When I saw that the June Recipe Redux Theme was Celebrate a Reduxer I immediately knew two things:IMG_6812 (1280x853)

  1. No one was going to be celebrating me, considering I blog once every month–if I’m lucky–and it’s usually only for the Recipe Redux.
  2. I was going to be ‘celebrating’ Kaila, Miss Healthy Helper, who I’ve “known” for YEARS and who always has such creative ideas (and loves protein, snack, nut bars as much as I do).reciperedux_healthyhelper

So, by “celebrate” they meant copy, or adapt, another Reduxer’s recipe, because imitation–at least in blogland–generally IS the sincerest form of flattery. (Or you’ve just run out of ideas and need a 400th version of oatmeal to make.)

Rather than search through the many pins (or mental notes of recipes to “make one day”) I’ve got from Kaila’s blog, I just went on over there and saw something that I immediately knew I would make.Thai-Basil-Peanut-Dip-1

But, as usual, the thought of me actually following a recipe to the letter was laughable.IMG_6797 (1280x852)

Instead of red curry and peanut (powder), I went with yellow curry and coconut (milk).IMG_6795 (1280x852)

I added extra ginger and lime, and probably a heavier handed proportion of curry paste than you’d get from Kaila’s orignial version.

For reasons that don’t need to be explained, I had a random bunch of both chopped basil and cilantro in the fridge (next to the random coconut milk), so I used both.IMG_6790 (853x1280)

Still vegan. Still gluten-free.

Still as divinely addictive, want-to-spoon-it-in-your-mouth-directly-and/or-cover-everything-with-it, as Kaila describe the original.IMG_6803 (1280x853)

In addition to dipping random vegetables in it, I also used it as a pasta sauce as suggested. (Both within the span of 30 minutes.) I would also like to note that if you DO eat seafood, shrimp also taste very yummy with this.IMG_6818 (1280x853)

Thanks, Kaila, for years of blog support, recipe creativity, and the inspiration for this sauce!IMG_6808 (1280x853)

Creamy Coconut Thai Curry Sauce

(A Healthy Helper Redux)

  • 8 oz. soft (not silken) tofu
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 (heaping) Tablespoon yellow curry paste
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Process until very smooth.
  3. Serve as a dip or use as a sauce for pasta.*

**If not vegan/vegetarian, this sauce is also amazing with shrimp. 


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So this one time, I went to Spain.13238945_10102710252129816_3080156855429633676_n

And I learned how to cook paella….in a VERY LARGE PAN.13221457_10102707410369726_1037986431700931244_n (2)

There’s more to the story than that (and my near two month absence from blogging), but I am even further convinced that I was Spanish in a former life than I was before.

I’m also even more convinced that Spanish food may be my favorite food.IMG_6783 (1280x853)

At the cooking class we took in Barcelona, The Professor and I learned a number of Catalan and Spanish recipes, but the one that I was inspired to recreate first was the Romesco sauce: a deliciously rich, yet light, sauce which we had served over roasted vegetables as a first course.IMG_6764 (1280x853)

But, in a convenient stroke of timing and luck, Recipe Redux and California Walnuts have teamed up for the We Heart Walnuts recipe contest. So, although Rosa (or cooking instructor, whom I now refer to on a regular basis during meals and discussions of Spanish food) may be slightly concerned about my substitution of walnuts for almonds, walnuts ARE a less expensive, equally nutrient rich alternative that are MUCH easier to peel* and, if I do say so myself, make this sauce taste perhaps even more amazing.iheartwalnuts

*Seriously. One of the girls in the cooking class had to PEEL ALMONDS BY HAND.IMG_6681 (1280x853)

Plus, I was sent some for free.

So there’s that.IMG_6674 (1280x853)

I changed the proportions a little bit from what the original recipe called for, but much of the “recipe” was a lot of taste and add, then taste again. Rosa didn’t even use the recipe as written.IMG_6665 (1280x853)

I do not know if using canned diced tomatoes and jarred roasted peppers would be as good or not. As I was already using a bell pepper instead of the Spanish nyora—and that whole walnut thing–I didn’t want to cross Rosa too much.IMG_6708 (1280x853)

Luckily, I had authentic Spanish pimenton (smoked paprika—crucial to the success of this dish—also not in the original recipe they gave us), Spanish olive oil, and sherry vinegar (the vinegar of Spain.)IMG_6736 (1280x853)

Also, chickpeas are very common in Spain (you know, that whole “Mediterranean thing”) so adding some of these roasted pulses to the final dish seemed like a natural choice. Not that you need any more protein and fiber or anything because, hello, one ounce of walnuts has 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber, plus 2.5 grams of ALA omega-3 fatty acids to keep you full and happy (and super healthy).

IMG_6738 (1280x854)

The recipe is technically for four, but I’m pretty sure you will want to eat at least half of it yourself, so perhaps modify your expectations ever so slightly on how far you can stretch it. :)IMG_6773 (1280x853)

Roasted Vegetables with Walnut Romesco & Chickpeas

(Serves 4)

  • 1 cup shelled California walnuts
  • 200g ripe tomatoes (two small, about 1/2 lb.)
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, separated (plus more to taste)
  • 1 14.5-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 8 cups  vegetables of your choice (i.e. asparagus, summer squash or zucchini)
  • 1 cup brown rice, dry
  1. Toast walnuts. (I use a toaster oven, putting them in and removing them JUST as they become fragrant.) Allow to cool and then peel any skins off. Set aside 1/4 cup for serving.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place chickpeas in an even layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Coat with olive oil cooking spray and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp. ground cumin. Toss to cover.
  4. Place tomatoes, bell pepper, and garlic on a foil lined baking pan.
  5. Bake chickpeas at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and tomatoes, pepper, and garlic for 40 minutes.
  6. Remove tomatoes, pepper, and garlic from the oven and allow to cool.
  7. While tomatoes and pepper cool, prepare remaining vegetables for roasting (toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper).
  8. While vegetables roast, prepare rice according to package directions.
  9. Once tomatoes and peppers have cooled, remove skins and put flesh into a blender.
  10. Squeeze garlic out of it’s skin into the blender.
  11. Add paprika, 1/4 tsp. salt, olive oil, and sherry vinegar.
  12. Process until smooth.
  13. Add 3/4 cup walnuts to the blender and continue to process until very smooth.
  14. Serve vegetables over rice, mixed with 1/3 roasted chickpeas, covered with 1/4 cup of romesco sauce.
  15. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts.IMG_6755 (1280x853)

I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


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I love a good Greek salad (as long as the red onions are removed).IMG_6167 (1280x853)

Recently, I had the best take on a Greek salad I can ever remember, at a restaurant called Mama Ricotta’s in Charlotte, NC.mamaricottaschoppedsalad

All chopped and mixed together, there was very little lettuce, and a WHOLE lot of flavor. The pepperoncini and chopped olives “dressed” the salad on their own, but the white balasamic vinegar gave the whole thing an extra ‘kick.’

The best news, for me, was that it tasted even BETTER as leftovers.IMG_6191 (1280x853)

And thus, an idea for the perfect lunch salad was born.reciperedux_lunch

No need to worry about soggy lettuce, 1) because there is hardly any lettuce in terms of ingredient ratio, and 2) the vinegary lettuce just tastes awesome. (If you are a fan of pickling.)IMG_6201 (1280x853)

I plan to eat this for lunch quite often this summer. [With pita on the side.*]

And dinner, too.

*Or with pit on the OUTside.IMG_6214 (1280x853)

And I’m fairly certain my friends are going to get sick of me bringing it to parties.IMG_6188 (1280x853)(More for me, then, I guess.)

————–

Greek Chopped Salad with Chickpeas

  • 3 cups (or more, to your preference) chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked (or canned) chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped, peeled cucumber
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced pepperoncini peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced Kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • white balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • drizzle of EVOO
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts (optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients (except walnuts, if using) in a large salad bowl.
  2. Stir very well.
  3. Just before serving, sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

(May be served immediately, or stored in the fridge for a few days.)IMG_6162 (1280x853)


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Grape Nut(s) Granola

by Sarah on April 17, 2016 · 2 comments

Y’all know by now that I love to mess around with the typical idea of “granola”–adding things like Snickers, because why not–so it probably isn’t surprising that after successfully making (and LOVING) this granola recipe from The Ranch I found in Health Magazine, I got to thinking: “If steel cut oats work in granola…would Grape Nuts?”IMG_6236 (1280x852)

[OK, so, they’re Nutty Nuggets. Whatever. Publix cereal on sale is CHEAP.]IMG_6159 (1280x853)

And the answer to my query was a resounding, YES.IMG_5988 (1280x853)

In fact, it may be the best “granola” I’ve ever made.  (Or at least the most addictive.)IMG_5890 (1280x853)

Sweetened with both maple syrup and honey, mixed with an egg white to help it cluster and crisp.IMG_6012 (1280x853)

I added raisins, because they used to be grapes.IMG_5834 (1280x853)

And cooked raisins are delicious. (The low temperature keeps them chewy.)IMG_6017 (1280x853)

If you can manage to prevent yourself from just eating it straight from whatever vessel you are using for storage, there is an added perk:IMG_5998 (1280x853)

It feels a lot less redundant to put grape nuts on oatmeal than oats on oats, don’t you think?IMG_6238 (1280x853)

Grape Nut(s) Granola

  • 1 cup grape nuts
  • 1/3 cup cashew pieces (raw)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (raw)
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds (raw)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (raw)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds, hulled
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (Grape Nuts through salt).
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg white, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and honey.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring VERY well.
  5. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, making sure the mixture is all “pushed together.”
  6. Bake 45-60 minutes (depending on your oven…I think mine is actually calibrated a little low), rotating the pan every 15 minutes.
  7. Remove granola from the oven and lightly scrape underneath with a spatula, being careful not to break it up too much.
  8. Allow to cool and get crisp before storing.
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Mango Sriracha Hummus

by Sarah on April 7, 2016 · 0 comments

I spent last week impersonating a rockstar health educator at the SOPHE Conference in Charlotte. I was slightly taken down a peg with only four ribbons on my nametag this year, but I managed to do well in scoring free food the first day. My sensor for free food opportunities is ALWAYS strong, you know.IMG_20160330_182036

However, just like the recruiting receptions are always higher quality than the actual job/school experience, so too the downward decline in healthy, inexpensive food during the rest of the conference. Luckily, my roommate had secured a fridge in our room, and I had my car. To Publix we went for provisions. Lo, and behold…
Roots_Hummus_Mango_Sriracha

Mango Sriracha Hummus?

Never seen THAT before.

Had to try.

(And yes, it was displayed JUST like that in the Publix cooler.)

No time to think about how much it would cost or anything. (Not as much as the Carrot Sriracha Hummus I CAN get in Tuscaloosa, although I haven’t done the price per ounce or anything…yet.)IMG_6036 (1280x853)

Upon falling in love, I knew it would need to be recreated once I got home. And, I must say, I did a bang up (mang up?) job. The consistency isn’t as thick, but I like my hummus on the ‘loose’ side.* You could always remove the water or use less vinegar, etc. to get a thicker concoction.

*Insert joke about the way I like my men, or something.IMG_6042 (1280x853)

I used canned mango, as I had a rather absurd amount after it was a “special buy” at Aldi. [Still not sure how I’ll use up the cans of lychee and papaya, but just give me some time…]IMG_6021 (1280x853)

Spice level is up to you. Interestingly, there is no actual sriracha in the original. I would say start with a little, and always leave yourself the option of adding more as you eat it. Once you go too far down the sriracha tunnel, it’s hard to find your way back. (At least with intact tastebuds.)IMG_6059 (1280x853)

If you want to play up the spicy, sweet, AND savory fun even more, you can top with thawed previously frozen pomegranate arils you picked up at a Kroger outside of Atlanta on your way home.

