Sunday, April 24, 2011

faux fried eggplant!!

Sorry it's been a hot minute since I've posted- things have been hectic!  I started working full-time at one of my internships (FOR MONEY!), I graduate this week, and I was offered a real library job! I have been waging an ongoing war against pests in my apartment (they are strong, but I will prevail!!) During all this, however, I always have time to make dinners!  This week I made little eggplant kinda pizzas??! I used the basil I was going to make pesto with, but I don't have a food processor, so pesto seemed a little impossible for now. 

Eggplant Pizzas!!!

1/2 eggplant, peeled
Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup egg substitute (egg whites or regular eggs, beaten, would work as well) 
Pesto sauce (or regular pizza or spaghetti sauce would work finnnne)
Mozzarella cheese 
Basil Leaves 
Cooking spray 

Pre-heat oven to 350. Cut eggplant into circles about 1/4 of an inch thick.  Dip eggplant circles in egg mixture, and then coat with panko breadcrumbs. Set prepared rounds on a cookie sheet. When all eggplant you care to use has been prepared, put in preheated oven. Spray with the cooking spray.  After 10 minutes, flip eggplant rounds.  After flipping, put about 1 tbsp of sauce on the upward-facing side of the eggplant, as well as  1-2 basil leaves, and the cheese.  Leave in oven for 5-10 more minutes, or until cheese is browning. Take out of oven and let cool.  EATTTTTT!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shepherd's Pizzzzzie

I love warm, satisfying foods.  It's one of my (many) epicurean downfalls.  I love corned beef & cabbage, New England clam chowder, baked spaghetti, etc etc etc x 1,000,000.  When I was a kid, my sweet tooth was my biggest issue.  Bean and I used to sneak candy all the damn time. Now, though, it seems like perhaps my taste buds have matured, and while I love a good cookie or piece of pie every now & again, savory, and consequently, calorie & fat laden, foods are my faves.  This recipe was from a few days ago, and I loved it a lot.  I definitely will make it again! If you try anything I've made here, this would be the one I would recommend first, it's easy and really tasty!

Veggie and Ground Turkey-filled Shepherd's Pie

1 pound 99% fat free ground turkey
1 pack instant mashed potatoes
1 can mixed vegetables
Any other vegetables that you might desire, I added asparagus, yellow squash, and onions
1 tsp olive oil 
2 tbsps margarine (for the potatoes, if the package calls for it) 

Thaw ground turkey. Heat olive oil in skillet and start sautéing any fresh vegetables you are adding to the dish.  While vegetables are still al dente, add ground turkey, break up turkey with back of spoon and cover. While turkey is browning, prepare mashed potatoes according to directions on package.  When turkey and vegetables are cooked, drain and deposit turkey & vegetables into a glass 8 x8 baking dish.  Let mixture cool slightly, then dollop mashed potatoes on top of the turkey & vegetables making sure the potatoes cover the entire top of the dish.  Bake in preheated oven on 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes have browned on top.  Enjoy!

The good thing about this recipe is that it will last for a few meals, and I promise that it really doesn't get boring!

Monday, April 11, 2011


Today, I decided to forego work, because, why not? I was looking for a nice lunch, different from what I usually have, but something which could last for dinner as well.  During my thinking party, I remembered a tuna pasta thing that my mom used to make for us after church on Sundays.  Her version included fusili (curly) pasta, tuna fish, cheese, and mayonnaise.  Of course, since it is my mother, it wasn't all that bad for you, but I decided to make a more adult version of this filling and satisfying lunch.

Tuna Pasta Salad

1 can chunk light tuna, packed in water
1.5 cups whole wheat pasta, uncooked
2 tbsps mayonnaise, light
2 tsps dijonnaise
Various veggies (I used some pre-cut ones I had around, including carrots, peppers (red and green), red onions, squash)
1/4 cup feta cheese
1 dash powdered garlic seasoning
1 dash sea salt 

Bring water to boil, and throw in pasta, boil until cooked, approx. 10 minutes.  Drain tuna, and scoop it out of can into a mixing bowl.  When pasta is complete, drain (I didn't wash it off post-drain.) Stir together pasta and tuna with mayonnaise, dijonnaise, vegetables, feta, salt, and garlic.  Season further to taste!  

Tip: You could use regular or honey mustard in place of the dijonnaise.  The vegetables could definitely be changed, or omitted altogether depending upon the contents of your fridge!  I like using the whole wheat pasta, but you could use bow-tie, angel hair, or any variant!  Any type of tuna/ canned meat (can salmon, for example) would be great!  

