Recipe

Sunday Summary: The Green Smoothies continue…

Hello peeps! Short and sweet this week.

So I finished the 10-day Green Smoothie Cleanse last wednesday and dropped 10 lbs. in 10 days. Pretty sweet. I am following it up with 1-2 smoothies a day and low carb meals, and I am allowing myself three cheats per week.

Yesterday I went to the movies to watch Tomorrowland (fantastic by the way) and had a small popcorn and a diet coke (cheat #1). Today I had breakfast at my favorite breakfast joint (Le Peep) and had pancakes (cheat #2). YUM! But my other meals have been green smoothies and salads.

Today’s Awesome SmoothieĀ was very yummy and included

  • 1 1/2 cups Spinach
  • 2/3 cup purified water
  • 1 orange
  • 2/3 cup mango
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseeds

I can’t recommend this book enough. I love that JJ Smith keeps it real and I’ve discovered a world of smoothie options that I didn’t know existed. I already made two converts. šŸ˜€ This is the perfect time of the year (in the northern hemisphere) to do this. If you’ve been looking for a plan to jumpstart your weightloss journey or get back on it, I sincerely recommend you give this a shot.

Weekly Words of Wisdom

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TBT to November

workshop-button-1Hello peeps! It’s time for my weekly post in response to Kat at Mama’s Losin’ It Weekly Writing Prompts. This week I chose #5Ā Share something you learned, bought, read, and cooked in November.Ā 

LEARNED IN NOVEMBER

I came across this video last month which taught me a lot of things about thanksgiving food that I didn’t know about. The most surprising thing I learned was #15Ā popcorn kernels never expire.Ā WHAT! Check the video and prepare to be amazed. šŸ˜€

BOUGHT IN NOVEMBER

Screen shot 2014-12-04 at 3.18.29 PMI have realized that I am not a big buyer of things. Since starting this weight loss journey I rarely buy any clothes, I get my books from the library, and I spend my little disposable income on movie tickets and starbucks coffee. #truestory So I had to think about this. I am a JULEP Maven (their word for client I guess) and receive a monthly box with beautiful nail polish and other beauty products. In november I received Shari and Logan nail polish and a great black and brown eye glider with sharpener. I also added a gift box including three hand creams to be part of my White Elephant gift.

READ IN NOVEMBER

I read three books in November. I had wanted to read The Diary of Anne Frank for a long time and I know I will find myself reading it again someday. My book club assigned Beautiful Ruins for November and I read ahead and also read our December book The Glass Castle. So far I have loved all the books I have read (click on each image to read my review).

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COOKED IN NOVEMBER

WOW! I do a lot of cooking but I don’t change it up too much day to day. Lately as the weather cools I’ve been making chicken soup a lot. I found this recipe that tastes just like my grandma’s and it’s been a real hit at home. The trick is to first sort of sautĆ© the chicken with herbs and spices (I use ground cumin and fresh parsley) and onion and garlic. That makes the base (no need for broth). Then add water and wait for it to boil. Then add all the starchy veggies. We do corn, yucca, potato, carrots, squash, green plantains or bananas, etc. We add lemon juice to each of our plates. Mmmmmm… the best!

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Well… I have to admit that November was a really good month. šŸ˜€
Anything you learned, bought, read, or cooked last month you wish to share?
Leave it in the comments section.

Foodie Friday: Hug a Vegan Day

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It’s not very clear exactly what today is. PETA calls it “Hug a Vegan” but it could also be “Hug a Vegetarian.” Whichever it is… give yourself a hug or receive a virtual one from me if you are either… as well as if you areĀ an animal lover, a meatless monday practitioner, a flexitarian, and/or an environmentally-conscious consumer. I’m feeling generous:Ā VIRTUAL HUGS TO ALL!

On this marvelous occasion let me spread some blog love my directing you to my top five (in no particular order) vegan/vegetarian recipes from some of my favorite foodie bloggers:

  1. Baked FalafelĀ from Minimalist Baker
  2. Spicy Vegan Black Bean SoupĀ fromĀ Cookie + Kate
  3. Vegan Carrot Hot DogĀ fromĀ Clean Eating Veggie Girl
  4. Sweet CaramelizedĀ PlantainsĀ (A Venezuelan treat) from Venezuelan Cooking
  5. Basic Garlic NoodleĀ fromĀ Cooking with a Wallflower

Are you a vegan/vegetarian blogger?
Is there someone I should be following?
Let me know in the comments.

Foodie Friday: Pesto Recipes

Basil pesto was probably my first “green food” that I loved. I was introduced to it in my early teens by my mom whom I have no idea where she picked it up from. In Venezuela, basil was very cheap when I was growing up so making pesto was easy. We mostly ate it with pasta but mom also would make a succulent chicken pesto dish that you’d want to cuddle with.

In any case, for the longest time I thought pesto was something that could only be done with basil and it still sort of is. Through Wikipedia I learned that

Pesto (Italian pronunciation:Ā [Ėˆpesto], Genoese:Ā [Ėˆpestu]) is a sauce originating in Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italy (pesto genovese),Ā and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and European pine nuts blended with olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese), and Fiore Sardo (cheese made from sheep’s milk).

