WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Salt Sauce April 26, 2011

Filed under: Asian-inspired,Chicken,Products — WannaBe Chef @ 2:25 pm

So I bought this bottle of sauce at Trader Joe’s in hopes of recreating a Thai steak wrap I had at a restaurant not long ago.  Well, it wasn’t the right sauce, so I decided to just use it in a stir-fry of sorts.

Then I turned the bottle around and took a peek at the nutrition label….

Do you SEE the sodium content?!  Holy crap!  My slightly swollen ankles screamed in protest, but I used the sauce anyway.  It tasted good, but I didn’t use as much as I would have liked.  Lesson learned:  look at label before buying, duh. 

The finished meal-in-a-bowl contained:  brown rice, chicken, stir-fry veggies, “salt sauce,” peanuts, and lots of fresh cilantro.  Definitely tasty but did require copious amounts of water during the night!


Goodies April 11, 2011

Filed under: Pizza,Products,Smoothies — WannaBe Chef @ 10:18 am

Happy Monday, ladies and gents.  I just have a couple things to share… mostly made from Trader Joe’s products, mmm mmm!

Greek Pizza


  • 1 pound whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe’s
  • TJ’s spicy hummus – enough to spread over crust
  • TJ’s kalamata olives, chopped
  • TJ’s chile feta cheese
  • Banana peppers
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • Red onion, sliced
  • 1 chicken breast, chopped small
  • Italian dressing
  • Olive oil


  1. Marinate chopped chicken in Italian dressing for a couple hours.  Saute in a small skillet until cooked.
  2. Roll out crust and place onto pizza pan according to package directions. 
  3. Spread crust with hummus and top evenly with the rest of the ingredients.  Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake pizza according to directions on pizza crust. 

**This was SOOOOO good! 

This meal literally took about 10 minutes to make.  These are TJ’s mini Chicken and Cilantro Wontons.  I served them with steamed “Asian Medley” veggies, and I followed the dipping sauce recipe that was on the back of the wonton package.  It contained soy sauce, vinegar, water, brown sugar, hot sauce, and sesame oil.  MMMMMMMMMM.

Last, but certainly not least, we have an amazing smoothie.  Wayne is out of town again, so this was my dinner last night. 

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Smoothie


  • Frozen, dark sweet cherries – about a cup
  • 1 container vanilla Chobani greek yogurt
  • splash vanilla extract
  • Skim milk – maybe 1/2 cup
  • Chocolate syrup – a couple tablespoons


  1. Blend until smooth and ENJOY!  I’ve also made this with frozen strawberries, and it’s equally as delicious.

I love TJ April 5, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,Products — WannaBe Chef @ 9:24 am

Hi, kids.  So this past weekend, Wayne and I went to Trader Joe’s.  It was lovely, as usual.  We got lots of random things, including this delicious Mandarin Orange Chicken (found in the frozen section). 

Apparently this is the only thing I’ve taken a picture of in the past few days, oops!  I’ll work on that :-p


Stupid camera January 27, 2011

Filed under: Products — WannaBe Chef @ 11:31 am

I really hate technology.  Yesterday, my camera decides to say “card locked!” and not let me do anything.  And yes, the little tab on the memory card was in the “unlocked” position.  UGH!!  So after digging out the camera’s manual and finding the only advice to be “make sure the tab is in the unlocked position,” I just spent at least two hours on the photo program on my computer, Google, and various message boards trying to figure it out.  I was this close to “formatting” the card (a.k.a. erasing everything on the card) when I took out the battery and card for the hundredth time and gave it another good blow of air…. and bam, it works now.  After all that, I just needed to blow on it.  You’ve got to be kidding me, camera.

ANYWAY, just had to vent, and the good news is that I can now post more random food for you.  I was very excited to find some new-to-me flavors of Chobani… here’s the delicious mango variety, and yesterday, I also tried the black cherry flavor.   

This was one of my bachelorette dinners… Annie’s Organic mac and cheese with red peppers, tomatoes, salsa and Frank’s mixed in. 

That was all I had for dinner that night because I couldn’t (and still can’t) stop eating these freaking caramels.  I made the mistake of buying a bag because they were on clearance, and they are literally the best things everrrr.  Must… stop!!


Shrimpies and Randoms July 22, 2010

Filed under: Products,Shrimp — WannaBe Chef @ 6:13 pm

Hello, lovely people!  I’m still up to my ears in wedding projects today.  Well, I guess now I would say I’m up to my… waist?  It’s been frustrating at times, but for the most part, all my projects are turning out well and I can’t wait for little sister to see everything 🙂  So anyway, the other day I totally got lost in Super Target while shopping for components for said projects.  I literally had to stop in the middle of an aisle and think to myself “Which Target am I in?” and “What did I even come in here for?”  That’s what happens when I don’t have a list.  Two hours later, I emerged with many things for my sister, but also:  a cute tank top for myself, a clearance tankini top, cute metallic ballet flats, this awesome nail polish…

Kinda mango-y, no?

and this new-to-me Sabra.  I almost did a little “Squeeeee!” in the aisle because I was so excited about finding it.  It was delicious and seriously rivaled my beloved Greek Olive.  It was gone in less than 48 hours.

Also, have I told you about my recent obsession with cherries?  Gotta love in-season fruit. 

That brings us to tonight’s dinner.  I find myself, once again, in a state of minimal groceries, so I had to get pretty creative tonight. 

  • I took some cooked shrimp (about 1/2 pound) from the freezer, thawed them out, and took the tails off. 
  • Then I sauteed onions and garlic in a dab of EVOO till they were nice and brown, then stirred in the last of a jar of salsa, the last of a jar of plain spaghetti sauce (about 1/2 jar), and some water.  I seasoned it up with garlic powder and lots of Frank’s hot sauce and let it simmer for awhile while my brown rice and broccoli cooked. 
  • Just before serving, I stirred in the shrimp and let them heat through.   

This meal was ridiculously easy, surprisingly tasty, and 100% from the “pantry!”


Sassy Saturday July 10, 2010

Filed under: Beverage,Life,Products — WannaBe Chef @ 8:30 pm

Hello, lovepies!  I’m feeling a little more in the bloggy spirit today, so I thought I’d share my Saturday with you.  We started out this lovely Saturday at the Farmer’s Market and came home with these green and yellow goodies.

  • Cucumbers (No, I’m not making pickles out of them, although I’d like to!)
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Yellow beans
  • Potatoes

Then we went to the mall to return some things.  I also had to talk to a jeweler about my wedding rings.  I’ve developed some sort of allergy (likely to the nickel), and I’ve been unable to wear my rings for a couple weeks months now.  Hopefully having the rhodium plating re-done will help, at least for awhile 😦  I won’t have my rings back till Wednesday!  Booo.  Our day continued with lunch at where else but B-Dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings).  Since it’s Wayne’s birthday weekend, that’s where he wanted to go!  Sorry, no pictures, but I had the blackened chicken salad, yuh-um.  After that, Wayne decided he wanted to go golfing.  I don’t golf, but somehow he convinced me to come ride along in the golf cart. 

Tall man, short club

I had to break into my purse stash of almonds around hole 4 or so, hehe. 

After that, we stopped at the liquor store, and I saw the new Skinny Girl Margarita and couldn’t resist.  I have a very good friend who I know is laughing at me right now if she’s reading… *Kelsey, where you at?!* 

This stuff is made with tequila and agave nectar, so it’s ready to drink straight out of the bottle.  I poured it over ice, took a sip, and holy crap it’s strong!  I added a little more agave to it, and that helped a lot.  It’s actually pretty good, and I would buy it again.  So, remember that Papa Murphy’s pizza from last weekend?  Well, the coupon we had was for TWO pizzas, and guess what Wayney-pie wanted for dinner?

