Recipes

Smoked Gouda & Sharp Cheddar Mac

What better thing is there to do on a night in than cook and drink wine? Nothing, I know. Cooking has the power to take my mind away from whatever’s going on and just let me focus on creating the perfect dish. That being said, I don’t do it often, cause I hate the clean up process. Last night I was inspired to make homemade macaroni and cheese, ’cause who the hell doesn’t love macaroni and cheese. I put this recipe together from a few others I found online. Check it out below!

What You Need:

  • 1 lb box of pasta (I used cavatappi)
  • 1 8 oz block of sharp white cheddar cheese (about two cups)
  • 1 8 oz block of smoked gouda cheese (about two cups)
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil

Prep:

Make the pasta according to box directions. In a large saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Whisk in the flour for two minutes, until smooth. Continue whisking for another two minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Lower the heat to low and add in the cheese (saving about a cup), salt, pepper, and mustard powder.

Pour the pasta in a lightly greased 9x12x2 oven safe tray. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and pour over the cheese sauce. Stir lightly to cover all the noodles. Top it with the paprika and breadcrumbs (however much you want).

Bake for 20 minutes (or until it starts to bubble) at 425º. Let it cool a little and prepare to have the most amazing cheesy goodness bless your tastebuds.

 

Recipes

Meatless Beef Burrito

meatless beef burrito

Having a major burrito craving, but aren’t down to eat meat?

Been there.

And trust me, there are delicious substitutes. Keep reading for my meatless beef burrito- it won’t disappoint.

Ingredients

  • 1 pack Lightlife Smart Ground
  • Large burrito tortillas
  • Choice of peppers, onions, and/or mushrooms, diced
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic (pre-minced, or two cloves, minced)
  • Diced onions (separate from above)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Pico de gallo
  • 3-5 teaspoons of meat or marinara sauce
  • Cooking wine

Optional Ingredients

  • Shredded cheese
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Choice of seasoning for rice
    • Recommended: salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, 1/4 lime juice

Prep

You can kind of do this in whatever order you’d like. I started by heating up my cauliflower rice for 4 minutes with some water and the seasonings mentioned above. I simultaneously heated a medium skillet with olive oil on medium heat and added my diced onions. After three minutes, I mixed in the minced garlic and eyeballed the paprika. After about another 3 minutes, I added the drained and rinsed pinto beans. I let them heat up (5-6 minutes) and began smashing them with a fork. You can add chicken broth to keep them a little moist, but I just added some cooking wine and olive oil to avoid using chicken broth. Empty into a bowl once they’re done. Keep the beans and rice aside.

Now it’s time to prepare the crumbles. Lightly coat a larger pan with olive oil and heat it up on medium heat. Add the crumbles and break them apart so they start to look like actual ground beef. Add your peppers and ‘shrooms and whatever else you decided to mix in.

If the ground crumbles looks dry, add some cooking wine, olive oil, and a few teaspoons of marinara or meat sauce to moisten them up a little. Stir it all up until it starts looking fire. It should take about 6-8 minutes to fully cook, but use your judgement.

Pour the ground crumbles into a bowl so they don’t overcook in the pan. Warm up a tortilla between two wet paper towels on a microwave-safe plate for 30-45 seconds.

Now we’re ready to stuff that burrito, bitches.

Lay the warm tortilla flat on your plate and load the cauliflower rice first. Next, pile on as much beef as you want, and top it with the refried pinto beans. If you’re adding cheese, now’s the time to cheese it up with your choice of shredded cheese. Finish your stuffing with some lettuce and pico de gallo, and BAM, you’re almost done. I say almost, ’cause you still have to roll up the burrito, which is not as easy as Chipotle employees make it seem. Seriously, kudos to them. You’d think the cooking is the hardest part, but the burrito wrapping takes the cake.

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Once you master your wrapping, it’s time to munch down on your fat burrito. This meatless beef burrito is a great alternative to your usual beef burrito, and could be a great vegan meal if you skip out on the cheese or substitute it with almond cheese. Try out the recipe and let me know how you like it! This serving of meatless crumbles serves about 4 people, so be nice and cook for the family for once. Or eat burritos for your next four meals. Whatever you prefer. Tag #justnickithings and #eatwithme on Instagram if you try this out! I’d love to check out your versions.

Love, your burrito baby,

Nicki G.

Recipes

Peanut Butter, Please

I accidentally bought crunchy (ew) peanut butter and opened it before realizing it. Bummer, right? Wrong. Crunchy peanut butter is great for smoothies- it adds the perfect amount of texture. Here’s my recipe (ok I may have stolen it from my sister) to a quick and easy PB protein smoothie that’s perfect for when you’re running late to class. Or when you’re too lazy to make dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter (or creamy if you didn’t mess up like I did)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla flavored protein powder
  • 1 banana
  • soy milk
  • 1 cup of crushed ice
  • cinnamon
  • blueberries
  • honey or agave
  • chia seeds

Prep

Add all the ingredients to a blender. I usually eyeball the soy milk so that’s all on you. Sprinkle some chia seeds and add a dash of cinnamon. I usually add about eight to ten blueberries and drizzle a small amount of honey (or agave) on top to sweeten. Blend that sh*t together and pour it in your cup of choice. Voila! A lazy girl’s dinner (don’t worry guys, we won’t tell anyone you’re skipping out on a #gainz meal) that’s packed with protein, omega-3, and deliciousness. I made this for dinner, but this is also a great option for breakfast on the go!

 

Happy blending,

Nicki G.

Recipes

Avocado Toast

If you follow me on any social media, you know I’m a fanatic for avocado toast. It’s a delicious, superfood breakfast that gives you energy for the whole morning. I’m sharing my recipe because everyone keeps harassing me on Instagram and Snapchat. It’s quick, easy, and fun to make!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Hass avocado
  • 1/4 lime
  • Pico de gallo
  • 1 brown egg
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread
  • Chia seeds
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Prep

Cut your avocado in half and pick the half you’ll be indulging in. You can store the other half in a Ziploc bag in your fridge for up to one day. Cut your lime. In a small bowl, place the cut pieces of avocado (tip: peel the skin off the avocado to keep the nutrients; don’t scoop it out) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and squeeze the lime. Mash and mix until it starts to look like guac. Add about a teaspoon of your pico de gallo. Continue guacing.

Grease a small pan with some olive oil and wait for it to warm up on medium heat. Crack your brown egg and season it with some salt and pepper. Cook to your preference. I always go for over-easy, but I know some people get weird with yolk. Toast your bread to desired toasty-ness. I use different varieties of Dave’s Killer Bread because it’s packed with nutrients and protein.

At this point, you kind of start to feel like a contestant on Master Chef because everything starts moving so quickly. Get your toasted bread out of the toaster and top it with your smashed avocado. Sprinkle a dash of chia seeds over it. Hopefully your egg hasn’t burned at this point. Use your spatula skills to finally top your beautiful toast creation with your egg. If you’re wild, drizzle on some hot sauce for a fun kick.

And there you have it! Nicki’s Signature Avocado Toast. Try it out and let me know how it comes out. If you post on Instagram, use the hashtags #justnickithings and #eatwithme.

Happy Eating,

Nicki G