Black Bean Chili

This winter has been especially cold and rainy. During times like these, I gravitate towards noodle soups or just soups in general, stews, and chilis. You know, the comforting stuff! I found this particular recipe in a Cooking Light magazine, which is extra points in my book. Yummy AND “light”? YAAAAAAS.

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I made some tweaks to the recipe, but nothing substantial. I like my chili thicker so I eliminated the water. Also swapped one can of black beans for one can of diced tomatoes because tomatoes > beans. I mean, I know this is called black bean chili, but come on, FOUR cans of black beans?! WHY?

Oh, and a word of caution… When I first made this chili, I interpreted “3 canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce” as 3 cans of chipotle chilis instead of 3 chipotle chilis. Oops. Don’t make the same mistake as I did. I love spicy foods but that was almost unbearable! I use 1 can now 😊

2016

2016 was a roller coaster. There were many highs (my promotion) and just as many lows (my toxic relationship with T). But overall, it was a good year. A year of growth, personally and professionally. Before I welcome 2017, let me reflect on all that happened in 2016…

I furnished my place…

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I received two awards at work: employee of the quarter and team of the quarter. Also got promoted! πŸ’΅ 😁

I traveled to…

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I completed some amazing hikes…

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I cooked up some new recipes and made some oldies but goodies…

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Looking back, I really can’t complain. It’s been a good year and I look forward to even bigger and better things in 2017. Bring it on beeeeetches!

xoxo, kc

Pho Is Life

For as much Vietnamese food I consume, I must have been Vietnamese in my past life.

When I was with H, we ate pho almost every weekend.

T, who is Vietnamese, expanded my Vietnamese food horizons. Thanks to his sister, I was lucky enough to have home cooked Vietnamese food basically everyday. And family events on the weekend? Food. Heaven.

Now, with CT, my Vietnamese food cravings are as strong as ever. And though he’s very supportive, it’s usually just me in SD, so it’s up to me to satisfy my own cravings.

So what’s a girl to do? Make her own pho of course. In herΒ instant pot.

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Tadaaaa

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Yaaaaaas. Happy tummy.

Double Fakeout

Ever since I broke out my vegetable spiraler, I’ve been kind of obsessed with zoodles. I’ve made it for lunch numerous times, all with red meat sauce. Buuuttt, I’m really not supposed to have tomato based sauces since, ya know, that acid reflux thing. I’d like to say I’m a “fuck it, I do what I want” kind of person, but in this case, heartburn is a real bitch and something I’d like to not experience frequently. So, of course I was super excited to find a healthy recipe on Instagram that would allow me to have my beloved zoodles without the burn!

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Creamy Chicken Zoodles

The sauce is just mashed avocado mixed with almond milk and pinch of salt and pepper. If you wanna kick things up a notch, add red pepper flakes and Sriracha.

Banana Pancakes

In my almost 30 years of existence, I’ve only made pancakes twice. The first was for an ex, who I was trying to surprise with breakfast in bed. I forgot the occasion (valentine’s birthiversary or whatever), but it doesn’t matter because the pancakes were terrible. Just God awful. Needless to say, I didn’t exactly rush to try again.

As I browsed the internet for breakfast recipes last week, I came across a recipe for flourless pancakes. And the best part? Only 2 ingredients: eggs and a banana! Sold!

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My 2nd attempt…TADAAAAA!

Ok, so I did tweak the recipe a bit. I added powdered peanut butter and ground cinnamon into the “batter” and then opted to smear TJ Speculoos & Cocoa Swirl instead of light butter. Can’t make it too healthy, ya know?

Tupperware Tuesday: Not Just Lunch

Tupperware Tuesday, a real look at the food I make each week. No fancy cameras, no lightbox contraption, no perfect angles. Just what’s for lunch.


OK, I know. Bringing breakfast, lunch, and dinner? I should just blow up an air mattress and sleep here! Seriously.

Last week, I attempted to do Whole 30, but failed miserably due to poor planning. When you’ve lived your whole life in non-compliance, it’s hard to turn that around in one day. But that’s my problem, I guess. I commit to things too easily and without much thought.

So instead of Whole 30, I browsed the internet for Paleo-friendly meals…

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Breakfast: Sweet Potato, Apple and Pancetta Bacon Hash (Whole 30 approved!)

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Lunch: Zoodles with Meatballs

I finally broke out my Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer. Yes, it’s been 10 months… This baby is seriously the best thing EVER! SO easy to use. SO easy to clean. And the best part is, I don’t even miss REAL pasta!

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Dinner: Pork Loin and Butternut Squash Stew

OK, I know the stew looks like shit, but let me assure you, it is delicious! And it tasted better the next day after reheating. This pretty much applies to all stews. It’s basically science (and good eats!). Alton Brown said so.

Another Try

I don’t consider myself a picky eater, but there are certain foods I will not eat.

Celery. Cilantro. Peas.
Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

And for the longest time, avocados were the list. Why? I’m really not sure. I just… didn’t like them!

Call it a maturing palate, reevaluation of life, whatever, but in this past year, I seem to have forgotten my dislike of avocados. I ordered a salad with avocado. Not bad. I ate poke with avocado. Pretty good. Now I’m adding avocados to breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Love!

Unlike celery and cilantro, avocados don’t have a strong flavor; they won’t overpower a dish, ever. The creamy texture provides a richness that is a perfect substitute for butter and mayo. I guess you can say the same for peas, but I’m not ready for that yet. Baby steps…

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