Don’t Know Until You Try

Anise… licorice  … none of that ever sounded appetizing to me, probably because the taste of black licorice thoroughly sceeved me out. Then, I started hearing about the vegetable called fennel. Being the Dego that I am, I payed attention since it was being used in so many Italian dishes. But then, I started hearing the “licorice ” to describe it. Needless to say, I’ve avoided  this vegetable for, let’s say 24 years.Molly Napolitano » Super Delicious Leek & Fennel Shrimp

Alright, Mario Batali, after countless episodes of The Chew, you have persuaded me to give it a shot.

I found a chicken and apple soup recipe that called toasted fennel seeds. After a little research I found the conversation from seeds to vegetable, and I’m glad I did because I believe it definitely bulks up the soup. This was also my first time pulling apples into a soup, which I was nervous would make it too sweet. I believe that by playing with the combination of spices off sets the sweetness that the apples contribute. The last minute add-in was a small can of sliced carrots, for some color and a little more natural sweetness. This first batch went so quickly, I used raw carrots the next round (see note in recipe).

If you are anything like me, and are completely clueless about fennel prep, I found this great tutorial here. I had no idea there was a hard fibrous center to core out.

Chicken Apple Soup

Inspired by Wholefoods

Makes 8- 1 cup servings20151210_175427 (2)

  • 4 cups reduced fat, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced into coins, OR a small can of sliced*
  • 1/2 lb (8oz) turnip
  • 2 medium gala apples
  • 1 medium to large onion
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 2 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground sage

Preheat the oven to 425 F while you prep. Place chicken breast in a soup pot along with chicken broth, water, cumin, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Cover with a lid and keep over low heat.

*If using raw carrots, place in the pot, now, as well.

Peel the turnips, cut in half and each half into thirds. This will help you differentiate between the difference veggies. Next, peel and core the apples, cut into quarters,  and the quarters into more bite sized pieces. Peel the onion, trim the ends, cut into quarters, and the quarters into thirds. You don’t need to separate the rings of the onions prior to roasting. Lastly, following the instructions in the link above, cut about an inch above the bulb, then cut off the base. Cut down its center, and remove the tough outer layer, as well as the triangle-shaped core in each half of the bulb. Slice what remains to a size of your liking.

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Line a 9 by 13 Pyrex with parchment and transfer your prepped fruit and veggies. Sprinkle the garlic powder and sage over the fruit and veg and give them a good toss with your hands. Pour about 3/4 cup of water to the dish, cover with foil and roast in the oven about 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil from the Pyrex and carefully pick out the turnips (this is where the different sized turnip will help you), while giving the remaining fruit and vegetables a toss. Once the turnip has been removed,  return the Pyrex to the oven, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes.

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Transfer the roasted turnips into a food processor and begin to puree. Feel free the add a bit of the broth to help get things moving. Transfer puree to pot of broth and and chicken.

When your fruit and veg have finished the last bit of the roast, transfer everything from the pryex into your soup pot, scraping any seasoning and 20151209_191159whatnot off the parchment.

*If using canned, sliced carrots, add those now.

 

Remove the chicken breast to a separate bowl or plate, and use the two-fork technique to shred the chicken. Transfer the shredded chicken back into the pot, cover, and allow to simmer for another 40 minutes, or longer if you’d like. Salt and pepper to taste.

If you reserved any of the fronds of the fennel, top your soup with it before serving; parsley does wonders, as well. And don’t forget those oyster crackers (yeah, they’re kind of my thing, now).

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The original recipe called for a crockpot, but a low simmer, covered pot did me just fine. And I think I’d have to say that this soup tastes even better the next day, as all the flavors really enhance and marry!

Nutrition (1/8 of recipe):

Calories:119, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 807mg, Carbs: 14g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 13g

The end result? Fennel is officially a staple on my grocery list. And I threw out that 1-cup per serving jib-jab. A double serving in each bowl, please! Oh, and the aroma! The smell in the air was enough to cue your salivary glands! As soon as I entered the kitchen its fragrance wrapped around me with a come hither sensation!

