Things in life don’t always feel good.
Good lord, do I know this. But when things do feel good… because they can, and they do… I think it is important for us to make note of it for ourselves.
One thing that is feeling really nice for me right now is what I have coming out of the kitchen. For someone who has a passion for cooking and baking, this can really make a difference in your overall contentment.
Although I didn’t make any goals or resolutions for 2016, I have naturally found myself on a bit of a “newness” train in the new year. Without conscious planning, my last couple of weeks have been full of new recipes, new flavours, and old favorites brought back from the
dead recipe archives. I feel like I’m in this really nice balance between using up leftovers and items that have been in my pantry for far too long, as well as making fun new recipes that have been on my “to make” list for, also… far too long.
And what really helps with this is no longer having a fear of so many wonderful ingredients. Nuts, seeds, avocado, eggs, white flour…. the (recipe) world is at your fingertips! It feels really nice.
As displayed on Monday, my love for oatmeal and pancakes have made an unexpected come back. And here I was thinking I had gone over to the savory side. P’shaw. It could be because I recently got my first bag of hemp hearts and succumbed to a new love obsession. See – I bought hemp protein powder years ago and insisted that I’d rather drink cow pee, so I’ve kind of had a hate on for hemp ever since. I know. So tragic. Obviously, these are two different things and I was completely and “utter“ly wrong.
I needed vessels for my new beloved h-hearts, so oatmeal and pancakes became the obvious choice. I have, in the mean time, also perfected a new oatmeal strategy. So exciting.
Single Serving Gingerbread Spice Pancake (coconut flour + egg + banana) topped with cashew butter, hemp seeds and blackberries
What I have not perfected, perhaps, are my pancake flipping skills.
I made Heather’s single serving spice pancake (gluten free and paleo), which I had been drooling over for weeks. It was deeeelicious. Light, yet totally satisfying (both for the belly and the eyes – this baby was huge). I added 1 tsp of molasses and a hit more ginger to give it an extra gingerbread je ne c’est quoi. I think I did a pretty good job of covering up my less than perfect flipping skills, don’t you think? #thatswhatmorenutbutterisfor
Check out her recipe!
As always, lunch is where the “use up old leftovers” part comes in. It usually becomes some strange agglomeration of random ingredients all thrown into a tupperware. But hey, using those things up feels just as good.
Spinach + roasted beets + feta cheese + scrambled tofu
I had the last of some scrambled tofu needing to be eaten (crumbled tofu sautéed with onion, pepper, garlic and spices) so took a chance at a #strangebutgood combo. It was good. Strange is always good.
I’ve been pretty ‘good to go’ with snacks and sweets ever since being home at Christmas. You really are never too old for your mother to feel the necessity to overload your suitcase with food. Actually, you totally just appreciate it more as you get older. I salvaged some of her homemade granola bars she had stashed in the freezer.
Homemade granola bar (oats + peanut butter + maple syrup + chocolate chips + sunflower seeds + coconut)
And then dinner is where the fun has really been happening. Again, as I foreshadowed on Monday, my main meal prep for the week was making all the fixings for spaghetti squash lasagna boats. So when Monday came, I just threw all the parts into the boat, popped er’ in the oven, and waited with my fork.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boat (using TVP and ricotta)
I loosely based my inspiration from here and here. I created my own filling/sauce using TVP (textured vegetable protein) sautéed with onion, bell pepper, garlic, marinara sauce and fresh oregano. Mixed this with the forked out spaghetti strands, topped it with a good heaping of a ricotta-spinach mix and then topped it all with lotsa mozza. Baked it for 20 minutes, gave it a brief broil to get the cheese all bubbly, and done. AMAZING.
Now the only thing is I have a tub of ricotta cheese that needs using. Anyone have any ideas or recipes for how you like to use ricotta? I never buy the stuff so am feeling less than knowledgable. Cindy!??
After making this, I have exactly 105069 ideas for more stuffed squash recipes. The first being Kat’s Egg and Spinach version. Be prepared to see a few more of these pop up in the next while. I won’t stop at spaghetti squash, though. Mr. Acorn… I’m looking at you.
And then of course, the one lovely constant. My savored night time routine would not be complete without my plate of chocolate.
I’m nearly at the end of my assorted Christmas truffles. Tear! What will I do!? Oh right. Pretty sure Mother had that covered. I’ll be good for another few weeks…
ALL THE CHOCOLATE snack plate: Chocolate Pretzal Bar + fudge + assorted truffles
And tea. Always tea.
Keeping things new and exciting doesn’t have to mean difficult. It can simply mean getting back onto a routine you once loved, or buying one new item at the grocery store (and shamelessly asking your blogger friends to tell you what to do with it). There’s simple too many recipes out there, but making even one off your list can sure feel nice.
Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Thanks for the link up, Jen. Now go see what everyone else is cooking up!