Thursday, June 24, 2010


We've had some internet issues...ok, ok, you got it out of me. I may have forgotten to pay the bill, I swear they didn't send us one because I did not see it! (sorry, husb!) I leave you with a fudgy, chocolatey, RAW truffle. Be back soon with the recipe :)

Ps. Tasha over at Voracious Vegan is hosting a giveaway!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Goose Island Brewery

This past weekend we got to try the Goose Island Brewery downtown! We went with some friends for their one year anniversary. Obviously, all the guys could not wait to get their hands on some great beer. I couldn't either! I hardly ever drink beer but love the taste of it. I stole about 5 sips from 5 different beers over the course of the favorite was a beer our friend got for 'dessert'. It was called Bourbon County Stout . According the website it is a 'liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer.' I tasted the chocolate more than anything else. It was delicious!

I made a protein smoothie before we left around 4 and it held me over until we finally ate around 8:30. I ordered sweet potato fries for an appetizer that came with 'curry catsup'. I love curry so I knew this ketchup would be awesome. It definitely was and we ordered extra just of the ketchup!!

For my entree I was hankering for a big salad but did not see anything on the menu that looked good. Our waitress was extremely friendly so I asked her if she could ask the chef to make me a salad with just about every vegetable they had. She was happy to oblige and brought me one of the best salads I have ever had from a restaurant. They piled high the veggies - tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes (!) , onions, leeks, fennel, avocado, and so many more that I can't even remember! Don't you love when chefs are more than happy to accommodate you?

We had to go to Costco to stock up on food this past weekend too. Love how cheap their bananas are - only a $1.32 for a big bag. I got kiwis, melon, apricots, peaches, tomatoes, and unpictured organic strawberries and raspberries. I freeze a lot of my fruit to use in smoothies. Frozen fruit makes all the difference.

I am still trying to use up all my veggies from the farmer's market! This salad I made had a gazillion pounds of lettuce underneath all those veggies! I topped it with tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, green onions, mustard and Annie's Italian dressing. YUM.
With a side of Ezekiel bread and Earth Balance. Haha - don't pay any attention to that piece I cut out. There was an unidentified white spot that I couldn't be sure was mold or not and instead of throwing the bread away like a normal person, I ate around it. I hate wasting food and I don't think a little mold killed anyone right? Right? :-/

Blackberries and peaches for dessert!

You may have noticed I don't talk a lot about exercising here. Well, there's a good reason for that. I don't! Haha. I go in spurts, honestly. I was a member of a gym and for awhile D and I went all the time together. I loved it - I get really into exercise when I actually do it. But somewhere along the way I stopped and you know how hard it is to get back into exercise after stopping for some time. Well I joined a gym close to my work and I'm excited to start back up again. To show I'm serious this time I taped my Elliptical workout on this cardboard so I can take it with me and it won't get all bent up. I used to do this workout before and I LOVE it. Its high intensity and it gets you sweating in no time.

Well I'm headed to a work lunch. See ya later gators!

Friday, June 18, 2010

I swam home from work today.

The thunderstorms in the Chicago land area this afternoon were c.r.a.z.y. I, of course, drove home during the worse of it. The rain was coming down so hard, I couldn't see the road and the clouds were so eerie...I was expecting to see a tornado right in front of me. But I'm here! and still alive! Tornado weather scares the socks off of me.

Onto some tasty eats...

Today for breakfast I had an old time favorite...a breakfast cookie. Who wouldn't want a cookie for breakfast?? Gina from Fitnessista introduced this to me. Warning: they are addicting.
BIG news! My local farmer's market opened yesterday. I literally have been counting the days till its opening. They had around 8-10 vendors and I picked up green leaf lettuce, strawberries (they melt in your mouth), green onions, snap peas, homemade hummus and minestrone soup for D. They didn't have a huge selection but I'm thinking as the weeks go by, there will be many more veggies for sale. I will faithfully be in line every Thursday with my oneluckyduck tote bag.
Today's lunch was a huge fresh salad with broccoli, green onions, carrots, snap peas, and a splash of Annie's italian dressing.

Sweet kiwis...yes I like to eat the fur too.

My Sun Warrior came today!!! Sadly, the box got a little drenched sitting on my doorstep during the flood today.

Good stats, huh? 16g protein in one scoop. 70 calories. That's kinda insane.

I ripped the bag open as fast as I could and made an apricot, strawberry, banana smoothie. Perfect.

I'm so happy its Friday. My sister and I might get sushi tonight, depending on the weather. I'm thinking about ordering 5 servings of seaweed salad. Not weird, right? Today has turned out pretty good...because 1) my Sun Warrior came and 2) look what I found at my friend's garage sale this morning!!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Tomorrow we are going out with our friends for their one year anniversary and we're going to brewery in the city. I see a delicious organic beer in my future...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Don't you hate feeling rushed?

Lately these past couple of weeks I have struggled with dragging myself out of bed on time. I honestly think I am getting TOO much sleep. I feel best with 5-6 hrs of sleep but lately have been getting 7-8. I know I feel better with less because my body will naturally wake up around 5am and I'll feel awake and ready to get out of bed. But I never do! What would I possibly do at that time? Exercise at 5am? I don't think so. My husband does and I think he's awesome for it but I just can't do it...So I go back to sleep and wake up groggy at 7. But this morning I slept even later and didn't have time to make a smoothie. It throws off my whole day!

So for breakfast I had unpictured sliced kiwi and grapes.
And snacked on these organic strawberries and veggies with hummus. Aren't they pretty?

Chugged this coconut water on my lunch. LOVE this stuff.

I went to World Market and found this tea.
Yes you read that right...Chocolate Mint Truffle tea. Mmmmm....

And it was the perfect 3pm pick me up with a splash of this.
This is a very decadent creamer! Vegan and gluten free. Coconut milk is awesome.

I bought this little red cup to put loose sea salt in. I'm done with salt shakers. I'm going to start pinching my salt when I want to add it to food because I think it will add to the whole experience of preparing food. Its the little things in life that I get pretty excited for. :)

Tonight we took a bike ride to the store and D picked up salmon and rice for his dinner and I steamed him some broccoli too. I was craving something cold so I made myself a green, well not so very green, smoothie. There was quite a bit of spinach in this...I also added 1/2 banana, blueberries, and juice from a lemon. And I drank it from D's beer mug. ;)

So what is your motivation for getting up earlier? If you're an early riser what do you like to accomplish in the morning hours? I know if I get into the habit of listening to my bodies natural 'alarm clock' I will feel a lot better and of course get more stuff done.

Happy hump day! ;)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Indulgent weekend

It feels good to be home. This past weekend my friend and I went to WI and stayed with our cousin. She just moved into her own place and she had a little housewarming party! We started the road trip off right with a delicious chocolate cherry bomb smoothie. There are no words to describe how good this smoothie is. Just like a chocolate covered cherry. And super healthy. My friend added her Sun Warrior vanilla protein powder to the smoothie. I just ordered my own today, I had to have it. It is by far the best tasting protein powder I have tried yet.

For the party, we made guacamole and chopped up watermelon. This melon was suburb! My mom told me the key to a good watermelon is to choose one with a bigger white spot on the bottom, this means they had time to lay on the ground and ripen more before being picked. I think she's right!

I made a quinoa salad too. This had chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, raw corn (obsessed!) , jalapeno, and fresh herbs. I dressed it with lime juice. Oh, and that's red quinoa. It tastes the same to me as regular...but it's prettier!
So this post is fittingly titled 'Indulgent Weekend' because my cousin decided to make Oreo bon bons! They called my name every minute of everyday I was there! Basically its a creamy Oreo mixture you roll into balls, then dip in melted white chocolate. I indulged once...or twice. You just need that sometimes. :) I'm glad I'm 2 hours away from them right now tho! Haha.

Tonight for dinner I kept it simple. I steamed brussel sprouts, asparagus, and mushrooms and added lentils and my balsamic maple sauce. Simple and delicious.
Frozen grapes for dessert. In a plastic cup...I keep it classy.
I leave you with a couple pictures from the weekend...this is my Aunt's dog, Jericho. He's precious.
And look at these darlings! They have 13 baby bunnies in their backyard! I refrained from sneaking one in my purse. Yes, that would be the newest trend I'm wearing on my wrist! I love them, ok! What can I say. Anyone wanna trade with me?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Don't ask, just eat.

Hello friends. :) Weekend is almost here. Wooohoo!

So I have been dying to try a vegan restaurant in the city, Chicago Diner. On yelp, our most trusted source for dining reviews, it boasts 4 stars out of 5..and that's with over 500 reviews! People rave about this place, meat eaters included. I took my hubby there last Saturday with high hopes. He was nervous as to what he would get and what exactly would be the special ingredients to imitate his 'meat' dish. I told him, don't ask, just eat. Hm. Easier said than done.

We started off with their sweet potato fries which were heavenly and perfect and also their nachos. The picture of those is strangely missing from my camera so no photo but basically it was a big plate of nacho chips with beans, fried seitan, vegan cheese, guacamole, and salsa. I was a big fan of those! You honestly could not tell the difference.
For my lunch I ordered the 'rabbit food' salad which was a huge portion of spiralized beet and carrots, broccoli, tomatoes and other veggies. I got the ginger dressing on the side and this salad was so fresh and packed with veggies! It was fun to eat too. Those spiralized veggies were like 12 inches long, lol.
Now you're probably wondering what my husband, D, ordered. I would rather not go there. :) I didn't take a picture but basically he asked the waitress (who was extremely sweet and a great waitress) what he should order and she recommended the BBQ sandwich with mac n cheese. It was your typical BBQ on a hoagie bun with peppers and onions smothered in BBQ sauce. Fried seitan was the 'BBQ'. I could tell immediately by the look on his face that he could not stomach it. Some people just aren't cut out for that type of thing, my hubs included. At first, I was a little upset I admit. But then I felt stupid. Stupid for being that wife who tries to shove vegan food down her husband's throat! I do not want to be that person. I love my manly, steak & ribs eating husband and will gladly make it for him! He did like the mac n cheese tho! And the beer! So D went and got a Caribou coffee while I savored every sip of this vegan chocolate peanut butter shake for dessert. There really are no words to describe this shake, so smooth and creamy. Better than any shake I've ever had from ANY place ever. Period.

It was so rich and decadent and I couldn't bear to waste a single drop of this. I finished the whole thing and was in a food coma until I went to bed that night! I definitely indulged that day but it was worth it. I can't wait to go back to Chicago Diner and try their other dishes. But maybe I will go with my veggie friend, Andrea, instead. :) If any of my local friends reading this want to go (you know who you are!) I'll be happy to take you!!

We went to a cookout and my good friend Kate went out of her way to provide me vegan options! How sweet. She had a huge fruit salad prepared.
Grilled vegetables and delicious chickpea salad. She got this chickpea dish pre-made from Costco. It was so good, I went back for 3rds!
Some other random eats included organic oranges and bananas.
Banana with organic jam and cinnamon.
I have something very exciting for you all!! I don't create a lot of in depth raw dishes because 1) they take a lot of prep time and 2) I hardly ever have the ingredients on hand. But I was feeling bored one day and wanted to make the corn tortilla chips from Raw Food Real World. All I did was take fresh raw corn, some flax meal, lime juice, and these seasonings and threw them in a food processor.
It became a nice thick, creamy consistency. I then spread it onto wax paper in my dehydrator and left them in there to get crispy for about 5-6 hours.
These turned out wonderful! They got very crispy and the seasonings reminded me of savory Mexican food. Sorry, no photo of the finished product. Are you catching on I scarf down my food too fast before I can get the camera out?!

My obsessive snack as of lately, tart red grapes. Have you ever tried freezing your grapes? Try it! Frozen grapes make the best refreshing snack.
And carrot/orange juice from Jamba Juice. I'm impressed this chain will make you fresh juice. I think its great and hope other smoothie places will catch on! I'll take this any day over a $4 latte.
Well I have a lot of packing to friend and I are off for a weekend in Oshkosh, WI to visit family. I can't wait! Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oats & Corn (not mixed together)

Hi! How's your week been? Mine's been pretty good, the week has flown by! I'm about ready for another weekend. Our holiday weekend was spent just the way I like it, lots of food (and food network!), family and friends - my adorable 5 yr old niece, Audrey, had a dance recital. You can meet my beautiful little friend here: Two Veggie Babies . Oh, so where was I. Ah yes, our weekend. Well that was basically it! Lots of sleeping in and yummy fresh food. And gossip girl marathons. We had great weather too. And my family loved my kale salad! Yayyy.

Some random eats in the past week or so...

Asian stir fry (pre-washed mix from Trader Joe's). I threw in kale...Yes I know, I could be the next Top Chef.
Baked sweet potato with Annie's organic ketchup and mustard.
I bought some gluten free oats at Whole Foods and have rekindled my love for anything oats. I was craving a bar/cookie so threw a few things together and hoped it would turn out.

In the dry mix went oats, pumpkin seeds, flax, chia, raisins, unsweetened coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg. Then added almond milk and one egg. (I'm thinking it would work fine without the egg next time). Oh and a little maple syrup to sweeten it up a bit.
In the pan ready to go. Baked at 400 for 30 minutes.
They came out very chewy and moist. At first bite, I didn't love them, but they grew on me and of course I always MEAN to share...but these were addicting. With a smear of almond butter and jam on top!
After eating a few too many treats over the holiday weekend, I've decided this week I'm going to stick to a pretty strict fruit/veggie cleanse. Basically the only things I want in my body are fresh fruits and vegetables. So yesterday I did great, it doesn't hurt keeping a constant supply of ripe watermelon in the house! Today (day 2) I stuck to berries and melon during the day, which was glorious, but as the day went on I couldn't help but start dreaming of dinner creations, none of which included fruit. I used my imagination.
Mmmmm.....raw corn. Sweet and crunchy.Before all chopped up.And.....of course I completely blanked and forgot to take a picture of the finished product. I'm sorry!! Oh, and if you're wondering, I didn't eat all 5 ears of corn. Maybe one and a half. :) I threw all the stuff together in a huge bowl, sprinkle of salt and pepper, and this:

Trader Joe's Aioli Garlic Mustard sauce. I literally want to dip/pour/marinade/splash/inhale it on everything.

Then...I opened this bag to give a helping to my hubs and after grabbing one to taste, I quickly grabbed about 20 more. So much for my cleanse! haha. Tomorrow is another day!

I'm off to tend to the never ending laundry pile. Have a great week!