Pizza Veggie Quinoa

Well hello!

It’s been forever and a day since I’ve posted a recipe…or anything for that matter.  I’ve been a busy gal, with work, nephews visiting and just…well…living life!  I think I feel like I’ve blogged recently when I put some time in on our new website at work.  Click here to see it!  I’ve mostly done some editing and tweaking, however I did do a fair bit of work on some pages in the “Amenities” section as well as “Area Attractions”.

Anyways…on to the food!

This recipe for Pizza Veggie Quinoa comes from Sarah over at Gazing In.  Elizabeth, my (former) roomie and I made this near the end of school, throwing in a few modifications, and really REALLY liked it! Cheesy, warm, soft, salty, and full of veggies – what more could I ask for?!  Seriously.  Give this a go.

Pizza Veggie Quinoa

adapted from Gazing In

The Goods

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • dash of salt
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup pizza sauce
  • grated Parmesan cheese, as desired

Method

Rinse and drain the quinoa thoroughly.

Add the quinoa, water and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn temperature down to the lower end of medium, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  And please do remember to turn it down.  I promise, it turns out much better that way!

While the quinoa cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add the onion, zucchini and garlic, then sauté until slightly softened. Turn temperature down to medium-low, and add the pizza sauce, gently stirring to combine.  Let the sauce heat for a bit, then turn off the heat and add in the quinoa.

Stir in some Parmesan cheese, then serve, topping with more cheese if desired.

But I don’t know why you wouldn’t put more cheese on it.

This was such a tasty dinner!  I especially liked it served with a green salad – a nice cool and crunchy contrast to the warm and soft entree.  Delish!

I’m still working away at implementing the things like learned in San Diego.  I’m freaked out glad to report that I’ve gained weight each week since returning, and it’s getting easier (not easy, easiER) to eat the amounts I’m supposed to eat, and feel okay about it.  It’s getting easiER to block out that ED voice that tells me to restrict, among other lies.  It’s all a work in progress 🙂

Take care, friends, and go make some pizza quinoa!

Blessings,

Beth

Tuna Noodle-y Comfort

Well hello!  I hope you all were able to enjoy some fun weekend sun-shiney activities!  There are two weeks left of school…TWO WEEKS!  And then I’m home free.  So.EXCITED!

I’m please to report that cooking and eating dinner with my roomie, Elizabeth is going quite well.  Although we’re starting to plan how we’ll eat well this week without buying too many groceries, and then how we’ll polish off the frozen leftovers…but hey…at least we’ve got choices 🙂

Not all of our meals yield leftovers for the freezer though.  Take this Tuna Noodle Casserole, for example.

Simple, creamy, and healthy…and it was gone in two nights!

I used the classic recipe from Campbell’s – but of course, I HAD to change it up a bit!

Here’s the recipe, adapted from Campbell’s:

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular 98% Fat Free)

1/2 cup milk

1 cup frozen peas

3 medium mushrooms, chopped

2 cans (about 5 ounces each) tuna, drained (I used one in water and one in oil)

about 2 cups whole wheat egg noodles, cooked and drained

5-7 whole wheat ritz crackers, crushed

1 tablespoon butter, melted

  • Heat the oven to 400°F.  Stir the soup, milk, peas, mushrooms, tuna and noodles in a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish.  Stir the crushed ritz crackers and butter in a small bowl.
  • Bake the casserole for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbling.  Stir then sprinkle with the cracker and butter mixture.
  • Bake for 5 minutes or until the bread crumb mixture is golden brown.

So tasty!  It reminded me of my childhood when mom would make tuna noodle casserole for dinner on those cold, blustery nights.  Obviously, child-like taste buds would NOT have been okay with the whole wheat noodles, mushrooms, and ritz crackers.  But hey…our tastes grow with us, right?  Right.

Cheap, easy, tasty…sounds like a great dinner to me!

