Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wedrose Acres Animal Sanctuary & Vegan Potluck

The truth about vegans.... We. Love. Food.
And animals too<3


Went out to visit Wedrose Acres Animal Sanctuary (just outside of Bloomington, IL) with Alexis this weekend. There was an awesome vegan potluck and we got to play with, and feed the adorable animals! There were llamas, horses, goats (the babies with long ears were the cutest), even a CAMEL!? And lots more! I had a blast, met some cool people, and the food was amazing! 


One gal, Sandi, made this bomb chocolate pie that had a chocolate chip cookie as the crust.... and it was even gluten free! She is going to give me the recipe and I can't wait to make it! I promised her I would keep it under wraps though, sorry!

Goose! 

 Alexis feeding some Llamas....lol

 I grew up around horses, I love them! 

 Alexis made a gluten free brown rice pasta salad that was amazing. On the way home we discovered a homeless man and gave him leftovers. 


I made my favorite Spaghetti Squash recipe to share at Wedrose:) here is the recipe I modified from Smitten Kitchen if you would like to try it yourself! It's vegan and gluten free. Make it sans chickpeas and it's also Paleo!
Pictured without Cilantro garnish... I forgot this time. 
Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash
Ingredients:
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 8 oz mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons  raisins
  • Half of a 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (either discard or save to roast later).  Roast the halves face-down on a greased baking pan or sheet for 30-40 minutes, until the flesh of the squash is tender and has separated into spaghetti-like strands.
  2. While the squash cooks, heat the coconut  oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft. Stir in spices, salt, raisins, and chickpeas and remove from heat.
  3. When the squash is done, remove from oven and let it sit for five minutes, or until it’s cool enough to handle. Using a fork, scrape the squash flesh out of its skin into a bowl, separating the strands as you go. Toss the squash with the spiced oil mixture and cilantro. Serve warm.


Hope you all had a good long weekend :)
-Em

Stuffed Mushrooms!

I made these yummy shrooms over the weekend for CrossFit Instinct's 2 year anniversary party!  It's paleo, vegan, and gluten free :) This recipe was modified from Cleen Green Simple




 There was quite a bit of leftover "filling" and it actually made for a really good raw dip or  spread to use on sandwiches! I will most definitely be making it again.


Spinach & Walnut Stuffed Shrooms
  • 8 oz (about 20) baby bella mushrooms.
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 c. raw walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 of a small onion
  • 1/2 tbs coconut oil (you could use olive oil if making a raw spread).
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except mushrooms and balsamic vinegar and blend until smooth. Wash mushrooms, carefully remove stems to create a pocket for the filling, and brush with balsamic vinegar. Evenly fill mushrooms with spinach and walnut stuffing.
  2. Place stuffed mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until mushrooms have softened and released their moisture. Remove from oven, carefully use tongs or a spatula to transfer mushrooms to serving dish.
Next time I make this I may try adding some vegan cheese to the filling and see how it turns out!
-Em

Monday, May 28, 2012

Capital City Biathlon

This weekend was the Capital City Biathlon in Springfield. The race was a 5k run followed by a 15 mile bike..... so no swimming! If you know me well, you know the swim is my favorite part!


It was a VERY HOT and HUMID morning. I went out hard on the run maintaining a 6:40-ish pace and keeping around 21 mph on the bike (results are still not posted so this isn't 100% accurate). I ended up taking 2nd overall for the women. I was very happy with that! =) Even better was the keg of fat tire where Kim and I celebrated our 2nd and 3rd place finishes :)





My mom said I was able to race so well because of the steroids I was on all week from my poison ivy. I think she is probably right. 


I was able to get my swim fix on Sunday. We are back out at the long course pool OUTSIDE! I love it!!


I just still can't believe how hot it's been.... 
More weekend fun and some new recipes to come soon!
-Em

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rediculous Time

What a fun, but very FAST weekend! Friday Lexi and I went to a little girly get-together hosted by our mutual friend Lindsay. Lindsay made all vegan appetizers (so sweet) and served some yummy wine! I didn't get pics of all the food because I got too excited and started piggin'. Lindsay made Spring Rolls (my fav), A Greek type sandwich, and baked "mozzarella" stuffed tomatoes. She also made a vegan chocolate cake! 



Saturday Lexi and I checked out the Old Capitol Art Fair downtown and hit up the Illinois wine festival!! I love wine :) And art. 
I got this print to go in my bathroom. What do ya think?




We also hit up the Brewhaus Bar for some of my favorite beer and the Holy Land Diner for some vegan falafel... what a perfect day.



Sunday I was up early to make the drive to Rock Island, IL. My middle brother, Daniel graduated from Augustana College! I am SO very proud of him! 

We went out to lunch after the morning ceremony and the chef whipped up this yummy salad with avocados, roasted beets, and a balsamic dressing. Yum YUM! I love when restaurants get the whole vegan thing!



One bad thing about the weekend. I suffered some severe poison ivy. It's pretty funny NOW that's its getting better because I definitely got it from peeing in the woods..... during the middle of a run. I've always said "when ya gotta go ya gotta go"... but now I'm not so sure about that excuse! Needless to say, I'm on Prednisone for 2 weeks.... and I hate it. It makes me super hyper... I already ran, worked all day, swam, coached swimming all night, and I still feel like running a marathon. Do people sleep on this stuff? Ugh.


It's the last week of school and then memorial day weekend... and then FREEDOM!! This week and weekend is going to be ridiculous. By ridiculous I mean busy, stressful, fun, happy, and maybe a little sad (saying goodbye to my 4th graders). 


But I can't wait to have some of that thing called "free time" again. I forget what it's like! Take Care!
-Em


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This Week Has Reminded Me That...

Crazy friends like this are hard to come by. I really enjoy my little CrossFit family. 


Tony will forever be better at presenting/ photographing his food. I have some work to do. Tony's mushroom tacos. Fried breaded mushrooms with guacamole, black beans, and sweet potato fries. All wrapped up in butter lettuce. Almost paleo, certainty vegan :)  Thanks for the yummy food Tony!

An early morning run isn't necessarily my idea of a good time... but in the end it's always worth it. Plus I get to see this every day! :)


Once again, my friends are AMAZING. Thank you Jeff Williams for talking to my 4th graders about your art. They adored you.



You can teach an old dog new tricks. Check out my one handed stand =) 


Life's too short to be anything but happy. The owner and operator of Happy Sushi is currently loving life. Go visit him. Please.
  


 What a week and it's only WEDNESDAY! Sheesh. I'll be honest, I did try a new recipe but it was a falafel fail. I will have to perfect that one before I post any more about it!



Love your life people! <3
-Em


P.S. Only 6 more days of school. 0:)


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

We had BABIES




Every year the first grade teachers at my school borrow eggs from local farmers and hatch them in their classrooms. On Monday the little babies decided to show their faces. It makes me happy to see these babies but sad at the same time... because we have to give them back. And we all know how that story ends.  =(
Think I could just keep him in the backyard? I mean I do have a fence.
I named this little guy after Tony.. haha. (:  
 
Okay, onto food (certainty not made from cute little babies). I once had sweet potato quesidillas at the Chicago Diner and loved them! I have been wanting to make some for a while and what better time than now? I made these for Cinco de Mayo this past weekend. They were a hit- Even among the cross-fitters. They are so not paleo.


Spinach and Sweet Potato Quesidillas
Ingredients: 
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 sweet Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water or almond milk
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbs dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbs dried basil
  • 1tsp Mexican chili powder 
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 3 cups fresh chopped spinach
  • 2 cups vegan cheese (I used Daiya mozerella style shreds
  • 4 tortillas 
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Steam potato cubes in a pressure cooker until they are soft. Prep other ingredients while potatoes are steaming.
  3. Transfer the softened sweet potatoes to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add the 1/4 cup water or almond milk and continue to stir. Last, stir in the the seasonings. 
  4. In a large skillet heat 1 tbs coconut oil over medium/high heat. Saute the onion and garlic for 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
  5. Reduce heat to medium/low and add the sweet potato mixture to the skillet. Stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. 
  7. Spread the sweet potato mixture into 1/2 of each tortilla. Top with Spinach then vegan cheese. Fold each tortilla in half and place on the baking sheet.  
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes.  
  9. I cut mine into thirds because I was bringing them to a cookout!
*I thought about adding a sliced jalepeno pepper, but since I was cooking for a large group I refrained. Next time. 
 Have a great week everyone!
 
 -Em

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Funday =)

Sunday Funday consisted of masters swimming, a photo shoot with Tony at CrossFit Instinct, Marvel's the Avengers in 3D with Jeff, food & wine at Cafe Andiamo, and me pulling out a 6 year old's tooth. I know, big day.


My friend Sarah's daughter, Mari.
Me and Mari's matching shoes. She is 6.. I am 26. 
Veggie plate Tony made me again at Cafe Andiamo
After Hours at Cafe Andiamo with good friends.. and Mari taking the picture.  

Like I said... Mari taking the picture!

Video of me pulling out Mari's wiggly tooth. I love her reaction! She is adorable! :)


It was a very busy/fun Sunday. I also made this Date Syrup. Perfect to use in place of maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, or any sugar (which I have been cutting back on). I like it in my coffee! This recipe was modified from ZOMT Bakes. I modified this recipe to make it sweeter and more syrup-y. 
Get in my coffee!
Tastes pretty sweet!
Date Syrup
Ingredients:
  • 15 pitted dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tbs lemon juice
Medhod:
  1. Soak dates in 1/2 cup water over night. 
  2. combine soaked dates and water with remaining 1/2 cup water, and lemon juice.
  3. Blend in a blender until smooth.
  4. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Mine is gone in about a week! Love this!

Hope you all had a great week and weekend. I had a GREAT week and weekend. I never thought I could learn so much about myself in a matter of days. I may elaborate more in my next post so stay tuned for that and the yummy food I made for Cinco de Mayo yesterday!
-Em