Hypertensive Cars, Whole Wheat Bread

My car is so salty that it’s blood pressure has been running high.

Hypertension jokes, anyone?

Don’t buy a black car if you live in an icy area of the country. Lesson learned.

You might be thinking, ‘Andrea, why don’t you just go and get a car wash?’

Because I’ve been busy baking bread. Also, I don’t believe in car washes. The rain eventually does it for me. (Side note: I am really needing a rainstorm over here)

‘Andrea, why don’t you just go to the store and buy your bread?’

Because I really enjoy complicating things.

‘Andrea, don’t you realize that your life would be so much easier if you didn’t overcomplicate things?’

I realize this, but I consider the very fact that I didn’t grow my own grain and mill my own flour in order to make this bread a clear indicator that my habit of overcomplicating everything is indeed under control.


Oat and Wheat Sandwich Bread
Source: Artisan Breads Everyday via Smitten Kitchen
Printable Recipe 

5C whole-wheat flour
2C rolled oats
1T kosher salt
3T honey
1 egg
1/4C vegetable or olive oil
1 1/4C lukewarm water
1 1/4C milk (any kind, even almond or soy works fine)
1 1/2T instant yeast

In a large bowl, combine water, milk, honey, and yeast.
Add egg and oil.
Add flour, oats, and salt.
Stir for 1 minute.
Let mixture rest for 5 minutes.
After dough has rested, mix with spoon for 5 minutes (or you can use mixer with dough hook). You may need to add a bit of flour or water to obtain a supple/sticky quality.
Place dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about about 1 minute.
Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 60-70 minutes. Mixture should double in size.
Once dough has risen, remove dough and set on lightly floured surface.
Divide into two pieces.
Press dough into rectangle shape and fold into log shape.
Place loaf seam-side down into a lightly oiled bread pan.
Repeat with remaining dough.
Let rise for additional 1 hour, until dough rises up over the edge of the bread pan.
Preheat oven to 350.
Bake for 40 minutes (internal temperature of 190).
Remove from pan and allow to cool.
Slice. Enjoy!


On Rain and Cauliflower, Surprisingly

It’s raining and it’s January. I don’t know if there is an exact recipe for how to perfectly acquire seasonal affective disorder, but a combination of 40 degree temps, overcast skies, and pouring rain in the middle of what has been a very cold and relatively snowless winter feels like a good start.


I mistakingly turned on the news to see what was happening in the world. Government shutdown. Influenza outbreak.

Yikes. Not helpful.

I’m turning to an old standby: cauliflower.

You might think that someday I’ll stop singing the praises of cauliflower, but it seems as though time has only strengthened my undying support of the vegetable. I recently listened to an hour long podcast about it. It’s true. An entire podcast on the subject of cauliflower exists.

Roasted cauliflower with a tangy cilantro dressing, sweet raisins and shredded carrots is combined with a handful of toasted almonds in what is sure to become one of your favorite cauliflower dishes.


Cauliflower Salad with Chermoula and Carrots
Source: ATK Vegan for Everybody
Printable Recipe

1 large head cauliflower, cut into 2″ florets
2T olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced into 1/4″ pieces
1/2C raisins
1C shredded carrot
2T fresh cilantro, chopped
2T sliced, toasted almonds

Chermoula Dressing:
3/4C fresh cilantro leaves
1/4C olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2tsp cumin
1/2tsp paprika
1/4tsp salt
1/8tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 475. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (or silpat)
Toss cauliflower with with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Spread onto baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil.
Roast at 475 for 7 minutes.
Remove from oven, remove foil, add onion, stir to combine, and return to the oven.
Roast at 475 until onions are charred and cauliflower is roasted/browned, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to encourage even cooking.
Remove from oven. Let cool slightly.
Combine cooked cauliflower-onion mixture with carrot, raisins, cilantro, and almonds.
To make the dressing: In a food processor, combine cilantro, olive oil, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and cayenne together.
Add chermoula to the cauliflower mixture. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Golden Globes, Golden Soup, Golden Oprah

I made this soup a few days before Oprah gave her Golden Globes speech. Everyone has been chanting ‘Oprah for president!’ while I’m over here yelling, ‘Oprah.com lentil soup recipe for president!’

