What I Ate…(Meat Free Monday)

…today. Okay, so today was an unintentional “Meat Free Monday”. I saw what I had planned to eat and noticed that it was all vegetarian food. Even the smoothie shop I went to for dinner caters to the vegan/vegetarian population. Cool. I was actually a vegetarian from the age of six, up until the age of 25. I didn’t eat any red meat, and I rarely ate chicken. I was more of a pescatarian now that I think about it. Something changed when I hit 25 though. I don’t know what it was, but I suddenly wanted to eat burgers. I can’t really explain how it happened and I don’t remember the exact meal that broke my 19 year  long stretch. When people ask I usually say, “I just wanted a Big Mac. I had one, and I fell in love!” I don’t know what they want to hear, but it wasn’t some big to-do. It happened over the course of time.

Anyway…What did I eat today?

Breakfast: Raspberry Cocoa Latte and a string cheese…

Latte Ingredients
Latte Ingredients

I use the same formula for my lattes:

  • Almond milk, heated
  • Packet of stevia – one in the cup, one in the pan with the milk
  • A small swig of vanilla in the almond milk, while it’s heating
  • Powdered flavoring – usually 1 to 2 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

So, that’s how I made today’s latte. Powdered flavoring=Cocoa Powder and I substituted the pack of stevia in the almond milk pan for one raspberry honey stick that I got from the farmers market. That’s it! It was good. The raspberry flavor was slight, that’s probably because it was natural and not filled with sugar.

Breakfast
Big breakfast (heh heh). Honestly though, the lattes are really filling!

Lunch: Feta Dip, Veggies and Olives

Feta Dip

Okay, this was awesome!!! The dip was so easy too…

Feta Dip Recipe
Easy peasy…

Only four ingredients: Feta (half of a small container – I’m really precise – Ha!), cream cheese (about 1/3 of a softened brick), olive oil (about a teaspoon) and garlic powder (depends on your taste, I use a lot)…Simple. One of those back pocket recipes.

Beverages: Seltzer with lime or apple cider vinegar

Drink
…lime-ish squeezy!

I LOVE seltzer! Seriously, I stock up on whatever brand is on sale so I am never without it. Polar is amazing. LaCroix is great, but sometimes I’m not willing to spend that much. Vintage and store brand will do just fine, thanks! I used to have a SodaStream, but it broke a couple of years ago and I’ve yet to get a new one. I should (re-)invest. It would be worth it!

Dinner: Italian Kale…

***Warning: I turn into a bit of a smartass here, I was highly annoyed. Feel free to read this section in Sarcasm…***

Okay. So I had planned to go to a new restaurant in town to get a salad for dinner. And I went, with my cousin…

Blend
“Buddha Bowl” – (unmassaged) Kale, spinach, tomato, sweet potatoes, avocado and a lemon vinaigrette. Intentionally Missing: Corn. Just Plain Missing: black beans

I ordered what was called a “Buddha Bowl” salad. And I got what is seen above. It had everything it said it would, but it was not really a “bowl”, it was more like a plastic carton of produce. I paid $8.00 for a plastic carton of kale that is on sale for .99 a pound at Shop-Rite this week! The kale wasn’t even massaged! I know that sounds like something a snob would say, but massaging kale is a real thing. A real and VERY IMPORTANT thing. It helps break it down so one can chew and digest it easier. Seriously, I took one bite and I nearly choked. I actually need to warn this restaurant – this is a potential hazard. I just was not in the mood to argue tonight, so I just left…

…And, I did what any person who spends $8.00 on a carton of produce does: I took it home to cook it myself!

Kale - Fried
DIY Restaurant – I believe it’s called grocery shopping! 

Yup. I massaged EACH piece of kale (you could HEAR it breaking down as I kneaded), added the contents to a pan with olive oil and garlic powder and…

Kale - Fried - Yum
Repurposed food…

…Yum! Success! I turned this meal around! I sprinkled some parmesan on top, as you can see.

So, there you have it, a full day of vegetarian eats. Pretty clean eats too…Yay!

Charcoal Latte…

I’d like to think that I’m not susceptible to food trends. Rainbow bagels? They look stupid. Unicorn Sundae? Eww – there is too much going on there. But, sometimes something sneaks in. This is especially the case when it’s a healthy food trend. When I scroll down my Instagram feed and I see mac & cheese chips, collagen smoothies and kale-herethere-and-everywhere I realize that I too can get caught up in food fads. Take this morning for instance. I woke up and decided to make myself a Charcoal Latte.

Yup, I actually have the activated charcoal capsules already…

Charcoal Capsules

I bought them because, well, I’d heard so much about them on the interwebs. You can make a facial mask with them, they are good for hangovers, they can whiten your teeth – they must be amazing. Of course, I have not tried them for anything other than something food/beverage related. I recently made a delicious Black Lemonade for the wonderful detoxing qualities, and I’d like to think it worked. Well, I need something that works like that today. I am feeling quite waterlogged and my face looks puffy, and I have no idea why (like with most things that have started happening to my body for no reason after I turned 35). As it says on the bottle, activated charcoal provides “digestive support”, so de-bloating and detoxing. Let’s see if this latte helps…

Charcoal in the Cup
All in the mug…

I start by putting my (opened) charcoal capsule, a packet of stevia and a teaspoon of coconut oil in my latte mug. I also put a mugful of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, two packets of stevia and a nice pour of vanilla extract into a pan on the stove. I’ll just let that heat up and come to a near boil. You’ll want to make sure you really add flavor to the milk because the charcoal is flavorless. I am thinking next time I’ll add coconut or almond extract…

Charcoal and Oil
Cookies and Cream?

 

I added about 3/4 of the the heated milk mixture to the mug contents and 1/4 to my frothing cup. It looks pretty cool already – like cookies and cream ice cream! <wishful thinking break>…

I begin to froth in my mug to get all of the ingredients incorporated…

Charcoal Frothing
Yay! Frother!

I also froth up my milk in the frothing cup.

Again, the frother is the best kitchen tool ever. I’ll never stir with a spoon again!

Charcoal Pour
Will I get a real shape this time?

So there I go, attempting to do latte art…

Charcoal Latte Art
I have no idea…

So, this is a mustache? Something? I don’t know. I still have not gotten any better at the latte art! I will keep trying!

Grey Latte

So here we are – a lovely grey latte on a summer day! It’s so vanilla-y and yummy! Here’s hoping my face will return to normal before I have to go out into the public today!

Cheers!

 

Beet Obsession!

I don’t know if I’m obsessed with beets so much as I bought a one pound bag of beet powder from Nuts.com and now I feel compelled to put it in everything. I’m sure that’s a big part of it, but I actually like the taste. Mmm, earthy-sweet beet flavor. I’m making it sound weird, but it’s really good. Not only that but it’s good for you. The ways? Let’s see…

Beet Kombucha

BeetStuff
Ingredients for Kombucha Gummis – Yum!

With any kombucha, because of the probiotics, I immediately think of the benefits to the Solar Plexus chakra – the gut, your core. Digestive motility is a very important topic to me – which you’ll see as the blog goes on. With beets in the mix, it adds that extra “blood cleansing” property. That’s how I remember one of the benefits – they look bloody, they help with blood flow (great visual!).

Beet Latte

The key to a good beet latte is the vanilla. Without vanilla, you’ve just made yourself a cup of creamy beet soup. Taste your milk before adding it to make sure it has a nice flavor. This latte has such a pretty pink color and and it’s healthy! Some essential minerals are added to this latte via beets – potassium and manganese. Potassium, for heart health and manganese, for bone health. Here is my recipe:

In the mug:

  • 3/4 teaspoon Beet Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
  • (A little less than) 1/4 teaspoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Stevia Packet

On the stove:

  • 1 mugful of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Stevia Packets
BeetMix
Aww! In the mug!
  • Bring  milk, vanilla and stevia mixture to a near boil
  • Pour 3/4 of the vanilla milk into the mug and 1/4 into your frothing cup.

Froth in mug!

BeetFrother
The frother is the best invention ever!

Froth in frothing cup!

MilkFrother
Yes, this is a real frothing mug. I go all out for my food!

Try to do latte art!

MilktoLatte
The pro tip is to pour high, then low…

Fail at latte art…

BeetLatte
It’s clouds – or something(?) Mushrooms? I see mushrooms…

Enjoy!

Beet Chocolates

These chocolates are pretty much “Fat Bombs” – which are very important in a keto diet to help induce ketosis (burning of fat).

In a bowl:

  • 3/4 Tablespoon Beet Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Stevia Packets
BeetCandyMix
Yes, more cocoa than beet…
  • Whisk with a fork to smooth out the chunks (beet powder can be clumpy) and to combine the dry ingredients.
  • Add about 3 tablespoons of melted Coconut Oil
  • Whisk with a fork until smooth
  • Pour in molds
BeetMolds
Cute shapes! Yay!
  • Let the coconut oil harden in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes
BeetCandy
The red peeking out is so pretty…

Enjoy!

Of course they are heart shaped! These are the valentines you send to say “I care about your blood pressure, my love”. You can eat them as is, or, what I really like to do with these molded “fat bombs” is add them to a smoothie. Adds extra flavor and more supplements!

Beets are awesome! I can’t help but think of this song every time I cook with beets, even though it’s about a different type of beet…