Monday Mash

As I sit here, five minutes before my marine biology class starts. I have no idea what to share with you for my "monday mash", other than what is keeping me going right now...

the spring break trip that I am probably WAY too excited for... 4 whole days in the beautiful city of Charleston, SC with my mom and cousin!

I already have a pretty lengthy list of restaurants and bakeries I want to go to. I have checked average temperatures for Charleston in March a couple of times. We have booked a little cheap-o hotel, knowing that the only time spent there will be for sleeping!

So let the countdown begin...


Long Lunches.

I love how on Saturdays you can eat meals whenever you please, and spend as long as want eating them (well, on good Saturdays at least). Today I spent a long and lovely lunch with my girl, Hal. I would call her a best friend even though she is a good 10 years older than me! We sat on her cute little porch, ate a homemade lunch, and got sun kissed by the crazy warm sun that was out today. We sat, talked, laughed, and felt blessed for our time shared together. Note to myself: Have more long lunches.

 On the menu: Chickpea & Quinoa Cakes topped with goat cheese, Tossed Salad with raisins, nuts, and shredded carrots, and Homemade Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet Potato Chips 
:sweet potatoes sliced on mandolin, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt&pepper:
Toss all together
Bake at 425 for roughly 10 min, watch them!

Tossed Salad
:mixed field greens, shredded carrots, toasted mixed nuts, raisins, balsamic vinaigrette: 

Chickpea & Quinoa Cakes
3/4 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup roasted broccoli, or other roasted veg.
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 t. cumin
1 t. apple cider vinegar
1 T. whole grain mustard
Goat cheese

Combine all ingredients in food processor. Process until combined. Mash in bowl if dough isn't holding together. Adjust seasonings (garlic powder/paprika would be a good addition). Form 4-6 cakes and bake at 375 for 10 min on each side. Top with goat cheese. 

Happy Weekend!


Hummus... as of late.

Sweet potato hummus is an incredible idea. I would dare to say that this is the best homemade hummus I have ever had. The crackers I made to go with it, however; were not the best. But, no worries, this hummus is good enough to eat with a spoon (which, I did) The sweet potatoes made this hummus super creamy and fluffy even. And with help from some spices, I played up the sweetness of the potatoes. My advice... eat some of this lovely hummus!

Sweet Potato Hummus (makes about 2 cups)
1 T. peanut butter
1 T. tahini
juice of 1 lime
1 T. olive oil
2-3 T. coconut milk
2 garlic cloves
1.5-2 cups chickpeas, cooked
1 medium sweet potato, boiled
1/2 t. coriander
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste

Add all wet ingredients plus garlic into the food processor. Process till well combined.
Add chickpeas and sweet potato and process till smooth. Add more olive oil or coconut milk if needed for desired consistency. (mine was thick)
Add all spices and taste to adjust. Store in fridge!

Happy munching! Tomorrow is friday :)


Monday Mash.

So there is this family, that lives in California (of course they do), and all the trash they "take out" in one whole year only fills up a one liter mason jar. (Your jaw should drop)

Crazy? yes. Totally inspiring? YES!
That is probably less trash than you throw away in one day.
Enter the Johnson Family...
Check out their tiny recycling bin- they don't even need to recycle.

Literally perfect.
Watch this video to get a look inside the Zero Waste Home...

I mean, I want to make my own toothpaste. And stop using plastic bags for that matter!
Happy Monday,


Curried Lentil Soup

I made this soup last weekend, and thank goodness I did because it was great for quick dinners throughout the week. The lentils make it nice and hearty, which was also great for week 2 of my cleanse. It had a mild spice using the amount of spices in the recipe, so add a couple more dashes of each spice if you want it spicier.

It is cold and rainy outside, the perfect day to have a big bowl of a healthy warming soup. Go make yourself a pot!

Curried Lentil Soup
What you need:
2 T. olive oil
1 big onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1-2 T. curry powder
1 t. garam masala
1/2 t. coriander
1 t. tumeric
shake of salt & pepper
1.5 cups lentils (green or french lentils work)
5 cups of water
.5-1 can half fat coconut milk

Make it:
1. Heat olive oil in large pot, add onions and cook till softened- 5 mins
2. Add garlic, celery, carrots, and all spices. Cook over med. heat for another 5 min.
3. Add lentils, water, and coconut milk. Bring to simmer for 30-40 min. Taste and adjust spices. Done when lentils are soft.

 Super easy, super tasty, and the kind of soup that will get you through the sometimes dreary days of January! Enjoy.


Everything Hits At Once

This past week was one of those weeks where everything hits at once. I had loads of reading do, a poem analysis to write, a big math test to study for, and a science presentation to rock, and a science quiz to take. Makes me tired just thinking about it all! Which should explain why I have not posted since Tuesday! Good news is, the week is over and I have spent my Saturday cooking delicious things to share with y'all!

