Saturday, October 26, 2013

Crock pot Potato Soup (gf/df)

I love crock pot stuff. It's so easy. Pile it all in, turn it on and leave it, come home from work to dinner. And it's cheaper than going out. Here's a fall recipe- potato soup. This makes a lot of potato soup because I like to freeze the leftovers for crazy nights that way even though we only have enough time to microwave something its still something homemade :)

  • 8-10 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 7-8 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped and peeled carrots 
  • 8 cups chicken stock (Or broth I'm not picky)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I make my own chicken stock so I use a little more salt, if your broth has salt in it you may want to reduce this)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder.
  • 1/4 cups flour (I used gluten-free )
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk 
  1.  In a crockpot, combine potatoes, celery, onion, and carrots. Cover with chicken broth and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.   
  2.  Set on low 8-10 hours, or high 5 hours.  
  3. Once finished cooking, combine milk and flour in a small bowl until fully combined and pour into soup. Mix gently and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes longer on low.
  4. I like my potato soup less chunky (and I don't do a very good job chopping my veggies) so I take half of the soup out and put it in a blender and blend it for a couple seconds. then I use a potato masher or fork to slightly mash what's left in the crock pot then add back in what I put in the blender. Quick way to make "creamier" soup.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Roasted Potato Slices with Smoky Dip

This recipe is easier than it seems (or maybe it just seemed complicated to me because there was a dip involved and I was thinking "ain't nobody got time for that!" but then I did...) and it turned out so good! Like always, I modified the recipe a little bit which is the one listed below! We ate these with dinner but they'd be a really good snack or party appetizer too! This recipe serves 3 people as a side dish. 

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1/3 cup of sour cream (I used vegan sour cream)
  • 1/3 cup of mayo (I used light mayo)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 sprinkles of salt (yes this is my new measuring system for spices haha)
  • 2 sprinkles of pepper
  •  teeny-tiny sprinkle of cayenne pepper (if you want them a little spicy)
  • sprinkle of cumin*
  • sprinkle of chili powder*
  • sprinkle of garlic powder*
  • sprinkle of onion powder*
  • Sprinkle of paprika*
potato slices pre-roasting
*if you don't have one of these its not the end of the world you should still make your dip, it'll still be really good, I promise
Steps for Potato Slices
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Wash and scrub potatoes
  3. Slice potatoes into 1/4" slices (don't get anal about this, noone really cares that much)
  4. Put slices in a bowl, drizzle olive oil on top then add salt and pepper and cayenne pepper
  5. Mix it all together with your (well-washed) hands making sure each slice is coated in oil
  6. Lay slices on a roasting pan (I had to use two pans and covered them in foil for easy cleanup) making sure slices don't overlap (this is really important if you don't want them soggy)
  7. Roast for 15 minutes then turn pan around in oven and roast for 10 more minutes (no need to flip slices)
  8. Some slices might get burned and some slices will be perfect, that's life but I like the burned ones, if you don't have a person in your house who likes the burned things, you should get one ASAP it makes you feel better about burning thing. 
Steps for Smoky Dip
  1. Combine sour cream, mayo, cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder, mix well and store in fridge until potato slices are done.

Easy Applesauce (crockpot)

The boy and I went apple picking a couple weekends ago and since then I have been making apple everything (lots of the recipes will be on this site). Apple cake, apple muffins, apple sauce, apple butter. Here is the easiest, tastiest homemade applesauce I've made and I've tried out three different ones.
apples in crockpot

  •  3-5 apples, cut up (about 1 inch chunks or larger if you plan on blending the applesauce). Peel the apples if you don't plan on blending because the peels can be a weird texture. If you blend the applesauce after cooking the peels won't be an issues.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons of agave or honey (if you want it sweetened)
  1. Place all ingredients in crockpot
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours (if you cook it on high add 1/2 cup water)
  3. Put in blender and blend or just leave it if you like chunkier apple sauce

Lemon-Pepper Oven Baked PorkChops

So I have been trying to figure out how to make pork chops for a very long time. Yes you can shake n bake them or pan fry them or even bake them but mine always turn out rubbery and tough. Bleck. However the other day the boy came home from dinner at a friend's house and started bragging about the pork chops his friend made. The secret? Wrap them in tinfoil when you bake them in the oven! Weird but I tried it last night and success, they were so tender and the lemon-pepper wasn't overly strong at all like it sometimes is with chicken.

  • 2 pork chops (preferably with the bone)
  • roll of tinfoil
  • lemon pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • butter (or olive oil, or vegan butter)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Tear off 2 large chunks of tinfoil (enough to wrap up each chop completely)
  3. Place 1 tbsp butter (or in my case vegan butter) in center of tinfoil
  4. On a seperate plate generously sprinkle both sides of your pork chops in lemon pepper
  5. Place chops on top of butter in tinfoil
  6. Put 1 tbsp butter on top of chop
  7. Put 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce on top of chop as well
  8. Wrap up tightly in foil
  9. Cook in oven for 35 minutes!
  10. Enjoy!

Apple Crisp Muffins (GF/DF)

After two batches of applesauce, 1 batch of dried apple rings, and 1 apple cake I still had leftover apples from our visit to the orchard!! So I decided to make apple muffins :) The crisp topping on these is what made them stand out. I didn't come up with this recipe at all, but I did substitute gluten-free flour mix and earthbalance vegan butter for the butter in it and the muffins still turned out delicious! However I did end up baking them for like 15 minutes longer than the recipe calls for not sure if it was my oven or what but it might be something that's good to know!



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hummus Crusted Chicken

This recipe is at the top for this blog. It fills all of my criteria so perfectly.

1. healthy
2. cheap
3. easy
4. fast
5. delicious
Without further ado I present hummus crusted chicken. you're welcome. this recipe serves 2 but you can obviously make it for way more people. As an extra bonus I sliced squash and onions and cooked them under my chicken breast in the dish. I love when the sides and the meat can be made together cause I'm lazy like that.

  • about 6 tablespoons of hummus ( I love red pepper hummus from sabra)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon or 4 tsps of lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. coat a baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil
  3. place chicken breasts in baking dish, and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  4. smooth hummus on to the top of each chicken breast (!!don't contaminate your hummus with raw chicken by using it straight from the container!!) I've done it thick and thin and both is good but at least do it thick enough so that you can't see the chicken breast through the hummus.
  5. squeeze half a lemon over each breast
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Enjoy!
after cooking! i could've spread my hummus prettier but no one at my house cares

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Peach Crisp (GF/DF)

   I love peaches so living in Georgia is awesome during peach season...which is now, so I'm about to post a couple of my favorite peach recipes; although my favorite way to eat them is plain. Peach cider is amazing too (I like drinking it with champagne (bellini much?) or with Bacardi Razz rum. However, this peach crisp is delicious. It's gluten and dairy-free too!


Peach filling:
  • 6 peaches
  • 1 tbsp gluten free flour mix
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinammon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Crisp topping:
  • 6 crumbled gluten/dairy free sugar cookies- not chewy (Enjoy Life or Lucy's are great)
  • 1/2 C of rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp gluten free flour
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp of dairy free spread (Earth Balance) or butter
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel and thinly slice peaches. The easiest way to peel peaches is by putting them in a pot of boiling water then plunging them in ice water after a minute. The skins should just rub off.
  3.  Mix all crisp topping ingredients in a bowl then use a pastry knife to cut butter into the mix. If you don't have a pastry knife (I don't) use two knives to cut butter in bowl alternating directions until it's in tiny clumps. For an example see this youtube video. You're welcome. 
  4. Mix all peach filling ingredients together in a separate bowl. Pour into a small baking dish (I used a square 9x9)
  5. Cook peaches in over for 10 minutes, remove, and pour crisp topping on top covering completely. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until brown. 
  6. ENJOY! I served mine with coconut vanilla ice cream. Store leftovers in fridge :) Enjoy again!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Easy Banana Muffins! (GF/DF)

So today I was going to finally use those overripe bananas that I've been storing in the freezer to make banana bread. Then I realized, I don't have a bread loaf I decided to make banana muffins! Some people know this (but my blog is for the beginner!) but overripe bananas are the best to use for baked goods. When your bananas get too ripe to eat (the outsides black) but they're not rotten, throw them in the freezer and defrost them for your next banana bread or in this case banana muffins! They turned out pretty good. I did mine the gluten-free and vegan way but that's because we ran out of eggs (but not flax powder go figure haha this is my life now) and I can't eat dairy or gluten. If you don't do it gluten free or vegan, use an egg instead of the "flax egg", and use normal flour in place of the gluten-free all purpose flour. So easy either way! Which is just the way I like my muffins. The nice thing about this recipe is it's so flexible you can just keep adding ingredients (cinnamon, raisins, chocolate chips, yogurt chips, etc!)
I forgot to take a picture so this one will have to do

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour or gluten free flour blend
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped nuts OPTIONAL (I used walnuts)
  • 3 ripe bananas (if you're bananas were frozen or not extremely over ripe, pop them in the microwave for a bit so you can easily mash them)
  • 1 "flax egg" or 1 egg ***
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
***you can make an easy and healthy substitute for eggs in baking. For substituting one egg- take 1 tbsp of ground flax powder (if you have flax seeds you can put them in a food processor to grind them up yourself) then ADD 3 tbsp of water (the water HAS to come 2nd). Mix then set in fridge for 15 minutes until consistency is thick and somewhat...well...egg-like.

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mash bananas then add remaining wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Spoon into muffin cups filling about 1/2-3/4 of the way full.
  4. Bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  5. Enjoy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Vegan Chili and Vegan Breakfast Scramble (CAMPFIRE FRIENDLY)

 I am once again thrilled and honored to be a guest chef on this kick ass cooking blog. So Colleen, Shannon, and I, and our corresponding partners, decided to go camping last weekend at Tallulah Gorge (yes it rained all weekend if you must know, but we still had a great time)  Since fully half of us are Vegan-or mostly Vegan- I found some hearty recipes online.  These taste incredible, vegan or not, and got a major thumbs up from the non-vegetarians in the group. 
 Cheers!  Cathy
Vegan Chili (good over sweet potatoes or served solo) 
Photo from
Photo from

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Easy Refrigerator Pickled Beets

   Short anecdote to start this recipe (of course, right? you should be used to this by now). The boyfriend really wanted us to grow two rows of beets in the garden. I didn't really want to because I don't like beets but I finally gave in. Fast forward a month or so later and he is eating a chopped up beet and complaining that his throat itches and he might be allergic to beets. Which really frustrates me because what the hell are we going to do with all of these beets if he's the only one who likes them but he somehow has developed an allergy to them? A week later I tell my mother this story and she bursts out laughing once she realizes that the boyfriend was eating the beet from our garden raw. Apparently this is something you don't do with beets. We had no idea.
      So today I picked some beets from the garden and looked up the best easiest and fastest way too cook them and preserve them. I didn't want to get super involved with canning etc so I looked up an easy pickling recipe that can keep in your fridge for 6 months (or so the recipe says). Even better than that I actually really liked it. Which is amazing because like I said I've never liked beets! Being the queen of google I also looked up the best way to cook and peel the beets. You're welcome.

  • Large Mason Jar
  • two handfuls of fresh beets (large or small)
  •  2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of nutmeg
  1. Cut the stems off of beets leaving about 1/4". You can keep the leafy parts for greens or throw them out. 
  2. Wash beets just enough to get the dirt off
  3. Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover the beets by 3 inches
  4. Bring saucepan to boil then add beets. Reduce heat to a slow boil and boil beats for 25-40 minutes depending on the size of beets. Beets will be done when they can easily be poked with a fork. 
  5. When beets are done drain the hot water from saucepan, then fill with cool water while the beets are still in the saucepan. Keeping your hands under the water to avoid a mess, slowly peel the skins off of beets (this will be very easy). Put freshly peeled beets in a separate bowl to avoid mess and discard skins once all beets are peeled. 
    my beet peeling setup. skins on the right, peeled on the left
  6. Slice beets the put in large mason jar. 
  7. Place the sugar, vinegar, water, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour liquid over beets in mason jar.
  8. Store in fridge and let sit for at least a week for best flavor.
  9. Additional cooked and sliced beets can be added to the mixture as you harvest more from your garden.

Kale salad with pickled watermelon rind

     There's a restaurant in Atlanta called MetroFresh. It's an amazing delicious and fairly inexpensive place to eat. The menu changes daily and it's always healthy. They also list all the allergens so that if you're on a restrictive diet you can easily pick and choose. If I lived closer I would probably eat here everyday. They have a kale salad there which is SO delicious. It's the perfect combination of earthy kale, tangy vinegar, and sweet fruit. However, for the longest time I could not figure out what the fruit was. There was the very obvious dried cranberries but there was also this pale white fruit with an almost candy-like taste and texture. Finally one day at lunch my curiosity got the best of me and it turns out though delicious little fruits were pickled watermelon rind!
    The other day we had a cookout and bought a giant watermelon. As I was cutting up the leftovers to put in the fridge I kept looking at the rind thinking what a waste. Then I remembered the pickled watermelon rind in the kale salad!! After a quick internet search I realized most pickled watermelon rind requires canning supplies and lots of time, neither of which I had (or really ever will haha). So a few more minutes of searching and I found the following recipe for pickled watermelon rind. It takes about 20 minutes of prep but it has to cool and sit awhile before you get the best flavor. I stored mine in a tupperware in the fridge and it keeps for about 10 days. We ate it with the kale salad and by itself! We went out of town before we could finish it all so I divided it into freezer baggies and froze it, I'll let you know how its texture holds up.

Kale Salad with Pickled Watermelon Rind

  • 1 quart watermelon rind (including ½-inch of red flesh left on the rind), cut into pieces about 1-inch square (about half the rind of a small watermelon and 1/3 the rind of a large)
  • 1 cup vinegar (white vinegar or cider vinegar)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons table sal
  • 1 star anise (I did not have this, no one cried)
  • 1 two-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (did not have this either I added a couple dashes or powdered ginger)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • Kale (as much as you want for your salad)
  • olive oil
  • dash of balsamic vinegar  
  1. First pickle your watermelon rind following the steps here. I tried using a vegetable peeler to peel my watermelon but it wasn't working very well so I just used a knife.  I also used apple cider vinegar because I did not have white vinegar.  It still tasted great.
  1. After you have your pickled watermelon rind, wash kale and remove the tough stems (I do this  by folding it in half and cutting down the one side with the leaf).
  2. "Massage" the kale with enough olive oil to lightly coat all leaves
  3.  Add a dash of balsamic vinegar, less is more, you can always taste and add more if you want. 
  4. Dice pickled watermelon rind into smaller pieces ( I like it about 1/4" to 1/2" thick) and add to salad. Toss to combine. 
  5. Add any dried fruits or slivered almonds if you would like. I just ate mine with the watermelon rind. 
  6. ENJOY :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I have a garden!

This post is not going to include a recipe. It may have some useful info on doing your own vegetable garden though. Keep in mind, this was my first time planting anything edible. Last year I had some tomatoes in pots but that was it. So if I can do it, so can you. It wasn't nearly as complicated as the numerous gardening blogs and magazines etc make it seem.

     This summer Joseph and I have our first vegetable garden! We're located in Atlanta so we planted kale, broccoli, carrots, spinach, beets, lettuce, and onions toward the end of march. We had a couple more frosts after that and we were worried but our garden is doing fantastic!! Two weeks ago (mid May) mom came to visit and she helped me plant two tomato plants and one yellow bell pepper plant as well as some acorn squash and two rows of bush beans.
     Prepping the garden was the hardest part and even that was pretty easy. Our yard already had a fenced in area that had been used as a playground for the previous tenants children. It looked like the whole area was mulched but when we started to dig around we realized that under the layer of mulch was black plastic sheeting. We kept it in place and scraped the mulch off of it where we wanted to plant our rows then we used a utility knife to cut long lines in the black sheeting. Underneath the soil was great! We mixed in a little bit of mushroom compost (Just poured it in a line down the row) then planted our seeds according to the package instructions. We also planted about 12 marigold plants around the perimeter because we heard they keep out pests but a lot of them died in the frost. Oh well.
     For the past couple weeks we've been harvesting the kale, spinach and  lettuce. We could have been doing it earlier and eating baby spinach etc but I wasn't really sure if we could or not (I know that sounds silly- I can be a very by the book person haha so I was scared of doing anything wrong)
Having a garden has been really fun and because of the mulch that was already there weeding is not that hard. We decided to keep everything chemical free so we haven't used any weed killer or store bought pesticide on the plants. Every few days I go out and rake in between the plants with a small hand rake to get rid of the majority of weeds. It takes like a half hour max.
     As far as pesticide, I looked up a homemade non toxic one and bought a large spray bottle from Home Depot and put the mixture in there. I keep it in the shed and I try to spray the plants after it rains. Sometimes I forget, but its not the end of the world. Our spinach has some little chewed holes in it but we just wash it off and eat it anyways (I looked it up- its safe haha yes I google everything). I will include the homemade pesticide recipe at the bottom of this post.
   Having all these leafy greens in our garden has been great. It saves so much money especially because Joseph and I have become pretty healthy eaters and we were buying like 2 big containers of those pre-washed salads a week.  I learned the hard way that a salad spinner is one of the best investments ever. After picking the greens I put them in a mixing bowl with cold water (and a few ice cubes) I let them soak for like 4 minutes and swirl them around a couple times to wash them off. If they're really dirty, I'll empty and refill the mixing bowl a couple times to get rid of the water. Drying the greens I've found is the most important part and it can be hard without a salad spinner. After a couple tries of blotting my lettuce with paper towels and still finding gross wilted lettuce in the fridge the next day, I gave up and went to Target to buy a salad spinner. It's really fun to use haha. They only had the small salad herb spinners left but that's fine I just do a couple batches. To keep our greens fresh I fold up a couple paper towels and put them at the bottom of plastic salad containers we've kept from our store bought salad mixes. Then I put the greens on top and another paper towel folded up at the top. This helps keep moisture away from it and if the paper towel gets really wet I just replace with a dry one.
    I'm hoping my tomato plants do well. The acorn squash we got is actually some seeds that Joseph saved from one we bought and cooked (the recipe is on this blog!). He saved the seeds and put them in Tupperware with damp paper towels in the fridge. I rolled my eyes like usual. A little later he put them in a cup and put some dirt on top. Again, I sighed, but I've learned to tolerate his eccentricities haha. However a couple weeks later I was eating my words. Every seed had turned into a tiny seedling. When my mom was here, we separated the tightly packed seedling and planted about 6 each in the top of some mounds we had made in the garden. Two weeks later and they're doing great! The acorn squash is the one part of the garden I didn't even google a little bit haha so we'll see how it turns out.

Homemade SAFE NATURAL garden pesticide:
The Caffeine keeps aphids away, the herbs keep most insects, mosquitoes and squirrels etc away, and the soap works really well on soft-bodied insects.

1. Gather any or all of the herbs, spices, and roots listed below 
(in any form although fresh is best):

2. Place in a crock pot with 2 tbsp coffee grounds (used or fresh)

3. Add enough water to cover your mixture plus about 4 cups. 

4. Cook on low for up to 24 hours and atleast six hours. 

5. Let mixture cool and sit overnight, then strain it and discard solids

6. Add 2 tbsp of liquid soap to mixture (use a biodegradable one- it will say on bottle, my dishsoap was and it was just from walgreens)

7. Use a funnel or a friend! to pour into a spray bottle. You can keep extra in the fridge (just make sure to clearly label it as non-edible!)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

You're favorite casseroles but Gluten and Dairy Free

I love comfort food; I guess that's why they call it comfort food haha. Meatloaf, mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, tuna noodle casserole all make my mouth water. When I found out I was allergic to dairy I realized that most of my favorite casseroles are made with cream of mushroom soup which obviously has dairy. I brushed it off for a couple months but lately I have been craving casseroles and I've been so busy that I can't help but think how perfect they would be. So! This past week I've made two of my favorite casseroles the dairy/gluten free way. Even if you're not allergic to dairy or gluten, both things are not necessarily "healthy" so eat these and feel guilt free and...comfy :)

I didn't make either of these up myself so I will just give you the links to both of them:

Keep in mind both of these take a little more time than the versions with dairy and you'll probably need to go to the store to get mushrooms (I used baby bella mushrooms for both) but they actually tasted better to me because you're not using canned soup.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Vegan Pesto

Being allergic to milk I mostly miss italian food, goat cheese, and kraft mac n cheese (oh and cheetos!) oh dear this is getting depressing haha. but another food I found myself missing was pesto. which is suprising because I never remember liking pesto that much but I've been craving it so the other night I was on my own for dinner and decided to experiment with making a vegan pesto that still had that cheesy flavor. After a couple attempts I got something that I was pretty happy with. I cooked some rice penne pasta and poured the pesto on top and it turned out really good. Quick tip for rice pasta which can often turn out slimy, cook it al dente then rinse it in cold water. It helps SO MUCH. Surprisingly, it was even better the next day as the garlic had mellowed a bit.  The recipe below makes enough for two servings of pasta. I took a picture but my boyfriend accidentally deleted the pictures on my camera :( This recipe also uses nutritional yeast which sounds disgusting but is actually really good and helps provide that "cheesy" flavor. If you're vegan or dairy-free I highly suggest you keep this as a pantry staple.

  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c of pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • handful of basil
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a food processor. The end!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Coconut Curry Shrimp

So last night at 5:30 I was informed that our previous dinner plans were falling through and we had nothing to feed our guest that was coming over in an hour, so after work I stopped by the grocery store and thought "hmm shrimp sounds good" then "hmmm coconut milk sounds good" and what resulted was actually good and almost 100% original! There aren't that many ingredients and some of the additional flavorings are optional. Before you start any of this you make want to start making your rice unless your rice is instant. I served mine over brown rice with a side spinach salad and it was delicious! However, I did not get a picture of it :(

Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings)
  • 1/2 lb of peeled shrimp
  • 1/2 of a 13 oz can of coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
  • 1 clove of garlic (or a little garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp curry powder 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a pinch of fresh grated ginger (if you have it but not necessary)
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro (OPTIONAL)
  1. Put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan and let it melt. dump shrimp into pan and cook both sides until they're slightly pink. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Add additional tablespoon of coconut oil. Saute onions and red pepper for 5 minutes.  
  3. Add curry, salt, pepper, ginger, and garlic. Let cook for another minute.
  4. Pour in half the can of coconut milk and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to let flavors mix.
  5. Add shrimp and cilantro. Cover pan and cook on low for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve over rice

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stuffed Acorn Squash (Vegan and gluten-free)

     So I'd been planning on trying this recipe for a while but hadn't found time so I had an acorn squash just sitting in our cupboard and I was worried it would be spoiled...but it wasn't! they last forever. Anyways, getting to the point, these are delicious and cheap (especially if you have the ingredients in bulk which at our house quinoa, kale, and dried beans are staples). So after a quick search through our pantry I found some dry white beans, a package of red quinoa and realized it was a perfect night to try out this recipe. Also if you decide to go on the cleanse that I blogged about in January this is something that you can eat!! I almost didn't believe that because it tasted so good! And even though it's a vegan recipe, my carnivorous boyfriend was very full at the end of the meal. The only downside to this recipe is that it takes a little planning (but not much) and plan on it taking about an hour to make including prep.

Here is the link to the original recipe: Stuffed Acorn Squash

And here is a guide on buying acorn squash. I got mine at the market here but I know Kroger has them sometimes How to buy acorn squash

My tips
  • Earlier in the afternoon, soak dried beans in cold water. Let soak for at least 3 hours then dispose of water and rinse beans again.
  • While oven is preheating for squash, cook quinoa on the stove according to package instructions and use another burner on your stove to start simmering your beans (I cover mine with an inch of water, then once it gets to a boil I let it boil for 2 minutes, then turn it down to low heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes or until they're soft)
  • Hopefully by the time you're done cooking the squash the first time and chopping up all your vegetables, and cleaning any prep dishes you can, the beans and quinoa will be ready and you can continue to follow your recipe
  • I had extra "stuffing" so I put it in a Tupperware and took it to work the next day for lunch :)
  • I didn't have any toasted hazelnuts so I just sprinkled some crushed up almonds on the top. It was still delicious
  • I served mine with steamed asparagus but any kind of green veggie or side salad would be great with it. 
"Stuffing" cooking on the stove:

 Delicious Squash after Roasting:

Finished Squash! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Coconut Chicken Curry

This was one of those- Ok! this is what I have in my pantry, what can I do with it?- recipes. The past two weeks have been hectic with work! (but that's a good thing!) so this week I'm on set for 12+ hours a day every day. Going out gets pricey and when I get off set at 8pm and have to be up at 5:30 a.m. the last thing I want to do is cook! So... I googled a little bit the other night, picked up the few ingredients that I didn't already have on my way home from set, and then prepared it all the night before then stuck it in the fridge (in the crock pot dish) and the next morning at 5:30 am I pulled it out and started my crock pot timer for 6 hours (mine keeps it warm after the timer goes off). After work it was an awesome surprise and the thought of delicious curry waiting at home for me made the tough parts of work better :)

Check out the recipe here!

  1. I blended all the ingredients because I don't have a food processor, I just had to chop up the onion a little smaller. (I also chopped the pepper up instead of processing it into the sauce)
  2. I didn't thicken mine with cornstarch and it was still delicious
  3. I used refrigerated coconut milk instead of the cans and again still good :)
  4. It was good but if I did it again I would eat it right after the 6 hours (I feel like the additional 6+ warming hours in the crockpot didn't do great things for it, it was still good but I have a feeling it could've been better)
  5. I served it over brown rice (I cooked the rice the night before while chopping up all the veggies then stored it in the fridge)
  6. My chicken was only partially thawed (I think chicken breast is easier to cut when it's still partially frozen)
  7. I used 2tbsp of curry instead of the 1tbsp in the recipe.
  8. I did not have garam masala (who has that just sitting in their pantry?). Instead I used this mixture:1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp bay, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and a dash of ground cloves if you have them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

butternut squash soup (vegan and gluten-free)

a couple weeks ago I decided I was in the mood for some butternut squash soup. I ended up buying way too much squash haha so I ended up making two batches of soup, one in the crock pot and one on the stove. Both were good, but the one on the stove was my favorite.

Here is the recipe for the soup on the stove: click (main ingredients: pears, onions, broth and squash)
Here is the crock pot recipe: click (main ingredients: apple, onion, squash, broth)

  1. Buy your butternut squash from a local farmer's market, or I've heard you can find pre-chopped and frozen butternut squash at trader joe's or Walmart.
  2. You need a good amount of vegetable broth (especially if you're making two batches). Look at my previous post on how to make your own in a crock pot for cheap!
  3. The most time in these recipes comes from chopping up the various vegetables but especially the squash-it is HARD to cut
    1. If you have a food processor you can use this to chop up the onions etc
    2. If you have a boyfriend/husband you can use this to chop up the butternut squash
    3. Here is a quick how to for peeling and chopping the butternut squash: click. I thought their idea of putting it in the microwave beforehand to soften sounded great. 
  4. Butternut squash soup freezes great so if you have extra squash I suggest doing what I did and making two batches. It may seem ridiculous but you'll thank yourself later when your fridge is empty and you remember you have delicious soup in the freezer!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Paleo Lasagna (gluten/grain, egg, and dairy free)

      So I am really excited to share this recipe with you because although I drew inspiration from a couple cookbooks and recipes online, this recipe is my first 100% original recipe :)
     When I first gave up milk I was so sad to think about all the cheese ravioli and lasagna I would never eat again. Pasta dishes and pizza tempted me in my dreams. Two nights ago I decided to make the cauliflower pizza (the recipe is on my blog) with dairy-free Daiya cheese. This cheese is sworn to be a miracle by vegans and dairy-free people everywhere because it actually "tastes and melts like real cheese". Liars. It was disgusting in its melted form. It had the worst slimy, gooey, stick consistency I've ever experienced. It ruined the whole pizza :( Even my very non-picky boyfriend said it was gross. I'm not swearing off Daiya forever, I will probably try it again in a smaller amount, but the whole experience made me so sad; the one sliver of hope in my cheeseless world had vanished in a gooey sticky mass that I could barely swallow.
   However! Last night redeemed my faith! I am a dairy-free cheese believer again thanks to Kris Carr. If you've never heard of her or her "Crazy Sexy" books, documentary, tv appearances etc I highly suggest you get on it. Her books are hilarious and full of sexual innuendos but also full of awesome healthy tips, recipes and lifestyle advice. While flipping through her book Crazy Sexy Kitchen last night I found a recipe for Cashew Pine-Nut Ricotta Cheese that she uses in her raw lasagna. The recipe I have posted is very similar to hers and I highly suggest you buy her book Crazy Sexy Kitchen. Thinking I had nothing to lose I decided to make some of my own and make a lasagna with it (not her raw one because, no offense, but if I'm making lasagna it's going to be full of a delicious red meat sauce). We had some zucchini in the fridge so I used those for the noodles for a healthy grain-free version! Enjoy!

Cashew Pine-Nut Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup raw cashews (buy in bulk at Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 cup raw pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp of parsley (minced or powder)
  • 2 tbsp minced basil ( I used fresh but you could substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/3 cup of water
  1. Soak cashews for 1-2 hrs in hot water to soften
  2. Add all ingredients to a food processor (if using a blender add cashews in small amounts and blend as you go). Blend until smooth.
  • 2-3 zucchinis
  • 3 Roma tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 24 oz jar pasta sauce (I used Prego Traditional)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1.  Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a large sauce pan over medium high heat saute onions, garlic, and beef until beef is cooked through. Drain the grease from the pan. 
  3. Add oregano, salt, diced tomatoes, pasta sauce and balsamic vinegar to sauce pan. Stir and let simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes while you do the next few steps
  4. Chop each zucchini in half then slice zucchini lengthwise about 1/4" thick (I have an awesome slicer thing that helps me do this, if you don't and lengthwise is too much of a pain, you can slice it in 1/4" thick circles instead)
  5. In large lasagna or casserole dish start layering: zucchini slices on bottom, then tomatoes, then meat/tomato sauce mixture, another layer of zucchini then meat/tomato sauce mixture. If you have any tomato slices left put them on the very top.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes
  7. (optional: Mine turned out a little soupy on top so I turned the broiler on high and let it cook for 3 minutes just to make the top look more "finished")
  8. Once out of the oven spread the Vegan Ricotta cheese over the top (it's not going to look perfect so don't try haha)
  9. Enjoy! (keep in mind this lasagna is going to look messy but taste delicious!)

*Another option for this recipe that I want to eventually try is a layer of the Vegan ricotta cheese in the middle, but I wasn't sure how this would work out with the heat because Kris Carr uses hers with her Raw Lasagna recipe*

Monday, February 4, 2013

Cinnamon Apple Chips

This is another recipe that I used my dehydrator for and I'm sorry because I know not every normal 20 something year old has a dehydrator and I originally made this blog for people my age who were not huge cooks, so I apologize. But! you can do this in the oven. here's a good recipe: apple chips in oven. Apple chips are a great snack and they curb that potato chip craving. I also dehydrated strawberries (just slice, no pre-treating necessary) but an entire lb of fresh berries made 1/4 jar of dehydrated slices and the taste and texture was not appetizing plus they took FOREVER to slice up. I suggest just eating your berries fresh.


Apple Chips
  • 4-5 apples (or more if you have a bigger dehydrator, I used gala apples)
  • Cinnamon
  • apples in my steamer
  • (optional: lemon juice)
  1. Core and slice apples in fairly uniform thickness (Mine were about 1/4" thick). I didn't peel my apples because I like the crunchy peel but you can if you want.
  2. Pre-treat apples (this can be done a couple ways and helps preserve flavor and color)
    1. Steam- this is what I did. I just threw them in my steamer basket for 5 minutes.
    2. Lemon juice- Put them in a mixture of 4 cups of water + 2tbsp lemon juice for a couple minutes
  3. Use a paper towel to blot them dry then load them onto dehydrator trays
  4. Sprinkle a little cinnamon over the top of the slices
  5. Dehydrate until done. I would give a time but it all depends on your dehydrator. Mine does it in about 7 hours. To check if they're done they should break when you bend them sharply. Also if you tear the fruit you shouldn't see any moisture in the part of the fruit that's torn. Another way to check is to put a few warm slices in a ziploc bag squeeze out most of the air and wait a couple minutes to see if condensation forms. If it does they need more time in the dehydrator.
  6. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place (I use Mason Jars or recycled pasta sauce jars)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts

    So this whole week I've been on set so I haven't had much time to blog or cook (the week before I made some chicken chili in the crock pot and it was good but literally  I was just cleaning out my pantry because I was too broke to go buy more groceries haha so I didn't think that was blog worthy. 
      However! I do want to pass on an awesome go-to recipe that I use a lot and it's so easy but it tastes delicious! Brussell Sprouts! Again some people love them some people hate them, I used to only like them in those frozen microwaveable packages smothered in cheese sauce (but then again I would eat dirt if it was smothered in cheese sauce) but I had some in the fridge a while back (this is a plus of my boyfriend working on the Paula Deen show- he always brings back TONS of food) and decided to roast them in the oven. After a quick seach on the food network website I found this recipe. So simple, so easy, virtually no ingredients but delicious! The only thing I don't like is waiting 40 minutes for them to cook haha :) Enjoy!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
(there's even a how-to video posted which is kind of funny since this is so easy)
Photo from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kale chips (oven or dehydrator)

     I know most people are thinking- Kale chips sound absolutely disgusting; and I would've agreed with you two months ago, but after going through my cleanse I realized that most of the things I snack on either have a lot of sugar, a lot of dairy or a lot of gluten. Three things that I'm supposed to be minimizing.
"Cheesy" Kale Chips
     A few months ago while still on the cleanse my boyfriend and I were going to the movies. I'm sorry but I am one of those people who can't sit through a movie without popcorn or smuggling in candy so the idea of sitting through a movie while he munched on popcorn sounded miserable. There was a Trader Joe's close to the theater so we stopped in and I grabbed a pack of freeze-dried raspberries and a bag of walnuts and a bag of "cheesy" kale chips. I say "cheesy" because they're vegan and actually have no cheese whatsoever but they are SO good. Every time I go to the movies now I either sneak that in or else a trail mix of freeze dried fruit and walnuts. May sound weird, but don't knock it til you try it. I will warn you though Kale chips are something that take a while to get used to. The first one you'll be like "ew no" but then you'll find yourself grabbing another and soon you'll have finished the entire bag and are trying to stuff it in between your couch cushions before anyone notices (maybe that's just me). They have some flavors I haven't tried yet like chocolate (ehhh..), BBQ and Ranch but I've tried the Chipotle and the Cheesy and those are my favorites (although don't except them to taste like a Cheetoh, they taste cheesy but they don't taste like cheese but if you're dairy free like me you take what you can get and honestly dairy isn't really good for anyone). There's also original which is good but its kind of bland. My favorite brand of kale chips is in whole foods and is called Kale Krunch although as you can see this stuff will cost you 6$ a bag and will only last you about one sitting (again that could just be me).
     I quickly realized that my love for Kale chips was going to be an expensive one however I decided I needed to find some way to make them at home because of all the health benefits of kale (and honestly what better way to eat healthy- it's like a vitamin disguised as a potato chip, kinda). So after searching around I purchased a 30$ dehydrator on Amazon and got to work making homemade kale chips. This has been one of the best purchases I've ever made. However if you're afraid to commit, you can try a batch of these in the oven (I'll explain how below), but if it doesn't work out don't blame me. Also these ingredients and the amount is flexible. Try what you want and taste it along the way but keep in mind the dehydrator enhances certain flavors (the lemon juice) so it may take a little experimenting to get them the way you want.

