Bites of My Life

Downhill to the holidays, who’s ready?

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-Friends who fall.
-Cauliflower Soup that is Whole 30 and tastes like potato soup!
-Frenchie lunch with maman at the delightful Cafe Cuvee located inside the Ambassador Hotel in Midtown, Oklahoma City.
-Birthday brandy ices for Lele!
-Celery juice on brand for Halloween. My friend Chloe and I have been consistently juicing every weekday morning for the past few weeks. My skin has been so clear and soft with this new routine.
-Because every sugar filled Halloween needs a little salt! Morton Salt Girl stole the show!
-Will we get the final rose? I’ve been saving this costume idea for awhile and I think we pulled off our Bachelor contestant costumes off quite well.
-Fun fact: I have never used Postmates or any delivery service, except maybe pizza back in 2007. But I was feeling tired and lazy to another level on Saturday and had a completely empty fridge. Panera delivery to the rescue (and it won’t be the last time)
-Cauliflower Soup still going strong.

Annie

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Cauliflower Soup (Whole 30)

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Hello soup season! This time of year, if it’s served in a bowl, I’m game. Some of my favorite soups include this one, this one and this one. This cauliflower soup is simple, but real good. It resembles potato soup, but a little healthier for you. Not to mention whole 30 compliant and vegan depending what type of broth you use!

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Ingredients:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
32 oz cups of chicken, veggie or brone broth (TJ’s is now selling this and I love it)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
*½ cup coconut cream from coconut milk (the thick stuff from the top of the coconut milk can - do not shake!)
chopped green onions, cayenne and olive oil for garnish

Directions:
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Sauté until the onions are cooked down and translucent. 

Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and pour in the broth. Turn the heat to medium and cover the pot. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. It’s done when the cauliflower is fork tender. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until very smooth. An immersion blender is ideal, but if you are using a food processor, puree in 2 to 3 batches to avoid an extreme mess. (I know this because I do not have an immersion blender, and while the processor worked, it was messy).

After pureed, pour back into your soup pot unless you used an immersion blender. Whisk in the coconut cream. Add a pinch more of salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick you can add a bit more broth. 

Serve with a garnish of chopped green onions, a pinch of cayenne and a fancy drizzle of olive oil. A little cheddar cheese or crispy bacon bits would be great too to resemble potato soup! Great by itself but would also be great with a piece of crusty bread or a kale salad on the side. 

*Grocery stores sell "coconut cream," DON'T buy that. Buy regular coconut milk in a can. Do not shake the can of coconut milk. Open with a can opener and scoop out the thick cream from the top. Discard the rest. 

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Annie

Thai Chicken and Broccoli Curry (Whole 30)

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Let's take a walk down memory lane. My food photography is nowhere where I want it to be, but compared to this Thai Curry recipe from 2014, I'd say I've come along way. Now let's just keep that hidden in the archives and focus on this updated Thai Curry recipe. 

One of my roommates, Lindsay and I first made this curry during early fall and we were obsessed. Anything Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest makes is sure to be perfect. Thanks for the inspo HBH!!

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I couldn't decide how I wanted to prepare this dish so I took to y'alls opinion. I polled you all on my Instagram story the other night to see if you were still geeking out over crock-pots or if they are old news. Results were 84% "YAS CROCK-POTS," 16% "Crock-Pots are so 2017." Well...I used my trump card and decided we were going old school and using a good old regular stovetop pot for this recipe. From start to finish this recipe takes makes 45 minutes. You can do it people, step away from the Crock-Pot. 

BONUS, this recipe is Whole 30 compliant for all you January Whole 30ers. I mentioned on my Instagram the other day that I am not participating in Whole 30 this month. Whole 30, like Crock-Pots, is also “so 2017,” in my opinion. But, I do love cooking Whole 30 style dishes and plan on posting some to give you all inspiration. 

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Thai Chicken and Broccoli Curry (Whole 30)
yields 4-5 servings, adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, shredded
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
2 Tbsps. fish sauce
2, 14 ounce cans full fat coconut milk
1 bunch broccoli, chopped into small florets
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
packaged cauliflower rice for serving
chopped cashews, pomegranate arils, basil and lime wedges for serving

Directions:
In a heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Place chicken in pan and cook on both sides until cooked through. Remove from pan. Add chopped onion, minced garlic and chopped ginger to pan with the remaining oil and browned bits from the chicken. Sauté until onions are translucent. Stir in curry paste, coconut milk and fish sauce. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Shred chicken using two forks. Add shredded chicken and broccoli florets to curry. Simmer for 20 minutes until broccoli is softened and curry has thickened. Stir in chopped basil right before serving.

