Baked sweet potato fries

You know that moment when you open your car door after it has been parked in the sun for an hour?  You know what I’m talking about, when you feel like getting in your oven would be better than getting in your driver’s seat.  Or what about how you start sweating buckets the moment you make it out your front door and realize that deodorant should have left home with you today.  Maybe I’m the only one.

Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

In any case, summer is here for real, folks.  The upside is that we are now able to enjoy days by the pool, fruity drinks with umbrellas (right, like we waited for summer), and vacations to the beach.  Additionally, I am officially DONE with grad school and can now say I earned a Master’s degree in mental health clinical counseling.  I am still job hunting but have not come across the right position for me yet.  In the meantime, I continue evaluating my skills (counseling skills, cooking skills, nun-chuck skills) and remain open minded about my career path.  Things have taken an interesting turn recently.

Mom and Stuffed Husband

Mom and Stuffed Husband

Yesterday I interviewed for and was offered a position as a personal fitness trainer at a local New Orleans gym.  This is outside my experience area but I also find myself quite passionate about this career move.  For the next day or so I’ll be mulling it over, praying, and weighing my options.

baked sweet potato fries

baked sweet potato fries

Job chatter aside, let’s cook some yummy grub!  One of my all-time favorite foods are French fries.  I LOVE them. I love them alone. I love them with ketchup. I love them with CHEESE. I love them with MORE CHEESE.  And, I love them with CHEESE and Jalapeños.  Who doesn’t?  OFF WITH YOUR HEAD.

Baked sweet potato fries are a doable substitute when you are craving a yummy fry but trying to make up for your late-night sins of beer and pizza.  It happens.  Baking the fries saves a number of calories and makes clean up a little easier.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • two large sweet potatoes (one potato per person usually makes more than enough)
  • 1 tsp of olive oil per potato
  • salt, pepper, or seasonings of your liking
  • aluminum foil to line your baking sheet for easier clean up

First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Wash your potatoes and slice them up into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices.

bakedsweetpotatofries2Toss them in olive oil and seasonings in a bowl.  Then lay out on your baking sheet so they are not touching.

bakedsweetpotatofries3Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes.  Do not open the stove during this time.  It ensures a better fry, I promise.  After 20 minutes, remove the fries from the oven and turn each over so we can cook the other side evenly.

baked sweet potato fries 4Follow by putting them back in the oven for 10 more minutes.  NO opening the oven.  Don’t do it.  You’ll ruin everything. Ok, not everything but I promise it will be worth it when you bite into the perfect fry.

bakedsweetpotatofries5Then just serve them up with a yummy burger, some grilled chicken, or just all by themselves.  Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Dig in!

Dig in!

I will keep you all posted on my career decision as things move along.  Thanks for all your support!

Peace, love, and big girl decisions,

~The Hungry Wife

Advertisements

Black Bean Soup. Arriba!

Something about bean soup just makes sense.  It’s a comfort food for me.  After watching the horrible news unfold about the Tornados that hit Moore, Oklahoma, I knew I needed soup.

This soup is both easy to make and VERY tasty.  It’s great for a meat-free Monday menu but you can absolutely add some bacon for added kick.  I top mine with homemade Pico De Gallo, shredded cheddar, light sour cream, and toasted corn tortilla.  You can’t go wrong. 

black bean soupHere is what you’ll need:

  • 3 cans of creamed black beans (16 oz. each)
  • 1 cup of fresh salsa (I use the store bought kind in the refrigerator)
  • half  yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 cups of water or chicken stock
  • Toppings of your choice (tortilla chips, pico de gallo, shredded cheddar, sour cream, avocado)

To start, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Toss in onion and salsa, let simmer about three minutes.  

Add in all three cans of black beans and 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce head and let simmer for 10 minutes, pouring in the rest of the water gradually and stirring.  You can use more water for a thinner consistency or less water for a thicker soup.  It’s a matter of preference.  If you can not find creamed black beans, you can mash regular beans once heated to make the creamy soup.

That’s it!  Peace o’ cake.  Then just pour and top.  Enjoy!

Black bean soup 2

I certainly enjoyed this soup today, as did Stuffed Husband.  However, our hearts are still heavy for those affected by Monday’s tornados. While we do not always understand why things happen, we can pray for those in their hour of need.  Our hearts are with you Oklahoma.

 

Peace, love, and praying for Oklahoma,

The Hungry Wife

 

 

Pacing with pals and roasted veggie penance.

