Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Pepita Dressing

I have another salad that I LOVE and could eat everyday. HF and the kids like to eat it too! I use the same base as my tri-tip steak salad, but the toppings and dressing are different, although they would compliment each other well.

For 1-2 salads (Depending on how big you like them):
1-2 Cups chopped romaine (can also use Spring mix, butter lettuce, etc.)
1-2 Cups baby Arugula
2-4 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
Handful of grape tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup white or shoepeg corn
1/4 cup diced avocado
1/2 cup chopped BBQ chicken
1/8 cup Feta chesse (can also use shredded cheddar or Mexican mix)
Crushed tortilla chips or strips
Lime wedge for serving (optional)
2-4 Tablespoons Cilantro Pepita dressing, or to taste

Cilantro Pepita Dressing:
2 Anaheim Chilies, roasted, peeled, and seeded
1/3 cup pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
12 ounces canola oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
5 Tablespoons grated cotija cheese (parmesan works too)
2 bunches cilantro
1 1/2 cups veganaise or plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients in blender such as a Blendtec, and blend until everything is thoroughly combined. This makes a quart of dressing. It will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days in an air tight container. Unless you are planning on eating it all in 3-5 days, I would halve the recipe. I haven't tried freezing it yet, but that could be an option too.

For the BBQ chicken, I use this recipe: The Best Crockpot BBQ Chicken
For roasting tips, I would read: Pioneer Woman's How to Roast Green Chilies

You can also take the salad to go. Just stick everything in a quart sized mason jar with the dressing on the bottom, and layer tomatoes, feta, beans, chips, lettuces, avocado and onion. When you want to eat it, dump it out on a plate and enjoy!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Protein Shakes

I finally found a protein shake that I can handle. I don't know about you, but to me protein shakes and bars taste like dirt. I also don't like the ingredients in them. Then I found this and gave it a shot and I love it! It is plant based, no soy, no dairy, no GMO, no gluten, just plant based protein (brown rice, hemp, chia, and pea). They also have a vanilla one that I haven't tried yet, but I would like to. The small container on the left is from your average health food store. It was about $40. The larger one on the right is from Costco and it is on sale right now for $23! It's over 2 pounds. Such a good deal. I am going to stock up. I'm not being asked to promote this product, just sharing part of my morning meal arsenal.

This is the way I make mine. It is similar to the directions on the container.

In a blender combine:
1 cup of almond or coconut milk
1 banana
1 scoop of ice
2 scoops of protein powder

My next plan is to use a scoop of protein powder in other recipes like pancakes, muffins, oatmeal, etc. Have any of you done this?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

avocado on toast: part deux

After I've gotten the kids to school, this is what my morning looks like. Literally sunshine and roses. Roses from our yard! What's not pictured here is Mrs. Fuzz's smile and evil laugh while I sit and eat in peaceful splendor. I love my kids, but this new found mornings alone thing? I could get used to that. Even better is finding myself alone with HF still at home. What?! Awesome! Then that makes for Mr. AND Mrs. Fuzz smiling and laughing until it's time for one of us to go to work. We love this new stage. Don't get me wrong. We love the baby stage, but there is something we are loving about the kids being a little older and more independent. 

Back to food. Some time ago, I posted about one of my favorite breakfasts. Avocado on toast with salt and pepper. Recently I discovered another twist on this favorite of mine that is "eyes rolling back" good. 

Here's what you need for 1 person:
2 slices of your favorite bread, toasted (We like Dave's Killer Bread)
1/2 of an avocado, sliced thin or smashed with a fork
2 teaspoons honey

While bread is toasting, slice avocado down the center, lengthwise. The centers will pull apart by gently twisting the two halves opposite one another. Remove pit and skin from one of the halves. Refrigerate the unused portion immediately, up to 2 days. Some browning is normal.

Slice avocado thinly, or mash in a small bowl. Spread avocado on both slices of warm toast. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of honey on each toast. Enjoy. So simple. And a great way to start your day. Let me know what you think if you try it! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bánh mì

Whenever I go to a restaurant and fall in love with one of the dishes, I always try and recreate it at home. My latest discovery is the Vietnamese sandwich, called the Bánh mì. This particular sandwich is called a Bánh mì Thit Nuong, or a grilled pork sandwich. It uses a very flavorful and delicious lemongrass marinade. These can be easily wrapped in foil or parchment for your officers to take for lunch. And it's veggie loaded. 

For the marinade:
2 pounds pork butt, sliced 1/4-inch thin
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. minced shallot
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients and marinade at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, grill the pork until golden brown and slightly charred on each side. 

Carrot and Daikon Pickles
1 cucumber chopped into matchsticks
fresh cilantro (1/2 bunch, chopped)
Vegannaise (or mayonnaise)

Making the sandwiches:
1-2 soft French baguettes, cut into 6 sandwich rolls
1.  Cut each roll hot dog bun style and remove some of the bread inside so that you have a thinner sandwich, if desired. Lightly grill open face with a small amount of garlic butter. 
2.  Spread Vegannaise, or mayonnaise on each side of the bread and place in your thin sliced meat, the carrot and daikon pickles, cucumber, and cilantro sprigs. Roll up tightly and serve.

Makes 6 sandwiches.

Monday, September 7, 2015

World's Best Salad

There's a certain restaurant we like to frequent. Every single time we go, I get this tri-tip steak salad. It. is. the. bomb. Do people still say that? Anyway, I decided to recreate it at home and I think it is pretty spot on. It is a little time consuming, and to have all the ingredients on hand can be a little pricey, but here's how I make it easier. I buy in bulk at Costco and I cook everything up on a day where I have some extra time for food prep. Then I have enough for a dozen or so salads. Pretty awesome. Here is the recipe to make 2 large salads (although you will have ingredients for dayz to make more salads or if you are feeding a larger group.  Give 'er a try!

2 servings Tri-Tip (6-8 ounces), sliced thin and in small pieces
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped 
2-3 ounces Arugula (3-5 loosely packed cups, depending on your taste)
4-6 sprigs of Cilantro
2-4 Tablespoons Chopped Scallions
1/2 Roasted red pepper, cut into thin strips
4 Tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
Dried cherries (a handful)
Feta Cheese
Cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half (a handful or so)
Lemon-Cilantro Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

1. We used this recipe for marinating the tri-tip. We used olive oil instead of soybean oil, and I used real onions instead of dried, and lastly, I used Lawry’s seasoning salt instead of garlic salt.
2. We followed these instructions for grilling the tri-tip. . It turned out PERFECT.
3. We used this recipe by Ina Garten to roast the red pepper.

Assembling the salad:
Combine your lettuce, arugula, and scallions. Divide between two large bowls. Divide the cilantro sprigs between the two bowls as well. Then sprinkle the rest of the ingredients on both salads, adjusting amounts to your taste. Right before serving, drizzle on the Lemon-Cilantro Vinaigrette.

Lemon-Cilantro Vinaigrette
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 bunch cilantro (rinsed well, patted dry, and just the ends trimmed)
1 heaping Tablespoon brown sugar (or honey)
1 clove garlic
¼ tsp. sea salt
¾ tsp. spicy brown mustard
¼ cup olive oil
Dash of Chipotle chili powder

I threw all the ingredients for the dressing in my Blendtec and voila! It was blended up perfectly. The dressing is supposed to be on the thicker side. Drizzle to taste (usually about ¼ cup for a salad that big!) The dressing will last in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Watermelon-Mango Smoothies

I've been lamenting the loss of summertime. I love all the food varieties that come with that season. The fresh fruits and the cold beverages. We ate a lot of watermelon during the summer, and I began freezing chunks of watermelon to save for smoothies. All you have to do is cut the watermelon into bite size chunks and spread evenly on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for a few hours. Once frozen, you can transfer the chunks to a freezer ziploc bag. Now you will always have some watermelon on hand when your need for a smoothie arrives.

You will find lots of watermelon smoothie recipes online. We came up with one that is versatile and can be changed up with a variety of fruits.

Watermelon-Mango Smoothies
2-3 cups fresh-squeezed lemonade, or a bottled one such as Simply Lemonade
2-4 cups frozen watermelon chunks
1 cup frozen mango chunks

optional add ins: fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and honey for sweetener.

Blend until no more chunks remain. Pour into chilled mason jars. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6 people.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bento lunches from the school year

 chocolate zucchini bread, carrot sticks, gold fish, grapes, and a hard-boiled egg
 Halloween Bento: hard boiled egg sharing a cup with a wax-encased cheese, cucumbers, fall trail mix, mini cupcake
 Snack Bento: multi-grain crackers, laughing cow wedge
 hard boiled egg, veggie straws, trail mix with chocolate piece on top, clementine orange, and carrot sticks
 Picnik Bento: blueberries, grape tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cheese stick, hard boiled egg, veggie straws
 Picnik Lunch Smorgasbord: clementines, veggie chips, carrots, strawberries, cucumbers, animal crackers, and pistachios
 carrots, Apple-Cinnamon straws, giant strawberry, and 2 small hard boiled eggs with s&p.
carrots, pb and honey sandwich cut in puzzle shapes, applesauce, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookie cut in half.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

MPM: week of May 14th

I'm in a breakfast-y mood this week...

