Heather’s Not So Thug Kitchen

I’ve always sworn I’d never post about food.  50% of that decision was because I just don’t cook.  I’m not a foodie, the kitchen bores me, you get the idea.  I will make someone a horrible housewife. The other 50% was because I’ve always had the point of view that posting about what I ate is a relatively boring topic*.  I’ve never understood the “What I Ate Wednesday” theme that is wildly popular among the healthy living blogger crowd, mainly because I simply don’t care what other people eat, and I’m certain no one is entertained by the food I put in my mouth.

(*Actual recipes don’t fall into this “I’m bored” category.)

Well, needless to say a new page has been turned over in Heather’s world, and my family is both thrilled and somewhat terrified. But let’s start at the beginning.

The Universe seemingly aligned at just the right time to catapult me out of my bagel, chips, and pizza loving ways (hey, at least I gave up the Mtn. Dew a few years ago).   Yes, you’ve read that right new reader friends!  I’m a crazy active fitness professional who eats crap foods!  I’m not proud but I’m also not ashamed.  We all have our weaknesses, and I’m working on mine.  But back to the point.   Between feeling like crap after a gluttonous holiday season, a loved one falling severely ill due to their lifestyle/health choices, rehashing (and thus resurfacing) all of my sports nutrition knowledge, and reading the hilariously inappropriate Thug Kitchen cookbook…it was like a big smack in the forehead to wake up and start caring about what I eat.   Obviously, my health is the biggest concern here, one that I should have started caring about a good 10 years ago.   But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that taking the recent continuing education course in sports nutrition didn’t make me realize that as an athlete, I’m totally selling myself short by improperly fueling my body for both performance and recovery.    I have big plans for this year as far as building a base for the aspirations I have for next year and beyond (oooh, cryptic vague blogging!) and there is no way any of it is going to work without proper fueling.

So reluctantly, I stepped into the kitchen.

No, scratch that, first I reluctantly stepped into the grocery store with a long list full of fresh foods, some of which I had never even heard of.  And only then, after aimlessly wandering in circles, asking both employees and nice looking older ladies where I could find things such as chipotle peppers and naan, did I step into the kitchen.

First up, as mentioned last week, was my rendition of the vegan BBQ Bean Burritos with grilled peach salsa from the Thug Kitchen Cookbook .  I assured the family that I had this under control, as I painstakingly tried to cook while staring at the recipe on my tiny not so smart phone that kept shutting off.   I may or may not have cursed out loud when I spilled half of the beans in the sink and on the floor, and cried over the stove due to the fumes of cooking onions and chipotle peppers.   And I may have substituted Newman’s Own Peach salsa for the homemade version because everyone starts somewhere.  The burritos didn’t look pretty, and my food photography on my not-so-smart-phone leaves something to be desired, but damnit those burritos were GOOD.  Like really, really good. (And really hot, incase you were thinking of making them yourself.)

thug kitchen BBQ bean burritos

And I don’t think the family faked liking the burritos, or if they did, they did a damn good job at choking them down and convincing me that I succeeded.

Now, back when we lived in the apartment, I had torn a recipe out of a magazine, intent on one day making it, and stuck it to the refrigerator door.  When we moved to the house, I brought said magazine clipping and stuck it to the NEW refrigerator door, still intent on one day making it.   Almost a year later of course, I still hadn’t made it (no one is surprised here).  Feeling on a roll after my possibly successful bean meal, I decided that even though I volunteered to cook Wednesday night dinners, I would step up my game and cook Sunday night as well.

I may have burnt the balsamic sauce, but much to everyone’s surprise, I cooked a successful meal AGAIN.   And therefore I took a picture to post on Instagram, because it’s 2015 and that’s what you do.  Hashtag #NoOneGotFoodPoisoning.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Naan Pizza

Since a bunch of you asked for the recipe, here it is.  Note: it’s not mine, all credit goes to Fitness magazine .  My kitchen brain isn’t capable of such creations…yet.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I used Agave)
  • 2 4.4 – ounces whole-grain naan or one 12-inch whole wheat pizza crust
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups baby arugula or baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees if using naan or 450 degrees if using pizza crust.
  2. Meanwhile, bring vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat in a small nonstick saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in honey. Return to heat and simmer 3 minutes more; set aside.
  3. Top naan or pizza crust with goat cheese, strawberries. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top pizza with arugula or spinach and, if desired, basil; drizzle with 2 tablespoons balsamic sauce

So, being Wednesday, I’m in charge of dinner again tonight.   I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to make, thus I’m scouring Pinterest for a recipe from someone who actually knows what they are doing (and knows how to take great pictures of said food).  Something to top last weeks perceived successes.  Thus, I dub today “What the heck are we going to eat Wednesday”, or #WTHAWGTEW.  Vegan or Vegetarian without too much dairy suggestions welcomed.  EASY to make recipes preferred because…it’s me.   I’m new at this.  Thanks friends!

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I highly recommend http://www.cleaneatingveggiegirl.com/ – its a great blog with some really simple mostly vegetarian with limited dairy recipes (this is the lifestyle I am trying to live as well, so I understand the struggle). If you are craving comfort food I love her No Chicken” Noodle Chickpea Soup. It’s delicious! I also recommend the Happy Herbivore cook books – again, easy quick recipes with recognizable ingredients. Some of her recipes are on her website for free too (I love the Hippie Loaf!) Good luck. :)

  2. geoff says

    WTHAWGTEW!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!
    You’ll get the hang of it doll, Your last 2 meals were better than anything I’ve eaten in the restaurants of this town.
    Jimmy and I are looking forward.

  3. says

    Those pizzas look good! I’ve found some really good recipes on skinnytaste.com. I also just like to google whatever I want to make, so I’ll search “easy healthy chicken recipe” …I’ve found some great recipes that I’ve been making for years now that way!

  4. says

    I’ve had to revamp my eating recently too and surprisingly, I’ve discovered a love for the kitchen! I don’t cook veggie too often, but one of our standby, healthy recipes is this: basically, chop up a bunch of apples (at least one per person), toss in olive oil and salt and pepper and throw in a casserole dish. Then, take some chicken legs, toss them in the same olive oil, salt and pepper, and then nestle them in among the apples. If you can find some leeks at the store, place some of those in the dish as well. Bake at 425 for like 45-50 min. Done. Sounds boring but the apples make the chicken so tasty and the apples themselves are delightful! I’ll often throw it on a bed of lettuce when served. Super easy, healthy and takes zero effort :)

    (For the record, I’ve thrown in random veggies with the apples too– carrots, broccoli, zucchini–and it’s also tasty!)

    • says

      That actually sounds tasty! I wonder if I can substitute the chicken legs for some tofu? Since 45-50 minutes might make it somewhat crispy? Going to try it :)

  5. says

    So happy to hear you are adventuring into the kitchen. Cooking your own food with fresh ingredients can be so rewarding and energizing and even if it doesn’t look pretty it usually tastes great. Here’s to new adventures in the kitchen in 2015!

    • says

      Haha! That is hilarious Janice! I would love to be a recipe tester. Cooking skills I do not have, but I can certainly eat! Especially after a long run, lol!

  6. Ivy says

    Ooh those look tasty! I’ve just started venturing into the kitchen myself, Pinterest is a godsend. Try these stuffed portobellos http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/stuffed-portobello-mushrooms-feta-almonds?crlt_pid=camp.cOXTbCYLWUGB# they’re vegetarian and easy to put together. I had a hell of a time finding bulgur wheat in the supermarket (I believe it was with the other grains, near wheat germ?) but you could probably sub it out for quinoa or even rice. Have fun!!