Search Results for: sour cream

Real Recipe: Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

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Oh how I love the Farmer’s Market. I mean what’s not to love? Local farmers and the community coming together, an opportunity to buy the freshest vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses, eggs, honey, jam, hummus, breads (the list goes on!). However, with the amazing amount of produce you get for such a great deal (no, I’m not complaining!), I often have more vegetables than I know what to do with. Zucchini is often one of them.

Although I used some of my zucchini in the lasagna last week (click here for recipe!), I still had a couple pieces left. So, after browsing some recipes online this week, I decided zucchini sticks it would be. I’ve made baked zucchini chips before (egg wash, coat with bread crumbs, bake in oven), but this time decided to fancy up the sticks a little more (expensive parmesan cheese, panko Italian style bread crumbs, sour cream dipping sauce!). Read on for some deliciously clean Parmesan Zucchini Sticks with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce:

First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut two-three zucchini into sticks by slicing off ends, cutting zucchini in half, and cutting lengthwise. Next, mix 1 cup panko Italian style bread crumbs (I used Ian’s brand) with 1/2 cup parmesean cheese. Note: If you can’t find Italian style, mix in 1 tablespoon mixed Italian seasoning into regular bread crumbs!

Beat two eggs. Dip zucchini sticks in eggs (a couple at a time), and then roll in bread crumb mixture. Place on greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper), and bake for about 10 minutes per side or until both sides are starting to brown!

Now for the dipping sauce. Mix 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup mayo, 1/8 cup favorite mustard together. Add 1/4 cup green onions and hot sauce to taste (optional). Stir together.

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Mmm mmm mmm. This was my dinner tonight (yes I know, not very well balanced but so delicious I ate at least 10 sticks!). Enjoy!

Baked Zucchini Sticks with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

Serves approx. 24 sticks
Allergy Egg, Wheat
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Side Dish
Baked parmesan zucchini sticks with a delicious dipping sauce!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (all-natural or organic)
  • 1/4 cup mayo (all-natural or organic)
  • 1/8 cup mustard (all-natural or organic)
  • 1/4 cup green onions (sliced finely)
  • dash hot sauce (optional)
  • 3 zucchini (cut into approx. 3 inch sticks)
  • 2 eggs (preferably organic)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (all-natural or organic)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (finely grated)
  • 1 tablespoon mixed Italian seasonings (if not using Italian style bread crumbs)

Note

Servings will depend on size of zucchini!

Directions

Zucchini Sticks
Step 1
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Step 2
Cut off ends of zucchini, slice in half, and cut into sticks.
Step 3
Mix together bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Beat together two eggs.
Step 4
Dip zucchini sticks, a couple at a time, into egg wash and roll in bread crumb mixture.
Step 5
Line on greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper).
Step 6
Bake for about 10 minutes per side or until sticks are starting to brown!
Dipping Sauce
Step 7
Mix together sour cream, mayo, mustard, and hot sauce.
Step 8
Add in green onions and stir to combine.
Step 9
Enjoy!

Smart Swap: Sour Cream

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A former student of mine makes these to-die-for tamales. Quite honestly, I wasn’t much of a tamale fan until I tried hers. I like to purchase a dozen or two at a time, especially if I am bringing them somewhere to share.

Although the tamales are quite delicious by themselves, I like to eat mine with sour cream to balance out the spice. Unfortunately, most of the standard grocery-store sour cream options are not clean ones. What a bummer! Luckily however, there are a few good options out there. I always suggest if you can buy organic, go for it. If you aren’t able to find any organic options at your local store, no worries, there are other good all-natural options out there as well.

Here are my suggestions for organic and all-natural sour cream options:

Best Organic Options:

1. Kalona SuperNatural Organic – my personal favorite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Organic Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Horizon Organic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Nancy’s Organic Cultured

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best All-Natural Options:

1. Daisy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Tillamook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Breakstone’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s do a comparison:

Kemps Cultured Sour Cream Ingredients: Skim Milk, Cream, Corn Starch-Modified, Guar Gum, Sodium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Sodium Citrate, Locust Bean Gum, Cultures, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)

Vs.

Daisy Sour Cream Ingredients: Grade A cultured cream

Hmm…why all the extra ingredients?

Hooray for all-natural sour cream! :)

Meal Planning Monday

lamb_burgers

Hello there! And a very Happy Monday to you. :)

The hubby and I are leaving for San Diego in….drumroll please….3 days! This Minnesotan girl is sure looking forward to a little sun and warmth on this pasty skin.

Today I thought I’d kick off Meal Planning Monday (can I get a #mealplanningmonday please?!). We have been trying to be better about discussing on Sunday when were going to be home for dinner for the upcoming week, what we want for breakfast/lunch/dinner, and actually grocery shopping accordingly. It prevents so much angst during the week by not having to go to the store and decide what to make for dinner after working all day. By that time, my brain is fried! Not to mention, it helps us waste less food by being planned out, and make less excuses to eat out. Win win all around!

This week is a short week for us being we are leaving for vacaaayyyy (can you sense how excited I am through the screen?!) on Thursday. However, we still discussed yesterday what we wanted to do for the week and made a late night grocery stop after dinner.

Here’s what’s on our menu for the week:

Monday:

Breakfast: Perfect Bar and banana

The Cranberry Crunch ones are my favorite (and one of the only ones I can eat being I gave up almonds!). Good amount of protein, whole foods, and chock full of nutrients. My only complaint is that they are a little high on sugar (even if it is in the form of honey – still could use a tad less of it!).
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Lunch: Italian salad

with salami, fresh mozzarella, baby tomatoes, and balsamic dressing for Andy

Chicken Noodle Soup and a Power Kale Caesar Salad from Panera for Katie (that one was unplanned!)

Dinner: Lamb burgers

with grilled onions and tzatziki and a side of curry roasted sweet potatoes

lamb_burgers

Tuesday:

Breakfast: peanut butter banana smoothie

with mixed root veggies (carrots, parsnips, sweet potato)

Lunch: Italian salad/leftover lamb burger

Dinner: homemade lobster mac n’ cheese with broccoli

Wednesday:

Breakfast: smoothie or eggs with sourdough toast

Lunch: leftover mac n’ cheese with broccoli

Dinner: out with old coworker (TBD where!)

Thursday:

Breakfast: smoothie or eggs with sourdough toast

Lunch: work lunch at Donatelli’s (from Drive Ins, Diners, and Dives!)

Dinner: In San Diego!!!!

What we bought for the week:

1 loaf artisan sourdough bread

4 bananas

1/2 gallon coconut milk (for smoothies)

2 Perfect Bars

3 hearts organic romaine lettuce (in package)

1 small carton baby tomatoes

1 package sliced salami

2 balls fresh mozzarella

1 pound ground lamb

2 frozen lobster tails

small carton half and half or whole milk

What we already had on hand for the week:

organic eggs (we buy in 2 dozen packs from Costco!)

all-natural peanut butter

Tillamook cheddar cheese block (from Costco)

frozen mixed root vegetables (from Costco)

large bag broccoli florets (from Costco)

cavatappi noodles

balsamic vinegar and olive oil

rosemary (for lamb burgers)

quarter of cucumber (made into tzatziki sauce)

sour cream (for tzatziki)

onions (we buy in bulk at Costco)

sweet potatoes (also in bulk from Costco)

Alright folks – that’s it for this week! Until next time…

ron_burgendy

 

:)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

loaded baked potato soup

The fiancé told me the other day that I should rename my blog to ‘Eat Soup with Kate’. After feeling slightly offended for a few seconds, I realized it’s not such a bad thing after all. Thanks darling. :)

If you’ve been following my blog you will understand when I say that I’ve really been loving soups lately. In fact, that’s all I’ve really been making (and thus, posting!) this winter.

And I’m ok with that. You know why?

a) Soups can be an extremely healthy meal option

b) Soups are insanely filling

c) Soups are so very versatile

d) Soups are delicious

e) Soups make great leftovers

And that is that. :)

I’ve made some classic standbys this winter (including this Chicken Wild Rice Soup and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup) as well as some new favorites (Healthy Broccoli Cheese and Sweet Potato Kale and Chorizo Soup).

Today I’m sharing a recipe for a Loaded Baked Potato Soup. I can’t say I’ve ever made my own before, and boy, was it good! This is not the bland baked potato soup you may have had before. The bright flavors of jalapeño and green onions compliment the richness of the milk, sour cream and cheese. Topped with caramelized onions, crisp bacon, and green onions, this soup is hearty, thick and delicious!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients:

6-8 large red potatoes (or 10-12 smaller ones), cut into 1-inch cubes

8 cups milk (I used whole milk from a local farmer)

1 cup sour cream (check out my recommended brands here!)

4 TBSP + 2 TBSP butter – divided

2 TBSP flour

2 cups cheddar cheese

8 pieces bacon, for topping

6 green onions, sliced thinly + extras for topping

1/2 onion, diced

1 jalapeño, minced

splash heavy cream (optional)

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400. Lay bacon on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake bacon until crisp. Remove from oven and transfer to paper towel lined plate to finish. Crumble with hands.

Meanwhile, melt 4 TBSP butter in large pot over medium heat. Once melted, add in flour and stir continuously until forms a roux (should be light brown to golden brown in color).

