Monday, February 27, 2012

Hippie loaf and Color Run

Today was a very...shall I experience day. I made mashed potatoes with no-meat loaf. I will admit it wasn't horrible...but it wasn't great either. I don't love the Earth Balance butter and everyone knows butter makes the mashed potatoes! And as far as the no-meat loaf goes, I think it would have been 100 times better if I would have sauteed the veggies before I put it all together. That being said I would love to share the recipe...regardless of how much I liked it...simply because I think that it could definitely be made into something delicious, it just needs some tweaking!

So here it is!

I got it from the Happy Herbivore website and there is a ton of veggie goodness exuberating from this site.

On a different note...
I started training for my 5k today! My ultimate goal is to be able to run a marathon...but baby steps ya know? So I am starting out with training for a 5k then over the next few years I want to work my way ALL the way up to a marathon. The one I plan on running is May 26 in Denver. Its the Color Run 5k! Ohmygod it looks like so much fun. They pelt you with paint, what could be better?!

It is in quite a few cities so if you are a runner...or a walker...or a anything-er you should totally check it out. It is going to be a blast!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Vegan Challenge!

Alright all of my avid and loyal readers (who are currently non-existent but I will one day have you, bwahaha!) I have just started my VEGAN CHALLENGE! I am currently 143 and 5'8. By the end of this challenge I plan on being aboooouuuttt....130-ish. I started a workout routine a few weeks ago and I'm really getting into the swing of it now so I think I can totally pull it off.

So for this vegan thing. I can honestly say I am really excited about it. I have only been doing it since Wednesday but I love it so far. I'm not going to go into details about the reason behind my decision (aka...FREAKING ANIMAL CRUELTY!) but just know it's a damn good one.

Just know that this is going to be a hell of an adventure! The food just tastes so...real. I completely cut out processed food from my diet and am really taking this on by storm! This coming up Wednesday I am even going to check out Michael Pollan lecture up in Denver. So so so stoked about that by the way. Even though he doesn't preach veganism he is still a forced to be reckoned with in the food world. Its funny though...he isn't a nutritionist or anything..just a curious journalist who is trying to make a difference in the way we eat. Which is something I will definitely do one day.

So for the food, I was thinking of keeping track of it on here a bit. Like a sort of food diary or something. Giving my recipes, and sharing the ones I find that are just far too amazing to keep to myself. Sounds like a sweet deal right?

Well since it is the beginning of my challenge, and the beginning of a change in my life, I decided I would come out of my shell and post a picture if me pre-body. A nudy pick! Ahhh no, just kidding, ya perve ;]. So I can show people my progress! Enjoy the nudity!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Squash, Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup w/ Gruyere Croutons

Winter "orange" soup

This is a winter squash, carrot, and sweet potato soup that is simply divine. I made it last night for dinner just to use up the last of my winter squash and it turned out better than I thought it would. I basically scoured the interweb looking for recipes that I thought would be good, but I didn't find a single one that I I came up with my own! I call it my Orange soup...not because it has oranges in it but because this is the brightest soup you will ever eat! I have only made it once and I am writing down the recipe from memory so if its not right just let me know!

Winter Squash, Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup w/ Gruyere Croutons
Winter "Orange" Soup

(for the soup)
  • medium to large winter squash (any kind will do, just pick one you like. I used a pumpkin squash)
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • rind from parmesan cheese (they sell just the rinds, or you can substitute just about 1/4 a cup or so of fresh grated parm)
  • olive oil
  • salt (to taste, I use salt throughout the cooking process so I generally don't add much at the end)
  • pepper (to taste, I like a lot of pepper :])
  • 1 1/2 tsp. thyme (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. sage (more or less to taste)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (I used 6 cups of water and 2 veggie bouillon cubes)
  • heavy cream
(for gruyere croutons)
  • 1 french baguette
  • gruyere cheese
  • butter
  • sage

Now on to the cooking part :]
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then cut both halves in half. Peel and cut your sweet potatoes into cubes about the same width as the squash so they cook about the same. Peel your onion and cut it in half then cut both halves into fourths. Take your garlic (do not peel the garlic or it will burn) and wrap it in foil with a little hole at the top. Place all your veggies on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until the squash and sweet potatoes are tender. When they are cool scrape the insides of the squash out.
  2. Chop your carrots and celery and sautee them in a little olive oil with the thyme and sage over medium low till tender (about 10 minutes or so).
  3. Once they are tender you can add the roasted veggies to the pot. Mix all of them together well and bring up to heat.
  4. Once everything is hot then add then vegetable stock (or water at this point). Bring to a boil (if you are using bouillon then add them after the water is boiling). If you are adding the parm rinds then you can add them here, but if you are just adding parm then wait.
  5. Now your soup is basically done, you can let it simmer for a while or you can go ahead and go to the next step.
  6. Once you are ready then its time to blend. I personally like my soup a little chunky so I just take an immersion blender to the whole thing (gotta love those things!) But if you are like the rest of my family then you like a creamy soup and will want to either put it in a blender or a food processor and pulverize the crap out of it till its smooth. Make sure you do it in batches though...otherwise it tends to get a little messy!
  7. Now you can put it back in the pot and add your cream, a lot of people say not to keep it on the heat after you add it but I have found that it doesn't particularly matter if you are using heavy cream over say half and half or milk. So at this point I add the cream and some salt and pepper and its ready to go!
Now for the croutons its super easy...
I just slice the baguette at an angle into about 1/2 inch slices then butter one side and sprinkle it with sage. I put those on a cookie sheet and put them in a 400 degree oven for about 5 to 10 minutes or until they are decently crispy. Then I take them out and flip them over. I take some grated gruyere cheese and sprinkle it on the non buttered sides and pop them back in for a few minutes till the cheese is all melted and delicious and there you have it!
Now serve this soup up in bowls with two croutons on top and you have got yourself some super delicious wintery soup. Enjoy :]