In other news, remember the big news I had for you?  In case anyone has been on the edge of their seat in suspense, here it is: my family and I will be going to the Eating Disorder center at the University of California, San Diego, to participate in a week-long treatment class!  I’ll be writing a full post about it soon soon, but let me just say this: it’s family training with the idea that I can recover at home, in a more natural setting and avoid an in-patient center.  Disclaimer: in-patient centers have their time and place, but my family and I don’t think that now is the time for me.  Anyways, we’ll be flying to San Diego in a couple weeks and I’m SO excited!

Well there ya have it – a tasty recipe and some exciting news!

Happy Monday – have a great week!

Blessings,

Beth

Tastes Like Home

You know how there’s some recipes that no matter how many times you make them, they NEVER taste as good as the first person who made it for you?  This is why I don’t try to make my mom’s chicken stew or meatloaf.  This is why I’ve never even tried to make roasted red potatoes like my Aunt Chelle.  And even though I’ve tried to make pasta salad like my Aunt Alice, it just never tastes as good.

Well, friends this recipe I’m about to share isn’t quite like mom would make, but it reminded me a lot of mom’s scalloped potatoes!

Except it was a breakfast casserole.  But just go with it, m’kay?

This casserole, which came together in a snap was not only easy, but filling, satisfying and quite inexpensive to make.  It served as a teamwork dinner, and provided leftovers for one night for both Elizabeth and I, as well as dinner for me tonight.  Hooray for leftovers! 🙂

So why did this remind me of mom’s scalloped potatoes and ham?  I think it must have been the combo of ham and onions, whose smell wafted from the oven, torturing us until the blessed timer went off signaling time to dish up!  But I literally opened the oven and was taken back to Christmas break when mom and I made those deeeeelightful scalloped ‘taters!  Sigggghhhh……..anyways…

 

Farmer’s Casserole

Adapted from “The New Better Homes and Garden’s Cook Book”

 

The Goods

Nonstick cooking spray

Frozen roasted baby red potatoes, or other frozen potato (enough to cover the bottom of the pan)

A couple handfuls of shredded (cheddar) cheese

1 small package of Canadian bacon, diced

1/2 small onion, chopped

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

salt and pepper to taste

 

The Method

 

 

 

1. Lightly coat pan with non stick spray; pour in enough potatoes to cover the bottom of the pan

2. Layer Canadian bacon and onions and one handful of cheese on top of potatoes

3. Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper, then pour over potatoes

4. Bake, uncovered at 350* for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

5. Let stand 5 tortuous minutes before serving

 

And voila!  A tasty, inexpensive, healthy CUSTOMIZABLE dinner!  Use whatever kind of potatoes you like.  Use whatever kind of cheese you like!  Don’t like Canadian bacon?  Use ham or regular bacon.  Or skip the meat and add veggies.  It’s a blank canvas 🙂

A lovely dinner, especially when accompanied by toast and broccoli (and the obligatory squirt of ketchup).  This would obviously be excellent for a breakfast/brunch also.  Or lunch.  So basically, you can eat it any time of the day 🙂

Well, this weekend went by in a hurry!  From Elizabeth’s senior recital, to shoe shopping to homework, it’s been full.  But I’m looking forward to my mom’s visit tomorrow!  It’s going to be short and sweet, but I’ll take it!  I wish my dad could come too, but it’s only a few more weeks until summer break.

I’m sure I’ll properly document my mom’s visit, which will include an inexpensive dinner and ice cream.  Perhaps some more cookies and cream?  And guess what?  ED isn’t invited.

Blessings!

Beth

 

Kitchen Teamwork

Hey, guess what!  IT’S THE WEEKEND!!!!

This week has been quite busy, but…we’re one week closer to the end of the semester.  This is a bitter sweet thing.  Sweet because, uh, hello?  Who DOESN’T have some a TON of joy over being done with classes?  But it’s bitter because I’ve been blessed with the greatest roomies a girl could ask for.  Why is that?  Because in my time of need – in the time when my eating disorder returned with a vengeance – they jumped on board and buckled their seat belts. They could easily have wished me well and hoping that everything turns out…somehow.  But they didn’t do that at all.  Not only are they supportive and kind, they’re joining the fight in the heat of my Eating Disorder battle, doing what they can to help me snuff out Ed.  They’re holding me accountable to eating enough, and seeking out information to better help me.  They’re cooking and eating meals with me.  They model what normal, everyday eating looks like.  They model finding joy in food.  And it’s a beautiful and delightful blessing.