But to recap on my cleanse...
Notes on Week 2:
-Not nearly as hungry this week, usually one stomach growl a day
-I get satisfied much quicker, so my portions are smaller than normal
-My energy level was back to normal, if not better than before starting the cleanse
-A date filled with homemade peanut butter satisfies my sweet tooth completely after dinner
-I crave bread a lot, and miss having a hearty breakfast (i.e. oats, muffins, granola)
-I feel very clean inside
-My tastebuds have been cleansed (more aware of different flavors/flavors come through more)

It is kind of crazy to think that I have not eaten sugar, dairy, gluten, or anything processed in 14 days! Exciting and empowering, even. Pretty much everything I have eaten has been homemade, which is also pretty awesome. Now, I just have to hold strong through this last week. Eggs and gluten free grains get to come back into my life this week!... it really is the little things in life that can make you happy :)

Some food from the past week
 Chickpea & Apple Salad
:mixed lettuce, chickpeas, slivered almonds, dried or fresh diced apple, nutritional yeast, dressing of your choice, pepper:
Toss together and munch 

Rosemary & Sage Roasted Butternut Squash
:onions, butternut squash, dried rosemary, dried sage, nutmeg, sea salt, pepper:
toss in olive oil or coconut oil
roast at 400 degrees for about 40 min, stir once

I'll be back with a couple real recipes
Happy weekend, Katie-Barry


Monday Mash- on tuesday!

Yesterday was MLK Memorial Day, so it did not feel like a normal Monday. I got to cook all afternoon long! I made some soup, a celery root, apple and potato puree, and black bean burgers for dinner. A great day off, if you ask me. Don't worry i'll share some recipes :)

For my Monday Mash though, I have a quote for you that was one of our "quotes of the day" in English class. Its a good one I think

"The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time" 
-Bertrand Russel

Like making pie. I could save some time and go buy one. But I love making pie. Homemade is always better anyways, right?


Winter settles in.

I think Winter time has finally come down south and might be sticking around for a little while. The past few days have been sunny, chilly, and windy! Not too cold to want to stay inside, the big sun to warm you up, and a nice breeze to remind you that there are no leaves on the trees, and a nice warm fire at night. If I could pick what all winter days should be like, that is it. So I went on a walk today and cozied up to the fire last night. I will be making soup this week to keep the winter theme going (with lentils, whoopee!) I hope you are having nice winter days, wherever you are!

Blessings, Katie-Barry


Day 5.

I have felt wonderfully splendid today! I have felt no crazy stomach growls, I get satisfied quickly, and feel pleasantly energized. I took a break from exercising today, which I think is helping me not feel so exhausted right about now. I am enjoying the food I am eating more and more. My body is getting clean, its a beautiful thing. 

I am still craving a hearty piece of bread, but the idea of eating something super sweet is not appetizing AT ALL- thats pretty amazing considering my sweet tooth. Dried fruit is my new dessert :) I am excited for next week to start, because I get put spoonfuls of beans and lentils into my mouth! Yay! (no, I am not being sarcastic) I LOVE me some beans and lentils. But until then, I will be sticking to my lovely glass of juice in the morning and a smattering of veggies, fruits, and nuts throughout the day.  

Here is one recipe a came up with this week... T'was delicious

Here's to eating clean! Enjoy.


Day 3.

Carrot Ginger and Grapefruit Juice= breakfast source
So it is day numero tres of my cleansing/detox process. Not going to lie, this is hard! Like I have told you, I love food and eating is an exciting part of by day. These past few days have just been changing my relationship with food, which is a good thing I think.

Yesterday (Day 2) was the hardest day for me so far. Day 1, my body was just flushing out all the food I ate over the weekend and still getting energy from what was in my system. But yesterday my body woke up more empty, more flushed, and expecting to get fed its normal breakfast. Well that did not happen. I drank hot water with lemon and then grapefruit, carrot, and ginger juice. Hunger set in about 3 hours later, so I drank loads of water and ate some nuts w/ dried fruit. Stomach growl before lunch and again at 3 o'clock. I felt like I was hunger all day long and that is a really different feeling, when I used to have one stomach growl before lunch. I had a couple of on and off minor headaches during the day, which is an expected symptom.

After school, I did a speed and agility workout (definition: a super intense, medicine ball lifting, suicide running, sled dragging, 1 hour workout that makes you so sore you regret having legs) Which was probably not the best idea considering I am eating way fewer calories than normal, but I felt well enough to finish it, so thats good! I was pretty exhausted at the end and ate a banana as soon as I got in the car. I finally got full at dinner, which kind of felt weird, almost uncomfortable. I felt like I got full way quicker than I usually would, which is also a good thing I guess!?

And today has not been as bad. I had a more sustaining breakfast (smoothie made up of 1 banana, some blueberries, half of an avocado, spinach, and almond milk). I did not get as hungry as quickly and only needed some nuts to tie me over till' lunch. Today I am going to take a walk/run to get the soreness out of my muscles. And right now I am with Elly trying to figure out what we can make for dinner!

Overall, I am glad that I am doing this and the hardest part is almost over (we hope!)
Cheers to vegetables!


Monday Mash

Let's be honest, Mondays are hard. You know you are just at the start of a work week or school week and there are 5 days till' the weekend. You might be tired and not so ready to get up and go do your job. Today, I don't really want to be at school. I wanted to sleep in, cook a little bit, clean my room, and play with Booger. I wanted the weekend to last a little longer. But that is just not the way the worlds works. So to help us through these Mondays, i'll be making "Monday Mash" posts. A mash of different things to get you through your Monday. Maybe cheer you up, inspire you, make you laugh, or get your mind off the madness that sometimes comes along with Mondays. 

What adventure to do want to take? Where do you go to breathe and be free?



January Goals

My goal for January is to change what I eat this month. You can call it a cleanse or a de-tox, but basically I want to challenge myself to change the way I eat for 21 to 28 days. I want to see what it does to my mind and my body. 

Over Christmas break I ate plenty of sugar, plenty of big meals, plenty of bread, and just plenty of food in general, which after a while started wearing on me. I was feeling icky, and saying stuff like "no more sweets!" and "I am so full I can't eat any more today!". You know those days, right? especially over the holiday? Well I'm tired of feeling that way, so Cleanse it is!

As you may know, I love food. But I love food even more when it does good for my body, energizes me, is homemade, tastes good, and is super colorful! This month I am going to eat the kind of food I love the most and Elly is going to join me! 

This first week we have been "pre-toxing" which means eating a little less dairy, sugar, and gluten so when we drop it all this Sunday it will be a little less of a shock to our bodies. Our guidance for this cleanse is Whole Living's 21 Day Action Plan. We are going to follow this plan to the best of our abilities and monitor how we feel. It is a little adventure, hopefully to a land of feeling good! I'll be letting you know what I am eating and how I am feeling. 

Now... back to school time!


Veggie Enchiladas

This is one of the most delicious things I have made at home in a long time. They are healthy, can be easily be vegan, super satisfying, and perfect for a comforting winter time meal. In short... You should make these, as soon as possible! 

My inspiration and guidance for this recipe came from the lovely Angela. I just altered a couple of things for the enchiladas, but the avocado cream sauce is all hers and it is SO good.

Veggie Enchiladas
Yields 8 enchiladas (8 servings)

What you need:
1 T. olive oil
1 sweet onion- chopped
3 garlic cloves- minced
2 small sweet potatoes (about 2 cups)- chopped
2 bell peppers- chopped
2.5 cups cooked black beans
1 big can of tomato puree (28 oz.)
1 can of Original Rotel (14 oz.)- drained
2 T. lime juice
1.5 t. cumin
1/2 - 1 t. chipotle chili powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
2 T. cocoa powder
8 whole grain tortillas (I love the Food for Like Ezekiel kind)
cheddar cheese- optional
*note*- I like mine reasonably spicy, these had a good heat to them, but not overwhelming. My Mom is not big on spicy and she still enjoyed them. My Dad loves spicy and he thought they were spicy enough. I hope that helps!

Make em':
1. Bring small pot of water to a boil, add chopped sweet potatoes, simmer for about 5-10 min, or until you can stick a fork into them
2. In a large pot, saute onion in oil over medium heat for about 5 min, until onions are translucent
3. Add garlic, peppers, and spices. Cook for another 5-7 min. on medium to low heat, until peppers are tender. 
4. Cut the heat off and add cooked sweet potatoes, black beans, tomato puree, Rotel, and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings. It will be saucy but not enough so that it looks like chili. 
5. Get out two 9x9 baking dishes. Spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of the pans. Fill each tortilla to the ends, wrap up and place each fold down. Put a layer of sauce on top of all the tortillas once they are filled. Top with shredded cheddar cheese if you wish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake covered at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes.
6. Enjoy with the Avocado Cream Sauce on top or on the side!

Happy Tuesday,


And 2012 begins.

Today is the first day of the year two-thousand twelve. I can't believe I am half way through senior year. I can't believe I know where I am going to college next year. I can believe that I am so blessed and loved. I can believe that this year will be a great one, indeed. 

I have decided to begin something this year, that will hopefully become a daily habit. You could call it a "New Year's Resolution" but for some reason that makes seem like it will fade by March. So I am calling it a New Year's habit. I want to spend at least five minutes each day, withdrawing myself from everything to be still and quiet. I want to pray, praise, and sit in these few minutes. This will help me stay rooted through out my day. It will help clear my head and set my eyes on He who is higher than this earth. It will help me to be less rushed, less busy, and more thoughtful. It will do good, and I can use more good in my days this year.

The other New Year's habit I am beginning is creating goals each month. As I was thinking about New Year Resolutions and why they don't work, I came up with the monthly approach. Resolutions tend to fail because they are too intense/big of a change. We get tired and end up forgetting about them or pushing them aside. Goals each month are great because you have one month to accomplish them and focus on them. You don't have such a daunting amount of time ahead of you. The goals are smaller, less intense, and more feasible. So, each month I will set goals for myself. Whether that be physical, mental, or emotional goals, it does not matter. I will not set more than 3 goals a month, so that I am not stretched to thin and do none of them well. I will be posting my goals here at the beginning of each month and will be letting y'all know how I do with them. 
I hope this inspires you to do something like this too!

Here's to wishing you peace, love, blessings, and happiness in the New Year. From my family to yours!