Baked Zucchini Chips

Cravings
I had a couple of zucchinis in my fridge going bad and this was an easy and quick recipe to do. It turns out zucchini chips are awesome. 

BAKED THYME ZUCCHINI CHIPS

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp thyme leaves
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cut the zucchini into 1/8” slices and place into a large bowl.
  3. Slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl while mixing the slices with your hand. Be careful not to overcoat any individual slices.
  4. On a parchment lined baking sheet, lay out a single layer of slices. Season with thyme, salt, and pepper. (Be careful not to over-salt! The zucchini will shrink while baking, so a little salt goes a long way. You can always add more at the end if necessary.)
  5. Bake slices for 30 minutes on one side, then remove from oven and flip. Season the second side with thyme, pepper, and salt as well, then bake for 10 more minutes.
  6. Keep an eye on the slices, as some will bake faster than others depending on thickness. You may have to remove the thinner ones from the baking sheet right after the first 30 minutes.

*My tip: Definitely go easy on the oil. My first batch was soft (still good), but not chip texture.

Found on camillestyles.com

Bubble-tail Time

Cravings

Last year I was Rosé obsessed, this year it’s champagne. We’re already coming into summer heat mode here and cold champagne cocktails could not taste better. Here are 3 that I have on rotation right now and 1 disappointment.

Champagne/Prosecco +

  • Limoncello + Frozen Berries
  • Sugar + Mint
  • Tablespoon of sorbet
  • Kombucha (Pick your flavor!)

And the 1 champagne cocktail I wasn’t a fan of is the Aperol Spritz. I’ve been seeing this cocktail a lot on blogs (and Housewives), so I had high hopes. It turns out Aperol is not my thing.

 

 

Freezing Lemons-YES

Cravings

Here in Mexico it’s hit or miss when it comes to purchasing lemons. The small green limes are EVERYWHERE. I’m talking about the bigger yellow lemons. So when I read about how to freeze them, I was on it. And I’m happy to report that it works.

Simply slice your lemons and place in freezer friendly tupperware putting parchment paper in between the layers. This is a good way to keep them for drinks.

Or cut them into quarters and freeze them. Then you can put them into ziplock bags for easier storage.

Freezing the whole lemon is possible too, but the texture is too “crushy mushy”. The juice tasted fine, but I was not a fan.

My preferred option was to juice them and put them into ice cube trays. I let them freeze and then put them in zip lock bags. Each of my ice cubes are about 2 Tbsp.

*Per the internet, lemons will last approximately 3 months in the freezer for the best taste.

 

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Easy Falafel Recipe

Cravings
Any recipe I can put in a food processor and I’m halfway done, is a recipe for me. I found this recipe on minimalistbaker.com. Falafels are a middle eastern dense patty/ball made from chickpeas. They make for a satisfying meal. The Tabouleh I made was pretty to look at, but needs some tweaking.
  
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 15-ounce (425 g) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
  • 1/3 cup (15 g) chopped fresh parsley (or sub cilantro)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced (~ 3/4 cup, 65 g | or sub white onion)
  • 2 Tbsp (17 g) raw sesame seeds (or sub finely chopped nuts, such as pecans)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper, plus more to taste
  • optional: Healthy pinch each cardamom and coriander
  • 3-4 Tbsp (24-31 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3-4 Tbsp (45 – 60 ml) grape seed oil for cooking (or sub any neutral oil with a high smoke point)
  • optional: Panko bread crumbs for coating (see instructions)

Instructions

  1. Add chickpeas, parsley, shallot, garlic, sesame seeds, cumin, salt, pepper (and coriander and cardamom if using) to a food processor or blender and mix/pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed until thoroughly combined. You’re looking for a crumbly dough, not a paste (see photo).
  2. Add flour 1 Tbsp at a time and pulse/mix to combine until no longer wet and you can mold the dough into a ball without it sticking to your hands – I used 4 Tbsp.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a bit more salt, pepper, and a dash of cardamom and coriander. You want the flavor to be pretty bold, so don’t be shy.
  4. Transfer to a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to firm up. If you’re in a hurry you can skip this step but they will be a little more fragile when cooking.
  5. Once chilled, scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts (~30 g in weight // I used this scoop) and gently form into 11-12 small discs.
  6. Optional: Sprinkle on panko bread crumbs and gently press to adhere – flip and repeat. This will produce a crispier crust but is optional.
  7. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to generously coat the pan – about 2 Tbsp. Swirl to coat.
  8. Once the oil is hot, add only as many falafel as will fit very comfortably in the pan at a time – about 5.
  9. Cook for a total of 4-5 minutes, flipping when the underside is deep golden brown. Repeat until all falafel are browned – the deeper golden brown they are, the crispier they’ll be. They will also firm up more once slightly cooled.
  10. Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep in the refrigerator covered for several days. Freeze after that to keep fresh for up to 1 month.

This is Becoming My Daily Lunch

Cravings

Okay, so this pita/salad is sooo good and you can vary it in so many ways. I can’t get enough.

Here’s what I do. I like my pita/naan/etc. slightly crunchy, so I spread olive oil on it and put it on the stove to make it more of a cracker texture. I then put it on a plate and spread goat cheese on it.

Then I sauté whatever vegetables I decide to use. Today I used olive oil with garlic and onion. I added yellow and red bell pepper with tomato, salt and pepper. I put the veggies on top of the bread.

The last step is simply making a salad, and I took the easy route today. A premade mixed kale salad with a small amount of bottle dressing (just enough to coat the leaves). Put the salad on top and wa-la.

Tummy Love-Roasted Veggie Sandwich

Cravings

This veggie sandwich makes my tummy oh so happy. Below is the recipe from thegardengrazer.com. I have both roasted my veggies and sautéed them on the skillet. I do prefer the roasted veggies, but the sautéing is pretty darn good too (and a lot quicker). I’ve also switched up my veggies to whatever I had on hand.

 

Vegan (with dairy cheese and vegan pesto)
Gluten-free (with gf bread)
Makes about 4 paninis (reduce if desired)

Ingredients
3 bell peppers (I use 2 red, 1 orange)
1 onion
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
Asparagus
Dairy-free shredded mozzarella
Pesto (try homemade!)
Italian bread (2 slices per sandwich)
Olive oil
Kosher salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 425.
Cut pepper and onion into strips, and asparagus in half.
On a baking sheet, toss veggies with olive oil and kosher salt.
Roast for about 25-30 minutes.
On a skillet over medium heat, place a slice of bread. Sprinkle mozzarella.
Add a generous layer of vegetables. Spread pesto on a second slice of bread and place on top, lightly pressing down.
Heat about 5-8 minutes on each side or until warmed through and cheese is melted.

One Month Vegan

Cravings, Wellness

I have once again jumped on the vegan bandwagon and it has officially been one month. Here’s what I’m feeling.

 

  • The biggest change physically is how much lighter, less lethargic I feel.
  • My digestion has improved dramatically. My almost constant bloat I usually have has disappeared.
  • I realized I do not crave meat or eggs, and this was from day one.
  • I’ve probably ate more vegetables this past month than I have the entire year.
  • Eating healthy, I’m less hungry. I’m assuming because I’m eating more nutritious foods.
  • I feel good about what I am putting in my body and what I’m keeping out.
  •  I’m much more of a conscious consumer in general.

 

I went vegan earlier in the year for 3 months and stopped due to how fat and mushy I was getting. This time around I am actually unintentionally losing weight. The difference is I’m keeping the breads/tortillas/pastas at a minimum. I’ve also implemented 3 veggies/fruits minimum per meal. Lastly, a handful of nuts is very satisfying when I’m feeling the munchies.

The hardest part of eating vegan is figuring out what to eat. I read somewhere it helps the beginner vegan to have 10-15 go to recipes. I probably have 3 at this point. So my goal is to get 10 easy vegan recipes under my belt to start the new year off with (and without chickpeas. Turns out, I hate chickpeas. Bummer.)