Monthly Archives: March 2010

Why has it taken me so long?!

Indian round 3… here. we. go!

Indian-Style Tofu with Cauliflower & Chutney


When I got home from work I got started on prepping the tofu (a whole new world for me…)

I picked up this Nasoya Organic Extra Firm Tofu on my “fridge makeover” adventure this past weekend.

FYI Richmonders, Whole Foods has $1.50 off 2 Nasoya products in their flyer! 

I used some paper towels & a “heavy object” as directed to press the tofu for about 30 minutes (in the fridge).

Meanwhile it was time to get to work on the rest of the meal!

Here were most of the ingredients based on this Cooking Light recipe, with a few modifications as noted:

  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tblsp Tropical Traditions virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 3 tsp Muchi curry powder
  • 1 tblsp cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tblsp S&B prepared ginger paste
  • 1 big a$$ cauliflower 😉 chopped into large pieces
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • sprinkle salt
  • brown basmati rice
  • frozen green peas (1/2 cup)
  • plain yogurt
  • fresh cilantro

So this recipe called for a food processor, which I don’t have (I know, the horror!) so don’t be worried about a thang if you don’t either 🙂

There’s always another way!

First up were the onions, which I used one of my favorite kitchen tools to chop up ever so finely.

SwissMar V-Prep, you are my hero 😉

Next it was time to get to cooking!  Add the spices (cumin, curry & mustard powder) to a pan over medium and let them get “toasty” for a minute or two… you’ll know from the fabulous smells that they begin to release into your kitchen!

After a quick minute or two it was time to drop in the coconut oil & the onions…

Check out the amazing color!  We won’t even go there with the smell of this… holy crap outta control freaking yum 😛

After about 10 minutes over medium heat, covered, the onions should be golden & tender.  Now add the ginger & garlic!

No food processor, no problem!  Just smash the garlic with the flat side of your knife and give it a rough chop, voila 🙂

Add to the pan with the spices/onions and let cook for about another 2 minutes…

Wait for it.  Wait for it.

The smells continue to get BETTER!!  Unbelievable.

At this point add in the tomatoes, salt and cauliflower (ummm yea, this whole “thing” of cauliflower was a first purchase for me… still need some chopping practice on this one LOL 😛 )

Then our new friend Mr. Tofu, which after pressing for 30 minutes I cut into 1/2 inch blocks 😀

Pop the lid on, turn down to a lil’ below medium heat and let everything cook up!  I let this go longer than the recipe called for so that the cauliflower would be a bit tender, probably about 25 minutes.

I also added in some frozen green peas towards the end for some additional nutrients & “color pop”!

To go alongside this beauty, I cooked up some brown basmati rice according the directions…

Alright, let’s get ready for the GRAND FINALE!!

Serving time 🙂

Top a scoop of the brown basmati rice with a few spoonfuls of the curry mixture… then add a dallop of plain yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro!

 My first response:  Why has it taken me so long to eat Indian food?!?!?

This was absolutely incredible & easily my favorite Indian creation yet.  The tofu curry was phenomenal, add in some creamy cool yogurt and the “zing” of fresh cilantro (both essential for this dish I think) I can’t even put in words what my mouth was experiencing?!  “Ahhh I just want to share this flavor with the world” kinda thing!!

I may or may not have been mumbling “mmmm omg mmmm” while eating, uhhhh yea, embarrasing 😛

I was texting with Brittany telling her I wished she didn’t live downtown so I could have her come over and taste this creation asap, it was sooo gooood!

Basmati brown rice = ah-may-zinggggg too btw 😉

Alright, well there you have it.  I am learning my way around a tofu kitchen and this recipe may have really sealed the deal for me.  Fabulous, I couldn’t be happier right now…

Time to get ready for American Idol and make something for The Man to eat after he gets home from basketball playoffs, think I can convince him to try tofu? 😉


Enjoy your evening and see you for Friday Thursday 😛


Out of this galaxy good!

Have you tried Galaxy Granola?

So you probably all know that I am participating in a lil’ movement called Fruit Not Fat 🙂

Fruit Not Fat started as a healthier way to make granola. By substituting applesauce for oil, the company wase able to make granola with half the fat and calories while still maintaining the delicious flavor .

After some “experimenting” in their small bakery, they realized Fruit Not Fat is much more than just healthy granola. It is a movement, a lifestyle, and a recipe for a happier and healthier life!

Check out their site for more details & delicious recipes 🙂

For a snack this morning I sprinkled some of this Vanilla Almond Granola on my lemon yogurt…

This was delicious!  I really liked the flavor of this granola, the large almonds mixed throughout really added to it as well.  I can definitely see this becoming part of my normal eats!

