Monday, March 26, 2012

Cauliflower Nuggets

Cauliflower, oh how I was so afraid of you for a few weeks. Why? Not so sure! I don't know when the last time I ever had it or if I even have had it before. I had been noticing so many cauliflower recipes lately and told myself it's time to try it. I found a great looking recipe via pinterest for Cauliflower Chicken Nuggets. I basically tell people they are like chicken nuggets, but healthy! Even better they are so filling and low fat. I usually make about 1/4-1/2 a head of cauliflower and that's good enough for a whole meal! I found the recipe over at Chocolate Covered Katie. Have you ever heard of her blog? A new amazing blog! I literally want to make everything on her blog, when did I become so lazy in the pastry department? Oh, yeah after working 10 hours and then lifting weights, and running many miles. That's when I became lazy. Ugh, oh well! Speaking of working out..I know I know I talk so much about it, but it has become part of my life. Anyways, back to the working out thing..can I just say how proud I am I ran 8 miles the other day?! I didn't run very fast, but to me it's the fact that I went that distance. Which makes me even more aware that I know I can run my half marathon..oh speaking of that I keep forgetting to sign up. Mom keeps reminding wonderful memory! Ah, okay back to the Cauliflower Nuggets. I now enjoy cauliflower. This dish is easy to make and I love having it when I don't feel like cooking a huge meal. I'm working on eating a more plant based whole foods diet. I'm doing pretty well. I'm just waiting for my fat to go away!!! I think about how I want to look every day. I'm finally at the point where I want to look really awesome. I'm not the most patient, but I know I'll get there. This time is different. Anyhoo, don't be afraid of cauliflower it's awesome. Literally, all you do is roast/bake the cauliflower in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. You can season it with whatever and broil it for a few minutes. Sometimes I don't even broil it. That's the laziness in me I guess. I then top the cauliflower off with barbeque sauce...wait that's not whole foods, and plant based. Oh, bummer. I'm working on it! The only "bad" part about this dish is the fact that you roast it in the oven. Right now I'm working the veggies into my diet..maybe in a year or so I'll be eating all my veggies raw? Eh, I don't know for now I can say I'm eating a heck of a lot better than ever before. Well, enjoy! 

 Thank you Katie for giving me confidence to eat cauliflower, I am now addicted!
I had to sneak a picture of Frank in there. ;)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grilled Pizza and a not so Vegan Dinner

So last month we got our bon appetit magazine, and it had this amazingly delicious looking pizza on it. Seriously? Right after I decide I want to eat vegan they send me this?
Okay, this is why I don't think I can ever 100 percent go vegan. Now I'm not saying I'm going to eat pizza once a week but all in moderation and only if it's this pizza. This is by far the best pizza I have ever had in my whole entire life, and hubby and I made it. That's right people! Stop calling up your local delivery guys, get off the couch and make this amazing pie. Tackle the dough and master it. It really isn't that difficult! Well, hubby hates it and decided, "we're not having pizza anymore! This is not working." Okay, first off calm down, second ask a woman/pastry chef for help. :) I managed to make her work. This wonderful smooth ball of dough become some amazing pie. I decided since it's so nice out why not grill the pizza? Have you ever had grilled pizza? Oh, it's heavenly! I feel bad about eating pizza because I know it won't make me skinny, but then I eat it and I feel all better. :) Moderation people, moderation. A foodie girl can't cut out her pizza! She can just cut back, A LOT! Come on we only live once right? Can you tell I'm trying to make myself feel better about the bad choices I make? ;) Don't be afraid of the grill like the husband was...sheesh! I told him next time it was mandatory he had his on the grill. Okay, so thank you bon appetit  for sharing this amazing recipe. Which I will now share with you!

No Knead Pizza Dough-that's right no knead!!! Could it get any easier? And it tastes this good? Hail to the pizza gods!
Tomato and Stracciatella Pizza -we did not use Stracciatella, not sure why but it was still amazing.

Just follow the directions in the links above. You can either choose to make your own pizza sauce or what I did was buy crushed canned tomatoes. Oh, great canned tomatoes, would you like a side of BPA with that? Oh, whatever, I'm only human. I used Organic Muir Glen Fire Roasted crushed tomatoes. Yum! We then topped the pizzas off with mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Feel free to use fresh mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella. I would stick with those cheeses though. I'm sorry but packaged pre-shredded cheap cheese is only going to be poison to this fine crust!

As far as grilling goes..heat your grill to high. Brush grill with olive oil. Hubby used a big thin white flour cloth we had and dipped it in oil and wiped down the grill. Please everyone do not spray Pam onto your grill, unless you don't want eyebrows! Okay, so now that you have your grill going and oiled, stretch out your dough, and oil. I transferred my dough to a pizza wheel we had and set it on the grill. It wasn't pretty, it was my first time but it's rustic! Once your dough is browned on one side carefully flip it over and grill on the other side. Do slowly, and with caution! You may need a few spatulas, hands, or pair of tongs. Teamwork people! Show your pizza some love. Once you have flipped your dough add your sauce and cheese. I literally pulled chunks of mozzarella off and flattened between my fingers and placed on top of the sauce. You can spoon on the ricotta all over too. No need to make it pretty! I like to add red pepper flakes to mine, along with some oregano or other green herbs. I then add a little salt and pepper to finish her off! Enjoy the best pizza you hopefully will have ever made!

