Friday, August 23, 2013

Operation: Vacation has come!


This is a super high five for Friday because #VACATION trip has arrived!

To the beach we go!... But we're stoppin' over in Richmond, VA for the night to make the trip more manageable.

Nag's Head/Outer Banks beach of North Carolina... You better be ready for this rambunctious family & friends to raid your space with our lovely... and probably LOUD!.... welcome to come! ;)

(Belated) Wedding celebration + long overdue family reunion?! = Yes, pah-lease!

Motto of the week: Feet in the sand, beer in the hand! Nice, eh?!

I'll keep ya' posted via the #blog post updates and my Instagram page (IndysVeggieFix) of all our driving, #veggie food & beach life for the next week, so you can join in our week o' fun ;)

I'll definitely let ya' know when we hit the sand dunes!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Operation: Pre-Vacation CLEAN-OUT-FRIDGE!

Happy Thursday everyone!

... and I can't say mine was exactly "happy" as it was oh-my-gosh-we-still-have-so-much-to-do... but that will all wash away when I can stick ma' feet in the sand and wander my mind away into some long-overdue books I've been wanting to read!

..... oh, and lots o' family shenanigans! =)

Turns out ma' husband was all on board and not crazy as I screeched to him... Is that soy sauce I smell?! around 10pm last night. 

Alex: Yeah, I'm making a budget-life remix!

(in Alex talk, that means... I'm taking everything I can tastefully put together and make some snacks for the road so nothin' goes to waste... OPERATION: CLEAN OUT PANTRY!)

As some may have read, my pessimistic side said:

.... but I quickly stunned by the DELISH & plentiful chex-mix like tub o' love/food!

And then I got ma' spray tan so I don't arrive on the beach lookin' like a ghost (and I do NOT do tannin' beds!), so I get to look like a super brown oompa-lumpa for 24-48 hours... EEK! 

...... I digress (as an high school teacher of mine would always say and is practically the saying of my life!) from oompa-lumpas to a great veggie recipe, similar to an ol' classic, and perfect for OPERATION CLEANOUT FRIDGE!

Serves 2

- 2 Quorn Turk'y Burgers
- 1/2 loaf of ciabatta bread, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup spicy tomato aioli (1 Tablespoon per bread slice)
Didn't I tell ya' to make EXTRA, EXTRA, EXTRA?!
- 4 slices tomato (2 per sandwich)
- 1/4 cup romaine lettuce
- 2 slices havarti cheese (1 per sandwich)
- 2 slices provolone cheese (1 per sandwich)
- 10 fresh basil leaves (5 per sandwich)
- 5-6 slices tempeh bacon (3-4 per sandwich)
- Nonstick spray
- Salt and pepper

Start by preheating oven to 400 degrees and roast Turk'y Burgers lightly lathered in non-stick spray and seasoned with salt & pepper for 15 minutes.  While the burgers are a cookin', cut half a loaf of ciabatta bread in half and lather one side with the spicy tomato aioli... Didn't I tell ya' to make EXTRA?!

Next add the cheeses on the coated side, then top on the lettuce, then the tomato slices (PS: we have a plethora of cherry tomatoes, so I had to use what we had on hand.. AKA: Clean out fridge... but this is NOT recommended upon my bite... Whoops!) Lesson learned!

I cook the tempeh bacon in the microwave and removed the roated Turky' burger and let cool.  Then I sliced up the Turk'y burger to fit the bread :)

Once cooled, add on the bacon on top of the tomatoes, then add the basil leaves, and last but not least, the TURK'Y SLICES!

Lather the other side of the bread with another Tablespoon of de-LICK-licious aioli and I'd recommend puttin' in a tooth-pick or 2 to hold everythin' together!

Spice from the aioli really makes the difference instead of just plain ol' mayo mixed with the crunch of bread and bacon, and freshness from the lettuce, basil and tomato is just a SUPERB cold sandwich combo!


Here is why tomato slices are important as opposed to my cherry tomatoes switcheroo....

Why yes... it DID fall apart within 2 bites...

Use tomato SLICES..... just to let ya' know again!

Alright, follow me on Instagram (IndysVeggieFix) and here on the blog to see pictures of our #vacation adventures of food & fun starting tomorrow mornin' =)

Hittin' the road with tons o' my stuff!

But amidst the chaos... Gotta stop and enjoy a perdy Indiana sunset when ya' can.... and before there's white fluffiness on the ground!, which ya' never know, could even already be here when we get back, but we'll hope NOT!

Have a great #Friday and #weekend ma' friends!


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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Muffin You Won't Forget


Although tomorrow is my #Friday since we're packin' up and hittin' the road on Friday morning for the BEACH & some family shenanigans! WOOOOOT! Have-I-mentioned-how-excited-I-am-about-this-very-overdue-vacation?!?! I'm talkin' like 6+ years since I've had this long of a vacation so yes... it's surely in order ma' friends!

Due to the hectic nature of all things pre-vacation, had to get all ma' chicken's in line, which required a trip into the office, which was surprisingly serene on the way in!

Catchin' some sun rays before I hit the dungeon (my office is in a basement, epic bummer!), but caught some sites of #downtown Indy like the War Memorial and what's hoppin' on campus as classes started this week!

And of course, my sweet boss, the sweetest woman that ya' ever would know! (for reals) offered me a traditional "Fortune Card," which is a Chinese symbol of good luck, prosperity, long life, happiness and wealth as she explained.  This was her way of honoring my hard work through this past year and a wish of good fortune in my vacation to come, for a time to enjoy with my husband and family. I just the stuffin' outta her!

