Alina's Spinach Tortillas

I've been reading some books over the last few weeks that have begun convincing me that we eat way too many carbs. I'm not necessarily advocating a carb free diet, but the simple fact is that carbs in any form turn to sugar in the bloodstream, and we have way too much sugar in our diets to begin with. As such, Adam and I have been making a conscious decision to eat less carbs overall.

One of my favorite foods is flour tortillas. Not kidding. I used to eat them with just butter and call it a meal when I was growing up. That being said, in the name of healthy eating I'm willing to try alternatives.

If you look at the nutritional content of a typical bag of flour there are about 22 grams of carbs in a quarter cup. I wanted to try my hand at making my own tortillas, and I wanted the tortillas to be healthier overall-- full of nutrients and devoid of the bad stuff. Here's what I came up with. Is it competely carb free? No. Is it much better than the typical tortilla? Absolutely.

Alina's Refried Bean and Corn Enchiladas

I decided to make another recipe from the Mitsitam Cafe cookbook, which is a cookbook devoted entirely to American Indian foods. This week I made Refried Bean and Corn Enchiladas, and they were a delicious success!

I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but I followed it fairly closely. This recipe brings some classic flavors together: tomatoes, corn, refried beans, peppers, onion, cilantro, garlic, and cheese. It doesn't have a standout ingredient, but everything works well together and in the end all of these commonplace ingredients merge into a fairly distinct flavor.

Alina's Buffalo Chili

My friend Blaire lent me this awesome cookbook (found here on Amazon) called the Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook. It's full of "recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian." Super cool.

Marissa has been taking a class for the last few weeks that goes until 9 pm, and so she's been too busy to make and swap food. As such, I decided to make something spicy this week since Adam and I love spicy food but Marissa and Brad don't. I picked up some ground buffalo meat from the Madison downtown farmer's market. Buffalo meat is prized for its low-fat content and has a really great flavor. The result was this amazing chili.

Adam loved this chili. He initially ate three bowls of it and would have kept going if I wouldn't have reigned him in. All weekend he just wanted to eat the leftovers.
1 pm: "Isn't it time to eat dinner yet?"
2 pm: "Is it time for dinner now?! I want that chili!"
3:30 pm: "Okay, it's dinner time, right?"
5:30: "Yes!! Finally dinner time!!"

Alina's Red Velvet Pancakes

We had a pancake party at work on Friday (Star Wars Day! May the Fourth) and I was asked to make enough batter for 80 novelty pancakes.

You heard that right. 80 pancakes.

My best friend Cassidy and I enjoyed red velvet pancakes while in Las Vegas last month, so I decided to try my hand at making my own red velvet pancakes.

These pancakes were described by my co-workers as:
  • "Amazing!"
  • "A hit!"
  • "Absurdly decadent."
  • "Like nothing I've ever tasted before."
When I was testing recipes and I swallowed my first bite of these pancakes all I could do was gasp out, "Oh. My. Gosh. This is incredible." If I haven't convinced you to splurge yet, I never will. The white chocolate chips are what make these pancakes such a home run because they remain partially melty for about 5 minutes after they come off the griddle, infusing the pancakes with ooey-gooey exceptionally rich flavor.

Alina's Avocado Deviled Eggs

I love deviled eggs. As in an if-there-is-only-one-deviled-egg-left-and-you-eat-it-I-will-silently-die-a-little-inside kind of love. Of course, deviled eggs are always filled to the brim with mayo (which also happens to be my favorite condiment). This equals a less than healthy addiction.

You know what I also love? Avocados. I started brainstorming... What would happen if POOF! The most unhealthy ingredient in deviled eggs (mayo) was replaced by nature's delicious source of good-for-you fat (avocado)? I was willing to bet it would be pretty amazing (and I was right).

I did a quick google search and discovered I wasn't the first person to think of this substitution. The only problem is that every recipe I found still used mayo. I wanted to go completely sans mayo, so I did it my own way. Protein + healthy avocado fat = a delicious AND healthy deviled egg! Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles!