Sunday Kind of Love xiv

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This week was very hard for those of us suffering from depression. Rest in the sweetest peace to Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain—advocates for women and inspiring individuals. Check on your strongest friends—some of us hide behind confidence.

If you need help, know that some of us ache for you, and know you. Please reach out to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read this article to learn more. We love you. We want you here.

We shouldn’t have to lose our idols to open up the conversation about mental illness and suicide. I know the above gif might seem a little flippant, but we have to normalize and destigmatize talking about mental health. Talkspace is a great resource for the uninsured or those too busy to commit to regular therapy appointments.

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On a more positive note, I wanted to share some of the more positive things that have been running though my mind this week:

I need every single goddamn thing on this entire page immediately.

This is the best scone recipe on the planet. People love them.

Very excited to check out the Turf Tavern while I’m in Oxford.

I’m reading The Golden Compass, The Weirdstone of Brisingramen, The Dark is Rising, and The Lord of the Rings for my Oxford class and it’s been such fun to dive back into these fantasy classics. I’ve already finished The Hobbit and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Michael and I are rewatching The Office from the beginning and holy guacamole is the finale emotional. I don’t even care if this is an unpopular opinion: American > British every damn day. When Michael showed up I *screamed*. Dwight & Angela’s wedding song is a string arrangement of “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”

The new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is out and *very Metallica voice* nothing else matters.

I’m absolutely buying this rice cooker, bringing my total of pink appliances up to…five?

I want this SO SO SO SO badly! Liz Phair is my queen.

I’m thinking of getting this kit because maybe, just MAYBE, I’ll actually start food prepping.

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Sayonara, mis amigos!

xoxo,

c

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Potato Leek on Fleek

I am a soup maniac. I will eat soup anytime, anywhere. Even though it’s late spring, we had some 50 degree weather recently, so I knew I had to make a steaming pot of comfort food. Luckily for my taste buds, Trader Joe’s had the leeks displayed at my eye level the other day so potato leek soup it was! The power of suggestion is strong!

This is not your average potato leek soup. Not that I’m hating on anyone else’s recipe, but *very Guy Fieri voice* I take it to Flavortown. I like it a little spicy and a little colorful. Sweet potato and red bell pepper jazz up what would otherwise (honestly) be beige sludge, and white beans add some protein for all my vegetarians out there! Lastly, folding in some spinach at the very end adds some extra vitamins and minerals!

Oh, and vodka. I’m not drinking right now, so I have a bar cart full of booze in my house going to waste! Since I didn’t have any wine on hand to simmer/deglaze the veggies in/with, I thought—vodka! Vodka & potatoes—a match made in heaven. Here goes!

You will need:

A sturdy spatula/spoon (my fave is this one), a blender or immersion blender, a 6qt soup pan or Dutch oven, and about 40-60 mins.

Ingredients:

optional ingredients are italicized

2 large russet potatoes, skins on & cubed

2 leeks, trimmed & sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, rough chopped

2 bay leaves

olive oil or butter, enough to coat/sauté

salt

fresh ground black pepper

1 sweet potato, peeled & cubed

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 yellow onion, rough chopped

1 tsp. pimenta moida or red pepper flakes to taste

1/4 c. vodka 

*

8 c. broth of your choice (I use vegetable)

1 tbsp. nutritional yeast (nooch)

*

2 cans white kidney beans, drained & rinsed

2 large handfuls spinach, rough chopped

Instructions

Normally I “soup-build,” which is my term for prepping-as-I-cook. I’ll heat olive oil, throw onions & celery in, and add the vegetables in order of how much cook time they need. This time, however, I was in meal-prep mode, so while I was putting away groceries and cleaning the kitchen, I threw all of the vegetables, vodka, salt, and pepper into a pot and let them hang out for a while. Having made this soup both ways, do whichever suits you best! If you’re a prepper, prep! If you’re an on-the-fly kinda guy like me, soup-build. I should Google to see if that’s already a term.

ANYWAY, once you get all the initial ingredients into the pot, throw the heat on medium and start sizzlin’. When the mixture becomes fragrant and begins to soften, add the nooch (if using) and the broth. Bring to a boil. When it begins to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and let it do its thing until the veggies are fork tender.

Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaves before blending! You can do this in batches in a blender or food processor, but I am telling you, get an immersion blender. Best money you’ll ever spend. I promise. Once the soup is blended to your ideal consistency (chunky or smooth are both good, it’s up to you!), add your white beans and cook for a few more minutes. Turn the heat off and fold in the spinach. Let rest until the spinach is wilted. Stir, taste, and adjust salt & pepper to taste.

Serve with chopped scallions and shredded cheese on top! Or a dollop of sour cream. Or oyster crackers! Oh, or those crunchy onion things that go on green bean casseroles. That would be soooo good.

Enjoy!

-c

Sunday Kind of Love

Happy Sunday! I have the dreaded task of homework to look forward to today, but hopefully you have some free time to chill out, max, and relax all cool. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about this week.

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  1. I’m so inspired by the March For Our Lives. I wish I could have gone into Boston yesterday. Be sure to sign the petition against gun violence!
  2. The Lamplighter, Maria Susanna Cummins—Maybe 19th century sentimental fiction isn’t quite your “thing,” but I am absolutely obsessed with this book right now. The tale of little Gerty is so heartbreakingly sweet. Here’s a link to the Kindle edition, which is free!
  3. Should I do this? It’d be nice to have Spotify Premium again, but I’m so used to that no-commercials Hulu life, that I’m not sure I can go back! It would save me $7/month, and I’d get another service. I’m torn!
  4. This tweet destroyed me. Bless the person that saw that connection.
  5. Give me this vegan queso immediately.
  6. And on that note, I’m making these tacos ASAP.
  7. I’m so excited to watch Champions on NBC! I’m into anything Mindy Kaling is involved with, and the cast is stellar!
  8. Did you know that students and educators get a discount on digital subscriptions to the New York Times? It’s crazy affordable. I just subscribed and am loving all of this nonstop crossword action!
  9. And, last but not least, John Oliver’s staff wrote a book about gay bunnies getting married in response to Mike Pence’s Marlon Bundo book, and it is truly, truly inspiring. It’s out of stock at the moment, but as soon as it’s back, I’m buying one for my future kid.

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See you next week, bunnies!

xoxo,

c

 

 

The G.O.A.T.s (Greats Oats of All Time)

Overnight oats are one of the only foods I can tolerate eating in the morning. If I had it my way, I’d fast until 2pm every day and skip straight to lunch—burritos anyone? Don’t get me wrong—breakfast food is incredible, but I’m not making my incredible hollandaise sauce on a weekday morning before work, you feel me? And for the especially lazy among us, here’s some info from Oats Overnight.

Oatmeal is a bland, neutral food, so it tastes good no matter what you put in it. I’ve been trying to get creative and move away from the traditional, I’ll call it Starbucks, method of brown sugar, nuts, and dried fruit. I cut the sweetness way, way down, since breakfast is supposed to be healthy, but feel free to sweeten to taste.

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The main instructions for overnight oats are incredibly simple:

Place 2/3 cup (a whole cup makes soooo much) oats and 2/3 cup milk (non-dairy/unsweetened preferred) in a mason jar, yogurt cup, or bowl. Mix. Put into the fridge at night. Take out and eat in the morning.

Basically, for all of the following, put the listed ingredients in at night and save the toppings until morning. This yogurt cup I found at Target is the perfect vessel. Here are some of the varieties I’ve come up with to spice up my morning forcefeeding.

Just Another Matcha Monday

2/3 c organic oats (or Quaker, you do you)

2/3 c non-dairy milk

1 tsp chia seeds

1/4 tsp matcha powder

1 tsp honey

optional topping: coconut flakes, blueberries

Graceland (inspired by this recipe)

2/3 c oats

2/3 c milk

1 tbsp organic peanut butter (crunchy preferred for texture)

1/2 tsp all-natural maple syrup

1 tsp chia seeds

dash of freshly-ground Himalayan pink salt

topping: 1/2 banana, sliced

The Blanched Dubois

2/3 c oats

2/3 c milk

1/2 tsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp chia seeds

2 tbsp blanched slivered almonds

optional toppings: 1/2 banana, sliced, handful of sliced strawberries

Tropic Thunder

2/3 c oats

1/3 c milk (2/3 if juice is omitted)

1/3 c all-natural fruit juice (pineapple, orange, or a blend)

1 tsp chia seeds

1/2 tsp organic coconut sugar (omit if using sweetened juice)

toppings: fresh sliced mango, coconut flakes

A few other ideas for things you could add to any of the above recipes: flax meal, protein powder, maca powder, spirulina (in the Tropic Thunder)

These all fall under the category of “sweet breakfast,” but I plan to follow this post up with some savory variations! I have an idea for an “everything bagel” variety that I can’t wait to test.

