Thursday, January 8, 2015

Crockpot Lentils

This recipe was originally supposed to be a soup, but my crockpot couldn’t contain the amount of vegetable broth the original recipe called for. So! A lentil “mash” it is!

It is currently blizzarding outside here in the Chicagoland suburbs and this weather makes me want to cook ALL the things! Today I made baked breakfast egg muffins and raw vegan Oreos, and after this, I’m making baked falafel burgers with beets on the side.

On nights like this, hot soup is tops. And if your day is busy, fixing up this crockpot meal is even better. You can set it up, go about your day, and come home to hot lentils. Delicious! I love the flavor the balsamic vinegar gives this dish. Definitely a winner.

-2 C dry lentils (I had red on hand)
-4 C vegetable stock (Original calls for 8 C, so if your crockpot can handle it, and you want a soup, add the extra broth)
-1 lb. bag baby carrots
-1 ½ C sliced celery
-1 Tbsp onion powder
-1/4 C balsamic vinegar


1. Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Influenster #FrostyVoxBox Review

This winter, I was lucky enough to be selected to receive the Frosty VoxBox from Influenster. I love Influenster and it feels like every VoxBox I have received was meant for me. In the past, I've received a bride box and a fit box - both totally me!

McCormick Gourmet Thyme

I’m loving McCormick Gourmet’s new look! I love thyme and my favorite way to use it is on sweet potatoes. For breakfast, I love to make a hash with them and top them with yolky eggs. For dinner, I love to slice them into rounds and roast them. I recently used this thyme in my Garlic Mushroom Quinoa dish just below this post. This spice will definitely be getting some use this winter!

EcoTools Hair Brush

I love EcoTools! I brush my hair constantly because it tangles easily. I have a plethora of hairbrushes and I’m married to my Wet Brush, but this is going to get some use because I’m planning on keeping it in my gym bag.

No7 Protect & Perfect ADVANCED Satchet

I’m slowly approaching 30 and am starting to implement a skincare routine into my life. I use Boots tinted moisturizer on the days that I don’t feel like “putting on a full face,” so I’m sure that I will like this as well!

Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

This seems to coincide with the eyeliner. I usually use baby wipes and/or cold cream to remove my makeup, but I was considering trying something new. Well look what arrived on my doorstep! Now I just need some cotton pads and I’ll be good to go! I wear a good amount of eye makeup every day (As I mentioned before), so I bet I’ll go through this fast.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner

I wear eyeliner every single day yet it somehow takes me forever to use them up. This will definitely be used!

NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum

I am obsessed with the idea of lipsticks but then never wear them. I tend to have a lot more fun doing my eye makeup. I like this color though, and will keep it in my purse!

Fruit Vines Bites

Hmm. Fruit Vines makes licorice, right? I don’t like licorice. But this is, supposedly, different. We’ll see! 

Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea

Celestial Seasonings! They have such nice teas. I especially love their sugar cookie sleigh ride tea. I’ll be enjoying this ASAP – peppermint is so festive for the season! I like that it’s a green tea too – healthy! Plus - a coupon!

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing and reviewing purposes*

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Garlic Mushroom Quinoa

Mushrooms aren’t my favorite but I’m working on that. My husband loves them, though, so this side dish was right up his alley. I found this recipe on Pinterest and pinned it and made it shortly after that. I find it to be an excellent side dish and I served it alongside faux chik’n. I love recipes that don’t require me to buy too many extra ingredients, and I had most of the items required here on hand, save for the mushrooms. It's vegan if you omit the Parmesan cheese!

-2 C water
-1 C quinoa
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-8 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
-5 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried thyme
-Salt and pepper
-2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

1. In a large saucepan, combine water and quinoa. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 12-15 minutes until quinoa is done.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Combine quinoa with the mushroom mixture and mix well. Top with Parmesan cheese and eat!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mexican Quinoa Tempeh Salad

If I had to choose a favorite food, Mexican would not be it. But if I had to choose a favorite fast-casual restaurant, Chipotle would be it. So do with that what you will. Mexican isn’t my favorite because it’s not very healthy – lots of rice and tortillas, not many vegetables to be had. But when I find a healthier Mexican recipe, I take it and run with it. I was very pleased to find this recipe on Yumsugar. It’s vegan and pretty healthy. It combines quinoa with one of my favorite vegan proteins: tempeh. I once read that tofu is to chicken, and tempeh is to beef. It can even crumble like beef, which is how I like it with pasta.

This recipe is pretty easy, especially if you make the quinoa ahead of time. Then, all you need to do is chop things, juice things, rinse and drain stuff, and simmer. The original recipe calls for cilantro and avocado – I forgot to buy cilantro and my avocado wasn’t ripe enough at the moment, so I used some packaged guacamole that I had on hand.

-1 C quinoa
-2 C water
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1/2 onion, chopped
-1 red pepper, diced
-1 8-oz. package tempeh, diced
-1 C salsa
-1 lime, juiced
-1 tsp cumin
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 C corn
-1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved
-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
-1 avocado, diced

1. Place the quinoa and water in a pot on high heat. Once it starts to boil, cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the tempeh. Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat, and add the chopped onion. Cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the diced red pepper, tempeh, salsa, lime juice, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper.
4. Cook the tempeh mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
5. Once the quinoa and tempeh are cooked, combine all together. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, and cilantro. Mix well. Top with a few pieces of diced avocado.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cinnamon Caramel Apple Balls

I was never too into the whole apple theme like some people, but I’m getting into it this year. A co-worker gave me a wax warmer as a gift and included some cedar apple wax with it, and the scent has grown on me! I even went apple picking the other weekend and have since devoured my peck of honeycrisp apples. So, when I saw this recipe, I HAD to make it! Only four ingredients? I’m down.

I hadn’t made a ball-snack in a long time. I used to make them all the time but fell off, and I think it’s time I start again. They’re easy, delicious, and super portable, which also means they’re super shareable! Dates are nature’s candy and that’s where these balls get their caramel flavor. Be sure to pit them – the first time I used them was in a raw vegan carrot cake and I didn’t know I had to pit them. I ate the cake with a friend and we kept biting on things that looked like pecans, which were in the cake, so I thought they were super stale pecans. False. They were the pits. So learn from me and pit your dates – just take a knife and slice the date length-wise and remove the pit.

-1 C pitted dates
-1 C old-fashioned oats
-2 C dried apples (The chewy kind)
-1 tsp cinnamon

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
2. Mix until combined well.
3. Roll into balls.
4. Enjoy! I keep mine in the refrigerator.