WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

A must-make meal June 30, 2010

Filed under: Meatless,Sandwiches — WannaBe Chef @ 6:28 pm

Let me start by saying how excited I am over this dinner.  I’ve been pretty uninspired with cooking lately, and this meal definitely recharged me!  I’ve had the recipe saved from Brandi’s blog for awhile now and finally got around to making it.  People, you must make this.  If you like falafel and sweet potatoes, you will be in heaven.  Not only are they healthy and easy to make, but they’re just about the cutest little things I’ve ever seen! 

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel
Recipe found HERE on Brandi’s blog Bran Appetit


  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and peeled
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Mash sweet potatoes with chickpeas
  3. Add seasonings and flax, mash together
  4. Spray baking sheet or line with foil (I lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray). Roll mixture into small patties and place on baking sheet (I got 28 baby patties).
  5. Brush or spray with olive oil
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes and let sit on baking sheet a few minutes before serving
  7. Serve on pitas with toppings such as tomato, lettuce, red onion, feta, tzatziki, and hot sauce!

Money shot! As you can see, I left some of the chickpeas whole 🙂

Seriously awesome, delicious, amazing, fantastic…. I was full, but this pita was so good, I probably could have had a whole second one.  I refrained but did go back for a couple of these little bites!  🙂

I cannot wait to have leftovers tomorrow, woooo!  Oh, and my little tzatziki sauce consisted of:

  • 1 container Greek yogurt
  • diced, seedless cucumber
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • drizzle of agave

Dress nightmares and purple tulle June 29, 2010

Filed under: Life,Meatless,Side dish,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 7:36 pm

Hola, bloglettes!  Sorry for leaving you post-less yesterday.  I was much too mentally exhausted from trying on at least 30 dresses in hopes of finding something to wear to:  1 bachelorette party, 2 wedding rehearsals, 1 wedding, and 1 wedding shower.  Shoot me now.  I don’t see why it’s so difficult to find a couple affordable, summery, appropriate dresses for a tall girl.  Not being a “junior” anymore, but also not being 50 years old left me with few options.  Aaaanyway… good news is that after many purchases and returns, I finally have the outfit lineup set.  Now only if my skin wasn’t see-through and I had some cute shoes…. The errands continued today, and I got a lot accomplished (including groceries, finally) woooot!  That’s where the purple tulle comes in.  I’m not gonna say anymore, though, on the 0.05% chance my sister actually reads my blog.  Unlike yesterday, I did manage to snap a couple pics of my food today.

Breakfast was comprised of the few groceries I had in the house… 2 over-easy eggs and 2 pieces of toast.  I doused the eggies in Frank’s after I took the pic since the red stuff can look a little disturbing at times.

Lunch was thrown together veeery quickly once I got home… I was on the verge of hangry.  Monster salad contains:  Romaine, pea-less sugar snap pea pods, turkey, Sabra Classic hummus, Cholula (my first time having this, yum!), and a little light Ranch. 

Din din was this delicious, pre-seasoned salmon… with a pop-up timer?!  Has anyone out there ever seen a salmon fillet with a pop-up timer?!

I also whipped up these little gems…

These were beyond fantastic.  Here’s what I did:

  1. Sautee veggies and seasonings of choice – I used mushrooms, broccoli, roasted red peppers, and onions seasoned with S&P.
  2. Cut a baguette into slices on a severe angle to get the most surface area.  Line up on a baking sheet covered in foil.
  3. Spread each slice of bread with a little real mayo and minced garlic.
  4. Top with the sauteed veggies and some cheese – I used feta and mozzarella.
  5. Broil for a couple minutes until cheese browns. 

Here’s the recipe I used as my outline… I pretty much used all the same ingredients but changed up the method a little.

Mayo might sound strange (it did to me at least), but it was definitely the clutch ingredient and paired beautifully with the garlic, veggies and cheese.  These were so easy to make, and I can think of a ton of different combinations that would be equally as yummy!  


  • Are you tan?  Have you ever had a spray tan or “mystic” tan? 
  • Do you enjoy wearing dresses?
  • What’s your favorite hot sauce? 

Not too shabby June 27, 2010

Filed under: Pasta — WannaBe Chef @ 6:33 pm

Hello, ladies and gents(?).  I’m waist-high in maid of honor wedding duties here.  How has your weekend been?  Of course, I managed to find time to EAT today!  My farmer’s market strawberries were going south fast, so I took one for the team and ate the rest of them a-top an oatmeal pancake this morning.  It wasn’t a difficult task. 

One berry per bite!

Lunch was at Chipotle, and dinner was inspired by this recipe, found in one of those baby magazines you get in the check-out line:

I made some modifications, and didn’t really go by the measurements listed because I had limited ingredients.  I used the recipe as more of an outline and general idea.  Here’s what I did…

  1. Cook up some whole-wheat angel hair pasta
  2. Sautee finely chopped turkey bacon and onions in a dab of olive oil until browned
  3. Once the pasta is done, drain and set aside.  In the same pan make a roux with approx. 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp flour.  Add some skim milk (1/2 – 3/4 cup maybe), whisk whisk whisk to avoid lumps, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil to thicken. 
  4. Add some fresh or frozen peas and edamame (about 1 cup total).  Then add the bacon and onion mixture and pasta.  Stir to combine and heat through.  Stir in lots of parmesan cheese, and adjust seasonings if needed. 

Not too shabby!  Now I’m off to edit my list of “wedding duties” and to-dos.  I can’t believe it’s almost JULY!  Toodles for now!


Farmer’s Market Finds June 26, 2010

Filed under: Fruit,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 6:20 pm

Hiiiiiii!  Today I’m going to try and give you a more “regular” post.  Likey?  So I finally got myself to a farmer’s market today.  Here’s what we got:

  • Beets – $2
  • Gigantic, crispy, sugar snap peas – $3
  • Red potatoes – $3
  • Strawberries – $4.50

Total of $12.50.  Does that seem a little pricey or no?  I don’t have much to compare it to…

Seriously, just look at those.  They tasted just as good as they looked… and worth every penny!  Lunch consisted of a leftover half of a sweet potato with Sabra Greek Olive hummus, leftover asparagus, and market berries and peas. 

For dinner, I wanted to do something with the beets and potatoes.  Since I’ve never cooked fresh beets before, I googled and then decided to just roast/steam them in a covered baking dish with a little water and seasoning.  I cooked them at 400 for about 1 hour until tender, then remove the skins.  I also decided I didn’t want to waste all the greens, so I sauteed/steamed them with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and a splash of red wine vinegar.  The potatoes were simply roasted with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 


Beets:  Way yummy
Potatoes:  Very delicious (especially with the ketchup I added later!)
Beet greens:  Ehhhh… it was a texture thing

Two outta three ain’t bad!


Just Poppy-ing in! June 24, 2010

Filed under: Sweets — WannaBe Chef @ 5:32 pm

Hello, my dears!  I hope you all liked my trilogy of posts about my weekend.  I just wanted to share one more thing I made…

Lemon Poppy Seed Snack Cake
Recipe found on an insert in a magazine (probably can be found on allbran.com)


1 cup all-purpose flour (I may have used half wheat flour, can’t remember!)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 cup All-Bran Original or All-Bran Buds
1/4 cup fat-free milk
2 egg whites
3 Tbsp veg oil (I used 2 Tbsp applesauce + 1 Tbsp oil)
1 cup (8 oz) low-fat lemon yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp powdered sugar


  1. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt and poppy seeds.  Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, combine cereal, milk, egg whites, oil, lemon zest, and yogurt.  Let sit for about 5 minutes or until cereal softens.  Add flour mixture and stir just until combined.  Spread evenly in 8×8 pan coated in cooking spray.
  3. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and dust with powdered sugar.  (I dusted mine twice, and it just melted into the cake both times.  Yes, it was completely cooled!) 

