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!

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:

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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:

 

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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: 

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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!
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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.

 

 

 

That’s a Wrap: Breakfast Edition!

So on the last edition of That’s a Wrap, I gave you a recipe to my italian twist on a quesadilla.

STILL having plenty of whole wheat wraps left over and needing breakfast, I decided to take a shot at making a breakfast quesadilla with peanut butter and apples! (It should be obvious that I am a big fan of the quesadilla concept).  The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:photo 2 copy 3

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 apple (I used granny smith)
  • 2-3 tbsp spoons of peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of honey

Instructions:

  1. Wash apple, then cut entire apple into slices (as seen in the picture above)
  2. Set aside half of the apple slices, then take the remaining apple slices and dice then into small pieces.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the diced apple pieces with cinnamon and honey
  4. In a frying pan on medium heat, add the diced apples mixture and sauté until softened and caramelized, usually 2-3 minutes. Then remove from heat and set aside in a small bowl.

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    Caramelized cinnamon honey apples

  5. Then spread peanut butter throughout the wrap, leaving about a half inch from the edge plain, without peanut butter. Then arrange apple slices on one side of the wrap (See picture for how I assembled it).                                                    photo 3 copy 2
  6. Return frying pan to medium heat and place the dressed wrap flat in the pan. Allow to heat for about 2 minutes, or until peanut butter begins to melt/liquify.
  7. Scatter the previously sautéed cinnamon honey apples on to the wrap.
  8. Fold over the side of the wrap without apples. Leave it heated on this side until the wrap reached desired crispiness. Then flip and repeat.
  9. After your quesadilla is cooked to your liking, remove from heat. Let cool for a moment and then enjoy the peanut butter goodness!

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TIPS&HINTS:

  • I used granny smith apples because they are sour, which is a good complement to the sweet and saltiness the peanut butter brings. However, any apple of your preference would work.
  • As for peanut butter, I prefer Skippy Natural, but any peanut butter of your preference would do the job. I bet this would be great with crunchy pb or even almond butter for an even healthier alternative.
  • Although, I made this on heat you could make this cold if you are on the go or to take for lunch.

Being a lover of peanut butter, this warm mix of peanut butter and apples was a perfect and tasty breakfast! With the apples and the whole wheat tortilla as a source of fiber and peanut butter for protein, this breakfast quesadilla has all the nutrients to start the day off right! And with the added cinnamon and honey to add a depth of flavor, this sweet “quesadilla” is a sweet and satisfying meal.

That’s a Wrap

Being a college student on a budget, I gotta work with what I got. And as the weeks approaching spring break are dwindling down, I’m trying to use all my perishable food before I leave to make sure nothing goes to waste.  Luckily on my last trip to the grocery store I bought a package of whole wheat tortillas, which are extremely versatile and can be used for wraps, quesadillas,chip and the list goes on.

So utilizing my wraps and some produce and other ingredients I had in my fridge, I made my own version of a quesadilla. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients: 

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Measured out spinach, tomatoes, and cheese.

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 hand full of raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 2 spoonfuls of diced tomatoes
  • teaspoon of olive oil
  • pinch of salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. In a frying pan on medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and spread throughout pan.
  2. Then add raw spinach to the pan and sauté until all is cooked, adding as much salt and pepper as desired
  3. photo 2 copyRemove the pan from heat and set aside cooked spinach in a bowl and mix with the diced tomatoes.
  4. Place the pan back on medium head and place whole wheat tortilla  flat into the pan.
  5. Add a layer of the cheese (about half) on to one side of the tortilla. Then add mixture of tomato and spinach on top of the cheese. Then add the remaining cheese on top. ( seem in the picture)
  6. Before folding the bares side of the tortilla over, let the top cheese melt almost completely. Then you should be able to fold it with a spatula. After you have folded the wrap so it is quesadilla like, you can remove from heat or keep in pan and flip until the wrap has reached its desired crispiness.
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I added a half of a grape fruit to finish off a delicious and nutritious meal!

This meal is definitely an alternative to your traditional quesadilla. By adding spinach and tomatoes, and using mozzarella cheese, it strays far away from the traditional Mexican flavors and instead incorporates some added Italian flair (we all know how much I LOVE  Italian food). This recipe can manipulated and changed effortlessly by incorporating different ingredients, or by adding a little more this and a little less of that it really gives you the opportunity to make it your own. Over all this meal took me about 15 minutes to make, together with prep and cooking (and probably less time to eat it).  So simple,easy, and pretty darn healthy! 

If you like this recipe, have longer time to cook and want to greatly develop the Italian flavors of the dish, check out Giada De Laurentiis’s version of an elevated Italian quesadilla.