A few days ago, I told you about how I would be cooking and eating dinner with a roommate as often as possible.  Well, after two weeks of working with this system, I am pleased to say that it’s going well, I’m eating better, and we’re enjoying cooking together!  Mostly, I cook with Elizabeth, which is a blessing in many many ways, but one that’s particularly wonderful?  We have very similar tastes!  No conflict over leaving the peppers out of the casserole…no worries about offending the other because “I don’t like super spicy!”  It just works, and it’s delightful!

Last week, I didn’t document our nummy eats, but here is what we made:

Source

Spicy Tomato and Turkey Soup with Ditalini, from Iowa Girl Eats, was our first kitchen project.  Except we skipped the “spicy” part, and we didn’t use ditalini, but the idea was the same!  Super easy and bursting with flavor, this soup is filling without weighing you down.  The base is simply chicken broth and tomato sauce – carrots, onion, beans and turkey, along with pasta give it some staying power.  And of course, a salad rounds it out nicely.

Source

Next up, Chicken Paprika from Eat Live Run!  The recipe also includes directions for homemade dumplings but…we weren’t quite that motivated 😉  But I promise, whole wheat penne certainly does the trick!  Otherwise, we stuck pretty close to the recipe, the only exception being the substitution of Greek yogurt for sour cream.  It mostly worked, but the texture was a bit different.  But that smokey, rich paprika flavor still came through, and the creamy sauce infused the chicken with great flavor.

  This week, I remembered to wrangle my camera to the kitchen and document a bit of our dinner-time delectables.

Our first item of business?

Guys, this recipe is easy, tasty, cheap, filling…what more could a college kid ask for?  And it supplied leftovers for one night, plus one more serving for the freezer!

And a cracker and butter topping?  Can’t be beat.  Even if it’s a little soggy, it tastes good!  Would you like to know how to make it?

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

The Goods

~ 3 cups cooked chicken breasts (We used 3 from a bag)

1 can cream of chicken soup

8 oz plain yogurt (not Greek)

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1/2 onion, chopped

~15 ritz crackers, crushed

a dollop of butter

The Method

1. Cook chicken breasts with onion in some olive oil, then dice the chicken

2. Mix soup, yogurt, and poppy seeds

3. Combine soup mixture and chicken; pour into a lightly greased baking pan

4. Melt butter, crush crackers, then combine; sprinkle over chicken mixture

5. Bake in 350* oven uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and crackers are crunchy

6. Serve with rice and a green veggie

Salad was my side of choice – topped with ranch, tomato and avocado.  Delish!

Now, I do have one more recipe from this week, but I think I’ll hold off until the next post – I don’t want to overwhelm!

I know this post sounds quite upbeat, and while I do feel VERY good about this new, more aggressive approach, there are certainly challenging times.  Like when that Ed voice tells me there’s too much on my plate.  Or when I see my dear cooking partner (Elizabeth) pour more olive oil in the pan than I would have.  Or when Elizabeth unexpectedly butters my bread, and puts more butter on it than I would have.  But guess what.  The “too much” food on my plate gives me more energy.  The oil and butter taste good.  I’m getting better nutrition than I did on my own.  And cooking with someone else is WAY less stressful and WAY more fun!!  I’m a blessed gal.

And I will enjoy the food set before me!

One more recipe, coming your way soon!

Blessings,

Beth

Pizza Pizza!

Who likes pizza?  This girl!  And probably most of you, too 🙂  I made this pizza a couple of weeks ago, and just had to share.

In the past, a meal like this may or may not certainly would have struck fear in my heart.  “Carbs and cheese and FAT, oh my!”  While I still struggle with allowing myself to eat enough, I’m not nearly as scared of that pizza anymore.  Guess what!  Carbs = energy.  Cheese = calcium.  Fat = healthy in proper quantities.  Take that, ED! 😛

The other day, when this pizza craving struck, I took stock of my groceries: I had some leftover sauce and cooked ground turkey to use up before heading out on Spring Break, and what better way to use it than this?  Not only did it fulfill my pizza craving, but it kept me from wasting food, AND it fed me dinner for a couple of nights!  Oh, and did I mention how easy it was to throw together?  ‘Cause it was a piece of cake…er, pie.  😉

First, I mixed up a quick Bisquick crust – and I do mean quick.  Bisquick + water, people.  That’s it!  I tossed that in the oven for a little pre-bake while I rounded up the rest of my toppings.

Some mushroom pasta sauce

…precooked ground turkey

…shredded cojack cheeeeeeese

…and some chopped up roma tomatoes, and we were in business!

A quick 12 minutes in the oven gave me enough time to throw together a quick salad, and then *ding-ding-ding*…it was dinner time!

Ohhhhhhh yeah!  Look at that lightly browned crust, the melty cheese, the CHEESE!  The crust definitely didn’t taste like a traditional yeast crust, more resembling a biscuit (huh, imagine that!), but it still tasted great.  The sauce soaked into the crust just a bit, and the toppings worked together quite well.  Can’t beat oven-roasted tomatoes!  Or homemade pizza, for that matter.

Serve it up with a green salad and a tall glass of water, and you’ve got it made.  College-kid dinner, for the win.

Extra Easy Pizza

Adapted from Betty Crocker

The Goods

1 1/2 cups Bisquick mix (I used the “heartsmart” variety)

1/3 cup very hot water

Your favorite pizza/marinara sauce

toppings of choice

CHEESE

 

The Method

1. Heat the oven to 450* and grease the pizza pan.

2. Stir together the bisquick and hot water (beat about 20 strokes) until a soft dough forms.

3. Press dough into the pan, then bake for about 2 minutes.

4. Carefully remove the pan from the oven.  Cover with sauce, then arrange toppings as desired.

5. Bake 12-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and bubbly and crust is lightly browned.

 

This pizza couldn’t be easier!  And as far as creativity in toppings goes…you’re limited only by your imagination.

Go forth and make pizza!

Blessings,

Beth

P.S. Don’t forget, you can now keep up to date via Facebook!  Just click here to “like” Make Food Not Body War 😀

 

 

The Joy of Spring Break

No joke, Spring Break is one of the fastest weeks of your life.  It felt like it was time to pack up and get back on that airplane just after I landed!  But there’s no sense in fussing over the speed at which break flew – that certainly won’t bring it back!  Instead, I’ll remember how much fun I had and remind myself that there are less than 8 weeks left in the semester…thank the Lord.

Break was filled with family time, cooking, bowling, double dates, church, nice meals out, scenic drives, shopping, a lovely lunch date, homework and…*drum-roll*…relaxing.  It’s been awhile since I’ve gone so days without a tummy ache!  I think that’s a sign of chillaxin’ 🙂  Also found in my break were excellent conversations – all uplifting, but some very challenging.  More on those in another post…I’ve written several serious posts lately, so it’s time for something more lighthearted! 🙂

I didn’t take pictures of everything, but I did capture a few moments!  First up, the scenic drive.  Flathead Lake is gorgeous, no matter the season or the weather.  Sunny?  The water is blue and clean, framed by snowy mountains and outlined in pine trees and rocky beaches.  Stormy?  The water’s white-capped fury is breathtaking yet frightening, the gray clouds reflected in the dark water.  We got a mixture – sunny but windy.  Have a look!

Here’s the cloudy look, minus the whitecaps.  But would you look at those mountains?!

And true to Montana weather, the sun came out a few moments later.  It amazes me that looking a different direction will provide an entirely different looking mountain range.  And people say there is no God?  Crazy.

And then there was cooking.  Hooray!

First, I made some biscuits.  They’re just a simple buttermilk biscuit, using this recipe.  The only change I made was that I used all purpose flour rather than white whole-wheat.

