Spicy three-bean “salad”

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I feel like beans get such a bad rap (rep? what am I trying to say?). Like, does anyone want to just sit around and eat a bowl of beans? I mean, I do but I’ll sit around and eat a bowl of pretty much anything. These are personal issues that I am dealing with, but I can’t assume the same of you lovely people.

My point being I made this “salad” MONTHS ago but just didn’t post it because I felt weird coming over here WITH A BOWL OF BEANS. But then I ended up just not coming over here at all and that makes me feel weird/sad too. No matter how little I post, I hope you guys know I do love my little corner of the Internet.

Anyway. Beans. In a bowl. I love dishes like this because they’re generally simple to make, fairly cheap and easy to change up depending on your tastes. By that, I obviously mean you can pour anywhere from one tablespoon to one bottle of hot sauce in this thing. This dish specifically is super change-able (it’s a word now) because you can totally use whatever beans you want! I’m always partial to garbanzo beans so those were a given for me. The green beans I got from the Farmers Market (basically so I could tell my fake internet friends that I bought fresh green beans from a Farmers Market) that I needed to use up. And kidney beans just don’t get enough love in my humble opinion. I love a good bowl of chili as much as you but let’s give these guys another chance, shall we?

The other thing we need to discuss here is spice. When you take a look at the ingredients below you might never want to talk to me again, as it’s obvious I’ve gone out of my way to destroy all my taste buds with this dish. I just really can’t help myself, and if I’m going to make beans a meal then you better believe some hot sauce is involved (and jalapenos and red pepper flakes and maybe a little fire). Of course, you don’t have to use everything. This here is my friendly reminder that cooking should be fun, and roughly 75% of my recipes here are merely meant to be guidelines.

Because I have limited kitchen/fridge/life space, I make this, eat a whole bunch and call it dinner. But for those of you with healthy, balanced lifestyles I think this would go great with grilled or baked chicken. Or throw it over some quinoa and then walk around like the epitome of health that you are. Or, eat some of this before you move onto your real dinner of ice cream, wine and Netflix. LIVE THE LIFE YOU LOVE, GUYS.

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Spicy three-bean “salad”
Serves 4

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 bell pepper (any color), diced

1-2 jalopenos, seeded and diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

One can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

One can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 lb fresh green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon (or more!) hot sauce

1/4 – 1/2 cup chicken/vegetable stock

Salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute them for 4-6 minutes until they start to caramelize a bit. Add in the bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic and saute until everything starts to soften up. Then add in the garbanzo, kidney and green beans and mix everything together. Add in all your spices and stir to make sure all the beans are coated in the flavor. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan and allow everything to cook together for 15-20 minutes, checking and stirring ever 5 minutes or so. If things start to look a little dry, add in some chicken or vegetable broth.

This salad can be served warm, room temperature or cold. ENJOY!

Crazy greek pasta

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For many, a new year brings the promise of a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle. For me, it brings two days of a low-carb diet followed by a weekend of burritos and popcorn. Obviously, 2014 is already treating me SO well.

For those of you who regularly read food blogs, I’m sure you’ve been inundated with smoothies and salads and “healthified” versions of all our favorite dishes because January just isn’t January without greek yogurt…..in everything.

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I, naturally, have done nothing of the sort for you. This is because I’m a horrible blogger, I haven’t cooked a new dish in basically forever and I’m the president of the “carbs for life” fanclub that I’ve just started.

In all seriousness though, pasta is just so on point. For anyone with even a semi-busy lifestyle (if I have enough time to watch four seasons of The Good Wife in two months, I can’t technically say I’m busy, right?) pasta is almost too easy. Boil the carbs. Add favorite things. Put cheese on top. YAY FOOD.

This particular pasta is essentially a big pot of my favorite flavors. We’ve discussed my love for “crazy feta” over here and we’ve discussed how roasted vegetables make the world go round. I obviously just waxed poetic about pasta in general….so now let’s just put everything together. So easy and so delicious.

Here’s to another year of good food (and wine and puppies and lipstick)!