Check out the ingredient list, phenomenal 😀

And here’s a sneak peak at the nutrition as well, which you can see is much better than your “average granola”

Galaxy Granola                                 “Average Granola” (we won’t name names here 😉 )


Winner winner!

Well after another busy day at work (it’s been one of those weeks) I plan on going home and “relaxing” in the kitchen!

On the menu tonight is tofu round 2 —> Indian style!  I mean, come on, how else?! (I have an addiction)? 😛

And don’t forget that you have until this Friday to enter my GIVEAWAY!!

Happy Wednesday to ya friends! 🙂


Chicken ‘Non-Cacciatore’?

Ahhh Tuesday night, you are the humpday to my shortened work week  (Friday holiday anyone?) 😀

And ExerciseTV, you can do me no wrong…  YogaWorks Body Slim is fabulous every time!

This round left my arms tremblin’ – guess it had been a while 😉

In food news, guess who learned something new today?! 

While reviewing some ideas for a quick Chicken Cacciatore tonight, I found out some startling news about my beloved friend the tomato!

Traditional chicken cacciatore is a combination of chicken, mushrooms and spices (commonly thyme, parsley, and oregano, S&P). The dish also receives flavor from the addition of garlic and onions.

As the chicken stews the result is a brown gravy. Many mistakenly think they are preparing chicken cacciatore by adding tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. These do not make up part of the original version of chicken cacciatore, and result more in a meat sauce with chicken that might be a topping for pasta.

What, no tomatoes?!?! 

Call me a non-traditionalist but tomatoes are goin’ in there tonight people! 😛

I picked up a jar of this Bertolli Vineyard Premium sauce at the store on a whim, which is odd, bc I normally don’t prefer sauce in o’ jar but thought I’d give it a whirl… !

Chicken Non-Cacciatore!

  • all natural, hormone free chicken breasts (half package)
  • Bertolli marinara w/ burgundy wine (half jar)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 package pre-sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tblsp olive oil (unpic)
  • splash red wine (1/4 cup)
  • dried oregano, dried basil, salt & black pepper to taste (unpic)
  • grated Parm
  • your favorite pasta

First I sliced the onion & green pepper

Got to sautéing in a skillet with 1 tblsp olive oil over medium heat for just a few minutes, prob about 5, adding the garlic about half way through.

Then I reached for my handy pre-sliced mushrooms, which essentially cost the same as the unsliced so you know the easy answer there 😉

Added them into the mix.  At this point I also shook on some of the seasonings (approximately 1 tblsp oregano, 1 tblsp basil, 1 tsp pepper)

Let these cook away for about 10 minutes, covered, until the veggies get nice & tender.  Remove from pan.

Next up was the chicken, which I sliced into thin strips and seasoned with S&P before adding to a hot pan (medium high) coated with 1 tblsp olive oil. 

At this point give the chicken a flip once it gets a bit browned on one side, repeat.

Now it’s time for everyone to be friends!

Into the saucepan goes the marinara sauce and the veggies too over medium-low heat, covered.  Let this simmer away until the chicken is dunzo and the flavors have combined 🙂

To serve, you may choose to enjoy this with your favorite pasta, topped w/ freshly grated Parm….

Or all by itself with a savory side salad!

Either way I’m sure you won’t be disappointed at the flavors achieved in such a short time!  (another non-traditional part of this “non-cacciatore” fyi) 😉

P.S. This Bertolli sauce was legit for a jarred sauce!

P.S.S. The Whole Foods Parm took this dish up another notch, loved it!

Want to know what dressing I used this time?  The fabulous Allison over at Eat Clean Live Green gave me this glorious idea for a vinaigrette made with PomWonderful pomegranate juice.. which I had a bottle of from FitBloggin that needed using! 

  • 1 tblsp POM
  • 1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp EVOO
  • S&P

This dressing was luscious!  I absolutely loved it 😀  How great of an idea is this, seriously!?  Thanks Allison!

Alright friends, before I go we have two quick items of business here!

Have you checked out my Tropical Traditions GIVEAWAY yet… why not?  😛

Anddddd there is some exciting blog news coming soon to a CookinFanatic near you!

…stay tuned.

Enjoy your Tuesday night! 🙂

Giveaway Time!

So let’s just get down to business & right to it, why don’t we?!


