Monday, January 31, 2011

Manic Monday

May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows. 

Happy Monday everyone! Hopefully you had a fantabulous weekend. Although Mondays are usually hated, I began to think "why don't we do something to spice up our outlook on this dreaded day?" Sure, getting up at the crack of dawn after sleeping in all weekend is killer, but if you give yourself things to look forward to maybe we can learn to love the day.

Tonight I invited Chris' mom and step-dad over for dinner and game night. My trip last week to Whole Foods was a success! I found whole wheat naan and decided to create tonight's dinner around that. For those of you who aren't familiar, naan is an Indian flatbread that you typically grill and use to soak up your curry sauce or dip into hummus. It is delicious! 

While getting lost in WF I picked up some garbanzo beans (chick peas) and roasted red peppers to make my first homemade hummus. It couldn't be any simpler.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
1 can drained garbanzo beans
1 roasted red pepper (1 jar, only the peppers)
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil (instead of tahini)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil (I used the oil from the red pepper jar)
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse/blend until smooth. You may have to stir it a few times to break up the beans and pepper. Done! 5 minutes top.

Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus :)

I suggest serving with the whole wheat naan. You could also serve with pretzel thins... either way is amazing! To go with this Indian influenced meal I sauteed some yellow and green zucchini in olive oil with salt pepper and garlic and paired with brown rice and oven roasted cauliflower. The cauliflower was by far the nights show stopper. Here is how I made it...

Oven Roasted Cauliflower:
Serves 6, 94 calories per serving
1 head of cauliflower 
About 1/4 cup olive oil
3 minced garlic cloves (or garlic powder works well)
salt and pepper to taste
About 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Combine cauliflower, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper well so all the florets are coated and seasoned. Place in a large shallow roasting pan and place in the center of the oven. Roast for about 25-35 minutes. Remove from oven and top with Parmesan cheese and additional salt and pepper if needed.

Tandoori Chicken:
Serves 4
1 to 1.5 pounds chicken breast, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry
1/2 to 1 tablespoon cumin
3 tablespoons tikka marsel (could omit)
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1.5 containers non-fat greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Add all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Cook on medium high until chicken is fully cooked. Serve over rice.

Let the chicken hang while you prepare your sides.
Chicken cooking, duh.
Grilled Naan
Sauteed Zucchini
An Indian Feast!

I recently was included on a recipe swap. I have included the two recipes that were e-mailed to me so far... I can't guarantee they are tasty or healthy but you should definitely give them a go! If you have any great, filling, healthy recipes send them my way! I love mixing things up and am always down for something new at my dinner table (hence my Indian night). I completely forgot to photograph my grilled peaches with honey greek yogurt but totally recommend you stealing the recipe from my list! It didn't last long on our plates, which is probably why I didn't snag a photo!

You might notice I love changing the look of my site. It's cheaper than changing the look of my house, and personally just as fun! If you are ever in the Mt.Airy or Frederick area you should check out the store Retro Metro. It is filled with unique gifts, kitchen ware, home decor and furniture. The prices are reasonable and you won't be disappointed. Again, the site does it no justice so you have to check it out for yourself! Go, now!

Also, if you love reading my blog but hate checking back to see when it is updated - subscribe to my blog! (It's on the right side of my blog). You will receive all my posts in your e-mails inbox. How perfect is that?!

Since I was lazy at posting this weekend here are day two, three AND four in my 30 day blog challenge.

Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name

After thinking long and hard about what I would call my blog (Vintage Age or Cara Lou Bella) it doesn't take a genius to guess what I chose. ;-) Cara Lou Bella is a nickname my best friend Brittney started years ago. Thanks to her I have a title for my new obsession!

Me and My Best, Brittney
Day 3: Your first love

I think there are different types of first loves in a persons life. My first young love would have to be an ex we will call Bob. Although things ended poorly (he cheated on me, I know right?) he taught me a lot about being in a relationship. I wouldn't be the person I am now with Chris without the things I learned from his and my ups and downs. However, I have to give him credit for always practicing romance. I would walk out of class to notes on my car, surprise visits to my work with thoughtful gifts and someone who let me be me (young and crazy).

My first grown-up love was with Chris hands down. We have been dating for 3 years, know who we are as individuals and partners, and support each others dreams and aspirations. We moved in together after a short 5 months and our relationship is always growing. I think the difference between young and grown up love is your sense of what is real and what is fantasy. I know my future is with him and I no longer have to fantasize about my fairy tale Prince Charming, because lucky for me I am dating my real life Prince Charming.

Day 4: Your parents

Even now that I have entered my "grown-up life" both my parents check in on me through my work email and phone weekly. They have welcomed Chris into our family as the son they never had and I couldn't be more thankful for that. My mom was always the loudest parent at my field hockey games and has always been my best friend. Although my parents haven't always had the best relationship, they have never given up... even if that was the easiest road to take. Relationships aren't easy, they take work. They both loved my first dog, Princeton, and were there in ways I didn't even know I needed when he passed. I am so lucky to have parents that would do anything to take away my pain.

My sister, dad and mom on my graduation day
Tomorrow's blog challenge is a song to fit my current mood...hope it's a good one!! Talk to you guys tomorrow!



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