FINAL FOOD FRUSTRATIONS

As my days at school before summer break are dwindling down, so is my food supply. With nothing more than odds and ends, I’m struggling to pull anything together to make an edible, not to mention cohesive, meal. I REFUSE to go grocery shopping, so I’m working with what I got, and surprisingly, I’ve come up with a few combinations that aren’t too bad!

In need of a filling breakfast to power me through finals and faced with a packet of original bland oatmeal. It was my goal to not only make it edible, but enjoyable. So here’s my solution:photo copy 11

3 Minute Cinnamon Banana Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of original instant oatmeal
  • Half a medium banana (sliced)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • A  few drops of agave nectar for taste
  • A handful of raisins (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Follow instructions on package of instant oats (concerning how much water to add, and time microwaving). After water and oats are combined, mix in cinnamon and agave.
  2. Microwave the instructed time.
  3. Remove from microwave. While still hot, add in raisins and banana slices.
  4. Let cool and enjoy!
Advertisements

Spice Up Your Study Snack!

This week I was at the library longer hours than I found myself sleeping. So wrapped up in my countless final projects and paper, I forgot to eat, so when I’d return to my room at night, I was ravenous for food! Looking for something a little sweet and a little crunchy, I grabbed a bag of pop corn, popped it into the microwave and within minutes the greatest study snack of all time was created!

By drizzling a little bit of agave nectar onto my freshly popped popcorn followed by a heavy sprinkle of cinnamon, I created the study snack that dreams are made of!

Popcorn is a simple and healthy snack that can be easily kicked up knock by adding season or spice!

 

The Most Unlikely Place to Eat the Best Pizza

photo 1 copy 14Although, I try to eat as healthy as possible, PIZZA is my biggest weakness. Being from New Jersey, within good proximity to NYC, I’d say I’ve had my fair share of excellent pies; however, yesterday I had a slice of pizza that could only be described as legendary.

THE PIZZA: Yesterday I attended  the Cupcake Festival in Fishkill NY, and in a sea of sweet sugary goodness, I found what may have been the best pizza I’ve eaten in my life thus far. Well to start off, I was beyond hungry when I came across this pizza stand, so much so that my body actually just seem to gravitate towards it.  Not only was it radiating the most delicious perfume of basil, olive oil, and fresh bread, BUT the slice was actually bigger than my head.

I ate it bite by bite, true street festival style, as we walked along looking at all the different cupcake
and bakery vendors. When I was done with my slice I was over come by two emotions: satisfaction because it was so delicious and satisfied my every pizza want, BUT also disappointment because it was gone.  Throughout the rest of the day I RAVED about this pizza. I posted about it on Twitter and Instagram (that’s when you know I mean business).  I could have easily eaten that pizza twelve times over.

The take away: Not in a million years did I think that I’d find the best pizza at a cupcake festival! Just goes to show you may find the greatest treasures in the places you’d least expect it!

photo 2 copy 10

THE SLICE WAS BIGGER THAN MY FACE!

~Stay Cheesy~

PUT IT IN THE PIZZA

It’s almost finals week and I’ve come to the point in my night, or even in my semester where I’ve hit the wall. Almost delirious and running on nearly zero point zero hours of sleep, I’m in need of a study break and a little bit of humor right about now.

SO, I decided to bring back this oldie but a goodie to bring me a few laughs while I’m going on my seventh hour at the library.

 

Any lover of pizza or classic 90s Mary Kate & Ashley will find this enjoyable. Actually anyone should find this enjoyable! FOOD HUMOR LOL 

 

BLACK BEAN… cookies??

photo 2 copy 9

I am always into trying new things and when I find a raved about HEALTHY dessert recipe, I jump on it! So, when I came across a recipe that uses virtually no sugar, no flour, and the main ingredient was black beans, you could understand that I was a little skeptical of all the amazing reviews it was getting! BUT, after making them, I can safely say these Black Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies are even better than how the reviews portrayed them!

**WARNING** My brother, (the pickiest eater known to man) who only eats cheerios and plain bagels and who’s lips have never touched a vegetable, spoon ate the batter to these cookies and ate a good majority of them once they were baked. So its fair to say these cookies aren’t just “good for being healthy” but JUST  straight up delicious. YOU MAY BECOME ADDICTED.

