And exhale…

January 6, 2012

Well.  I think everyone today had a little bit of “thank GOODNESS its Friday”.  I dunno, maybe it was just having to come back to routine after a nice break, but dang – this one was rough.  Although, for all of the ups and downs this week had, I have to say, now that I’m at the end of the week, the hardest part is finally out of the way (weekly wrap up meeting, always shake a little bit from nerves on this one – I’m a bit of a “don’t cut myself any slack” kind of girl, so when something isn’t perfect, its hard for me to think it won’t induce major backlash).  But no backlash! (whew…).  So now, I can finally relax a little bit and breathe.  Time to look back on the week and think “you know, maybe it wasn’t SO bad after all”.  Although, I’m good if we don’t have another one of these for a good, long, while.  All of the struggles though, have led to the glorious Friday night, where I can relax with a drink, some projects and not set my alarm clock for the next morning.  The night where you have two FULL DAYS of a weekend ahead.  Amen to that.  One of my new years resolutions was to keep trying new recipes in the kitchen and nothing makes that easier than

  1.  Needing an internal reset from the holiday foods
  2. Having some fun new cookbooks! 🙂

Chock full of recipes I can't wait to try!

I got this cookbook as a gift for Christmas this year and I had seen a few of her recipes used on  Fun, easy, DELICIOUS looking and healthy.  Right up my alley, and surprisingly, not too far off from Brandon’s either. He reached right for these books when we planned out our menu for this past week.  Last night was the first night I got to try any of the recipes and it did notdisappoint.

So Good!

Via special request by Brandon, we had Cajun Chickpea patties over a salad.  It reminded me a lot of the crispy chicken salads I used to get, which healthy they are not, but undeniably delicious.  It was pretty awesome to find a healthy, veggie alternative to a old time favorite, without even trying!  I have a sneaking suspicion the ranch I drizzled on had a lot to do with it, but the crispy is pretty important too.

The How, (according to my brand spankin’ new cookbook…Everyday Happy Herbivore, by Lindsay Nixon.)

Cajun Chickpea Cakes

Take 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed and pulse in a food processor until “smashed” (basically, don’t make them look like hummus, the chunks are important!).  In a mixing bowl, mix the chick pea smash and the following: 1 tbsp of chili powder, ¼ tsp onion powder and garlic powder, ¼ tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp mayo and 1 tbsp truffle oil (the original recipe calls for 2 tbsps Vegan mayo, we didn’t have that and Mayo is the food of death in our apt, so I snuck in 1 tbsp of the real stuff when Brandon wasn’t looking – shhhh), 1 tbsp poultry seasoning (she gives her own recipe for this, but I just nabbed a premade pack from the grocery store – it was easier than tracking down all of the ingredients).  1 tbsp tamari, 1 tbsp fresh lime juice, ¼ tsp liquid smoke (I’m SO bummed I forgot this part, next time…), ¼ cup whole wheat flour (recipe called for chickpea flour.  Have this I did not…).

To make the patties is really easy.  Just roll the mixture into 8 little balls and put on a greased pan.  Press down lightly to make a patty.  Lightly spray and bake at 350 until a little crispy.  And that’s it!

Like I said, these patties were really tasty over a salad (mine had broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion), which tasted great after a few weeks of indulging.  If you want to keep the recipe Vegan, stick with the Vegan mayo and skip the Ranch dressing.  Brandon made the comment that these would be really good sized up a bit into veggie burgers (boy makes a gal proud, I tell ya).  We finished off the meal with some leftover (still) Christmas cookies and called it a successful night. And if we’re being honest, some stellar leftovers for lunch too…

I have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot of recipes from this and the other cookbook of Lindsay’s that I was gifted, the recipes are so simple and recognizable, if that makes any sense.  Perfect for not scaring off a timid “almost vegetarian” (See: Brandon).

And now, it is Friday night.  I have a homemade Old Fashioned in my hand and finally finished a SUCCESSFUL crochet hat :-O

Note the fit...

But don’t worry, I put my first hat to good use…

Think he likes it?

Silly, but struggling through it three times in a row, instead of just giving up really gives me a sense of accomplishment and I can’t wait to start my next project.  I’m not sure if I’ll be starting one this weekend, we already have some fun weekend plans lined up, which include some consignment shopping for me (vintage!!) and some home brew shopping for Brandon, dinner and drinks with Friends (a real live human activity guys!) and if I have my way, a trip to the liquor store to stock up on some new bitters.  And I’m not really one to wish my life away, but shoot guys, this UNBELIEVABLE winter weather has me dreaming for spring already (60 degrees today!).  So, to try and make the most of it, I’m hoping to split up my workouts this weekend with an outside run and a hike – fingers crossed 🙂 I have a whole list of potential projects I could start up, I just have to pick one and hope I have some time to do it all 🙂

What’s everyone else up to this weekend?  How was your week back from the break??


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