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March 2011

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The Final Hours

Written by , Posted in Recipes

Boot camp at Kru starts tomorrow at 5:30am.  At 5:30am tomorrow, my life as I know it ends for 6 weeks.  I signed up for the Soldier Field 10 today.  I slept for 12 hours (yes, 12!) last night.  I stocked up on groceries and made some yummy eats today:  Compost Cookies ala Heather,  Baked Calamari, and Rigatoni Bake.  I got my nails done.  I am ready to go!!  The first 2 weeks of boot camp is a “cleansing period” where we’re not supposed to eat any gluten, dairy, or alcohol.  My calorie intake is lower than normal and I have to drink these Aloe Cleanse drinks everyday.  Its going to be pretty rough, but I’m ready for it.

I’m taking a short break from Sookie Stackhouse and diving into something with a little more substance:  The Emperor of All Maladies:  A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee.  It sounds very interesting.  I’ll keep you posted.

Vegan Compost Cookies

I followed the same recipe as Heather at hangrypants.com.  For my Sweets I used vegan chocolate chips, Newman-O’s, and gluten free frosted flakes.  For my Salties I used spelt pretzels and sea salt Kettle Chips.  I think they turned out super yummy!

Baked Calamari with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

I found the recipe that inspired this in a past issue of Clean Eating, I doubled the breading mixture and added cayenne for an extra kick!

2 red bell peppers

7 cloves garlic, unpeeled

1 habanero chile, seeded and chopped

1/2 tsp sea salt, plus additional to taste

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup medium stone-ground cornmeal

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

1 lb cleaned squid, tentacles and bodies

1 egg

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1)  Turn broiler on high.  Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.  Cut sides of bell peppers away from cores so you have flat pieces; discard core and seeds.  Place on baking sheet skin side up and broil until skin is completely black, about 10-15 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and cover for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.  Peel skin off peppers and discard.  Chop peppers.

2)  Preheat over 400°.  Put garlic in the middle of a cooking sprayed piece of foil.  Gather up edges and pinch together at the top to enclose garlic in a loose pouch.  Place on baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.  Open foil pack and let cool.

3)  Remove garlic from skins and add to blended with bell peppers and habanero.  Puree until smooth and season to taste with salt.  You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge.  **The habanero, even with the seeds taken out, really kicks this sauce up a notch.  If you’re not a fan of spicy, try it with jalapenos or any other milder pepper.

4)  Preheat oven 400° if not already on.  Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.  Add panko, cornmeal, garlic powder, salt, cayenne, and black pepper to ziplock bag.  Slice squid bodies into about 1/2 inch thick pieces.  Pat all squid as dry as you can.  Dip squid in egg, add to bag, and shake well.  Spread squid on baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes, until squid is opaque and slightly firm.  Transfer to large plate and sprinkle with cilantro.

Rigatoni Bake

I got the inspiration for this from this month’s Food Network Magazine-all about Italian.  Pasta bakes are the best, you can basically just pick and choose your ingredients, bake it, and have a great meal.

1 lb whole wheat rigatoni

2 tbsp olive oil

4 sliced garlic cloves

pinch red pepper flakes

28-ounce can whole tomatoes

15-ounce can diced tomatoes

4 large basil sprigs

salt to taste

Meatballs, halved

1 roasted red pepper, sliced

Mushrooms (I kind of just dump in as many as I felt like)

3 cups provolone, shredded

1 cup ricotta salata, grated

1)  Preheat oven 450°.

2)  Cook pasta until VERY al dente (it will cook some in the oven)

3)  Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until garlic is golden.  Crush canned tomatoes into skillet with your hands; rinse out each can with 1/2 cup water and add water to skillet.  Add 4 large basil sprigs; simmer, uncovered, until sauce is thickened-it was about 20 minutes for me.  Discard basil, season with salt to taste.

4)  Add meatballs, peppers, mushrooms to sauce.  Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce and half of each cheese.  Spread in baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.  Bake, uncovered, until browned-for me it was about 15-20 minutes.

Lots of good stuff today…gotta get it all in before boot camp mode kicks in tomorrow morning 🙂  Goodnight all, have a great Monday!!


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