This barely qualifies as a “recipe” because it’s so super simple, but it’s something I never tried doing until about 1 month ago and now I’m totally addicted. I love brussel sprouts anyway, but when you roast them in the oven… OMG, they become the best thing ever.
Here’s how I do them:
- 1 package of frozen brussel sprouts
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425
2. Either use a large ziplock bag or the bag the brussel sprouts came in for this step: Add oil, salt and pepper to the bag and massage the brussel sprouts through the bag until they’re all coated
3. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet
4. Cook at 425 for 35 minutes
After 35 minutes at this temp, using my oven, the brussel sprouts get decently charred and crispy on the outside and extremely soft on the inside. You may need to make adjustments on the cook time if you like slightly less char or due to variations in ovens.
It doesn’t get much more simple than that! Sometimes when I get home from work and I want an “appetizer” before we’re even thinking about getting dinner started, I’ll just throw some of these in the oven. Being brussel sprouts, they’re very healthy so I don’t even feel guilty about it!
Back to Friday blog hopping!
After a quick run to Trader Joe’s yesterday afternoon, I got struck with some inspiration for dinner: soy sausage and peppers over penne vodka! I love the soy sausages they sell at TJs and I loved the look of the orange and yellow peppers they had available that day, so I picked up a few. The recipe below includes proportions for one person since I was making it just for me during my kitchen adventures yesterday:
1 soy sausage
1 orange bell pepper (or whatever your favorite bell pepper color is)
2-3 cloves of garlic
Your favorite vodka sauce (I used Trader Joe’s organic variety)
1. Begin cooking the penne pasta as normal. This is likely going to be the part that takes the longest, so start boiling the water before you move on to the next few steps.
2. Chop up the onion and pepper and saute in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Cook for about 6-8 minutes until the peppers start to soften.
3. Around this time, the water in your other pan should be boiling. Throw the pasta in.
4. Mince garlic and add to onion and pepper mixture
5. Chop the soy sausage into bite-sized pieces and add as well. Let cook for 2-3 minutes
6. Add vodka sauce to the pan. I don’t measure how much sauce I use – I just eyeball how much I think it will take to cover the amount of pasta I’m cooking.
7. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.
8. Around this time, your pasta should be done cooking. Drain and set aside until your sauce is done.
9. Combine pasta with sauce mixture and you’re ready to eat!
This recipe was simple and delicious. The peppers added great flavor to the sauce and the soy sausage really bumped up the protein content on the meal, as well as making it filling and satisfying. I’ll be making this again!
The other night I had a craving for stuffed peppers, something I’ve rarely had and never made. But knowing that peppers are one of my favorite vegetables, I decided to get a little creative in the kitchen and the results were delicious!
- 4 medium/large green peppers
- 1 package of tempeh
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- half of a large onion
- 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1/2 of a 15oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
- Dried basil
1. Cut the tops off of each of the green peppers and scoop out all seeds. Trim off a little bit of the bottom of the peppers so they’ll stand up without falling over.
2. Prepare the tempeh, either by chopping it up finely or running it through a cheese grater, depending on how large you want the pieces to be. I went the chopping route for simplicity.
3. Dice the onion and throw it into a skillet along with the tempeh, along with 1-2 teaspoons each of paprika and basil, if using, and some salt and pepper.
4. Mince the garlic and add to the saute pan
5. Let the mixture cook until the tempeh just slightly starts to brown and the onions get a little soft: 6-8 minutes
6. Transfer the tempeh mixture into a large bowl. Add the crushed tomatoes and breadcrumbs and combine. If it’s looking a little too dry, add some more of the crushed tomatoes.
7. Scoop the tempeh mixture into each of the 4 peppers and place on a foil-lined square pan. Top with as much parmesan cheese as you like
8. Cook at 375 degrees for around 50 minutes, until the peppers are tender.
9. Serve and enjoy! Top with additional leftover crushed tomatoes and parmesan, if desired.
It’s been a long, tough week – so much so that this was the post I wanted to publish on Friday, but I just didn’t have the time to finish writing. Even so, I did join up with some Friday blog hops this week and they’re listed at the end. Sorry it’s 2 days late!
The reason things have been so hectic and crazy can all be traced back to one thing: work. Work has been insane, and I even had to sign on yesterday and work for 5 hours on a Saturday! As a result, I’ve only gotten in 2 workouts this week, but I’m trying to psych myself up for a third right after I post this post.
Recently, I’ve discovered a new (to me) food at Trader Joe’s, and I’ve had some fun experimenting with it…
It’s soy chorizo!
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I saw it in the store, I knew it was something I wanted to try. I love big flavors, and I love spice, so I picked it up and threw it in the freezer for a few weeks, trying to figure out what I could do with it. Having never even tasted “real” chorizo, I didn’t know what kind of flavors I was in for.
One night a few weeks ago, while D was out (he sometimes gets a little freaked out by some of my food experiments, so I tend to break out the new and crazy ingredients when I’m alone), I decided to go for it. I opened up the package and started heating it up in a skillet, the same way you would with a ground meat. I didn’t add any oil – just a little salt and pepper – and as it started to heat up, I thought it smelled remarkably like taco meat. After a small taste, it was confirmed: I would make tacos!
It was incredibly easy and quick to make these (just the kind of recipe I like). Once the soy chorizo was cooked, I spooned it into two taco shells, topped with some diced tomatoes, shredded cheese and ate it with a little bit of sour cream.
The soy chorizo was very spicy and very tasty. Also, I wasn’t quite prepared for how filling it would be. I almost couldn’t finish two small tacos and the leftover chorizo that I had heated up lasted me through at least 3 or 4 additional meals.
This is one dinner that I’ve added to my regular rotation in the kitchen.
For Christmas this year, I asked my parents for a blender. I didn’t get one of the extremely fancy, $300 ones, just a simple blender from Target. I had been inspired by seeing all my favorite bloggers mixing up smoothies for themselves everyday, and I wanted to give it a try. They looked super delicious, easy and convenient, not to mention healthy, and I wanted ot add them to my diet.
This has been one of the best kitchen additions imaginable, since it’s entered my apartment. I’ve been mixing up smoothies almost every morning for breakfast, or sometimes in the afternoon for an after work snack.
The first thing I did was to buy a whole bunch of different frozen fruits: mixed berries, dark cherries, mango and peaches. I mixed up one or two of these with a banana and some milk and it was awesome, but still was lacking something – I wasn’t full enough afterward. For a long time, I had seen bloggers such as Fitnessista using protein powder to bump up the nutrition and fullness potential of their smoothies, and I had never taken the plunge to buy any because it was pretty pricy. However, now that I’d begun my foray into smoothie making, I figured now was a good chance to at least give it a try – if it was too much of an expense or didn’t do enough for me, I wouldn’t buy it again. So I bought some Sun Warrior…
And let me tell you, it was EXACTLY what those smoothies needed. Not only does it keep me full almost until lunch, but it helps me meet my goal to increase my protein intake.
So, breakfasts are certainly taken care of in terms of being nutritiuos and healthy. I either have one of these smoothies (with whatever combo of fruits I’m feeling that day – and you don’t even need ice since they’re frozen), or I cook up a couple of eggs.
I really worked out hard this weekend, and I’m starting to see some muscle tone as a result of my work. Saturday, D and I went off to the office gym as we usually do, but this time it was in a snowstorm. We got about 6 inches and it was still coming down for our walk over. The walk was, needless to say, unpleasant. But the workout wasn’t. Before we even headed out of the house, I did 50 minutes on my stationary bike. Then at the gym, I did arm and leg weights, plus abs, and then a 15 minute cooldown on the elliptical. I burned almost 800 calories, everything combined.
Sunday, I didn’t want to repeat the snowy excursion outdoors, so instead, we went to the “dungeon” of a gym in our apartment complex. I never get a really great workout there, but I did 15 minutes on the bike there, plus 15 on the treadmill. It was a short workout, but I was SUPER sore from the day before.
Things are coming along, and even though the scale continues its strike toward cooperating with me, I know I’m doing good things for my body.
Happy Tuesday! Here’s a blog hop for the day: