Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dip it Good!

Hi friends! Hope your weekend is off to a good start! Last night, we just stayed in and relaxed with some of this:

so good! If any of you are familiar with the goat cheese (I think it's a manchego-style) with the reddish rind that's soaked in wine, this is the wine they use! It was nice and light, good for drinking alone :)

I also put this orange beast to good use:

Just for size reference, this is a standard size chef's knife:
It was a HUGE butternut! I was in the mood for something dippy but something new, so I made:

Butternut Squash - Garbanzo Dip (I could call it a 'hummus', but I guess that's not technical ;)
~2 cups butternut squash, roasted and cut in chunks
1 can heated garbanzo beans, liquid reserved
~2 tsp sesame oil
~1/4 - 1/2 tsp garam marsala (could also use curry powder)
~1/2 tsp cumin
sea salt (~1/2 - 1 tsp)
freshly ground black pepper
paprika, for topping

Roast squash in oven. I just sliced mine in half, scooped out the seeds, and put it on a baking sheet:
I did about 25 minutes at 425*. Meanwhile, heat garbanzo beans and can liquid in saucepan (this awesome trick & recipe inspiration from Gena!) When squash is softened, remove skin (you may have to wait for it to cool a bit) and cut into chunks. Add to food processor with seasonings, sesame oil and garbanzo beans. Slowly drizzle in garbanzo liquid until desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. I did not need to use all the can liquid as butternut squash is not a starchy as say, a potato. I love sesame oil because you can use such a small amount but add amazing flavor. This recipe made about 3 cups:

I added some to a collard leaf with red pepper, chopped tomato, sliced heart of palm and cilantro:
All rolled up:
So tasty! I love having a taste / snack right after I make something :) Just like the Food Network!

This morning, I was inspired by Angela's Lemon Scrub to make my own. We picked some glorious grapefruits from our tree yesterday (I just love saying that I picked fruit from my own tree :) so exciting!), so I decided to use that for my citrus. This recipe is super vague, but I don't think you could screw it up. Add zest of grapefruit,
plus juice of half grapefruit
to ~1/2 cup brown sugar:
Add ~1 Tbsp coconut oil:
Mine was pretty liquid-y, so I added some more sugar:
It poured out of the bag pretty fast! It was about a cup. All stirred up:
It smelled divine, and after I showered my skin was glowing and the bathroom had a lovely brown sugar-grapefruit scent. I loved that this recipe is totally edible, too! I probably wouldn't want to eat it, but it's nice to know that I could ;)

For dessert, I made Katie's Good Girl Fudge. Go check out her recipe!
so good! not too sweet, excellent texture straight from the fridge. I used homemade coconut butter (thanks to Heather!), but I found it didn't get super creamy like Artisana. I used the food processor for about 15 minutes.... still tasty, but a little gritty.

This morning, I did Gina's Week 3 of the Winter Shape Up, followed by 20 minutes of intervals on the stationary bike (still trying to take it easy on the food), then I took this smiling face
for a walk for about 30 minutes. I love it when puppies smile! So cute. When I got home, I made this delicious Green Monster:
It's my recent favorite recipe:
1 scoop Vanilla Sun Warrior protein
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp Sun Warrior greens
1 tsp spirulina
1/2 peeled cucumber
4 frozen strawberries
~1/3 cup frozen blueberries
~1/5 frozen banana
2 giant handfuls spinach
sprinkle stevia
~1/2 - 1 cup water

Mix it up in the Vita! Mmmmm....

I'm thinking of making a run out to Anthropologie, since I really need to clean out my closet (maybe I'm just being pro-active and buying more before I get rid of stuff? heehee), but the sky is turning blacker and blacker.... I hate driving in rain :/ especially during snowbird invasion season! Guess I better go see what's going on with the little one:
so mischievous! Have a great weekend friends!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tick Tock, Slow Clock

Hi friends! How's your Friday? Have anything fun planned for the weekend? My day is draaaaging by :( Can't wait to start the weekend, perhaps with a lovely glass of vino :)

This morning, I did about 25 minutes of intervals on the recumbant bike, plus Legs of Fire and Abs-Tastic Exercise Challenge (I did mine laying on my back on the floor since I don’t have a pull-up bar or dip station – trust me, it still burns!) workouts from Bodyrock. (I did bike intervals instead of jump-rope – still trying to take it easy on the foot with jumping / impact). It was killerrrr! I had an amazing green smoothie (1 scoop vanilla Sun Warrior, frozen blueberries & strawberries, small chunk of frozen nana, spinach, ½ cuke and some green powder (SW Supergreens & spirulina). The cuke is something sorta new for me – I’ve had it in smoothies before, but not very often. It was love! So refreshing and hydrating and perfect after a workout!

