Friday, January 30, 2015

Crunchy Lemon & Kale Chickpea Salad.

Warm winter salads are my favorite way to make a healthy meal on a chilly day. After spending five days in the Florida sunshine last week {recap coming soon!} I need a healthy, toasty recipe for this last weekend of January. Looking on the bright and sunny side, come Sunday we will have crossed another month of winter off the calendar!


This salad recipe combines my favorite crunchy, roasted chickpeas with sauteed kale, roasted cauliflower, lemon vinaigrette, and a sprinkle of shredded parmesan for good measure. If you're enjoying Superbowl eats this weekend, make this salad for a healthy lunch before the dips and appetizers take over.



Crunchy Lemon & Kale Chickpea Salad
Serves two.

Ingredients~
1 can chickpeas
1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil + 2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 head cauliflower
2 cups of  kale {torn, stems removed}
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes {sliced}
1/8 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Vinaigrette~
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

How to~
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
*Rinse and dry the chickpeas. Toss with 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast for 35 minutes, stirring once while roasting.
*Chop cauliflower into small florets and toss with 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.
*Saute kale on medium-low with 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 teaspoons lemon juice for 5 minutes.
*Make vinaigrette by whisking lemon juice, dijon mustard, oil, salt and pepper.
*Slice cherry tomatoes. Toss with roasted chickpeas, cauliflower, and kale. Stir in shredded parmesan.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kitchen inspiration + Fearless Food Kitchen Event.

Who or what inspires you in the kitchen? I have a few different sources of inspiration. First is my family's health, because I want to create new and healthy meals using seasonal, "clean" ingredients as often as possible. Second is my mother, who can make anything homemade and is endlessly creative in the kitchen {in the alternative, I am often caught up in the exact ingredient requirements of any recipe I'm following}! Third is this blog, because I am inspired to create and share healthy recipes with all of you.


On that note of kitchen inspiration, I have an upcoming "kitchen warming" event to share hosted by a local non-profit organization. The Peterson Garden Project is celebrating the grand opening of their new community kitchen this Saturday, January 31st from 6:00-9:30 pm {tickets available here}. The Fearless Food Kitchen is a 3,000 square foot community cooking school. The Kitchen is located inside the Broadway Armory Park building, in the neighborhood Edgewater.

{Image courtesy of My Homespun Home}

The Peterson Garden Project was founded in 2010. The organization aims to inspire and teach Chicagoans to grow their own food in the community. Gardeners {newbies included!} can join for a low fee {$75}, and must participate in a training before gardening. Gardeners are assigned to a garden plot in the city {more information here}. 

At Saturday's event, local Chicago chefs will provide delicious eats and share their own kitchen inspiration through a dish that tells the story of who and what inspired them to cook. The event also includes entertainment, wine, and cocktails. Participating chefs include:
All proceeds from the event benefit Peterson Garden Project's mission. If you aren't able to attend but are interested in supporting the Peterson Garden Project, click here!

Monday, January 26, 2015

PINT In Season Review and Q&A.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, I received a home delivery containing a sample of fresh almond milk, a whole blended smoothie, and a cold pressed juice. The samples were delivered by Hannah, one of the proprietors of the local company PINT In Season. Hannah reached out to ask for a review of PINT as part of the January Challenge {to drink a healthy smoothie at least five days per week and avoid food products containing added sugars}. I can't think of a better way to kick off the last week of the January Challenge. I could not be happier to throw my support behind a growing Chicago company! It doesn't hurt that the products I tasted were absolutely delicious, and the fact that PINT In Season uses only organic ingredients. The company also uses primarily local produce whenever possible. PINT's homepage says it best: where green is king + all growing things have a place.

Meet Hannah & Devin:


PINT In Season offers delivery subscriptions in the Chicago area, at a variety of price points depending on the number of juice or smoothie pints your household needs. Almond milk is also available on its own, or as an add-on to another order. {Juices, smoothies, and almond milk are delivered in the sweetest glass jars}. The whole blended smoothie I tried included candy beets, cranberries, kale, red cabbage, spinach, and apple. It had a strong, sweet, and earthy beet flavor and a nice texture and consistency. The cold pressed juice included romaine, kale, spinach, parsley, and apple. This was a delicious green juice, with just enough sweetness from the apple. I could drink it every morning!

Lastly, the almond milk I sampled had a nutty and sweet, slightly vanilla-y flavor. For milk products, I generally only drink almond milk and have tried a variety of brands. I have to tell you this almond milk is by far the best I have ever tasted! I tried it straight up, then added it to my morning coffee. Since I gave up adding sugary sweeteners to my morning cup, this almond milk was the perfect "clean" way to add extra flavor and sweetness.