But that’s another story for another time, I think.IMG_6044 (1280x1280)

Mango Sriracha Hummus

Inspired by Roots Hummus

(Makes approx. 1 3/4 cups)

  • 1 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas (the equivalent of a 15-oz. can)
  • 1/2 cup chopped mango
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • sriracha, to your preference (at least 1/4 tsp!)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor.

Process or pulse to reach desired consistency.

Eat.

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Creamy Multigrain Egg White Porridge

by Sarah on March 24, 2016 · 0 comments

Pinterest is where good intentions go to die.

I mean, really.

I’m pinning 10-25 recipes a day, and I make–on average–one per week. MAYBE.pinterest

Sure, it is (P)inspiring, but unless I’m on Spring Break with all kinds of time on my hands, or I’m feeding myself with no potential threat of “this is gross–you are a terrible cook” repercussion, I’m not doing much of the experimenting I used to do.

However, a couple of Sundays ago, I’m scrolling through, peeking around in a lackadasical Pinterest-y way, and I stumble across a new blog. And that new blog lead to a number of new pinned recipes. And as I hadn’t had breakfast yet I thought…well, how about it?IMG_5574 (1280x854)

This was inspired by the BEAUTIFUL blog Nada’s Healthy Kitchen (now Eat Better, Not Less) and the gorgeous fluffy oatmeal with berries and peanut butter drizzle.* As I gave up peanut butter for Lent, I have been coming up with my own toppings, as well as perfecting the “base” recipe to one that is a satisfying mix of creamy, “fluffy” (not in a marshmallow way, but in an expansive way)

*Do I like her because she’s all k.d. lang with no capital letters in her recipe titles? Maybe.IMG_5646 (1280x853)

And I have had plenty of opportunities to perfect it.IMG_5803 (1280x853)

Plenty.IMG_5771 (1280x853)

Of.IMG_5778 (1280x853)

Opportunities.IMG_5714 (1280x853)

I have been meaning to try it in savory form, but, much like Pinterest…you know what they say about good intentions.IMG_5793 (1280x853)

Creamy Multigrain Egg White Porridge

[Adapted from Nada’s Fluffy Oatmeal]

(Serves 1)

  • 1 1/4 cups water (plus more as needed)
  • 2 Tbsp. rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp. oat bran
  • 1 Tbsp. brown rice flakes (or substitute quinoa flakes or more rolled oats, or oat bran)
  • 1 Tbsp. quinoa
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1/2 Tbsp. chia seed
  • 3 Tbsp. liquid egg whites
  • 1/4 cup favorite milk (cow’s, goat’s, almond, cashew, coconut, soy…)
  • tiny drop of vanilla extract
  • sweetener (optional)
  • mix-ins and toppings (fruit, nuts, etc.)
  1. Combine water, oats, rice flakes, oat bran, quinoa, flax, and chia seed in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  2. Add milk (and/or more water) a little at a time as the porridge starts to thicken, continuing to stir.
  3. Whisk egg whites in a small bowl. (Or just shake the container vigorously if that’s what you are using.)
  4. Stir egg whites and vanilla extract ino pan, stirring consistently until egg whites are cooked.
  5. Add mix-ins or toppings as desired. [I love some Happy Tots squeezable fruit for the morning, myself. :)]
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I must say that the theme for this month’s Recipe Redux was one I am ALL ABOUT: 7 Ingredients (or Less).reciperedux7

Let’s be real, most of the time I’m cooking I’m not measuring anything, and I’m just throwing this or that in a pan, or an oven,or a bowl. [OK, usually a bowl.]IMG_5535 (1280x853)

This is also generally my favorite type of competition on cooking shows: Can a “real” chef make a dish sing without access to an endless supply of ingredients and seasonings?*

*Also, WERE the fearless leaders of the Recipe Redux psychic? Because this was the EXACT SAME CHALLENGE from last week’s All-Star Academy…

allstaracademyMATH

With few ingredients, it means you’ve got to choose good ones, right? And the deliciousness factor can come from either the comfort of a traditional pairing…or the surprise of an unusual one.

