Hubby Meals: Honey Garlic Roast Chicken

If you follow me on Facebook, then you know I promised my next post to be all about conquering those sweet cravings.

But, alas I am a big fat liar and this post has nothing to do with what I promised.

I realized that I have a lot more recipes and info that I want to share and I am still working to get it all together, but it should be up by the end of the week. If I lie again...well then, I guess I should be honest and say that I have a chronic lying issue...

I'm workin' on it. (Lie.)

So instead of conquering that sweet tooth, I thought I would share with you another Hubby Meals recipe! Ya know, for that sweety pie of yours.

Awe.

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Almost every week I roast a chicken.

Between Baby Boo and my husband, those two are chicken whores. They love roasted chicken, and my husband especially loves it in his sandwiches for lunch. Normally I don't do anything special to the chicken, besides gag a little and cry at the same time as I am preparing it, but this week I noticed that Jessica from How Sweet It Is (amazing blog by the way!) posted a recipe for Honey Garlic Roast Chicken.

Her pictures alone were convincing enough to make it for my little family, and I can assure you that they were more than happy to dig in come dinner time!

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To get the recipe and directions, go check out Jessica's site HERE! The only thing different I did was use carrots instead of asparagus, and purple potatoes...which by the way are awesome!

And if you still are mad at me for not posting my sweet tooth post, I have a little video of Baby Boo singing a bunch of random songs that you can check out. :-) Hopefully it makes up for my lack of post there of!

Have a great night everyone! Be back later with some sweets!! :-)

Maple Sage Glazed Carrots with Maple Toasted Pistachios

We spent the majority of today in the kitchen.

While I poured, mixed, rolled, kneading, chopped, sauteed, and cleaned...

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Baby Boo was either attached to my hip or at my feet begging for a taste.

I LOVE that she enjoys being in the kitchen with me. She loves to throw things into the mixing bowl or blender, and loves to cook her own special meals.

I'm pretty sure her ideal meal would have chocolate, cottage cheese, berries, and avocados...

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Today was a special day because, not only are we getting ready for Thanksgiving, but I had the opportunity to work with an amazing company and their delicious food!

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Grimmway Farms sent me a coupon to receive a free bag of their ever so delicious carrots!

I.Love.These.Carrots!

Grimmway Farms is a family owned and operated business located in California. Their philosophy is:

Provide Good Value

Honest Pricing

Conduct Business with Integrity

AND, let's not forget they received the Chef's Best 2011 BEST Taste Award!

The first thing Baby Boo and I did was dig in! We love carrots at our house. They are the perfect little snack, perfect match for hummus, puree amazingly for baby food, and when they are cold they help our teething lil' chickpea.

Baby Boo was pretty excited. Perfect time to bust a move.

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I don't know what's sexier, the random drool stain down her shirt, or that fierce look in her eyes...

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I decided to make a side dish for Thanksgiving with the carrots, that way everybody could indulge on these delicious baby carrot bad boys...

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But I think I am going to have to double the recipe to feed everybody...( 4 carrots for me, one carrot for you...6 carrots for me, two carrots for you...)

Either way, my family is going to be grateful they invited me to dinner. :-)

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Maple Sage Glazed Carrots with Maple Toasted Pistachios

Ingredients:(for carrots)

1 16 os. bag Grimmway Farms Baby Carrots

2 TB. fresh chopped sage (divided into TB.)

1 medium shallot diced

4 cloves garlic diced

2 TB. 100% Pure Maple syrup

1 TB. olive oil

sprinkle of nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients: (for pistachios)

1/4 c. chopped pistachios

1 tsp. maple syrup

Directions:

1. In a (high-medium) heated saucepan (that contains a lid), add your olive oil. Heat for a quick second then throw in your diced shallot and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, stirring every so often. You want the shallots and garlic to be caramelized and golden brown looking. (3-5 min.)

2. Next throw in your carrots, maple syrup, 1 TB.  sage, and spices. Stir until coated and turn down heat to med-low. Put lid on top of saucepan, and let carrots cook about 25-30 minutes or until soft. Toss and stir carrots every so often.