You may find the “official” recipe here. I, however, don’t make it that way. I have my own special pesto recipe where I use a lot less olive oil and almond butter instead of pine nuts. Here’s my recipe:

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A few months back I noticed that I had a large batch of spinach about to go bad. I wondered if I could do with spinach what I did with basil and a whole new world opened up to me. I searched “Spinach Pesto” and voila… I realized I could do pesto with a lot of green leaves and this is great because I don’t necessarily love eating super greens. Anyhow… here are the recipes I have tried so far: Just click on the image and it will get you there (I always useĀ lessĀ olive oil). (1) Spinach Pesto. (2) Kale Pesto. (3) Pumpkin Seed-Cilantro Pesto.

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Bon appetit!

What I ate Wednesday

My grocery shopping pattern goes like this: right after payday I buy everything and a week after I do a small purchase to replenish fruits and veggies. Being on a tight budget is rough so you can expect that the few days before payday I’m short on a few things, mainly my favorite items,Ā and have to get creative.Ā Don’t take me wrong, it’s not that I don’t have food, I’m just usually out of my most used or favorite ones.

IMG_1711IMG_1712This morning, I made a pretty weak smoothie for breakfast with the last bit of frozen fruit and a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Of course that was not enough so later on I also had a handful of walnuts (I’m all out of almonds) and raisins, and a piece of milkĀ chocolate that I picked up at a meeting last night.

For lunch I had my super awesomely made ground turkey which I normally eat as part of a taco-less salad but I’m out of lettuce and avocado so instead I paired it with a cabbage salad, andĀ arepa which is basically Venezuelan bread, a biscuit-type thing made of precooked-corn flour.

IMG_1713I don’t really have a formal recipe for my ground turkey but this is how I make it: For a typical package of ground turkey (a little over a pound), I stirfry 2 carrots cut in tiny pieces, 1/2 onion chopped, 3 garlic cloves minced, 1/3 pepper (any color) chopped in 1-2 tbsp of EVOO. Once it’s fragrant (about 5 minutes) I add the turkey, and spices (I used cumin) and let it cook. Once I see that all the turkey is cooked I add an 8 oz. can of no-salt-added tomato sauce, let it simmer for 20 minutes or until it’s drying but not too much. This whole thing yields 4-6 portions and it’s really low on sodium.Ā If you end up trying this,Ā adjust to your taste.

IMG_1714It was a good lunch that required no afternoon snack. After a 2-hour session at the gym and a shower, I had a cup of cheerios which I was happy were not stale. I bought them a while back but have since been eating high-protein granola instead, but I’m out or granola so cheerios it is. 2/3 cup of cheerios, 1 tbsp of dried cranberries, andĀ 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk.

As I finish this post I’m sipping on a nice cup of green tea and about to pick up my next book on my reading list: Plato and a Platypus walk into a bar. I hope it’s a good one.

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What did you have today? šŸ˜€

#FoodieFriday: Butterless Baking

CAC-header-logoThe California Avocado Commission was present at Fitbloggin’14 in a big way. They kept us nourished with yummy drinks and other sweet concoctions but it was their butterless muffins that had me and many others coming back for more and more. BUTTERLESS MUFFINS? WHAT MAGIC IS THIS? It’s Avocado Blueberry Muffins and they areĀ delicious.

Last night I decided to give the recipe a try. You can find their recipe and many others on the California Avocado Commission website. Here’s my healthier (if that’s possible) version. They were great this morning with a cup of coffee and almond milk. Enjoy!

My Avocado Blueberry Muffins (makes 6)

  • photo1 (36)1Ā cup whole wheatĀ flour
  • 1Ā tsp.Ā baking powder
  • 1ā„4Ā tsp.Ā baking soda
  • 1ā„4Ā tsp.Ā salt
  • 1ā„2Ā ripe, hassĀ avocado, seeded and peeled
  • 3ā„8Ā cup brownĀ sugar (that’sĀ 1ā„4 cup + 2 tbsp.)
  • 1ā„2Ā egg
  • 1ā„2Ā tsp.Ā Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1ā„2Ā cupĀ nonfat greekĀ yogurt
  • 3Ā oz.Ā (1 Ā¼ cup) fresh blueberries

Prepare as directed on the website. Also note that the original recipe adds streusel on top which does require butter. I didn’t make it. I did the math and these come out at 170 calories each. WHAT! I had two for breakfast. #sorrynotsorry šŸ˜€Ā (on the website it says 160, theirs may be smaller?)

Fellow fitbloggers atĀ The Year of the PhoenixĀ and Divas Run for BlingĀ also tried the recipe. Check out their take and their blogs which are both fabulous.

šŸ˜€ HAPPY NATIONAL BLUEBERRY MUFFIN DAY šŸ˜€

UPDATE on my ONE-WEEK PLEDGE & 7 DAILY HABITS: Day 5 was good. I had my cup of warm water and lemon, an awesome breakfast, an invigorating morning zumba class, and a handful of almonds post-workout. For lunch, I made black bean burgers which I topped with lots of awesomeness (read veggies). In the afternoon I finally reached the halfway point of Couch to 5K #isthisreallyhappening,Ā had a Banana Nut Chia BarĀ and then did Blacklight Zumba, my ultimate favorite. Dinner was unimaginative: one leftover black bean burger with cheese and salsa and a pickle. I’m out of green tea so I’ll have a cup of chamomile instead. TWO MORE DAYS TO GO. #onedayatatime

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