Monday, November 30, 2009

Chili Secrets

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, mine was busy getting a lot accomplished at the house but overall just what was needed! With Christmas right around the corner I am unsure if I want to put the tree up just yet with all the craziness of the kitchen remodel going on.

I made some Vegetarian Chili for myself and some meaty chili for the meat eaters. Here are some pictures of my delicious chili:

                           (melted Rice cheese & Tofutti Sour Cream accompanies chili & 7 grain pasta)

Vegetarian Chili
1 package (1 lb) of veggie crumbles
the usual veggies (as much or as little as you like)
(tomato, onion, green pepper & celery)
Carrots are optional but delicious
tomato juice/sauce
lots of chili powder, garlic

I have 3 special ingredients that I believe give the chili more flavor............. are you ready?????

Onion soup mix
Beef/Veggie Broth
Beer! (usually an entire can)

Meaty chili! Looks good enough to eat ;) haha...
(1.50 lbs Ground Chuck)
We will be eating chili for the next few days!! I am completely okay with that :)

Another product that I have been using from Avon for the past year is ANEW Rejuvenate 2-in-1 Gel Cleanser.

This product is fabulous and I use it daily. It smoothes fine lines, brightens dull skin and refines pores. It is to help the premature signs of aging. Never hurts to start young!

Hoping to try some new recipes this week, and hoping the try some vegetarian sushi soon and stick with it from now on. My inspiration for the week:

"If slaughter houses had glass walls everyone would be a vegetarian."


Monday, November 23, 2009

Kabocha Squash Soup & Spaghetti

I made Kabocha Squash Soup over the weekend and I got the recipe from the book, The Kind Diet.

I cut up one Kabocha Squash (not an easy task), peeling the green skin was tough. It yielded approx. 4 1/2 cups of squash, I added 3 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of fine sea salt brought to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. I mashed it with a masher and continued to cook another 10 minutes or so. This soup is so naturally delicious, I would assume making any type of squash soup the same way. Here is my finished product with fresh parsley sprinkled on top...

I also made Spaghetti over the weekend - Vegetarian spaghetti that is.

1 lb. of Smart Ground (veggie crumbles)
1 green pepper
fresh garlic, basil & italian seasoning
tomato paste/sauce/juice

I put these together and cooked for about 15 minutes, also had whole wheat spaghetti noodles.

Very simple basic vegetarian meal that everyone can enjoy! I recommend using the veggie crumbles in chili & spaghetti dishes and see if anyone even notices ;)

I hope everyone has a very Healthy & Happy Thanksgiving!!


Good Vegan Eatin'

I would like to introduce the "Green Lemonade" that I have been throwing into my juicer for breakfast. I usually make a pitcher of it and drink a glass each morning until it is gone. I will make it generally once a month.

Green Leafy Vegetables... this is what was in this glass:
Kale or any green leafy veggie (I used kale & collard greens)
1 head of Romaine
1-2 Apples (I use Fiji) for sweetness
1 lemon - gets rid of the "gritty or green" taste

I got this recipe from the Raw Food Detox Diet book. You don't have to peel the lemon just throw it all in the juicer- peel and all. This is so full of live-enzymes and easy absorbable for our bodies, plus imagine eatting all of that in the morning, if we juice it we get all those leafy greens in us that have been absorbing sunshine in minutes! I really do enjoy this, I think adding in the lemon is brilliant, I have tried juicing spinach before I had this recipe, and let me tell you the lemon really helps that green flavor dissapear.

I made my trip to Outpost Natural Foods and here are my goodies:

Organic Raw Blue Agave, Stevia, Veganaise, Sea Salt, Veggie Broth, Tofutti "Sour Cream", Rice cheese, Peanut Butter, Seaweed Salas, Zevia Natural Soda, Brown Rice & Quinoa. This was not a cheap trip to the grocer!! Ha Ha... hopefully most of this stuff will last me awhile! :)

That night I made Vegan Bean Burritos - and they were fantastic!

I simply took one can of organic pinto beans (drained & rinsed) cover with water in a pot and bring to a boil (I add chili powder & garlic powder) reduce heat and mash the beans, I added 1 slice of "rice" cheese waited for that to melt (it was fantastic)!

Ezekial tortilla
pinto beans & black beans
organic leafy greens
Tofutti "sour cream"
mashed avacado

I could eat these once a week. I try to eat as many vegan meals as possible lately, the hard part is getting new ideas.. I will be making Kabocha Squash Soup soon, which I am excited to do!
I am kind of anxious about Thanksgiving, on what I should eat, I can fill up on stuffing, cranberry, potatoes, & green bean caserole just fine - I know I will not eat any turkey. I guess I am just concerned about what else is could be in the side dishes, how much butter, milk, cheese etc.. that I am trying to stay away from. I would make my own but I have my entire kitchen being remodeled right now. Hopefully it will be done before Christmas!! :)


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reading Material.

