Not that I’ve been thinking about it, but I’d just like to throw it out there that going vegan is something I simply wouldn’t be able to do for one very selfish reason – I love cheese way too much! We buy shredded cheese at the grocery store almost every week, and I get antsy when our stash is low. If we happen to buy a block of cheese for something, you can usually find me sneaking a slice (aka a huge hunk of it) here and there. Hi my name is Danielle and I’m a cheese-aholic.
Anyway, after thinking about a grilled stuffed burrito from Taco Bell and seeing a yummy recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up on Pinterest, I decided it would probably be in the best interest of my waistline to try and make it at home instead. Now, my version is by no means “healthy,” but at least it’s vegetarian and I know exactly what’s in it. This recipe makes A LOT, so depending on how much you fill your burrito with, you may have leftovers that would make a great dip with some tortilla chips, or even over pasta (if you leave out the rice in the recipe).
So as you can guess, this recipe has a serious cheese factor. I’ve used cream cheese in a few Mexican/Southwestern inspired dishes in the past, and every time I’m amazed at how creamy and cheesey it makes things, and my next thought is usually, “duh.” Before that I always associated cream cheese with either dessert, or breakfast – but not anymore!
Ingredients: 1 cup vegetable broth 1 14oz. can sliced stewed tomatoes 1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 15oz. can corn, drained and rinsed 1 4oz. can of diced green chiles 1 8oz. package of cream cheese 1/2 cup shredded cheese blend (I use a cheddar/jack mix) 1 Tbsp chipotle chili in adobo 1/4 tsp paprika 1 cup uncooked brown rice* 2-3 Tbsp masa flour to thicken the mixture (*depends on the consistency of your mixture – see #4) burrito sized tortillas Cooking Spray
Directions: 1. In a medium sized skillet, add the broth, rice, and tomatoes. Heat over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. 2. Stir in the beans, corn, and spices, and let it cook for an additional 5 minutes until everything is well mixed. 3. Add in the cream cheese and be sure to stir it slowly to help it melt (I broke the 8oz block in half to help). This will take about 10 minutes for it to fully dissolve into creamy goodness. Stir in the shredded cheese as well. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. 4. The mixture should be creamy but not too liquid-y because you’re going to need to put it in a burrito. So, if it needs to be thickened, add the masa flour one teaspoon at a time. 5. Heat a separate skillet over medium-high heat, that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. 6. Add 2 generous spoon-fulls to a tortilla, roll it, and add it to the skillet cooking for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
*NOTE: The rice retains a little crunch if you cook it this way. If you’d prefer it to be softer, I’d suggest cooking it either half way or fully first, before adding it in to the mix.
I’m still here, I promise! I’ve been slowly taking over my cooperating teacher’s schedule, so I’ve been getting more and more work (yay!). My time in the kitchen has mostly been spent recreating favorites and making quick meals. However, there have been a few noteworthy dishes I’ve devoured recently.
On Sunday, I sent my husband off to a Superbowl party with some Buffalo Chicken Dip, a true football party classic. He surprisingly brought some home, so on Tuesday I decided to use the leftovers to make grilled sandwiches, my family loves sandwiches, we typically visit the sandwich shop at least once a week so I thought it was a perfect idea. It was super easy, and really delicious – it tasted like it was a million calories, but I promise it wasn’t! All you need to do is make this buffalo chicken dip (second recipe listed), put about 3 tablespoons on your favorite bread, and grill away. Yum.
The next night, I made veggie burgers, but not just any veggie burger. A few weeks ago, Megan over at Running Foodie posted a recipe for eggplant burgers. As luck would have it, eggplants and burgers are two of my favorite things, and combining them was right up my alley. So, I bookmarked the recipe and finally made them. My husband isn’t a big eggplant fan, but he was pleasantly surprised when he found out the ingredients. The recipe makes 8 burgers, so I was able to enjoy some for lunch throughout the week. Double win. Unfortunately I was so excited to eat it all I didn’t snap a picture, but you should absolutely make them.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge burrito fan, so I decided to add that to our menu for the week. This wasn’t just any burrito, though, it was a grilled burrito, which is something I need to do more often. It was such an easy way to upgrade the burrito to a whole new level. If you can muster up waiting a few extra minutes before devouring your burrito, all you need to do is spray a pan with some non-stick cooking spray and heat it for about 2-3 minutes on each side. So good.
