Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Sorry for going MIA the last few days. I really enjoyed the time with the family and my son is here on Spring Break although we don't spend every waking moment together it is just nice knowing he is here.

My daughter and I went down to the Chopping Block in Lincoln Square on Saturday morning to attend Dawn Jackson Blatner's cooking class. If anyone is considering incorporating more plant based food into your diet you "HAVE" to get her book, The Flexatarian Diet" It is a wonderful book and I can't thank Abby enough for bring it into my life. I tell everyone about it.

We enjoyeds eating some wonderful vegetarian food Dawn prepared. I always leave her classes motivated to continue on my journey of healthy eating.

I wanted to show you what I made for my daughter to take home. I think I have talked about this before but I am going to talk about it again. I made her some homemade pitas. I remember when I made them for the first time I was so scared thinking they were difficult, I was wrong.

Pita Bread

1 1/8 cups warm water

3 cups all-purpose flour ( I use 1 1/2 cup white flour and 1 1/2 cup wheat flour)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

I put all the ingredients in my bread maker and put it on the dough setting and let it do all the work. Love that! When the dough is ready I turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll and stretch the dough into a eight inch rope. With a sharp knife, divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each into a smooth ball. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6-7 inch circle. Cover with a towel and let the pitas rise for about 30 minutes until slightly puffy. I put a pizza stone in the oven and turn the oven to 500 degrees. When the oven is ready put a pita on the stone and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Do not over bake because you will lose your pocket. Take it from me I know. Remove from oven and immediately wrap in tin foil. After the pitas have cooled removed from tin foil and store in refrigerator or what I do is I freeze them and take them out when I needed them.

Roll out the eight ball in to 6-7 inch circle and let rise until slightly puffy.

This is one that has come right out of the oven. Look how puffy it is? This is what will form the pocket.

Place it immediately in a piece of tin foil and let cool. Seriously these are so easy and well worth the effort. Now that I gave all mine to my daughter I need to make a batch for myself. I love have them in the freezer for a quick lunch filled with beans or I use it to make pita pizzas.

Here is the BIG reason I was MIA for a few days! There is nothing like having the whole family back together even if it is just for a very short time. I treasure the time together.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Busy Beaver

Has been a very busy day today but before I get into all the happening of today lets talk about last nights snack....
I knew that I had to use the Vitamix but I wasn't quite sure what to make so I just started throwing in stuff I had.
Chocolate almond milk, frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, cocoa powder and PB2. My first attempt I could not get it to mix and I was almost devastated but I added a little water and we were good to go. The result was fabulous take a look for yourself.

I love every last lick! I almost added agave into the mix but I have really been trying to stay away from as much sugar as possible so I felt that the strawberries and bananas was enough and I was right. Fabulous!
Today was another beautiful sunny day. I was side track from a phone call from a friend who needed a listening ear so I ate some blueberries and coleslaw while talking to her. After our conversation I was out the door for a good 60 minute walk. It really does feel good to be out doors again.
I started making a cake for my sons birthday on Friday and vegan treats for my daughter to take home. As I was going about doing this I started to nibble and it was a clue for me to stop and have a satisfying and substantial meal. So I made a nice big salad and added some "chik" nuggets in. Hit the spot.
Now you may be asking about the vegan treats. Here is two of the ones I made I have one more yet to make. I didn't even take a bite of these because I know where that will go and daughter won't have any to take home.

This recipe is from Oh She Glows These are called Raw Energy Cookie Bites and
I had just enough dates to make both cookies.

I also made a batch of cookie balls. I was trying to find the link for this recipe but I gave up. I think some times I just have way to many recipes. This is a easy, quick and simple.
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon brown sugar
Put everything in a food processor and blend. Couldn't be any easier than that. Don't tell my daughter I will tell her I slaved for hours making them. ha ha! I didn't get to making her the pita bread so I will do that tomorrow.
But all in all I had a very productive today. Now I am off to make dinner for me and hubby it is always a late dinner on Wednesday when he comes home. I ate the salad late so I am good.
Fried bean sandwiches! Yummy! I will post a picture of that tomorrow. This is actually a recipe we both can enjoy together. Love that!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Let it Shine, Let it Shine, Let it Shine

I knew it was going to be a good day when I was taking the train into work this morning and the sun was shining! There is something about the sunshine that makes me happy! So I made sure I took advantage of it and took the dog for a walk as soon as I got home from work today. I had to cut the walk short today but was able to get in a good 2 mile walk, felt SO good.

After talking with my Wellness Coach I had a plan of how I was going to tackle the next couple of days. Both my daughter and son will be coming home this weekend and I want to spend as much quality time as I can and no stress which can cause me to be a little on the crabby side and I do not want that for this weekend. So after my phone call I immediately did my weight training which felt great and then I head out the door to pick up birthday presents. (both my husband and son's birthday are this weekend (son on Friday and hubby on Sunday)

I came home and had thought about making a big dinner and I rethought things and figure it is just me while don't I just enjoy the evening and having a no fuss dinner tonight.

I had some In a Jiffy Spelt Veggie burgers in the freezer so I threw those in the toaster oven and toast up some Ezekiel bread. When everything was ready to go I just spread on some tomato paste and spinach. This is one of my favorite dinners.
I didn't want to forget about the veggies so I made a little plate along with one of my favorite hummus recipes. I remember when I made this for the first time I wasn't sure if I really liked it but now it is one of my favorite hummus recipes.
Black Bean & Orange Hummus
From Eat, Drink and be Vegan
2 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 1/2 tablespoons almond butter
1 large clove garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon orange zest, grated
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (for garnish)
In a food processor, combine all ingredients (except parsley for garnish) and puree until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl several times. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with parsley.
Oh this is SO good! Love it love it! Let me know if you give it a try and what you think.
Are you ready for the big surprise? I can't hear you? Are you ready?
Isn't it beautiful? This arrive last night after I got home from Yoga and it was too late to play around with it but I am hoping to make something with it tonight that I can enjoy while I am watching Biggest Loser. I will give you a full recap tomorrow.
Have a great evening!
What is your favorite easy recipe that you go to when you want a quick meal?

I love having frozen veggie burgers in the freezer just a quick and easy meal. I also like to make salads or plain and simple left overs.

Have you gotten anything lately that you have been wanting for a long time?
The vitamix is one of the things that I thought I would never be able to purchase. Thank to my wonderful mom she say this on sale on QVC and I just could not beat the price. Thanks mom!

Do you feel happier when the sun is shining?
I feel so different when the sun in shining I am not sure if was because of the long and dreary winter but it was a welcome to see.