Posts tagged ‘Spicy’

February 28, 2013

Homemade Taco $easoning

You know you’re a bad blogger when you forget your username and password at sign in. Add on the fact that WordPress got a whole new look since the last time you logged on? Yeah, I officially feel like sh!t. To be honest, I don’t know where my lovespiration for my little place on the good ol’ interweb has gone lately. I’ll blame my incredible job for draining most of my creative mojo from my noggin’. So why I am I trying to get back into things again after almost three whole months of being out of the blogosphere? For one, I’ve felt guilty. Guilty that friends on LinkedIn have been endorsing my blogging skill. (Hey, thumbs up for that!) Guilty that–my big head is talking here, naturally–I’ve been keeping my favorite peeps in the dark. But more importantly, I feel guilty for feeling guilty, if that makes any sense at all. I miss blabbing about the things I sometimes question people actually read. Let me take a quick moment to thank some encouraging tweets and Facebook messages as of late that have spurred my revival: “@soybeanflan: Whenever I want to eat something terrible I think #WWLCD ‘what would @SprinkledwLove do’ then I’m snapped back into reality” and from a talented artist that I know, “I think you should upload workouts!!! I’ve already done your sexy arm one you posted on insta!!! It’s not everyday that a gal who’s intimidated by weights (me) sees a girl who looks amaze not be intimidated by them and actually know what they’re doing!!!!” You guys…I’m blushing! And yes, I’ll try to do more workout-based posts. They’re in the works!

Holy guacamole!

So with that being said, I’m sick of switching off my brain after leaving the office each day and having a rather unproductive personal life, creatively speaking. I mean, I’ve been finding pleasure (loser alert!) editing my sister’s scholarship essays lately. Like, ew. I have a brand new computer and rarely touch it–instead spending my down time serial watching Netflix and Hulu+. Ahem, I’m almost fully caught up on the first season of Revenge. Come on, though…can you blame me on that? To get back in the swing of things, I’d like to present you with the epic, Oscar-worthy taco salad I chopped up this past Sunday for myself and my main squeeze. After watching a little Guy Fieri on the treadmill and diving into the documentary Hungry For Change (haven’t seen it? Welp, you need to…) I was inspired to create my own taco seasoning. Who needs the sodium-laden, pricy packets from the store when you have all of the ingredients already in your pantry? Get ready to get saucy.

Here’s all you need to spice up your [salad] life:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon minced onion
Pinch of dried oregano and crushed red pepper flakes
Black pepper and salt to taste

Mix into a pound or so of ground meat or block of tofu, alongside chopped jalapeño, sautéed mushrooms and frozen corn. Add alongside a heap of black beans, cheese, avocado slices, crumbled chips and tomatoes over a bed of greens and holy guacamole, you’re ready for a healthy foodie fiesta! Hint: fresh cilantro. Just do it.
Do you make your own seasonings and dressings?

Sprinkled with Love[ly, taco spices],
Lauren

November 18, 2012

Another Chili Recipe…With a Pumpkin Twist

There’s nothing better than a big bowl of chili to accompany football watching (/noshing) on a cold Sunday afternoon. Hearty, delicious and beyond easy to make. One batch, dinner for a week. Or if you live with two boys, like me, a meal and a half total. Tops. Let’s just say Mike isn’t shy when it comes to seconds or thirds of this stuff and I don’t blame him. Although I’m a fan of old-fashioned chili, I wanted to add a little pizazz to the norm so experimented with pumpkin. I couldn’t help but think–or should I say dream–of this warm concoction during my Tough Mudder a few weeks back so after completing all of those obstacles, I tackled this kitchen feat. It hit the spot. I was cold and knew a hefty serving of spicy goodness would do me well, heating me up from the inside out and lending a hand in my recovery. Protein, check. Carbs, check. Veggie-packed sweetness with a kick of jalapeño…check, check and check. Adding pumpkin for depth and texture was a fabulous idea, if I do say so myself. Watch out, healthy chili recipes! This one will knock your socks off.

Ingredients
1 small yellow onion
2 green bell peppers
1 small jalapeño
2 Roma tomatoes
1.5 pounds ground turkey
28 oz. can of tomato purée
15 oz. can of pumpkin purée
1 cup dried black beans (soaked and cooked)
1 large garlic clove
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of cinnamon and cayenne pepper
Sliced avocado to top, duh.

