An Ode To Leftovers

You make dinner. You stress about it and season it and salt it. You toil and trouble and because you drank too much wine you burned the onions and had to start over. When you sat down to eat you were hungry and exhausted.

It is not this way with leftovers.

Leftovers are your gift to you.

I’m not talking about the Thai food from five days ago (throw that out btw), I’m talking about all that’s left of the pasta/chili/rice/chicken thing you made last night that’s now sitting in the tupperware on the top shelf of your fridge.

You shouldn’t be letting it spoil. You should really be enjoying day two of your dinner–preferably for lunch–and here’s why:

Your sauce has really had time to come together. Whereas it may have been a little soup-y initially, while your sauce has been sitting on that shelf it’s figured out how to cling better to the pasta/meat/rice/vegetables. The flavors have developed and become richer. It’s probably something scientific, but I would like to think of it as magic.

Leftovers were meant to be microwaved. I know people extoll the virtues of reheating pizza in an oven or on a skillet and tossing cold pasta into a pan, but leftovers are a meal of luxurious convenience and not dirty dishes.  You did those yesterday. You’ll do them again tonight. Plus, I fucking love when the cheese melts and gets a little hard on the plate.

Leftovers inspire creativity. Add more vegetables to give it an extra shot of color and freshness. Drown it in cheese. Add hot sauce if you’re feeling spicy. You already know what the initial dish tastes like. Leftovers are your chance to spruce things up or change them however you’d like. It’s your dinner’s second chance. It’s a mouth adventure.

Eat them standing in the fridge, waiting at the counter, out of your lunch bag at work, in a bowl at home. It’s yours. You made it, you didn’t have to open Postmates to order it, and sometimes they taste even better cold. Leftovers aren’t lazy, they’re easy. They’re past-you looking out for present-you. They’re home-cooked happiness. Thanks, you.

All that crying over the onions was worth it after all.

 

This Is What Party Food You Would Be According to The Zodiac

Inspired by my recent attendance at a party with fabulous snacks!

Yes, there are a lot of dips!

Also…qualifying everything as apps!

Aries: Buffalo Chicken Dip

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WW friendly buffalo chicken dip served with corn thins for this football Sunday night. Wow! I never get much interest on my posts so I don’t usually post the recipes. But keep reading for the recipe 😀 . . . . 🔸2 of the bigger cans of chunk chicken breast (or use @_laurengrace_eats crockpot shredded chicken if you have it on hand) 🔸1/2 cup @franksredhot 🔸1/2 cup fat free ranch 🔸1/2 cup reduced fat Mexican blend cheese 🔸 1 block fat free cream cheese 🔹set your oven to 350°. Bake for 20 mins. Take it out and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Bake for 5 more mins. I put mine in a 9×9 baking dish. I love buffalo chicken dip and could eat the entire pan. I get 6 servings out of it at 3FSP each! Or 18FSP for the whole dish and cut it into as many servings as you see fit. Serve with @nabiscosnacks corn thins 😀 . . . . #ww #weightwatchers #wwfreestyle #weightwatchersfreestyle #itrackbites #flexprogram #smartpoints #freestyle #wwig #wwinstagram #wwfam #wwinstafam #weightloss #weightlossjourney #wwsisters #wwsisterhood #weighin #weightloss #weightlossjourney #loseit #caloriecounting #lunch #bcd #buffalochickendip #goodthins #cornthins

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Depending on who you are (and who made you) you can be a little spicy–just like this dip! Under your baked exterior you have a gooey, cheesy heart. Someone just needs to a sharp enough chip or cracker to break through!

Taurus: Chips and Onion Dip

Taurus, you’re a classic. We can’t get enough of you. No matter if you’re homemade or store-bought, you’re everybody’s favorite party app because you bring the grounding flavors that leave people coming back for more.

Gemini: Shrimp Cocktail

First of all, don’t you dare be offended Gemini. Shrimp cocktail is good AF!!!! You’re fresh and tangy, just like this shellfish and tomato combo. Plus, because you’re easily bored we made you an app that’s fun to eat! Don’t forget to douse yourself in lemon, first.

Cancer: Mozzarella Sticks

Yes, we made you the warmest and gooiest snack, Cancer. You are comfort and indulgence both in food and in personality! Everybody feels cozier after having a taste–except the lactose adverse. You can’t please everyone!

Leo: Guacamole

Your commitment to receiving the most attention makes you a solid option for guacamole. Guess what people always want more of? Guac. Guess what always costs extra? Guac. Plus, it helps that eating avocado is actually great for that lion’s mane you call hair.

Virgo: Caprese Skewers

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I know, I know… Christmas just got over and the LAST thing you wanna think about is planning your New Year's party.🤦🏻‍♀️ But I gotchu😉👍🏼 These caprese skewers are low-calorie (less than 40 calories per skewer) with protein and veggies to hold your guests over til the main event.🎊🥂🍾 SO delicious with a reduced balsamic drizzle!😋👌🏼 Recipe created in collab with @abby and @tfn_team. . ✳️#NutritionTip: A 2013 scientific review of 29 controlled studies showed that dairy does have modest weight-loss benefits, at least in short-term, calorie-restricted instances. In other words, if you tolerate dairy, there's no reason to cut it out of your fat loss plan. Full research article on the health effects of dairy is linked on the blog! . In other news, today will be the first day hitting the gym in 8 days!😱 In the past, this might have stressed me out, but I’ve learned the value of having a deload week now and then😉 . 🍅Caprese Skewers🍃 Makes 6 servings . 🍅Ingredients: 24 toothpicks 48 cherry tomatoes 24 mozzarella balls 48 small basil leaves 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1/2 tsp. dried oregano (optional garnish) . *Substitutions and directions on the blog ➡️➡️➡️ www.noexcusesnutrition.com (link in bio, scroll to recent posts) . 🍃Calories (per serving = 4 skewers, including optionals): 148kcal, Fat: 9.3g, Sat fat: 6.1g, Carbs: 6g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 10g, Sodium: 117mg🍅 #NENsavoryrecipes . . . . . #capreseskewers #easyrecipes #healthyholidays #highprotein #lowcarb #eatyourveggies #glutenfree #realfood #healthyrecipes #healthyfoodshare #fitfood #fitfoodie #eatclean #cleaneats #IIFYM #ifitfitsyourmacros #flexibledieting #fuelyourbody #eatrealfood #foodisfuel #homecooking #nutritionist

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Okay, first of all look how pretty! Virgo you care about organization and aesthetics and this app is all about execution! Plus, knowing your secret temper you may have saved a few of those skewers in your pocket for later in case you need to confront whoever has been messing up the arrangement of the chicken nuggets!

Libra: Fried Macaroni Balls

Libra baby, you’re all fun on the outside and all warm and soft on the inside. You’re all about this balance of flavors and textures. Like macaroni balls, you charm everyone you meet so don’t be surprised if there are quite a few people crowding around your plate.

Scorpio: Chicken Wings

You’re oh so seductive Scorpio, just like wings in all flavors. Whether you’re boneless or bone-in, you offer so much to those who eat you and they relish the flavors (and personalities) you put on. You don’t need ranch or bleu cheese to make you a more palatable snack or person, it’s purely complementary.

Sagittarius: Pigs in A Blanket

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Mini crescent dogs #pigsinablanket

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You’re just a juicy surprise inside a flaky warm bun!! We made you a pig in a blanket because you love adventure (so you’re portable) and typically don’t give a floop what anyone thinks about your or what sauces you’re dipped in. You’re full of protein (and energy) but you have a soft side too. Plus, we could seriously eat 1000000 of you. You’re the best.

Capricorn: Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are not bland and boring, they are an absolute party STAPLE. If we come through to your party and there are no chicken nugz……we’re leaving. That’s also how we feel about Capricorns. Why stay anywhere there aren’t any of those guys? They work so hard to pair perfectly with every dip and sauce. Plus, they can be enjoyed as a main and not just an app–so versatile, so creative–just like a Cap!