3. Now prepare your pistachios. In a separate heated sauce pan, spray with cooking spray and add pistachios. Toast pistachios on medium heat for about a minute, then add maple syrup. Continue to stir and coat pistachios, all the while keeping the maple syrup from burning. Cook for about 1-2 more minutes, or until the pistachios aren't 'wet' with syrup. Transfer nuts to a separate bowl and set aside.

4. Once carrots are done, put on serving platter and top with remaining 1 TB. sage and chopped pistachios. Serve warm.

*This recipe only makes 2 c. worth, so if your making this for a big crowd be sure and double/triple the recipe.*

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This just screams Thanksgiving dinner...and Sunday dinner...and Christmas..and Hanukkah...and Ground Hog Day!

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Or if your like me, I enjoy eating them on the couch, watching trashy reality TV, and listening to Baby Boo snore away for nap time.

Shhhh, don't worry. It will be our little secret. :-)

Thanks again Grimmway Farms for giving me the opportunity to try your amazing product!!

* I was not paid to write this post. To learn more about Grimmway Farms and their awesome company, check out their website at http://www.grimmway.com/.**

Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad AND Everything Green Smoothie

**Editors Note: This post was written in 2011, and the recipes in this post are the most popular recipes on my website! I deleted a lot of the old text to update this page, but if you scroll down you will find the recipes!
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Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. dry quinoa

  • 1 1/2 c. vegetable broth

  • (OR 1 c. prepared/cooked quinoa)

  • 1 c. garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/4 diced onions

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 avocados, diced

  • 1 bunch cilantro, bottom stems cut off

  • 2 c. spinach

  • (dressing)

  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • Juice of 1 juicy lemon, or two not so juicy lemons :)

  • 2 tsp. olive oil

  • 1 tsp. honey

  • 1/2 tsp. cumin

  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. I like to use a rice cooker on the white rice setting to make it easy!

  2. Once the quinoa is cooked, set it aside to cool.

  3. In a food processor, add cilantro and spinach. Process the greens until the are chopped up finely.

  4. In a bowl, add the chickpeas, chopped greens, tomatoes, avocado, onion, and garlic.

  5. In a bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Pour over the salad.

  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Let sit in the fridge until ready to eat! Enjoy!



Everything Green Smoothie

Serves:

2-3

*This smoothie makes quite a bit and could easily serve two adults. Unless your like me and can eat for two, then you could drink it all on it's own. It could also serve 2-3 kids, one mama and 2 children...etc.. :-)

Ingredients

  • 1 c. non dairy milk, more if needed for thinning out smoothie

  • handful of fresh spinach

  • handful of fresh kale, no stems

  • handful of swiss chard

  • 2 green apple, cold and cit into slices/core removed

  • 1/2 medium cold cucumber

  • 1 frozen banana, sliced

  • 1 TB. chia seeds

  • sweetener of choice, stevia is what I used/honey works well too (1-2 tsp.)

  • 1 1/2 c. ice

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy. Drink immediately. Enjoy!


 

Crockpot Tempeh Veggie Chili

In a perfect world, every man would love their veggies.

They would request green smoothies in the morning, kale chips in their lunches, and tofu stir fry for dinner.

But alas...

I am LOL.

Today, on our way home from an outing, (this was AFTER dinner), my husband asked if we could stop at McDonalds.

To get the new McRib.

The McDump...Or whatever.

One man has not been excited about the McRib coming back, as my husband was. I'm talking, literally salivating.

Despite my intentions to shove veggies down his throat, he has a place in his heart for fast foods...(which in turn are hurting his heart, it's really quite ironic.) I figure I am not the only wifey out there, pleading with their spouses to come clean and switch green, begging them to say goodbye to the scary man dressed in a yellow jumpsuit with bright red hair.

But we don't live in a perfect world, we live in reality.

Reality says that men(and most people in the world) love fast food, and the thought of coming home to a tasty healthy tofu stir fry really doesn't get the average person's taste buds dancing.

But if there is something that I have learned with the hubby, it's that the more 'obvious' it is that the meal is healthy, the less likely he is going to touch it. For example, in no way shape or form would the hubby be excited about a salad topped with tofu.

Buuuuttt, this is a GiNoRmOuS But my friends, if I threw on some sick wit' it salad dressing, yummy crunchy coated nuts, some flavored veggies, a little touch of goat cheese, and a slice of warm buttered bread...

