WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Hump Day July 21, 2010

Filed under: Fruit,Oatmeal,Pasta,Salad — WannaBe Chef @ 4:15 pm

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  I’ve been up to my ears in wedding projects for my sister.  I fully plan on blogging about all my little projects eventually, but not now since there’s a 0.1% chance that she reads my blog.  Anyway, I have some food for you all to look at.  Ready?  Mmmkay, here goes… 

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Below you will see possibly the best salad I’ve ever had.  It contained:  Romaine, leftover corn on the cob, leftover reheated steak, avocado, snap peas, cucumbers, lemon juice and BBQ sauce.  So freaking good.  

This was a lovely little dinner I whipped up that same day.  First I made some couscous and sauteed up a big chicken breast that I diced and seasoned.  Then I stirred some salsa, seasonings, leftover corn on the cob, red bell peppers, and snap peas into the couscous.  Lastly, I topped it with cucumbers, avocado, feta and hot sauce.  Very easy and very tasty! 

Here’s last night’s dinner… mini turkey meatloaves (turkey, minced onions, salsa, bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt), garlic bread, and veggies with hummus.

This little gem was my breakfast this morning.  I was inspired by a tweet from Miranda to make some blueberry softserve.  So on top of my plain oatmeal with peanut butter, I put a big blob of creamy blueberries and bananas!  Yep, it’s just frozen bluberries with a couple frozen banana slices… all processed in the food processor.  Delicious.  

Lastly, it’s our first tomato harvest!!  Haha, I have been babying our little tomato plant for MONTHS now, and it has finally given us something!  We will be enjoying these in a big salad tonight… I hope they’re good!

 

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 a word… June 16, 2010

Filed under: Fruit,Sweets — WannaBe Chef @ 8:03 pm

Hello everyone!  This is gonna be quick because I don’t have a whole lot to say AND because So You Think You Can Dance is on!  I’ve been busy doing laundry, cleaning and getting groceries in preparation for my visitors tomorrow!  Wayne gets back from his work trip at 12:30, and my mom and aunt get in at 5:30.  Driving to the airport has become my job, woooo 🙂  So anyway, I’ve already made two yummy sweet treats for the weekend, but I’m not posting them now because my mom reads this and I know it will bug her not knowing, muahahahaa.  So I’m gonna share one of my evening snacks from last night… Banana CHERRY softserve, topped with a sprinkle of coconut.  Yum yum.

Would you like to see my pathetic lunch and dinner?  Breakfast was sooo unattractive that I won’t even bother.

Leftover summer squash, leftover potatoes w/cream cheese and salsa, lunch meat

Morningstar Chick'n patty on a Thin w/mayo and lettuce, horse carrots, hummus

Posting from now till Monday may be a little sparse for obvious reasons 🙂  Alright, I’m off to watch the rest of SYTYCD!  If you watch the show, who’s your favorite all-star?  No question, my favorites are MARK and ALLISON.  Did you know Mark dances for Lady Gaga?  🙂 🙂

 

Life changing dessert June 13, 2010

Filed under: Fruit,Sweets — WannaBe Chef @ 10:07 am

Hello, friends!  It’s been a minute.  Let’s do a quick weekend review before I discuss an amazing dessert I finally made last night.  Friday I may have eaten out twice… lunch at Panera and dinner at a new-to-us place called Enjoy!  Panera was obviously delicious (Stawberry Poppyseed Salad, what?).  Enjoy!, however, was quite disappointing.  It was a little more fancy and pricey than we’re used to, but we were OK with that since we heard the food was great.  I got the saffron risotto with chicken and asparagus, and Wayne got the lobster ravioli.  First of all, the portions were quite small for the price.  Wayne’s pasta was a little chewy, aka undercooked, and he ate the whole small plate in like 5 bites.  My risotto was also a tad undercooked, and while the flavor was OK, it was sitting in a couple tablespoons of oil/grease.  It was pretty much like glorified rice-a-roni.  On a positive note, the service and bread basket were good! 

Saturday we tried to find a farmer’s market that supposedly started, but it was nowhere to be found 😦  I was sad.  Instead, we dropped some $$ at Cub on enough groceries for a few days until Wayne leaves yet again (note: we spent less on food for 3-4 days than we did on the meal at Enjoy!).  He picked out what he wanted for dinner, and to no one’s surprise, it revolved around meat!  I made cube steak with mushroom gravy and green beans.  It was actually very tasty for just throwing it together.  The picture is really bad, though, so I’ll spare you.  Then, I made the best decision I’ve made in a long time.  I decided to try some Banana Soft Serve.  This stuff is ALL OVER the blogosphere, all the time.  I’ve said before that I don’t like a dominant banana flavor in my smoothies, so I have always steered clear of the soft serve since it only has one ingredient: frozen bananas!  Well, curiosity got the best of me and I threw some frozen banana slices into my mini food processor (along with some PB and a splash of milk to get it going).  Let me tell you, people, my life has been changed.  It barely tastes “banana-y,” but instead like light and fluffy ice cream!  I’m not 100% sure who started the Banana Soft Serve movement.  After googling, my best guess is that it came from Choosing RawClick that link for an awesome step-by-step tutorial and amazing description!  Please correct me if I’m wrong about the originator! 

 

Fruits and veggies galore June 2, 2010

Filed under: Favorites,Fruit,Meatless,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 7:42 pm

Just another day of eats for you!  Breakfast was another oatmeal pancake, so I spared you yet another pic, even though this one had strawberries on it! 

Lunch was a big veggie plate.  The cucumber salad was seriously to die for.  Everything in it was super fresh and it really, really hit the spot.  I can’t wait to make more tomorrow!  Oh, and I also had some red peppers and hummus.   

