Foodie Friday

Happy last Friday in November friends! I feel cliche saying this but I can’t believe its almost December. The older I get, the faster time goes – I just can’t handle it. Another thing that happens when you get older…it gets harder to maintain your weight. What’s even harder, is to loose weight once you’ve slipped. In 4 months I put on about 20lbs…granted I was on a medication that fully disclosed weight gain as a symptom but I don’t know if ALLLLL that can be contributed to the meds. ANYWAY, my body is detoxing and I am continuing to be healthy – eating right and trying new forms of exercise. I starting kickboxing (more on that later), and subscribed to Kayla Itsines’s SWEAT app. for   workout inspiration. I don’t follow her diet nor do I follow the program as its designed but its fun & helping to keep me motivated.

Another piece is changing locations and schedules – it throws a kink into the diet & cooking regime. Between commuting into the city (yes, I am still doing that), taking care of my little family, I have less time to grocery shop prep food. I have to do my best with one big trip weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, to the farmers market & grocery store. With this new way of foraging I’ve needed to come up with more inspired dishes; hence, whole wheat couscous with herbs, pine nuts, cucumber & citrus. I threw this together the other night with the things in my fridge and cabinet…proof that you can make healthy, flavorful meals, if you keep a well stocked pantry & fridge.  The beautiful roasted squash is curtesy of Alison Roman‘s Dining In book that is full of delicious, easy, & unique recipes.

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Citrus Couscous with Herbs, Pine Nuts, & Cucumber 

Ingredients:

  • whole wheat couscous
  • lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (dry roasted & cooled)
  • 1 tbsp harissa oil (or regular EVOO)
  • herbs (parsley, dill, and cilantro – or whatever you like)
  • 1/2 cucumber (peeled, seeded, and diced)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Recipe:

Prepare couscous according to the package (basically boil water or stock, add couscous, turn off heat & cover for about 10 minutes  – its like the easiest thing ever) and allow to cool. While couscous is going, throw the pine nuts in a pan on medium heat, toss every few minutes until lightly browned (keep your eyes on those suckers – they burn quickly). Add remaining ingredients and BOOM, ALL DONE!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

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Foodie Friday

Happy Fall Friends! Its been awhile (per usual) but life is chaotic and finding the time to post anything has been a challenge. I can’t say things have been sunshine and roses but I can say I feel like things are getting better.

Its really feeling like fall here which as you know calls for comfort food. Its been hard to get in the mood for hearty dishes with temps. in the 80s but now that the evenings have cooled to the 40s, ITS TIME!!

I whipped up my first real comfort dish of the fall this week which was a whole wheat pasta with chickpeas and rainbow chard. I adapted this from a recipe I watched Giada make on The Food Network & it is one of my favorite vegetarian pasta dishes.

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Crispy Chickpea & Chard Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rainbow chard (washed, dried, stems & leaves separated)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp capers (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed, drained, and dried)
  • 1 tbsp pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot
  • 3 tbsp evoo
  • 1 box ww pasta (macaroni, ditalini, etc..)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan

Recipe:

Place a pot of water (covered) on high heat for pasta. Grab a large pan and put on med/high heat. Fine chop stems, garlic and shallot. Add 1 tbsp evoo to the pan with pepper flakes and after a minute toss in the chickpeas – let them cook for about 10 minutes (until crispy). Add stems, capers, garlic, and shallots to the pan and turn heat to medium. Meanwhile add pasta to boiling water and throw in a decent dash of salt. Once pasta is cooked reserve 3/4 cup cooking water and drain remaining water from pasta. Take 1/4 cup pasta water add it to the pan and toss in the rough chopped chard. As soon as the chard is wilted add pasta, most of the cheese, lemon zest, the remaining evoo, and the remaining pasta water. Allow everything to come together (about 5 minutes), plate, top with remaining cheese, and serve.

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