“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” Quoted from John Lennon
I made this low calorie pizza hearty and satisfying by piling on the veggies and seasonings. I am obsessed with these whole-wheat wraps that I found at the grocery store because they are so versatile! I began with a wrap and then put on a thick layer of homemade tomato sauce. The sauce was extremely simple and quick to make. I merely sautéed sliced garlic and diced tomatoes with some olive oil, salt, pepper, chili flakes, and dried oregano. Next I topped the flatbread with very generous portions of sliced mushrooms and heaps of spinach. I finished off the flatbread with just a sprinkle of both mozzarella and parmesan cheese as well as a drizzle of basil pesto sauce. At first the flatbread looked anything but what its name entails since it was piled so high with voluminous spinach and multiple layers of mushrooms, but as the flatbread toasted, the veggies condensed and the bread became crispy. This dish rang in at under four hundred calories and it’s filled with tons of vitamins from the fresh vegetables. YUM.
This soup is phenomenal, to put it simply. Lately, with spring break and Easter, I have definitely been indulging a little more than I should be. Therefore, as of late I have been making it a priority to eat a little lighter and healthier. No word yet on any progress. Restricting myself is hard! Especially when it comes to food and especially when I spend all day every day in class describing and discussing delicious meals; torture! A great trick is to eat soup. Soup is just so satisfying. Not only is it almost always a healthy option, (unless you load up on cream and cheese) but also that the ingredient and flavor options are endless! I literally don’t get sick of soup, as you can tell by how many different kinds I make every month.
This soup is a vegan option, though you really wouldn’t know it. I wanted the meal to be hearty and filling, so I used many different tricks to achieve my goal. The first trick was that I packed in as many vegetables as I could. I made sure there was a very high vegetable to broth ratio in the pot, I hate when soup is all broth and no content. I did not want the vegetables to become mushy so I didn’t simmer the soup too long. The other thing about vegan meals is that they often lack the umami flavor. The term umami originated in Asia and is used to describe the flavor of foods that tend to be rich, savory, or hearty. Foods like this tend to be filling, which was exactly what I was going for in this soup. Mushrooms are very rich so I added plenty of them to the soup along with onions and herbs de province for depth. However, I also used a secret ingredient. The star of this meal is something called nutritional yeast. For those who are unfamiliar with it, nutritional yeast comes in a bottle and looks like powdery flakes. It is extremely healthy, especially for vegetarians or vegans who don’t get enough of certain vitamins. This is not the reason I used nutritional yeast. For me, and many others, the draw of nutritional yeast is that it tastes just like cheese! Here we have this delicious, thick and flavorful meal that tastes like a country vegetable cheese soup, yet it is also very healthy! I felt like I was cheating at life to eat something so yummy that was actually good for me. Luckily I made enough to freeze a batch. I definitely recommend this to all.
Spring has finally arrived! With the end of the winter drawing near I jumped at the chance to make one last really hearty, cold weather meal. On a rather dreary and rainy day last week, I chose to make beef stew for dinner. Normally I opt for the Julia Child Beouf Bourginon recipe because it is so phenomenal, but this time I did not want to put quite as much effort into my dinner. Plus I don’t have an oven in this tiny horrible apartment. I swear my style has been seriously cramped by the lack of an oven! So many creative options are eliminated….getting back to the point, I made a simple beef stew with carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms simmered in wine and beef broth.
Herbs De Province
A Dash Of Cumin
Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
I let the stew bubble away covered up under low heat while I waited for Devon to get back from her play rehearsal. Practice is getting very intense as the spring play- Cabaret, is opening this Friday! I’m very excited to see my lady singing and dancing up on the stage. The only issue with the stew is that once Devon got home we were too impatient to wait for the liquid to thicken properly. Even though the liquid hadn’t fully reduced, the meat was still tender enough to fall apart at the touch of a fork. Perfect.
I had dinner with some friends last weekend and this is what we cooked up! We were running low on ingredients so we worked with what we had and ended up making a delicious meal! We had two absolutely gigantic chicken breasts and ended up slitting them down the sides and stuffing the inside with the other random ingredients we had on hand. (garlic, onion, mushrooms, cream cheese, sour cream) We then decided to bread the chicken since we randomly had some extra bread crumbs as well as the staple eggs and flour. First i seared the chicken on the stove and then finished it off in the oven. The chicken breasts were so large that the breading got pretty crispy before the meat was cooked all the way through but it was not burned. I topped off the dish with the last of a bottle of parmesan. Cutting into the chicken was the best part because all of the creamy stuffing came oozing out. The dish was flavorful and comforting. yum.
Two Large Chicken Breasts
Italian Style Bread Crumbs
Herb Seasoned Salt
Herb Seasoned Salt And Pepper
The Hardest part was stuffing the chicken. Neither my friend Colin nor I had ever attempted the feat and the chicken proved rather hard to slice. It was also difficult to keep the stuffing from seeping out, but the breading process helped alleviate that issue. I will most certainly make a rendition of this again.
Happy Birthday to me! Unfortunately my birthday falls on December 12th, right before finals time for almost every college. This year I myself had a final the very next morning on the 13th. It is needless to say that it was slightly difficult to ring in my 20th birthday the way it should be celebrated. However, I refused to ignore my special day! The weekend before my birthday I did all sorts of fun activities with my friends. Those stories are best saved for later. On the 12th, between studying, I decided that I wanted to have a delicious dinner of luxury. Devon and I feasted on this meal of Pork Chops doused in red wine with a side of sour cream and garlic mashed potatoes. Poured over the entire meal was a mushroom gravy with a hint of cream and a pinch of rosemary. We even had leftovers, though not surprising for me I ended up eating them later that night anyways. May it be a great year for me filled with changes in a new decade of existence!
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Salt and Pepper
I boiled the potatoes until soft then mashed them up with some butter, milk, garlic and sour cream. I made the gravy after I finished the pork chops. I poured some leftover chicken broth I had in the fridge into the skillet with some flour and mixed it around to get the pork bits and juices mixed around. I then added the Mushrooms and cooked them until they reduced and released their liquids. I seasoned the mushrooms with salt, pepper and rosemary then finished it off with some heavy cream. This meal set the tone for another great year of culinary pursuits!
So these photos aren’t the best, but the soup was great! I’m going to call it a country mushroom soup. I made it really fast after finishing class and wanted to have something light before I went out and about for the afternoon. The soup was hearty and savory with a hint of sweetness. I topped it with gruyere cheese and ate the soup as soon as it melted!
I love making sandwiches now that I live right by Little Italy. Specialty cheese shops + an abundance of bakeries = delicious creations. when I get stressed out (Like with midterms for example) I unfortunately seem to often ignore my responsibilities and turn to cooking instead to relax. But it works! I have been so busy studying and taking all these tests that I haven’t even had five minutes to update my blog. Last thursday I went down Arthur ave during my lunch break and bought all sorts of goodies, including some yummy (but expensive) cheeses and super doughy italian bread. I came home and made myself this grilled gruyere cheese and mushroom sandwich for lunch. Like usual I cooked the mushrooms in wine and onions…I really need to start experimenting with other ways to cook mushrooms but I love my way so much!
I broiled the bread with cheese until it got really melty and piled on the arugula.