I’m so excited to share these recipes with you. They are recipes to have on a night when you feel like a treat. When you want to spoil yourself with something healthy and delish, but also give you that warm and fuzzy feeling that only certain recipes can give. I made this combo for Valentine’s Day with my chocolate covered strawberries, of course
Happy Valentine’s Day!!
Last night I threw a vegan treat into the fridge to enjoy this evening. Chocolate covered strawberries! Yummmmm
With chocolate covered strawberries I don’t feel much guilt about the sugar, fat, and calories in the chocolate because of the wonderfully wholesome strawberries AND they’re so easy to enjoy because you only need two ingredients!
It’s a decadent treat that you can enjoy if it’s just you in your pj’s or having friends over. Either way all parties involved will feel spoiled. There’s just something about the combination that says fancy, right!?
The ones that I used were my favorite huge, organic, flavorful, local ones I was able to buy at Whole Foods as well. Yes.. I’m a Whole Foods junkie.
It may be too late for them to be thrown in the fridge over night, but that’s not necessary. For the chocolate to set it only takes a couple of hours in the fridge or you can enjoy it as a fondue if you want to enjoy the strawberries dipped in chocolate without the wait!
Oh! And chocolate, especially vegan (because it’s darker chocolate than most) contains high amounts of flavanols that have the potential to lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular function. We just have to remember moderation..
I had a wonderful week, I hope you did too! Maybe it even involved an incredible amount of snow too!?
I spent the weekend at home with my family. Lately I’ve been doing this a lot since it’s only 2 hours away and my sister is a senior in highschool and there have been a lot of important senior moments I’ve went home to be part of. This weekend was senior night where they recognized the seniors during a basketball game (she’s a cheerleader). It’s a lot of fun for me to go back 7 years later and watch her going through such an exciting time in her life!
But, while I was there, boy oh boy was I reminded of how difficult it can be to be vegan in the “real world”. Since I spend most days at home in my own little world of my apartment the beginning of my first week of being vegan was purely fun. I got up everyday with a plan of how I would get through the day and what i would eat. But, oh man, just as I began thinking how easy things were going… my parents grabbed hot dogs at the basketball game covered in onions and ketchup.
Sitting between them I soaked in the smells and flavors that came with them. I longed to have just even one bite, but as I caught myself doing this I reminded myself of how good I feel and how I would feel if I had that hot dog and instantly the cravings went away and I really did just enjoy the smell of their yummy game snack.
After the game we got home and my sister plumped herself down on the couch with a swiss roll and I was panged AGAIN with an even bigger urge to just walk over to the cabinet she got it from, peel one out of its wrapper and devour it.
This is where I was glad I have a blog to share my experience with and a boyfriend who’s doing this with me. Taking a picture and laughing at how ridiculous it was that something so small could create such a longing feeling within me, sharing the photo with my boyfriend, thinking of how I would share it with you guys, and eating a pretty large bowl of chips and salsa got me through the evening and I woke up the next day feeling pretty proud of myself
Today I came across this quote on another blogger’s site and it just made so much sense that I had to share it with you.
Her site has a funny title and, like mine, documents her trying to find a diet that works for her. You can visit her here http://veganwithasideofbacon.wordpress.com/
And the quote was from Mark Sisson…
“understand that 80 percent of your body composition comes from how you manipulate hormones and gene expression via the foods you eat. It’s also enlightening to realize that it doesn’t take much exercise to get fit, firm, lean, toned, and to look good naked. If you are exercising simply to burn calories and to lose weight, you are fighting a losing battle. To put it another way, you can’t exercise away a bad diet.”
Makes sense, right!? When I told a good friend once how much I love desserts and that I just try to workout to keep from constantly gaining weight she said, “You know, they say 80% of our health comes from what we eat.” I find it funny that after remembering what she said 2 years later I see it again here.
Today was a pretty great day! Both being vegan and in every other way. I felt better than I have in a while!
I met up with a friend for lunch and was proud of myself for how well I did. I had Mixed Bean and Portobello Ragout leftovers and checked the restaurant’s menu before leaving the house to make sure I wouldn’t be starving for my appointment and errands after lunch.
Managing my hunger was a success! With all those beans in my belly it was easy enough (and filling enough) to simply order a salad for lunch and then snack on a banana I grabbed on my way out the door on the way to my next appointment. I was properly ready for dinner when I finished my afternoon errands and returned home.
What I’ve noticed so far from going vegan is how much better I feel when I eat the way Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. recommends in his book Eat to Live. His guideline for eating vegan and getting positive health results is quite simple, but not at all the way I would have went about going vegan had I not read his book first.
- Breakfast: Fresh fruit
- Lunch: salad, beans on top, and more fruit
- salad and two cooked vegetables (1 lb.), fruit dessert
I don’t by any means follow this wholly, in fact for now I’m simply trying to get through the day in a way I’m completely not used to, but when I have switched my breakfast from an apple and unsweetened peanut butter to include oatmeal I felt dizzy and tired. And not in a subtle way, so I quickly went back to my simple apple and pb. I’ve also found it impossible to feel fulfilled without beans in my lunch and that if I include carbs, such as brown rice pasta I get quite tired and spacey afterward so for now I am keeping my carbs to dinnertime because then I can get as forgetful as I would like…
I have added Better Homes and Garden’s Mixed Bean and Portobello Ragout recipe to my blog because I simply would not have been able to make it through the last few days without it and don’t expect this to be the only bean recipe I’ll be posting. As I find beans more and more appealing and necessary I will be finding many ways to enjoy them and of course share them with you!
Beans are so great! And when you make them in a recipe such as this you can eat them as a meal or on top of a salad, it’s up to you!
I have never been more excited than I was today to look through the canned veggie aisle..
They had pickled veggies (I suggest trying beats!), artichoke hearts, olives and all of them with tons of different options. I was ecstatic as I got home after buying some artichoke hearts, a tomato and garlic bruschetta, pickles, and marinated olives. I sat down to try my new fancy olives and immediately realized that, as I had hoped, the olives I had bought at the store were similar to some I had had at a local restaurant (Campo for you Reno-ites). The olive appetizer that we had gotten free as an apology for the wait ended up being responsible for getting me to go back for more olives (I had a hard time not devouring the entire plate)… after hating olives all of my life. So it’s no surprise that I quickly devoured the entire container!
I believe that it is new discoveries like this that will make this worthwhile no matter the results I get from changing my diet. But on the note of results.. I did not stop eating yesterday. I stuffed my face the entire day starting at breakfast and going all the way through and past the super bowl and I still lost 2 pounds over the weekend! Coincidence? We’ll see…
For those of you who are curious my menu yesterday consisted of
- Oatmeal (made w/water, slivered almonds, brown sugar, flaxseed)
- Fuji apple and peanut butter
- An entire container of marinated olives (A lot of salt/sodium, but I have low blood pressure so I had no guilt there)
- Artichoke fritters dipped in pasta sauce
- Popcorn popped in canola oil on the stove topped with vegan butter and sea salt
- Mixed Bean and Portobello Ragout
- Bowl of chocolate rice cereal (trying to get off of my chocolate addiction)
- Melted vegan chocolate chips with sea salt (unsuccessfully managing my chocolate addiction)
This is not what I plan on being my typical daily menu, but it was the super bowl and the first day on the diet so the boyfriend and I (he’s also doing the diet with me) had some fun with it.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday! It has been a while since my last post… though many of you may have not noticed, I know I barely did!
It feels great to be jumping back in to the blogging world. In fact, I feel whole again just sitting here with my fingers to the keyboard!!
With my return to my blog I have also returned to an idea I visited last Spring, but didn’t know enough about to fully jump into, and that is a vegan diet.
I’ve mentioned before I eat a gluten and dairy free diet. Gluten (in wheat) seems to take a toll on my energy levels while I seem to have a mild allergy to dairy. With dairy out of my diet I often find myself eating a vegan diet when I don’t even mean to because of a lack of time to cook or buy meat and I’ve always wondered… would cutting out animal products entirely affect the way I feel?
By going vegan I hope to cut out a lot of “bad” calories out of my diet that I will have to get somewhere else and if I get those calories in healthy ways, such as veggies and nuts I am hoping to experience quite a difference in my health. But only if done right… I will be trying to keep my simple carbohydrates, such as processed flours and sugars, down and get most of my nutrition from vegetables, legumes (beans), and fruits.
I will finally find out for myself once and for all if all the vegan hype is true! I have read the books, watched the documentaries, and found the recipes I will need to start this two-month adventure. It starts today! And just for you I am uploading a Super Bowl Sunday inspired vegan dish.
Fun artichoke fact: They contain a great amount of Vitamin C, helping you to absorb iron from your diet, as well as containing folate, phosphorous, fiber, and antioxidants so eat up!
Today I decided to scroll over to my new favorite cooking blog and I found an article that did more than just get me excited for dinner. As you may know, I have struggled as a young adult to cope with not only becoming an adult, we’ll see if I ever fully become one, but also with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).
As I opened the gluten free goddess’ website up I often times just start scrolling through and pulling up recipes, but today I decided to read her witty prelude to her latest recipe. Today, I felt that Karina’s words perfectly encompassed my latest struggles, her words both honest and comforting, but also magical as only a gifted writer such as herself could express.
I highly recommend you check out this article
Enjoy and Happy Monday!
To wait, to surrender to this thing, this process, this road home to myself- it’s not an easy thing. But if you offered me a pill to swallow, some cure, some promise, some magic, I doubt I would be tempted. Because there is a part of me- some stubborn, rusty, ancient part of me- that understands I must go through it, not around it. I must go down. Not up in a flight of fancy. I must get muddy and singed and hollow and exhausted.
It is that time of year when the leaves start to fall, everyone starts making holiday plans, and as things cool down we find ourselves spending more time indoors and in the kitchen. I’ve decided to share my favorite tomato treat with you. I am doing this not only because they are amazing this time of year, but with the changing seasons tomatoes provide a much-needed boost of Vitamin C to help our immune system handle the many changes that come with fall!
Since I have had to be on a strict gluten-free, dairy-free diet over the last 6 months I have missed the mozzarella-containing caprese salad. That is until I decided to make a naked caprese salad, it’s everything the popular caprese salad was, but my version does without the mozzarella. This “naked” version can boast lest fat and no casein (suspected of contributing to inflammation) since the dairy part has been kicked to the side.
It is the perfect afternoon treat. If tomatoes or basil aren’t your thing this snack is not for you! But if you do, don’t be too frugal with the salt and extra virgin olive oil after all this is a treat, and you will not be disappointed.
The tomatoes during this season taste like candy so you can even have this snack as a dessert! I definitely do.
What are your own favorite versions of a caprese salad?