My father may be almost as disappointed as my husband’s tummy when he reads this; seeing as how my spirit for culinary creativity, no doubt, came from him. My sweet mama mimics her mother in the ways of tireless hosting, but her recipe repertoire consists of Fried Macaroni (family favorite), Tuna Casserole and BLTs – not exactly Wolfgang Puck. Love you Mom! Like some kind of kitchen Macgyver, I try finding ways to make something out of nothing, but lately, I seem to have lost that element of inventiveness.
Somehow, I went from cooking multiple-nights a week to not knowing where to start. My poor husband was so excited to be marrying a lady who could expand his diet, consisting primarily of PB&J, and I have seriously dropped the ball! Ironically, my favorite foods also require little to no prep (frozen yogurt, popcorn & cereal). Are we just cheap and being lazy?! For example, tonight I opted for a peach and homemade popcorn for dinner while my other-half microwaved turkey sausages…this is unacceptable!!!
I thought a fun way to end this dry-spell would be to tackle a new cooking project. Apart from “wingin-it” I get a lot of ideas from favorite snacks or meals from favorite restaurants. We spend too much money buying things we could easily prepare at home. Not only that, we could also be doing ourselves a favor by eliminating or replacing less-than-healthy ingredients and preservatives with beneficial alternatives. Truthfully, I have already recreated some, but these tasty favorites give me a perfect excuse for coming out of temporary retirement.
Clif Bar | Crunchy Peanut Butter
Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Soy Flour, Organic Roasted Soybeans), Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Peanut Butter (Organic Peanuts, Salt), Peanut Flour, Peanuts, ClifCrunch® (Apple Fiber, Organic Oat Fiber, Inulin [Chicory Extract], Organic Milled Flaxseed, Organic Psyllium), Organic Date Paste, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt.
Panera Bread | Thai Chicken Salad
All-natural, antibiotic-free chicken, romaine lettuce, Thai cashews, fire-roasted edamame, red peppers, carrots, fresh cilantro and wonton strips with our low-fat Thai chili vinaigrette and drizzled with peanut sauce.
Toast | Birmingham, MI | Seasonal Mushroom dish
Mushroom, sprouts, asparagus with over medium egg.
310 Park South | Winter Park, FL | Zucchini Flatbread
Thin sliced zucchini and red onion over a Boursin goat cheese spread with Fresh grated Parmesan cheese and a balsamic glaze.
Bento Cafe | Orlando, FL | Veggie Stir Fry (Tofu)
Broccoli, napa cabbage, carrots, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, mushrooms, fried tofu, and snow peas wok-tossed in garlic sauce.
Rasta Pasta | Breckenridge, CO | Chicken Montego Bay
Jerk chicken, pineapple, basil, and a medley of fresh vegetables sautéed in white wine then folded into a light alfredo sauce with penne. Excellent spiced up!
Mountain Mama | Banana Oat Pancakes (Gluten Free)
2 cups gluten free oats, 1 1/4 cups vanilla almond milk, 1 large ripe, organic banana, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 heaping tablespoon local honey, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 large organic egg.