Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Yes to the (bridesmaid) dress & what I've been cooking this week

My best friend in the entire world is getting married! And last night, she said yes to the dress.

The bridesmaid dress, that is. Her wedding colors are navy and silver, with pearl accents, so she decided to go with the above floor length navy gown with a very interesting neckline and feminine silhouette from David's Bridal. I'll be happy to spend her special day in this dress.

This was our third trip to the bridal shop, and she DID also finalize her wedding dress. AND veil, shoes and jewelry, believe it or not- she's a bride who knows what she likes! But I can't show any of that of course! It'd be bad luck! I'm sure I capture plenty of kodak moments at her wedding next June though, because her dress is STUNNING. It was so wonderful to be able to take part in that special moment of selecting her wedding gown. It is true what they say, when you find the right dress- you just know. I'm glad she made a couple trips though, so she could be sure after not be able to stop thinking about THE dress. Great advice for brides-to-be, like myself!

Afterwards, we parted ways, and I went home to cook up some food for my hungry fiance.

I went for the Mexican Quinoa Sweet Potato Black Bean Casserole, adapted from Fit Foodie Finds. Her avocado slices and drizzle are much more appealing than mine, but mine was just as tasty.

It couldn't be easier to make. Am I the only one who can't seem to cook quinoa right? Well this takes out any guess work, and the quinoa comes out fluffy and flavorful. Plus, anything that involves one pan is ok by me. Here's what you'll need for 4-6 servings:

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 medium sweet potato, diced
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatos (15oz)
1 cup salsa (I used hot b/c I am a fire breather)
Several shakes of chili and cayenne powder- to taste (I like it super spicy, but cut back if you don't)
Onion powder

1 avocado, sliced
2 tbs 2% greek yogurt (seriously, stick with 2%. It tastes so. much. better. than fat free, and has more nutrients. The difference is only 30 calories, and they are so worth it!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a big bowl, combine all casserole ingredients and mix well. Spray a baking pan with olive oil, and pile it all in. Bake covered with tin foil for 75-90 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft and quinoa is cooked.

Once the casserole is baked, top with sliced avocados. Then drizzle with a mixture of the greek yogurt and sriracha, which can either cool down the spiciness of the cayenne and chili in the bake, or make it spicier with extra sriracha, up to you (you can guess which one we went for).

Another easy weeknight meal I made this week can be found on my instagram... zucchini noodles with pesto sauce. I used my Veggetti (terrible name, brilliant invention) to whip up some raw zucchini noodles, tossed it in some pesto, and threw in some halved cherry tomatoes and marinated mini mozzarella balls. So easy, and SO delicious! The veggetti is cheap, small and easy to store. I've had better spaghetti-like results with this than with expensive mandolins.

Also, I finally caved and bought a food processor a few months ago, and am embarrassed to say it came with so many parts that I got overwhelmed, put it away, and haven't taken it out since. So I'm still using my favorite all-natural pre-made pesto by Superfood, which is still pretty good. I've got a new goal for this weekend, because I need that food processor to bake this no-grain bread that I've been meaning to try out.

In my foray into the wonders of vegetable pasta, I've found zucchinis hold up the best, and have the best flavor without cooking. I boiled my first attempt at zucchini noodles (zoodles?) within an inch of it's life, but last night we ate it raw and it was SO much better. Bonus, it's one less step so it's even easier. And it's better FOR you!



  1. That's a beautiful dress, I do love the neckline!

    1. Thank you so much! it's a bit hard to see in the picture because the dress is so dark, but I love it too!

  2. i love the dress and i thought that vegetable pasta was real pasta!

  3. thank you!!! honestly the consistency is pretty similar once the zoodles are heated up, and as long as your sauce is good you could forget it's not real pasta!

  4. Omg that casserole looks amazing! I love quinoa! Great post :) hope you'll visit my blog!

  5. Thanks Katy! Quinoa is so good in casseroles! I will check out your blog, thanks for stopping by!

  6. I've been looking for a quinoa recipe for a while now to try and this one looks super easy! I'll have to give it a try, with extra heat ;)

    1. Couldn't be easier! To me, quinoa can sometimes have a weird taste but all the acid in the tomatoes makes it really light and flavorful!


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