Add in milk slowly, one cup at a time, stirring as you go. Bring to a simmer.

Add in potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until potatoes are fork tender and falling apart slightly (20-30 minutes).

While potatoes are cooking, melt remaining butter in small pan. Add onions and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until become soft and caramel colored.

When potatoes are finished, add in jalapeño and green onion. Stir to combine.

Take soup off heat. Using an immersion hand blender (or potato masher), blend soup until reaches desired consistency.

Stir in sour cream and splash of cream (if using). Slowly add in cheese, stirring to combine.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Top with caramelized onions, crispy bacon and additional green onion (if desired).

Enjoy!

loaded baked potato soup

I love this soup so much I just can’t wait till lunch to enjoy it! So, I’ve been eating it for breakfast. Yes breakfast. I figure it has bacon and potatoes in it, so it’s close enough to a breakfast meal (who says you can’t have soup for breakfast anyway!?). :)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Rocking out some work while enjoying my delicious soup.

Reader’s Input: What are your favorite kind of potatoes: Baked, Mashed, Au Gratin? What kind of toppings and add-ins do you like with your potatoes? 

Sweet Potato, Kale & Chorizo Soup

Sweet Potato, Kale and Chorizo Soup

Tis the season for all things sweet potato, pumpkin, and squash. What do all of these things have in common? Besides being in season in the Fall, they also all have a sweetness to them.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t love sweet. I hardly crave sweets (unless it involves chocolate!), and despise sweet dishes. Ok maybe despise is too strong of a word to use. Dislike would be better. But strongly dislike at that! If I’m going to eat a food that tastes sweet, there’s got to be a savory element to it.

Like my Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Bake. Or my Butternut Squash Soup (that has jalapeño). Or my Curried Butternut Squash Soup. Or my Wonton Tortellini with Butternut Squash and Brown Butter Sage Sauce. You get my point.

As I’m not a huge fan of overly sweet dishes, I’ve got to think of other ways to enjoy the local foods that are in season this Fall.

And thus, Sweet Potato, Kale & Chorizo Soup was born.

I can enjoy sweet potato fries, but only if they come with a seasoned sour cream-like dip that isn’t sweet. And sweet potatoes with a honey-mustard sauce (the mustard cuts the sweetness enough for me) are good. What I don’t love is sweet potatoes with maple syrup, cinnamon, or any of the other sweet toppings.

I bought these sweet potatoes from the farmers market the other week, and needed to figure out what to do with them before they went to waste.

After some browsing through the internet, I stubbled across this recipe from Emeril: New-Style Caldo Verde. Apparently Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup. I looked at the ingredients and BAM! (as Emeril would say), it looked like the perfect fit. I tweaked it a bit, substituting sweet potatoes for regular and omitting some of the herbs. Overall though, it was amaze balls (yes, I just used that word).

The fiancé, and I am quoting his words here, even stated that this “is the best thing you have ever made”. BAM!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. :)

sweet potato kale chorizo & soup

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1 bunch kale, leaves removed and sliced thinely

8 cups chicken stock

1 lb. fresh chorizo, removed from casing

2 TBS. olive oil

2 sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

salt and pepper, to taste

cilantro, for serving

cotija cheese, for serving

Directions:

Sauté onion and garlic in large pot over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add in red pepper, salt, and pepper and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Add in potatoes and lower to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are cooked through and falling apart.

Meanwhile, brown chorizo in separate pan. Drain from fat.

Once potatoes are soft, add in chorizo and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until chorizo is cooked through.

Add in kale. Continue cooking until leaves have softened but are still crunchy and bright green.

Serve, topping with cilantro and cotija cheese.

 

Sweet Potato Kale and Chorizo Soup

Savory or Sweet? What’s your preference?

Any pumpkin, squash, or sweet potato recipes that are your favorite?

Until next time,

Happy Clean Eating!

Kate

Sweet Potato, Kale and Chorizo Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
A hearty and filling soup perfect for a cold night. Healthy and delicious.
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch Kale, leaves removed and sliced thinely
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb. fresh chorizo, removed from casing
  • 2 TBS. olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro, for serving
  • cotija cheese, for serving
Instructions
  1. Sauté onion and garlic in large pot over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in red pepper, salt, and pepper and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in potatoes and lower to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are cooked through and falling apart.
  5. Meanwhile, brown chorizo in separate pan. Drain from fat.
  6. Once potatoes are soft, add in chorizo and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until chorizo is cooked through.
  7. Add in kale. Continue cooking until leaves have softened but are still crunchy and bright green.
  8. Serve, topping with cilantro and cotija cheese.

Chicken Chili

Chipotle Chicken Chili

Dear rotisserie chicken,

Thank you for saving my life.

That is all.

Love,

Kate

Save my life in a I’m-grocery-shopping-at-6:30p.m.-and-still-need-to-make-dinner-when-I-get-home kind of save me. That’s what happened last night, after an entire weekend full of soccer training (and when I say an entire weekend I mean an entire weekend: 6-10 p.m. Friday night, and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday – bah!).

Rotisserie chicken has been the star of the show these days. First in this Chicken Wild Rice Soup we made a few weeks ago, and now in this delicious Chicken Chili.

It reduces the time I spend slaving (ahem, I mean loving) in the kitchen, and more time spent eating delicious food. You see, as much as I love the calming nature of spending an hour or two in the kitchen creating a dish from scratch, I’ve got my priorities straight. Eating > cooking.

So let’s talk about this chili, shall we?

My original plan was to make this White Bean Chicken Chili but our local grocery store didn’t have cannellini beans in stock. It’s 6:30 p.m., I’m starving and you are telling me there are no cannellini beans. What do you mean you don’t carry cannellini beans?! Doesn’t everyone love white bean chicken chili as much as I do?? Apparently not.

So, what’s a girl to do? Improvise my friends. Im-pro-vise. Do you think it’s a coincidence that pro is in the middle of that word? Me either. :)

I grabbed two cans of organic chili beans (which included pinto, black, and kidney beans), and went to town. What resulted was this slightly spicy, super hearty chili. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. Not one bit.

Oh, and did I mention there is beer in this recipe? :) Enjoy!

Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

2 rotisserie chicken breasts (or two uncooked chicken breasts), shredded

2 cups chicken stock

3 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (depending on spice preference)

1 onion, diced

1 bottle good bear

1 tomato, diced (can also used one can tomatoes)

2 cans chili beans (or one can each of black, pinto, and kidney beans)

1 TBSP chili powder

1 TBSP cumin

1 lime

salt and pepper, to taste

2 TBSP olive oil

sour cream, for serving

cilantro, for serving

grated cheddar cheese, for serving

Directions:

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until soft (about 5 mins).

Pour in beer and let reduce slightly (about 5 mins).

Add in tomatos, beans, chipotles, spices, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Pour in 2 cups chicken stock. Add chicken and bring to a simmer.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Squeeze in half of lime. Simmer for additional 30 mins or until completely heated through.

Top with sour cream, cilantro, and cheese if desired.

Enjoy!

Note: If using uncooked chicken breasts, sear on both sides in pot with garlic and onions. Simmer 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through. Take out and shred, then return to soup.

Chipotle Chicken Chili

 

Got any cooking quick fixes or cheats? Favorite chili recipes?

Chipotle Chicken Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Hearty and delicious Chipotle Chicken Chili.
Ingredients
  • 2 rotisserie chicken breasts (or two chicken breasts, seared)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (depending on spice preference)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bottle good bear
  • 1 tomato, diced (can also used one can tomatoes)
  • 2 cans chili beans (or one can each of black, pinto, and kidney beans)
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • sour cream, for serving
  • cilantro, for serving
  • grated cheddar cheese, for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until soft (about 5 mins).
  2. Pour in beer and let reduce slightly (about 5 mins).
  3. Add in tomatos, beans, chipotles, spices, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour in 2 cups chicken stock. Add chicken and bring to a simmer.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Squeeze in half of lime.
  7. Top with sour cream, cilantro, and cheese if desired.
  8. Enjoy!

WIAW #4 (What I Ate Wednesday)

WIAW 4 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

It’s summer! OK, it’s summer break. But still, it’s summer! Or at least to me. :)

Last Friday I posted a Friday Favorites and mentioned how crazy my weekend was going to be between the soccer tournament, 30th birthday party, and wedding. Yep, it was just as crazy as I thought it would be! I got about 10 hours of sleep total between Friday and Saturday night, and it took me until today to feel totally recovered from the craziness.

And although school is over and I wrote in an earlier post about how I couldn’t wait to have more free time and relax, that has yet to be the case. Soccer camp started Monday, and runs for 5 weeks this summer. I’ve been in my classroom all week as we are moving buildings, and then today I had a half day workshop for using data in the classroom. Fun stuff! Between that and teaching my usual yoga class, having a friend in town from Madison, and presenting at a youth soccer night, the craziness from last week hasn’t stopped!

What has that meant for my diet (and when I say diet, I mean what I’ve ate)? I’ve basically eaten crap since last Friday. Today’s post is not so much what I’ve eaten in one day, but what I’ve eaten since the last time we’ve met. And folks, it aint pretty.

Here we goooooo!!