Ingredients for Crispy Kale Chips
  • 1 bunch of Kale
  • 2 teaspoon Chili Powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Optional: a little bit of cayenne pepper if you want them spicy
Ingredients for "Cheesy" Kale Chips
  • 1 bunch of Kale
  • 1 medium red pepper (chopped up without seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1 cup of cashews (soaked for a few hours)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of agave nectar (Agave is a great sugar substitute if you haven't heard of it) 
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
kale leaves drying on paper towels
  1. Pull small chunks (about 2 inches) of the kale leaves from the stalks and put in a bowl of water; do not use the stalks as they can taste bitter
  2. Swirl Kale leaves around in water until they have been rinsed off then if you have a salad spinner use this to dry them (I don't so I put them in a strainer for a few minutes then laid them out on paper towels and patted them dry with more paper towels) 
  3. Put Kale leaves back into a bowl and add seasonings (if you are making Cheesy Kale chips put all ingredients in a food processor (starting with the cashews then adding the rest) before pouring over the Kale leaves in the bowl. ***if you do not have a food processor, you CAN use a blender but it will be a little tedious- I put in 1/3 of my cashews added a little water then turned on the blender, added more cashews more water, etc etc, then I added even more water and added the red pepper, this turned out alright because the dehydrator took the water out of it anyways but I wouldn't suggest it if you're doing your kale chips in the oven. ***
  4. Using your hands gently "massage" the seasonings into the kale leaves for a couple minutes making sure they're distributed pretty evenly and all the kale leaves are saturated
  5. Crispy Kale chips in dehydrator
  6. Taste test and add more or less of seasonings accordingly
  7. For the dehydrator- lay kale leaves out on dehydrator trays being careful not to overcrowd or overlap (they won't completely dehydrate). My dehydrator doesn't have a temperature setting so I just turned it on and they were done in about 4 hours but you can use the texture as a guide.  The chips should be crunchy and crispy and if you used the cheesy recipe the coating should be completely dry.  If your dehydrator does have a temperature setting I have read that 118 degrees for 6 hours is best.
  8. For the oven- Place parchment paper over a baking sheet and set oven to the lowest setting (somewhere around 180 degrees). Place kale chips on baking sheet. This will make more than one batch so cover and store remaining mixture in fridge. Cook kale chips for 2-4 hours, flipping them halfway through cooking time. Check to make sure they are crispy and crunchy and coating is completely dry. 
  9. Storage- store extra kale chips in a tupperware container for up to one week in a cool, dry place (cabinet/pantry). To help keep out moisture place uncooked rice in a paper towel and close off the top with a rubber band (making a kind of rice bundle) and place in the tupperware with the chips to absorb excess moisture
Finished Cheesy Kale chips!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Crock pot Vegetable Stock

This is one of the best ideas I've ever heard of. Thanks to Frantically Simple. Vegetable stock in the store can be expensive so this is an easy way to save money and waste less. Plus it's really easy! I made about a gallon of vegetable stock with this recipe.

Basically put a gallon bag in your freezer and every time you chop veggies, add the unused parts to the bag (make sure it's nothing rotten or bad, but a little "over ripe" is fine). For example: onion skins, carrot peels, celery leaves, garlic skins, green bean ends.
Things to avoid: strong veggies like broccoli and brussel sprouts, an excess of onion and garlic skins

If you want to make your own chicken stock in a Crock Pot, this is a recipe (Chicken Stock)  I found that looks delicious and easy as well.

When your gallon bag is filled follow the steps below:
  1. Pour the contents of your bag into your crockpot
  2. Add any herbs you would like (I used parsley and thyme as well as fresh basil)
  3. Some people say the best broth has an equal ratio of carrots, celery and onions so if you need more of something just chop it up and add it as well.
  4. Add water to the crockpot until it is covering the frozen vegetables
  5. Cook on low for 12 hours. (veggies should be pale, limp, lifeless, and pathetic; you get the point)
  6. Pour the contents of the crock pot into a strainer placed over a bowl
  7. Take the veggies that are left in the strainer and put them in a clean dish towel, then squeeze the juice out of the veggies using the dishtowel as a strainer (this part was really fun but make sure your broth has cooled or else it's impossible and really hot)
  8. Vegetable stock can be stored in the fridge (for a week) or in the freezer until you need it. 
After I made my vegetable stock I made lentil soup using the crockpot. Here's a good easy recipe that turned out REALLY good. Vegetarian Lentil Soup. I cooked it on high for 4-5 hours instead and I also used fresh tomatoes instead (that's all I had) and just peeled them and got rid of the middle part with the seeds and it turned out good.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Detox Cleanse

     If you read my last post, you will know I recently found out I have a milk allergy that has been causing a lot of problems in my body including a bacterial infection (another doctor said the bacteria caused the milk allergy but chicken or egg- the fact remains, I accidentally beat the crap out of my body with a combination of cheese, milk and cookies, and froyo...oops) Anyways my doctor suggested I do a cleanse to "reset my body" and essentially I'm trying to get rid of the bacterial infection naturally and without antibiotics which some people believe can cause more problems than they fix. Here are the fast facts of this cleanse:
  1. I get to eat actual food (no cayenne lemonade or grapefruit cabbage diets here) 
  2. It lasts 4-6 weeks
  3. It's about detox NOT weight loss so if you want to follow in the footsteps of your favorite model or celebrity by doing a cleanse- you should probably look up the cayenne lemonade. Although you will lose weight, that is not the goal of this cleanse.
  4. The only supplement for this cleanse can be bought at Wholefoods
  5. This cleanse is good for almost anyone but especially people who have stomach issues, food allergies, weak immune systems or alot of fatigue
  6. I read a lot about cleansing before I did this and most people talk about it being a spiritual journey and feeling more energized and in touch with themselves. That is great for them. I won't lie- I am not one of those people. The only thing I wanted to be in touch with was a Steak N' Shake cheeseburger.
fridge full of veggies, fruit and juice
Here are the things you'll need for this cleanse:
  • Lots of fresh fruit and veggies (except Oranges/Grapefruits- too acidic)
  • 100% fruit juices (except orange juice)
  • Supplement: True Vitality (comes in chocolate or vanilla. the chocolate one is disgusting)
  • Olive oil
  • Organic chicken breasts or salmon 
  • Lots of lemons
Here's a basic breakdown of what you can and can't have. If you have questions feel free to contact me it can get confusing. 
  • Things you can't have: any grains (including rice, corn and other gluten-free grains) any milk products or substitutes (including coconut milk, almond milk, etc),  processed foods or things with preservatives, most seasonings and sauces (more on this later), any type of meat other than organic chicken or salmon, eggs, soy, peanuts, dried fruit (they add sugar), canned vegetables and fruit (again because of salt and sugar content) caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, tobacco and any other drugs (including advil etc)
  • Things you can have: fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts (except peanuts), organic chicken breasts and salmon, herbal tea, 100% fruit juices, about 2tbs of salt a day, about 2tbs of balsamic vinegar a day, olive oil, herbs, frozen fruit and vegetables (as long as there is no sugar or sauces etc added)
 I know, I know. That's a lot to handle but here's a basic how to and I'll follow it up with some tips.
  1. Breakfast- Shake (fruit and 1 scoop of powder with half a lemon squeezed in)
  2. Lunch- Shake (fruit and vegetables and 1 scoop of powder with half a lemon squeezed in), small salad
  3. Dinner- 6oz of salmon or chicken and vegetables
  4. SNACKS: fruit and vegetables throughout the day
  5. WATER: you should drink half your body's weight in ounces every day (ex: you weigh 100lbs, drink 50 oz of water a day) 

  • At first all I could focus on was what I couldn't have and going in to the grocery store was a nightmare because I felt like I literally couldn't eat anything. So eventually I started sticking to the produce aisle and got creative and it became much easier. You have to have a lot of willpower to stick to a cleanse, especially for four weeks but it gets easier.
  • The second week is the hardest. I felt so drained of energy, and I kept doing stupid things and forgetting stuff. All I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and sleep. Again, it will pass. Sleep if you need to! (and if you're lucky enough to not have things to do) 
  • Warm baths help. I don't know why, they just do. Baths help in any situation really.
  • I got sick a few days after I started my cleanse and although it was SO hard to not take nyquil I just doubled up on Vitamin C and managed to get through it. It really wasn't that bad.
  • You will cook a lot more than you ever realized and it's fun. Look up vegan recipes and things and you will get really creative with food. 
  • Going out to eat is hard. I only did it a few times and I'd make sure that the restaurants had something on the menu I could eat like chicken or salmon and then once I got there I'd be "that girl" and tell them I needed it plain with a side of veggies. 
  • You're going to cheat, but try not to, and if you do don't beat yourself up about it. I felt so guilty when I put honey in my tea but as my mom pointed out - If cheating means putting honey in your tea, you're still a lot better off than all those people eating Big Macs and Twinkies. 
  • Don't cleanse during the holidays. I did and it was ok until I went home and the cookies and cakes, and hot chocolate, and ham etc etc. It makes you depressed haha don't do it. 
  • If you managed to get off the sugar and you no longer have cravings for it, stay off. I cheated over Christmas and had a sugar cookie and started craving sugar all over again. Same thing with coffee. Don't cheat with those kinds of things because it makes it 100 times harder to go back to the cleanse.
  • Whole foods will be your savior. Even if you don't buy your food there, if you just have to get out of the house for a meal go to whole foods for lunch. Their food bar is so good and they list all the ingredients clearly so you can steer clear of things you shouldn't have and they always have some kind of kale salad which you get bonus points for because it's a "super food"
  • Avoid temptation if possible. Try not to eat out a ton, don't go drinking with friends because not only will you not be able to have alcohol, you won't even be able to have the late night pizza afterwards.
More tips on WHAT to eat:
I'm a snack person and at first I was so angry because I couldn't grab a bag of potato chips or a cookie but here are some snacks that made eating a little more enjoyable.
  • Freeze dried fruit. This became my savior. As long as it doesn't have anything added (which most don't) it's fine to eat! On multiple occasions I sneaked a bag of freeze dried raspberries into the movie theater along with a bag of walnuts. If you eat them together it's kind of like eating M&M's and popcorn haha.
  • Salad dressing: balsamic and olive oil (light on the balsamic)
  • Rice substitute: cauliflower, pulse a few times in a blender or food processor then fry it with veggies like fried rice (but remember no soy sauce- so you have to get creative)
  • Honey has lots of sugar so agave nectar works well in herbal tea or just a lot of lemon to give it flavor
  • HUMMUS with your veggies. Guacamole as well. Try to make your own or buy the ones in the deli section of the grocery store so that you can make sure 100 things are added to them
  • Kale chips! So good! They were also a good snack as long as you make sure you get the kind that again doesn't have much added except herbs for seasoning. 
  • I was given a vegetable steamer as a present a few months ago and it was awesome. I would just put my veggies in there set the timer to 15 minutes and cook my chicken.
  • Experiment with herbs and different ways to cook the chicken. Chicken breast can get really boring but cooking it with onion and garlic help a lot. 
  • Beans! These are a really good way to get more protein into your diet if you are feeling too depleted to function. 
  • Late night snack- cabbage and onions, little olive oil in a frying pan. Burn them a little if you're aching for flavor. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Don't burn them too much though, basically the more a vegetable is cooked, the more nutrients you lose. (not to mention the carcinogens
Last but not least- If I can do this, you can do it. I cleansed over Christmas. The second week, which I had been warned will be the hardest, I was on set and if you've never been on a film set it is snack heaven. The craft service table has every type of candy, soda, coffee, puff pastries, potato chips, etc etc and my favorite crafty, Kim, makes chocolate chip cookies and passes them out! It was torture, but I resisted. Chocolate chip cookies happen to be my second favorite thing in the world. My dog is first. You get my point. I also had to wake up at 4:30 a.m without coffee for 4 days in a row. It was rough-but again I did it, and it has actually paid off. I'm 96% sure that I no longer have a bacterial infection and it seems that I have gotten rid of most of my other problems (though it's still too soon to say it out loud I don't want to jinx it). I was moody, I was pale, I was skinny (not the attractive kind) and at some point my mother threatened to stuff a steak down my throat if I didn't start looking healthier, but I can honestly say it was worth it and you're probably rolling your eyes right now and saying "that REALLY doesn't sound worth it" but it is! I now have a greater appreciation for food (you know actual food, the type that doesn't come in a box with 8 types of preservatives). I feel healthier and again I'm 98% sure that I actually am healthier and more than anything I'm really proud of myself for actually doing it. Obviously now that the cleanse is done, I'm going to start eating more normally but I think I'm going to stick with being dairy and gluten free. It's just healthier. I'm also going to try to limit my sugar and eat more vegetables. I picked up this awesome book the other day called Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It's vegan recipes but I plan on adding meat here and there, but the author also talks about ways to shop healthy cheap, healthy substitutes for things like sugar and flour etc, and the science behind all of it. The author also wrote a book called Crazy Sexy Cancer that my mom read when she had cancer that helped her a lot (she didn't get sick from her chemo once). 

Anyways! Sorry this one got long as well, my blog is now going to go back to simple recipes, but since the past month has been pretty life changing and it has to do with food I couldn't help but post it all here :) Please let me know if you decide to do the cleanse so I can cheer for you! :)