Whats your food freaker? I’m still not touching sardines! Leave your comment below!

Grinding Gears

After last nights slurpee, I started thinking. I laid in bed with a pen and paper and jotted down all these ideas on how to create a Key Lime pie. The gears were grinding, and I think I’ve almost got it! Now to decide how I want to attack it!

Once again, laying in bed did nothing but prolong sleep. I laid there for hours, tossing and turning. Just like last time, my tummy began to rumble incessantly around 4am. I cut a small Fuji apple in half to shut the growling up and made another mug of decaf green tea.

The other half of the apple was finished mid-morning with some Chocolate PB2 and a cup of Blueberry and Acai Green Tea. From the second I opened the tea envelope, you get smacked in the face with an immense blueberry fragrance!

WP_003325Today, Barry and I took dad to the range and then made a quick stop at Wholefoods. (I may have finished off my Arctic Zero). With this sudden fascination with Key Lime Pie, I wanted to try it. I needed to try it. I took advantage of the bakery at Wholefoods to see if there was a mini one to get, just so I could have an idea of what flavor and consistency I should be aiming for.

Barry came over after our escapades and helped me prepare for tonight’s dinner with a nicely set table. Ever since my little cousin’s Communion party, I’ve wanted to try my hand at Chicken Marsala. Running my errands on Saturday, I bought a ton of mushrooms (this family loves the shrooms), chicken breast, and finally found Marsala wine. I was always taught never to cook with a wine I wouldn’t drink, but from my understanding, no one actually drinks Marsala wine…

I based the following off the Hungry-Girl recipe:

Chicken Marsala

WP_003330serves 8

  • 3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3/4 of a pound)
  • salt and pepper
  • dried basil
  • 5 cups of fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2  cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp Brummel and Brown yogurt spread
  • 1 Tbsp reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp, plus 1/8 tsp black pepper

WP_003326Fillet the chicken breast. Place the fillet between two pieces of saran wrap, or in a plastic bag, and, using a meat tenderizer, release your frustration out on some chicken breast, flattening to about 1/2 inch thickness. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place the flattened chicken in the  skillet over medium heat. Season the top side of the chicken with salt, pepper, and dried basil, to your liking, Only cook one side of the breast, and remove from the skillet.

While chicken is cooking, melt the low calorie buttery spread in in the microwave. In a bowl, combine the melted butter, wine, and chicken broth. Whisk in cornstarch until completely dissolve, and set aside.

Re spray the skillet and add sliced mushrooms and garlic. Toss until the mushrooms sweat down. Move the mushrooms to one side of the pan, and place the chicken breast back into skillet, uncooked side down. Re-whisk the wine mixture and pour into skillet. Continue to cook all the chicken, and plate. Combine grated cheese, salt, and pepper. Top the platter with grater Parm blend and serve.

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With amount of gravy this recipe makes, I stole some of it to steam the broccoli with and to re-moisten and steam some pilaf Frank threw together. Yay team effort. Dads contribution was “taste tester.”

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Following dinner, Barry and I sat down for a movie and dessert. Cookies and Cream Arctic Zero, for me, and a Blueberry Cheesecake Milkshake for Barry.WP_003337

Picking Away

Despite being super sleepy, I spent another night not being able to shut down.

Being awake and not having the mental capacity to study, I flipped through some of my favorite channels and decided on Unique Eats on Cooking Channel. This episode ended on a cupcake note, which caused a late night sweet tooth. I went into the freezer to grab spoonful of fat free cool whip to see Frank’s pint of Chunky Monkey. I never buy Ben & Jerry’s because, although, theirs flavor combinations are absolutely spectacular, their calorie counts are absolutely outrageous! Wanting an added crunch, I dug into the Chunky Monkey to pull out a piece of chocolate and a walnut. This was my first experience with Chunky Monkey and I can tell why its so popular! Banana ice cream with chocolate chunks and walnuts! If that doesn’t say “Sammy” I don’t know what does!

Dear Frank,

If you decided to have your Chunky Monkey ice cream, you may find a lack of chunky. Sorry bout that….

Sammy

I felt proud of myself for being able to stop after one serving, but I won’t lie when I tell you I made sure to make that half cup worth it, picking for the chocolate and walnuts. Luckily, I had calories to spare last night, and after a brief increase in my respirations, I reassured myself.

There is one flavor of Ben & Jerry’s that I have wanted to buy, but just can’t bring myself to do it: Chubby Hubby- vanilla malt ice cream with fudge, peanut butter, and pretzels!

Get this- 340 calories per 1/2 cup! Crazy!

It seemed last night, there was no one thing on my mind. I kept playing around with recipe ideas. I kept picking my brain about when I would eat this and that, and what to bring to work, and what was on my shopping list, and how I can play around with ingredients…

Barry picked me up around 10am this morning to meet a buddy for work at the range. It was cool because we weren’t just shooting Barry’s, but John’s also! We all took turns playing around with the guns and switching out targets.

WP_003252Following our time at the range, Barry and I headed to Wholefoods for lunch. They’re ridiculous soup bar has always impressed me, so while Barry loaded up on man foods (meatloaf, chili, and mashed potatoes), I went with the Vegan Hot and Sour soup, and we ate outside on the patio. I was a bit disappointied in the lack of hot in the soup, taste, not temperature.

Nonetheless, we continued to stroll through Wholefoods, looking for some new products on the market, which we couldn’t find just yet. I did leave, however, leave with two items I was quite excited about.

Peaches!!!! Not any old peaches, Donut Peaches, AKA Saturn Peaches. I love these things and I can only find them this time of year! The look like flattened peaches, but they are so sweet and delicious, and my mom and I can literally eat a whole basket of these! Talk about healthy trigger foods.

Top 10 Reasons to Try a Donut Peach

WP_003259Also making an appearance in my cart was Arctic Zero Chocolate Peanut Butter frozen dessert. The cool thing about these products is that the entire pint is 150 calories! I’m not kidding! My only issue is that there wasn’t enough PB flavor. So after a teaspoon of added PB and jimmies, this was aces and I couldn’t feel an ounce of guilt.

WP_003253After lunch, Barry got thirsty and ventured to pick out a drink. “I was what you called me on the blog…” Uhhhhh???? “You’re ‘blueberry fiend of a boyfriend…” Well, its true!

What do you think he wound up getting to drink? IZZE Sparkling BlueberrySHOCKER!

Dinner was a frozen pizza. I’ve really wanted pizza that past few days and I’ve always had good luck with Amy’s pizza. On the menu was Amy’s Margherita pizza. Wow! I’m pretty sure I could have eaten the whole darn thing myself! The crust is  fluffy, and the basil seasoning was tops with the light tomato and globs of mozzarella! After our last experience with Kashi frozen pizza, I was relieved when this was excellent! I may have made a trip back to the kitchen later to pick at the leftover pizza. (They make a vegan version of this, too, by the way).

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After some loving from Lily, Barry’s dog, the night is ending on a rather exciting note: Studying for the boards. Since I am terribly entertaining, Barry whipped out his Nook.

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Tempted by Tempeh

This morning, since it was Barry’s first morning back, it was a blueberry pancake morning. The special guest star? Bar Harbor Wild Blueberry Preserves!

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I was pretty excited when I find these easy to make complete Easy Packs by Hungry Jack. Its the perfect size for a few people and they had Blueberry Wheat! Even better. Not having blueberries in the house, I warmed up a few tablespoons of the preserves and drizzled the newly formed syrup over the poured batter. Aside from the last three pancakes getting a little toasty, they were a hit. Barry, being the blueberry king that he is, doused his plate with blueberry syrup, as well. To finish the meal with some protein, eggs. Over easy for me and medium for him.

