Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

IMG_7927

I’ve always been a snacker. I could put away a bag of Pirate’s booty in a sitting, dominate some Cape Cod potato chips. I decided to finally try roasting chickpeas as a healthy snack, and now I wonder what took me so long! These little babies are bomb. Seriously, if you like crunch, they’ve got it. And you can jazz them up anyway you like (make ’em sweet with honey and cinnamon, or savory with olive oil, kosher salt & thyme). Plus, they’re super simple and low-maintenance.

Ingredients

Can of chickpeas (or 2, depending how many you want)
Olive oil (I use my Misto sprayer to cut down on the fat content)
Kosher salt or Himalaya salt
Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain chickpeas, rinse with water, and let them dry on paper towels, patting them before placing onto a baking sheet. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, and spread chickpeas out on tray. Toss with olive oil and salt. Bake in oven for 40 minutes, until chickpeas are crispy. Take out of oven and toss with a couple teaspoons of hot sauce. Place bake in oven for another 10 minutes. Voila! Crispy, crunchy, yummy, fiber-filled snacking!

Enjoy.

Xo Steph

Tofu Pad Thai

So, several years ago I attempted making homemade Pad Thai. Let’s just say, it wasn’t so great, and my brother has never let me live it down.

I finally made it again using a recipe I found on the PETA website, and it. Is. Phenomenal.

1 10-oz. package rice noodles or ramen-style noodles
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, whole
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into chunks
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. peanut butter (I used Teddy’s Super Chunky)
Juice of 2 limes
3 Tbsp. sugar (or less)
Sriracha, to taste
Sliced green onions, for garnish
Chopped peanuts, for garnish

· Cook noodles according to package instructions.
· In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic cloves and tofu chunks. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce over the tofu and sauté until golden brown.
· In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, sugar, Sriracha, remaining soy sauce, and 1 cup of water.
· Add the cooked noodles and peanut butter mixture to the tofu and cook through, about 5 minutes.
· Garnish with sliced green onions and chopped peanuts and serve right away. Enjoy!

2015/01/img_7688.jpg

Guilt-Free Penne alla Vodka

20140310-163213.jpg

Who doesn’t love a decadent pasta dish? Only problem is, the calorie count tends to get a little scary. I’m here to tell you that you CAN have the best of both worlds with this dish. The satisfying comfort of rich pasta, without all the cream, fat, and bad feelings. I can’t believe how much this tastes like the real thing! And so, so unbelievably quick and easy.

-2 cups store-bought marinara sauce
-1 7 oz container plain Greek yogurt (Fage will forever be my favorite)
-whole wheat penne
-pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
-fresh basil
-Parmesan cheese

Boil water, add a generous amount of salt to water and throw in your desired amount of penne pasta. Meanwhile, heat marinara in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper if desired. Place yogurt in a bowl. When sauce is heated, add a small amount to the yogurt and stir well (this will temper the yogurt and keep it from curdling). Then add yogurt mixture to the rest of the marinara (off the heat) and stir well.

Drain pasta. Add sauce to pasta. Place in serving dishes and tear some fresh basil over the top. Grate Parmesan cheese over as well. Enjoy!

xo Steph

Why Go Veg?

Image

What do the above celebrities have in common? Other than being insanely rich, of course.  If you guessed, “they are all vegetarians”, you’re right!  Others include Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Brandon Boyd of Incubus, Brad Pitt, Bill Clinton, Natalie Portman, Alanis Morisette, and Fiona Apple, to name a few.  How cool is that?  I mean, Andre 3000?  He may be the coolest example of a vegetarian.

I was a vegetarian for many years, including my high school years.  I have to be honest with you, the reason I became a vegetarian wasn’t because of animal rights, or environmental issues.  Frankly, it was because I had an eating disorder, and becoming a vegetarian allowed me a valid, respectable excuse to cut out many foods. 

Now that I’m older, and have recovered from my eating disorder, I can focus on what I believe in.  In an earlier post, I wrote about how important it is for us as human beings to stand for something.  BE what you believe in, rather than just talking about it.  So because of that, I’m going vegetarian again.  I’m not going to get into the cruelty of animals, because many of us already know so much about that.  But, if you’re interested, I highly, highly recommend watching the 2008 documentary Food, Inc.  Be prepared for some extremely disturbing images.  It’s real life, and it changed mine.  If you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian or changing your eating habits, I also highly recommend Michael Pollan’s books In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

I texted my boyfriend about going vegetarian, as I would for anything I’m really jazzed up about.  His reaction, which typically would be incredibly supportive and proud, was actually one of disappointment.  Now, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, because I know he loves his chicken wings, and bacon, and steaks, as most men do. 

My question for you readers, especially the vegetarian ones, is how do I stay strong in my convictions without seeming all high and mighty?  I’m not pushing my beliefs on anyone else, but I want to be able to have an eloquent but firm answer for when people find out I don’t eat meat, or that I’ve transitioned to a vegetarian lifestyle.  Please comment, I’d appreciate your thoughts and personal experiences!

xo Steph

Healthy Fried Rice Recipe

20140225-171534.jpg

Fried rice is a great way to use up any leftover veggies you have rolling around in your crisper. This version is made with brown rice, so it’s good and good for you.

Healthy Fried Rice Recipe

-2 cups cooked brown rice
-1/2 cup chopped carrot
-1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
-1/2 cup chopped asparagus
-1 cup chopped onion
-1 egg
-1 tablespoon soy sauce
-1 tablespoon vegetable oil

20140225-172102.jpg

I used the microwaveable brown rice shown above as a short cut. In a few minutes you have perfectly cooked brown rice! So much easier than waiting 40 minutes for it to be ready.

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chopped veggies and sauté until almost tender. Season with salt as desired.

Create a well in the center of your vegetables. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and soy sauce. Add egg mixture to pan in the well you created. Cook the egg until opaque/scrambled. Add the rice, stir everything together and heat through.

Yum!

xo Steph