My best friends name is Mac (kelly)….and cheese

25 Feb

Every Sunday my roommates host a family dinner. It’s not what you think, all of their closest and favorite family members, coming together into the same room to eat the same meal. No, it’s generally (with the exception of a few boyfriends and girlfriends and temporary ‘friends’ here and there) just the roommates, sitting down to enjoy a hungover meal together, accompanied by a plethora of red cups and keystone lights. All nine of us  (this week was especially decorative as we threw the first kegger of the term the night before. The keg ran out at 11:30 and the night was all downhill from there). There’s usually the awkward “flavor of the week” at the table that one of the housemates woke up guiltily with that morning and has yet to figure out a way to make them leave, but without fail, the nine roommates always set aside this time to sit and eat together.

We all get together early on in the week, generally over a series of drinks, and come up with a meal that satisfies everyone. Once Sunday rolls around, it’s usually one of the four girl roommates who does all of the buying of the groceries, all of the cooking and all of the cleaning up. Oh, how times have changed.

Well, every week when we sit down to discuss what everyone is going to eat, we usually settle on a dish that is either fried, covered in butter or drenched with melted cheese. Although this does sound enticing, a trip to the hospital every Sunday I think would get a little old. Due to this, I am forced to go get some crack vegan dish that satisfies my dietary needs while they all sit in the kitchen mowing down on some dish caked in dairy.

This past week, the roommates decided on making chicken alfredo. Now, as healthy as a cream based carb dish sounds, I think I would pass even if I didn’t have a pathetic excuse for a stomach. In addition, I was still suffering from the drinking/eating induced coma I had found myself in after the Elton John concert earlier in the week. Don’t get me wrong, the mermaid and sequin embroidered jacket really did it for me, but the two full size plates of pad thai that I ordered really trumped even the tiniest of dancers.

All that being said, I was forced to create some dish that had no dairy/sugar/fun whatsoever. I settled on vegan mac and cheese, which is really just elbow noodles with nutritional yeast and almond milk. Definitely the best yeast I have ever had.

Here goes:

What you’ll need:

1 lb. Pasta elbows

1 cup unsweetened hemp milk

1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/2 cup non-dairy butter

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 dollop mustard

  1. Boil a big pot of water
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Put the pasta in the boiling water.
  4. In a food processor mix all of the other ingredients
  5. Blend/puree until creamy
  6. When the pasta is finished, strain and put in a large ceramic bowl
  7. Drench the pasta in the yeast sauce. Ha, yeast.
  8. Bake the pasta dish for about five minutes. You can bake it for longer but it dries it out, and I like my yeast creamy.

 

Again, not my picture...but this looks darn good.

 

 

This dish is great. And cheap. And don’t trip over what kind of nutritional yeast to buy. As far as your wallet/taste buds are concerned, they are all the same.

Spring Break Pizza and a Few New Years Resolutions That Will Likely Never Happen

7 Feb

So here I am, sitting in my room, festering in my sweaty gym clothes (we’re in a drought, ok?). I have eaten out almost every single meal for the past month. I haven’t gone grocery shopping since 2010 and the goals of seeing my toes before spring break are dwindling before my very eyes. As far as 2011 is concerned, I’m a fat, pasty college kid who only eats out and drinks expensive beer. Disturbing how accurate that is.

However, after evaluating my current, (not so pleasant) situation, I have decided to make some lifestyle changes. Sadly, I’ve only gotten as far as limiting my whisky shots to three per night and trying to make it home before the sun rises…I’ll start sometime after Spring break.

Speaking of which…after what I would like to refer to as an epic weekend, I was driving around the bum-infested streets of Eugene when my fellow-PR nerd friend called me to inquire as to what I was doing for Spring Break. After listing a bunch of really tropical and out-of-my-price-range options, I confessed that I had been about as productive as a dead guy on the Spring Break front and had yet to make any plans for my last spring break EVER. Thank gosh this girl is more productive than I. She then proceeded to tell me some prolonged story about her cheap father who suggested we look into rentals in Whistler.

Now bear in mind, my father is Jewish. He doesn’t wear a yarmulke (best hangman word EVER), but he doesn’t have to. My dad will literally go to the ends of the earth to not have to buy something, or convince someone that they don’t need to buy it either (what a disappointment to have me as a daughter, eh?).  If bread is moldy, my dad will either rip off the moldy part and eat the rest of the bread, or come up with some bogus health myth to convince you that mold is good for you. Trust me, if you saw my dad, you would know he knows absolutely nothing about health and/or what is good for you. If it doesn’t come in a $3.00 paper bag with a giant “M” on it, or if it doesn’t come in a clear plastic wrapper, he hasn’t got a clue.

So where I was going with this is that the whole time she’s (one of my good friends Sierra, who hopefully doesn’t mind my sarcasm towards her on this blog. However, if she does, Sierra I owe you a drink) talking, all I can think about is A) where on earth can I get a sandwich and B) how much is this going to cost, dragging me even closer to homelessness after I graduate in four months. Well I got a sandwich from Jimmy Johns and then found a seven person rental for six nights for a little over $200 a person. Eek, I’m in. What does this have to do with what recipe I am about to post? Absolutely nothing, but as my blog followers you have by default adopted the role as my e-diary. So thanks, friends.

 

What you’ll need:

A rolling pin

A pan

For the crust:

1 tablespoon yeast

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the sauce:

3 roasted red peppers

1/3 cup unsalted or lightly salted cashew nuts (I used the “50% less salt” kind from Trader Joe’s)

1/4 – 1/2 cup almond milk (depending on how thick you want your sauce)

1 tsp. minced/crushed garlic

1/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (or to taste)

dash of cayenne pepper (optional; to taste)

dash of black pepper

1 tsp. agave nectar OR 1 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. lemon juice

2-3 chicken thighs, cooked, cubed and seasoned to your liking

1 cup fresh spinach

A few artichoke hearts

½ sweet onion, sliced or diced

½ green pepper, also sliced or diced.

 

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven 425 degrees
  2. Mix the yeast with the water until the yeast is dissolved. Let it sit (or stand, whatever it wants to do) for a couple minutes.
  3. Add the salt and vegetable oil.
  4. Mix.
  5. Add flour
  6. Mix.
  7. Roll out the dough nice and thin because everybody who has taste buds knows that thin crust is by far the best kind of crust and anybody who disagrees is just thick (get it?)
  8. Place your thin crust on a ban and place it in the over for five minutes
  9. Take it out of the oven and paint it with vegetable oil
  10. In a food processor, combine literally all of the ingredients for the sauce (I don’t remember if this is exactly what I did but it’s all going         to the same place so stop being picky)
  11. Paint it over your already vegetable-oil-painted crust
  12. Your chicken should already be cooked so if it’s not, cook it, cube it and read more carefully next time
  13. Add the chicken
  14. Add the spinach
  15. Add the artichoke hearts
  16. Add the onions
  17. Add the green peppers
  18. Put the pizza back in the oven on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes

 

This is NOT my image...My digital camera has been lost to the abyss

 

This is the best pizza in the whole world. Absolutely puts regular pizza sauce to shame. If you disagree, comment! Or don’t, it really doesn’t matter. I’m going to go shower now…syke!

Boring Black Bean Quesadilla

4 Feb

No witty intro until later, I have to have this posted by five and I have no time for fun and games. One of the things I have discovered, throughout my college career, is how to be poor. One of the ways around that is to go to restaurants, eat their overpriced food once, go home, google what is in their recipes and make it at home for half the price.

This gem I found at Laughing Planet. Instead of a quesadilla with cheese, it’s a lactards rendition with black bean sauce instead.

What you’ll need:

1 tortilla

1 can black beans

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp olive oil

½ onion

1 tsp cumin

salt and pepper

1 tbsp. fresh parsley, ground

2 chicken thighs, cubed

1 cup spinach

1. In a food processor, puree the black beans, garlic, olive oil, onion, cumin, salt and pepper and parsley.

2. Once finely pureed, cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until a saucy consistency is reached.

3. Cook the chicken in a separate pan, flavoring with salt and pepper. If you want a little more flavor you can use Mrs. Dash or something tricky like that.

4. Cube the chicken

5. Cook the spinach over medium heat with just water until soft

6. Warm the tortilla in a pan or in the microwave

7. Spread an even layer of the black bean mixture on half the tortilla.

8. Add the chicken and spinach evenly

9. Fold and enjoy!

 

My regrets that this is the lamest post in the world, school is taking over my life.

Coconut cookies and 20 Vodka Redbulls

28 Jan

I can’t believe I’m actually posting on this blog right now. I’ve done some bad things in my life but I don’t actually think I’ve done anything bad enough to deserve this hangover. My evening went from not going out and going to the gym to spending $41 at a single bar. That had $2 wells. I could hear my father crying every time I handed my debit to the bartender.

