Healthy Lunch

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm trying to do TWO good things for myself: run and eat some healthy lunches, as to not discount all my good running.

It's actually been pretty easy- I haven't had any ice cream, fudge cake, french fry, pizza cravings. There is nothing worse than having to submit to those when you're working hard.

I try to pick one thing to eat for lunch all week long- it saves money and makes it easy on me to have something prepared at the beginning of the week.

This week I decided I needed more kale in my life. What is wrong with me?! I have a love hate, er, hate hate relationship with kale. Nevertheless, I've seen it all over the place lately and everyone is buzzing about how amazing a food it is. Great. I still don't love it, but when I ate it yesterday, the normally obnoxious chewy yet sharp like knife texture, was good enough that I ate it again today and probably again tomorrow (good idea since the weekends are always a hotbed of horrible food that screw up the weekdays of hard work), What kept the kale from making me want to be violently ill or abnormally dramatic? (too late on that last one)
chickpea salad.

This is technically a mock tuna salad, but I understand the frustration that comes when some long haired hippie vegan tells an omnivore that "the soy steak really does taste just like a ribeye!"
This may not taste just like tuna, but boy does it look like it! And the flavor is relatively similar. The texture is slightly different, but relatively the same (that wasn't ambiguous at all) and you don't wind up with fish smell leaking from your pores all day long. Give it a try. And if chickpea salad is already crazy enough for you by itself, skip the kale and put it on some worthy wheat bread.

Chickpea Sandwich Salad
Adapted from Happy Herbivore
1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained
2 stalks celery, with the leafy tops, chopped
8-10 bread and butter pickles, chopped (you could use dill, but only if you are crazy)
1 T nutritional yeast (sounds crazy, but don't skip it. I find it on the baking aisle, but ask if you can't find it)
1 t onion powder
1 T low sodium soy sauce
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 1/2 T light vegan mayo, or sour cream
1/2 T dijon mustard
a dash or so of hot sauce

In a bowl, mash up the chickpeas with a potato masher. Alternatively, mash them in a blender, but do not let them get pureed- this is not hummus! You want most to all of the beans to no longer be whole. Combine with all other ingredients. Keep in the fridge until it's gone (lasts a few days) Spread on bread, wrap in a tortilla, or serve it on a bed of lettuce.

Back in the Saddle again

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hello there, my long lost cyber space friends. A funny thing happens when you go on vacation.
You never want to return to real life.
This is why the only things I did last week were
1. mourn over being back from UT
2. run 4 miles
3. not cook a darn thing
4. Repeat steps 1-3 as needed

I've woken from that dream land (leaving only step 2 in this week's repetoire) and celebrated coming back to cooking with these

I'm not sure if they are truly a flatbread- I made them on a FLAT. BREAD. But, that is what I called them. I loved them both and the hungry masses were ewually divided between which they preferred.
These are seriously easy and I served with a simple green salad, drizzled with homemade raspberry vinegratte.

Flatbread, two ways

2 balls/batches pizza dough (I bought mine at Whole Foods- $1.29, baby!)
2 T olive oil
4 medium sweet or yellow onions
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4-/2 cup vegetable broth
1 LARGE or 2 medium heirloom tomatoes
1 package, or 1 cup pesto
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375.
On two baking sheets, roll out both pizza doughs into rectangles. Prick a bunch of times with a fork (this will keep the dough from creating unwanted bubbles)
You want the crusts to be basically done- slightly under golden brown, approx. 10-12 minutes

In the meantime...

Caramelized onion flatbread

Get the oil in a large skillet or pot, turn on medium high heat. Thinly slice the onions and place in hot oil. Add the thyme and a dash of salt and pepper. Let these cook a looong time. They need to get golden, aka caramelize. This takes awhile- probably 15-20 minutes, stir occasionally and be patient!

While the onions cook...
keep an eye on your crusts and prepare the Heirloom tomato and pesto flatbread

Thinly slice the tomatoes, pat dry with a towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
When the crust is cooked, spread the pesto all over the bread. Then, lay the tomatoes in one layer, on top of the pesto. Optional: sprinkle with a bit of parmasaen cheese

After the onions have caramelized, add some broth, 2 tablespoons at a time, until it is reduced and thickens the onions. When you've used up at least 1/4 cup of broth, and no more than 1/2 cup, place onions on the other bread. Optional: drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Place both breads back in the oven for 4-5 minutes.