Favorite Pins of the Week (4)

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Pasta with Broccoli and Beans
This broccoli and bean pasta from Holy Cow Vegan looks amazing!
There isn't a single ingredient in this recipe Kevin wouldn't like.
 I'll have to give this one a try sometime soon. 

These beautiful white glass cabinets matched with blue floral planters
are literally something taken out of my dream kitchen.
I have a whole set of blue plates, bowls, and figurines that my grandma left to me.
Maybe my next kitchen (yay apartment living right?)
will have lighter cabinets that will go well with the blue ceramics.
(unknown source)

Creamy (vegan!) butternut squash linguine with fried sage - cookieandkate.com
This Creamy (vegan) Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage
from Cookie and Kate caught my eye last week.
 I ended up making it for a friend who came over for dinner last Wednesday.
The sauce was so yummy that I thinned the leftovers with
 low-sodium vegetable broth and had as a soup later in the week.

bringing the outdoors in
Another piece of my dream kitchen.  Look at that apron sink and the huge windows!
(unknown source)

"Easy Style - Maxi Dress" by getsnazzy on Polyvore maxi dress #anna7891 #style for women #womenfashionwww.2dayslook.com
I love this outfit.  I have a dress that is super similar to this one in style and colors.
Now all I need is a good jean jacket to go with it.

Happy Pinning to all!


Friend's Weekend Wedding

How was everyone's weekend?

Mine was busy and wonderfully fun!  On Thursday I went to a church BBQ for Vacation Bible School volunteers, then on Friday morning, I helped with the final day of VBS.  Afterwards, I had lunch with my mom and she graciously came over to help me tidy up my apartment a bit before Kevin came home that evening from a week long trip to see family in Sequim, WA.

Me and fellow bridesmaid, Kaylee.
After that, I took off to go pick up the bride for the rehearsal dinner and a girl's evening at the historic Davenport Hotel the night before the wedding.  The rehearsal went smoothly, as did the finishing touches of decorating the venue.  Afterwards, the bride, the other bridesmaids, and I made our way to the hotel with champagne, nail polish, and a Cosmo (of course!).  The evening was spent with lots of giggles and some bubbly.  Just perfect!
All done up!  LOVE the pearls the bride gave all of her bridesmaids!
The morning of the wedding came and all of the girls and I headed to a local bakery (Rocket Bakery) for some coffee/chai teas and a bit of breakfast.  I was so happy to see that they had fresh fruit bowls available, and their iced chai tea with soy milk was sooo yummy!  We strolled back to our hotel to have our hair professionally done (thank goodness!), and to primp and get ready.
I got to put the bride's garter on (it was black with a mini flask attached). :)
A few of the bridesmaids headed to the Nordstroms to get their makeup done (Ha! $50 in product to get my makeup done? No way!), while bridesmaid Kaylee and I headed to the venue (Chateau Rive in the Flour Mill) with most everyone's things.  We found some free time and went up to Clinkerdagger for an afternoon drink before the bride and other bridesmaids made it to the venue.
The ladies hanging around playing
Cards Against Humanity before the wedding started.
Next were pictures of the bride and bridesmaids in the outdoor ceremony area, then playing Cards Against Humanity while waiting for guests to arrive and time for the ceremony.  The ceremony was beautiful and happy tears were had by most.  Following the reception, more pictures, and then a fun entrance to the reception of the bridal party done to Party Rock.
The lovely bride, April.
The evening progressed with dances and food and drinks and toasts.  For the dinner, they had Caesar salad, bread rolls, mashed garlic potatoes, and mushroom risotto (chicken and beef for the meat-eaters).  The potatoes and risotto were super yummy, other than the salt in them seemed a little overwhelming after a while.  I guess I have gotten used to minimum sodium by now lol!

The wedding ended with mostly close friends and family left with dancing and taking pictures in the rental photo booth (seriously so fun, why did we think of this when we got married?).  After the wedding, the bridal party and their significant others continued the party to a bar or two downtown.  Kevin and I ended up home around about 3:30, exhausted and thoroughly partied-out.
Congrats to Mitch and April!
Sunday was spent with just Kevin and I (other than the few hours he went to work).  After not seeing your husband for over a week, a nice day at home together is so needed!  Plus, we had Drunk History episodes to catch up on!


Favorite Pins of the Week (3)

This week seems to be going by sooooo sloooowly!  Kevin is still in western Washington visiting his family, so I've been a bit lonely.  Also, it has been hot as hell around here lately!  We have had weather in the lower 90's, but it feels so so much hotter because there is no breeze all day.  I've been needing to prep food and do other chores in the evening, but I keep putting it off because of how hot it has been in our apartment.  Bleh!

This week seems to be going by slowly because this next weekend is my good friends' wedding.  So excited for the wedding and all of the girly primping beforehand, since I am a bridesmaid.  Tonight I'm helping the bride with a few last minute errands before the wedding... which may include wine tasting... oh darn! ;)

Since I have been a bit of a hermit the last few days due to the heat, I have spent a bit of time on Pinterest.  Here are a few of my favorite pins this week:

Cranberry Walnut Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Cranberry Walnut Chickpea Salad Sandwich
My mom and I made these for my sister-in-law's
High Tea bab(ies) shower this last December.
They were a huge hit with non-vegetarians
and to my disappointment, there weren't any
leftovers after the party.

DIY Pom-Pom Magnets
These would be perfect for my leftover yarn!

beat the bloat and water weight!
I sent my friend this infograph on her days leading up to the wedding.
For dinner tonight I'll be making us a veggie stir fry with broccoli, carrots,
celery, garlic, ginger, and cabbage, topped with a citrus teriyaki sauce.

Wish this was possible to crochet! Knit however! Ravelry: seductivebarry's Snowdrift Infinity Cowl
Isn't this knit stitch beautiful with the gradual colored yarn?

Hope everyone has a great week!!!


Orange Carrot Cashew Dressing

Have I mentioned that I am making my way through Dr. Fuhrman's new book, The End of Dieting? Probably not.  I'm a gruelingly slow reader and I often cheat abandon take breaks in the middle of books to read short fun things on the side.  Lately I've been switching between The End of Dieting and Are You there, Vodka? It's me, Chelsea, by Chelsea Handler (hilarious!).

Although I have read Eat to Live (thrice?), Super Immunity (twice), and watched most of Dr. Fuhrman's PBS specials, I felt like I wanted a refresher with The End of Dieting book.  It has been just that: motivation to get my butt back into gear with eating more vegetables.  A lot of times I get caught up in the "Oh! This is vegan?" or "Awesome! That is plant-based?", that I forget to make it my focus to eat high nutrient-dense vegetables.  It has helped me to remember that, although foods like one cupful of dates is technically vegan and plant-based (which I have used this amount in a dessert recipe before, yikes!), it is a ton of sugar and I would get so many more nutrients AND feel fuller on a quarter of the calories and five times the volume of cooked and raw vegetables.

Do you find yourself falling into the "well I guess this is vegan and technically plant-based" trap?  What helps you to get motivated to start adding back in more veggies?

I'm a little over halfway through EoD, and I was inspired to make this dressing that is similar to one of Dr. Fuhrman's favorite dressings that he talks about in just about every book he has written. Rather than bothering to look up a recipe this morning, I just threw this together with what I had on hand and sounded good.  In the rush of the morning I let this dressing blend while I was chopping salad ingredients (kale, red cabbage, red onion, carrots, broccoli).  I stopped the blender to check the consistency and taste after a while, and O... M... G... this dressing is amazingly yummy and satisfying!  I just had to share it with you :)

*Note: I have provided an Amazon link to The End of Dieting book below.  If you happen to want to purchase it and you use my link, I get a tiny bit of money from the purchase, which goes towards a new camera for the blog that I have been saving up for.

Orange Carrot Cashew Dressing
Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6-8 servings

        1 orange, peeled
        1/2 cup raw cashews (sub white or cannellini beans for less fat)
        1/2 cup plant-based milk, more to thin
        1 raw carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
        2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
        2 tsp ginger paste, or 1 inch fresh ginger

1.)  Throw all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth, adding plant-based milk to thin to your desired consistency.
2.)  Serve chilled as a dip or delicious salad dressing.

Amy's Notes:
Here is my salad from this afternoon that I topped off with the dressing.  I can't remember the last time I looked forward to a salad this much!

How was everyone's 4th of July holiday weekend?  I watched the Spokane fireworks from my downtown office balcony with some friends.


Summer Salad Recipe Roundup

What are you doing for the 4th of July this year?  I am staying in town and working extra hours and cover for a co-worker who is taking a few days off.  Then on the 4th I'm planning on hanging out at my parent's house with my dog while they are out of town.  They have a nice deck looking over their beautiful yard, so I think I will get some much needed Vitamin D while I read and relax.

Then in the evening on the 4th, a few good friends and I will be going to my office in downtown Spokane to watch the Riverfront Park fireworks go off at dusk from our private balcony.  It should be lots of fun, although I will miss Kevin.  My husband is heading out to Sequim, WA today to go with his family on their annual trip to Ocean Shores for the 4th.  I went last year and had a hoot, but I have to stay behind this year for my girlfriend's Bachelorette Party on the 5th.

Now on to the recipes!  Summer BBQs, picnics, and pot-lucks can often be hard times for those following a Nutritarian lifestyle.  I can't tell you how many times I've had to bring my own bean burgers to a party!  Another go-to is to bring a colorful salad for everyone to have.  You may be surprised to see those die-hard meat-eaters going back for seconds on some of these!

