Tuesday, May 24, 2011

roasted red pepper & avocado sandwich

I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what to do with the ingredients I have on hand... this sandwich was really good! I also love that you can make it huge, because it's pretty much just yummy veggies :)

Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado Sandwich with Herb Mayo

2 red bell pepper
1 avocado
whatever bread you'd like
1 tablespoon herb mayo (recipe after)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the whole peppers on a sheet of foil over a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, flipping once - the peppers will start to get dark and bubbly, that's okay!

2. Remove from the oven and place immediately into a gallon ziplock bag (I heard this helps sweat out some moisture, I dunno) and let it sit for 15 minutes or so.

3. Assemble your sandwich with the veggies & mayo, which I have the recipe for below. Mmmmm.

Herb Mayo

1/2 cup light mayo
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon herbes de provence (probably my favorite dried herb blend ever!)

Combine ingredients - let sit for a few minutes before serving to let the flavors develop.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

our weekend

...with no pictures, because apparently we ate everything so fast there was no time for photos!

What we've been eating this weekend:
  • pizza with pesto, tomatoes, ricotta and feta
  • actually not terrible for you lemon bars (66 calories a square!)
  • pasta with fresh veggies & grilled chicken, tossed with pesto

Lemon Bars
(from here)

1/4 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 eggs
scant 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
additional confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray the bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. Beat the 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the 1/2 cup of pastry flour and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until just golden brown (about 10 to 12 minutes). Cool on a wire rack and lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

3. While the oven temperature reduces, whisk the eggs on medium speed until foamy. Add the granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture over the baked crust and return to the oven until “set” (about 20 to 25 minutes – do not touch the filling with your fingers or it will stick to them and you will have a big dent in your bars!) Cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into 12 squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Anyway, we had a good weekend, and it went way too fast. Friends visited yesterday/overnight and we went to First Watch for brunch (pretty much the best place ever). Today we looked at a house for sale - though we decided it was just too far from our offices & our hometown/family. It was on four acres, though, which would be great! It was just exciting to officially start our search for a home. We're both so anxious...and so are our puppies :)

xo, Lindsay

Thursday, May 19, 2011

edamame pasta

I've been trying to find a good recipe for pasta with edamame, without any asian flavors. I came across one the other evening that inspired me to make last night's dinner (original recipe here, my changes are below) and I think it's one I'll definitely make again.

Spaghetti with Edamame, Spinach, and Olive Oil

1 large garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup packed spinach
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/3 cups frozen shelled edamame
3/4 pound whole grain spaghetti
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. Boil water for the pasta. Meanwhile, chop garlic and spinach in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

2. When boiling, salt the water and add edamame - cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and place in serving bowl. Add Parmesan cheese.

3. Add the spaghetti to the same water and when the pasta is cooked, remove 1/2 cup of the cooking water and add to the serving bowl. Drain pasta, and toss with the mixture in the bowl.

Serves 4. Kind of. Maybe 2 1/2 :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

fancy tuna salad

I just wanted to share my recipe for a heathier, very yummy (fancy!) tuna salad. I'd put olive oil in anything...why not a tuna salad sandwich? I can't even call this a recipe, because who honestly measures ingredients that go into something like this?!

Tuna Salad

1 can tuna
about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
about 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1-2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon lemon juice
freshly ground pepper

mmmmmm....yep, that was my lunch today!

xo, Lindsay

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ahhh, a gift!

When I got home from work today, I was greeted by a box! Way exciting, who doesn't love to find that waiting for them?! After some research and accusatory text messages, I discovered it was from my good friend Andrea (so thoughtful) - she sent me probably one of the neatest things I've ever seen. It's called the Emulstir and I'm super excited to try it out. Thank you Andrea :)

My laptop broke two days ago. Okay, let me rephrase. My laptop died a tragic, slow, and painful death two days ago. I had this really bad habit of letting it rest on the arm of our couch, and it always decided to go bungee jumping. Now it's sitting in 3000 pieces on our kitchen table because Mike is fixing it. Unfortunately, this has been interfering with my blogging. I'm currently not-so-patiently waiting for a part to come in the mail. I will be posting more updates once this occurs.

