Tasty Chickpea and Avocado Tacos

Almost 10 months ago I made the personal decision to stop eating meat.  Stuffed Husband was supportive of my decision, as he always is, but made the personal decision for himself to not give up meat  He has a thing for bacon…and ribs…and pulled pork…and flank stank.  I completely respect his decision to continue to eat meat as I still go weak in the knees at the smell of bacon.  For me, choosing not to eat meat had to do with my sensitivity to seeing animals mistreated and total shock when I learned about the types of hormones and genetic engineering used by major producers of meat in the United States.  But enough of that, I’ll get down from this soapbox now.

Chickpea tacos

Chickpea and Avocado Tacos

Often I try new recipes in hopes of finding foods that can satisfy my flavorful cravings.  I stumbled across this recipe while reading Redbook magazine in my dentist’s waiting room.  I also stumbled upon a brilliant workout plan from Gwyneth Paltrow in that same catalogue.  Naturally I only retained the recipe.  For the full recipe, click here!

redbook chickpea taco recipe

This recipe was ridiculously quick, easy, and pretty healthy to boot.  When I wasn’t looking, Stuffed Husband stole a bite and then gave himself away when he told me it was surprisingly tasty.  Now let me be clear, chickpeas will NEVER be flavorful in the way meat is.  Just isn’t going to happen.  However, these chickpeas do have delicious flavor and are full of fiber and protein, so that’s pretty exciting.  To take the yum factor to the next level I baked several corn tortillas in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1o minutes.  This way you avoid the fat gained when frying them AND you still get that satisfying crunch.

In my last post I offered a challenge to get active.  While I am addicted to running, I am also trying to integrate other activities to give my body a break from the wear and tear running can do to my body.  My goal is to fit in at least one or two body pump classes or a bootcamp or two.  I would love to get some inspiration from your active life.  Let me know how you are getting physical this week by commenting on this post.  

stuffed husband naps 2.19.13

It looks like that guy I married could use a little motivation to move as well.  We’re all a work in progress.

Peace, love, and lazy sundays,

The Hungry Wife

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Burning calories to consume them.

There are no secrets to weight loss.  Take in less, burn more, lose weight.  BOOM! Mind blow, I know.  Healthy living is easy to talk about, difficult to commit to all day every day.  So I keep a balance by being physically active so I can enjoy the sweet treats and cool beverages I so enjoy.

Heart Shaped Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies

In 2012 I started running.  And this was the first time I ran without being chased.  My whole life I wanted to be a runner.  In high school I desperately tried to keep up with classmates but asthma, self-consciousness, and a bouncy booty kept me from really embracing the sport.  Let me be clear, I am not a runner in the check-out-my-speed kind of sense.  I am a runner in that three to four days a week I hit the pavement for 3-5 miles at a roughly 10 min/mile pace.  More competitive runners might call me a jogger.  I would call them annoying.

run on treadmill 2012

In any case, with Stuffed Husband’s undying support and patience, I became a runner.  I ran three 5K races and a Turkey day 5 miler in 2012.  It’s safe to say I’m addicted.  I didn’t start off running 3 miles, in fact, I started off walking on a treadmill for 20 minutes at a time.  As I gradually felt more confident, I added five minutes here and there.  Before I knew it I was walking 60 minutes at a brisk pace without a problem at all.  This is when I knew my body was capable of more!  So start somewhere, start small, just START!

Tipitina's 5K 2012

Tipitina’s 5K 2012

Now that I burn 300-600 calories on an average run, I can enjoy beer, gummy bears, and queso from time to time without having to move back into my stretchy jeans.  You know the kind.  They are the ones you wear when you’re “retaining water”.  Exactly.  

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Scraping the bowl of queso.

It took a serious amount of reflection to realize that I needed to challenge myself to really see what I was capable of accomplishing.  Let me tell you, we are ALL capable of so much more than we realize!  So, to help aid in motivating others I’m proposing a challenge.  Challenge for February:  Do something physical, big or small, at least twice a week.  It can be roller-skating for 20 minutes, yoga in your living room, or going for a jog on that dusty old laundry rack, ahem, I mean treadmill.  I promise you won’t regret it!  Let me know what activity you’ll be challenging yourself with in the comment section!

Peace, love, and pushing boundaries-

~The Hungry Wife

Mardi Gras Gris Gris

Every year some 50 days before Easter Sunday the city of New Orleans parties so hard the whole place has to shut down for a few days.  When I say “shut down” I mean even banks, schools, and commercial institutions cease normal productivity to make way for the big P-rades!  I call parades, P-rades.  It just sounds cooler.  This year was no exception.  We partied, paraded, ate too much, caught beads, and even enjoyed a share of boiled crawfish.  Mardi Gras 2013 was a total success!

Mardi Gras 2013

Mardi Gras 2013

Alas, Mardi Gras season came to an end and my waistline is quite relieved.  I’m sure you can relate.  It’s similar to the relief found when Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years holidays finally end.  With that I decided to grab a trashbag and clean the junk out of the fridge and pantry.  If I have it at home, I’m going to eat it.  It does not mean I can never have a treat.  There will be plenty enough chances/temptations encountered in the rest of life so I try to keep our home a safe healthy haven most of the time.

Mardi Gras Munchies

Mardi Gras Munchies and Libations

I’m happy when Mardi Gras season comes, I’m thrilled when it goes.  My goal is to eat clean all week, primarily non-processed foods.  Fruits and vegetables all the way.  Try this:  next time you fix a meal, think of making a rainbow.  Ideally, you want at least three colors on your plate.  For example, one of my favorite meals is a stuffed sweet potato (orange), roasted asparagus (green), and grapes for dessert (purple).  Additionally, stuffed sweet potatoes are easy and quick for the nights you get home late and stahvin’!  I “bake” mine by washing it, sticking it in a ziploc back with one inch unsealed, and then nuking it in the microwave for 5 minute increments until it’s nice and soft.  The bag locks the moisture in perfectly!  To stuff the potato try mixing two tablespoons of black beans, a tablespoon of light sour cream or plain greek yogurt, a tablespoon of salsa, a tablespoon of corn, and a tablespoon of avocado with your potato “guts” then stuff it back in the skin.  Top with cheese and broil until melted and bubbly in the toaster in oven. DEVOUR!

Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potato

Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potato

The above picture is credited to FoodieBliss, a fellow female blogger whose recipes are simple to follow and totally tasty.  Click the link above and check her out.

So now that Lent season is in full effect, what are you sacrificing this year?  I chose to give up fried food which was fine in my mind until I realized that included french fries and kettle cooked chips.  I feel the cranky cravings kicking in any minute.  Poor Stuffed Husband.  Is it Easter yet?!

Peace, love, and Mardi Gras Detox,

The Hungry Wife

One year and two months later…

One year and two months ago I had this little blog.  I wrote about the food I loved and shared the who, what, when, where, and how.  My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Laurel, would have been impressed with me for the development of my writing skills.  But I also have the attention span of a gnat.  Do gnats even have attention spans? I’m not clear on how that works.  So, as my attention wandered, so did my consistency with posting here.  Forgive me, I’m imperfect and still hungry.

Anyway, one year and two months later, I think I’m ready to get back at it…but there’s a twist this time.  I lost 26 pounds in 2012.  I wish I could tell you the pounds just fell off of me as I discovered easy ways to substitute my favorite “comfort foods” with healthy alternatives that tasted just as good.  It isn’t so.  I have yet to meet a healthy food that satisfies me like full fat mac and cheese.  Instead, I learned to treat food like fuel.  Indulgences are necessary for me.  It’s a fact, sparingly eating crap food and cheap beer make me a friendly wife.  The trick is to fill the rest of my meals with the good stuff (by good I mean healthy, just to clarify) and to treat indulgences as just that, a rare splurge earned with hard work and good looks.

weight loss 2012

weight loss 2012

After I started eating a slightly less “rich” diet, I found I could still be happy enjoying the fat-packed stuff from time to time without carrying around 26 extra pounds.  Fitting in skinny jeans without a muffin top is a perk I still dance about most mornings.  Additionally, I found that I like fruits and vegetables more than I expected.  Most fruits even come in their own little convenient carrying cases, i.e. bananas, oranges, etc.

fruit and fit

So today begins a new chapter in the life of my little blog.  Recipe sharing will remain key but maybe we can find ways to balance indulgences with the good stuff.  Maybe we’ll look at ways to stay active that will allow us to indulge more often.  It took me roughly four months to figure out that if I ran several times a week, I could enjoy a few beers every weekend without the guilt.  The last year and two months I worked to find the balance of food, fun, and health.  It’s not always pretty but I promise living a balanced life is worth it.  If I haven’t lost you yet, thank God.  If I have lost you, I’ll find the mac and cheese and lure you back.

Peace, love, and balance-

The Hungry Wife

Spaghetti with meatballs

Sometimes Dinner in our house looks like this

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Hot Cheese Steak Sandwich

Sometimes it looks like this.

springrolls2edit

Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Then there are days it looks a little more like this.  Mhmm, that’s right.

chocolateheaven

Molten Chocolate Chip with Whip

 

A few nights back I had a pound of ground beef in my fridge and a taste for Italian fare in my heart.  Here’s what dinner looked like on that particular night.

meatballs5

It'sa pasta with a' meatballah. (Read like Luigi)

 

Meatballs are a fun and easy way to make boring ground beef a little more exciting.  It also effectively covers all bases for the hubs: Meat=beef, carb=pasta, and veggie=tomatos in red sauce.  Ok, so I’m stretching it a little with the vegetable but hey, who’s going to stop me?!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 package angel hair pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1 20 oz jar of your favorite red sauce
  • 1/4 cup of red wine
  • 1 small yellow or white onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Shredded parmesan, mozzarella, or provolone to top.