Here the recipe to these gloriously healthy cookies!

photo 1 copy 13

Would you believe this is mostly black beans??

Tips & Hints:

  • This recipe is bases off another recipe that uses honey instead or sugar, it links to the original which gives you a choice depending on your preference.  I followed this recipe, but used less sugar (1/3 cup) and the cookies came out just sweet enough.
  •  I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, which worked well with the flavor of the cookie, but you could use milk or dark chocolate!
  • The batter  is very similar to brownie batter. Next time I make these, I’m going to experiment into making them in the form of brownies instead!

There really isn’t anything else I can say about these cookies, BUT GO MAKES THEM RIGHT NOW!! If you like chocolate, these cookies will fulfill all your chocolate cravings and more. Plus, the fact that they are healthy is an added bonus!!  

 

NEW TAKE ON TOTS

Let be completely honest here, we all know that tater tots are perfect in every single way. From breakfast to dinner, and even as a midnight snack, there no time of the day that I would object to eating a nice crispy tot (well, maybe before I went for a run or something, but that’s besides the point). I personally enjoy my tots to be crunchy and crispy, but even when they’re soggy, tots aren’t half bad.  So you’d wouldn’t believe my excitement when I came across a recipe for LOW CARB TOTS, which are made with cauliflower instead of potatoes! With my craving for tot and love of cauliflower, I had to try this recipe!!!!

CHECK OUT THE RECIPE I USED HERE!

(3)

 

Of course I took the liberty in changing up the recipe  a little to make it a little more accessible and flavorful!

TIPS, HINTS, AND CHANGES!

  • Processed with RookieChange: This recipe calls for raw cauliflower; HOWEVER, I used frozen cauliflower and it worked well.
  • Tip: If you are using frozen cauliflower, MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS AND  YOU PRESS ALL OF THE EXTRA WATER FROM CAULIFLOWER.
  • Hint: The recipe suggest you let the mixture sit, HOWEVER, I didn’t and do not think it’s necessary, especially if you are on a time crunch.
  • Tip: I didn’t use any onions, but I added some chopped spinach leaves to my tots for added flavor. I suggest adding chopped carrots or broccoli to the mix for different flavors and texture!
  • Change: I only used a little bit of pepper jack cheese, to cut down the calories (or maybe because I only had a little…) and it tasted great! Add however much or little you’d like.

Review of the Recipe: The outcome of these cauliflower tots were better than I’d expected! Unlike normal tots, they had  more flavor, due to the combined cheese. ALSO, this was my first time frying anything, and it was definitely A LOT easier than I had imagined,which pleasantly surprised me!   Not to say I’m going to be frying everything from now on, but it’s a great feat to check off my bucket list! Next time I make these, I am going to try and bake them, instead of frying, just to make them a bit healthier!  I personally didn’t make the chipotle mayonnaise, but instead dipped mine in hot sauce!

FUN FACT:  “Tater Tots” is actually a registered trademark of Ore-Ida.

Popeye Approved Chips!

Veggie chips are all the rage recently! I cannot  look on Pinterest’s Food&Drink section without seeing at least five different recipes for different kinds of veggie chips.  From zucchini to sweet potato and even kale, it seems that EVERY vegetable is being chip-ified.

Wanting to jump on to the chip bandwagon and try one of these healthy alternative for the classic chip, I made my own creation: a spicy cajun spinach chip! Recipe as follows:

photo 1 copy 11

Cajun Spinach Chips

Ingredients:

  • Two cups of spinach
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of olive oil
  • Cajun Seasoning (My favorite is Slap Ya Mama, get it here!)
  • A pinch of salt
  • A  sprinkle of garlic powder (optional)

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Place two cups of spinach in a bowl and add  1/ 2 to 1 tsp of olive to slightly coat the leaves.
  3. Add Cajun seasoning, mixing thoroughly  to coat each leave.  Use as much as desired.
  4. Lightly grease  a baking sheet wrapped with foil. 
  5. Place leave in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, depending on desired crispiness.
  6. After removed from the oven, let cool for a minute or so before removing them from the foil.
  7. Once removed enjoy  as a tasty, spicy and crunchy snack.