Last night, I watch this totally inspiring vlog from the beautiful Kris Carr on de-cluttering your life physically & mentally. De-cluttering is something I need to get much, much better at (my closet is a giant disaster right now). Life runs so much more smoothly when you’re organized! Plus if I get rid of some stuff, I’ll have a great excuse to shop it up!

Sorry about the lack of pics (and links), but I’m blogging in stealth mode ;)
What are you looking forward to doing this weekend? What was the best part of your week? Tell me all about it!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gluten-Free Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

hey hey hey :) how's your week going? Thursday work-day is officially over and tomorrow is Friiiiiiday! Can you tell I'm stoked?

Clearly, blogging every day has not quite become part of my routine. It's crazy how long ago I started this blog, and yet... it still is meandering around the starting line :/ Hopefully, I can get on the ball because I have lots of fun recipes and shenanigans to share! Not to mention I should have some more "free time" due to this...
not broken, but without cable! The hubby & I have been debating canceling the cable for several years now, but every time we get close to doing it, he tells me, "but it's football season!" We do have Netflix and a computer hooked up to the TV, plus internet, so it's not like I'm completely disconnected :)

For quite some time now, I have been craving blueberry pancakes. Warm, fluffy, drizzled with maple syrup... ah, just the thought makes my mouth water. Being celiac and vegetarian-ish (I eat fish and cheese maybe once a month, but no meat / poultry since October 2009) makes it sorta tough to make good pancakes. Not that you can't, but most recipes call for a variety of flours and ingredients I tend to not have since I don't bake or make GF recipes that much. I recently bough some Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Bean flour (one of the cheaper GF flours out there) and made this super easy, delish recipe:

Gluten-Free Vegan Blueberry Pancakes (serves one)
1 T flax meal + 1 T water to make flax 'egg'
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup water (could substitute almond milk or other non-dairy milk)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda + squirt lemon juice (to activate)
pinch sea salt
stevia and vanilla extract and cinnamon, if desired

Pre-heat non-stick skillet to medium heat. I actually found I didn't need to spray it at all (not sure why, but I always spray even if it's a non-stick surface. Double insurance? Fear of dishes? ;)) Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Pour in ~1/4 cup increments onto heated pan. Add blueberries (if desired). Cook until bubbles have formed on the top surface,
then carefully flip (or do the shimmy n' shake and flip without a spatula -

I didn't photograph, but this is what I did... basically, shake the skillet to ensure the pancake has cooked on the underside. Then 1-2-3, make a big movement forward and watch the lil' guy flip! Sorry if that's a bad description :/ some things must just be tried!). I was able to make 3 pancakes with this recipe, and I topped mine with real maple syrup and a bit of Smart Balance Light (they were out of earth Balance at the grocery, and SBL is vegan and GF, so not a bad back-up choice). So good!
They definitely hit the spot :)

I re-united with an old friend recently:

I could eat kale salad every. single. day. How did I ever live before the discovery of kale?! I like mine massaged with avocado, lemon, freshly ground sea salt & cracked black pepper, some minced garlic & a sprinkle of stevia. Sometimes I get crazy and add crushed red pepper flakes and nooch. It is always good! Definitely has become "comfort food."My husband jokes that we could never have kale in our garden because it would make him sad that he can't grow enough to support my 'habit.' haha!

I bought this awesome lunch box recently. Yes, I am secretly 5 years old and I love a new lunch box! Here's the eats for tomorrow:
The 3 layers stack together and have a metal strap to clip them together. So cute! It got many compliments at work today :) Cauli, cukes, baby carrots, red pepper and edemame, plus an insalata with spring mix, cauli, hemp seeds, cuke, heart of palm, grape tomatoes and (in the little container) dressing of 1/2 an orange's juice, salt & pepper and a drizzle of flax oil. I can't wait to eat it!

I had to take a mini-hiatus from running - I hurt my foot and think it may be a stress fracture :( it hasn't hurt in a few days, but I want to take it easy since my race is at the end of the month, I don't want to be hurt and miss it (since it's my first!). It's been a week since I've run and I'm so eager to get back out there! Plus, I just got my Garmin and want to test it out. How do you deal with injuries? I've been taking it easy, doing some weights and the recumbant bike. Not the same!

One thing I LOVE about living in Florida is - STRAWBERRY SEASON!!! Check these babies out:
so delicious, sweet, fragrant (they make the entire fridge smell amazing - you can't open it without diving into a juicy berry!), not to mention cheap! love it. Ever have sliced berries in your bubbly:
it's pretty much amazing. Especially when you eat the delicious champagne-soaked berries at the end ;)

well friends, I will leave you with this:
rocking the nerd glasses and curly hair :)

because sometimes I like to hide behind my (new!) side bangs.

Tell me, what "recipe" have you made recently by winging it? That's how I got lucky with the pancake recipe! Just sort of... guessed :) Love it when that happens! Or, what have you made or eaten that hit the spot?