Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mini Sweet Potato Muffins

Remember that bag of sweet potatoes I told ya about earlier? This recipe is another product of that bag needing to be used up. Wanting to appeal more to Mark's (sweet) tastebuds this time around and make something that would hold up a couple days, I thought muffins would be a great way to go; Mark is happy they are sweet and I am happy they have vegetables. As for making them mini? That just allowed me to use my brand new mini muffin pan I purchased this weekend. I call that a win-win-win.

Lightly sweetened with some applesauce and a minimal amount of sugar these bite-sized muffins make a tasty afternoon treat. Some would argue *me* that these should even be considered healthy. Consisting of whole wheat flour, fruit, vegetables, and no butter is enough for me to snack guilt free. You should too :).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sweet Potato Hash For One

3-lb bags of sweet potatoes were on sale at the grocery store the other week, naturally I bought it. Then we got super busy being that it was Restaurant Week and all, to make a long story short come Friday we still had a 3-lb bag of sweet potatoes to use up....

This recipe is a product of that predicament.

Fried potatoes with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes topped with an egg... Yes, its just as good as it sounds. Add a little cayenne pepper and the dish becomes especially appreciated after a run in 20 degree weather. It was flavorful and the epitome of fall eating.

Make it. Now.
Wish I would have taken a picture while it was still in the pan
Well I am off to think of other ways to live off sweet potatoes for the upcoming week. Having to come up with ways to use up sweet potatoes, feel bad for me please :).

Sweet Potato Hash For One
Adapted from here

Serves 1


1 small sweet potato, cubed

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped

1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped

1 roma tomato, chopped

1 egg

sprinkle of cayenne pepper

salt & pepper to taste


Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes & onions, cover, and cooked until soft.

Uncover and add mushrooms, bell pepper, tomato, cayenne, salt & pepper. Cook for 5 minutes more or until mushrooms and bell pepper are soft.

Make a hole in the middle of the pan and crack an egg into it, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes more until the whites are set.

Carefully plate and serve.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Restaurant Review: The Wedge Deli

I'm a sucker for co-ops. From the strange items you come across to the interesting people who to always seem peruse the aisles, I think they are infinitely interesting. Living in a Minneapolis means that there are quite a few co-ops nearby, one of which is The Wedge. Mark and I always drive by it on our way home from the farmer's market and I always want to stop (I know, I know. Right after I get done at the farmer's market?!). Luckily one Saturday we were too hungry to wait the 20 minutes to get home for lunch and stopped in to The Wedge for a quick look-see before visiting their deli for some grub.

Since The Wedge is located off of Lyndale Avenue, and we were visiting on a Saturday afternoon, the store was beyond crowded. This didn't sit too well with Mark as we had just fought off the crowds at the farmer's market, so we booked it back to the deli. The deli was extremely accommodating of the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. After studying the lunch offerings for a millisecond Mark and I decided to order the works burrito with chips and a make-your-own sandwich, respectively.

While we were waiting for our orders to be ready I noticed that they had a juice bar on the far right side of the deli. I don't know if I have mentioned my obsession with juice bars before, but if there is one in the vicinity I have to go and get a juice. It probably goes hand in hand with my vegetable obsession. Anywho, after asking for some behind-the-counter advice I went with something called a calcium cocktail. It was a vegetable juice made with kale, cabbage, beets, and carrots. Thanks to the beets and carrots the drink had a slight sweetness to it, which took away from the heavy flavor of the kale. I enjoyed my juice and Mark thought it was ok, but next time I would probably go with a tomato based drink.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tempeh Spring Rolls with Pseudo Peanut Sauce

A couple weeks ago we went out to eat at a Thai restaurant which had spring rolls on their appetizers menu, we didn't order any but I had been thinking about/craving ever since. Fast forward to last weekend when strolling through the aisles of the grocery store I came across spring roll wrappers. Having never used them on top of my unusual yearning for spring rolls meant only one thing: I was buying the wrappers and would attempt to make my own, with a fail-safe meal in mind of course.

I looked at a couple recipes online but decided to just use what I had on hand and hope for the best. I sliced up some raw vegetables and tempeh (which I marinated) and then came the fun part: figuring out the magical powers a little warm water has on a rice paper wrapper! Seriously, I pulled out the dry wrappers and thought for sure I was going to crack them and the rolls would just fall apart, but after dipping them in water for 10 seconds they were instantly rip-proof and semi-flexible. So one by one I dipped, filled, and folded until all my rolls were done. It was THAT easy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

(Partially) Whole Wheat Herb Drop Biscuits

Remember that lentil soup recipe I posted a few days ago mentioning some drop biscuits that accompanied the meal? Well they were a huge hit with both Mark and me, like made-the-meal kind of hit. So I thought I would post the recipe.

I ate mine by placing it at the bottom of my bowl and pouring the soup on top while Mark enjoyed his with butter and honey. Obviously we are two very different individuals.

Welcome back Fall, when I bit into these biscuits it made me think I actually missed you.

(Partially) Whole Wheat Herb Drop Biscuits
Adapted from here

Makes 12 biscuits


1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

4 teaspoons herbs of choice (I used 1 tsp ground thyme, 1.5 tsp basil, 1.5 tsp oregano)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

5 tablespoons cold butter cut into chunks*

1 cup milk of choice*


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray.

Mix together flour, baking powder, herbs, salt, and garlic powder in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.

Using your hands cut butter into flour mixture until well incorporated (you can use a pastry knife, I just don't have one).

Add milk to bowl and stir until sticky dough forms.

Drop 12 equally sized (about 1/4 cup each) chunks of dough onto baking sheet.

Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until your home "smells like pizza dough" as Mark enthusiastically stated.

Serve with soup, butter, eggs, etc. Store any leftovers in an airtight container, but use as soon as possible.

Enjoy :)

*Obviously use vegan butter and non-dairy milk to make these vegan.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Basic Lentil Soup

Now that fall has arrived full force here in the midwest my body is in soup-desire overdrive. There hasn't been a day in the last week that I haven't had an aching for some kind of soup. A couple days ago I wanted a light lentil soup and came up with this not-so-imaginitive recipe, but hey its exactly what I was looking for. Served with some drop biscuits, butter, and honey my rather boring soup became infinitely more swoon-worthy.

I would highly suggest serving this soup with a more calorie dense add-on as it is, albeit healthy, extremely low in the calorie department. So get everything simmering, make yummy Panera-like sandwiches, and in 30 minutes time you will have a body-warming meal on the table.

Served with aforementioned biscuits

Basic Lentil Soup

Serves 2-3


4 cups broth of choice

1 cup water

1 cup dry green lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 small onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrot, chopped

1/8-1/4 cup salsa (or a can of diced tomatoes)

4 teaspoons of your favorite herbs (I used basil, oregano, and thyme)

2 bay leaves

salt & pepper


Bring broth and water to a boil in a large stock pot over medium heat.

While liquid is heating chop carrots & onion and mince garlic cloves. Once broth is boiling stir all remaining ingredients into pot.

Bring everything back to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.

Allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until carrots are soft.

Serve with a side salad and bread.

Enjoy :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Restaurant Review: Black Sheep Pizza (Warehouse District Location)

Coal fired or wood fired pizza? That is what debate over the best pizzeria in Minneapolis comes down to. If you like wood fired, Punch takes the cake; if you prefer coal fired then Black Sheep is what gets your mouth watering. Having already tried Punch earlier this summer Mark and I made time to trudge back over to the warehouse district for some coal fired action.

Obviously Black Sheep had some big shoes to fill. Mark and I loved everything about our pizza from punch, this might not seem fair to Black Sheep for having to go second but someone had to do it. Trust us, as with all restaurants we went in with a completely open mind. Walking in felt like we had just entered a friends' basement, which was a good thing. There was a bar and a bunch of custom-made tables; we were sat at one of the tables. This was fine by us because it gave us a chance to admire the pictures on the tabletops.

One thing I really liked about Black Sheep is that, besides some appetizers, their menu consists of just pizza. That's not to say you don't have choices; there are, but all have to do with pizza toppings. We decided to order two 12 inch pizzas and share so that I could get mine meat-free. Mark went with a hot salami & dried chili pepper because salami is amazing and we had never had it on a pizza before. I chose the tomato & oregano pizza from the menu, but it didn't come with cheese so I went big and added ricotta & artichoke.
Look at the ricotta blob goodness

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Super Quick Chunky Tomato Soup

This soup was the invention of a busy weeknight. Going into it we had no idea how well it would turn out, definitely a welcomed surprise. We served it with some grilled cheeses and called it a well balanced meal. I scarfed it down too quickly to take any pictures so just take my word. If you find yourself hungry and wanting some tomato soup and grilled cheese give this 20 minute fix a try.

Super Quick Chunky Tomato Soup

Serves 2


1 can whole tomatoes, chopped

1 8 oz. tomato juice

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 carrot finely, chopped

1 small onion, minced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 bay leaf

salt & pepper


Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, add onion, garlic, and carrot. Stir and sauté until onions are translucent and carrots are soft.

Place tomatoes, tomato juice, paprika, basil, cayenne, bay leaf, and salt & pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir and add onion mixture.

Bring to a boil, turn heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Divide between 2 bowls and serve.

Enjoy :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Spicy Meatloaf With Sweet-Spicy Glaze (Individual Size!)

I like to think I'm pretty in tune with my body and her needs. But every once in awhile she throws me a curve ball. One of those curve balls happened the other day when I woke up craving meatloaf. Having a craving so specific is nothing weird to me, I never crave "something sweet" or "something crunchy". No, when my body wants needs something she is always very good at telling me exactly what it is. And most of the time I understand. When she said "I need a big, juicy bison burger topped with the works" earlier this summer I thought to myself "who doesn't need more bison in their life", this past weekend she screamed "Sebastian Joe's for some Chocolate Coyote" and we were there 30 minutes later.

But lets just get one thing straight: I hate meatloaf. The girl who had to be dragged to the table whenever meatloaf was announced for supper, who subsequently drowned each and every piece in HFCS-laden ketchup? Yep, that was me.

Needless to say I was caught off guard when the craving hit, and I tried to ignore it. As the day went on however, I just couldn't get meatloaf out of my head. So I caved.

Worst case scenario? I would end up eating a bowl of cereal *shucks*. I was willing to take the risk.

After a little research into meatloaf recipe basics I jotted down some additions to try to give the dish a chance of being somewhat enjoyable for me. I went with the spicy-sweet combination and added some collard greens (any greens would do) as adding vegetables to any dish automatically raises it 10 points in my book. Since I only had 1/2 lb of ground turkey to work with I divvied up the mixture among three ramekins and topped each with a spruced up ketchup glaze. After a short time in the oven the apartment smelled so good I almost forgot I was making meatloaf.