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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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! ūüėČ

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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.

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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!

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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 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 ūüôā

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 ¬Ĺ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¬Ĺ tablespoon yuzu extract (juice)
¬Ĺ teaspoon black pepper
¬ľ teaspoon wasabi powder

¬ľ medium fennel bulb, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
¬Ĺ 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!

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

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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.¬†

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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!

 

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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.

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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!

Day 18! (What a week!)

August 9, 2012

As we said in our last post, we’ve been dog-sitting/ house sitting all week and it is really nice to have a kitchen all to ourselves. On Tuesday, we used the extra shrimp we had to make shrimp tacos. Delicious! I found¬†this¬†recipe for simple shrimp tacos online. We added cheese, guacamole, and salsa to our tacos, too. Ya know, just to fatten’ em up! ūüėČ These tacos were seriously good and seriously easy. They’re also a nice change from the usual black bean tacos we eat.¬†

Last night Chris and I went on a long overdue date night. We decided on a¬†restaurant¬†we’ve been wanting to try for a while now,¬†Green Zebra. The¬†restaurant’s focus is locally produced fruits and vegetables so you know what that means, no meat! It was wonderful to read through a menu and be able to chose from ANYTHING on it. Well, almost anything. We we’re staying non-processed after all. ¬†The menu is made up of small plates, so you should order about 3 items per person (of course, Chris ordered four, plus dessert). One of our favorite items on the menu was a mushroom pate, served with spring onion marmalade and¬†pickled cucumber. It was an earthy, complex dish that left us craving more.¬†

Unfortunately, the battery in our camera died. So, we won’t be able to take pictures until the weekend. ūüė¶

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Also, just wanted to show off Chris’ french onion soup… the finished product!

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We’re making a¬†broccoli¬†chowder this weekend… stay tuned!¬†

Day 15! (Dog Sittin’)

August 6, 2012

Hola,

This week we’re cooking all of our meals from Nikki’s aunt and uncle’s house. We’re dog sitting! It’s been fun playing house. It’s nice to have the whole kitchen to ourselves to cook. We got some fresh seafood to play with this week, too.

Tonight we made coconut shrimp. It was delicious! We used a “skinny” recipe. It was the perfect combination of salty and sweat. We had some leftover coconut-planko mix, so we also made coconut carrots and a coconut banana pepper. We’re improvising! ha ha.

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Chris is also making some french onion soup! It is one of our favorites. We’re using Alton Brown’s recipe from the Food Network. We’re just swapping out the chicken and beef broth for vegetable broth, of course. The recipe takes about 2 hours to complete, but it is fairly simple and requires little work.¬†

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French onion soup! (in progress)

 

Day 12!

August 3, 2012

Right now Chris is in the kitchen making strawberry lemonade. I’m a bit excited because it has been a while since I’ve had juice. I bought a nice little water bottle and have pretty much just been drinking water all day… everyday.¬†

It has only been 12 days since we began our challenge of “100 Days of No Processed Food”, but I already can feel some difference. I feel less tired, less sluggish. Maybe it is in my head, but either way- I feel better! That was a big reason as to why I began this challenge. Chris and I both have been trying to eat healthy for years now, it is part of the reason we’re¬†vegetarian. Then one day it just sort of hit me that although the food may seem healthy (mostly because it was labeled “healthy” or “low fat” or “natural” on the package) it just wasn’t.¬†

In addition to feeling ¬†better, I’m also really having fun cooking and baking. I love finding new recipes and playing with different flavors or ingredients. I’ve been using some of my cookbooks from home, but I’ve also been using a lot of internet resources like Pinterest!

Plus, today I weighed myself and I’ve lost 3.5 lbs. since we started this challenge! Bonus!

Today I made a summer soup. It was super easy! And it tasted better than the ratatouille. Chris asked me to stop making¬†vegetable¬†soups though. ha ha So, we’ll be taking a break from soups for a while. I also made egg salad, which was a bit difficult since I couldn’t use¬†mayonnaise¬†or mustard. However, I used plain yogurt (a great¬†substitute) and hot sauce just to change it up.¬†

Hope everyone has a good weekend! I’ll be spending most of mine at work. — Nikki

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Day 10…Happy August!

August 1, 2012

We’re joyfully writing this blog as we chow down on some homemade granola with yogurt. There is something so satisfying about making all of your own food (and having it turn out well, of course). Last night we cooked the ratatouille in the slow cooker and it was wonderful to have a nice dinner waiting for us when we got home from work today.¬†

After dinner we made some hard boiled eggs. We’re looking forward to trying a healthy egg salad recipe that Nikki found on Pinterest. We’ll use the leftover eggs for breakfast and a healthy snack. We also made the granola. We found a very simple recipe¬†that makes about 2 weeks worth of granola. We’ll definitely have to try to make granola bars sometime, too.¬†

Tomorrow, Nikki will make a summer vegetable soup and we’ll make our meal plans for the next two weeks. We’re looking forward to trying even more recipes!

Star fruit, mango & cantaloupe 

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Granola

 

 

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Ratatouille 

 

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And, of course, a necessity for any good dinner…

 

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Day 4!

July 26, 2012

The last 4 days have been great. We’ve been cooking more (well, Nikki has been cooking more, Chris has just been reaping the benefits) and trying out new recipes. The biggest challenge so far has been the temptation of other food. Today at work Chris’ company bought Giordano’s pizza…hard to pass up! Last night they also took Chris out to dinner (I know, whata lucky guy) so he had to be careful when ordering. He ordered tuna which seems like a safe, yet delicious, choice.¬†

This weekend we’re going camping. We’re super excited, but it presents an interesting challenge as well. We want to make sure we stick with our diet and have enough food to get us through the weekend. We decided to make our own veggie burgers (using¬†this¬†delicious recipe). It was so simple! We also made banana bread to use for breakfast or maybe to quench our sweet tooth as everyone else eats s’mores (simple recipe from¬†100 Days of Real Food). Some other things we’re bringing include eggs (both regular and hardboiled) veggies, hummus, and some left over vegetable gumbo which we made on Monday. We’re also bringing beer… lots and lots of beer. ūüôā

We’ll be sure to report back after camping to let you all know how everything turned out!!

Veggie burgers (pre-baked)

 

 

 

 

 

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banana bread…

 

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Eggs & Veggies 

 

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Hope you all have a good weekend!!