WIAW #4

Friday was our end-of-year picnic. I brought a spinach salad with candied pecans (that I candied myself!), cucumbers, strawberries, blue cheese, bacon, and a homemade vinaigrette that consisted mostly of apple cider vinegar, sugar, and lemon (good thing I’m off that no sugar thing!).

WIAW 4 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Friday night I ate a slice of pizza, kettle corn, and a bag of Fritos at the soccer tournament. It gets worse people, it gets worse.

Saturday I had to be at the tournament at 6:30 a.m. My breakfast consisted of a banana, another bag of Fritos, and a powdered sugar donut. Ugh. 

That night we had a wedding at the State Fair Grounds for two of my high school friends. The menu consisted of pulled pork sandwiches, elk burgers, walleye cakes, cheese curds, mini donuts, and corn dogs. You know, the usual state fair foods. :) I did have some of everything, minus the mini donuts and corn dogs. It was like a taste of the State Fair, in June!

Late Saturday night (well technically Sunday) we got a flat tire on the way home from the wedding. Although I had a plug in it, I had to get it fixed Sunday morning. On the good side? I got to sleep in past 5:30 a.m. On the bad side? I had to get a whole new tire.

While I was waiting for my tire to get fixed, I walked down to Agra Culture, my new favorite restaurant. It’s the place I raved about last Wednesday. I ordered the seasonal hash with fingerling potatoes, asparagus, peppers, and onions with a side of nitrate-free bacon. With a green juice to start. Hello yum!

WIAW 4 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Sunday during the day I was back at the tournament, eating more kettle corn and Fritos. They also had Noodles and Company at the concession stand, so I had some of their Penne Rosa pasta for lunch. And then Buffalo Wild Wings later on. Whenever I eat their boneless wings I get a monster stomach ate. Why do I do this to myself?!

The upside to free food? It’s free. The downside? It’s usually crap for you. :(

After I got done with the tourney I went and picked up dinner for my mom and I (being I was in the neighboorhod). At Noodles and Company of all places. I had chicken noodle soup due to the stomach ache from before. My mom had their Indonesian Peanut Sauté. It’s one of my favs there.

Monday was just as crazy. I went to lunch with my coworkers for the last time and had Southwest egg rolls. They were amazing. And then I was in a food coma trying to finish my grades. I tell ya.

That night I went to my friend Andrea’s house for a girls night, and everyone brought something. I made these taquitos. This time however, I used rotisserie chicken and added sour cream, cheese, black beans and chipotle salsa to the mixture before rolling them up. So delicious!

Tuesday I finally got a little bit back on track. I made my favorite smoothie. Then for lunch I had a salad at Chipotle. Chipotle is definitely my favorite non-fast food fast food place. I feel like I can make relatively healthy decisions while I’m there! This salad included black and pinto beans, chicken, onions and peppers, corn and tomato salsa, with a little bit of sour cream and cheese. Oh, and guacamole. Can’t forget the guac.

WIAW 4 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

For dinner I had a few leftover taquitos (I was on the Mexican theme for the day!).

Then this morning I had the usual smoothie, although I realized I bought the WRONG YOGURT! It’s the Vanilla Greek yogurt, not the plain stuff. I can’t believe how sweet yogurt with sugar added tastes to me these days. It was still yummy, don’t get me wrong, but a little too sweet for my taste.

Anyway, life goes on.

This afternoon I ate the rest of my Chipotle salad and then met a few former coworkers for happy hour. We split some wings and onion rings (again, so healthy) and I had an amazing drink with organic (and local!) gin, honey syrup, and lemon. It just screamed summer! And was amazing.

WIAW 4 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

And that’s it. Bah! Not an especially clean or healthy past few days (err, week, I mean). I’ll get into my summer routine here shortly though, and have planned out my meals and snacks a little better.

Until then, I’m just living a little, and enjoying the beautiful weather while we have it. :)

Hope you all are having a wonderful Wednesday! And feel free to drop a line – I love hearing from you! :)

Linking up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons today!

Cheesy Corn Dip

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Rain rain go away, come back another day! It’s been raining for pretty much two days straight. And although I love the rain (compared to snow!) and the green that comes along with it, it is looking quite soggy out there.

Yesterday we made the trek to Clear Lake, WI to check out a food truck. Pretty exciting stuff! We have talked about starting a fresh-pressed juice and smoothie truck all winter, and are finally getting closer to making it a reality. It’s a big (and scary!) step, but you never know until you try, right?!

I was at a coaching clinic yesterday with speaker Joe Ehrmann (if you’re a football junkie you probably know who he is!). He talked a lot about what’s important in life (relationships, causes) versus what society tell us is important (money, athleticism, looks, etc.). He also discussed the top three things people on their deathbed wish they would have done more of: 1) reflect 2) take risks and 3) invest in legacies.

Take risks. Yep, that would be my motto for the food truck. We are taking a HUGE risk. But of course, the greater the risk the greater the reward. :) I’ll keep you posted on the progress!

OK, so on to this Cheesy Corn Dip. This weekend was girls weekend (although I also coached soccer, looked at a wedding venue, bought some golf clubs…). Us gals got together on Friday night to eat, drink some wine, and catch up. A perfect night if you ask me!

We all brought something to share and my dish was to be a dip.

Let me tell you about my dilemmas with dip. I love love love dip! However, I do not like processed cheese (i.e. Velveeta) dip. Do you know how many dip recipes contain processed cheese?! Wayyyy too many in my opinion. Processed cheese gives me a killer sinus headache and I have to blow my nose almost instantly after consuming. Not to mention the looks of it freaks me out! I have never made anything with what they like to call a “processed cheese product”, nor will I ever.

And although I’ve got a few of my own dip favorites (like this Buffalo Chicken Dip that I’ve posted here and a cheesy Italian sausage and pepper dip that I’ll have to post another time), I wanted to try something new.

After researching online for what felt like forever to find the perfect non-processed cheese product dip, I stumbled upon this little gem of a blog post.

Although I scanned through them all, that first dip, the Hot Corn Dip, just looked too good to not try!

It’s an adaptation from Emeril Lagasse’s Hot Corn Dip Recipe, so you know it’s good.

Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures of this deliciousness. I was running out the door after I made it, didn’t think about taking pictures of it when I was enjoying it at my friend’s house, and now the leftovers are sitting in the crock-pot at my mom’s. I will add a picture as soon as I’ve got one. And anyway, Emeril’s post lacks a picture too. Just saying! :)

Cheesy Corn Dip

Ingredients

2 TBSP butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 medium sweet onion, diced

1 jalapeno, de-seeded and minced

1 10-12 oz, bag frozen corn

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 green onions (white +green parts), sliced thinly

1/2 cup organic mayonnaise

1/2 cup organic sour cream

1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

Saute garlic, onion, and jalapeno until fragrant (about 30 seconds).

Add in bell pepper, corn, and green onion. Saute until veggies are heated through.

When veggies are heated through, transfer to a baking dish or crock-pot (I used my mini crock-pot!).

Mix in the mayo, sour cream, and cheese. If baking in a dish, sprinkle extra cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until melted and bubbly or leave in your crock-pot until heated through.

Serve and enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips or crackers!

Cheesy Corn Dip
 
A deliciously all-natural creamy hot corn dip! Perfect for parties and get-togethers!
Ingredients
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and minced
  • 1 10-12 oz, bag frozen corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 green onions (white +green parts), sliced thinly
  • ½ cup organic mayonnaise
  • ½ cup organic sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Saute garlic, onion, and jalapeno until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  3. Add in bell pepper, corn, and green onion. Saute until veggies are heated through.
  4. When veggies are heated through, transfer to a baking dish or crock-pot (I used my mini crock-pot!).
  5. Mix in the mayo, sour cream, and cheese. If baking in a dish, sprinkle extra cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until melted and bubbly or leave in your crock-pot until heated through.
  6. Serve and enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips or crackers!

Spicy Black Bean and Rice Soup

black_bean_soup

Fact: it is snowing outside. In April. Seriously?! Seriously.

Minnesota, listen up. In the summer you are my favorite place to be. Running around the lakes, swimming, cruising with the windows down, hanging out on patios, enjoying a few beers by a bonfire. In the first signs of spring (which we were experiencing during my last post!), I easily forget the horribly long cold months you put us through. And in the fall, I’m ready for a change. For the excuse to wear cute boots, scarves, and hats. Not to mention it’s soccer and football season. :)

And snow and -40 degrees in winter? That’s one thing. Snow and 30 degrees in April? That’s a whole ‘nother.

There is only one good thing about snow in April (yes, I’m trying to look on the bright side here!). Soup. Delicious, warm, comforting soup.

snow

Not cool, MN. Not cool.

Alright, moving on.

The other day for lunch I picked up some gumbo from a local coffee shop. Sausage, chicken, beans, rice. Yum! So sooo good. I just looove the combo of beans and rice. Some days, I could just eat beans and rice for dinner. And especially if we are at a Mexican restaurant!

Tonight on my drive home from work, I decided I would make my own bean and rice soup. I’m a big fan of black bean soup (Panera’s especially!), but had never tried adding rice. It adds a bit more texture, which I like. I also made this batch a bit spicy! Spicy, hearty, delicious soup. Mmm mmm good. Perfect for a cold winter (err…I mean spring!) night.

