Let’s Put This on the Do Not Make Again list…

So…it’s been over a month of my Vegetarian lifestyle and I gotta say, I feel a total difference.  Whether it’s my daily dose of green drink in the AM, the reduction of processed foods, or the abundance of veggies – I feel GREAT!  With out disclosing too many personal details of my life, I have to admit, this is the first time in YEARS that I have been eating with out worrying about every calorie consumed because I know, for the most part, everything I am putting into my body is wholesome and fueling me.  On the occasions that I am not eating wholesome, I don’t care because I know that even with the “cheat” I am eating better than ever before!

So what did we make this past week!?

For starters, I dived into the wonderful world of Quinoa.  For those that don’t know, it’s one of the best grains you can eat and it’s delicious (click the link for more info)!  I made Quinoa Stuffed Red Peppers and Matt approved, “that was really filling…”  PS – I am starting to think he’s avoiding speaking after meals in fear that his quotes are going into my blogs (ha)! The recipe was pretty simple.  I couldn’t find Serrano Chiles so I substituted a Habenero Pepper, word to the wise – DON’T touch your face while mincing this pepper.  I also prepped the quinoa on Monday night so all I had to do on Wednesday for dinner was cut the peppers in half and add the cheese!  The recipe makes a lot so we had a lot leftover, Braedan enjoyed the filling for 2 days (I even added some sweet potatoes to his combo).

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Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Next Up: Black Bean Quinoa Falafel Sandwiches.  The recipe made a lot so I was able to freeze some falafel for last minute lunches.  I made my falafel a little larger than the recipe called for because 1) I was getting tired of cooking and just wanted to be done 2) because I was putting them on Naan so I figured, might as well make them bigger and only use 2 per sandwich.  My favorite part about making this was Matt emailing me from work, “Are you sure you didn’t buy this from the Magic Carpet food truck?  This is amazing!”  I was convinced he would hate it, especially since I topped the naan with sprouts, hummus and tomatoes but he proved me wrong!

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Black Bean Quinoa Falafel

Last night was a busy night, I made Zucchini Coins, Carrot Sticks and a Spicy Kale Pesto with Zucchini noodles.

So the Spicy Kale Pesto with Zucchini noodle dish was a flop, the taste was OK but it just wasn’t satisfying.  And to quote Matt, “Let’s Put This on the ‘Do Not Make Again’ list…”  We weren’t super upset by the fact that it was a flop because I suppose with all cooking adventures, a flop is bound to happen!  I don’t have a spiralizer or a julienner so I ended up just peeling the zucchini which may have been one reason it wasn’t super awesome. I just felt it needed a crunch!

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Spicy Kale Pesto and Zucchini Pasta

Since I had left over zucchini centers from when I peeled them for the pasta, I decided to make the Baked Zucchini Coins.  This redeemed dinner.  They were surprisingly good, Matt dipped his in ranch but I opted for marina.  The recipe says you don’t need to peel the zucchini’s so next time I make these (and there will be a next time) I will just coin them.  I also found that the breading stuck better when you double dipped the flour, egg, flour, egg again and THEN bread crumbs.  Also, the recipe only called for 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and 1 egg.  I ended up using at least 1 cup of homemade bread crumbs (just threw 2 pieces of wheat bread in the food processor) and 2 eggs.

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Baked Zucchini Coins

Finally, I made Carrot Snack Sticks.  These were pretty fun and I just like the idea that I am making my snack like treats rather than having to deal with the GMO crazed processed packaged foods.  Matt loved these things and they made a lot.  I did have some issues getting the dough to stick together, I ended up using the extra oil and then just sticking it in the food processor which helped clump it together!

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Carrot Snack Sticks

The END! Thanks for reading!

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3 thoughts on “Let’s Put This on the Do Not Make Again list…

  1. I have also been underwhelmed with past mock-pesto’s that I’ve been driven to try in the past (when basil is out of season and those small hydroponically grown bunches of basil go for an arm and a leg!) I think I recall a particularly unsatisfactory batch made with arugula….. Like your kale recipe, it was also VERY green and looked delicious!

    I do know of one recipe, however, that helps the basil go a bit “farther”– using parsley in a two to one ratio with basil (basil 2 to parsley 1). I personally find this formula to be superior to 100% basil pestos. You don’t “notice” the parsley, and I think it makes the pesto a bit more subtle and flavorful overall. And as a side note, I prefer walnuts to pine nuts…

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pesto-20143

    • Oooo…I will have to try that. You know, surprisingly, it wasn’t really the pesto that left us underwhelmed. I think it was just the combination. The pesto actually had a lot of flavor (and kick because of the red pepper flakes) but it being cold on top of the zucchini was none too pleasing.

      • eeenteresting! Maybe I’ll still give the actual pesto itself a try next time I see those huge bunches of kale going for a dollar a pop!

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