TIPS&HINTS:photo 2 copy 8

  •  BE SURE NOT TO DRENCH THE LEAVES IN OLIVE OIL OR THEY WILL SHRIVEL UP.
  • Make sure you remember to grease the foiled pan so the spinach leaves do not stick.
  • I suggest using regular spinach leaves opposed to baby spinach leaves. I originally  used baby spinach leaves and they crumbled easiler.
  • I ALSO suggest that you try to use fresh spinach because  they will yield a more chip like texture.

(Recipe based off this recipe)

FOR THE LOVE OF HUMMUS: My Homemade Hummus Recipe

From my prior post you may have come to the conclusion that I am a BIG fan of condiments.  Basically anything I can put peanut butter or hot sauce on are my  favorite foods. But recently I’ve been getting more and more into hummus.  I have always like it for the casual dipping of veggies and pita chips, BUT now I can say I am OBSESSED WITH IT!! I find reasons to put it on anything and I could eat virtually anything with hummus on it (This is NOT an exaggeration! I find raw carrots to be repulsive and consider them the Devil’s vegetable, but lately I’ve even been eating them with hummus!!). HUMMUS IS A GAME CHANGER PEOPLE!

Taking my enthusiasm for hummus to the next level, I’ve decided I’d take a whack at making my own ! Utilizing what I had in my fridge and pantry, I concocted a flavor packed hummus creation! Recipe as follows:

 

photo copy 8

Garlic Tomato, Spinach and Olive Hummus

Serving: 2-3

Ingredients:photo 1 copy 10

  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp dices garlic tomatoes
  • 2-3 large black olives
  • handful of baby spinach (approximately 8 leaves)
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp  water
  • pinch of salt/ ground pepper for taste

 

 

Instructions: 

photo 3 copy 4

Desired texture of the blended chickpeas.

  1. Prep ingredients: Remove skin from chickpeas, cut steams off the baby spinach, and slice olives.
  2. First, place chickpeas into a blender (or magic bullet) and blend for a minute to two until grainy like sand.
  3. Add half  of the tomatoes, olives, and spinach. Proceed to blend for about a minute until ingredients mix in with the chickpea.
  4. Add 1 tsp on olive oil and 1/2 tbsp of water and blend until smooth, about two minutes.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients, oil and water until completely blended and smooth.
  6. Then add a pinch of salt and pepper (more or less depending on how you want it to taste) and pulse giving the hummus a final mix. You may need to add a bit more water or oil depending on the constancy.
  7. Chill for at least 20 minutes then enjoy with veggies, chips, or anything of you choosing!
photo 4 copy 3

My homemade hummus & spinach chips! SPINCH CHIP RECIPE COMING SOON!!

This flavorful hummus is a fresh and healthy snack that can be put on anything from celery, to pita chips, to rice cakes and more! Compared to store bought hummus, my homemade hummus had a more powerful chickpea flavor. The flavors of the tomatoes, olive, and spinach added a more depth of flavor; however, next time I  think I’ll add a little extra garlic for a kick. I cannot wait to play around with adding different flavors to my hummus. What type of hummus do you think I should try making next? Reply in the comments!!  

Note: I am eating spoonfuls of hummus as I write this and I am loving every moment of it.

 

 

 

It Takes Two: Simply GUILT-FREE Banana “Ice Cream”

Last week, the Hudson Valley was shown a glimpse of spring as the sun has been beamed down melting the remaining snow.  The little perks, like walking around outside without my winter jacket, has left me in all my glory. Looking for a little refresher to get my taste buds to adjust to the coming of spring, I decided to take a crack at making two ingredient, guilt free   Banana Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”. Recipe as follows:

Image

Banana Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”

Ingredients:

  • 2 (very) ripe bananas
  • 1-2 tbs of peanut Butter

 Instructions:Image

  1. Slice ripened bananas into equivalent pieces, about an inch thick. Then place each flat onto a plate or baking sheet then place in the freezer of at least an hour.
  2. After you remove the banana’s from the freezer, place them into a blender (I used a magic bullet) with 1 tbs of the peanut butter and blend until smooth.
  3. Place the mixture back into the freezer for around an hour, and enjoy guilt free!

TIPS&HINTS:

  • Image When first freezing the bananas, leave them in the freezer for about two hours.  If you need to leave them in the freezer for a longer amount of time make sure you let them thaw out a little before blending them.
  • I added a pinch of cocoa powder to the ice cream to add a different dimension of flavor. Next time, I plan on adding some cinnamon! Experiment with the recipe and make it your own!
  • The next time I make this, I will add more peanut butter to mellow down the overwhelming banana flavor and mostly because I love peanut butter!

As a refreshing treat after a long run or if you are just craving a simple sweet snack, this ice cream is healthy, easy to make, an delicious!!

 

 

THE CHEW

1382865_10202772629429867_31419065_n

About a week ago, my mom and I took a trip into the city to see a taping of ABC talk show, The Chew.

I wish I could say that the whole experience was on a whim, BUT a lot of planning went into making the day a success.

I don’t personally watch the show daily (especially not when I’m in school), but over the summer I would always find myself catching episodes while I was at the gym, go figure! Knowing I was going to be home for spring break, I figured it would be a great idea to witness what goes behind the scenes of a food themed TV show.

Steps to get YOU to The Chew:

  1. Request Your Tickets: About a month or two before the show date you’d like to attend you must fill out a request at ImageTHIS website stating who you are, how many people are in your party, the date you’d prefer to see the show, and a back up date.
  2. RSVP: If they have room and can fulfill your request, they will email you the date (out of the two that you provided) as well as a time(as they shoot at 9 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday) . If you can attend, you reply to their email with the information they requested (the parties name, the full name of everyone in your party)
  3. The Follow Up: After RSVP-ing you will receive a few emails as the show approaches regarding what to bring and what wear for the taping. The show I saw was on the first day of spring, so we were told to wear bright and jewel tone colors!
  4. The DAY: On the day of the taping, they tell you to arrive a little more than an hour before the show starts, no later (We were told to arrive BY 11 a.m. for our 12:15 p.m. show). However, I would
    suggest getting their earlier because there really is not guarantee you will get into see the tapping. Once you arrive at the studio, you wait outside on line and producers usher you in by group. Once you get in, you receive a ticket and they guide you into the waiting room which has small snacks and water.  THEN, they begin to call tickets and take you into the studio, seat you, and you enjoy the show!!!

photo 1 copy 8

FUN FACTS:

  • I went to see the show on a Thursday; however, it was really the Friday morning show they were taping.
  • I was really interesting to watch all the people and preparation that goes into the show before they started taping and during commercial breaks. They went from having the 4 co-host being the only ones on set to a mob of 30 people moving things and setting up during breaks.
  • It was also incredible how many young people were working on the show. Most of the producers had to be only in their mid twenties!

    photo 2 copy 6

    Left: Carla and Michael Symon greeting some audience members. Right: Clinton taking a selfie with an audience member.

  • The hosts, Chef Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, and guest host Chef Curtis Stone (taking the place of Daphne Oz and Chef Mario Batali) were incredibly friendly.  During commercial breaks, they talked and danced with all of the audience members, especially Carla! They took pictures and chatted with the audience after the show ended and all of them seem to be having a really good time  and were enthusiastic towards being there.
  • The people who sit on the tasting panel are chosen in advance of the show, which was kind of a bummer because I would have lover to be up-close and personal to the cooking!

During the show Chef Michael Simon made grilled shrimp and a pea salad, which the panel and a handful of audience members go to taste, Curtis Stone made Tipsy Arnold Palmer made with ginger ale and Bourbon, and Carla headed the craft corner for this show, making springtime table centerpieces out of coffee filters. The one thing I wished was that they supplied the entire audience with sample of what they were making, but you can’t have it all I guess!  After seeing the taping of the Chew, I realized it isn’t as much about the preparation and technique of creating the food or crafts, but rather the personalities of the co-hosts and their interactions with each other, guests, and the audience.

1959409_10202772629109859_991433777_n

Left to right: My mom, Carla Hall, and I

Seeing The Chew was a really fun and inexpensive experience ( the tickets are free, the only thing you need to worry about is transportation to the studio and maybe getting a bite to eat after the show).  If you live close to the city and are looking for a behind the scenes look at a fun and fresh talk show environment, I’d recommend you check it out!