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end of another era

You know those days when nighttime comes and you think back over the last 12 hours and say to yourself:

“wow, I had some good food today.”

Yep…I’m havin’ one of those.  And I’m likin’ it too.

Let’s get a recap of breakfast because it was just too purdy not to;)

beet, carrot, apple, pear and blackberry juice

For lunch I met up with my friend, Grace, at Panera.  I went with the garden vegetable soup + a whole grain baguette

After lunch I ran home and got a lot of work accomplished!  Jonathan has become more and more able to pass off Outbox work to me.  Right now I’m writing the copy for a brochure for one of our clients, and I’m loving it!  The combination of working for our own business, working from home and writing is so fulfilling to me.

I guess I was working a little too hard…because in a matter of just a few hours I had worked up quite an appetite!

Van’s light whole wheat waffle with natural peanut butter, half a sliced banana + chia seeds

Before I knew it, it was time to go have my last tutoring session with Mohammad.

So long, Mohammad.  It’s been real.

I’m really going to miss tutoring, but I told him to put in a word with his international friends, so maybe it won’t be the end after all!  lol.

Because I had yoga tonight, I spent some time this afternoon making a crock-pot creation to have for dinner.  I almost never use my crock-pot anymore, but when I do I always wonder why I let it sit and collect dust.  It’s so convenient!

Dinner turned out pretty tasty.

sauteed zucchini, spinach and broccoli slaw in 1 tsp olive oil with a dash of red pepper and garlic powder

Jon had this marvelous idea for breadsticks. For each stick, he used half of a Joseph’s lavash wrap, spreading a small bit of Earth Balance and pesto and sprinkling garlic powder before rolling it all up and baking at 400 for about 10 minutes.   I die.

And now for the sauce!

Easy Vegan Crock-pot Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

1 29 ounce can of tomato puree
1 15 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
1/2 a real tomato, chopped (I happened to have it in the fridge and figured I might as well throw it in!)
1/2  cup of water
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tbsp basil

Directions

1.  Mix all ingredients together in the crockpot and allow to heat through all day!
2.  Pour over whole wheat spaghetti, bulgur or a huge pile of your favorite veggies as shown above:)

That’s it!  Amen to easy breezy recipes.

Note: don’t forget to take out the bay leaves before serving.  Also, next time I will not add as much water, if any.  I thought it needed thinning, but the sauce ended up a bit too watery.

For dessert I whipped up a little bit of blueberry banana softserve.

I love using my mini bowl and spoon.  Makes it last so much longer:)

I hope you all had a great day and did something nice for yourself – you deserve it!

See you tomorrow!

What was the best thing you ate in the last 24 hours? Mine was the breadsticks – I love me some garlic bread:)  Thanks dear!

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knowledge is power

It seems that the Candwich got quite a rise out of you guys this morning!  Can you even believe it?  What will they come up with next?  It really just made me sad when I first saw it.  It seems that there is sometimes no concept of understanding in our country about how to eat healthy food that is medicine to the body rather than poison.

After I posted this morning, I was on the Candwich website, and there is a video of an Australian morning show interviewing the CEO of Candwich.  One particular question they asked him was what the nutrition profile was of this new product.  My ears perked up!  He replied “well, it has about 450 calories once you put it all together.”

Doh.

That’s it.  That’s the only nutritional info he felt was important to provide.


What about the ingredients?
Or how much protein?
Or what about how much sodium??

Nada.  Just 450 calories.  What a deal, right?

One thing I just learned in the past couple of years is how to read ingredient lists.  In the past I would never even look at the ingredient list on products…I just went by whatever the product said on the front.  Scary!  Now I always check out the ingredient list on any product before I even think about buying it.  You’d be amazed at what’s in some of the stuff we are so accustomed to eating! Even things as simple as peanut butter have sugar and oils that you don’t even think about.  Btw…Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter is my favorite!  And I’m not getting paid to say that ;)

Basically, if you can’t pronounce it…you don’t want to put it in your body! Always go for ingredients that are whole foods…as close to the ground as possible.  And really…it’s always best to just skip the middle aisles in the store as much as possible and stick to the perimeter for fresh produce and whole foods.

