Posts tagged ‘peanut butter’

April 25, 2013

Mr and Meatless’ Thai Noodles and a little update

I love Thai food. Jim does not. I mean he’ll eat it every once in a while, but we don’t go out for it nearly as much as I’d like to. So when I decided to make a Thai-inspired dish for dinner last night, I was a bit apprehensive. I needn’t have worried, though, because Jim loved it. And I think you will too.

thai noodles1

This really is the simplest dish to make. Which is a good thing because Jim and I got home late last night. And honestly, I’m super proud of myself because in the past, after an hour and a half yoga class followed by grocery shopping and returning home after 8 p.m., I would have abandoned my dinner plans and picked something up while we were out instead of cooking. We would have spent more money and inevitably put crap into our bodies that we didn’t want there.

I must be making progress. This new lifestyle Jim and I have been living must be working. That alone is proof of it.

Anyway, I promised you a recipe and taunted you with a photo, so here we go! The update can wait.

Mr and Meatless’ Thai Noodles

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (you can use whatever oil you want, I just like the sesame flavor for this dish)

1 tbsp red curry paste (more if you want…or less. But don’t worry, it’s not that spicy)

1 heaping tbsp peanut butter

A few squirts of Sriracha sauce

1/2 can coconut milk (I used full-fat for a creamier texture, you could probably use lite too if you wanted)

1 1/2 cups veggie broth

As many veggies as you can stand, cut into spearish shapes (I used carrots, zucchini, little mushroom guys, broccoli and spring onion)

Handful of rice noodles (again, use as much or as little as you want)

Water for boiling

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat. Add noodles and leave them while you do the rest of your preparations.

Heat oil in a large pan. Add red curry paste. Mix it all around and let them mingle for a moment. Add your firmer veggies (carrots, onions and broccoli for me). Let them saute for a few minutes. Add more oil if you need to.  Add the rest of the veggies and saute for about a minute. Add veggie broth. Cover and let the steam cook your veggies a little bit more, maybe 2 minutes. Remove lid. Add coconut milk. Let the milk warm, about a minute. Stir in the peanut butter and Sriracha. If you like it a little thinner, add more  broth.

Drain the noodles and divide them between your bowls. Spoon vegetables and sauce over noodles. Enjoy!

 

thai noodles2

*Note: This recipe is very versatile, and you’re not going to mess it up by changing things, adding things, etc. Jim likes his extra spicy, so he added a bunch more Sriracha. If I’d had some cilantro, I probably would have put some on top to garnish. You could add shrimp or chicken if you feel it lacking in protein. I actually sprinkled a little bit of salt into mine. You could add soy sauce. It’s not terribly Thai, but then again, I don’t think salt is either. I don’t claim to be any kind of an ethnic cook. That’s why I said this recipe is Thai-inspired.

We both thoroughly enjoyed this meal. There was some sauce leftover, so we’re excited about using it with some brown rice and veggies on nosh night this weekend.

A Little Update

As of April 18th, Jim and I have been juicing, eating mostly vegan, avoiding caffeine, working out weeks we don’t juice, getting enough sleep, I’ve started doing yoga, and overall putting our health before anything and everything else. Mostly. Hey! We’re not perfect! And honestly in those moments of imperfection, I’ve paid dearly. For the pizza and alcohol I consumed last weekend, my tummy paid all Saturday night and most of Sunday. For the hash brown casserole we ate all day the Saturday before, I paid dearly. And when I finish this lovely soy latte my amazing little brother brought me at work (and forgot to get decaf) I’ll be paying dearly this afternoon with jitters, a racing mind and a need to run nine miles. My body is losing it’s ability to handle having crap inside of it. I’m healing!

But mostly, I feel amazing.

I have energy. And without a daily morning latte!

I have a clear mind. I have control over my mind.

I have motivation. To workout. To eat well. To write. To work on my business. To do crafts and hobbies I lost the will to do long ago.

I have a positive attitude. Even about this job which drives me mad but is necessary for, well, every thing.

I have confidence. I KNOW I can succeed. At yoga. At photography. At getting my novel published (you know, once it’s finished).  At losing weight. At being a good wife. Maybe even someday a good mother.

I’ve lost 12 lbs.

I’m happy. Content. Looking forward to the rest of my life. Looking forward to seeing my husband tonight, to going fishing with him on Sunday. To my lovely friend Stephanie’s bridal shower this weekend. And her wedding in June!

I’ve never felt so good in my life.

And that’s your little update for today.

And while I’m feeling so damn positive, what’s your favorite thing about life right now? Anything. Tiny or huge. Share with me!

April 18, 2013

Recipes: Favorite juices and smoothie

Lately I’ve been telling you all about Jim’s and my juicing experiences, but I haven’t posted any recipes for you. Partly that’s because I wanted to come up with a few favorites before I posted any. So here they are, just a few of our favorite combinations.  All recipes are for two people. Keep in mind you may have to add more or less depending on the size of your fruits and vegetables. My recipes are just a guideline to work with.

Jim’s Favorite

2 apples

2 plums

1/2 head of purple cabbage

1 cucumber

Handful of kale

Handful of spinach

Wash it all, trim and cut it into pieces that will fit in your juicer (if necessary), and juice away!

Rather than showing you a photo of the finished product in a glass, I figured I’d share with you the just-juiced photo, before we mix it all up and pour it. Pretty amazing, huh?

juicing

Stephanie’s Favorite

1 bulb of fennel

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled

6 carrots

3 oranges, peeled

1/2 head of purple cabbage

Wash, trim, cut, juice!

juice2Pretty, huh?

It’s really fun for me to watch the pitcher fill up in such weird color combinations. In a way it’s kind of satisfying because we all know that the more colorful the food we eat, the better it is for us. I love knowing that such amazing nutrition is going into my body!

Jim and Steph’s Morning Smoothie

No matter what else we’re doing for food during the week, whether we’re just juicing or incorporating meals into our days as well, we start with a smoothie.

2 frozen bananas

1 big, big handful of spinach or kale

1 heaping scoop of peanut butter

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tbsp chia seeds

1-2 tsp spirulina

Almond milk  (to desired thickness)

Wash your spinach, throw all ingredients into the blender and let ‘er whir!

smoothie1

Sometimes we’ll also add a scoop of protein powder to our smoothies, but there’s really plenty in there between the peanut butter, chia seeds and spirulina.

A lot of people ask us if our green drinks taste…well, green. The answer to that depends on what we put in them. Last night I made our juice with a cucumber, a couple of zucchini, lots of greens (collards and kale), and a couple of oranges. The result tasted pretty green. It didn’t bother us, but the if you can’t take such an earthy flavor, add another orange. Or an apple. Apples are VERY sweet. The recipes above are all delicious and the greens sort of melt into the background flavor-wise, especially in the smoothie. Banana is a pretty potent flavor and so is the cocoa powder. It tastes more like a banana, chocolate, peanut butter shake than a green smoothie, but you still get the benefit of the greens.

We’ve learned that juicing is a very personal thing. In fact, we don’t even look at recipes anymore. We just check the fridge and fill up the juicer with things that seem like they’d taste good together. Sometimes we don’t do so well, like the time we put too much ginger in. And sometimes you come up with something you want to use over and over, like the ones above. If you’re interested in juicing, there are plenty of recipes out there. Try Reboot with Joe or one of Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy recipes. They have plenty of inspirational recipes to get you started until you feel comfortable to create your own.

February 27, 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

gluten free cupcakes

Is there anything that will cheer you up better than a cupcake? There are few things that can put a smile on my face quicker than a delicious mountain of frosting perched atop a perfectly individually sized hunk of cake.

That being said, when I found out a good friend of ours had been “couched” with a ski injury, I knew just the ticket to make him feel at least a little better about the whole ordeal.

CUPCAKES!!!

It’s fortunate for him that I suffered a wheat allergy and had plenty of random, non-wheat flours hanging around the house. And it’s fortunate for me that I got to use some of them because I’m certain they don’t last forever!

Since I’m not a full-time non-wheat-eater, I haven’t spent great amounts of time practicing and testing different combinations. I mostly stick to good ol’ Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour when I am baking because I know the combination works the way I need it to. Well, of course I wouldn’t have anymore of THAT in my box! So I had to improvise. And I have to say, I’m pretty dern proud of how they came out.

gluten free cupcakes

Gluten Free (and also, as luck would have it, vegan) Chocolate Cupcakes with (not vegan) Peanut Butter Frosting

2 cups Mr. and Meatless’ all purpose gluten free flour (see recipe below)

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup coconut sugar (feel free to go ahead and use regular old white sugar if you wish. I use this because my mom is allergic to the white stuff and she usually likes to taste test)

sprinkling of salt

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

3/4 cup almond milk

Yep, that’s it. Now throw it all in your mixer and let ‘er rip! Scoop into a lined muffin pan and sort of flatten it out in there (use all the batter among the 12 spots). I also opened the oven and patted them into the correct shape just as they started getting firm on top, just to make sure they didn’t come out all hoaky. The batter is THICK, and it seems wrong, but it’ll be okay. Have a lil faith. Anyway, bake for about 20 minutes…the tops will be firm and you can poke them with a toothpick and the pick will come out not soupy. Let them cool all the way before frosting.