Well then he is more likely to dig in.

Fast forward to Halloween.

Every year my family makes chili and cornbread. This year was no different, except I was going full on vegetarian chili.

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My hubby was super nervous when I told him I was making chili for him and a few family members as well...In fact, I am pretty sure he told me, "Make sure it's not a Healthy chili ok?"

I did as I always do, and ignored his suggestions by packing that chili full of veggies, and some crumbled tempeh to give it that hearty meat texture that everyone loves to have in chili.

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What did everyone think?

Let's just say their taste buds were salivating enough to eat more than one...even two helpings...

Especially when they could load their chili with cheese, avocados, bread, or chips!!

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Crockpot Tempeh Veggie Chili

*This was done in a crockpot, but I assume could be done on the stove*

Ingredients:

1 medium sweet onion finely diced

5-6 large cloves garlic finely diced

1 C. butternut squash cubed

2 yellow bell peppers diced

2 pkg. Tempeh Bacon chopped/diced

3 TB. Sucanat

2 cans garbanzo beans(drained and rinsed)

1 can black beans(drained and rinsed)

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 c. veggie broth

8 oz. can tomato sauce

2 TB. cornstarch dissolved in 2 TB. cold water

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. coriander

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. oregano

salt & pepper

Directions:

1. Throw all ingredients into a crockpot. Set on high for about 3 hours, and low for about 2 hours. When the chili is done to desired consistency, turn crockpot to 'keep warm' until ready to eat.

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This is hands down the best chili I have made so far!

And I owe a lot of it to this bad boy:

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source

Tempeh has been my new found love for a while! It's basically cooked and fermented soy beans formed into a little patty. The kind of Tempeh I buy usually has added grains in it too! It doesn't have much flavor, but you can crumble it to the perfect texture to resemble meat crumbles. It gives you that hearty texture of meat, but a lot more nutrition and deliciousness! You can find it at any health food store, even Trader Joes!

For this chili I used Tempeh Bacon, which looks like this:

source

It has an awesome marinated smokey taste! Perfect for chili! :-)

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And after our bellies were warm, we decided to take Baby Boo out for her first trick or treating experience!

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Baby Boo has always been friendly with others, but I wasn't sure how she would act going up to random doors...

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Luckily, that was about as scary as the costumes got....

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And door after door, Baby Boo RAN.

Apparently she had one thing in mind...

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It was like christmas for her!

Especially since her papa dressed like her idol:

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It turned out to be the perfect night with fun costumes, lots of laughter, and full bellies filled with goodness!

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Did I mention the leftovers made a delicious chili corn bread casserole? I'll share tomorrow friends!

Who knew a good thing could get even better?! :-)

Orange Glazed Chickpeas with Sesame Grilled Zucchini

Dinner time is pretty chaotic at our household.

I'm not going to doubt Baby Boo stands naked on our patio shouting the names of animals and animal noises, while I'm chopping veggies.

Nor am I gonna lie that I have to run to her screaming, "No Baby Boo, DO NOT pee on the patio!!, and casually smile at the neighbors acting like barking naked children outside is completely the norm.

And while I struggle to hose down my daughters marked territory and put a diaper on her before something really gross happens, I'm screaming at the hubby, " If you even think about going into the kitchen and eating a bowl of cereal before dinner...!"

And finally when I've managed to control some of the certain situations going on, I realize I have to wash dishes just so I can cook something.

UGHH!

Then, there is the constant battle of what to make.

Me: What do u want for dinner?

Hubs: Quesadilla

Me: How about pizza

Hubs: Taquitos

Me: No, what about a sand which

Hubs: Guacamole

Me: Just Guacamole?

Hubs: How about cereal?

Me: Go take your daughter for a walk

If I was crazy, I would be making three separate meals, since we all have pretty different preferences. That, or I could just open a tub of hummus and hand out spoons and everybody would be satisfied.

Temping...

Instead, I'll make ONE dinner...enjoyable for THREE different palates!

