2.27.2012

Creamy Asparagus Soup

I don't know how the weather is in everyone else's area, but here in Pullman, Washington we got some snow over the weekend and are expected to get more the rest of the week.  When it's not snowing it is as cold as it can get, or almost!  That means it's time for me to make more soup!  For me, there's nothing like a hot bowl of soup, being in sweatpants, with the heater on, with a good movie.  Currently I'm watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  Kevin and I have been working our way through a book he got for Christmas called 501 Must See Movies, and it has been so fun so far.  I especially like the old romances like An Affair to Remember, but I am not looking forward to getting through the horror section.  Now on to my yummy warm soup of the week:

Creamy Asparagus Soup
Ingredients:
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 large bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces, reserve the spear tops
1 T vegetable paste, or 3 bullion cubes
4 c water
2 large leaves of collard greens, stems removed 
and roughly chopped (or other dark lettuce)
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t dried rosemary
1/4 t white pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c mushrooms, roughly chopped (optional, unpictured)

Directions: Begin by water sauteing the onion in a large saucepan.  Once tender, add the chopped asparagus (but not the tops of the spears), and saute for 5 minutes, stirring continually.  Add the water and vegetable paste and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes. Add the drained beans, spices, and chopped collard greens.  Stir continually until the greens are softened.  Using an immersion blender (or a standard blender in batches), puree the soup until creamy. Add in the asparagus tops and chopped mushrooms (optional) and return to a simmer.  Simmer for ten minutes, covered, and stirring occasionally.  Serve and enjoy!
Amy's Notes: This soup can be made with any darker greens that you like other than collard greens, such as kale, mustard greens, or spinach.   It can also be made to be just a creamy soup without the asparagus tips and mushrooms, whatever you like.  This is an awesomely simple soup that really doesn't take much effort because all of the vegetables are roughly chopped and pureed, so no need to be pretty with your chopping.  I definitely love fast soups :)

What movie is on your must-see list?  Are there any soups on your must-make list?

2.22.2012

Greek Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Well it has been quite some time since I posted, and I'm sorry for my delay on telling everyone about my adventures with cauliflower pizza.  As I said in my last post, one weekend when I visited my parents in my hometown we tried making pizza with cauliflower crust.  The crust turned out great, and the toppings even better!  However, the recipe we used for the cauliflower crust pizza had quite a bit of cheese in it (approximately 1/2 c per serving), so I decided to try to make a more nutritarian-friendly cauliflower pizza crust.  I tried using silkened tofu as my hold-together ingredient to replace the cheese, and replaced the egg that the original recipe called for with a flax egg.  My recipe did not turn out so great.  It wouldn't spread across the pan very easily, so it was thicker than the original cheese one and turned out more like a casserole than a pizza.  Oh well, I still ate it because the toppings are downright delicious!  

If you would like a vegan cauliflower crust recipe that looks a little more successful than mine, try Happy Go Lucky Vegan's cauliflower crust.  I'll be using her recipe next time I give it a try.  If cauliflower crust doesn't seem like your thing, stick with a whole wheat pita or other pizza crust and load it up with healthy plant-strong toppings!  Here is my favorite topping combo (and pictures of the original cauliflower crust).

Greek Pizza
(serves 4)
Ingredients:
Pesto:
3 c fresh packed basil
1 c walnuts, unsalted
1/2 c almond milk
2 cloves garlic
1/2 t white pepper
1/2 t black pepper
salt to taste

Toppings:
1 can artichoke hearts, canned in water
1/4 c kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 red onion, thinly chopped
several mushrooms, roughly chopped

Directions:  Prepare and bake the crust as specified by your recipe.  In a food processor, combine the ingredients for the pesto sauce and process until creamy and smooth.  Smear the pesto onto the pizza crust and pile on the toppings.  Broil on high for 10-15 minutes, or until the toppings begin to brown.  Allow to cool, serve, and enjoy!

Amy's Notes:  Below is how our pizza crust process went:


Hopefully my pizza cauliflower experience has given you inspiration to give it a try!  I know I'm looking forward to making it again sometime soon.

What are your favorite pizza toppings?  (Oh, and do you like the new design of my blog title?)

2.14.2012

Happy Valentines Day, Learning to Love Yourself

Happy Valentines Day to all!  I hope you are taking today to realize who is important in your life and to appreciate them accordingly.  This could mean getting them flowers, treating them to something they've been wanting, or, my favorite, cooking them a wonderful healthful meal!

