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… 


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!


Grocery Strike July 15, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Oatmeal,Sandwiches,Turkey,Vegetable,Ziggy — WannaBe Chef @ 8:06 pm

Hello, friends.  I have random eats for you today.  I’ll start with last night’s dinner.  I’ve kinda been on grocery strike all week (aka, I just didn’t feel like going shopping).  All I had in the fresh produce department were 3 zucchinis from the farmer’s market that needed to be used up.  I sent out a plea via Twitter for ideas, and my blog friend Jill gave me the great idea of making zucchini noodles.  All you do is scrape the zucchini with a potato peeler to get long “noodles.”  Once you hit the seeds, you stop.  Now I need an idea of what to do with the zucchini inards!  Paired with some ground turkey, onions, jarred spaghetti sauce, and freshly grated parmesan cheese (secret ingredient!), this was a pretty darn decent meal! 

So breakfast this morning was equally as creative since we had no bread, no milk, or fresh fruit.  I came up with oatmeal (made with water and leftover evaporated milk from Wayne’s bday cake!) topped with banana soft serve and PB.  Wowwww, this was really good!  The temperature contrast reminded me of that ice cream topped brownie dessert you see in restaurants everywhere.  I will definitely be eating this again. 

This little man joined me while I ate breakfast in my PJs…

Lunch was the most pathetic of all… canned soup!  I didn’t photograph it for obvious reasons.  Blech.  I finally got my butt to the store after lunch.  I didn’t have a list or any meals planned… just wandered and picked stuff that looked good.  I never do this, so it was a little anxiety-producing and I kind of feel like I got $100 worth of what??  Anyway, I decided on simple wraps for dinner.  I would say at least 50% of what I bought was produce, so I will be eating stuff like this for awhile. 

On the side are blueberries and snap peas.  The wrap, from bottom to top has: 

  • Sabra Classic Hummus
  • Yellow tomato slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • BBQ sauce
  • my first ever Sriracha <—-Holy tongue-burning
  • Chicken
  • Red bell peppers

That’s all for today, everyone!  I’m off to watch SYTYCD and nurse the pounding, splitting headache I’ve had all day.  So far, I’ve tried:  taking my contacts out, drinking a jug of water, taking a nap, laying down, and now I’m drinking a Diet Coke for a little caffiene (I didn’t have my coffee this morning).  Nothing is working.  I know I should just take some Advil… but eh.  What do you do to remedy a headache?


Our first visitors: Part 1 June 21, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Oatmeal,Shrimp — WannaBe Chef @ 11:19 am

Hello loves!!  It’s so nice to be back after totally unplugging from my computer all weekend.  Along with catching you up on my fun weekend, I have a LOT of blog reading to do!  So anyway, after much deliberation about how to write these posts, I finally just decided to take the predictable route and go day by day.  First up is Thursday night and Friday.  My mom and aunt arrived at my second home the airport around 5:30 PM on Thursday.  Poor auntie was sick from the evil plane snack/turbulence/unknown sources, but after a trip to the restroom and some rest, we were off.  The weather was totally sketchy, but we made it back to the apartment before the rain/wind/tornado warnings and creepy highlighter-yellow skies hit.  I had dinner all ready to go:  Shrimp Taco Salad bar.

On the bar:

  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Fresh salsa
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Romaine
  • Sour cream thinned with water
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro
  • Corn
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Black beans
  • Peeled, deveined, pre-cooked, tail-less shrimp heated through with:
    olive oil, lime juice, chipotle in adobo, syrup, cumin, and minced garlic
  • Homemade Spicy Lime Vinaigrette (I made 2 batches)

This salad was a big hit!  I love doing food bars for company.  That way, everyone can have exactly what they want.  I love bars so much, that I planned one for breakfast on Friday morning.  Thursday night, I made everyone an Oatmeal Pancake consisting of: 1/3 cup quick oats, 3/4 tsp baking powder, lots of cinnamon, pinch salt, splash vanilla, and 1/3 cup liquid egg whites.  After those sat overnight, I cooked ’em up and everyone topped their pancake with whatever they wanted.

On the breakfast bar:

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Light syrup
  • Sugar-free syrup
  • Toasted pecan pieces
  • Sunbutter
  • Naturally More PB

I forgot to take pics of the finished pancakes, but I’m sure you’ve seen enough of them on the blog!  This bar was another huge hit.  My mom has been patiently waiting to try an oatmeal pancake, and I think this one exceeded expectations!  After breakfast, mom, auntie and I went to the mall (not the mall, but a smaller one) and did some shopping and roaming.  Wayne had to stay back and get some work done.  The pancakes held us over for a LONG time, so all we had for lunch was RED MANGO!!!  Yuuummmmm.  I had Madagascar vanilla fro yo with raspberries, mangoes, and my first ever mochi.  Loved them!  They tasted like soft, chewy marshmallows. 

After our little shopping trip, we picked Wayne up and headed out to an early dinner at Axel’s Bonfire.  I had a refreshing glass of Riesling and the woodfire baked Taco pizza.  My mom had the BBQ Chicken pizza, and we exchanged a piece.  Mine was very good, but I think I liked hers better!  Wayne got their special rotisserie chicken and shared a bite… it was AMAZING.  My aunt had a mango chicken sandwich which she liked a lot.  Overall, a great meal… love this restaurant! 

After dinner, we all went to see Toy Story 3 in 3-D.  It was hilarious, adorable, and full of adult humor.  We all loved it, and I highly recommend seeing it!  🙂 

Whew!  Well, that’s it for Thursday and Friday!  Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 🙂


Experiments June 10, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Fish,Oatmeal — WannaBe Chef @ 6:48 pm

Bonjour, my dears.  I had some very tasty treats today, so let’s chat…

Breakfast:  So I think I found a way to make my beloved oatmeal pancakes even better.  Yes, you read that right.  Last night while I was lying in bed going insane trying to fall asleep, it came to me.  OAT BRAN.  Yes, I bring you the oat bran pancake.

Oat Bran Pancake
makes 1 serving

  • 1/3 cup oat bran
  • 1/3 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1 banana, halved
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • lots of cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • splash vanilla
  1. Smash half of the banana in a bowl
  2. Add the oat bran and other dry ingredients
  3. Stir in the vanilla and egg whites, and combine everything well
  4. Let mixture sit for about 2-3 minutes to let it thicken a little
  5. Cook pancake till golden brown on both sides
  6. Top with the other half of the banana, 1/8 cup light syrup, and 1/2 Tbsp PB

WOW.  That’s all I can say.  This thing was HUGE and puffed up more than my usual oatmeal pancake.  I could barely finish it!  This whole plate, toppings included, has about 330 calories which is the perfect amount to keep my full for 4+ hours.  (FYI:  the pancake base (oats+egg white+seasonings) has 140 calories, so you can make it as high or low-cal as you want.)  YUUMMMM.  Wanna see the fluffy inside?   

Lunch:  Big ole salad with just romaine, strawberries, feta and raspberry vinaigrette.  On the side is half of a flat out wrap filled with deli chicken, miracle whip light, tomatoes, and fresh basil. 

Dinner:  I like to call dinner an experiment.  I’m not quite sure what to call it, but it was very loosely based on this recipe.  I sort of just remembered the basic ingredients and threw this together.  It turned out pretty well!

Baked Salmon over Veggies and Orzo Broth  <—longest name ever
measurements and times are approximate, as usual! 
Makes 2 servings 

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry orzo
  • 1 small package sliced, white mushrooms
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped in large-ish pieces
  • 1-2 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 5-6 small green onions, sliced
  • handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • seasonings to taste:  Worchestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt/pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and parmesan cheese
  1. Season the salmon with salt, pepper and garlic powder – bake at 400 to desired doneness
  2. Bring the broth to a boil in a high-sided skillet, add the orzo.  Let the orzo boil for a few minutes, then add the zucchini, mushrooms, and red peppers.
  3. Let the veggie/orzo mixture boil/simmer until veggies are tender and orzo is al dente.
  4. Stir in the green onions and basil.
  5. I added some more broth at this point to make it more “soup-like.” 
  6. Add seasonings, tasting and adjusting along the way.
  7. Pour “soup” into two bowls, top with a little parm and the cooked salmon.  Flake the salmon into the soup as you eat.  Yum!

That’s all for today, friends!  I’m excited for that 2% pineapple Chobani later!  Hehe. 

Let’s try some questions:

  • Do you like to follow recipes or “create” meals and see what happens?
  • Do you like feta cheese?  I loooove, love, love it, but some people I know absolutely hate it.
  • Ever tried an oatmeal pancake?  In case you haven’t noticed, I could probably eat them every day for the rest of my life 🙂

That is all. June 8, 2010

Filed under: Life,Oatmeal,Sandwiches,Turkey,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 7:06 pm

Just a couple things I want to say before I get to the food:

  • As you may remember from this post, I love me some Lady Gaga.  Well, the queen’s new video for “Alejandro” came out today (watch it HERE!).  I absolutely loved it, along with all her other videos.  Yes, my eyes widened and my jaw dropped during a few parts.  Yes, it’s racy/controversial/thought-provoking/weird/and a hundred other adjectives.  But that’s the whole point, people!  That’s the beauty of Gaga.  She doesn’t do weird just to do weird.  She does weird to make a point and get a message across.  You may not understand it, but don’t hate what you don’t understand!!  That is all.  Just sayin’.
  • I did my second “real” day of The Shred today (still Level One, obviously).  It wasn’t a whole lot easier, but I shall press on.  That is all.

Now let’s forge on with some food.  Breakfast was another oatmeal pancake!  Nope, still not sick of ’em yet.  In fact, with some minor tweeks, I’m liking them even more.  So, don’t count on them going away anytime soon.  Today’s mix was:

  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 cup liquid egg whites (from a carton)
  • pinch salt
  • lots of cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

I forgot to make this last night, so I thought I’d just try it without the whole “refrigerate overnight” thing.  (It did sit in the fridge for like a half hour, though).  I think I liked it even better this way!! 

Lunch was a glorious, delicious wrap.  Why don’t I have wraps more often?  Anyway, I saw a bloggie (aah, can’t remember who though!!) who grilled some veggies on a Foreman grill, and I thought to myself “BRILLIANT.”  So in this Flat-Out wrap is grilled summer squash that I seasoned w/salt and balsamic, then combined with hummus, lettuce and just a wee bit of Light Ranch.  Oh-em-geeeee this was good. 

Then I made a quick trip to SuperTarget (again) and met a new friend.  His name is Sunbutter, and he was on sale.  I’ve been stalking him for a long time now in the blogosphere and finally decided to say hhhaaayyyy!  After a taste, I only wish we would have met sooner..

Then I added to my Chobani collection.  I can’t even tell you how much I love the raspberry.  I have never been excited about yogurt before, until now.  And I don’t even need any add-ins, I just eat it plain!  Which is saying a lot for me and my “gag texture” thing.  Raspberry is where it’s at.  Oh, and I thought I’d throw in a 2% pineapple since I’d never had it before.

Dinner was a simple turkey burger and salad of romaine, toms, amazing sugar snap peas, feta, balsamic and EVOO.  I haven’t had much meat lately, so the burger actually really hit the spot. 

And that is all for today.


Everything I ate May 26, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Chicken,Oatmeal — WannaBe Chef @ 7:23 pm

Today I bring you the latest edition of “Everything I Ate Today!”  Shall we get started? 

*Breakfast*  Another oatmeal pancake.  This time I added 1 tsp chia seeds to the “batter,” but I forgot a very important ingredient, the baking powder!  This made for a very dense, rubbery pancake.  It was still edible… barely! 

Topped with 1 banana, cinnamon, and 2 Tbsp light syrup

A little while later, I had some Archer Farms S’mores flavored coffee with Splenda.  As much as I try to like flavored coffees, I just don’t.  And s’mores are like one of my top favorite things. 

*Lunch*  Leftover falafel patty, tzatziki and roasted broccoli with strawberries on the side.  That whole bowl was only THREE steroid induced strawberries!

I was still hungry, so I had the last of a package of turkey pepperoni and a little bit of deli chicken for some protein. 

*Snackage*  A Luna Protein Bar – Chocolate Cherry Almond.  These are pretty good, but not nearly as good as the cookie dough flavor. 

*Dinner*  Couldn’t get here fast enough.  I am especially hungry today.  I’ve had this packet of stir-fry seasoning for longer than I’d like to mention, so I finally decided to use it up tonight. 

In my stir-fry went:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) package sliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 of a large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • the sauce packet which I mixed with soy sauce, sugar, and water per the package
  • brown rice

Normally I like a little something red or orange in my stir-fry, but no carrots or red peppers were in my fridge today.  I also don’t care for green peppers (But I like red, yellow, and orange though!), so I gave Wayne most of those.  The stir-fry had good flavor but there wasn’t much heat, which was surprising since it was called “szechwan”! 

Of course I will be having a night time snack, or two, or three.  I have issues with eating at night, and instead of fighting it, I try to make sure I have a nice amount of calories left so I can have a few snacks without feeling too bad.  I will edit this post later or in the morning to show you what I have.  And just because this post is called “Everything I ate,” technically I had my gummy vitamins, a calcium chew, and a taste of hummus that all escaped the camera!  Ta ta for now 😉

*Edited to add – Snacks!*


  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 5-6 frozen banana slices
  • 1 Tbsp Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • dash of salt, splash of vanilla
  • water

100 calorie bag of kettle corn – I eat this almost every night because I get the most bang for my buck calorie-wise! 

Half of an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin with Sabra Supremely Spicy hummus <— really is HOT!


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

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

-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!