Spicy Black Bean and Rice Soup

Ingredients:

2 15 oz. cans black beans (or 1 large can), drained

3 cups vegetable broth

1 jalapeño, minced (seeded or unseeded – I kept seeds in!)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 small onion, diced

2 TBSP olive oil

1/2 TBSP cumin (or more, to taste)

1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, depending on spice preference)

1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1 TBSP tomato paste

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup cooked brown rice (or other favorite!)

juice of 1/2 lime

cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped + more for serving

sour cream, for serving (optional)

avocado, for serving (optional)

lime wedges, for serving (optional)

Directions

1) Saute onion, jalapeño, and garlic over medium heat until fragrant. Approx. 1 minute.

2) Add in cayenne, cumin, salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3) Add in beans, broth, and Worcestershire. Stir to combine.

4) Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

5) As soup is simmering, cook rice according to directions.

6) After approximately 30 minutes of simmering, use an immersion blender or blender (I used my magic bullet!) to blend part of soup until smooth. This will give soup a nice thick texture.

7) Continue to simmer soup until rice is finished cooking. Once rice is done, squeeze lime over and add in 1/4 cup cilantro.

8) Add rice into soup, stirring to combine.

9) Top with cilantro, sour cream, avocado, and lime wedges if desired!

Note: If liquid reduces more than you would prefer, feel free to add a little water to the pot. Then, taste and adjust seasonings as needed!

black_bean_soup

What’s your favorite cold-weather comfort food?

Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

And next time we meet, let’s hope this cold weather is gone for good! :)

Black Bean and Rice Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
A deliciously hearty black bean and rice soup!
Ingredients
  • 2 15 oz. cans black beans (or 1 large can), drained
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (seeded or unseeded - I kept seeds in!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • ½ TBSP cumin (or more, to taste)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • juice of ½ lime
  • cilantro, ¼ cup chopped + more for serving
  • sour cream, for serving (optional)
  • avocado, for serving (optional)
  • lime wedges, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Saute onion, jalapeño, and garlic over medium heat - 1 minute.
  2. Add in cayenne, cumin, salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add in beans, broth, and Worcestershire. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. As soup is simmering, cook rice according to directions.
  6. After approximately 30 minutes of simmering, use an immersion blender or blender (I used my magic bullet!) to blend part of soup until smooth. This will give soup a nice thick texture.
  7. Continue to simmer soup until rice is finished cooking.
  8. Add rice into soup, stirring to combine.
  9. Top with cilantro, sour cream, and avocado if desired!
Notes
If soup reduces a bit much for your liking, feel free to add a bit of water to the pot!

Homemade Flour Tortillas

tortillas

Oh hey there! Happy weekend! There are roughly 10 weeks left of school, but hey, who’s counting?! :)

Last Monday was my first day back to teaching in what felt like foooreeeever. I had an adventurous, relaxing, and enjoyable Spring Break – which is the best kind if you ask me.

On Monday night the fiancé and I made homemade tacos. Including the tortillas. Yep, you read the right. Homemade tortillas. I let the gluten-free slide for the day (garlic bread and girl scout cookies for lunch – blame it on the free goodies in the staff lounge and me forgetting my lunch at home!).

Actually, I let the gluten-free slide all week. And paid for it. Between these delicious homemade pretzel bites my friend made on Wednesday, a delicate sourdough roll at dinner on Friday night, and veggie pot stickers and a fried chicken biscuit sandwich yesterday (not to mention the handful of Girl Scout cookies sprinkled throughout the week!), this week was a bit out of control. I even had good intentions and ordered gluten-free on Thursday and Friday night (Thursday night it was a blackened salmon salad and Friday it was this amazing black tea chicken broth soup and an arugula salad – yum!).

And although every bit of what I ate this week was delicious, my digestion did not appreciate the gluten (and thus, nor did I!). This week it will be back to my usual eating patterns (well that’s the hope at least!). As much as I enjoy eating gluten-free and feel soooo much better doing it, there are just days where I can’t resist a bite (or two!) of a delicious piece of gluten-filled goodness.

So anyway, back to Monday. I had a meeting after work, and thought about picking up tortillas from a local Mexican restaurant on my way home. However, it dawned on me that I could just make my own. I was up for the challenge. Besides when you make them at home, you know exactly what goes in them (even if it is gluten!).

The ingredients in Mission Brand Homestyle Tortillas:

Enriched bleached wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, vegetable shortening (interesterified soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil and/or palm oil), contains 2% or less of: salt, sugar, leavening (sodium bicarbonate, sodium aluminum sulfate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate and/or sodium acid pyrophosphate, calcium sulfate), preservatives (calcium propionate, sorbic acid, and/or citric acid), distilled monoglycerides, enzymes, wheat starch, calcium carbonate, antioxidants (tocopherols, ascorbic acid), cellulose gum, dough conditioners (fumaric acid, sodium metabisulfite and/or mono- and diglycerides).

Now that’s A LOT of ingredients!

The ingredients in these homemade tortillas:

Flour, salt, baking powder, vegetable oil, water

Much better.

We will definitely be making these again. Next time I may add a little sugar as it’s supposed to keep them more moist. However they were wayyyy good enough to make the blog just they way they are! 

homemade_tortillas

Grilled flank steak and onions, homemade guac and salsa, and sour cream with lime and cilantro.

Serve them up however you’d like. You may never buy packaged tortillas again… (I know we won’t be!).

Homemade Flour Tortillas

(adapted from http://thecafesucrefarine.com/2013/08/best-ever-homemade-flour-tortillas/)

Ingredients:

3 cups flour (I used Organic Bread flour)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 1/4 cup warm water

Directions:

Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly.

Pour in water and oil. Mix well to combine. Use hands to knead until smooth. If dough is having trouble sticking together, add a little more water.

Cover with towel for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, transfer dough to floured work surface.

Break dough in half, and in half again. Continue until there are 16 small chunks of dough.

Roll out dough as thin as possible with a floured rolling pin. Continue to flour pin and surface if dough becomes sticky. Lay out on clean baking sheets. (Do not stack flour tortillas on top of one another or they will stick together!)

Heat pan over medium heat. Place tortilla on pan and wait until begins to bubble and brown (about 1 minute). Flip and cook until lightly brown on other side (about 30 seconds).

Enjoy!

tortillas

Flour Tortillas
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Makes 16
 
Easy homemade tortillas. You will never want to buy store-bought tortillas again!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour (I used Organic Bread flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1¼ cup warm water
Instructions
  1. Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly.
  2. Pour in water and oil. Mix well to combine. Use hands to knead until smooth. If dough is having trouble sticking together, add a little more water.
  3. Cover with towel for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, transfer dough to floured work surface.
  5. Break dough in half, and in half again. Continue until there are 16 small chunks of dough.
  6. Roll out dough as thin as possible with a floured rolling pin. Continue to flour pin and surface as necessary if dough becomes sticky. Lay out on clean baking sheets. (Do not stack flour tortillas on top of one another or they will stick together!)
  7. Heat pan over medium heat. Place tortilla on pan and wait until begins to bubble and brown (about 1 minute). Flip and cook until lightly brown on other side (about 30 seconds).
  8. Enjoy!

Buffalo Wings with Ranch Sauce

IMG_20140321_192005

Happy Sunday! I hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as I did. :)

It was a busy weekend (as always!). On Friday evening I ran to the grocery store and these chicken wings were on sale. I had never made chicken wings at home before, but was up for the adventure.

If you have ever bought whole chicken wings before, you know you need to cut them apart. If you know me, you know I don’t deal well with raw meat. In fact, I hate it. Thus why I was a vegetarian for a good chunk of my early 20’s (and thus why the fiancé always handles the meat in our household!). Although I enjoyed my time being vegetarian, I knew I was lacking protein. Not to mention I was dying for some bacon. Yep, that’s what got me to cave in the end. Delicious thick cut bacon. Mmmmm…

When I first met the fiancé I really wasn’t eating meat. Boy did that change (but for the good!). By now we’ve struck a good balance of making meat centered and non-meat centered meals (although most nights we have meat at dinner!). On the bright side, I definitely eat less carbs now that I eat more protein. Not to mention I feel fuller and more satisfied. And we always buy organic meat when possible, so I know it’s a) better for us and b) better for the animals.

So you can imagine me at home alone early Friday evening (the fiancé still at work) when I realized I had to cut the chicken wings apart! And it actually was fine. I was fine. And the chicken wing, it turned out alright too. :)

These wings were a hit, and we will definitely be making them again (maybe next time with an Asian twist)! A much healthier version to the fried kind you find in restaurants.

If you don’t feel like making your own Ranch (or prefer Blue Cheese!), I have posted the clean brands I like in this post here. In addition, my favorite all natural/organic sour cream brands are posted here.

Enjoy!

Buffalo Wings with Ranch Sauce

Ingredients:

Wings

(adapted from Alton Brown’s Buffalo Wings)

1 lb. whole chicken wings (1 lb. makes approximately 10 pieces)

paprika, for seasoning (optional)

dry mustard, for seasoning (optional)

garlic powder, for seasoning (optional)

2 TBSP butter

1/4 cup hot sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

Ranch Dipping Sauce

(adapted from Ree Drummond’s Homemade Ranch)

1/2 cup all-natural or organic mayo

1/4 cup organic or all-natural sour cream

1 tsp dried dill

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp white vinegar

1/4 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Wings

1) Using kitchen scissors or shears, remove tip and cut apart wing at joint. See following website for how-to: http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/chow/be-your-own-butcher-how-cut-chicken-wings.html .

