Food · Uncategorized

Ode to Spiralizing

Some of my friends and family have already heard me go on and on about my newest obsession: spiralizing food.  I know, I know, this trend caught on in full force several years ago, but as I mentioned before, I take a few decades to catch up.

Recently I purchased this spiralizer off of Amazon, simply because I saw a bunch of zucchini noodle recipes on Pinterest and thought, hey I could use some more veggies in my life!

Some may say I’ve gone overboard.  I would say I’ve just gone exactly board.

spiralized

        For once, this is actually my own photo.  Graininess courtesy of my shaky hands holding my iPhone.

The above photo represents the results of my 30 minutes of spiralizing at 4:30am when I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. Normally I’d be annoyed, but I actually was somewhat excited to use my brand new toy!  On the left, you see noodles from 3 spiralized zucchinis (zoodles).  On the right, you see noodles from 4 spiralized sweet potatoes (swoodles).

Spiralizing just makes veggie prep super easy, and, as a result, makes it more likely that I’ll actually eat more of them.  There are a million cool things you can do with spiralized veggies – one of the best places for recipe ideas is the Inspiralized blog recipe database.  It. Is. Awesome.

As for me, I haven’t tried TOO many recipes yet, but my go-to preparation for swoodles is tossing a handful of them (maybe 1-2 sweet potato’s worth?) in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasting them on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-ish minutes.  (I’m definitely an “ish” person when it comes to baking…probably why I suck at baking.)  For zoodles, I basically eat them raw with a warm sauce (usually pasta sauce and possibly meatballs – my favorite recipe to pair zoodles with is this one!)  You can also prep zoodles in other ways, as described here on the Inspiralized blog!

In conclusion – spiralizers rock if you love kitchen toys and aspire to eat healthy sometimes occasionally.

 

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Uncategorized

Things I Love Right Now

You can tell I’m on a posting binge right now.  I have so many fun discoveries to share!

I love finding people who sell cute and fun gifts online.  Here are a few fun things I’ve found lately (also how many times can I use the word “fun” in less than four sentences?):

Emily McDowell Studio: Super funny greeting cards, mugs, and other gifts.  Snarky yet empowering sense of humor.  In particular, she has several empathy cards for people undergoing cancer treatment that keep it “real,” as she herself is a cancer survivor.  I especially love the manifesto mug.

The Love Bomb Company: Empowering yet funny sayings emblazoned on tote bags, mugs, and mason jars.  I’m starting to see a pattern in the things I love to promote 🙂

CreativeLeighMe gifts: If you love The Office and/or Parks and Rec (or a number of other old cartoons/sitcoms from your childhood), you will want to keep an eye out for when @creativeleighme (Insta account) restocks her amazing Office/P&R lunch bags/totes/wristlets.  Not a joke – Jenna Fischer (Pam from the The Office) re-posted one of the creator’s Insta posts advertising The Office lunch bags, and she is now selling out of these products within minutes of restocking.  Um, I happened to be one of the lucky people who snagged an Office tote bag this past weekend. (Totally worth setting my phone alarm to the time of release.)

Anyhoo, I just love finding people who independently create such unique gifts that truly bring a smile to people’s faces.  Hope you enjoy checking them out!  Let me know if you stumble upon other fun artists!

Uncategorized

All of the Art!

Check out Society6:

https://society6.com/

They have art designs of every topic imaginable, all created by regular people like you and me.  Then, they put these designs on blankets, iPhone cases, pillows, wall art, etc.  There are probably a gazillion similar websites out there, but this one is extremely cool and you may hate me after visiting it, because you won’t get those four hours back.  Sorry…I warned you. 😉

Food · Uncategorized

Best (AKA Easiest) Chicken Tortilla Soup

If you know me, you know that a typical conversation with me goes like this:

[The year is 2017]

Me: Hey girl!  I just watched the most hilarious show the other day on Netflix, you’ve gotta check it out!

Friend: Cool!  What’s it called?

Me: It’s called 30 Rock!  It’s named for a building in Rockefeller Plaza!

Yep, I’m that girl that catches onto things about 13 years after the rest of the world finds out about them. (And the previous example was an INTENTIONAL EXAGGERATION you guys – I started watching 30 Rock only like 5 years after it was huge.)

The same thing happened with me and the slow cooker.  It got super popular around 10 years ago among my friends, but I didn’t actually consider using it until pretty recently.

MY LIFE HAS FOREVER CHANGED FOR THE BETTER.

And one reason why is this chicken tortilla soup recipe.  Seriously, it is super easy and super healthy.  Dump all the ingredients in the pot before you leave in the morning.  Set it on low.  When you return home, the delicious aroma of oregano and cumin will waft throughout your home, and you’ll be all like OH SWEET I AM FINALLY NOT EATING CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH FOR DINNER AFTER THIS CRAPPY DAY AT WORK!

