Sunday, October 31, 2010

Home for Holla- ween!

I just got home after a 3 hour car-ride from San Louis Obispo.  Man, can I just say I'm SO incredibly tired. I also have a terrible headache and I can't distinguish whether it's because of lack of sleep, water, healthy foods I'm used to, or just over all tired from the crazy, busy weekend.  It sure was fun- as I said in my last post- but I'm definitely hitting the sack early tonight :)

Happy Halloween, by the way!  Unfortunately, I didn't plan to dress up or do any festive activites.  I knew I'd be tired coming home from the wedding, so I just planned on making it a low- key, peaceful night :) Who wants to spend money on a costume they may never wear again, anyway?  Sorry to be the party- pooper.

Anyways, I came home tonight intending to take a long beach walk or run, but that didn't happen.  I was much too tired and out of it to do anything, so I respected my body.  I did make a quick, yummy salad though.

With the help of this guy I found at Costco the other day, I made a quick avo- Mediterranean mix...

Greens with avocado, roasted red pepper hummus, goat cheese, mushrooms, yellow pepper and organic tortilla chips to accompany.
Not the prettiest salad, but I blame it on my incompetence tonight :)  And how I'm going to finish that RRP hummus beast, well, let's just say there'll be a lot of hummus dishes to come!

Mmmm, fats and veggies, how I missed you :)

To start off the holiday season, egg- nog ice cream, anybody?

Protein ice cream made with homemade almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, pumpkin, and avocado- topped with dark chocolate, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.  

Recipe for Egg- nog protein ice cream:

1 Cup non-dairy milk of choice (I did whole made almond)
1/2 t guar gum
1/3 t zanthum gum
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves + nutmeg
2 heaping spoonfuls of pumpkin puree
1 heaping spoonful of avocado
15 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in a VitaMix blender, or other high- speed blender.  Top with favorite festive toppings and enjoy :)

Not much of a Halloween lover, but I'm SO excited for the holidays to come!  Have a lovely night, everyone!

$6.00 dollar oatmeal, I think so!

Yes people, that's the price I'm willing to pay for my poor ole' oatmeal I  so do adore.  This weekend I've been up in San Louis Obispo for my dear cousin's wedding.  It was amazing- we partied and danced the night away.  Not to mention the decorations, too-- oh, they were so beautiful!  But the food, well, that hasn't been on the top of my lists.  I've had to give up my veganism (I'm not fully vegan, but I do eat pretty vegan) and healthy eating for the last couple days.  It's been HARD-- let's just say eating Chipotle, horrible omelets, and ranch dressing salads, etc hasn't been the easiest.....

But despite, the wedding was amazing, and that's what I came for.

The gorgeous bride and her father....

MARRIED- Holla :)

 The reception was held in the "barn"-- so cute how they laid it all out.

The amazing sweets area.... cute, huh?

The tables were so well decorated....

My cousin and I sporting the camera

If my camera wasn't taking a million years to load photos, I'd post many more!  Stay tuned... :)

....And some of my low- quality, not- so great eats...

An omelete with cheese, peppers, and spinach; potatoes.

Remind me to NEVER order an omelet at a hotel again...let's just say that was they best thing at the buffet :(  I definitely missed my oatmeal...

But I got some this morning!  Not so great, but it worked.  I jazzed it up with some chia seeds, raisons and sunbutter.  It wasn't no oat bran, but it sufficed my oatmeal craving just a bit.  Finished every last bite!

And of course, I brought some snacks to hold- me over since the veggie protein options around here are little or none-- well, we just haven't had time to find good places.

Nuts, sunbutter and 100% dark chocolate (dunked in the sun butter!)

Heather, I know you'll enjoy that snack ;)

Alright, I'm off to take a walk along Shell Beach then do some shopping, THEN return home!! :)  More pictures, details and my normal posting later!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Off at a wedding!

Hello, all!

Just wanted to let you know I'm off at my cousin's wedding for the weekend in San Louis Obispo.  That's what I've been MIA for the day :)  Details to come on the turn out, as well as a food updates and recipes :)  When I get a chance to post food photos-- hopefully tomorrow-- I totally will!

I'm super excited, as well as anxious about my outfit turn-out!  Quite a funny detail to get nervous about, but hey, I care about style and looking cute!

Well I'm off to get my rest in my amazing hotel bed-- and wake up to continental bfast and the fitness and spa room!

Be back soon.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

No- raw, raw mushroom salad....

Yes, I'm bringing you yet another mushroom-filled recipe :)  First it's coconut-based soup, then it's mushrooms!  I guess that's just what I've had on hand recently.  I'd like to say coconut has been on sale, but sadly that's negatory.  Mushrooms have though-- thanks to local, Costco mushrooms :)

First though, I'll give you the low- down on my day....

