Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Almost New Years!

Remember when I had a blog?

I do.

It's been such a long time...

I'm still eating and living nourishingly in my corner of the world. Are you?
I've played around with raw food a little. I like raw food, but I also really like cooked food. I won't be going 100% raw anytime soon.

Living in a way that nourishes your soul is harder to define than eating in a way that nourishes your body. Ultimately everyone is different and needs to eat and live differently. As we start 2013 I get concerned when I think of all the folks picking up new diets and eating plans, remember to make your eating plans tailored to your body! You may need gluten and someone else may not. You may need more fats that someone else. You may need more sugar than another. I hope you find what works for your body :)

My body has changed so much since my last post. Here is a little photo of my body these days:

Happy Christmas and New Year!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals Reveal Day

The Lean Green Bean

It's the last day of the month which means it's Foodie Pen Pals reveal day. I was traveling this month and got my package while I was gone, but I was so excited to get it as soon as I got home! Isn't real mail the best, ah how things change :) 
Gia, my pen pal extraordinaire, was also very patient with me because I wasn't on top of my emails like normal and she put up with more than one delay on my account, so thanks! You can check out her blog here. 

My goodies!!

This month I received my first home-made treats! Home made granola that looked and smelled awesome! Chris tried it before me and said there might not be any left for me!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day

The Lean Green Bean

It's the last day of the month which means it's my second month of Foodie Pen Pals. I actually received my pen pal goodies TODAY!

I was sort of sad about having nothing to post about when I decided to check the mail one last time and what was there? This big ol'box of foodie pen pal love.

Beth was my pen pal this month and she had a busy month but managed to send this out to me! Unfortunately I might not have specific enough with my pen pal about my dietary restrictions because most of the items aren't vegan :( These things happen I guess! Other vegan foodie pen pals, How do you explain veganism to your non-vegan pen pals?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summertime Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad is like chicken salad, isn't it?!
What a coincidence.

Pasta Salad is one of those summer-time picnic bbq staples that I remember being weary of from the beginning. For me as a child pasta came covered in cheese sauce or tomato sauce and nothing else. It made me uncomfortable that this pasta was cold, and covered in who knows what, and with all kinds of spices on there. I remember elbow macaroni with beige-y yellow cream sauce and pepper, lots of pepper.

As a child, I went with the potato chips every time.

As an adult, I still wish I could go for the potato chips every time (they're seriously delicious) but now I know they aren't that great for my body and I do get a stomach ache every time I eat too many chips.

Thankfully, my opinions about pasta salad have changed! They actually started to change thanks for my husband (then boyfriend) who asked me to make him pasta salad with the strangest ingredients. He wanted broccoli, black olives, green peppers, italian dressing and NO mayonnaise.

This pasta salad recipe is chilled pasta with all sorts of vegetables and a tangy (super light) dressing that is reminiscent of the pasta salad I made for him when we first met.

Roasted Red Peppers - from a jar (diced)
Black Olives (cut small)
Pickles and Bring (diced)
Broccoli (Use both the floret and stem cup up small)
Orange Pepper (diced)
Fresh Corn on the Cob (cut off the cob)
Green Onion (cut small)
Pasta - I like the twirly kind
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Spices - Salt, Pepper, You know.

Note: I use these yummy pickles we pick up at the farmer's market. They are cherry pickles and in the jar are some cherries that give the brine and pickles a sweet fruity flavor I'm obsessed with. If you don't have these, a-sorry and b-that's ok just use regular pickles and maybe throw a diced up cherry in your salad!

Boil your pasta and let sit in the colander until it is cooled down.

Chop up veggies and throw in a big bowl. Side note: I like the veggies I put in the ingredients list because some are salty, some sweet, all crunchy, and all great raw.

You can add whatever you have in your fridge! I don't think leafy greens would work as well. Avocado would be good, or celery. Zucchini or tomato would be delicious.

When pasta is cooled, add to big bowl.

Then pour in pickles brine, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, white pepper, basil, mint, rosemary... whatever you like!

Let it sit the fridge overnight and scarf away! It is good for summertime when you want something filling but not hot.

I think this would be a great option to bring to a potluck as a vegan because everyone will probably try pasta salad and won't even know it's vegan!

Happy Eating!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Chickpea Chickun Salad

Did you eat a lot of chicken salad growing up?
Our family did... I don't particularly know why. I guess because my mom loves the stuff.
Chicken salad is decidedly not vegan or even animal friendly. Normally these "salads" don't have the highest quality of ingredients since it's all combined and flavors are covered up. They are also high in cholesterol, saturated, and trans fats.

To be fair! Chicken salad could be light. If you skipped the mayo and the buttery croissant it's served on. There are "light" versions out there with grilled chicken, yogurt, and grapes. That's not the kind we had at my house though. We had the full fat variety with a silky creamy consistency, an earthy chicken taste and sometimes bursts of sweet with grapes or strawberries.

I visited my family for Father's Day and my mom actually made some chicken salad which got me thinking about all this.

We also went to a baseball game! Me, my dad, my grandpa, and my husband. There were even vegan snacks there!

I got home and I couldn't stop thinking about chicken salad. I thought about what I hate about it, what I love about it, and why there are so many various recipes for it with wildly different ingredients.

Here is what I came up with!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sushi Salad

I love sushi, I mean, who doesn't?
Even if you don't eat meat (like me!) sushi is delicious. Cucumber, avocado, rice, seaweed, wasabi... All good things!

This salad doesn't have any rice, but you could totally add some rice if you wanted too! I didn't want to wait for rice to cook, it takes forever right?

1/2 cup Cucumber
1/4 Orange Pepper
1 Radish
5-8 Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 cob of Corn
1-2 Carrots
2  Mushrooms
3/4 head Romaine
2 cups Spring Mix/Green Mix Lettuce Combo
1/3 cup Garbanzo Beans
1/2 Avocado

(I know what you're thinking... those ingredients don't really sound sushi-ish. Stick with me!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Comfort Foods

Food intersects with so many parts of our lives.
We eat from the beginning...

Champagne to celebrate a new job. Which Chris and I did when he got the job he has now.
Pancakes to snuggle in bed with a loved one. I made my mother breakfast in bed on Mother's day for 6 years running I think. (hopefully she liked toast)
The hot cocoa my dad managed to microwave for me when we had snow days.
Camping marshmallows toasted until crunchy.
Thanksgiving traditions, those "Famous" family recipes you make over and over again.
Maybe even the beer you cheered to the friend that moved on ahead of the rest of us.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Baked Goodies

I don't often bake things.
I like eating baked things!
Baking is hard because you can't really improvise, you kind of have to measure and I don't like following other people's recipes.

Sometimes the desire for a vegan baked good surpasses the annoyance of measuring cups and I go for it.

I've been making treats off of the Happy Healthy Life blog.

First I made this AMAZING blueberry cake. It doesn't look very blueberry-ish from this picture but the inside of the cake was full of them! I didn't make the frosting and I served it for dessert/breakfast. It's a lot like a coffee cake once it's baked. I stuck to her recipe, plus a few sprinkles of oatmeal and almonds on top (since I was skipping the frosting.) I think next time I'm going to cut down the sugar just a bit and maybe add more oats.

Then I made these delicious orange cinnamon rolls. I followed the recipe again! I didn't stick to the recipe when it came to the topping, I left out the nuts. I also made the frosting but didn't really love it, so I ate them without. These were so decadent, though they should have been with the crazy amounts of margarine I used. I'm not used to cooking with so much "fats" that aren't nuts or avocado.

My husband took both of these to work and they got good reviews from the non-vegans! Not like you were worried about that, right? :)

Happy Eating!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I'm eating more Fruit!

Want to know what I've really been eating?
It's not gourmet, or fancy, or hard to make...

It's fruit.
I'm obsessed lately.

I went through this phase in life where I didn't really eat fruit, how sad. I thought it was full of sugar and not great to eat a lot of it. I limited my fruits to small amounts.

That phase has passed! Hallelujah.

Fruit is amazing! It has so many vitamins, plenty of fiber, and it's easily digested by your body. Not to mention it's delicious! The "sugars" in fruit are good for your body and they have really helped to give me some energy. You already know I've been lacking energy for blogging.

my favorite fruits after the jump... 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals May Reveal Day!

I decided to take part in a super fun group called the Foodie Pen Pals

The Lean Green Bean

It's this group of online blogger folk that send each other REAL mail once a month full of delicious food goodies. You could even participate next month if you'd like. 

Anna who blogs over here at Anna's Adventure's in Health was mailing my this month's goodies. Anna is amazing! She is a triathlete who is on her way to being a registered dietitian (jealous!) but she is also super fun and experimental with food and seeing what works for her body to create maximum performance. I seriously love when people listen to their bodies and create food plans that work for them!

I was super excited to get this guy in the mail! Especially since this was my first month participating in the program.

Inside was the BEST swag :) She sent me this amazing chocolate granola that sadly, is already almost gone. Fresh coffee from Staunton Virginia which, ironically, is where my sister went to college so I've been there a few times. Plus a chocolate bar with espresso beans, I bet that wakes you up during a triathlon!

She also included the sweetest vegan recipe cards! How adorable. I didn't have cute recipes since I never even measure...
I set about to making one of them right away!

The chocolate granola apple slices were perfect for a late afternoon pick-me-up! Plus, I didn't really have to measure :) You can see, I sampled a few between photos. It's so hard not eating treats so you can take pictures of them!

I mailed out a package of my own to the very nice (and newly vegan) April who blogs over at Beyond the Small Gate. If you want to check out what I mailed her. 

Now, don’t you wanna join in the fun?! Here are the Foodie Penpals details:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 
Happy Eating!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lacking Inspiration

I have been on an inspiration downward spiral!

Not only have I not been blogging but I honestly haven't really been cooking.

It's been quick easy foods around my house.

What do you do when you're lacking inspiration for things in your life?

I tried a few things:
   I read my new cookbook "Let them eat Vegan" by Dreena Burton although it didn't have very many pictures.
   I browsed pinterest.
   I went to World Market and looked at their plates, dishes, and table decor. I didn't really buy anything. Only a few spices.
   I made pancakes for my husband and I on Sunday morning. Pancakes are easy.
   I volunteered to bring dessert to a friend this week, nothing like commitment to bring about inspiration!

What other tips can you give me?

Hoping to be Inspired Soon!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pineapple Corn Muffins

I bought a new cookbook!
I love cookbooks.
What are your favorite cookbooks? I love recommendations.

My newest one is called Blissful Bites by the blissful chef.
It's really nice. It's organized by season which is helpful if you're trying to eat local and fresh foods. It's mostly gluten-free from what I can tell. It's all vegan. Some of it's raw. In the end... I like it!

I made some chili today and I always like cornbread with chili. I used to use that jiffy box of cornbread mix and a can of creamed corn. It makes a mushy cornbread loaf that I used to enjoy. I was looking for a replacement though.

There was a recipe for Pineapple Cornmeal Muffins.
Chili can be spicy, Pineapple is sweet. What a perfect combination I thought! I hate it when I get excited about dinner but it's still hours away! lol.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan (without Parmesan)

Eggplant parmesan is normally eggplant cooked until it's basically nothing, coated in egg, then covered in breadcrumbs, and then sometimes, it's actually fried at that point. THEN it's covered in cheese, baked and served over noodles with tomato sauce.
What's scary to me is that most people would consider eggplant parm a healthy choice at an italian restaurant. The word healthy is tricky because it doesn't really mean anything. I'm suggesting traditional eggplant parm isn't healthy due to it's high amount of carbohydrates, refined fats, and animal products.
If your diet/bodily needs include those things- then go for it. I made my eggplant parm without animal products, without refined fats, and using minimal amounts of sprouted wheat. I also snuck an extra vegetable in there!

Check that beauty out! I ate the whole thing for dinner and I was so satisfied.

Keep reading for the recipe...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spruce up that Basic Salad

When I go out to eat and I order the side salad I'm normally presented with one of two things.
1. A small plate of iceberg lettuce with tomato, red cabbage shreds, and carrot shreds.
2. A spring mix base with onion, tomato, and carrot.
It's no wonder that people don't think of salads as delicious crunchy addicting bowls of beauty!

I love salads. We get along. We normally hang out 4-5 times a week. It's getting pretty serious between us. I'm willing to share though. I think salads could be a good relationship for more people if they were properly understood.

Here are some of my favorite ideas to spruce up your salads!

Add Fresh Herbs
Look at that beauty! Spring greens topped with cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts, fresh herbs & sesame seeds. Don't leave fresh herbs out of your lettuce base. Fresh cilantro, basil, and parsley make great additions to lettuce leaves. They add flavor, freshness, and nutrition. 

more tips after the jump...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad sounds fancy doesn't it.
It sounds like a recipe.
Like a recipe in a cookbook.

If you make it you'll feel like you made a real dish, not just a bowl of things from the fridge that were about to go bad.

Let's not tell everyone that it's mostly a bowl of items from the fridge.
Let's keep them thinking we're real chefs!

My Delicious Quinoa Salad Recipe: (wink wink)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fat Free Roux and √Čtoumbo Recipe

I was reading vegan food blogs, because that's what I do all the time. My favorite thing to read about is how much other people love food.

The Fat Free Vegan posted this post featuring a fat free roux.
A roux, traditionally, is a cooking base of flour and fat, normally butter. It's the base to most soups, cheese sauces, or gumbos.