Light, lemony and not overly sweet!  Yum yum 🙂


Our First Visitors: Part 3 June 23, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Chicken — WannaBe Chef @ 6:04 pm

Today, I bring you the third and final installment of my long weekend with mom and auntie:  Sunday.  We started out with a bang of a breakfast… Overnight French Toast.  This time, I used a loaf of multigrain bread that had sunflower seeds and honey in it (!!).  On the side and top is Morningstar sausages, fruit and syrup.  Soooo yuumy.

We didn’t really have anything planned for Sunday, so we decided to go mini-golfing… something we all used to do everytime we went on vacation as kids!  If you don’t hear from me again, it’s because my mom killed me for posting a picture with her in it.  But technically, she said don’t post the pics of her from the festival!   

After that, we had lunch at Wayne’s favorite place on the freaking planet:  Buffalo Wild Wings, aka B-Dubs.  No pictures to share, though.  I just had a chicken salad anyway.  We also went to Coldstone (!) for lunch dessert and rented some movies.  I had the tart and tangy berry yogurt with Oreos mixed in.  I seriously slacked with the pics here, my apologies.  We were all pretty tired when we got back.  We watched Alice in Wonderland and all of us were struggling to keep our eyes open.  The movie was pretty disappointing!  Didn’t like it.  Awhile after that (I’m talking like 8PM since we were all so full), it was time for dinner.  For the last supper, I had my favorite chicken ever planned:  Bourbon Chicken.  SO.  GOOD. 

Then we watched our second movie, The Hangover, which mom/auntie hadn’t seen yet.  I don’t think that movie will ever get old.  You must see it if you haven’t, it’s hilarious.  We called it an early night since the fam’s flight left at 5:41 AM.  Yes, that’s right, we got up just past 3 AM.  It was awesome.  We said our goodbyes and that’s it!  It was a great weekend and I’m so glad we finally had our first visitors!  Thanks for coming out Mom and Auntie!!


Our first visitors: Part 2 June 22, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Life — WannaBe Chef @ 3:39 pm

Part 2 = Saturday.  First, we had to start off the day with a proper breakfast.  I had my Quick Crustless Quiche planned, so we had that with some toast and fruit.  I’ve made this quiche many times before, and this one had spinach, onions, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and turkey bacon.  I topped mine with lots of salsa. 

We decided Saturday would be “downtown Minneapolis” day.  Wayne did some googling and found out that the Stone Arch Festival was going on, so that’s where we ended up! 

There were a TON of vendor booths full of pottery, paintings, and everything in between.  My cousin is going to be a pilot and is obsessed with everything to do with planes, so my aunt bought him this plane… handmade from a Sprite can!

We also dabbled in some festival food, of course.  First up was homemade kettle corn.  It might not look like much, but this was hands-down, no question, the BEST popcorn I’ve ever had.  Ever.  It was very light and crispy with just a hint of sweetness, therefore making it extremely addicting!  I would have been happy just eating this for the rest of the day.

Then we saw a booth labeled “Walleye on a Stick,” and Wayne couldn’t resist.  I had one of the little nuggets, and it was amazing, crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. 

We wandered around for awhile longer and stopped at a very busy bar/restaurant for lunch.  Can’t remember the name of it for the life of me, though. 

Adult beverages

Chili cheese fries and chips and salsa shared among the table

After our fat lunch, we walked for what seemed like hourssss trying to find a museum that Wayne saw online.  We finally found it, and I thought it was just OK.  These are some pics from the walk and from way up high in the museum.  The view was pretty spectacular!

Whew, that was a lot of pictures!  I do have a couple pics of Wayne, the fam and I, but I think my mom would fly back here and kill me if I posted them!  Perhaps I will be brave and post the ones I took on Sunday 🙂  Stay tuned for the last part of the weekend!