I asked Hannah and Devin to answer a few questions about their company. You can connect with PINT In Season on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram - read on to learn more!

When was PINT founded and what is the inspiration behind the company?
Pint has been in the works for almost a year now but we officially launched in October with our first Blends and Juices donated for an Anti-Pesticide Action group event held at Garfield Park Conservatory. The inspiration for the company couldn’t be simpler: let's use the best quality organic produce we can get from the closest possible place we can get it. We put health and nutrition over fads and trends.

How does PINT define "whole blended" and "cold pressed"?
“Whole Blended” is the name we chose to distance ourselves from common ingredients people associate with smoothies. We blend up whole fruits and vegetables with no added dairy or sugar and these whole blends are loaded with the produce’s original fiber. “Cold Pressed” is the juicing method we chose to use for our juices. The ingredients are pressed between two flat surfaces at high pressure which extracts the most amount of juice while exposing it to the least amount of air, which oxidizes juice faster and reduces the nutritional benefits greatly. Cold pressing avoids this and turns out a better quality product.


I love that PINT uses organic ingredients. Where is the produce sourced from?
We source our produce in a number of ways. One of which is buying through a wholesaler who specializes in only selling foods grown and harvested in the Midwest. The name of that company is “Local Foods.” They have done a great job connecting Chicago chefs and restaurants with Midwest growers and producers. We also continue to pound the pavement curating our own network of farmers directly in and around Chicago. We have a couple of great partnerships on the horizon for this growing season. It’s hard to beat produce grown and picked for us that morning. 

How long do the smoothies and juices last since they are raw and untreated?
The drinks last optimally for 3 days in the fridge. You can still definitely drink them after that for up to 5 days but the nutritional vitality starts to taper off after 3 days. We set up our subscription model so that when you purchase anything above the 3 juice package {9, 12, 18, 24} you never have a product older than 48 hours. We always want you to have the freshest drink possible. The almond milk is good for 5-7 days.
 

How often does PINT change juice recipes?
We are still figuring this part out since this is our first year through all the seasons. We always have at least 12 recipes in our pocket so our customers don’t get the same thing. The available ingredients change every few weeks so the menu gets reworked again when ingredients either come or go out of season. We have it set up this way so no one gets in a rut of just drinking one thing all the time - this way you are definitely getting balanced nutrition! 

How can Chicago residents get PINT? Are products only available for delivery, and if so, what is the delivery area? 
Our website is the only way for people to become customers {www.pintinseason.com}. We don’t have a storefront because we want to save some money on overhead costs so we can pass on better prices to our customers and still deliver quality ingredients that go way beyond the average juice bar. We are working on setting up pickup points for certain neighborhoods. Those will be coming soon as we start to network with other businesses who are willing to collaborate with us. 


Do you offer recycling or re-use of the glass jars for regular customers?
We do recycle and reuse our jars! That is the driving factor behind why we chose the mason jar. You hear a lot of people talking about how the plastic bottles they use are the “most recyclable form of plastic” well in our opinion that's not much to brag about. The usability of glass is forever, you manufacture it once and that's it. Even if you recycle a plastic bottle you are still collecting, sorting, melting, forming, and shipping a plastic bottle that will never really biodegrade. For all of those reasons, and so many more, we use glass.

What is PINT's most popular product?
We are getting some great feedback on our blends, mostly from our customers who are really looking to fit in healthy eating habits into their daily routines. They have told us that it makes getting their vegetables in dead simple. We have also been hearing a lot of really incredible buzz around our almond milk! We have some great plans for that on the horizon as well.

{I was not compensated to write this post and all opinions are my own. I received three samples from Pint to facilitate my review. Thanks for supporting the companies I believe in!}

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nike+ Chiberia Challenge Recap + 2015 Challenge.

In December, I had the wonderful opportunity to act as a Team Captain for a local Nike+ running challenge, the Chiberia Challenge. This challenge was the first of its kind for Nike, worldwide. Five teams with fifteen members each competed to run as much as possible over a thirteen day period. The challenge happened in the middle of the holiday season with the goal of encouraging runners to get outside even when conditions are not ideal. Just because it's winter doesn't mean you have to stop running outdoors; if you use the right gear and stay committed, there's no reason your training needs to end!


