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

A Lovely Easter Weekend

I hope you all had a great Easter, filled with sunshine, loved ones, and the Joy of our risen Savior!  I certainly did 🙂

My Easter loveliness wasn’t limited to Sunday – nope, it began on Saturday with a trip to meet my roommate’s (Nikki) grandma.  The day could not have been better for a drive – warm, soft breeze and SUNSHINE!! 

We were treated to this breathtaking view.  I mean!  And check out the PERFECT placement of that little tuft of cloud on top.

But the main event – the thing we were most excited for – was meeting Nikki’s grandma, most commonly known as Lightbulb.

And you can see where she gets the nickname!  This woman just sparkles!  She is so full of joy and happiness – I found myself just smiling the whole time I was with her.  She has so many stories, ranging from growing up on a farm in Montana and learning how to track animals to surviving the Great Depression.  Talking about enriching conversation!  Oh, and she thoroughly enjoyed the green tea frape and cake pop we brought her.  Yes, she is that hip.

After our wonderful visit, we headed to Nikki’s house to have a delicious dinner (courtesy of her sweet mom) and watch the movie, “One Fine Day”.

I was too busy having fun to remember to snap a shot of dinner, but here’s the picture from the Taste of Home website!

source

Let me tell ya…these were SO tasty!  Rich, slightly spicy, soft…basically, comfort food wrapped up in a neat little tortilla package.  And what college kid doesn’t like a home cooked meal?  Yeah, I don’t know either.  Thank you, Debbie and Rick!!

And then came Sunday.

It was the perfect sun-shiney weather that we always hope for on Easter.

First up, church!  The stage was set for a string ensemble, and was complete with a Cross.

After the service, it was time to head to Marisa’s house for Easter dinner – and some serious traditions.

The table was beautifully set.

Each place setting held a festive napkin and a special Easter Petit Four.

And Joce kept busy in the kitchen!  Let me just say…this lady knows how to cook. 🙂

What do we do while waiting for dinner time?  Take pictures, of course!

A lovely bunch of ladies, wouldn’t you say?

Need I say more?  Didn’t think so.

And then…the dinner bell sounded.  Or maybe my tummy just grumbled loudly.  At any rate, the time for food had arrived!

Asparagus, yams, green been casserole, ham, rolls, and the scalloped potatoes were on there way….

And naturally, I had salad!

Oh, and then there was dessert.

Are you drooling?  ‘Cause this molten chocolate cake could make anyone drool!  Fresh from the oven, these cute little cakes are slightly crispy on the outside but warm and gooey on the inside.  Strawberries (or any berry) makes the perfect accompaniment, especially with a dollop of whipped cream.  So.GOOD!

I also tasted the strawberry shortcake, which was the perfect blend of sweet and buttery.

And who says we’re too old for jello eggs?  Not I!

You know what else we’re not too old for?

Microwaving peeps.  And peep jousting.  Traditioooonnnnn, tradition! ……TRADITION!  Sorry…Fiddler on the Roof moment…. 😀

We were like children, watching, waiting to see who’s peep would poke the other first.  Laugh, but don’t judge – it’s Easter tradition!

I ended my day at Marisa’s with our other tradition – playing “The Phantom of the Opera” on piano while the other ladies sing…which I don’t have a photo of.  But believe me, it happened, and it was joyful!

With all that delicious food, you might be wondering how everything went from an Eating Disorder perspective.  Check back soon for how I coped with a weekend of delicious (but challenging) eats!

And to close, let this, the Joy of Easter, lift your spirits on this Monday!

Christ is risen from the dead

trampling over death by death

Come awake come awake!

Come and rise up from the grave!

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

A Salad And a Lesson

Well hello!  I hope you’re all having a lovely and excellent weekend!

Yesterday, I was blessed to be able to visit with my aunt and uncle (who live nearby) for a bit.  They picked me up at the ferry (I walked on…SO much less pricey than driving!) and we headed to Langley to find some lunch.  We went to a new pub called Mo’s, and enjoyed some tasty food and good conversation.

It was cold and rainy and I REALLY wanted soup and salad…but the soup of the day didn’t sound too good to me (Cheddar Poblano?) so I went for the next logical choice: a “side” of mac n’ cheese and salad.  And the “side”… was as big as my face (but a good price for the serving, that’s for sure!).  The mac n’ cheese was topped with parmesan and paprika.  The sauce was creamy, salty, warm, gooey…pure comfort food.  But the problem with it was that the sauce was creamy, salty, warm, gooey…and a huge portion.  I nearly panicked for a moment when they put the plate down in front of me.  We joked about the size and I shared a few bites with my Aunt.  But I knew that I wouldn’t be able to eat all of it even if I didn’t feel too full.  Oh, but it was so tasty!

