Saturday, April 28, 2012

Brooke Cooks - Chipotle Burrito Bowls

I LOVE Chipotle.  I still remember the first time I had Chipotle; I was 18, had just graduated high school, and my boyfriend at the time wanted to take me to this new place that had just opened up.  It was love at first bite.  Now, 8 years later, I am still just as obsessed with Chipotle (although I switched to the burrito bowl when they were introduced a few years ago).  But as much as I love Chipotle, it is still "take out," and I would much rather each something home cooked.  So, after countless (truly!) tries and a few tips from Chipotle employees (thanks!), my family and I have perfected our at-home Chipotle recipe for build-you-own burrito bowls.  And it is SO good.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Chipotle's lime rice is, in my opinion, the key element in their delicious burritos.  But this was tough to replicate!  It is very important to keep the rice from getting sticky or mushy.

Chipotle Peppers


For the guacamole, I used my own recipe:
3 ripe avocados
3 medium firm tomatoes
1 TB crushed garlic
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cumin

Mash avocados using a potato masher.  Add additional ingredients, stir to mix, and serve immediately.  

Seasoned Black Beans

2 cans black beans (or use dried, and cook until soft)
1 TB crushed garlic
1/4 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp cumin
2 TB olive oil

These couldn't be easier: Saute garlic and onion in olive oil.  When soft, turn off heat and add beans and cumin.  Stir until thoroughly heated.

Chipotle Chicken

I used vegetarian chicken for my own, but my parents had real chicken.  The third time we made it with this recipe, I made everyone vegetarian chicken and they loved it.

Add lettuce, tomato and corn salsa (we bought ours at Trader Joe's, but Chipotle has the advantage here - their salsa is fantastic!).


Friday, April 6, 2012

Brooke Cooks - Chickpea Funa (Faux Tuna)

A tuna fish sandwich is an American classic, but as a vegetarian for nine years, I haven't had tuna in a while.  The best substitute?  This chickpea "funa" (my dad jokingly named it that - "faux tuna").  But "funa" isn't just for vegetarians.  Yesterday, Ellen DeGeneres had a segment on her show about the harmful effects of fishing nets.  Watch the clip or learn more about that here.  According to "The Caretakers," "It is estimated that 308,000 dolphins and whales die because of fishing gear entanglement every year worldwide" ("The Caretakers").  This is a HUGE problem and something that we need to do something about.  We are losing about 1,000 dolphins and whales daily, just to satisfy the fishing industry and our appetites.  Our oceans are rich with plants and marine life, and we will lose those if we don't do something now.  One option is to cut back on the seafood we consume.  Just like Meatless Monday, we can have Fish-free Fridays.  And one way to do that is to try some new recipes.  Maybe this will even replace your go-to tuna fish sandwich!

Chickpea "Funa"
serves 2

You will need:
1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (or the equivalent in dried chickpeas soaked overnight)
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1-2 Tablespoons sweet relish
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
4 slices bread

Pour drained, rinsed chickpeas into a bowl.  Using a potato masher, mash chickpeas completely. 

Next, add mayonnaise, relish, dill, and lemon juice.  Mix thoroughly.

Toast two slices of bread.  Spread chickpea mixture on bread, and enjoy.  This is also great in pita pockets!

Serve with a pickle and chips (I love Cape Cod chips!)

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy this.  Thanks for doing your part to help reduce ocean devastation.

Wel-Kim to My World - 2012 Kardashian Shades

Wel-Kim to My World, inspired by Kim Kardashian, is available this month, and this collection has the BEST nude polish I have ever found.  Read on to learn more!

Others Pale By Kim-parison

Others Pale By Kim-parison
A slightly off-white creme that looks very chic.  I love white polish, but it can be VERY bright.  This is a much more subtle way to wear the all-white trend.

Others Pale By Kim-parison

Lights, Kim-Era, Action!

Lights, Kim-Era, Action!
This is a beautiful shimmery white.  If you've been reading Babbling Brooke for the past few years, you might know that I have a HUGE fondness for shimmery whites and I am always on the hunt for great white shimmers.  This one is beautiful and definitely one of my top three.

Here Kim's the Sun
A sheer sharply top coat with medium-sized glitter.

Kim Konfidential

Kim Konfidential
I LOVE this nude!  It is the perfect shade for my skin!  I have such a hard time find nude polishes that look good, and this is by far the best match I have ever found.  It is the perfect taupe creme.  Nudes are awesome because they make your fingers look long and lean and they give your nails a clean, professional look that is perfect for interviews.  They can also be nice with bright, fun outfits when you want to keep your nails and makeup very basic.

Kim Konfidential

Up & Kim-ing Pink

Up & Kim-ing Pink
A very pretty bubblegum pink.  I have been really into this shade lately (similar to Nicki Minaj's pink from OPI).  Up & Kim-ing Pink is pretty, fun, and girly.

Nothing Kim-pares to Blue
A great periwinkle!  I have always loved periwinkle and a few years ago I was on a desperate hunt for the perfect periwinkle (a wonderful friend from Australia sent me a gorgeous periwinkle creme that I just love).  This is my first shimmery periwinkle and it is too pretty.

Nothing Kim-pares to Blue

Suzi Weiss-Fischmann (the namesake of the "Suzi" polishes, like "Suzi Says Feng Shui," as well as the executive VP and artistic director for Nicole by OPI) says, “These six new lacquers really showcase Kim’s flirty, feminine side.  Kim often wears pink, white and other softer-toned shades; these colors are great for creating a classic, elegant look that works day or night.”

This collection is available at OPI retailers, including Sears, CVS, and Ulta, and shades retail for $7.99.  Visit for more information.  What do you think of the new Kim Kardashian inspired shades?

Target-exclusive shades from Nicole by OPI

I have swatches of four great new Target-exclusive shades today!  Every time I go to Target with my mother or my sister, we end up standing in the polish section looking at bottle after bottle of Nicole by OPI.  I love that Target carries Nicole polishes now, and the four shades are a nice addition to the line.  I especially love Great Minds Pink Alike and Purple Yourself Together.  

Nicole by OPI Great Minds Pink Alike, Purple Yourself Together, That's Totally Red-ical, and Look at Me Look at Me

Great Minds Pink Alike
Beautiful bubblegum pink with lots of gold and pink shimmer.  This color is so much prettier than it is photographing because the shimmer is reflecting and my camera had trouble capturing it.  I used two coats and I did not want to take this swatch off.  In fact, when I finished swatching, I re-polished with this shade!

Purple Yourself Together
Maybe I am just gaga for glitter right now, but this shimmery golden deep purple is just OUTSTANDING, in my opinion.  The purple is beautiful - the perfect combination and nice and vibrant.  Plus, the super fine gold shimmer gives this shade an incredible shine.  I am just so excited about this one.  It is so pretty!

That's Totally Red-ical
This is a classic, bright red creme, with a hint of super-fine shimmer.  This is a great work-ready red or a fun date-night shade.

Look at Me, Look at Me
To be honest, I don't like how this looks over top of That's Totally Red-ical, and I actually think it could have stood on it's own.  I used it as a shimmer topcoat, when in reality, it is a sparkly silver that is dense and thick enough to be worn as a polish (not as a topper).  This is a very pretty silver with lots of fine silver and red glitter.  It's a fun, current shade.

These shades retail for $7.04 each and are available now at Target.  Learn more at  
What do you think?  Are you loving any of these for spring?  Thanks for reading :)

OPI New York City Ballet

OPI Soft Shades Spring 2012
New York City Ballet

OPI's Soft Shades are always very light and sheer, which I find so lovely and appealing.  Perhaps it is because they are so super feminine, and this collection ups the feminine factor even more by joining forces with the New York City Ballet.  

You Callin' Me a Lyre?
You Callin' Me a Lyre?
A sheer peach.  Two coats.

My Pointe Exactly
The shade surprised me because it looks so gray in the bottle.  It is very sheer (this is two thin coats).  I actually think this is a pretty unique shade.

Barre My Soul

Barre My Soul
A sheer nude.  I used two thin coats.

Care to Danse?

Care to Danse?
Care to Danse? is the most pink shade in the collection.  It is a very sheer, lightly pigmented pink that differs only slightly from Barre My Soul (it is more pink, while Barre is more nude).

Don't Touch My Tutu!

Don't Touch My Tutu!
This is my favorite in the collection.  It is a soft white, cloudy, cotton-candy, floaty shade.  I used two coats.

Pirouette My Whistle
Clear base with very fine silver glitter and large hexagonal-shaped silver glitter.  For this swatch, I used one coat of Pirouette over Care to Danse?

This soft collection is available at OPI retailers now.  Visit for more information.

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