Saturday, April 9, 2011


So, apparently my science education was lacking as a child, because I never made ice cream!  Everyone who I've talked to has done that little experiment in school where they take rock salt, ice, heavy cream, whipping cream, sugar, vanilla, and either coffee cans or bags, and made ice cream! I have never, until today, indulged in this homemade version of the treat!  NEVERMORE, I made it today while watching TV and I'm not sure if I'll get real ice cream again.  I think I'm going to experiment with using different, more health conscious, versions of the high fat/calorie laden creams and then freezing so maybe it becomes a kind of ice-milk? Maybe thawed cool whip? Even full fat milk is, comparatively, more healthy than the disastrous heavy whipping cream.

Some ideas for add-ins.  I wonder if you put chia seeds in at the beginning, pre-freezing, if they would expand in the mixture? They would add a nice crunch to the cream.  Crumbled low-fat chocolate cookies, some honey, cacao nibs, graham crackers, raisins (oddly enough, I like cold raisins a lot), chocolate/caramel syrup, fresh blueberries, granola/kashi cereal....I could go on and onnnnn.

Homemade Vanilla Ice-Cream
Adapted from Ice cream in a bag!

1 cup heavy whipping cream 
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups rock salt
Bag of ice
2 sandwich bags
1 gallon bag

Directions: Fill one sandwich bag with creams and sugar, seal tightly and try to get as much air out as possible, then put the filled sandwich bag into the empty sandwich bag and seal.  Pack ice and salt around bag of ingredients within gallon bag. Seal gallon bag tightly.  I put the full gallon bag in a towel and then just rolled it around for 5-10 minutes, and I refilled it with ice once at the halfway mark.  Once it looks of an ice cream-y consistency, take bag of ice cream out of gallon bag and then out of the sandwich bag.  Then, put the vanilla into the finished product, at that time add any add-ins you wish. I split it into two servings, and put the remaining serving in the freezer.  It was like a very soft soft serve, so good!

Note: Land-O-Lakes had a fat-free half-and-half that I hesitated to get because it was my first time with this recipe, next time I'm going to get that, and then see if there's anyway to get a lower fat-filled heavy cream substitute, but for now it's a pretty decadent treat, but it was much needed after a stressful week!  

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nature's greatest veggie?

I love squash. I have only recently discovered this love, but it is enduring, and will be with me forever.   That was depressing.

Anyways, squash is great, and I only recently discovered a new variety...ACORN! For acorn squash, moreso than butternut, or even spaghetti, the name directly refers to its shape.  It looks just like a big green acorn, with some orange streaks throughout.  My mother is the one who introduced me to the squash, and we got some at the vegetable market right before I left a couple weeks ago.  I've been longing for a new, warm, dessert that I don't have to budget for all day long.  Unfortunately, acorn squash is more like a sweet potato and would be a very good side for a dark meat, like a tuna steak or prime rib.  Paula's acorn squash (with butter of course) is the recipe I followed, I did make a few changes though.  I used a water bath like I use for the spaghetti squash, substituted one of the tablespoons of brown sugar for a sugar substitute, and added cinnamon.

Yummers Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash, halved
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp splenda (or another low-calorie sweetener)
1 tsp cinnamon/ more if you like the taste
2 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp syrup (I don't have maple, so I just used regular pancake syrup)

Preheat oven to 400.  While oven is preheating, cut squash in half carefully and dispose of seeds and stringy insides (I like to scrape them out with a spoon.)   Then, mix together margarine, sugars, syrup and a dash of salt and pepper.  Spread mixture on both halves of squash and then put squash into water bath, squash side up.  Cook for about 45 minutes or until squash is tender to the touch.  Take squash out, let rest, and enjoy! 

I probably could have made this a little more dessert-y by scooping out the insides and putting in some granola and topping with a dollop of cool whip or something like that.   How delicious does that picture look though! Even on my shitty camera phone! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Down on the ranch

Well, after a great visit to Montgomery (you're left to wonder if that's sarcastic or not...) I'm back in Tallahassee wondering if a party in my 660 sq. ft apartment is possible/ probable.  I do have a back yard area, but I'm still dwelling.

Ranchy/Feta-y Chicken & Vegetable Roast

1 chicken breast cutlet
1 cup broccoli
6-7 mini carrots
2 small potatoes
1/4 cup feta
1/2 packet ranch dressing mix 
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 sprays cooking spray
Whatever miscellaneous savory vegetables you want to throw in!

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Thaw chicken breast, then pat on about 1 tablespoon ranch powder onto each side of breast, put in a 8 x 8 glass dish (i.e. a brownie pan) that you've sprayed with the cooking spray.  Then, wash, chop, peel (if necessary) all vegetables and throw in brownie pan surrounding the chicken. Once all vegetables are in pan, drizzle olive oil over vegetables and chicken.  Then sprinkle the remaining ranch dressing mix over the vegetables and chicken.  Put in oven for about 20-25 minutes, flip chicken about halfway through.  after 25 minutes, take dish out and sprinkle on the 1/4 cup of feta over chicken and vegetables.  Put dish back in oven for about 5 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  

Note: almost all of these ingredients, vegetables, protein, dressing mix, and cheese are able to be changed.  For example, you could make an italian-chicken roast, with italian dressing mix, chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, etc an then use a mozzarella or parmesan cheese! You could add minced garlic, onions, shrimp/ seafood, or whatever your little heart so desires. The protein could be changed to tofu, to make it vegetarian, or omitted altogether.   Also, I like making this roast with just olive oil, an onion (or two) and some potatoes.  With just these ingredients, the roast is vegan and oh-so-delicious!  


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Alright, I am fully aware of what expectations I set with a title like that, but I think I am up to the challenge on this day.

Yesterday, I made the nectar of the gods, yes people, I am talking about a peanut sauce unequaled by man nor beast.

Ok, perhaps I am hyping it up a bit too much but you must try it before hating.

Well, there is a backstory to this divine event.  While I was at home I was perusing facebook (SURPRISE) and I found "What the fuck should I make for dinner?" This led me to Cookstr, and Cookstr led me to this. I know it says sesame sauce, but hear me out. Now, in my squash-obsessed brain, I wondered how this would be if only I substituted spaghetti squash for the noodles!  OH HAPPY DAY!

Cold Spaghetti Squash Noodles in a Peanut-Sesame Sauce (and cucumbers and scallions!)
(ok so I know the bowl looks dirty, but I promise it's been washed like 10,000 times, that burnt shit WILL NOT COME OUT!) 

1/2 cup prepared spaghetti squash, cold 
Cucumber (I used one kirby, which would be the equivalent to 1/3 of a large one)
1 scallion/ green onion

6 teaspoons peanut butter (I used the all-natural stuff from Publix in the deli section)
 2/3 cup water
3 tbsp soy sauce
1.5 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp splenda/ sugar
Dash salt
1-2 tsp minced garlic

Whisk together peanut butter and water until fully incorporated. It will become a liquid consistency. Add soy sauce, and other ingredients one by one.  Remember, add to taste, I included the measurements so you have an idea of how much you need, but if you want it saltier add more soy sauce, you want it more sesame-ish add more oil! Also, I added a few teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds!

I thew these together on top of the spaghetti squash with the cukes and the green onions.  It was stellar, however, I'd like to enforce the fact that this sauce can be used for everything, not just my crazy concoction.  You could not only put it on top of real noodles, or like I did tonight,  use it as a salad dressing!  I am dying for new ways to eat this shit without just having to eat it by the spoonful. 

You can thank me later. I accept cash, check, visa, mastercard, etc, etc etc


Sunday, March 27, 2011

nom nom nom

So I got back to Tallanasty today! I'm really trying to change my whole processes, so I got home and immediately put everything away (no more wrinkly clothes for morgan!), made a grocery list, and replaced my air filter!


Some of you all may have heard of my habit, which is reading really skinny vegan runners' food blogs (yes this is a definite genre of blogging!) One of my favorites, really does have some nice recipes!

Today, I made her Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake with a few twists of my own...

Raw Vegan(ish) Chocolate Cake!

1 cup grated fluffy coconut
2 tbsps cocoa
3/4 cup thawed (previously) frozen raspberries
1-2 tsps splenda (or honey, or sugar, whatever you use for sweetener) 
Dash salt

Dallop of light cool whip 
1 tsp strawberry preserves (raspberry would have been stellar and more appropriate and if you have 'em go ahead!) 

Put coconut in blender.  I blended the shit out of it and it still wasn't a smooth consistency.  Warning, even though the coconut isn't fully blended together, this does not really TASTE coconutty so give it a try, even if coconut isn't your style.  After blending coconut for a few minutes, add cocoa, sweetener,  and raspberries and blend until as smooth as possible.  I spooned the mixture into a bowl and threw it in the freezer.  I obviously didn't wait as long as the blogger did (DAMN MY IMPATIENCE) but, I took it out when it was a soft ice cream kind of consistency.  I then put half of the frozen mixture into a small dessert cup and put on the light cool whip & preserves (you can omit if you're being really calorie/point conscious!) 


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


So, my cool self is home for the spring break week, but it's really good because I needed some rest and what not. It's been very uneventful, but not in a super bad way.  But while I've been home, I've been able to cook with hella good ingredients!  I made a recipe which I adapted from one of my favorite runnervegananorexic blogger girls  ( but I've tweaked it a bit to give it more substance and flavahhhhhh.

Hooch, Mary, and I first made these at Mary's about....A MONTH AGO??!! The secret, we found, is to pick out a squash that doesn't have a very pronounced bulb at the end, they're easier to cut and seem to be more flavorful. Both times I've made this I've had more than enough squash leftover (this time yielded 7 enchiladas I think), to make butternut squash fries as well! For the fries, I put them on a cookie sheet, spray with some cooking spray and put them right in with the roasting squash! Flip them over once, there ya gooooo!


Whole Wheat Tortillas
2/3 of a butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 can black beans
1 package 2% reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 pack vigo yellow rice (2-4-1 at publix this week!)- prepared 
1 jar salsa verde 

Pre-heat oven to 425. Cut the butternut squash in half, peel, and de-seed. Cube the squash (cut into 1/2''. slices).  Spray 12 x 8 dish with cooking spray and dump in squash!  Roast squash for 30 minutes, or until  a little mooshy.   When squash is cooking, put in fries (if you choose to make fries), and prepare yellow rice.  To prepare rice, fill sauce pan with 2 1/2 cups water, boil, dump in rice, turn heat to low, throw lid on saucepan, AND DONE!  When squash is done either mash with a potato masher, or put squash in food processor until mashed, but not a fricking soup.  

Assemble rice, beans, cheese (or whatever else, roasted onions & peppers, corn, mushrooms, ANYTHING will work in these.) I sprayed each tortilla with cooking spray then rolled them up with about 1/4 cup squash, a few tbsps beans and rice, and a sprinkle of cheese. Loosely roll up and line up in casserole dish! Repeat. (DON'T FORGET YOUR FRIES!) Continue until dish is full, you run out of squash, or until you get bored.  Then, sprinkle more cheese on top (I didn't use the whole bag for the recipe but you def. could have), and pour on the salsa verde!  Then, put in the heated oven (still at 425) for about 15 minutes. 


Note: I used no oil (vegetable, olive, or otherwise) in the making of this dish, including the rice!  The package says to add 2 tsp of butter/oil to rice while boiling, they lie, it's not necessary! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Spring break has sprung! While my break was (at least I feel) so far away, it's finally here!  Last night I arrived at chez Brickey a la Ocala and I decided to prepare my breakfast ahead of time!

Some of you (i.e. Hooch and Mary) have heard me extol the benefits of vegan overnight oats.  They're easy as hell, you don't have to waste time in the morning making a breakfast (pouring cereal is such a chore! ha haaaaaa), and if you make it in a tupperware (like I do) you can just slap an ill-fitting lid on it, and out the door you go!  A good accompaniment to this is some iced coffee, you can put a cup (with a lie of course) of coffee in the fridge, put some ice and whatever accoutrements you desire, and there's your to-go breakfast!

VEGAN OVERNIGHT OATS (the picture is made with pure pumpkin added in!) 

1/2 cup rolled oats (I used publix brand or quaker old-fashioned)
3/4 cup almond milk (you can use whatever milk you desire, but the almond/soy adds sweetness without artificial sweetener)
2 tbsp chia seeds*
1 tsp honey
Banana/ Peanut butter/ Pure Pumpkin/ granola/ the kitchen sink

Measure out oats, incorporate with milk (or milk substitute) and the chia seeds.  Put in refrigerator. 

YES IT IS DONE! Leave it in fridge overnight, and you'll see the consistency change! The chia seeds are almost like a tapioca in the fact that they absorb the liquid, and they have a nice crunch as well! I like to add a cut up banana over mine when I take them out in the morning.  Sometimes I'll add vanilla extract, and for extra sweetness I add the honey.  With the pumpkin overnight oats that I have in the picture, I added 1/3 cup of the pure pumpkin (NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING, PURE PUMPKIN!) before refrigeration.  If you open a can of pure pumpkin and aren't a wastrel you can put the remaining pumpkin in a ziplock, and freeze!

*Chia seeds.  Now I HATE buying little healthy shits for just 1 or 2 tablespoons of the ingredient, however, these seeds can be put in almost anything and are SO HEALTHY (and really not that expensive, I got a bag at the local vitamin shop for like, $7.) I would recommend getting off your lazy ass and getting some pronto! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Literally, the best dinner I have ever made.

Oh. my. goodness. I made, quite literally, the best dinner ever.  I have to share it with the masses (or just both of you.) First off, I'm not sure if it would be as good without one key ingredient that I have to brag on... organic coconut oil.  Suck up that $10 and go to the store and get a jar.  While I love my olive oil, for a dish like the pseudo stir fry I made tonight, it almost has too much taste.  The coconut oil left the rice and meat with absolutely no aftertaste, it was just clean and flavorful.  Also, I am the reigning queen supreme of heart burn, and almost an hour after consumption...NADA!

I bring to you: chicken and vegetable fried rice (sort of)

3/4 cups cooked brown rice
1 chicken thigh, boneless and skinless
5-6 diced baby carrots
2 stalks celery
1 heaping tsp coconut oil
1 egg white
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp peanut butter
Teriyaki Sauce
Thai Garlic Pepper Sauce

Prepare by simmering 1/2 cup dry rice with 1.25 cups boiling water for 45 minutes.  In the meantime, marinate chicken thigh with an asian ginger dressing of your choice. Chop chicken, dice carrots and celery.  Melt coconut oil (it comes in a semi-hard state) in a wok on medium-high heat.  When oil is melted, put chicken, carrots, garlic, and celery in wok, saute.  When chicken is almost cooked, put peanut butter and the chopped tablespoon of raisins in the wok.  After chicken is cooked, move the contents of the work to one side.  Separate egg white and crack it into the empty side of the wok. It should look like the picture. (DUH). When egg white is cooked, incorporate it in with the rest of the wok contents.  Lastly, add 3/4 cup rice and cook on lower heat until heated through and all incorporated.  At the very end, I added a little bit of teriyaki sauce and the thai garlic pepper sauce to give more of an asian feel to the dish.  I'm sure olive oil/ cooking oil would have been fine, but the coconut oil really gave a whole different flavor to everything! Also, if I would have had onion, I definitely would have thrown one in there, but alas, no onions and since I'm about to go on spring break, I'm not buying any new foods. 

Then, prepare to have a foodgasm.  The only thing that sucks about this is that you do have to cook the rice for a hot minute, so this is not a substitute for a real craving, but the time is really worth it.  Also, you will have some left over rice, which I just put in the wok to let it get some of the flavors and I will eat it later.  Or you could just throw all the rice in and have leftovers, which is what I probably should have done.  I didn't know I would be falling in love!  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Already doing what I'm not supposed to be OR Day 1

At the urging of those who are of import to me (read: friends and family), I have decided, on this day, to create a space for the interesting foods I like to think up in the sanctity of my own kitchen.  I will take a picture of the finished product (maybe of it in construction if it's extra photogenic/ artsy), and post the recipe. I will only be posting ideas which have proven successful (maybe some unsuccessful ones if I'm feeling spicy.)

This was my super-de-dooper spaghetti squash with chicken, asparagus, and onions in a pesto sauce!
But Morgan, how do I execute this cullinary masterpiece? you may ask. Well, of course, I shall impart my wisdom upon thee.

1 cup prepared* spaghetti squash
1 chicken breast, cooked
about 10 stalks asparagus (broccoli or some other vegetable could substitute nicely)
1 med onion
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup pesto (I used sundried tomato)
fresh basil (not necessary)

I cooked my thawed medium size chicken breast on the handy george foreman to alleviate the need for oil in its preparation.  Once it is cooked, cut into shapes vaguely reminiscent of cubes. Then, I put the 1 tsp olive oil into a skillet, and added the diced med. onion (OH YOU DIDN'T DICE IT YET? SHOULD I REALLY HAVE TO TELL YOU THESE THINGS?) and cooked until onion looked done.  Then I added the cut asparagus and cooked until I liked the look of it (1-2 minutes on medium high.) I then added the chicken breast and pesto sauce until it all came together like a shakespearian work of art.  Lastly, I added the prepared spaghetti sauce and cooked until all ingredients were warmed through.  Throw it in a bowl, and VOILA beauty.

You could most definitely add any vegetable matter you have laying around about to go bad to this as well.  Mushrooms, garlic (which I'm surprised I didn't add), scallions, ect. would all be great additions. To give the chicken extra flavor, one could marinate it overnight with a few squirt of italian dressing, or maybe even a classier marinade to give it a kick.

*Prepared Spaghetti squash (adapted from Emril Legasse's technique)- Preheat oven to 350.  Halve squash and scoop out seeds & pumpkin-y matter, leaving squash meat in  tact.  Put squash, face down, into a 12 x 18 casserole dish, and add about 1-2 inches of water.  Roast squash for 45 minutes, then take out, flip squash over, and cover with aluminum foil.  Roast for another 15 minutes covered and then take out of oven (CAREFULLY! remember the water!), drain water, and let squash come to room temperature.  Remove squash meat from rind with fork.  enjoy eating the food of the gods.