cornmeal

Sweet peachy cornbread

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I came up with this on the fly last week after realizing too late in the day that we were out of plain almond milk and very low on cornmeal.  Necessity is the mother of invention though…orrrrr…in Elise terms…being cheap and desperate will lead you down different paths than your ideal route.

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But I made it work, and I wrote down what I used in case it was decent and (shocker) it may be my favorite cornbread recipe ever.

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Sweet Peach Cornbread [gluten free, soy free, nut free]

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup corn meal
  • 1 1/2 cups GF all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup peach greek yogurt (~12 oz)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • [optional tweaks: add in 1/2 tsp red chili flakes or chopped jalapeños for a kick // use bacon fat or garlic infused olive oil instead of olive oil]
Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix dry ingredients together then add in wet ones and stir until combined.  Pour into a greased 8×8 baking pan.  Spread it evenly and smooth the top.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).
Pair with everything.
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We had ours with veggies and pulled pork I made in the slow cooker.
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The latest lunch boxes

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Sometimes Kyle has lunch meetings and sometimes he’s home for breakfast so what I pack for him varies.  I just ask him about his schedule the night before and what meals he wants.

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Last week I made a bunch of breakfast burritos for Kyle.  I assembled them and rolled them up in foil all at once so I could just throw them in his lunch box the night before.  So easy.

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I am seriously sorry about the photos, but there’s only so much you can do with an iphone at 9 pm. 

For the burrito insides, I used the rice cooker  and made brown rice + black beans together, then I tossed in lots of salsa.  The tortillas are flour ones from TJ’s (not whole wheat, because they don’t stretch as well and get soggy).  The only thing I added to them was cheese.  So easy.

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It’s kinda rare that we have leftovers from dinner, but when we do I give thme to Kyle for lunch the next day.  Like the lasagna above.

He also likes bars, but I try not to rely on them too much.  Other staples are crackers & cheese or veggies & hummus.  And fresh fruit.  He goes through phases with fruit (often because we buy bulk things from Costco and then OD on them).  Right now he’s in a cutie phase. 

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Sandwiches are the alternate lunch option.  I only make him PB&J when he’s going to be out of the house all day (otherwise I’d make him something allergen friendly so he can play with P).

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That mini candy bar is leftover from Halloween.  Still.  Eye roll.  

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Other sandwich faves: tuna salad, salmon salad, and hummus and pesto.

And then there’s the breakfast grits.  So simple and such a pleaser – just corn meal, water, salsa, cheese (and occasionally a fried egg or beans on top).

Before 2014 started

I did a pretty good job of meal planning that last week of the year.

First we finished off all the holiday leftovers we brought back from my parents’ house, including stuffing, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, and lima bean casserole.

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One day, I jazzed it up and made a cheesy “gravy” sauce with nooch and water. 

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And another day, I paired it with a salmon burger for some protein. 

Kyle took care of the rest of it.

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There was also extra shrimp and veggies from my parents’ holiday party so I pulled the two together for a stir fry.

I used a Cooking Light recipe for shrimp and broccoli stir fry and served it over brown rice.

Simple and yum.

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A Trader Joe’s run (holy condiments batman!) helped with the rest of the week’s meals.

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Quinoa Caesar.

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His had parm and home-made croutons, but I thought mine was perfect with TJ’s Caesar dressing alone.  I could eat romaine coated in Caesar dressing all day long, but adding quinoa really bulks it up nicely.

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The next day I made a huge enchilada casserole.

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It had crumbled tempeh, corn, and sweet potato; layered between ripped up corn tortillas, along with TJ’s red enchilada sauce, Redwood Hill Farm’s goat’s milk kefir.

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It may not look fancy, but it tasted dang good.

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And made enough to provide Kyle with lunch for the rest of the week.

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Topping it with avocado is advised.

The next night I made a coconut broth based noodle dish with veggies and tofu.

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I used what we had on hand veggie-wise, which was half an onion, Brussels sprouts, carrots and celery.

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I sautéed them with sesame oil and tamari until they were just barely cooked, then I added the coconut milk (plus a dash of curry powder, ginger powder, lime juice, and sugar) and let it simmer on low for a while.  Meanwhile I pressed and cubed the tofu.

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After the tofu went in, I put the lid on a turned the stove off until dinner time.

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Right before we were ready to eat I turned the stove back on and added the noodles to the pot with a cup or so of vegetable broth.

They cooked quickly and soaked up lots of the remaining liquid.

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This was a major success.  Kyle and I were both mmmm-ing the whole time.  Coconut milk (from the can) adds such depth to a recipe when it marinates with the other ingredients all day.  And who doesn’t like tofu and Brussels when they’re drenched in such flavorful sauce!?! 

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Totally awesome.

And that’s that!

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Lunches were simple salads or leftovers.

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Breakfasts were eggs with savory quickbread.