Personally, I don't have much of a liking for Valentines day.  I think it usually ends in overspending to show your affection when you could just spend time together, or it ends in disappointment.  I have found that if I never have any expectations for this day, I am usually pleasantly surprised.  Last Valentine's Day Kevin and I took a stab at making fried calamari, which turned out fine, but is not something I would eat now.  This year we are going with a group of friends to trivia night at a local brewery, then Kevin and I are going to my place to make cauliflower crust pizza (recipe to come in another post).  

This weekend when I visited Spokane, my mom and I tried making cauliflower crust greek pizza that turned out marvelous!  The only problem was that it was not a very "nutritarian-friendly" recipe.  It included 2 cups of shredded mozzarella and two eggs per 4 servings.  So tonight, I am going to try to nutritarian-ify it (I will have whole wheat pitas on standby).  For my side of the pizza I will be having greek ingredients, while Kevin will have his side with meat and cheese, but he'll have to have a salad on the side!  I'll be posting this recipe in the next few days depending on how things go :)

Valentine's Day should not just focus on others, but also on learning to love yourself.  This has been a struggle for me over the years.  In the past it has been so easy to find flaws within myself, especially physically.  All through high school I never felt like the pretty and skinny girl, but when I look back now at pictures I think: "What the hell was I thinking!?  I was in such better shape back then than I am now!"  It has made me realize that I need to love who I am right now, and not to focus on my flaws I want to change.

One such "flaw" I've focused on has been my weight.  In the past, I have always been focused on that perfect number I thought I wanted to be at, which is frankly exhausting and not a healthy way to think.  Then just this morning, I had realized that I hadn't weighed myself since nearly New Years (where I was pretty high after the holidays), so I hopped on and saw that I was six pounds lower than the last time I weighed.  It felt good to know that I had been making at least some of the right choices.  This number however means less to me than it used to, a more exciting thing that happened this week was that I fit more comfortably into a pair of my skinny jeans, now that's something to celebrate about!

Another thing about loving yourself is to do things for yourself to show how much you do care about your mental and physical health.  Here are 10 things I love to do for myself to show that I love me (in no particular order):
1.  Spend time stretching and meditating to my favorite music:
I love yoga and pilates while listening to Amos Lee, Ray LaMontagne, and Adele.

2.  Set aside time to do my hair so that I feel special and pretty:
I've been trying hair styles from this blog now that my hair is getting longer.

3.  Paint my nails so that I feel unique and fun:
I've been trying out new colors to see what I want to use for my wedding day, like this, this, and this one.

4.  Remove temptations of things I should do less, like drinking alcohol and eating non-nutritarian foods:
I've been putting wine, beer, and liquor out of site unless it is a special occasion, and have removed most of the processed, unhealthy foods out of the apartment.

5.  Treat myself to a hot un-caffinated drink to give myself that fuzzy warm feeling:
Today I am having hot green tea with honey for my slightly sore throat.

6.  Exercise my body, cardio and strength:
Yesterday I did ten miles on the exercise bike, and leg and core workouts.  Tomorrow it will be power walking uphill with arm and core workouts.

7.  Let myself depend on and love others:
I try to ask for help when I need it, which has been hard for me to do in the past.  And show Kevin that I love and appreciate him every day.

8.  Keep promises to myself:
When I say that I'm going to clean the kitchen or my room, I do it, and I always feel so good when it's done.

9.  I complement myself daily:
"Wow Amy, you are so good in the kitchen, I think you could even get a polar bear to eat nutritarian!"
or
"Go you for looking great in those jeans!"

10.  I forgive myself:
I forgive my mistakes of the past with school, friends, or boyfriends.  
I also forgive myself for the bad food choices I make, and do better the next day.

What do you like to do to show love to yourself?

2.13.2012

Sweet Vegetable Curry (with eggplant)

Hope everyones weekend was good.  I know for me, I feel refreshed and ready to take on a much less daunting week than the last.  I took a quick trip to Spokane to get away for a bit and see some friends.  While I was in town, my mom and I got a chance to whip up a couple of great recipes.  Here is one of them, that uses my remaining eggplant from this recipe:

Sweet Vegetable Curry (with Eggplant)

Ingredients:
1 eggplant
1 onion, halved and sliced
2 bell peppers (any colors), cut into large chunks
1 can light coconut milk
1tsp-1T curry paste or powder, to taste
1 t coriander
1 t saffron or tumeric
1 t minced ginger
1/2 t dried basil, or 2 T minced fresh basil
cayenne pepper, to taste
1 can pineapple chunks, reserve juice
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
cooked rice of choice

Directions:  Peel and slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices.  Using a George Forman grill, grill the eggplant slices until tender and slightly seared.  Remove from grill, and let cool.  Cut into one inch slices.


In a large skillet on high heat, saute the onion and peppers until slightly tender.  Next, add in the can of light coconut milk and all spices including the curry and ginger.  Mix until sauce is well combined, bring to a simmer.  Simmer for five minutes, then add the eggplant, pineapple chunks and juice, and garbanzo beans.  Allow to heat thoroughly, then serve on top of rice.

Amy's Notes:  I did not have much eggplant leftover to use in this recipe, so feel free to use as much or as little eggplant as you wish, or eliminate it completely if you don't have any available.  For sauteing the vegetables, I used a misto to coat the pan, then stirred continually.  I made sure not to overcook the vegetables because they added a nice crunch to the finished recipe.  Use as much or as little curry powder/paste as you like.  We used about a Tablespoon of green curry paste, and ours ended up being very spicy, but still delicious. The rice we served it over was called madagascar pink rice.  It had a great chew to it, and the color was beautiful with the yellow-orange curry. 

I know I enjoy spice, and enjoy that it makes me drink more water, how spicy do you like your food to be?  Also, what is the most interesting grain that you've tried lately?

2.10.2012

Grilled Eggplant Veggie Wraps

I have had very little experience with cooking eggplant.  In my first days as a nutritarian I attempted to make ratatouille, but the eggplant was the one thing I picked out and threw away.  I think it turned out so badly because I undercooked it.  When I found a nice eggplant at my grocery store for 98 cents per eggplant, I knew I had to give eggplant another try!  It has sat in my fridge for a day or two until I got up the courage to try to do something with it.  Then, I found this recipe while looking through pintrist and got all the inspiration and courage I needed!  I followed the grilling preparation of the linked recipe, but put my own twist on what went inside the eggplant wrap.  I hope you enjoy!

Grilled Eggplant Veggie Wraps
Serves about 2
Ingredients:
1 eggplant, prep instructions below
salt
3-5 mushrooms, sliced
2 stalks green onion, cut every 2 inches
fresh spinach leaves
several grape tomatoes, sliced in half
your choice of hummus, I used ANK's Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Directions: An hour and a half before mealtime, cut lengthwise down one third of the eggplant, and save the one third that has been cut off for another meal.  With the remainder of the eggplant, cut the same side into very thin slices down the entirety of the eggplant.  Stop slicing when the other one third of the eggplant is left, also reserve this for another meal.  (So, by doing this, only the center 1/3rd of the eggplant, which is the longest part, has been made into thin slices for the wraps, and the rest of the outer 2/3rds  are being saved for use in another recipe.)  

Next, rub down each size of the eggplant slices lightly with salt (this will be washed off later, and very little of the salty taste will remain in the finished wrap) and place them in a strainer in the sink.  I just learned that this is called purging, where the salt draws out the bitter taste that is in eggplants, and I found that it made the eggplants much more rollable for wraps.  Allow the salted eggplant slices to purge for about one hour.
During this time you can prepare your ingredients for wrapping by cutting the green onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms.  If desired, water saute the mushrooms in a skillet.

When the eggplant is done purging, under cool water rinse the slices of eggplant, while rubbing them to get as much of the salt off as possible.  Using an outside grill, or a George Forman-like grill, grill each side of the eggplant for 5-8 minutes.  The key is to not undercook the eggplant.  If it doesn't have some burn marks, it's not done.  Eggplant tastes much better when slightly overcooked than if you were to undercook it.
Once the eggplant has been grilled, smear on the hummus, pile on the veggies, and wrap it up.  I found that it held nicely together when I used a toothpick.  Serve with a side salad and enjoy!

Amy's Notes: This is more of a weekend recipe because waiting for the eggplant to purge took a while.  The veggies that I put on my wrap were what sounded good to me, so feel free to put whatever you would like on yours.  Next time I try this I think the combination of garlic hummus, kalamata olves, basil, and some steamed kale, sounds amazing!

Do you have a favorite nutritarian/plant strong eggplant recipe I should try with my 2/3 remaining eggplant not used in this recipe?

2.08.2012

Whole Grains.... Quite Rare in Processed Foods

I find it funny when the same ideas or topics tend to come up in seemingly separate, unconnected parts of our lives.  For example, sometimes in my classes that are of very different subjects, we will end up discussing or learning similar things within the same week of each other.  This topic deja-vu happened to me just this week.  After coming home from my stressful day on Tuesday, my roommate was hosting a friend for dinner and they were sitting around the dinner table with wine and chit-chatting.  I ended up in their conversation and it eventually led to talking about this blog.  I had to explain what a nutritarian is, and then got asked a question I had no idea to answer: "So if I try to cut meat out of my diet, I go straight for replacing it with bread and pastas, which I know isn't that great for me either, what should I do?"

I didn't know how to answer this because I am now not a big bread or pasta person.  I occasionally have it in the form of pitas, sandwich thins, pizza dough, and sometimes pasta with tomato sauce, but that's about it.  The best idea I could think of was to suggest that if she does want bread or pasta, or tends to overeat it, try making these not the main focus of your meal.  For example, use sandwich thins separately and pile a bunch of veggies on each side with some hummus, or maybe mix one cup of noodles to every one cup of veggies.  Both those ideas will fill you up more, while also satisfying your bread/pasta craving.  


Instead of just this
<--------------- 



Try all of this
---------------->





Another piece of advice that I gave her was to, when she was wanting to eat a processed grain such as bread or pasta, try to go with the ones made completely with whole grains.  This is where the weird connection comes in....  Then today I got an email from the Center for Science in the Public Interest about Whole Grains in the news, and that the FDA is now deciding how food companies can label their foods with regards to whole grains.  Here is the article, with a summarizing video at to bottom.

I know that going to the grocery store and walking through the isles with fancy packaging claiming "this and this is healthy", and "that and that is healthy", it can be downright confusing and frustrating.  Here are some of the strategies that I follow to wade through all of the packaging BS (taken from The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn):

1.)  Never believe the claims on the outside of a package or box.

2.)  Read the nutritional information box as well as the ingredients list of every product.

3.)  The first ingredient listed on the ingredients list needs to be "whole-" followed by the type of grain such as whole wheat, whole oats, whole rye, etc.

In general, I still eat more whole grains themselves, instead of products made from whole grains.  I love quinoa, barley, oats, and wheat berries, and I've been recently been loving long grain black rice.

What ways do you like to bring whole grains into your diet?  Have you ever fallen for the packaging of some processed foods claiming that they are more "whole-grainy" than they actually are?

2.07.2012

Stressful week, and Need for Meditation

It has been a stressful week so far for me, and we aren't even halfway through yet!  This week is the first round of mid-terms for me, meaning that each class I have gives out three exams throughout the semester, and they usually end up on the same week.... this is one of those weeks for me.  The worst of it is done after today of being on campus from 9 am to probably 9 pm, and I'm already done with the my biggest exam of the week: Molecular Genetics.  You might be wondering, "But Amy, aren't you an Environmental Science major with a focus on water systems?  Why on earth would you need to know genetics down to the molecular level?"  Believe me, imaginary-blog-reading-person-who-prompts-me-with-exactly-what-I-want-to-rant-about.... I've been wondering the same thing.  For those of you who don't know, I'm a senior at Washington State University and will be graduating with an Environmental Science degree in May, granted I pass all of my remaining requirements this semester.  One of the requirements for my major is an upper-division biology, specifically molecular genetics.  It is a remarkable subject that is very relevant for many majors at the school like medical fields, molecular biology, bioengineering, etc.... but in my opinion, not EnviSci!  It has been exhausting to try to learn all of the particular terms for molecules, enzymes, and proteins, all while knowing that the second I graduate I will never think about these things again.  So frustrating!  

Please excuse my rant, the subject has been a source of frustration for me that has seemed to accumulate the past few and burst into a blog post today.  I know that when I'm stressed like this I sometimes look to food for comfort and relaxation.  My excuse would be that "eating on days like this is the only time that I get to relax, so I'm going to eat what I want."  I know that this is an unhealthy thought process, and I'm working on it... starting today.  I have packed a healthy lunch and dinner for being away from home all day to prevent me from spending money at the fast food restaurants on campus and wasting my money and my health.  I'm also making sure to stay hydrated throughout the day so that I don't get home starving for something to quench my thirst that is mistaken for hunger.  

