Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nail Art

I was inspired by this picture for my latest nail art design.  I'm rather new to nail art but this design was pretty easy, even with my shaky hands.  I didn't have a lovely sea foam green like in the picture so I used my favorite silver.  It's hard to tell but I also used a very dark navy blue. 

I love them!   I also used the teabag repair method on more than on of my nails.  Can you tell which ones??  I'm not telling :p  Fixing a nail with a teabag tutorial can be seen here if you anyone is interested.  It really works!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

While looking for new vegetarian recipes, I came across this one.  I was very intrigued!  I haven't had a sloppy joe in years!  I wanted to try this idea because I remember as child, my grandma would make sloppy joes from time to time.  When she didn't feel like making a big family dinner.  She almost always had ground beef around so that was a quick easy meal.  I was soo excited about making vegetarian sloppy joes!  I went to the farmers market over the weekend and pick up some lovely yellow squash and a very large green zucchini.  It's October now so I'm trying to enjoy as much fresh vegetables as I can right now!  I think I'm going to go back soon and stock up on lots of squash to freeze.  I found a website that explains how to freeze squash to use in the winter!  I have to try it!  So, back to the joes.  I didn't have any celery and honestly, the husband isn't a celery fan unless he's eating some wings and needs a cool bite.  I did pick up a big green head of cabbage at the farmer's market so I substituted chopped cabbage for the celery.

First I sauteed chopped carrots, onions and green cabbage until soft.  I took them out of the pan and added the grated yellow summer squash.  After sauteing add to the rest of the vegetables.  I love the texture the grated squash gives to this recipe!

Next I added half a package of meatless ground beef.  I used Trader Joe's brand.  I really like this product! It has a nice meat-like texture and it works wonderfully in this recipe.  I'd definitely buy it and use it again!

Next I added the tofu.  I crumbled it up the night before and marinated it in ketchup, a little squirt of mustard, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and water.  I also added a little bit of my homemade buttermilk ranch because I'm slightly addicted to it and can't help but put it in/on everything.  You can leave that out ;)  That's where the creamyness came from.

I forgot to take a picture when I added the vegetables back in.  I also added an extra little squirt of ketchup.  Add bun and a little sharp cheddar if you want.

The final product was soooooo good!  It has a great flavor and texture!  It's sloppy and delicious.  I love this recipe because it's so easy to add or replace ingredients.  Beans would make a nice vegetarian addition, or even eggs, boiled or scrambled.  I love it because it's so full of vegetables.  This recipe could also be used with ground beef or turkey.  It would be a great way to get children to eat vegetables.  Chop everything a little smaller and your kids probably wouldn't even notice!  I served this tasty joes with zucchini fries.  If you've never tired zucchini fries then you should!!!  I didn't have breadcrumbs so I had to improvise.  The only crackers I had in the house were goldfish so I crushed some.  I cut the zucchini into chunky sticks, dipped them into egg/buttermilk mixture then into crumbs.  I baked them at 400 until they were crunchy.  I think this is my new favorite way to eat zucchini!  My husband even loved them!  I'm definitely going back to the farmer's market this weekend to pick up a few of those huge zucchini!

Monday, June 13, 2011


I was talking to Gareth the other day about my current diet.  About a week before that, he asked me how long I was planning on being a vegetarian.  At the time I shrugged and said "I don't know".  I didn't think any more of it.  The 2nd time he asked me that I actually thought about it and how much I'm enjoying my current pescetarian diet.  I can see myself keeping it up for a while.  At first I thought this would be temporary, just for a little while.  Now that I really think about it, I feel like I can keep it up for longer than I originally planned.  I'm really enjoying eating fresh fruits and vegetables.  I also enjoy a lot of the soy and meat substitute products.  Maybe I should make a blog post of product reviews!  That gives me an idea for a later post...  Any ways, I am also really enjoying eating a lot of fish.  I love seafood!  Before I rarely ate seafood.  I think it was because Gareth doesn't eat seafood and I just wouldn't get it.  Now I'm okay with it because I know he really doesn't mind.  So, I really don't know how long I plan to keep up my current diet but so far I'm really enjoying it and plan to keep it up for as long as I can!!  Gareth is still doing low carb.  I love the challenge of balancing both diets!  I cook a lot of meat for him but I haven't been tempted by it, or do I mind cooking it.  It's for him and I have my food.  Layla gets a combination of both of ours.  Everybody seems to be doing well!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Homemade Vegetarian Chili

Who doesn't love a nice bowl of chili?  It can be warm, spicy and delicious!  Vegetarian chili doesn't have to be a boring pot of beans!  Here is my delicious veggie chili that even the meat lovers would like!   I used a few soy products and it hearty, just like a beef chili.  It even has a very similar texture to ground meat and it's full of healthy vegetables.  So, without futher ado, here is my yummy vegetarian chili!

First step was to chop all the veg.  This can be a little time consuming but personally, I like that part.  I find it almost relaxing to just chop veggies.  I guess that's the foodie in my ;)

Diced onion, celery, carrots and bean sprouts.  I added the bean sprouts because I scored a big bag from the farmer's market last weekend.  Yes, I know bean sprouts aren't typical in chili but I needed to use them, plus this is a veggie chili!

First I sauteed a portobello mushroom.  Since Gareth wasn't eating my chili I was able to use mushrooms.  I removed it from the pan and sauteed the veggies a little, then removed them as well.

Next I sauteed the 'meat'.  I used a combination of soyrizo, left over tempeh bacon(I made myself), and Gimme Lean® Sausage.   I think that was a great combination for chili.  The soyrizo adds a lot of flavor and just enough heat.  

If you've never tried soyrizo, I highly recommend it!  It's a great meatless product.  It has lots of flavor, spicy and a nice meaty consistency.  It's great for breakfast with eggs or even mixed in grits.

Any ways, enough product whoring and back to the chili...

Next I added the spices.  I don't have correct measurements because I usually don't measure things when I cook, I just go by what feels right and tasting.  I would say I added at least 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder(I didn't have any fresh), and salt and pepper.  I let the 'meat' and spices cook together for a bit.

Then I added all the vegetables,  a can of drained cannellini beans, and diced tomatoes and water.  The tomatoes were frozen.  I opened a can for something else and froze the rest in ice cube trays.  I used white kidney beans because that was all I had plus I'm not a big fan of those big, fat, dark red kidney beans.  I like the white ones so much better!

I also added leftover steamed broccoli from the night before.  Then I just let everything simmer together for about 30 mins or so.  I made the chili a few hours before dinner so it had time for all the flavors to hang out and mingle.  All I had to do later was turn the stove back on and let it warm back up.

Once it was warm, it was ready to be eaten!  I recommend a nice dollop of sour cream and some grated cheese.  A cornbread muffin would have been a nice addition!  

The finally product was delicious!!  If I didn't tell you there wasn't meat in it... you'd never know the difference!  I have plenty of leftover and some of it will be frozen for later!  The final product has just under 1300 calories for the whole batch.  If you divide it into 8 servings, it only has around 160 calories, 3g of fat and 23 carbs per serving.  Not too bad!  This recipe is definitely a keeper and I would totally make it again.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pescetarian Diet vs Low Carb Diet, Day 1

Today was my first day of preparing meals for 2 completely different diets.  I started very late last night with breakfast.  Gareth was going in a little early so I wanted to make sure he had breakfast in the morning.  So I made us an omelet!  Omelets are easy to make, yummy and very easy to accommodate to many diets.

Breakfast 'meats' cooking.  Luckily I don't have a problem with meat, other than I'm just burnt out eating meat, or cooking my soy products with meat.  From bottom left, clock wise... Homemade tempeh "bacon", Gimme Lean Soy Sausage, Bob Evan's Breakfast Sausage and Hormel Black Label Bacon.

 Vegetarian and Low Carb Omelet ready to be folded and plated... Can you tell which side is which?
The finished product!  My vegetarian omelet on the left, filled with tempeh bacon, sausage substitute, diced tomatoes, and Dubliner cheese.  Gareth's Low Carb omelet is on the right, it's filled with bacon, sausage and Dubliner cheese.  Both were very yummy!

Now... moving on to lunch. 
We started making a lot of salads for lunch while doing the LC thing.  It's just so easy to throw together a salad with some protein.  It's also a good way to keep the carbs and calories down.  Today was no exception to the easy salad lunch. 
Gareth's steak lunch.  Simple grilled steak and salad.

My lunch.  Grilled Bocca Burger, a couple grilled barbeque shrimp and salad.
The salad consisted of iceburg mix, organic arugula, raw celery and carrots.  I added a little bit of diced vine ripened tomatoes and more carrots.  The salad dressing was a splash of red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, spicy brown mustard, salt, pepper, dash of cumin and olive oil.

My grilled shrimp were over cooked but they came frozen and precooked so they just needed to be heated.  I heated them a little too long :/  The grilled Bocca burger was filling and taste better than it looks, it looks pretty boring!
Gareth said his steak was good but a little bit over cooked to his liking.  That's my fault.  I know how he likes his steak, barely cooked!  I'll blame it on the new gas canister, it was burning a little too hot ;)

While I'm at it here's a shot of Layla's lunch...

Luckily for me, Layla isn't too picky of an eater.  Don't get me wrong, she has her moments where she will refuse something or everything.  When she's hungry tho, she'll usually try anything.  She's not a big fan of chunks of meat but she will eat deli meat.  I usually give her a good quality deli meat.  Today she get's Trader Joe's roasted turkey breast.  She wasn't in a meat kind of mood today and didn't eat much of it or the cheese.  She did all of the pickle and strawberries.

Dinner tonight was nothing fancy.  Gareth wasn't in the mood for meat and was going to settle with just a salad.  I can't have that!  So I made a vegetable stir fry with broccoli, carrots, baby bok choy, bean sprouts and onions.  With a little bit of soy and mustard.  It was pretty tasty!

Layla gets her dinner first, she gets cranky if she has to wait too long ;)  She gets vegetable noodles tossed with a little bit of canned tomato liquid.  She looooves her some noodles!  She also gets stir fried veggies and some strawberries.

Tonight Gareth had a Bocca vegan burger and veggies.  He was less impressed with the vegan burger and really didn't like it :/  At least it's low carb and he ate it.

I had a Bocca 'chicken' patty.  I wanted a little crunch!  I also had veggies and sauteed mushrooms.  Mmmm!

Now it's time for a walk!

So, this was my first real blog post, I need feedback, suggestions, comments.  I'm thinking that maybe it's too long and I should do more than 1 post? 

Monday, May 30, 2011

First Post!

 Okay, so Why did I create a blog?  What is the point of all this??  This blog was created for me to capture all my creativity into one little blog!  ;)
  Example...  Gareth and I have been on the same dieting page for a few months now.  We've been doing Adkins.  He's had a more successful time with it than I have.  I lose but as soon as I introduce more carbs again I gain back what I lost.  Gareth is starting back on Adkins, this time I am going a completely different path.  I'm going vegetarian again!  I'm just burnt out on meat!  No meat for me please.  With the excepting of seafood.  I currently have a freezer, fridge, and pantry with enough soy, grains, beans, seafood for a week!  Gareth also has meat for a few days.  My job to to be able to successfully juggle making low carb meals as well as healthy vegetarian meals for me.  And let's not forget the meals for the sometimes picky toddler.  So back to the point... I'm going to document my endeavor into cooking for 2 totally different diets with pictures, recipes, meal plans, and probably some of me rambling!
  I would also like to keep track of my current gardening projects I've got going on.  I can't wait until we can eat and enjoy some of the things that I'm growing!  I've been bitten by the gardening bug this year, I just want to plant more things!  My "garden" is small, so small in fact, it's mostly in different pots and containers.  I'm really excited because, lately, everything is really growing.  I can't wait to take pics and blog about everything.
  Lastly I love arts, crafts and everything that has to do with the two.  I hope this blog will inspire the inner artist I've kind of hidden lately, to come out!  I love to paint, draw, collage, and make things!  I love making jewelry, I wish I could sew clothes.
In conclusion, this blog is for me to be me and to share who I am with anybody that feels like reading!  Any one reading this blog should expect pictures of food that I'm making, things that I'm growing, my sweet little Layla, the greatest husband/friend ever, a few cats, and anything that I make.  Also expect bitching from me, coarse adult language at times, rants, raves, dieting, sometimes the lack there of and all the other little quirks that make me who I am.