I don’t really cook with a lot of recipes on a day-to-day basis. I certainly use recipes for baking, as it is more precise. And I like trying new recipes on special occasions, but for typical Monday-to-Friday dining, most recipes I use are in my head.
One quality I like in my “head recipes” (ones I have come up with myself, and are quite flexible) is adaptability. Remember my veggie chili? It is one such recipe. The beauty of it is that you can keep all of the ingredients the same, change the spices, and you’ve got a brand new recipe! Observe the following.
Start exactly the same way as the chili. Dice up the veggies of your choosing and finely mince some garlic (the veggies can vary, but to me, garlic is an essential. You can omit it if you want – but be warned, life is better with garlic ). For every portion, use one teaspoon of olive oil. Heat the oil over medium-high in a saucepan (non-stick is easier for clean-up), add the veggies, and sauté for a few minutes.
Just like the chili, add some canned tomatoes, beans of your choosing (remember, 1/2 cup per portion), and a little bit of water/stock. You can see I spared no expense on the canned goods and bought a really expensive brand. For this stew, I also added some dried mushrooms (LOVE these things, an amazing flavour boost) and some frozen chopped spinach for extra produce. Season with salt and pepper. For this particular stew, I was going for a sort of Italian vibe. I added Epicure marinara sauce mix and sundried tomato and herb dip mix (it is for WAY more than just dips people!). Let the stew come to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (I was in a bit of a rush since I had an appointment to go when I was making this last night and only simmered for 15 minutes, but longer is certainly ok).
There you have it….a few tiny tweaks and it’s a brand new recipe! I made a 2-serving batch since I’ve got a busy week coming up (catering a dinner for 20 on Saturday!) and have to start groceries/prep on Thursday night, so the second portion will be Friday’s lunch….LOVE having lunches made ahead!
Since the chili remix is not too long, I also thought I’d share last night’s dessert with you: a vanilla cheesecake/mousse-ish dessert with chocolate pieces. The picture TOTALLY does not do it justice (sorry, my food photography skills still need work), and neither does that horrible title, but once I tell you what’s in it, I think you’ll be in!
Here’s what you do to create this simple, but delicious concoction.
Combine a about 1 1/2 tbsp fat-free cream cheese and a couple tablespoons of thawed Cool Whip light/fat-free (if it is frozen, just microwave for about 6 seconds – not any more or it’ll melt!) with one fat-free refrigerated vanilla pudding cup. Stir in a splash of vanilla and just a touch of splenda. Stir in one Thinsations Fudge-dipped bar, chopped. Top with a little more Cool Whip and enjoy!
Now, you could just stir the bar into the pudding, but the addition of the cream cheese and Cool Whip gives it that little something extra. These cream cheese adds a bit of richness and a cheesecake-ish flavour. The Cool Whip makes it fluffy and a bit mousse-like. And just like the chili/stew recipe, it is totally remix-able! Try it with another flavour of pudding, and any 100 calorie pack/bar that you like and voila – a whole new dessert!
With all of these recipe remixes. I would say I am the Ty Pennington of healthy eating, wouldn’t you? Do you think I could get my own show – Extreme Recipe Makeover? Would you watch?
Sorry this post is a little short. Busy night (typing this on Tuesday) and I’m tired. I just BARELY made it to hula hooping….came SO close to calling and cancelling my spot! So you guys are lucky that I like you so much and hung in there to post for you….I kid, I kid, I really do love blogging my eats and adventures on HHH, but some days are longer than others, you know? Hopefully today will be energizing and inspiring and I’ll be back with something new and exciting for you tomorrow! What do you do re-energize/re-inspire yourself after a draining day?