Friday, June 28, 2013

Where's the chili?

Somewhere under there,is three bean chili over brown rice....
I told you I have a problem!  I have to top all foods lately with greens, herbs, onions and avocados!  I blame "Sprouts" for this healthy obsession! 

New dessert obsession?  These chocolate brownies are rockin!  I roll them into truffles.
Right now I'm using pecans because I have a bunch of them from grandpa's trees. I've been loving the simplicity of the pecans, dates, cocoa powder and agave nectar!  Tastes better than Godiva truffles in my book and way more healthy! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vacation and weight gain

Yeah, while I was away enjoying family I was also enjoying food and drink!  Lake Tahoe had tons of great little pubs and eateries and so many micro brews it was epic!  Add that to eating out more than normal you get a little weight gain!

It also didn't help that I ate my weight in hummus, veg pizza and visited this cool little restaurant called "Sprouts" too often where I would gorge on their food. I enjoyed their bowls of brown rice topped with beans, tofu, sprouts, peppers, onions, salsa and loads of avocados so much I have been remaking them at home whenever possible. 

Actually I have been topping a lot of my dishes these past few days with the same combo:  Chopped onions, peppers, cilantro, salsa and avocado.  I can't seem to get enough of avocado lately which has forced me to limit my days of eating it.  For example, today my salad had all my favorites - just no avocado.  It's still good, but so missing my avocado!!
What helps me get through the torture of not having avocado is that I added just a little chopped tofu for texture and also made this killer dressing that both Chris and I love! 

Chris and I had gone to Whole Foods for some shopping and decided since we were out it was our best bet to eat there for lunch.  Their buffet is a dangerous place by the way.  Way too many healthy options you want to pile up your plate with everything. 

We both grabbed some of their "Garlicky Kale" and immediately knew we had to either buy some or make some immediately.  It was so good!  It's this rockin dressing tossed with raw kale.  I found a recipe for the dressing online and have been making our own garlicky kale and topping just about anything else we can think of with it!

Here's the recipe.  It's easy, inexpensive and so savory!  One batch can dress about four salad servings or dress a large bunch of kale.  I have been known to double the recipe so I have extra for dipping veg or other yummies.

Garlicky Sauce / Dressing

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Braggs liquid aminos
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
2 to 3 large cloves garlic
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Process all this in your food processor and you are golden!  Toss with fresh torn kale leaves, chopped cabbage, carrots and tossed salads!

Not sure what some of the above ingredients are?  Some people may not be familiar with Braggs liquid aminos or nutritional yeast.  Here are pictures of the brands I use.  For the nutritional yeast your best bet is a health food store or Whole Foods.  The standard grocery stores usually have no clue.

The liquid aminos is basically my soy sauce replacement. It's still derived from soybeans.  I love it more because it's organic and GMO free.
Looks like I'm plugging the Bragg brand today!  Here's an example of a container of nutritional yeast.  Fitting that it's in a container like bottled Parmesan cheese because I use this as a Parmesan cheese replacement in all dishes that would call for it.  It has a wonderful cheesy flavor and is full of vitamins and minerals, GMO free and gluten free.  Thanks to this golden bottle I can still make risotto, polenta, macaroni and "cheese", pasta salads and salad dressings!

Oh happy day!

Finally after much saving and many points earned through recent flights I was finally able to buy a Vitamix!  Oh happy day!  I can't wait to blend my way to better health.  This thing is a beast!  So far each morning I have been making fruit smoothies for breakfast and I have already made some salad dressings.  It came with a huge recipe book so I'm pumped!  This machine will even cook for you!  If you want a cold pureed soup you blend for seconds, if you want it hot, you blend for a few minutes. 
I can also make nut butters (like peanut butter!), nut milks and dry chop.  
Let the blending begin!

Random Pics from our recent trip

What day is it?  A month later, that's what it is!  Before I get to are just a few pictures to share from our recent Tennessee and California trip.