In all seriousness, my life on weekends usually involves the golden trio of homework, homies, and home cooking. So, this Friday, I thought I'd share some of my favorite foods that recently joined the party in my pantry.
1. Blackstrap molasses. As a self professed smoothie bowl groupie, I saw blackstrap molasses pop up on my Instagram for months (probably closer to a year, honestly) before I decided to give it a try. Mainly because my loved ones gave me Amazon gift cards for my birthday, so I bought #allthefood.
Compared to other sweeteners, blackstrap molasses is known for its nutritional benefits. Besides being high in iron, it also boasts a hit of magnesium, and calcium - which I thought would make my breakfast (and, hopefully, my digestive system) even sweeter.
I've only been using it for a few weeks - usually by drizzling it on my oatless oatmeal or smoothies - so molasses still needs further testing for nutritional benefits. But it does make my breakfasts extra gooey and delicious!
2. Slow cooker vegan Mac and cheese. Say what? That was basically my reaction after I took a bite of my first try at homemade gluten free and vegan Mac and cheese. Whipped up in the crock pot for extra lazy points.
Basically, I used this base recipe (scaled down by half), replacing the quinoa pasta with my favorite rice penne and 1/4 cup of daiya cheese shreds and 3/4 cup of this homemade vegan cheese sauce. I added some veggies to cook with the noodles - and boom, I was in (non dairy) cheesy heaven!
3. Purple potatoes. I actually saw these babies sitting in my local Vons and couldn't resist buying two to try. I'm always a fan of experimenting with new foods - and I've never met a potato I didn't like! Including purple potatoes, which boast the bonus of four times the antioxidants as their Russet cousin.
To keep things simple, I followed my usual loaded baked potato recipe. One potato in the microwave for three minutes; one tray of veggies in the oven; defrosted turkey meat and daiya cheese; and one fresh avocado! The potato tasted a little denser than the typical golden potato, almost like a mix between a russet and a sweet potato. But I enjoyed the extra punch of color in my plate (and palette!) and gobbled it up, wishing I had bought more.
|The struggle of dark dinners + harsh lighting...|
4. Slow cooker chicken pot pie. Just as delicious and cozy as it sounds! With cold, rainy weather rolling in, I was craving my chicken pot pie recipe - but had no time to make it. Crock pot to the rescue!
Using this stew recipe and this homemade (dairy free) cream of chicken soup recipe, I had a (sadly crust less) pie ready as soon as I returned from classes. To make it even more scrumptious, next time I plan on serving it with homemade vegan biscuits from The Good Scone. Now that is my kind of comfort...
5. Rice tortillas. After I ran out of my favorite potapas tortillas, I ended up discovering these guys in Sprouts. Though not extremely appealing raw, I love toasting half of one for a lunchtime quesadilla. Also, I rarely crave chips, but when I want something to accompany a homemade burrito bowl or veggie Mac and cheese, these tortillas can make a delicious substitute. A few minutes cooked on medium on the stove top and the tortillas turn into crunchy goodness.
I've also heard they make great bases for a quick, lower calorie pizza - a trick I'll definitely try if I get too lazy to make my favorite buckwheat crust! To keep the tortillas fresh, I freeze the whole package, only pulling out and defrosting what I need for one serving. Convenient and tasty.
Friday's deserve celebrating for several reasons - like surviving the work/school week, having future days of sleeping in, or even enjoying all the food that make life possible.
'Cause with finds like these, savoring life is a whole lot easier!
What are your favorite recent foodie finds? Have you been enjoying any of the ones I shared? Comment below!