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Crazy greek pasta

Serves 4 

1 lb pasta (any shape will do)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 panful of roasted vegetables (use your favorites!) + 3 roasted jalapenos + 1 head of roasted garlic

1 lemon

1/2 cup black olives, roughly chopped

8-oz crumbled feta cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, prepare rest of dish.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in another large pan. Once hot, add in the chicken. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin and allow to sear for 4-6 minutes, until golden brown. Once almost cooked through, add in the vegetables, jalapeno and olives. Stir everything to combine and allow chicken to finish cooking. Once pasta is cooked, drain (reserving a little of the liquid) and add to the chicken and vegetables. Add in crumbled feta, garlic and the juice from one lemon. Give everything a HUGE stir to incorporate the garlic and melt all the cheese. If necessary, add in some of the reserved pasta water to help things along. You can also add in a drizzle of olive oil to create a more saucy texture – totally up to you!

Serve hot and enjoy!

September favorites

Hi everyone! Can we just talk about how I’m only a week late with these (and forget that I chose not to do an August one)?! It’s my favorite time of life – time to talk beauty!

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So first, the kind of boring stuff. I’ve been using this tea tree spray for the past month or so because I read somewhere that it helped with breakouts (did I tell you I’m suddenly an adult who breaks out? because I am). I just mix a few drops of this tea tree oil with water and spray it on my face in the morning before I put on moisturizer. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure it works but I’ve come to really like the experience of spraying it on my face. I’m weird.

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I’ve been on a mission to use up my body butters as I’ve decided I’m not allowed to buy more until I use what I have (so adult of me, right?). I dug out these two and have really been loving them. At this point, I’m basically putting three separate lotions on everyday but I don’t mind. Body Shop knows how to do a body butter and strawberry and coconut smell so good. Like, I just want to eat myself with these on.These are both the smaller sizes, and then I have two more FULL-SIZE ones that my mom bought me when she was here that I need to get through before I can buy a new one. Naturally, I already have my eye on one (Josie Maran is my everything right now) and will be purchasing it as soon as these are done. The problem is that these body butters are so amazingly thick, you don’t need that much! At this rate, I won’t be getting my Josie one until next Spring. Womp womp.

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This lip balm. OH MY GOD THIS LIP BALM. I just – there are no words. It’s perfect. And expensive. And wonderful. And why would anyone spend this much on a lip balm. And roses! And I die.

Dior, I can’t quit you.

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Considering how many beauty blogs I read and how much of my time goes to watching beauty videos on YouTube, you’d be surprised at how little MAC stuff I own. I finally locked it up and ordered a few things over the summer, and this paint pot in Soft Ochre was part of that. Honestly, it’s so boring but has to be the most perfect eye base thing I’ve ever used. Sometimes I use this without eye shadow and it just covers up whatever weirdness I have on my eyelids (don’t lie, your eyelids are weird too).

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Is this not the prettiest eye palette you’ve ever seen?! These colors are so, so gorgeous and blend like a dream! If you’re looking for a great palette of colors and are trying to decide between the Lorac Pro or the Naked palettes, I would highly recommend the Lorac Pro. I own the original Naked, and ADORE it, but think this one is just more versatile because it has a wider range of colors and it includes matte and shimmer shades. If you’re someone who really likes to experiment this palette will be your life. If you’re someone who likes to experiment AND you’re completely out of your mind, you’ll probably own both and consider buying the second Naked (oh hi, me).

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My go-to lip combo for September was definitely this one. Although it’s basically summer in SF, I still start to gravitate toward more fall-like colors once August ends. Both of these are beautiful cranberry shades, yet both are pretty sheer. The pencil is very similar to my beloved Revlon lip balm pencil things, but these are the Jordana version. Much cheaper, but only sold at Walgreens. These are more moisturizing then the former, but the shine wears off more quickly. With that said, this Cranberry Crush color does stain your lips and that stays for a while. The Cover Girl lip smoochie (what? i know) in LUV U (seriously. i know) is basically a chapstick, but I think it looks beautiful on top of this pencil.

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Look at these colors, guys! So much love. Essie’s Rasberry is one is one of my favorite reds and I actually wore it two weeks in a row (technically one of those weeks was October). This was partly due to laziness, but mainly because I just adore the color and had not gotten sick of it. The second one is Loreal’s Greycian Goddess and is much more beautiful in person and is a perfect neutral color if you’re looking to break out of the baby pink club.

And that’s it! I’ll be back next month for sure because I already have a lip gloss I’m obsessed with for October. I’m the worst.

P.S. Look at how classy the packaging is for this damn Dior lip balm. ADMIRE THE BEAUTY.

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