WIAW: Cookies FTW

‘Ello eaters!

Today was my last day of classes for the semester. I remembered this as soon as I turned my alarm off this morning.

The last time I’ll have to wake up for an 8:30 class? Woohoo!

But then I remembered I have an 8:30 exam next week. Less whoohoo.

Even though I’ll have to get up early at least one more time this semester, today was an exciting day. So exciting, in fact, that I’m in the process of getting dolled up (read: putting on mascara) to hit up the bars.

I might even break my 3-drink rule.

Yes eaters, I do know how to party hard.

But before I party it up at the bars, let’s get to my other regular Wednesday party.

Breakfast:

I didn’t even bother taking a picture of my breakfast. You know I ate eggs. To be specific, I ate two scrambled eggs with beet greens, salsa, and a bit of cheese.

But to satisfy your need for visuals, here’s a picture of a pink egg I found on Pinterest, because the veins in the beet greens gave my eggs a pretty pink hue.

Unpictured morning things:

I went to Starbucks to do some work (read: get out of my apartment because everyone around me is drowning in finals work and I’m not so I’m bored) and ordered my usual Tall coffee with cold soy.

Hooray for having a registered Starbucks card because I get free soy!

And hooray for presentation groups that bring in snacks.

During class, I ate a few of those frosted and sprinkled animal crackers.

You know the ones I’m talking about, right?

Yeah, they’re tasty.

Workout:

An intense 30 minutes of treadmill intervals, a less intense 15 minutes on the elliptical, and not (read: not enough) stretching.

Lunch:

SP Squared Chili with TVP.

All hail freezer food!

Really, if you don’t already, start freezing a couple of servings of some of the soups and stews you make. Then simply heat and eat. It’s as convenient as canned soup, but far healthier.

Lunch dessert:

Thumbprint cookies.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: these little pie bite cookies are delicious.

Proof: I had double this amount throughout the afternoon. Because I really needed more cookies.

Mmmm, Christmas cookies FTW! (Which means “for the win.” I didn’t know that for a long time.)

Dinner:

Spaghetti squash with a hummus BBQ sauce and raw rolled oats.

It was just one of those nights where I was tired and things got weird.

I probably would make this sauce again, but the spaghetti squash was phenomenal. I’ll post about that tomorrow.

Dessert:

I knew my meals were on the produce-heavy, protein-light side all day. So a filling dessert was in order.

And this was damn tangy and delicious.

There was also an unpictured glass of wine.

And speaking of wine, it’s about time for me to hit the town.

Your turn:

What was the best thing you ate yesterday?

What are you doing tonight?

Later eaters!

I Hope You’ve Learned Tacos

Hi eaters!

It’s Tuesday, as you probably already know. There really isn’t much to say about Tuesdays in general, or this Tuesday in particular.

So let’s talk about something that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately: learning.

I love to learn.

Proof: as I write this, I’m listening to NPR and learning about dynamic windows and how the NHL has more reliable brain damage testing then the military.

More proof: when I was younger I thought about being a college professor because the idea of being in a career based on constantly learning was thrilling.

I honestly hope I never stop learning. And so far I haven’t.

From this blog alone, I’ve learned an immense amount.

I’ve learned how to create recipes. I’m still learning about photography and plating. I’ve learning (and hopefully will always keep learning) about nutrition. I’ve learned cooking techniques.

The list goes one.

And hopefully (oh I really really hope so), you’ve learned a thing or two from reading my blog.

I hope you’ve learned to see the potential from a pile of vegetables.

I hope you’ve learned that vegetables are really awesome.

I hope you’ve learned that there are two ways to skin a cat raccoon. By that I mean, you can rip kale off the stem by hand, or you can cut it off with a knife. Neither is wrong because both result in stem-less kale.

I hope you’ve learned that having a good recipe to follow can make cooking easy.

On the flipside, I hope you’ve learned when a recipe isn’t that good.

Note — If a recipe suggests sautéing with water, not oil, and doesn’t have any spices, it’s probably not a good one.

