007 and a blue plate special

A few weekendy things:

Sorry I’m not sorry… I love my Ducks!

And really… shaken, not stirred. I wonder if James Bond ever does normalish things like go out and buy bread? What if he really wanted ice cream or something? Wouldn’t there be some creep trying to pick him off on the way to the ice cream store? Does he ever go anywhere without a gun? The latest movie was freaking fantastic!! Such a lovely way to spend my Sunday—a date with Daniel Craig and some veggie burgers. Okay, sadly not really but I can pretend, right?! At least these veggie burgers were real:

It’s like a blue plate special.

And cookies! They were real too.

AND paleo. I’m rather proud of myself that I baked something with coconut flour that wasn’t totally nasty. I’m all for non-grain flours, but my first encounter with coconut flour ended up in the garbage. Literally. I NEVER throw away food unless it’s gone bad… BUT. These. Ugh. They defied description. Thankfully, I got things under control with a different recipe, and am now a convinced fan of coconut flour. (They can be found in the following post)

So. A wildly successful weekend on all fronts: James Bond, veggie burgers, and cookies. AND the Ducks won. #lovemyducks!

Sweet Potato-Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

I got 7 burgers out of this, and they made awesome leftovers. Recipe slightly modified from here! Especially tasty with a side salad and extra mustard… these have sweet potato, black beans, and quinoa, as well as lots of other delicious things. They’re also soy-free, which is a nice change from a lot of other veggie burgers.

  • 4 small sweet potatoes (no really, mine were TINY)
  • 1/2 c cooked quinoa
  • 15 oz (1 can) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 c frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 leek, lightly sautéed
  • 6 tbsp rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp raw pepitas
  • pepper to taste
  • scant 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Wash the sweet potatoes, pierce them a few times with a fork, and pop into the microwave on the baked potato setting (or whatever yours has). When finished, let them cool until you can cube them (skin and all), and then rustically mash them (leave some lumps). Clean the leek thoroughly, and dice up the white bit. Lightly sauté in a bit of olive oil; let cool.

Preheat the oven to 375, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a separate bowl, mash the black beans (almost completely, again—leave some lumps). Stir in mashed sweet potatoes, cooked quinoa, corn, sautéed leek, rolled oats, pepitas, salt/pepper, cumin, oregano and olive oil. Stir to combine. Form into patties/sliders/whatever, and plop onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes total, flipping at the 7 minute mark. Top with mustard or whatever floats your boat! They’re delicious any way you slice it.

Squashlets, Kale, and Chèvre

I’m slightly behind in bloggingness. AGAIN.

But that’s okay, because I have some pretty freaking amazing stuff to share! Like…

SUPER SQUASH STRIKES AGAIN! Remember all that silly business with the epic mega tons of squash I ate last winter? Welllll, yeah. It’s back. Complete with kale, it’s trusty sidekick. Oh. And goat cheese. Because… REALLY?! You expect me to give you a savory dish without goat cheese??

Psshhh.

Let’s be real. Cheese is where it’s at.

I could probably eat goat cheese all day until the cows came home, and then I would look at the cows and say: “COWS! Why are you here?! I need GOATS for goat cheese, obviously” and then go back to eating my goat cheese. Forever.

This dish is easy and comes together quickly—the only longish part is all the prep work of wrestling the squash and chopping the kale (both of which can be done ahead of time to save on dinner prep when you’re starving). Squash and chèvre complement each other beautifully, and are perfect with kale. Besides all that, you get antioxidants galore from the squash and kale, as well as a ton of other health benefits. AND goat cheese is good for your soul, obviously.

Butternut Squash and Kale Skillet with Goat Cheese

Serves 3, with enough leftovers for 2 dinners and one small lunch. Recipe adapted from Fitness Magazine.

Do yourself a favor and be liberal with the goat cheese, you’ll thank me later!

  • one enormous butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4.5 c kale, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice (From the lemon you just zested… you see what I did there?)
  • 1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 c dried apples, chopped and soaked in water for a few minutes to soften
  • chicken sausage, casing removed (optional: mine was smoked apple chardonnay)
  • small log of goat cheese, crumbled

In a LARGE (no, really. LARGE) skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add squash, onion, and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, until squash is lightly browned and tender: about 7 minutes. Add kale, lemon zest and juice,  and salt/pepper to taste. If using sausage, add now. Cook until kale is wilted and squash is fork tender, about 5-7 minutes more. Add in chicken broth and and apples, and simmer for a few minutes before serving, so everything is heated through. Serve immediately, and top with goat cheese! (liberally, of course)

awkward shadow…

Lightning-fast mooching abilities and other skills

Mmm. Kebabs.

Why is it way more fun to eat things on sticks? Is it some kind of childish relapse I’m having? I doubt it, considering I hated (no wait, loathed is waaay more accurate) corndogs as a child. Which is like the quintessential kid-food-on-a-stick. Gross. I STILL think they’re gross. Probably even more now than I did. Anywayyy. There’s something about eating chicken on a skewer which makes it waaay more fun than just eating chicken. Boooring.

Besides, then when you’re finished, you can poke your dinner partners with your skewers. Muahahhaa.

