Friday, March 6, 2015

Snow Day Bonus: Loafin' Around

Yesterday, we got almost 10 inches of snow, and this morning we had a record low recorded at the airport near our house. The kids have been in school exactly 2 days this week, and it seems as if they haven't been in school a full week since January. It's been rough.

This is what it looked like outside out house yesterday morning. It snowed for another 3 hours after this.

You would think that with this forced indoors activity, I would be wildly productive, but you would be wrong. I do have lovely, uncalloused heels (home pedicures each week) and have gotten sucked into reruns of Supernatural. I keep telling myself that I'll just watch to see if Dean actually goes to hell or if they figure out a way to get him out of his contract with the demon, Lillith. Like I said, it's been rough.

Previous years, I would have been doing a lot of baking, but in an attempt to not gain a bazillion pounds each winter, I have tried not to bake as much. That control ended yesterday when I went on a baking binge. All carbs all day, people.

I did not make anything original, but I had been saving a couple of these recipes for a while to try out. The top loaf is a Chocolate-Coconut Poundcake from Bon Appetit. As pretty as it looks, it was amazingly easy, and contains coconut oil, which makes it almost healthy (not really). The middle loaf (the recipe actually makes 2 loaves) is Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread. The one I was really excited about was the bottom loaf, Rustic Chocolate Chip Tea Bread. I saw it in yesterday's Washington Post. It's tasty and quite easy to make, using one bowl and a liquid measuring cup. The kids loved it and were a little disappointed that my friends ate the rest of the loaf when they came over for an impromptu happy hour last night. I promised to make more soon -- it's that easy!

Hope it is warm and sunny where you are, and if it's not, pray for spring to some soon!


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Meatless Mondays

First off, I know I am not posting this on a Monday, but maybe posting it in time for YOU to make for your next "Meatless Monday!" So don't mock me. I had posted a picture on Facebook about this, and people were asking for the recipe, so I didn't want to wait until Monday.

I have been looking for ways to eat healthier, for me AND my family. One way to eat healthier is to eat less meat, so I am striving for our family to eat at least two meatless meals each week (I won't even add that it's cheaper and more environmentally friendly oh wait, I just did). I am also, however, trying to eat less refined carbs (flour, sugar), so just trotting out some pasta with tomato sauce isn't going to cut it.

The other day, I came across a recipe for Curried Chick Peas with Spinach. It looked really good, so I thought I would give it a shot. I did, however, tweak it a little, because...well, it's me and I have a hard time following a recipe the way it's written. I did provide the link to the recipe that inspired mine, so feel free to look at both and try the one that you might like the best. Or try both. Let me know which one you preferred. I promise I won't take it personally. LOL

I don't know which is healthier, but I had a bunch of kale, so I swapped that out for the spinach, and I
used dried chick peas (soaked first, of course). I also didn't have any curry powder, but I did have red curry paste, so I used that instead. I added a can of unsweetened coconut milk to it too, just for good measure. So, below, is my version. It came out really well, and even the kids ate it. Confession: Elliot just ate the rice and chick peas, but I still call that a win.  :-)

Soak dried chick peas overnight (I used half of a 16 oz package). Then, you have to boil them in clean water until they are soft. If you skip this step, you will end up cooking the curry for about 45 minutes (don't ask how I know this). Or, you can just use canned.

 Chick Pea Curry with Kale


1 lb of kale, washed
2 Tbsp. oil, divided (I used olive oil, but coconut oil would be good in this, too)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped ginger
Salt (I use kosher) and pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp red curry paste
2 15 oz cans chick peas, rinsed (or soak dried beans overnight, cook until soft)
1 28 oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes
1 15 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
Steamed rice, for serving

Heat one Tbsp of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add kale to the skillet in batches, cooking until bright green and slightly wilted. When cooked, transfer to a food processor. After all the kale has been cooked and transferred to the food processor, pulse in processor to finely chop up the kale. You may have to stop and scrape down the kale a couple of times.

Heat remaining Tbsp of oil in the same skillet you used to cook the kale. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add red curry paste and stir until paste is fragrant, then add chick peas and tomatoes,with their juices, to the skillet, squeezing the tomatoes to break them up a bit. Cook the chick peas and tomatoes for 10 minutes, then add the kale puree. Cook for 10 minutes more (make sure the tomatoes have cooked down and the chick peas are soft), then add the coconut milk. Heat through until the sauce is smooth and there are no chunky bits from the coconut milk.

Serve over steamed rice.

This makes a large amount. The four of us had generous portions, and there's probably enough for another night, so let's say this makes 8 servings, but could be stretched further if you serve with more rice. :-)