Mr. and Meatless’ all purpose gluten free flour

2 cups brown rice flour

1 cup sweet sorghum flour

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup potato starch

Whisk all the flours and starch together. Use what you need, then store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for ultimate freshness.

Peanut Butter Frosting

I have a hard time with frosting recipes. I keep adding stuff until it tastes right, but this is more or less the gist of it.

1 stick of butter, softened.

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup  milk of your choice

5 cups powdered sugar

Combine the butter and peanut butter in a largish bowl. Next add the powdered sugar and milk and stir until just mixed. It IS possible to overmix and then your butter gets all melty and your frosting is too soft and it’s all a big mess. This is also why I use a spoon and not my mixer. If you’ve mixed a reasonable amount and your frosting is too thick, add a little bit more milk…like a splash at a time. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar.

gluten free cupcakes

Wasn’t that amazingly easy? I’ve always been intimidated by gluten free baking. But these, my friends, were both incredibly easy to make and completely delish. Enjoy!

gluten free cupcakes

July 6, 2012

Thai style peanut noodles

I have had the biggest cravings for something savory and creamy lately. Most things possessing those qualities are so because of the flour in them, which makes it hard for me to find something that’s safe for me.

I decided to bust out the PB2 my lovely Foodie Pen Pal, Dee, sent me and create something myself.

I’ve always loved Thai peanut noodles. I never thought peanuts would be good with pasta, but holy moly. Delicious! Since I’m home from work early today, I decided it would make a delicious little lunch.

Mr and Meatless’ Thai style Peanut Noodles

1 large handful of spaghetti style pasta (I used rice pasta, but you can use whole wheat or regular old what pasta. Tis up to you)

1/2 green bell pepper, sliced thin

2 medium sized carrots, sliced thin

Approx 1/2 cup frozen edamame (or fresh if that’s what you’ve got)

1/2 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)

4 tbsp PB2

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 squirt Sriracha sauce (to taste)

Cilantro, for garnish

Boil the spaghetti noodles in a large saucepan. Steam the bell pepper, carrots and edamame. Combine the liquid amino acids, PB2, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and Sriracha, whisk until smooth. If you’re using rice noodles, empty them into a strainer and rinse with cold water, then place in a serving bowl. Toss noodles with veggies and sauce. Garnish with cilantro (If I had sesame seeds, I probably would have sprinkled some of them on top too) and enjoy!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I’ll see you on Monday!

April 27, 2012

Spinach in my smoothie??? + More Adventures, day 1

My favorite mornings come one Friday of every month, when I open my door to head out to work and I’m greeted with the happiest box in the hallway!

It’s my Farm Fresh To You delivery! Fresh, local, organic produce delivered right to my door! This box included so many delicious goodies! Strawberries, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, apples, oranges, a lemon, fresh peppermint (some of which is floating in my water as we speak!), celery, spring onions, and some new potatoes.

I’m so excited to get some recipes together to use this stuff in!

But I promised to talk to you about spinach smoothies, so here we go!

I’ve always been a little curious about this concept of putting stuff like spinach into a smoothie. How in the world would that taste good mixed with all the other good smoothie stuff? I turned my nose up at the thought of it.

But then I read this post by Anna at The Guiltless Life, and she claims you can’t even taste the spinach! So I decided to give it a whirl (no pun intended. lol. I crack myself up.) in the name of eating more veggies. Here’s my recipe.

 

Spinach Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

I handful of spinach, washed and stems removed

1 frozen banana

1 tbsp…or more…peanut butter. I like creamy

approx 1 cup chocolate soy milk (you can add more or less for thickness)

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1 pinch cocoa powder (for more chocolate flavor!…as if I needed it, right??)

1 pinch glutamine powder (optional. It’s a healthy amino acid…for energy)

1 tsp or so flaxseed meal

A couple chunks of ice

Load it all in the blender, whir it around for a while until all the spinach leaves are pulverized, pour in a glass (or a Christmasy Starbucks cold cup!) and enjoy!

Now that I have breakfast taken care of, I can move on to bigger and better things (although it doesn’t get much better, that smoothie was freaking delish!)

After reading my post from yesterday, Jim send me a text that says “Getting a new couch is a mini adventure.” I couldn’t argue with him. I believe change of any kind is an adventure, so I consented. After work I picked up the cash we’ve been holding onto from our wedding and drove down to meet Jim at Ikea. I know, I know. Ikea gets a bad rap, but my current couch has lasted me almost 10 years, so I’m not going to complain for $399. Just saying.

I’ll post pictures of our finished living room when it’s, er, finished. We have a small space and getting it all to fit in there is proving to be a challenge, although not impossible. We just have to be a little creative, and as of yet, our dining room is still full of most of the stuff that used to be in the living room, so I’ll spare you the photos until its ready.

I will leave you with this, however:

Yes, it’s a crappy cell phone photo, but that’s all I could get from the driving position! That’s Jim’s new truck filled with our new furniture! Exciting, right?

I’m still waiting for ideas for mini adventures people! Help a girl out!

Oh, and have an amazing Friday!

February 6, 2012

Kitchen Inventory

I don’t know about you, but I have tons of food. The pantry is full, the freezer is full, the fridge is…well, in a state of more than half-full. But I never have anything to eat. I look in the fridge, look in the pantry and decide it’s time to go to the store.

So I did something drastic yesterday. I took inventory. I printed a template from Organized Home‘s Household Notebook, sat my butt on the floor in front of the open refrigerator and started writing down everything we had.

I was surprised at the outcome for two reasons: #1. we had far more food in there than I was expecting. and #2. most of it was actually pretty healthy. As I thumbed through the sheets of the contents of our fridge, freezer and pantry, I felt a little proud of myself. I made some pretty good choices when I was at the grocery store.

Of course there were some things in there that were not so healthy. Like these, which Jim and I actually just added to the mix this weekend. They make us laugh and they’re pretty darn tasty!

source

Jim and I have been playing a Scooby Doo mystery game on the Wii, so these went perfectly with our Sunday afternoon. Dipped in a little bit of this, and they’re insanely delicious.

source

 

I’ve been putting this stuff on EVERYTHING lately. I love this brand, too. Their dark chocolate version is to die for. They actually have a little sandwich shop around the corner from NYU in New York. It’s pretty much a mandatory stop whenever I’m in the city. The place totally brings me back to childhood with a menu full of peanut butter sandwiches that would do any 5 year-old proud.

But I digress. We are talking about my pantry, not about travel or childhood. Suffice it to say, this peanut butter is the best, so if you haven’t tried it, you need to. It’s sold in very few stores, but I think World Market has it and you can buy it right from their website.

After I finished my inventory, I sat down with Jim and created a week’s worth of meals. And you want to know something amazing? I have a list of maybe ten items I need from the store…and that includes baking powder and dish soap, both of which I just ran out of.

And I’m excited to have an inventory I can consult when its time to sit down and plan meals. It’s sooo helpful to know what I’ve got in my kitchen. I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner.

Do you keep an inventory of your kitchen?

November 17, 2011

Christmas shopping revelation + breakfast

As I was trying to fill in my christmas gift spreadsheet, the one I so cleverly designed for myself last week, I came to a realization about the real reason I can’t finish shopping until the last minute.

I buy based on a feeling, not a list.

It’s not important to me to buy my sister-in-law a scarf. Unless I happen to see a scarf at a store that screams her name to me. It’s why I can never find something for my dad: the man who has everything. I put a lot of thought and feeling into what I give people. It’s not just about having something for them under the tree on Christmas morning. It’s about showing them I love them and appreciate their presence in my life.

That being said, I’ve hit the delete button on my spreadsheet, pulled out a notebook and simply listed the people I want to buy for. Wish me luck! I’m in for a long ride.

Breakfast.

Most important meal of the day, right? Also, I’d say, a lovely opportunity to combine ingredients you love.

Like oatmeal. I love oatmeal. I could (and mostly do!!) eat it every single day (you can find my favorite here). Today, I combined it with my very favorite peanut butter.

I had this peanut butter for the first time on a sandwich at the Peanut Butter and Co. restaurant just around the  corner from NYU.  At that time, you could only buy it there, but now it’s in stores all over the place (thank goodness! I’m a long way from New York!)

So I added a good sized glop to my oats, and wha la! Breakfast!

I had to keep the cute note my mommy left at my desk this morning when she dropped the dog off in the picture. 🙂

And of course, I had to lick the spoon.