I’m not here to talk about wether or not Oprah should consider a run for office, but I do think this soup recipe is worth discussing. In keeping with the latest food trends, it’s vegetarian, protein-packed, and contains turmeric. It’s the Lululemon yoga pants of soup recipes.


Golden Lemon Lentil Soup
Source: Oprah.com
Printable Recipe

2C red lentils
4C vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1T olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
1/2tsp turmeric
1tsp cumin
1/4tsp red chili flakes
1/4tsp chili powder
3 carrots, finely diced
3 stalks celery, diced
juice of 1 lemon
1tsp sea salt
Garnish: cilantro, lemon slices, sour cream

Sort and rinse lentils.
In a large pot, combine 4C broth and 2C water with lentils and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
In a large pan, saute onion, garlic, carrot, and celery over medium heat with oil for about 5-7 minutes. Onions should be translucent and carrots should be softened. Season mixture with turmeric, cumin, chili flakes, chili powder, and salt.
Remove from heat.
Once lentils are done, add onion mixture to lentil mixture. You may need to add an additional cup of water at this point depending on how thick you want your soup.
Simmer mixture for additional 10-15 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Add lemon just prior to serving.

Adios, Leftover Almond Flour

I think I finally overdid the spinach part of my spinach-fruit smoothie this morning. I’m always trying to push the envelope. The greener the better, right?

More spinach. Less fruit.
More, more spinach. Less, less fruit.
Most spinach. Little fruit.

I drank a liquid salad this morning. I’m sure it was healthy, but it left me thinking I’ll be avoiding smoothies for a few days, possibly weeks. I’d much rather eat salad then drink it.

It’s that time of year when we all pretend to eat healthy for a few weeks. Gluten-free crackers are still crackers at the end of the day, but for me, this recipe was a good way to get rid of a bag of almond flour that’s been sitting in my cabinet since my last (and might I add failed) macaroon-making experience.

Looking for a good spinach smoothie recipe? I can’t help you.

Yearning to use up a few cups of leftover almond flour? Look no further.


Gluten-Free Almond Flour Crackers
Source: King Arthur Flour
Printable Recipe 

1 egg
1/4tsp salt
1/2tsp black pepper
1 3/4C almond flour (blanched/raw and finely ground)
Optional add-ins: cheese, seeds (poppy or sesame), hot sauce, spices of choice, or switch salt/pepper for cinnamon sugar for a sweet option

Preheat oven to 350.
Whisk egg, salt, and pepper together.
Add almond flour and stir until dough forms.
Place dough onto parchment paper. Roll until it is about 1/8″ thick.
Cut int into squares.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, until golden brown.
Transfer to cooling rack.

December 30, 2017

I went to yoga this morning because roasting myself for an hour at 95 degrees in a peppermint-lavender infused room when it’s 5 degrees outside is fantastic.  I always say that I’m not good at yoga because I really struggle with the meditation aspects of the practice. Turning off my type-A brain is no easy task. I also lack the ability to do any of the yoga maneuvers correctly, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make right now.  As the the yoga teacher told us to breathe in and breathe out, I was making a mental grocery list and trying to remember if I had responded to a work email I had received a few days ago. As we flowed through a vinyasa, I started to think about what I needed to get done before heading to work later on. As the instructor guided us to try handstands, I was planning for NYE celebrations.  I can’t do handstands (or headstands) if you’re wondering.

During the final moments of the class, the instructor left us with this quote:

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift and that’s why it’s called the present. 

Such a simple quote, but I can’t help but think it was the message I really needed. I feel an immense pressure to close out the year with some sort of grandiose statement… the kind that encompasses my growth over the past year while being optimistic about the future and setting the stage for a great 2018.  I’ve typed and typed and typed in the hopes that the words would come, but I’m falling pretty short. 2017 was a good year for me, but I always close out every year thinking that it’s been more good then bad… because I think at the end of the day, life always is more good than bad.


