Mediterranean Banza Bowl

Alright, you guys, you need to make this ASAP! And this is not a false alarm. This bowl is super delicious, full of fresh flavors and different textures. Make it and your tastebuds will thank me.

I am an ambassador with Banza (what does that even mean? I don’t really know…but I’ll take the fancy title) and they sent me a bag of their new chickpea “rice”. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little skeptical. Come on now, why we gotta be messing with rice? There’s absolutely nothing wrong about eating rice (because there’s no morality attached to food) and rice provides nutrition that other grains don’t. Variety is the spice of life and the thing that ensures we get all the nutrients we need.

 
Mediterranean Banza "rice" bowl
 

Anyways, so I was little irritated that they were trying to replace rice. But THEN I tried it. And loved it. It definitely doesn’t replace rice, but it’s another delicious food to add to my life. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t eat many chickpeas/beans, so Banza products allow for me to have more food groups in my life more easily. So I would encourage eating rice AND this Banza rice, because both are delicious. I’d compare it to orzo pasta, and I’m a fan or orzo recipes.

 
Mediterranean Banza Bowl
 

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make all the components one day and then keep them in your fridge for several days of lunches or dinners. Woohoo for easily assembled meals!!

I’m going to do some more recipe testing with the rice and I’m super pumped about it…okay, I need to tone it down a bit. But I really did enjoy it.

 
Mediterranean Banza "rice" bowl
 

In other news, Isaac had the flu this past week, so we’ve quarantined him and I’ve been solo parenting. Phew it’s hard work! Single moms, you are super heroes…Thankfully after several days of doing it alone and hanging out by myself in the evenings, my in-laws came to watch Cam for a few hours so I could workout out 🙌🏻 and get some coffee and work on this post. It’s the little self-care actions in life that make all the difference. 😉I’d love to hear what you guys think of Banza’s new rice, this recipe, and what you’ve been up to lately!! Thankful for all of you and your support. 🤓

 
Mediterranean Banza "rice" bowl
 
Mediterranean Banza Bowl

Chicken souvlaki recipe comes from GimmeSomeOven and is one of my favorite recipes

We bought a house!! + easy dinners lately

Phew!! Life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately! We have been saving up to a buy a house for the past few years and with our apartment lease ending at the end of October, we decided it was the perfect time to buy a house. Let me tell you, looking at homes is a blast, the process of buying a home is not. Talk about stressful!! And redoing a home...even less fun and more stressful. BUT, we own a home!! And when we are done with it, it will be a great place for us. I plan on doing several before and after posts for those of you who are interested.

 
This is it!! It needs some landscaping, but I think it has GREAT potential.

This is it!! It needs some landscaping, but I think it has GREAT potential.

 

We bought a 1950s home that is 3 bed, 1 bath and in a pretty central location (I'm so excited about living 5-10 minutes from the majority of our friends, church, and delicious restaurants). With it being over 60 years old, it's got some quirky characteristics. Some of those characteristics give it charm and others give it "character" 😂. We are currently in the process of redoing the hardwood floors, painting all of the trim and walls, and knocking out the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Eventually we will have a completely redone kitchen (homegirl needs adequate storage and countertop space!!!). Unfortunately, when we move in, we won't have a working kitchen because the kitchen cabinets won't be ready in time. Yes, it's frustrating, and I don't like the idea of moving into a half-ready house, but it is what it is, so we're going to make the most out of it. 

In the meantime, we are getting as much done as possible before we move in. We've had pretty busy weekends with various family functions and weddings, so we've been forced to mainly work in the evenings after work. As a result, dinners have had to be easy. It's been a bit of a stretch, but it's good to get out of our food ruts and to try new things. So here are a few of the dinners we've had recently with varying degrees of prep time and difficulty. Thank goodness for tupperware, a microwave, and paper plates/plastic silverware!!

 
We bought a house! + easy meals lately
 

Deli bakery bread, avocados, and rotisserie chickens have been my best friend lately. You'll see variations of these ingredients throughout. The above meal was an Italian salad kit (that was SUPER delish!) that had greens, sundried tomatoes, parmesan, black pepper and a dressing. Topped it with rotisserie chicken and served it with a whole grain loaf topped with avocado.

 
We bought a house! + easy meals lately
 

Taco soup I made earlier that day topped with cheese and avocado and served with blue corn chips. I know this is weird, but I was craving taco soup mainly for the yellow hominy, and I didn't even end up finding any for this 😩 😂

 
We bought a house! + easy meals lately
 

Mac and cheese from Aldi (LOVE that place!) served with rotisserie chicken and veggies I roasted earlier.

 
We bought a house! + easy meals lately
 

A new Papa Murphy's pizza that was having a deal for $9. I wouldn't get it again...it wasn't all that filling and it just wasn't that tasty. Served with a homemade version of the Italian salad kit from the first picture.

 
We bought a house! + easy meals lately
 

Spring roll bowl: farro, cabbage, red bell pepper, carrots, mango, avocado, rotisserie chicken, shrimp, cilantro, green onion and a Thai peanut sauce. Suuuper fresh. Mmmmm.

 
We bought a house! + easy meals lately
 

This meal was not a win. These chicken sausages were on sale at Sprouts, but the casing got tough in the microwave. I served it with steamable vegetables that were HORRIBLE. No wonder people think vegetables are gross. Thankfully that everything seed topped bread was great. I definitely got seconds of it and we used it for multiple meals.

 
We bought a house! + easy meals lately
 

Farro and a pork and green bean stirfry that I made earlier in the day. Meh, it was okay. I don't plan on making it again anytime soon.

 
We bought a house + easy dinners lately
 

Cauliflower Italian nachos and the everything seed bread with more avocado. I happen to love roasted cauliflower and saw cauliflower nachos and thought it would be right down my alley. I think it would have been even more delicious with a meltier cheese and feta, but I used what we had. I really enjoyed it but will definitely need to make them more substantial in the future. 

 
We bought a house + easy dinners lately
 

Pumpkin chili 😍 with cheese, avocado, plain Greek yogurt, a squeeze of mustard, and fritos. Fall, frito chili pie, and me were all MFEO. This chili had red bell pepper, mushrooms, onion beef, tomatoes, canned pumpkin and a bunch of spices that included cocoa powder and cinnamon. It's SO fall and super yummy. 

So there you have it! I hope this gives you some inspiration for easy meals that can be made, transported, and reheated with minimal prep. When we're living in our new house without a stove, I'm gonna have to get super creative, so I'll be sharing what I come up with during that time. 

Hope you're enjoying this fall season!!

Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets

 
Gluten Free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets
 

Finally! It's about time I shared another recipe here. I mean, it IS a food blog after all. Tiny confession: I have one more blogpost for our trip to Italy. I have to share the rest of our trip, some photos of what we saw, and my sweet, sweet nephew (let's be real, the best part is pictures of him!). But in the meantime, I thought I'd share this with you.  

 
Gluten Free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets
 

I found this recipe several years ago and tweaked it for my dad who is gluten free. You are more than welcome to use bread crumbs, but I've only ever made it with rice chex, and have loved it every time. I made it for a dinner party once and got rave reviews. 

 
Gluten Free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets
 

I've got to be honest for a second. I'm terrible at cooking chicken. I pride myself in being a pretty decent cook, but along with trying to fold fitted sheets, I fall short every time. I've tried multiple "tried and true" methods and even use a meat thermometer, and yet somehow ruin it every time. Poor Isaac. His favorite meat is chicken and I always end up making it tough and dry. How is that possible? 

But wait! Somehow this chicken turns out super tender and juicy! Why? I don't know--and I'm not going to question it. All I know is that this oven fried chicken is super flavorful from the spicy mustard and fresh rosemary and that it doesn't end up tough and dry. And then it's got walnuts and parmigiano reggianno, which happens to be my current obsession right now. 

 
Gluten free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets
 

The original recipe is for whole chicken breasts, but I thought I would turn them into chicken nuggets for this post because anything miniature is super cute. Show me small bowls, spoons, cups, etc and I automatically want them. Dolls houses? They are the CUTEST!!...Depending on the occasion, you can choose which version you would prefer to make/eat. 

 
Gluten Free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets
 

I'd love for you to make them and let me know what you think! 

Gluten free oven fried rosemary chicken
 
Gluten Free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets