Recipe: Vegetarian Hummus & Kale Tostadas (aka: Chalupa)

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Let’s just get down to the nitty gritty.

Is a flat, fried corn tortilla a tostada or a chalupa?

I’ve done some very, very scientific research on this matter (i.e. wikipedia and cafemom and food.com) and here’s my take:

A tostada is a toasted/fried flat or bowl shaped tortilla (usually made from corn) with toppings on it.

A chalupa is the shallow bowl tostada (unless you are going through the Taco Bell line in which case a chalupa is a soft-dough thick fried flour tortilla folded into “boat” form.

I wanted to clear that up before any fights ensued. Granted, apparently these terms vary by location, so it might be different where you live and eat!

Either way, my husband made me the most amazing tostada/chalupa today for lunch! I baked and fried some corn tortillas for tostadas the other day for the fam (which were also super yummy) and we had two left, so my hubs made up his own invention and I. loved. it.

(By the way, there is no question which of us is the better cook: HE is. Hands down.)

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Vegetarian Hummus Tostada/Chalupa

  • 2 tostadas/chalupas*
  • 1/2 cup of hummus
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup of chopped kale or greens
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • (For vegan: substitute pine nuts in lieu of the feta)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together hummus, feta (saving a few pieces for topping), and kale.
  2. Spread it over the tostadas.
  3. Top with a few more pieces of feta and the tomatoes.
  4. Eat!

I know it’s simple, and didn’t really need a “recipe” but it was just so yummy and so something I’d never thought about that I had to share! Props to my love, Mr. Chord Dice, for making me lunch! I wasn’t even going to post today but it was so yummy I had to share!

* Here is the recipe that I used for making tostadas

  1. Lay them flat on the oven rack at 250° for 7 minutes (keep an eye on them and take them out earlier if they are too brown).
  2. Heat up a skillet with 1/4 inch of canola oil on medium-high (I actually used half canola oil and half coconut oil because I ran out of canola)
  3. With a pair of tongs, lay the tortilla into the oil for about 20-30 seconds using the tongs to push it down into the oil, then flip it over and fry it for an additional 20 seconds.
  4. Lift the tortilla out of the pan allowing the oil to drip off and place the tortilla on a towel-lined plate (or, if you are green like me, put it on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet underneath it so that the oil just drips onto the cookie sheet).
  5. Finish with the rest of the tortillas!

And because I am the queen of selfies, I had to take one with my tostada/chalupa! Haha!

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Recipe: Three Bean Summer Salad

three bean cold summer salad

I’m going to just admit… most of my recipes stem from desperation.

Oh my gosh – dinner needs to be ready in twenty minutes!
Oh heavens- I forgot that I had to go to the grocery store!
Oh no- I just can’t eat another “house” salad!

So, I have to come up with stuff that is a) quick and easy, b) already in my pantry and fridge, c) Isn’t a regular ol salad.

And this recipe fit the bill! (And it was good!)

FYI: It’s even better if you can put the beans in the fridge before hand so that they aren’t as easily smushed in the mixing process!

Three Bean Summer Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can white cannellini/white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 cup chopped green onion tips
  • 1/8 cup chopped green (or red) bell pepper
  • 1-2 dashes seasoned pepper
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil OR 1/2 cup Italian dressing (in lieu of the vinegar and oil)

Instructions

  1. Combine beans, red onion, cilantro, green onions, bell pepper, and vinegar.
  2. Mix together apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Pour over bean mixture and gently stir to combine.
  3. Refrigerate for three to four hours (or if you are a last minute slacker like me, put it in the freezer for ten minutes, take out, and mix. Do this two more times so that the beans are in the freezer for thirty minutes total.)

Day 481: Black Sabbath

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I get so optimistic about the sabbath these days.

That’s cause I actually follow the sabbath… well, I mean, I follow it… more… than I used to. I try to not do work (no laundry, no extra dishes, minimal cooking, no cleaning, etc) and I just rest and maybe even take a nap.

For the majority of the day today, my sabbath went well… according to plan. And I originally wrote out pretty much everything that happened during my sabbath that went according to plan and then realized it was all a bit tedious and only interesting to me, but needless to say, I did quite a bit of prep yesterday to make sure that the sabbath today was a day of rest.

And really… it was. it was a day of rest. a day for God. a day to remember that he saved us from slavery with his strong arm.

That was my day… for about 3/4 of it.

Then came {DUUUUUM DUMDUM DUM}… The Pizza.

My hubs and my boys really wanted pizza and we pretty much decided last time that we ordered from Domino’s that it would be our last, so I ran up to Target (without my kids… ahhhhhhhh) and snagged a few pizzas. And upon being asked what he would like, my hubs specifically said “Get one for you.” Oh, how sweet… He provided a way out for me.

So, what did I do?

I got the three-meat pizza.

For him.

And me.

Even though I thought to myself, “Get something else entirely… you aren’t even CRAVING pizza. Get what you want.”

But I didn’t.

And then I came home and GORGED on pizza and one glass of wine too many and then… AGAIN… with the cookie dough.

I mean, might as well, right?

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

And I had done so WELL earlier today. I had even resisted making myself a peanut butter and honey sandwich as an easy lunch and opted for a salad instead.

It’s just all so… so… backward.

I’m supposed to be keeping this sabbath HOLY… not indulging in all of these things that I’ve said I won’t!

And just as I said that I thought… you need to fast… like, completely, fast on the sabbath. As in NO food. Otherwise it’s a day about YOU and YOUR rest when it should be a day about HIM. It’s a day that you are to remember the horrid slavery that you were in that God rescued you from and you aren’t remembering that or celebrating that when you are eating FLIPPING COOKIE DOUGH.

Gosh guys… I hate to be Debbie Downer. Trust me… I’m looking for the positive side of me just as much as you guys are. I’m looking for that girl that was so enthralled a year ago with the Word of God. I’m looking for the girl that is who I want to be. But man, she’s hiding good… for a reason, I know.

And that’s why I’m going to bail on you now without really tying this up into a nice little bow. It’s 10:03pm and I want to get to bed so that I can get up early enough to read the Word. Forget food. Forget diets. Forget smoothies. Forget salads.

I need Jesus.

I don’t need that girl to show up again.

I need Jesus.

I need Him every day. I need Him to invade my mind. I need that strong arm. Hear me now, Jesus… I need you. I can’t get out of Egypt on my own. Come and get me Lord. Do what it takes. Burning bush. Exiled Moses. Plagues and first-borns. Come and get me.

Recipe: Build A Perfect Salad

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I don’t know an.y.thing. about nutrition and so whenever I make a discovery I assume that probably everyone else out there that is even remotely nutritionally focused knows about it. And this is one of those things.

However, I have learned that there are actually quite a lot of “I don’t know an.y.thing. about nutrition” people out there with me. So, if you are a nutrition junkie, feel free to say “Wow – I’m so happy that she has learned this since I have used this trick my entire life!” and if you are a nutrition newbie, then feel free to say, “Wow – I’m so happy that she has learned this since I have never thought of doing that!”

Here ya go.

Build A Perfect Salad

(for two salads)

Ingredients

When choosing your ingredients… think about colors. It’s amazing how easy it is to get a variety of nutrients when you simply vary color. Plus, to me, a pretty salad is always immediately more appetizing than all green. So, if you have a green celery… then choose a bright orange carrot. Or if you have a red tomato, choose a yellow bell pepper to compliment it.

  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large celery stalks
  • 10-15 salad tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • fresh oregano (or other herb or optional)
  • feta cheese, optional
  • lettuce
  • salad dressing

Instructions (I put my “commentary” in italics!)

1. Get out your two salad bowls, cutting board, knife, and all your veggies.

2. Start out with chopping up the carrots, celery, and halving the tomatoes. As you go you’ll see how the bowl really fills up with the “good stuff”. If you realize that you’ve got way too much of a particular ingredient just put the extra in a tupperware for tomorrow.

3. Add in your peanuts, kidney beans, oregano, and feta and mix everything together. That’s right… no lettuce yet!Just look at how full your bowl is of all the good roughage with all the good nutrients… too many of our salads are filled with 80% LEAVES because that’s what we put in first… but I think that’s part of the reason that we all get so burned out on them!

4. So, NOW, add your leaves (aka: lettuce) and some dressing.

5. This step is negotiable, but I always chop-mix my salad at this point. I like to do it because it is a good way to really mix everything together, plus I have terrible TMJ and so my bites have to be pretty small. You can chop-mix it by dumping it all out on a cutting board, but that is a mess and a half. Or you can get a good serrated knife (like a steak knife) and a fork and just cut it up a lot. OR, you can do my favorite method and get a pair of these salad choppers which I use for tons of stuff.

Okay, so it’s not like some kind of phenomenal life altering recipe… it’s more of a method. But it’s gotten me to build and eat more substantial salads instead of a bowl full of mainly leaves.

{My bowls before the leaves}

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Day 165: All Dressed Up

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Salad dressing.

Yep. That’s the topic of this post… salad dressing.

Which might seem like a insignificant little topic but if you think about anytime you go on a diet what is one of the things that they always regulate?

Salad dressing.

Which is a shame because most salad dressings are sooooooo gooooooood. Of course, this is coming from a girl that really only eats ranch and blue cheese dressings. But both of those are sooooooo gooooooood.

Anyway, even though the medium for this topic is salad dressing, that’s really not the main point. The main thing on my mind is: excess.

And excess is the real reason that most diets limit salad dressings. It is the real thing reason that most diets are trying to limit. And the real reason most people lose weight on a diet… not the specific foods they are eating (although that is important to a degree), but the fact that they are eating less.

Think about it:

  • Calorie Counting: the main goal here is to limit the amount one eats in a day. It works for some people because they limit the amounts they eat to stay in that range. It failed for me because I would tally how many brownies I could eat that would keep me in that range.
  • Atkins:by cutting out carbs from your diet you limit the amount of food you eat. It works for some because carbs are the foods they are “addicted” to. Worked for me once then failed me every other time because I still didn’t have the self-discipline to not eat the foods on the “no” list.
  • Weight Watchers: which is essentially calorie counting but just on a much smaller scale (no pun intended- haha!). But it also causes you to limit the amount of your daily intake. It works for some because they are limiting what they eat in a day, possibly making better food choices as well. Plus I think their groups help a lot too. It seems that most people that have success with WeightWatchers do so because of the groups. It didn’t work for me because a) I hate math and even with the calculator I had to tally all my stuff, and b) again, I had to have the motivation and self-discipline to stay within my points. Plus I did the online version… so, no groups.
  • But all three of those (and there are, of course, a zillion more) limit food choices and in doing so they limit salad dressing. Yes, see, I got back to the topic again! Ha!

    And here’s the deal. If I’m gonna eat a LEAF, then I want to put something on said LEAF to make it taste like……… well, like a not-leaf. And that stuff is called salad dressing. So I don’t want to put on something fake-tasting because then it’ll be like eating a fake-LEAF. And that is even worse!

    So I knew that salad dressings were going to be one of those things that I wouldn’t put a limit on (unless it became an issue and I started eating bowls of just ranch… which I wouldn’t have put that past me). But what I have noticed is that I eat far less salad dressing on my leaves than I used to. (And yes, I looked up the word “leaves” to make sure that was the correct plural of “leaf”.)

    I used to eat what was essentially leaf soup. A handful of salad with globs and globs of dressing. In essence I just didn’t want to taste the leaves at all. But one of the most important retrainings that is happening to me is the avoidance of gluttony. And a truck load of dressing was… gluttony. Yes, apparently, one can even gluttonize with a salad. And so recently when I ate a salad and put on my regular amount of dressing, I looked down at it and thought… not. pleasing. to. God.

    And I scraped a ton of it back into the jar.

    And the salad was awesome.

    Maybe because now I eat salad with all sorts of goodies on it: carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery, cilantro, chopped peanuts, feta cheese, bell peppers, mushrooms, and a good mix of salad. I don’t even give much room for those dern leaves anymore. Heck, I could probably leave them out entirely!

    But I think it was extra good because I scraped off all of that bitter-tasting, guilt-producing, stomach-churning gluttony. And instead sprinkled on some amazingly tasty “honor-God”.

    You should try some… it’ll change your life.

    For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:11