lizz eats

I love to cook, and love to eat. Read along as I make my way through life, one plate at a time.
I’ve come back from the Tumblr dead with gifts! Soft, delicious, pillowy gifts in the form of tortellini. 
A week ago I went to the gym and after decided I would treat myself to tortellini from a store that sells locally-made foods. I spotted some tortellini and was on my way to deliciousness. Until I bit into said tortellini and was sorely disappointed. More than disappointed, I was downright upset. 
I was so upset I decided to make my own tortellini. A quick internet search yielded this recipe from Sir Alton Brown. Okay, cool…now how do I make this? To YouTube! Isn’t the Internet great?  I did make some changes to Alton Brown’s recipe (see below), and I regret nothing except I should have added more olive oil to the pasta. One teaspoon was not enough, in my opinion and my pasta was a tad tough (albeit tasty!).
Enough talking, here’s what you’ll need: 
Fresh Pasta:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
I should note that I used basil-infused olive oil which gave my dish extra flavor. Next time I’ll go crazy and use a little truffle oil. 
I made mine by hand because my food processor is too tiny to handle all of this. First, have a clean and dry surface which you can work on. Make a mountain of flour and salt and dig a nice DEEP well in the center. That part is important, or else you’ll get the wet ingredients everywhere (or was that just me?). Mix all of the wet ingredients together before going into said well. Mix with your fingers until fully incorporated. You’ll want to knead your dough a good eight to ten minutes, then make a nice ball out of your dough and refrigerate for an hour. 
Now it’s time for the filling. Like I said, I deviated from Alton’s recipe, and I was glad I did because my filling was delicious (not that his isn’t, I’m sure). Instead of the spinach, I roasted off some garlic with salt and olive oil in my handy dandy toaster oven. You could do this in your oven too, but why would you if you have a toaster oven? I also did not add the egg to the mixture, and was still pleased with my results. Especially since I saved the leftover* filling for eating with toast. 
*I only ended up having enough patience for half a batch, I can’t lie. 
Filling
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano
2 roasted cloves of garlic 
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan
I made a little extra than the above because I definitely needed to eat a few spoonfuls test for safety. Safety first! 
All right, you’ve waited an hour for your dough, congrats! Next, grab a pot that holds about half a gallon and fill it with that much water. Yes, you’ll have enough time here to get it to a boil and have tortellini ready to cook. Trust me. Crack an egg open, add a smidge of water and whisk, this will help you seal your pasta. 
The YouTube video I linked to was immensely helpful in how to roll out your dough and stuff said dough. Some of my own tips:
Quarter your dough, then quarter each quarter so you end up with equal sized pieces. Either way, your tortellini is probably going to be bigger than the stuff you’re used to at the store. 
DO NOT over-stuff your dough. I know it’s tempting and you feel like you’ve been given the shaft with store-bought suff because there never seems to be enough filling in your pasta, but you don’t want your tortellini to explode  A good “measure” for me was half the size of a melon-baller. 
Here are the steps that I did to shape my pasta:
Roll into an oval shape, fill pasta a little above the halfway mark of the shape, splash the egg white on one side. Then, fold in half and roll it shut (like the shape of a hot dog!), add egg wash to one tip and make a tight circle. 
Lastly, it’s worth it. It really is. I know it’s going to take you like an hour or a little more to get through half a batch, but seriously, this is some good stuff. And you no longer need to shake your first at crappy store-bought stuff. 
The next time I come back from the Tumblr dead, I’ll have something easier, I swear. But this is awesome, and you should make your own pasta because you can say, “damn, I made that!”
Croissants are a different story and I will never make them again, however. 

I’ve come back from the Tumblr dead with gifts! Soft, delicious, pillowy gifts in the form of tortellini. 

A week ago I went to the gym and after decided I would treat myself to tortellini from a store that sells locally-made foods. I spotted some tortellini and was on my way to deliciousness. Until I bit into said tortellini and was sorely disappointed. More than disappointed, I was downright upset. 

I was so upset I decided to make my own tortellini. A quick internet search yielded this recipe from Sir Alton Brown. Okay, cool…now how do I make this? To YouTube! Isn’t the Internet great?  I did make some changes to Alton Brown’s recipe (see below), and I regret nothing except I should have added more olive oil to the pasta. One teaspoon was not enough, in my opinion and my pasta was a tad tough (albeit tasty!).

Enough talking, here’s what you’ll need: 

Fresh Pasta:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

I should note that I used basil-infused olive oil which gave my dish extra flavor. Next time I’ll go crazy and use a little truffle oil. 

I made mine by hand because my food processor is too tiny to handle all of this. First, have a clean and dry surface which you can work on. Make a mountain of flour and salt and dig a nice DEEP well in the center. That part is important, or else you’ll get the wet ingredients everywhere (or was that just me?). Mix all of the wet ingredients together before going into said well. Mix with your fingers until fully incorporated. You’ll want to knead your dough a good eight to ten minutes, then make a nice ball out of your dough and refrigerate for an hour. 

Now it’s time for the filling. Like I said, I deviated from Alton’s recipe, and I was glad I did because my filling was delicious (not that his isn’t, I’m sure). Instead of the spinach, I roasted off some garlic with salt and olive oil in my handy dandy toaster oven. You could do this in your oven too, but why would you if you have a toaster oven? I also did not add the egg to the mixture, and was still pleased with my results. Especially since I saved the leftover* filling for eating with toast. 

*I only ended up having enough patience for half a batch, I can’t lie. 

Filling

  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano
  • 2 roasted cloves of garlic 
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan

I made a little extra than the above because I definitely needed to eat a few spoonfuls test for safety. Safety first! 

All right, you’ve waited an hour for your dough, congrats! Next, grab a pot that holds about half a gallon and fill it with that much water. Yes, you’ll have enough time here to get it to a boil and have tortellini ready to cook. Trust me. Crack an egg open, add a smidge of water and whisk, this will help you seal your pasta. 

The YouTube video I linked to was immensely helpful in how to roll out your dough and stuff said dough. Some of my own tips:

  • Quarter your dough, then quarter each quarter so you end up with equal sized pieces. Either way, your tortellini is probably going to be bigger than the stuff you’re used to at the store. 
  • DO NOT over-stuff your dough. I know it’s tempting and you feel like you’ve been given the shaft with store-bought suff because there never seems to be enough filling in your pasta, but you don’t want your tortellini to explode  A good “measure” for me was half the size of a melon-baller. 

Here are the steps that I did to shape my pasta:

Roll into an oval shape, fill pasta a little above the halfway mark of the shape, splash the egg white on one side. Then, fold in half and roll it shut (like the shape of a hot dog!), add egg wash to one tip and make a tight circle. 

Lastly, it’s worth it. It really is. I know it’s going to take you like an hour or a little more to get through half a batch, but seriously, this is some good stuff. And you no longer need to shake your first at crappy store-bought stuff. 

The next time I come back from the Tumblr dead, I’ll have something easier, I swear. But this is awesome, and you should make your own pasta because you can say, “damn, I made that!”

Croissants are a different story and I will never make them again, however. 

Sorry I’ve been slacking on updating, but I’m back with a recipe that makes you wanna slap yo mama!

I love all things spicy, that’s really no secret. But in order for me to love the spice, I have to love the flavor, and that’s why salsa verde is one of my favorites. Salsa verde tends to be milder than it’s counter part, salsa roja, but it just packs so much flavor. Also, if you make it yourself, you can control the heat, which is what I did! 

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 lb to 1 lb of tomatillos
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, whole
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, rough chopped
  • 2 TBS of cilantro, or a small handful, stems removed
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste

Method:

boil tomatillos, peppers and garlic until the tomatillos turn dark green. Remove peppers and here’s where you can control your heat. You should remove the stems from all peppers. BUT if you want milder sauce, remove the seeds from the peppers. Add about half the tomatillos and all peppers and garlic into your blender. Add about a ladle-full of the water (or more if you want less of a chunky salsa). Blend, then add the rest of the tomatillos and blend again. At this point, add the cilantro, more salt if needed and sugar, blend. Last add the onions and blend. you can also just dice the onions for a chunkier salsa.

Serve with chips, tacos, use it as a marinade…go crazy! 

Zuchinni Pizza 
Don’t get me wrong, I love making elaborate meals. But when I come home from work, I just want the food to hit my mouth. This recipe is super easy.
Ingredients
1/2 medium zucchini
2 TBS low fat ricotta
2 small tomatoes (about twice the size of a grape tomato)
2 pieces of Trader Joe’s Malabri Paratha* (*In retrospect I would have used their naan as it’s a lot more sturdier, but these were in my freezer)
2 mini mozzarella balls, halved
To taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning
Method
Heat oven to 450
Grate zucchini. Place in a paper towel and ring out excess liquid, add in a bowl. Add ricotta, salt, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan, stir until fully incorporated.
Place half the mixture on the flat bread (which should still be frozen), add sliced tomatoes and mozzarella. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
Cook for 7-10 minutes until fat bread is crispy.

Zuchinni Pizza

Don’t get me wrong, I love making elaborate meals. But when I come home from work, I just want the food to hit my mouth. This recipe is super easy.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium zucchini
  • 2 TBS low fat ricotta
  • 2 small tomatoes (about twice the size of a grape tomato)
  • 2 pieces of Trader Joe’s Malabri Paratha* (*In retrospect I would have used their naan as it’s a lot more sturdier, but these were in my freezer)
  • 2 mini mozzarella balls, halved
  • To taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning

Method

Heat oven to 450

Grate zucchini. Place in a paper towel and ring out excess liquid, add in a bowl. Add ricotta, salt, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan, stir until fully incorporated.

Place half the mixture on the flat bread (which should still be frozen), add sliced tomatoes and mozzarella. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Cook for 7-10 minutes until fat bread is crispy.

White bean and Danish Bacon Soup
As many of you know, I’m not the fondest of bacon. BUT Danish bacon is awesome, and it’s mostly because it tastes a lot like ham. I really love ham, so if you can’t find Danish bacon, I suggest using ham.
Anyway, this is a super easy recipe. I let the beans hang out in the crock pot, went and got my yoga on and came home to finish up. Here’s what you need and what you do:
3 cups Northern white beans2 garlic cloves1/4 yellow onion (small)1/2 cup chicken broth1/4 lb Danish bacon3 TBS salt1/2 tsp white pepper1/2 tsp  ground pepper corns1 bay leafpinch of sugar1 TBS olive oil6 cups waterThrow all ingredients but bacon, sugar and olive oil in crock pot. Cook on high for four hours. Remove bay leaf. Use a stock pot or French oven to heat the olive oil and cook bacon through. Take about two cups of beans and broth and the garlic and onion, throw that in a blender (this gives the soup a creamy texture without having to add cream or cheese). Add both bean soup mixtures into the pot, stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined, add pinch of sugar. Let cook for about five-ten minutes on low heat. I found the sugar really brought out the bacon flavor.

White bean and Danish Bacon Soup

As many of you know, I’m not the fondest of bacon. BUT Danish bacon is awesome, and it’s mostly because it tastes a lot like ham. I really love ham, so if you can’t find Danish bacon, I suggest using ham.

Anyway, this is a super easy recipe. I let the beans hang out in the crock pot, went and got my yoga on and came home to finish up. Here’s what you need and what you do:

3 cups Northern white beans
2 garlic cloves
1/4 yellow onion (small)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 lb Danish bacon
3 TBS salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp  ground pepper corns
1 bay leaf
pinch of sugar
1 TBS olive oil
6 cups water

Throw all ingredients but bacon, sugar and olive oil in crock pot. Cook on high for four hours. Remove bay leaf. Use a stock pot or French oven to heat the olive oil and cook bacon through. Take about two cups of beans and broth and the garlic and onion, throw that in a blender (this gives the soup a creamy texture without having to add cream or cheese). Add both bean soup mixtures into the pot, stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined, add pinch of sugar. Let cook for about five-ten minutes on low heat. I found the sugar really brought out the bacon flavor.

An ode to beans

I’m looking up recipes for white bean soup (my recent trip to the Soupbox has left me inspired—stay tuned!) and it makes me smad (sad and mad) that people don’t give dried beans a chance! Over and over, comments saying how they used canned beans instead. Ugh, guys what is wrong with people?

Attribute my love of beans to my Guatemalan upbringing, but my home was never without a pot of black beans in the fridge. Once a week my mom or dad would make a pot of them. I remember sitting with my dad on the dinner table sorting out the bad beans or little rocks that sometimes come with the good beans, adding garlic cloves and onions to the pot and sometimes a potato to soak up the salt if they got too salty.

The smell of onions frying as my mom blended beans to be served on tortillas, or my dad mashing them by hand (my absolute favorite). I don’t eat beans as much since I started living alone, but sometimes when I visit my folks I request beans. 

It’s really not that hard, and you can even use your crockpot to help you along the way. Cooking your own beans, in my opinion, is the only way to go and worth the extra steps. Especially since you get none of that weird goop that comes from canned beans. 

What foods are worth the extra steps to you?

Cuban Sandwiches
(makes four sandwiches)
Sorry for being a bad blogger, yall. Insert way too busy excuse here. Anyway, I’ll make it up to you by sharing with you this super awesome recipe for one of my favorite sandwiches, the Cuban sandwich. 
I love Cuban sandwiches so much I wanna take them behind the middle school and get them pregnant. There’s some planning and preparation that goes into making them, but it comes together very quickly and easily, especially because it’s made in a crockpot. 
Ready? You will need:
Roasted pork
1/2 a pork tenderloin (about three pounds)
3 large cloves of garlic, halved
1 cup of orange juice 
juice of 1 lime
salt, pepper, cumin and MEXICAN oregano to taste. Yes, the kind of oregano makes a difference. If you go with Italian, you won’t get as bold a flavor. I kid you not, I have a separate bag of Mexican oregano in addition to my spice rack pack of regular. 
1 cup of chicken broth
~2 TBS of olive oil
Sandwiches
2 loaves of Jimmy John’s bread (this worked the best. God bless you if you have the patience to make your own Cuban bread, and count your lucky stars if you have a Cuban bakery near you)
4 slices of Swiss cheese
4 slices of deli ham
8 slices of dill sandwich cut pickles
Mustard to taste
The night before you want to eat your delicious sandwiches, you’ll have to prep your meat. Wash and trim the pork loin of excess fat, pat dry. Cut slits into the pork and slip the garlic in. This will help season the pork.Add seasonings and rub the pork loin with said seasonings on both sides. In the crockpot BOWL, add the orange juice and lime. Put the pork loin in the bowl, cover with lid and let it hang in the fridge. I like to flip the pork over right before bed time to cover both sides evenly. 
The next morning (rise and shine!), heat your favorite pot, Dutch/French oven and add enough olive oil to coat said pot. Add the pork loin and brown for about three to five minutes per side. You are not cooking your meat all the way through, you are just creating a nice, beautiful and glorious braise. When that’s done you want to remove the pork loin and take the left over orange/lime juice and pour it into the pot. Here, you will scrape the meaty bits (technical term)and start to reduce the juice. Once boiling, add the chicken broth and simmer until boiling again. Pour the mixture over the pork loin and turn your crockpot on at low. This will cook for about 6.5-7 hours. If you’re in a time crunch, put that bad boy on high for about four hours. You’ll know your pork is done when 1. you can smell it all throughout your house and 2. when the pork falls apart with a fork or tongs. At that point you want to taste for seasoning. Crockpots usually call for using more, so I typically add another round of cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.
Now, sandwiches. 
I was lucky enough to have my college bff bring over her panini press for this, but if you don’t have a panini press (or BFF who will bring one over), you can use a skillet or griddle. Just be prepared to have a foil-covered brick or other heavy tool that can help out. 
Assembly:
Tip: panini presses work FAST so I suggest you have your ingredients as close to room temperature as possible to make sure you don’t have random cold ham, cheese or pickles in your sandwiches.
Cut your loaves in half. From here, you want to scoop out the filling of the bread and set aside. Don’t throw this out. Why? Because that’s the best part about bread, duh. Dip in some delicious mustard, wrap some ham or cheese on it. I love bread filling. From here, add mustard and spread evenly across both sides of the bread. I find the following stacking method works well for this sandwich: ham, cheese, pickles and pork. How much or little pork goes into each sandwich is up to you. I advise against over stuffing, so if you’re using tongs, I say about one “tong full”, about 3/4 of a cup. 
Spray your panini press on both sides and cook for about two minutes. The results are delicious! 

Cuban Sandwiches

(makes four sandwiches)

Sorry for being a bad blogger, yall. Insert way too busy excuse here. Anyway, I’ll make it up to you by sharing with you this super awesome recipe for one of my favorite sandwiches, the Cuban sandwich. 

I love Cuban sandwiches so much I wanna take them behind the middle school and get them pregnant. There’s some planning and preparation that goes into making them, but it comes together very quickly and easily, especially because it’s made in a crockpot. 

Ready? You will need:

Roasted pork

  • 1/2 a pork tenderloin (about three pounds)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, halved
  • 1 cup of orange juice 
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt, pepper, cumin and MEXICAN oregano to taste. Yes, the kind of oregano makes a difference. If you go with Italian, you won’t get as bold a flavor. I kid you not, I have a separate bag of Mexican oregano in addition to my spice rack pack of regular. 
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • ~2 TBS of olive oil

Sandwiches

  • 2 loaves of Jimmy John’s bread (this worked the best. God bless you if you have the patience to make your own Cuban bread, and count your lucky stars if you have a Cuban bakery near you)
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 4 slices of deli ham
  • 8 slices of dill sandwich cut pickles
  • Mustard to taste

The night before you want to eat your delicious sandwiches, you’ll have to prep your meat. Wash and trim the pork loin of excess fat, pat dry. Cut slits into the pork and slip the garlic in. This will help season the pork.Add seasonings and rub the pork loin with said seasonings on both sides. In the crockpot BOWL, add the orange juice and lime. Put the pork loin in the bowl, cover with lid and let it hang in the fridge. I like to flip the pork over right before bed time to cover both sides evenly. 

The next morning (rise and shine!), heat your favorite pot, Dutch/French oven and add enough olive oil to coat said pot. Add the pork loin and brown for about three to five minutes per side. You are not cooking your meat all the way through, you are just creating a nice, beautiful and glorious braise. When that’s done you want to remove the pork loin and take the left over orange/lime juice and pour it into the pot. Here, you will scrape the meaty bits (technical term)and start to reduce the juice. Once boiling, add the chicken broth and simmer until boiling again. Pour the mixture over the pork loin and turn your crockpot on at low. This will cook for about 6.5-7 hours. If you’re in a time crunch, put that bad boy on high for about four hours. You’ll know your pork is done when 1. you can smell it all throughout your house and 2. when the pork falls apart with a fork or tongs. At that point you want to taste for seasoning. Crockpots usually call for using more, so I typically add another round of cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.

Now, sandwiches. 

I was lucky enough to have my college bff bring over her panini press for this, but if you don’t have a panini press (or BFF who will bring one over), you can use a skillet or griddle. Just be prepared to have a foil-covered brick or other heavy tool that can help out. 

Assembly:

Tip: panini presses work FAST so I suggest you have your ingredients as close to room temperature as possible to make sure you don’t have random cold ham, cheese or pickles in your sandwiches.

Cut your loaves in half. From here, you want to scoop out the filling of the bread and set aside. Don’t throw this out. Why? Because that’s the best part about bread, duh. Dip in some delicious mustard, wrap some ham or cheese on it. I love bread filling. From here, add mustard and spread evenly across both sides of the bread. I find the following stacking method works well for this sandwich: ham, cheese, pickles and pork. How much or little pork goes into each sandwich is up to you. I advise against over stuffing, so if you’re using tongs, I say about one “tong full”, about 3/4 of a cup. 

Spray your panini press on both sides and cook for about two minutes. The results are delicious! 

Chicken stir fry
8 chicken breast strips
1.5 TBS hoisin sauce
1.5 TBS reduced sodium soy sauce
2 TBS grated fresh ginger
2 TBS sesame seeds
1 TBS chili and garlic paste (you can also use sriracha)
A few dashes of red wine vinegar (or whatever vinegar you have on hand)
4 medium to large button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup of sugar snapped peas
1/2 a medium yellow pepper (any variety is fine)
1 can of water chestnuts (I used whole, but regretted it and would have used sliced better)
Salt and pepper to taste
~TBS of sesame oil
Combine the second through seventh ingredients in a glass casserole dish (or bowl, or Ziploc bag really), add chicken. Refrigerate at least three hours or overnight.  
If you have an indoor grill, use it! It’s really helpful for multi-tasking. Heat your grill to medium, spray with cooking spray and distribute your chicken evenly across the grill. Cook for about five minutes or until you have a nice sear on your chicken (if you crowd your chicken, it will steam, you don’t want this!). Flip to the other side and this is where you start cooking your veggies.
In a skillet, heat enough sesame oil to coat the pan. If you have a big enough skillet you can do this in one go, but I did it in two batches. Add about half the veggies and cook until tender (add salt and pepper here). This should give your chicken enough time to cook almost all the way. Once the veggies are tender, create a well in the center of your skillet and add half your chicken. This will let the chicken completely cook and add the chicken flavor to the rest of your stir fry. Add water chestnuts at the very end. Repeat for the second batch.
Enjoy by itself, with some rice or my favorite, a butt ton of sriracha! 

Chicken stir fry

8 chicken breast strips

1.5 TBS hoisin sauce

1.5 TBS reduced sodium soy sauce

2 TBS grated fresh ginger

2 TBS sesame seeds

1 TBS chili and garlic paste (you can also use sriracha)

A few dashes of red wine vinegar (or whatever vinegar you have on hand)

4 medium to large button mushrooms, quartered

1 cup of sugar snapped peas

1/2 a medium yellow pepper (any variety is fine)

1 can of water chestnuts (I used whole, but regretted it and would have used sliced better)

Salt and pepper to taste

~TBS of sesame oil

Combine the second through seventh ingredients in a glass casserole dish (or bowl, or Ziploc bag really), add chicken. Refrigerate at least three hours or overnight.  

If you have an indoor grill, use it! It’s really helpful for multi-tasking. Heat your grill to medium, spray with cooking spray and distribute your chicken evenly across the grill. Cook for about five minutes or until you have a nice sear on your chicken (if you crowd your chicken, it will steam, you don’t want this!). Flip to the other side and this is where you start cooking your veggies.

In a skillet, heat enough sesame oil to coat the pan. If you have a big enough skillet you can do this in one go, but I did it in two batches. Add about half the veggies and cook until tender (add salt and pepper here). This should give your chicken enough time to cook almost all the way. Once the veggies are tender, create a well in the center of your skillet and add half your chicken. This will let the chicken completely cook and add the chicken flavor to the rest of your stir fry. Add water chestnuts at the very end. Repeat for the second batch.

Enjoy by itself, with some rice or my favorite, a butt ton of sriracha! 

Steps to becoming a better cook

Not written by me, but I’ve recently come across Fifteen Spatulas and it’s a really awesome blog. So much inspiration. 

I’d also like to add that practice is very important to cooking and can only build your confidence in the kitchen. I remember many tears being shed when I first starting cooking and destroying pancakes. I felt like I could never get it right. I was also about ten or so, and no longer cry when recipes don’t work out. 

2 years ago - 1
I have a confession to make. I had never tried kale before yesterday. Yes, I’ve heard of all the wonders of kale and how ridiculously popular it is among fitblrs and health enthusiasts all over. However, I’m pretty plain when it comes to things like salads. In fact, I hardly ever put dressings on them and would rather have the treat of cheese in them (mmm, cheese). 
After my run on Monday (in which I went over my goal of 47 minutes and had my 5K time be 47:20—wtf ever, I’m not bitter or anything), I went over to Trader Joe’s/mass chaos and picked up some kale. The cashier was raving about how awesome kale is blah blah, latest rage. Yes, yes! 
Yesterday I was craving a salad. It just occurred to me that I deleted the picture of it because it was nothing special. Tuna, romaine, grape tomatoes almonds…and a little bit of kale. 
I did not like the kale. I don’t know what I was expecting, to be honest. It was bitter and tough, I don’t understand how people can just eat it plain, or just eat kale salads. More power to you, kale lovers!
But I still have a bag of kale in my fridge, and if liking tomatoes after 25 years has taught me anything, it’s to never stop trying. So what am I to do with the kale?
One, kale chips. I’m already skeptical about this because I LOVE CHIPS. Like, fuck dessert or candy, gimmie chips. Chips make my fatty fat fat world go round, I love you, chips! Uhm, yeah. But I will give it a go, and it can’t get worse than TJ’s seaweed chips, right? right?!
Two, cooking it. Some how, some way. Damnit, kale, you will not win…or is it winning if I like it?
Lastly, what are your opinions of salad spinners? As a follower of Sir Alton Brown, I am very hesitant about having a unitasker. I already regret buying an apple slicer/core-er? Decisions, decisions. 

I have a confession to make. I had never tried kale before yesterday. Yes, I’ve heard of all the wonders of kale and how ridiculously popular it is among fitblrs and health enthusiasts all over. However, I’m pretty plain when it comes to things like salads. In fact, I hardly ever put dressings on them and would rather have the treat of cheese in them (mmm, cheese). 

After my run on Monday (in which I went over my goal of 47 minutes and had my 5K time be 47:20—wtf ever, I’m not bitter or anything), I went over to Trader Joe’s/mass chaos and picked up some kale. The cashier was raving about how awesome kale is blah blah, latest rage. Yes, yes! 

Yesterday I was craving a salad. It just occurred to me that I deleted the picture of it because it was nothing special. Tuna, romaine, grape tomatoes almonds…and a little bit of kale. 

I did not like the kale. I don’t know what I was expecting, to be honest. It was bitter and tough, I don’t understand how people can just eat it plain, or just eat kale salads. More power to you, kale lovers!

But I still have a bag of kale in my fridge, and if liking tomatoes after 25 years has taught me anything, it’s to never stop trying. So what am I to do with the kale?

One, kale chips. I’m already skeptical about this because I LOVE CHIPS. Like, fuck dessert or candy, gimmie chips. Chips make my fatty fat fat world go round, I love you, chips! Uhm, yeah. But I will give it a go, and it can’t get worse than TJ’s seaweed chips, right? right?!

Two, cooking it. Some how, some way. Damnit, kale, you will not win…or is it winning if I like it?

Lastly, what are your opinions of salad spinners? As a follower of Sir Alton Brown, I am very hesitant about having a unitasker. I already regret buying an apple slicer/core-er? Decisions, decisions. 

Four Corners Wrap

One of my favorite inspirations for cooking is recreating things from my favorite restaurants. There’s a chain of bar/grills here in Chicago called Four Corners. My top two are Westend and Browntone’s. They all serve the same base menus with a few additions, but one of my favorite things to get there (other than the tots, get the tots) is their California Turkey Wrap. I decided to try and recreate it, and while it does not do it justice (I still prefer the four corners version) it’s still pretty tasty:

  • 2 medium whole wheat tortillas (I used Mission)
  • 4 oz of Hillshire farm reduced sodium turkey, shredded
  • ¼ medium roma tomato, diced
  • 1 small avocado, cut in cubes
  • 2 slices of turkey bacon, diced
  • 1 ½ cups of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 TBS Newman’s lite honey mustard dressing

This recipe is also super easy. Dice and chop up all ingredients except the bacon and tortillas, mix in a bowl. Add in the warmed up turkey bacond and toss with the dressing. Separate mixture into two servings and place in tortillas. Roll up to the best of your abilities and enjoy.

And if you’re feeling extra hungry, feel free to substitute both tortillas for one burrito-sized one and have yourself a big lunch…I won’t tell.