Thanksgiving 2015 recap

I hope that everyone has enjoyed their Thanksgiving with family and friends!

Everyone took part in cooking this year. We had a total of 15 items on the menu. 

Here is a snapshot of some of yumminess that I had created yesterday. 

     
We chose to go with a free range turkey this year. The cost was much more than usual for a 15 pound turkey, but we wanted to make sure that our turkey was free from hormones and fed a vegetarian diet. Whole Foods saved the day for this! 

   Vegetarian dressing as a side.  Three types of bread, sautéed vegetables, garlic, herbs, and broth are some of the ingredients. I like my dressing to be almost close to a savory bread pudding, so I make a custard to bind it all together. It rests for an hour before going into the oven to bake, so that every flavor will soak into the bread. 

I made macaroni and cheese with a rich mornay (of you are familiar with the mother sauces, you know that a mornay is a fancy smancy way of saying cheese sauce) with three cheeses. A bechamel sauce is made first, next goes the cheeses, and then the warm, al dente noodles. A lay of cheesy noodles goes down in the baking dish first, then a layer of cheese, then more noodles, and ending with a thick layer of cheese on top. It’s baked in the oven until nice and gooey. Below is a picture of the mornay.    The rest of the portions of dinner came together nicely and everyone enjoyed themselves. We were all stuffed! 

As we all know…Thanksgiving leftovers are the best. Looking forward to a nice plate of more yumminess!!

Noodle Bowl

Feeling a little under the weather today. It could be a combination of the changing of the weather OR…my nieces who are here for the holiday week that brought the “cold monster” with them. 

Whatever may be the cause of me feeling like death turned over twice, I didn’t have any energy to cook today. All that I had today at work was soup, so I figured I keep with the trend and have soup again. 

I took sazón, a Hispanic seasoning blend with annatto seed for color, and mixed it with vegetable broth in a pot and brought it to a boil. Next, I took a bundle of soba (buckwheat) noodles and simmered the noodles for 5 minutes in the broth. 

The noodles go in a bowl (without the broth) with a few sheets of lavar (seaweed snacks are always in the house), thin slices of onion, a boiled egg (minus the yolk of course), poured the hot broth over the bowl, and then sprinkled on some chia seeds. 

   

 Very filling for dinner! The broth was soothing to my throat and actually made me feel a little better.

However, you do not have to be sick to enjoy this.

It’s gluten free, vegetarian, and full of fiber and protein. 

And as always…very tasty! 

Saturday Morning and a Light Breakfast

This morning’s breakfast was excellent.

Cooking breakfast at home is something that takes place only on the weekends. During the week I have to be in the drive to work by 5am, so I will just cook myself something when I get there. I have weekends off and usually can never sleep past 8am 🙄. I’ll get out of bed, turn on the Keurig, and make breakfast. 

Breakfast is usually a refresher for me. A way for my body to wake up and cleanse. I’m usually eating out the previous night, so I make something with a lot of fiber, protein, but also light. I will make pancakes or muffins sometimes, but usually it will have to be a very special occasion, or…a serious craving. 

This morning I chose eggs, a salad, turkey bacon, and avocado. Black coffee and water for beverages. 

  
The greens have a simple drizzle of olive oil and lemon, with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. I cooked the turkey bacon until crispy to give the greens a bit of a crunch. 

I detest whole eggs (I’m an egg white only girl), but I am eating extra protein for maintaining muscle. Usually I will throw something in the eggs as an attempt to mask the sulfuric smell and texture of the yolk. Today I threw in a few sprigs of fresh dill. I didn’t chop with a knife, just pulling them off the sprig. This added a fresh, clean flavor to the eggs.

Last is the avocado. Surprisingly sweet for this time of year, I just ate it out of the skin. 

Along with a cup of organic, dark Jane (female equivalent to cup of Joe) I was set. I drink black coffee-no sugar or cream-to enjoy the natural state of coffee. I am sure that a lot of you have never truly tasted coffee due to it being heavily polluted with flavored creamers and sugars. 

No recipe to post today. 

Just wanted you to sit back and think about what you want for breakfast this morning. It doesn’t always have to be heavy to be filling. 

Some times lighter is better. 

Peanut Butter & Oat Protein Muffins

I have been attempting to take recipes that are normally high in calories, fat, sodium, etc and rework them into healthier versions. 

Since I have become an avid lover of the gym, a good snack is needed before I start my workout especially on days when I am doing a lot of lifting. 

The other day I came up with a muffin recipe that would be perfect to eat before/after a gym workout. The muffin has peanut butter, Greek yogurt, eggs, and oats-lots of protein and fiber-to get you through any day. 

  

A basic muffin method is used (when you’ve made one muffin, you’ve made them all), but instead of butter, I used Greek yogurt and a little vegetable oil. 

The batter is going to be super thick, but don’t get discouraged and add more liquid. The muffin will come out to bes soft texture that will keep fresh for about 3/4 days in an air tight container. 

I love peanut butter; seriously LOVE peanut butter. It is a great source for protein, so I chose to use peanut butter chips. Creamy peanut butter could be used (about a 4th of a cup-not natural peanut butter), but I like the way the chips look in the muffin. If you don’t want it to be overly packed with protein, use chocolate, butterscotch, or white chocolate chips. 

I sprinkled a little turbinado sugar on top of 6 of them to see how they would be with a little extra texture on top. Not required of course, but it looks nice. 

The recipe makes 12 muffins. Spray your muffin tins well with pan spray so that they will release easily from the paper.

These are best when they have been out of the oven for about 8 minutes. 

 
Peanut Butter & Oat Protein Muffins

Yields 12

2 cups AP (all purpose flour)

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup veg oil

2 eggs

2/3 cup Greek yogurt (I used Fage-my fav!)

1 cup peanut butter chips 

A sprinkle of turbinado sugar for topping (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 395F.

2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a small bowl, mix veg oil, eggs, and Greek yogurt until it is well combined into a smooth, creamy texture.

4. Add the wet ingredients to dry and fold together. Add in the peanut butter chips and fold together. Batter will be thick

5. Spray muffin tins. With a scoop, fill muffin 3/4 of the way full.

6. Bake for 20 minutes. A toothpick can be put in the middle to check doneness. If the tooth pick comes out clean, it is done.

7. Allow time to cool-5 to 7 minutes is enough-on a cooling rack.

If you try the recipe, leave a comment below!