Serve each bowl with a helping of cauliflower rice*, a lime wedge, chopped cashews, pomegranate arils and a sprig of fresh basil.

*I let the heat of the curry soften the cauliflower rice. If you prefer to soften it before, just place in a microwave safe bowl with a splash of water, and steam in the microwave for 30 seconds to a 1 minute. 

P.S. I firmly believe the prettier your food is the better it tastes! All those toppings aren’t just for the gram. They help, but they also enhance the dish as a whole! So, invest in the pomegranate, cashew and lime toppings. #worthit

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Disclosure: If you are in a loving relationship with your crock-pot, follow Tieghan's cooking method to prepare this dish.

  Annie

Bites of My Life

It's the down hill slope to Thanksgiving and the holidays in general for that matter. I have something on the books for every night this week (Thursday being Friendsgiving!!). The rush of the season is here. The busyness helps me stay productive, but also sends little stress waves through me. Regardless, this really is the most wonderful time of the year! *Cue the Christmas music*

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-First Lite Bite post! Peppermint Mocha Protein Shake. 
-Fall breakfast quickly taken back inside since the mornings have been so chilly around here!
-Died a little inside when I heard of RX Bars new seasonal flavor Gingerbread, but after trying it, the excitement was gone. Gingerbread is a favorite flavor of mine but these lacked flavor completely.
-The StudioHop crew came to OKC on Tuesday for a Glow + Flow class at one of my favorite new studios. If you haven't checked out The Yoga Box, text me and let's go flow together. They also have a food bar inside and these little dark chocolate pomegranate bites they made are being recreated ASAP!
-New coffees and teas at work make for a caffeinated photoshoot!
-Really proud of my creativity on this. Took leftover spaghetti sauce, added some spices and cracked in two eggs for a version of shukshuka!
-Protein shake #2 of the week is this Gingerbread version. Vanilla protein, frozen cauliflower, almond milk, molasses, cinnamon, ginger and cloves!
-My kryptonite as of recently. It's like a not terrible for you cross between popcorn and Cheeto puffs. 
-My other current obsession is rice cakes. I mentioned them a couple weeks ago. Not sure what my craze is for eating something that resembles Styrofoam, but I think the fact that it's just another vessel to shovel almond butter into my mouth could be why...
-Game day, just like we were students again!
-Spent Sunday afternoon talking plants and healthy eating with my new friend Emma!
-Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup for Sunday dinner (and lunches the rest of the week). Forgot how good this recipe was...

Annie

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Sunday was a meal prep party for myself. My roommate Lindsay and I were shuffling back and forth, taking turns over the oven and in the stove, accidentally bumping into each other all afternoon. "Meal Prep" is such a muscle-y meat head sounding term to me and when I hear it I envision rows of tupperware lined up with boring chicken breasts and broccoli.  You know what I'm talking about...My meal prep is much different. It's really just about putting in a little time on Sunday, so I can then shovel food in my mouth the second I'm ready for lunch and dinner during the week. Cause I'm actually just lazy. 

On Whole 30 they preach meal prep. Simply trying to eat healthy is also about meal prep. Having healthy food prepared and ready at a moments notice saves you from caving on unhealthy options. This last week I prepped my Crock-Pot Curry Chicken and Cauliflower Rice for dinners and this Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup for lunches. I love soup for lunch. It's so much more fulfilling than a blah salad. The recipe is simple and comes together in under 30 minutes.

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
yields 6 cups, about 4 servings

Ingredients:
1, 14-16 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
1, 28 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. oil
1/2 yellow onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup water

Directions:
Heat a large stock pot with a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Drain your red peppers and roughly chop them. Add to the pot with your diced tomatoes (not drained). Add salt, pepper, basil, thyme and red pepper flakes. Stir in water. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. 

If you have an immersion blender, put it straight into the pot and begin to puree the soup. If you don't, add the soup mixture into a food processor or blender. I like to keep my soup slightly chunky, but just blend until you get the consistency you like. You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor. Once blended, add it back into the pot and continue to cook for about 5 minutes then serve!

Preferred method of serving is eating it out of a coffee mug! The perfect vessel to hold onto while you curl up and eat this soup on your couch:)

Annie