Day 65! (Need Motivation)

September 25, 2012

We love eating healthy. There is something really refreshing and nice about knowing what you’re putting into your body, and there is something really rewarding about making your own food. However, sometimes coming home after a long day and making dinner for an hour and a half is the last thing we want to do. Since our schedule is a bit atypical- Nikki works overnights and is a full-time student, sometimes it’s not even that we don’t want to cook, it’s that we can’t. So tonight, for instance, we’re not eating until late and we ordered pizza- which is totally taking the easy way out.

Our goal moving forward is to really come up with some more healthy recipes that are quick and easy. It would be nice to have these in the reserve for days like today when we’re just simply too tired and too busy. 

Anywhoooo, here are some pics from the past week!

Chickpea salad– cherry tomatoes, avocado, goat cheese, chickpeas and vinegar.  

Image

 

Leftover butternut squash soup with yogurt mixed in (like sour cream) and toasted bread.

 

Image

 

One of our new favorites… Corn tacos! Loaded with corn, zucchini, garlic and cabbage.

 

ImageImage

 

Yum! 🙂

Advertisements

Day 59! (Pizza Success!!!)

September 19, 2012

Tonight, Chris and I are very happy because we have successfully made by far our best pizza yet! It’s all in the crust, baby! Chris gets credit for using this site to make the perfect crust. Since we do not have a food processor to really knead the dough, we had to find an alternative. The simplest way to do it is to let the dough sit overnight. We also put the dough in the over for 2 minutes BEFORE putting on the toppings and cooking the pizza all together. We cut some tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers, Parmesan cheese and… goat cheese! Delicious. And really, trust me when I say it’s all in the crust!

Image

 

Image

In addition to the pizza we made tonight, last night we made some sweet potato tacos. We loosely followed the recipe but they turned out really well. The mix of the sweet potatoes and the spicy peppers was wonderful. Take a look!

Image

Monday night we made Butternut Squash Soup. We got the recipe here. I was in the mood for something lighter, like a soup. The soup was great and we have a ton of leftovers which I love. That means we can have a change from the same old PB&J or cheese sandwich for our lunches. We also have a TON of leftover butternut squash since Chris but a 7.5 lb squash! That’s okay though, guess we’ll just have to find another recipe!  No picture of the soup because we woofed it down too quickly! 🙂

Lastly, we also made an eggplant casserole. We used this recipe which SOUNDED good but after we mixed in all the vegetables and bread crumbs we realized it was missing one important thing..liquid. It looked so dry! So, we added some vegetable broth we had in our pantry and it turned out amazing! Crisis adverted! I think this would make a great Thanksgiving dish! 

Image

 

 

 

Day 56! (Fall Recipes!)

September 16, 2012

It’s been too long since our last post, we must share all the delcious
recipes we’ve made this week!

Let’s see, this week we made spicy tomato soup! Our only regret about
this soup was that we didn’t make more of it. Soup is a nice thing to
have around for lunch the next day!

Image

On Wednesday we made Brazilian cheese rolls. Chris tried them while
out at a resturant and he loved them. He decided we had to make them.
They were very easy to make and they tasted delicious. Plus, they
paired well with the leftover tomato soup from the night before. TIP:
they must be served warm!

Image

Image

Then, on Friday we made pizza again. It turned out kind of dry and
bland. We made our own crust and our own sauce. The sauce tasted
wonderful but we didn’t make enough of it (ran outta tomatoes!). We
also learned that making a good pizza crust is not easy. Better luck
next time!

Image

Image

Image

Finally, on Saturday we made Spanish rice (check out this recipe with
only 5 ingredients) and we were about to make tacos when we realized
that all of the tortillas were moldy. So, we decided to make a “taco
salad” instead. We just mixed the rice, some crunched tortilla chips,
veggies, hot sauce and plain yogurt (sour cream substitute). It was a
nice change from our usual taco dinner!

warning: this does not look appealing. haha sometimes our food doesn’t LOOK pretty, but it TASTES good!

Image

Chris also made some corn bread muffins which are pictured. They
didn’t turn out spicy, like he wanted, but they were good!!!

As for tonight…we’re having a goat cheese pizza. Yes, we’re determined to get this crust right! Wish us luck! 😉

Day 50 (We’re halfway!)

September 10, 2012

Sorry for being bad bloggers! I wish we had more time to cook and to blog. And, to make things worse, we keep forgetting to take pictures! Pictures make a blog! Plus, we’ve been super bad about eating out lately. It’s not that we’re eating unhealthy or anything, just been spending more money on dining out than we should be.

Anywhooo, tonight we decided to make pancakes for dinner. We made lots of extra pancakes for future breakfasts too, of course. Monday’s are super busy for us, so we try to find quick, simple recipes. Since we never really eat big breakfasts, we figured we’d make breakfast for dinnner.

Image

We also made some carmalized almonds (another recipe found on Pinterest) which didn’t really turn out great. They taste yummy, but they’re more gooey than carmalized. Oh well!

