Monday, June 28, 2010

Where did my weekend go??

Good Afternoon!!

It seems like it's been a while, and I have missed you! Things have been crazy for me this past week/weekend and will be again this coming week. My next CPA exam is on July 7th so the cramming begins now, but I will try to post as often as I can!

Sam and I left for San Antonio on Friday for a beautiful wedding where Sam was a groomsman (Congrats Gregory and Amorette on their marriage!!).  Sadly, we had to leave in the middle of the reception Saturday night because I had to be in Dallas Sunday morning at 8am for an exam review course.  I was in bed at 2:30am Saturday night and in Dallas at 8:00am Sunday morning.  Sunday was a full day of sitting in a chair until 7:00pm with only a 30 minute lunch break.  Talk about feeling like a slug!  So needless to say, I feel like I have been all over the world, and I have no idea what happened to my weekend!

Amidst all this craziness, I have still managed to keep my health in mind, and I wanted to share with you some ways that I was able to squeeze it in.  Before the trip I made sure to get some various trail
mix combinations for the road and just to have in my purse in case I was hungry and their wasn't anything healthy around. I always try to keep something on hand.  Central Market has a bulk section where they have several pre-made trail mixes, or you can just make your own!  One trail mix combination had an Asian flare with dried peas and various rice crackers.  The other trail mix (my fav) had dried berries, almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.  Costo also has some amazing organic, naturally sweetened bars that I like to keep with me... Bora Bora Bars and Mrs. May's Trio Bars.

Costo is really starting to impress me these days.  They even have these snacker packs of hummus, which are almost the size of an applesauce that you would pack in a sack lunch.  You just need some veggies or crackers and there is the perfect snack! How cool is that!

Back to my weekend...Saturday morning I was craving a good workout after being in the car most of the day on Friday.  We stayed at Sam's parents house (shout out to Becky and Dave!) so I had to figure out a way to get in a good workout without equipment.  THE PLAYGROUND!  There is a playground about half a mile away from their house, so I did some extra cardio (walk/run) on the way to the playground.  I really wish I would have taken pictures for you!

The Playground Workout 

*10 minute stretch, since I was warm from my cardio.  Always stretch when you're muscles are warm.
*Repeat the following circuit 3 TIMES.  Be sure to always keep your abs tight during each exercise so that you are working those abs while working other muscles too!

1.  8-15 Park Bench Incline Pushups:  Face the bench and place your hands on the bench and it will be an incline pushup as you lower your chest toward the bench. Keep your abs tight!

2.  8-15 Tricep Bench Dips:  The intensity and difficulty increases the more you straighten your legs. 

3.  Monkey Bar Pull Ups: As many as you can do.  If you can't do a pull up, then do negatives...begin with your chin above the bar and very slowly lower yourself.  This will gradually build those pull up muscles!

4.  Side to Front Arm Raises:  Raise your arms out to the side to make a "T", then lower, and then raise both arms to the front, then lower, repeat.  That is one rep.  Do this until you feel the burn in your shoulders!  I do about 40-50 since I don't have any weight.  This will give you those toned, shaped shoulder muscles (deltoids), like Kelly Ripa! 

5.  3 Way Single Leg Calf Raises:  I used a step on the playground equipment but you could easily use a curb.  Hang your heels off of the step/curb and do 15 single leg calf raises with your feet facing forward. Then do another set with you toes facing outward working your inner calf, and another set with your toes facing inward working your outer calves.  


On the way back to the house, I did some walking lunges to work the buns and legs.  Once I got back to the house, I wanted to do a little more ab work, so I did my new favorite ab workout... the AB CIRCUIT from the Tone It Up Girls Blog.  It's a good one! 

Be sure to stretch afterward too.  This took me a little over an hour.  Push yourself to do the circuit exercises without a break in between each exercise, and then reward yourself with a little break after each round of the full circuit.  You will getter a better workout out if you push yourself and limit your breaks between exercises! 

Working out on the playground was a lot of fun.  It really made my workout exciting, and I kind of felt like a little kid again! I definitely recommend going to the nearest park and giving it a try.  It's a great change of pace from the gym scenery too.  I love being outside and working up a good sweat, so this definitely allowed me to meet and even exceed my craving for a good workout. 

So these are just a few ways, I kept it healthy even with a crazy schedule and being on the road.  So it is possible!  That's it for now... more on how I kept it healthy over the hectic weekend to come in my next post!  I hope you had a great weekend!  Did you do anything exciting??

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

Images from:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"I can do anything good."

Good Morning!

It's Sunday, and I want to give you something to end your weekend/ start your week that will energize you through the weeks demands.  This video is of me as a little girl... just kidding! But the hair looks identical, right?!? This video was sent to me a while ago by my brother-in-law. (Shout out to David!)  Now, this video is making its way onto some popular websites.  Check out what they have to say about it on MindBodyGreen.

It makes me wish I still had the invincibility that you possess as a child that makes you believe you can do anything.  Either way, I think I need to start trying this in the morning, although I don't know if my bathroom countertop would quite work, and I don't know if just standing on the floor looking into the mirror would have the same effect.  But, I could figure something out.  I think it would be a good idea to do this before every CPA exam... I might try it next time, I will let you know how it goes...


Also, I would like to say HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to my Dad and all of those amazing Father's out there.  It's your day! Relax and enjoy it! Love you!

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Round of Applause Goes To... Mom and Dad for eating healthy dinners!  This past week they made a recipe that I mentioned on my blog TWICE!  I guess it was just that good.  Every time I see them I am always talking about health or giving some sort of advice on what exercises they could do or what they could eat for quick meals/snacks.  I am happy to say all that talk is rubbing off, and they are making AND enjoying healthy meals!

In this post, I mentioned the pizza that Sam and I had at Ruffino's Italian Restaurant, and then I described how you could easily make something like that pizza at home.  My parents took my word for it and created this beautiful masterpiece TWO TIMES this past week.  They were so excited they sent me a picture of it both times... and as you can imagine, it made me so happy!!

You know my Mom is eating if there are jalepenos involved. 

Now let's talk breakfast, my favorite meal of the day!  I could eat breakfast for every single meal... I look forward to it every morning!  I was on a huge granola kick for a while, until this past week.  I still love my granola, but you have to change things up every once in a while... keep your breakfast exciting.  Sam and I are currently obsessed with this breakfast, and it's so easy.  It's from the wonderful blog, Oh She Glows, that have a mentioned in a previous post. and it's called Easy Overnight Oats (saying it just makes me want some right now).  This is SO good for you! It's called overnight oats because you mix the oats with the other ingredients before bed, and you wake up to this beautiful creation in the morning.

Easy Overnight Oats
Serves 1

1/3 cup regular oats (not instant)
3/4 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp chia seeds (or ground flaxseeds)
1 banana mashed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Mix or whisk really well in a bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight.  You don't have to cover it up, but I like to

I know right now you are thinking, "What on earth are chia seeds??" That was my initial reaction so I had to do some research before consuming these unusual sounding seeds. tells all about the seed, but here is a quick summary..."The chia seed is an excellent source of fiber, packed with antioxidants, full of protein, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the richest known plant source of omega-3."  Top 5 Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds  I get them at Central Market near the vitamins, the packaging says "Salba," which is a brand of chia seeds.  Oh, and you pronounce it like the chia pet, you know the ones with the grassy looking hair...

If you don't want to go through all the trouble of getting the chia seeds, then you can just use ground flaxseeds, which you can find at most grocery stores.  Just be sure to keep them in the refrigerator so they stay fresh.  You need the chia or flax seeds to soak up the milk and provide the thickness to the oats. It's like a science experiment for breakfast! 

In the morning, I put a layer of oats in a coffee cup then a layer of berries and repeat with one more layer of oats and berries.  I sprinkled a little cinnamon in with it today and that was good too.  Yesterday, I melted a tablespoon of almond butter mixed with a dash of almond milk in the microwave for 15 seconds.  It just made the almond butter more liquidy (not a word, but that's okay), so I could pour it into my oats.  Perfection!

Breakfast is such an important meal of the day, so I definitely recommend trying out this recipe and the granola, if you haven't already.  It's perfect fuel for your day! If you decide to try it out, let me know your thoughts!

I'm off to help with some french toast for brunch and then enjoy a day with no studying (yay!), laying out in the sunshine (with sunscreen of course) reading health magazines, and yoga!  Have a spectacular Saturday! 

With Love, Health, and Happiness, 

Thought for the day:  How do you start your morning? Do you have a morning routine? What do you like to eat and/or drink for breakfast or mid-morning snack? 

Oats image:
Chia image:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let's Talk Exercise!

Good Morning!

Now that our bellies are full from all that food talk in my previous posts, let's talk exercise!  My first real love!
A morning funny for you! ... and so true.

But first, on a more serious note, I have to tell you a little story...

So this morning, I woke up (obviously), took my shots of acai and goji juice (1 tbsp of each, 2 superfoods that are a great way to wake up the mind and body! ), and went out on the patio with Major for a little bit.  I stood there in my leopard robe (Our balcony overlooks the exit to our apartment so I'm sure the people leaving for their morning commute saw me, but oh well. I should have waived to them as they were leaving.)  Okay, back to my story, I stood there and just kind of said a prayer thanking God for another day of health and wellness!   Then I just kind let my body and mind wake up for a little bit before coming inside to write to you.  It was a great start to the morning... it's going to be a good day!  I highly recommend taking those few minutes just for yourself before the craziness of the day begins.

Now back to exercise! Being healthy isn't just the result of eating right.  It's the result of the COMBINATION of eating right AND exercise.  Getting your body moving!


Oh, and I have to tell you!  I went to the doctor yesterday for my knee.  He said I could start running for 5 minutes every other day for two weeks, and then increase it by 5 more minutes for the next week, and so on.  YAY! I was going crazy sitting around and not being able to work up a sweat.  So now that I'm slowly able to get back on the work out train, let's talk exercise! 

Does anyone watch Real Housewives? This is totally off topic, but I'm going somewhere with this I promise.  (Guys, you can skip this paragraph, unless you watch the show.) So I will admit, I watch Real Housewives of Orange County and New York because for some reason I find the crazy things they fight about oddly entertaining.  After every show, there is a follow-up show with Andy Cohen called "Watch What Happens," and he always does a little segment called, 3 Housewives Things I'm Obsessed With this Week.  So... I want to tell you the 3 Fitness Things I'm Obsessed with Right Now, so here we go!

3 Fitness Things I'm Obsessed with Right Now

1.  P90X
I know you have seen all the infomercials with the P90X success stories, and, let me tell you, it's a great combination of workouts.  Pink does it before tour! She talks about it on Oprah.  You have kenpo (like kickboxing), an intense power yoga, plyometrics, cardio, weight training... it's all there!   Before the wedding, I did a little bit of the P90X workouts.  But after the wedding, we ordered the DVDs, and I got serious about it.  I did the full 90 days and rewarded myself with some new workout shoes and clothes (another thing I'm obsessed with). 

If you go into the weight room and get overwhelmed because you don't know what you want to do, then this is perfect for you.  Or, if you don't have time to go to the gym and you have a set of dumbbells or a band, then you can do this at home.   If you stick to it, it really can change your entire physique and strength.  I do the yoga, kenpo, abs, X stretch, core synergistics, and cardio x in our living room in our apartment.  For the other work outs, I watch the video before and use the sheets that you can print off the website that have the exercises listed, and then I do the work out at the gym.  I like to do the plyometrics on this little grassy area of the trinity trail that overlooks the fun!

Sam and I started P90X again 5 weeks ago, and Sam is still going strong.  I had to put it on hold because of my knee injury.  I miss the workouts!  They are so challenging and you can feel it in every muscle.  My two favorite workouts are yoga X and kenpo X.  Major also has a favorite workout too!  I'm telling you, Major has my genes (if that's possible), he loves to workout!... with his morning pushups and his love for YOGA!  Sam and Major did yoga together on Sunday...

Frog Pose Anyone?

Major's thinking: "Hmm... I can do a better downward dog."

Major:  "It's okay if my downward dog is better...I still love you."

Going into upward dog while Major observes 
and doesn't mind being in the way.  Major is in doggy heaven...loving it.  

2. Tone It Up

So I just discovered this blog yesterday, and their workouts and nutrition are so in line with my thoughts on health.  They even did a "What to order at Starbucks?" segment, like one of my old posts!  And this is one of their workouts that I love ~ Bikini Body Bootcamp Workout.  If I had the time and was not studying for the CPA, and if learning/talking to you about health was my full-time job, I would love to do something like this except with my own twist.  Girls...anyone up for it with me?!? 

Image from Tone It Up Blog

3.  Nightly Walks

Sam and I have been taking Major for a long walk about 30 minutes before we go to bed.  It has just been a great way to wind down and relax before bedtime.  I have never been a fan of eating dinner and then just sitting for the rest of the night afterward, I have to move around to settle the tummy.  So taking walks at night is easily becoming one of my favorite things.  So easy to do, no equipment required, and it's both relaxing and active at the same time! 

Well, time for me to go workout now!  In the spirit of exercise, I would like to leave you with some thought provoking (or simply funny) quotes.

"Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity."
John F. Kennedy

"I really don't think I need buns of steel.  I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon."
Ellen DeGeneres

"There's no easy way out. If there were, I would have bought it. And believe me, it would be one of my favorite things!" 
Oprah Winfrey

"A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs."
Joan Welsh

"Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it."

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Last night Sam just decided to continue the One Year Anniversary Celebration 
with a yummy 4 course meal!

1st Course
Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches
2nd Course
Homemade Gazpacho
3rd Course
Eggplant Pancakes Florentine
4th Course
Leftover Cake from Spiral Diner 
with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream made from Hemp Milk

Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches 

Homemade Gazpacho
Recipe @

Eggplant Pancakes Florentine
Okay, you have to admit... that looks like it came from a restaurant!

Leftover Cake & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

We even had leftovers so we enjoyed the quiche for breakfast and the gazpacho for a light lunch. Leftovers are the best!

Okay, I have a confession to make.  You might be wondering... Why aren't any of the recipes you tell us about your own?  Well, let me tell you...I try really really hard.  I didn't really grow up learning how to cook, so I have pretty much taught myself.  And for me, the only way to learn is to start with recipes.  The recipes give you ideas, and then, you can make your own adjustments in order to create your own recipe! 

Lunch is usually my own recipe, either a veggie sandwich or a wrap dressed with hummus and filled with alfalfa sprouts, avocado, tomato, onion, and a green of some sort (spinach usually, but I love kale too!), and salt & pepper.  Sam likes to add some siracha for the spice, and I just like to add a little bit for the flavor.  

For the most part, if it's a special event or if we are having guests over, I like to stick to a recipe, unless it's a recipe of my own that I know for sure is delicious.  

There are a zillion recipes out there between the thousands of cookbooks, websites, and food blogs.  Surprisingly, it takes a lot of time looking through recipes and trying to plan a meal or dinners for the week.  Sam and I probably spend a good 30-45 minutes planning our dinners and grocery list.  

So my hope is that...
1) I can introduce you to some new recipes and meal ideas.
2) I can also to introduce to new resources to find delicious, healthy recipes.
3) Most of all, I can save you time in planning your meals. 

Speaking of saving you time.  I found a couple meal delivery companies that look so neat!  The companies are called Gobble Green and Pure Market Express. If you have a special event coming up or if you simply don't want to worry about a dinner for a couple nights a week, or if you want some delicious and healthy snacks to take to work, or an incredible dessert... you can order it!  It will arrive at your house all ready to go. Their desserts look SOO good!  

