Pesto Cauliflower with Butter Beans + Blistered Tomatoes

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I think I had my first hot flash.

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At 28. Is that even possible?

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Farewell, cruel world. I’m out.

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I’m getting ready for bed two nights ago and all of a sudden I am overcome with heat. Like I can feel my scalp get hot and start to dampen. My cheeks flush. I feel like I am going to burst out of my skin. I accuse Garrett of turning off the air and/or poisoning me. I’m like running around the house trying to figure out what is happening to make me so hot. Air is working, fan is on, everything is normal. It’s me. I’m just boiling from the inside out. These are just as terrible as Diane Keaton has always told us. I’m sorry, I simply won’t survive anymore of these. I hope someone is working on a menopause pill that allows us to bypass these symptoms. I only calmed down after ripping off all my clothes and standing in front of the oscillating fan for 20 minutes while contemplating aging and my mortality. It was a dark day.

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I’ve tried to since convince myself it was just the summer heat and I’m a delicate southern belle who must be fanned and tended to with iced teas and fresh hankies to dab at my sweaty brow.

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 can of butter beans, rinsed + drained
  • 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, rinsed + halved
  • 1 cup of basil
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp. of garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a food processor, combine basil + spinach + walnuts + nutritional yeast + 1 tbsp. of garlic + lemon juice + S+P
  • Process while drizzling in 1/3 cup of olive oil until smooth
  • Thin with a little water if necessary
  • In a bowl, toss cauliflower with half of the pesto
  • Arrange on a lined baking sheet
  • Bake 30-35 minutes, tossing once, until browned to your desire
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add beans + S+P, cook 3-4 minutes
  • Add sundried tomatoes + crushed red pepper, cook another 2-3 minutes
  • Remove from pan
  • Add tomatoes to hot skillet with S+P, cook 4-5 minutes
  • To serve, arrange some cauli on a plate + top with beans + tomatoes + remaining pesto
  • On your plate, create a cauli road for you to traipse down with your scarecrow friend + find magical adventure + fun

Stuffed Avocado Tacos

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I am an ugly man.

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Like, as a man, I kind of just look like roadkill.

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Thanks to the new Snapchat filters, we can all discover what we look like as the opposite sex! Because that is a thing our society needs.

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All of my girlfriends are all, like, really good looking dudes. I mean, they’re all gorgeous women, but it’s just not fair they are hot guys too! I, on the otherhand, look like a “geeky frat boy who is trying too hard” according to one pal. Then, Garrett does the girl filter and he is like really pretty….. The filter gave him like feathered hair and perfectly manicured brows. It softened his smile and gave him these rosy cheeks. He was so proud of himself, too. At least 8 times, he chanted “I’m a pwetty giwl! I’m a pwetty giwl!” I just don’t think I can be friends with all of these stunning hermaphrodites. It’s not good for my ego.

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Honestly, I’m most upset Snapchat gave me a trash ‘stache.

 

 

Time: 40 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 avocados, pitted
  • 1 package of soyrizo
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 7-8 leaves of butter lettuce, chiffonaded
  • 4 tortillas, cut in lil strips
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • S+P, to taste
  • Cilantro, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Arrange tortilla strips on a lined baking sheet in an even layer, bake 20 minutes, tossing once, being careful they don’t burn
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add 1/2 the onion + some S+P, cook 3-4 minutes
  • Add garlic, cook another minute
  • Add soyrizo, cook for 8-9 minutes or until soyrizo is crisp to your desire
  • To serve, sprinkle some soyrizo onto an avocado + top with some raw onion + tomatoes + lettuce + crunchy tortilla strips + cilantro
  • With hands tied behind back, dive face first into this sea of avocado taco boat goodness + go to town

Open-Faced Pitas with Roasted Eggplant + Red Pepper Spread

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I think it’s time I get a little real with y’all.

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And that’s not even a sarcastic opening this time!!! I realized I’ve never really shared why I started cooking.

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Let us venture back to pre-teen Rachel. Or as I like to refer to her, she who must not be named. Growing up, I was ALWAYS the smallest kid in class. Like, got the kids menu and looked like an 8-year-old boy until I was 17. I don’t recommend this if you’re interested in having self esteem. Puberty rolled around my junior year and I became an average height, but was still skinny and could eat WHATEVER I wanted. I’ve told y’all about how I used to leave school, eat 12 nuggets, fries and a milkshake and THEN eat dinner. Those were the TIMES, man.

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Sophomore year of college came around and I gained the weight we all do at that pivotal time. Nothing crazy, but it looked odd on my small frame. I honestly would have been blissfully ignorant except this was during the rise of social media when it became the vortex of self-pity and comparison we now know and love. I saw pictures of myself and just hated what I saw. I had never felt pretty (have you seen this schnoz?!), but I had always counted on being small. My first world, middle class, not enough problem-having world was rocked! Chicken nugget girl had no idea how to eat healthy, so I started restricting myself. I lost 20 pounds eating a bagel for breakfast, a granola bar for lunch and a little something for dinner. Or as I like to call it, the diet of an idiotic college girl who cared far too much what peeps thought of her. While I eventually began eating more, I continued the unhealthy restrictive habits. It wasn’t until I called my mom crying one afternoon after treating myself to Zaxby’s (wow, what a treat!) and feeling SO guilty, that I realized it was time to make a change. She took me to the grocery store, bought me food and taught me how to bake some chicken breasts. From there, I turned on Food Network and haven’t turned it off in over six years. I watched every single show and tried to learn as much as I could. I would spend my free time searching for recipes and reading about food. I started this blog to document some of the recipes I liked, and here we are. Almost 5 years later and this little space of the Internet is still one of my favorites.

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Thank you for reading along and allowing me to be a lunatic and share some food and look at your food and I promise I eat quadruple the calories I used to – for example, I ate both of these pitas immediately after taking these photos.

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4 pitas

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant, peeled + sliced into 1/2 inch discs
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained .+ rinsed
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 a small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 zucchini, zoodled
  • 2 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • Pitas, toasted
  • Cilantro, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Arrange eggplant discs on a lined baking sheet, using 1 tbsp. of olive oil, brush each side + sprinkle with S+P
  • Arrange red peppers on another lined baking sheet
  • Arrange chickpeas on a third lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + some S+P
  • Place all in the oven (peppers + eggplant on the same rack if possible), bake chickpeas for 25 minutes, turning once, eggplant for 30 minutes, turning once, red peppers for 45 minutes, turning once
  • Once cooled, remove the charred skins from the peppers + cut the tops off + remove any seeds
  • In a food processor combine eggplant + red peppers + garlic + remaining olive oil + tomato paste + crushed red pepper + S+P, process until smooth
  • To serve, spread your eggplant + pepper goodness on a pita + top with zoodles + tomatoes + chickpeas + onion + cilantro
  • Fold pita up like a boat + swim it right into the giant hole in your face

 

Spread adapted from my girl, Ina!