A Valentine’s Day Dinner to Impress
As discussed in my Valentine’s Day Dinner on a Budget recipe, I’m not one for dining out on this “holiday”. Don’t get me wrong, I love restaurants and I love love, but I definitely do not love spending an outrageous amount of money for an overcharged set menu just because it happens to be a specific day in the middle of February. As a person who likes to peruse a menu, try a few things, make a shit-ton of substitutions, and split as much as possible, prefix and I don’t work to well. However, even in the walls of our own dining room (who am I kidding, we live in NY, it’s all one room), sometimes you want to ball out like you’re at a restaurant. That my friends, is why I’ve created this recipe. This Valentine’s Day Dinner to Impress will have your date (or friend, or family member, or, hell, yourself) feeling like you’ve stepped into the fine dining of one of your favorite NY restaurants. The best part? You don’t need the culinary background those chefs have. Win, win!
Valentine’s Day Dinner on a Budget
Among many things, Valentine’s Day can be expensive – there is no getting around it. If you’re like me and you’ve already decided there is 0 chance you are spending money on a prefix menu just because its February 14th, I’m assuming you’re heading to your kitchen to whip something up. While we all (hopefully?) love to celebrate love, and want to spoil the person we are cooking for that night, whether it be a significant other, a friend, or hell, ourselves, a lot of us are on a serious budget. Who says you need to spend a ton of money for a delicious meal? Not I. For those of us who are watching our costs this Valentine’s Day, I’m here to help with a meal that costs less than $15 per person (assuming you already have the pantry staples). Hell, that’s comparable, and way more impressive, than Chipotle pickup. You’re welcome!
Behind the scenes look at hosting friends for my favorite night of the week
From following me on Instagram, you all know by now that there are two things that are very important to me: taco Tuesdays, and cooking for friends and family. Growing up in a family that continuously hosts others, it is one of my favorite ways to use our apartment. While Joe and my tradition of Taco Tuesday is consistently just us, and often times our weekly date night, there are many times we open our doors to any friends free to join us. Last week when I was heading home from Florida on a Tuesday morning, I realized it was about to be taco time. Firing out a quick text to see who wanted to join us, and put our new and very overdue dining room table to work, I realized this would be a perfect opportunity for a behind the scenes #FFTacoTuesday VLOG. In an effort to show how easy it can be to throw a dinner party together when serving this crowd-pleasing spread, I’m here to show you all the necessary steps. From creating a grocery list on the plane all the way to the final product, this video and corresponding recipe is here to assist you host your own classic Taco Tuesday with all the fixings.
A Waste-Free Celery Juice Movement
By now, if you are following any type of wellness / healthy food Instagram or blog, or happen to be looking to purchase celery and realizing that every store is oddly sold out of the organic product, you are aware of the celery juice movement that has taken those looking to detoxify by storm. Curious why so many people are drinking celery juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and swearing by it? It would be wrong to follow that question with anything other than acknowledgement of the Medical Medium and his belief’s. But, if you’re curious why I’ve been doing it for ~2 years now, check out my youtube video (below) that includes a tutorial on how I make my juice, why I drink it, and the benefits I’ve seen. Once you’re all caught up on that and potentially try juicing yourself, you’ll notice one specific thing that drives me crazy: you are suddenly left with an abundance of celery pulp. So, in the no-food-goes-to-waste mentality that is my life, I decided I needed to create something with this new form of vegetable. Since cauliflower pizza crust took the world by storm in a similar celery-juice style movement last year, I was inspired to use this pulp in a similar fashion. Alas, I present you with a celery pulp pizza crust. Is this going to replace your late-night craving for good old NY style pizza? Hell. No. I’m not even going to try to say they are comparable so don’t go in with those expectations! Similarly to my take on zucchini noodles: this is not a replacement of one of your favorite foods, but a different meal all together. Throw out the comparison, not the pulp!
A Healthy Take on a Foolproof Classic
When playoff football season comes around, I am always looking for comforting, rib warming, and tailgate style food. Unfortunately, most of the food we normally turn to in these types of environments are not ones that agree with my stomach too well. So, I take this time to put a healthy spin on some foolproof classics to not only fill that craving, but satisfy the hungry men that fill our apartment for Eagles games. A lot of people ask how to get their significant other or children to like healthier foods; here is a great starting point. They won’t even know!