 My only criticism is browning the sauced side more next time, and better photos!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I've been wanting to post about this for awhile and just got too caught up in all my food and new health adventures. I didn't like my engagement pics much and wanted something more fun that didn't involve us being in our coats, as we did the engagement shots in the middle of winter. So I found this pretty awesome chica to take some great pics, her name is Jordan, you can find her over at Jordan Quinn Photography.I won't be sharing all the pictures, there are way too many! :) I will share some of my favorites. I love these photos so much! Thanks again to Jordan for capturing some amazing shots of us. I had so much fun working with her. We took these shots down town Chicago. Perfect!
I absolutely love this picture!

We found this awesome brick wall that had amazing leaves growing on beautiful

You can see more of Jordan's work on me here: Trash the Dress

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Books, a Movie and an update!

Sorry to all, I realize it's been a whole week since my last post! My training is going well. I have decided to focus more on my running right now then lifting. I'm still lifting, but it's hard to keep up w/ the LiveFit Trainer I'm doing. If I skip a day I beat myself up about it, so far now I'm going to put my time and energy into running. Like I said, I'll keep up the lifting just at my own speed! I'm on week three of my half marathon training. I'm very proud that I'm keeping up the good work! Enough about my fitness, I know it's all I talk about anymore ;)

I decided to start reading to try and help me sleep, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. :(  I just finished up my Runner's Diet book and am now moved on to The China Study. I've heard lots of good reviews about this book on many vegan blogs I follow. Doctor T. Colin Campbell has written this book about changing your diet and reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Which moves me on to the next thing..hubby and I couldn't find anything to watch last night and I had remembered about this movie I was wanting to watch Forks Over Knives, I would love it if everyone watched this movie. In fact Dr. T. Colin Campbell is in this documentary. It's about living a plant based diet and how it can help reverse diabetes, cancer, obesity, and heart disease. Yes, I said REVERSE!!! This documentary is truly amazing. My husband even told me after it was all over he might, with a big emphasis on the with me next week...wait, can you say that again?! I never thought this day would come. Of course being vegan and eating a plant based diet isn't easy..but it pays off and they have done the research to prove it. After the movie was over I went to their website and looked around a little. I found that you could do a forks over knives retreat for the weekend, and their was one in my home town..No Way!!! I was freaking out and kept saying, I have to go! Then I found out it was $550! What a bummer!

If you're interested in being healthier you should definitely watch this movie! :) Oh, for dinner tonight I had some delicious Cauliflower "chicken" Nuggets, from Chocolate Covered Katie I was totally scared to try it was amazing and filling!!! Can't wait to have it again! Have you ever seen her blog? It's changed my life!!! She has so many recipes I'd like to try, and they are all healthy! Yes, please! I feel like this post wouldn't be complete with out some pics, so I will include some pictures of some pretty peppers I bought and froze the other day!

 Mmm, aren't they beautiful?

 There's my cat Frank again, getting into everything. I swear he thinks everything is his!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vegan Chocolate/PB/Banana Oatmeal

I've been seeing lots of yummy oatmeal lately and decided to add it into my breakfast schedule. Clean Eating Chelsey has a lot of tasty, healthy looking recipes. I've adapted this one from her blog and it's pretty yummy. I always add flax oil into my oatmeal! You can't even taste it! This is the easiest oatmeal to make.

Vegan Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Oatmeal
1/3 Cup Bob's Red Mill rolled Oats
2/3 Cup Almond Milk
1 Tblsp Cocoa Powder
1 Tblsp Peanut Butter
1 Banana mashed
1 Tblsp Flax Oil

 Heat up all ingredients in pot over stove, except flax oil and peanut butter until hot and thickened. After heated through, add peanut butter and flax oil. You can add agave nectar or syrup to sweeten it up a bit, but I don't think it even needs it! Sometimes I add blueberries into mine as well. Enjoy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Basil, Kale, and Walnut Pesto Pasta

This has been on the menu plan for a couple weeks now and for some reason I just wasn't wanting to make it. I've realized since I've tried going vegan my menu planning has become more difficult for whatever reason. I just never know what I want, or maybe I'm not as excited? Such a bummer! Take this week for example..I spent a ton of cash at Whole Foods and I feel like I'm left with nothing. I was just asking my husband, what did we buy?! This is where it gets hard and frustrating...this is when I wish I could have the delicious pizza on the cover of bon appetit magazine. Um, it looks amazing and I want it! Do I just give in? It's hard going to the gym 5 days a week and getting home late. Good thing hubby mostly cooks for me these busy, frantic days. I have to plan's just extremely expensive eating organic and fresh, and now hubby and I are making two different meals. Not my idea of fun. Most of the time what I make is amazing, however last night I made some vegan mac n cheese and it was horrible. I was so bummed out. It was so discouraging. On to the next one I guess! I hope that one's better! Well, that dinner was gone and by then it was late..I sure wasn't making another one hour meal! I had popcorn..for dinner, yeah that's real healthy. Now that I've gotten that out, let's move on to my amazing lunch. This was going to be a dinner meal, but yet again I planned poorly and had no lunches planned. I was craving so many things but just didn't have the ingredients. So I decided let's just give this pasta a go! Let me tell you it was scrumptious! :) Why did it take me so long to master up the courage and just make it? Ya got me there! It didn't take too long either. I found this recipe on Pinterest via Clean Green Simple. I'm adapting this for one person and to my likings, but you can check out her website for the real thing.

Basil, Kale, and Walnut Pesto
4-6oz gluten free pasta
4 cloves of garlic, or more! Garlic is always good
1 c fresh basil
1 c fresh kale
1/2 c raw, unsalted walnuts
1/4 onion, minced, or more..I'm not a huge fan of them so I used as little as possible
2 tblsp olive oil
2/3 c salted pasta water reserved
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tblsp nutritional yeast
4 stalks asparagus, or more..I'm easing into asparagus right now :)
2 roma tomatoes chopped

Boil pasta according to package directions in a heavily salted pot of water. Before draining noodles reserve about 2/3 cups of pasta water and set aside.
Saute kale, onion, walnuts, basil and 2/3 of your chopped garlic, until your greens are just wilted. Once the greens are ready remove them from the pan and transfer to a blender or food processor and process a few minutes. Add in some of the reserved pasta water, and nutritional yeast. Process until mixture is smooth and at the consistency you'd like. Return the pan to the heat and saute the rest of the garlic and your asparagus. Saute until asparagus is softened, but still crisp, about 5 minutes. Once asparagus and pasta noodles are ready add the noodles to the saute pan with the desired amount of pesto sauce. (I had some left over) Top with tomatoes and enjoy! 

 Yummy Kale!!!!

 Isn't it gorgeous? So yummy!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tofu Nuggets, Waffle fries and a fire!

First off I have to begin by apologizing for lack of bloggy commitment. I have been super busy lately focusing on my diet and training. As you may have read earlier I am training for a half marathon, and weight training. I've been lifting weights for a year now, but not really satisfied with how far I've come, so I decided to find a great weight training program and stick with it...between all this I'm at the gym more and getting home later. Good thing hubby has been making me dinner while I'm training, otherwise I get home late and don't feel like cooking much. So thanks hub! :) I wasn't sure what I wanted for dinner tonight. Zac was making fried chicken and waffle fries, mmm waffle fries. I knew I had to have some of those! I know, not really part of my new diet but I felt it was okay to splurge! I decided I'd have some tofu nuggets and waffle fries. This was a good, quick and easy meal. It was really good too! I was a little worried I wouldn't like my tofu nuggets, but surprisingly they tasted just like chicken nuggets! They were so good! Our waffle fries were more like waffle chips, but they too were very tasty. Meanwhile hubby is frying up a storm in the kitchen and I'm on Etsy searching for cute sprinkles. All of a sudden hubby screams, "we have a fire!" At first I thought it was a joke..then I get up and into the kitchen and sure enough said stove is on fire!!! Ahh, what do we do?! I try helping out, panic and google how to put out a fire..yeah I did that! Haha, I guess at that point I really didn't know what to do. No worries, we're all fine! Whew, good thing that was resolved quickly with out the fire department over. It was pretty crazy! I wasn't going to share my dinner tonight but I decided I'd give it a go! Hope you enjoy!

Tofu Nuggets
1/2 block firm tofu cut into squares
1tsp cayenne pepper
1tsp paprika
1tsp garlic powder
sprinkle of salt and pepper
1/2c gluten free bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs)
vegetable or peanut oil

Rinse tofu, pat dry. Add seasonings to a bowl and throw in tofu, mix until combined. Then in another bowl add breadcrumbs and throw in tofu and toss until well coated. I had to dab the tofu a bit to get it to stick. Feel free to make any substitutions here, I just made this up! It's such a cinch. Fry in vegetable oil for about 5 minutes or until golden. Some of my breadcrumbs fell off during frying, don't worry they're still tasty! While eating these I thought to myself, these would be great cut into animal shapes for kids!

Waffle Fries
2-3 russet potatoes washed (we left skin on)
seasoned salt
cajun spices
vegetable or peanut oil

Wash potatoes well and cut into thin strips, or if you have an amazing mandolin with a waffle cutter setting feel free to use that! Heat oil to 350-375 degrees and drop in fries one batch at a time. Fry until crispy and transfer to paper towels to let excess oil drain. Transfer fries to a bowl and add seasonings, toss to coat. Our waffle setting on our mandolin cut the potatoes pretty thin, they were more like waffle chips then fries, but were still pretty addicting. Feel free to sub seasonings here too. Check this out for the perfect french fries..Pioneer Woman probably explains the perfect fries better than I would!

I'll admit these pictures aren't great, but I can guarantee the taste made up for it!

 I know you're probably looking at this thinking Ewe, that doesn't look very tasty..the only way you can prove it to yourself is to go make some now!

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