Cooking Challenge

To finish this month out, we thought we would share with you one of our “healthy choices” challenges. We all know that we could use a few extra greens on our plate, and a few less processed cheeses (sorry, velveeta). One of the hardest things about cooking, is decided WHAT to eat. Second to that – is actually cooking whatever you finally choose. If you’re anything like me… by the time I decide what to eat I’m too lazy to cook it so we go for take-out instead. Disaster.

In order to start making better choices, we decided to try and cook one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner using new recipes we had found online. By sharing them on the web, it’s keeping us accountable to try new things and strive for healthy choices.

Here are the recipes and our honest opinions. Enjoy!

Adriene chose: protein pancakes, chipotle corn chowder, creamy spinach and sausage pasta.

Protein Pancakes – I’m always looking for a way to integrate more protein in my diet. I love breakfast, and pancakes are sort of a weakness! I have to be honest, I wasn’t into this recipe much. The taste wasn’t bad, but the I think the protein made the batter a bit too gritty. I also just don’t really like plain greek yogurt so I think next time I would use vanilla. On the plus side, the pancakes were nice and fluffy, and cooked quickly and easily! I put a couple in the freezer, to see how well they would do. I’ll update after I try them!

Chipotle Corn Chowder – This was an excellent recipe! I’m so glad I decided to try it because it was a nice hearty soup that is much different than what I usually eat. It’s a nice alternative to chili on a cold winter day. What is great about this recipe is that it made a LOT of soup, so it could feed a lot of people. I think this could also be frozen and thawed for a later meal. I didn’t get to try that this time because we ate it ALL. A+ in my book! I added it to my Pinterest board of “recipes worth keeping”.

Creamy Spinach and Sausage Pasta – This was also a good choice for me! I love the one-pot deal and although it took a bit longer to cook than I’d like it to, it was delicious. I’m not sure I’d fix this every week (mostly because we don’t eat a lot of sausage), but it would be a great pot-luck or family gathering dish. This also was added to the board!

Allison chose: crockpot chicken tikka masala, turkey lasagna roll ups, and pumpkin Cranberry protein muffins

Let me start by saying that I NEVER cook. This was an intimidating challenge to me for that reason. I wanted to try things that were way out of my comfort zone and, considering my comfort zone consists of frozen pizza and boxed mac and cheese, it didn’t take much. After telling my sister of my night of cooking she exclaimed, “Who ARE you?!” You’ll see that that my challenge was a great success and to say I’m proud of myself is an understatement.

Chicken Tikka Masala– This is my all time favorite food. I drive two hours to Columbia to eat it at India House as often as I can. I can say this dish was a success! It was fairly simple to put together and after you’ve done all the prep work the crockpot does the rest. The drawback to this recipe is the sheer amount of spices necessary to provide the traditional Indian flavors this dish boasts; it makes for an expensive grocery bill if you don’t already have the spices. I consider the investment in spices to be well worth it.

Lasagna Roll Ups– Roll ups were a stretch for my culinary prowess. The ingredients were straight forward, but apparently the process of cooking the noodles was too difficult! By the time I was finished cooking there were broken noodles galore. So, due to my lack of patience, I simply resorted to making a traditional lasagna. It was great! This will be something I try again so I can master the rolling of the noodles for a fancier dish.

Pumpkin Cranberry Protein Muffins– Breakfast is something that has to be quick and easy because I eat it in my car. Making things ahead of time guarantees that I will leave the house with food and avoid the McDonald’s line. I had to substitute the oat flour for whole wheat simply because I refused to make an additional trip to a different store in order to find it. Despite the substitution and a few set backs during cook time, this recipe was a success. They are moist and tasty. The only thing I might change is adding some additional pumpkin pie spice to kick up the batter’s flavor.


One response

  1. I’m totally gonna try that creamy spinach and pasta dish! And Allison, tikka masala is my ultimate favorite too– we make a crockpot version of it EVERY month. Always. Huge hit! Thanks for sharing these recipes, ladies!

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