What are your strategies of keeping to a healthy plan when you are busy and stressed out?


2.05.2012

Hashbrowns with Veggies and Vegan Hollandaise Sauce

On the weekends I love to eat a larger brunch meal that serves as my breakfast and lunch for the day.  Because it covers two meals, I of course like to make something with a bit more effort.  This weekend I was particularly craving hashbrowns with veggies and hollandaise sauce.  In un-nutritarian hollandaise sauce the ingredients would typically include: egg yolks, butter, lemon juice, and spices.  Because the main ingredients are not in my diet, I knew this was going to be challenging.  I searched online for vegan hollandaise sauce recipes and did not find ones that I could make, as they required ingredients that I don't usually keep on hand.  I am not a fan of SAD (Standard American Diet) vegan substitutes such vegan cheese, vegan margarine, and vegan mayo.  I find that they do not taste very good in the first place, and definitely nothing like what they are substituting.  They often times have just as much fat in the vegan option as they do in the SAD original, so I like to avoid these in my everyday cooking.  Included in the recipe below was my version of a hollandaise sauce, but feel free to use your own favorite recipe instead, or just top your hashbrowns with ketsup, salsa, hot sauce, or whatever you prefer.

Hashbrowns with Veggies and Vegan Hollandaise Sauce
Ingredients: (serves 2)
4 small or 2 medium white potatoes, peeled and shredded
2 c mixed cut veggies, your preference
1/4 c non-dairy milk
1/3 c garbonzo beans, or 1/4 c plain hummus
2 T nutritional yeast
1 T mustard
1/4 t tumeric
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 t cumin
Directions: Once the potatoes have been peeled and shredded (I shredded mine in my food processor that has a shredding blade), place the shredded potato in a cheese cloth or thin towel and squeeze out as much excess liquid as you can.  
Prepare a large skillet by heating it over medium heat and spraying it well with a misto (or use very little oil to coat).  Put your shredded potatoes into the skillet and push it to meet the sides and lay flat on the pan.  
While one side is frying (for about 10 minutes), place the non-dairy milk, garbanzo beans, nutritional yeast, mustard, tumeric, cayenne pepper, and cumin in a small food processor, and process until smooth and creamy.  Add salt and pepper to the hollandaise sauce as desired.  
In a separate small skillet, water saute the veggies (I used veggies from my Mexi-salad) until tender.  
Flip the hashbrowns once the bottom is as crispy as you wish.  Allow this side to cook for another 10 minutes or until crispy.   
When done, cut the hashbrowns down the middle with a pizza cutter and place on plates.  Top each with the sauted veggies and the hollandaise sauce.  Enjoy your awesome breakfast!

Amy's Notes: As I said earlier, I used my large food processor to shred the potatoes, and I found that they turned a little pink.  I was thinking my potatoes had gone bad, even though I had just bought them, but I did a bit of research and found that this website explains the phenomenon very well:

"When you cut into the potato, you damage the cell walls that keep everything nice and tidy. The phenols and the enzymes meet the oxygen coming in from the outside world, causing a chemical reaction to take place. This chemical reaction results in - you guessed it - pink potatoes.
This discoloration isn't harmful to us and you can still eat those potatoes - it can just be a bit off-putting to serve a plate of pink potatoes! FYI: This is actually the exact same chemical reaction that makes apples, bananas, and other fruits turn brown and mushy."
So fear not!  Your potatoes are just fine if they turned a little pink like mine did.  Also, feel free to use whatever veggies you want to put on the hashbrowns!  I used my Mexi-salad I made in my last blog post, and some napa cabbage that I've had in my fridge.  I bet onions and mushrooms would be an awesome veggie topping for this!

What is your opinion of food substitutes like soy cheese, vegan cream cheese, and vegan mayo?  Are they really worth how much they tend to cost?
Hash Browns

2.04.2012

ANK Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I will keep this blog post short, as I am about to work out before I shower and get ready for my hot date tonight with Kevin for our early anniversary dinner.  He's taking me out to Sangria in Moscow, Idaho, which has some of the best foods I have EVER eaten!  When we've gone before we split baby clams in garlic broth for an appetizer and a pitcher of their wonderful sangria.  Kevin generally has their Seafood Paella that has such a wonderful basil aroma to it, and I have the King and I Shrimp and Chicken, minus the chicken and double the veggies that has a spicy sweet peanut sauce.  Just wonderful food, and I can't wait to celebrate one of the best years of my life with the person I love most in the world.

I have had a bunch of frozen garbanzo beans I've been meaning to use, so I thought a yummy hummus for Super Bowl sounded like the best use for them.  I also had some red peppers I knew I was saving for something good, and this was it.  Hope you enjoy :)

ANK's Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Ingredients:
2 c garbanzo beans
1-2  red bell peppers
1/4 c tahini
1 T sesame oil
1/2 t chili oil
1 T chili powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t paprika
1/4 t white pepper
salt to taste
Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Place the whole red bell peppers on a foiled baking sheet and place in preheated oven.  Turn the peppers every 5-10 minutes until each side is well roasted and slightly blackened.  Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.  Pierce the bottom of each pepper over the sink and allow for any excess liquid to drain out.  Then peel the skins of the peppers from the flesh and remove the stem and seeded portion.  In a large food processor,  puree the garbanzo beans until very crumbly.  Add the roasted peppers, takini, oils, and spices and process until creamy and well mixed.  Taste and add more spices to the desired taste.  Enjoy dipping veggies and chips in this flavorful hummus!

Amy's notes: This recipe makes quite a lot of hummus, so I'm saving some for me and taking the rest to Kevin's Super Bowl party tomorrow.  Hope everyone enjoys themselves "nutritarian-ly" tomorrow! :) 

What is the restaurant with the best food you've ever eaten?  Where was it and what did you have there?

2.02.2012

Amy's SuperBowl XLVI Guacamole

Happy Groundhog Day to everyone!  Unfortunately, news sources have reported that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, and there will be six more weeks of winter.  That's too bad, but in six weeks I will be on Spring Break in Vegas, so the warm weather will be even more welcomed!  Last Groundhog Day, Kevin introduced me to the movie Groundhog Day.  It's a very cute and funny older movie that will now become Kevin and my GhD tradition!

Now on to the SUPERBOWL!  Whether you are a Giants fan, a Patriots fan, or have no idea who is playing, you have got to be excited for Super Bowl festivities!  This is a day that revolves around at least two of the seven deadly sins: gluttony and sloth (pride, wrath, and envy depending on how big of football fan you are and who wins).  It is a day of excess and laziness that is participated in by millions of Americans.  But what do nutritarians do this day?  We eat health promoting foods in excess and stay away from SAD (Standard American Diet that promotes Western Diseases) foods, and we stay active!

Amy's Strategies to avoid overeating and being lazy this Sunday:

1.  Drink water!  Super Bowl Sunday is often a day that a lot of drinking alcohol is involved.  Whether your poison is light beer, dark beer, wine, scotch, coke & rums, martinis, or margaritas, alcohol is not health promoting (Ok maybe red wine is, but I haven't done any research on this yet!).  I know that I will have my beer or two during the game, I am a college student and often times it is part of the atmosphere that I enjoy.  I particularly love the tastes of dark and IPA beers, so I will indulge in this.  But, my strategy between every beer is to drink at least one big glass of water!  This will help to hydrate you throughout the day, especially if you are drinking alcohol or eating any saltier foods.

2. Stay on your feet! Feel free to be active while watching the game!  Be the person to get other people refills of drinks or food, take trash or dishes to the kitchen, jump up when there's an awesome play, heck, just stand and watch the game!  The more you're moving, the more calories you'll burn, so stand and move!

3. Bring the healthy option! If you are hosting the party, lucky you!  You get to choose most of what is fed at the party, so take advantage of this by providing delicious and healthy options.  If you are going to a Super Bowl party, bring the healthy option!  Veggie trays are always appreciated by hosts, and even more so, healthy dips for chips and those veggies!  Limit yourself to the other food if you think it's not the best for you, but eat as much as you want of what you brought; you know what goes into it!

Here is the healthier option I am bringing to Kevin's Super Bowl party this year (I'm also bringing some vegan chili for myself, because I think everyone else is having a bigger main meat dish that I won't want to eat).

Super Bowl XLVI Guacamole and Mexi-salad!


Ingredients: 
4 medium avacados
2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
2 orange bell peppers, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded
fresh or concentrated lime juice
1 bunch cilantro
rice vinegar
1/4 t paprika
1/4 t cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Directions:  In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup each of chopped red onion, red bell pepper, and orange bell pepper.  Place the remainder of the chopped red and orange bell pepper into a bowl, and the red onion into yet another separate bowl.  In a small food processor, add the peeled garlic cloves, seeded jalapeno, and a large handful of the cilantro (mostly stems removed).  Process until well minced.  Add the minced garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro to the bowl with 1/4 cup of the rest of the ingredients.  Roughly chop the rest of the cilantro and add it to the bowl of red onions only.  To this bowl, add 2 teaspoon of lime juice,  1 t of rice vinegar, 1/4 t paprika, and 1/4 t cayenne pepper.  Stir and allow to marinade.  Next, cut the avacados and scoop the soft, green flesh into the food processor (no need to clean it out from the last chopping), and process until creamy smooth.  Place the mashed avacados in a medium sized bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of lime juice and 3 teaspoons of rice vinegar and stir in well.  Then, add the bowl with 1/4 c of everything and the minced jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro to the mashed avacados.  Fold in well and add salt to desired taste for the guacamole.  In another large bowl, combine the red onion and cilantro with the chopped peppers to make the mexi-salad.  Serve these with pita chips and veggies to scoop and dip.  Enjoy Super Bowl XLVI!

Pictures of separate bowls, and what to combine:
Amy's Notes: I love my guacamole to be a bit chunkier with veggies, so when I tried out some of this guacamole yesterday, I added a bunch of the mexi-salad to it and scooped it up with celery and pita chips, YUM!  In this recipe you can add any veggies that you like.  Usually you might find some tomatoes in the guacamole, but I omitted them this time because none of the tomatoes at my grocery store were a good price, or looked very good.  Saving money and being versatile with recipes is all what I'm about!
What's your bad eating temptation during Super Bowls and what are you going to do this year to change that?

2.01.2012

Chia Berry Oatmeal

Sometimes I forget how great breakfast can be!  Usually I get up with just enough time in the morning to get ready and grab a banana as I run out the door.  Ok, so not the healthiest routine, but I'm working on it.  This morning I got up well over an hour before I had to leave for the bus to campus (and I need only 20 minutes to get ready to go), so I spent some of my extra time whipping up this quick and delicious oatmeal, then I spent some time in bed with my computer learning how Pinterest works.  

I was recently invited to it by my sister-in-law, who is also one of my bridesmaids and has been helping me tons with ideas for the wedding, Thanks Katie!  She thought Pintrist would be a great spot to keep all of my wedding ideas and dreams from things I see at online wedding websites.  She has sent me many helpful links to DIY sites and example weddings; this is what her, and now I, refer to as "wedding porn." Hehe.  Other than wedding stuff, Pintrist has been a great spot for me to keep track of a bunch of recipes I've tried and loved, or recipes I want to try.  To find my boards on Pintrist go to this link and follow me if you want to keep track of what I'm loving in the nutritarian (or wedding idea) world.  

Chia Berry Oatmeal

Ingredients: (serves 1)
1 T chia seeds
1/3 c almond milk
1/2 c oats
2/3 c water
1 c berries

Directions:  The night before serving, or at least 1 hour before serving, mix the chia seeds into the almond milk in a small glass and let sit.  In a good sized, microwaveable bowl, layer 1/2 c of the berries on the bottom, then the dry oats, and then add the water.  In a microwave, microwave on high for three minutes.  Carefully remove from the microwave and stir.  The oatmeal should be a lovely (depending on your type of berry)-color.  Pour the almond milk and chia seed mix on top and a couple more fresh berries.  Enjoy!

Amy's notes:  I microwaved my oatmeal, but this recipe could be easily done on the stovetop.  For my oatmeal this morning I used just blackberries, but any sort of berry would work great.  It would be even better with a variety of berries in one oatmeal if you have the fruit available!  My favorites would be: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, seeded cherries, or even pomegranates!
Thankfully I am a person that enjoys sweet breakfasts more than salty/savory, because I have no idea how to translate an omlette or other egg dish into a nutritarian option.  My favorite breakfasts (on weekends and for more of a brunch), used to be eggs benedict with hashbrowns.  My favorite thing about eggs benedict would have to be the hollandaise sauce.  I think I will work on making this into a better nutritarian option.  I believe I have found my challenge for the weekend! :)

What types of breakfasts do you enjoy?  Do you have any experience with egg-like nutritarian breakfasts?