Chili-stuffed Sweet Potatoes + spiced watermelon

I’m currently writing my first ever iPhone post because clearly I cannot move the 2 feet to fetch my laptop and sending iPhone pictures to my computer is just too much for me to bear.

Today I will bring you one of my stand-by recipes adapted from here: Unsloppy Joes

I started out making the recipe as described- to go between buns or bread in sandwich form. That’s a delicious way if eating it, but I later discovered that an especially delicious mode of consumption is .:drumroll:. as a stuffing. In/on a sweet potato. (Never would have guessed that from the title, right?) So here we go, without further adieu I bring you…

Chili-stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Chili-stuffing

I really enjoy this chili mix. It has a strong flavor that’s perfect for a sandwich or for topping sweet potatoes. The vinegar gives it a good kick.

Chili-stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato clearly unpictured, but I assure you it was tasted and delicious.

Chili-stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I ate this alongside my typical vegetable mix:

Carrots and Snap Peas

Plus a summer favorite that’s come back into the mix:

Yesterday, I was in the mood for something different, so I sprinkled some Jerk Seasoning on top:

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Must say, it was quite delicious.

OK: Confession time, I started this post on my phone but switched to the computer for all the editing, recipe posting, font stuff. Maybe one day I will get out a post that doesn’t need much editing to take full advantage of my mobile app.

Exercise Quickie:

Today I did Strong Lifts B workout.

Squats: 110lb 5×5 (poor form on 2 of the reps, so I’m retrying it Friday),

DB Overhead Press: 25 lb DBs 3×4/5/4

Deadlift: 130 1×5

Who más

Howmis?

Humm is

Him us

Hummus.

Seriously, who doesn’t love hummus?

I grew up eating homemade hummus, and I must say that it has spoiled me into viewing a lot of store-bought hummus with a fair helping of disdain.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some brands (one-that-I’ve-tried) that taste like homemade (Trader Joe’s for the win), but seriously

this just doesn’t taste real to me {Probably because of the ingredient list: Cooked Chickpeas [Chickpeas (Garbanzos), Water], Tahini (Ground Sesame), Soybean And/Or Canola Oil, Garlic, Salt, Citric Acid, Seasoning And Spices, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate Added To Maintain Freshness.}

In my holier-than-thou humble opinion, hummus deserves to be made with extra virgin olive oil and without preservatives. And it’s so easy to make (and cheaper– just think of the cost comparison) that there’s no reason not to!

So without further adieu, I give you hummus. (With the extra-special-secret ingredient my Syrian Uncle told me about)

Hummus

Ingredients
– cooked (or canned) chickpeas/garbanzo beans (about 2 cups worth)
– tahini (sesame paste) (about 1-2tbsp)
– extra virgin olive oil (about 1-2 tbsp)
– juice of 1 lemon
– 1-4 cloves of garlic (depending on your preference)
– a couple splashes of white vinegar (<–secret ingredient)
– a couple grinds of sea salt
– a few good shakes of cumin
– a few good shakes of paprika
– water

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients in your food processor or blender (but seriously, it’s easier in your food processor unless you have a super-high-powered-expensive-blender) except the water. Process until it’s as smooth as it can get.

2. Add water (reserved water from your chickpeas would be really great) gradually until the mixture reaches the desired consistency.

3. Get in your belly!

I’m telling you, the vinegar kicks this baby up a notch! Also- feel free to experiment and add spices/other foods (olives, pine nuts, etc) to make it your own.

What’s one homemade item that you can’t stand to buy from a store?

Have you ever made hummus?

Sprouts!

So lately I’ve been in the mood to do some experimenting in the kitchen.

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I’ve always known and loved alfalfa sprouts, but I’d say that sprouting fully came on my radar when I first laid eyes on this bread:

ImageIntrigued by the packaging which informed me that sprouting allows for the creation of bread without flour and that sprouted grains are more nutritious than their un-sprouted counterparts. Well, I started buying this bread from time to time (because I like it) and didn’t really think of sprouting as something I could do myself. That is, until my friend decided to go raw-vegan a while back. She purchased sprouting trays and sprouted her own legumes. Naturally, I was intrigued and the idea sort of hung out in my head for a while.

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(Me & Idea hanging out)

Until finally, I thought: “Hey, why don’t I try sprouting legumes?”

And that’s what I did.

At the advice of The Sprout People, I elected to buy the EasySprout:

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($11.53 on Amazon)

Then, I got down to business and learned that sprouting is pretty much the easiest thing ever.

Step 1:

Soak your legumes/seeds in lots of water overnight or 8-12 hours.

Step 2:

Drain your legumes/seeds by taking the insert out of the outer cup and pouring out the water from the outer cup. Shake some to ensure that all of the water is drained out.

 

Step 3:

Rinse every 8-12 hours for 2-5 days. You will start to see the legume/seed sprout

See those babies grow!

The Sprout People recommend tasting the legume/seed after each rinse to ensure that you “harest” them at the best time. I gave the garbanzo beans one or two more rinses after the above picture.

Step 4:

Serve ’em up (or refrigerate them, or freeze them… depending on the sprout)

Salad of parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, shredded carrots, red bell pepper, and sprouted garbanzo beans with a homemade balsamic-lemon-garlic dressing

I’ve also made sprouted lentils lately:

They also met their end in a salad roughly based on this one: http://www.food.com/recipe/indian-sprouted-lentil-salad-131211

The Verdict:

I enjoy the sprouted legumes. They offer a crisper taste to the salad. I will definitely add them into the rotation and am eager to move on to grains and seeds. That being said, I love their cooked counterparts  whole lot and will still be eating them as well.

Have you ever sprouted anything? 

What do you think of sprouts?

Have you done some experimenting lately?

Is it a crouton?

Is it a kix? Is it a dog-kibble? No! It’s SUPER…roasted-chickpeas!

Peanut Flour Roasted Garbanzo Beans

These are probably one of the easiest, most delicious things that I have ever made. They, believe-it-or-not, sort of taste really like Kix.

Anyone else love this cereal as a child?

But those babies are not kix. They are chickpeas  (AKA garbanzo beans). And they are so simple and interesting that they will make you re-excited about your food once again. Or at the very least pleasantly content with your food choice.

Peanutty Roasted Chickpeas
Ingredients
– 1 can (or 1 2/3 c prepared) chickpeas
– 3 tbsp peanut flour
– 1 tbsp stevia for baking
– 1/4 tsp sea salt

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas. Spread out on a baking sheet and pat dry with some paper towels. (Alternatively: If you’re like me, and made your chickpeas ahead of time, go ahead and skip the drain and rinse part)

...the convenient things you will find with a google search.

Step 2: Sprinkle the remaining ingredients (3 tbsp peanut flour, 1 tbsp stevia for baking, 1/4 tsp salt) onto the chickpeas. Toss and stir until the chickpeas are nicely coated.

Step 3: Place baking sheet in your 375˚F oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes; shaking pan ever 15 minutes. Taste test starting at the 45 minute mark: you want a dry, crunchy chickpea.

And enjoy!

I enjoyed these as is for a few days as a simple snack. Then, I got creative and decided to add them to a raw and roasted salad. The result was epicly delicious.

(that's nutritional yeast on top)

Alright, back to either non-pleasure-reading for school or maybe just bed. Either way there will definitely be sunflower seed butter involved.

What’s something new that you’ve tried lately?

Failure

Failure. I hate failure. Does anybody not hate failure? I imagine the scale of hating failure falls from mild distaste to extreme hatred. I realized yesterday that cooking-failure leaves me wounded. Especially when I was planning on eating a delicious dinner and it turns out to be a mushy-gross-mess.

Yesterday I had two things in mind when I thought about dinner: chickpeas and speed. So I decided to sauté some vegetables and then add diced tomatoes, chickpeas, a cooked-up grain, and some spices. Sounds good, right? Well, as it turns out, I chose the wrong grain. Or at least prepared it incorrectly. I chose to cook Kasha (toasted buckwheat) in broth. Bad, bad idea.

Doesn't it look like an alright idea?

The veggies and tomatoes looked good at least.

I should have known when the final product looked like this.

It was… mushy. It felt like a breakfast hot cereal that I had added a weird vegetable mixture and chickpeas to.  I literally couldn’t finish my bowl. All night long I was in disdain because of this dinner. It just felt like a waste of a meal. And it drove me to drinking. (OK, so maybe I was already planning on drinking with friends) 

But I didn’t throw it away. I had a goal in mind: make this better. Don’t let your food and time go to waste!

Visualize.

I decided that this dish needed (1) crunch… or at least more solidness and (2) flavor.

So I thought back to this dish I made a while ago and never posted: Chile Spiked Quinoa Pudding with Corn

The recipe called for me to mix up the ingredients and then bake it in a baking dish on 375˚F for 45 minutes. I decided this was what my dinner needed. Plus I added a couple chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce that were called for in the above dish.

Step 1 of Dinner Improvement

I still wanted to add even more flavor and some crunch, so I roasted some cabbage and sweet potatoes and added them to the mix. 

 

And what I found was success. (Moderate success, but success nonetheless)

Great Improvement

It was a pretty solid cooking-just-for-me meal

What do you do with your kitchen disasters? (If you have them, that is)

Does a bad meal mess up your day? (Or am I just a weirdo?haha)