Anyway, dinner was a slightly altered recipe from smitten kitchen and a marinade for salmon I kind of made up (some canola oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar).

Couscous and Feta Stuffed Peppers (original recipe here)

Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 1/4 cups fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
2/3 cup couscous
2 bell peppers
2 tsp olive oil
an unknown amount of zucchini and yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 tsp herbs de provence
1/2 tsp salt
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 cup feta
3 tablespoons tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray. Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan, add the couscous, cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Cut the stems and top half inch off the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Place peppers upright in a baking dish and roast them for 15 minutes or so, until they soften, then remove them from the oven until the filling is ready. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add zucchini, yellow squash,herbs de provence, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Using a fork, scrape the couscous into the skillet and toss with the vegetables. Stir in the crumbled feta. Fill peppers with the couscous mixture. Bake 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

It was pretty tasty - the original recipe includes chickpeas, which I did have, but I wasn't really feeling it tonight. Mike liked this too :)

xo, Lindsay

Saturday, May 14, 2011

our favorite pizza crust

We love pizza. I'm talking, we would eat it every day. I searched high and low for a semi healthy pizza crust recipe, and finally found this recipe from allrecipes.com. The only addition I've made is to include some ground flax seed.

Whole Wheat and Honey Pizza Crust

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl combine flour, wheat germ, salt and flax seed if using. Make a well in the middle and add honey and yeast mixture. Stir well to combine. Cover and set in a warm place to rise for a few minutes.
4. Roll dough on a floured pizza pan and poke a few holes in it with a fork.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until desired crispiness is achieved.
6. Add toppings, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Tonight I added fresh tomatoes, some green and black olives, feta cheese, and mozzarella.

Friday, May 13, 2011

why do wine glasses make everything taste better?

It's Friday! I headed into work for a bit this morning, which wasn't all bad because it at least got me up and moving early. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get some fresh veggies and spent the afternoon in the kitchen.

Kitchen accomplishments:

  • homemade tomato vinaigrette
  • dinner was chicken I marinated in some Garlic Expressions, served with some sauteed yellow squash and zucchini, and some spinach with my tomato vinaigrette!

  • some fresh cut up veggies and a quick light dip
  • perhaps the tastiest! - San Pellegrino and Simply Grapefruit juice, which I'm now definitely addicted to. Served in a wine glass, of course, because everything tastes better out of a wine glass. :)

xo, Lindsay

grapefruit vinaigrette

Yet another tasty vinaigrette! This was great over some spinach - I really didn't need anything else with it.

Grapefruit Vinaigrette

1/3 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon honey

Whisk to combine.

tomato vinaigrette

I'm kind of obsessed with making my own vinaigrettes. I think they're so versatile, and I always have ingredients on hand to make exactly what I'm in the mood for. This was a new one for me, but I like it!

Tomato Vinaigrette

1/2 teaspoon salt (you may want to start with less)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 small chopped tomato
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 small crushed garlic clove

Throw everything into a blender and enjoy!

my story

Hi! Over the next few weeks, I'm hoping to turn this into something pretty awesome.

Unfortunately, I'm kind of on a time frame here to get my act together, because I'll soon be having a spinal fusion and will be down for the count for a bit.

Why the hell would I start a blog before major surgery, you ask?

Here's the scoop: I had my first surgery for scoliosis when I was seven. My doctor fused (or joined together) three of my vertebrae to stop the curvature in my spine from progressing. I spent quite a few months in a body cast, but all in all, the surgery was a success, at least for many years.

I never felt that I was pain free, but it was tolerable, and I lived normally. Around age 23, I noticed a huge shift in my pain level. I've spent the last year coping with this chronic back pain, and for anyone who has experienced any type of chronic pain, you know it isn't fun.

I grew frustrated that I was so young and so limited by how I was feeling, but I always seemed to rely on my doctors to find answers for me. In the past few months, I realized that while I can't fix my back pain right now, there are a ton of ways that I can control my life. Feeding my body in nutritious, yummy ways is what initially motivated me to begin this blog, and spending time in the kitchen has become some kind of therapy for me. I hope to share that with any readers I gain along the way.

I want this blog to be a happy place, complete with ways to grow, live life to the fullest, and provide ideas that will keep you inspired, fulfilled, and content.

xo, Lindsay