Indian-Spiced Pea Fritters

A freezer staple gets a make-over and becomes a delicious meatless dinner.  We all have sweet peas stashed in our freezer.  Some of us may eat them and others may use them as an ice pack.  As for me, I always have a bag or two but I rarely put them to use.  This recipe happened to be in the latest Cooking Light magazine and I was flipping through on Sunday thinking of our meal plan for the week, I couldn’t help but make this since we had ALL the ingredients on hand.  My bank account appreciates me not needing to buy anything else.

About one and a half cups are pea need to be thawed for these fritters.  Once thawed, lightly mash the peas.  (Honesty, I think I should have mashed mine a little more than I did.  So don’t be scared of mashing too much.)  To the peas add in breadcrumbs (I used gluten-free), sliced green onions, garam masala (love this spice!), a little red pepper, salt, and two eggs.

Heat up a little oil on the stove top and then add in half of the fritters, about 1/4 of a cup each.  The fritters cook about 3 minutes on each side, carefully flipping to keep together.

The pea fritters are served with 2% Greek yogurt.

peafritters

I rounded out the whole meal with a simple salad.

The pea fritters gave me a little trouble on the stove-top (fritters ALWAYS stress me out) but they were delicious.  So simple yet the peas were completely transformed.  If you don’t have garam masala, I highly recommend you give it a try.  It’s a mix of spices: cardamon, coriander, cumin, peppercorns, fennel, mustard seeds, cloves and red chile peppers.  So don’t be scared of the spice name.

Oh, and since St. Patty’s day is Friday, this is the perfect GREEN dinner.

Spicy Veggie Hash {plus WIAW}

Hey friends!  I have an incredibly busy day ahead but I wanted to pop in and share an easy yet delicious recipe plus WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday).  I am intrigued to read what other people eat on a day-to-day basis whether it’s a celebrity, a dietician or just another blog I read.  So here’s how yesterday’s food looked:

coffee

6am – Coffee (with almond milk creamer) & Jesus.  After my alarm goes off and I fully wake up (face washed, teeth brushed, contacts in), I head straight to the kitchen and start the coffee pot and take my vitamins.  I spend about 15-20 minutes doing my bible study questions for the day (still in John!).  I used to scroll through Instagram first thing in the morning but I’ve learned that’s not the best way for me to start the day.

yogbowl

6:30am – Time to break the fast and watch the news.  Greek yogurt + KIND Granola + Peanut Butter was the bowl of the day (and a typical breakfast two to three times a week).

vitalproteins

6:45am – More coffee and creamer.  I add a scoop of collagen to this cup.  You can read all about the benefits of collagen here.  I did quite a bit of research before biting the bullet.

orange

10am – I am currently fighting off germs.  I have a fever blister and I had the feelings of a cold coming on.  If you follow me on SnapChat, you know that I put together a “cold chaser” shot:

1/4 tsp. oregano oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. honey
Pinch of Himalayan salt
It was absolutely horrific and I pray that it works.  Immediately after this shot, I reached for an orange for extra vitamin C and to get the awful taste out of my mouth.
spicyveghash
12pm – I found myself with some extra time yesterday so I spent a little time in the kitchen preparing lunch. I typically reach for a smoothie or leftovers for lunch but I’m glad I pulled out the knife and put some effort into lunch.  I prepared a Spicy Veggie Hash and it was deeeelicous.  Plus I have leftovers for the rest of the week.  You do have to dirty up two pans – but it’s worth it. This recipe is incredibly filling and I loved the combination of the sweet potatoes with cinnamon and cumin.
Changes I made to the recipe:  I left out the tomato; I used a different cheese that I had on hand.
muffin
3pm – As usual, an afternoon snack!  I paired one of the muffins I made late last week with 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter.
salads
 6:45pm – Following a walk with a friend, I threw together a salad that consisted of mixed greens, strawberries, avocado slices and avocado.  This combo is one of my absolute favorites and it totally made me crave spring.
teatime
7:10pm – Tea time.  I wanted something to sip on and reached for a warm cup of tea while I watched E! News.
In addition to the above, I also enjoyed two lime flavored carbonated water (similar to La Croix but an off brand) as well as lots of water.
Oh and a pickle around 4:30pm.

Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole

A one-pot dish that is sure to be a winner on the dinner table.  It’s healthy comfort food that’s also husband and kid-friendly.  I recommend this dinner on a night when you have a little bit of time to prep (30 minutes) but once it goes in the oven, the work is done.

I love that this recipe makes prep easier by using a food processor to chop up the carrots and onions.  Simply place the veggies in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Let the dishwasher clean the food processor.

Sauté the onions and carrots for about 4 minutes and add in the finely chopped garlic, allowing that to cook for 2 more minutes.  Then add in the Italian seasoning – I made my own Italian seasoning using dried basil, thyme and oregano, some red pepper flakes and a little salt.  Add in the beef.  I find that Trader Joes as some of the best ground beef.  I try and stock up when I got and throw several packages in the freezer for nights like this.  Cook the beef for 5 minutes, breaking it up as it cooks.  I like using a potato masher for this.  Seriously.  Then goes in the chicken stock, fresh basil, tomato paste, vinegar, pasta (I used gluten-free brown rice pasta) and the tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and cook about 13 minutes or until the pasta is almost cooked through and the pasta has thickened a bit.

At this point I decided to transfer the pasta mixture to a baking dish knowing we would have lots of leftovers.  But you can totally keep this a one-pot meal and starting the whole recipe in an oven-safe pot.

Top the pasta with mozzarella and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Sprinkle with basil and dig in!

groundbeefcasserole

So yummy!  Absolute comfort food – carbs and cheese.

Like a said, a true winning dinner that everyone will love.

Italian Wedding Risotto Soup

Oh, hi!  Sorry about the disappearing act.  I know I say it every Monday (or in this case, Tuesday) but why, oh, why do the weekends go by so fast?  This past weekend was a blur including a visit from three of my favorite little people and an overnight stay in Raleigh filled with yummy sushi.  I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon straightening up the house as well as planning workouts for the week before going on a walk with a friend (the weather here is AMAZING…I really hope winter is over).

This soup was dinner on Friday as I finished up the last of the risotto.  We managed to use the risotto in three different dinners and each one was incredibly different so I really did feel like I was eating risotto all week long.

The Italian wedding soups is by far the easiest of the three recipes.  Mini meatballs are made using Italian sausage (about two links) and when I say mini, I mean mini.  Each meatball is about one teaspoon of sausage.  Once you’ve formed your meatballs, sauté onion (instead of shallot), garlic and red pepper flakes in a little bit of EVOO.  After about 5 minutes, add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Gently drop in the sausage balls along with the last bit of risotto and lower to heat to simmer.  Cook for about 5 minutes, add in the greens (I used baby kale) and a little bit of salt.  Once the greens have wilted, it’s dinner time.

weddingsoup

Each bowl is finished with a little bit of grated Parmesan.  I loved the small amount of heat that came from the red pepper flakes and I loved the sausage meatballs.  Like I said, I didn’t feel like I was eating risotto at all.

And while Big Guy and I really enjoy leftovers, I know there are some leftover-haters out there.  BUT I feel like this is a way to utilize leftovers without feeling like you’re eating the same thing over and over.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Cauliflower Risotto Cakes

I had all intentions of getting this typed up this morning before I headed out for the day but that just didn’t happen.  It is an absolute gorgeous day.  I walked for about an hour and a half today and I was in a tank top.  Loving all the vitamin D I’ve been getting lately.

Last night’s dinner was the first (yes, there will be a third and final one) transformation of the risotto that I prepped on Monday night for dinner.  Creamy risotto is mixed with roasted cauliflower, breadcrumbs, parsley, an egg, S&P, plus some cheese before being shaped into cakes and sautéed in a little EVOO.  If you want to save yourself time (and I think it’s totally the right thing to do), purchase pre-“riced” cauliflower.  My local Walmart carries it where you’ll find the bagged salads and it’s a LIFE saver for this recipe.  The cauliflower is roasted (beware, there’s a bit of a “funky” smell during the beginning of the cooking process) for 40 minutes before being mixed with all the other ingredients.

Also take my advice here – don’t make the cake mixture in advance.  I was trying to be “wonder woman” and prep dinner so that when I got home at 6:15pm all I had to do was patty the cakes and cook ’em.  Well I think the mixture dried out a little big and the cakes fell apart in the pan.  Learn from my mistakes!

caulicakes

The cauliflower cakes are served with a tangy dipping sauce that’s so simple to whisk together.  Duke’s mayo, lemon juice, chives, garlic and some S&P.  Despite the fact that they fell apart, they were delicious.  And if you don’t think you like cauliflower (I’ll be honest, it’s not my favorite veggie raw), this may turn you into a believer.

I’m using the last of the risotto tomorrow nigh…

I can promise you, risotto will not be on the menu this weekend.

Sweet Onion Risotto with Sautéed Kale

Welcome to another edition of “cook once, eat 3 times.”  I prepared this dinner on Monday night and will be using the leftover risotto to make dinner tonight.  Risotto is not a “quick” dinner due to the time that’s needed to allow the rice to absorb the liquid but if you do this on a night or day when you have more time, you can easily prepare two more meals that week using the leftovers.

This risotto recipe is unlike any other risotto I’ve prepared in that you use brown rice instead of arborio rice and you precook the rice.  First you bring liquid (I used chicken stock) to a boil along with the rice and simmer for about 15 minutes.  You drain the rice, reserving the liquid.  The reserved liquid is combined with more chicken stock.  Lots of chopped onion is sautéed in olive oil with lots of garlic and then you add in the rice.  Add in the wine and once it’s cooked off, turn the heat down and begin adding the stock mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until it’s absorbed.  This whole adding liquid and stirring constantly game goes on for about 25 minutes.  Once all the liquid is absorbed, reserve some of the risotto for another night and then add in the salt, pepper and cheese (I used manchego because our store wasn’t hitting on much Monday).

And then you prepare the kale sauté that tops it all off.  Kale (I used baby kale) is sautéed in a  little bit of EVOO.  Once wilted, add in golden raisins and chopped pecans along with salt, pepper and a splash of vinegar (I used white wine vinegar).

risottokale

I was incredibly impressed by how creamy the rice was despite not using arborio rice and I adored the kale topping.  Especially the raisins (sweet) and pecans (nutty and salty).

Stay tuned for how I use the leftover risotto….

Fluffiest Multigrain Pancakes with Almond Butter Drizzle

Oh man!  I wish we were devouring this breakfast right this moment.

fluffypancakes

We enjoyed this plate of flapjacks and bacon on Sunday after a long, long walk.  And while the bacon isn’t the healthiest breakfast option, the pancakes are incredibly good for you.  The pancakes start with soaking rolled oats in buttermilk.  While the oats are soaking, mix together the remaining ingredients (the only change I made was using gluten-free flour instead of whole wheat) and making the drizzle.  I think the drizzle was my favorite part because well, I love nut butter.  The drizzle was made by thinning out the almond butter with some warm water and a little maple syrup for sweetness.

The pancakes were fluffy but didn’t make you feel stuffed.  I also loved the almond butter drizzle as I’m not really a “sweet” breakfast kind of gal.

Do you call them “pancakes” or “flapjacks”?

They’re definitely pancakes in my world.