So last night I was having my in-laws and my husband’s best friend over for dinner. I was determined to make a delicious vegetarian meal to remember! After spending over an hour in Giant looking for all of the ingredients and then a quick stop at Food Lion for some sriracha I was ready for business. I piled all of the ingredients on the kitchen counter and immediately the thought of cooking exhausted me. I looked at the clock, I had 2 hours before everyone arrived, plenty of time…After 30 minutes of mentally preparing myself I re-entered the kitchen.
First item on the menu; beet chips. I got out my new slicer thingy and after peeling the beets and dying my fingers a pretty pink I sliced them super thin and in a Ziploc bag tossed them with olive oil and sea salt. In only 45 minutes I would have sweet and salty healthy snacks for my guests. As the beets baked I started on my date and chick pea brownies. I got this recipe from the book, “The Healthiest Meals on Earth,” by Jonny Bowden. (If you are interested in healthy living this book is MUST HAVE, great recipes and very doable for the working woman/man).
I go to put these in the oven and realized I completely forgot about the beets! Only half of them are brown but the other half are perfectly crispy. Of course I have to try them out first and before I know it every single chip was gone. CRAP, appetizer one has disappeared. Now I need to start another one. I got a great idea from Pinterest, cucumber/hummus cupcakes (originally from creativekidsnacks.com). These are super simple to make.
- Peel cucumbers
- Use a fork to scour the outside of the cucumbers, this makes them look like cupcakes
- Cut the cucumbers into bite size pieces
- Scoop out insides
- Fill with hummus (I put the hummus in a plastic bag and cut off the corner to squeeze into cups)
- Top with a sliver of red pepper and/or carrot
The inside of the cucumbers were put in my salad. As I am finishing this I look at the clock and realize I only have 1 hour to go and I have not started the sweet potato patties. To make a long story short I completely screwed up this recipe and it ended up in the trash.
Moving onto the peanut pasta. (Recipe below). I added asparagus, broccoli, and tofu which enhanced the flavors and added a nice crunch. Finally, I whipped up a salad with romaine, cucumbers, carrot, feta cheese, and walnuts. The dressing was one part balsamic vinegar, one part olive oil and a dash of sea salt.
The bad news was that dinner was an hour late and I made a mess of the kitchen, the good news was that everything tasted amazing. I think the thing I was most excited about was the peanut sauce. Sriracha is actually really easy to find (it is in a plastic container with a green top and a picture of a rooster on the front). I plan on making this to put on my veggie dishes too. In the documentary, “Hungry for Change” it talked about your mentality when starting a healthy lifestyle. It is all about adding things to your life, not taking them away. This meal made me realize that there are tons of new foods I can explore as a vegetarian.
Peanut Pasta Recipe
6 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli florets
1 cup baby carrots
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (Thai hot sauce, available in the Asian food aisle)
Pre-cooked protein of your choice:
2 cups shelled edamame
12 ounces cooked chicken breasts, chopped (calculated in the nutrition info)
12 ounces cooked tofu
Cook the pasta and broccoli according to package directions. Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, and sriracha in a small bowl. One minute before you drain the pasta, add the carrots to the pot. Drain and add the pasta, vegetables, your choice of protein and sauce to the pot. Heat through and serve.
Makes 4 one cup servings.