So, I’m in the middle of my 3 day weekend, which is going great so far.  I’ve been experimenting with different recipes, such as this one.  It all started when had a craving for macaroni and cheese, but wanted to eat something healthier at the same time.  This recipe fulfills both desires!  It’s creamy, comforting, and the panko bread crumbs & parmesan cheese make for a nice crispy topping.  The original recipe comes from tastykitchen (click through for the recipe), and it serves 6.  If you are just making 1-2 servings, follow my ingredient list below:

1 cup of cooked quinoa (1/2 cup raw quinoa cooked with 1 1/4 cup water)

1/3 cup chopped spinach

for the cheese sauce:

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp flour

3/4 cup whole milk

1/3 cup cheddar cheese, plus some for the top

dash of nutmeg

dash of salt

for the crust:

3 tbsp. panko bread crumbs

sprinkle of parmesan

instructions:

1. melt butter, mix in flour & milk and whisk for 2 minutes.

2. mix in cheese, salt & nutmeg. take the cheese sauce off the stove

3. add cooked quinoa & spinach.  

4. add to baking dish of choice.  

5. add panko bread crumbs, cheddar & parmesan cheese on top for the crust.

6. bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

7. let cool & enjoy!

This ingredient list makes one big serving or two regular servings. 

So, it’s Memorial Day weekend.  The weather is mediocre at best, and all I want to do is scarf down a bunch of cookies and catch up on reality TV. However, the summer is approaching!  I want to try to shape up as much as I can.  That being said, I found a recipe for flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  They’re surprisingly delicious.  They’re good as the recipe follows, if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth.  If you do, I suggest adding an extra 2-3 tbsp. of brown sugar.  The original recipe makes about 2 dozen, but if you only want 1 dozen cookies, follow my proportions below:

Ingredient list:

1/3 cup oats

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 egg

3/4 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

I made up my own instructions, which are slightly different from the original recipe.  They turned out great!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. microwave the peanut butter for 10-15 seconds - it makes it easier to mix.

3. mix the peanut butter, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla together. Add 2-3 tbsp. extra brown sugar if you need.

4. grind the oats to make “oat flour”

5. add all dry ingredients & chocolate chips. 

6. use a spoon/scooper to form cookies on baking sheet.

7. bake for 10 minutes

8. enjoy!

(Source: tastykitchen.com)

This recipe is totally on my to-do list.  I love Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog!  

(Source: chocolatecoveredkatie.com)

Everlane is great for basics, I highly recommend!  

This soup is so good, despite the fact that it’s named “detox soup”.  Click through for the original recipe.  This is great even if you’re not a big fan of vegetables.  The original recipe makes a lot of soup, so I scaled down the proportions; see below.  The amount I made is enough for 2-4 bowls, depending on size and fits in a medium sized pot.   

1 carrot

1/3 onion

1 tbsp. canola oil

1 1/4 cup broccoli

1 6 oz pack of spinach

about 1 inch of ginger

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 big cloves of garlic

with nothing to do on a Thursday night, I thought this would be a good investment of my time: perfecting a single serving mac n’ cheese recipe.  I started off with the recipe below, but ended up making one of my own.  I used the same cooking instructions but different ingredients. 

Inspiration recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-mac-and-cheese-for-one/

My recipe: 

1/4 cup macaroni

2/3 cup cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

2 tsp. buffalo sauce

1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp. flour

1 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. Panko bread crumbs

I liked the cooking instructions in this recipe.  You really have to whisk the butter/milk/flour mixture for a full two minutes!  

So I was skeptical about the idea of black bean brownies for so long…but after being cooped up for so long because of Hurricane Sandy, I thought I’d give these a try.  And I’m so glad I did.  These brownie bites were delicious; each bite was filled with fudge and chocolate goodness.  I think I could definitely get away with serving these at a party. 

Click through for the recipe; I promise you won’t regret it!  This site is great for vegan baking and vegan/vegetarian recipes.  

A few comments on the recipe:

This recipe was sweet enough for me, but I do not have much of a sweet tooth.  Depending on your taste, you may want to add more sugar.  I used 1/4 cup organic cane sugar.

I find that my flax ‘eggs’ hold together best when I let them sit for at least 15-20 minutes, as opposed to the 3-5 min. recommendation in the recipe.

I did not have coconut oil, so I added 1 tbsp. of canola oil and they still turned out great.

For next time, I might add chocolate chips and peanut butter chips, or mix in a little Nutella :)

I was too impatient to wait the recommended 30 minutes before taking them out of the pan; they looked too good!

I hope that everyone is staying safe and recovering from Hurricane Sandy.  If you are able and interested in volunteering to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy, sign up to receive volunteer opportunities and updates for NY below:

http://hfny.org/hurricane/#needs

To volunteer for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in NJ, learn more below:

http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/newjersey/

So I was looking for ways to use up my goat cheese that was bought with love from Costco, and came up with THIS.  so good looking, must try. 

and my friend pointed out that I could make the whole recipe and freeze some of them.  So I can have breakfast to go, of course :)

porcedex:

robnapierdesign:

Infographics that display when fruit & vegetables are in season.

By http://russellvankraayenburg.com/

Posted this before, but it’s fabulous.

(via adayinthelifeofavegan)

Single serving peanut butter brownie.  This is amazing!  And is done in 40 seconds!  It’s the best way to fill your dessert cravings fast.  I substituted 1 tbsp. mashed banana for the 1 tbsp. oil and it was still good to me.  Because the banana is sweet, I would put a little less sugar next time.  

Also, to make it extra special, I added crunchy peanut butter and chocolate chips, then put a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  I highly recommend it this way.