Image

Also- for those in the Bolingbrook area, there is a new Japanese restaurant that opened called Aki. We ate there last night and it was pretty good. It is kind of hard to judge the atmosphere of a restaurant on a Sunday night, but it was fun. We skipped the sushi and went straight for the hibachi grill. We did have two waiters, which was weird. We kept getting asked the same questions over and over. We’ll definitely try it again. We’re very interested to see if the sushi is better than Ko Sushi across the street (not big fans).

One more thing, we also ate at a Chicago restaurant Big Star. We can sum it up very easily. Great tacos, great salsa and crappy service. Be prepared to wait a long time to get in and you can only pay in cash. Oh yeah, and good strong drinks! http://bigstarchicago.com/

 

Hooray for being halfway! It has been really fun. We’re feeling healthier and we found a common hobby– cooking! Lookin’ forward to the next 50 days!

Day 45! (First Failed Recipe)

September 5, 2012

Not only did we have a major recipe fail today, but this post is being rewritten after it was accidentally deleted, so now we’re super grumpy! Today we tried to make quinoa pizza bites which Nikki found on Pinterest and led to this site. People were raving about these pizza bites, saying it was some of the best food they’ve ever had. Naturally, we had to try them- we love pizza!  After spending over an hour chopping, cooking, and baking the results we’re a bland pile of mush. Frustrating. Now, I’m not blaming the recipe. It was our own fault- we made the pizza bites entirely too big. Lesson learned. We may attempt the pizza bites again, but it won’t be for a while. There are just to many good recipes!

Here’s a pic anyway.

Image

To offset the negative post, here are a couple of pictures from our Labor Day at the Southern Michigan wineries. If you live in the area, you have to hit up the wineries. We went to about five wineries (and one brewery!), which was so fun. 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

 

Now, we’re off to make some dessert (mushed bananas, peanut butter and a little chocolate) to forget about that lame dinner. 🙂

Day 42! ( So far, so good!)

September 2, 2012

Tuna week has come to a close. We’re sad to see it go, but we’re
definitely ready to move on. We wish we had more delicious recipes to
post, unfortunately we’ve eaten out a lot this weekend. Friday night
we ate at Houlihan’s for our friends birthday. Sure, we easily could
have eaten before going out but the fact of the matter is neither one
of us felt like cooking. However, we did try our best to find the most
natural and healthy options on their menu.

On Saturday we went to downtown Geneva. It is such a cute little town
and even the rain couldn’t keep us away. We ate at a small pub
called Stockholms. It may look like a hole-in-the-wall but they have quality
food and they brew their own beer.

Tonight Nikki’s parents got Chinese food so we just split an order of shrimp with vegetables- no sauce! We added our own sauce. Ya know, without all the high fructose corn syrup. Nothing too fancy, but it was simple and tasty.

And of course, tomorrow is Labor Day! It is Nikki’s first holiday off
in a while, so we’re heading to Michigan to sample some wine and food.
We’ll let ya know how it goes! 

Check out the treats Nikki’s bringing to work tonight… Pictures to follow 🙂

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/creamy-avocado-yogurt-dip/

http://www.fitsugar.com/Healthy-Snack-Smudgies-1731994

Day 38! (TUNA WEEK)

August 29, 2012

Well, it’s official. We love tuna. This week we’ve made an assortment of tuna dishes. Chris’ brother gave us a whole pound of flash-frozen tuna a while ago. We’ve been holding onto it but this week seemed like the perfect time to whip up some tuna recipes. We thawed the tuna for about 24 hours and it should stay good for about 4 days.

Tonight we made tuna tartare with some zucchini chips on the side. The recipe is from Spoon Fork Bacon, and it is super simple. We just didn’t use the endive leaves because we forgot to buy them!

Tuna Tartare with Belgium Endive Leaves
Serves 3 to 5

Ingredients:
8 ounces chilled Ahi grade tuna, diced
yuzu marinade:
1 ½ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon yuzu extract (juice)
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon wasabi powder

¼ medium fennel bulb, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
garnish:
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

2 Belgium endives, cut into individual leaves

Directions:
1. Place tuna in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. In a small bowl mix together the marinade ingredients until well combined.
3. Pour marinade over the tuna and gently stir together.
5. Add fennel, garlic, ginger, and green onion to tuna mixture and carefully fold together until combined.
5. Top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and serve with endive leaves.

If you’re interested in the zucchini chips check out this recipe. It only takes about 10 minutes. Just a warning, they are much better served warm.

This week we also made fresh tuna tacos (which went great with Chris’ guacamole) and tuna salad (which we turned into the best tuna melts we’ve ever tasted). Surprisingly, the quickest thing we made was the tuna tacos and the recipe that took the longest was just the simple tuna salad. However, both were great! Tomorrow, we’re making tuna avocado dip. Any suggestions for what to make with it?

Check out the pics below!

Image

Image

Image

Oh and just a pic of Chris and Ellay being cuties (while I do homework)…

Image

We sit here writing this post as we chow down on some corn soup (and while watching White Collar). This soup is delicious and perfect for a rainy Chicago day like today.  We didn’t use Chipotle peppers but we added enough peppers and spices to give it a good kick!

Today, after conquering Whole Foods, we also made chocolate zucchini bread, guacamole, and chocolate syrup (to make chocolate milk!). A pretty interesting combination, we know! Tomorrow starts Nikki’s first week of nursing school (the last semester!) so we’re expecting things to get a little chaotic. Therefore, we’re really working on making Sunday our main cooking and “prep” day for the week. Also, for those of you not on Pinterest yet, we highly recommend signing up. It is a great way to find awesome recipes and creative blogs!

As usual, below are some pics… we’ll post some recipes later (just. too. damn. tired).

Chocolate Syrup

 

Chris’ Guacamole

 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

 

 

Spicy Corn Soup

 

 

And as the title states… this week is TUNA WEEK! Meaning, we will be making a number of dishes surrounding tuna (duh!). Tomorrow, we will make tuna tacos! Yum!

Hey Everyone! 

We definitely failed at blogging while on vacation. We kept ourselves busy being tourists and we spent very little time in our hotel room or on our laptops. We had a wonderful vacation! It was nice to catch up with Nikki’s grandpa and our friends. Arizona is beautiful (and VERY hot) and we loved the mountain views. As expected, we ate at some fantastic restaurants. It felt like all we did was eat! 

To be honest, we could have done better with our “no processed foods” diet. It’s not that we went out of the way to eat processed foods, but we ate out so much that sometimes we would forget to ask what was in certain menu items or we would eat food and realize later that it probably wasn’t fresh. That being said, we did try to pick restaurants that were known for using fresh, local ingredients. We’re a bit disappointed in ourselves because we’ve worked so hard, but we’re not going to give up! We’re getting back on track today and we’ll continue forward from here. We’re actually looking forward to doing some of our own cooking again!

Here are some of our good eats along the way—

Pizzeria Bianco

http://www.pizzeriabianco.com/

Some people swear this is the best pizza in the world. On the weekend you can be looking at a 2+ hour wait to get it. Did we think it was the best pizza we’ve ever had? Well, we’ll let ya try it for yourselves 😉

Image

 

St. Francis

http://www.stfrancisaz.com/

Word to the wise: if your on vacation (or just happen to be home during the day) check out happy hours. That’s how we stumbled across this place. Good happy hour specials, good food, and great cocktails! 

 

Image

 

Culinary Dropout

http://foxrc.com/restaurants/culinary-dropout/

Culinary Dropout is part of a large restaurant company which has fun places all over Phoenix. We went here for lunch. It’s a little pricey just for lunch, but these pretzel rolls were to die for. Chris loved the fish and chips, as for Nikki’s seared tuna salad..eh we could take it or leave it. 

 

Image

 

Quince

http://visitjeromeaz.com/

Words can’t really express how much we loved this place. The food was original (yes, even for New Mexican food), interesting, and delicious. The atmosphere is really fun and colorful. If you visit Phoenix, we highly recommend you make the trip to Jerome, Arizona. There are wineries, funky little shops, and good food. It was totally worth the 2 hour drive. 

 

Image

 

 

House of Tricks

www.houseoftricks.com

 

Okay, okay now we know this isn’t a food picture, but we were too busy eating that we forgot to take pictures until the end! This place came highly recommended to us, so we had to check it out. It was a beautiful night so we even got to sit outside and enjoy a nice bottle of wine. The food was very good (fabulous Salmon) and the service was great. 

Image

 

We’re heading to Arizona tomorrow! We’re all packed- just enjoying some stir-fry and a glass of wine. We’re going to be meeting up with my grandpa, and our friends Mike and Jess. Mike and Jess are foodies like us, so we’re definitely looking forward to their pick for dinner. Hopefully they can clue us in on other good eats around Phoenix. We’ve been busy working and packing for the trip, but we’ve made a couple good meals, too. 

Spaghetti Squash! Not sure the picture does it justice, but this was sooo good. It is so simple to make. Just cut it in half, remove the seeds and pulp, and bake it in the oven. It’s like spaghetti.. but without the carb overload. You can eat it with pasta sauce or just some salt and pepper. We chose pesto sauce with a little cheese and tomatoes. 

Image

 

Leftover Veggie Stir Fry! We’re trying to use the last of everything before we leave tomorrow, so we decided to make a veggie stir fry with all of our leftover vegetables. We also added some brown rice. Filling and healthy!

 

Image

 

Image

 

We grabbed a couple of snacks for the airport tomorrow… some banana chips, trail mix, and Larabars. These bars sound so good and they’re made with all natural ingredients and most of the bars have 5 ingredients or less.

Image

 

Hope everyone has a good week! We’ll try to post some during the vacation. We’re sure to try lots of yummy restaurants and we plan to stick to our rules of no processed foods! It will be a challenge, but it’s definitely a challenge we’re ready for!