Going Legit!

I finally decided to buy my domain and go legit with this.  But hey, guess what?  It’s ridonculously hard.  Especially if you don’t want to pay someone to do it for you and you know nothing about code.  So, while I go teach myself code (shut up, for real, I am), bare with me if the site starts looking like shit.  It will hopefully only be temporary.  Hopefully.

Catch you on the legit side!

Vegetarian Fajita Tacos

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These are using my Whole Wheat Protein Tortillas I posted earlier.  I was originally not going to post this because I felt like it was just vegetables in a tortilla, but Justin said people like recipes.  I guess I trust him.  We’ve been together for a while now, I think I owe him that.

Recipe:

2 white onions (sliced, caramelized) 
1 red pepper (sliced, roasted)
1 green pepper (sliced, roasted) 
3 jalapeno or serrano peppers (diced, roasted) 
1/2 cup corn
1 15 oz can black beans (or 1.5 cups cooked beans)
1-2 tsp oil
salt

Toppings:

Greek yogurt
salsa
avocado
lettuce

First we’re going to slice our onions.  People get all weird about onions.

They’re like, “No, I’m going to cry.”

And, “Oh my god, my breath.”

I read all sorts of forums about people complaining about onions and crying all that stuff.  People come up with the silliest solutions to avoid this problem — goggles, freezing the onion, soaking the onion in water, cut near a flame.

Silly business.

When you cut into an onion you’re breaking cell walls, inside those cell walls is a chemical compound called sulfoxide which is basically sulfur and oxygen bonded together with other compounds.  When we cut into an onion we release this and it turns into sulfuric acid, which then stimulates the tears in our eyes.  Mind you this is a bastardly simplified version, but enough for these purposes.  Anyway, the majority of the sulfoxides are contained near the root of the onion.  So if you leave the last 1/2 inch of the onion alone and cut with a sharp knife (which disrupts less walls) 9 times out of 10 you won’t have tears and chances are your breath won’t smell.

So quit your bitching and cut your onion.

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Leaving the root on, cut the very top of your onion of after you’ve halved it.  Make slices through your onion, making sure not to disrupt that last 1/2 inch.

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hyperink.com

Here’s a diagram.

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Then slice the root off.

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No tears!

And no freezing, flames, or goggles.

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Now we’re going to caramelize our onions.  This is a process.  Any person writing a recipe that tells you you can caramelize an onion in 5 or 10 minutes is a damn dirty liar and is never to be trusted again.  It takes minimum 30 minutes, but longer is always better.

Add 1-2 tsp oil to a pan and heat over medium heat.

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Add your onions and salt.  Cook over medium-medium high heat.  Don’t stir too often or you’ll prevent caramelizing.

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Every 10 minutes I deglaze the pan.  It’s up to you what you want to use–oil, vinegar, wine, water.  I just used water.

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While your onions are doing their thing get everything else ready.

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Roast your peppers, you can do it on the stove or in the oven.  On the stove or under the broiler is the fastest.

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Just make sure your skins are most, if not all the way black.

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20 minutes in, deglaze your pan if needed.

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Wipe or rinse of your skins.

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And slice.  Dice your serrano or jalapeno peppers if you’re using them.  Or you’ll pay for it.

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30 minutes in.  This is the bare minimum for caramelizing onions.  You could go all day with these beauties and they will only get more delicious.  But you do have to eat eventually, and I can only plan for a meal an hour or so in advance.

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Add your peppers, beans, and corn to your onions and toss around to warm everything.

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Get your toppings ready.

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And your tortillas.

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I love Greek yogurt and find it’s one of those things that is well worth the extra cost.

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Fixins.

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I decided to be cheap and buy iceberg lettuce.  Never again, once you grow accustomed to eating dark leafy greens you’ll wonder why the fuck this stuff even exists.

I’m sorry iceberg but it’s true, you’re a superfluous vegetable.

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The End.

Whole Wheat Protein Tortillas

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Tortillas are one of those things that once you make them, you’ll wonder why you haven’t all along.  I’ve been a loyal Mission girl since I knew what a tortilla was so I’m issuing myself some authority on tortillas.

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These tortilla shells are obviously not the soft white flour tortilla shells of Mission, dare I say they’re better.  I do dare say.  I was convinced Justin was going to hate these and he loved them.  Side note: when Justin and I first met he was your typical college guy and hated pretty much all things healthy.  Now he’s salivating over a whole wheat soy tortilla.

Ladies, Cosmo was right, you can change your man.

Recipe: (makes 12) NutritionLabel (1)

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup soy flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp oil
3/4 cup water

Add your flours, oil, salt, baking powder to a bowl.

I’m adding soy flour here because I wanted to up the protein of the tortillas.  Soy flour has 10 g of protein per 1/4 cup compared to whole wheat’s 4 g.  The rule is you can replace up to 30% of your flour with soy flour and not run into problems.  You can do all whole wheat if you want but I find using solely whole wheat in any dish makes it too dense.  If I didn’t use soy flour I would have used all purpose.

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Mix together and add your water until it comes together.

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Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.

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It won’t get elastic like a bread dough due to the lack of yeast.

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Portion into 12 equal balls. If you want to do tacos 12 is good.  If you want burritos, consider doing 8.

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Cover with a damp cloth or paper towel so they don’t dry out.

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Lightly flour your surface and flatten out ball with your hand.

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Roll out the rest of the way with a rolling pin.

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Mine were about 6 inches.  Cover back up with a damp cloth until you have made all the tortillas.  I stacked mine on top of each other and didn’t have a problem with sticking.

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Heat a skillet over medium-medium/high heat.  I didn’t bother with oil.

Heat the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side.  You’ll start to see bubbling.

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I found these tortillas good enough to eat on their own, which is something I would never do with store bought tortillas.  I also realized how plastic-y the store bought ones taste after sitting in those bags for so long.

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We enjoyed ours as Vegetarian Fajita Tacos.

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Coffee Brittle

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I’ve ventured into the world of even healthier eating and let me tell you, it can be a scary, judgmental, exhausting place.  Suddenly everything gives you cancer and you’re a horrible person if you buy non organic.  I’ve found that I’m somewhere in the middle of people who don’t know or care anything about nutrition and people who are fucking obsessed with it and want the whole world to know about it.

So we have the health jerk nuts…

“Did you make sure this was organic?  Don’t you want to help the environment?  Do you even know how toxic pesticides are to the body?  Where is your tote?” 

I’m poor and I just wanted a pepper.  I promise when I’m a bajillionaire I’ll buy an organic farm and pay everyone double their average wage.  And I’m sorry I don’t carry my fucking tote everywhere I go.  Jeebus.

“You’re actually going to buy those crackers?  They don’t have a “non-GMO” label on them.  Here buy these, they cost three times as much but you’ll feel so much better about it.” 

And on the other side, non health nuts group you in with these health freaks and turn you into one of them.

“Oh they’re selling vegan, gluten free, sugar free cookies.  You’re skinny, I bet you would just love those.” 

I’ve never heard of a more depressing cookie.

“Why don’t you eat meat?  Humans are meant to eat meat you know.  You need a steak, you look a little peaked.”  

I’m sorry is there a sign above my head that says, “I’m trying to make a political statement”?

I’m just having an experience with this non fat Greek yogurt.

Guys I honestly forgot what the point of that first section was.  Oh yes, now I remember it veered tremendously.  But it took a long time so I’m keeping it.  The point of that intro was sugar, I know it was never brought up.  That’s my bad.  See those people talking in the intro, those aren’t people that I know, even though I’m sure they exist.  They’re the two nutritional sides of myself, well that last one is probably more my dad but whatever.

It’s like I’ve got my “id’ side wondering why I’m bothering with all this healthy eating crap, just wanting to eat whatever tastes good.  Paired with my douchey, judgemental “superego” making me second guess every food decision I make.  Meanwhile my “ego,” who apparently identifies as a young male, is caught in the middle wondering what the hell to do.

So that brings me to sugar and this post.  I used to make something similar to this coffee brittle concoction in high school before I became crazy health conscious.  It had been years since I made it and I all of a sudden got the urge for it.  But that judgmental side of me didn’t hesitate for a second.

“You’re going to make what? Candy!? Do you know how much refined sugar is going to be in that?  I guess you could make it sugar free, but that would mean artificial sweeteners and those are supposed to be even worse!”

Finally I got sick of myself for making myself feel guilty for wanting to consume sugar.  It doesn’t make me a bad person and it’s not going to be what kills me.

You know what’s going to kill me?  Stressing about every possible thing that could potentially kill me.

So here’s my coffee brittle recipe.  Yes it has sugar, yes it has calories, and yes I’m deciding it’s guilt-free.  And super yes to the question of how crazy I am.

Recipe:

1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup strong coffee
pinch of salt (no more than 1/8 tsp)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp crushed coffee beans (ground are fine)
1 tbsp butter

Prep your butter, crushed beans, baking soda, and salt.  Also have a baking sheet covered in parchment or wax paper ready.

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Add your sugar and coffee in a pot over medium low heat and stir until dissolved.

After the sugar has dissolved increase the heat to medium high and stir continuously until it reaches 300°.  Try not to splash too much on the sides of the pot, but if you do you can use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sugar granules.  Depending on how high you have your heat it should take about 5 minutes.

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As soon as it reaches 300° remove from heat.