Aquarius: Bagel Bites

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PIZZA BAGELS 🤘🏼🍕😛 #hungryhungry

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My wayward Aquarian, you’re a bagel bite. You’re a little outside the box as far as snacks go, but everyone gets freakin excited as hell when they see you. You’re also cute as fuck JUST like a mini bagel.

Pisces: Mini Quiche

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Mini quiche-uri 🧀🍅🥦 Crustă fragedă din pâte brisée, zis şi “aluat franţuzesc”, umplutură savuroasă ”scăldată-n” smântână și ouă de casă, acoperite c-o mână bună de cașcaval gustos și date la cuptor până se rumenesc frumos. Mini quiche-urile sunt varianta drăguță, gustoasă și deosebită a petrecerilor de birou. Comode la aranjat și lesne la servit, ele nu necesită veselă suplimentară și-ți economisesc o mulțime de timp. De asemenea, de mare ajutor sunt la petrecerile celor mici, unde fiecare copilaș are mini tarta sa și nu se ceartă nimeni pentr-o felie anumită, căci toate mini quiche-urile sunt la fel. În imagini sunt două tipuri de mini tarte sărate: 🥦 Montpellier: file de pui, ciuperci, broccoli 🧀 Alma: spanac, ricotta, Parmezan, ouă de prepeliță. Pregătim și alte feluri de mini quiche-uri atât vegetariene cât și cu carne. Pentru detalii scrie-ne un mesaj sau sună ☎️069562107.

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You love being posted up all cozy so like your water sister Cancer, you’re a very cozy-making app. You want to give your friends the most, and so you offer them a little of everything–which is why mini quiches come in so many flavors. They’re the Pisces of the frozen food aisle. Never crust-less tho…obvi.

Is Corn Bad For You?

I was once at a PR dinner where someone told me that corn is the worst thing that you could possibly eat. They told me this as I was slicing thickly buttered corn off of a cob to presumably put into my mouth and enjoy.

Corn is delicious, so I knew they couldn’t possibly be talking about the taste. They had to be talking about how nutritious it is–or the lack there of. This thought has honestly plagued me since they said it so I thought I would do my own investigating.

When you type “is corn” into Google, the first few things that pop up are:

-Is corn keto?

-Is corn healthy?

-Is corn a grain?

-Is corn gluten-free?

So clearly, people are having issues figuring out if corn will fit in to their keto and gluten-free diets as well as whether or not corn is a grain and if corn is overall a healthy thing to eat. Before now, I probably would have googled “is corn okay to eat after X many days” because I like to live dangerously and eat old leftovers sometimes when I find them in my fridge.

I am not an expert or a nutritionist or a doctor or on a diet. I am just a woman with a healthy curiosity about corn. So I did some investigating.

According to a report from Harvard, although corn is a vegetable it is the worst vegetable for you. 😡

The study found that starchy foods like corn and potatoes and peas have higher glycemic loads that make your blood sugar spike and will make you want to eat more of that item therefore causing you to gain weight. OH!

Since weight gain is not a bad thing, just a thing that happens if you are a person who eats and grows and ages, I had yet to be convinced. I wanted to find hard evidence that CORN IS BAD BECAUSE IT DOES XYZ TO YOUR BODY. You know, like internal bleeding from eating hot Cheetos. I kept digging.

Healthline brings up the fact that corn is frequently genetically modified, but that GMOs in relation to human health are a hotly debated topic. Some research shows that consuming GMOs can have a “toxic effect” on your organs. But apparently other research says there is practically no difference between the vegetable you grow in your backyard and the ones grown by Monsanto.

As someone who dated a person with raw vegan parents that owned a raw vegan restaurant and told fresh baby 18-year-old me that Monsanto is evil–something I have conducted further research on in my 20s and while I may not say that they are evil, they are incredibly sinister– I am more than likely to side with the fact that GMOS=bad.

HOWEVER

Healthline also lists a bunch of benefits about corn. Aside from it being tasty it benefits eye health, it’s packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and it might even ward off colon disease.

This Healthline article was in DIRECT opposition of a thing I found on a weird paleo blog. This paleo blog says that it can actually harm your gut health severely. It also brings up GMOs. According to Paleo Flourish, corn is NOT paleo.

OKAY BUT THEN THIS RANDOM GUY, Dr. Axe, says that corn is high in vitamin c, is rich in magnesium and contains certain B-vitamins and potassium. He seems to be more in favor of corn but also brings up GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, and how it’s used in a lot of processed foods.

So is corn bad for you?

From what I can tell (I am NOT a corn expert, just a person who spent an hour online researching this) corn can be bad for you. Just like how people freak the fuck out over the high caloric content of a banana and its natural sugars, people seem to be freaking out about corn.

If it doesn’t fuck up your digestive system–meaning your body CAN digest it (not all bodies can)– it might spike your glucose levels which may cause you to eat more of it. If you’re eating genetically modified corn, it may cause health issues but also, if you’re eating fruits and vegetables from supermarkets in America without doing extensive research– You’re most likely eating genetically modified produce.

Corn does have nutritional benefits.

Gaining weight is a natural and normal.

If you want to explain to me why consuming corn will end my life…..shoot us an email or leave us a comment!

Corn is fine! Bye!

 

 

Ketchup Is So Fucking Good On Everything*

French fries, hash browns, chicken nuggets, burgers, and grilled cheese.

Scrambled eggs, fish sticks, potato chips, onion rings, corn dogs, crab cakes, and if it touches your bacon. 

Macaroni and cheese. Matzo brei. Accidentally getting some on your bagel or pancakes. 

Avo-freakin-cados. 

These are all things that taste amazing with ketchup, because ketchup is so fucking good on everything, with a single caveat!

The food item must contain a starch.

Look at the above foods. Besides being mainly things you can order at McDonald’s, what else do they have in common?

A STARCH!

Yesterday one of our Lately editors (who shall remain nameless) posted a photo of her delicious breakfast to her Instagram story and raised mass hysteria because it depicted a hash brown with sliced avocado topped with ketchup.

While some were shocked that an editor who works in food journalism would consume a Trader Joe’s frozen hash brown (which is ridiculous, considering that I make like $4 a week and they are a tasty budget friendly TJ’s item), many were disgusted–nay, devastated! That someone! Would put! Ketchup! ON! AN! AVOCADO!!!!!!!!!

But they were missing the point.

The avocado is anchored to the hash brown aka the starch. We have already established that hash browns taste good with ketchup! If this editor (okay, it’s me guys. I did it) had been having eggs with avocado and ketchup, would you have been so offended? Do you not add things like vegetables to your dishes? Do you not eat your colors? What kind of 5-year-olds are you!!!!

I am a big fan of hot and cold combinations. I love warm brownies with ice cream, Shaq-promoted Icy Hot, and I’ve always been interested in that lube that’s supposed to be cold and warm sensations.

Ketchup is so cooling and so sweet. When I eat it on a hot food like macaroni and cheese (something other people have called me a monster for doing!! which is WILD because it tastes fucking amazing) my mouth sings a little song of joy.

The flavor of ketchup is also like sugar tomatoes. Which is appealing to me, a person who did not like actual tomatoes until roughly this year.

Ketchup is made for the pedestrian palate. Think of how many adults put ketchup on their hotdogs!! The actual one thing I will not do because it is sacrilege to the city of Chicago, Illinois!!

Tr*mp puts ketchup on his steak. Okay…maybe that is a bad example. But still, I think THAT is more outrageous than someone eating a fried potato rectangle with avocado on it and some ketchup.

Basically what I’m saying is, you’re all a big bunch of babies. Not because I’m over hear eating caviar topped snails because I am some sort of big time food editor. No. Because you’re all grossed out by ketchup, on something you 100% would eat if it didn’t have a green vegetable (I guess they’re a fruit?) on it. I’m urging you to try it.

Literally make a scramble with eggs, potatoes, and top it with avocados. Squirt a tiny bit of ketchup on the side. Dip your forkful in, and let the combination make your mouth smile. It’s fucking good, isn’t it?

Now that we’ve got that settled, would this be a bad time to tell you that I do eat avocados plain, with barbecue sauce?

 

 

 

 

I Am Incredibly Passionate About Trader Joe’s Organic Jasmine Rice

My grandmother gave me a rice cooker for my birthday (or maybe it was Christmas, I don’t remember. Sorry, Grandma). I wanted to make perfectly fluffy, a little bit sticky, definitely delicious, white rice.

I grew up in a home where rice was made on the stove in a pot with water. It was always either a little too hard or a little too soft, and if I made it it was definitely burned.

The rice cooker helped some. I still somehow always burned the bottom layer, making a crunchy rice shell that I would peel and eat (not as disgusting as it sounds, I promise).  The rice was better if I made it with chicken stock as opposed to water–a tip I learned from the wife of a friend of my father’s over lunch at Nobu.

BUT IT WAS NEVER FUCKING RIGHT AND NEVER EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED AND I WANTED PERFECTLY FLUFFY AND DELICIOUS WHITE RICE,DAMNIT.

Enter Trader Joe’s.

One day I ate my sister’s leftover rice in our refrigerator. It was sitting there in a tupperware, and I microwaved it. “This is some restaurant-quality fucking rice!” I thought to myself as I shoveled spoonfuls down my gullet before she came home from work. “I’ll have to ask her where she got it!”

Aside from being annoyed that I had consumed her food, my sister told me that the rice was actually from Trader Joe’s. “Like, is it pre-made?” I asked. “Like, did you get it in a little container or something? Do they have a hot bar now?”

“No!” She told me. “It’s frozen!”

Pardon????

So basically, this beautiful delicious rice that tastes just as good leftover as it does the day you make it, comes in a 3-pack at Trader Joe’s. The box reads “Microwave perfect in 3 minutes” and they are not lying. This rice has been perfect every single damn time I have ever made it. It’s lightly sticky but still fluffy, it’s never burned (make it in 3 minutes exactly), it’s never too hard or too watery or too soft.

According to TJ’s it’s “Grown in the valleys of Northern Thailand on farms with fertile soil and natural rain water. This rice is a premium, organic product grown with intensive care.”

I don’t care if this rice is from the Thai restaurant down the street, it’s really stinkin’ good and one pouch is enough to feed two people if you’re pairing it with a vegetables, a meat, or a soup. Trader Joe’s also offers a brown rice but it’s nasty because it’s brown rice and I hate it. There is also a wild rice variety that I also find gross! But this white rice is….divine. Simply divine.

I’ve had it alone, alone with butter, with Asian cucumber salad, with chicken, with curry, with red pepper soup, with beans, as part of a burrito bowl, and I would probably eat it any way that it was served to me because I am devoted to TJ’S white rice now!

I’m going to need you not to be a skeptic right now. This microwaved rice is life changing–especially if you suck at making rice for yourself. Seriously, in college I would walk to the Walgreens on Clark and Diversey (Chi till I die bb) and pick up their pre-made rice that I would microwave and cry about because it was terrible.

This rice is wonderful.

And it’s from Trader Joe’s so it’s budget-friendly and it’s a 3-pack so that’s actually like a few different meals you can make.

Have I converted you yet?

This Is What Cheese Plate You Would Be According To The Zodiac

Can you believe it’s ONLY Tuesday? Since we’ve heroically made it to the second day of the work week, I am sharing photos of my raison d’être, which just so happens to be cheese.

Call it a cheese plate, a cheese board, a charcuterie, or if you’re my ex boyfriend a “char-coot.” Whatever the hell it is, it’s delicious. American Airline’s fruit and cheese box could never. Starbucks cheese bistro box is shook. Look at these photos of meats and cheeses and fruits and chill. We’ll make it to the weekend soon.

Aries

Aries needs some spicy meats and tangy sauces and spreads to go with their cheese selection. They hate olives but that doesn’t mean they don’t want them on the plate for aesthetic purposes. What’s in that brie? You have no idea. Pass the gabagool!

Taurus

Taurus can’t seem to guilt themselves into eating a mainly cheese plate. They know they need to keep it fresh with some veggies and fruits. However, they will eat all the cheese and drizzle every bite with honey. Sorry not sorry.

Gemini

OFC Gemini would include something sweet like chocolate on their charcuterie to mess with the balance. How is this decadent, sweet, sour, salty, good, and terrible all at once? Honestly all we want is mouthful of tomato and cheese followed by a handful of pomegranate seeds.

Cancer

Baby mama of the zodiac, your cheese plate doesn’t play. It’s like 80% cheese. You came here to feed yourself and everyone else and you know what the good stuff ACTUALLY is. None of this cornichon business. You’ve already shoveled like 4 handfuls of cheese in your mouth while I’ve been talking, haven’t you?

Leo

Leo, you like to look good, but you don’t care if your food does. It’s fine if its all kind of mashed together as long as its tasty AF. You dropped some major coin on those marcona almonds but they were worth it tbh. You’re prettier than your plate is, but you’ll still take a pic next to it because you’re proud.

Virgo

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Hellooooo pumpkin season! 🎃🎃🎃 This won’t be the last time you see pumpkins on my cheese boards, including that festive pumpkin butter. And to compliment it, I used two of my favorite cheeses from @cypressgrovers: Humboldt Fog & STRAIGHT UP. Now if there’s one cheese that people go nuts for it’s Humboldt Fog! The moment you guys spot that distinctive ash down the center… I get tons of comments about how it’s the best cheese in all the land! Well I’m here to say, it’s true! But you should also know that #CypressGrove makes lots of other awesome cheeses. The Fresh Goat Cheese Cups are new & come in 4 flavors. I used the STRAIGHT UP (classic goat cheese which tastes lovely with the pumpkin butter), placed it in a ramekin & garnished with some rosemary. You can go three posts back to see how I used two of their other flavors (DANGER ZONE and SWEET DREAMS) on another recent cheese board! PLUS…more tips on how to make this Fall-inspired board on IG Stories. #Ad #AintTooProudToCheese

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Everything about this cheese plate is neat and in its place. Even the herbs. Plus, the pumpkin makes it homey AF. Don’t touch it though. You’ll ruin it! You know what, you’re probably better off serving it to people than letting them take what they want, you absolute control freak. I would hate you but this does look good.

Libra

Libra your cheese plate is just as fun and whimsical as you are. You included things people typically wouldn’t think to and flavor combinations that might seem zany, but are damn good. You’re so creative I just want to take a bite out of that brie, and you…damn

Scorpio

You cool ass Scorpio bitch!!!!!! Look at this vaguely Mediterranean set up!!! How did you come up with this? How are you so crafty? Get that prosciutto-wrapped breadstick out of your mouth. It’s giving me ideas.

Sagittarius

You don’t need much to make a good meal, and you know that Sag. You take some simple stand out flavors and enjoy the simple but still delectable combos. You know what works AND you made deviled eggs with bacon too? You absolute charcuterie genius.

Capricorn

Papa of the Zodiac, you wanted to make sure everybody got some bread or a cracker to pair with their meat and their cheese. Your detail-oriented-ness has not gone unnoticed here what with the orderly set up and the peanut butter pretzels, but it’s SO YOU to forget to slice your cheese. How are we supposed to eat this? Break it off? I’m leaving with a whole wedge in my purse. BYE

Aquarius 

Aquarius my little air headed baby, what the fuck is this and why do I love it? I can’t identify some of the things on your plate but you probably found them at some cool market I’ve never heard of and thought it might go well with your other ingredients. Well it DOES.

Pisces

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Is it the weekend yet?!

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Pisces, as the mom-friend you went all out on your cheese board and it looks fucking divine. But could you shut up about all the work you went to? No one asked you for this!!! Eat a fig with some of that blue cheese and shutup. I love you.