Instructions:

  1. Start by dicing up your onions into 1/4 inch pieces.  Next, finely dice the cloves of garlic. 
  2. Place half the onions and half the garlic into a large mixing bowl.  Add the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, and seasoning.  Mix together using your hands.
  3. Place a large skillet on the stove over low heat.  Add olive oil and remaining onions and garlic.  Cook for 3-5 minutes or until translucent.
  4. While onions and garlic cook down, divide beef mixture into 6 equal pieces and roll into balls using both hands. 
  5. Once onions and garlic have cooked down, add meatballs to the skillet and allow to brown for 3 minutes.  Turn meatballs over to allow for even browning.
  6. Next, pour red sauce and red wine over meatballs in skillet and increase heat to medium high.  Once sauce begins to boil, lower to a simmer and cover with a lid.  Let cook covered for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve meatballs and red sauce over warm pasta.  While still hot, top with cheese.
  8. Enjoy!

meatballs1

meatballs2

meatballs3

meatballs6

Peace, love, and piping hot meatballs~

The Hungry Wife

 

Country Style Ribs

countryribs3

That guy I married really, really, really likes meat.  He likes it so much that he thinks he needs to eat it pretty much everyday.  Crazy kid.  Anyhow, I have made it a personal goal to learn new ways to cook up that ole animal carnage.

Walking through the store one day this past weekend, Stuffed Hubs and I came across something called Country Style ribs at the grocery store.  Now, I have heard of short ribs and plain old regular ribs but I ain’t never heard o’ no country-style ribs.  We bought them anyway.

After doing a little reading about common ways to prepare them, I decided to use what I had in the kitchen, throw it in the slow cooker, pray, and hope for the best.  It worked!  Here is what you will need to make these sweet carnivore treats.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs. of country-style ribs (i’m sure any rib cut would be fine)
  • 1 cup of bottle barbecue sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tablespoons of worcestishire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of mild bottled hot sauce
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • Seasoning salt
  • Black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Start by getting that guy you married to pull that heavy crock pot out of the cabinet and onto the counter where you can reach it.
  2. Season the ribs on either side with a generous amount of seasoning salt and black pepper.
  3. Coat the slow cooker with olive oil and drop in your ribs.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together all other ingredients.  Pour the mixture over the ribs carefully.  Be sure that all the ribs are coated.  You can use tongs to toss them around if necessary.
  5. Set the slow cooker on low for 7.5 to 8 hours.
  6. Serve em up with corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, or nothing at all.  They’re delicious all on their own!

countryribs5

I can see making this for friends or just for a Sunday lunch.  The fact that it’s put together in a crock put makes it a real breeze and clean up is so quick your husband won’t mind doing the dishes at all.  Right?

Peace, love, and ribs that will stick to your ribs~

The Hungry Wife

Playing hookie…sort of.

I have a midterm exam today.  Let me repeat, I have a midterm exam TODAY.  This is my way of convincing myself to stay focused and study, study, study.  But in the meantime, why not blog about my latest means of procrastination, reading food blogs?!  Also, did I tell you I am now a “Featured Foodie” on RecipeLion???  Check it out.  It’s like, totally awesome.

After my trip to the International Food Bloggers Conference this past August, I was approached by a fellow blogger about the possibility of publishing with RecipeLion.  100 emails and 5 brownies later, I’m a published wanna-be cook!  Miracles still happen!  Do me a favor???  Take a look at my page.  Tell me what you think. Bake me a brownie.  Ok, I’ll settle for your two cents on my page but if you have extra oreo that would be great too.  Yes, I have chocolate on my mind at 7:52 in the morning.  Lay off.

And just because I love you more than marshmallow puff in a jar at midnight, here’s a list of a few dishes that caught my eye this week.

1. chocolate chip toffee bars.  because as you know, chocolate is my weekness.

chocolate chip toffee bars
chocolate chip toffee bars

2. Cajun chicken pastaNoodles and spicy chicken. I mean, duh!

Cajun Chicken Pasta
Cajun Chicken Pasta

 3. Slow cooker apple butter. An absolute must for fall.

Apple Butter

Apple Butter

 4. Texas Chili.  A meal to warm your bones.  I love one pot meals!

texas-chili

texas-chili

5. Biscuits and Sausage Gravy.  A perfect morning demands sausage gravy.

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

And just because I am so willing to put off studying to spend time with you (aka procrastination)…here’s another picture of those rotten little pups I love to cuddle with.

Peace, Love, and Publishing like a big girl~

The Hungry Wife