Snow Days

December 10, 2013

Oh last Friday…Also known as:

soup and bread

That random day where I had the genius idea to throw every leftover veggie and container of cooked rice into the crock pot as a surprise, leave for work in the drizzle and come home in a cold wet down pour to  an “extra two points” from the Hubs because our house smelled like a delicious warm bowl of soup that was ready to eat.   And when I say that, I mean, with huge hunks of fresh baguette smeared in earth balance, duh.

That, my friends – is the magic of a crock pot.

This soup was seriously delicious, it absolutely hit the spot.  We had been craving a veggie soup since the explosion of food that is otherwise known as Thanksgiving week.   I normally use two big cans of diced tomatoes, but this time around I switched out one of those cans for a can of crushed tomatoes.  The switch added a little more tomatoey depth (technical term folks, use it) to the soup and with that change plus the leftover rice from the night before, the soup really thickened up into almost a stew, especially with the meaty cremini mushrooms thrown in.   More magic?  I was feeling pretty lazy when I threw the soup together in morning, so the mushrooms only got cut in half, the celery, squash and zucc were chopped REALLY thick, tore up the green beans with an “eh…that looks about even” form of measurement and didn’t even bother to take knife to the baby carrots – in they go!.  A can of corn with its liquid and a few bay leaves, a healthy dose of cumin, garlic powder and black pepper and I was done.   Honestly – no recipe.  Just went with what I had and it turned out perfect.   We froze a bunch for another cold night and had the leftovers for our snow day on Sunday and it tasted just as good. There’s just something about soup that makes you want to curl up in thick cozy socks and be warm and comfortable, especially after a cold wintry day.

the front

We have another snow day today and so I’m hanging out at home.  While the adult in me is really frustrated that I can’t get into work and get some things done (when did THAT happen?), I’m trying really hard to embrace the extra day I’ve been given to get some other things done too.  I have a few things I can do to work from home, so I am grateful for that – and I now have a few more hours in the day to get some presents wrapped, the rest of the decorations up, an early workout in and some more cookies baked.  I’ve got my best gal friends on speed dial (text?) to keep me company and a mug with my name on it.  Plus, it really is hard to waste so much energy being frustrated, when something is so beautiful and we are safe and warm enough to enjoy it. 

winter wonderland

And another perfect day for another perfect bowl of soup.  I’m thinking this recipe:

Wherever you are, I hope you are warm and safe and dry!


And happy 🙂


The Pinnacle

November 20, 2013

Ya’ll,  I have reach the pinnacle of vegan cooking.

pizza 2

Homemade Vegan Pizza.  Worth eating.  I know.

pizza 1

Forgive the awful cell phone pictures, but this was just too good not to share.  Honest to goodness Mom & Pop pizza  feel and taste to it.  I’ve made this pizza twice now.  I followed the recipe for this pizza dough both times.  The first I did a nice over night dough rise (and made my own sauce, per her instructions).  The second time, I threw it together on a Sunday afternoon and used up the last of some store bought pizza sauce we had in the fridge.   I added some slices of Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheese and kept my fingers crossed that the cheese would melt a bit (a common Vegan cheese problem).

The words “wait…which one is mine” and “aw man, yours looks better” were heard in my kitchen that night.  Glorious glorious words.    I think the secret was putting the cheese in the oven when it was 500 degrees 🙂  But seriously, that dough?  Magical.  I’ve already turned a few people onto it, while becoming a total addict myself.   There is literally nothing I have made and/or adapted from Smitten Kitchen that has not tasted amazing.  I forsee many.many.MANY nights of pizza in my future.


Sickie Dinner for 1

November 13, 2013


Sick = soup, always – right?

While I’m definitely not full blown sick, I have been feeling pretty drained and under the weather lately.  I’ve been trying to keep up my workouts  at a lower intensity and keep my body fueled with good healthy foods to fight off whatever it is that’s wrong with me (my money is on a Sinus Infection/Tooth Infection – yuck).

Yesterday was a particularly rough one and by the time I was home and had finished my workout, I had ZERO appetite.  Not eating wasn’t an option, so instead I threw together this easy soup that reminded me of my “mom, can I have a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup?” days.   Salty, comforting and with a few extra healthy bits and pieces to satisfy my lifestyle.

I started with half a cube of Veggie broth bouillon into 2 cups of water and added some diced carrots and celery I had already cut up in the fridge.  Next went half a package of pre-cubed tofu cubes, some freshly grated ginger, cayenne pepper and garlic powder, a trifecta of sick blasters!  Once the veggies were nice and tender and the soup was ready to eat, I threw in a handful of torn up kale and let it steam a bit, to up the greens factor.


