Mama Pea’s Spicy African Peanut Stew + Boyd on Things

You know what the holiday today is right? 8 month anniversary — that’s 2/3 of a year!! I’m saving that post probably for mañana. We’re watching the West Wing, and that’s not the kind of post I can multi-task.

Right now I have to tell you about my amazing dinner!!!

Mama Pea’s Spicy African Peanut Stew (via Peas & Thank You)

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed (about 1 c. total)
  • 1 1/2 t. curry powder
  • 1/2-3/4 t. garam masala (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 T. minced ginger
  • 2 t. minced garlic
  • stevia to taste  —> I skipped!
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes, in juice
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 2 c. vegetable stock
  • 2 T. natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. red lentils, drained and rinsed (subbed quinoa because I had it on hand!)
  • Optional garnishes: cilantro, chopped peanuts, sour cream or plain yogurt (vegan, if desired)

Directions: Combine all ingredients and cook in your crockpot on high for about 1 hour.

Aren’t those directions sweet? Sorry to brag on my own cooking, but this was amazing!! One of my favorite dinners ever!! Kevin really liked it, but I know he didn’t feel the same. He ate a hearty portion but didn’t go back for extra seconds. Telltale sign! If it was pizza, he’d eat every last slice. Or tacos. Or spaghetti. No matter how awesome the food is, it can never compete with The Boring 3. Lame.

We’ve been waiting and waiting to splurge the $1.99 on Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Puffs, and we decided our 8 Month annivesary was the perfect excuse. We’re rationalizers like that!

So delicious. I am proud to report that I didn’t eat the entire bag. Not even half! And trust me. I could!

Earlier…

In the spirit of Maddie on Things, I got Boyd on something!

Boyd on a bench!! And I’ll ask you to kindly notice that it’s a rather tricky bench for those little paws to maneuver. Go Boykin!!

Boyd was a little more CHICKEN about this little step!

But he warmed up to the idea when he realized how he easy it was to jump down.

Boyd & I ran a nice 2.21 around the hood. He needed to get out. He behaved badly. Like always. Check out my new pink sleeves!?! I picked them up the other day with my gift certificate for winning my division in the Snowman Stampede! And they coordinate nicely with orange!

When Kevin got home from work, we started the weekend with a quick 4 miler at the gym while watching Jeopardy! Friday has actually become my favorite day to go to the gym because it is SO dead. Mondays are the worst. I have to elbow people to get one of the “good” treadmills.

Holding hands on side-by-side treadmills. Could we BE any more annoying?! Okay, so I just did it for a second, and then thought it was ridiculous so I took a picture. No big surprise there!

Well, the Spicy African Peanut Stew will be made again in the NEAR future (and yes, I have a few leftovers), and that’s definitely a sign I love something because you know I don’t really like repeats. Except when it comes to hills. Haha. Get it?

Other favorite dinner ideas from the past:


Mondays Aren’t So Bad + Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese With Spinach

(source)

So Monday wasn’t so bad, right? I was trying to shake a bad attitude all weekend. I was totally dreading going back to work, and it was making me waste weekend time! I hate that!!! I eventually snapped out of it, and today wasn’t even bad at all!

Tonight’s dinner was a healthified baked mac ‘n’ cheese. I could eat comfort food dinners like this every night in January!!!

Recipe via Eating Well

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 16-ounce or 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed  Or fresh. It’ll be fine!
  • 1 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese <—- I accidentally just used 1.5 cups, and it was fine!!!
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste LOTS!
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) whole-wheat elbow macaroni, or penne

Preparation

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.
  3. Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  4. Cook pasta for 4 minutes, or until not quite tender. (It will continue to cook during baking.) Drain and add to the cheese sauce; mix well. Spread half the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the spinach on top. Top with the remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Per serving : 576 Calories; 22 g Fat; 11 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 69 mg Cholesterol; 63 g Carbohydrates; 37 g Protein; 9 g Fiber; 917 mg Sodium; 403 mg Potassium

I topped mine with broccoli for some extra GREENS!

Earlier…

Kevin and I realized when we got my office building and the streets were dead that it was MLK Day! I wanted to get back into the car right then!!!! The good news is that the elevators weren’t crowded.

Notice my hair? I washed it this weekend. My husband noticed and complimented me on my hair. I’m really thinking that was probably a hint to wash it more often. It’s not my fault it’s winter. I can’t have my hair freezing! I’m cold enough already!

Pickings were pretty slim since we were too lazy to go to the grocery store last night. But apparently not too lazy to walk 2 miles right before bedtime. That’s weird. Kevin scored the Lean Cuisine pizza we had in the freezer and I went with spinachy eggs on a bagel thin with a little smear of basil. That’s spinach in 2/3 meals today if you’re counting! :)

A smoothie in a cup — with leftovers packed for an afternoon snack at work!! It was hard, but I forced myself to wait until 3PM to dig into that!!

I guess I shouldn’t have made fun of Kevin wearing pj pants on our walk last night when I was sporting this glamorous look as I left the office today. I do NOT waste time in the locker room. That place kinda freaks me out. Also, I was home schooled and I have serious issues getting the lockers to work!

Today’s workout: I ended up with 5.57 miles @ 7:43 pace. Kevin says I have no willpower at the gym. I totally meant to take it easy. I’m a little anxious because I need new shoes, but I don’t want to switch till next week. Meanwhile, I’ve been a little sore and a little tight so I want to take it easy. But, the girl who sold us our gym membership got on the treadmill next to me, and I had to show her who’s boss. I can’t help it. That girl drove me crazy with her poor salesmanship – I still can’t get over it. I don’t think she’s used to selling memberships to people with a lot of gym experience. Haha. After my run, I did some time doing stairs/incline and a random 3.0 on the spin bike.

Can I just say something? Eating a variety of healthy foods on a budget is tricky. It requires patience. It requires planning. And I am still learning the art. Especially while I am still pantry building. At least I will have caradmom for the next 5 years!

The good news?

We got berries! 4 blackberries and 2 strawberries! They were a steal!

I resisted the urge to buy the new PB Cheerios! You know that was tough for me!! Doesn’t that sound good? Peanut Butter Cheerios?!?! But I figured, they are new, there must be a coupon somewhere?!  Instead, we went with 4 boxes of Kellogg’s because they were on sale and if we bought 4, we got a gallon of milk free!! See! We’re making progress! And still totally in grocery budget for the month of January.

Did you have to work today? I’m super nice so I’m hoping you had the day off. :)

What’s your grocery shopping process look like? Mine is evolving. I just can’t imagine myself to ever exactly plan my meals around like sales and coupons. I have plans. I have things I want to try!!!

What should I do with ALL THOSE BERRIES! yay!

P.S. I’m a huge fan of this post on Fitnessista! Winter Shape Up 2012. So many good ideas!

Creamy Avocado Potato Salad + 5


Here’s one for the mayo haters!! In this recipe, plain nonfat Greek yogurt replaces any mayo/mustard. Greek yogurt is magical!  I was inspired by a recipe on the food network, but tailored it to my taste and to make it healthier.

Creamy Avocado Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  1. 5-6 medium-sized potatoes, boiled (or microwaved)
  2. 2 avocados, diced
  3. 2/3 cup Fat Free Greek yogurt
  4. Red onion, diced
  5. Cilantro
  6. Jalapeños (optional)
  7. Salt & pepper to taste

Directions: Boil & peel potatoes. Dice potatoes and avocados.  The portions on ingredients 4-7 are really based on your personal preference. Try to keep a good balance so none of the flavors is overwhelmin.

Remix ideas: If you don’t have Greek yogurt on hand you may try tossing the salad with some olive oil. Another option I’d like to try is a potato salad with hummus. You might also add some additional vegetables like French cut green beans or asparagus. I also once made a delicious potato salad with pesto.

On the side I had a flatout bread. I threw it in the oven to make it crunchy, and then cut it up with a pizza cutter. My favorite Sabra hummus for dipping!


I forced Kevin to eat the leftovers from last night’s Veggie Fried Rice. I didn’t want any more peas!

Are you a potato salad fan? Mustard? Mayo? When I was younger I would just eat the boiled potatoes with the salt & pepper before Mom or Grandma would add the nasty mayo stuff!!  The only condiment I really tolerate is BBQ sauce. Or ranch dressing –  if I’m on a foodcation.

FIVES! Want to answer some of these?

(via PBfingers)

I skipped last 5 people I talked to on the phone. I really only talk to my mom! That’s what the internet is for!

