This week has been completely and utterly exhausting. I forgot how draining it is to adjust to a new schedule, especially when that schedule involves 6am workouts … but I’m getting the hang of it and next week I WILL have more energy! Haha.
So last night, my mom invited me to a cooking class! My dad is sick so I took his place. It was us and two other couples and it took place at a gorgeous winery in Rancho Bernardo, CA. We cooked three dishes and drank as much wine as we could stomach in the 3 hours we were there. YUM. My favorite dish by far was the Mexican Poached Eggs. I am trying to go full vegan (at least during the week) but when the dish is as tasty as this, it’s definitely worth eating. Continue reading →
In my pursuit to cut out grains and add lots of veggies, I’ve started subbing one for the other. Roasted veggies are a fabulous base for dishes like Tikka Masala, a fabulous topping for salads to make them warm and savory, and a fabulous side to any protein dish. They fill you up and don’t leave you feeling sluggish. Continue reading →
Side note: I will have a recipe today, so as not to satisfy a terrorists hunger to be the center of attention. But, please see the bottom of this post for my thoughts…
And now, on to the frosting! Mike is out of town for a couple of weeks 😦 so I have been ultra productive in his absence. It’s amazing how a lack of company will get me motivated. So I made a chocolate fudge cake and had no idea what to use as frosting. The packaged stuff is so full of sugar that it makes me nauseas. So I made my own! And holy bajolies it is delicious.
When warm, it’s melt on your tongue chocolatey goodness. When cold, it hardens into pure chocolate bliss on top of your cake. Also, because I use coconut sugar, it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Sweet!
Happy Tuesday! In an effort to cut back on our grocery bill, I’m only buying produce for the entire month of April. It seems that it’s really the organic, natural packaged crap that’s expensive, so we’re doing a lot of fruit and veg this month. In that vain, I had no idea what to pair with the salmon I cooked the other night, so I made it up … sweet potato home fries! These babies keep great in the fridge. They’re delicious warm and really yummy cold too.
Sweet Potato Home Fries (serves: 4, cook time: 30 minutes)
2 large sweet potatoes
1 cup mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup high heat oil
sea salt and ground pepper
Chop the potatoes, mushrooms, and onion into bite-sized chunks. Mince the garlic on top of the potatoes.
Heat the skillet to medium first, THEN add half the oil. Coat the bottom of your skillet.
Add sweet potatoes, garlic, and onions and spread in an even layer in the skillet. Cook on medium-high heat, uncovered until potatoes are browned and onions are caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the oil, slowly, as needed. Take care not to mess with them too much, flip potatoes once or twice in the entire 10-ish minutes.
When your mix is pretty well cooked, add the mushrooms. These are already soft so they don’t take much cooking. Cook for a few more minutes to heat up the mushrooms.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
Ashley Life Update: I had a wonderful weekend at a friend’s wedding in Louisiana. Got to hang out with my immediate family (see my sister’s and I above) and a lot of friends I haven’t seen in a long time. And the 13 hour drive there and back wasn’t too bad. We set up a bed in the back of the car and then whoever was driving listened to books on tape. Man those things pass the time!
We also stopped at an epic Country Buffet in Arkansas (the best in the state). I swear I had no idea that America had areas like that. Just VERY southern. That’s why I love road trips, you see cultures you never would have explored otherwise.
AND, another plus, we finally got some communication from Mike’s job. We should be finding out our next stop in the next couple weeks and the options are looking good!
I hope you all had great weekends too! Love and hugs – Ash
What do you cook when the entire meal will be appetizers? I knew that most people wouldn’t be hungry for a full meal so I planned out four appetizers instead. They all worked perfectly, except for this one. This took two tries but it was SO worth it. I got the original recipe from Sammie Kennedy. This stuff melts in your mouth. It’s gooey and chewy and crunchy. Salty AND sweet. YUM
I still had the microwave at this point but I was trying to wean myself off it. Turns out popping popcorn on the stove can be kind of tricky. This is where the first attempt failed. When I tried again the next day I was significantly less distracted and followed the instructions below to a tee. And of course it worked.
In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and coconut sugar. Stir in the vanilla, honey, and cinnamon. Stir frequently. When it reaches a boil, remove from heat.
Pour the liquid mixture over the popped popcorn. Add the salt on top. Mix gently with a wooden or plastic spoon so you don’t crush the kernels.
Lay popcorn out on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until hardened.
Break off the sheet and serve. Enjoy! It will keep a couple of days until the popcorn goes stale.
Ashley Life Update:
We went and got the Vitamix last night! I’m so flippin’ excited. My week is insane so I won’t have much time to experiment but I’ll be using it whenever possible and I’m sure you’ll all be hearing about it. Also, we found a fantastic deal on Stainless Steel cookware. 20% off and a rebate for a Cuisinart bowl set. It’s gonna take a little bit of saving to bounce back but I am SO excited to use this stuff. This night was better than Christmas. YAY!
This bread is delicious. Really, really good. It’s moist and naturally sweet; and the texture is like butter in your mouth. Yummy. It can take up to 45 minutes to prepare and an hour to cook so do it on a Sunday and make a big batch. It freezes really well so leftovers are a good thing!
I found the recipe on another blog (Skinny Ms) and then tweaked it a bit. I took out the stevia and oat bran and added gluten-free oats and walnuts.
Because it’s high in protein, sugar-free, and very low in grains, you can eat it any time of day. We had it last night for dessert and this morning for breakfast. Toast it for a few minutes for an even more satisfying experience.
Banana Nut Bread
2 granny smith apples
3 very ripe bananas
8 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup almond milk
1 cup almond meal/ almond flour
1 cup whole, gluten-free oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180°F. Lightly coat loaf pan with 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil.
Peel, core, and dice apples into small pieces. Sauté with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon on medium heat until brown (about 5 minutes).
In a large bowl mix together the almond meal, oats, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In another bowl mix olive oil, eggs, almond milk, and vanilla.
Slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture (in about 4 batches).
In the now empty liquid mixture bowl, mash all 3 bananas.
Fold bananas and apples into the large bowl mixture.
Spoon into the loaf pan. Cook for about 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer or toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in pan and then enjoy!
I highly recommend this one. It really is delicious. Let me know how it goes! A big hug and a smile. – Ash