When I reached a point where I felt satisfied, I decided to put my fork down and ask for a box.  And then we had dessert.  But at least we split it 🙂

I knew dinner would be a struggle, though.  I felt like I had completely indulged and that whatever else I put in my mouth for the rest of the day would be too much.  But.  At the same time, there was this voice that kept reminding me about how much calcium I just gave my body.  That eating a meal like that sometimes is okay and ultimately, I just did a good thing for my body by feeding it (and feeding it what sounded good, no less!)  And the origin of that voice just didn’t want to agonize over my lunch for the rest of the day.

So as I thought about dinner, I wanted something that would be healthy – of course, salad was the first thing that came to mind.  But rather than rejecting the notion, I decided to work with it, and in a sense, to compromise with myself.  And this was born:

Yes, it’s a salad.  No, it may not have had a TON of calories involved.  BUT it did have: lettuce (with carrots and cabbage), tomato, and  asparagus.  And then there was tuna, beans, hard-boiled egg, shredded cheese and a dollop of cottage cheese.  With an oil and vinegar dressing.  And toast on the side.  Sounds like a pretty solid salad to me!

It tasted good.  It made me feel good.  It was nutritious, yet light.  Choc full of vitamins and protein, to boot!

And I ate every bit of it.  And I count it a success.  Oh, and I had some snackage later, too 🙂

It was dinner-time, and I didn’t let that nasty Eating Disorder voice win.

I just had this thought: The Eating Disorder voice is mean and controlling and demanding.  I could counter it in the same manner, but that feels too much like…well, like war.  And if my goal is to make food (peace) rather than body war, it seems like compromising and being gentle is the way to go.  Hmmm…I’m gonna have to explore this more!  And I’d love your input!!

I’ll leave you with this today:

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

Psalm 27:13-14

Take care, friends!

Blessings,

Beth

** If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, please, PLEASE seek professional help.  A great resource to get started is the National Eating Disorders Association.

** If you’re interested in reading some great pro-recovery blogs, here are a couple of my favorites:

Healthy, Happy, Whole

Recovery Bites

 

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

 

A Peanut Butter Recipe for You!

Hello, friends!  Sorry for the lag in posts, but homework has basically been dominating my life.  ‘Tis the fate of a college student, I’m afraid.  I’m sure you understand 🙂  Truthfully, I probably should be reading right now instead of blogging, but a girl needs her break, you know!

For the last TWO posts, I’ve been promising a recipe, and *drum-roll*…….I’m finally posting it!  Hooray!

I’ve been intrigued by the idea of flourless peanut butter cookies, and finally got up the gumption to give them a go.  And the verdict?  Success!  I made flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter cookies, and, well…lets just say they got roommate approval 🙂

They’re small, yet filling.  Sweet, but not too sweet.  And SOOOOO soft!  The middle is just perfect – chewy, dense, soft…and peanut butter.  And honey!  What more could you want in a cookie?  You won’t even miss the flour, I promise.

And for the record – these cookies are great with a glass of milk as dessert, but I think they’d also be great with a glass of milk and a banana for breakfast!  Cookies for breakfast?  Yep!  And here’s why……

See these ingredients?  No, I’m not missing any.  Yes, this is everything.  Margarine, peanut butter, applesauce, oats, honey and baking powder.  The combo of healthy fats and protein, with a little bit of sweet could certainly set you up for nice jump-start to your day!

And did I mention these cookies are CAKE to put together?

Soooo…yeah.  Mix everything in a bowl.  And mix it well!  We don’t want any random dry oats!!

Plop spoon fulls on a ever-so-lightly greased cookie sheet.  This is known as the “prebake” stage.  In case you were wondering.

Then, put them in the oven for a bit, do your dishes and then…..

EAT COOKIES!!!!!!!!  Some say you should let them cool.  I say…why eat cold cookies when you can eat warm cookies?

Flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from: Carrots N’ Cake

The Goods

1 1/4 cups rolled oats (add a little more if need be)

3 tbsp honey (scant)

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup applesauce (banana would probably work too!)

2 tbsp margarine, softened

 

The Method

1. Preheat oven to 350* F.

2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined.

3. Portion cookies onto a greased baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart.

4. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until desired consistency.

5. Move to a wire rack (or to your mouth!)

 

I hope you enjoy these cookies!  They’d be great with chocolate chips or nuts added to the dough.  Or frosting on top.  Mmmmm!

Aaaaaand back to the homework!

Blessings,

Beth