<------- Tired from a long day, but very thankful. 

------------> The bright color/linkage of the fish and the Fortunate Card are also an important symbol of abundance. 

Since we're goin' on vacation, this week became..
Operation: Clean Out Fridge!

... Hence came an sorta odd, yet DE-LISHHHHH breakfast/dessert muffin recipe. I'll always be the first to tell ya' to leave the bakin' to someone else and leave the cookin' to me, but I finally nailed a recipe and Alex is having to resist so he could enjoy the muffins throughout the week and as a dessert, but such a good recipe for our about-to-go-bad zucchini and bananas we were facing!

Baking and I have a very love/hate relationship, but as of now:

Katie: 1
Baking: 0


Zucchini, Banana Nut & Chocolate Chip Muffins
Serves approximately 14 large muffins
Adapted from Simply Recipes

In the line up!
- 1 1/2 cup zucchini, thinly sliced or pureed
- 1 1/2 cup bananas, overly ripened, pureed
- 2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
 - 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- Powdered sugar (optional)

Yes, the list may look lengthy, but I had all o' this already in our fridge or pantry!

Start by slicing up the zucchini and so I don't get strings of zucchini in a bite of the muffin, I choose to puree them until smooth and perfectly green. 

In a large bowl, add the eggs and whisk together.  Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour in the melted butter/margarine and add in the zucchini mixture and then the banana mixture until well combined. 

Once the zucchini and banana purees are well mixed together, whisk in the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and slowly add in the flour. 

Last, but not least!, combine in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans and stir until mixture is still gooey and chocolate chips and nuts have evenly combined through the batter. 

Fill as full as ya' can to get big honkin' muffins 14 holders and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Stick a knife in after 25 minutes, and if it comes out clean, you know they're READY!

And they came out, browned, moist and full of flava'!

I like to sprinkle some powdered sugar on top of mine when they first pop outta' the oven for an extra sweet bite :)

Can't think of a better winner to clean out ingredients, have a great morning or evening sweet snack, and not have to worry about throwin' a bunch of food away... Don't you just hate that feeling?!

EEEEKKK, it just pains me!

Enjoy ma' friends!

... And don't ya' worry, the blog will continue on through next week despite being on vacation because where you find my family, the food (.... and plethora of wine) will naturally follow, so I'll be keeping ya' updated on what we're eatin', probably get my elbows wet for a couple weeknight recipes with my step-dad and sisters, and our general crazy-fun.... and relaxation!.... I assume this vacation will be full of!


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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I Can't Believe It's Not.... Chicken!

Happy Tuesday!

So, some unrelated to food, but very exciting life news that I've already spilled the beans with family and friends, but thanks to my wonderful job, I'm going to be a co-author on approximately 6 publications regarding the study I manage!

Naturally, I was most excited to tell Alex when he got home:

Me: "HUNNY, I'm going to be a co-author on some publications!"
Alex: "Ooooo, so I'll be able to Google SCHOLAR you!... That's pretty hot ;)

He was an English major and works with library's, ya' just gotta know the man to get it because that's such an Alex response! HA!

I'll let ya'll when you can Google Scholar me and check out what I do when I'm not cookin' delicious food ;)

.... And then we celebrate with the one and only.....


Yes, PAH-lease!

So, now my excitement has turned to my stomach thinkin' about this winner I made the other night, a perfect weeknight dinner full of flava & PROTEIN! #FTW

Parmesan Chik'n Cutlets with Potato Wedges
Serves 2-3
Slightly adapted from Jenna Weber

In the line up for the Potato Wedges!
- 1/2 lb red potatoes, sliced into wedges
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 Teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste

Start out by washing and scrubbing the potatoes and cut them lengthwise into wedges (leave skin on so ya' get the nutrients!)

Soak the wedges in cold water for about 15-30 minutes to get the starch out and patch completely dry. 

Add the dry potato wedges to a small/medium bowl, and then add in the Parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil.  Perhaps splash a pinch of salt and pepper, but don't go overboard!

Line the wedges onto a non-stick oven sheet and cover in the oil and Parmesan oil mixture.  Cook wedges at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes to get browned and golden. 

In the line up for the Chik'n Cutlets!

- 1 & 1/8 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced 
- 1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper

While the potatoes are bakin' away, prep the chik'n cutlets by letting 3 cutlets thaw a bit and brush each cutlets with about 1/8 teaspoon extra virgin oil or until lightly coated and season with seasoned salt and pepper on both sides. 

In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, the 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and the minced garlic and heap a pile onto each cutlet. 

Put in towards the end of the potatoes roasting away at 400 degrees and baked until cutlets are cooked and the cheese has browned!

Now my friend's... This is why I urged you to make extra aioli from yesterday's Spanish dish, cause' it really pulled this dinner on home! Added a perfect spice to go with the cheesy cutlets and wedges!

Wedges were perfectly brown with an audible crunch, and the cutlets were packed with garlic and cheese flava! 

Ready in about 30-40 minutes since you bake the cutlets at the end of the wedges 30 minutes, and you've got your leftover aioli all ready to plate up and chow down!

Got some chik'n, some potato wedge, slathered in some spicy aioli and we were on cloud nine! SLURP, SLURP!

ENJOY ma' friends!


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