Some days I have great ideas for a post, I gather and edit pictures, and then sit  at the computer with coffee and a purpose.  Two hours later I completed nothing…except for three games of Murder, She Wrote (yes, this actually exists).  God help me if it isn’t one of the most addicting games for the computer.  In any case, I am well intended but easily distracted thus I haven’t posted here in far too long.

ccc 10k bib

Last month Stuffed Husband and I participated in the Crescent City Classic 10K for our first time ever!  This race is one of  the biggest races (possibly THE largest) in New Orleans.  This year was the 35th anniversary in fact.  We really enjoyed sharing this race with two of our favorite running buddies.

Scooter and JenJen

Scooter and JenJen

One of the most wonderful parts of racing is building a community of running pals.  Stuffed Husband and I are lucky enough to have friends like this.  Scooter and JenJen are two of our favorite friends to celebrate holidays and milestones with so it makes sense that we would enjoy racing and post-race celebrating with them.

Pacing buddies.

Pacing buddies.

Often we splurge after races.  When I say splurge I’m not talking an extra serving of a light meal or just indulging in dessert.  Nope.  We go all the way.  I’m talking cheesy tater tots, fried catfish, beers, and MORE beers.

Matt double-fisting it

Matt double-fisting it!

Naturally, I have to work on balancing out my post-race gorge fests with lighter fair as the weekend goes on.  Next time you need to lighten things up to pay for your dietary sins, try tossing veggies in olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.  Divine, I tell you!  

Roasted Veggies

Roasted Veggies

Roasted vegetables are great as a side, with whole wheat pasta, in a wrap, or on a salad.  So much flavor and SO little guilt.  Here’s how I topped off a salad with mine.

Salad with roasted veggies, Tempeh, and roasted tomato.

Salad with roasted veggies, Tempeh, and roasted tomato.

Do you have a quick recipe you use when you need to lighten up your next meal? I would love to hear about it!  Maybe you have a pacing buddy who you love to indulge with?  Tell me your favorite part of having a friend to put away miles with or why you prefer to run alone.

Peace, love, and pacing pals,

~The Hungry Wife

Fuel for the distance: Three Bean Chili

Lately I’ve been really enjoying my outdoor runs.  Some mornings it is still pretty chilly out around these parts.  In fact I’ve had to go as far as wearing a hat and gloves on the mornings we have had a “hard” freeze.  Whatever that means.  Luckily Stuffed Husband is quite the motivator and was willing to take the run with me.  He’s just selfless like that.  Well, selfless and competitive.

Saturday Speedwork

Saturday Speedwork

Anyway, I’ve found that refueling after these bitter cold runs can be tricky.  My body wants something hearty and warm.  Naturally, I turned to chili.  Interesting, I wanted chili when I was feeling chilly.  hah.  Oh no, I’m developing my father’s sense of humor…AKA cheesy. This three bean chili was ridiculous easy and made SO MUCH friggin’ chili that I had to freeze half of it.  I suggest halving the recipe if your family is small like ours.  The recipe can be found here.

3 bean chili

I forgot to take a picture of the chili after I added the corn.  In the future, I would probably leave the corn out anyway.  It seemed unnecessary given that I made cornbread to eat with it.  Too much corn is well…too much.  The recipe is easy as pie to follow.  Just buy a bunch of cans of stuff and a packet of chili mix.

Cans O' Stuff

Cans O’ Stuff

Chop up some onions and garlic.  Try not to cry uncontrollably.  I did.

chop chop chop

chop chop chop

Dump it all in your slow cooker and set it on high for 3 hours, then go for a run.  The running part is an essential part of the recipe.  If you don’t run, you’ll just never get that homemade chili taste just right.  No really!  Would I ever lie to you? 😉

Slow cookers are awesome.

Slow cookers are awesome.

Serve up a bowl after a nice long run.  Maybe top it with a little cheese and/or corn chips.  I served mine with cheese and a side of cornbread.  Definitely hit the spot!  Not only is this recipe crazy easy, but the health benefits are undeniable.  Plenty of protein and fiber from the beans and a serving of vegetables in the diced tomato, corn, onion, and garlic.  Good stuff!  Stuffed husband even used the chili later in the week to make tacos with!  Brain and brawn with that guy.

Stuffed Husband

Stuffed Husband

Do you have a go-to recipe you rely on for recovery after a long hard work out?  I’d love to hear about it.  Share your recipe with me in the comment section below or post a link I can follow.

Peace, Love, and Foodie Fuel~

The Hungry Wife

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

Spaghetti with meatballs

Sometimes Dinner in our house looks like this

DSC03117

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

 

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