So today, instead of being reflective on all that was 2017 or overwhelmingly goal-oriented on all that shall be 2018, I’m simply going to enjoy the present.


Pasta e ceci 
Source: Smitten Kitchen
Printable Source 

2T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3T tomato paste
1tsp kosher salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 (15oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2C uncooked ditalini
2C boiling water

In a deep sauté pan, heat olive oil and add garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add tomato paste, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds.
Add the chickpeas, pasta, and hot water.
Lower the heat and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(you may need to add a little more water).
Once pasta is cooked, adjust seasonings.
Ladle into bowls. Serve with fresh parmesan and drizzle of olive oil.


Airport Security and Chickpea Flour

I think we’ve all been stopped a time or two by airport security.

Maybe you’re a bit like me and you’ve accidentally left an oversized bottle of suntan lotion in your carry-on… or your newest sweater has a very long zipper that set off the metal detector… or you forgot you had a filled water bottle in your backpack… or you purchased a coffee grinder to give to your brother as a Christmas gift and didn’t think it would cause a problem.

I’m speaking from experience.

Most recently, I threw a bag of chickpea flour in my suitcase because I decided I wanted to make this exact recipe for my Minnesota family. My bag got pulled aside immediately after it went through the scanner, smelled by the security dogs, and searched thoroughly. The TSA agent seemed surprised, confused, and relieved as she lifted the bag of flour into the air and exclaimed, ‘oh it’s just her bag of chickpea flour!’ as if this sort of thing happens all the time.


Burmese Chickpea Tofu with Spicy Dipping Sauce
Source: Bon Appetit 
Printable Recipe

2T vegetable oil
1C chickpea flour
1tsp turmeric
1 1/4tsp kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4C sriracha
2T fresh squeezes lime juice
2tsp fresh finely chopped ginger
2tsp honey
scallions, sliced
sesame seeds

Oil 8×8″ baking dish.
In a saucepan, whisk chickpea flour, turmeric, salt, and 1C water. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally to break up any lumps. Whisk in 2 additional cups water.
Heat mixture to medium-high. Whisking frequently, bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook until very thick, about 8 minutes.
Pour mixture into prepped baking sheet. Smooth the top. Refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.
In a small bowl, combine garlic, lime juice, sriracha, ginger, honey, and 1T water in a small bowl. Taste and add salt if needed. Set dipping sauce aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1T oil.
Cut tofu into bite-sized pieces.
Add tofu to oil. Cook until golden, turning occasionally (about 2-3 minutes per side).
Serve tofu with dipping sauce. Top with scallions and sesame seeds.

Free Arm Workout. Also, Cookies.

Raise your hand if you were the kid at sleepovers who was the first to wake up.

(raises hand)

Raise your hand if you used to bring a book to read since you knew your friends would be sleeping for 5 hours longer than you.

(raises hand) 

Raise your hand if you were that kid growing up who would be wide awake at 6am at sleepovers.

(raises hand) 

Raise your hand if you just sang a few lines of Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” after reading the above statement.

(raises hand) 

Raise your hand one more time.

(raises hand) 

Repeat above steps 5x on each side for a light arm workout.

When you are done working your arms, make these cookies. I initially chose to make them because I (rightfully) concluded that if the words “super” and “yummy” were in the title of the recipe, they would in fact be super yummy cookies. Guess what? These are super yummy.


Super Yummy Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies 
Source: Anne Burrell via Food Network 
Printable Recipe Printable Recipe 

2C AP flour
1C rolled oats
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp kosher salt
1C brown sugar
1/2C sugar
1C butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
12oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1C walnuts, chopped (optional)
large flake sea salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine sugars and butter. Beat until fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add in vanilla.
Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture.
Stir in chocolate chunks and walnuts.
Using cookie scoop or large spoon, divide into portions of about 2T. Roll/shape into a ball and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment.
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes, until edges lightly browned.
Remove from oven and sprinkle immediately with a few flakes of sea salt.
Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack.