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!

Chopped Greek Salad

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Apparently, I have what some like to call Rolls Royce taste on a Honda budget.

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We’re shopping for our first home.

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And we could just get a lot more house for the money if our budget was like $800,000.

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Honestly, Garrett is the problem. He’s wildly against a fixer upper because he doesn’t want to spend his time making improvements. I’m really down for whatever. As long as there are at least 2.5 baths, floor to ceiling windows with lots of natural light and a giant kitchen with white marble countertops and white cabinets, I’m set. I’m simple, really. I don’t mind having to make a couple of updates to get our dream home. But I can’t even online search with Garr anymore. If we look at a house and the curtains are ugly, he’s like nope, no, can’t, exit out of this page, I’m out. He can’t look past the poor decorating choices and see the good bones of a place. We saw one and he was like ugh NO I’d have to rip off that wall paper. The audacity! He thinks we just need to buy a new build. I was like OK great, that sounds really nice, why don’t you just loosen the grip on your pocketbook, good sir.

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How easy is it to buy a house behind your husband’s back? Asking for a friend.

 

 

Time: 30 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of romaine, washed + shredded
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1/2 a red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup of kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup of banana peppers
  • 1/4 cup of roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. of oregano
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. of onion powder
  • Pinch of sugar
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Cook quinoa according to package directions, set aside
  • In a bowl, whisk olive oil + red wine vinegar + lemon juice + oregano + garlic powder + onion powder + sugar + S+P, refrigerate until ready to use
  • In a big bowl combine lettuce + cucumber + onion + tomatoes + kalamata olives + peppers
  • Pour onto a big cutting board
  • Using a ulu knife, chop up the salad to your desire
  • Add back to bowl + add quinoa + mix in dressing
  • Serve chilled
  • Using a spatula, shovel salad contents into mouth until they are all gone and you have eaten your daily calories in salad