Not Your College Dorm Ramen!

Ryan and I watched a TV show a few weeks ago where a chef went around and tasted different ramen recipes at various restaurants.  Since then, I have been thinking about it, obsessing over it, and trying to find the best of the twin cities ramen!  In fact, we have a promise that our next date night will be at a local restaurant known for their ramen.  ( I can’t wait!  Babysitter anyone?!)

So I was ecstatic when just the other day a friend of mine posted on FB that his wife had just made homemade ramen for them.  Luckily, she was kind enough to send me her favorite recipe.  I tried it the same day!  I told you I was obsessed. :)

It. Was. Amazing. (I modified it a little bit to keep my own touches.  I have always said a recipe is a guideline, not a rule.  This is why I rarely bake.  Baking has lots of rules. I digress…)

So on the next cold, wintry day,  I suggest you make this recipe and use chopsticks.  It is comforting, slurpy, messy, goodness.

Not Your Dorm Room Ramen!

Ingredients:

2 T sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
1 cup shiitake mushrooms
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 T miso paste
2 T garlic, chili paste
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup celery
3 cups fresh spinach
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
2 cups shredded chicken (I used rotisserie.)
3 packages Yaki-soba or Anna Chung ramen-  discard flavor packets (approx 5 ounce servings/package)
2 eggs, soft-boiled
1 bunch green onion, diced
Handful fresh parsley

Heat oil in large soup pot.
Add garlic and ginger and saute for 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms, chicken stock, water, miso, garlic paste, celery, and carrots.
Bring to boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add spinach, bean sprouts, ramen noodles and chicken in the last few minutes of cooking.

Garnish with soft-boiled egg, green onions, and parsley.

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Original recipe modified from:  http://damndelicious.net/2014/10/13/easy-homemade-ramen/

Yes, there are a lot of ingredients here.  BUT, you can modify it or just do what I did. and make an Asian inspired salad with the left over rotisserie chicken and veggies the next night.  Like this one here.

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Flourless Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Combine the following in your food processor or blender:

2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
5 T honey
1 cup PB  (I used Jif Natural creamy.)
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

Once mixed, stir in 1/2 cup of mini-chocolate chips.

Pour into well-greased or lined muffin tins.  I filled mine 3/4 full and it made 10 muffins.
Sprinkle a few extra chips on the top.
Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes.

*I am not sure if almond butter or “real” peanut butter would do the trick in this recipe.  I save my Jif for baking and the real deal for everything else.  Let me know if you try it and it works!

I found this recipe while on Pinterest the other day and had to try it!  It was a huge hit at our house, which is why I am sharing it with you :)  Next time, I will plan on doubling the recipe and freeze some for the boys lunches.  Original recipe found here:  http://www.averiecooks.com/

Posted in breakfast, Kids Meals, lunch, Paleo, snacks | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Cauliflower “Rice” and Chickpea Salad

wpid-imag0996_1.jpgIngredients:

1 head of cauliflower, riced
2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and towel dried
EVOO
chili powder
cayenne pepper
oregano
sea salt and ground pepper
1 T grainy seed mustard
1/2 T maple syrup
bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
handful of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
2 bunches of green onions, sliced
1 crisp apple, thinly sliced (I like honeycrisp.)
1/2 cup sliced almonds

First you need to roast your chickpeas.  If you have never done this, trust me, it is life-changing good.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Place dried chickpeas on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with 1T EVOO, sea salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano and cayenne pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, stir, and roast for another 15-20 minutes to desired crispness.  (These are an amazing protein snack and pack a punch in any salad.)

Next, “rice” your cauliflower.  This is easy.  Just place small chunks into your food processor and blend until rice-like.  (Warning: it gets messy!)

Combine your “rice”, radishes, green onion, parsley, apple and almonds in large bowl.

Mix your salad dressing:   1/2 cup EVOO, 1/2 T maple syrup and 1 T mustard.  (Taste it.  Do you like it?!  If not, adjust as necessary.)  Drizzle on above salad mix.