I spent the entirety of my night going unlimited (my roommates coined term for buying all of the 8 other roommates all of the drink and food they want. It generally involves an impressive amount of alcohol and peer pressure) and talking to a man with one red boot on about mountain climbing. He had an impressively long conversation with himself while I stood there politely smiling and nodding as he carried on about how to “clip in” and where to “anchor” (see, I wasn’t that hammered). But towards the end of his verbal thesis I found myself swaying and singing one line from Katy Perry’s “Firework” in my head over and over. Needless to say when I realized he was looking at me as if he was waiting for an answer, my response was less than relevant.

He had apparently asked me if I mountain climbed. Ok, now all of the sensible people in the world, take a step back and give me an up-down. Do I look like I mountain climb? Yes. I wake up every morning, eat a dozen raw eggs, solve famine in Cambodia and mountain climb. Let’s be real, red boot. If I rock climb, then I also remember your name which you told me five minutes ago and am going to call you tomorrow for afternoon tea.

I know you’re dying to know what happened next, and that’s where this recipe comes in. I brought him home to some earl grey and we chatted over homemade crumpets. Only kidding, that would never, ever happen. I only drink peppermint tea. What really happened is that I came home, opened every cupboard in the kitchen and proceeded to eat about 5 dozen of these babies. I felt like a million bucks at my internship at 10 a.m. this morning.

 

What you’ll need:

 

2 TBSP ground flaxseeds

½ cup hemp milk, divided

¾ cup spelt flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

½ cup coconut oil

2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 cup large flake rolled oats

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut.

 

What to do:

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine flaxseeds and 3 tbsp of the hemp milk. Let stand for 10 minutes or until gelatinous, which is a really fun word to say.
  3. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  4. Stir it with a wire wisk to get it all…wisked
  5. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, cream together coconut oil and brown sugar.
  6. Beat in remaining hemp milk, vanilla and flaxseed mixture.
  7. Stir dry ingredients into sugar mixture
  8. Add rolled oats and coconut and mix until combined.
  9. Roll dough (cookie mixture) into about 2 tbsp. balls.
  10. Cook about two inches apart, unless you want them to touch.
  11. Bake them in pre-heated oven for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.
  12. Turn the oven off.
  13. Go out and get too drunk, then come home and eat the entire batch.

 

If you’re lucky, your night may turn out as well as mine did. Warning, don’t get your shoes too dirty on the way home, mud isn’t fun to clean out of your sheets.

p.s. Pictures to come soon, when I find my camera in my tornado-hit room.

Black Bean Surprise – Breakfast Rendition

17 Jan

When I first started this blog I was probably the most judgmental blogger one could hope to be upon beginning the blogging process.  I perused around other bloggers pages and noticed that some bloggers would go months without blogging. MONTHS! Unacceptable. I told myself that I would absolutely never be a blogger who went over a month without blogging.

Shows how good my word is.

Only kidding, I anticipated this long-awaited break. I went home to Colorado for the Winter break and Bath and Body Works had me working like a dog from the second they hired me. Then it came to my unpleasant attention that my parents, manifesting their technological intellect in 1875, didn’t have wireless internet. You’ve got to be joking me. Now someone told me I could do some sort of “dial-up” connection that required cords and plug-ins, but I had never heard of such a thing. So blogging, for the remaining month of December, was out of the question.

Then Vegas called and asked if I and my ten most irresponsible and idiotic friends would come to The Mirage for the New Years and make fools out of ourselves. Naturally, we accepted. The next three days were history.

Then school started back up, the National Championship game, etc., etc., etc.

So now, here I am, staring at my pictures from over a month ago, trying to figure out what the h-e-double hockey sticks I put in these recipes. So here is my best first attempt.

This is what I made on Christmas morning because my oh so considerate family made breakfast burritos. Thanks, fam.

