That’s how these cookies crumble

Good afternoon bloggies!

One thing I love about Saturdays mornings: sleeping in, eating a leisurely breakfast, making a big pot of coffee to sip on all afternoon, and lounging about. What I don’t love: where did the day go!?! It is already 3:30? How did that happen!

Well I can say I did get a lot done today, and by that I mean I super-cleaned my house! I am not kidding. I swept the living room and kitchen, vacuumed the carpeting, mopped the wood floors and kitchen floors, cleaned the stove, countertops, tabletops, and sinks, scrubbed the bath tub and shower, cleaned the toilets, and last, dusted off the furniture. Phew! It smells clean and looks lovely, but I am pooped.

Yet, not tired enough to take a dive into vegan baking!!!

I found these oat cookie recipe on vegweb.com, here is the link: Best Oat Cookies that Ever Existed

And I might have to agree. They are simply delectable. And the best thing: you can go ahead and eat the cookie dough, no worries to be had. There are no raw eggs in it, so you don’t have to even think about getting sick, well maybe worry about a tommy ache if you decide to eat too much of it 😉 I made some alterations, and you can too depending on what you have in your kitchen.

Happy Oat Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon oil
3 tablespoons water
1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp cold water, let sit until it gels)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour + 1/2 cup of oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 

Directions
1. Preheat your oven to 350. First, mix together the sugars, oil, and water.  Add the chia egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
2. Then slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. With a wooden spoon, add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and then stir in the oats.  If it is too thin, let stand a bit so the oats can absorb the excess liquid.  If it gets too dry, add some water and let the oats absorb it for a few minutes.
3. Form cookies by hand into about a palm sized ball and line them onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 13 minutes or more, waiting to see if the bottoms of the cookies have browned.
Let them cool, and enjoy! These are seriously so good. Who thought vegan baking couldn’t work? The chia egg worked beautifully and helped my cookies fluff up nicely.
Well,  it looks like a movie marathon kind of day (with my delicious cookies to accompany me!) :p
Ciao for now! -Mary

A Day to Set Goals

Whats up bloggies?

I am just very nervous, excited, anxious and all sorts of giddy about telling you about my new goal. Once it’s out on the blog, it is for real. No turning back. No backing out. No. Quitting. Whatsoever. And here it is: my friend Lindsey and I are embarking on a great journey together and setting a great, big goal to work towards: Our very first half marathon!!!

I know, it’s serious. I have had my fair share of 5k’s, a 7k called Bloomsday in Spokane, and my first 10k which I have been working towards will be the Dirty Dash in August. But this is the real guy. Not as big and tough as a full-fledged marathon, no, but a teeth-grinder nonetheless. A 13.1 mile run around beautiful Spokane! I’ve marked my calendar: October 9. So, now it’s official. I am ready to do it!

I’ve decided to do a training trek I found on Runner’s World magazine, and its a nine-week program. I will be starting training in 2 weeks. Get ready for lots of posts about running! Don’t you fret, I will try to post as many yummy food posts (try to haha) as I can, but something new to look for 🙂

Ok. Food time. Recent meals consisted of: Green Monsters, (Can’t get enough. Honestly, they are amazing.)

Next, some collard greens. It was really my first encounter with this leafy vegetable. I would have posted the recipe, but they didn’t turn out well. It takes some manpower to cook down the greens I guess, they were very gritty.I will retry and share with you, and modifications are VERY much in need. If they are delicious, I will surely post it!

And last a recipe I want to introduce to you if you haven’t heard of them already. Overnight Oats! An alternative to get your heart-healthy oats in, a cold and chewy delight to wake up to, and just plain yummy.

I originally read this from another blog, found it in a few others, and have been eating them for quite sometime. So I have come to adapt it to my own liking, so you can too. All you need are a few trial-and-error experiences, and you are very ready to go!

Overnight Oats

1/3 cup of rolled oats

1 cup of almond milk, or milk of your choice

1 tablespoon of chia seed

1/2 diced banana

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, combine the dry ingredients first in your favorite bowl. Next, add the milk and bananas, stir, and then stir in some vanilla and if you like it sweet,  add 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup. Now, stick it in the fridge. That’s it! Do this the night before your breakfast and overnight the oats soak up all the goodness so that in the morning, when you dive into your breakfast concoction, you will be eating refreshing, cold and chewy oats. It’s amazing, and it makes your morning so much easier! You can top it with fruit, chopped nuts, peanut butter, you name it.

And its a beautiful thing.

Well, ciao for now! -Mary

Lesson Learned

Hey Hey bloggies!

I am a terrible blogger. Lack of posts = lack of interesting food! I am going to work harder at this. I love writing and working on my health and also blogging, so its something I will put more effort into!

For food, this past week I made some delicious black bean and quinoa burgers from my recent issue of Vegetarian Times. Though absolutely delicious, they weren’t the most photogenic of food items I created. So I will share the recipe and let your imaginations paint delicious looking burgers. They are totally yummy, trust me, but just not the prettiest little things. Here is the link to VT: Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

  • Start off with a cup of quinoa, and cook  it according to instructions, about a 1-to-1 ratio for about 30 minutes.
  • Pull out a big pan and saute 1/2 red onion and garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once softened, add 1 chopped tomato.
  • Add one can of rinsed black beans and 1 and 1/2 cups of water and set to a boil. Boil until most of the water is evaporated, and add spices to your liking. I love mine spicy, so I added some garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt, paprika, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce.
  • One boiled down, add the mixture and but 1/4 cup of the quinoa to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add the mixture to a bowl and then stir in the remaining quinoa and 1/4 cup whole black beans. Let the mixture cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 350, grease a cookie sheet well, and form the bean mixture into patties, about 1/4 cup each. Stick in the oven and cook 20 minutes. Flip, and cook for 10 more minutes. Let them cool and serve however you wish: with a whole grain bun, stuffed into a pita, on top of a mexican salad, plain topped with guacamole, anything you wish 🙂

Enjoy! I ate two of them because they were so delicious, and froze the remaining ones. So good to have quick meals for when you are in a tight time crunch!