Rant over.

As I’ve mentioned, Jon and I are really trying to cut down on our budget.  You know, since I quit my job and all;)

Anyway, we’re trying not to go to the grocery store until the end of the month, even though we are out of almost everything!  So I decided to challenge myself tonight by creating a dish using only the random ingredients we had in the cabinets.

The result?

The thing that comes to mind as I post this pic is a song I often attach to certain things I love…and sing it loud…all around the house.  Drives Jon crazy. muahahaha :)

I’d sing it for you if I could.  Actually I could post a video…but I’d like to have you guys hang around for awhile.  So, I won’t.

But this meal was simple.  Simply EPIC that is!

Ingredients

8 – 10 red potatoes
1/2 large onion
1 cup frozen edamame
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (or fresh if you aren’t lazy like me:)
3 tbsp evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 tbsp seasoned salt
1/2 tbsp basil
1 tsp rosemary

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
3.  Cut potatoes into small, bite-sized pieces and place in large casserole dish
4.  In a small bowl, mix olive oil, seasoned salt, basil and rosemary
5.  Pour oil mixture over potatoes and stir until potatoes are coated
6.  Chop onion into medium sized pieces and add to dish.  Stir well.
7.  Add tomatoes, frozen edamame and chia seeds.  Stir well.
8.  Roast for approximately 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until potatoes are soft.

Serve alongside your favorite steamed veggie!  Makes about 4 – 6 servings.

The one problem is that I can’t seem to come up with a name for this dish.  I’m stumped!  Any ideas??

I also snacked on a slice of Ezekiel bread with natural peanut butter about an hour befor din.

Well, I’ve gotta hit the mat and get some PiYo practice in before bed tonight.  I hope you all are having a lovely week so far!

What do you think I should name my potato dish?

Do you pay a lot of attention to ingredient lists?  What caused you to start thinking about what was in your food rather than just trusting the slogan on the front of the box?

On that note, have you read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan?  I love this book, and I really think it is crucial for everyone to read.  It made me really understand how twisted the food system in our country is.  Not to be a negative Nancy, but we have to watch out for and take care of ourselves! Ya know?

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second time around

Thank you all for the wonderful comments this morning!  You guys totally made my day!  Well…you and Foodbuzz :)   lol.

I really do appreciate your support tremendously.  ChiaSeedMe would not be the same without you.

After yesterday’s 7 hours of driving and 8 hour certification class, I just could not pull myself out of bed on time this morning!  I slept in until Jon left for world at 8am, then finally lured myself out of bed by envisioning a refreshing and energizing juice. mmm.

1 beet, 1 apple, 1 pear, 2 carrots

Totally did the trick:)

I also managed to make it to the gym and crank out a 5k on the treadmill.  It was a tough run…but I’m really trying to start pushing myself more.  Instead of focusing on the discomfort, I want to focus more on the satisfaction of sprinting that last mile….or running it 20 seconds faster. Whatever it may be.  It really worked today, and I felt so great!

Lunch was leftovers from the other night.

stir-fry veggies with bulgur, chick peas and chias

I had mentioned before that this stir-fry sauce I made was a total fail…but honestly, it tasted better today than it did the first time.  I kinda liked it!

Later on I snacked on a brown rice cake with natural pb, sliced banana a chia seeds – one of my favorite snacks:)

Dinner tonight was leftover enchiladas.  muahahaha.

Today when I met with Mohammad for our tutoring session, he had some bad news to tell me – he’s moving!  This was totally out of the blue.  Basically (we learned that word today:) he just isn’t happy with the classes he’s taking at the institute here, so he’s moving to OKC to attend a different one. Wednesday will be our last meeting together.  I’m really going to miss it because I’ve been enjoying tutoring a lot!

So, you guessed it.  That leaves me jobless once again.  And once again, I’m just trusting that God has something better for me. It’s not easy, but I’m turning away from lies and believing truth.  Something that I’m getting to work on a lot lately:)

In other news…

…this little guy left us yesterday.  While Olive certainly has a little more peace in her life, Jon and I are kinda missing him.

Well, I’m off to cuddle with the husband.  What a great day it’s been; let’s try to top it tomorrow!

And a couple questions for you guys because I love getting to know more about you!  What better way to find out more about you guys than hearing about your lovable fur babies? Or lack thereof;)

Are you a dog person or a cat person? Or neither?
What kind of pet(s) do you have and what are their names?

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$6 well spent + spicy chia black bean burger

This morning Jon and I slept in a bit, then got up and headed to the Farmer’s Market!  We are really trying to stay on a strict budget these days, so I planned to only use the cash that was leftover from our trip last week….which was $6.

I repeat.  $6.

We didn’t really need anything, surprisingly, so six bucks isn’t quite as ridiculous as it sounds.  Last week I had picked up some fresh blackberries and they were so good!  I was dying to get some more this week.  The vendor I bought from last week was out, so I had to get them from another.  Guess how much they were.

$6.

Ha.  So, I spent my entire budget on blackberries!

Breakfast – decaf iced soy latte (by way of gift card!) with a bowl of berries

They have already been worth ever cent so far.  Delicious:)

Now that we are crackin’ down on our budget, I’m really trying to utilize all of our leftovers.  Hence, this salad for lunch.

chopped fresh spinach, broccoli slaw, corn, leftover black bean burger (recipe below!), vegetarian refried beans, salsa, a sprinkle of cumin and chias

This was just okay.  I had let the second batch of black bean burgers cook a little too long the other night, so this was a bit dry and crumbly. It did the job, though;)

For our anniversary celebration (our anniversary was actually Thursday) last night, we went Cafe 501, a really nice little place in the city.  Jon had been there once a really long time ago, but I had never been!

And enjoy we did.  It was really wonderful.

free bread and garlic oil while we waited – we each had about a piece and a half

Appetizer – hummus with roasted red pepper and garlic.  Served with warm pita bread.

I really could have just ordered this and been perfectly fine…and full.  But of course I didn’t realize that until I had already ordered my meal and eaten about half of the hummus!  eek.

I did thoroughly enjoy this salad, I’m not gonna lie.  And all it’s sweet, crunchy, feta cheesy goodness. It was made up of a bed of fresh greens, feta cheese, spiced pumpkin seeds, granny smith apples and a lemon vinaigrette dressing.  Dressing on the side as to avoid floating lettuce:)  I ate about half.

After dinner we had planned to go to a movie…but alas, we were both tired, and it sounded much better to just head home and cuddle up in bed  to watch something (Isn’t that always better anyway?).  And that we did:)

Okay, now for the two recipes I promised yesterday!!

First up - Spicy Chia Black Bean Burgers


Ingredients

  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed, drained and mashed
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed (minced will work)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp avocado (mashed sweet potato will also work)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Directions

  • Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  • Divide and shape mixture into four patties
  • Heat George Foreman grill (or skillet) and coat with olive oil
  • Cook patties until crispy

recipe adapted from The Eat Clean Diet Recharged

I made these once before, but this time I tweaked the recipe and cooked them on our George Foreman rather than the stovetop, and they worked quite nicely. They do tend to be a bit more fragile than your average beef/turkey burger, but these held together just fine!

We enjoyed them on Ezekiel buns; I only had the bottom part of the bun and ate it with a fork.  Also added broccoli slaw, spinach, pickles, onions and hummus.

Hi husband and Olive.  hehe.

We also had some baked fries on the side.  I cut up one whole russet potato, spread the pieces on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with a little of this (seasoned salt, garlic powder) and a little of that (ground red pepper) and baked at 400 degrees for about 20 – 25 minutes, flipping them every once in awhile.  Don’t forget to spray the pan really well before you lay on the fries! Not that I’ve had a problem with this or anything:)

Tasty!!

Okay, next up is a recipe that isn’t really a full recipe.  More of a how-to of sorts.

As you all know, I participated in the Foodbuzz Ultimate Banana Split Challenge by making this baby

I wasn’t able to eat the entire thing (as no self respecting person would:)…but the three bites I did inhale eat were out-of-this-world!  It tasted every single bit as indulgent as it looks.

To start, I used my food processor to make 3 different kinds of banana soft-serve.  I added a small handful of strawberries to the first batch, about a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the second batch and a tablespoon of natural peanut butter to the third batch.  Each batch contained one whole banana.  All you do is process a frozen banana until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency.  Then add your extra ingredient (the possibilities are mind boggling) and process until mixed well.

I froze each flavor for several hours so it would be the right consistency for scooping.

Next I made the coconut whipped cream.

First things first – leave your mixing bowl and beater in the freezer for several hours so it is very cold.  Next, poke a hole (or several) in the bottom of  a can of Thai Coconut Milk (only the full fat version works).  Let the milk drain out the bottom.  Use a can opener to open the top, at which point you’ll see the thick coconut fat.

Scoop the fat out into your mixing bowl.  Mix until smooth, but don’t over mix.

Next add about .5 to 1 cup of powdered sugar and continue mixing until it becomes a whipped consistency. Ta-da!  Vegan whipped cream:)

recipe found here

I know I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but I have some big news coming up in my next post!  Remember in this post when I said I have “a few other things up my sleeve?”  Well one of those things is going down tomorrow! I am so excited…and I can’t wait to tell you guys.

Talk to you later!

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Electrolux #splits: Classic Vegan Banana Split

Are you ready for this?

I have something exciting to share with you today!

As someone who has had one grandma pass away due to cancer and another grandma fight (and win!) a battle with cancer, I am passionate about contributing in the pursuit of a cure to this devastating disease.

I’m sure many, if not all of you have or know someone who has battled with cancer, and you probably possess just as much of a desire to fight back as I do.

For this reason, the moment I heard about this exciting opportunity to help raise money and tell everyone about the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF), I knew I couldn’t pass it up!!

“…the mission of OCRF is very straightforward: to fund research to find a method of early detection and ultimately a cure for ovarian cancer.”

Not only does the OCRF fund research through four different grant programs, they also strive to educate women about ovarian cancer in an effort to make a difference in the lives of those who are at risk.

It is through the diligent dedication and commitment of people just like you and me that the OCRF is able to continue in this crucial pursuit.

In an effort to raise money and help spread the word about the OCRF, Foodbuzz is teaming together with Electrolux and Kelly Ripa by sponsoring a sweet summertime challenge and a Top 9 Takeover for Featured Publishers!

During these long summer months, when the air is so thick you could slice it with a knife, Foodbuzz knows that one easy and healthy way to stay cool is by indulging in your favorite summertime treats!  That is why they’ve created the ultimate banana split challenge!

The best part is that for every banana split submitted by a Featured Publisher, Foodbuzz will donate $50 to the OCRF! Also, Foodbuzz will select the top 9 banana splits posts to be featured in the Top 9 Splits takeover!

To participate in the challenge, I have created the Classic Vegan Banana Split!

This split is loaded with homemade goodness.  Three generous scoops of homemade vegan banana softserve in three classic flavors: peanut butter, strawberry and chocolate!  Topped off with made-from-scratch vegan coconut whipped cream, sprinkled with carob chips, dusted with chia seeds (of course!) and crowned by two happy cherries!

I am so honored and excited to be a part of this challenge and to be involved with a company who reaches out to support cancer research.

Now go make your own banana split and stay cool!

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