One day into our Eat Less Crap challenge, and I was already desperately craving candy. If you know me at all, you know I am pretty obsessed with candy. Skittles, Red Vines, Sixlets, gummy worms, jelly beans, Sour Patch Kids. I probably got over half of my daily calories from these things. I knew going into this that this was going to be my (main) area of weakness.
So yesterday morning I sent Andy off to the store to pick up some sweets that fit within our rules.
He was able to find some fun candies (like jelly beans, licorice, and these amazing honey hard candies), but bringing home all those tubs of dried fruit was just genius! Not only are the dried mangos, cherries, blueberries, and apricots I've been munching on not bad for you, they are good for you! An easy way to both cut back on the candy, and bulk up on the fruit.
For lunch yesterday, we had yummy pear salads with maple candied pistachios.
I'm a total salad girl, so I enjoyed this dish immensely. The candied nuts are awesome (we used pistachios because I'm allergic to pretty much every other nut, but the recipe actually calls for pecans). We ended up making more than we needed for the salad, just to have on-hand to snack on. Here's the recipe:
Pear Salad with Maple Candied Pistachios (Adapted from Veganomicon):
For the nuts:
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
For the salad:
Salad mix/lettuce of your choice
1 ripe pear, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Crumbled gorgonzola cheese, to taste
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons basalmic vinegar
In a cast-iron skillet, toast the pistachios over medium heat for about 5 minutes, tossing them frequently after the first 2 minutes.
Then, sprinkle the oil and salt over them and toss to coat.
Add the maple syrup and toss to coat, heating until the syrup starts to bubble.
Let it bubble for about 30 seconds while tossing.
Transfer the nuts to a parchment paper-lined plate and let cool/harden.
Toss all the remaining ingredients together, sprinkle on the nuts, and you're done!
Andy also whipped up some Curry Pumpkin Hummus yesterday.
Hummus is one of my favorite snacks, and this recipe from Skinny Dips is pretty tasty! This recipe makes a LOT of hummus, and stays good in the fridge for the whole week (or like, 2 days around here!) I love it with carrot sticks, but it's also great with baked pita chips. Here's how to make it:
Curry Pumpkin Hummus (from Skinny Dips):
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1.5 tablespoons honey
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can unsweetened pumpkin puree
1.5 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1.5 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
In a small pan, over medium heat, warm the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the garlic and saute until just beginning to soften, about 30 seconds. Then, add the curry powder and saute, stirring constantly for about a minute. Then, stir in the honey, remove from heat, and set aside.
Using a food processor, process the chickpeas until finely mashed. Then, add the pumpkin puree, ginger, salt, and the garlic mixture, and process until the hummus is nice and smooth.
For a quick and easy dinner last night, Andy made some hummus and tabouli open-faced sandwiches. He started with a layer of hummus, added some store-bought tabouli (a Mediterranean salad with cracked wheat, mint, garlic, lemon, tomatoes, and green onions), and topped the whole thing off with tomatoes and green onions. Delish and oh so healthy!
Day 2 of Operation Eat Less Crap was definitely a success!
Tonight it's cajun chicken with sweet potatoes and salsa. I can't wait!