I went to my favorite vinyasa yoga class this morning-- as always, wonderful but very intense.  That's how I like it though.  Can't stand the constant relaxation without any actual core/ muscle strength.  Yoga brings me such peace and serenity as I always feel so much better afterwards.  I biked to yoga, so I was pretty hungry and tired when returning home at noon.  I had a mushroom salad on mind, too, since I had a whole carton of bella shrooms calling my name :)

Call me crazy, but I don't like RAW mushrooms-- one of the only veggies I prefer cooked, other than zucchini.  But I found a way to get the raw- bite taste away, without any cooking involved.  Drench-age of olive oil + lemon juice, of course!

I simply added and massaged one cup of thinly cut shrooms and basil in 1/8 cup olive oil + lemon juice, salt and pepper.  I also added some goat cheese, for extra protein and fat.

It was SOOOO yummy-- could definitely not taste the rawness of the shrooms.  If you don't like raw mushrooms, or even if you do, this simple salad will win you over!

I've known that olive oil + lemon juice is a quick and healthy marinade/ dressing for awhile, but I've never massaged just veggies in the combo.  I got the idea from this lovely salad from a Food Network show called, Giada At home.

Another quicky meal I had using simple, but yummy ingredients:

More leftover spaghetti squash with olive oil, roasted veggies (in olive oil) and a red potato smothered with cashini butter (no sweet potatoes on hand).  

Great combo-- just don't add cinnamon :)

Alright, I'm off to find a dress for my cousin's wedding this weekend :)  Wish me luck! xoxo

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Naked (or clothed) mushroom- coconut soup!

The title speaks for itself: Naked or clothed mushroom soup.  You may be confused, thinking  mushrooms are already naked, silly!  I just wanted to make the title more interesting than just calling it raw or cooked mushroom- coconut soup, that's all :)

So it's "raw or cooked mushroom- coconut soup", if you're confused :)

Last night, before my staff holiday meeting, I was in the mood for some kind of coconut stew or soup.  I wanted something I haven't done yet before, such as winter squash, chickpea or cashew coconut soup.  I made a Costco run recently and  picked up a big carton of local grown Watsonville shrooms-- so that's just what I based my soup off of.  Weirdly, I've been in the mood for soup quite a bit recently-- it must be the changing weather.  Regardless, I enjoyed one yummy bowl of goodness last night :)

Raw (or cooked) Mushroom Coconut soup--

Coconut oil (or other oil of choice)
1 garlic clove minced
1- 1 1/2 cup mushrooms (I used crimini)
1/2 Cup kale (optional)
1/2 Cup chickpeas (I added for protein)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
S+ P 
A few shakes of tamari
Chili powder
1 Cup coconut milk

-- Sautee all ingrediants on medium heat OR if making a raw version, blend on a high- speed blender till creamy.  I cooked my mixture prior to blending, as I don't like raw mushrooms (!), but you can certainly blend without cooking.

Enjoy, accompanied by some bread or crackers!

It  may look like poo, but I PROMISE if doesn't taste like that!  It's SUPER yum!

I enjoyed my soup with some whole- grain seed crackers....

It made for one quick, hearty, delicious meal.  Soups really don't take that long-- if you have all the ingredients on hand and know what you want to make, it can be done in a flash.  Good for rushed nights when you want to make a nutritious, healthy dinner.

And you can't forget the  Halloween chocolate....

My breakfast: 1 cup pumpkin puree with 2/3 cup coconut milk, cinnamon and hemp protein topped with chia seeds and dark chocolate with coconut.

And I mean, really dark chocolate:
Off to work for the WHOLE afternoon!  Have a good day :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Day Of Autumnal Eats

Hello, all!

This post will be a quickie as I must get some homework done and jump into bed!  I intended on blogging earlier about my yum-licious breakfast, but that didn't happen since I was one busy girl on the move all day!  From a beach walk, to school, to eating, then to a holiday staff meeting.  Can life get any crazier?  I can't wait for a time where I just just have a sigh of relief and relax solely without any future obligations.

I woke this morning craving pumpkin....couldn't decide whether I wanted a pumpkin smoothie, oats or what!  I just went with my first instinct, pumpkin- apple oat bran....

Oat bran cooked in almond milk, pumpkin, spice (pumpkin pie spice, ginger and of course, cinnamon!), apple and chia seeds-- topped with pumpkin seeds, peanut butter and coconut.

My apple tree is currently over-flowing with apples, so it was a no- brainer to add apple to the pumpkin oat bran mixture.  And it was so, SO yummy, too :)

After getting some math homework done and going on a much needed beach power- walk, I put together a quick lunch before heading to class.
Miss Heather inspired my lunch, using some of my leftover spaghetti squash from last night.  

Spaghetti squash with  nutritional yeast, avocado, sunflower seeds and tahini; salad with shrooms and Woodstock dressing.

Thanks so much lovely Heather for the idea of "Mac n' cheese" using spaghetti squash- it was indeed delish!

I SOOO recommend the "mac and cheese" combo (nutritional yeast + tahini)

I also had a little treat on the side: Whole milk greek yogurt with leftover coconut granola.  Yum!

Alright, I'm off to read yucky textbook material in bed-- Long day tomorrow (work and homework).  I'll be back tomorrow with a coconut- mushroom soup recipe :-)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pasta al' pesto, spaghetti- squash style

Today was a very low- key, relaxed day-- No work, no school, no nothin'!  However, I can't say I could freely enjoy the day, as I had a lot of homework and errands to catch up on.

Did I spend the day getting done what I need to get done?   Somewhat, but for the most part, no!  I just felt lackadaisical all day and wanted to do nothing but lay around-- and catch up on blogs :).  I did get stuff done, but not as much as I intended to.  That's alright, I've cut myself some slack.  Then again, I worked all weekend, so I'm catching up on the weekend I missed out on.

Other than sitting around the computer all day and getting homework done, I cooked up some delicious meals as well.

In fact, I was craving spaghetti squash all day, so that's just what I cooked up for supper tonight.  Sadly though, I grabbed a green acorn squash at TJs the other day-- a rather large one for that matter.  I meant to get a spaghetti squash, so instead of driving all the way to TJs (10-15 minutes away), I just bought one from a nearby grocery store, Safeway.

Before I get into my fab. spaghetti squash dinner, I just wanted to show you my beautiful asian-themed lunch:

Baked tofu (marinated in rice wine vinegar, tamari and sesame oil), baked sweet potato fries (drizzles with coconut butter) and sauteed kale (in coconut oil, garlic and sesame oil) and red cabbage.
Yum, this meal took one for the team-- It was THAT good!

I love coconut, basically on anything and everything.

*For exact ingredients on marinades, please do ask me!*

My basil tree still has tons of fresh basil on it, weirdly, since it's well into fall now.  That's why when I had my heart set on jazzing up some spaghetti squash for dinner, I knew i'd use my basil in some way for the sauce....

For cashew pesto, that is!

Spaghetti squash al' pesto
Serves one hearty appetite!

1 spaghetti squash
2 cups fresh basil (tightly packed)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or more)
1/4 cup cashew (soaked)
1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Salt and peper to taste

--Cut your spaghetti squash in half and place on a well- greased baking sheet face up.
--Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
--Allow to cool for a few minutes, then scoop out seeds then stringy flesh.
--Meanwhile, for the pesto, combine all ingredients, except spaghetti squash into a high-speed food processor and process until well- blended.  Add water or more oil till pesto reaches desired consistency.
--Mix cashew-pesto sauce with desired amount of spaghetti squash.

I served mine with a side salad consisting of arugala, tomato and mushrooms--sprayed with balsamic vinegar.

Twas' one tasty meal.  If you have any basil or spaghetti squash on hand, do give this easy and nutritious meal a try!  It takes a matter of 10 minutes to prepare (not including squash bake time).  Mmmm, it was yummy.  I'm super full though, not sure why spaghetti squash is so filling :)

Alright, I'm going to finish some icky math homework!  Sending lots of coconut :) xoxo

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Baby it's cold outside....

It's been raining consistently the last couple days around here-- although I do like the rain once in awhile, it's not what I planned this weekend.  I've worked 8- hour shifts the last couple days and I am tired, so I was kinda hopin' I wouldn't have to continue to stay inside but be able to go outside.  I really wanted to go on a long beach walk and just be outside, but the weather has't permitted.  There's always Mr. Treadmill :)

Soup, oat bran, and all my other favorite warm comfort foods have been on the menu recently.  I've had little time to get creative in the kitchen in the last few days since i've been hoping from school, to work, to homework, to appointments, etc.  However, I've still managed to feed myself quite well with quick- to the jump meals.

Last night, upon returning from trabajador (work in Espanol), I was craving some thai- coconut chickpea soup.  I had this excellent version recently at a local Mediterranean restaurant near my house, Zameen's.  It was called the Moroccan Madness soup and had coconut milk, curry, garbanzo beans, tomato and onions and better yet, it was vegan!  I decided to re-make it Namaste Gurl style in a whopping 10 minutos!

Thai coconut soup--
1/4 of a large onion, diced
Coconut oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 C. chickpeas
1/2 t curry powder
A couple shakes of cayenne pepper
S + P to taste
A couple dashes of nutmeg, garlic powder and ground ginger
1/2 C. coconut milk
3/4 C. water or veggie broth

-- Combine coconut oil (or oil of choice), garlic, onion and carrot in a non-stick sauce pan; sauté till soft.  
--Add chickpeas and spices and stir well to combine with other ingredients.
-- Add coconut milk and water (or veggie broth), bring mixture to a boil then simmer till desired consistency.

Serve warm and if wanted, top with cashews.

I enjoyed my thai coconut soup with some kale on the side.... (sauteed a bit with coconut oil and dijon mustard).

I also made some more home-made coconut milk using my leftover coconut from the soup.

Twas' delicious.  I really think,  no, I know I'm most definitely a coconut fiend.  I LOVE it and add it most everything I eat....well, I sure try!  If you haven't tried any coconut products, I most recommend them.  My fav would have to be Artisana's coconut butter.  They make the best i've tried!

I used some of my home-made coconut milk in some non-piping hot oats, rather overnight oats. 
Made with chia seeds, coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla liquid stevia and oat bran- topped with almond butter, homemade coconut granola, and fresh raspberries.

*Sorry, the about the horrible quality-- it was pretty dark out at 7 am before I left for work* 

I haven't gotten any exercise today, so  I'm off to run/walk on the treadmill for a bit!  Have a good night :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin seed or plastic?!?

Happy Friday, first off :)

Second off, I made some REALLY tasty coconut granola last night....

Thank you so much Healthy Coconut for the inspiration-- I LOVED the granola, so coconutty.  I can't get enough as I've been munching on it all day.  When making it, me being a major- over the top coconut lover, added coconut mana to the mix, lots of it.  It gave the granola the perfect, velvety touch.  I skipped the agave, as well.  Yum!

I added it to my breakfast: Peanut protein-ice cream with double coconut- granola atop.

The granola was fabulous, no doubt about that-- But I had a incident with my Vita this morning while making the protein ice cream.  While using the tamper piece during blending, the tamper got crunched in the blade.  Not the whole plastic tamper, but just a big chunk of it got torn off.  Sad, both that I damaged a part of my new Vita and that I had to throw away perfectly good protein ice- cream....

Well, not all of the protein ice-cream. Yep, that's write, even with pieces of plastic from the torn tamper, I tried to consume my blended concoction.  I though, "I'll pick out the little pieces of plastic.  There's not very much in there, anyway".  I thought wrong-- there was  A LOT more bits and pieces of plastic tamper in my ice-cream than i thought.  Every time I thought I was chewing on a pumpkin seed or almond, it was plastic.  Yuck.  I had to throw away 3/4 of the protein ice- cream.  It was more like "plastic ice-cream".  I do love my Vita, but I sure don't want to cannibalize it :)

I sure hope I don't have any more mishaps with the Vita.  Not to worry about the tamper piece, I immediately called Vita and had them ship another one, of no charge.  I'm scared to make ice cream on it or any ice/ frozen fruit concoctions.  I hope nothing bad happens again!

After digesting plastic and going on a power walk, I made some lunch...

Veggies and tofu cooked in garlic, coconut oil, ginger and  soy sauce and tahini; sweet potato with coconut butter.

I do love you coconut, I do, I DO! :)

I spent the afternoon running errands and shopping away with my mom at the mall.  I'm making a couple care pacakges for a couple friends, so Bath and Body Works it was.  Grocery shopping and smelling it up' would definitely have to be two of my favorite activities :)

I came home late so I made a quick, colorful salad: 

Arugala and spinach with leftover bsquash, tomato, goat cheese, sunflower seeds and olive oil.

I'm off to finish my care packages-- Goodnight loves :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Colors, colors everywhere!

I managed to have a *somewhat*  better day today.  Besides getting in a bit of fight with my madre and going to classes, smooth sailing.

I attended a challenging 90 minute vinyasa yoga class this morning before school.  I love the teacher-- what makes a good yoga class really depends of the likelihood of the instructor.  I can't stand easy-peasy classes where the instructor just works on mindfulness and stretching.  While both of those are great, and that's a main reason I love yoga, I'm there to work out, not work out my mind :)  Brittany, the yoga instructor, relies heavily on a cardiac- vinyasa workout.  It's not an easy class, however you can go at your own pace.

Upon getting back from the intense, but relaxing yoga class, I made myself a big, colorful salad....

Greens with (leftover) butternut squash, avocado, tofu, and almond dressed in a ginger peanut dressing.

Look at that beautimus mix--orange, white, green, red!

Dinner was just leftovers and a quick salad.  I was in NO mood to cook when getting home from classes at 5 pm.  To top of all off, my mom and I hit it off a bit.  That's the problem with still living at home while in college-- Because you're still learning who you are, you clash in difference with your parents.  It's hard; we fight a lot about our similarities and differences.  I do love them both deeply, but I'm definitely getting ready to leave the nest soon.  It's been much too long at home.  But that's a whole other story for a different post :)

Leftover black bean chili with avocado, salad with veggies (dressed in honey, olive oil, nutritional yeast and sea salt) and bread.

Nutritional yeast is a good addition to salads!

I'm off to do some overly-procrastinated homework!  Goodnight, lovelies :) xx

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When life gives you butter, make butternut squash!

Today was a "no good Wednesday".  Which is odd because usually Wednesdays are good days-- the week is halfway over and it's my off day for classes.  That wasn't the case today for the most part.

I know, funny title, but I thought it was witty and had to do with something I cooked up tonight.  Butters not bad, just like lemons aren't-- Again, no pun intended :)

It started of with getting called into work this morning.  I thought on a Wednesday morning-- which is usually a slow day as since it's a work day-- they wouldn't call me in. I had a lot of homework to get done today,  and other important stuff to do.  I ended up only having to stay four hours, but still, it was not in my hopes to go in today.

Then, after my hourly morning swim this morning, I was eager to take a hot, long and steamy shower in the women's locker-room.  It was FREEZING this morning, albeit the 45 degree temperature outside.  Once in the pool, I was fine as I'm constantly moving, but getting out is a different story.  Usually, once I get out of the pool, I run to the shower in eagerness that it's hot.  I found out this morning that you can't rely on college locker room showers to suffice begin hot.  They were COLD once I turned on the shower-- Which left me more freezing and angry.

Oh well, that just meant I rushed home to take a hot, steamy shower in the pleasure of my own home.  Before going back to work, that is.

To top it all of, I got a bad sore-throat tonight.  Wait, I though I'm still in the midst of getting over a cold. I couldn't possibly be getting a relapse.....  Lemon tea and Emergen-C to the rescue.

I can sit in doom and gloom and be negative about today's outcomes; or I can simply except what happened and move on.  Although I'd like to choose the first option (which I considered in every bad experience), the second would bring much more fruit and happiness.  I can have gratitude ad mist the negative:

--I'm grateful to have a job as SO many people in todays economy don't and are heavily searching.  Even though it doesn't pay very well, it's something.

--I'm lucky to have a pool to swim in so I can do a different kind of exercise than biking, running and walking.  There's always home to take a shower at, even if the locker room showers were cold.

-- This too shall pass; you won't be sick and down forever.

Sigh, I think I feel a bit better now after getting that all of my chest :)

I enjoyed some tasty eats today, despite my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  And yes, I continued to "play" with my new Vita, two times today, for that matter.

Before swim, I made a quick green smoothie-- spinach, almond milk, hemp protein, vanilla stevia, almond butter and banana.  Nothing too fancy-smacy, just quick and healthful.

I was at work during lunchtime, and only working 4 hours, I didn't get a free lunch.  So I packed my own-- A sunshine burger sandwich with avocado and mustard and veggies.

Sadly, when I returned home, I made quite a delish pumpkin-coco-pb shake, but I forgot to snap a shot of it.  It consisted of pureed pumpkin (not Libby's), peanut flour, coco powder, almond milk, coconut and cinnamon.  It was SO good.  That Vita--man, it makes one amazing concoction once you put in your ingredients :)

Upon returning from the math center (where they offer free tutoring-- so amazing), I roasted some veggies and added some leftover couscous, honey sesame cashews and laid them atop greens.  It was yummy for being put together in 7 minutes!

I planned on making coconut butternut squash soup for dinner-- but being out most of the day, I had no time.  There's always tomorrow!


I've had a fatty bsquash laying around for quite some time.  I finally got to slow-roasting it tonight.  With some coconut butter, that is.  

Some of the results-- Which I savored as a snack after dinner.

Can I just tell you-- It was SOOOOO good!  Cook your bsquash with coconut oil or coconut butter!

I used this new one which tastes like a hybrid between coconut oil and coconut butter:


 Mmmmm, it added the perfect buttery touch to the squash.  I added--because i add nut butter to everything-- some almond butter a top.  Heavenly.

I'm off to do some homework and get some rest.  Ciao for now.