2) Pour 1-inch of water in medium pot and place in steamer basket. Add in wings. Bring water to a boil, and then lower to medium heat. Cover and steam wings for 10 minutes.

3) Remove wings and carefully pat dry with paper towels. Place on a drying rack on top of a paper towel lined baking sheet. Stick in the fridge for 1 hour. Do not place wings directly on paper towels as they will stick!

4) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Replace paper towels with parchment paper on baking sheet. Place wings on parchment paper. Season with paprika, dry mustard, and garlic powder.

5) Roast on middle rack in oven for 20 minutes. Turn wings and roast for another 20 minutes or until skin on both sides is golden brown.

6) As wings get close to finishing in oven, melt butter and garlic in medium size mixing bowl. Add in hot sauce and garlic.

7) Once done, remove chicken wings and place in bowl. Coat with sauce. Serve immediately.

Sauce

1) In small bowl, combine all ingredients. Taste as you go, adding more seasoning if desired.

2) Chill in fridge until wings are ready to eat.

IMG_20140321_192005 Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. Mmm mmm.

Have a great week ya’ll!

Baked Buffalo Wings with Homemade Ranch Dipping Sauce
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Delicious baked Buffalo Wings with an all-natural homemade Ranch dipping sauce. A guilty pleasure you can feel good about!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. whole chicken wings (1 lb. makes approximately 10 pieces)
  • paprika, for seasoning (optional)
  • dry mustard, for seasoning (optional)
  • garlic powder, for seasoning (optional)
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • ½ cup all-natural or organic mayo
  • ¼ cup organic or all-natural sour cream
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp white vinegar
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Using kitchen scissors or shears, remove tip and cut apart wing at joint. See following website for how-to:
  2. http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/chow/be-your-own-butcher-how-cut-chicken-wings.html
  3. Pour 1-inch of water in medium pot and place in steamer basket. Add in wings. Bring water to a boil, and then lower to medium heat. Cover and steam wings for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove wings and carefully pat dry with paper towels. Place on a drying rack on top of a paper towel lined baking sheet. Stick in the fridge for 1 hour. Do not place wings directly on paper towels as they will stick!
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Replace paper towels with parchment paper on baking sheet. Place wings on parchment paper. Season with paprika, dry mustard, and garlic powder.
  6. Roast on middle rack in oven for 20 minutes. Turn wings and roast for another 20 minutes or until skin on both sides is golden brown.
  7. As wings get close to finishing in oven, melt butter and garlic in medium size mixing bowl. Add in hot sauce and garlic.
  8. Once done, remove chicken wings and place in bowl. Coat with sauce. Serve wings immediately.
  9. In small bowl, combine all sauce ingredients. Taste as you go, adding more seasoning if desired.
  10. Chill in fridge until wings are ready to eat.

White Bean Chicken Chili

20140127_193957

Man, blogging two days in a row – this might be a record for me! You’ve guessed it, we have another snow day (and you definitely already know this if you read yesterday’s post!). Although I absolutely agree that it’s dangerous to have children walking (and waiting!) at the bus stop or to school, I can’t help but feel animosity towards, well, towards the weather.

Yesterday I did not leave the house (errr, 1 bedroom apartment I mean). I slept in, made a big breakfast, cleaned, blogged, wedding planned, cooked, read, and cleaned some more. Exciting stuff. When 8:00 p.m. rolled around and I was done with everything, I decided then that maybe I should leave the house to go to an 8:30 p.m. yoga class. Well, that didn’t happen. The combination of a) me still being in my sweats b) it was dark outside and c) it was still what they are calling a “polar vortex”. So it was about that time that I started to feel a little claustrophobic as well. I went into our bedroom, found the spot where the heat comes through the floorboards, turned on a yoga podcast in which they are at the pool in 105 degrees, and pretended I was being transported to someplace warm and beautiful. I felt a lot less seasonally depressed after that, but yoga always makes me feel better. :)

Then last night we watched the Butler. It was also a bit sad and depressing at times (think slavery scenes, JFK and MLK’s assassination, and the Vietnam war) and I cried like 5 different times. Man! Once I start I can’t stop. Anyway, I would recommend it for a little movie night at home. I think it’s worth watching. If nothing else, it’s a nice little history brush-up too!

So last night we made the White Chicken Chili I was talking about yesterday. It was delicious! Make some of this soup, and you’re sure to stay warm. Alllll night looooongggg…..

:)

Enjoy!

White Chicken Chili

Ingredients

3 organic chicken breasts, cut into thirds

1 can (15 oz.) corn, drained and rinsed

2 cans (15 oz. each) cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced

4 cups organic chicken broth

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (can also substitute chili powder)

olive oil

3 TBSP flour

cumin, to taste

paprika, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

sour cream (for garnish)

limes (for garnish)

cilantro (for garnish)

Directions:

1) Season chicken with salt and pepper.

2) Using a large stockpot, heat oil on bottom of pan. Place breasts in, searing on both sides.

3) Take chicken out, place aside.

4) Add in onions, cooking for a few minutes into translucent.

5) Add in garlic and jalapeño, cooking until fragrant (about 30 seconds)

6) Place chicken back in, season with salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Add in chipotle pepper.

7) Cook approximately 8 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

8) Add in the flour, stirring to coat everything evenly.

9) Add in beans, corn, and chicken stock.

10) Bring mixture to a simmer, and let cook for approx. 60 minutes uncovered, or until soup has reached desired consistency.

11) Halfway through the cooking time, take chicken out and roughly chop. Add back in.

12) Once finished, serve in bowls with sour cream, cilantro, and lime wedge.

13) Enjoy!

white_bean_chicken_chili

Mmm… a warm, steamy bowl of chili goodness.

white_bean_chicken_chili_2

White Bean Chicken Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
A delicious White Bean Chicken Chili. Great for warming you up on a cold winter night!
Ingredients
  • 3 organic chicken breasts, cut into thirds
  • 1 can (15 oz.) corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced
  • 4 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (can also substitute chili powder)
  • olive oil
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • cumin, to taste
  • paprika, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sour cream (for garnish)
  • limes (for garnish)
  • cilantro (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Using a large stockpot, heat oil on bottom of pan. Place breasts in, searing on both sides.
  3. Take chicken out, place aside.
  4. Add in onions, cooking for a few minutes into translucent.
  5. Add in garlic and jalapeño, cooking until fragrant (about 30 seconds)
  6. Place chicken back in, season with salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Add in chipotle pepper.
  7. Cook approximately 8 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  8. Add in the flour, stirring to coat everything evenly.
  9. Add in beans, corn, and chicken stock. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  10. Bring mixture to a simmer, and let cook for approx. 60 minutes uncovered, or until soup has reached desired consistency.
  11. Halfway through the cooking time, take chicken out and roughly chop. Add back in.
  12. Once finished, serve in bowls with sour cream, cilantro, and lime wedge.
  13. Enjoy!

Super Bowl Sunday: Healthy Picks

Drum roll please….it’s the Super Bowl! The most watched televised event in all the world (isn’t that just nuts?!). My favorite part: the food, the drinks, the socializing, and oh, who could forget those crazy commercials. Yes I know I didn’t mention the football (seems that’s what it’s really about, huh?). Despite dating a football coach, it’s not my favorite thing to watch (he already knows this, and loves me despite!). And although I don’t really care who wins, any excuse to get together with friends, where food and some good beer is involved, is a winner in my book.

But oh the food. Some of it can be so bad for you! Loaded with artificial crap that your body just doesn’t need. So how can you try and stay clean this Super Bowl Sunday? Read on for my best (and worst!) picks:

Best Super Bowl Sunday Snacks:

1) Guacamole: Loaded with good for you avocado, with some jalapeño, cilantro, onion, and lime. Nothing bad for you here!

2) Tortilla Chips and Salsa: Although the chips might not be GMO-free, salsa is usually clean, and a much better choice than a cream cheese or sour cream based dip.

3) Nuts: A simple, clean snack. Packed with protein and amino acids. Try making your own spiced nuts and bringing them to share!

4) Hummus: Hummus is (almost!) always clean, and again, has a lot less calories and fat  than cream cheese or sour cream dips. Serve with veggies or clean pita chips.

5) Greek Yogurt Dip: Mix Greek yogurt with dried dill and parsley, fresh chives, fresh minced garlic, and a little Dijon mustard. Stir to combine, and enjoy with your favorite veggies!

6) Bean dip: Without the sour cream and cheese, bean dips can be healthy! Check out this one from The Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/white-bean-dip-with-pita-chips-recipe/index.html

Best Heartier Options: 

1) Chili: Maybe not always an option, but why not make some and bring yourself? The bf and I are whipping up a huge batch today. Check out my recipe here: http://eatcleanwithkate.com/?p=1674

2) Baked Egg Rolls: These are so easy to make, and so delicious! I’ve made BBQ chicken ones (see my recipe here!) but you could also fill them with taco, pizza, or buffalo chicken filling.