Chicken Tortilla Soup             Photo Credit: Heather Likes Food blog

I make this recipe like twice a month (which is a lot considering the recipe feeds two people for like 4 days.  I hate eating the same thing over and over and over again, but this I can do.  Also, how are boys so much better at eating the same food for about 12 years, while I get sick of my leftovers 2 days later?)

This recipe is awesome, plus it’s very forgiving if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand.  Like, I rarely have enchilada sauce or green chilis.  Sometimes I just use 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes, or sometimes I even use a jar of salsa (if I feel like living on the edge).  I pretty much never have limes or cilantro on hand, and sometimes I add in more beans (because #fiber and #regularity, duh).

So give it a try, will ya?!  You probably already know that the slow cooker is the best invention ever, but if you’re like me and you’re late catching onto this trend (and most other trends with which civilization is already well-acquainted), this recipe will make you a believer!

Food · Uncategorized

Do You Hate Vegetables? Then Make This Now.

I told myself I’d wait a little longer before I started commanding my family and friends to MAKE THIS NOW.  But, truth be told, that’s partly why I started this little blog in the first place – so I could make a (slightly) greater case for why you must indeed make certain things now.

So, if you feel like you SHOULD eat more veggies, but you also find that you’re half-miserable when eating them, then MAKE. THIS. NOW.

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts - Eat Yourself Skinny

Photo credit: Eat Yourself Skinny blog

“Oh my heavens, are those BRUSSELS SPROUTS?!” you may be saying to yourself.  (If that’s how you talk to yourself, please help me learn to stop cursing and say things like “oh my heavens” instead…I’d feel so much more civilized.)  Yes, those are indeed brussels sprouts, along with red onion.  That’s it for the veggies.  Roast them in the oven with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.  Then – what really makes this dish super bomb – is an easy homemade dressing you coat the veggies in afterward.  The dressing consists of exactly three ingredients – balsamic vinegar, honey, and mustard. (Essentially a very simple honey mustard vinaigrette.)

You are so welcome, my friend. 🙂

 

 

Food

Chia Seed Pudding is NOT a Joke!

It is not a joke at all – in fact, it is the bomb.  (Do people still say that?)

After discovering a bag of chia seeds in my fridge that had expired in 2014, I decided I should probably use them. (Don’t worry, the bag was still sealed.  Definitely not a questionable decision.)

So off I go to my trusty old friend Pinterest, and I find a zillion recipes for chia seed pudding.  I had seen those before and thought they sounded pretty gross, to be honest.  But when you have a bag of 3-year-old chia seeds, you start to get desperate.

So I gave this recipe a shot – a chocolate chia seed pudding recipe by Minimalist Baker (an amazing blog, BTW, for people interested in trying healthy, creative recipes with as few ingredients as possible).

EASY 6 ingredient Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding! #vegan #glutenfree #chiapudding                                Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker blog

This pudding is no joke.  I made the version with dates – because, when I tried it, I was experimenting with a 3-day no-added-sugars fast…so I figured dates were more “allowable” than syrup, etc.  So, I added the dates to the rest of the ingredients, put it in the fridge overnight, and then pureed it all in the food processor the next day.

The finished product tasted awesome!  To me, chia seeds don’t have much of a flavor, so they don’t make it taste weird (in contrast to flax seeds…I also recently tried a chocolate flax pudding recipe that was not good, mostly because I think flax seeds can taste kind of funky.)  The texture is a little different because of the seeds, but if you’re OK with that, it’s a much healthier alternative to a pudding dessert!  And chia seeds have a boatload of omega-3 fatty acids to boot.  It’s super easy and delicious, so it’s one of my go-to recipes!

Food · Uncategorized

I Try to Eat Healthy and I Choke

Not really…I probably shouldn’t joke about choking.  Just a Macy Gray reference.

Anyways…a lot of the recipes I’ve been into lately are healthy-ish.  After all, I have a (mostly) desk job and I sit in my car 3-4 hours each day commuting to and from work.  I exercise when I can, but honestly it doesn’t happen every day.  I gotta fit in my pants somehow…so I guess not eating pizza every day is my only choice.  #sadlife

    Photo courtesy of Our Family Eats blog

Here is a go-to for us these days…meatballs.  And yes, the recipe says “gluten-free” because of my BFF Celiac (cruel mom who named him that).  Even though this recipe does not call for breadcrumbs, they are seriously awesome.  To lighten them up, I make them with ground turkey, which I get in bulk from Costco (to save a little extra $$).

Once they’re done baking, I simmer them in some pasta sauce (nothing fancy, just dump a jar of store-bought pasta sauce in a saucepan and heat on the stove on medium-low, along with the finished meatballs).  That way, the flavors of the sauce and meatballs marry together nicely (got that straight from Giada).

Serve them with whatever you fancy…rice, pasta, or, my personal favorite as of late, zucchini noodles!