Overall, we’ve had a very nice and relaxing Saturday.  Tomorrow shall consist of more sassy, laid back activities, and Monday (Wayne’s actual birthday) may even contain a visit to an amusement park, weeeee!  Hope you all are having a nice weekend 🙂  Toodles for now.


Picture overload and Shirataki noodles May 18, 2010

Filed under: Pasta,Products,Salad — WannaBe Chef @ 7:07 pm

Hello, my little muffins!  Today I bring you breakfast, lunch, followed by an assortment of new goodies I bought (and don’t necessarily need), and dinner.  Let’s jump in…


Breakfast was quick ‘n easy:  2 eggs, scrambled with spinach and 2 slices of extra lean turkey bacon; toasted sandwich thin w/margarine on the side.   

Lunch, course 1 was a giant salad, composed of spinach, strawberries and parmesan cheese.  The dressing I made had approx. 1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/4 tsp agave nectar, squirt of dijon mustard, S&P, and 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil.

Lunch, course 2 was a Cookie Dough Luna Protein bar.  I always feel so naughty eating these because they taste like candy bars 🙂

Then I decided I needed to go to SuperTarget for a “few” things.  Yeah, right, who was I kidding??  Wellll…. about $70 later, I emerged with the “few” things I really needed along with a ton of fun, new things…


–  Coconut extract:  I saw it on clearance and decided I needed it.  I’m thinking it would be excellent in a strawberry lime coconut smoothie.  Any other ideas?? 

–  Vanilla extract:  I just needed more, so I got the big bottle since it was on sale 😉

–  Parmesan & Herb seasoning:  I picked this up solely because I had a coupon. 

–  Prepared ginger:  I have always wanted to try this because peeling and grating the fresh stuff is a pain in the butt.  Plus, I needed some for my dinner tonight… 

–  Vanilla Cranberry PB:  I sent some to my mom in her Mother’s Day box, and she said it was good, so I thought I should try it too.  After 20 minutes of trying to stir it (it was like a brick with oil on top…), I had a taste, and meh, first impression = just OK! 

–  Gummy vitamins:  Bought these just because it’s more fun to eat 2 gummies than swallow a big pill! 

–  Blueberry Clif Bar:  I’ve never seen these before, and they’re only 130 calories, so I picked one up. 

–  Chocolate Cherry Almond Luna Protein bars:  I LOOOVE the cookie dough ones, and I’ve heard mixed reviews of this flavor in blogland, but decided I needed to see for myself!  I’ll let you know what I think once I try one. 

–  Fruit bars:  I freaking LOVE these bars!  They are kind of like 20 fruit roll-ups compacted into a bar, then drizzled with magical white icing (yogurt).  Best thing about them…. 65 calories each!  They were on sale, so I snatched up the last 3 boxes 😉

Dinner was a little experiment with Shirataki noodles.  Wayne had yet another work dinner, so I figured tonight would be the best night to try these.  I found a recipe that I thought would work and got to it.  I used most of the ingredients from the recipe HEREthe one called “Singapore Shirataki Noodles.”  First, let me say that I really loved the flavors of the veggies and sauce in this recipe, and I might try it again sometime with real pasta.  And when I say that, you can probably already guess that I did not like the “fake” noodles.  You would be correct.  Although I was able to look past the noodles’ pre-rinsed rotten fish smell, I was not able to look past their extremely odd texture.  I’m not sure how to be nice about this, so I’m just going to say it… I HATED these noodles.  The best way I can describe the texture is:  rubbery and slippery.  Like, when I went to chew them, they broke up and scattered all over my mouth… and I couldn’t chew them further because they just slipped and slimed around in my teeth.  Wow, that is a really disgusting description, sorry!  I couldn’t eat them.  I picked out most of the veggies and had to throw the noodles out.  It was pretty sad.       

Then I heated up the last of my sweet potato gnocchi and called it dinner. 

That’s all for tonight…. Biggest Loser is on!