Adventures in Cooking: Baked Stuffed Mushrooms

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I’ve always wanted to make stuffed mushrooms and I assumed it would be hard. However, it couldn’t be easier! I did have some help chopping from my boyfriend, but the whole thing – including baking – took less than an hour.

We were both slightly drunk at the time, but the mushrooms turned out great! My only error was including a little too much parsley. Click here for the complete recipe.

Mushrooms are a wonderful option when cooking vegetarian. Did you know that humans are more closely related to fungi than to any other kingdom? 

Fungi have developed strong antibiotics to defend against bacterial invasion. These antibiotics are also effective for humans (after all, penicillin comes from fungal extracts). Using mushrooms as a meat substitute can aid in weight loss. Overall, eating mushrooms will improve the quality of your diet, increase your Vitamin D levels, and improve the functioning of your immune system.

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Smoothie Time – Tofu Peach

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Smoothie #2 from SELF Magazine – I liked this one a little less than the previous, but it’s still good (if you like peaches). This smoothie is 350 calories and contains 2 peaches, almond milk (1 cup), almond butter (1.5 tbsp), turmeric (a pinch), and tofu (3oz).

I had never eaten tofu before, so this recipe seemed a little weird at first. However, the health benefits outweigh the slightly “off” taste of the tofu.

You can view my previous smoothie post for info about almonds and my post about turmeric tea for info about turmeric, but why the tofu? In this recipe, the tofu provides you with a source of protein. Tofu has also been known to reduce your risk of certain cancers. It also includes high amounts of calcium and manganese.

Peaches are delicious! But even better, they promote weight loss and include:

• Beta carotene (good for eyesight)
• Vitamin C (good for your skin)
• Fiber and potassium – makes peaches are a toxin cleanser

Happy blending!

Smoothie Time – Cherry Vanilla

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unnamedSmoothies are a great on-the-go option. The combinations of ingredients are virtually endless! It’s always better to make your own smoothies unless you’re buying from a place you trust (like WholeFoods) or a place that posts all the ingredients/calories (like Smoothie King).

Since we’re not allowed to eat at work, I’ve been taking smoothies with me lately. At 350 calories, this sweet treat is enough to get me through the shift. I found this recipe in SELF magazine. I make this in my roommate’s Magic Bullet and it takes no time at all. The ingredient list is short: almonds (2 tbsp), almond milk (1/3 cup), yogurt (1 1/4 cup), frozen cherries (1 1/4 cup), and a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract. Continue reading

Have your Cake and Eat it Too: Flourless, Dairy-free Pancakes

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I just realized that most of my featured recipes are for breakfast. OH WELL! I’m a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Banana Pancakes Everyone loves pancakes. Unfortunately “normal” pancakes make me sick in addition to being downright horrible for your body. But not to worry, keep reading for an AWESOME and healthy alternative to pancakes. And the best part? It’s super easy! In fact, you only need three ingredients:

2 Bananas, 1 Egg, and a handful of chocolate chips.

Did you know bananas combat depression and hangovers? Keep reading, because at the end of this post I will share some of the many reasons why bananas are such a great fruit!

To make the pancakes: Mash the bananas with a fork and then whisk in a bowl with the egg. Spoon the batter carefully into a buttered/oiled skillet and cook like normal pancakes. I like to add the chocolate chips to each pancake once it has started cooking.

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Sweet Potato Kale Balls

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This is my first time using sweet potatoes for anything! Let me start out by saying I don’t really like sweet potatoes or kale – but the photos I saw of the colorful, appetizing end product convinced me. Don’t start when you’re already hungry. Between the peeling, steaming, and baking, this recipe from The Balanced Platter took me the better part of two hours.  And I don’t have a steamer, so I had to get creative.

 

I didn’t hate these balls, but I certainly didn’t love them. It was a chore to finish them all up throughout the week. They are certainly easier to eat when you’re starving and they’re hot.

Below I’ve listed some of the health ingredients for sweet potatoes, kale, and flax seed in case you’re interested. Continue reading

Adventures in Cooking: Veggie Pad Thai

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pad thai 1I’ve always loved Pad Thai. Back in college I made a cheap version with shrimp or rode my bike down to Noodles & Co. for this yummy dish. I usually avoid pasta, but when I want some it’s either Pad Thai or Skyline Chili. My boyfriend and I are running in a Mud Run tomorrow morning and used it as an excuse to “carb up.”

I found the recipe for Veggie Pad Thai in Self Magazine. Be prepared, it takes awhile to make. From start to finish, it took me about 1 hour. If Pad Thai married a salad, this would be the child. I really liked it and it’s not as heavy as traditional Pad Thai – not to mention the recipe teaches you how to make a great Thai sauce from scratch! Continue reading

Adventures in Cooking: Coconut Bliss Bars

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cocoWhen someone follows my blog, I always make sure to check out his or her blog. This time it was nutritionist Stephanie Eusebi. Click here to visit her website.

It didn’t take me long to decide I should sign up for her emails. The first one I received included a recipe for Coconut Bliss Bars. Believe it or not, there are only four ingredients: eggs, vanilla extract, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips. I’m not a huge fan of coconut, but after reading about this fruit’s health benefits (more below), I decided to give this recipe a try. Continue reading

Adventures in Cooking: Carrot Spaghetti

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Carrot SpaghettiWe’ve all heard about spaghetti squash – a great go to when you really want pasta but are trying to stay away from carbs. I personally haven’t tried it because I abhor squash. However, the idea of making “pasta” out of veggies sounded like a win-win to me. After browsing through lots of vegetable-based recipes on kitchenbug.com I ran into this one. Continue reading

My Morning Gruel

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unnamedAfter trying three flavors of refrigerator oatmeal (blueberry maple, pumpkin pie, and apple cinnamon), I’m even more in love with the stuff than I was when I first discovered it. My third experiment with the apple cinnamon variety is by far my favorite so far! Unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon are added to a base of oats, plain Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and almond milk). The applesauce makes this variety a lot thinner than the other two – and after some stealthy and somewhat confused observation I now get the question “Are you eating gruel again for breakfast??” from my boyfriend in the morning.

After much success with the original recipes, I decided to experiment with my own ingredients. I used the standard base with chocolate almond milk and added a tablespoon of PB2 powder and half of a banana (mashed).

WOW! Perfect consistency. The taste of peanut butter covers up that weird tang you sometimes get from chia seeds. I adore peanut butter, but I’m not a chocolate person. I tried this again with vanilla almond milk and it was much better. I next added PB2 to the applesauce variety (and omitted the cinnamon). All in all, this is a great breakfast any way you decide to make it.

Adventures in Cooking: Roasted Cauliflower

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Roasted CauliflowerSo my parents drove down to visit me this month and when they left their condo, I got all their leftover perishable items. For reasons unbeknownst to me, one of these items was a still-packaged head of cauliflower (something neither of my parents would eat, let alone buy).

I think I’ve had raw cauliflower on a veggie plate maybe 2-3 times in my life. But I really don’t like to waste food and I knew there had to be some way to cook this weird vegetable, so for my oddest adventure in cooking thus far, I give you Roasted Cauliflower!

This dish turned out a LOT better than I thought it would. However, the recipe I cited uses way too much salt. Next time I will use half that amount. Otherwise, pretty damn good for a vegetable. I served this with blackened sheepshead that my dad caught off the west cost of Florida.

When you cut up a raw head of cauliflower, it seems like you have a lot of food. But beware – cooking it yields 3-4 small servings.

Bengali spiceThere are several spice suggestions in the recipe I used. I decided on the panch puran & nutmeg variety. I had never tried panch puran (a Bengali spice) before and it sounded good. After a trip to an Indian Market and 29 minutes in the oven I had a new, tasty way to eat cauliflower.

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