I hope you’ve learned how to be confident enough in the kitchen (because, honestly, if I can do it, so can you) to use that bland recipe as a jumping off point and create something delicious.

Mushrooms and Greens Tacos

I hope you’ve learned that just about anything sautéed up with cumin and cayenne can be put in a tortilla and called tacos.

1 container mushrooms, roughly chopped

½ (red) onion, diced

~2 c kale, roughly chopped*

2 cloves garlic, minced

¾ c TVP**

1 T ground cumin

~1/2 t cayenne, optional

~1/2 t salt, divided

½ T (apple cider) vinegar

oil

water

tortillas and salsa, to serve

*Substitution — Use any green you want. Chard, spinach, or whatever you have on hand.

**Substitution — Beans or crumbled tempeh would also work if you can’t find TVP. But, really, try to find TVP (Bob’s Red Mill sells it). It’s a really fun and easy ingredient.

Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and stir to coat. Sauté the onions until they are just softening, add to garlic, and continue cooking until everything is fragrant and almost translucent.

Next, add the mushrooms, TVP, and a good sprinkle of salt.

Note — When you salt things matters. Salting early draws out water (which is what we want here), while salting later adds flavor.

Stir everything together and cook until the mushrooms are soft and the TVP is soft. Add the cumin and cayenne, stir, and cook until fragrant (about a minute or two).

Toss in the kale, another sprinkle of salt, and a dash of water. Stir everything together, trying to get the kale covered by the mushroom mixture, and cook until the kale is wilted down.

Finally, add the vinegar, give everything one more good stir, and spoon the mixture into tortillas.

This recipe may not seem very different from the original. But it’s worlds away, flavor-wise.

The addition of a little cumin, cayenne, and salt made this more then a bland, mushy pile of sautéed vegetables. The kale held up better then chard would have. And by swapping TVP for the beans I used what I had on hand and upped the protein and fiber.

These tacos became something delicious and filling, that makes you want to eat your vegetables. All because I learned how to confidently depart from recipes.

Another thing I hoped you’ve learned — salsa makes (a lot of savory) things better.

Yup, better.

Your turn:

What’s something you’ve learned lately?

What’s something you want to learn here?

G’night eaters!

Chick’n Tacos

Greetings eaters!

I didn’t post last night. I was going to post last night. I had every intention of posting last night. But then, I’ll be completely honest, I got a little drunk.

The newspaper is causing more stress than it ever should so my friend and fellow editor, Liz, and I decided that we had a fever. And the only cure was more cowbell too many pints.

Things got crazy. My stouts started tasting like water. We started giving everyone names. Like Skinnyjeans McLonghair. And Douchey McAssface. Or my personal favorite, Creeper McLaptop.

But really eaters, who brings a laptop to a bar on a Thursday night? I don’t care that they have free wi-fi, you can’t possibly be getting any work done and you look like a loser.

I digress.

Moral of the story: I meant to post last night. And do homework. And eat dinner. But then I got drunk.

So I’m running around like crazy today trying to finish my homework, go to class, make it to my PT appointment on time, and pick up manly friend from the man castle in the man mountains. Oh, and I think I have to make Jell-o for the rugby game tomorrow.

I’m a busy ‘Baby! And a hungry ‘Baby.

Enter: Chick’n Tacos.

Step 1: Take an almost empty jar of salsa.

Step 2: Add TVP chunks.

Step 3: Add nutritional yeast…

And seasonings, as desired.

Step 4: Pour in hot water. Use just slightly less water than TVP.

Step 5: Stir. Mix. Put on the top and shake.

Step 5: Assemble.

 I got fancy and topped mine with spinach, lightly sautéed yellow bell pepper, and Daiya pepperjack.

Oh and hot sauce.

These remind me of ground chicken tacos. Or really bad ground beef tacos, depending on your standards.

Whatever they remind you of, they won’t take more than 5 minutes to make. And TVP is crazy cheap. You know, to make up for all the beer you drank.

Don’t worry, though, eaters because last night was $3 pint night. I plan ahead.

And if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do things.

Have a g’weekend eaters!