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The fix to all my curry cravings
I’m assuming it’s the colder temperatures and the desire to feel grounded, but lately I have been craving all things curry. I’m not talking a once and awhile type thing. It’s been almost a daily calling for the past few weeks; a craving that I am on a constant search to fulfill. With the constant dreams of a delicious curry flavored stew, I figured I am probably not alone and needed to create something for all of us to get our fix in. This delicious, vegetarian (gasp), vegetable chickpea curry is truly one of the easier meals on here to prep and reheat for lunches or dinners during the workweek. Not only does it take minimal work, but I’m a believer that these types of dishes are actually better when eaten as leftovers. Enjoy!
To Help you Feed your Family
Not sure what to make for your family over the holidays? While they each carry a very different aura, for my family, both the brunch and dinner on Christmas day are important meals. It’s a lot to get done when placed on top of decorating the house, making sure your guests are comfortable, finding the perfect presents for your loved ones, and spreading holiday cheer. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite recipes to help make sure you are prepared.
The other day the craving for lasagna hit me like a freaking mack truck. Even though I haven’t had it in forever, I suddenly couldn’t think about anything but lasagna. This meant one simple thing: lasagna was going to be on the menu for dinner. As someone who is currently avoiding gluten and dairy, I noticed the challenge that was ahead of me. How the F do you make a lasagna that does not include the two primary ingredients? Oh, also, throw in the fact that I am intolerant to garlic and onion. Maybe there was a reason I hadn’t had it in forever… All of that aside, I decided it was time to create something delicious. I wanted a rib warming dinner on this snowy night and lasagna was the vehicle to do so. With some oh-so-sneaky ingredients, and things I never in a million years thought I would purchase (hello dairy free cheese, I’m talking to you), I made a freaking incredible allergen free lasagna. Trust me, I wouldn’t encourage you to be seen purchasing vegan cheese unless I meant it. This thing is freaking delicious. Lasagna, oh how I’ve missed you. Welcome back into my life, beautiful.
My kitchen’s new favorite delivery – Misfits Market
From following me, you know there are two things I care deeply about: food waste and making healthy living and eating approachable and accessible. Living in NYC has its absolute perks, but often times I feel this nostalgia for nature or anything not growing from concrete. With that, I miss the accessibility to farms. Sure, we have a ton of great farmers market’s in NYC, but often times I am traveling during the weekend or shopping at hours of the day when they are not open. I’ve heard of CSA deliveries and all that jazz, but I also never know the exact weeks I will be here in need of groceries and can’t find myself able to commit to a full season of produce. Along with the constant desire for more organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables, I am always finding ways to waste as minimal amount of food as possible. Scraps in the fridge that most people would throw out? You better believe those are being tossed into a bowl and called “lunch” in this apartment. While I feel I am not alone in that mentality or act (or at least I hope not), there are unfortunately many people who wouldn’t eat certain produce because of a small imperfection. Bruise on an apple? Some may toss it. Me? That is getting chopped up, placed in my instant pot, and immediately repurposed into my fall apple butter that goes so perfectly with just about every breakfast.
Your Survival Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving
Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Or are you responsible for prepping and bringing a side dish to your Friendsgiving but have no idea what to make? Either the case – I’m here to help you navigate this holiday like a PRO with my new Freckled Foodie Thanksgiving 2018 E-Book. Complete with recipes for a crowd-pleasing snack to keep your guests satisfied when they arrive, a gorgeous and perfectly crisped while still juicy turkey, five sides that may steal the limelight of that fore-mentioned bird, and a warm and cozy dessert that’ll leave your home smelling as delicious as the meal you just served. Oh, and did I mention an organized grocery list (for a group of 10 plus leftovers) to keep you sane during the madness that is Thanksgiving grocery store shopping?! And, of course, it includes some serious time saving tips for each recipe. Because who doesn’t need more time when hosting a dinner party? Seriously, this book is the answer to all of your hosting dreams.
If you purchase within the first 24 hours of this E-Book posting, 10% of the proceeds will go to my Friendsgiving campaign over at No Kid Hungry!