The result was cozy and comforting, salty and nourishing.  Not too heavy, but still nutritious enough to satisfy.   A big bowl of this would fill me up on a regular (feeling good) day, especially with the addition of some grains or noodles.  But for now, it was perfect as was.    Tonight, I’m feeling like a hungry beast, so I’m hoping a nice solid biceps/back workout will put me in the mood for some roasted acorn squash….get in mah bellay!

I’m off to the dentist tomorrow (I really hate the dentist…) to try and figure out if the tooth is the problem, or the sinuses are the problem.  Chicken or the egg?

See also – go give my friend Dom some serious love over at his page.  He just got back from running the NYC marathon.  Major inspiration right there.

When at home

August 13, 2013

This weekend the family was together for a sad goodbye to our cousin, who passed away the week before.  Although its never easy to go through, our entire family is taking a lot of comfort in kmowing that he isnt in any pain anymore, and he had his fair share.

Even though it was a sad reason to be home, I am always grateful for the chance to be in the same spot with my brothers.



We clearly are never to be left without parental supervision when in public. 

Despite being away from home, I managed to whip up some healthy eats (we will ignore the wine and chinese food binge that may or may not have happened Sunday night) for lunch, based on what was fresh in the house.


Just another simple summer salad of cukes, tomatoes, onion and white beans with red wine vinegar, s&p.  Im not sure what it is about the cucumber and vinegar combo, but I cannot get enough! A nectarine and fruit&nut bar finished off the lite meal to hold me over through the funeral.

And…despite 2 out of the 3 for our family gym date bailing on the early am wakeup call, I didnt let my morning go to waste.  I got in a decent workout, combo-ing some yoga with a total body workout, consisting of jumping jacks, tricep dips, modified burpies, jumping lunges and butt lifts (there has got to be a classier way to say that….) on repeat for 3 times.   Not a traditional Cardio and lifting routine, but I pushed myself to finish three rounds fast enough that I was tired for each round. 

And now, im back home and hoping to get the last coat of paint on the walls in the master bedroom and maybe squeeze in a workout.   Its been an interesting experiment juggling the commute, house projects, getting dinner on the table, a workout and some qt in with B all before between 5 and 10:30 ( yes, I am lame).  Im learning to be a little better with accepting alternative workouts and healthy eating as being good enough for the day if thata all I can realistically accomplish on any given night. 

Progress, not perfection, yes?

This weekend

August 6, 2013

I’ve been feeling pretty bummy lately, so this weekend I made a concentrated effort to let myself enjoy things and to do things that I know make me happy to help move that along.   It was a low key weekend, as far as weekends go – but it was a productive one and a fun one.   We ran errands, did some projects around the house, went for a Chinese food dinner date, had some simple summertime good eats and…


played with power tools.

On Sunday we hosted my in laws for an impromptu afternoon hangout.  They brought steamed shrimp, corn on the cob and greek salad fixings, so B and I supplied the pre dinner munchies:

veggie tray

dip tray

Since it was going to be a relatively lite dinner, I opted for some sliced baguette with homemade bruschetta and herbed olive oil, with some cut veggies and homemade hummus (for us) and veggie dip (for them).  Served alongside some grapes, crackers and olives, it was delish.    Its been a recent goal of ours to rely less and less on prepackaged foods, so I love making our own dips and spreads like this when we’re able to, its nice to know what goes into our food and usually ends up being cheaper and tastes better too!


I also did a simple marinated tempeh with olive oil, lemon juice and cracked pepper to grill up for dinner while everyone else enjoyed the shrimp!  Simple and delicious, the epitome of summer time meals for us.  A ton of food, but we never really felt like we had eaten too much.

rice salad

This weekend I also whipped together this easy rice salad when we couldn’t figure out what to eat on Friday night.  Neither of us were feeling anything too heavy and I had veggies to use up, but neither of us wanted to snack the whole night either.  So I threw together some brown rice, chopped up the last of the red onion and cucumber, tossed it with some leftover chickpeas, fresh mint from our planter, LOTS of lemon juice and pepper.  It was simple, refreshing and lite.  Another perfect summer time meal.  The great thing about this salad, is that it made enough for leftovers and keeps pretty well in the fridge, so I’ve been throwing it on my salads for lunches too.

Hope everyone else is enjoying their summer time flavors as much as we are! Clearly, I have a thing for fresh veggies and lemon juice this year…