Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stove Top Popcorn

I've been trying to make my snacks healthier lately and this was a total win!
I was nervous about burning the bottom of the pot or stinking up the apartment, but it turned out perfectly (and I am inhaling as I type now!).

Stove Top Popcorn!

1/3 cup corn kernels
3 T coconut oil (or one that can handle high temperatures)

  1. Heat the oil & salt in a 3-quart saucepan on medium high heat. 
  2. Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan. 
  3. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds.  This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.
  4. Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper).
  5. Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.
Makes 2 quarts and almost all the kernels popped.

Initial instructions are from here

I love knowing exactly what I am eating and it is super super cheap compared to microwave! :)

Eggplant Parmesan in the Crock Pot

Crock pot eggplant "parmesan" with Feta
{My response to "we should try using the crock pot more"}

With discipline and intentionality, I was able to kick the plague that overcame me and continue pushing through this difficult time they call May-mester {which we have renamed "cray-mester" and its just the first week!}.  It has been intense!  Leaving us with little going on in the kitchen.  My sweet husband made dinner every night this week because, I am sad to admit, I once again fell prey to the freak-out-because-I-will-never-get-through-this attitude.  You would think that third semester around I would get with the program.  Anyways, I have, and I will get through it, and I will do it all while we eat tasty healthy food too!

It is for this reason, you understand that DJ saying "we should try using the crock pot more" was not nagging or dissatisfaction.  It was a response to the idea of eating salads for dinner for the next 5 weeks.  So, here comes my attempt at slow cooking!

Our fridge is getting bare, I was sick for the first half of the week and now he is coming down with it, not conducive to grocery shopping. We don't have much, but we do have 3/4 of an eggplant, and so in response to "Crock pot eggplant" {real creative}, Google brought me to A Year of Slow Cooking.

Not vegan, but gluten free!

Crock pot Eggplant Parmesan with Feta

-3/4 of a large eggplant
-3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs (gluten free is what I used)
-4 t Italian seasoning
-1 jar organic marinara
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-Block of Feta cheese
-salt & pepper

  1. Wash the eggplant and slice it into 1/2 inch slices
  2. Cover the bottom of the crock pot with sauce
  3. Dip each slice of eggplant into the olive oil, coat with breadcrumbs, and layer into the crock pot.
  4. Once you have filled the crock pot with the eggplant, pour the remaining sauce in on top of the slices.
  5. Crumble feta on top, cover, and cook!
I cooked it on low for 4-6 hours.  The recipe also said you could cook on high for 3-4 hours. 

I served mine over rice and DJ's over spaghetti.  He's not a big fan of eggplant, I'm thinking maybe I'll try the same recipe with zucchini.  It was all super good and very easy to make though, and made our apartment smell amazing! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sick Day!

Sick day!
The only reason I give that statement an exclammation point is because it has been a day full of cuddling up and watching The Big Bang Theory and Sherlock episodes :)
{If you haven't seen either of those, I highly recommend them, a single Sherlock episode is like an hour and a half long though... so needless to say, I don't get to it often}

Unfortunately, this awful nagging sore throat, cloudy head, and stuffy nose have come at the end of break rather than the beginning.  I am super bummed to be starting May-mester on such an icky note, but am SO excited to share this giveaway!
 I just had to share because I love cute preppy things, but I love them even more when they are free! :)

Southern Tide Skipjack Polo Giveaway

Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas

Friday, May 4, 2012

Trying My Hand at Indian Cooking

My inspiration came from our upstairs neighbor, who told me about an Indian market not too far from us and thanks to that inspiration, decided to try some Indian cuisine out.  After all, I LOVE Indian restaurants, why not try making something for myself?
I say myself because it really is just myself, DJ is not a fan of international food.  I love eating for health, taste, and flavor {in that order}.  He is more of a quantity over quality kind of guy when it comes to food.  Which makes cooking for both of us somewhat difficult, but we have our "regulars" that we both like, so its all good :)
Anyways, I had this week off from classes and took some time to try some new recipes!

Wednesday I tried Eggplant and Mushroom piccata {making chicken for him}, yesterday experimented with cold Quinoa salad, and today jumped into Indian cooking with both feet trying a vegetable masala {I didn't know what it was either until I got started}

I have learned two big things from this experience:
First, NEVER BUY SPICES AT THE GROCERY STORE.  I'm sure you seasoned home-makers are well aware of this but for those of you that this is news to, let me explain.  A .9 oz jar of cloves at the grocery store is $12.05 an ounce, at the International Market, a 7 oz bag of cloves was only $3.50... I was blown away!

Second, dry beans take a REALLY long time to soak {Chickpeas took me ~12 hours}.  Just a heads up so you can prepare accordingly{or just go with canned beans} :)

The recipe I used, I found here, but by the time I made my changes, it was a whole new recipe :)

Vegetable Masala
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes

3 red skinned potatoes cubed
1 cup chickpeas
4 cups of cold water
1/2 cup frozen sweet peas (thawed)
1 t salt
1/2 t turmeric
1 T coconut oil
1 t ground cumin
1 small sweet onion (finely diced)
2 cans diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 t garam masala
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t fennel seeds

  1. Soak potatoes & chickpeas in the 4 cups of water while prepping other ingredients, drain before using.
  2. Mix salt, turmeric, potatoes, chickpeas, and sweet peas in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 8 minutes
  3. Heat oil in saucepan, mix in cumin.  Add onions and cook until traslucent.
  4. Once onions are cooked, stir in tomatoes in juice, with garam masala, garlic powder, chili powder, ground ginger, and fennel seeds. 
  5. Stir microwaved vegetables into the rest of the ingredients
  6. Let simmer until potatoes & chick peas are fully cooked, adding water or broth as needed
I served it over brown rice and would be delicious with some yogurt if you'd like :)

Mmmmmm!  I am not sure how "true" to Indian cuisine this is, but I loved it :)