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If you don’t have a thermometer don’t worry.  Get a class of water and periodically drop some of the mixture into the water.  If it hardens immediately and you hear a cracking sound, you’re good to go.  You should be able to pull it out and feel that it’s crunchy.

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Immediately add your beans/soda/salt and butter.  Stir until combined.

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As soon as everything is combined pour it out onto your covered sheet.  It should spread out pretty much on its own but you can help it out with your spoon if you need.

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Allow to harden.  I forgot to time the cooling 30-60 minutes should be fine.  If it doesn’t harden after that then you didn’t cook it high enough.  You can try and put it back on the stove and recook it, but there’s no guarantees with that.

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Break apart and store in an airtight container.

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Peach Bran Banana Bread

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The cereal aisle used to be a magical place for me.

All that sugar.  My diet practically consisted of it.

But then I realized I was not an elf and I couldn’t stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

So I said farewell to my over-sugarized cereal.

And said hello to healthy-ish green-er living.

Don’t worry I got over it.

So I bought a box of All-Bran cereal because it looked really good and I am officially an old lady and I love poopin’.

Unfortunately I wasn’t jiving it as much as I thought I would (not pooping, the cereal) so now I’ve been throwing it into random baking creations.  Mind you, the cereal tastes fine I just thought the pieces were going to be bigger and it threw off the texture I had envisioned in my brain.

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Feel free to use Raisin Bran or whatever Bran cereal you have on hand for this.  Or if you’re super cool and you have plain wheat bran, use that.  Just increase the sugar amount by a little bit because the cereals contain sugars.

Recipe: (baking time: 1 hour)

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup bran cereal*
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar
1 egg
2 bananas (mashed)
1 cup peaches (2, chopped- reserve 1/2 of 1 for topping)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

*you can use plain wheat bran if you happen to have that, you may want to increase the sugar amount though

Preheat oven: 350°

Add your cereal or bran to a mixing bowl.

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Sift your flours, baking powder/soda, salt into the bowl.

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Mix.

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Chop your peaches.  Save half of one for your topping.

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Mash your bananas.  I use a whisk, I find the bread turns out better if you turn your bananas into a sludge rather than leaving chunks.

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Add your peaches and cinnamon and mash those together slightly.

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Whisk together your applesauce, vanilla, and brown sugar (save your white sugar for later).  Then add your egg.

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Whisk until just mixed.

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Add your flour mixture and then your banana mixture in chunks, ending with your banana.

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Don’t mix completely between each addition, there’s no need.

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End result.  This batter is a touch thicker than my other banana breads because of the bran.  If yours is too thick add a tbsp or two of milk or juice.

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Pour into greased bread pan and even out.

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Decorate with slices and sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp of white sugar.  Sprinkling with the sugar on the top gives you that nice crust without having to add as much sugar throughout the whole batter.

If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning you’ll have noticed I started with adding 3/4 cup of sugar to my banana breads and now I’m down to 1/4 cup and they still taste sugary to me.  If you lower your consumption of it, your body stops craving it and it tastes stronger in smaller quantities.

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Bake in a 350° for 1 hour or until tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before pulling out of pan.

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Enjoy!

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Autumn Chewy Granola Bars

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I’m calling these Autumn Chewy Granola Bars because they taste like fall to me and Fall Chewy Granola Bars just sounded weird.  They’ve got the nummy seasonings of a pumpkin pie without the pumpkin.  Eventually I’ll probably make a Pumpkin Chewy Granola Bar, which will negate these but whatever.  About August time I start craving Autumn-y things.  It’s mostly just the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg in warm beverages and copious amounts of pumpkin in any form.  Many of you start craving Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks and whatnot, others are fancy enough to make theirs at home.

Read: Cheap and picky as hell.  And has gotten to the point where, if they don’t make their food they can’t be satisfied with it.  But you know what, you got to start sharing the crazy in order to move past it.  Right?

Fuck, I hope so.

Anyhoozers.  These are some chewy granola bars that are nummy and good for you and not as sugary as many recipes you’ll find.  Much like my granola.  Instead of oil as a binder I use wheat puffs and water.  In execution it makes sense, but when you write it out, that sentence just sounds ridiculous.

Recipe:

3 cups oats (old fashion)
2 cups wheat cereal
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg white
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (roasted)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (roasted)
1/4 cup flax seeds (roasted)
1/2 – 3/4 cup dried cranberries/raisins
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon*
3/4 tsp allspice*
3/4 tsp nutmeg*
1 1/2 tsp ginger*

*Or your favorite pumpkin/apple pie spice

Preheat oven 350°

Prep your cereal, oats, seeds, and nuts on a baking sheet (or 2) and lightly roast.  10 minutes should do it depending on how heavily you crowd your sheet.  Make sure you check it every couple minutes and move stuff around to prevent burning.

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While that’s doing its thing turn your attention to your liquids and spices.  Add your egg white, honey, juice, water (you can use all juice if you want), vanilla, spices, and applesauce to a bowl.

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Mix.

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Your oven stuff should be done now.  It’s not going to get a rich color or anything, but you should start to smell it.  Add it to a mixing bowl.

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Add in your fruit.

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And baking powder/salt.

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Combine and add in your liquid.

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Stir until there are no dry oats left.

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Pour out onto greased cookie sheet (I weirdly don’t have one) or a 9×13 pan.  You can use parchment paper or something on the bottom to make it easier to remove the bars later, but I always find that kind of wasteful, both in product and time.

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Wet your hands and flatten the granola, pressing down firmly.  The denser it is the more likely it is to stay together when it’s baked.

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Dense.

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Bake in your 350° oven for 15-20 minutes until it looks golden-y and set.

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Allow to cool.  Completely is best, but I understand your impatience.

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Wrap individually and store in air tight container.  They’ll last longer in the fridge.

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Healthy Espresso Chunky Granola

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I have finally combined my two loves.  Granola and coffee.  All is right with the world.

Now I just need to get a picture of Tilda Swinton lying on a bed of it then I can die happy.

No creepin’.

Recipe: (baking time 1 hour)

3 cups oats (old fashion)
2 tbsp oat flour (ground oats) – can also use whole wheat flour
2 tbsp flax seed
1/2 cup almonds (raw, chopped)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (raw)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp espresso powder
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1/2 cup strong coffee – can also you water
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp white sugar

Preheat oven: 300°

On Pinterest I saw people talking about how they didn’t want to add wheat flour to one of my granola recipes so they were adding some random flour I can’t think of right now.  Instead of going to all that trouble/money of buying some of obscure gluten free flour just grind up 2 tbsp of your oats in a blender, food processor, or be weird like me and do it in your coffee grinder.

Don’t judge me on my cheap coffee grinder, our $200 one broke (relax, we didn’t spend that much on it) and we couldn’t get ourselves to buy another nice one. 😦

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Oat flour!

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Add your oats, flour, seeds and nuts to a bowl.

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In a pot over low heat combine your cocoa powder, espresso powder, coffee, vanilla, applesauce, and cinnamon (I just love cinnamon and coffee together and have a hard time not adding them together).  Wait to add the salt and sugar.

I’ve started buying my applesauce in bulk (well just the bigger jars anyway) and freezing it in 4 oz sizes.  So that’s why it looks weird.  I used to buy it in those 4 oz tubs but you save a little bit when you buy it in the jars, those stupid jars just always go bad on me.  Hence the freezing.

I guess looking at the picture you probably wouldn’t have realized it was frozen and I didn’t need to explain that.  Oh well, maybe you’ll start freezing your applesauce too.

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Heat and stir until combined.  Add 1/2 tsp of salt  and 1 tbsp sugar.

Taste it!  Does it taste like ass?  Then fix it.  Whether or not it tastes good will entirely depend on your espresso/coffee because my recipe is flawless.  Just kidding, but no seriously.  Your espresso may require you to add a little bit more salt.  Salt neutralizes bitterness better than sugar so add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp sugar.  Taste it.  If you notice there’s not much of a bitter flavor, (it will still have a very strong coffee flavor, don’t confuse the two) then you’re good with the salt.   Add the other tbsp of sugar if you need it, I did.

My espresso powder was of the cheaper variety so I needed to add a little bit more salt to neutralize the not so pleasant bitterness (there’s a difference between pleasant bitterness and not so pleasant–and my stuff is cheap, I’ll admit that).

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Mix your dry ingredients together.  I forget this step all the time.  It’s annoying when you do.

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Pour your wet mixture into your dry.

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And mix until everything is thoroughly combined.

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Pour out onto a lightly greased baking sheet.

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Wet your hands and press down on the granola making it as flat as possible.  We’re going for around 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick.  Anymore than that and it’s going to take a lot longer to bake.

If you want more of a cluster thing then just loosely spread it around, but that’s stupid.

Bake in your 300° oven for 1 hour.

About 40 minutes in I pull the granola out and break apart the huge sheet into large chunks.  It will be soft but still stay together.  Flip around the chunks so pieces that were on the outside are now on the inside and sides that were touching the sheet are now exposed to the air.

Do you have to do this step?  No.  But you don’t have to make your own granola either.  Doing this allows the granola to bake faster and more evenly.  If you don’t, it will still bake it will just take around 2 hours and the sides will probably burn.

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Sexy.

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Perfect for days when you find yourself second guessing that 4th cup of coffee.  Who are we kidding?  Those days don’t exist.

Perfect for days that end in ‘y’.

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