Don’t do this

Posted on April 4, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

The other day I was on Pinterest and I saw a pin that said “Lose weight without exercising!” Here’s the thing guys, if you’re really over weight, you will lose weight with cleanses like that, at first. The problem is, one of two things will happen: you’ll either gain all the weight back, or you’ll plateau. Reason being you haven’t actually learned how to eat better. The “diets” that actually work are ones that teach you how to eat better, and yes, even exercising.

The human body is actually pretty simple, you take in food, the food gives you energy, you expel the energy by doing things. Weight gain happens when you expel less energy than you take in. Pretty much everyone knows that, it’s not rocket science. The issue with a lot of people is that they just eat too much bad stuff. I really do believe this whole country likes to indulge a little bit too much. I’m down for indulging, but not all the time. No one needs to eat fast food/bread/red meat/dessert every day.

Learning to eat better is not easy. Cravings are a real problem for a lot of people, myself included. Currently I want pizza, a little. But instead I made this salad. (Ok that and I didn’t want to spend any money, being cheap is great for the diet.) The trick is to slowly start adding better foods for the bad ones in your diet. I’ve been eating like this for years, so it’s easy for me now. When I first started eating this way, if I wanted something salty or crunchy, I would make stove top popcorn. If I wanted something sweet, I would have dried fruit. The salad part actually came easy for me, I really like raw spinach, it just evolved over the years.

Today is the second day of my time of the month. I’m one of those women who isn’t really hungry during. In fact, I don’t really want any food (except the pizza, but I have a feeling I’d just look at it). I knew I had to eat something, so I cooked some quiona, then sauteed some mushrooms, black beans and chickpeas with garlic and red onions, then added it to a bowl of spinach with a few cut up strawberries. It’s filling and easy.

Spinach Salad with quinoa, mushrooms, black beans and chickpeas

My workout plan is going well (besides the fact I had NO energy today) but it’s weird to me that I’ve gained pounds, technically, but I dropped an inch of my waist. When it was just yoga, my muscles were a little more lean, and now they’re getting a little more bulky. That’s awesome, I love it, it’s just weird getting used to. I do love feeling my muscles firing as I walk around, it’s really cool.

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Perfectly Spicy and a Little bit Sweet

Posted on March 6, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Just like me. Or not. Ha.

Sometimes you have no inspiration on what to cook next, and you ask friends on Facebook for suggestions. Then you spend a crazy amount of time staring at Pinterest on your phone and get hit with a moment of brilliance. A lot of my Pinterest feed had fritters, one particularly had lentils. I then saw something with honey Sriracha tofu, and then the light bulb went off. I knew I had lentils, why not add some quinoa and beans and make a patty, then cover it with some sweet and spicy tofu?

I originally started this recipe Friday night, the quinoa and lentils were all cooked, then my manager called me into work for a few hours. So that mixture sat in my fridge until today. That actually helped because I was able to go grocery shopping so I could add some spinach to this recipe. (When don’t I add spinach, I know)

This recipe is actually pretty easy, and it doesn’t take that much time if you pre-cook the grains like I had been forced to. The one thing you will need for this is a cast iron skillet; you start the patty on the stove then move it into the oven to finish cooking it off. The nice thing about it, is that you can pre make a lot of the mix and it will stay in the fridge.

Veggie Patty with Honey Sriracha Tofu


Here’s what to get from the store:

Black Beans

Veggie Patties with Sweet and Spicy Tofu

1/2 cup cooked lnetils
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
4 cloves garlic
Handful of Spinach
1/4 cup Oatmeal
1/2 can chickpeas, with the liquid
1/2 can black beans, with the liquid
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Handful of tofu
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper

  1. Put the lentils, quinoa, garlic, spinach, beans and spices and blend until combed. Slowly add the oatmeal until the mixture isn’t as wet.
  2. In a pre heated cast iron pan, form the mixture into a patty and brown on both sides. Place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, flipping half way through.
  3. For the tofu: sauté the tofu until browned. De glaze the pan with the broth, then add the honey and sriracha. Let reduce by half. Place on top of the patty with some red onions.

Today I had my 5 rehearsal, 4th staging rehearsal with City Lit. Before tech, there’s not much for me to do besides take blocking until they’re off book. That being said, I really love every minute of it. The cast is awesome and talented and so is the director. I’m so happy I’m back to doing what I’m best at.

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Is that corn?

Posted on September 6, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

One day at work, one of my coworkers came up to me and said “Hey, call David over here and ask him, is this corn?” Ever since then, we’ve been throwing bad corn puns back and forth at each other. They’re awful and I love it.

