A Pea-lightful Office Lunch

5 10 2011

I try not to talk much about my work on the blog, but I’m making an exception today because it involves food!

First, let me rewind to last week, when I decided to make Mama Pea’s Spicy African Peanut Slow Cooker Soup. A soup with sweet potatoes, chick peas, peanut butter, and some of my favorite spices? Yes, please! And it will be ready when I get home from work? What more could I ask for?

So I threw all the ingredients in the crock pot one morning, and that night I walked home to the delicious smell of the soup.  I didn’t even wait to pour myself a bowl, I just dug right in with a spoon (you can do that when you’re only cooking for one!) Well friends, it was love at first bite. This quite possibly might be my absolute favorite soup of all time. It’s THAT good.

Mama Pea must think I’m some psycho blogger girl because I immediately professed my soup love on Twitter multiple times.

I wanted to drink the entire pot in one sitting. (I didn’t). Instead, I brought leftovers in to work for my lunch all week long. Each day I had the soup, my colleagues asked about it, commenting on how good it smelled. I did my best to be nice and share, but I really just wanted to eat all of it myself! I did offer up a few spoonfuls, and each time someone tried it, they said some version of “OMG this is the best soup ever.” Ok, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but they all really liked it.

Being that the soup takes 3-4 hours to cook, I thought it would be a great idea to bring my crock pot in to the office and make the soup for a fun lunch with a few of my colleagues. With the weather quickly changing to soup and sweatshirt weather, I decided that Tuesday would be the day!

So, I gathered the ingredients on Monday night and then arrived at the office a few minutes early on Tuesday to throw everything into the crock pot. At precisely 12:30, it was soup time for me and 4 of my colleagues.

Best. Lunch. Ever.

Very happy colleagues!

It was a lunchtime success! Everyone really enjoyed the soup 🙂

I passed along the recipe (and blog link) to all of them, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be making some for themselves soon. We even had leftovers, which I shared with two others. One responded in an email with the subject line “FANTASTIC” and the other came in to my office and gushed about how good it was.

This recipe will make a regular appearance in my apartment this fall/winter. I hope you try it too!

Thank you Mama Pea!

Question of the day: Have you ever made a meal for colleagues? What did you make?

The Only Taco Recipe You’ll Ever Need

18 07 2011

Hi all! It’s me (Steph) again! I know you all are anxiously awaiting a post from Chloe, but she was a little tied up yesterday with that whole 70.3 thing 😉 Check back soon for a full race report!

Instead, I’m going to leave you with an easy and DELICIOUS crock pot recipe for pork carnitas. And believe me, once you make these babies, you’ll never want to make another taco again.

I first saw this recipe on Kristen‘s site, right after I got my own crock pot. Crock pot recipes are great in the summer because you don’t need to turn on the oven! Make this tonight in the morning, and when you get home from work, voila! You have sweet and spicy pork that just melts in your mouth!

Topped with some crunchy slaw, some Greek yogurt, green onions, and a squeeze of lime, this is the perfect pork taco. Trust me. You need this taco in your life.

Pork Carnitas and Slaw

from The Kitchn


1 (6-8 pound) pork butt
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
8 whole cloves garlic, smashed
4 chipotle peppers (canned; these give it some KICK! use fewer if you don’t like it that spicy, but don’t leave them out!)
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup orange juice

How to:

Trim excess fat from the meat and discard. Place all ingredients in the slow-cooker. Set to cook on LOW for 8 hours. Meat is done when it literally falls off the bone.

While it is cooling, make the slaw (recipe below).

When cool enough to handle, lift the meat from the juices and place in a large bowl. Remove the bone, then shred the meat.

Assemble tacos with slaw and other toppings of your choice.

Crunchy Slaw

from The Food Network


4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 head cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 carrot, peeled and shredded

How to:

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk the rice wine vinegar, lime juice, canola oil, and sugar together in a small bowl.

Add the cabbage, cilantro,  and carrot to a large serving bowl and combine. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Question of the day: What kind of tacos do you like? What do you put on them?

Guess Where I Am?!?!

6 03 2011

Good Monday Morning Friends!

So Steph is not the only one on vacation! Guess where I (Chloe) am?!?! I’ll give you three hints…

1) The average snowfall here is over 500 inches


3) The state fruit is a Cherry and the state snack food is Jell-O

Drum roll please….UTAH! Yeah, who even know that states had “state snacks.” Check out your state HERE if you are curious about your state snack!

So I am actually probably still sleeping as you read this, as I am not prioritizing getting out of bed early just to post. (but don’t worry, I didn’t think for a second to leave you sans post on this Monday AM). As I mentioned last week, I am on “Spring Break” with my family. Both of my siblings as well as Chris are still in school (College, PhD and Law School- yeah smarty pants people over here) so I am pretending that I am still in school too and taking my spring break with them 🙂 I have my camera and computer with me so will definitely be posting some fun ski/yummy eats shots later this week, but wanted to give you something to keep you busy till I got back.

I am constantly complaining about how I get home from a tough workout at night, tired and uber hungry and totally not in the mood to put together a meal that takes more than 10 2 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to cook..but after a morning workout, a long day at work followed by a second workout, I just want food in my belly. FAST. I am totally guilty of completely ruining a really good dinner by housing bread and butter, a bag of chips or any other easy to reach carb in my cabinet. Not the best way to fuel your body. But I have discovered an ancient gem….

Somehow it has taken me this long to discover this baby! It is actually not mine. My nice neighbor is letting me do a few test runs before I buy my own, but I think I am sold.

I decided to stick to a pretty classic crock pot dinner for my first attempt: Slow Cooker Imitation BBQ Pulled Chicken. Don’t worry- its not imitation chicken, its imitation BBQ sauce. Chris and I had this at a friend’s Superbowl party and after one bite decided that we I should make this. (I cook…he is a great dish washer). The original recipe comes from here, since I didn’t have the exact ingredients around, I made due with what I had.

And it turned out great!

Slow Cooker Imitation BBQ Pulled Chicken: Serves 6-8 normal sized eaters and 4-6 hungry athletes


  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam (I used the stuff with the fruit in it. Gota get my fruit in!)
  • 1 tablespoon dried paprika
  • 1 cup smoked beer (I used Yeungling simply because it was in my fridge, but I would recommend a Rauchbier smokier beer. I think an apricot beer could go well too..but maybe that’s just my obsession with fruit)
  • 5.5 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs


  • Mix everything in the crock pot except for the chicken
  • Plop or gently place in the chicken
  • Slow cook for 7-8 hours. (I don’t have the leisure of leaving work to get home to my crock pot so it sat for more like 9-10 hrs and was just fine!

  • Take the chicken out of the pot and pull it apart with two forks. It should tear SUPER easily.

please excuse the fuzzy picture 😦

  • Plop or gently place it back in the pot, give it a little mix and voila.

  • Dinner is served in 2 or maybe 5 minutes!

I served mine up on a bed of lettuce with some 5 minute brown rice.

Yummo. Easy. Healthy.  AND filling. I will definitely be experimenting with the crock pot again soon! See you Wednesday 🙂

Question of the day: What is your favorite 5 or 10 minute go to meal?!