The challenge kicked off with an event at Nike Bucktown, where team members gathered to get started on the right foot. We finished a group run to celebrate the challenge officially starting later that night. Each team member had the goal of finishing 70 miles, tracked on the Nike+ app. The faster you finished the miles, the sooner the challenge would end. Prizes included a Nike Flash jacket for the first runner to complete 70 miles, and a new pair of Nike running shoes for everyone on the winning team {the highest number of miles tracked on the app}. Credit for the great photos below goes to Nike!


I asked a few team members to share their thoughts on the challenge and advice for other runners on what motivates them to run. Our team was in first place for a few days, and half of the team finished the 70 mile threshold. Even those who didn't finish the 70 miles did a fantastic job running.  Everyone got out there and logged miles, which was the purpose of this winter challenge!


Being part of a team challenge with others was the best motivating factor for me. This was the most I had ever run in a short period of time {I finished 70 miles in 11 days, 7 hours to be exact!} Challenges in the Nike+ app allow you to add friends to join you, and you can see everyone's progress toward the goal. Challenge participants can chat with each other through the app for extra motivation.

Overall, our team finished in 4th place with 759.9 miles! A few comments from team members:

Rudy: A thing that keeps me going is the friendly competition I have with other runners. I think it's best to join in some type of online challenge {whether on Nike+ or elsewhere} and try to do your best. This way you always have that extra push to get you out the door.

 Cindy: I think that was the most challenging part was the time when the challenge started, because I love to run and even when i don't have a challenge i log even the same amount of miles, but through holidays its so hard to do it and even though i was traveling with my tennis shoes it takes a lot of commitment. I'm happy that I got to see a lot of my runner friends from Nike marathon training 2sixpoints2, or from Discovery Runs, which means to me that we still engage with our runner community in Chicago. The Chiberia Challenge gave me even more motivation to run my first winter half marathon. Since I'm a surfer  its so hard for me to get use to the winter but i totally love it , and i hope Nike can make more challenges soon!!

Lucy: Although it was a hard challenge what made it extra hard was the month. {December} is always the craziest busiest month for me. With birthdays, school concerts and all the holiday to "do's" I was unable to finish. I did find myself pushing To log at the most random moments. For example, declined all lunch time invitations as those were logging moments.

If you need more motivation to run this year, consider joining me on a year-long challenge! In 2014 I logged 500 miles and decided to hold a challenge within Nike+ to log 600 this year - "Chi Jogger 600 in 2015." If you want to join, add me on the Nike+ app {Chicago_Jogger}, message me, and I'll invite you to the challenge!

{I received Nike running gear in exchange for participating as a Team Captain in the Nike+ Chiberia Challenge. All opinions are my own.}

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cranberry Blood Orange Smoothie + January Challenge Update #3

There are many delicious cranberry + orange recipe combinations out there, from scones to cookies to cocktails. I decided to kick things on the healthy factor up a notch with a breakfast smoothie featuring frozen cranberries and citrus, using a blood orange instead of a regular orange - Cranberry Blood Orange Smoothies. Blood oranges happen to be K's favorite winter citrus.


As a bonus, this smoothie featured freshly made almond milk from the local company PINT {review coming soon}. I could drink this milk every hour of every day!


Tonight's smoothie also contains a "secret" green ingredient. You can't see it in the color of the smoothie, and you can't taste it! Last week's post mentioned the importance of rotating the greens in your diet. I started adding veggies to smoothies this week to change things up. The "green" ingredient in this recipe is celery. It blends incredibly well! Celery contains Vitamin A, is very low in calories, and aids digestion {source}. Give it a try, won't you?


Cranberry Blood Orange Smoothie
Serves two.

3/4 cup frozen cranberries
2 bananas
3 stalks celery
1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 blood orange {peeled}

The "no added sugar" part of the challenge is still going well. I am getting used to avoiding fake coffee creamer in my morning cup{s}. Instead, I add unsweetened almond milk and a splash of half and half. The quality of coffee makes a huge difference. When the coffee is flavorful on its own, I don't need the extra "flavor" from artificially sweetened creamers. I add a shake of ground cinnamon if I need a little something extra in the morning. For sweet snacks, K and I are keeping dried figs and dates on hand. The best way to eat a date for dessert is smeared with raw almond butter!



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Motivation + Weekly Workouts.

Good morning! I'm drinking a new {to me} Trader Joe's dark roast coffee blend, listening to the sound of construction on a house in the alley behind mine. It's interesting because the house is gutted and we can see the new walls going up piece by piece. What's not so interesting is the fact that construction starts at 8:00am on the dot on weekend mornings... at least it gives me more time for morning coffee!