Last Five Meals I Ate:

  1. The meal pictured above
  2. Chocolate & PB Puffins for breakfast
  3. Veggie Fried Rice
  4. Leftover Farfalle with Spinach, Garbanzo Beans, & Feta
  5. Cinnamon Puffins! I love Puffins! They’re so fluffy!

Last five places I’ve traveled:

  1. Estes Park for Sombrero Trail Run
  2. Idaho Springs for Gold Mining Tour
  3. Moving to Denver!
  4. Chicago to visit Kevin’s G-ma!
  5. Our honeymoon!

Next five places I will go (outside of my hometown):

  1. Fort Collins to get Baylee!
  2. Wabasha & Winona, MN
  3. NY to visit Kristy
  4. Dominican Republic to visit Megan, Morys, & Yo-Yo (and more)
  5. Mall of America. It just seems highly likely.

Last five workouts:

  1. 5.72 miles this morning in the gym
  2. DTC Park jog with Kevin – 3.5 miles + lunges in the parking lot with Diet Coke
  3. Nike Training Club Endurance Master Workout
  4. 4.52 mile gym jog
  5. 5 mile gym jog

Five things making me happy right now:

  1. My leopard print Anne Taylor cardigan that I got for $8 instead of $68 at a consigment shop.
  2. That my Garmin is working!
  3. Kevin coming home for lunch every day.
  4. My Yankee candle
  5. Pinteresting Thanksgiving recipes!

Hungry Friday: Summer Eats

Dreaming of cooking for Kevin James this summer! :)

First on the menu – hummus and tabouli wrap! I know Kevin would like this because he loves both hummus and tabouli. So earthy. But I can’t really imagine us drinking it with milk. Maybe if we have kids someday…

Or how about some Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs? Kevin got some manly grilling tools at our shower in Minnesota, and I’m sure we’ll be eager to bust them out!

I think they would go well with green bean fries.

I saw these baskets on SurLaTable and they would be perfect to serve summer food in!

And you know the man of the house is going to need dessert! Grilled peaches.

Happy Friday! What are you dreaming of cooking this summer?

Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles

Vitamin G alerted me to these sweet Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles. There are only three simple ingredients for this moderately healthy snack.

1 ½ cup pureed strawberries
½ cup crushed vanilla Oreos
2 cups vanilla yogurt

For full directions go here to Bakers Royale.

These would be perfect for my baby sister’s birthday in August!

Vegetarian Chili Cheese Fries & Healthier Strawberry Shortcake

Vegetarian Chili Cheese Fries


I saw this recipe online today, and my mouth started watering. I’m not a vegetarian. At all. I just have an unnatural fear of touching raw meat. This irrational fear is compounded by the fact that there is a butcher shop right down the street, and sometimes the cow is literally still mooing outside. It smells to high heaven. Anyhow, I’ve gotten into the habit of making spaghetti, chili, and even hamburgers (black bean burgers) without actual carne. So I thought this recipe would be golden.

I should probably have realized it when I was peeling the potatoes, and I couldn’t stand the smell. But I didn’t give up the ship until I had taken the time to peel and cook all of the potatoes. They were rotten. Produce from the supermercado down the street isn’t exactly as fresh as it could be. Apparently, Verde Martes (Green Tuesdays) specials might have something to do with the fact that the produce is old! I’m a little shocked I didn’t cry. I get pretty emotional after running 8 miles and walking home. If 8pm rolls around and there’s no food in my stomach, people know to watch their backs. Luckily, I salvaged the “chili” and I’m going to eat it with some ancient cornbread mix I found in the back of the cupboard.

You can find the recipe over here on FitSugar. I’ll try it again someday when this bad memory fades. The good news is that Google taught me how to know if potatoes are useable or not. I think that the black potato on the bottom of the bag could probably also have been a handy hint.

In my dream world, I’d be having this for dessert.

Healthier Strawberry Shortcake

Tina featured this healthier strawberry shortcake recipe on her blog today.

Healthier Strawberry Shortcake

Makes 4-8 servings

Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 1 egg
* 1/4 cup liquid egg whites (or 1 egg white)
* 2 tbsp canola oil
* Strawberries, diced
* Vanilla yogurt for topping

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325*F.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well.
3. Coat a 9 X 3 loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake for 15-17 minutes.
6. Allow shortcake to cool before serving.
7. Top with strawberries and yogurt.

Time to go check on my second attempt at dinner!

P.S. Three more days of school until Semana Santa/Spring Break!