Once your chickpeas are done.  Toss them in the mix!  and serve!wpid-imag0997_1.jpg

 

*Original recipe found here:  http://www.thefirstmess.com/2014/04/09/vegan-cauliflower-and-roasted-garbanzo-rice-and-peas-recipe/

*Holy crap!  I have a terrible phone camera.  One month until a new phone will replace this one, and I hopefully will be taking better food pictures again.  Maybe it will even inspire me to blog more often.  :)

Posted in B is for beans, Healthy meals, Salad | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Over-night blueberry french toast *gluten-free

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  1. 2 cups frozen wild blueberries (Trader Joe’s)
  2. 1 loaf of Udi’s bread, cut in cubes (or bread of choice)
  3. 5 eggs
  4. 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  5. 1/4 cup coconut sugar (you could substitute with honey)
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1 tsp cinnamon
  8. Pinch of nutmeg
  1. Grease a 9×11 pan with coconut oil or butter.  (Do this!  I forgot and it was a mess to clean up!)  Place the bread and blueberries into the pan.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, almond milk, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and blueberries. Lightly stir to coat.  (Place in fridge over-night and bake in the morning or you could just bake right away.  I like having something all ready to toss in the oven with no work for weekend mornings and school days alike.)
  3. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 350F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve with bacon and drizzle with syrup.  It makes everything better :)
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Shepherd’s Pie *paleo

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For the beef mixture:

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef/lamb (I used a mix of both.)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 T tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:

1 large head of cauliflower
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese (you could omit this to make it strict paleo)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Brown meat in large pan.  Add in veggies and seasonings.  Cook for another 5 minutes.
Add in tomato paste and broth.  Stir to combine all flavors and simmer for 10 minutes.

While making the above, steam your cauliflower.  Once softened add the cauliflower, broth, salt and pepper to your mixer.  Puree til smooth.  Add extra broth if needed.

Place meat mixture in bottom of baking dish (I used a 8X8 glass dish.).  Spread cauliflower mixture on top and sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown on top.  (I broiled mine for 2 extra minutes to get the cheese nice and crusty!)wpid-imag0881.jpg

Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Almanzo100 recap, thoughts, and lessons learned…

First of all, watch this video—>

Where do I even begin…

Sometime back in January I decided to send in my postcard to ride the Almanzo100.  (If you didn’t watch the video above, do so now.)

Why? Well, first of all, 100 miles of gravel and climbing hills in southern MN sounds great on -10F day when you haven’t seen the sun in 30 days.  Second, I thought it would give me motivation to ride the trainer a lot this winter.  Lastly, it seemed like a good early training tool for the Triple Bypass Ride I am signed up for in July.

Well, winter came and went. (It is gone now right?!) AND, before I knew it, it was May.  My longest outdoor ride was 56 miles and that was a week ago.  It was horrible, my ass hurt, my legs were cashed, I bonked, and it was on flat, paved rode! I hadn’t rode my mountain bike since Chequamegon40 in September of last year, and this was my bike to ride for 100 miles on May 17th.  All I could think was Almanzo would be a disaster…and WTF was I thinking signing up for this?!

Friday afternoon, Ryan and I made the trip to Spring Valley, MN.  Set up camp with our new camper (BTW, it is awesome!) and head to the city campground to get our race numbers —>wpid-imag0502.jpg

Saturday morning came with the normal pre-race or big event jitters.  Meaning, I had to go to the bathroom 3-4 times and force myself to eat.  UGH!  I hate that.  Ryan and I met up with some friends and rode to the start.  We got there just in time for the National Anthem, find a spot in the line up, and to sing Happy Birthday to Chris Skogen’s son, Jack :) Seriously, what kid wouldn’t want 1300+ people singing to them!  Loved it.  For the first time since signing up for the event, I felt like no matter what happened, I would be okay with my day.

The start reminded me a lot of Chequamegon, but without the rush (at least at the back of the pack anyway) or crashes.  To sum up the course, it is a lot like this all day long—>almanzo

I wish you could feel the wind!  Seriously, I can’t tell you how demoralizing wind is.  It. Is. Awful.  That along with hill, after hill, after hill…

What can I say?  I wasn’t prepared for an off-road century in May.  I wanted to quit when we hit Preston, MN (about 40 miles in), but my partner in crime Joanna and I had a deal.  No bitching til mile 40.  Re-evaluate the situation at mile 60.  Shoot for 80 and hope for 100.

Around mile 60, we re-evaluated.  Our pace was slow.  There was no way we would finish in the 10 hours we hoped for.  There were talks of faking a mechanical.  “I wish there was a knife along side the road that we could slash our tires with.” At one point we even heard gun shots and hoped for a stray bullet.  For real.  Shit gets crazy when you are on your bike for 7+ hours and only have consumed water, electrolytes, and energy foods.