Today is a very gloomy, rainy day in Wisconsin. Makes you want to cuddle up in a blanket & sip hot chocolate however, we would change that to sipping caffiene free - green tea!

I wanted to show you this Avon product that I absolutely love and have been using for the past year or so....

          ANEW Clinical Eye Lift

The under eye cream is white and the upper eye cream is orange. This stuff works wonders! It gets rid of under eye " dark circles" or "bags" and gives you a lift, it's like a eye lift in a container! Instantly adds moisture to the eye area reducing wrinkles. I would also like to point out that Avon does not test any of their products on animals and their products do not include any animal by-products. If you are interested in purchashing from Avon, I am a Representative click here to view my Avon Online Shop.... Nichole's Avon the eye lift is one of Avon's best sellers so you could click on that to find more details.

Here are a few of my favorite reads lately....

 Skinny Bitch (my first vegan book, inspired me to go vegetarian in the first place).

Eat to Live
by Dr. Joel Fuhrman - fantastic read, explains a lot  

 Just finished reading The Kind Life
by Alicia Silverstone, loved her recipes in the back of the book.

Those are my recent inspirations for my diet. I highly recommend these books! I also just started reading the Twilight saga books, I saw the movie but I am loving the book, I can not put it down! I am anxious to see New Moon but I think I will wait until some of the hype dies down & the theatre will not be so crowded then.

I am also proud to say that I joined a Co-op with Outpost Natural Foods, which is the closest organic food store to me. By joining I will be able to save money on certain sale items along with many other benefits - besides supporting my local organic farmers!  I am considered an "owner" now! :)

I would say Whole Foods in downtown Milwaukee is my favorite organic food store (larger, more options to choose from) however Outpost is closer to my home.

I have been doing really well on my meals, because I have to get to work in the morning I generally do not eat a large breakfast on the weekdays, a piece of fruit usually does the trick for me. Lately it has been a banana or a Fiji apple. Lunch can generally be a sub on whole wheat bread, no cheese, loaded with veggies and honey mustard dressing from Subway. I bought some Tofutti "sour cream" and rice "cheese" to help in my transition to eating more vegan foods. I will be making some bean burritos soon with these! Wish me luck! :)

Check out this Progresso Giveaway on my beautiful cousin Justine's blog!!


P.S.  I just bought a stainless steel green bottle - can anyone else taste/smell a difference in the water in these things? I certainly can and I am not sure how I feel about it!!! I love the cute bottle and design but I thought the whole issue with plastic bottles was the crap seeping into the water your drinking, well what about the metal taste - can that be good??? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Since January 2009 I have been a pescetarian, which means I am not a vegetarian because I eat fish; however I do not eat any other animal. I have been "flirting" with the idea of becoming vegan, however that maybe a very hard step for me to take. I thought a blog might help me with sharing ideas and getting ideas & putting more effort into my meals and share them as well. For the past year I have been using plenty of meat substitutes that have kept me fulfilled with any meaty "cravings" I might be having. I want to take the next step of cooking with whole grains as my staple food instead of the soy protein/meat substitutes/fish.

Definition of flirting: to court triflingly or act amorously without serious intentions. I say flirting because I may or may not have serious intentions depending on how my body reacts to my food "experiments". I was told by some friends that I have to throw away all my leather belts, jackets, shoes etc.. if I want to be vegan, I am not ready to throw things away because of my new chosen diet lifestyle, I understand completely and I am going to do my best for future purchases to buy animal friendly and non-cruelty purchases, but to throw away stuff I am getting use out of now seems ridiculously silly. I am only making these changes for myself, not to impress anyone or make anyone upset because I am not fully a vegan or fully a vegetarian, it's my life and my decisions on what I want to put into my body. I love to eat cheese, I am trying to keep myself from buying my usual sharp cheddar by the block like I usually do.

Since my new found pescetarianism I have lost 15lbs. I was hitting the gym a lot harder during the winter and spring months and summer I was barely ever at the gym, doing more running outside and trying to keep active outside rather than inside the gym. I am about 5'2 and currently 119lbs. Beginning of the year (2009) I was around 135lbs. I slowly lost the weight and kept it off due to my new eating habits, and I can honestly say it is not just due to cutting the red meat out of my diet, it was an overall change of my eating habits. I prepare most of my food at home, try to eat as much raw fruits and veggies as possible. Also avoiding fast food at all costs, except my veggie subs which are delicious!

I figured a blog is a neat way to meet people interested in cooking healthy & sharing ideas. I am trying to balance all the things I love along with my full time career, my loving family, fitness, and my love for fashion - so naturally I love to shop and love reading about fashion trends.

I am hoping to have lots of interesting recipes to share with you all! All while experiencing new foods myself.

Hope you have a great day!