Wins - first good voice lesson in 3 weeks (I was suffering from laryngitis but it finally cleared up), manageably full week of work, meetings & social things, lots of kicking baby happening, a much needed visit to Dr. Reiff (toxicity, some issue with my large intestine - who knew?, histamine reaction - my hands have been swelling & itchy on our nightly walks around the neighborhood, and my usual stress reaction), [edited to add:] a super fun dinner date at Whole Foods with my awesome little sister, and one and a half delicious recipes accomplished! so stoked about that last one.
Losses - pregnancy hormones & ailments came together in a fit of sobbing last night (which will undoubtedly bring the return of the dreaded laryngitis) over my sciatic pain on my right side, a spider greeting me with a web in the hallway right outside my bedroom door this morning (and I had no choice but to kill him :/ ), 4 pounds gained since my last visit to the midwife a month ago (which is technically only a half-loss, since that's right on track, but I was hoping to make up for the 8 pound gain from the month before - oops!), one moderately failed (although Matt doesn't agree) attempt at frozen yogurt.
Although the losses paragraph looks longer, I actually did have more wins than losses this week, so that's a good thing!
Now on to the part I know you're all waiting for anyway - the food!
We'll start with the loss, and save the absolute BEST for last.
Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt with Carob Chips
I started with this recipe from healthyfoodforliving.com and per usual, tweaked it for my own edification.
I ended up with:
- 3 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt *see note
- 1/2 cup room temperature natural peanut butter*, creamy or crunchy (I used crunchy for extra texture)
- 1/2 tsp truvia (then added another 1/2 tsp just to my bowl which helped)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I used Trader Joe's alcohol-free version)
- 2 big handfuls of unsweetened carob chips (from the bulk aisle at Whole Foods)
- In a large bowl, combine yogurts, peanut butter, truvia, and vanilla extract. Stir until well-mixed.
- Two options: (I used option a.)
b) Fold in the carob chips. Spoon mixture into an air-tight container and place in the freezer. For soft-serve consistency, serve the frozen yogurt after about 2 hours of freezing. Otherwise, let the fro yo sit in the freezer until firm (at least 5 hours). If you are having trouble scooping the fully-frozen yogurt, let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
*note: I'm sure you could also use any non-dairy yogurt of your choice if you're vegan, although I haven't put that to the test.
*note: I'm assuming if you're looking at this recipe at all, you're not allergic to peanuts. If you are, feel free to attempt it with almond or other nut/seed butter of your choice, but know that has also not been tested by me.
Three reasons this was a fail in my book, but not Matt's:
1) Our refrigerator STINKS! Things on the top shelf of the fridge constantly freeze, but things in the freezer don't stay frozen - ice disappears & everything ends up freezer burned and horrific regardless of how it is packaged. We left the bowl for our ice cream maker in the freezer for 2 whole days (instructions said it should be completely frozen in somewhere from 6-24 hours depending on the freezer)... When I took it out to use it, it still wasn't completely frozen, which impacted the operation of the ice cream maker :( We ended up having to put the "frozen" yogurt in the freezer to actually freeze it. After just 24 hours, it was a nearly-impossible-to-scoop block. Grr.
2) 1/2 tsp was NOT an appropriate amount of sweetener for this recipe. I'm not sure what would have been better (I'm tempted to try coconut palm sugar next time actually), so I need to experiment with that. Adding another 1/2 tsp to my two scoops helped a bit, but I still wasn't happy because...
3) I didn't like the peanut butter - Greek yogurt combo. I think I would have been happier with maybe the Stonyfield Farms plain yogurt for consistency/taste, although it would definitely not have the same protein punch that Greek yogurt has. I think Greek would be fine in other recipes (fruit flavors, perhaps?) but I didn't love it with the peanut butter.
Matt has been enjoying it I think, but I haven't eaten any more since my first bowl the day after I made it. I'll experiment some more with it, and keep you posted on future developments!
Now for the highlight of my week:
I took my first bite and announced, "I'm awesome!" (to which Matt responded, "and modest!") :)
Please, if you never try another recipe from this blog, make this for yourself!!! You won't be sorry! (Of course, I recommend waiting until the weather is a little cooler, since my oven heated up my apartment something dreadful!)
Roasted Eggplant & Zucchini Pizza
- 1 pizza crust (I used Against the Grain's gluten-free three cheese crust)
- 2 cups marinara sauce (approx) - I made my own so see below for that recipe too!
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4" slices
- 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4" slices
- olive oil
- turkey pepperoni minis (optional)
- 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese* (to taste)
- shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese* (to taste - I used two "sprinklings")
- dash crushed red pepper (optional - I left it out to test my homemade sauce flavor!)
- dash oregano (optional - same as above)
- Preheat oven to 400*F. Lightly coat veggies in olive oil and lay out on cookie sheets in a single layer. Roast until lightly browned (about 10 minutes), then turn each piece and continue roasting until other side is also lightly browned (about 10 more minutes). [I roasted my veggies 15 mins each side as the original recipe from Cooking Light recommended, and ended up with about 1/3 completely charred! Oops! Adjust for whatever your oven requires and keep a close eye out!]
- Reduce oven temp to 375*F. Layer crust with sauce, roasted veggies, pepperoni & cheeses, top with spices & bake 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is slightly crisp. (I used a baking stone, but you could use a cookie sheet for soft crust or bake directly on the rack for crisp crust.)
- ENJOY!! I promise you will!
Easy Tomato Basil Sauce (adapted from the Food Network)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- Dash cinnamon (this is my favorite part!)
- Dash nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Coat a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of the oil and warm over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until soft.
- Add the crushed tomatoes & spices. Turn the heat up slightly to medium and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the basil and the remaining olive oil.
- Toss with spaghetti, if desired - or use for the amazing pizza recipe above!
Have a great cinnamon weekend!!