I learned a lot about traditional roux from my all time favorite Food Network personality Alton Brown. This is the episode where he explains a lot about roux.

Now that you're caught up about roux and we're on the same page; imagine making it FAT FREE.
Keep Going...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Orleans LA to Orlando FL - Road Trip Part Three

Road Trip Part Three!
We got into New Orleans around 9pm at night but we were hungry!

We found Mia's which was super cute especially for a wednesday night. There were two guys playing live music and we were able to sit on the patio with Piper, there were actually two other doggies on the patio too.

I ordered the Eggplant Steak. How cute is that name?
Keep Reading...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Raw Zucchini Spaghetti with Raw Tomato Sauce

On April 4th I bought this groupon. April 4th may go down in history as best groupon day ever!

Then, the other day look what appeared at my doorstep!

A vegetable spiral slicer. Amazing. I've been wanting one of these babies for a while. You can cut vegetables into spirals. For example, you can cut potatoes into curly fries or zucchini into spaghetti or cucumber into ribbons. It is a little niche-y for a kitchen appliance but raw zucchini noodles are a favorite of mine when we go out to eat, so for me, it worked as an appliance purchase.

Magically, this then appeared in my bowl!

ok... not magically but very very easily :)
Recipe after the jump...

Monday, April 23, 2012

St. Louis MI to New Orleans LA - Road Trip Part Two

Road Trip round Two!

Quick photo of our AMAZING hotel in St. Louis, the Chase Park Plaza.

Nikki actually works for the company that runs the hotel so she spent a little time in the afternoon chatting with her co-workers and "talking shop" so I took the opportunity to have an adult beverage! Delicious.

keep reading...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Denver CO to St. Louis MI - Road Trip Part One

I was afraid my road trip would have a lack of internet access, and I was correct.
I cannot wait to tell you all about it though!

Denver CO to St. Louis MI  -- 13 hours and 20 min
St. Louis MI to New Orleans LA -- 10 hours and 45 min
New Orleans LA to Orlando FL -- 10 hours and 20 min

I flew into denver after a very early morning flight and treated myself to my favorite mountain man coffee, Caribou! Then met up with Nikki and she whisked me off to lunch.

We went to Watercourse Foods in Denver CO where I heartily consumed the Ruk Kora Salad; fresh arugula, carrots, fresh beets, edamame, cucumber, oranges, red pepper, topped with tamari roasted cashews, black sesame seeds and crispy soba noodles served with yuzu vinaigrette. Check out that beautiful monster.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Road Trips deserve snacks.
I mean, that's a given.
If we don't agree on that statement it's likely we won't agree on anything else so you can probably stop reading now.

Classic road trip snacks at my house were pringles, grapes, chicken salad, and maybe cheese-its. My dad always wanted my mom to make tuna salad but she hates the smell of tuna, so we had chicken.

What do you take on your road trips? I'm normally a huge blueberry fan on road trips since there is no mess, but I had to take all my snacks on the airplane before our road trip even began so fruits and vegetables were out.

Re-vamped vegan snacks look a little different. Plus my favorite friend is gluten-free!
Here is what I found!

Organic Dried Apricots
Organic Dried Mango
Organic Cinnamon Rice Cakes
Organic Pistachios
2 Primal GMO-free Seitan Jerkeys
1 Vegan Candy Bar

Happy (road-trip) Eating!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Setting the scene:
I Fly into Denver at 9am Monday morning. Then we drive back to Florida before Saturday afternoon. What's in-between? Pretty flexible. Definitely a stop in New Orleans.

Me. My Best Friend. Piper (her long haired mini blonde dachshund.) and a Mazda sedan. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Taco Pizza

My husband and I have pretty different backgrounds when it comes to food.
When Chris and I first met he mentioned this thing called a taco pizza. The Pizza Hut by his house in Wyoming made it. He said it was like a taco on a pizza.

I'm not sure what kind of Pizza Hut they have in Wyoming but our Pizza Hut in Maryland didn't have any crazy taco pizza. Just a fire in the middle of the restaurant, do you remember that??

Even though taco pizza was a stupid idea...

I've not really been able to stop thinking about it these last three years. Taco Pizza... so crazy it might just work.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cinnamon Walnuts on Toast with Pear

Pinterest is always featuring pictures of food on bread. You know what I mean, little morsels of fruit or vegetables sitting in oil and cheese on top of crusty toasted bread. Normally with wine or coffee in the background slightly out of focus.

these photos get me EVERY time.