This is our pre-race and “failure photo” at mile 62—>wpid-img_3137.jpg

When my Garmin died at mile 61, my heart felt heavy.  It was over.  We chugged on for another 11 miles.  Finishing our day at mile 72, right outside the campground we were staying at.  HA.  We didn’t plan it that way, but it worked.

The only data I have :( Note to self:  get a new Garmin that lasts longer than 7 hours.  almanzo3

We laughed.  We almost cried.  We met some awesome people along the way.  We were out there on the saddle for 7+ hours.  We left nothing on the road.  No shame.  We came to do something incredible and we did.  Strong.  Simple.  wpid-img_20140516_191240.jpg48 hours later.  I wish I would have done more.  Our finish promise to each other was to not sign up again next January.  Well, that has already been thrown to the curb.  Almanzo100 we will meet again and this time, we will shake Mr. Chris Skogen’s hand at the finish line.

 

 

Posted in cycling, Races | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Beef and Black Bean Chipotle Chili

  • 3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium chipotle plus 2 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
  • 2-2.5 lb. ground beef
  • Sea salt
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced and 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced 

Put one-third of the beans into the bowl of a food processor, along with the tomatoes and their juices, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Process until smooth and set aside.

Cook the beef in large pot and season with 1/2 tsp. salt.  Approx. 5 minutes.
Add the onion and celery and 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown and soften, about 3 min.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the chili powder, pepper, and cumin and cook for 1 minute.
Add the remaining black beans, the puréed bean mixture, and simmer for 10 min., stirring frequently.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
If the chili is thicker than you like, it may be thinned with water.

Serve the chili topped with the avocado and cheese. wpid-imag0483.jpg

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It will never be enough.

poem

Today my dad would have been 70 years old.  Seventy!  Happy Birthday Dad!  

You know it’s weird… but I really don’t have many photographs of just me and him.  I wish I would have taken more photos when I was younger.  I guess, like most of us do, I just took our time with each other for granted.  Please don’t take anyone in your life for granted.  It can all change in a blink of an eye.  Take photos!  Create lasting memories.

You know it’s weird… but I feel more sad for my mom and my kids than I do for me (now).  I am the lucky one.  I got 25 years with my amazing Dad.  BUT, my mom should have had her lifetime, her retirement, her “golden years”.  AND, my kids should have had the chance to know their Grandpa… to fish, to hike around at the cabin with, to eat ice cream with, to love. 

You know it’s weird…he has been gone for almost 14 years and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him.  It’s the little things.  House projects.  Lawn maintenance.  A Ford pick-up truck.  What to do when XYZ go wrong?  Little celebrations.  My goofy boys. 

Is it weird to still celebrate a birthday when some is no longer on this earth?  I don’t think so.  Today my boys, Ryan and I celebrate… My Dad, a father-in-law, a Grandpa.  We miss you! Wishing you could share an Izzy with us one day.
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Posted in random thoughts | 3 Comments

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Ingredients:

15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 lemon, juice only
1/4 c tahini paste  (I like this kind from WF)                                                         wpid-imag0480.jpg
1 clove garlic
2 T EVOO
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 roasted red peppers (I used the jar kind)

Mix all of the above in your food processor until smooth.

I can’t believe I haven’t tried making this before.  It makes double the store bought amount and at a fraction of the cost.  We are hummus junkies over here and this will be one of our new staples in our house.

It is a perfect after school snack with a few fresh veggies and crackers.  Give it a try and mix up the flavors.   Let me know what you come up with.  I love hearing from you!

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Posted in appetizer, B is for beans, Dip, snacks, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Strawberry & Avocado Salad with Bacon Poppy-seed Dressing

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Salad:
6 cups of baby kale
1 avocado, sliced
8 strawberries, sliced

Dressing:
1/4 cup mayo (the real stuff)
1 T coconut sugar (sub with sugar of choice)
1 T rice vinegar
1/2 tsp poppy-seeds
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
(I also added a tsp of the bacon fat for added flavor!)

This was good, really good.
Even Ryan like this and he despises anything with mayo and/or vinegar.
I think the bacon helped :)  It really does make most things better!

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