Super easy recipe – mix dry ingredients, cut in butter, add buttermilk, knead, then roll out and cut!

I baked just a few of them, then froze the rest in a ready-to-bake form.  Easy peasy!

One evening, I went over to my bestie’s house to make some festive shamrock cookies.  And chat, but that’s a given.

Chelsey had everything out and ready to go when I got there.

After mixing up a quick dough and letting it chill for a bit, we got to cuttin’ cookies.  We had two different shamrock styles and…an elephant.  I found the elephant in mom’s bag o’ cookie cutters at home and thought “eh, what the heck!?”  And Chelsey said “bring it!”  So we made shamrock cookies AND elephant cookies.  Then, with the leftover dough, we made little twisted circles.  After baking them, it was decided that they looked like poo…so it must have been from the elephants!  I swear, we ARE adults…

These chocolate mint cookies, finished with a chocolate coating, were tasty!  You can find the recipe here at the Taste of Home website…although it looks like you have to be a member of their website to see the recipe.  Or you could pick up the February/March copy of the magazine 🙂

Who likes brownies?  How about if I add peanut butter?  Yeah?  I thought so 🙂

Basically, I took those ingredients….

…and turned them into this!  I followed this recipe, except instead of using the frosting in the recipe, I just made a simple “drizzle” with powdered sugar, peanut butter and margarine.  SO tasty!!

I kept myself busy in the kitchen.  After these brownies, I made some Irish Soda bread.  It came out a little tough, but I may or may not have used a little too much buttermilk….oh well…live and learn, right?

Instead of making one big loaf, I made two little ones.  Ain’t they cute?!

They sure did come out nice and golden!  I followed this recipe, except I omitted the raisins, and cut the baking time to 30 minutes.

Sadly, I failed to take pictures of my final kitchen project.  Blame it on fatigue and hurry…both are accurate!  Good thing Dana over at My Little Celebration (where I found this recipe) takes LOVELY photos!

These Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins were divine!  Moist, dense, sweet (but not too sweet)…so tasty.  I want to make them again.  Right now.

Well, this pretty much covers the things I photographed over break.  Coming to you soon shall be a simple pizza recipe and reflections on some of the conversations that took place over break.  Such good conversations.

Take care, friends!

Blessings,

Beth

 

Peanut Butter Crazed

Thank you, lovely friends, for being patient with my lack of posts as of late.  Unfortunately, homework comes before blogging on the priority list.  But perhaps a new peanut butter recipe will make up for it? 🙂

I first found inspiration for this creation on both Iowa Girl Eats and My Little Celebration.  So yum!  But naturally, I HAD to deviate slightly from their delightful recipes and personalize a bit.  And thus was born my version of homemade Peanut Butter Cups.

TADA!

Don’t ya just want one?!

Well, you’re in luck, because these little babies are a piece o’ cake to throw together.

First, lightly grease, then fill a mini muffin pan with chocolate chips in each indent.

Then, toss the chocolate in the oven for about 5 minutes, to achieve optimum melty-ness.  Smoosh the chocolate down with the back of a spoon to create the base.

While the chocolate melts, mix up some peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.

Top each chocolate base with the peanut butter mixture and let chill.  Sadly, overnight seems to be ideal.

But after all that waiting….you get these!!!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

 

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats and My Little Celebration (links above)

The Goods:

1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter

1/4 butter or margarine, room temp

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp (generous) vanilla extract

~ 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, etc)

The Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350*; grease mini muffin cups with nonstick spray and place scant tablespoons of chocolate chips into each indent.  Melt in the oven for 5 minutes, then, with the back of a spoon, smoosh the chocolate to form the base.  Let cool briefly.

2. Cream together the peanut butter and butter until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing until combined.

3. Drop heaping tablespoons of the PB mixture on each chocolate base.  Smooth with the back of a spoon, and refrigerate until well set (overnight seemed to work quite well).  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Couldn’t be easier, folks!

I hope to post a little more often in the weeks to come, but we’ll just see how that homework stuff goes.  Ahhhh the life of a college student 🙂

Happy weekending!

Blessings,

Beth