Because of that, I’ve been thinking about corn recipes recently. Ok, I actually had a cold or something over the weekend and I wanted a squash soup, but it’s only about 1000 degrees outside so soup was a no go. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to make while walking around Aldi and saw some great zucchini right next to some corn cobs and decided to do a warm salad. I really just wanted something simple, I was starving after my excersice and that seemed like the easiest and healthiest thing to make.

This recipe is very easy, and it’s 100% vegan. It barely takes any time at all and it will fill you up.

Roasted Veggie Salad with Quiona and Kale

Here’s what to get from the store:

Corn on the cob
Black Beans

Roasted Veggie and Quiona Salad

1 zucchini, sliced
1 cob of corn, with the corn taken off
5 florets of fresh broccoli6-10 pieces of asparagus, depending on size, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup cooked quiona
1 Roma tomato, diced
1/2 cup diced kale
Salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika

  1. On a cookie sheet with sides or a 9 x 10 pan, place the zucchini, corn (an easy way to cut it off the cob is to place an upside down bowl in another bowl and cut down the sides), broccoli, asparagus and broccoli. Cover it all in a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, stirring about half way through.
  2. When the veggies are done roasting, place them in a saute pan with the quinoa and black beans. Saute with more seasoning until the beans are warm. Remove from heat and add the kale to wilt it. Serve topped with a diced Roma tomato.

I’ve been here for a little over a month, and I haven’t really hung out with as many people as I thought I was going to. So I’ve been spending a lot more time at home than I thought. It’s not ideal, but I’m dealing with it. Making friends when you’re an adult is hard.

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Movin on Up

Posted on August 3, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

After almost 2 months of stress, I’ve moved! I’m really happy it’s finally happened. Even though I tell people I’m from Indiana, because I spent a little over half my life there, I’ve never really felt at home there. I had some great memories and have a hand full of friends back there, but Illinois and Chicago feel like home to me.

Last night I was finally able to cook a meal in my new place, and I was able to cook for one of my friends! (Most of my friends back in Indiana except for Shawn were really picky so cooking them dinner never really happened).

I knew I hadn’t been eating very well thanks to moving, and I really wanted something filling and good for you. I had bought my dad heirloom tomato seeds for Christmas, and had really been wanting to make a stuffed heirloom tomato. However, my parent’s tomatoes aren’t ready yet (just their cucumbers, which are fabulous), so I had to buy some. True to my attempt at being healthy, I filled them with quiona, goat cheese, black beans and spinach. The result was really delicious.

This recipe is very easy, it just takes some time to bake after you stuff the tomatoes. My tomatoes also fell apart, so if I do this again I’ll put them in a different contain besides a giant muffin tin.

Quiona, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Stuffed Heirloom Tomato

Here’s what to get from the store:

Heirloom tomatoes
Goat Cheese
Vegetable Broth
Canned Black Beans
Fresh Spinach
Fresh Basil
Pinot Noir
Balsamic VinegarRed Onion

Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes

2 Heirloom Tomatoes
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
Black Beans
Goat Cheese
2 tbsp red onion
1 cup Pinot Noir
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Cayanne Pepper

  1. In a sauce pan, start cooking your quinoa in the vegetable broth until fluffy. Add black beans, a hand full of chopped spinach, a few tablespoons of goat cheese, a few leaves of basil, salt, pepper and paprika. Taste to adjust seasoning.
  2. Cut the top of your tomatoes off and take out the middle, set aside. Place the quiona mixture into the tomatoes and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. About 25 minutes in, add a few slices of goat cheese on top to brown.
  3. While the tomatoes are in the oven, start your sauce. Saute the onion in olive oil with salt and pepper until fragrant. Once the onion is cooked, add the middle of the tomatoes and liquids. Stir and reduce. Add the sriracha and seasonings, taste to adjust. Serve on top of the tomatoes.

I’ve only been here a week and it’s been amazing. Instead of having to leave 2 hours before I have to be at work, I’ve been leaving an hour and still have a lot of time when I get down there. I love having so much more time on my hands again.

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Twice the Fun!

Posted on March 20, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

You guys thought I forgot about you, did you? Last week I was on vacation and I came straight home to an 8 shift week. (I was originally scheduled 5..). Vacation was great…but…I gained a few pounds. We ate out more than I thought we were going to and I noticed it.

I came back and decided I had to fix that. This past week I upped my veggie intake and added a spinach and banana smoothie to my breakfast. The few extra pounds are gone, and my energy is back. (By the end of vacation I was a little run down. I only had time to go through my yoga practice once and it was obvious)

All week I was thinking about doing something for St. Paddy’s day, but I didn’t really want to do anything traditional. I’ve never really been super into white potatoes, but I’ve always loved sweet potatoes. They have a lot more flavor, and you can do quite a bit to them. Because of this, I decided to do a twice baked stuffed sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes are great because they have the extra beta carotene that white potatoes don’t have. Yes, they do have the extra sugar, but adding the right spices makes a really cool sweet and spicy flavor.

This recipe is pretty easy, but it does take a lot of time. Since there is a ton of down time, I went through my yoga practice while the potato was in the oven the first time, and let it cool while the quinoa was cooking. This recipe isn’t vegan, but to make it vegan, all you have to do is not put the cheddar on top.

Twice Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet potato
Fresh Broccoli
Aged Irish Cheddar (Optional)

Twice Baked Sweet Potato

1 large sweet potato
3 pieces asparagus, diced
3 broccoli florets, diced
1 tbsp chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup quinoa
Salt, pepper, Tumeric, Cayenne
Block of Irish Cheddar (Optional)

  1. Cut your sweet potato in half length wise. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until cooked through. About 30 minutes in, sprinkle with salt and pepper.Set aside and let cool.
  2. While the potato is cooling, cook the quinoa until fluffy, about 20 minutes.
  3. Once the potato is cool, scoop out the middle, making sure not to break the skin.
  4. In a saute pan, saute the onion until fragrant. Add the asparagus, broccoli, garlic and spices and cook until bright green. Add the quinoa and sweet potato and mix. Taste to adjust seasoning.
  5. Put the mixture back into the shells and top with the shredded cheese, if you like. Bake for another 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

I’ve started working pretty hard to get ready for my move in July. I’m excited to finally be back in Illinois. While Indiana has been nice, I know the city is where I belong.

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Puddin on the Ritz

Posted on December 29, 2015. Filed under: Breakfast | Tags: , , , |

I thought I wasn’t going to be able to cook, but for some reason at midnight, I looked at my quinoa and thought “wonder what breakfast recipes I could find any breakfast recipes?”  of course I did,  the fastest one I found was a Chia pudding, so I made my own. 

This recipe is very easy and the most work you have to do is cook the quinoa.


Here’s what to get from the store :
Almond milk
Chia seeds

Quinoa Strawberry Banana Chia Pudding

1 cp cooked quiona
1/4 cp plus 1 tbsp Chia seeds
1 cup Almond milk
1 banana
5 Strawberries
Sweetner of your choice

1. In a blender, place milk,  fruit, sweetener and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
2. Place the mixture in a quart size jar and add the grains. Shake to incorporate. Let sit in the fridge overnight.
3. In the morning, add your toppings and enjoy!!

I wrote this post on my phone,  and I can tell you,  I don’t like doing it this way. 

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Posted on March 5, 2014. Filed under: Dining | Tags: , , , , |

Life is all about balance. Work and play, awake and sleep, good and bad. I’ve been re-balancing my life, mostly with my food. When Matt and I were having our issues, I lost a bit of weight. When we started working things out, I didn’t really want to gain it back, and I started taking control of what I ate. Before, he and I would eat a lot of take out, a lot of fast food late and night, I didn’t want to do that because it made me feel like crap. Now, if we do eat out, it’s at a restaurant that has less processed food. I make most of my meals with fresh veggies, and it’s showed. I have better energy and I know what I’m eating is making my health all over better. I still eat the bad stuff, too, though, because that’s the balance part. I’ll let myself eat the bad food, only if I eat something good first. The healthy food fills me up much quicker and it keeps me from eating a lot of the bad food.

Something I’ve been eating pretty much every day is a salad that I’ve called my “Super Healthy Salad.” It’s filled with super foods that are filled with vitamines. It doesn’t really need a recipe, but I’m going to tell you how to construct it.

Super Healthy Salad

Fresh KaleFresh Spinach
Cucumbers, chopped
Strawberries, chopped
Red onions, chopped
Raw pecans
dried Cranberries
Cooked quinoa or chickpeas
Balsamic dressing (below)

  1. Rip the kale into bite sized pieces, add to the bowl with the spinach, cucumbers, strawberries, onions, pecans and cranberries and quinoa or chickpeas if you want them. Season with salt and pepper, and a little garlic powder. Pour on the dressing.

Balsamic Dressing

  1. Mix equal parts of olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Add a splash of either fresh lemon or lime juice with salt, pepper, and a little honey. Wisk to incorporate. You can use right away, or store room temperature. It will separate, but you can mix it back together very easily.
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