To round out my week of yum, I received some goodies I ordered from Pure Bliss Eats, and it’s been a struggle not to eat everything right away! I ordered the Chocolate Chip Dough Balls and some Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola. Almost all of the dough balls are gone already, and there is only a bit of the granola left, too. They are both SO good and since it’s healthy, I have no problem indulging frequently. If you’re in the market for some delicious healthy treats I would highly recommend checking out Pure Bliss Eats, especially because it’s a fellow foodie fitness blogger’s brainchild!
There’s plenty of yum on this week’s menu, and also lots of running. I signed up for the Chicago Marathon in October, so base training for that has begun! This round both the husband and I are planning to incorporate weight training into our plan as well, and we actually spent an extra hour at the gym today doing some leg work. I’m looking forward to making that a more regular occurrence, because I really believe cross training can help someone like me who’s so injury prone. Bring it on, running.
Friday afternoon, my company had it’s third annual Thanksgiving feast during lunch. Everyone brought in a recipe, and at the end we voted for winners. I decided to make Not Your Grandma’s Sweet Potato Pie. While I had lots of compliments, I didn’t win. That’s okay, though, because I devoured a whole lot of deliciousness; broccoli casserole, stuffing, corn salad, pumpkin dumplings, cumin and cayenne mashed potatoes with caramelized onion, and topped it off with some peanut butter brownie mousse parfait. I scored the recipes of almost everything I liked, and can’t wait to make it!
Needless to say, I was stuffed (and lethargic) all afternoon. So when I got home, for one of the first times, I wasn’t ravenous for dinner. Eventually, though, I was hungry enough to make something. Having one sweet potato left over from making the pie as well as an avocado and typical Mexican fare (cilantro, tortillas, cheese), I racked my brain for a solid 20 minutes. Eventually I went with a chili cheese burrito and a side of spicy sweet potato fries. It was quick to make and really delicious. A perfect simple Friday night dinner to accompany watching Millionaire Matchmaker and What Not to Wear… guilty pleasures for a Friday night home alone!
Chili Cheese Burrito – Serves 1 –
Ingredients: ½ can of your favorite chili (I used Amy’s Organic Spicy Veggie Chili) 1 flour tortilla ½ cup shredded Mexican blend cheese ½ avocado, sliced ¼ cup scallions, diced ¼ cup cilantro 2 tbsp sour cream
Directions: 1. Heat chili over medium heat until bubbly, remove from heat 2. Place sliced avocado, diced scallions, and half of the cheese on the tortilla, followed by chili, sour cream, and remaining cheese 3. Roll and enjoy!
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees 2. Peel and slice potato long ways, coat in olive oil then sprinkle with spices 3. Spray a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, flip, then bake an additional 10 minutes 4. Enjoy!
In a perfect world, there would be more hours in the day available for me to do the things I enjoy: run, cook, read, SLEEP!, etc. However, as we all know this world is far from perfect, and most of my day consists of driving in New Jersey traffic to and from work, sitting in a cube for 9 hours, and then trying to create a delicious meal as quickly as possible to leave enough time to do homework, getting in a workout, and somehow having a little time to relax and plan a wedding. Boy oh boy, life is going to be so fun when I throw kids into the mix!
But I digress… Monday night’s dinner was a nice twist on our regular burrito, with a little less work. I actually had a little more time available, because it’s been rainy and I finally got back to running over the weekend. I was able to complete a mile on Saturday before stopping because the uncomfortable feeling in my ankle/heels started to become a little more painful. Then on Sunday I tackled two miles, and immediately came home and threw my entire foot in a bowl of ice water. I probably could have done another mile, but I didn’t want to push it and I also felt terribly out of shape. I struggled to keep myself going slowly enough not to make things worse, but by the end of that second mile, I was glad I stuck to a 9:30 minute mile pace. Tuesday’s 3 miler was back to an 8:40ish pace, but it definitely hurt afterwards. I’m slated to run a 5k October 9th so I’m hoping I’ll be up to 3.1 miles somewhat comfortably. As of right now, I’m not sure if I’ll pull out of the race or not. We’ll see what the next week and a half has in store.
Dinner was pretty straight forward – some taco sized tortilla shells, refried beans, cheese, ground beef with taco seasoning, and salsa. From there you can really make it your own, depending on toppings (of course you can swap the ground beef for soy crumbles, or nothing at all). I decided to dice up and sauté a few pieces of yellow onion, and a habanero pepper to add some heat. I mixed it into the ground beef that had been cooked with some taco seasoning, chili powder, and adobo. Other than that, I just had to slather the taco shells with refried beans (Old El Paso has a fat-free spicy version – yum!), throw the toppings on the shells, and bake. I suppose this open faced taco is similar to a tostada, however I didn’t use actual tostada shells. My parents have them, though, and they’re awesome.
They were definitely like mini Mexican pizzas, which I was more than okay with. Combine Mexican food and pizza? I’m sold. Next time, though, I’ll probably switch up the toppings and do something a little out of the box. But I encourage you to give these a try!
Open Faced Tacos – Serves 2-
Ingredients: 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 yellow onion – diced
1 hot pepper – diced (jalapeno, habanero, etc.)
taco seasoning and other spices to taste
4 taco sized torilla shells
1/2 can refried beans
1 cup shredded cheese blend (“taco” or “Mexican” will work)
1/4 cup salsa
(sour cream, guacamole, and other fixin’s are optional – and delicious!)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Grease baking sheet(s) and place torilla shells on them
3. In a skillet, brown ground beef with onion, pepper, and seasoning until completely cooked
4. While skillet mixture is cooking, spread the refried beans evenly on the taco shells
5. Drain the meat, and evenly distribute on top of taco shells, finishing it off with an even coating of cheese
6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until taco shells have a slight brown crisp
7. Top with salsa and enjoy!
Okay so that might be the title of a movie that came out this past fall with a story-line similar to Love Actually. But I’m not here to talk about the movie. I’m talking about the city in general. Seriously, it rules (mostly). Having been born at the NYU Hospital and then lived in Brooklyn for a few years with family still there today, NYC holds a special place in my heart.
The weekend was full of running, sweating, and of course, eating. On Friday my fiancé and I headed to Central Park for the 5th annual Jamaica Underwear Run. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like; a run through Central Park in your skivvies. Since it was just the two of us, we decided to keep our personal belongings with us, instead of haphazardly checking them. Let me tell you, running with a drawstring backback or camera bag is tough! Not being able to use your arms properly and having something slam against you makes running difficult. Not to mention it was a million degrees out. I never would have thought those 1.7 miles would have felt like that. At any rate, it was a leisurely run through Central Park, and my fiancé and I finished hand-in-hand at around 16 minutes.
From there, we headed to my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn, where we went on the prowl for some food. By the time we got there, showered, and we ready to go it was about 10p. Well, apparently not many restaurants in Park Slope are open past 11, and if you try to walk in at 10:15p, you’re turned away. We were going to grab Indian from Baluchi’s, but we just didn’t make it happen. The only places that seemed to be open later were Mexican joints, which I was more than happy with so we settled on Piramide.
The restaurant wasn’t empty, but being that it was 10:30p, it wasn’t crowded either. We started off with some made to order guacamole (extra spicy) which was super fresh. Definitely a step-up from my poor man’s guacamole, but hey – desperate times have called for desperate measures. I ordered the Piramide Pobalano Combo which was two poblano peppers; one with chicken and the other with cheese, fried to make it a delicious chile relleno and topped with a tomato chipotle sauce, served with rice and beans. It was very good, but at nearly double the price of Jose Tejas’ chile relleno which is a bit bigger and much fuller, I was merely okay with my decision.
My friend went with chicken fajitas that were seriously sizzling, and she enjoyed them. My fiancé ordered the Burrito Loco with steak, which was stuffed with peppers, onions, rice, beans, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese topped with a salsa verde. This was also pretty good, but nothing out of this world. Because my fiancé and I have a similar palate and are often times indecisive, we decided to switch our plates half way through, so we could each sample two dishes. I think the guacamole was probably the highlight of the meal, which is okay since I love it.
After that our night ended, since we had to be up bright and early for the Central Park Conservancy Run, a 4-miler through the wonderful CP. Since we ran the night before and the registration fee was a little to steep for our wallet (nearly $40 by the time we knew about the race), my fiancé and I decided to be spectators instead of runners. This is actually the first time either of us attended a race, and didn’t actually run in it. It’s a weird feeling, similar to attending a swim meet and not swimming; you are relieved to not have the pre-race jitters and actual race pain, but at the same time, you feel a bit like a slacker. That’s exactly how we felt Saturday morning, but because it was so brutally hot, I was more than okay with being a spectator. We got ourselves a sweet spot at the finish, and were able to spot my friend (wearing the same polka dot shirt she does for every race) cruise across the finish line in 25:22. Yes, you read that correct. A fellow former swimmer running 4 miles in just over 25 minutes – and she looked comfortable the whole last leg. Envy I tell you, pure envy. It made me realize my running and excuse department is a bit lack-luster, and I should probably get myself out there more. But yes, enough whining about my running ability and back to the food. But seriously, awesome job Kir!
From there we headed to Washington Square Park, so I could get my hands on some Cake & Shake. A newer food truck on the scene, they offer daily cupcake and shake flavors and they also have pupcakes for the dogs! Since there were two of us, my fiancé and I decided to share a cupcake and a shake, and we picked the whatchamacallit cupcake and salted caramel shake. They were both equally awesome. The whatchamacallit is a milk chocolate cake with caramel mousse and a nougat frosting. The salted caramel needs no explanation, and was the perfect combination of sweet, creamy, and refreshing. If you are ever in the area, you need to get yourself a cupcake and/or (probably and) shake. I have every intention of heading back to get some more!
Continuing our galavanting after hanging out in the park for a bit, we ventured over to Petite Abeille for some brunch. What a cute place! As soon as you walk in you’re welcomed with the smell of delicious Belgian waffles, and are then quickly ushered back to a table. They offer specials throughout the week (such as all you can eat mussels and a Stella on Wednesdays) and have an extensive beer list. Since it was brunch, I decided to order the Madame Croquet, which comprised of grilled ham and gruyere cheese and a sunny-side egg on top with a side of fries. My fiancé ordered the Gaufre Dame Blanche, which simply put were some Belgian waffles with ice cream and whipped cream, topped with a chocolate sauce. Both of our meals were good, but definitely not filling. We each ordered a coffee, mine iced and my fiancé’s hot, and his had a ton of coffee grinds floating in, and at the bottom of his cup. Our water also had a crayon-like taste, which was disappointing considering how incredibly hot it was outside. Overall, the food was okay, but the restaurant itself is adorable and the staff is friendly. If you’re looking for something small to eat, I’d recommend it, however, don’t expect a big hangover curing brunch because you won’t find it here.
To end the day, we headed to Coney Island for The Village Voice’s Siren Fest – a free music festival right in the heart of Coney Island. I was excited at the opportunity to see both Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and Matt & Kim, but unfortunately they didn’t go on until 7p, and it was just too brutally hot outside. We walked up and down the boardwalk a few times to use the breeze to our advantage, but we were still basically dripping sweat. We were too full from our stops earlier to enjoy some Nathan’s, so we called it quits pretty early, and headed back home.
Overall, there was a lot of eating and sweating this weekend in good ole NYC. Often times I’m envious of the lifestyle New Yorkers have, and this weekend was definitely a weekend I felt that way. There were a million options of things to do, and they could be done by simply hopping on a train. Not to mention the food is always amazing, and I really enjoy walking around everywhere. No wonder so many of you New Yorkers are so thin ;-). But then I remember it’s also nice to have my own backyard, and a slightly lower cost of living. But have no fear, I’ll be back again soon, because New York, you’re just too awesome to stay away from!
Ahh yes, birthday time. Monday (6/28) I celebrated the big 24 (boooooring!), and received a lot of foodie (specifically baking) prizes. Yes, you read that correctly. I do not call gifts presents, rather prizes – it sounds more fun!
Most of the food related gifts actually came from my co-workers, and they’re smart; hopefully their prizes will get me in the kitchen, and therefore bringing in left over goodies to share with them. Good thinking! Anyway, in addition to the amazing MacBook from my fiancé that I’m currently using to type this up, an awesome new Coach bag, Forever21 gift card, shirt and earrings from my parents and sister, I got the following foodie items:
– A sweet set of baking dishes, and a Pyrex measuring cup, which we somehow don’t have. This is going to come in handy!
– I’ve been eyeing this cupcake recipe book for awhile. Everything is SO cute. I hope my lack of artistic ability will some how not transfer over to these cupcake decorations
– I’ll be making these cupcakes this weekend to bring to a 4th of July BBQ. Hopefully they are yummy!
– How can you go wrong with this?! Now I have an extra cupcake pan (having only one is annoying), a mini cupcake/muffin pan, AND a carrying case? SCORE!
So as you can see, I was spoiled with my foodie (and non-foodie) prizes! By the end of the week I’ll hopefully have used the pie dish, cupcake mix, and cupcake carrier. I’ll definitely be reporting back on those!
As for the eating aspect of my birthday, that was equally delicious. It started off before work with some Dunkin Donuts (iced coffee and a jalapeno bagel twist to be exact). It was later followed up with a junior homewrecker with tofu burrito from Moe’s Southwest Grill. Then, going for a double-dose of Mexican (how could I resist?!) the family took us to Jose Tejas, one of my favorite Cajun Creole/Mexican joints (you can read about the restaurant here)! After that we had some cake – a chocolatey moussey ganachey coconutty slice of heaven. Needless to say I had to roll myself into bed after eating all that!
Stay tuned for the results of all my awesome prizes, and happy nomzing! Oh, and thanks to everyone that made my birthday special!!
Have any of you had better success with microwaveable burritos? I think sautéed and made yourself is the way to go, then heat up a tortilla for 10-15 seconds in the microwave to get it soft, and wrap away!
I’m a frozen foods junkie. Typically, I stick to them for breakfast and/or lunch, but not dinner, since the little meals are rarely satisfying.
After spending weeks eating instant oatmeal every day for breakfast in an effort to save money and calories, it was time for something new. I did a week of frozen bagels, and a few weeks of different waffle variations. This week, however, I decided to switch it up with Barbara’s Bakery Puffins. Not just any Puffins – the peanut butter kind. They’re so delicious, that I’m almost through my box and it’s only Wednesday.
So, last night I had to stop quickly at Stop & Shop to grab some extra chicken stock for the Southwest Chicken Soup. Remembering that this particular location is Kosher and has A LOT of veggie options, I ran over to the frozen section in hopes of finding Amy’s breakfast burritos. I typically do my weekly shopping at ShopRite, and for whatever reason, they carry every variation of Amy’s burritos EXCEPT the breakfast one! Once I spotted them, I excitedly grabbed two (because I’m always thinking about my fiance), and headed home.
My co-worker that’s vegetarian often has these burritos, and groaned when I excitedly told her I had one for breakfast. That’s how good these things are! They’re completely organic and vegan, but you’d never notice. There’s yummy cheese, tofu, beans, onions, potatoes and tomatoes all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. And at only taking 3 minutes in the microwave, what more could you ask for?!
While the picture I took with my iPhone doesn’t paint it in the best light, it really is delicoius! So next time you’re looking for a quick and easy breakfast option you can bring with you to the office, head over to the frozen section and grab yourself some Amy’s Organic Breakfast Burritos. Maybe grab a box of Puffins too, because they’re equally delicious!
Head over to Amy’s website to see all of the delicious vegeterian and vegan frozen options available!