 {Image via noodlehug's Etsy shop; found on Pinterest}

Besides coffee, there are a few other exciting things going on around here. One of my favorite parts of reading other healthy lifestyle and fitness blogs is workout recap posts. We're all so incredibly busy for various reasons, and it's inspiring to see how other people fit running and fitness activities into their daily lives. On that note, I was recently accepted as a FitFluential Ambassador!

FitFluential Is Fitness Found

I'm honored to join a wonderful community of influential healthy lifestyle and fitness bloggers and continue on this path. For that reason, I'm planning to start posting workout re-caps more often, at least every other week. One of my goals in 2015 is to step out of my comfort zone and try different types of workouts. So far this month, I have tried four different classes and finished a personal training workout, along with a few outdoor and treadmill runs.

Week of January 1st:
  • Thursday 1/1: Ran 5 miles on a local trail
  • Friday 1/2: Ran to/from a 1 hour Piloxing workout class {2.5 miles}
Week of January 5th:
  • Monday 1/5: Ran 3 miles treadmill; 7 minute increasing speed/incline walking break; 10 minutes stairmaster; 6 sets of 15 squats; 3 planks, 45 seconds each
  • Wednesday 1/7: 20-30-10 Apartment Workout + 3 sets of 75 jumping jacks {between each 20-30-10 series}
  • Thursday 1/8: Weight lifting {arms, 3 sets} with 50 jumping jacks, 25 crunches, and a 30 second plank between each set
  • Friday 1/9: Ran 4 miles treadmill
  • Saturday 1/10: Core Vinyasa Yoga {1 hour}
  • Sunday 1/11: Vinyasa Yoga {75 minutes}
Week of January 12th:
  • Tuesday 1/13: 5 minute walking warm-up; ran 4.5 miles treadmill {increasing speed}; 5 minute walking cool-down {increasing speed/incline}
  • Thursday 1/15: Roc Me Out class {dance/core cardio; 1 hour}
  • Friday 1/16: Active rest; walked 3.5 miles
  • Saturday 1/17: Ran to/from 1 hour personal training class {5.25 miles} 

Since the temperature today is a balmy 30 degrees, I'm hoping to get outside for another run this afternoon to finish off the week. Follow my Running and Motivation boards on Pinterest for more inspiration.


Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Creamy Butternut Squash & Cauliflower Soup {Vegan}.

This Creamy Butternut Squash & Cauliflower Soup includes an entire butternut squash, a head of cauliflower, three carrots, and an apple and happens to be vegan. Add this to your menu and enjoy it all weekend!


Despite how much I love adding butternut squash to any savory dish, I haven't tried making butternut squash soup before now. To be honest, the reason I haven't is because it seemed like a lot of work and I was worried the resulting soup would be too sweet for my taste. However, I'm here to promise you this butternut squash soup recipe could not be easier with a few simple steps: peel, chop and roast; simmer with other good-for-you ingredients; and blend away!


This is a great weekend soup recipe since it involves roasting two pans of vegetables before adding everything to the soup pot. I made this on a Friday night and K and I enjoyed it for lunch all weekend. This is also a vegan recipe, combining roasted vegetables while including no dairy. Since roasted butternut squash results in such a creamy texture, you don't need it! I also added a bit of heat with 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes. If you like a hint of spice, this is the perfect amount.


Creamy Butternut Squash & Cauliflower Soup {Vegan}
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients~
1 head cauliflower
1 medium butternut squash
3 carrots
1 yellow onion
1 apple
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + 2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon vegan butter
7 sage leaves
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
7 sage leaves

How to~
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Peel the skin from the butternut squash {I use a vegetable peeler} and chop into 1/2 inch to 1-inch pieces. Toss with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast for 1 hour.
*Chop cauliflower into florets. Peel and chop carrots into chunks. Toss with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast for 40 minutes in a separate pan.
*Dice yellow onion and saute in the soup pot on medium-low with 1 Tablespoon butter and 2 teaspoons olive oil for ~3 minutes. Chop sage leaves and add to the onions. Peel and chop the apple and add to the onions. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for ~5 minutes.
*Add vegetable broth and water to the soup pot. When squash, cauliflower and carrots are done roasting, add to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Add red pepper flakes. Simmer for 25 minutes on low.
*After the soup is done simmering, take the lid off and let it rest for ~5 minutes. Add soup mixture to your blender in two batches to puree {approximately 30 seconds}.


