Jun 25, 2012

dreaming and meatless meals

Do you ever think about what you want to be when you grow up? Even though you've graduated from college and found a grown up job? Well, the problem is I'm so not grown up yet. If I am expected to live to 100 and I'm not even 25... then how am I considered grown up? Of course I have wisdom and some life experience by now, but I dream more about my potential now than I did when I was younger. Maybe the difference is the things I dream about now could be made possible like opening a restaurant or moving to NYC. The dreams you have when you are younger like flying or becoming a princess are just not reality. I still ask young adults my age what they want to be when they grow up and I get flashed a really silly look. I'm telling you it's not silly, it's the truth. I know some adults that are still lost at the age of 40 and that is okay. We are constantly changing beings who learn to adapt to new situations. Those situations can sometimes inspire new goals or dreams.

The point is we never stop dreaming about the person we could become or the places we will go. I just hope that in the 75 years when I am grey and wrinkly that I'm proud of what I accomplished in life. Even the things I regret should be part of my story. Like the time I decided that this would be a good idea to post on my blog. Or the time I accidentally put double the amount of water in my pizza dough because I was too distracted to read the recipe correctly. Which also caused me to have to run to the grocery store because I didn't have enough flour. Sometimes the regret can be small but I'm the type of person that holds onto regrets with a tight grip and a heavy heart. I'm working on it, but no one is perfect.

One thing I will never regret is creating these delicious little guys. A meatless meatball for everyone to share and love.

I always get excited when I find a full proof vegetarian dish for the days that meat just doesn't appeal to me. When searching for a meatless meal I still want to make sure that I'm getting a ton of nutrients and find something that will keep me full for a while.

These may look like real meatballs, but they are totally lentils! And they are totally filling and delicious and the lemon pesto really is the icing on the cake (or the sauce on the meatball).

I found this recipe after I stumbled upon the blog Sprouted Kitchen. My gosh is this lady fantastic. All of her recipes are fresh and whole foods that are good for your body and filling.

The original recipe called for Parmesan cheese in the meatballs, but I accidentally used all of mine in the pesto and Goat's Milk Gouda was all I had in the fridge. It was still a hard cheese so I think it worked pretty darn well.

Lentil Meatballs in Lemon Pesto
Adapted by: Sprouted Kitchen


2 cups cooked lentils
2 lightly beaten eggs
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta 
1/4 cup grated Goats Milk Gouda
1 large minced clove of garlic
1/2 t crushed fennel seed
2 T finely chopped fresh parsley
2 t fresh thyme1 t Each Sea Salt and Pepper
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

Lemon Pesto:

2 cloves of rough chopped garlic
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
1 lemon zested and juiced 
2 cups of packed basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 t salt
pinch of black pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1. Start by cooking the lentils. I normally do 1 cup lentils to 2 scant cups of water. (1 cup of dried lentils will make 2 cups of cooked lentils). Pour 1 cup of lentils onto a baking sheet and sort through them. Make sure you throw away any rocks or shriveled ones. Wash in a strainer and then put in a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes - 1 hour depending on how old your lentils are. I simmered mine for about 30 minutes. 

2. While the lentils are cooking let's make the pesto. In a food processor put the garlic, pine nuts, lemon zest and juice. Pulse until smooth. Add in basil, cheese, salt and pepper. Pulse until the basil starts to break up. Keep the food processor running and slowly drizzle oil in until everything is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides a few times and pulse until you have the correct consistency. 

3. When the lentils are done let them cool off for a few minutes before placing them into the food processor. (I washed my food processor from the pesto while they cooled a bit) Once cooled off pulse the lentils in the food processor until the turn into mush and set in a large mixing bowl.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

4. You might need to let the lentils cool for a bit more before adding in the egg (we don't want scrambled eggs in our meatballs!) So incorporate the remaining ingredients for the meatballs aside from the bread crumbs into the lentil mush. After all ingredients are fully incorporated add in the panko and let stand for 20-30 minutes. If the mixture seems too mushy add a tablespoon or two of breadcrumbs at a time (letting rest in between) until you can roll the lentil mixture into a 1" ball and it doesn't fall apart.

5. Bake for 20 minutes flipping the balls halfway through. 

6. Top with pesto and enjoy :) I put a bed of arugula under mine and it seemed like the perfect peppery addition to these little guys.

Apr 24, 2012

So. Here I go again taking another hiatus. So many things have been happening lately it's hard to have the time to sit down and document my culinary adventures. It's going to get even harder to do so when I start my three day a week class for a month. Now three days a week doesn't seem like much but when you work 40 hours a week plus freelance... m/t/w 5:30-9:55 can be a lot. I am going to have to meal plan like crazy because there is no time to go home and eat dinner before class which means bringing double the amount of food to work!

I am trying to devise a plan to cook a few meals on Sundays, enough for three days... which doesn't seem like a lot, but I am trying to eat a lot healthier. Cut down on some carbs, fats, sodium, calories... that whole bit. I mean it's almost summer and I plan on being on the lake a lot so it's time to kick it into high gear and get that beach bod I've always dreamed of.

I started mission beach bod yesterday. My mother lent me her Jillian Michaels ripped in 30 dvd, plus I am still going to be doing my regular work outs: yoga 3-4 days a week, zumba once a week, rollerblading 2-3 times a week. This means two-a-days! So as you can see all of the above mentioned, work, freelance, class, and two-a-day work outs?! I think I might be insane. Let's hope I don't push myself too far! And luckily for me the gym is right across the street from my work, lunch time is always utilized.

The first meal I decided to make for my healthier diet were these quick and easy chicken flautas from spoon fork bacon.