3) Baked Taquitos: Depending on the filling, these could be a clean choice. Especially if buying non-GMO corn tortillas. Made them for a party once, and they were a hit. Here’s my yummy recipe: http://eatcleanwithkate.com/?p=1427

 Worst Options:

1) Cream Cheese or Sour Cream Based Dips: Besides the high fat and calorie content, not likely to be clean unless you make it clean yourself!

2) Nachos: Loaded with meat, cheese, sour cream – yep, you get the picture.

3) Buffalo Wings: Loaded with calories and fat (especially the fried version!), and who knows where that chicken came from (or how it was raised!)

4) Sausage or Pepperoni Pizza: Loaded with fatty meat and cheese, definitely not your best option.

5) Mini Meatballs or Mini Wieners: Highly processed, and contains all sorts of garbage you don’t want in your system.

Alright that’s it! Enjoy the food, err…game :)

 

Destination: San Diego

lajollacove2

There’s something to be said about what a few days away in the sun can do for a girl’s (or guy’s for that matter!) soul.

Before I leave for anywhere out of the town, my mind is at its max. There is a constant re-playing of all the things I need to do before I leave running through my head. It’s like: “Attention! ATTENTION! You need to do ALL THE THINGS!!”. (Including silly little things like get my nails done…first world problems…)

Similar to the concept I teach in yoga classes: ‘Maximum effort, maximum relaxation’. Do all the things are quickly as possible before you run out of time, and then, do nothing at all until you return. Well nothing except eat, drink, and explore. My kind of vacation indeed.

Here’s a wrap up of the best things from San Diego:

Tacos:

Herb tortilla tacos with tamarind-chili drunken shrimp from Puesto at The Headquarters. Love that they use sustainably-sourced meats and organic/local ingredients!

san_diego

View:

La Jolla Cove. Enough said.

lajollacove

lajollacove2

Drink:

This dehydrated mango/lime/chili infused tequila, agave nectar, and lime juice margarita with a seaweed ice cube from George’s At The Cove. Talk about unique!

margarita

Food experience:

In-N-Out Burger. It was my first time – no judgement please!

 

inandoutburger

Dessert:

My birthday sea urchin cookie/french vanilla ice cream/half chocolate-half cinnamon cookie from Water Grill. Everything at that restaurant was spot, especially the clam chowder and Chilean sea bass!

birthdaycake

Traveling partner:

This guy. Like there’s any competition. :)

 

sandiego

Airport food:

Lemonade (Seasonal California Comfort Food)

Love the variety of fresh salads they have here (and their deliciously fresh and unique lemonade flavors – thus the name!). Like this corn and sweet potato salad, arugula with cheese and blue cheese, and turmeric thyme corn chowder.

lemonade

 

We also visited the San Diego Zoo, checked out Coronado Beach (and picked some seashells for my collection at home!), strolled along the La Jolla boardwalk, spent the afternoons by the pool, and checked out Ballast Point brewery.

All in all, it was a fun-filled sun-filled (my take on sun’s out, guns out) and relaxing trip. Just what this girl needed!

Did I mention it’s supposed to be in the 50s next week in MN?! Bring on the early spring!!

Have a great week, friends. Till next time!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Oooeey gooeey cheeessy weezzy Macaroni and Cheese.

(Set to the tune of ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’)

That she ate for the first time today….

Sing it with me now!

Or don’t. :) I get it.

I’m in one of those I’m-so-overtired-I’m-feeling-goofy moods. Since my last post (check it out here!) I’ve been really trying hard to make a better nighttime and morning routine. The first week back to school I was doing really well at my New Years “resolutions” and then last week I feel back into my normal routine. Staying up watching TV/being on my computer/phone too late, snoozing like crazy in the morning, and rushing off to work just to make it in right before school starts. No good. No good at all.

Last weekend (which by that I mean weekend before last) the fiance was out of town. I didn’t have a lot scheduled so it was nice to spend more time relaxing. I even got to finish my book (Beautiful Ruins – highly recommend!). This past weekend was also a little lazier than usual. Watched a few movies, walked to breakfast at the local cafe, visited with some family and friends. I love weekends like that. Which has got me thinking “‘why can’t every weekend be like that?”.

Besides the “resolutions” I made, I’m trying to simplify my life and slow down a bit. Back a few years ago, I started this blog as an outlet for myself and a resource for others. Over the course of time I’ve shifted my focus from the pure pleasure of writing about food and sharing stories of my life, to the stress of blog statistics, followers, etc. It was almost like Keeping up with the Joneses (but in a blogging kind of way).

There was so much worrying about what I was doing (and not doing!) on social media, who I was following (and who was following me), how the layout of my blog looked, etc. that I had started to resent blogging. Which is quite silly as I still love to cook and write, the two main reasons why I started this blog in the first place.

So I guess you could say I’m taking a step back. In a lot of different areas. I’ll likely not blog as much (who am I kidding, I wasn’t following a schedule anyway!), post on social media as much, etc. etc. So far, it feels good. Less stressful. Which is just what I need.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

My New Year mantra.

On my first post back, I’m sharing a recipe for this oooeey gooeey cheeessy weezzy Baked Macaroni and Cheese. The best Macaroni and Cheese I’ve yet to make. Insanely creamy on the inside, with a nice crunch on top (thank you Panko!).

It fits the ‘new’ year. It’s not gluten-free, it’s not dairy-free, and it’s sure as heck not ‘healthy’ by any standards. It is however, all-natural. And damn delicious.

It’s basically comfort food, on steroids.

I think you’ll agree. :)

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 lb. orecchiette, cavatappi, or elbow noodles

2 cups good shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

4 TBSP butter

2 TBSP flour

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 yellow onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 TBSP dry mustard

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs (for topping)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook noodles al dente, according to directions. Return to pot.

Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.

Saute onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add in flour, whisking consistently until a roux is formed (flour butter mixture turns golden brown).

Slowly add half-and-half and cream (or milk if making lighter version!), stirring as go.

Bring to a simmer and let thicken.

Take off heat. Slowly add in cheese and seasonings, stirring as you go.

Pour sauce over noodles. Mix until noodles are completely coated.

Transfer noodles into glass baking dish.

Top with breadcrumbs.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until dish is bubbly and top is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. orecchiette, cavatappi, or elbow noodles
  • 2 cups good shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP dry mustard
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1½ cups Panko breadcrumbs (for topping)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook noodles al dente, according to directions. Return to pot.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Saute onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add in flour, whisking consistently until a roux is formed (flour butter mixture turns golden brown).
  6. Slowly add half-and-half and cream (or milk if making lighter version!), stirring as go.
  7. Bring to a simmer and let thicken.
  8. Slowly add cheese in, stirring as you go.
  9. Pour sauce over noodles. Mix until noodles are completely coated.
  10. Transfer noodles into glass baking dish.
  11. Top with breadcrumbs.
  12. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until dish is bubbly and top is golden brown.
  13. Enjoy!

Until next time,

Happy clean eating!

Kate

3-ingredient Whipped Coconut Lotion

Whipped Coconut Lotion

Sooooo yea. I’ve been on a homemade personal care item kick these past few weeks. If you haven’t read my story about how the homemade deodorant evolved, check out this post here.

After my success with deodorant, I started researching what other personal care items I could make with ingredients I already had at home.

What resulted is this deliciously luxuriant 3-ingredient Whipped Coconut Lotion.

If you know me, you know I love my food and beauty products the same: as natural and close to the source as possible. It doesn’t make sense to have a clean diet, but then put loads of chemicals in our skin, hair, and nails. Want to know more? Check out this 515 Chemicals Women Put On Their Bodies Every Day Infographic. Scary, right?

So, here we are. Me and my all-natural toothpaste, face lotion, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, and now, homemade deodorant. I’m that girl.

You know what’s better than buying a $16 container of “all-natural” lotion? Making your own! You have every bit of control of what goes in it and not to mention, it’s wayyyy cheaper. Sure it takes a little extra work, but not any more work than running to the store to buy some. It’s totally worth it, truuuussst me. :)

You know what else? This 3-ingredient Whipped Coconut Lotion would make the perfect Christmas gift for someone special on your list. Who cares if they don’t have the same all-natural or homemade obsession as you do. This might just do the trick. :)

3-ingredient Whipped Coconut Lotion

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 TBSP avocado oil

few drops favorite essential oil

Directions:

Place coconut oil and avocado oil in mixing bowl. Using electric mixer, mix until coconut oil is whipped into a soft fluffy texture. This will take about 5-6 minutes. You will likely need to scrape down the bowl or even use a wooden spoon to manipulate the oil into the blades (careful of your fingers!). I put mine into a electric stand mixer, and it seemed to do the trick.

Once oil is completely whipped, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils and stir to combine. Place lotion in glass container with lid for storage.

Being coconut oil is whipped, it will not turn into complete liquid as regular coconut oil will. It will soften slightly, but still be a perfect texture for hand/foot cream, body lotion, or yes, even face cream! A tiny bit goes a long way as it will be a tiny bit greasy if you use too much. No worries though, just rub those extras up your forearms and onto those dry elbows – your body will thank you!

Whipped Coconut Lotion

 Smells like summer to me.

Any make-your-own items you’ve been loving? Homemade gifts you’re giving? Drop me a line – I love hearing from you! 

Ultimate Coffee Date 3

Ultimate Coffee Date #2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Hey strangers!

After two weeks of soccer and back to school craziness, it feels so so good to have some down time on the couch, watching MN Gopher football, and getting the chance to catch up with you all.

Today I’m linking up with my friend Nikki and her co-hosts Jill, and Lynda for their Ultimate Coffee Date link up. It’s a great way to catch up and discover new blogs. Definitely one of my favorite posts to write. :)

This morning I was coaching a soccer game, so although it’s no longer morning, it feels like it to me because I actually have the time to relax. And although I’m not currently drinking coffee, I am thinking about making myself a cup of tea. So if we were having coffee (or tea in my case!) this evening, here’s what I would share with you:

Ultimate Coffee Date 3

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that my soccer team is on a four game winning streak! We are currently first in our conference. All of this positive thinking is really paying off. :)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that I attempted (attempted being the key word here!) to make my own almond milk. It wasn’t a complete success, and I will definitely be trying it again now that I’ve learned from my mistakes. However, it was much creamier and way more tasty than the store-bought brands! I used it in these blueberry muffins I made the other week. Mmm mmm.

Ultimate Coffee Date 3 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

(Almond) milk, does the body good.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that the reason I’m having tea is because I came down with a nasty head cold. Between the change of schedule with going back to school and having two games this week, it’s been all run and no rest. Now that soccer is over for the weekend, resting up is exactly what I’m doing.

I’ve talked about my love for Source Naturals Wellness Vitamins here before, but the other one of my must-haves for when I’ve come down with a cold is Boiron Coldcalm pills. Yesterday was the first full day of my cold, and by taking these and those wellness vitamins, I’m feeling so much better already!

Ultimate Coffee Date #2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

how much I love doing yoga on our back porch to this view. It’s so quiet and peaceful back there. Especially with all of the cute squirrels running around, playing with one another, and chomping on their food. Yes, I am a squirrel lover. My favorite yoga-at-home app is Yogamazing. Chaz is an awesome instructor and I love that the videos are organized by topic (i.e. yoga for back pain, etc.).

Ultimate Coffee Date 3 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 sweet peace and lovin

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

I’ve found a new favorite “breakfast” bar. Not really labeled as a breakfast bar, but it is what I’ve been eating every day for breakfast during the work week. They are called the Perfect Bar. I love that they are gluten-free, free of processed sugars, and have a good amount of protein. The Cranberry Crunch is my favorite so far!

Ultimate Coffee Date 3 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that I’m thinking about making an upcycled t-shirt rug. For those who know me, I’m not really the crafty type. However, since we’ve moved I’ve realized how many friggin t-shirts I have, and need to get rid of. Instead of donating them (let’s be honest, some are just too worn to be donated), making them into rags (already got enough of those), or throwing them (I’m trying to reduce my waste!), I’d like to make them in to this kind of rug. Only problem is, I am not a sewer (my mom, however, does alterations for a living). Think I could rope her into helping me? :)

Ultimate Coffee Date I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Picture courtesy of insructables.com

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that life is busy, but good. So much to be grateful for. Every single day.

Ever made your own almond milk? Favorite breakfast foods? Fall crafts you can’t wait to start?

Have a great rest of your weekend all!

Ultimate Coffee Date #2

Ultimate Coffee Date I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Goooood morning!

And Happy Saturday. :)

This is the first Saturday in a long time in which I’ve been able to a) sleep in and b) not have to get up and rush off to something (other than two weeks ago when we were up at the cabin!).

It feels great. And also gives me time to write this post and link up with Nikki, Jill, and Lynda for their Ultimate Coffee Date link up!

 photo coffeedate_zps1b941bec.jpg

I posted my first Ultimate Coffee Date awhile back (you can read that post here), and it’s time I joined in on the fun again!

The Ultimate Coffee Date is a fun way to share what’s going on in life, and connect with other bloggers. If you’re a blogger interested in linking up as well, check out this how to guide. Check out Nikki’s other co-hosts Jill Conyers and fitnessmomwinecountry too!

So what’s on my mind this morning?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

how excited I am to be all moved in to our new house! We closed on Monday, and were officially out of our apartment on Thursday. Just have to put everything away (and buy a few things!). It’s been a long week, and now, it’s time to put our feet up and enjoy! :)

Friday Favorites I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… 

that I love discovering new neighborhoods. A friend of ours stopped by the other day to see the house, and we headed out to this local cafe I heard was good. We are within walking distance to downtown White Bear Lake, and I love that we have lots of new shops and restaurants to try out. I had this chicken salad with strawberries, slivered almonds, blue cheese, shaved fennel, and a lavender balsamic dressing. Healthy and delicious!

Friday Favorites I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that I just love the Farmer’s Market. Another great thing about where we live is that there is a Farmers Market on Friday mornings right in downtown (that I was able to walk to!). I picked up some kale, spinach, fingerling potatoes, green beans, green bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, local string cheese, and a bouquet of beautiful flowers for under $40. You seriously cannot beat that!

Ultimate Coffee Date 2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that I found a new favorite yogurt. Dreaming Cow Strawberry Pomegranate Grass-fed yogurt. Not as thick and creamy as Greek (or with as much protein), but I love that it only uses fruit juice to sweeten and is all-natural. And it’s got a great creamy texture without the sourness of other yogurts.

Ultimate Coffee Date I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

And that my friends, is a wrap!

Any tips for this new homeowner? Favorite yogurts I should know about? Anything else you’re loving about the summertime?

Have a great Saturday! :)

 

Day 9 Fed Up Challenge

Day 9 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

One more day. One more day. One more day! That was my mantra all of Tuesday. I had a pretty uneventful day, and this will probably be a pretty uneventful post. It’s 9:45 at night and this girl is tired!

So let’s just jump right in…

Day 9 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

What did I eat, on Day 9 Fed Up Challenge?

Breakfast (7:30 a.m.): Plain organic yogurt with frozen mixed fruit (strawberry, mango, pineapple, banana), chia seeds, and cocoa nibs. Basically I was too lazy to make a smoothie so I just threw everything together and made a healthy version of a yogurt parfait!

Snack (9:30 a.m.): Handful of mixed nuts. As per usual.

Lunch (11:15 a.m.): The leftover pork chop and veggies from our date night at JD Hoyt’s Saturday. I was dying to put some barbecue sauce or ketchup on it, but knew I couldn’t. I just love me some condiments! :)

Snack (2:00 p.m.): I was out on a few errands for the work-based learning part of my job (where I help students get jobs and then monitor them so they can receive high school credit) when I decided to stop at my favorite local coffee shop (which also happens to be right next to my work!). The place is called BruHouse and serves up sandwiches, homemade soups, and the usual coffee and tea selection. I got myself this unsweetened raspberry ice tea and a cup of chicken wild rice soup to go. This iced tea saved my life! I was craving something sweet since lunch, and this did the trick.

Day 9 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Sweet, sweet, unsweetened ice tea.

Snack (5:30 p.m.): After work I walked down to the grocery store (it’s about a mile from our place) and picked up a few things for dinner and the week. I also ran across these babies in the chocolate aisle:

Day 9 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

CHOCOLATE!

We’ve had this kind before, but for some reason I didn’t really think about them for oh…the past 8 days. What was I thinking! They only contain stevia as a sweetener, which is derived from the stevia plant. It doesn’t spike your blood sugar like sugar itself does and has essentially zero calories (but not because it’s artificial). I only had a small piece of the almond variety, but boy was it good. Hit the spot after 8 days of no sugar!

Dinner (7:00 p.m.): Grilled chicken salad on baby romaine lettuce. With tomato and these parmesan crisps. Parmesan crisps are so freakishly delicious. I had two. :)

Our original plan was to make caesar salad, but I thought there was sugar in mayonnaise so I dressed mine with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Then I realized (after I finished my salad, of course!) that the mayo we have in the house does not actually contain any sugar – bah! It was still delicious, regardless.

Snack (9:30 p.m.): Upon returning home from teaching yoga, I was still a bit hungry. I had a handful of sea salt and vinegar chips (my favorite!) and split an orange with the fiancé.

And that’s a wrap!

Biggest challenge of the day?

Having to go into Culver’s (a local fast food joint that has amazing ice cream) to talk to an employer of one of my student’s. It was beyond tempting to be in there with all those delicious looking ice creams floating around!

Tip of the Day

If you know you can’t get rid of sugar completely for the day, focus on the small choices can you make to eliminate some of it. What are the obvious sources that you can eliminate? Desserts, sodas, and (most!) condiments are full of sugar.

Alright folks. It’s currently 10:20 p.m. and I am officially done with my 10 days of no sugar! I’ll fill you in on the last day tomorrow. Until then, feel free to leave me a comment or question below – I love hearing from you!

 

Real Recipe: Sautéed Kale with White Beans

Sautéed Kale with White Beans

First day of my “detox” week. What does that mean exactly? Well, for approximately one week I am going to attempt to eat a diet free from animal products (dairy, eggs, meat), wheat, and added sugar. An no processed food (or very minimal!).