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Orange Glazed Chickpeas with Sesame Grilled Zucchini

Ingredients: Orange Glaze Sauce

1 can coconut milk

zest and juice of two oranges

1/4 C. lemon juice

1/3 C. rice vinegar

3 TB. agave

1 tsp. grated ginger

1 tsp. chopped garlic

2 TB. soy sauce

1/4 tsp. red pepper spice

1 tsp. Cumin

Dash of Paprika

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 tsp. corn starch dissolved in 2 tsp. cold water

*1 Can Chickpeas drained and rinsed(if not using chicken, use 2-3 cans)

*Optional: Chicken(2 breast)

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients (expect corn starch mixture and chickpeas) into a pot, and heat until it boils. Stir in corn starch mixture, and reduce head to med-low, and let mixture simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

2. Place your chickpeas in a bowl or bag and cover with about 3/4 C. of glaze sauce. Let chickpeas soak in sauce for as long as you want. I did about 30 minutes.

3. If your making chicken for someone else, use the rest of the glaze sauce and marinade the chicken.

4. After marinades have set, take two separate pans (if using chickpeas and chicken), and in one add chickpeas and sauce, and the other add chicken. Let chickpeas cook over stove for about 5 -10 minutes on med-low heat. Continue to stir. If using chicken, cook on med heat for about 5-10 minutes until chicken is done.

* You can either do both chickpeas and chicken, or one or the other.

Sesame Grilled Zucchini

Ingredients:

2-3 zucchini chopped

Olive Oil

Soy Sauce

Salt and Pepper

Sesame Seeds

Directions:

1. In a bowl, and zucchini and drizzle with a little olive oil(1-2 TB) and a drizzle of soy sauce(1-2 TB) Sprinkle with S&P and Sesame seeds. Using a grill pan, saute the zucchini about 5-7 minutes, or until tender, and golden.

Here is the whole cooking process going down. I've got two pans for chickpeas and chicken, and then a griddle going for the zucchini.

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Now, if you want to go the vegetarian route, then on your plate add some brown rice, zucchini and chickpeas!

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But, if your hubs wants his meat, then simply throw meat on top of his dish.

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'

(Yes, I even threw some chickpeas on there!)

And Baby Boo had a few bites of everything...suprisingly...

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You want to know what my favorite part of the whole dinner experience really is?

The End..

  This recipe is supposed to help those who want to eat a vegetarian meal, but don't want to go through the trouble of making two separate dinners for a meat lovers family. For more info on this, check out my new page I recently added yesterday all about The Way We Eat! :

Minty Kale Salad

Things are getting a little silly around here :)

You may notice things look a little different/a little off.

No need to worry, The Diva-Dish is getting a MUCH needed pampered makeover.

Within the next 24 hours, things are going to be looking a little classier...So please bare with the craziness, and the randomness :)

But I promise, you will love it!

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Way back when, salads were my go to kind of food.

I thought it was the 'healthiest' thing to order on the menu at restaurants, and would gladly down a cup of ranch dressing to go along side that.

Oh..

And if the restaurant had bread, you can guarantee that I dipped my bread into my gallon of ranch, all the while using that bread to lick my nutritious delicious salad plate clean.

Now hold on a second, because I'm not saying eating a salad with ranch and bread is sending you straight to the 'worlds unhealthiest eater' prison. If that's your favorite kind of salad, then by all means dip and lick away. Living every once in a while, and eating our favorite foods in moderation (deep rich chocolate cake anyone?) will keep us sane..trust me. You wouldn't want to know me if chocolate wasn't allowed in my life.

But I believe that there are 'better' ways to enjoy the foods we love.

We can up the nutrients, the fiber, the vitamins, the protein, and everything else if we play around with recipes to have them include beneficial ingredients that will help our bodies stay strong and healthy.

With that being said, let me introduce you to,

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Minty Kale Salad

*Kale Greens are a great alternative to regular lettuce and even Spinach. It has an amazing source of Fiber, Antioxidants, Vitamins K, A, and C, and aids in Digestion. For best taste results, remove stems from leaves, because the stems are the bitter part of the Kale Plant.*

Ingredients:

Creamy Mint Dressing: Recipe from OhSheGlows

1/4 C. Coconut Milk

1/2 C. Mint Leaves

1 TB. EVOO

3 TB. Lime Juice

2 Tsp. Agave Nectar

salt, pepper

1/2 tsp. Arrowroot powder for thickening (optional)

Ingredients for Salad:

1 Large Bunch of Kale (Read * above for health benefits)

Tomatoes (Great source of Lycopene, which aids in fighting cancer, and Vitamin C)

Avocados (Fight cancer, lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure)

Garbanzo Beans (Great Sources of Vitamins, Minerals, Fiber, and Protein)

Peaches (Great source of Beta Carotene which helps with eye and heart health. High fiber and high potassium)

Pecans (Heart healthy, natural antioxidants, lower cholesterol, aids w/ weight control, nutrient dense)

Goat Cheese (Easier to digest than cows milk, metabolism boosting, high in protein and calcium, nutrient dense)

(Everything optional, so add what ever you like on salads. If you a non-vegetarian, feel free to add maybe a lemon chicken. If your a vegetarian stick with the garbanzo beans and pecans for the protein, and if your a vegan, opt out on the goat cheese)

Directions:

1. Make the salad dressing by blending all ingredients in a blender and set aside. Gather Kale bunch and pick off leaves, and discard the stems. Put the leaves in a bowl and drizzle with desired dressing. Massage dressing into Kale Salad until FULLY coated. Let sit while preparing additional ingredients.

2. Once ready, throw additional ingredients on top. Sprinkle with coconut if feeling spontaneous.

3. Dig in!

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I think I will be purchasing mint on a regular basis, because this was seriously the most refreshing salad I have ever had. It reminded me of summer!

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And I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my extra mint leaves when I woke up this morning..

That was until I found this:

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I don't even have a green thumb for pre-grown foods bought from the grocery store..

Just pitiful.

Oh well, it definitely didn't stop me from continuing on with what I had in mind :)

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Minty Green Drink

Ingredients:

1 Cup Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup Coconut Water

1 Heaping Cup Spinach

1 Heaping Cup Kale (no stems)

1/4 Cup Dead Mint Leaves

1/3 C. Frozen Cherries

1/3 C. Frozen Blueberries

1 small frozen banana

1 TB. Chia Seeds

1 TB. Walnuts

1 TB. Vanilla

Ice

Directions:

1. Blend till Creamy and Serve

Thanks again for your patience with the blog change.

I know that things can get a little silly and out of hand around here some times, but I appreciate those that visit often and continue to support this journey on living life the healthy way :)

Or maybe...You just keep coming back because you want to see more of this little Chickpea:

That's ok :)

It's completely healthy!

Butternut Squash Pizza Crust-Healthy AND Gluten Free! :)

Let's talk about Pizza.

I tried to make pizza one time when I was in middle school..

To this day my family hasn't let me down from the shame. Want a little cooking tip?

'When a recipe calls for a package of yeast, that means a little teeny tiny package...

NOT a costco size package.'

Ever since then, I just can't get pizza dough right. I let it rise, but it never does.

I use whole grain flour but it's too whole grainy.

And it's never flaky..it's more like a dense brick of carbs.

It really tickles me off, because I love pizza, but I most definitely don't want to resort to a $5-10 Hot N' Ready To Go To Your Thighs Pizza...

So what's a diva to do..(Diva/Drama Queen-Same Thing)

This question, along with my prayers, were answered when I was on Jess from Healthy Exposures blog (Beautiful Girl.Beautiful Pics.Yummy Food.Check her out!) She talked about this sweet potato pizza crust that she found on Rawxy (Foxy Raw to be exact! She is amazing! Delicious Recipes too! Check her out also!!)

I was in AWE...To say the least. I had to make it.

So I did! I didn't have sweet potato, but I had butternut squash, so I tweeked it just a tad...And You want to know the best parts!!

Completely Delicious!

SUPER easy!

Super Fast!

Delicious!!

Butternut Squash Pizza Crust with Veggie Toppings and Raw Parmesan Cheeze

Adapted from Rawxy

*Gluten Free, Vegan*

(For the crust:)

1 Cup Butternut Squash Puree

1/2 cup Coconut Flour (Can sub any other flour, but the amounts may be slightly different)

1 cup Brown Rice Flour

1 TB EVOO

1 TB Baking Powder

1 TB Dried Rosemary

Dash of salt

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients into food processor with dough blade. Combine until a dough ball forms. Roll out dough on prepared baking sheet or pizza stone. You can use all the dough, or wrap half  up and save it for later.

2. Then top with desired toppings. I started with a homemade cilantro avocado hummus.

Then an array of veggies, and of coarse olives. I also included shredded zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, and chickpeas.

Next, I added the most amazing and delicious Raw Parmesan Cheese, recipe also from the amazing Rawxy!

1/8 cup pumpkin seeds + 1/8 cup cashews + 1/4 cup nutritional yeast blended together into fine crumbs..A-maz-ing!

When ready, bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, or until edges are brown/crispy.

Pretty much the only way I want to eat pizza from now on :)

Tonight was girls night since my Hubby is knee deep in studying, so I shared some with Baby Boo because the crust was perfect texture for her little gum-less mouth! She loved it!

Now we're off to do more girly things..

I don't care how little hair she has, I'm gonna find a way to curl it! :)

Phyllo Butternut Squash Pockets

I wouldn't necessarily say I am thrifty.

In fact, I am the complete opposite...Unless of coarse Hubby is asking me, then I am very frugal, and always shop in the bargain/clearance section.

Ya right.

I wish I could say I could walk into a thrift store and find something worth buying, but..

I.Just.Can't.

And Probably the most thrify-ish shopping you will find me doing is at Ross or Marshalls.

But since I have been married, and Hubby has been in grad school, you can only imaging we are far from high-rollers. And even though Hubby would bet his life savings that I have it in my mind we are Bazillionaires, I am learning, key word, that I need to be better at how I spend my money.

Especially on groceries. Let's just say, if one looked at my grocery bill, then you could assume I was feeding a family of 5. yikes. AND, one might also assume, since I am really only feeding a family of 2 1/2, that by the cost of my purchases, we must be hefty eaters.

Not true. Well, hefty eaters, I dunno, I really...really..like food.

So where did it all go wrong? For some time now, I have really focused on my spending, and why I would end up spending so much on groceries. I thought, maybe I should share some tips on what not to do when buying groceries, because like I said, I am still learning on what to do.

The DEFINITELY DO NOTS of Grocery Shopping

1. Don't buy EVERYTHING organic.-I assumed that because it was organic, it was better for you. And although this is definitely the case in some regards, it is not the case in others. Here is how it goes: When buying organic fruits and veggies, follow the rules of the Dirty Dozen. ONLY the items on the dirty dozen list is best to be purchased organic. Items like pineapples and avocados don't. And trust me, the price of an organic avocado to a non organic one is a great difference. I also always buy dairy and meat for my Hubby organic. No questions asked. That will not change.

2. Don't buy everything you see.-I am like this in the grocery store: "I'll take that, and that, and that, and that. Oh wait, how much is it? OK here is my leg and my arm to cover the bill.."

I have learned that going with a list is crucial. At the beginning of the week I have written everything down that I want to make and want to have in the house. That way I go with a plan, instead of using my head/stomach to decide for me.

3. Don't get sucked into labels. -I will buy something if it says "Buy me, I am Delicious!", but for others, things like low fat, no sugar, healthy, brand new, yadda yadda can grab your attention. Research products out before spending a hefty penny on something they say is worth it.

4. Don't Covet-Being a blogger, I read tons of other blogs and get SUCKED into wanting to make what they posted RIGHT.THAT.VERY.SECOND. Alot of ingredients are unheard of, have to be ordered on line, and are pretty darn expensive. RESEARCH! I am not even going to mention some of the ingredients I have in my household that I purchased that I have NO idea what to do with them. Research recipes, research what the ingredients are for and their benefits.

5. Don't always shop at natural food stores. -There is this certain store by where I live that I call hell. If I walk in there, I am gonna get hell for it when I get home :) kidding, but I really have a hard time not spending Baby Boo's college fund in there. Certain things I agree are necessary, but not everything. AND a lot of times, the natural food grocers jack up their prices JUST because they can. Rude I know. Smart, but rude.

I hope some of these tips help you like they have been helping me...and my wallet.