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We kicked off his first day back with a date at the shooting range, followed by a ton of errands! I introduced Barry to Wholefoods today! I love when I take people there for the first time. Its like they are little kids! Barry fell in love with bakery, as most people do. He wanted to buy one of everything! He left with a brownie cheesecake muffin and a cookies n cream cupcake. I was a good girl. We all know how I get around sweets…

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Its so funny! He’s already planning our next trip to Wholefoods, including having lunch there. He was in love the meats department. I don’t think he believed me when I told him how beautiful the meats were. He would up spending a few bucks on meats, as well.

After continuing with errands, we headed home. I read in a magazine that the calcium in frozen yogurt helps relieve cramps. Best excuse ever to take your boyfriend out for froyo!

Barry definitely has a sweet tooth for similar tastes as myself… Chocolate and peanut butter. He opted for the cheesecake froyo at Yogurt City topped with chocolate, caramel, Reese cups, chocolate jimmies, blueberries and bananas. I went with the no sugar added strawberry yogurt topped with kiwi, mango, strawberries, and sliced almonds! I do believe I am developing quite a skill for froyo perfection!

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We headed back to the house after about 5 hours of being out while at Wholefoods, we picked up a tempeh that I have never seen before: Fakin Bacon smoky tempeh by Lightlife. While cooking it, the kitchen actually did begin to smell like bacon. I also roasted some bell peppers, sliced baby carrots, onion, tomato, and cauliflower seasoned with garlic and basil. Topping a bed of spinach, I think this was the healthiest meal Barry had had in a long time! Plus, he had never had tempeh before. ( We all know I’m addicted to the stuff.) I always enjoy a roasted veggie and tempeh salad drizzled with BBQ sauce, and today was no different. Also, while at Wholefoods, we picked up Annie’s Organic Hot Chipotle BBQ sauce, since we both have a love for sweet and spicy. It had much more of a kick than either one of us expected, and our lips were tingling a good while after eating our salads. I can’t wait to BBQ some chicken breast with this stuff!

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We wrapped up our evening with oreos and PB, and some hockey. It was a nice day spent with the boyfriend. Tomorrow… road trip.

Got to Admit its Getting Better

Happy “Monday”! I know its Tuesday, but like I said, I’m starting this week over!  Today started bright and early with clinical. My morning kick off began with a quick stretch and 20 minute workout to wake me up and get my blood pumping. I can’t really do more than that on clinical mornings or I’d have to wake up at 0330 and I’d probably be pooped by 1600. While I waited for the clinical day to start I snacked on a  Chocolate Chip Corazona oatmeal square, which I made last until lunch time. (I haven’t been able to find the Almond Brownie or the White Macadamia nut, so if you find them, holla at ya girl!)

 Wow! Its chocolately delicious!

Wow! Its chocolately delicious!

This company offers other products, such as tortilla chips and other oatmeal bars in a variety of flavors! This company prides itself on heart health, hence the name. Each serving is designed to help lower cholesterol using natural plant sterols. This oatmeal bar, for example, is equivalent to 36 bananas, or 61 tomatoes, or 30 apples, of “cholesterol-lowering power.”

Lunch was, what we call, a Tun-Egg sandwich.Its nothing fancy… just tuna and egg salad mixed together. A lot of people think this sounds weird, but I think its the best of both worlds. I ate these with some grapes I picked up at Wholefoods.

Oh, the lunch of a nursing student

Oh, the lunch of a nursing student

Tonight I went with my uncle to the UD girls basketball game! I love basketball! I’ve been playing since third grade, so whenever my schedule and wallet allows, I love to attend the girl’s games. We rock! We won! What’s funny is that I used to play against some of these girls growing up, playing basketball!

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Today was a really good day. I DID go over what I wanted to eat, but I did much better today than yesterday. That’s the important part- that I improve everyday. And when I fall, I get right back up! My patient, today, was so sweet and one of the most complicated patients I’ve ever cared for. I learned so much! He had so much going on, yet he had a wonderful attitude. Really inspiring! I have to say, though, one of the highlights of my day was dinner. So simple, yet so filling and delicious! I started by spraying a pan with some non stick spray and throwing on some cauliflower florets and baby carrots. I sprinkled garlic powder over top and gave them a toss. They baked at 400 F in the toaster oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I threw a small chicken breast in a skillet, sprinkle with garlic powder and minced onion. I chopped it up once it was cooked through. I threw the warm roasted veggies and chopped chicken over a bowl of spinach. When I visited Meaghan in NY back in December, we picked up this homemade BBQ sauce this tempeh guru makes; so I drizzled 2 tsp of the BBQ sauce over top! I bet I’d really enjoy this with salmon, too!

And now, I’m sleepy. I completed another 20 minute workout before laying down. Another busy day tomorrow and then night shift…

DDDD

Yesterday was a Vitalicious- sort of day. On night shift, we had pizza, and all day I was craving more pizza. I never crave pizza… ever! Glad I keep this baby in the freezer:

Tomato and Cheese

Tomato and Cheese

What I like about this VitaPizza is that there is a very thin crust, so it crisps nicely in the toaster oven, theres a thin layer of sauce and tons of diced tomato and garlic!

Today is, what we in the Bundo house call, “Daddy-Daughter Date Day!”

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I had to wake up early this morning to drive to the hospital where my clinics rotation is to gather information for my patients this week. After that, I picked up the father and we headed to Philly. A few months ago, on my way to visit some family in Philly, I saw a billboard for the Titanic exhibit t the Franklin Institute. Dad and I have always had a fascination with the Titanic. We used to watch documentaries every Sunday morning on the Discovery channel. Luckily, through my recycling rewards points, I had a “buy one get one free” ticket for the museum.
We had a great time! At the beginning of the tour, you get a boarding pass with the name of a passenger. At the end of the tour, you find out if you survived the event.
Dad was 44 yr old, Mr. William Harbeck of Paris, traveling 2nd class to NY. He was a filmmaker, hired by White Star, to film Titanic’s maiden voyage. He did not survive.

I was Ms. Marie Grice Young, a 36 yr music instructor, to Teddy Rossevelt’s daughter, from NY, in first class, on my way to DC. I made it.
Some of the artifacts were amazing. They had light bulb! Yes, a light bulb, they pieced back together! It was neat to read little bios on some of the passengers and see some of their recovered belongings, including clothing, letters, business cards, and stationary. There was also a live “iceberg” for you to touch to understand how cold the water was. They recreated main rooms of the ship, like the stair case, bedrooms, and hallways. It really sucked you into the period. The only bummer, was that we could not take pictures. I did manage to snag a few though. Shhhhh… it’s a secret.

beautifully recreated doorway

beautifully recreated doorway

the coolest picture of the day!

the coolest picture of the day!

entering the boiler room

entering the boiler room

After the exhibit, we explored the remainder of the museum. One of my favorite parts ever since I was a kid is the Giant Heart! Its a huge heart that you can walk through. It takes you through all the parts of the heart through a maze of stairs, meanwhile you hear a heart beat to enhance the effect.

getting ready to head inside the heart

getting ready to head inside the heart

playing in the kids area

playing in the kids area

cheezeing it up inside an artery

cheezeing it up inside an artery

My absolute favorite area, besides the observatory, is the planetarium. Astronomy has always been a passion of mine. (Guess who owns the seasons of “The Universe?” This chick.) In fact, up until sophomore year of high school, my plan was to attend Cornell for Astronomy or the AFROTC Aeronautical Nursing program. Any way, we saw a film about black holes. Black holes give me the chills. I’ve always been fascinated by them and have written several papers on them throughout my schooling.

having an 80 yr old Singer sewing machine, I appreciate the beauty of this one

having an 80 yr old Singer sewing machine, I appreciate the beauty of this one

a fancy old music box

a fancy old music box

The museum has rooms focused on different areas of science: trains, planes, space, electricity (duh, Ben Franklin… Franklin Institute), engineering, and IMAX, and 3D theatre, a giant pendulum, any much more! So many of the staple exhibits have been there since I was a kid. It was so nice to revisit them. Plus, your inner child pokes out its head in all of the interactive “Please Touch” exhibits and games!