I think to myself... I need oil and animal cheese on nutritionally stripped bread and a tiny piece of real food for color with caffeine or alcohol on the side.
I don't think that, but I should.
What I actually think is... Sigh, if I lived in Paris and had a lover that spoke only french we would eat that meal for breakfast after making love under twinkle lights all night long.
That's true. no judgement.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Summer Treats

The very best thing to happen to me over the past two week was finding this company; Peak Season Pops.
I don't say that lightly, a lot of good things have happened to me lately.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Juice Fast: Recap

Overall I think our juice fast was a success!
We ended up going three and half days until I ate this for lunch. Tijuana Flats.

Let me tell you, that was the best black bean salad I've maybe ever had. haha. It was great to eat greens instead of drink them.

I didn't really experience a "cleansing" effect that I had heard I may.
I felt nourished physically but not as much emotionally.
I would definitely do it again for 3 days. I think the 3 day fast was a good length, it is the recommended starter length.
I hated throwing out all the leftover pulp in the juicer. All those poor carrot leftovers wasted. I hate wasting food.
I will continue to juice in addition to food, I did like some of the flavors.

My new idea: I might like to go raw for 10 days. A 10 Day Raw Challenge!
hahaha. What do you think? Terrible Idea?

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Juice Fast: Day 3

We made it this far!
I'm ashamed to admit I'm a little surprised I've made it. Something you may know about me is how much I love food! I mean, I LOVE food. Sure, I don't eat anything to do with animals but I love the food I eat.

Juice... isn't food.
It's good, or I should say, it can be good.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Juice Feast: Day 2


Breakfast Juice - Blueberries, Spinach, Cucumber, Parsley
Lunch Juice - Tomato, Carrot, Celery, Avocado

Afternoon Snack Juice - Apple, Orange
Dinner Juice - Cabbage, Zucchini, Apple

Evening Green Tea with Mint

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Juice Fast: Day 1

Chris and I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead the other night. The romance in our movie date nights is palpable. It's a good film and I recommend you check it out. It's a documentary about a man that heals himself of an autoimmune disease using juice. He does a juice fast for 60 days. 

Chris was inspired.
You read that right! Not me, Chris! Chris decided he'd like to do a juice fast. I'm weary but I'm down. So at 12:30am that night we ordered a juicer online and here we are... Juice Fast Day One.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Winter Park 10k

Chris and I had a great time running the Winter Park 10k together!
Last year I ran by myself but running with a partner is alway more fun. I should mention though that we were the VERY last two people to start the race since we woke up late and barely made it over the time-chip mat before they broke it down. Our timer was actually a few minutes off because Chris has to swipe my chip before I was even there! I was illegally parking the car. Oops!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I eat what everyone eats - Cola Floats!

I loved Coke Floats when I was younger. Not Root Beer - Coke!

Don't you love how the coke stays so cold with the ice cream and the ice creams gets inside the carbonation and that foam gets all frosty!

Sigh, I loved them.

I was craving on the other day.
So I made one!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kale Salad with Sesame Sriracha Dressing

One day every other week I get an organic produce delivery from Orlando Organics. It comes right to my door and it's the best day ever. Today I used a lot of my delivery to make this delicious salad.

Kale Salad with Sesame Sriracha Dressing.

Look at how beautiful that looks. It's crunchy, sweet, spicy, tangy, sweet... pretty much perfect!
I wish I could let all of you taste this dressing so you could understand how amazing it tastes.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Falafel Pie

I love this blog... The Vegan Stoner.
I'm not a stoner myself, but I am a vegan. They illustrate their recipes! It's a really super fun take on recipes. They are adorable illustrations. You can find other illustrated recipes here, even non-vegan ones!

I made falafel pie the other night based on the vegan stoner's recipe.
BEST idea ever!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tempeh and Grilled Zucchini Tacos

Tacos are the best.

At my house, a taco is anything delicious stuffed into a tortilla. The only rule is a tortilla. The debate occurs over the kind of tortilla...
Corn or Flour?

Me, I'm a corn tortillas all the way kinda gal. Chris, He's a die hard flour tortillas only boy. We're working on our marital differences.

Normally, because I'm a loving wife who often (always) forces her husband to eat vegan, we get flour tortillas as a compromise over the whole animal product situation. This week... I splurged. CORN baby!

Tempeh is my newest thing. Seitan is delicious and I'm obviously a giant tofu lover but tempeh is great. It's more dense than other meat alternatives. It comes in rice, soy, flax, barley and millet, the options! It holds up well in cooking, it doesn't break apart like the others can.