And my relationship :)

But buying cheap only does so much for the Hubby. It's the delicious dinners that really win him over..

What a sucker..

Squash Pockets

Ingredients:

(filling)

1/4 large onion diced

1 TB EVOO

2 TB chopped garlic

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup chopped artichoke

2 cups diced butternut squash( i used precooked frozen butternut squash)-

1/4 cup diced walnuts

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

salt and pepper

Thawed Phyllo dough

Directions:

1. In a heated pan, add EVOO, onion, and garlic and cook 4-5 minutes on med-low heat until they begin to caramelize. Stir Frequently. Then add spinach and stir every so often until spinach begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Then add artichokes & squash and stir until combined. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let cook about 6-7 minutes med heat. Stir frequently. Then add in walnuts. Season with more S & P to taste.

2. Prepare phyllo dough according to packages. I cut mine in half.

3. Place a couple spoon fulls of filling at the top of one side of the phyllo dough and add a few crumbles of goat cheese.

4. Fold Phyllo dough all the way down. I folded mine like you were folding up a flag.

5. Repeat steps until all the filling is used. I stuffed my pockets pretty full, so I only got about 5 or 6 pockets, so it all depends on the size. You can fold your pockets any way your want. There isn't a right way. Maybe there is, I just don't know about it :)

6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until phyllo becomes golden brown.

I had never worked with phyllo dough until this. I have NO idea why I waited so long!?

Every crispy bite made me want to run out an buy more phyllo dough and make more!! hha

See what I mean. Impulse buyer anyone??

I hope Baby Boo doesn't turn out like me with the whole spending regards thing,

Because I don't know how many more arms and legs I can sell before I run out...

Grilled Lemony Dill Veggie Sandwhich

Dear Brain-

Where are you?

How come you always seem to disappear, especially when I need you the most?

How come you can't be there to remind me to turn off the hose on our sink...

Baby Boo's face is a perfect target..

Oh, and I'm really sick of the Wet T-Shirt games.

(You don't remind me about the hose, but you sure don't have a problem reminding me wet t-shirt contest are NOT for me)

Oh, and brain, while I have your attention, can you please remind me why I am so clumsy?

Because each time I spill formula, I am slowly saying goodbye to Baby Boo's college fund.

Bye Bye Harvard...

Hello Community College.

Oh, and one more question brain..

How come you never remind me to buy Dill?

Because Dill is delicious, and for some reason I always forget.

But not this time. I think I will clearly remember!

:)

Grilled Lemony Dill Veggie Sandwhich

Ingredients:

1 cup of assorted veggies in slices (I used eggplant, zucchini and tomato)

1 TB chopped fresh dill

zest of half a lemon

juice of half a lemon

1 TB Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Directions:

1. Gather sliced veggies and put them in a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss until everything is coated. Let marinade for 10 minutes.

Then grill veggies, 3-5 minutes on both sides.

2. Prepare sand which.

Add some Hummus and Goat Cheese:

And then some avocado and spinach:

Then assemble your veggies.

Pile those babies high!

And then if you want, sprinkle with some parsley.

Then smoosh the sand which together, like they smoosh in Jersey Shore..

And.fall.in.love.

If you want a light and refreshing lunch that feels like summer..

Then grab your Lawn Chair, Pina Colada, and this Sammy...

OH Wait!

Hey Brain?

Can you remember to bring the sunscreen?

K thanks, your a doll!

Chick-pea salad sandwich & Breaded Tempeh

I've never been a light eater.

Meaning..

The term moderation doesn't do well with me.

And sure, I am good at taking a bite here and there of delicious sinful foods...but if I have a plate full in front of me..

I finish the entire plate. And even get seconds.

But finishing the entire plate is different for me now, then it used to me way back when...

In highschool, my friends and I hit up the local Chipotle every thursday. Steak burrito, black beans, sour cream, lots a cheese, pico de gallo, and corn...(I remember) Did I eat the whole thing. Heck ya!

Was I full?!? Umm let's just say I could barely walk. I had this impression that if I wasn't stuffed to the brim like I had just partaken in a Thanksgiving feast, then I had to eat more. I needed to be to the point where I couldn't move, and to the point where I felt I needed to go hibernate for the rest of the winter.