Cucumber Salad

  • 1/3 of a big seedless cucumber
  • 1 medium prefectly ripe on-the-vine tomato
  • a few slices of sweet onion
  • 1/2 ounce crumbled feta
  • good drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • drizzle of agave nectar to cut the vinegar
  • salt and pepper

A little while later, I had an unpictured Archer Farm’s fruit bar and this bowl of fruit.  Fruit quota?  Done and done.  

Nectarines, strawberries and chia seeds, oh my!

Dinner was a baked sweet potato (1 hour 15 min at 375) topped with leftover Channa Masala, sour cream and cilantro.  On the side is literally half of one of those giant bags of spinach I bought yesterday, sauteed in 1 tsp olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, then topped with a squirt of lemon juice. 

Speaking of 2 bags of spinach, here’s a random question… do you guys know what BOGO means??  I used it a few times in my post yesterday, and someone mentioned to me that they didn’t know what it was.  It means “Buy One, Get One” if you don’t already know 🙂 

Wow, so I ate a lot of fruits and veggies today.  But that’s what happens when you have a fridge full of them and you’re the only one here to eat it all!  Alright, bloggies, gotta back to watching So You Think You Can Dance!

 

Mango alert! May 20, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Fruit,Meatless,Oatmeal — WannaBe Chef @ 6:51 pm

I’ve been seeing these new (to me) pancakes floating around the ‘sphere lately, specifically on Kath’s, Jenna’s, and Kailey’s blogs, so I whipped one up this morning.  It was definitely hearty, chewy, dense and a nice twist on the traditional pancake!  Mine was just a teeny touch on the dry side, but that’s probably because I didn’t add the mashed banana that most of the above recipes call for.  Next time, I’ll probably add a splash of milk to thin it out a little bit.

Oatmeal Pancake
makes one serving

Combine in a bowl and chill overnight:
1/3 cup quick oats
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
pinch nutmeg

In the morning, the mixture will be very thick – add a splash of milk if desired.  Spread “batter” on a hot skillet that’s been coated in cooking spray.  Cook till golden brown on both sides.  Top as desired (Mine has PB, banana, and light syrup!)

Dinner was a delectable, summer-like quesadilla.  I got this idea from a random magazine clipping somewhere along the way.  The flavor combination of the sweet mango, creamy/spicy cheese and fresh cilantro was amaaazeRebecca, are you out there?  There’s MANGOES in these!  🙂 

Mango Quesadillas

INGREDIENTS:
2 ripe mangoes, roughly chopped
6-8 small, whole wheat tortillas
6-8 slices reduced-fat pepper jack cheese (or shredded if you prefer!)
handful of cilantro, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:
-Tear up a slice of cheese and distibute evenly over a tortilla.  Follow with cilantro, then mango pieces.  Top with more cheese if desired, then another tortilla.
-Cook on a hot skillet coated in cooking spray (or a little canola oil) until browned.  Flip quesadilla carefully and brown the other side.  Make sure the cheese is all melty inside!
-Remove from pan and let sit for a minute or two.  Cut into wedges and serve.    

I had a little bit of mango leftover, so I mixed it with some Garden Fresh salsa (seriously the BEST salsa in the world, and it’s made in MI too!!) and more cilantro.  I found some blue corn flax chips waaaay in the back of the cupboard and had a little after-dinner snack.  YUMMMM, must make huge vat of this salsa!

 

The smoothie bandwagon May 7, 2010

Filed under: Fruit,Smoothies — WannaBe Chef @ 4:15 pm

I am not a fan of drinking calories.  I would much rather eat, any day.  However, after all this blog reading, I have to say… I may be a partial convert… in the form of smoothies, that is.  Yes, smoothies can be very high in calories, but they don’t have to be!  And unlike a venti white chocolate mocha double shot latte frappucino, a smoothie can be chocked full of healthy, nutrient dense ingredients.  I’ve been experimenting with different combinations, and while I don’t have the coveted, multi-hundred-dollar Vita-Mix, my creations have been coming out pretty good.  I started small with the pre-packaged, frozen Yoplait Smoothie mixes, which I highly recommend.  Wayne begs for one every night, and we both like the Triple Berry flavor the best.  (I am not being paid by Yoplait for my kind words, just FYI!) 

*****

My next smoothie attempt, which I’ve blogged about before (here and here), was based on the chocolate cherry bomb from Kristen’s Raw.  I have truly become addicted to these and many of them have gone unblogged as to not bore you with repetition. 

My version is not exactly like Kristen’s but usually contains: 
*1/2 – 1 cup frozen cherries
*1 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
*4-6 frozen banana slices
*1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
*1/2 tsp maca powder
*enough water to get it blended 

Today I added in a handful of spinach.  I really enjoy the bitterness of the cocoa with the sweetness and tart of the cherries.  This snack-sized serving contains only 139 calories and helps this veggie girl get in some fruit!     

This one was a little high on the cocoa to cherry ratio!

Last night, I decided to branch out and try a new concoction.  I saved this post from Pimp My Protein Shake and had all the ingredients, so I gave it a go.  Welcome my new favorite… the strawberry lime coconut smoothie!  Wow, was this good!!  It was sweet and tart, kind of tropical, and I even liked the chew of the coconut that didn’t get entirely blended. 

In my smoothie: 
*1 cup frozen strawberries
*2 Tbsp sweetened coconut
*juice from 1 lime
*1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
*Splenda (yes, Splenda, it’ll be OK…)
*
enough water to get it blended

This smoothie has about 170 calories.  As soon as I get more strawberries and limes, I’m making more of these!!   

More smoothies to come, I’m sure!  Happy weekend, everyone 🙂