I swapped regular sour cream for lite sour cream, and didn't use any extra after the flautas were baked. I also swapped white flour tortillas for a honey wheat tortilla. This gave the flautas an extra bit of sweetness that was just absolutely delicious. I highly recommend using an ear of corn for this and not canned corn. By using canned corn you are adding extra calories and sodium that you don't really need.

Next time I make these I will most likely add a couple more veggies in here like bell pepper, maybe some black beans. I enjoyed them as they are but I love packing in more veggies where ever I can.

I had 2 of these for dinner plus a 60 calorie cup of dark hot chocolate from my keruig.

Wait for these to cool a lot before you start eating them, I kind of burnt my tongue... okay not just kind of, I really burnt my tongue!

Makes 6

2 cups roasted chicken, shredded or chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 ear yellow corn, kernels and milk removed from husk
1/3 cup prepared salsa
2 tablespoons lite sour cream
2 ounces Mexican Blend cheese
salt and pepper to taste

6, 8 inch whole wheat tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Shred or chop chicken and place into a medium sized bowl and set aside. Make sure your bowl is big enough to mix all of the ingredients in.
3. Pour oil into a medium sauté pan and place over medium-high heat.
4. Saute onion, and corn for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
5. Pour onion mixture over chicken and toss together. Add remaining filling ingredients to chicken and onion mixture and stir together until mixed together. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Place a heaping 1/3 cup of the filling into one of the tortillas and spread into a log.
7. Tightly roll tortilla and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down.
8. Repeat until all of the tortillas and filling have been used.
9. Bake flautas for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tortillas have crisped up and turned golden brown. Slice each in half and enjoy!

Apr 17, 2012

goat cheese drop biscuits

Most of the time on Saturday or Sunday I wake up craving biscuits and eggs. There is something about slowly waking up on your own, without an alarm, and wanting a good hearty home made breakfast that just makes you feel all fuzzy inside.

Since my days to sleep in past 7:30am are far and few between I think about biscuits and eggs a lot less.

After class Saturday morning I was dying for biscuits. I decided it was time to try a recipe that had been sitting in my binder for far too long. Goat cheese drop biscuits. And guess what? I had an unopened pack of goat cheese just screaming to be digested in someone's stomach... in biscuit form of course.

Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits
a marriage between Joy The Baker and Art Smith

yields 9 Biscuits

2 cups of all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes (I cut this into cubes and stick in the freezer while I measure out the other ingredients)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for your skillet
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for the top of your biscuits
4 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese 
1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, and place your rack in the upper third. Take your cast iron skillet, I didn't have a 10in so I just used my 12in, no big deal, and place it in the oven to preheat.

2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. With a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers blend the butter and goat cheese into the flour mixture until it is a pebbly mixture. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. With a fork, mix together the ingredients until all of the dry spots disappear.

3. Remove your skillet from the oven and place the tablespoon of butter and move around to cover the entire surface of the skillet. Drop biscuits by 1/4 cup fulls into the skillet. If they touch it is okay.

4. Brush with two tablespoons of melted butter and bake for 14-16 minutes. When they come out of the oven let them rest for a quick few.

Serve with lovely jam or butter. I used strawberry/raspberry jam and it was the perfect combination! 


Apr 13, 2012

tans and yellows

tans and yellows

So this is my first go at polyvore and their amazing boards you can create! love, love, love it. Totally obsessed... and still totally not studying.. okay for reals now.. I'm getting off the internet... I'm getting my flashcards out! I promise. 

belated easter cupcakes

So remember how Easter was last weekend? Yeah, me too... Some how my life was so crazy busy this week that I had zero time to post anything. So now, nearly a week after I made these delightful cupcakes I am now showing you. I could always just rename these to springy cupcakes. There are no bunnies or any specific Easter symbol on them. They are just grassy little cupcakes with some eggs that may or may not hatch chocolate.

I found this awesome yellow cake recipe from King Arthur Flour, why do they have the best recipes? They are full proof I swear... and a simple butter cream via William Sonoma. Yes I am being lazy and not writing out the entire recipe because to be honest I have a test tomorrow morning and I should really be studying and not typing non sense on here! Hopefully there will be something super delicious to look at next week. I've been working on a new scone recipe that should be out of this world! I hope!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Big and exciting news coming from me to you very soon!

Apr 5, 2012

deep dark mocha cupcakes

I finally got around to using my Enjoy! gift from Miss Joy over at Joy the Baker. I seriously love her, she is amazing. Her Enjoy! gifts are amazing, especially when they make these cupcakes. Better yet especially because I made them with my friend Amanda at apenderful.

We had a lovely little afternoon chatting with Amanda's mom, and making these tasty treats.

Decorating these was the best part because immediately after meant we could try them out!

Deep Dark Mocha Cupcakes
via Joy The Baker

makes one dozen!

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup double-dutch cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Coffee Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoon hot water
1 teaspoon instant espresso

1. Preheat oven to 350 degreen
2. Line cupcake pan with paper liners and set asie
3. In a large bowl sift the dry ingredients together and set aside
4. in a medium bowl whisk together the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients being careful not to over-mix.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups and place in the oven for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cup comes out clean.
6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack until completely cool before topping with espresso buttercream.

7. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or just a regular bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter and one third of the sugar. Beat until thick and incorporated.
8. In a tiny bowl stir together vanilla, hot water, and espresso powder. Stir until the powder is dissolved.
9. Add the remaining sugar and espresso mixture to the bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth and slightly fluffy
10. Spread on cooled cupcakes and top with goodies! (sprinkles and such)


Apr 4, 2012

wish list wednesday

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

This round of wish list Wednesday has some awesome typographic goodies. I am constantly inspired by the things I hang up on my walls, or the accents I set up around my house. I love a lot of bright color, lettering, and patterns. There are a few items shown above that I would die to have! Those large zinc letter from Anthropologie would look amazing on my walls!