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Sugar Free Fed Up Challenge- Day 10

Published on June 11, 2014, by in Update.

So, here it is. The last day of the sugar-free challenge. Honestly, I think Brian and I both accidentally had sugar once or twice. Did you know that plain Triscuits do not contain added sugar but the sea salt and black pepper version has added sugar? Yep, guilty of eating added sugar there. How do I feel? Not any different. I eat a low added sugar diet on a regular basis and gave up fake sugars long ago. So, I’m probably not a good person to speak on the subject. I think I actually ate worse while doing the Fed Up Challenge than I normally do. Why? Because I ate a TON of cheese. Almost all condiments and seasonings have added sugar, unless you make them from scratch. Even some store-bought hummus brands include added sugar.  So, I mainly used hot sauce, mustard and one salad dressing. I also made

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Whirlwind few weeks

Published on June 4, 2014, by in Update.

Wow. It’s been a great few weeks. I was in baking mode when we had a birthday at work and I made a peach pie with a new crust recipe that involved vodka. The vodka evaporates out, leaving the crust nice and flaky. It’s definitely a keeper of a recipe. I also made a giant cookie cake. Over Memorial Day weekend, Brian and I traveled to Florida for his family’s annual reunion. We had a great time with his family and it was very well-organized.   While we were there we also hit up a giant flea market. I bought my brother an unopened pack of baseball cards from 1990 and we saw this guy doing karaoke. I was back in Chicago for one day, which Brian and I used to watch the new movie Fed Up. The movie about how we’ve been dieting all wrong for the last 30

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The great salad toss up

Published on May 8, 2014, by in Recipes, Update.

I’ve needed some new inspiration when it comes to salads. How to you keep eating salads interesting? Mix them up! I was traveling a few month’s ago and stopped at CIBO Express at O’Hare. I love stopping there as they always have a ton of healthy options. There, I got an insanely delicious salad. It was mixed greens topped with roasted sweet potato, blue cheese, pecans, dried cranberries, and turkey with a champagne vinaigrette. It was so flavorful, filling and comforting because it tasted like Thanksgiving. This led me to think about how I could build more creative and filling salads rather just than vegetables or my “go to” taco salad. Here are two that I’ve made lately: I had a sweet potato with cinnamon. Then I had a salad of spinach, tri color peppers, onion, tomato, mushrooms, carrot shreds, sunflower seeds and a combination of blue and cheddar cheese.

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The hardest season

Published on May 7, 2014, by in Update.

Hello. I usually don’t get very personal on my blog, but today, I am. I am sitting behind my computer with my pants a little tight from all the amazing food I have been eating lately. I completed the 21 Day Fix and had amazing results. I absolutely love the program and can’t stop raving about it to all of my friends. So, what happened? Well, I didn’t completely undo my progress, but I am definitely feeling bloated from the food I have been consuming. This is the hardest season for me. It’s my husband’s birthday, then my birthday, which leads directly into patio weather. And since I live in Chicago, the few warm months must be taken advantage of. I am actually healthiest in the winter. I will go to the gym more days than not, because I don’t want to be outside. Since it the hardest season for

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Native Food Cafe’s Mad Cowboy Bowl Remake

Published on April 27, 2014, by in Recipes.

Last winter, Brian and I fell in love with the Mad Cowboy Bowl at Native Food’s Cafe. We were incredibly sad when they came off the menu in late February. So, I started making them at home. They are simple and full of flavor. Start by roasting a lot of vegetables. Their bowl included cauliflower, onion, broccoli, zucchini, summer squash, corn, sweet potato, carrots and a half of a white potato. I did all the veggies, except sweet potato and substituted fingerlings, because it was what I had on hand. Toss in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 375 for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring twice. They should be fork tender when you pull them out. At this time, you will also be baking your tofu. I used one block of extra firm tofu(drained) cut into 6 pieces and seasoned with a southwest seasoning. Turn the

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Baba Ghanoush

Published on April 24, 2014, by in Recipes.

