Sunday, April 24, 2016

Crockpot Butter Chickpeas and Tofu

My go-to meals often consist of Latin spices in profile. Cumin, chiles, oregano, garlic and onion. However, I'm trying to broaden my spectrum of eating and I've been trying a few Indian dishes lately. This is a completely vegan meal, though while I'm not vegan by any means, I did enjoy it. Tofu is "meaty" enough for me and I used Extra Firm for this recipe. I doubled the seasonings of the original recipe as I'm the seasoning queen, but that's personal preference. Top with fresh cilantro or a dollop of sour cream if you so desire. This would be excellent with homemade (or store bought) naan bread.

Crockpot Butter Chickpeas with Tofu and Rice
adapted from

1 package of extra firm tofu 12oz, rinsed, drained and cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 can light coconut milk
1 can garbanzo beans (16oz), rinsed and drained
1 can of tomato puree (15-16oz)
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

Remove tofu from package and rinse. Wrap in several layers of paper towel and place a heavy object on top to press excess moisture out. I used the crock of my crock pot. Press for 15 minutes. Slice and cube into bite sizes pieces.

In large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in diced onions and cook until soft and translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add in garlic, stir to combine.

Add in coconut milk, tomato puree and all of your seasonings. Stir to combine and cook on medium-low heat until sauce is thicker and has reduced and slightly thickened. Approximately 10-15 minutes.

Open can of garbanzo beans, rinse thoroughly and drain.

Spray crock with non-stick spray and place garbanzo beans and tofu on the bottom. Top with sauce, making sure everything is covered and submersed. Cook on LOW for 4 hours. 

Serve over rice.

Servings: 5

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Shredded Chicken Taco Soup - UNDER 300 CALORIES

Yeah, I get it. It's been a few years. Okay, more than a few. Let's just say I'll never be the avid food blogger that's going to have a scheduled day of the week post or a "decadent dessert Friday." I'll pop up when I find something worthy to share, okay? Great! 

I am still battling the bulge. I go up, I go down. I hike, bike, go to the gym and then I vegetate and sit on my butt for a couple of years and pack on the pounds and wonder how I got back to where I started. Who'd of thought?

I tried the low-carb deal and while I lost 8lbs. in two weeks I was MISERABLE. My doctor was a bit crazy to suggest such a torturous diet. Yes yes, you're supposed to have a "lifestyle" change not diet...and low-carb was not about to be my new lifestyle. When artificial sweeteners are thrown at me left and right if I want a damn thanks! Even the "natural" type sugars they come out with are a joke and taste awfu. Also...what the hell is psyllium husk and xantham gum and why is it going into my food? I'm a single 27 year old on a "poor median" budget and I love my bread, pasta, beans, cakes and ice cream. So I'm trying it my way. Watching what goes in my mouth, sort of. Working my butt off at the gym (not literally, there's not much back there to work off I'm ashamed to admit) and eating plain eat GOOD food. 

Where have I been? Around...well I just told you part of it. I've hit a minor milestone in my adult life and have been living on my own for nearly two years now, how exciting! All sarcasm aside, it really is awesome.

Okay I'll shut up now and tell you about this dish. I go to work at a warehouse all day long...8-10 hours depending on the day. I battle the bulge afterwards at the gym for an hour (for now, ugh!) and the LAST thing I want is to come home and cook a meal. 

I previously posted a Tacos Amigos Soup Ole which was a mild hit on Pinterest for me. Not that I'm looking to really draw attention to myself, my blog or any of that jazz. I just want to share food that I like and that you just may like too! What's the harm in that? 

This is spicy, delicious and UNDER 300 CALORIES PER SERVING!* If you don't like something? Change it. If you want lower calories, deduct something. Honestly, I don't care. I never follow recipes to a T and I believe ALL recipes (except maybe cakes and cookies, you should follow those correctly) are open for interpretation.

So here's mine. I hope you try it. I hope you like it. 

*Does not include toppings such as sour cream, cheese or avocado.

Shredded Chicken Taco Soup
adapted from

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and shredded (approximately 6 ounces each)
(1) 15oz can Low-Sodium Black Beans, rinsed & drained
(1) 15oz can Low-Sodium Red Kidney Beans, rinsed & drained
(3) 14.5oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
(1) 8oz can of No Salt Added Tomato Sauce (I used Hunt's)
(1) 10.5oz package Frozen Sweet Corn (I used Bird's Eye)
1 packet McCormick Original Taco Seasoning (generic would be fine)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp guajillo pepper seasoning (optional)
1/2 tsp Ancho Chile Powder (optional)

In large pot heat oil over medium heat and cook onions until tender. Add in minced garlic.

Add in all remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. 

Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low and let simmer additional 5-10 minutes. 

Serve with your favorite toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream or avocado slices.

Serves 7 

Nutritional Info per Serving:
284 calories*
48g carbs
2g fat
22g protein

*no toppings. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sweet Potato & Bean Chili

I don't know about you, but I am definitely not ready for winter! It has snowed twice so far here in Anchorage, but thankfully it's melted away both times. Well, almost completely away. Our back deck still has about an inch of snow to go, but I'm thinking it will disappear as the week goes on, at least one can hope! I had two sweet potatoes sitting on my counter and typically I take them to work for lunch but I wanted something different. Something hearty and warm. Something delicious! My faithful search engine found exactly what I was looking for, Sweet Potato Chili! Although the original recipe called for strictly black beans I of course changed things up and wouldn't of had this any other way!

Sweet Potato & Bean Chili
adapted from

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chicken broth (substitute with water if desired)
1-1/2 cups water
1-15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-15oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of sweet corn (optional, but does help bulk it up)
2-15oz cans diced tomatoes
4 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional, I used dried)

In large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add sweet potato and onion too cook, stirring often, until onions are soft. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt, and cook stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Add water and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat and maintain a gentle simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes, corn and lime juice; increase to high heat and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and let simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro if desired.

Serves 4-6

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cobbler.....whaaaat!?!

So to ask if you've discovered would be a joke, right? Well, I can't say I'm completely obsessed, but I'm pretty close! I enjoy looking at all of the delicious sweet treats from cupcakes to tarts, they suck me in with their pretty photos and this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cobbler was no exception! These are two PERFECT ingredients that go together. I am a Reese's girl through and through, but I don't usually keep them in the house so this was the next best option for a mid-day craving.

I'll admit, I've never made a cobbler so I was a little intimidated. However, the recipe seemed easy and the directions a bit odd at the end, but I thought it came out great. I have reduced the amount of water in the end as mine came out a little runny underneath with the original amount. This is VERY rich and I recommend it warm and served a la mode and oh yes with some chocolate syrup on top!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cobbler

1 cup of all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. hot cocoa mix, divided
1 cup of white sugar, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
6 tbsp. melted butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup of white sugar.

Stir in milk, peanut butter, butter and vanilla. Mixture should look like a thick brownie mix at this point.

Spread mixture into a lightly greased 8" baking dish and with a spatula even out the batter.

In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar and remaining cocoa. 

Sprinkle over batter evenly. Pour 1 cup of hot water over the top. DO NOT STIR!

Bake for 40-45 minutes until the center is slightly firm, but not fluid like liquid. Scoop mixture into serving bowls and serve with with ice cream of choice. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Corn Dog Mini Muffins

I'll tell you that these weren't exactly easy to photograph. Trying to portray their deliciousness all while thinking these look a lot like boobs was not an easy task. I found myself smirking as I held them up on their little white plate trying to snap a photo. Ah well, whether you think they look like mutant boobs or not is totally up to you. One thing for sure is they're tasty!

I saw these posted by and thought they seemed like a simple and easy snack, an easy dinner option, or something to take along to a BBQ because they'll be happening soon! I am going to be making roasted sweet potato and yukon gold french fries to go with thes
e! This is also such a kid friendly snack. What kid doesn't like a hot dog? Don't have all the ingredients? That's okay! You can always use a box mix. I used turkey dogs in these for a healthier version, but you could always use regular hot dogs, polish sausage or even those cocktail wieners. I like mine with a squirt of mustard and ketchup!

Corn Dog Mini Muffins

1 package of your favorite hot dogs (make sure these are pre-cooked hot dogs)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce (you can substitute with vegetable oil or butter)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder. In another bowl mix toge
ther eggs, milk, sugar and apple sauce. Gently fold in the wet mixture with the dry mixture to coat. Do not over stir, be gentle with your batter! Over stirring with cause tough, dry cornbread.

There will be lumps in your batter. Relax, it's okay!

Spray your muffin tin well with cooking spray or use muffin liners. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full. Be sure not to fill all the way to the top.

Cut your hot dog into one each pieces. I found that you get 3 good size pieces out of a standard hot dog. Insert hot dog into center of the muffin with the flat side down so they stand nicely.

Bake muffins 10-15 minutes or until done. At the 10 minute mark do the toothpick test to see if they are done. Mine were perfect at 15 minutes, but some ovens run hotter.

Remove from pan while warm to avoid over cooking.

Enjoy with ketchup, mustard or your favorite condiment!

This recipe created 14 standard muffins for me.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Amigos Taco Soup Olé (Crockpot)

I'd like to tell you I slaved away over the stove to make this soup, but to be honest I didn't. We're having a weird winter and spring here in Indiana and its hot hot hot! At least for a native Alaskan like me it is. Lately it's been coasting around 70 degrees here and I'm putting off turning on the air conditioner for as long as I can. I've been keeping busy volunteering and would rather throw a bunch of ingredients together in a crockpot and walk away while I'm out helping animals in need!

Speaking of animals we recently became foster failures and adopted our fo
ster named Checkers. He was previously adopted and returned. I fell in love with him and scooped him up and took him home. After many a drama we tried to find him a home and ultimately I was absolutely torn up over him not being in my life. We filled out the adoption papers and the rest was history! Who is Checkers? Let me share his handsome face with you!

He was hunting flies in this picture, haha. He is a big boy and about eight months old.

Anyway! About this taco soup! It's quick, delicious, and full of flavors! I am a tomato hater, but I think the stewed tomatoes in this worked well and I was OK with eating the big old chunks of em'! For some reason tomatoes are tolerable for me when they're cooked down. The beef gets incredibly tender as it cooks on low for hours. Try this! It's inexpensive and easy. I call it semi-homemade, hehe.

Amigos Taco Soup Olé

1 pound of lean ground beef
2 (15 ounce) cans chili beans with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn with liquid
2 (15 ounce) cans Mexican stewed tomatoes
1 (1o ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 packet of ranch dressing mix
1 packet taco seasoning
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional topping)
Sour cream (optional topping)

Brown ground beef in large skilled, drain and transfer to sprayed slow cooker.

Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. When serving, sprinkle cheese and/or sour cream over each serving.

Serves 6 to 8.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Party Sandwiches (Crockpot)

So lately my honey and I have been on a food budget as he's our only income while I'm on vacation. I managed to plan my meals cheaply and only spent about $68 at the grocery store for two weeks of dinners (plus other essentials like milk, eggs, etc.) Not too shabby if you ask me! We normally spend $100 or more so I think I did pretty well with what I had. I bought a lot of canned beans, haha! That's okay though, I love beans!

This is a great simple and delicious sandwich. There's no fuss or muss and it really doesn't need any kind of dressings to it. It's plain delicious on a bakery fresh hot d
og bun! This would be even better on a hoagie bun too! I'm really falling in love with my ancient crockpot....I should take her picture some day! Best $3.00 I ever spent!

We ate this with pasta salad, but your sides are endless. Corn on the cob, fresh garden salad, potato chips, the options go to infinity and back!

On to the recipe!

Party Sandwiches

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped bell peppers and onions
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
8 hot dog buns/hoagie buns, split

Rub chicken thighs with jerk seasoning and a little pepper. Place in sprayed slow cooker and add bell peppers and onions.

Combine broth, ketchup and brown sugar in bowl and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove chicken from cooker with slotted spoon and shred chicken using two forks.

Return chicken to slow cooker and mix well. Fill buns with chicken mixture.

Yields 8 sandwiches.