Patriotic Grain Salad
(Patriotic Grain Salad)
Celebrate the red, white, and blue this summer with
this (somewhat) color-coordinated salad.
With a tzatziki-like dressing, this one is sure to be a hit!

Crisp Cucumber Celery Salad
(Crisp Cucumber Celery Salad)
This salad is super crisp and perfect for summer parties.
Feel free to chop the celery and cucumber as small
as you like for easier serving as well.

(Ginger Kale Slaw)
This is one of my all-time favorite salads!
I made it a few summers ago trying to copy-cat a healthy
version of a ginger dressing from a local teriaki place.
In the end, I love this more than I ever did the SAD salad! 

(Lemony Israeli Cous Cous)
This unique take on cous cous is not only
delicious and satisfying, but will leave party-goers
asking you for the recipe. :)
Kitty's Asian Slaw
(Kitty's Asian Slaw)
This is one of my mom's go to salads that she makes for pot-lucks.
It is quick to throw together and has a sweet
 sesame flavor that everyone will enjoy.

(Pomegranate, Lentil, and Wheat Berry Salad)
This salad really packs a pop of flavor and the contrast
of the green kale and red pomegranate make it visually
appealing to those passing down the buffet line.

Flavorful Tahini and Grain Salad
(Flavorful Tahini and Grain Salad)
Serve this grain-based salad on its own or
with some chopped spinach or kale mixed it.

Amy's Notes:

Final Recipe Picture

Pinterest Reference:


Patriotic Grain Salad

It seems like the summer is just flying by!  I can't believe the 4th of July is on Friday already.  Although I'm not planning on going to any BBQs or Pot-Lucks this holiday, I thought I would make a salad to enjoy over the weekend regardless.  This salad is grain-based and very filling.  It is great to have on its own or on top of a pile of dark greens yum!

Patriotic Grain Salad
Time: 20 minutes + grain cooking/cooling time
Servings: 6-8
        6 cups cooked whole grains*
        3 cups red cabbage, shredded
        1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
        1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
        1 package firm silken tofu, drained but not pressed (approx 12-14 oz)
        1/2 English cucumber, roughly chopped, unpeeled
        1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
        2 cloves garlic
        1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh dill
        black pepper to taste

1.)  Cook the whole grain following the box instructions.  Allow to cook and cool while you prepare the other ingredients and dressing.  Make sure to drain any excess liquid from the cooked grains.
2.)  Prepare the remaining salad ingredients and mix in a large bowl.
3.)  In a high speed blender, blend the tofu, lemon juice, and garlic until smooth and creamy.  It should be just thinner than a greek yogurt.  Add in the cucumber, mint, and dill and pulse until the cucumber is finely chopped and the spices are well mixed.
4.)  Stir the cooked and cooled grain into the salad bowl.  Top with small amounts of the dressing and stir.  Keep adding until you have the desired amount of dressing on your salad.
5.)  Serve chilled with fresh dill sprinkled on top (optional).

Amy's Notes:
*The grain pictured in this recipe is millet, but quinoa would look very similar.  Some other grain options include barley, wheat berries, brown rice, bulgur, farrow, or wild rice.

Ok, so I was originally going for a red, white, and blue theme in this salad for patriotism, but sometimes you just have to use your imagination.  The red is the radishes, the white is the dressing and grain, and the blue is the red onion and cabbage... close enough right?

The salad dressing, if you didn't notice, is very much like a Greek tzatziki sauce.  If you have any left over (I used all of mine on the salad), serve it as a yummy yogurt-like chip or veggie dip.
Gah!  This one is blurry!  Seriously, I need a better camera than my iPad!


Favorite Pins of the Week

I hope everyone had a good weekend!  It was super busy for us!  One of Kevin's good friends came in to town to stay with us for the weekend, we went out with friends to Coeur d'Alene, ID on Friday evening, then Saturday was spent Downtown Spokane for Hoopfest, the biggest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world.  Happily, our court was super close to my work, so we were able to park for free and haul all of our chairs and stuff over with ease.

Since I wanted to give Kevin some time to hang out with his friend he hadn't seen in a while (read: play video games, lasertag, and other boy stuff), in downtime I kept to myself and read, worked-out, and was on Pinterest, of course ;).  Here are some of my favorite pins from the last week:

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Fresh Corn, Avocado and Quinoa Salad (or dip)
Doesn't this corn quinoa salad from
Eating Bird Food just look like summer? (source)

Aren't these water as fire images just gorgeous? (source)

Did this yesterday for my first workout after a
2 month hiatus of traveling and having an
injured hip.... my god.... it is shameful how sore I am! (source)

I'm also doing this abs challege, as my girlfriend's
wedding that I am in (was) 14 days away.
Good motivation to stick-to-it! (source)

Makes me think of what I will be doing on the
4th of July with two of my best whiskey buds :)

Doesn't this look like the perfect fall
apple-picking outfit?  I know!  I know!
Too soon to start wishing it was fall ;)

Happy Pinning!