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I HAD to make another loaf because the first was so awesome.

So I did.  And I doubled the recipe (like I said I would!) and it still went too quickly.

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So I made another loaf!

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If the idea of cheesy bread with kale sounds appealing to you, you MUST make this bread.

I have to force myself to not eat it for every meal. 

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Red wood Hill Farm’s makes a damn fine goat’s milk cheddar, and with some kale and cornmeal, it’s downright sinful to the taste buds.

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And with that, I’m off to capitalize on nap time and do some meal planning for the next week!

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How silly is this kid?  He napped like that for an hour the other day. 

Savory Quick Bread

I go back and forth in terms of breakfast cravings – sweet or savory.  I love quick breads (especially this banana bread), but when I want a savory breakfast I’m torn.  For some weird reason, the idea of making a savory quick bread never occurred to me.

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Why not?  There are veggie muffins and stratas and the likes, so why not a savory quick bread?!?  Duh, right? 

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I totally almost messed this guy up.  I forgot the egg the first time around (fortunately before it went into the oven, but not before I had poured it into the greased bread pan).  I wound up dumping the batter back into the mixing bowl, adding the egg, re-mixing the batter, and pouring it into the re-greased bread tin…and crossing my fingers.

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But look!  Success!  And dang tasty success at that!

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Kale & Cheese Corn Bread [gluten free, nut free, soy free]

Ingredients:

  • ~2-3 oz. Redwood Hill Farm goat’s milk cheddar, diced or shredded
  • 1 cup Redwood Hill Farm plain kefir
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup medium grind corn meal
  • 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup crushed kale chips
  • 1 tsp olive oil (for greasing the pan)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, corn meal, salt, baking powder).  Next add in kefir and egg.  Last fold in cheddar and kale chips.

Pour into mini bread loaf pan that has been greased with olive oil (or well sprayed with non stick).  Bake at 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).

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The batter may seem super liquidy.  It worked for me, so just trust it. 

If you don’t have kale chips you could sub finely minced kale (or any other green).  Or you could use another veggie (ie corn) instead.

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I’ve had this for every breakfast since.  And some snacks.  So I’m making a big loaf next time for sure.

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It does tend to dry out a bit after the first few days (I stored it in the fridge) but a little bit of heating in the microwave helps get things soft and melty again.  Or you could add a dollop of vegan butter.  Or avocado.  Or dip it in your runny egg yolks.  I have officially taste tested all those options.  🙂

Food from last week

Can I just show all the yummy things I’ve been stuffing my face with lately in one quick post?  Life before Thanksgiving did exist. 

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The last of the pumpkin cornbread muffins with eggs.

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And yet another savory breakfast.  The to-go cup is because I was heading to MOPS after and wanted to be able to continue my decaf fueling there.

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We made pies!  I actually can’t take any credit for this because I was holding P the whole time and another mom did 99% of the work for me.  He had a meltdown before I could get a topping on but Kyle didn’t seem to mind.  Patty-cakes was so tired he fell asleep on the way home, even though our drive is less than 5 minutes.  I missed a few signals on purpose.  🙂

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Squash roasting as practice for game day.  Just kidding.  Squash is for all day every day.

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Steamed spinach, quinoa, goat cheese, butternut squash, and pomegranate seeds.

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Quesadilla casserole.  All for Kyle.  Shoulda written down the recipe.  I basically layered flour tortillas, pinto beans, 3 cheese mix, salsa, and plain yogurt and baked it. 

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He ate that while I ate this.  Day after day.  Mmmm.

I also made this baked spaghetti again. 

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It is just so easy and so good!!!

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I really try to make mostly simple meals throughout the week with one new and exciting dish.  That’s where foodie blogs and mags come in.  Gotta get inspired for that night of fun in the kitchen. 

But that doesn’t discount these kinds of dinners!

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I had my first night out solo the night I made this.  It felt so weird driving downtown after dark without anyone else in the car.  Not heading to work.  Not a diaper bag nearby.  Crazy. 

I got a glass of wine with my lady friends.  Breakthrough moment.

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Chip tower.  Yum.

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Banana bread with peanut buttah and fried egg.  Yurp, I made a few loaves of banana bread so breakfasts will be this for a while.

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Dough!  This counts in the easy column. 

I used half to make pizza and half to make empanadas. 

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Here’s what I learned about making empanadas.

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Ummmm…you can’t just fold them over and expect that to keep the insides in. 

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Oh well.  I made them all different with various combos of cheeses, pesto, marinara, etc.

And then there was the pie.

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Doughy and delightful.

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Guess what?!  I made ice cream.  Not really, but I poured this amazing mango orange pineapple kefir by Redwood Hill Farm in my ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing.  Voila!  Ice cream, easy as that.  And way healthier.  This could be the best discovery ever.

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This is a salad made by dumping various tupperwares in a bowl.  Use it all up before you travel!