This is essentially the black bean surprise recipe with eggs. In fact, that’s exactly what it is. You can only eat so many things when you can only eat so many things, you know? Sure you do. Here’s what you need:

1 large frying pan

1 lb. ground turkey breast

5 TBSP. olive oil

1-2 medium onions, sliced, diced or chopped, take your pick

½ green bell pepper

½ yellow bell pepper

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 TBSP cayenne pepper

¼ TBSP black pepper

2 TBSP cumin

2 TBSP basil

½ TBSP oregano

1 TBSP ground coriander

1 (15oz.) can black beans

10-15 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

4-5 eggs, cracked and scrambled

Salt to taste

And here’s what you do:

  1. Begin by putting all of the spices and olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook them for about two minutes, stirring frequently because burnt spices taste really bad.
  2. Add the chicken, onions, peppers and garlic. Evenly coat the chicken and veggies with the spice mixture so.
  3. Let cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. If you don’t stir it, your smoke alarm will most definitely go off.
  4. Add the tomatoes and black beans after about fifteen minutes. Let cook for about five minutes, just enough time for the black beans to heat up and gain deliciousness.
  5. Prepare scrambled eggs (crack and stir them, I don’t know if there is a more technical term for this) in a bowl on the side.
  6. Pour the eggs into the dish, trying to evenly distribute the eggs throughout the dish.
  7. Let the mixture sit for about a minute
  8. Start stirring so your eggs don’t burn
  9. Once you have reached the egg consistency of your desires, take it off the burner, throw it on your plate and go sit at the table to eat like the outcast you are.

I put avocado on it because, well, I put avocado on everything. Make sure you put this one on a plate because if you just eat it out of the pan you’ll end up eating the whole thing and god knows you don’t need that. I only am putting a picture up of the finished product because this recipe looks like schlop when it’s cooking.

So Festive

This salmon didn’t really have a choice to “just keep swimming”

10 Dec

This morning I woke up to what I didn’t know would be kind of a rough day. It all started when Bath and Body Works told me (the absolute BEST people to work for over the holidays…if angry soccer moms armed with moonlit path body butter isn’t entertaining, I don’t know what is) that I had to come in at 2:00 p.m. so they could see if I could work for them. Needless to say, I pretended that I had to plan my whole day around this and I made it so that my morning was completely counter-productive. I searched for presents on ebay for about three hours, watched some woman bid $21,000 too low on the price is right (she bid $11,000 when part of the prize was $5,000 cash…c’mon lady) and downloaded 31 songs I had never heard before in my life. When it came time to shower, I felt all rushed and acted like I had no time to take care of anything. When I got to the store, they told me to come back at 3:00 p.m. So typical.

As if that wasn’t stressful enough, after I had such a rough day, my dad came home and started ordering me around. “You know, Liz (my name is Lizzy), if you’re gonna be home for a few weeks, you’re going to have to help out around the house.” That’s like me saying to my father, “you know dad, if you’re going to be alive for much longer, I’m gonna need you to join a gym.” Some things are just not that plausible. Agree to disagree I guess. Regardless, after such a long and grueling day, I decided that the only thing that would make me feel better was to spend $30 on salmon. So genius.

I found a few recipes that I kind-of liked on the world-wide web so I combined them to one delicious concoction. Avocado sauce over salmon with peppers and onions:

What you’ll need for the salmon:

1 Big frying pan

3 salmon steaks (I got some organic, overpriced something or other but any kind will do)

1 ½ TSP ground black pepper

½ TSP paprika

¼ TSP cayenne pepper

1 TSP minced garlic

1 TBSP Dijon mustard

1 TBSP honey

½ TSP onion powder

¼ TSP salt

1 TBSP olive oil

1 ½ minced onion

 

What you’ll need for the avocado sauce:

1 blender and or food processor

2 large avocados, cut and peeled

3 TBSP freshly squeezed lime juice

1-2 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP minced garlic

1 TBSP minced fresh parsley

1 TSP Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

 

What you’ll need for the peppers:

1 very large frying pan

4 peppers sliced into vertical strips. Orange, yellow, green or red will do. Take your pick

1 ½ Large sweet onion, sliced

1 TBSP olive oil

4 Garlic cloves, minced

1 TBSP dried oregano

1 TBSP honey

10-15 grape tomatoes, halved

½ cup fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste.

 

1. Let’s start with the salmon. In a small dish mix the pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, onion powder, salt and olive until a paste-like consistency is made.

2. Spread over the salmon fillets and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3. In a food processor, combine the avocado’s and the lime juice.

4. Chop until a creamy consistency is attained.

5. Add the garlic, mustard, parsley and salt and pepper and blend once again until all ingredients have meshed.

6. Move on to the peppers.

7. In your very large frying pan, add the peppers, onions and olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until peppers and onion are soft.

8. Add the garlic, oregano and honey.

Salt-n-peppas?

9. Continue cooking for about four more minutes, stirring frequently.

10. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, just to keep them warm while you cook the salmon.

11. In your other very large pan, turn the burner to medium heat and add minced onions. Let cook for about ten minutes or until browned and remove them from the pan.

12. Leaving the burner on medium heat, add the three salmon steaks.

13. Cook the steaks until they are a little firm to the touch, about four minutes on each side. Be careful of cooking it too long though, I totally charred my dad’s salmon.

14. Remove salmon from the burner, toss on a plate, garnish with those onions you set aside, put a dollop of avo sauce on top and side it with the pepper and onion mix!

15. Toss the cherry tomatoes on the pepper mix

15. Brag about how great this meal is.

Check out my mom's super nice china

 

I undercooked my salmon but I don’t actually think there is consequence to that. If there is, give me two hours and I’ll bet you I’ll find out. This meal was a great success after having such a stressful day. Oh, and I got the job (no big deal), so if you need any top of the line body products, you know where to find them. And me. We’ll be in the same place.

 

 

My father suggested I call this “Chicky Chicky Bok Bok”

9 Dec

It’s been a while since I last posted but this time I have a legitimate excuse (in my head they’re all legitimate, it works out for the best that way). I was forced into taking a party bus to my civil war game where we won to become a contender against Auburn at the National Championships. After that I was captured and forced to go skiing until Tuesday (the life of a blogger is so hard).

But now I’m back in Denver and yesterday I made an agreement with my parents that if they would buy the groceries, I would make all the food. Little did I know that most families buy the groceries for their broke college kids regardless but apparently my frugal father skipped out on that tradition. When I proposed the idea, my mom (who generally is the one who picks up the rotisserie chicken from the grocery store) was all for it. My father on the other hand, was less than excited. “I don’t wanna eat your weird food.” Thanks for the support, dad.

Anyways, after making them a traditional steak last night (which, to my dismay, was not blog worthy) I decided to step out of the box a little bit and make chicken tonight. Boring? I think not. Add some bok choy to the mix and you’ve got one on-the-edge meal! Apparently, in addition to my exciting new dish, I also had one “underfed” and disappointed father (in my defense, my dad eats more than most small armies and went out for nachos and beers with his friend for a ‘pre-dinner’ snack…he’s so deprived). Here’s how it goes:

For the chicken you will need:

1 big frying pan

1 TBSP garlic powder

1 TBSP onion powder

2 TBSP paprika

2 TBSP dried parsley

1 TBSP dried oregano

½- 1 TSP cayenne pepper, depending on how spicy you like to get

2 TSP rubbed sage

2 TSP dried thyme leaves

1 TSP ground coriander

1 TSP celery seed

1 TSP sea salt

1 TSP black pepper

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 onion, sliced/diced/not whole

8-10 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

For the Bok Choy, you will need:

1 big frying pan

1 TBSP olive oil

4 cloves garlic

10 heads baby bok choy ( I don’t know what a head is so I just cut off the stems)

¼ cup dry sherry

½ cup low sodium organic chicken broth

1 tbsp low sodium gluten-free soy sauce

½ cup thinly sliced prosciutto

1. Combine garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried parsley, oregano, cayenne pepper, rubbed sage, thyme, coriander, celery seed, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

The rub

 

2. Rub on both sides of every chicken thigh

3. Place the chicken thighs in a frying pan over medium heat

4. Slice the onions and chop the garlic and put in the pan with the chicken.

5. Let sit for 15-20 minutes or until onions are soft, stirring frequently. Remove from burner when this is the case

These chickens had really small thighs

 

6. In the other frying pan, combine olive oil and garlic.

7. cook the garlic for 5 minutes over medium heat.

8. Cut the bok choy into large bite-size pieces.

9. Add the bok choy to the garlic and olive oil

My interpretation of bok choy heads

 

10. Let it sit for about ten minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently

11. Add the sherry, chicken broth and soy sauce

12. Let sit for about five minutes, just long enough for the bok choy to absorb the flavors (less time if you want to get a little bok-tipsy)

13. Add the prosciutto and stir for about a minute

The finished product or 1/3 of my dad's dinner

The spiced chicken and the bok choy really complimented each other and it felt really healthy to eat. It was a nice sweet and salty mixture. If you’re not going to Vegas in 20 days and you don’t have a problem eating carbs (unlike moi), then serve it over rice. It will be a lot more filling and a lot less complimenting to your ideal little-black dress figure.