The Nana and the GG

Last week Zoë and I went to stay at my Mum’s (Nana) for a night to spend some time with her and my Nanny (Z’s GG).  My Nanny hasn’t been feeling very well over the past few weeks so Z and I wanted to go hang out and cheer her up.  It was actually a really lovely visit.  GG had some snuggles, we had some wine and some laughs and my Mum and I got to spend some time together.  My Mum had bought a ton of stuff to make freezer meals and spent a large part of the day cooking for us.  She sent me home with 4 meals to put in the freezer–heaven for this new Mum!  We have already eaten this one an amazing chicken dish…and I am looking forward to the others.  Usually I like cooking but lately meal planning has been a bit of a stretch.  We have had two successful trips to the grocery store, but not having to think about what to make is glorious!

We got a start on Zoë’s baby book as well which was a lot of fun.  Since we both love paper crafting so much we had to find a special way to document her first year.  My girlfriend Carrie suggested Simple Stories which is a less time consuming way of scrapbooking that I am obsessed with.  Mum ordered Miss Z the baby girl line, and I am already having so much fun with documenting Month 1!

GG and her girl

GG and her girl

Nana doing some cooing

Nana doing some cooing

Bath time at Nana's house!

Bath time at Nana’s house! (maybe I should start wearing makeup again?!)

Zoë's foot after we inked it for her baby book

Zoë’s foot after we inked it for her baby book

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Meatless Monday

On Monday night I made Britt’s delicious Mushroom Lasagna. I am always intrigued about feeding my meat loving husband some veggie meals to see how it goes.  This lasagna was SO good and he also didn’t believe me that there was no meat in it. Way to go Meatless Monday! The only thing I would have changed it using baby spinach instead of normal spinach, but that is a personal choice. This has been added to my recipe box and will go into our meal planning rotation.

Lentil and Sweet Potato Chili

My mum sent me this recipe last week and I made it on Tuesday.  Garret and I are big meat fans, but I didn’t feel like meat was missing from this veggie chili (although I’m not sure if he would say the same…) You could add a ton of other veggies to bulk it up as well!

2 tbsp oil
1 large  onion chopped
8 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp each of chili powder, cumin seeds (i used powder) oregano
1 can lentils (540 ml) drained and rinsed
1 can tomatoes (796 ml)
1 sweet potato peeled and diced
1 chipotle pepper, packed in adobe sauce, minced (i didn’t do this)
1 red pepper

sour cream and chopped cilantro and green onion to garnish.  I used grated cheese and  plain Greek yogurt

Heat oil, saute onion, pepper and garlic for about 5 min. stir in chili, cumin and oregano, cook just until spices heat through and become fragrant, a minute or two.  Stir in lentils and tomatoes, Add potato, chipotle pepper (if using)
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring until potatoes are tender…about 15 minutes. (I had to leave it longer than 15 minutes to get the potatoes to my liking)

Stuffed Pasta Shells

I have wanted to try a recipe like this for ages..in fact I bought shells months ago to make something similar and never got around to it. I am putting it on here so I will feel obligated to try it and let you know if it is any good or not.  I found the recipe here.  As I mentioned yesterday, my father in law is coming to stay for a few days so I need some yummy options for him…he gets suspicious when I try to feed him too much quinoa

Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Tuesday night I decided it was time to try something new for dinner. I took to my trusty “I heart food” board on Pinterest and decided to try the Quinoa Mac and Cheese I pinned ages ago.  The recipe was from here  and I was concerned a few times that it was going to be an epic failure, but it turned out awesome and yummy and will definitely be put into rotation in our dinner menu.  It made a ton as well so we had two dinners and three lunches out of it! I’ve included the recipe below and you can see my comments in blue!

Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 med. leek white and pale green parts halved and sliced (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato, or red/green pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained (OR you can just use pre-cooked and cut back on the water and cooking time)
  • good pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of seasoning salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of water (or stock)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup soy milk, non-fat milk, or milk of choice
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling- NOTE: (You may find you need more cheese, BUT I use this amount to still keep the dish ‘lighter’ yet very flavorful.)
  • Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping
  • Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions (you get the picture)
Directions

Go to make dinner and realize G used remainder of the milk in his morning coffee…scoot out to store, remembering while you are in line that you also need garlic, scramble to produce and grab some. Text Harrison plans of dinner making, and prepare for having to order pizza in case it doesn’t work out

  1. Heat oil in med. saucepan over med. heat. Add leek and tomatoes (or bell peppers-or any veggies you want really); cover and cook 5 mins or until tender. Stir in quinoa and garlic, and cook, uncovered, 3-4 mins, or until grains start to turn opaque.  (They will not fully be cooked yet.)
  2. Add 3 cups water (or stock) and season with salt and the Seasoning Salt (I like Lawry’s or Everyday Seasoning)Cover and reduce heat to med-low and simmer 15-20 mins or more, (depends and also what kind of quinoa you use) or until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 mins. Wonder why it seems to be taking FOREVER, realize that when you turned it down you actually turned the gas off. Vow to pay more attention whilst cooking
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13×9 inch dish with cooking spray. Grab spray out of cupboard and note that it expired in 2007.  Question how we can have Pam as old as our relationship.  Throw it out.  Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese (if you feel you need more cheese, add here.) Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt. (Will seem a little “soupy”, do not worry, it will all mold together.) Seemed VERY soupy, got phone out to call Pizza Pizza just in case
  4. Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs, add now.You can also sprinkle a bit more cheese on now if you prefer for topping. Bake 25-35 mins, (or until browned around edges.) Yell in frustration as you realize that the freshly prepared 9×13 pan does not fit into microwave oven.  Get G into kitchen to help tetris like fit pan.  Discuss need for real sized oven!
  5. Now you can toss with many toppings, some ideas: salsa, scallions, sour cream,  and hot sauce! Garret doused his in Frank’s and said it was amazing. Cheer yourself on for making healthy delicious dinner then pack up leftovers for lunch the next day (which you forget to bring with you in the morning)

What’s growing in my garden?

Last week I went to check out my very neglected herb garden and noticed something I was pretty sure hadn’t been there before.

Open call to internets for advice!

It didn’t seem like a weed, so I posted this picture to facebook to ask what the heck was growing in my garden. Garlic Scapes was the consensus and I got excited.  I clearly forgot that I had planted garlic in the fall but I was really excited with new development.  I harvested it all (love saying harvest for a small bunch o’ scapes) and we made some amazingly potent pesto with it.

Garlic Scape Pesto

1/2 cup garlic scapes, finely chopped

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

1/2 cup walnuts

About 1/2 cup olive oil

The recipe said to blend certain parts first, but I always forget to read ahead so we just threw it all in together. We ended up adding some basil as well since we had some in the fridge.  And it was POTENT.  Like, killing vampire breath but since we werent trying to impress anyone (that jig is so up at this point) we loved it.  The recipe said that it keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge or you can freeze it. So we ate in with pasta one night and then froze it. YUM

When it comes to food processing anything Garret suddenly takes over and gets way too into it

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Last night my Mum was over and as we are known to do we tried a new recipe for dinner.  We have been looking for new healthy recipes to try and this one was delicious and easy so I thought I would share it.  It comes from Angela Liddon at Oh She Glows.  It’s a neat blog full of vegan recipes and gorgeous pictures.  We tried her recipe for 15 minute  dairy free creamy avocado pasta.  Since I can’t eat cream I am always on the look out for ways I can fake myself out.  Anyway, this was amazing and I will keep it on hand to make on the regular.

Ingredients:
• 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted
• 1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1/4 cup fresh basil, packed
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
• Pasta

Directions:
1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook about 8-10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth and scrape down sides of the bowl. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy. You can add a touch of water or oil if necessary.
3. When pasta is cooked, drain in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately.
Please note: This sauce does not reheat well due to the avocado.

 

***  That served Mum Garret and I and it was amazing!!! If you weren’t worried about the vegan part it would be phenomenal with some chicken.  And you could add other sautéed veggies as well.  yummy, quick and healthy…trifecta of awesomeness in my book