Tuesday, June 17, 2014

May I suggest

Totally stealing Ashlee's blog idea for recommended Pinterest recipes. She posted hers yesterday and they all sound so delicious I'm wondering why I have never seen them before. Oh, because sometimes Pinterest is full of garbage recipes and you get stuck in a garbage recipe rut and can't get out.

I even made myself a special board on Pinterest of my recommended recipes because I got sick of wading through my someday recipes looking for my favorites. You can check that out here. I like to add my thoughts and recipe changes/additions in the comments, but I can guarantee that these recipes are not going to end up on that ridiculous Pinterest Fail blog.

Evan and I started a health food kick at the beginning of this year. We've sort of stuck with it, sort of not. It's whatever. I started eating less meat and still only eat meat once or twice a week. I force this upon Evan who hates the idea of it but loves my meat-free dishes anyway. We also loooove quinoa* and will basically try anything with quinoa slash substitute it for just about anything.

So, here five of my favorites that you should definitely try!

1. Baked chicken parm + baked mozzarella sticks. I make these two together and they are a big hit at our house. Even Maddox chows down and we have deemed this a diaper-only meal because you can imagine the mess that a baby + red sauce can make. I am a big fan of chicken parm and this baked recipe is a healthier and tastier version. There are plenty of mozzarella stick recipes on Pinterest that require frying but I've got you covered with this baked version.

2. Spicy black bean stuffed peppers. This is my go-to lunch recipe. I had this just one time and sent it to my mom and my vegetarian friend Jamie and told them their lives were incomplete until they tried this. My parents made beef stuffed peppers my entire life and I'm sorry mom and dad, but these spicy black bean peppers are to die for. I use Anaheim peppers because they're a little spicy and I also add quinoa because we love quinoa. Since I found this recipe I've probably made this at least once a week and we always make extra and fight over the leftovers.

3. Thai Cashew Salad. Okay. If you only make one of these recipes, I recommend this one. It is my absolute, hands down favorite recipe on Pinterest. I judged the recipe by the picture and also because it's quinoa and we love our quinoa. And then I took one bite of this salad and basically died because it is one of the best things I've ever had in my entire life. The recipe recommends a squeeze of fresh lime and I know you're thinking that with a ginger-peanut-honey dressing that has got to be the weirdest, grossest idea you can imagine. But listen. Just do it. You will thank me.

4. Chickpea chopped salad. Yes. I love chopped salads. I love a good salad with a million ingredients and a good dressing. This is that salad. It's easy and you can basically make it whatever you want it to be by adding and deleting ingredients. I added quinoa (obviously) and cashews and avocados and it practically doesn't even need dressing but I love balsamic vinegar, lemon and italian dressing (not all at once) on it.

5. Roasted cauliflower and garlic pizza. I have to have one guilty pleasure food on my list. I have to. This pizza was killer. I'm a big fan of any kind of pizza and I'm still trying to perfect my crust because I like it as thin as a cracker and I just don't have it down yet. But this pizza was amazing, mostly because I love cauliflower-anything and the cream cheese sauce was A plus plus. I added roasted onions to it and I'm thinking some mushrooms would also be a good idea.

6. Banana cookies. And one dessert for good measure. These are my favorite easy snack. And by snack I mean that I can eat the entire batch. There's four ingredients (and no flour! or eggs!) in these, just bananas, oats, white chocolate chips and coconut (or that's my recipe anyway) and they are the perfect treat when you want something sweet but are trying to be good.

*I used to be terrified of quinoa. Like, how the heck do you even say it? (Keen-wah) And how the heck do you even cook it and what would you even use it in? If you think of it as rice it becomes far less intimidating. One part quinoa to two parts liquid (chicken broth is my favorite), add any spices you desire and heat on high until it boils. Let it simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, take it off the heat, uncover it and let it sit for another 5, fluff with a fork and it's ready! It can be used in breakfast granola, in place of rice (like in the stuffed peppers) as an extra protein in a salad, etc. I also love it mixed with some brown rice to give it some variety.

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