Chicken Fajitas

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It’s happened, guys.  I finished my first summer class, and now my brain = alskbxlzkjcgqergldknblddzweksdjclxdssalskdj.

As in, I cannot find the motivation to do anything more than lay in bed watching Gossip Girl and drinking insane amounts of green tea.  For the whole entire week.  (Also, don’t judge the GG.  It’s officially my guilty pleasure).

It is also this resignation of my cranium that has put me in a dark, uncharacteristic succession of intense procrastination that I cannot seem to shake off no matter how acute my anxiety becomes.

Side effects of my procrastination have resulted in me putting off shopping and packing for London until yesterday afternoon (I leave tomorrow) as well as clicking multiple “Read More” links on posts concerning Zodiac signs and guitar tuning (I don’t play guitar).  (Yet).

Luckily, I was able to force myself into packing and getting my shit together yesterday/today, and I’m (almost) ready to leave for London tomorrow!  Yay!

My new goal is to motivate myself for the two more summer classes I start in London on Monday.

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If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a sort of Mexican food kick lately.  First it was Chinese food, and now it’s cilantro lime shredded chicken and burrito bowls.

As it turns out, I need to get as much Mexican food into my body as I can in the next day, because Europe has no authentic Mexican food.

There are many European people that have never even had real Mexican (or Tex-Mex for that matter).

It’s the sad truth, and I’m not quite sure what to do with my life except console myself with Indian food and conversations with cute British boys.

(Life is so hard, right?)

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Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

2 bell peppers, cut into thin strips

1 onion, thinly sliced

1/2 c. olive oil

1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2-1 tsp. onion powder (to taste)

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. oregano

Tabasco, to taste

1 lime, juiced

 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Place chicken strips, peppers, and onions in a zipper plastic bag or plastic bowl with a lid.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.

Pour marinade over chicken, peppers, and onions.  Marinate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24.

When ready to cook, heat 2 Tbs. cooking oil in a large saute pan on medium heat.  Remove chicken, peppers, and onions, and add to saute pan.  Discard marinade.

Cook until chicken is cooked through and peppers and onions are soft, about 8 minutes.

Serve with tortillas, and other taco toppings.

Serves 4.

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I <3 u Mexican food.

I’ll see you in a month.

Make sure to check in for my London posts in the coming weeks!

And while I’m gone, make sure to indulge in some tacos and cheeseburgers for me.

Signature

Song of the Day: Bear–The Antlers

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Cilantro Lime Chicken Burrito Bowls

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Remember when I promised you guys this recipe when I posted  cilantro lime shredded chicken a couple weeks ago?

Well…here it is.

I did it.

*claps for you Sara*

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This recipe is essentially a play on the burrito bowls from Qdoba, Chipotle, etc. etc.  I’m normally a big fan of these places because I can get a decent fast-food meal without actually eating fast food.

 Not that I don’t ever eat fast food, because I think we’re all guilty of doing that sometimes, but if I want to still feel good about myself at the end of the meal, I choose Qdoba (mostly because it’s on the way home).

Although, I’m still a little bitter that there are NO Cafe Rios in Reno.  Whywhywhywhywhy??

I literally crave their pork barbacoa.

I’ve had dreams about it before.

Yeah.  Really.

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However, I still really love Qdoba and Chipotle.

One of my favorite nights from last semester actually happened in Qdoba.  My friends and I randomly ended up there one night (probably way too late in the first place).  Luckily for us Reno college kids, there’s a late night Qdoba stop approximately five minutes away from campus, so it’s always a no-brainer on where to go if nothing else is open or will let you in.

Anyways, we essentially ended up at Qdoba until 1 a.m. eating chips and salsa and laughing manically over each others’ weird family stories.

For the sake of privacy, I will not get too far into these family stories, but just know nothing is more fun than watching your friend practically choke on a burrito because she’s laughing so hard at a horrifying incident somebody experienced at Disneyland.

Trust me.

Ingredients

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Rice

1 1/2 c. brown rice

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 c. water

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Onion powder, to taste

1 chicken bouillon cube

Corn Avocado Salsa

1 c. corn

1/2 avocado, cubed

1/2 jalapeno, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Lime juice, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Toppings

Beans, cheese, salsa, tortilla strips, cilantro, lettuce, etc. etc.

For the rice:  Heat about a tablespoon of cooking oil over medium heat.  Add brown rice and coat in oil.  Stir constantly until rice is browned (but not burnt!).  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add water, lime zest, lime juice, onion powder, and chicken bouillon cube.  Cover and cook for 45 minutes, or until water is absorbed.  Add cilantro and more lime juice right before serving.

For the salsa: Heat oven to 350* F.  Spread corn evenly on a greased baking sheet.  Drizzle corn with a little olive oil and salt.  Toss to coat.  Roast for about 10 minutes, or until corn is slightly browned.  Let corn cool for about 10 minutes.

Mix corn, avocado, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Adjust seasonings as needed.

To assemble: Place a couple scoops of rice in a bowl.  Top with chicken, salsa, and other chosen toppings.  Serves 4.

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These could be made with beef, pork, seafood, etc.  To change it up, you could add a bunch of salad ingredients and make it a burrito bowl salad.  (Also, if you don’t want to roast the corn, you can make the salsa with plain corn).

I won’t tell.

Signature

Song of the Day: Forced to Love–Broken Social Scene

Cilantro Lime Shredded Chicken

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I can never really seem to keep up with the holidays.

AKA if I actually write a holiday-themed post before said holiday actually occurs, I’m pretty on top of my game.

Unfortunately, that oftentimes does not happen, and I lay in bed drinking caffeinated tea on a Thursday night at 11:30 p.m. writing a post on chicken.  (In other words: Happy Cinco de Mayo).

Plus, it’s finals week(s).  Also known as the week where I actually think that my brain is going to shut down in a quite literal sense and I will have to spend the rest of my life lying in bed petting a dog.

But that remains to be seen…

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It’s weeks like this that make me have an actual mental breakdown including, but not limited to: crying, hyperventilation, having weird dreams about people, and panic attacks with symptoms that make me think I’m having a heart attack.

(And regardless of your age or health status, having a heart attack is a total logical solution when you’re in the midst of a stress-induced episode).

Really, it’s charming.

Luckily, I have been doing fairly well at keeping my shit together considering I always spend a good two weeks stressing about finals/studying until my eyes sting from exhaustion only to ace my exams and realize I could have slept at least twice as long as I did.

SOS.  Please tell me you all do this too.  (If you tell me you’re one of those people that can just pass a test without studying or trying, I’ll scream).

Anyways…

It’s these weeks where I really have to find my happiness in the little ways.  Luckily for me, I find very great joy in small things like good coffee, hearing an old song I haven’t heard in a long time, and coming home to a crockpot filled with cilantro lime shredded chicken (because let me tell you…it smells amazing).

I’ve made this chicken two weeks in a row, so you know it’s good.  I’ve used it for tacos and burrito bowls, but you could also do enchiladas, tostadas, nachos, etc.  Whatever shredded chicken treat your little heart desires <3

Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breasts

1 1/2 c. chicken broth

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. ceyenne pepper

Salt and pepper, to taste

Spray a crockpot with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil.  Place chicken breasts in crockpot.  Add remaining ingredients.  Stir to cover chicken with spices.  Cook for 7-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.

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If you need me, I’ll be stuffing my face with chicken tacos to ease my worries.  So far, it has seemed to work.

Except for the weird dreams about people.  Those are (apparently) here to stay.  On a side note: many people get uncomfortable when you tell them the details of your strange dreams involving them.

So maybe that’s something I’ll work on next.

But probably not.

Signature

Song of the Day: The Moon Song–Karen O and Ezra Koenig

(seriously though, best musical combo ever)

Chicken Saltimbocca

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I’m going to apologize now for keeping this recipe from you guys for approximately 2 months.

It’s really a crime and I’m so so so sorry.

The truth is that I thought I had blogged about it, and then looking into it realized that I never did.  The recipe is so good that I guess I just thought that I had already talked about it…?

Or something…?

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Anyways…..

This is an incredibly important recipe you should make very soon.  It’s the kind of recipe you make when you meet your boyfriend’s parents, or feel like listening to jazz music (I recommend Miles Davis, George Gershwin, and Ray Charles).  It also deserves a good Sauvignon Blanc if that’s your thing.

Just make this when you feel *fancy*.

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It has some of the best ingredients including prosciutto, mozzarella, lemons, and unreasonable amounts of butter.  Also it has some capers in it.  The other day, I was reading my Bon Appetit at my favorite coffee place (the usual) and they described capers as “tiny explosions of salty goodness”.  They’re totally right.

Bee Tee Dubbs, this is a very rustic meal that deserves to be served with an unpolished silver spoon fork thing spork.

Just kidding, I didn’t serve it with that.

But unpolished silver rocks (in my personal opinion).

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This recipe was inspired by the veal salimbocca at Buca di Beppo, and also the veal saltimbocca from Tomasso’s in San Francisco (which is one of the best restaurants in the world, in case you’re wondering).

So I basically just melded the two recipes together and played it by ear.  And it totally worked!

Which doesn’t always happen, so it’s super awesome when you totally nail a recipe on the first try!

Now it’s your turn….

Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breasts, thinly sliced

1/2 c. flour

2 Tbs. dried sage

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 c. dry white wine

1/2 c. chicken broth

2 cloves garlic

2 drops Tobasco

3/4 c. heavy cream

1 stick butter

1/2 lb. prosciutto

Fresh Mozzarella, sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 Tbs. capers

Olive oil

Rigatoni, butter, and parmesan, to serve

Combine flour, sage, salt, and pepper on a plate.  Coat chicken breasts in flour and wrap in prosciutto.  Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan, and sear prosciutto wrapped chicken breasts in olive oil until crispy, but not cooked through.  Set aside.

In the same pan, saute the garlic until fragrant.  Add white wine, chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, Tobasco, heavy cream, butter, salt, and pepper.  Stir together.  Add prosciutto wrapped chicken back into the sauce.  Simmer until chicken chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

The last 4 minutes, place sliced Mozzarella on top of the chicken.  Cover with a lid to melt.  Sprinkle with capers right before serving.  Serve over buttered rigatoni with parmesan.

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If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m pretty stoked about this recipe.

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So much that I completely devoted a post to this recipe alone.  No crazy Sara-antics for you today.

But maybe I’ll have an interesting/somewhat-funny/embarrassing story for you next post.

Just depends how this week goes.

SerendipitybySaraSig

*Song of the Day: Rhapsody in Blue–George Gershwin

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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I’m sure at some point within my food blogging career, somebody will finally tell me to stop making Asian food.  Considering that probably about 50% of my recipes so far are Asian, it is bound to happen at some point.  But up until then I will keep on bombarding you with Asian recipes until you just cannot stand it for one more second and throw a fit banning me from using even a teaspoon of soy sauce or a pinch of Chinese 5 Spice.

But for now just bear with me, people.

I swear, I swear, I swear that these are soooo worth making.  These are super killer.

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Plus this recipe is easily adjustable, so you can make it for 20 people, 2 people, or even a lonely 1 if you’re flying solo.  It takes about 30 minutes, and everyone loves lettuce wraps, so they’ll think you’re the bomb dot com.

For this recipe, I kept it simple and just did some iceberg, carrots, cilantro and peanuts for garnish, along with some extra sauce.  However, if you’re in to bean sprouts, water chestnuts, scallions, whatevs…this is a great recipe for adding and subtracting.  The best part of lettuce wraps is how easy it is to pull random ingredients out of your fridge and throw stuff together.

Which is exactly how this recipe was birthed.

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Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breast, cubed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ginger, grated

1/4 c. Hoisin sauce

3 Tbs. reduced sodium soy sauce

1/2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. Sriracha

1/2 tsp. onion powder (or 1/4 c. minced onion)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Iceberg or butter lettuce

Toppings: carrots, cilantro, peanuts, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, green onions, sesame seeds, rice, Sriracha, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, crunchy rice noodles, etc…..

In a skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of olive oil, or other cooking oil.  Add chicken and onion (if using).  Cook chicken until it is brown on all sides.  Add garlic and ginger, and saute for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Add Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha, onion powder (if using), salt, and pepper.  Stir until chicken is cooked through.

Serve warm in lettuce cups with toppings of choice.

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Anyways, I don’t have much to talk about today (the lettuce wraps speak for themselves???).  This is my last day of spring break (boo), but I spent most of the week in Napa and San Francisco, so expect some great pics and restaurant recommendations coming up soon.  Also some pretty good stories.  Just know that the weekend included really great SF coffee roasteries, (multiple) amazing steaks, and some really high heels.  Also French themed stores.  Lots of French themed stores.

But for now, I’ll leave you this recipe while I watch Cinderella and prepare for work tomorrow.

Just keepin’ the party alive.

SerendipitybySaraSig

Song of the Day: Interference Fits–Perfect Pussy

Not So College-y Ramen

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This is not what normal college kids do.  I’m aware of that.

I totally fathom that most kids (half) boil a pot of water, throw the noodles in for way past the recommended time until they’re soggy mush, and then accidentally drop the foil packet into the scalding water before dipping their fingers in, ripping it open, all while screaming a list of profanities and cursing corporate ramen companies worldwide.

I really understand that.

I’m just not a normal college kid.

For instance, my roommates and I had a huge Friendsgiving meal last night starting with crostini, roasted garlic, and truffle goat cheese appetizers, plenty of roasted chicken breasts (we couldn’t find turkey breasts oooops), mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, roasted multi-colored carrots, stuffing, and ending with homemade chocolate cream pie.

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Oh yeah, and plenty of Frank Sinatra and old-fashioneds.

Like I said, not normal. 

That’s why when I started watching The Mind of a Chef on Netflix, and got a whole history lesson on ramen, I knew I had to try a new approach to the little crinkly plastic wrapped package of noodles and MSG I normally pass in the store.

Hence “not so college-y ramen”.

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Ingredients:

2 boneless pork chops

4 cups chicken broth

1 package ramen (get rid of that foil flavor packet!!!)

Olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced and divided

1 tsp. ginger, grated

3 Tbs. soy sauce, divided

1 Tbs. brown sugar

1 carrot, grated

1/4 c. frozen corn

1 Tbs. chives, chopped

Toppings: Thai Marinated cucumbers, Siracha, bean sprouts, seaweed, whatever you have (which is what I did).

*Please note that the sun going down at 4:30 means not so great pictures.  I ask that you kindly understand.*

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Place pork in a bag.  Mix in 1 Tbs. soy sauce (or more, I kind of just eyeballed), 1 Tbs. brown sugar, 1 clove garlic, salt, and pepper.  Marinate for 30 minutes, or overnight if you prefer.

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Cook your pork chop until nice and golden brown.

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Uh, bad pic wow.  But yeah, nice and golden brown is the point I’m trying to get across.  Then slice it!

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Grate your carrot.  You can do it on a paper towel if you’re really fancy like me.

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Heat a little bit of oil in your soup pot.

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Brown your garlic and ginger.

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Pour in your chicken broth.  Get ready for some blurry pics.  I just got a new camera so I’m still learning to use it!

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Add your carrots, corn, and chives.

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Add soy sauce (blurry pic ah!).  Bring the liquid to a boil.

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And your noodle square.  And some salt and pepper, if you like.  Cook according to package directions.

Serve with your desired toppings!

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Much better than MSG ramen!  Still not great for you, but still way healthier and much yummier!  Enjoy college and non-college students, alike.

XO Sara

Song of the Day: Buddy Holly–Weezer

Balsamic Marinated Steak with Roasted Vegetables

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Midterms are over.  I actually think I can hear angels singing right now…

It’s nice having a life after major tests are over.

To celebrate Halloween (and Nevada Day!) and the end of midterms, some of my family and I went to Disneyland.  Which was super fun and amazing and Disneylandish.

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Me and my mom’s Halloween costumes in Disneyland!  Can you guess who I am?

Lately, my roommates and I have gotten into the bad habit where about once every week or two, we stay up too late drinking craft beer (or cranberry vodkas in my case) and doing ridiculous things.  Last night we ended up getting nerf guns at Wal Mart at midnight so we can ignore our priorities and hide behind corners to shoot each other with little styrofoam darts.

College, right?

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Luckily, I still do things that most college kids don’t do.  Like voting, caring about important issues, making nice meals…

I haven’t given up yet guys.

However, let me tell you now: It gets dark around Reno at about 5 starting in October, so the prep pictures are pretty dark, and this meal is not the prettiest.

However, it does look very comfy and winter-y and I promise you, it’s so good.  And it only takes about 30 minutes of actual work.  The rest is marinating/cooking time.  It’s worth it.  I swear.

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Serves 2

Marinade:

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1-2 tsp. Dijon, to taste

2 tsp. dried rosemary

1/2 Tbs. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. lemon pepper

Salt, to taste

Ingredients:

2 thinly cut sirloin steaks (or whatever steak you prefer)

1 zucchini, cut in larger chunks

1 red bell pepper, sliced

2 red potatoes, thinly sliced

Olive oil

Garlic powder and Onion powder, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

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In a bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients.

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Add 4 Tablespoons to steaks.  I put my thin steaks in ziplocs with 2 Tbs. of marinade each, and let them marinate for 2 hours.  You can do overnight if you like, but definitely do at least a couple hours!

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Cut zucchini into larger chunks.  I cut them into four spheres and then cut those into fourths.  If that makes sense?

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Slice red bell pepper.  Remove seeds!

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Mix veggies in a bowl with remaining marinade.  Let marinate for a couple hours also.

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When you’re ready to prepare dinner, dice potatoes into thin chunks.

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Preheat oven to 400* F.  Place potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.  *The reason I did not marinate the potatoes with the rest of the vegetables is because they did not get crispy when I marinated them.  You could try to mix them with marinade to make it easier.  Totally up to you!*

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Remove veggies from marinade and place on baking sheet.  Discard remaining marinade.  Bake veggies for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.

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About 8 minutes before veggies are done, pan fry your steaks to desired doneness.  This is for thinly cut sirloin steaks.  If you use regular steaks, allow yourself more time to make steaks.  Alternatively, you can grill them.  Which I would have done if it wasn’t 45* outside.

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Serve steaks over roasted vegetables.  You can cut the steak into strips if you want pretty steak, or you can just leave it whole to make it easy.

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Balsamic + Steak + Roasted Vegetables = So good and so healthy.  I was a happy Sara.

Until next time, my friends.

XO Sara

*Song of the Day*: Low Light Assembly–The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die

Beef, Vegetable, and Wild Rice Soup

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With fall making its slow appearance, all I can think about is soup at all times.  Even when it’s too warm for soup (a.k.a. right now, or even in the summer), soup is a (not so) guilty pleasure that I look forward to year round.  Right in the midst of midterms and projects, I’m always looking for easy, one-pot meals that can be simmered away while I study.  Enter beef, vegetable, and wild rice soup: a wholesome meal made in my dutch oven served with crusty, whole-grain bread and a simple, garlic-y side salad.  After a long day, nothing is better than cuddling up on the couch with this soup.  I promise.

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This soup can be changed based on whatever veggies/meat you have in your fridge.  Add onions, turnips, potatoes, replace chicken for the beef, use brown rice instead of wild rice, add some thyme, etc.  Just throw your veggies, meat, and rice into a pot.  Walk away for an hour or so.  Come back.  Bask in the glory of fresh veggies + earthy rice + seasoned beef.  Dinner plans finalized.

Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 lb. stew meat, cubed

1 carrot, sliced

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 qt. low-sodium beef broth

1/2 c. red wine

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp. marjoram

1/2 tsp. parsley

Few drops Tabasco

1 beef bouillon cube

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 c. wild rice

1/2 c. frozen peas

1 zucchini, sliced

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Brown the beef for a few minutes.  Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook until it starts to sweat.  Add garlic and wild rice.  Slowly stir in beef broth, red wine, marjoram, parsley, Tabasco, bouillon cube, salt, and pepper.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables and wild rice are tender.  Lastly, add frozen peas, and zucchini.  Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

*Notes*

You can use full sodium beef broth and exclude the bouillon cube if you prefer.  I just like being able to control how much salt goes into the soup, and I found this yields the best results.

Zucchini and peas are added last so that they do not get too soggy,

*To make in a crockpot*: I have actually never done this, but I do not think it would be too hard.  Just ad all of the ingredients excluding the rice, peas, and zucchini.  Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 8-10 hours.  Add rice, peas, and zucchini 30 minutes-1 hour before serving.

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XO Sara

*Song of the Day: Trailer Trash–Modest Mouse*

(Crockpot) Light Zuppa Toscana

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I have been surprisingly social all weekend.  I went to a football game on Friday (we won!) (Go Wolfpack!) and then my roommates and I spent the rest of the night with Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen and Cards Against Humanity.  If you have never played Cards Against Humanity, let’s just introduce you to their slogan : A party game for horrible people.

And that it is.

Just take a look at their website.  Or check out this and this.

I also spent my Saturday night bar hopping with one of my best friends/pseudo cousin.  Except that I had to drive home so my bar hopping experience was mostly just me getting leaned on by a bunch of drunk people.

Good times right?

The whole drinking and Cards Against Humanity thing ties together because:

1. Most of the time, if you’re playing Cards Against Humanity, you are simultaneously drinking.

And 2. When I told my roommate, “The only two games I know how to play are beer pong and Cards Against Humanity.  What does that say about me?”, his response was, “You’re an evil alcoholic.”

So there’s that.

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And now about Zuppa Toscana.  It is that delicious soup at Olive Garden with sausage, potatoes, and kale.  The broth is lightly creamy and a little spicy.

It is also 220 calories for a bowl of it at Olive Garden.  That doesn’t seem tooooo bad, until you consider that it has 15 g of fat and 990 mg of sodium in it.  And when you consider that you’re going to have another bowl of it.  And a glass (or two) of wine.  And probably some type of pasta.  And that salad, which also doesn’t seem too bad until you see that there are 150 calories, 10 g of fat, and 760 mg of sodium in it. Also, don’t forget that you’re going to eat like, 4 of those bread sticks (140 calories, 2.5 g fat, 460 mg sodium)

Holy shit, what is in this stuff?

Anyways, I definitely recreated the recipe and lightened it up quite a bit.  I calculated it all up and it was about 350 calories per serving.  The recipe serves 4, so you get quite a big serving of soup for less than 400 calories.  Also, you just throw it in a crockpot.  So easy guys.

Ahem.

*thunderous applause*

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*The recipe was originally from Fix it and Forget it, but has been changed dramatically*

Ingredients:

6 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 c. whole milk or half and half

2 carrots, grated

3 russet potatoes, sliced

4 cups kale, chopped slightly

1 lb. turkey Italian sausage

Dash salt and pepper

Sprinkle of garlic powder

Sprinkle onion powder

1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

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Grate 2 carrots into your crockpot.

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Pour in chicken broth.

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And the whole milk/half and half.

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Slice up your potatoes.

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Add them to your broth.

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Brown the sausage.

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Add it to your broth.

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Sprinkle your spices!

Cook for 3-4 hours on high, stirring every once in a while.

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1 hour, I REPEAT, 1 HOUR before serving, stir in kale.  If you do it any earlier, it will be grossly soggy.  Do you want soggy kale?  Do you?!

No.  You really don’t.

Serve with a light homemade salad and some whole wheat rolls.  Sprinkle it with a little parm.

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Yum yum yum.  This is definitely going to be my fall favorite.

Bonus: It’s gluten free naturally!

It doesn’t taste exactly like the Olive Garden version, but it’s pretty damn close for a light version.  Sometime (when you feel really naughty) go ahead and use regular chicken broth, cream, and pork Italian sausage.  Or just go to Olive Garden and really go all out.  I’m normally not a fan of chains, but I still love Olive Garden every once in a while.

But just make this, okay?

XO Sara

Chicken Satay with Coconut Peanut Sauce

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What do you do when you don’t have any bamboo skewers in your BBQ drawer in your kitchen?

You just make chicken satay without the skewers is what you do.

The moral of this story is that nobody is perfect but you should do what you do anyways.

Like yesterday.  I went to the grocery store and got my groceries for the week.  I then proceeded to pay at the checkout line, smile at the bag boy, get in my car and drive home.  I walked through the door with my bags of groceries, put them away nicely in the fridge and pantry, and went to my bathroom to get a hair tie.  It was at that moment that I looked in the mirror and noticed that my (very cute) button down flannel was unbuttoned all the way to the bottom of my bra.  My boobs were hanging out.  You could see my whole bra.

How long did I walk around like this?  Good question.  I have NO idea.  None.  At all.

I like to think that maybe some nice lady at the grocery store would have told me about my fashion faux pas had the whole dilemma happened in the store (as opposed to the car or at home).

I also like to think that if somebody was not that nice, at least I made a few peoples’ days hopefully.

The mystery remains unsolved, but at least I always have chicken satay to make me feel better from embarrassing moments.

Because if coconut peanut sauce doesn’t make you feel better after a rough day, something might be wrong with you.

Or maybe not, but I do question your morality.

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Chicken (Serves 2):

1 chicken breast

1/2 c. low fat coconut milk

1/2 tsp. yellow curry powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp. soy sauce

1/4 tsp. siracha

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 tsp. ginger, grated

2 tsp. brown sugar

Sauce:

1/3 c. low fat coconut milk

3 Tbs. natural peanut butter*

1/2 tsp. soy sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 Tbs. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. yellow curry powder

*Use natural peanut butter, like the stir kind with the natural oils.  The kind made without any sugar.  If you look in the ingredients, it will only list peanuts.  I promise, it tastes so much better (and it’s better for you!)

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Cut chicken into long strips.  You want them to be fairly thin.

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Place them in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

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Pour coconut milk over chicken.

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Add curry powder, soy sauce, siracha, garlic, ginger, and brown sugar.

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Stir together.  Wrap with plastic and marinate for 1 hour to overnight.

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Once they’re nice and marinated, grill until juices run clear, about 2 minutes per side over medium heat.

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While the chicken cooks, combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat until warmed through.

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Serve with brown rice, broccoli, green beans, or Thai marinated cucumbers.

I personally serve mine with tons of peanut sauce, because I’m practically obsessed!  I may or may not have eaten the leftover sauce with a spoon.  But that’s another unsolved mystery.

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Also, this would be great to serve to a crowd.  Super easy and super quick!  One of my favorite last minute meals.

XO Sara