Sweet Jubilee Smoothie

Most of my smoothies I have had recently included bananas in them.  When I first made this smoothie without a banana I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did.  I actually intended to have this smoothie with tomorrows breakfast (I currently have to make my smoothies the night before so I don’t wake the roomies with the vitamix), but I took a small taste and liked this smoothie SO much I had to have it immediately.  I knew I had to share this on the blog so I can make it again!

Sweet Jubilee

I got this recipe from Simple Green Smoothies following their 30 day challenge.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kale (or other leafy green)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup grapes*
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 orange

Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth!

*I used frozen grapes for a colder and thicker smoothie.

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Thanksgiving 2014

This year for Thanksgiving, my family had a fantastic 100% cruelty-free vegan dinner!  Lately my family has been cooking SOS free, which means no added sugar, oil, or salt.  Everything was amazing!

Thanksgiving

I didn’t take any individual pictures of things, but this gives you a main idea.  Our dinner included:

There was also a Field Roast and Bread Stuffing that was not gluten free that my family enjoyed.

For dessert we made two amazingly delicious pies.  Both pie crusts were made using the crust recipe for the Pumpkin Pie.  (Sorry there isn’t a picture 😦 I was too excited to dig in!)

I loved how even the pies were healthier than the traditional kinds, but were still so flavorful!  I feel like with these pies, I get to actually taste the flavors of the pumpkin and the apple and not just sugar.

 

I haven’t been posting a lot lately because I have been mostly making smoothies (which aren’t always the prettiest) and eating raw, but now that it is starting to get colder out, I most likely will be cooking more and will start adding more recipes up here again.  And now that I am eating mainly SOS, expect MANY more of those recipes to come too!

 

Pasta Salad

This summer has absolutely flown by!  I cannot believe I go back to work on Monday.  To end the summer, I went on a hike yesterday and had a great summer-time dinner waiting for me when I got back.  I have been wanting to make a pasta salad for a long time and never got around to it.  I figured pasta salad would be great after a hike.  Pasta salad is actually quite easy to make and it makes so much that you will have leftovers for the week.  This is perfect for those work days.

Pasta Salad

This recipe has been adapted from two recipes: here and here.  I chose ingredients for the pasta salad based on what I liked between the two and I liked the oil free dressing better.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb tri color spiral pasta (or any kind will work.  I used this.)
  • 1 16oz package frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped (I sliced grape tomatoes in half)
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 can black olives, sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup tamari
  • 1/3 cup wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • dash of hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.  Allow to cool.
  2. Slice all your veggies and add them to your cooled pasta.
  3. Add the black olives and chickpeas.
  4. Mix together the dressing ingredients in a shallow bowl.
  5. Pour the dressing into the pasta salad and mix to combine.
  6. Chill a couple of hours, if desired, and serve.

I bought carrots and olives that were already pre-sliced which made this meal even easier to put together.

Pasta Salad 2

The best thing about pasta salad is you can just cook some pasta and add any kind of veggies that are your favorite for a bowl that you find delicious!

Updates

Today I wanted to highlight 2 oatmeal recipes.  Recipes that have been posted a while ago may go unnoticed when it is a really good recipe.  And sometimes I like to update recipe photos to ones that look much better and more appetizing or add a picture to posts that I never had a picture for from the first time I made the recipe.

The Zucchini Bread Oatmeal was first made back on November 10, 2012!  That one definitely needed to be mentioned on here again.  Plus I updated the photos, which now look so much better and I changed the recipe a little to make it even more tasty!

Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

The Sweet Potato Cookie Dough Oats was made on September 5, 2013.  A more recent recipe, but this one I did not have any pictures for, but now I do!

Sweet Potato Cookie Dough Oats 3

Definitely check these two recipes out!  They make great breakfasts and both are a great way to start your day by sneaking in some veggies 🙂

I like this idea of bringing back recipes with better photos.  I might have to do this more often!

 

St. Patrick’s Day

I love the color green!  Even though I eat a ton of green food on any normal day, a day that is associated with the color green just means making sure all my main meals include even more green!