{Adapted from Chow's recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup}





Monday, January 12, 2015

Nutty Fig Green Smoothie + January Challenge Update #2.

This simple Nutty Fig Green Smoothie recipe combines either frozen or dried figs with nut butter, banana, yogurt, greens, and unsweetened almond milk for a healthy breakfast.


Do you rotate your greens? Research suggests you shouldn't rely on only one type of green in your diet {like spinach}. Instead, it's healthier to eat a number of different varieties. Why? A few reasons - there are slight toxins contained in raw leafy greens; different greens have different vitamins; and your body needs nutritional variety {source, source}. I'm usually a spinach girl with kale thrown in a few times a month, but with this new knowledge I'm planning to make an effort to mix up my greens more often. This is easy to do with all the smoothies on my menu in the January Challenge. I currently purchase a large bag of spinach and a big bunch of kale every week and switch what I include in my morning smoothie every other day. Next week's grocery list will also include Swiss chard, dandelion greens, and parsley.

Before we get to new green combinations {next week!} I have a new smoothie recipe to share tonight that has become my favorite drinkable breakfast. This smoothie packs a ton of flavor + good for you ingredients into one package. The star? Frozen whole green figs.


I discovered Trader Joe's frozen whole green figs a few months ago, and I can't get enough of this nutty smoothie. Adding one frozen fig results in a very creamy green smoothie and contributes a lot of extra flavor. My favorite way to enjoy this frozen fig add-on is with unsweetened almond butter along with the usual Green Smoothie Base Recipe ingredients. If you can't find whole green figs or don't have a Trader Joe's in your area, you can substitute dried figs as well for the same delicious flavor.


Nutty Fig Green Smoothie
Makes one smoothie.

1 frozen fig
1 banana
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
3+ cups raw spinach
1 Tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter {I use raw, unsweetened}

~OR~

3 dried figs
1 frozen banana {sliced}
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
3+ cups raw spinach
1 Tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter {I use raw, unsweetened}

On the "no added sugar" part of the challenge, K and I are still going strong by eating no desserts and cutting out processed foods with added sugars. We successfully avoided a candy bar and what looked like delicious chocolate cake at a birthday party over the weekend. On my list for no-sugar motivation this week is to read My Whole Food Life's Tips on Quitting Processed Sugar and watch the documentary Fed Up.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Healthier Broccoli Salad.

Happy Friday! I'm in hiberation mode over here due to bitter cold and snow, working from home for the past few days and staying warm with constant coffee and tea. Due to the weather I have completed two at-home workouts this week, but I'm hoping to get out to the gym during a break today for some treadmill time with the Half Mile Interval Treadmill Run. I'm not a zero temperature outdoor runner; 20 degrees is my limit! Icy and snowy sidewalks are another factor on my "do not run" list. Case in point, my plants finally have their wintry covering:


The recipe I'm sharing today is an easy, crunchy salad with a few of my favorite ingredients. I made this salad over the holidays for a family gathering. It comes together very quickly, and is a healthier version of broccoli salad usually made with loads of white sugar. The key is to add extra flavor by sauteing chopped onions and adding dried cranberries and raisins to the mix.


Broccoli has always been my favorite vegetable {weird, I know}. My mom loves telling stories about me snacking on raw broccoli straight from the garden as a small child. What can I say, I love the crunch!

 
Healthier Broccoli Salad
Serves a crowd {as a side dish}.

Ingredients~
1 head broccoli
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 yellow onion {chopped}
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts {roughly chopped}
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked black pepper
3/4 cup Miracle Whip {I used the olive oil version}
1/8 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

How to~
*Saute chopped yellow onion in olive oil on medium for ~15 minutes. While the onion is cooking, chop broccoli florets into small pieces.
*During the last few minutes sauteing the onion, add raisins and dried cranberries to soften.
*Add the chopped onion, cranberry, and raisin mix to the broccoli. Stir in sugar, salt and pepper, and chopped walnuts.
*Add Miracle Whip and white balsamic vinegar. Stir well.
*Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

{Adapted from All Recipes' Fresh Broccoli Salad}

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pineapple Citrus Smoothie + January Challenge Update.

When I think of pineapple, I think of the beach. Despite the absolutely freezing weather today in Chicago {it's 5 degrees with heavy snow this evening!} I have warm thoughts on my mind with a new Pineapple Citrus Smoothie recipe.


I tried this combination for the first time this morning and it's an excellent healthy way to start your day. One cup of pineapple includes 40% of the daily Vitamin C needed in your diet. This smoothie also contains the juice of one lime, which is full of Vitamin C and other benefits.


Pineapple Citrus Smoothie
Yields: 2 smoothies

Ingredients~
4+ handfuls spinach
1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 bananas
1 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen mango
Juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup plain yogurt

As part of the January Challenge, I am committed to drinking a green smoothie at least five days per week. K and I have also cut added sugars from our diet this month - this means no desserts, sweetened coffee creamer {sob} or processed snacks. I'm hoping to break a few habits with this effort and come out on the other side with a cleaner diet.

Comment if you want to join us on this challenge - to add more green smoothies to your day, avoid added sugars, or both! If you're already in, how did the first five days go?



Sunday, January 4, 2015

How to: Simple Egg Noodles.

Happy Sunday - I hope your 2015 is off to a great start! We have friends visiting for the long weekend and every day has been filled with fun activities and late nights. Yesterday we visited Lagunitas Brewing Company on the south side for lunch and beers, had dinner at D'Noche in Logan Square, drinks at Parts and Labor, and came home for Bananagrams.

Today will be a rest and re-set day with soup and playing games this afternoon. The weather has the typical Midwestern flair this weekend in Chicago, with slushy snow and rain yesterday, and pretty falling snow this morning. It's the perfect time to whip up something cozy in the kitchen. While I was home in Iowa for Thanksgiving this year, I asked my mom to teach me how to make her homemade egg noodles. I remember her making these noodles every winter when I was a kid, and my family's favorite way to enjoy them is in homemade chicken noodle soup.


This is a rustic noodle recipe that doesn't require any special tools or a pasta maker - all you need is a mixer, a rolling pin, and a pizza cutter.


This recipe for egg noodles can be easily customized depending on how many noodles you need. A good rule of thumb is to add one egg and 3/4 cup of flour per person. We added these noodles to a large pot of chicken noodle soup for six people, so this "how to" will make noodles for six. Each step is listed separately in this post, but scroll to the bottom for a recap of the full recipe.

Step 1: Make the noodle dough.
*Add six eggs to a stand mixer and mix on low. Add salt and slowly add 4 cups of all-purpose white flour in batches while mixing. The dough should be somewhat dry; add water by the Tablespoon if needed.


Step 2: Form the dough into a ball.
*Form the dough into a ball and knead it a few times with your hands. Add flour to the dough and to the surface of your counter.


Step 3: Roll the dough.
*Add flour to your counter and flatten the dough into a large pancake, about 1 inch thick. Make sure to add enough flour so the dough does not stick to the surface.


Step 4: Continue rolling the dough until thin.
*The dough should be as thin as a pie crust. If the dough is too thick, your egg noodles will turn out doughy in the middle.


Step 5: Slice the noodles.
*Use a pizza slicer to cut the noodles, using a rolling pin as your guide. Slice the noodles about 1/4 inch thick or less, depending on your desired size.


Step 6: Dry the noodles.
*Loosen noodles from the counter with a spatula to make sure nothing sticks to the surface. Let the noodles dry for at least an hour. You can leave noodles on the counter to dry, or hang on a noodle rack.


Simple egg noodles can be added to any soup recipe. We boiled the noodles in a traditional chicken noodle soup for ~30 minutes before serving for lunch. The cooking time depends on how large your noodles are; the noodles can be cooked in as little as 15 minutes and as long as an hour.


Simple Egg Noodles

Ingredients~
6 eggs
4 cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

How to~
  • Step 1: Make the noodle dough. Add six eggs to a stand mixer and mix on low. Add salt and slowly add 4 cups of all-purpose white flour in batches while mixing. The dough should be somewhat dry; add water by the Tablespoon if needed. 
  • Step 2: Form the dough into a ball. Form the dough into a ball and knead it a few times with your hands. Add flour to the dough and to the surface of your counter. 
  • Step 3: Roll the dough. Add flour to your counter and flatten the dough into a large pancake, about 1 inch thick. Make sure to add enough flour so the dough does not stick to the surface. 
  • Step 4: Continue rolling the dough until thin. The dough should be as thin as a pie crust. If the dough is too thick, your egg noodles will turn out doughy in the middle. 
  • Step 5: Slice the noodles. Use a pizza slicer to cut the noodles, using a rolling pin as your guide. Slice the noodles about 1/4 inch thick or less, depending on your desired size. 
  • Step 6: Dry the noodles. Loosen noodles from the counter with a spatula to make sure nothing sticks to the surface. Let the noodles dry for at least an hour. You can leave noodles on the counter to dry, or hang on a noodle rack