Check out how to make Vegan Chili in one minute!
Click on the video to check out my 3 day challenge of going Vegan. It was easier than I thought!
I have found the perfect homemade salad dressing container where you can shake and pour and it’s so easy to clean up!
I got this on Amazon here and after reading the reviews I clicked order right away. It has a wide opening to add ingredients and a wide spout for chunkier herbs and onions to get through. Also, dishwasher safe!
Here are my ingredients I added for my Mexican vinaigrette salad dressing. Olive oil, lime juice, shallots, cilantro, garlic, oregano, roasted ground cumin, a little bit of salsa verde and some chipotle hot sauce. Added all of the ingredients gave it a shake and it was ready!
I made a black bean tostada salad similar to this one here and used this as the dressing.
I’ve been reading Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. It’s a romance book set in Italy and I’m halfway through but there are so many mentions of good bread, cheese drizzled with honey & oh my the olive scene in the olive grove. (You should read it! Hot. Then check out all her Chicago Stars books – CANNOT PUT THEM DOWN)
While reading about her characters and the delicious food they were eating I began craving bruschetta. I decided to make a healthy version and I picked up all of the ingredient at Whole Foods.
Whole Foods has only one Whole Grain bread that is freshly baked. I always have them slice the loaves for me and I buy two loaves every time I am there and freeze the second. It’s the only whole grain bread my husband actually likes and it took this find to wean him off Wonder bread.
I defrosted a bag of white beans I had in my fridge the day before I made the bruschetta.
These herbs are such a time and money saver. I use them many times a week for homemade salad dressings, stuffed peppers or stir frys. These are frozen basil and crushed garlic cubes that easily pop out from their containers. I got these at Whole Foods but they have them at Trader Joes too. I use one cube of basil and scrape a little garlic for most of my recipes. I find one entire cube of the garlic is too much.
To make the bruschetta I chopped up cherry tomatoes & a little bit of shallots. I mixed the tomatoes and shallots with the white beans, one cube of basil, a small amount of crushed garlic, oregano, black pepper and olive oil. I let this sit and mixed it up occasionally to help the frozen basil and garlic melt.
I toasted 2 slices of bread while that marinated and then I simply topped the bread with the mixtures and drizzled a bit more olive oil on top.
You must top it off with some Parmigiano Reggiano. I love to use a vegetable peeler and slice some over the bruschetta. Whole Foods has delicious Parmigiano Reggiano and a good chunk of it will set you back about ten bucks but a little goes a long way with this flavorful, nutty cheese.
I made extra of the tomato and white bean mixture. I put it in the fridge to use later to mix in with lettuce to make a salad.
Yes, her body is sick and yes I stole this picture from Perez Hilton on my phone at 10:54 am. But this is all about kale not Jen’s stripper body. I’ve been hearing so much about kale lately especially people juicing with it (Yuck, no thank you). I realized that I had never tried it and I had it in the back of my mind that one of these days I will venture into a kale recipe. Then I saw this video. Click here.
It’s the girls from the tone it up show on bravo. All these tips in their videos are great for snacks but this one stood out because I had been wanting to try this amazing nutrient dense food. They pointed out it is a great lunch to take to work because kale is so hearty it won’t wilt with dressing on it. So, I went out the next day and bought some prewashed kale from Trader Joes and made a kale salad! My husband and I had it for lunch on our first day of our recent cleanse. See here. His was thrown together in a Ziploc with strawberries, goat cheese, sliced almonds and homemade dressing.
Then I decided to make a white bean soup with kale the next week. I seriously love white beans and white bean soups are my favorite because they are so creamy. I googled white bean kale soup and got ideas for recipes from many sources and came up with this yummy delight.
For my husband I added Chicken sausage to my vegetarian soup. We had grilled cheese sandwiches for a meal during one of our many snow storms here in the suburbs of Philly this winter.
Here’s the breakdown with no measurements because I just threw it together. I used kale, carrots, shallots, onion, vegetable broth and white beans. I admittedly
go overboard am a snob about beans and refuse to use canned beans. So these I lovingly soaked for 8 hours and then cooked for an hour like I always do.
I sautéed the carrots, shallots & onions with olive oil until soft then added the kale for a couple of minutes.
I mashed up some beans with a fork in some vegetable broth to add to the soup to help make the soup creamy.
This is a little blurry but I threw the sautéed veggies and kale along with the mashed up beans and then some more non mashed up beans in my crockpot. I added rosemary, oregano, basil and some roasted garlic and voila delish! The kale holds up great in soups and provides an interesting texture combined with the creamy beans. I ate this soup for a week!
Back to Jennifer Aniston for a moment. Apparently to get that toned stripper ready body for We’re the Millers she ate veggies, greens, lean proteins and kale. (Sounds like my soup!) Also, she did yoga. And when she wanted to cheat she ate kale chips. Huh? Is that a typo eonline? My cheat is chocolate cupcakes or chocolate chip cookies or even chocolate chips not kale chips. But one cannot help looking at that picture and not be inspired. I’m going to add kale chips to my next Trader Joes or Whole Foods shopping list.
Results from our 3 day cleanse:
- My husband lost 4.5 lbs
- I lost 5.4 lbs
Woohoo! That is an average of 1.8 lbs a day for me. I lost 3.6 lbs on Day 1. I lost 0.8 lbs on Day 2. I lost 1 lb on Day 3. I think my husband didn’t lose as much because he was left to his own to make a couple of his meals and he has never read the Sass book. We finished our cleanse on Sunday night and I worked all day Sunday and fell asleep early so I just got 3 meals into the day and my husband made himself a Mexican salad while I was working.
Here were our four meals:
Breakfast: Cottage cheese with pineapple, blueberries and almonds seasoned with Vietnamese cinnamon and vanilla extract.
Lunch: Strawberry goat cheese salad with almonds, parmesan cheese and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Dinner: I skipped this meal and my husband made his own salad.
Snack: Strawberry, blueberry, banana smoothie with avocado and Vietnamese cinnamon, vanilla extract, yogurt and milk.
We woke up early Monday morning and worked out. As soon as we got back, the coffee was set to brew and I popped 2 beautiful slices of fresh whole grain bread from Whole foods into the toaster. I couldn’t wait to have a crunchy, warm slice of bread and it didn’t disappoint. I put a little olive oil on it and topped it with a slice of smoked gouda cheese and had some fresh pineapple as well. I relished every single bite of it!
I love eating the 4 small meals spaced throughout the day. It really does fuel you and we both felt a difference in our energy levels. It’s just a lot of work preparing 4 meals a day completely from scratch. Overall, we were both very happy with our weekend cleanse and the true test will be to see if the cleanse weight loss stays off until Friday. I have 3 more lbs to go to get back to my pre Thanksgiving day weight. Damn you holiday wine, cheese and desserts! I better be good this week too. We have a reservation at my favorite Italian restaurant Friday night for our anniversary/Valentine day celebration.