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes :: fresh-squeezed orange juice

Spinach and Bowtie Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken :: watermelon :: strawberry shortcake

French Toast :: maple and sage sausage


Pizza Night :: Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza (copycat recipe)


Breakfast Burritos (give or take a few ingredients....)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Frozen Banana Bites

Have you ever had a frozen banana? They are really, really good. A frozen banana can be blended and refrozen and it will taste pretty much just like ice cream. I don't eat ice cream anymore, but was craving ice cream and chocolate. So, I combined the two. First, we cut a few bananas in 1-inch pieces. It doesn't have to be perfect. We placed them on some parchment paper on a cookie sheet and froze them in the freezer for a few hours.
 When the bananas were frozen, we melted our chocolate. You can pretty much use any kind of chocolate you have lying around. The healthier and more natural your chocolate is, the healthier your treat. I used a combination of semi-sweet chocolate chips and some natural white chips from a health food store. I don't know how much healthier exactly they were, but it made me feel better, alright? Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate is smooth.
 Remove banana bites from the freezer and dip each bite in your melted chocolate. Place chocolate-covered banana bites back on your parchment covered cookie sheet and refreeze for a few hours. Later, you will have an awesome ice cream-like treat. These babies are addictive and so delicious.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

for breakfast

I have been eating this nearly everyday for breakfast for the last week or so. It's my go to comfort food. You see, a large portion of my childhood was spent living in Somis, California and we had avocado trees galore. I hated the food my mom made us eat back then, but now it's like a treat to me.

I've always heard that avocados are very high in fat, but it was the good kind of fat. Then I heard that since the avocado is shaped kind of like a uterus, that means that it is beneficial to the woman's reproductive system. Sounds good to me, but you can read this very informative website all about the health benefits of avocados if you are interested.

I might eat a grapefruit along with this if I feel like it, but this usually does the job. What's your go to breakfast?

Avocado on Toast with S&P

2 slices Whole-Grain bread, toasted (we like Dave's Killer Bread)
1/2 of a ripe avocado, pit removed and skin peeled off 
Salt & Pepper
juice from lemon (optional)

While bread is toasting, slice avocado down the center, lengthwise. The centers will pull apart by gently twisting the two halves opposite one another. Remove pit and skin from one of the halves. Refrigerate the unused portion immediately, up to 2 days. Some browing is normal. Slice avocado thinly, or mash in a small bowl. Place on top of toast and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. We use coarse ground pepper and sea salt. Sometimes I squeeze a few drops of lemon juice on top. You may or may not find that appalling. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Santa's Going to Love Me

Hey y'all! It's been a while. This has been an extremely busy Fall/holiday season for us! But. I do have my holiday baking list ready. I will be baking next Thursday and Friday. ALL of these delectables. What treats do you make for Christmas? I would love to know what some of your traditions are...

 Sweet Roasted Almonds from this here blog, Fuzz Food
 Also from this here blog, a family tradition/recipe, Caramel Pecan Logs
 Nanaimo Bars (with no nuts)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

mpm: week of October 31st

for more menu ideas or to submit your own go here

1-2-3 Soup in bread bowls

oven baked Fish n Chips (I made sweet potato fries)



pizza night :: these again



Monday, October 10, 2011

mpm: week of October 10th

For more menu ideas or to submit one of your own, go here! 


Spinach and Mozzarella Ravioli (Costco)

 Rachel Ray's Cocunut Curry Chicken :: brown rice

Crock pot baked potatoes (build your own: broccoli, chili, cheese, sour cream, etc.)

Pizza Night. I'm thinking these. They are beautiful!



Monday, October 3, 2011

back with bentos

I did good at taking bento photos last week! Yes, it's a miracle. This bento has a 1/2 gala apple, pumpkin shaped pb and honey sandwich on whole wheat, a hard boiled egg, baby carrots, and an energy ball.
bento in the laptop lunchbox. Handprint shaped sandwich with pb and j, checkerboard 1/2 apple, carrot sticks, cheese crackers, and homemade apple molasses cookies.
 Caesar salad wrap in a tortilla (caesar salad with chicken, shredded carrots, and cheese), purple grapes, and white cheddar pirate's booty.
 lemon poppyseed muffin, hard boiled egg, some of my bottled peaches, and carrots sticks
 Zucchini pasta, strawberries, cashews, asiago bagel chunk, and carrot sticks
 tiny Hello Kitty snack bento lid
Inside Hello Kitty Box: purple grapes and raw almonds.

Our daughter has to take a snack in addition to lunch each day. I usually give her a yogurt, or a fruit, or some kind of made up trail mix. I need ideas for snacks.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Look what I did! I've never canned anything before in my life even though I come from a long line of canners. I always refused when my mom, aunts, and grandma would encourage me to come help them. Now I wish I had let the women relatives in my life teach me other things like making bread and sewing. I just had no desire and probably thought it was demeaning to women to do those things. I was a modern girl! I think if I had to do it alone, I wouldn't enjoy it so much, but doing it with a friend on a whim was actually quite fun. This is her picture. I don't think she'll mind that I "borrowed" it. There were some suspenseful moments like, opening a peach and seeing live earwigs swarming about! Ack! I didn't know earwigs had a thing for peaches.

The process can be long, but it was easy to do. First we rinsed our peaches and separated them into 2 piles. One for canning, and the other for making Peach Pepper Jelly. Then we sliced them and put them in jars. We used quart jars with a wide mouth on top. Then when the peaches were filled to about an inch to the top, we poured fresh apple cider over each jar until it reached the top of the peaches. The apple juice we used was from a local fruit stand. It has a scary warning on it that says it is unpasteurized and if you are a young child, or an elderly person, or someone with a weakened immune system to use at your own risk. Yikes. But we've been drinking it for years and figure it's one of those liability things. Ha ha. Famous last words. After putting lids on each jar, we had a handy dandy canning pot that we put the jars in and boiled for about 35 minutes. As they cool, the lids make a cool popping sound when they are being sealed. They seal as the cool down.

Now that I know I can do it, I want to can everything!

Here are some yummy looking peach recipes:
Vanilla-Roasted Peaches with Raspberries (peaches and raspberries are amazing together)
I've been wanting to make this Peaches-and-Cream Ice Cream Cake for years!
My simple Peaches n Cream recipe.
And there ain't nothin' like a Georgia Peach Pie

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

mpm: week of September 5th

for more menus or to submit your own go here

white bean and pesto soup :: toast :: cantaloupe for dessert

egg burritos (just scrambled eggs in a tortilla) :: grapefruit

Zucchini Pasta :: rotisserie chicken :: grapes

Cool Taco Salad (Eating for Life recipe, double to feed whole family)

pizza night. make your own on homemade pizza dough

brinner (breakfast for dinner) :: Sweet and Savory Crepes

Chicken and Dumplings

Peach Cobbler Muffins
White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

summer lunches & a bento

A simple, yet organized bento. Carrots, a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into squares on Dave's Killer Bread (I used natural peanut butter, and local raw honey incase you wanted to know), cantoloupe, and a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, cut into 1/4's. She always takes a water bottle with her. She ate school lunch twice this week per her request. Her school serves pretty healthy lunches, so she will probably choose 2-3 days per week to eat there.

During the summer, bentos made an appearance every now and then. But, almost everyday, I served lunch for the 3 kiddos the same way whether we were indoors or outdoors. Wanna see? It's kind of like a giant bento. I went to the dollar store and got this platter with a domed lid. Then I just put in whatever we had on hand. This first one the kids told me they wanted everything to be orange. I did my best. They LOVED eating their meals this way. So I still do it for lunchtime and dinner when I don't have any plans.
 carrots, veggie straws, clementine orange segments, cheese cubes, and not orange cucumbers
 carrots, raisins, pretzels, bean burritos cut in 1/3's, bananas, animal crackers, and olives in the middle.
 blueberries, carrots, cheese cubes, quesadillas, chips, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes.
 carrots, cucumbers, bean burritos, strawberries, cheddar crackers, and olives
cheese cubes, hard boiled eggs, roasted sweet almonds, carrots, laughing cow cheese wedges, raisins, rosemary crackers, olives
 goldfish, cinnamon muffins, cheese cubes, carrots, grape tomatoes, and hard boiled eggs
 pb&j sandwiches, kiwi fruit, pistachios, chicken apple sausage, chips, and cucumbers
 mangoes, graham crackers, cucumbers, carrots, raisins, ham and cheese sandwiches, and grape tomatoes
cucumbers, raspberries, cheese sandwiches, tortilla chips, carrots, gingersnap cookies, salsa

Kind of a lot of pictures, but you can see the variety and possibilities of what you can put in these. Whatever they didn't finish at lunch, I would leave it out and offer it as snacks when they told me they were "dying" of hunger. Usually everything got eaten up. They did get sick of carrots and cucumbers. We always have those on hand though.