Dragon bowls and cookies

20 May

As you know, I’ve been trying to stick closer to my eating and working out plans. And I’ve asked you all to help hold me accountable. That would probably be more effective if I actually wrote more than once a week and gave you updates, right? Ah well.

This week went pretty well. I stuck perfectly to my eating plan Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and most of Thursday. Friday I went off it a bit at lunch and a bit more at dinner. Yesterday and today went well. I went to the gym as many times as I planned to, I did my strength training as many times as I planned to, and I did my exercises at home.

So overall it went well. For some reason though I just look at when I screwed up and focus on that. I’m trying very hard to look at the big picture for the week and realize that I did well. Not perfect, but not horribly either. It’s really a struggle to keep that perspective in mind.

When it came time to make my lunches for the next week, I found this recipe that sounded interesting. It calls for coconut oil, which I have never worked with. Apparently it’s organic and has a lot of health benefits. So I thought I’d try it. It’s a bit expensive (about $8 for a spaghetti-sauce-sized jar) but that should last for quite a long time. It’s rice and roasted veggies; I added chicken to add some protein. Fry it all up, and serve it over lettuce. So a little bit of carbs, lots of veggies and some protein. Done! I think this will be a great and easy recipe to change up the flavors with.

Next, I wanted to bake. Two Tarts had a great strawberry-apple torte recipe that I wanted to try. But I used pears instead of strawberries. I hadn’t done a torte before – turns out they’re super easy and yummy.

I had some fruit leftover and some store-bought pie crusts in the fridge, so I made a pear-apple tart for the staff at the dance studio. Why not? I’ve never made a tart, so I just dumped the fruit on the crust, folded over the edges, and baked it. I seem to recall (now of course – not in the moment) that maybe the fruit should have been mixed with flour or something? Oh well, turned out OK.

I have a potluck to go to on Thursday. I of course bring desserts to potlucks. It’s easy to make, easy to transport. and who doesn’t like desserts? So for that, I made funfetti cookies which I found on the Tasty Kitchen blog. I was hesitant at first because I was afraid it was just a variation on a cake mix. But it’s an actual recipe from scratch, and they’re awesome!

All in all, a successful day in the kitchen! A great start to the week.

***
Coconut Dragon Bowl (from The Tolerant Vegan)

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 medium zucchini
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped broccoli
sea salt
ground pepper
4 cups romaine lettuce
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped scallions
3 tbsp coconut oil (1 of which is melted)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and chop up your vegetables. Toss the chopped vegetables with 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, heat the remaining two tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the brown rice. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the golden raisins, sun-dried tomatoes and scallions. Stir in the roasted vegetables. Pour over a bed of romaine lettuce.

***
Strawberry-Apple Torte (from Two Tarts)

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries (I used pears)
1 apple, peeled and sliced (I used Gala apples)
1 tsp granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter and flour an 8-inch cake pan, and pour out any excess flour. (I used an 8-inch square baking dish and adjusted the times accordingly.) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter and 3/4 cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Blend in the vanilla and zest. Add the reserved dry ingredients and mix to form a smooth, thick batter. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Toss the fruit with the lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Arrange the topping decoratively over the batter, using just enough fruit to cover the batter in a single overlapping layer. Sprinkle with the last 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Bake until lightly browned around the edges and set in the middle, 30-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes.

***
Funfetti Cookies (from Tasty Kitchen)

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1.25 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 egg
2.5 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup rainbow jimmie sprinkles
2 tbsp nonpareil sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375. Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Add the vanilla, almond, and egg, and beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, continuing the mixer on low speed until it’s combined. Mix in the sprinkles; don’t overmix or the sprinkles will start to bleed into the dough.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, apart 1.5 inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutes. Bake only until they very slightly start to turn light brown just on the edges. They will be super crisp if you let them get totally golden all over.

Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

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