Cookin’ Up a Storm

How fitting that the day I finally start a food blog is the day I cook up a storm!

I did my Jillian Michaels’ ‘Yoga Meltdown’ for the first time today in six weeks. Man, did it feel good. Now that my broken elbow is finally healed, I am a free woman again! Well, free to lift weights and do chatarunga push-ups to my heart’s content, anyway. I did cheat a bit on the push-ups, but I’ve been out of practice for six weeks, so give me a break. I’m determined to kick off the last five pounds I’ve gained over the holiday season which extended into broken elbow season, and now I can finally be on my way. (There’s always an excuse, isn’t there?)

After my doctor’s appointment today, I deemed it a splendid day for cooking. I have noticed that the more I cook, the easier it is to stay healthy. If I’m cooking, I’m not eating! Except for bites, licks, and tastes (BLT’s)… I ran to the store for some low sugar marmalade and dried cranberries…and ran into Dave delivering bakery supplies! After a sneaky kiss, I headed home for a day of productivity. On the menu: granola, dinner of egg drop soup, orange chicken, and veggie fried rice, plus dough for a freezer pizza.

First things first…..homemade granola! I love granola. I know it’s one of the ‘fake’ healthy foods, but I know it, so that’s something. When Dave worked at Breadsmith, he used to bring home bags of their granola and I would devour them, one quarter cup at a time. That was my downfall last holiday season.

Homemade Applesauce Granola

  • 1 ¼ cup oats
  • 1/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (I used my Dad’s homemade)
  • 1/2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Mix together oats, almonds,brown sugar, and sunflower seeds. Heat applesauce, honey, olive oil, and vanilla over medium heat until combined. Stir into oat mixture. Bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Add dried cranberries and let cool.

Inspired by: Banana Granola on http://www.dietgirl.org.

*****

This made the perfect amount for two people to enjoy over the course of several days–I usually use it on top of my morning oatmeal to get my granola kick without downing it in one go.

After the granola was done baking, I started mixing dough for a pizza crust for later in the week.

Sundried Tomato Flatbread Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tbsp. fennel
  • 5 sundried tomatoes, diced

Add all ingredients but the olive oil to your friendly neighborhood KitchenAid and stir until dough begins to form. Slowly drizzle olive oil until the beast of the dough consumes it. Cover with a cloth, put in a warm place and let rise until your heart’s content (at least 1 1/2 hours, preferably longer). Add toppings, bake, and enjoy!

Inspired by: Grilled Flatbread on http://www.katheats.com

*****

While the pizza dough was rising, Dave came home from work at half past two! I forgot that, having gone to work for three am, he had already put in a 10 1/2 hour day. I got to work making Egg Drop Soup and Healthified Orange Chicken and Veggie-riffic Stir Fry.

Egg Drop Soup 

  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 2 pinches ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. chopped dried chives (or 2 tbsp. fresh chives)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp Egg Beaters (or 1 egg yolk)

In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup chicken broth with cornstarch until smooth. Set aside. In medium saucepan, combine remaining broth, ginger, chives, and salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Slowly drizzle in whisked eggs. Pour in cornstarch mixture and stir until combined.

****

Both the Orange Chicken and Veggie-Riffic Fried Rice were recipes from Hungry-Girl and can be found here:http://www.hungry-girl.com/chew/show/2225 and here:http://www.hungry-girl.com/newsletters/raw/1267. I modified the Orange Chicken recipe by doubling the amount of orange sauce and incorporating 3 cups of roasted broccoli (because I love my broccoli). I bought fortune cookies at the grocery store for our dessert. My fortune: ‘Your wisdom will find a way.’ Sweet!

Now, off to fanagle a pizza for a quick freezer meal!

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