Or, if you are trying to add a vegetarian meal to your week (like I talked about in my post a few days ago), then this is a great way to do it without the intimidation of having to cook.  This is a great way to see how delicious veggie meals can be!  And if you are watching your wallet (like Sam and I), instead of going out to dinner, you can just spend the money and have dinner delivered to your front door! 

"Gobble Green is a 100% vegan and 90% organic online marketplace and food delivery service where you can purchase individual meals or subscribe to a complete gourmet vegan diet plan. When you see an animal derived product listed in one of our meals such as chicken nuggets, cheese, sausage, or meatballs, it is actually a faux meat or faux dairy product. Our food kits are packaged in eco-friendly containers and shipped directly to your home." 

"Pure Market Express is your personal chef, your fresh food support system, your necessary indulgence. (One has to eat, after all!) We prepare fresh, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, vegan, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts and snacks daily from primarily organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. There's no meat, dairy, refined sugar or preservatives, making Pure Market Express a dream come true for vegetarians, lactose intolerants, gluten intolerance and those following other special dietary needs."

"Order a week's worth of our gluten free, dairy free, sugar free meals, or just load up on ice cream or our wonderful cheesecake. Whatever you like, we have nationwide delivery. Order today and let us share our fresh food with you."

Note: Pure Market Express meals are raw, or live, meaning that the unprocessed food has not been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit.  In other words, the food will not be hot when you eat it, so that is something to get used to, but incorporating raw foods into your diet can be very beneficial.  Sam and I went to a raw restaurant in Dallas called Bliss Raw Cafe.  I definitely had to get used to the fact that the pizza would not be hot, but besides that, it was delicious and nutritious! So... Why raw? Pure Market Express explains...

"Raw, plant-based foods are full of life and vitality. The diet by definition features no meat, dairy, refined sugar or preservatives. That right there makes a difference. Nor is there, obviously, any cooked food. Raw foods' natural enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids remain unzapped by cooking's high temperatures, AND SO DELIVER maximum... nutritional and digestive punch. As you age, your body's natural storehouse of digestive enzymes depletes. Cooked foods, lacking as they are in the enzyme department, chew through even more. Raw foods are packed with live enzymes, making them digestive magic bullets."

One of my goal's is to join YOU on the journey of health and happiness so if there is ever anything you have questions, concerns, or just want to chat about, just post a comment! 

That's all for today!

With Love, Health, and Happiness, 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dinner, Dessert, and Cocktails

Hello friends! It's the weekend...woohoo!

Our One Year Anniversary was last Sunday, and we celebrated last night with my family.  For all of you Fort Worthians, we went to Ruffino's Italian Restaurant.  It's really small and quant so you get great personal service and are able to personalize your meals.  Sam took me to Ruffino's for Valentine's Day, and they catered so well to our vegan diet...the chef made a potato gnocchi with a garlic and olive oil sauce and bunch of veggies.  It was so good that we decided to celebrate our Anniversary there last night.

They were out of gnocchi (sad), but instead we ended up having a delicious pizza with a pesto sauce and sautéed carrots, onions, squash, broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms (no cheese!).  Oh my gosh... so good!  You could do this at home so easily.  Here's how...

Buy a pre-made crust.  Or you can buy fresh pizza dough from Central Market's, Cafe on the Run, it's only like $1.50.  So get the pizza crust, make the pesto (or you can buy a pre-made pesto), and saute the veggies I mentioned above.  The veggies were cut into small cube sizes so it made it really easy to eat.  If you use the fresh pizza dough, cook it in the oven until almost completely cooked, and then add the pesto and veggies and cook for another few minutes just to allow the flavors to merry and everything to get warm.  There you go!  Dinner in a flash! I'm so bummed I forgot to take a picture of it, but it looked like the pizza of health.  It had all of those summer veggies so it was very colorful and fresh.

Basil Pesto from The Vegan Table
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
2-3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

Directions: Combine basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor and blend until the ingredients begin to form a paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Drizzle in a 1-2 Tbsp of oil, along with the salt, and process until smooth and creamy adding additional oil, if needed.  Add more salt as necessary, a little at a time.

For dessert, I bought a cake from Spiral Diner.  Spiral Diner is a vegan restaurant and bakery, and they made a gorgeous cake for us!  I wanted to surprise Sam, so I took the cake to Ruffino's earlier that day, and they just brought it out when it was time for dessert!  It was a great surprise.  I wanted the cake to be like Sam's groom's cake, which was a chocolate ganache cake with strawberries (we weren't vegan at the time).  So the cake from Spiral Diner was vanilla with chocolate icing and garnished with strawberries.  The strawberries were cut into heart shapes... so cute!

Then we went downtown to the bar at Grace for a drink.  I have tell you about my new favorite "healthy" cocktail.  I'm not endorsing alcohol as a healthy beverage, but by "healthy,"  I mean it's not loaded with those sugary syrups.  The recipe may sound weird, but trust me, just try it, it's a delicious refreshing cocktail.  I need to come up with a name for this, but I read about it in a magazine, and it is apparently Jennifer Aniston's cocktail of choice.  For now, we can call it The "Healthy" Cocktail. So here you go!

The "Healthy" Cocktail
Your choice of vodka (I like Kettle One)
Club Soda
Lime Juice (I just squeeze 1-2 lime slices)
Splash of Olive Juice
On the Rocks

And that was my Friday night!  What's on your agenda for the weekend?  Something active?!?  I hope so!  My knee is slowly recovering.  I'm just now able to walk on it with stability.  I'm going crazy not being able to exercise and be active, but this gives me such great appreciation for it.  On the bright side, I am able to ride the stationary bike, and work out the upper body and abs, and I have had a lot of time to sit and think about life, health, and happiness, which I will be sharing some of those thoughts you soon! 

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

The women ended up wearing all black and white so I just had to take a picture.
 We must be related... 
My Mom, Me, and My Aunt

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beginner's Guide to a Plant-Based Diet & A Surprising/Inspiring Story

I wasn't planning on doing another post today, but I saw this article and just had to share it with you.  Fruits, veggies, greens, whole grains, and legumes are the perfect fuel for our bodies.  Many people are not getting enough of these essential foods, but by making simple day-to-day changes you can make it easy to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet.  This article from MindBodyGreen provided such a great beginner's guide to a plant based diet that I just had to share it with you.  It's a little lengthy, but it has such great info, and it basically sums up a lot of information that you would find in books related to this topic.  Please check it out!  Plant-Based Diet for Beginners: How to Get Started

Rip Esselstyn ~ Author of The Engine 2 Diet

There are so many reasons why plant-based foods should be the staple of our diet, but I won't bore you with the science behind all of that (if you really want to know, check out some of my older posts for more scientific details).  But to sum it up, I want to tell you a quick story.  Well, actually it's one of my one of my Dad's stories.  Dad, I hope your okay with me sharing your story.  :-)

So, my Dad had the pleasure of golfing with Gary Player.  For those of you who don't know (because I didn't), Gary Player is one of the top 10 greatest golfers of all time.  When I mentioned his name to Sam, he freaked out... apparently he is a big deal.  He is now 75 years old, and according to my Dad, he has a ton of energy, is super healthy, and does something like 100 push ups or sit ups a day plus his usual work out (I can't remember the details.)  Well, over lunch, Mr. Player told stories about how he is able to be so active at age 75.  The answer:  He follows a plant-based diet!! No meat, No diary, No fish.  He says it is difficult to maintain on the road, and he had a shrimp during their lunch.  But that's okay!  It just goes to show you that you don't have to follow a plant-based diet perfectly to reap the rewards (Fish is my weakness, especially sushi.)  According to my Dad, Mr. Player raved about how healthy and energetic he feels, and he attributes it to eating plant-based foods and staying active.  

