Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crispy Baked Beet Chips

You know the phrase "needle in a haystack"?  Do people still say this when they can't find something?  I think it's time we changed this up.  I mean, who has a haystack anymore?  Heck, people barely have needles nowadays, right? 

I bought a needle this week to use in a beading project.  This is how I learned that the phrase "needle in a haystack" is out-of-date.  Really, the phrase should be "needle in a bed."  Because, let me tell you, it is an urgent matter when you lose one in there.  Who cares if you lose your needle in a haystack?  Are you sleeping in the haystack?  No, you're sleeping in the bed.  With the needle.

It's been 24 hours and I still haven't found it. I suppose this is why one should never work on a beading project in dim light just before going to sleep.  Live and learn.

Speaking of learning, I also learned an important lesson this week involving beets: they make dang good chips.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Coconut Ginger Smoothie

I can't tell you how many times that I have made this smoothie in the past couple of weeks.  I also can't tell you how many times I have made this smoothie while dancing around to the piña colada song.  Too many times.  That song is now burned into my brain.

Consider this the after-work or weekend drink for those that don't drink cocktails. This smoothie is like a healthy piña colada without the heavy coconut cream or pinapple.  It's sweet with a bit of spiciness from the ginger.  (If you are not a fan of ginger, then you can easily decrease the amount or leave it out entirely.)

This smoothie is wonderful at a mocktail party, for post-workout hydration, or for any time you are in need of a fancy, but-not-so-fancy refreshment.  If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, this one is for you.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Green Lemonade

I drink fresh vegetable juice almost daily, but I tend to filter the juices I show here. See, I have a feeling that if I posted a juice recipe that said "juice 1 giant bunch of kale and a peeled lemon" some of you might actually drink it.  And, if you aren't a hard-core juice fanatic, you'd take one sip of that and never come back here. 

But this green juice?  This one is actually doable.  Let's talk about it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

15-Minute Mini Veggie Pizzas

Let's get real for a moment, shall we?  After several failed attempts over the past few months, I have come to accept that I cannot make a pizza crust from scratch to save my life.  And if we allow ourselves to get even more real... who wants to make a pizza crust from scratch anyways when my local natural foods store sells perfectly awesome whole-grain flatbreads?  Especially when these perfectly awesome whole-grain flatbreads look mighty cute as the crust for mini pizzas.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway!

A month and a half ago, I was offered some samples from NuNaturals and was able to try some of their stevia products.  To be honest, I was a tad skeptical of trying stevia because I had tried another brand in the past and it had only tasted bitter to me.  However, I have been incredibly impressed with the NuNaturals products, particularly the liquid stevia and the vanilla stevia drops.  Since I make my own nut milks, I have stopped adding any agave or maple syrup and now just use these stevia drops to sweeten my homemade milks.  I love these drops and now use them every day in oatmeal, tea, and smoothies.  Yum!

In case anyone is not familiar with stevia, stevia is a South American herb that has been around for centuries.  The cool thing about stevia is that it tastes very sweet and just a small amount will add an incredible amount of sweetness to foods because it is 15 - 20 times sweeter than sugar.  But, stevia does not contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners.  Stevia will also not raise your blood sugar levels and does not contain any calories or carbohydrates.  

I was so impressed with the NuNaturals stevia products that I wanted to offer a giveaway to my readers. FOUR readers will be able to win one box of NuStevia Packets and one bottle of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia Liquid.   Winners will be chosen at random and announced on Sunday, February 26th.  Unfortunately, since the products are shipping directly from the company, this giveaway is only available to Continental U.S. residents and NuNaturals cannot ship to P.O. Boxes.
*Update: Thank you to everyone who entered!  This giveaway is now closed. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spicy Peanut and Sweet Potato Soup

I am not the person that you should ask about fashion advice.  My idea of a good outfit involves jeans and a comfy grey sweater from the men's department at Old Navy.  And my "purse"?  Oh, do you mean this reusable Trader Joe's grocery bag?

I am not the person that you should ask about relationship advice.  My most recent Saturday nights have been spent reading about business licenses, cleaning the kitchen, and surfing Pinterest.  That's what a long-term relationship will do to you.

I am not the person that you should ask about pet care advice.  I recently shelled out close to a grand to find out that my cat sneezing blood for fifteen minutes was indeed... just a bloody nose.

I am not the person that you should ask about video games, Star Wars, or sports.  In fact, please don't talk to me about these things at all...  thanks.

But dinner advice?  Yes, please ask. 

And if you do ask, I just might recommend this soup.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Quick Meals for Busy, Healthy Living

Right now I am working on practicing compassion with myself.  Last week ended up being a much harder and busier week than anticipated with some really energy-draining situations.  Weeks like that are my least favorite kind.  So instead of mentally beating myself up for feeling exhausted and low, I'm learning how to let myself just be and taking care of myself along the way.

Now that I am back in school and am balancing my education with a full-time job, blogging, starting my own business, and trying to have a healthy, well-balanced life outside of these things I find myself feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment.  That's especially why lots of deep breathing, restful sleep, and practicing compassion with myself is vital right now.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed in your life?  I thought it might be fun to share my top tips for surviving the busy times in life and I'd love to hear yours.  :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ginger Orange Carrot Juice

Sometimes, when I am really on top of things in my life, I monitor where web traffic comes from. Most people stumble here through Foodgawker, Pinterest, Finding Vegan, or Google searches. If you do any Google searches for kale smoothies, roasted beets, or kale chips, apparently I'm your gal.

And, as I learned the other day, if you search for "images of nasty looking but good food," you will find your way here as well.  Or more specifically, you will find your way to a very old post where I once made a rather gross-looking, but amazing split pea and yam soup (aka Sexy Ugly Stew) and told some jokes about how Mick Jagger is "sexy ugly." Oh how your internet past will haunt you.

Lucky for me I refuse to make sexy ugly food anymore. Just sexy food. Food that is beautiful and will make you feel beautiful from the inside out.  Hello ginger-carrot-orange goodness...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus

I think this world would be a much brighter place if we could spend all our time doing what we love most. And if you are anything like me, that means you would spend your evening dancing around your kitchen to Colbie Caillat with your cats while eating your own weight in sweet potato hummus. Not a bad life.

It might also mean that you *accidentally* ate all of the pita chips that were intended for this photo.  Whoops.  I guess you'll just have to live with a picture of carrot sticks instead. 

This week, besides eating way too much sweet potato hummus, I decided it was time to get my Big Girl pants on and spend some time doing things that I have been putting off for far too long.  Like deep cleaning my fridge, filing my taxes, updating my finances, opening an IRA, and switching to an online bank (with a much better interest rate).  Sigh.  Sometimes we can't spend all our time doing what we love.  But we can still eat pita chips. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's here!

This blog sure has come a long way over the past couple of years.  And with my two-year blogiversary quickly approaching,  it is definitely time for an upgrade.

You may not have known until now that there have been big things going on behind the scenes for quite awhile.  After six months of gently (but annoyingly) nagging my graphic-designer partner to finish my new blog logo and header, it's finally here!  And after twelve hours today spent tweaking templates, considering switching my blog host, and enough yerba mate tea to energize a small village... it's finished!  Welcome to the new blog!

Here are some new features that I hope will be helpful:
  • An updated blog layout so it is simpler to find what you are looking for.  
  • An updated comments section making it easier to log in, leave a comment, and reply to someone else's comment.
  • An updated FAQ page where I answer some of the recent questions I have received via email.
  • New social media buttons making it easier for you to stay connected to blog updates.
  • The most popular posts are now featured in the sidebar, making it easier to find some of your favorite recipes.
  • Jump breaks within posts so you can scroll through the homepage without having to read an entire post if you don't want to. 
If you experience any problems with the new layout, pages, or comments section, please let me know!  (You can contact me at fortheloveoffoodblog[at]gmail[dot]com.)  

I hope you like it!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter Citrus Salad

Consider this salad your reward.  Your reward for surviving a hard week filled with a late-night trip to the animal hospital, three sleepless nights in a row, some not-so-great medical news about your cat, and lots of worrying. This salad is for you, stressed-out mama.  So put your feet up.  It's the weekend and you deserve this.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pineapple Fried Quinoa

Here are a few things that no one needs to know about me.

1. I'm in the middle of a nutritional yeast addiction. I have started having popcorn every night after dinner just because I love the taste of nutritional yeast sprinkled over the top. I was in denial until I found myself sprinkling the nutritional yeast directly into my mouth last night. It might be time to get some help.

2. The Village People are on every workout playlist that I have. What can I say? I like lifting weights to Macho Man.

3. If I could have any pet that I wanted, I would get a pig. Why?  They are incredibly intelligent, caring and beautiful creatures.  My adoration of pigs deeply scares my partner so I suppose that I could settle for a pug instead. Pugs are kinda like pig-puppies in my mind. I think it's the tail.

4. I haven't done a fridge deep-cleaning since I moved into my apartment. And that seems like a long time ago...

5. I started watching Lost on Hulu about three weeks ago.  Right now I'm in the nearing the end of season 3.  You do the math of how many hours of television that equals per day.  On second thought, please don't. 

Besides making me want to sit on my couch for hours on end, Lost has also made me want to eat tropical fruit all day long.  I suppose this wouldn't be a huge problem except for the fact that I live in the Pacific Northwest and make it a point to eat locally as much as possible.  This week I finally decided to give in to the craving and help myself to some fresh pineapple.  It may not be local, but it doesn't involve the Village People, barnyard animals, or nutritional yeast.  It's a start.