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!

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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!

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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! 

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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! 😉

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!

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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 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 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. 🙂

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!!

Day One!

July 24, 2012

We made it past day one!  It felt good to be eating so healthy and it was nice to whip up some healthy recipes. We made a whole wheat pizza for dinner last night. It was fun just to relax in the kitchen, enjoy a glass of wine and make a wonderful dinner. Now, obviously every night can’t be like this. So, we also made a vegetable gumbo that we plan to eat tonight (Day 2) and we’ll use the leftovers throughout the week. 

It is important to mention that one of our biggest resources during this challenge will be the site http://www.100daysofrealfood.com. It is a great blog that offers tips for quitting processed foods, recipes, and even meal plans. Everyone should check it out!

Below is the recipe for the pizza (from 100 Days of Real Food) along with some pictures!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast (active dry yeast)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur organic white whole-wheat flour)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Grated mozzarella cheese
  • Cooking oil spray

DIRECTIONS

  1. Drop the yeast into the 1-cup of warm water and let it go to work for a few minutes. It should foam up a little bit. Stir the salt and olive oil into the yeast mixture.
  2. Pour the flour and yeast mixture into a food processor with a dough blade or into a mixer with a dough hook and turn on the machine. (You can also mix up this dough by hand.)
  3. If the dough is too dry add warm water a teaspoon at a time and if it is too wet add flour 1 teaspoon at a time (ours was wayyy too dry, so we ended up adding a lot of water)
  4. Remove the ball from your food processor and knead into a smooth ball (if you are doing it by hand, like we did, kneading it will take some time). Put the dough into a large ziplock bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap (put a touch of olive oil in and coat the inside of the bag/bowl first) then leave it in fridge for as little as 1 hour or overnight depending on how much time you have. It will rise on it’s own in the fridge.
  5. When ready to make the pizza preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into the desired shape. Put the flat pizza dough on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Top the dough with homemade or organic tomato sauce, cheese and other toppings of your choice. Bake in a oven for about 10 min. or until crust and cheese are golden brown.

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Homemade whole wheat pizza dough and all the toppings!

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Rollin’ the dough.

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The finished product, yum!

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Enjoy! 🙂