I like to think that this “recipe” has a little of both.reciperedux_7ingredients

Confession: this wasn’t really my idea.

At a recent viewing of The Bachelor, my friend Alexa made spaghetti with kale pasta sauce, and a salad made with apples, walnuts, shaved Parmesan cheese, served with a balsamic vinaigrette. [Oddly (?) this all paired well with slices of my Irish Oatmeal Brown Bread with Rosemary, Walnuts, & Dates.] After discussing our mutual, current adoration/obsession with walnuts, I dug in…and was pleasantly surprised by the sweet, savory, tart, and salty combination of everything on my plate.IMG_20160208_191326756

So, I recreated the pairing(s) as best I could in the form of a kale salad (my favorite) with a basic vinaigrette (although you could use your preferred store-bought variety and reduce the number of ingredients by one) and simple toppings. You even have room to add some extra protein in the form of beans (vegans and vegetarians) or chicken (omniviores).IMG_5525 (1280x853)

As with all simple meals, there’s no real “recipe,” just ingredients for you to add and subtract as you wish. [No one is grading this. I promise.]IMG_5512 (1280x853)

Balsamic Kale Salad with Apples, Walnuts, & Parmesan

  • Chopped and de-stemmed kale 
  • Chopped sweet tart apples (I like Ambrosia or Fuji.)
  • Walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved or shredded
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Extra protein element (optional) for a “full meal”: beans, chicken, etc.
  1. Whisk togther balsamic vinegar and olive oil in desired proportion.
  2. Place kale in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Pour vinaigrette over kale and massage greens, using hands. (Get messy!)
  4. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes, but longer is better!
  5. Before serving, top with remaining ingredients and toss lightly.

————————-

Want more 7-Ingredient (or Less) Recipes? If you also want more balsamic vinegar in your life, check out my Balsamic White Bean Dip with Fennel Seed (that also–clearly–works as a sandwich spread).

IMG_5651 (1280x853)

Otherwise, check out other Redux-ers Recipes below. :)


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Balsamic White Bean Dip with Fennel Seed

by Sarah on March 17, 2016 · 1 comment

So, my first stop upon returning home from my Winter Break trip to upstate New York was to Whole Foods.

For fennel seed.IMG_5553 (1280x853)

Because while on that trip I had tasted a bean dip unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before.*

*For the record, I never thought I would say type–with conviction– anything like that ever in my life.IMG_5607 (1280x853)

And it only took me until Spring Break to make it.IMG_5439 (1280x853)

There were no measurements to copy, no true method to follow aside from “mash everything together.” (also known as, “use an immersion blender for ease”…)IMG_5559 (1280x853)But I had to recreate it as best as I could…and I did a pretty darn good job of it, too.IMG_5609 (1280x853)

Dip veggies or chips into it. Spread it onto a sandwich (especially if that sandwich involves sundried tomatoes). Scoop it on a salad. Eat it with a spoon.

I have done all of those things.IMG_5658 (1280x853)

And each was better than the last.IMG_5567 (1280x853)

If you don’t like balsamic vinegar or fennel seed,  well you probably shouldn’t make this. But then again, if you don’t like balsamic vinegar or fennel seed you probably would have stopped at the title of this post, now wouldn’t you have done?^

^Questionable grammatical structure noted.IMG_5614 (1280x853)

Balsamic White Bean Dip with Fennel Seed

(Makes about 2 cups, depending on how thick you make it)

  • 1 3/4 cup cooked white beans (or 1-14.5 oz can, rinsed and drained)
  • a smidge of cooking liquid (or water)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. fennel seed*
  • 1-2 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt, to taste

*If you need to serve this immediately, grind the fennel seed first.

  1. Put beans, 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp. fennel seed, and 1 tsp. thyme into a mixing bowl.
  2. Begin to mash with fork or spoon, or puree (so still ‘chunky’) with an immersion blender, adding liquid as needed to reach desired consistency.
  3. Increase vinegar and seasonings as desired.
  4. Allow to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours to soften the fennel seed and make the flavors really pop.
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I have had this Cuisinart Rice Plus Multi-Cooker for so long it has been discontinued.*

And I have never–not one time–used it.

*Never fear: replacement parts are still available.051103026-04-cuisinart-rice-plus-multicooker_ld

Until now.IMG_5372 (1280x853)

But, of course, when I DID finally decide to use it–on the slow cooker function– I was so paranoid about coming home to the kitchen burned to the ground that I ended up only turning it on when I was home during the day, thereby eliminating the “I came home to  hot meal waiting” reason most people claim to love having a slow cooker.IMG_5382 (1280x854)

I also am pretty sure that what I made really didn’t NEED to be “slow cooked,” and I probably could have gotten away with just cooking it like a regular soup or chili, but then again, maybe those extra hours being kept SUPER HOT* really did mke the flavor better. We may never know. [Or I will, and will forget to tell you.]

*Hello, rising gush of “I didn’t ask for a facial, but I got one” steam released upon opening.IMG_5377 (1280x853)

Regardless, this has tons of tomatoes, peppers, and kale (for me), smoked sausage* (for The Professor), and white beans (for our colons).^

*If you’ve got some of the local or (almost local) Georgia-made smoked variety left over from weekend grilling and are into that sort of thing…or not, because it tastes just great without it. I should know.

^Why yes, I DID say that.IMG_20160306_190826788 (1280x720)
I also could say it was “Italian” and mumble the rest, meaning The Professor would at least attempt to eat it without any (initial) fear.IMG_20160308_193049189 (1280x720)

Unlike the fear I have of actually leaving the multi-cooker on during the day.

Will I EVER be able to do it????

Italian (Sausage Optional) Chili with White Beans and Kale

[Adapted from Half Baked Harvest]

  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. (your favorite) chili powder + 1 Tbsp. ancho or chipotle chili powder [or 2 Tbsp. of either]
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (6 oz.) can of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (skins removed, ideally)
  • 2 jarred roasted red bell peppers, chopped [almost all of a 12-oz. jar]
  • 5-6 cups kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pecorino romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup sliced or diced Italian sausage, cooked (optional)
  1. Combine onion, garlic, seasonings, tomato paste, vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, and tomato in a slow-cooker. Cook on low 4-5 hours, or high 2-3 hours.
  2. Stir in roasted peppers, kale, parsley, cheese, and sausage (if using). Cook on high 1 more hour.
  3. Serve with bread (and a sprinkle of parsley and cheese if you like).
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They say if something ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
 IMG_5093 (1280x853)
And that curiosity killed the cat.IMG_5060 (1280x853)
But I say it is curiosity that is the mother of invention…IMG_5148 (1280x853)
….not always necessity.IMG_5090 (1280x853)
After all, imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery.IMG_5097 (1280x853)
Irish Oatmeal “Buttermilk” Brown Bread with Dates, Walnuts, Rosemary
(Makes 1 small loaf)
  • ~90g whole wheat flour
  • 25g steel cut oats
  • ~115g quick cooking oats
  • 17g molasses
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk + 3 Tbsp. white vinegar (set aside for 10 minutes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil (or melted butter)
  • ~3/4 tsp. (hearty pinch) dried rosemary (more or less as you are adventurous!)
  • ~1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 5 pitted dates, finely chopped
  1. Line a small loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all ingredients except walnuts and dates in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir well until a thick batter forms.
  4. Fold in walnuts and dates.
  5. Allow batter to sit for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Bake bread 30-40 minutes, until top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean!
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