Not that I would ever do such a thing…

You know what that makes me think of?! The Mooch Fork!!! I WANT one of these: they’re basically a telescoping fork that can be used for swiping choice bits of food off of your unsuspecting dinner companion’s plates!! What a genius idea. They take poaching to an entire new level. No longer will I have to do one of these: “WAIT! Ohmygosh there’s a METEOR outside, look look look!!” *semi-spastically points out the window while simultaneously gesticulating wildly and sneakily swiping bread or whatever while no one is looking*. Oh no. With a mooch fork, I could just telescope away. No one would able to stop my lightning speed mooching. It might also be useful in the grocery store around the holidays—perhaps to fend off those crazies who try to steal the last can of pumpkin (long range poking might come in handy, you never know…). Does anyone know where to get one of these?! Because I want one, pleaseandthankyou.

Anyway. Food on a stick.

These kebabs are deceptively simple. All they really require is a bit of advance planning and some time. But they make a fab change from everyday chicken…AND you get to play with your food! Winning all around.

uh huh. MOOCHING

Caribbean Chicken Skewers

My family usually makes 6 skewers, so 2 per person. We use wooden skewers that we soak for at least an hour beforehand (to prevent them from burning), with 4 sticks per person (if you use two sticks per kebab, the meat can be flipped evenly on the grill without sliding around…does that make sense?!). I’ll include the amount of food we use for 3 people, so adjust according to your needs.

The marinade recipe is from The Cooks Illustrated Guide to Grilling and BBQ, and is delicious. It makes more than we need, so we’ll usually save some.

Whatcha need:

  • enough skewers to feed your peeps
  • 2 large or 3 smallish chicken breasts, defrosted and cut into chunks
  • 2 large bell peppers (I used one red and one purple), cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, sliced into skewer-able pieces
  • 2 apples, cut into chunks
  • mushrooms, halved
  • zucchini is good too, if you have it!

Marinade:

  • 1/2 c good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

About an hour before, soak the skewers in water.

Heat the grill to about 500 (ish), enough to get a sear on the meat.

Defrost the chicken, and cut into smallish cubes. Let it sit in the marinade for at least a half an hour, preferably an hour for the best flavor (although that never happens around here). While meat is marinating, cut up veggies so you’re all ready for blastoff…

Once meat has sat for a bit, thread the meat and veggies onto the skewers, alternating so they look pretty! Use two skewers, as I said before, so that you can rotate the meat on the grill without it just spinning on the skewer. Grill for 2 minutes per side, uncovered, rotating the kebabs a quarter turn every 2 minutes, until meat is fully cooked and meat/veggies/fruit are lightly browned (about 8 minutes total for white meat). Remove when there is no pink at the center and the meat is opaque. Serve immediately! I like mine with a sweet potato and mo’ veggies on the side :)

Ice cream the size of my face and other musings…

Today, I ate an ice cream the size of my FACE. No. Really. It was. Don’t believe me?

you’re welcome.

Yep, now you do.

In all fairness, I did share with Vaccuum Vati. Thank heavens. It was enormous.

And then I took a nap. Seriously. I have never in all my life gone into that serious of a food coma… but I actually napped when I got home! With my kitty, love love love! And then… I did kitty yoga and went to the gym. A lovely day all around, I must say.

You see, I’ve been going to Fenton’s ever since I was a child, with my gram. So it brings back all kinds of nice memories, besides giving me the ability to stuff  my face with deliciousness. As a kid, I used to search the menu for the least painful, smallest lunch option possible, so I could go speedily onto dessert… and I realized today that I apparently still do that. Ice cream is infinitely superior to lunch. Duh. Everyone knows that.

phew. Healthy eye-relief.

Anyway. Getting back to the point of this blog, which is, after all, recipezzz… I made chickpea cakes! I’ve made them before and they’re fab… but was too lazy at the time to blog about them. Sooo you get them now! Do a happy dance, they’re amazing. They sort of taste like hummus in cake form. Winner winner, hummus dinner…

mmm, chickpeas!

Chickpea Cakes with Yogurt Drizzle

The recipe is ever so slightly adapted from Naturally Ella, here. These are delicious. Hummusyyy and with a nice texture. The yogurt drizzle gives them just the right amount of sauciness… and they’re particularly good with cucumber. I doubled the recipe to serve 3.

yum.

Chickpea Cakes

  • 2 c cooked chickpeas (I used canned)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • sprinkle of garlic powder (I was out of for reals garlic, if you have it, use about one clove)
  • 2 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce, whatever you prefer)
  • 1/2 c parmesan
  • 4 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 eggs
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • glug of olive oil

Yogurt Sauce

  • a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt of choice (mine was lowfat, not greek)
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt, pepper to taste
perfect antidote to ridiculous amounts of ice cream.

Muscle your food processor out of it’s hiding place/lair in the cupboard. Set up the whole shebang. Toss in chickpeas, tahini, Braggs, garlic powder (or normal garlic), and parmesan, and pulse until the mixture comes together and is a bit crumbly. Add in flour and eggs, and salt and pepper, and pulse to combine. Add a teeny bit more flour if it seems a little too thin—it should be like sticky batter consistency.

Heat olive oil in a nonstickish pan over medium heat. Once pan is hot, drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the pan. Let cook until you can easily flip them and the bottoms are done, then flip and cook until both sides are nicely browned, about 5ish minutes.

To make yogurt sauce, vigorously stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Seriously. It’s that easy.

Stack prettily… drizzle… eat… repeat.

drizzle!!