And the best part is everything is natural.  You will not find any artificial coloring in these foods!  All the green comes from green vegetables, avocados, or spirulina! (Enter my code LWZ362 to save money on your first order!)

Some of the green things I ate on St. Patrick’s Day:

Green Monster Overnight Oats

Green Monster ONO

Snow peas, kale cooked in coconut oil and balsamic vinegar, and a buckwheat waffle used as the bread for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

St. Patty Lunch

I added 1 tsp spirulina to the waffle mixture to make it green, although it doesn’t look as green in the picture or as green as it was prior to cooking.  (And of course compared to those bright green snow peas, even the kale doesn’t look as green!)  I cut the waffle in half and added peanut butter and raspberry jelly for a PB&J sandwich! YUM!

Green Smoothie The recipe was inspired from here but I changed it up a little by using 1 apple, 1/2 pear, 1/4 avocado, 1/2 cup almond milk, handful of spinach, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 tsp maca powder, and a dash of cinnamon.

Apple Pear Avocado Smoothie

Green Monster Muffins

Green Monster Muffins

To make these gluten free, I used 1 cup Namaste Perfect Flour Blend and 1 cup gluten free oat flour.  Everything else I kept the same but I had to bake them for 30 minutes.

And that’s it!  I definitely got a lot of green in today!  And everything was healthy and delicious!

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Cashew Banana Protein Smoothie

I have been craving cashews lately!  I have no idea why because cashews were never one of my favorite nuts, but this past week I cannot get enough of them.  At the end of each day, I have been grabbing a small handful and just eating them raw.  This afternoon when I got home from the gym I was about to make my typical protein smoothie, but then I decided to add cashews to my protein shake!  The cashews made my typical protein shake super creamy and very tasty!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used Sunwarrior Vanilla) (Can be omitted)
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 frozen banana
  • dash of cinnamon
  • Optional: handful of spinach
  • Optional: 1 tsp spirulina

This recipe, with original Silk PureAlmond milk, sunwarrior protein powder, and both optional ingredients, is approximately 430 calories and 30g protein.

 

Sorry no picture.  I’ll have to take one in the future!

Orange Ginger Broccoli

I haven’t posted the rest of my Christmas Eve dinner and it has been almost a month since Christmas!

Christmas Day 13 Menu

Today I am posting this Orange Ginger Broccoli.  It is a recipe that is super easy and quick and gives broccoli a different taste rather than the way I typically just roast it.

Orange Ginger Broccoli

This recipe was adapted from Appetite for Reduction:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Saute the ginger in the oil for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute.  (Add a splash of water if things are sticking to the pan.)
  4. Add the broccoli, mirin, and tamari.  Saute for about 7 minutes, tossing frequently, until the broccoli is tender.
  5. Add the orange juice and saute for one minute.  Serve.

Orange Ginger Broccoli 2

If you’re trying to eat more greens, or already do but want to eat them with a different flavor, I highly recommend this recipe.

Christmas Day 2013:

 

2014 Books

January 2014:

  1. Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke. 3 out of 5 stars.
  2. Allegiant by Veronica Roth. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover. 3 out of 5 stars.
  4. No Meat Athlete by Matt Frazier. 5 out of 5 stars.
  5. Angels by Marian Keyes. 5 out of 5 stars.

February 2014:

  1. Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. 2 out of 5 stars.

March 2014:

  1. Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson. 3 out of 5 stars.
  2. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. 4 out of 5 stars.

April 2014:

  1. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. 4 out of 5 stars. (I didn’t care for the ending).

May 2014:

  1. Spin by Catherine McKenzie. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Arranged by Catherine McKenzie. 5 out of 5 stars.

June 2014:

  1. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. 3 out of 5 stars.
  2. The Bake-Off by Beth Kendrick. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. First Love by James Patterson. 5 out of 5 stars.
  4. Where She Went by Gayle Forman. 3 out of 5 stars. (I liked the ending).
  5. Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews. 5 out of 5 stars.