I turn Ben on. (get it? cause its a light switch?) *knee slap*

I turn Ben on. (get it? cause its a light switch?) *knee slap*

who needs travelocity?

who needs travelocity?

old school

old school

My father, Cpt. America, saluting USAF

My father, Cpt. America, saluting USAF

Chug-a-Chug-a Choo-Choo

Chug-a-Chug-a Choo-Choo

I'd kill for this telescope!

I’d kill for this telescope!

After a few hours in the museum, dad and I walked through the atrium to find the most adorable little girl getting her face painted! This is probably one of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen! Her mom let me snap a shot of her.

the most beautiful tiger i've ever seen

the most beautiful tiger i’ve ever seen

We said, “peace out,” to Big Ben (the guy, not the clock) and headed for one of my favorite Wholefoods. Its on Pennsylvania Ave. in Philly. Dad and I wondered around in there, grabbed a few cookies and bagels for the week, and of course, picked up this beautiful fruit salad:

Goodbye, Ben!

Goodbye, Ben!

Hello, fruity deliciousness!

Hello, fruity deliciousness!

After seeing all that food, we drove  around downtown Philly until we headed for South St. We couldn’t decide what we were in the mood for, but my dad said we should go to Maoz. (I was giggling like a little school girl, inside, because I wanted to go there all along but didn’t want to force vegetarian food on him). I explained how the ordering worked and he was willing to give it a try. Dad and I usually love anything with a topping bar. We split the #1. This is a falafel pita with hummus and eggplant, served with Belgian fries and drink. We upgraded to the sweet potato fries, then stuffed our falafel stuffed whole wheat pita with vegetable salad (tomato, zucchini and cucumbers), reed cabbage salad, cilantro sauce, sweet peppers (a must), grilled cauliflower, and later some garlic sauce. Maoz is the only place I will ever eat beets so I grabbed a little cup of that. Dad was so funny! “This is really good! I wish I had one around work. I’d get this for lunch at least once a week! Do they sell this in stores? Let’s get some.” Luckily, I can make it at home! Dad told me we are going to the grocery store to pick up falafel ingredients tomorrow after class! lol This was a really delicious meal. What made it even better, was seeing how much my dad enjoyed it! Perfect size for the two of us to split!

MMMMM... Warm falafel loaded with veggies in every bite!

MMMMM… Warm falafel loaded with veggies in every bite and sweet potato fries!

When I got home, I snacked on a Gnu Brownie, smeared with some Low Sodium Better n’ Peanut Butter. Then I completed some paperwork for clinical for Monday, and put on some jams and danced around the living room to do a little cardio.

Wow! What a fantastic day!

RIP to a Philly favorite: Sally Star!

Chicken Garam Masala: Crock Pot Recipe #5

Listen up, Butter Lovers!

First things, first: Happy National Peanut Butter Day! What a marvelously delicious way to start your day… with Peanut Butter!

Since its a bit out of the way, Mom and I decided that it would be a good day to visit some of the natural food stores around here so I could finish picking up a few things to include in Meaghan’s care package back to New York.
I can’t tell you what’s it there just yet. I can’t ruin the surprise for her… But as soon as she gets it, you’ll get it.

some Wholefoods sweet treats

some Wholefoods sweet treats

One of my favorite things about Wholefoods is the bakery. By now, you all know I have a serious baked goods problem… As in, I can’t get enough of them. Whenever I visit a Wholefoods, I always hit up the bakery. Since I don’t have any vegan products at home, I especially enjoy getting the vegan cookies and muffins. Today, was no different. I celebrated National Peanut Butter Day by enjoying a peanut butter sandwich cookie! My mom went a little crazy at the dessert counter, though. But it made for a great treat after tonight’s crock pot dinner.

mmmmmmm

mmmmmmm

I love PB!

I love PB!

Wholefoods Bakery <3

Wholefoods Bakery ❤

We also stopped by The Fresh Market. You know how at the supermarket, theres a bit or organic, gluten-free, etc items thrown in the mix? Well, thats the way The Fresh Market is, but inverse. My favorite part of this place is the trail mix bar! They have this White Chocolate Crunch mix that Meaghan got me hooked on and its ADDICTING!

Trail Mix!!

Trail Mix!!

They are also known for there many flavors of coffees. Did I mention theres an old fashioned candy bar?

Candy!!

Candy!!

Coffee!

Coffee!

We also picked up this amazingly yummy fruit salad, that I enjoyed with some cottage cheese.

so fresh!

so fresh!

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Tonight’s Crock Pot Dinner!!
Tonight’s dinner is a recipe Julie used for her part of the Crock Pot Challenge: Chicken Garam Masala. The recipe calls for chicken thighs, of which I did not have in the freezer. To take its place, I used some drumsticks. I removed its skins and figured since it still had a bone, like the thighs, it would make do.
I think I’d like to try this with chicken breast, as well; and maybe enjoy it with some naan. I’m a huge fan of chickpeas, so when I came across this recipe, I was more than excited to to give it a shot. Plus, I’ve never had cooked garbanzo beans and have recently found a little fascination with Indian cuisine after a date I went on.

If you didn’t know, garam masala is a typical Indian spice that,in Hindu, translates to “hot spices.” Its a blend of spices including, cardamom, cumin, cloves, black and white pepper, and cinnamon. So without further ado… Ladies and gentlemen…Chicken Garam Masala!!!

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Serves 4

4 chicken thighs (or drumsticks), skinless
2 (15oz) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups cauliflower florets
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 1/2 tsp garam masala

fresh cilantro, or 1 to 1 1/2 tsp dried cilantro

Dollop non fat Greek yogurt or sour cream, garnish (optional)

Combined everything, except the cilantro and sour cream, in the crock pot and give it a  toss. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. After plating, garnish with cilantro (and greek yogurt or sour cream).

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I was shocked by how much each portion received  It makes about 5 cups of of the chickpea mixture. This was a really filling recipe and the chicken was fall-off-the-bone moist! I think it was definitely lacking something… maybe a bit more garam masala? red pepper flakes? If you play around with this recipe, fill us in on the comments portion, below.

Nutrition Facts, per 1 heaping cup of chicken mixture:

Calories: 238     Fat: 2.9g     Sat Fat: 0g     Cholesterol: 0mg     Sodium: 840.3mg     Carbs: 48.1g     Fiber: 15.6g     Sugars: 8.4g     Protein: 12.4g      (A 4oz skinless chicken drumstick is around 130 cal with 13g protein

Wow! 15.6g fiber, 25g protein?! No wonder I’m so full!

While we are discussing chickpeas… Did you know there are bars made from these beans? I came across this while visiting Meaghan in New York. The bars are called “The Good Bean.” They’re marked as “Fruit and No-Nut” bars. The first bar I tried was Chocolate Berry, followed by Trail Mix, then Apricot Coconut. I enjoyed how different they were from other bars. Not crispy or crunchy, but not soft like a Larabar. I did not care for the Apricot Coconut. It did not have any defining flavors, nor any sweetness as you would expect. The Trail mix bar contains dried cranberries for tartness and pumpkin seeds for a bite. Its held together with brown rice syrup, which gives a little sweetness. The Chocolate Berry has a combinations of dried blueberries, cherries, and cranberries, and sweet chocolate. It made me feel like I was getting a little treat without the bad fats and sugars ans uber chocolatey-ness. I enjoy them as a nice change of pace, especially since I can’t find them except for in WholeFoods.

right next to the Kind bars! one stop shopping!

right next to the Kind bars! one stop shopping!

Hope you all had a wonderful day! Heres a recipe that combines two stars of today: Roasted Peanut Butter Chickpeas!