Saturday, August 17, 2013

Day 5: One Week No Meat Challenge: Spaghetti Squash





Day 5: Spaghetti Squash

Adapted from allrecipes & steamy kitchen

Original recipe serves 6

You will need:
1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons sliced black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Directions
1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Place spaghetti squash with cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled
OR
Preheat oven to 375F. Pierce squash a few times with sharp paring knife (to let steam escape). Bake spaghetti squash for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through skin with little resistance. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.
2.     Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are warmed through.
3.     Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm. If you choose to cook it whole for an hour, cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Use a fork to remove and discard the seeds. Continue using fork to scrape the squash to get long, lovely strands. If the squash seem difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Suggestions:  Too improve the spaghetti squash's tenderness, you can put it in a baking dish close to its size and add 1-1 1/2 cups of water for the same baking time to make it soft and delicious! You can also put all the stringy goodness into a frying pan before tossing with veggies with olive oil, garlic, basil, parsley, and parm cheese and then transfer it to a bowl with whatever your heart desires for toppings!







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Day 4: One Week No Meat Challenge:Grilled Portobello & Pesto Sandwich


Day 4: Grilled  Portobello & Pesto Sandwich
Adapted from closet cooking
(makes 1 sandwich)

You will need:
1 portobello mushroom
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
1 red pepper (cut in half and roast in oven at 450 for about 10 minutes)
1 handful spinach
1 tablespoon pesto
2 slices of bread or 1 bun (

Directions:
1. Brush the mushroom with balsamic vinegar.
2. Brush the grill with oil.
3. Grill the portobello mushroom until tender, about 3-6 minutes per side.
4. Assemble sandwich.



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Day 3: One Week No Meat Challenge: Zucchini Hasbrowns


Day 3: Zucchini hasbrowns

You will need:

·    2 cups grated zucchini
·         2 large eggs, slightly beaten
·         2 tablespoons chopped green onion
·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour
·         1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
·         1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
·         1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 pinch dried oregano/basil/parsley (whatever you have on hand)
·         1/4 cup vegetable oil, or as needed
·         1 garlic clove
·         a dash of chipotle powder
·       

1. In a large mixing bowl combine the drained zucchini, chopped green onions, basil, oregano, and/or parsley, one garlic clove, two eggs, salt, a healthy grind of black pepper, a dash of chipotle powder, and enough flour to pull it all together (about a half a cup or so).

2. Heat either your oil in a large skillet, and while heating, make sour cream sauce:

3. Place heaping spoonfuls of the zucchini mixture into the hot pan, and cooked them for about two minutes per side, or until nicely golden brown (placing them onto a sheet pan in a 250ยบ oven in between batches to keep them warm). Serve them up with a dollop of the horseradish cream and a few lemon wedges for squeezing over them. Perfect as an appetizer, first course, or light lunch!

*note: Make sure you use small scoops, they are better small and crispy! 


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Day 2: One Week No Meat Challenge: Chick Pea Chili

Day 2: Chick Pea Chili 
Put Extra Virgin Olive Oil or coconut oil in pot and add pureed peppers, onion, broccoli until softened and then add tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, diced carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, chickpeas, and kidney beans (don't drain), and a teaspoon of chili spice if you like spicy!  Simmer for half hour and enjoy!



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Day 1: One Week No Meat Challenge: Tofu Tacos

I'm challenging myself and you, to one week with no meat (except fish)! I'm on day four of only fruits, veggies, and tuna and I feel great, but I know there are lots of challenges to following a vegetarian diet, so I wanted to share some deliciously easy tips & recipes for you to try! I will do 7 vegetarian posts, one for each day of the week starting with Tofu Tacos below!  An as a side note, I just have to tell you that I just went to the Bay and got myself a Cuisinart Mini Prep plus processor to make chopping more efficient and I am so in love. It was on sale, but even its normal price is only 34 bucks and it works awesome, plus it comes in fun colors. If you don't have a food processor this is what you've been missing!! You can check it out here







Foods to enjoy while on a vegetarian diet


·                     Fruit: any and all fresh fruit
·                     Vegetables: any and all fresh vegetables
·                     Fish: fresh, canned in water or olive oil
·                     Legumes: dried or canned, such as kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils
·                     Eggs: preferably organic
·                     Olive oil (preferably extra virgin), Coconut oil (unprocessed)
·                     Nuts: raw unsalted almonds, walnuts, macadamias and cashews
·                     Seeds: raw unsalted sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
·                     Green tea, white tea, weak black tea (decaffeinated)
·                     Water: from one to three litres of water per day. Try adding lemon to hot water in the AM for a natural detox. 

Day 1: Tofu Tacos





You will need:
1 pkge firm tofu
Taco shells
taco seasoning
Sour Cream
Salsa
Cheddar cheese
avocado
lettuce
tomato

Buy firm tofu and drain. Draining the tofu is very important to give its "meat-like" texture. After draining, crumble the tofu & fry in pain with olive oil until it starts to get crispy about 5 mins. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and fry 1-2 more minutes. Serve in taco's with all your fav toppings including salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocados, lettuce, tomatoes, etc!






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The Fringe

Last night my husbands family & I decided to drive into Edmonton to check out a street art and theater festival called The Fringe. So, naturally I wanted to wear something a little artsy and created yet another DIY oversize T to wear with my new Romwe Galaxy tights that I am obsessed with. Arts festivals always have the most interesting crowds and I had so much fun, so I wanted to share some pictures of our evening & some of the out-of-norm things we came across! 


DIY Oversize T: Image here
Romwe Galaxy leggings: here


Me & my sister in law


My husband & his parents

 Some interesting costumes



 A tent where strangers pay 2 dollars and play truth, or dare. We didn't play, but I thought it was a pretty funny idea!

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

I made these a few days ago and at first I was thinking hm, just okay, so I put them in a zip lock in the fridge. Later on, I microwaved them and had some and found myself going back for more over the next two days until they were gone and I only wanted more, more, more!! I dip them in ranch to subside some of the heat and make the perfect buffalo flavour! 




Size: about 1 cup cauliflower • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 119.4 • Fat: 2 g • Protein: 4 g • Carb: 21.4 g • Fiber: 3 g • Sugar: 0.2 g
Sodium: 1172 mg

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 22 oz (6 1/2 cups) cauliflower florets
  • 3/4 cup Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly spray a large non-stick baking sheet with oil.

Combine the water, flour, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.

Coat the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place on the baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes.

While the cauliflower is baking, combine the hot sauce and butter in a small bowl.

Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes. Serve with Ranch for the perfect treat!!

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Careprost Lifetime Lashes



While I was living in Hungary I discovered how inexpensive eyelash extensions were and because I am blonde and allergic to almost every kind of mascara (except L'Oreal) I decided to give them a go. At first, they were awesome. Waking up everyday with long dark lashes were unreal, but it was just another appointment to have to get to and eventually I wanted them filled once a week. Not to mention, between fills they always look great from the side, but not as awesome from the front. Anyways we were about to embark on a road trip through Italy and Austria and I wouldn't be able to get a fill and in my haste I pulled a Britney Spears and literally ripped out my false lashes and my real ones came with them. Yikes. That's when I start to think about Latisse. An eyelash growing serum required to get through a doctor that costs about 140 dollars a bottle. Outrageous right? I started doing my research and came across Careprost America. Hallelujah! With three months before my wedding it was the perfect time to start using it because it takes a full 16 weeks before you see the full effects. Careprost runs about 30 dollars a bottle and shipping is so cheap. The pictures below aren't my lashes, but I promise you this is very close to what my before and after looked like:


I always thought I would have false lashes for my wedding, but after 16 weeks of using this magic little potion I was au natural on my wedding day. After using it every night for 16 weeks I now only use it a few nights a week before bed on clean lashes! You can find them on Facebook to place an order check out this site for more information 
https://www.facebook.com/careprost.america

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

30 day squat challenge: Just do it

If there's one exercise to ensure tight buns its squats. So, when my sister challenged me to 30 days of squats I accepted. I'm up for it, are you??

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Brain on Fire: Book Review


Brain on Fire delivers an honest, terrifying, and fabulously written memoir of what Susannah Cahalan calls her "month of madness". Maybe its my degree in English & Psychology, or my new job in a psychiatric hospital that leaves me unable to put this book down, but I think there's more to it than that. Susannah's ability to describe her descent into madness prompts us to question what we take for granted, the stereotypes around mental illness, how fast life can change, and the realization that it can happen to anyone, even beautiful, intelligent New York reporters. It is a definite must read this summer. If you haven't read it, get out there and get it for it truly is an eye opening, inside look, at those who suffer from mental illness all around us.
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Friday, August 2, 2013

Crunchy Coleslaw Salad


 
 
Okay, so the pic I took really doesn't do this salad justice. I know it looks like a thrown together random pile of crunchy stuff, but in reality its fabulous & the perfect summer treat to pair with any meal, or have on its own as a snack! If you like vinegar like I do, well no one likes it quite as much as me, but either way you'll love it. Give it a try!
 
You will need:
 
1 bag of coleslaw
1 pack chicken Mr Noodles crushed
Silvered almonds fried in a little butter or oil and dash of salt
 
For the dressing mix together:
1/4 C olive oil
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp soya sauce
Seasoning pack from Mr noodles
Dash of sugar and pepper
 
Delicious!!

H&M Goodie Basket

Did everyone hear that H&M is finally taking the plunge into the world of online shopping? Only for the US of course right now, but you know that means that Canada can't be too far behind (or can it?). Either way, H&M has been a staple in my closest and sometimes the only store I venture into when my wallet is almost empty, but shopping cravings are high. So, I decided to honor their decision to let us shop online with this post! I got a h&m gift card for my July birthday that has recently come and gone & this is everything I scored:

                                                 
 H&M Pineapple Top
 
                                                        H&M Kimono

                                                          
H&M Oversized Jaws T
 
H&M Chunky Gold Necklace
 
This is me and my dad on a trip to visit him last weekend. It's tough to really see the top, but its a newbie striped black and white gem of a shirt from H&M (click to enlarge and see better), colorful chunky necklace also H&M, and yellow high-waist jeans from last summer also H&M!

Here is how I styled my kimono from H&M, what look did you go with?



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