Normally, Sundays are my day to get ready for the rest of the week. I try to cook a meal or two, prep my veggies for juicing, do the laundry, ironing, etc. I feel so much better when I go to bed Sunday night knowing that all this is done. I am way less stressed when I'm ahead of the ball instead of sprinting after it.
Needless to say, this is how I spent my Sunday - when I wasn't sleeping.
I have a few go-to recipes that I usually always have the ingredients for and everyone loves it. Whole Food's Vegetarian Chili is a quick, hearty and healthy meal that makes me happy every time. And here's my philosophy: If you're going to take the time to cook a healthy meal, make it last. Double (or even triple) the recipe. Then you'll have enough for dinner and leftovers and freeze for the future. There's nothing like opening up the freezer and seeing a delicious meal just waiting to be warmed up. If you get tired of eating it as plain chili, you can spread the chili on a tortilla and have a yummy burrito.
Sprinkle on some cheese and you're good to go.
And of course, if you're having chili, there needs to be cornbread. This is when you call in the troops (aka: 3-year old with amazing stirring power).
Okay, so while the cornbread is baking and the chili is simmering (45 minutes) I whipped up a little something for the crock pot. I found this Italian Lentil and Barley Soup recipe on food.com. I've never tried it before but it sure looks yummy. I'll let you know in about 12 hours how it tastes.
If my crock pot was bigger I would have doubled this recipe too. I am fan of chopping all at once.
Twelve hours on low. Slow cooking while I sleep. How can you beat that?
Believe it or not, I was still feeling pretty sick. I had no sense of smell or taste and my head was pounding. But hey, I was on a roll. Thus, the pumpkin cookies! A friend gave me this recipe last year and I have made it several times, but I have never it made it the same way twice. I have become a little obsessed with substitutions. I usually cook or bake the recipe the "real" way first so I know how it's supposed to taste. Then I go crazy subbing this for that and that for this.
Here's the original recipe:
2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup chocolate chips, nuts or raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and gradually add in the sugars. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition. Stir in nuts, chocolate chips and/or raisins.
Drop cookie dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Cook on racks. Yield: about 3 dozen.
Here's some of the changes I've made:
For the 2 cups flour, you can do 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup white flour, or 2 cups whole wheat flour.
For white sugar, I've used maple syrup or honey as a replacement.
For butter, I've used applesauce as a substitute. Note: using applesauce in place of butter will make your baked good a lot denser.
For the extra goodies, I have used chocolate chips, dried cranberries, walnuts, raisins, and pecans. It all depends on what I have in the cabinet and what kind of mood I'm in.
The bottom line is recipes are not written in stone. You can tweak your old favorites to make it a little healthier and still enjoy.
I can't smell but I bet they smell delicious!!
Here's to a healthy, happy week!