!  I used 2 cans mild Rotel and 1 can medium, thinking it wouldn’t be too hot…. wrong!  I think I ate my weight in sour cream and crushed blue corn tortilla chips to tame the heat.   

Hopefully the hunger will stay at bay for awhile!!  Until tomorrow, I bid you all farewell.


Oh, Rachael… March 29, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Chicken,Favorites,Meatless,Products,Sandwiches,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 6:31 pm

Howdy, lads and lassies.  I apologize again for the angry post yesterday.  I called the internet company this morning, and the asshole tech basically took a complete hands-off approach, telling me I need to “call the manufacturer of my computer” because it’s not the internet connection that’s the problem, all the while talking to me like I’m some kind of computer-illiterate moron.  Whoopee.  So, after hanging up on that ray of sunshine, I reset the modem and router (again), and the connection has held all day *knock on wood.*  I have been uploading today’s foodie pics throughout the day, hoping that somehow that would make a difference.  I still had some issues but whateverrrr… I will stop boring you with the details. 


Breakfast today was a whole wheat English muffin and 1 egg + 1 white scrambled with a touch of feta and topped with Frankie drops.  This really hit the spot after having sweet oat concoctions all week.   

Lunch was the last of the Red Pepper Tomato soup (I know, you’re heartbroken…) with Frankie, parm, and half of a chopped roma tomato for texture.  On zee left, you will see a TJ’s Organic Tofu Veggie Burger on a sandwich thin w/spinach and BBQ sauce.  Oh myyyy, was this good!!  I found them in the fridge section of the store, next to the sushi rolls… they come only TWO to a package, though (boo).  The flavor and texture was pretty much like a breaded chicken patty, but only 110 calories! 

Afternoon snackage was a bunch of baby dills with Horseradish Pub Cheese from, you guessed it, TJ’s.  This stuff packs a punch!

Dinner comes to you from the ever-annoying-but-actually-knows-what-she’s-doing Rachael Ray.  I’ve made quite a few of her recipes, and none of them have let me down.  I can’t tell you how good this was!!  I love sweet/savory combinations as well as a mix of textures.  This dish had it all.  The sweet, soft pineapple, paired with the heat of the peppers, slight crunch of the onions, freshness of the cilantro, and creaminess of the black beans… pure bliss.  I will say, though, I did not use jerk marinade.  I had this bottle sitting around and decided to use it instead of buying a separate bottle of jerk marinade.  I did add some Frank’s along with the sauce to make up for the heat.

Pineapple Jerk Chicken and Rice
Modified from Everyday With Rachael Ray, April 2010 issue (in the “Menu Planner” insert)

Brown rice (I made about 3 servings worth)
Extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes (I used much less)
salt and pepper
1/2 fresh, whole pineapple, chopped into pieces a bit smaller than the chicken
1/2 cup jerk marinade, such as Lawry’s (or similar sweet/sour/hot sauce of your choice)
1 – 15 ounce can black beans
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1.  Cook the rice according to package directions.
2.  Saute the onion and jalapeno in a large skillet coated in olive oil, until browned, about 5-7 minutes.  Transfer to bowl and set aside.
3.  Add a little more oil to the pan and saute the chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper) for about 5 minutes. 
4.  Add the pineapple and jerk marinade, simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
5.  Stir in the onion mixture, black beans, and cilantro and cook until everything is heated through.  Season with more salt and pepper, if desired, and serve over rice.     


Weekend update March 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — WannaBe Chef @ 9:54 pm

**Disclaimer:  This post has taken approx. 3 hours to write due to shitty, horrible internet service and multiple “IO errors” (whatever the hell that means) while uploading pictures.  To say I’m pissed and frustrated would be a gross understatement.  So, I am apologizing now for the fragmented, off-centered crap that follows.  I’m leaving it written as I started it… hours ago. 

Hello bloggies, family, and randoms.  I’m gonna cut right to the chase since I have quite a few pics to share and am planning on budgeting at least an hour to upload them all (uugghh, all for you, though!)


Saturday started out with another breakfast cookie… much better than the first one I made!

Made with 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats, 1 Tbsp Naturally More PB, 1/2 scoop Jillian Michael's Vanilla Creme Whey Protein, splash of almond milk, and cinnamon.

After breakfast, Wayne and I headed out for TRADER JOE’S!!!!!!  Woohooo!  There are FIVE of them in MN, and we went to the St. Paul one (about 20 minutes away).  It was suuuuper busy, so we only made one trip through the aisles.  I will be going solo on future visits, just FYI.  We got home, starving, and tore into some awesome Spicy California rolls.  YUH-UMMMM.

