Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I miss my gas stove...

I'm in the middle of moving to Minneapolis.  It's not the most fun or easy thing, especially for my sister whose nice enough to let me crash on her couch.  I really appreciate her letting me squat at her place while I move stuff  to the Cities from Green Bay.  

On my way home from a yoga class this afternoon, I stopped in at The Wedge Co-op on Lyndale for a snack.  They have beautiful produce, an amazing deli, a bountiful bulk selection and any other healthy or unhealthy snack you'd want.  Having a hard time choosing what to buy at the deil, I opted for the Udon Noodle Salad with Tofu.  Hot dang, it was so good!  Definately healthy and flavorful.  Ginger, lime and a little crushed red pepper carried a nice tone throughout the dish.  My taste buds are still dancing and my belly is very content.

If you do a lot of traveling or are planning a move- hit up some local grocery stores or co-ops to find healthier, cheaper much more tasty options for lunches and dinners.  Yumm.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Better than Reese's?

Really, I'm not one to brag... But my PB cups are way better than any store bought cup. Who doesn't love chocolate and peanut butter? The combination is a lot like Romeo's Juliet, Bonnie's Clyde, Harold's Maude, Thelma's Louise, etc. Peanut butter and Chocolate are just meant to be.

When I went vegan, Reese's PB cups were the only things I missed, until I found how to make them! These puppies are soo easy to make. My dog, who doesn't have thumbs could make them. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to make your own and cure your sweet tooth.

About a year ago, I used to make these suckers pretty much every weekend for a close friend; also a PB fanatic. He'd do his part and help eat them- Alright, I'm not giving enough credit, he helped whip up the PB and powdered sugar. Together, we were a true PB cup makin' team. Even though we don't make these together anymore, whenever I make them, I think of him and wish he were with me. All I can do is remember our belly-aches together after eating them.


What 'cha'll need:
PB- Natural stuff without any nasty hydrogenated oils, please...
Powdered sugar
Muffin/Cupcake liners

What to do:
First, melt the chocolate, the microwave works perfect, or in a double boiler. Whatever you want to do.

Spoon a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom of the muffin liner and draw up around the edges. Once the first layer of chocolate is spooned in, place in the freezer to set.

While the chocolate is setting, whip up the PB. I usually use about a cup of PB and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of powdered sugar. Whip together until there isn't any remaining sugar clumps.

B's loves PB just as much as I do!

Peanut butter whipped with Powdered Sugar

Form the PB into little balls and press into the bottom of the chocolate that is already set and then place another thin layer of chocolate over the PB.

Peanut butter being pressed on the first layer of chocolate

Chocolate being spooned over Peanut butter layer

Place the finished product into the freezer or refrigerator. If you're jonesin' hard core, I recommend the freezer.

Be mindful eating these lil' dudes-- Otherwise the sugar will hit you hard. They're really good! Enjoy each bite!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Chickie" Noodle

I've been a little blue lately and the crummy weather this afternoon definitely didn't help me smile.  At the end of the month I'm moving to Minneapolis, and boy, I'm really excited about it!  But, like any move, I feel sad leaving some of my close friends behind.  I know we'll still stay in touch.  Even though, right now, I'm pretty down about it.  I love all of my sweet friends in Green Bay, you will all be with me when I move!  

Anyway, to satisfy my mopey belly, I made a batch of 'Chicken' Noodle Soup.  It was so delicious, I had two huge servings and I do admit, it made me feel better!  Until I got hungry again, duh.

"Chickie" Noodle Soup

1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
3-4 carrots chopped
enough oil for sauteing 
1 carton white mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
1 can garbanzo beans

4 cups of water
1 veggie bouillon cube

1 tbs parsley and basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp crushed thyme
1/2 tsp crumbled rosemary
1/2 tsp dried sage
a few shakes of celery seeds
dash of white or black pepper

a handful of any pasta-- I broke up some some soba noodles, but your favorite noodle will do, or even rice!  

Chop up the vegetables and add them to a large stock pot.  Add the water and bouillon cube.  Mix in the seasonings and finally, add the pasta.  Let simmer until the pastas done and you're hungry.  

This soup will most likely turn your day around and put a big fat smile back on your face. Laugh and enjoy this healthy chic-lovin' soup!  

Friday, June 12, 2009

One Proud Mumma

Oh, I am so proud of my lil' babe.  Somedays, I look at him and just gush.  Embarrassing, I know.  This week, when I got to the end of my peanut butter jar, I couldn't resist and gave it to him to lick.  It kept him busy for about 45 minutes!  If you have a pup that needs a little distraction, I recommend this method.  Plus, you can feel good about not letting the remaining peanut butter go to waste that the knife couldn't get out.  Everyone in the family will be happy!   

If he only had thumbs, it would be so much easier!  :) Ohhh, he's a cutie! 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eek! It's a Wrapanilla!

Sooo, if something isn't really a wrap, panini or quesadilla, what is it?  How about a Wra-pan-illa; a true creation!  Kind of a silly name, but never fear- it's delicious!  

I always fumble when I try to make wraps, the filling always falls out before it's even plated and then the presentation 96.9% of the time looks like my dog tried to make it... or eat it...  My wrapin' technique is something I have not mastered, yet.  

It's easy, any vegetable and bean spread on hand could be used in this recipe.  I loaded up refried beans on one side of the tortilla; topped that with avocado, cherry tomatoes, spinach and sprouts.  I folded the other side over the goods and placed a toothpick in it to secure my nutritious goodness.  Once assembled, heat up in the oven until the wrap is a little soft or even crisp.  The stove and a skillet could also be used, but I know with my clumsiness, it would have been all over the pan rather than in my Wrapanilla!


Friday, June 5, 2009

Sushi Salad

I feel like I post about sushi all the time.  I don't have a problem, really...  The other night some friends came over to roll some maki and of course, I ended up with loads of leftover vegetables and rice. Perfect opportunity for a new creation!   The next day for lunch, I whipped up this simple salad -- Light and delicious!  

There are probably plenty of variations on this; get creative!

Sushi Salad

sushi rice-- brown rice is a healthier option, but use what chu' got
a couple splashes of rice vinegar
carrots- juillened
cucumber- diced into little pieces or chunks
avocado- diced 
wasabi paste or powder -  I just mixed the powder right into the rice bowl for a zing
a few dashes of soy sauce 
sesame seeds to garnish

Chop up all ingredients and toss them with the rice-  Easy as pie! 

Be the judge on how much you'd like to put into the mix.  If I were to make it again, I'd put even more vegetables in it and leave some avocado out to mix in last so they don't get squashed and disappear.  Serve on a plate of greens or mix up some miso soup to accompany this fresh salad!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Get It while you can!

Asparagus!  Right now, I can't think of anything that would beat fresh and local asparagus.  It's completely different than the asparagus shipped from Peru, California or wherever.  Fresh, fresh stuff is so tender, sometimes I just eat it raw.  I'll take asparagus just about anyway, except being overcooked...  What a waste of a tasty vegetable! 

The soup I tossed together is delicious; it will satisfy your hunger and any asparagus needs.  It's rich, velvety and plain ol' delicious, not to mention soy free!  Garnish with some sun-dried tomatoes.  I even mixed some spinach leaves into the bowl before serving for some extra iron and calcium.  Your friends and family will be requesting this healthy and elegant bowl again, for sure.  

Creamy Asparagus Soup

2 tbs olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 lb asparagus
3-4 carrots - chopped

4 1/2 c water
1 vegetable bouillon cube

2 tsp basil
1 1/2 tsp parsley
4 tbs nutritional yeast
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp salt 
juice of lemon- a lil' less than 1/4 of a cup
dash of pepper
dash or more... of crushed red pepper

Saute onion, garlic and oil.  Add asparagus and carrots until their colors become bright- al dante.  While the vegis are doin' their thing, bring the water to a boil with the bouillon cube.  Once it's dissolved, add in vegetables and spices, turning down the heat.  Use an immersion blender to puree after mixing everything in.  If you don't have an immersion blender, grab a regular blender and blend away!  Blend until smooth or if you prefer to leave some chunks, leave some chunks!  Enjoy the deliciousness!