We all know how much I adore Tropical Traditions organic coconut oilcoconut peanut butter.  I use the coconut oil for so much and can’t even describe how wonderful this product is!  I also use the coconut peanut butter in my oats every morning, love it 🙂

So the friends at Tropical Traditions were kind enough to send me another product to try out in the spirit of my lurve for all things coconut!

Coconut Cream Concentrate - 32 oz.

What is it?

Coconut Cream Concentrate is certified organic whole coconut meat in concentrated form. It contains no additives* (not even water).

What do I do with it?

You  can mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of Coconut Cream Concentrate with water or juice to make a creamy coconut milk drink. It is also an excellent ingredient for cooking and baking. Because of its low moisture content, it can be mixed right in the batter or dough of breads and pastries. It can also enhance soups, be blended with smoothies, or made into ice cream. Many people just eat it straight, or spread it on breads and crackers, because it is so delicious!

And remember Coconut Cream Red Lentil Soup night?


Commerical coconut milks and creams are generally sold in cans, or sometimes boxes and tetra packs. The main ingredient in these products is water. If the fat content is 17%, it is called “coconut milk.” If the fat content is 24%, it is called “coconut cream.” But most of what you are purchasing is water.

Coconut Cream Concentrate, on the other hand, has NO water, and is pure coconut. Unlike the commercial varieties, it also contains ALL the fiber of the coconut. Pure, dried coconut contains more fiber per gram than even oat bran!

 This fiber has been stripped out of commercial coconut milks and coconut creams. Also, almost all commercial coconut milks and creams have additives to prevent the water from separating from the coconut oil, and also have sulfites added to keep it white longer. Sometimes these additives are so small, that the FDA does not require them to list them on their labels as ingredients. Coconut Cream Concentrate, however, contains NO additives and NO preservatives at all: it is 100% natural coconut made from certified organic Philippine coconuts grown without pesticides or fertilizers.

Note: in colder weather Coconut Cream Concentrate will become hard, due to the high amount of natural coconut oil and fiber. It needs to be warmed to liquefy.

Well now’s your chance at winning this fabulous product and making this recipe or one of their others on your very own!

So without further ado, I present to you:  Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate GIVEAWAY!

“Alright alright already, so how do I enter?” you are asking… right?  

  1. Go visit my friends over at Tropical Traditions & sign up for their newsletter, then leave me a comment below telling me you’ve done so and you’re in!  Could it get any easier, seriously? (note:  you must do this in order to enter any bonus entries below )
  2. Bonus Entry 1:  Follow Tropical Traditions (@troptraditions) on Twitter, leaving me a comment below saying you’ve done so.
  3. Bonus Entry 2:  Spread the word on twitter by copying & pasting the following, leaving me a comment below saying you’ve done so:  “Enter to win FREE  Organic Coconut Cream Concentrate  @TropTraditions #giveaway” 
  4. Bonus Entry 3:  Post a link back to this giveaway on your blog, leaving me a comment below saying you’ve done so.
  5. Bonus Entry 4:  Visit Tropical Traditions recipe website and let me know what recipe you would love to try by leaving a comment below.

I’ll use the random number generator to pick a winner after 5pm on Friday, April 2!!!

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Impromptu His & Her’s Dinner

Impromptu his & her’s dinner night!

We both got home a bit late from work and decided that it was a great night to take Lucy Dog for a walk around the hood – the rain is on its way O-U-T friends 😀

After that I wasn’t up for much cooking, plus The Man wasn’t up for much chewing since his mouf is still pretty sore.

So I looked to my freshly stocked fridge for some inspiration for me, and to the freezer for him!

What-da-know, some leftover frozen penne a’la vodka – which instantly came back to life with the addition of sausage patties & freshly grated Parm…


And for her?

All the makings of a fresh salad were within a vegetable drawer’s reach 🙂

Ginormous salad beast featuring:  spinach, tomato, cucumber, onion & Drew’s raspberry dressing (lurveeee)!

And remember those lentils I prepped for last night’s curry samosas?  Ahhh yes, those lentils.  Well there were leftovers and my mind got to work…

In went 3/4 cup cooked lentils, 1 small chopped onion, 1 chopped tomato & a handful of fresh spinach.

Of course I didn’t forget the spices?!  Curry powder, cumin, salt & pepper 🙂

All served up over some leftover mashed taters (w/ some accompanying Sriracha) 😛

So freaking good.  I am definitely Indian food obsessed, it’s official. 

Last night The Man commented “well I thought the Mexican food phase was gonna last longer, but it appears it has been overtaken for the time being” LOL.  Not to worry, plenty of fresh salsa & fiesta goodies coming to a summer near you – but for now, I’m loving me some Indian cuisine!

Alright, I have a hot date tonight so I better run… 😉

Enjoy your night friends!

Four Square for Foodies

Four Square – remember that lil’ game?

No, not the one for your IPhone friends 😉

Anyone up for some four square for foodies?



That’s how my eats today have played out so far today 🙂

The Siggi’s Orange & Ginger Icelandic yogurt was a new purchase from my fridge makeover yesterday – it was tart, creamy & deelish!  Next time I will top with coconut to bring in some sweetness, it will be magical.

Lunch included leftover Curried Vegetable Samosas w/ Cilantro-Mint Chutney, nothing short of fabulous.

Plus some leftover Coconut Cream Red Lentil Soup from the weekend… I see a trend here, no? 😉

And a basic Spinach Salad w/ Drew’s Raspberry Dressing to round out the square? meal!

Other than that, work is work, it’s rainy outside and Monday blah blah blah…

BUTTTTTT it’s supposed to be in the low 80’s be mid-week, take that old man winter!

So pumped.

Plans for tonight include …. I’m not sure actually!  I did a pretty intense Cindy Whitmarsh workout last night so probably going to take the night off exercisin’… and if The Man is up for solid foods then it’s ON in the kitchen!

See you back for more 😀

ICBINB Fridge Makeover & Indian round #2!

Happy Sunday night friends!  I can’t believe the weekend flew by so darn fast?!

Speaking of I can’t believe, how about a bit shout out to my friends over at I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter for hookin’ a sista up with this Fun Fridge Makeover Kit!

The kit included:  ICBINB grocery bag, grocery note pad, cleaning sponge, disposable camera & grocery gift card.

As part of their Reach Right campaign, ICBINB is dedicated to encouraging healthier lifestyles and healthier food choices. The Reach Right mantra is a reminder that healthier foods and recipes are doubly satisfying when they taste great. Enjoying nutritious foods helps you choose them more often. Veggies with lots of fresh herbs and flavor. Succulent fresh fruit. Nutty whole grain muffins. These are great examples of foods that satisfy your cravings and your drive to do the best for your health.

Here are a few steps and supporting links to get you on the fast track to a happy, healthy fridge and a better health and better tasting food regimen:

  1. Start with a clean-out!
  2. Fill it with fresh, healthy food
  3. Start cooking with the fresh taste of butter, the healthier way

So that’s what I did!

Want a peak inside the Fanatic Fridge “before”?  Okayyyyy here goes… but cut me some slack, I hadn’t been grocery shopping in a week 😛



What we have here is a very empty veg drawer, lots of beer (I blame Beer of the Month Club haha) and eggs, bacon for this morning’s brunch, lotsa cheese and some other random tidbits..

Next I got to cleanin’!

And then it was time forrrrr – the shopping!  Why was that my favorite part, hmmmmmm? 😉

Following some of the guidelines, I set out to fill ‘er up with some fresh & healthy fruits, veggies, whole grains, dairy and other healthy options.  Successful shopping you think?


Let’s break it down, shall we?


But that’s not it, how about the non-fridge items?

  • bananas
  • tomato
  • lemon
  • potatoes
  • garlic
  • brown basmati rice
  • black beans
  • lentils
  • healthy canned goods

How do you think I did?

Okay well if I haven’t convinced you yet, let’s get to cooking shall we 🙂

I stumbled across this recipe in the new issue of Cooking Light and knew that it was something I just had to try out!

Curried Vegetable Samosas with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Here we go!

First up was preparing the chutney, which involved the use of these friends…


Guess that recent cilantro & mint plant purchase came in handy already!

All blended up in the blender you have one flavorful combo!

Then it was time to make the filling, which I did more or less per the directions in the recipe 😉  A pinch here & there, you know how I roll…

The fresh mint combined with the curry & cumin smelled INSANE!  I also used a pat of my ICBNB obvi 😛

Assembly line time!

Let’s rock & roll 😉


Then a quick cook with some cooking spray and here you have it!

The flavors were so light & complex, I don’t know that I’ve ever had anything like this however all I want to do is keep eating it haha!  This was FABULOUS 😀

The spicy pepper, tangy onion and fresh mint/cilantro/ginger combo in the chutney was outta this world.  Paired with a slightly crisp curry & veggie filled wonton —>  heaven in my mouf!

If you are feeling inspired friends, I would highly recommend this recipe.  It was seriously outta control!

Good thing I have a few leftovers too… 😉

Alright well time to go relax and get ready for yet another work week.  At least mine will be filled with delicious Indian samosas, right?

Enjoy your night!