Saturday’s dinner was some Dover Sole (a white fish, new to me) we picked up at TJ’s.  The package said pan-searing was the best way to cook it.  I dredged it in a mixture of flour, bread crumbs, and seasonings, then pan-fried it in a little olive oil.  Well, after all the fish juice from the package spilled all over my counter/cabinet/floor (AAAHHHH!), the fish stuck all in the pan and totally fell apart.  The oil splattered all over my stovetop, and then I dropped the dirty spatula on the floor and watched breading and oil fly all over.  Not to mention, the frozen veggie mix I made as a side dish tasted like ass.  I was so pissed about the whole thing, I refused to take a picture!  After that disaster, we went and saw The Bounty Hunter, only to return to a fishy, rank smelling home.  Ewwwww.  Ok, enough of Saturday!


Sunday started with another oat concoction…

 ***OK, after FIVE attempts, the stupid ass picture does not want to upload.  So you’ll have to use your imagination about what a bowl of oats, almond milk, pro powder, strawberries, and TJ’s raw crunchy AB looks like.

The day continued with a little more shopping and my purchase of this freaking adorable, very spring-like purse.  Obsessed.

It's more purple-y in real life

Ok, I’m back after about an hour of trying to upload pictures and it saying “IO Error,” whatever that means.  Needless to say, a lot of F-bombs have been dropped.  Anyway, I finally joined the smoothie club and whipped one up this afternoon…

It was made with this stuff…

a handful of TJ's spinach, about 1 cup of TJ's Very Cherry Berry Mix, almond milk, and a touch of Splenda

Dinner was pizza made with TJ’s whole wheat pizza crust, turkey bacon, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, and a mixture of mozz/parm/feta cheeses


Baby steps March 26, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Chicken,Life,Oatmeal,Products,Soup,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 8:35 pm

Another day in the life of a non-working, MI transplant…  Hmm, how long are you all gonna stick around for this?  Lol.  I’m kind of going in the direction of the food-diary-style posts since I have nothing better to do (I am not photographing and mentioning everything I eat, though!).  Hopefully this doesn’t bore you all to death, although, I’ve said before that some of my favorite blogs are this style.  Anyway, on another note, I did venture out all by myself today!  Shocking!  Don’t get too excited, it was only to Wal-Mart for some random things such as rugs, cleaning supplies, batteries, shampoo, etc.  It was a very short trip, but it did bring me just a tiny sense of accomplishment.  Enough babbling, let’s start with breakfast… the very-famous-in-blogland Breakfast Cookie, created by The FitnessistaI used old fashioned oats, Naturally More PB, 1 packet of Beneprotein (don’t ask), Splenda, cocoa powder, and skim milk.  Yuh-um!  This was very tasty, however, not as voluminous as a regular bowl of oats. 

Son wants some

Lunch was thrown together quickly, as I was starving after my Wal-Mart trip.  We have: more Red Pepper and Tomato soup with Frankie and parm, leftover veggies, and an English muffin with chive cream cheese (excellent dunked into the soup!)

As another reminder of what I’m missing back in MI at my former job, I bought some of these and had one after lunch.

My afternoon snack was the other half of the avocado from yesterday, topped with a sprinkle of salt and Frankie drops.  I ate most of it plain but then ended up having a slice of turkey with the rest.  Avocado has been an acquired taste for me… something about it tastes plasticky to me.  But they really are a healthy food, so I’m workin’ on it!

Wayne and I decided to go to Old Chicago for dinner.  Wayne had a stromboli and I had the Chicken Rustica, which is “Our marinated grilled chicken breast served with our homemade Mediterranean tomato olive cruda and a side of fresh steamed vegetables and garlic bread.”  The chicken and broccoli were cooked perfectly and the olives were quite tasty.  However, between the garlic bread and raw garlic in the olive mixture, I think we’ll be safe from any vampires for a looong time.  I’m also learning that in my old age, I can no longer tolerate an entire head of steamed broccoli and peppers in one sitting 😦  The tum-tum was a little bothered once we got home… TMI, perhaps?

That’s all for tonight, folks!  Tomorrow holds possibilities of TJ’s!!!!!!!!


Amanda, homemaker March 25, 2010

Filed under: Beef,Life,Meatless,Salad,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 7:52 pm

Is “homemaker” even a PC word anymore?  Is that even what it’s called?  Can I be one without having kids… or a real house?  I need to know these things.  Today was my first day of being here all day “alone.”  Wayne went to work and reportedly had lots of fun with the traffic.  I, on the other hand, spent the day inside (with the exception of an exhilarating walk down the hall to the mailbox and trash shoot… yes I said trash shoot.)  I did manage to make multiple lists (try five), get our closet and bathroom organized, forget to watch my old soap opera that starts at freaking eleven AM here, and make a nice dinner.  Son is starting to return to his normal self – he’s officially off MI time and on MN time since he did his usual wake-up-mommy-and-daddy-at-4:30 AM routine and managed to sleep for most of the day.  I got up at 6:30 with Wayne and decided I should just stay up.  I had some coffee and the exact same breakfast as yesterday – oats with PB and strawberries, my new favorite combination.  Lunch was a tribute to my former, daily free soup and salad at work.  I’m really gonna miss that!!  I haven’t bought salad in sooo long. 


In the salad:  Romaine, 1/2 an avocado (they’re growing on me!), cukes, carrots, pickles (*love*), parmesan, Annie’s Light Honey Mustard Vinaigrette, and for old times sake – McCormick’s Salad Supreme seasoning (Erin, RD, I pretended it was from your bottle.)  The soup was an organic Red Pepper and Tomato blend that I topped with parm and Frankie from a fresh, new bottle.  The soup is quite good, although I didn’t get much pepper taste, mostly tomato.  And you also see a slice of pumpernickel for dipping.  Yuh-um.   

Dinner was this:

Mini Meatloaves, made with lean ground beef, onions, garlic, ketchup, BBQ, soy sauce, an egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and grill seasoning… baked at 375 for about 30-40 minutes.  On the side, you have an organic boxed spinach/mushroom risotto (not impressed, it was very garlicky) topped with parm and tomatoes, and green/yellow bean/baby carrot mix (the entire package contained only 6 baby carrots, what a rip-off!). 

I am loving the natural light for pictures, however, the windows are in the front of our townhouse, so I’m sure the neighbors already think I’m nuts…  Anywayzzz, that’s all for now, lovepies.  Stay tuned for another fun-filled day!  Maybe tomorrow, I will venture out!


Back in civilization. March 24, 2010

Filed under: Life,Ziggy — WannaBe Chef @ 8:45 pm

Today is day 5 or so of being in MN, and we finally have TV and internet.  I feel a little ashamed for being so attached to these things, but daaang, I was starting to lose my mind a little bit.  I’ve been getting by using Wayne’s crackberry to check my email very quickly (since prying it out of Wayne’s hands is quite difficult…), and we’ve been watching movies every night (thanks to free movies courtesy of our apt complex!) 

Anyway, to back-track a little…. the last couple days at our house went by really fast.  The moving company came Friday morning and had our lives packed into boxes after about 9.5 hours.  Wayne, Zig, and I were left with only a few necessities that we could fit in the jeep.  Here’s what our last night looked like:

Sleeping in our completely empty house was very strange.  We got up at 4:40 AM, took our last showers, packed up the jeep, and drove away from our home at 6 AM sharp.  It was really, really sad for me, and I had a nice cry till we got to I-94.  I purposely didn’t even bother to put in my contacts for this reason, ha.  So yeah, Ziggy was such a good boy during the entire 10.5 hour drive.  He mostly stayed in his cage but came out every now and then to look around, sit in the back of the car, and take a little walk around.  The drive was looong, and for the exception of driving through the snow/rain/wind/ice in Chicago, it was bearable.  I, of course, packed a nice cooler and bag of goodies to eat on the way.

Turkey and cheese on sandwich thins

Combos, coffee, carrot sticks, condiments, oh my!

We arrived Saturday afternoon and slept on the air mattress for another night.  The movers arrived at 8 AM sharp on Sunday with all our stuff.  I was sorely mistaken thinking that the packing process would be the worst.  Turns out, the unpacking process was one of the most overwhelming things I’ve ever experienced.  First of all, it was basically a race between them bringing in the boxes and us unpacking them.  Secondly, trying to decide where a house-full of two people’s stuff is gonna go literally made my brain hurt.  3.5 hours later, we were left with pile upon pile of stuff.  I spent the remainder of the day just on the kitchen while Wayne was busy upstairs.  I just couldn’t believe how much stuff came out of our average-sized kitchen that all had to be put in a new place.  Uuuggghh… here’s what it looked like, mid-organizing…

Pssh, this pic does not even do it justice.

By the end of the day, we were both exhausted.  Unfortunately, we had no choice but to drag ourselves to the store because we needed a shower curtain and toilet paper, two things that are sort of necessary.  Dinner was a quick salad and frozen, sodium-laden, skillet concoction of shrimp, pasta, asparagus and a tomato basil sauce.  It was kind of bland but sufficed.

The food has been less-than-stellar since we got here.  Can we say Buffalo Wild Wings, hot dogs, and egg sandwiches?  We finally got groceries yesterday at a fun store called Cub Foods (it was no Meijer, though 😦 ).  Interestingly, you have to bag your own groceries there.  Anyway, I only have one more pic to share, and it’s of my very delicious breakfast this morning.

Oats with milk, cinnamon, Splenda, Naturally More PB, and strawberries

Ok, so this post has taken like over an hour to write… like, almost 2 hours because the pics are taking foreverrrr to download.  Don’t get my wrong, I’m beyond thankful to have internet, but dang, I hope it’s not always this slow…. With that said, I have no idea what I’ve written, but I’m tired and my neck hurts, so byebye for now loves!