Until next time,

c

 

 

 

 

Mexican Breakfast Pizza

You heard me correctly! Mexican. Breakfast. Pizza!

I couldn’t tell you why, culturally, I like to eat beans with breakfast, but I always have. However, there are only so many ways to do breakfast burritos before you get bored. Enter the Mexican pizza. Inspired by the not-so-classy Taco Bell dish, this is a super healthy, vegetarian version that will keep you full all morning. Plus, if you get your proportions right, you can eat it like a pizza!

Here, I jazz up your average refried beans as unfried beans—all of the fiber, way less fat! Pulsing spinach into the beans adds a hidden serving of greens that even the pickiest eater won’t detect! Bon appetit!

Mexican Breakfast Pizzas

prep time: 5-10 minutes, cook time: 5-10 minutes (serves 2)
  • 2 flour tortillas (8″-10″)
  • olive oil
  • 1 large handful spinach
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 c. salsa, more to top
  • salt
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • shredded cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, combine 1 can of drained and rinsed black beans with 1/2 cup of salsa, a drizzle of olive oil, and a handful of spinach (baby spinach or stems removed). Pulse until it reaches a hummus-like consistency. Salt to taste. Heat in microwave or on stovetop.

Place 2 tortillas on a baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp.

Whisk together 3 eggs and scramble, cheese optional.

Place each tortilla on a plate. Spread the bean mixture onto the tortilla, divide the eggs evenly between the servings and sprinkle with cheese. If you are deeply ambitious, broil it for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese.

Add toppings to your heart’s content! Slice 4 ways with a pizza cutter, or dig in with a fork and knife. Bonus points if you serve it with a Tequila Sunrise.

Optional toppings:

  • Hot sauce/sriracha
  • Salsa
  • Leftover roasted veggies
  • Sauerkraut (don’t @ me, ‘kraut is good on everything)
  • Sliced avocado
  • Pico de gallo
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced black olives
  • Pepitas

This is, quite literally, one of the easiest breakfasts you’ll ever make. It’s so fun to get creative with your pantry staples! We tried to get a picture of these, but accidentally devoured them instead. Oops!

xoxo,

c

 

Picante Chickpea Lentil Chili

Sometimes, you’ve just got to make chili, but you don’t have any beans, meat, or meat-adjacent foods in the house. So you improvise! My husband is a garbanzo fiend, so I knew he wouldn’t sweat the substitution.

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no, not that chilli!

It’s been bitterly cold in New England for the past few weeks (no lie—we got a storm that was called a “bomb cyclone” in case we weren’t miserable enough), so something hot and spicy was what the doctor ordered.

I whipped this up using ingredients I had on hand, but it turned out so delicious, I wanted to record the recipe for posterity! Enjoy!

P.S. I highly recommend using all organic ingredients, if possible, because of course I do.

Picante Chickpea & Lentil Chili

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans*
  • 1 c. green lentils
  • 6 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotles in Adobo sauce, diced**
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 c. premade salsa (or diced tomatoes)
  • 1 oz. bourbon (or 2 oz. beer), optional
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. Adobo seasoning***
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • salt to taste

*You’re probably a better person than me and make your own chickpeas from dried. In that case, 2-3 cups should suffice.

**Add as much chipotle as you want—just be warned that going heavy on the peppers will make this very, very spicy.

***If you don’t have Adobo seasoning, get some  sub garlic & onion powder, tumeric, paprika, black pepper, and oregano.

Instructions:

Over medium heat, melt the coconut oil in the bottom of a large saucepan or dutch oven. Add the red onion and celery, lightly salt. Saute until soft. Add the red pepper, potatoes, and zucchini and saute until soft. Add minced garlic and stir until fragrant, 30 sec-1 min. Turn up the heat and deglaze the pan with bourbon, if using. Return to medium heat and add garbanzos, lentils, tomato paste, salsa, chipotles, and spices. Stir until fragrant, 1 min. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 mins. At the 30 min mark, check the lentils and potatoes for doneness (I know this is a meat term, but I’m appropriating it!). If soft, turn off heat and add lime juice. Salt/spice to taste.

Serve with brown rice and top with avocado, cilantro, sour cream, or shredded cheese!

 

“Kitchen Sink” Juice

It probably comes as no surprise that I’m into juicing. I mean juicing like kale smoothies, not like steroids, of course. Ah, juice: $7 cups of raw goodness that pick you up without a caffeine crash later. Heaven!

Well, heaven for Gwyneth Paltrow and the GOOP co., maybe. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the funds for a $7/day juice habit! In a perfect world, yes, I could endlessly patronize my local juiceries, but I had to find a more practical way of incorporating this healthy habit into my lifestyle.

Enter, the Jack LaLanne juicer. I’ve linked to the one I actually own, but other choices can be found herehere, here, and here. Funny story—I have been gifted 2 identical Jack LaLanne Power Juicers in my life! The first one came many moons ago from the grandfather of an ex-boyfriend (random), and the second came last year when a thoughtful coworker noticed that I was into healthy eating. I can certainly understand the impulse to ditch your juicer: they’re bulky, they take up valuable cabinet space, and they come with a million parts, all of which need to be cleaned with every use. It’s annoying! However, the five minutes you’ll spend washing your juicer is, in my opinion, worth saving the $5-$10 you’ll spend on a takeout juice, especially since you can make as much as you want at once. I just made a quart of the stuff!

For the longest time I kept meaning to juice, but felt overwhelmed at concocting a recipe. What, for instance, can be juiced? If I throw all of the produce in my fridge into the machine, will it taste disgusting?

As it turns out—everything and no! So, here’s my foolproof recipe, my “everything but the kitchen sink” juice that is as delicious as it is nutritious!

“Kitchen Sink” Juice, makes just under 1 quart

  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 clementines or 1 orange, halved
  • 2 small or 1 large apple, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 stalks celery, rough chopped
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, rough chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • filtered water
  • 3 large leaves cabbage, optional

Wash and prep all of your fruits and veggies. Shove them down the juicer chute to extract juice. Pour into a quart mason jar or pitcher and top off with filtered water. Give it a shake and serve right away! I like to save my leftovers for the next morning, because what kind of psychopath gets up early enough to juice before work? Not me.

Alternate preparation if you don’t have a juicer: combine all ingredients (including filtered water) in a high speed blender until liquefied. Strain the pulp out with a nut milk bag. 


*very Stefon voice* This juice has everything: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, B vitamins, folate, potassium, manganese, anti-inflammatory agents, Vitamin E, and calcium! If it were any healthier, I might have to ditch my one true love, coffee, in the mornings! But don’t worry, coffee, that will never happen.

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I’ve found the trick to delicious juice every time is the addition of citrus and ginger. Apart from the health benefits they each bring to the table, they make anything taste delicious. For instance, I despise raw celery with a passion, but I’m out here tryna get that Vitamin K!

These ingredients were selected, because at least in my limited scope of understanding, you can reasonably expect to have most of this stuff in your fridge at any given moment. The cabbage is optional, since I don’t think it’s common to have a head of cabbage rolling around in your produce drawer, but I highly encourage you all to get on-freaking-board with cabbage. It’s so good, and good for you! Cabbage is the ride-or-die of greens (or is it a cruciferous veg?)—it can be eaten raw, steamed, sauteed, roasted, or boiled in a soup, it’s packed with vitamins, there are a million different varieties, and best of all, studies have shown that eating yo’ cabbage can help to prevent Type II diabetes! #cabbageappreciationpost

P.S. The next National Cabbage Day is February 17, 2018. If our current administration hasn’t destroyed the planet in nuclear war by then, see you there!

Happy juicing, y’all!