July 2014:

  1. The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. Unprocessed by Chef AJ. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green. 5 out of 5 stars.
  4. After You by Julie Buxbaum. 5 out of 5 stars.
  5. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella. 3 out of 5 stars.
  6. The Daily 5 by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser. 5 out of 5 stars.
  7. The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. 5 out of 5 stars.

August 2014:

  1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. Becoming Raw by Vessanto Melina & Brenda Davis. 4 out of 5 stars.
  3. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson. 4 out of 5 stars.
  4. The Life You’ve Imagined by Kristina Riggle. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  5. Ladies’ Night by Mary Kay Andrews. 5 out of 5 stars.
  6. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. 5 out of 5 stars.
  7. Mistress by James Patterson. 4 out of 5 stars.

September 2014:

  1. Something Blue by Emily Giffin. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham. 4 out of 5 stars.

October 2014:

  1. The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella. 4 out of 5 stars.
  4. The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder. 5 out of 5 stars.

November 2014: 

  1. Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. Catch Me by Lisa Gardner. 4 out of 5 stars.
  3. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. 5 out of 5 stars.
  4. Four by Veronica Roth. 5 out of 5 stars.
  5. PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. 5 out of 5 stars.
  6. The Death Cure by James Dashner. 5 out of 5 stars.

December 2014:

  1. Thinking of You by Jill Mansell. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. Home Front by Kristin Hannah. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. The Gift by Cecelia Ahern. 4 out of 5 stars.
  4. The Worst Noel by various authors. 2 out of 5 stars.
  5. Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  6. Life of Pi by Yann Martel. 4 out of 5 stars.

Total Books: 50

2013 Books

January 2013:

  1. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. 1 out of 5 stars.
February 2013:
  1. Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot. 4  out of 5 stars.
  2. Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot. 4 out of 5 stars.

March 2013:

  1. Limitless by Alan Glynn. 1 out of 5 stars. (I liked the movie so much better and the movie wasn’t even that great.)

April 2013:

  1. MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche. 3 out of 5 stars.

May 2013:

  1. Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner. 3 out of 5 stars.

June 2013:

  1. Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James. 5 out of 5 stars.
  4. And Sometimes Why by Rebecca Johnson. 2 out of 5 stars.

July 2013:

  1. A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron. 5 out of 5 stars. (Just as good as A Dog’s Purpose)
  2. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. My Beef With Meat by Rip Esselstyn. 5 out of 5 stars. (Great Information)
  4. It All Began in Monte Carlo by Elizabeth Adler. 4 out of 5 stars.
  5. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
  6. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. 5 out of 5 stars.
  7. Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess. 5 out of 5 stars.

August 2013:

  1. Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter. 2 out of 5 stars. (This would have been a 3 or 4 rating, but endings of books can totally make it or break it for me and I hated the ending of this book!)

September 2013:

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth. 5 out of 5 stars.

October 2013:

  1. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James. 5 out of 5 stars.

November 2013:

  1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. 5 out of 5 stars.

December 2013:

  1. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell. 5 out of 5 stars.

Total Books: 25

Veggie Loaf Bites

Last year, I posted all the recipes I made for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  This year when I was planning on what to make, it was great to look back as inspiration for this year and just to see what I had enjoyed the year before.  I’m going to do this again this year.  So we will start with Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve 13 Menu

The main entree this year was these Veggie Loaf Bites.  Since some of the other dishes I made for Christmas Eve were more time consuming, this meal was a pleasure to make.  It was quick and easy!

Veggie Loaf Bites 2

You can find the recipe from Happy Herbivore – Light and Lean and it’s definitely worth purchasing.

Veggie Loaf Bites

I was able to make 10 veggie bites!  For the mixed vegetables, I used a cup from a large bag I bought at Costco.  I think next time I’m going to try a different mixture of vegetables.  I wasn’t thrilled with the look of these, but they still tasted great!

I served these with Mushroom Gravy (which I also made for some dishes over Thanksgiving)  The gravy recipe is in Everyday Happy Herbivore another book worth purchasing.  These bites can also be served with ketchup.  I’m sure these would also taste great made into patties and eaten on a bun; the baking time would probably need to be adjusted though.

Christmas Eve 2013 Dishes: