Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hey YOU!!!


Just in case you missed it, I moved!

Come hang out with me over at my new casa:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's official - I'm on wordpress. PLEASE update your readers.. see you at my new home!

Irrational Behavior

I may be switching over to wordpress - blogger is being ridiculous and won't let me upload any more pictures because i've reached my "quota". has anyone else had this problem?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

warning: disappointment ahead

Disappointments are at large right now. First and foremost, I won't be able to attend Healthy Living Summit as originally planned this weekend. It's an error on my part, actually. I was under the impression the Jimmy Buffet concert I go to every year with my parents was on August 28, not on August 14. Needless to say, I bought these tickets a year ago and my parents and the husband would be disappointed if I backed out. Alas, I will visit with my parrot head friends waving my fins to the left and right and perhaps befriending a son of a sailor. I will miss everyone who I was so excited about meeting though. There are a few of you who live in the area, so... meet up sometime soon? I would thoroughly enjoy that!

Breakfast started out this morning with a very pretty bowl of overnight oats. If you're new to the world of overnight oats, visit this girl or you can just follow my way without the chia seeds (because I just haven't dished out the dough for them yet).

In the bowl goes:
  • 1/3 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup h2o
  • 1/2 smashed banana
  • 1 tbsp. flax meal
  • splash of vanilla
Let those ingredients mingle overnight. In the morning, add your favorite toppings!

Today, I went with blueberries, a strawberry star, coconut, cinnamon, and peanut butter. It was delicious!

I'm kind of like good ole George Washington, however, and I cannot tell a lie.

I pick the strawberries off and eat them on the side. I just can't do them in the oatmeal. It freaks me out. Are there any fruits you HAVE to eat plain?

After breakfast, I hit the gym for a sweaty strength training session. I was a little nervous today as I checked out my half marathon training schedule. It kind of fell to the wayside while the wedding was front and center. Apparently, I'm supposed to run ten, yes TEN, miles on Saturday morning. Words of encouragement are appreciated.. thanks.

After I got home from the gym, I was already hungry (seriously?) and snacked on an organic Turkish fig from Whole Foods - these are the best figs in the world.

I got ready really quick and headed to a place I have thought of not once this summer: school! Yes, if you are new around here, I am a teacher. Do I sometimes wish my job was to run, exercise, play housewife with my cooking and cleaning, and blog? Of course, but I digress.

I moved to a new school this year (same district, new school, different grade) and I had been feeling kind of bummed about it because all of my really good running friends teach at my old school. I also didn't know what the room situation would be like and if I would be able to organize all my materials for a new grade before the begining of the school year.

My fears were quickly pushed aside when I opened the filing cabinets and all the materials for the fifth graders were already organized and ready for my use! The teacher who retired had been teaching for 30 years, was very meticulous, and left EVERYTHING for me! I almost shed a happy tear. I will be there every day until the school year starts to continue setting up my classroom. I should just put up some caution tap before anyone tries to come in. It's that bad. I'm bringing in my niece and nephew tomorrow - what's the law on child labor laws? :)

While I was attempting to set up my classroom, I snacked on an apple and some almonds.

Around noon, I felt it was time to go to the teacher store to get some things and go home to eat lunch. I finally got home about 1:15 and whipped myself up a quick lunch. Leftovers are very necessary when I don't feel like cooking!

Up first: crackers, carrots, and hummus.

i'm kind of in love with this picture.
 Also on the menu was leftover mexican stoup from the other night. It may not look pretty, but it sure was delicious!

When I decided I was still hungry, I ate the rest of my chickpea dish from last night. Then some more crackers were consumed. Then some crackers were dipped in this bad boy.

so fresh and so clean
 These strawberry preserves are from the farm I am looking into getting a CSA from! They were so delicious. They will go fast!

I decided to make my own nut butter this afternoon on a whim. Cashmond butter to be exact. Anyone want to guess what nuts were in it?

Cashews and almonds!

If you have never made your own nut butter before and you own a processor, please take advantage of it. It is seriously the easiest thing ever! Throw some nuts in, grind for about 5 minutes, and you're done!

this one's a keeper
Another disappointment is up next.

Blogger won't let me upload two of my pictures! They keep telling me the "server rejected" them and to only use photos I have the liscence to use. Ummm... excuuuse me blogger! Those are liscense of Mrs. Chelsey!

Anyways, one was a very artsy pictures (which I was oh so proud of) of all the thank you cards I finished writing today and was about to send out.

Another was of the gluten free pizza I consumed for dinner. The husband and I went out for pizza with my parents this evening to a place that has gluten free pizza (obviously). I was skeptical yesterday when she asked I wanted to go because most gluten free pizza crusts have corn in them. However, I called the restaurant to see if they had corn in the crust and it didn't! It was thin crust with tons of veggies: spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and broccoli. They held the cheese though. Have you ever had cheeseless pizza? I didn't even miss the cheese!

It was delicous.. and now my belly is too full for a snack. Well, maybe.

I'm off for some R&R with the husband.

I asked tons of questions in the post - answer whatever one sparks you the most!

Monday, August 9, 2010

you'll want to keep eating reading

I say this because I have a day's worth of glorious eats and TWO recipes for you tonight!

Remember last night how I said I was enjoying the chocolate almond butter while writing? Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure this made me sick. I had a horrible stomachache for the rest of the night, and it just didn't go over so well.

you were delicious.. except my tummy didn't like you
 I'm kind of wary of saying this because I don't want to admit it, but I think chocolate is giving my stomach problems lately. I am thinking back tot he last couple of times when I made my chocolate protein muffins and the same thing happened then as well. Now that I'm aware, I'll have to test out my theory... but will be really upset if chocolate is the culprit. Digestable or not, the snack bowl below totally rocked my world last night.

1/2 organic pink lady, cherries, raisins, cashews, chocolate almond butter, and a tiny sliver of a pb&j larabar
 I just want everything at night... so I make it happen!

I roused myself out of bed this morning at the lovely hour of 6:30. I tried to get out of bed to make the husband breakfast today, but he wouldn't let me. Moreover, I fell back asleep for a good hour. It felt good.

Today was another beautiful vegan overnight oats parfait with cherries and blueberries as the layers. I am really excited because I got another pound of blueberries at the store today for $2.88! I wasn't out yet, but I figured I HAD to take advantage of the deal.

i know you're jealous of my breakfast, but we can still be friends.

Want to get closer?

you're right.. that's not close enough.

How about this close?

oh yes.. much better
 I did a lot of busywork today, including but not limited to:

  • throwing away my bridal bouquet - some may call me heartless, but i will just tell them i'll look at the pictures to remember what they looked like.

  • measure my windows for roman shades with the help of my interior designer bestie
  • finish up the most laundry I've ever done in my life
  • run 4.5 miles in 40 minutes (what's up 8:50 pace!!)
  • make the most delicious guacamole I've ever consumed.. EVER!

1/2 avocado smashed, 4-5 chopped grape tomatoes, 1/8 cup chopped red onion, salt and pepper to taste

I had that guacamole for lunch atop a romaine salad with mushrooms and salsa. I also ate a pink lady (an apple, not a person) but the picture was too blurry and embarassing to even post it.

I got some new hummus at the store today! I am all out of my regular hummus (::tear::), so I figured this would suffice for the time being. I got roasted garlic and the original variety.

Verdict is it is very good, but I still like my guy better. I HAVE to get to Costco soon!

I gave the husband two choices this evening: spaghetti or chicken. He chose spaghetti with chicken. He and I have the same problem apparently... we just can't choose! So, I set off to make him an easy marinara loaded with great veggies.

Marinara Madness

What you'll need:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 zucchini, cut in small chunks
  • 5 cloves (yes, 5!) garlic, 3 chopped, 2 in chunks
  • 2 cans (15 oz) organic diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • handful fresh basil
  • salt, pepper, oregano, granulated garlic
How it's done:

Start by heating a dutch oven to medium high heat. Before you do this, coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil.

While this is heating, chop your veggies to your desired consistencies - I like a chunkier sauce, so my vegetables weren't as small.

Dump the onion, garlic, and zucchini into the dutch oven and cook until tender and translucent.

While your veggies are cooking, chop your fresh basil into small pieces. If you don't have fresh basil, dried basil is also acceptable.

doesn't this just scream "summer"!?
Add in your two cans of diced tomatoes and spices once vegetables are tender.

Let the sauce simmer for 45 min - 1 hour. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors blend together!

To be honest with you, when it comes to spices I couldn't tell you whether I added 1/8 tsp or 2 tbsps. of a particular spice. I spice to taste, so it never comes out the same. I apologize if you are a strict recipe follower, but that's just not how I roll.

This sauce was enough for the husband and I (I use a lot!), so if you are feeding more than 2 people, you may want to double the recipe!

I wasn't feeling spaghetti tonight. I don't know why, but I just didn't want it. The husband is more than happy to indulge in brown rice pasta with me, but I let him enjoy his wheat laden pasta tonight for once. I got to work on a concoction inspired by Angela's Speed it Up Spinach and Chickpeas.

In a pot went the following:
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • handful mushrooms
  • handful chopped basil
  • 3-4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2-1 cup Marinara Madness (above)
  • 1 tbsp gluten free flour (to thicken it all up)

I let it all hang out for 15 minutes or so, and was served up this delicious bowl!

I'm not going to lie, I could have eaten it all by myself, but I reminded myself how much I enjoy my evening snack. All of the flavors blended together so well. It was a clean and light mix - I didn't feel weighed down at all when I was done eating. This is definitely a keeper in my books!

Now it is time to go find said snack and catch up with you all! I am ready to relax, how about you?

Question: Do you cook more than one dinner in your household or do you make one meal and let others "deal with it"? For me, I don't mind cooking more than one thing. I would never force anyone to eat something they wouldn't enjoy. I also didn't feel like I spent a lot of time modifying my meal to fit my needs.

Question #2: Who out there is going to Healthy Living Summit this weekend? I am going for the day on Saturday, and I couldn't be more excited! I'm looking forward to meeting some of my bloggers!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Yes, you did read right.




It all started with a little family gathering after church this morning. My in-laws decided to get baptized today during the service, so we all headed to their house for some treats and reconnecting.

I had a small piece of my vegan crumble coffee cake and some fruit to hold me over until Veggie Fest!

It was so great to chat with family and catch up. There was talks about the wedding, honeymoon, and bailing husbands out of jail (oh family... let's hope the husband doesn't make it into that category any time soon - hah!). There was also lots of play time with the younger cousins and nieces. I love having little kids around - they make everything so much more fun.

In case you're wondering, the coffee cake went over pretty well! They are actually starting to realize I will not tell them what's in it until they've at least tried it! :) I also came out of the blogging closet a little bit.. I've been discovered. When asked why I never mentioned it before, I simply said "it was my little secret". I'm glad to know some of them have been reading it though!

Mommasita picked me up and we headed out to Veggie Fest!! Veggie Fest is the "biggest, free vegetarian food festival in the country". Now, normally I feel like an anomaly, an outcast, and just plain weird for my lifestyle choices. I could totally relate to Emily today when she talked about her friend's bachelorette party. Today, I kind of felt liberated. I loved being surrounded by other people who appreciated vegetarianiasm, vega products, CSA's, and natural dog treats (okay, you'll see in a minute why this is important).

I was so excited to finally get there! It was raining and definitely chilly when we arrived, but we perservered through the weather and I am glad we did! It stopped raining and when the sun finally came out, it was boiling!

 I was very happy when on arrival, we stopped by the Nature's Path booth and recieved tons of free samples and a super cute reusable grocery bag!!

Mommasita and I paroosed for a while before we went and got our food tickets. We each got 10 (1 ticket = $1) and hit up the food booths!

I had my first experience with Indian food! It was sooo good! I never knew Indian food was so gluten free friendly! I won't lie, I really don't remember what this was called, but they were brown rice veggie pancakes. Does anyone know what these are called? Alonside my veggie pancakes was an awesome coconut sauce to dip them in!

i could probably eat you every day
I pretty much got my fill of veggies on that dish, so I decided to try something I had never tried before: fresh coconut water. My goodness, you all are not lying when you say this stuff is good.  I can definitely see how it can rehydrate you after a long work out - it is pretty thick and very refreshing! The woman at the booth told me to come back when I ws done drinking it so they could crack it open and I could eat the flesh. We never made it back though because we had something else really delicious in store!

First, we hit up the Vega booth where I tried a number of their bars and shakes. I've seen the Vega products floating around on the blogosphere for some time now and have really wanting to try them. You all know I give my honest opinion around here, and to be blunt, I was not impressed. Most of their bars tasted the same and I didn't enjoy the vanilla almond vega shake as much as I hoped I would. Am I willing to dish out $23 for a package of it? Sorry, but no.

Has anyone every tried aroniaberries? There was a booth which had some - the stats on them reminded me of acai berries. The man said they were full of antioxidants. I tried one - they were very tart, but pretty good!

Next up was a real treat - Mommasita and I split a dessert from Raw Creations. This was an organic raw/vegan dessert that was aboslutely to DIE for!

Carrot Cheesecake? I realllly want to try and recreate this! That is how good it is! The ingredient list was solid: dates, cashews, carrots (gotta love the veggies in desserts!), coconut flour... It was super filling, but gone really fast! We both enjoyed this a lot!

sorry for the shadow - I was just so excited!
 Do you all remember my big dog Chagall? Well, if you've forgotten about him, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with him pronto! He is wheat intolerant (possibly one of the reasons why I love him) and we are always on the hunt for new treats!

Enter in natural dog treats.

These were awesome - I say this because I tried one. Yes, I did. How could I not? The ingredient list was normal: garbanzo bean flour, oat flour, vegetables, parsley, onion, garlic. The woman didn't even think I was crazy. Conversation below:

Me: So, have you tried these?
Dog Treat Lady: Of course, we make them all!
Me: Are they any good? Can I try one?
Dog Treat Lady: Go ahead! They kind of taste like an italian style crouton!

They really did! Mommasita jumped on the bandwagon after I had one and agreed they tasted good. I even got mad at her for taking the last bite!

There were also Clif bar tastings (the new minibars are gluten free!).

apple pie variety
There was a CSA booth from an organic farm up in Wisconsin as well. I have been wanting to take advantage of a CSA for a while now, but wanted to wait until after the wedding. It comes out to be about $20 per week for amazing organic produce. Am I crazy or is that not totally worth it? I spend more money on vegetables at farmer's markets and grocery stores alone! The husband agreed we could do it! I am pumped! We are "trying it out" for the fall season, but have a hunch it will become a regular thing for us around here!

 We also went to Whole Foods where I got a bunch of loot! I forgot to take a picture - I apologize.

Tonight was filled with simple eating and lots of housework! I quickly ate a salad, sweet potato, and some more veggies.

The husband and I actually made progress on the house! His office is put together, the deck is cleared of construction, and 2 weeks worth of laundry (:gasp:) is finally done. Time to put my feet up and relax! I am currently enjoying some fruit, raisins, and Justin's chocolate almond butter. Where has that crack in jar nut butter been my whole life???

Like I said... absolutely perfect.

Question: Do you ever feel like an outcast based on your lifestyle choices? How do you deal? I definitely do, but I just go with it! I am who I am - people can choose to accept it or not!

PS: I said veg 14 times in this post. I'm all about the veggies! (whoops... make that 15 times)

vegan crumble coffee cake

Ahhh... the joys of a quiet house on a beautiful Sunday morning - nothing gets better than oats and coffee in the morning.

The husband enjoys sleeping in a while on Sunday mornings, while my body clock tells me to wake up at 6 a.m. every morning. Do I mind? Definitely not. I love some Chelsey time in the morning to eat, read some blogs, and catch up with the world.

This morning I decided to try the coffee we bought while we were in Mexico. The shop we bought it from was amazing - it was a chocolate cafe and had so many delectable things such as coffees, ice creams, cacao nibs, chocolate covered cacao beans... well, you get the picture.

This coffee was very good. I like pretty strong coffee, and I figured out the husband likes mild coffee, so I only made enough for myself this morning. It wasn't too strong, but the flavor was incredible. Mildly bitter with a nutty chocolate aftertaste. That is my kind of coffee!

Next up was how any other morning should start: with vegan overnight oats. These honestly do not ever get old, and I remember how I was afraid to try them at first. You can read about my first experience with them here. This made me want to go back and read through my archives - I love having my little diary. :)

i may or may not be obsessed with the color yellow.
the husband is not - so i find sneaky ways to accent it in our home.

topped with blueberries, strawberries, cinnamon, peanut butter, and coconut

i'm glad i'm going to WF soon - my coconut supply is running very low!

I just can't get over how beautiful food is - I love having this blog so I can appreciate the good fuel which goes into my body.

Okay, I'll get to the recipe now since I have been teasing you with overnight oats when really you just want to see a coffee cake recipe.

Vegan Crumble Coffee Cake inspired by Vegan Yum Yum

"crumb" topping:
  • 3/4 cup flour (i used GF)
  • 2/4 cup oat flour (i used the proccessor to grind oats)
  • 1/4 cup oats (I used GF)
  • 8 tbsp. vegan margarine
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
coffee cake:
  • 1 1/4 cup flour (I used a combo of GF and oat flour)
  • 1/4 cup turbinado (also known as Sugar in the Raw)
  • pinch of baking soda (you can also use 1/s tsp. baking powder)
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup almond milk + 1 tsp lemon juice (mix together and let sit for 10 minutes)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • extra cinnamon for sprinkling
How it's Done:
  1. Create your crumb topping first. Start by melting the margarine on the stovetop or in the microwave. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix the melted margarine into the sugar. Slowly stir in the flour.
  2. Set aside for 10 minutes while coffee cake is made.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
this wasn't as "crumbly" as I would have liked, but it worked! in the future, i would add more flour.
4. Combine the "dry" ingredients in a separate mixing bowl (flour, sugar, baking soda) and mix well.
5. Add in the "wet" ingredients (vanilla, applesauce, almond milk) and stir until blended. Do NOT overmix.

i love this baking dish - it's from crate and barrel in case you were wondering!
 6. Spray your 8x8 or 9x6 baking dish with cooking spray of your choice.
7. Evenly spread the dough on the bottom of the dish. It may look like it's not enough, but it really rises up. (Just go with it!)
8. Sprinkle cinnamon over the dough for some extra flavor!
9. Spread "crumble" mixture over the top of the dough. I was going to do this in little chunks, but the mixture was too soupy.
10. Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes.

vegan crumble coffee cake
Doesn't this look divine? It is the perfect weekend treat! I originally was going to make it for the husband this morning, but I am bringing it over to his parent's house after church as they are having some family over. I, of course, had to try a piece! Sometimes when I make new recipes I insist upon trying them before anyone else eats it. That way when I tell them it's gluten free and vegan they aren't afraid to try different things!

Enjoy your Sundays everyone! Guess where I'm going today! I'll give you a little hint! Recap to follow tonight.

Question: Have you ever tried a new recipe and did not get the reaction you thought you would? Good or bad, share it all!