So, to sum it up... a plant-based diet can improve your overall health giving you more energy, stamina, happiness, and a longer life! Who doesn't want that?!  I'm not trying to convince you to be a vegetarian, vegan, or anything like that at all, but I just want to emphasize the important role that plant-based foods play in our overall health.  If you make one little change like adding an extra veggie to your plate or whole grains or even making veggies and whole grains your main course... then perfect!

Did you know that these celebs are vegetarian??

Back to CPA studying now...

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Super Simple Dinners

I have been enjoying some delicious recipes lately from one of my new favorite blogs, Oh She GlowsThis weekend I made a really quick and easy dinner that was so incredibly good that I even had my parents and their friends raving about it.  And we had leftovers, which is always great!  You can really do this in 30 minutes max.

Quinoa, Sauted Spinach & Mushrooms, Roasted Asparagus

Quinoa is a super healthy whole grain that is full of protein, and it has a great texture.  I pretty much followed the recipe on Oh She Glows.  She uses shiitake mushrooms, but they didn't have shiitake at the store, so I just used cremini mushrooms, and it turned out great!  But I want to try shiitake next time.

Serves 6
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Chop the hard end off of the asparagus.  On a baking sheet, mix the asparagus with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice.  Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. 
Boil 4 cups of water and make vegetable bouillon by placing 2 vegetable bouillon cubes in the boiling water and stir to dissolve.  Once that comes to a boil, add 2 cups of quinoa and let simmer for 12-15 minutes. The bouillon gives the quinoa a great flavor. 
Saute several handfuls of spinach and the mushrooms in olive oil and salt and pepper.  
Place the spinach and mushroom mixture on top of the bed of quinoa, and there you go!! Dinner is served!

Banana Soft Serve with Chocolate Chips & Graham Crackers
Picture from Oh She Glows - I wish my dessert looked this pretty!

This is probably the easiest dessert ever made, and I also got it from Oh She Glows.

Serves 2
1 frozen banana
1/3 cup Almond Milk
1 T chia seeds (apparently they act as a thickener, you can get them at Central Market, just ask)
Chocolate Chips
Graham Crackers as a topping

Last night, Sam made another scrumptious recipe from Oh She Glows (I told you it's my new fav blog!). 

Vegan Enchiladas with "Cheese" Sauce
Sam got a little excited with the "cheese" sauce. 

Serves 2
2-3 handfuls spinach
1.25 cups enchilada sauce or pasta sauce 
(We didn't have enchilada or pasta sauce, so Sam used Pace Picante Sauce and it worked great!)
1 bell pepper, color of your choice (we used yellow)
1 zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp mild chili powder
1/4 tsp sea salt, to taste
1 tsp nutritional yeast (this gives it that cheesy flavor, you can get it at CM too in the bulk section)
1 tsp lime juice (optional)
1.25 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
2 whole grain tortillas
Vegan cheeze sauce for the topping: (4 tbsp hummus, 1 tsp or a bit more milk, 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Throw chopped onion into a large pot and heat until caramelized, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add in the chopped pepper, zucchini, beans, and spinach and cook another few minutes until the spinach wilts. Add in the pasta or enchilada sauce, nutritional yeast, sea salt, chili powder, and optional lime juice and stir very well. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Take a baking dish and pour about 1/2 of pasta or enchilada sauce onto bottom of dish. Now take 2 tortillas and fill with mixture. Wrap tortillas and place into dish, fold side down. Cover the tortillas with the remaining enchilada veggie/bean mixture and place into the oven uncovered at 350F for about 18-20 minutes. While it is cooking prepare the vegan cheeze sauce and then drizzle it over the enchiladas before serving.

Hopefully, these recipes provide you with new dinner ideas for next week!  I would like to leave you with probably the coolest thing I have ever seen (not really, but it's pretty awesome)  YOGA ON SKATES  You don't actually do yoga while on rollerblades (well some poses you do), you just combine the workouts.  I'm jealous we don't have this in Texas! 

With Love, Health, and Happiness,