I would make myself sick.

And it didn't stop after burrito lunches. It continued to dinner, and snacks, and breakfast.

I LOOOVED food! (And still do)

But as years went by, I grew up, and so did my willingness to give my body a break. To realize the "true" meaning of full...No matter how tempting that all you can eat basket of chips & salsa are at a restaurant. (Seriously those will be the death of me!) I learned to really listen to my body when I was full, instead of waiting for a plate to tell me.

Although, let me add this. I continue to usually eat everything that's on my plate. But my plate looks alot different then they did 5 years ago. A whole burrito and a bag of chips is going to be WAY more filling than a plate full of veggies and beans.

And now here is the point where I am going to be honest. Since I have began to cut alot of meat out of my diet, I am constantly hungry. Being a new mamma,with a clingy baby :), and a hubby who is gone all day and busy all night with studying, I don't have a lot of time to prepare meals, especially ones that include the necessary nutrition I need since I don't eat alot of meat/dairy. I was beginning to feel like I was missing things in my diet. I needed things that would hold me over, and keep me full. I knew I was lacking on essential nutrients. Vegetables are great, but I needed more.

I need to include more proteins and healthier grains. It's easy for me to whip up a salad, or blend a smoothie, but harder for me to cook something. So this week that has been my goal. I have been researching lots of recipes, and ways to make my lifestyle healthy and substantial. I really want to give my body everything it needs. I have been scared to try certain foods only because they are "new" to me, and I am unsure the taste. But I am branching out. It's best for my body, and needs to be done.

Which is why I am EXTREMELY excited to share these two new recipes!

For starters,

Tempeh.

What the heck is Tempeh? It's cooked and slighty fermented soybeans smashed into a patty. Sounds delicious huh?! Not so much. I wasn't really interested in trying it because it didn't sound..tasty, but it's nutritional information is what got me.

It's got about 18 grams of protein for starters! That is incredible! It also has amazing source of calcium as well as iron, BOTH of which I need to include in my diet.

The taste is kind of nutty, as well as textured. Nothing like tofu! It definitely doesn't have a strong taste of anything.

SO, as I was looking for a beginners Tempeh recipe to try, since I have never even tried it before, I found out that Ashley had a recipe. It was breaded tempeh, and sounded delicious!

So I tried it, and fell in love.

If you want the recipe, just click HERE. The only thing I did different was add more seasonings to the bread crumbs. I added garlic, paprika, cumin, and corriander.

It was just what I needed. I dipped it in a Thai Peanut dipping sauce, and was in HEAVEN! My father in law-who is a REAL meat and potatoes guy even said it was amazing, as well as the hubby..Who took too many bites, and left little for me! :)

I definitely felt like I had eaten something substantial. I was full and OH SO HAPPY! I will definitely be experimenting with tempeh alot more often. Also, if you have any tempeh recipes you want to share... :)

Next we have a different take on a Chicken salad sandwhich..

This time made with Chickpeas!

Chickpea Salad Sandwhich

(If you want to use chicken go right ahead! It works just the same!)

Ingredients:

3/4-1 cup cooked chickpeas

diced tomatoe

diced cucumber

golden raisins

1-2 TB diced walnuts

2 TB diced fresh basil

1/4 cup + 1 heaping TB of hummus (I used garlic artichoke)

1 1/2 tsp. Nutritional Yeast

salt & pepper (to taste)

Paprika

Directions:

1. In a bowl, mash chickpeas a little bit so they are somewhat chunky and mooshed :)

2. Then add tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, raisins, walnuts to the chickpeas. (These ingredients are what I had on hand. Throw whatever you like into your normal "chicken" salad sandwiches.)

3. Then add hummus and spices and stir until desired consistency is reached. Adjust spices to taste preference.

4. Enjoy!

I love this!

Chickpeas are SOO versatile. It was quick to make, and I had leftovers, so I saved some in the fridge for next time I need a quick snack!

I also always use hummus in replace for mayo. It works just the same, and taste alot better..to me any ways..

I am really excited about branching out with different foods, styles, and flavors. I hope that I find a few good ones to share with you along the way!

Question:

Have you ever or are you currently branching out with your cooking? How so? Do tell :)