Adam told me today that the focus of my blog has become a lot less “healthy” and a lot more “sane,” since so many of my posts cover food/body image issues and the like. Well, I’m showing him up tonight with a post that’s all about healthy foods because hey, I’ve been cooking and I want to tell you all about it!
This week I did something kind of fun. Remember CEiMB Thursday posts? Well obviously I’ve been a big slacker on that front but I still love Ellie and take inspiration from the CEiMB group and other Ellie recipes. This week I challenged myself to an Ellie recipe a day in honor of “my” week on CEiMB. I chose the recipe for the baked falafel sandwiches (here) that hopefully all the group members will be excited about making and will enjoy eating. Let’s start with that one and I’ll show you what I else I made this week. Some good stuff not to be missed here!
I remember seeing this recipe on an episode of Healthy Appetite some time last year. It looked so easy and the idea of baked falafel (instead of fried) really intrigued me. Can it still taste good? How will it compare to the “real thing”? This week it was time to find out!
I followed the recipe for the falafel pretty closely, except of course omitted the onions. They came out flavorful and delicious although admittedly a lot drier than their fried counterparts (I’m assuming oil is usually used a lot more liberally in the “filling” too). The taste of cumin and coriander added decisively Mediterranean flavors. If I ever get a craving for falafel, I won’t hesitate to dig up this recipe again. By the way, Adam loved this
You may also notice that this is not exactly a “sandwich.” This is where I decided to add a little twist to the recipe. We had some fresh pizza dough in the freezer so I decided to make falafel flatbreads instead. I rolled out the dough and grilled it. The tahini sauce was transformed into a drizzle by a generous addition of non-fat yogurt and some lemon juice to cut the tartness. Some lightly dressed greens and fresh cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market completed the flatbreads. It was one delicious summer meal (don’t remind me that summer is almost over, ok? I’m in denial and I plan on staying there until meals like that can no longer be enjoyed out in the summer heat.)
So that was Monday. We “traveled” to Italy the following day. I actually decided to make a recipe I missed on CEiMB a few weeks ago – shrimp and liquine fra diavolo (recipe here). It got great reviews and this used to be my “go-to” meal at outings to Italian restaurants. I think I had a bad experience once and that kind of ended that trend. But no more, here is what Tuesday’s dinner looked like (what you don’t have a glass of wine mid-week with your dinner? You do? Ok, good! )
I actually put a little twist on this recipe as well. I decided to serve this with zucchini “pasta” instead traditional linguine the recipe calls for. I got this idea from an old post by Sabrina – her pictures make it look like legit pasta, while mine were more like zucchini ribbons (btw, I tried the mandolin method and a vegetable peeler actually worked better – it created thinner strips).
By the time I was done with dinner, it was getting dark so I’m sorry for these blurry photos. I had to fight with lighting. But let me tell you – this was AMAZING. I can’t stop thinking about it. I used diced tomatoes with chiles, which added additional heat and the zucchini ribbons soaked up all the saucy goodness. They do NOT taste like pasta. I don’t even want to call them that. They are thin strips of zucchini, working in perfect balance with the spicy tomatoes, shrimp and garlic. I was lucky enough to score the leftovers and could not wait for lunch today. SO good.
Lastly, on this rainy Wednesday night, it was all about comfort food – lasagna. Well, technically – portobello lasagna rollups (recipe here).
This was a bit more involved than I meant it to be for a weeknight meal but it was VERY much worth it at the end. We somehow ran out of spinach so I dug into my freezer and found some frozen asparagus. That was quickly “steamed” in the microwave and jumped into the rollups. I also bought baby bellas because they are cheaper than portobellos and had to be chopped anyway. Lastly, I used TJ’s organic tomato sauce instead of making my own. It’s my favorite sauce – it’s healthy, organic, delicious, costs next to nothing and takes no effort. Shortcuts are sometimes good. Really good.
Can someone say no to this?
I think not (ok, maybe if you’re vegan. lol)
This one is going straight to our favorite recipes list (PS. I’m going to organize it one day!). Adam was in heaven. I think his dad may drool a little onto the screen. Am I right, Jim? (lasagna love runs in the family).
How is your week going so far? Does any of the above tempt you?