Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Eats this week

I went grocery shopping Sunday (yes I feel the need to announce this). I picked up some recipes I wanted to try this week so I could eat a little more healthy. When I get behind I tend to eat on the fly which means fewer fruits and veggies and more processed carbohydrates. It also means I am spending a pretty penny on food. For me, eating out is just a lot easier. It is more efficient as I can finish a workout and have food in my belly within 30 mins. I can't cook/prepare anything in less that 30 minutes regardless of what it is. Since I managed to squeeze both of my workouts in the morning's hours I was a left with an entire afternoon to play in the kitchen. 

The results?

Spicy peanut and kale soup
I was looking for a hearty soup I could easily make in the winter (preferably in a crockpot). I was just looking for something that was hearty and yummy but not full of cream and fat. In my search, I came across a blog I ultimately added to my blog roll. Cookie and Kate, a real winner. The recipe was super easy and very cost effective. No fancy ingredients and on top of some rice it is a complete meal. I added half a bag of frozen corn because I needed to get rid of it and it seemed like a good idea - it was a great idea. And the only thing I had to buy was my very first bottle of hot sauce! 

A batch of peach and coconut muffins
Meh, these I have made before but with blueberries. I much much prefer the peach. They are becoming my go to. The only thing is the coconut milk is a bit of a pain because it does not require the whole can. It leaves me with a partial can to deal with so this time I substituted regular vanilla almond milk. Lower calorie cheaper substitutions that have no effect on the flavor/texture are a win-win in my book. Actually the almond milk allows the peach flavor to pop. I dig it. I bet homemade cashew cream would be awesome. Ooooooo the hamster wheel just started moving . . .

Oil-free granola:
I have been playing with several recipes at home and honestly I am getting tired of the amount of oil, specifically coconut oil, the recipes require. Hey recipe writers, coconut oil is not cheap!! And all coconut oils are not created equal, you want to buy virgin coconut oil (btw there is no such thing as extra virgin coconut oil, the term extra only applies to olive oil) which is usually the most expensive. Baller. Anyway, when I came across this oil free granola recipe in The Feed Zone cookbook I wanted to give it a try. I have tried other granola recipes but they are actually pretty expensive to make unless you are going for super bulk qualities. My taste buds can only handle so much of a good thing. 

Recipe Base:
4 cups of rolled oats
0.5 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of shredded coconut
0.5 cup of agave/maple syrup
0.25 cup apple juice (I use the rest to make a yummy smoothie)
1 ripe banana

You bake the recipe base for 45 minutes at 300 degrees. After 45 minutes add any desired mix-ins and continue baking for another 15 minutes. 

As far as my mix-ins I just used what I had on hand. I tossed in 0.5 cup of walnuts, 0.5 cup of raisins, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Made my house smell fantastic!

White Bean Dip
I love Chef Chloe. She makes vegan cooking a delight! And I love this dip. It is super easy to make and the only thing you might not have in the house is a can of white beans. I have found hummus recipes to be a bit hit or miss but this one is always spot on. A must try (but be warned it does not translate well with garbanzo beans. I got ambitious once).*

*The recipe posted online uses dill as the herb but in her cookbook she uses thyme. No big dill, but I prefer the thyme.