    So. I was lied to. I found a recipe for baba ghanoush called 3 Minute Baba Ghanoush. It took way more than 3 minutes. It was also delicious. Ingredients: 1 roasted eggplant(see below) juice of 1 lemon 1/4 cup tahini 2 cloves garlic 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons EVOO fresh ground pepper, to taste So… to get a roasted eggplant, take a small(1-1.5 pounds) eggplant, prick it with a fork a few times, and bake it for 30-40 minutes at 400F. Pre and post-roasted eggplant: Let the eggplant cool, slice long ways and scoop out the innards. This is the part that definitely took longer than 3 minutes. Place the inner scoopings of eggplant and remainder of ingredients in a powerful blender(I have a Vitamix). Start on low and gradually increase speed. Blend on high for about 30 seconds until your baba is incredibly smooth and creamy. Pour

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Eggcellent weekend

Published on April 21, 2014, by in Recipes, Update.

See what I did there? I made an Easter joke. Ha. This weekend was exactly what I needed. Lots to time outside in the beautiful temperatures. It was the exact weather that you hear Chicagoans talk about all year. The weather that is reason we live here and endure the winters. It was perfect. Friday night, Brian and I met for dinner at Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen. I had been there on my last girl’s night and knew he would love it. He did. After eating a lot of hummus, we were both pretty full and didn’t even put a dent in our dinners. The good news was that we then had lunch for Saturday. The only problem was that we didn’t have any more hummus. I did have an eggplant on hand, so I roasted it and made some baba ghanoush to supplement our left overs. It is delicious and

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Celebrate good times

Published on April 13, 2014, by in Update.

This week was a week of non-stop celebration. It was Brian’s birthday week. Woo hoo. We went out for dinner and drinks with some friends last night and a local and delicious restaurant called El Maya. His real birthday was on Thursday, though. I oped to make dinner for us as I knew we would be going out to eat later in the week. I made beef filet, fingerling potatoes and green beans. Then we went for a walk to enjoy the gorgeous weather and grab a birthday treat of Jeni’s ice cream. Jeni’s is one of my favorite ice cream places. They only use premium ingredients and make amazing flavor combinations. We split 3 half scoops. The flavors we chose was a chocolate mole that had an great late hit of spice, banana french toast, and goat cheese with cherries. All amazing. I spent all of my Friday night

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Easy broccoli cheddar soup-Vitamix recipe

Published on March 27, 2014, by in Recipes.

A few weekends ago, the cupboards were bare, it was snowing out and I had no desire to trek out to the grocery store. Fortunately, we had a bag of broccoli in the freezer and some cheese in the fridge. So, I made this filling and nutritious soup. Ingredients: 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk(or milk of choice) 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1.5 cups broccoli, steamed 1 teaspoon dried onion 1/2 vegetable bullion cube salt and pepper to taste Reserve 1/2 cup steamed broccoli to the side. Place remainder of ingredients in  blender. Set to hot soup and start. When finished, add rest of broccoli to blender and pulse a few times. Serve with some toasted bread. Makes 2 big servings. If you prefer a completely creamy soup, add all the broccoli in the beginning.

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Lately

Published on March 8, 2014, by in Update.

Wow! Where have I been? I can’t believe that it’s almost been three weeks since I last posted. I’ve been obsessed with collard green wraps. I tried one of the thai sweet potato collard green wraps from Whole Foods over a month ago and I can’t stop thinking about them. After buying a few from their pre made foods counter, with some inconsistency in the product that I got, I decided to take it to the kitchen and make them myself. I think I ate them for most meals for a week. So good. I have also been having a love affair with radishes. Plain and on everything. Can’t get enough. I made a big batch of baked apple donuts. They were delicious and were very reminiscent of apple pie. I really liked them. Just sweet enough, but not too sweet. Last week I ran a 10k in some brutal

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