In a large pot, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil over medium heat. Chop up and toss the onion, bell peppers, jalapeño, tomatoes and garlic into the pot. Stir until the onion is cooked through before mixing in the turkey. Once the turkey is browned, add pumpkin, tomato purée and water. Bring to a boil, combining beans, corn and spices. Simmer for 15-30 minutes and serve. Yep, it’s that simple. Want to add in other veggies? Go for it! Remember this recipe? I like chili. Can you tell? Warning: leftovers are just plain amazing.
What’s your twist on the traditional chili recipe?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

September 11, 2012

Southwestern Shredded Chicken Salad

I’ve been embracing my domestic side, as you may of noticed. Last week, I was craving a Southwestern-style chopped salad for dinner and threw together this flavorful meal in no time at all. Not only did it satisfy my taste buds’ yearning for something spicy, it also filled me and Mike up with two meals-worth remaining for leftovers! Talk about a two-for-one deal, or should I say two-for-two? I don’t know what was better, the look on Mike’s face when he came home from a long day of work with this meal set up on our balcony (with a side of cut up watermelon–our favorite!) or having this protein-packed bagged lunch the following two days. I’ll settle for a tie.

Ingredients
1/2 jalapeño
1 plump tomato
1 large carrot
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of dry black beans, soaked
3/4 lb of chicken cutlets
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Dash of cayenne pepper and paprika
Coconut oil to cook the chicken and drizzle over salad
Ground pepper, sea salt (or liquid aminos/nooch!) to taste

To start off, let me explain my reasoning for the dried black beans. They are cheap. Plus, by refraining from the easy, peasy canned version, you save yourself from all that added sodium. I also think they taste BETTER, more organic and natural! Simply follow the instructions and prep them in big batches to add a punch of protein to your favorite soups, salads, etc. (Get ready because on my post-grad, newly-employed-but-still-relying-on-my-parents-to-be-fed budget this whole “affordable” theme will remain consistent on da blog…embrace it.)

Back to the recipe. I started by cooking the chicken breasts in a coconut oiled pan and one clove of minced garlic.Would it have tasted better and more flavorful if I had marinated the chicken? Obviously but who has time for that? Not me that night but in my defense, the coconut oil and garlic worked swimmingly with the cilantro and spiciness later on. Ok I’m getting ahead of myself…

While the chicken is cooking, shred your carrot, chop up the cilantro, garlic and jalapeño and dice the red pepper and tomato. Drain the beans and combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. When the chicken is done, shred it with your hands and add in the spices–cumin, minced onion, cayenne pepper for more heat, salt/pepper, etc. I then drizzled a little extra coconut oil, alongside the apple cider vinegar (both have amazing nutritional benefits!) over the salad before chilling in the fridge/serving. 

This photo kills me. Sometimes a photo really is worth a thousand words! Mike was hungry so getting him to sit still and look at the camera for all of five seconds was no easy feat. I also reminded him to chew his food, not inhale it…ahem, twice. I feel like I’m talking about a toddler. I swear he is 24-years-old, not four.

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

February 25, 2012

Spicy Lime Protein Lettuce Cups

I started cutting down on my carb and processed food intake right around the summertime. I was sick of how bloated I felt, my constant irregularity (TMI? sorry, but it’s true…) and simply believed that if I weaned off of my faithful cereals, pastas and breads, I would have to incorporate more nutritious foods into my diet. I did and, quite honestly, it was the best decision I have ever made. People think it’s weird that I crave a big bowl of greens topped with an assortment of veggies or have a piece of fruit to satisfy my sweet tooth. Heck, they see my portion sizes and don’t understand where it all goes. Straight to fuel, ladies and gentleman! But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what other people think. It’s about taking control of your health and feeling GOOD. I can’t tell you how much of an affect (for the better!) this decision has had on my exercise alone. Add in no more bloat, clearer skin and more energy and you can see that the proof is in the (most likely chia) pudding! I’m not going to lie, it’s a tough transition and takes some getting used to, but after months of clean, healthy eating, I decided last weekend to go full out gluten-free. I’ve done a ton of research, have stocked up on amaranth, quinoa, etc. from my local food stores and am excited for what this decision will bring for my overall well-being AND Sprinkled with Love. 

I mean, this was a food blog at one point wasn’t it? I didn’t use to ramble as much about my life and I sure as hell didn’t waste time explaining myself time after time as to my lack of blogging. Hopefully I can get back to posting recipes now that you understand the madness behind a lot of raw ingredients and clean eats. As I’ve come to realize after all my dietary experimentation, you are whatcha eat! Ok, ok. You get it. Enough of me blabbing away. Let’s look at what I made for dinner last weekend for the boyf. Flavorful, filling and hm, another “f” word…not the one you’re thinking of, FRESH. Oh and finger-food is always fun, right? Fabulous.

Ingredients
(Inspired by Keep Your Diet Real)
1 block of extra-firm tofu, cubed
3 green onions, diced
Juice from 2 limes
1 large red pepper, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups quinoa (follow cooking directions on package)
1 can black beans, rinsed and dried
1 1/2 cups of fresh, hot salsa
A head of bibb lettuce for wrapping (or any leafy, rollable green!)
1 thinly sliced avocado
Extras to serve with: hot sauce (or cayenne pepper), salt, pepper and extra salsa   

Now, this recipe is by no means difficult. Simply rinse and prepare the quinoa according to the box’s directions. While that is simmering, sauté the tofu cubes in a sprayed pan. Feel free to add some minced garlic in there for a little more flavor. Next, slice and dice the rest of the ingredients before combining with the salsa and beans.

Once the quinoa and tofu are done, let it cool before putting everything together in a large bowl with the lime juice. Refrigerate before serving. I would have LOVED to have wrapped them in kale, swiss chard or collard greens but I didn’t think Mike would like that as much. I’m such a considerate girlfriend!

Spoon the quinoa salad into the lettuce cups, add a slice of avocado and extra salsa. Wrap it up and dig in! The spicy lime quinoa itself is great to top a salad or eat on its own. I really enjoyed the leftovers…full of protein, veggies plus gluten-free!  
Are you a lettuce wrap lover? What’s your favorite thing to wrap up in greens?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren 

April 18, 2011

Summer-Inspired Zesty Basil Burger

Nothing reminds me of summer quite like a solid burger. My two vegetarian summers were such a drag and not nearly as delightful without the staple cookout food. Don’t get me wrong, I love veggie burgers but the fact I was always making things difficult at BBQs, having to explain why I became a vegetarian and that whole schtick in the process, became tiresome. Regardless, I still make things somewhat difficult for I haven’t consumed red meat since (except over this past Christmas break when I was starving at our family friends house and a bit tipsy but that’s neither here nor there…) my senior year of high school and therefore turned to turkey burgers. Ground turkey is much leaner and, in my opinion, tastes better so I’m fully content with bringing my own patties wherever the grilling takes place, often converting beef-lovers into turkey burger fans.

 I desperately needed to take a break last night from my endless amount of end-of-the-year group projects/papers so decided to make a light, summer-inspired dinner. I had fresh basil in the fridge leftover from a wine/homemade pizza dinner I hosted Friday with friends so experimented a bit with my favorite herb, alongside some spinach, garlic and onion, of course.

Ingredients
20 oz. 99% Fat Free ground turkey
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1 finely chopped garlic clove
Juice of half a lime
Pinch of chili powder and cayenne pepper
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper 

To start, finely chop onion, spinach and garlic. In a large bowl, combine the veggies with the ground turkey with the freshly squeezed lime juice.

Season with chili powder, sea salt, cayenne and freshly ground pepper. Add more for more kick!

Mix together and form into patties. Can you tell I was hungry with my enormous portion size? Sorry I’m not sorry…

Time for the grill! Yummm…

I put my burger on a grilled whole wheat wrap (which ended up getting crispy and chip-like) with a generous dollop of hummus. It was delightful, alongside spicy cayenne-lime veggies. Too bad tomatoes aren’t in season yet, otherwise I would have had a nice thick slice on there. I was also wishing I had some feta cheese to crumble on top. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Dear summer, get here faster. Please and thank you! What is your favorite summer food? Are you a burger fan (veggie, beef or turkey)?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren