Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Week 1 Meat-Less

Giving up meat for Lent has not been the easiest thing. Having a stomach virus and not being able to eat much anyways makes it even harder. I'll admit, I had some chicken noodle soup. I had to, I couldn't eat anything else! When I wasn't sick I was eating lots of salads, potatoes, fruit, and soups. I sure miss my sandwiches though! Having been sick I haven't cooked anything except what we did in my food science lab this week. We made couscous-stuffed bell peppers. They turned out pretty good and looked quite beautiful. On top of the peppers is a basil-based sauce. It was a little saltier than I expected but it wasn't half bad. The recipe was left in the class, so sorry I don't have that but here's a pretty picture of the final product:
Looks pretty good huh? Let's see if I remember what was in it: First I made a cumin and chicken broth boil. The couscous was added into that and left to absorb it for about five minutes. The couscous was then added into a mixture of garbanzo beans, raisins, and some olive oil. Then it was stuffed into the peppers and cooked at 400 degrees for about an hour. The sauce consisted mostly of sour cream, basil, salt, sugar, lemon juice, and olive oil. It took longer than I expected but it turned out good! I was impressed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

healthy microwaving

Being a sophomore in college I know all about time management. I know about being bad at it, being good at it, and wishing I had more time in general. When it comes to cooking food, whatever is quickest is usually the first thing I choose. I challenged myself to make a good dinner using only my microwave. Interesting, yes. I realized that when I think of microwaved meals I think frozen meals and leftovers. I don't even think about baked potatoes, broccoli, or chicken; which is what I fixed last night! I bought a bag of frozen broccoli and heated it up for about 3 minutes. The baked potato took around 5 minutes and I added some cheddar cheese and butter.. The grilled chicken heated up in 30 seconds. This goes to show that good food can take around 9 minutes and involve no actual cooking at all!
So for the other people crunched for time, this is perfect and you won't regret eating it!

"The New Age? It's just the old age stuck in a microwave oven for fifteen seconds." - James Randi

Sunday, February 19, 2012

hey mister, throw me a moon pie!

Most people don't know this but Mardi Gras actually began in Mobile, Alabama, not New Orleans!! So being from Mobile I absolutely love Mardi Gras. The parades, floats, beads, moon pies, king cake - it is all spectacular. Everyone downtown is in a festive mood, everything is lit up, and it feels like a different city all together. This weekend I went home to Mobile for Mardi Gras and loved it. I may have only caught 3 beads and 3 moon pies but it was fun regardless. I devoured the moon pies, definitely got my fill of "Fat Tuesday" there!

After Mardi Gras always comes Lent. I typically give up something food-related. I've given up chocolate, candy, soft drinks, and even bread. The year I gave up bread was definitely a challenge. Being a big sandwich eater I had to make a few compromises. I didn't eat any of my regular foods: bagels, muffins, or rolls! This year I am going to be giving up eating meat for 40 days and 40 nights. More specifically, I am giving up poultry and red meat. I am hoping to expand what I eat on a daily basis (more vegetables, different ways to fix meals, etc.) and, of course, observe the Lent Season! We'll see how this goes!!

I have been so super busy that I have not had any time to cook. I am determined to find time this week!

"Let the good times roll!"

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh my, what fantastic jelly that is!

This week in my Food Science lab we learned how to make homemade jelly! We had a choice between apple, peach, grape, cran-apple, and blueberry. My group chose to make blueberry jelly. It didn't take much time at all and was really fun to make!

1 pouch of liquid pectin (squeezed out completely)
4 C sugar
2 C blueberry juice


  • Wash and dry a 8 oz. glass mason-type jar.
  • In a large sauce pan, heat the juice and sugar to a boil. mix in all the liquid pectin and boil from 1 minute while stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat, cool 5 minutes, skim off foam, and carefully pour into the clean jars.
  • Put lids securely on jars and invert for 5 minutes.
  • Thermally process the jellies in a boiling water bath. Jars should be submerged and held in the boiling water for 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove jars from water and allow to cool.

My lovely jar of jelly:
I tried the jelly this morning on my muffin and it was actually really good! I'll admit, I didn't have high expectations for this jelly, but it turned out quite delicious. Try it out!
"I don't think you're ready for this jelly." - Destiny's Child :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

rainy, rainy friday

It's raining outside, Lifetime Movie Network is on inside, and I'm snacking on hummus and making dinner in the kitchen. Absolute perfection. For dinner I wanted to use up the rest of the chicken that I bought a few days ago. So I pulled that apart and heated it up in olive oil on the stove. I bought mushroom pasta and broccoli from the grocery store and heated those up too. I put the three together with some light Alfredo sauce and that made dinner! 
And for dessert: strawberries with Nutella!! Happy Friday!

Make it yourself, it saves you money: The baked chicken I bought a few days ago cost me around $8 and has fed me for three meals (I still have a little left even!). Usually when I go out to eat I pay between $10-20 for one meal. I am definitely saving money there!

“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley
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