What I am truly thankful for today.

Boots. I am visiting my family in the mountains of Virginia and they have gotten quite a good accumulation of snow these past two days. Which brings me to another thing… I am thankful I don’t live in Northern Maine. They receive an average of 110 inches of snow during the winter season. I like snow, but not that damn much.

Tubs. All tubs. Big, regular, small. I loooooove to take baths. The apartment I live in right now only has a shower, so I take full advantage of the Jacuzzi tubs at the New River Trail Cabins I stay in when I visit my relatives in VA. If you are going to be in the area, or just like staying in cabins, check them out. They are located right off the the New River Trail (as the name suggests), and all of the cabins have gas grills and fireplaces, jacuzzi tubs, and tv’s with cable and even WIFI! All of them also have different themes and decor, so check out the website to choose which one you want. If you call to book one tell my mom I said Hi! (she’s the one that answers the phone and takes care of you during your stay)

I am also thankful for my family. I didn’t always feel that way if I’m honest. They are complete opposites of me and are basically anti everything I am and believe in. But I’ve realized that this doesn’t have to change how you view them, even if you don’t agree with their opinions or stances on things. You can ALWAYS find common ground, even if its just the fact that you love each other and share a lineage. They have been supportive of (almost) everything I do, and even if they don’t agree with something, they respect my desire to do it/ my thoughts about it.

Life is short. Cliche but true. Everything could change in an instant. You could die tomorrow, or later today for that matter. Hug your family. Call your friends. Tell the people in your life how much they mean to you. It does matter, and it does count. And I promise, it will make their day.

Happy day of Thanksgiving. I hope you get to eat a lot, be merry, and realize how good you have it.

Advertisements

My Favorite Winter Stew!

500_2D00_625_2D00_Kale-Black-Eyed-Pea-Stew_5F00_Superfoods_5F00_Julie-Morris

I am a soup/stew/goulash lover and am always on the hunt for a new one to warm my bones. I stumbled upon a Black Eyed Pea and Kale version about a month ago and finally got around to making it the other day.

The recipe is from Superfood Kitchen: Cooking with Nature’s most Amazing Foods by Julie Morris and you can find it online here.

You will need:

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 cups diced white onions (about 1 medium onion)
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. chipotle powder
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
1 head kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

IMG_3141

(original recipe called for 2 Tbsp. ground wakame flakes as well but I didn’t have any on hand so I left those out)

  • Melt the coconut oil over medium high heat in a large pot
  • Add Onion and Garlic and cook for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally
  • Add Celery and Bell Pepper and cook for 3 more minutes
  • Stir in Oregano, Thyme, Chipotle, and Paprika and cook for about 30 seconds
  • Add Vegetable Broth, Water, and Black Eyed Peas and bring to a simmer then cook uncovered for 30 minutes. (you can add more water if you need while cooking if it gets too dry, but I didn’t need any additional liquid)
  • When the soup is cooked, stir in Kale and keep on heat for a minute longer, just to wilt it.
  • Remove from heat and add Lemon and Parsley and EAT!

I have taken this to work and reheated it for the past two days and it is just as good out of the microwave as it is fresh off the stove. It packs two sources of protein and is filling without being heavy at all. I will be making this again very soon!

Let me know if you try it, and what your favorite winter warming recipes are!

Essie Button’s Power Protein Soup!

Screen-Shot-2014-10-12-at-22.14.44-700x393

Click here to head on over to her channel and watch her video on how to make this scrumptious meal!

It’s the time of year that I crave anything soup, stew, or goulash, and boy does this recipe by Essie Button fit the bill. I have been watching her on youtube for years now and I love her style and personality. Watching the new video on her vlog channel is the highlight of my day (reggie lover 4 life). Her website/blog is super cute too!

This soup is full of protein and veggies and throughly satisfying. It makes a huge amount too, which I love, so I can portion it out and take it to work with me.

It has 3 different types of beans, sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, carrots, a pepper, garlic, onion, (I used red just because it’s my favorite) tomatoes, brown sugar, mustard, veggie stock, and the requisite salt and pepper.

Her recipe is vegetarian with the exception of the worcestershire (it has anchovies in it) but she only adds a small amount and I just subbed more mustard in instead and it is delicious.

It is filling and hearty, with a little kick. All of the veggies have the perfect texture after the roast in the oven, and I think thats what prevents them from being too soggy after a reheat

Can’t wait for more recipes from her!

Let me know if you make it and how you like it!

Vegetarian Noms and Where I Found the Recipes!

nom

I have been trying to get out of my non-cooking/pre-packaged food funk for a while now. I don’t know if I just became lazy, or hadn’t found any recipes that really inspired me to put in the effort and get my hands dirty. I was browsing the interweb out of boredom, as one often does, and stumbled onto the most fantastic site!

The Everygirl has hundred of articles about fashion, lifestyle, makeup, and most importantly for me, FOOD. The particular article I found was 10 Vegetarian Meals for less than $50 Dollars (Score!). Firstly, who doesn’t like to save a buck? Secondly, let me assure you that although these recipes may seem more advanced than simply throwing something in the microwave (and they are, but so worth it) they are easily accomplished with minor skills and almost zero fancy kitchen tools. The only thing I needed to use that wasn’t a cooking utensil or pot/pan was a grater. I have made the black bean burgers w/ sweet potato fries, risotto primavera, and zucchini fritters this week, and was blown away by each one!

Now my boyfriend is a carnivore, and is extremely against any kind of all veggie dish. I like to be able to eat at least the same base dinner as each other as much as possible, with the addition of meat for his portion, so I am not spending double on groceries and wasting tons of extra from leftovers of recipes. I added chicken to his risotto and a side of chicken with his zucchini fritters, but left the black bean burger as is, and he loved all three of them (said the risotto was his favorite thing I had made in a while). He devoured the black bean burger and enjoyed every bite. I was a very happy camper.

I will continue to peruse this site in the future for more inspiration, and will definitely be adding those three recipes to my permanent rotation!

Check the site out and let me know what you think!