In other news…

The reason for the title of my post. Lesson. Learned.

This morning I was in a rush to get to work, making lunch, putting on makeup, not getting burned by my coffee, and cutting up pita bread into triangles, I had a run in with some nice sharp knives from Cut-Co. Very nice knives, super high quality and nice and sharp. Hence, the lesson is don’t rush when handling knives! I cut my pointer finger of my left hand pretty bad with a serrated Cut-Co knife.

One thing I was proud of was how I handled the situation. 1) Oh. My. God. So. Much. Blood. I let my self freak out for about 1 minute, and since I was by myself, I took action. 2) I looked up the closest urgent care center, drove myself over with a towel around my finger, and signed myself in. 3) Three hours, two stitches and a huge bandage later, I made it to work and home, then made dinner, and now I am managing typing this post with one finger less then normal 🙂

So my lesson learned to you: slow down! Even if you are late, accidents that happen because you are speeding around only make you much later then planned.

So for me, no workouts the next two days, no showers for 48 hours, and I am officially excused from dishes tonight 🙂

Well bloggies, hope you have a wonderful Tuesday evening. Thanks for tuning in!

Question: What is one meal you always make when in a time crunch? (Or super easy to make when you only have one hand to use 🙂 )

 

 

 

Blender Love Affair

Good Morning!

I just wanted to show you how my Green Monsters have been going ever since I whipped out my brand new Ninja blender. See below 😉

It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? I want to introduce you to my green smoothie. He is just a down-right lovely sight to see in the morning. So. Green.

Power Peach Kale Green Smoothie

-2 cups of kale

-1 cup of almond milk

-1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

-1 tablespoon wheat germ

-1/2 frozen banana and 1 peach

I am still trying to adjust to kale in my green smoothies. I know they are good to mix up with the usual spinach, but in smoothies they are quite bitter and chewy. Maybe next time I will add some more banana for added sweetness and less kale. Honestly, I stuffed my blender with it. Healthy yes, extremely normal green smoothie tastiness, not quite. Work will be done on the kale ratio for green smoothies.

Oh Ninja, you did good my friend. I blended through my frozen bananas like there was no tomorrow. I often thought my old blender would die when I blended them, but this is just a walk in the park for my new morning friend. I am so excited about it!

I also added half of my sample packet of Amazing Grass Amazing Meal, in the Original blend. I wanted to just “test” the waters with any supplement. I have to say I enjoyed it! I only used half a serving, but the protein kept me full and I could barely taste it as I blended away. Looking at the ingredients and nutrition, I am thinking about investing in some.

In other news, I am learning more and more about preparing tofu. I always reserved my supply for stir-fry’s, but I wanted something more savory with less oil for tonight’s dinner. I realized you can’t really seriously mess up with tofu, you could even eat it raw. I looked up this baked tofu recipe from vegweb.com. Click here for more tofu goodness!

Simple Baked Tofu

It turned out to be so easy and so delicious. The marinade is easy and I had leftovers for the next few nights.

Marinade:

3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

(I added some nutritional yeast for more minerals and vitamins!)

Cut up 1 pound of firm tofu and marinate overnight of for 10 minutes. Set up a wire cooling rack over a pan and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

I enjoyed this with quinoa and the last of this summer’s asparagus. I can’t believe I missed asparagus season! Oh well, they were delicious.

Anyway, I have also been going to Lila Yoga here in Spokane. I have to say, I have just done the introductory two weeks and I am coming up on my second week. I have tried Yin Yoga and Vinyasa. I love them both. I am considering a summer package. Yoga just makes me feel so good, flexible, and strong!

Well, off to work. Ciao for now! -Mary

Back to Blogging!

Hello!

Ahh bloggies, it has been a while, and I have lots to share with you! I just got back from my vacation in Greece, and it was simply amazing. Relaxing, beautiful, warm and sunny, it was just what I needed. I have so much to share with you! I traveled with my sister Liz, brother John, and my father. We spent 10 days in Greece in Athens, Santorini and Mykonos, and I also spent a couple of days at home. I will show you in picture:

Athens

 

Santorini

 

My beautiful family in Mykonos

 

ahhhh paradise!

 

Greece was simply beautiful and amazing.

So now, I have some exciting news to share with you! I invested in a Ninja Professional blender. I am so excited to start using it, and start creating much more beautiful smoothies to share with you! My old blender simply wasn’t cutting it: I was chewing on chunks of greens and I thought it would die sometimes as it blended through my frozen banana. So I am so excited to take much more beautiful pics of much more appealing GM’s!

I also wanted to sample Amazing Grass Amazing Meal powder before investing in the big boy, so I picked up a single packet and will show you as well.

And my most exciting news to share: I entered one of my Green Monster’s to the Green Monster Movement, and Angela featured it! 🙂 I am so proud! So you should check out her site and other reader’s submissions, then submit one of your own! Whoo-hooo!

Well, tomorrow my friends and I are headed to Coeur d’ Alene for some swimming in the lake, fireworks, and great times. Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Ciao for now! -Mary