Last night, being I knew this, we had pasta with meatballs for dinner, and went out to Ben and Jerry’s for ice cream. Splurge! It was delicious :) (And yes, I’m already planning what I’m eating when this week is over…frozen deep dish pizza from Chicago – ha!).

Here’s how the first day went:

Breakfast – green “juice” and a banana

Snack: trail mix (nuts and raisins only)

Lunch: quinoa with avocado, black beans, and baby tomatoes

Snack: peach and baby carrots

Dinner: sautéed kale with white beans over jasmine rice

The green juice is really just this green powder mixed in water. It’s all-natural, full of nutrients from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It also has probiotics, digestive enzymes, fiber, and antioxidants. You know, basically everything your body needs but you’re probably not always giving it. I bought it at Whole Foods, and it’s also made by a local company, which makes me feel even better about buying the product. I’m still in the early few days of trying the product, so I’ll report more back once I test it out for longer! Here’s the website if you’d like to see for yourself: http://www.mygreenenergysite.net

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the “detox”. Most of the day I felt pretty great. A bit hungrier than usual, but nothing I can’t handle. Besides, I’ve decided a little hunger can be good if you know it’s a temporary state. I’m no longer in the place of my life where I am purposely eating less because I am struggling with an eating disorder. I’m ok being a tiny bit hungry and know I’m not going to binge on whatever item I am restricting myself from consuming. I’m just here for a week. And you truly are more grateful for all the food you eat when you eat. Period.

So before I made dinner tonight I picked up the bf some chicken noodle soup from Panera (he is fighting off a bad cold!). It was hard to resist ripping off a piece of that delicious sourdough baguette and dipping into the soup. However, I restrained myself :)

I for dinner made sautéed kale and white beans over jasmine rice. It actually turned out better than I thought it would! I wasn’t sure how the first vegan/wheat-free dinner would go, but it was a nice light, refreshing, and good textured dish. I wanted to make kale and white bean soup, but didn’t have all the ingredients. This turned out to be a good alternative!

I’m also going to attempt to make chickpea curry (the bf hates curry, but being he’s gone most nights this week, I’m taking full advantage!) and veggie burgers this week. Until then, here’s the recipe for the kale and beans. It’s adapted from one of Emeril’s recipes, so you know it’s good :)

Sautéed Kale and White Beans

Ingredients:

2 TBSP olive oil

1 bunch kale, trimmed and chopped crosswise into 1 inch strips

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 small red onion, sliced thinly

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 can white northern or cannelloni beans, drained

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in large saucepan.

Add garlic, bay leaf, and red pepper. Saute for about 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant.

Add in kale and red onion. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over and mix to combine.

Fold in beans, continuing to stir.

Put lid on and sauté on low until kale is wilted and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Serve alone or on top of favorite rice (I used Jasmine)

Enjoy!

photo-11

Recipe adapted from http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/emerils-sauteed-tuscan-kale-recipe.htm 

See you tomorrow for day 2 of detox week! :)

Sautéed Kale with White Beans
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
A healthy, light dish that can be served as a side or over rice for a main course.
Ingredients
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, trimmed and chopped crosswise into 1 inch strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 can white northern or cannelloni beans, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan.
  2. Add garlic, bay leaf, and red pepper. Saute for about 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add in kale and red onion. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over and mix to combine.
  4. Fold in beans, continuing to stir.
  5. Put lid on and sauté on low until kale is wilted and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve alone or on top of favorite rice.

Smart Swap: Boxed Macaroni & Cheese

ftk-annies-mac

Growing up, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese was one of my favorite lunchtime meals. As I grew older I continued to buy it once and awhile (especially before I learned how to properly cook in college!), savoring the memories of childhood summer vacations. Knowing what I know now, and wanting to eat as clean as possible, I have nixed Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in favor of something more natural (Kraft’s version contains Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 colorings – eww!).

As I began my journey for an all-natural macaroni, I stumbled upon Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese products. What a treat! Not only is Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese all-natural, they also make organic, whole-grain (with the added benefit of more fiber), and even gluten-free varieties! On the occasion when I’m craving some macaroni and cheese, Annie’s does just the trick.

All-natural varieties include:
Shells & White Cheddar (also comes in Family Size)
Shells & Real Aged Wisconsin Cheddar
Arthur Macaroni & Cheese
Spirals with Butter and Parmesan
D.W. Whole Wheat Pasta & Alfredo
Lower Sodium Mac & Cheese
Bunny Pasta with Yummy Cheese
Classic Macaroni & Cheese (also comes in Family Size)
White Cheddar Microwavable Mac & Cheese
Real Aged Cheddar Microwavable Mac & Cheese

 

Organic varieties include:
Organic Shells & White Cheddar (also comes in Family Size)
Organic Alfredo Shells & White Cheddar
Organic Shells & Real Aged Wisconsin Cheddar
Organic Whole Wheat Shells & White Cheddar
Organic Peace Pasta & Parmesan
Organic Classic Macaroni & Cheese
Organic 5-Grain Elbows & White Cheddar

 

Gluten-free varieties include:
Gluten-free Rice Shells with Creamy White Cheddar
Gluten-free Microwavable Mac & Cheese
Gluten-free Rice Pasta with Cheddar

Ingredients in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese: ENRICHED MACARONI PRODUCT (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE [IRON], THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), CHEESE SAUCE MIX (WHEY, MILKFAT, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SALT, SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF CITRIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, ENZYMES, CHEESE CULTURE)

compared to:

Ingredients in Annie’s Classic Mac and Cheese: ORGANIC WHEAT MACARONI, CHEDDAR CHEESE (CULTURED PASTEURIZED MILK, SALT, NON-ANIMAL ENZYMES), WHEY, BUTTERMILK, SALT, CREAM, NATURAL FLAVOR, NATURAL SODIUM PHOSPHATE, ANNATTO EXTRACT FOR NATURAL COLOR

If you are more of a Velveeta Shells & Cheese fan, check out Annie’s Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese offerings:
Deluxe Whole Wheat Shells & Extra Cheesy Cheddar
Deluxe Shells & Real Aged Cheddar
Deluxe Elbows & Four Cheese Sauce
Deluxe Rotini & White Cheddar
Organic Deluxe Elbows & Creamy Mild Cheddar Sauce
Gluten-free Deluxe Rice Pasta and Cheddar

And if you’re looking to spice up your macaroni and cheese, try out one of the following suggestions:
1) Use Greek yogurt in place of milk for a tangy, thicker version
2) Add in broccoli, kale, or another favorite green vegetable for added nutrients
3) Grate a favorite hard cheese over the final product (favorites include Smoked Cheddar and Parmesan)
4) Add in some spices (Red Pepper Flakes, Rosemary, Oregano, Basil, Thyme, etc.)

 

Find Annie’s at your local co-op, health food store, or retail grocery store and feel good about treating yourself (or your kids!) to some good clean mac & cheese!

Sources:
http://www.annies.com/products/Natural-Mac-Cheese
http://www.kraftrecipes.com/Products/ProductInfoDisplay.aspx?SiteId=1&Product=2100065356

 

 

Additive Awareness: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

take out

Had a bite of my co-worker’s take-out Lo Mein at lunch today. It was delicious. It also got me thinking about the additives, particularly Monosodium Glutamate (aka MSG), that are often added to take-out dishes. What’s so harmful about MSG? Read on…

Short-term side effects of MSG can include:

  • migraines
  • headaches
  • increased insulin production
  • hyperactivity
  • nausea
  • heart palpitations
  • chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • sweating
  • facial pressure, tingling, or weakness
  • rapid heart rate
  • drowsiness

Long-term effects of regular consumption may include:

  • obesity
  • persistent headaches
  • fatigue and disorientation
  • depression

Even more scary are the links between MSG and the following:

  • Autism
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease

MSG is added to foods to increase or improve their flavor. The following are common foods in which MSG can be found:

  • packaged foods (such as crackers and chips)
  • canned foods (such as soups and stocks)
  • meats (such as sausages and packaged deli luncheon meats)
  • restaurant, take-out and fast food (especially Asian dishes!)
  • sauces (such as BBQ and soy sauce)
  • salad dressings (especially creamy versions)
  • seasonings

MSG is sneaky. Why? It can be labeled as any of the following on food packaging:

  • hydrolyzed protein
  • sodium caseinate
  • calcium caseinate
  • autolyzed yeast
  • yeast extract
  • glutamic acid
  • autolyzed yeast
  • gelatin glutamate
  • glutamic acid
  • monopotassium glutamate
  • textured protein
  • yeast food
  • yeast nutrient

MSG is very common in restaurant food items (particularly Asian dishes and fast food!). Next time you’re out to eat, don’t be afraid to ask which dishes are made with MSG. Your  body, mind, and health will thank you later!

Sources:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/monosodium-glutamate/AN01251
http://www.livestrong.com/article/86822-monosodium-glutamate/       
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_17608.cfm
http://www.livestrong.com/article/465917-the-harmful-effects-of-monosodium-glutamate/#ixzz1v9jAv49C
http://www.livestrong.com/article/318155-list-of-foods-containing-msg/
/http://www.livestrong.com/article/377482-other-names-for-msg-or-monosodium-glutamate/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/408512-neurological-effect-of-monosodium-glutamate/#ixzz1vA3vkJxp