Pork Tamales, New Years Resolutions and Help Needed

Once again I have been delayed in posting. I’m sure you all think this will be a never ending cycle – no posting, posting, apologizing, no posting, etc etc. But here is my list of New Years Resolutions, which I plan to stick to:

1. No dairy. I think I’ve developed a minor lactose intolerance so I’m testing it out to see if this will help.

2. Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. I don’t know if you’ve heard about this new fitness trend, but Kayla is a force to be reckoned with. I’ve tried this guide before, but literally gave up in the last week. This time I’m going to do the whole thing. Look for #theKaylamovement on Twitter. It’s big.

3. Blogging. Ah yes, there it is. I will blog, at least once a week. I just finished school and now am in the midst of applying to jobs so it’s the perfect time to get back into the habit.

So there you go! I’ll keep you updated on how they are all going. Fortunately, number three will be obvious.

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For tonight’s dinner I had tamales with rice and beans. No dairy to be seen! However, I cannot claim I made the tamales. Trader Joes did, bless their hearts. This is where the help needed part comes in. Since the beginning of December I’ve felt very unmotivated to cook. I still love to eat and what not, but I’ve felt very uninspired. When I do cook, it’s just pasta or vegetables. So I want to know, how do you all get out of a cooking funk? How can I reinstate some desire to cook interesting things? I’ve tried Pinterest without success. So please, bring on your tips!

Look for another post soon, hopefully homemade this time.

Bon appetit!

Spring Semester and More Things with Peanut Sauce

Hello my patient readers! I’ll apologize now for my lack of posts in the last week, but I’d like to think the start of second semester is a worthy excuse. It’s definitely going to be a busy one, with sorority rush, internship applications, study abroad applications, and regular school work. I’m excited to say that I’m actually taking a class on blogging this semester, so maybe there will be some new tricks coming up in future blog posts.

I hope everyones New Year’s resolutions have been going well. I’ve gone to the gym almost every day since coming back to school and I feel as if I’ve been eating healthier. However, it’s restaurant week here in Baltimore so eating out is a must. I’ve already gone to The Dogwood in Hampden, and it was great. I got their vegan caesar salad and a powerhouse sandwich. Both were great.

For those of you who are getting sick of juice cleanses and new diets, I have a great low-carb and delicious meal idea. I think I’ve wrote before about my love for zucchini noodles. And I know I’ve written about my love for peanut butter sauces. So why not combine the two?

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Pad thai is one of my favorite dishes, mostly because of the peanut sauce. So here is my healthy take on peanut sauce. Most recipes I see on the internet have way too much peanut butter, which makes for a sauce high in fat. I think the balance between agave and peanut butter in this version makes for a great sauce. Paired with zucchini and broccoli, this dish becomes a perfect and fast weeknight meal.

Peanut Sauce:

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Ingredients (makes 3/4 cup):

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1/8 cup sesame oil

1/4 cup agave

1 tbsp. water

3/4 tsp. ground ginger

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Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. Taste sauce, add salt and pepper to taste.

This sauce can be refrigerated for about 3 days, just microwave to soften before using.

Zucchini Noodles (individual portion, I used about two tablespoons of the peanut sauce)

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1. Peel one zucchini until you feel the peeler scraping the seeds.

2. Toss the noodles in about a greased saute pan over medium heat for about 4 minutes.

3. While the noodles are cooking, chop the rest of the zucchini and then add this to the noodles.

4. Saute until the zucchini is warmed through but not mushy. It should not be very hot.

5. Toss with peanut sauce and whatever add ins you like. I used broccoli, but edamame, peanuts, bean sprouts etc would all be great.

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These noodles are a go to for me for a low carb way to curb my pasta craving. I plan on trying shirataki noodles next. Anyone have some suggestions for recipes?

Hopefully I won’t drown in reading and will continue to be active on the blog. Also what does everyone think of the white background for the blog? I’m trying a minimalist theme now, but I’d love criticisms or suggestions!

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In The Words of LMFAO, I Work Out!

If you’ve read my introductory post you probably know part of the reason I became vegan was to make better food decisions, while also fighting the weight I put on in college. Right now I’m definitely at a perfect weight and I don’t want you all to think I’m changing it up to lose more weight. But the truth of the matter is I am really out of shape. Ever since I had to stop horse back riding I’ve let myself become lazy and sit around watching romantic comedies instead of going to the gym.

And I really want to be in shape, just for my own self gratification. So first I told myself I was going to try and train for a half marathon. And let me tell you, that is not happening. I blame it mostly on the fact I have sports induced asthma and tendonitis in one ankle but let’s be honest, I also can’t stand running more than a 5k. And I have a feeling a lot of you out there feel the same…

So instead I’m going to start doing yoga, get my ass back to the gym and on the elliptical and do strength exercises during tv shows. If you have ever been on Pinterest I’m sure you’ve seen those workout routines that have you do, say ten squats every time Chuck or Blair say they can’t be together (yes that is a reference to my favorite tv show of all time, Gossip Girl). I tried one of these routines and it actually was a great strength workout. I ended up having to do practically 100 squats. And it burned.

But it’s not just about working out for my journey to being fit. I’m also going to try and stop posting baked good recipes all the time. So get ready for some healthy lunch or dinner ideas coming up.

Like today’s recipe! Spicy tomato, vegetable sauce with rotini. I tried to think of a shorter, more glamorous name but I got nothing. Clearly it’s time for me to go back to school and start creative writing again…

Another special note about this recipe is I made it with my cousin, one of my closest friends. She had made it a bucket list item to get on the blog so here’s my shout out to you, Genna! Thanks for joining with me to make such a healthy delicious dish.CD8U6307

Also, as a precursor for the recipe, if you don’t like heat in your pasta sauce just omit the red pepper flakes and then it will just be a delicious garlicky, red sauce. Also you can choose any time of pasta for this but I would suggest using something like rotini or shells or ziti so they can hold more sauce.

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Easy Spicy Tomato Vegetable Sauce with Rotini

Ingredients:

15-20 cherry tomatos, cut into halves

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced,

1 orange pepper, cut into bite sized pieces

1-2 portobello mushroom caps, sliced

2 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp oregano

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup favorite pasta sauce (only add if you want a saucier sauce) (sorry that’s a terrible description)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 box rotini

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Directions:

1. Heat water on stove.

2. While water is heating, add oil to pan on medium heat. Once the oil is heated add garlic and red pepper flakes.

3. Once the garlic is browned, add tomatos, onion and pepper.

4. Once the tomatos have broken down, add salt, pepper, oregano and mushrooms. Hopefully by this point the water is boiling and the pasta has been added.

5. Once the pasta is cooked, add a quarter cup of pasta water and however much red sauce you want to bring the sauce to the desired consistency.

6. Pour the pasta into the sauce pan with the sauce and cook for a minute or so. Serve immediately.

It’s such an easy sauce and you can really sub in more or less vegetables as you choose.

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What do you all do for fun workouts?

Any dinner or lunch dishes you want me to feature on the blog?

Happy eating!