Friday Finds

1. Ozeri Non-Stick Pan

I’ve been through my fair share of non-stick pans.

Many have lost their ‘non-stick’ properties after a short period of time, while others have had questionable materials and chemicals used in them. One pan I had retained its non-stick abilities, but wasn’t heavy enough to sit flat on the burner!

After many failures, I’ve found one that really suits my needs.

 

It has a heavy base, it doesn’t smell weird when heated, it doesn’t scratch, and it cleans easily.

Though I’m no expert on the various chemicals used in this type of cookware, this one is free of PFOA, and, better yet, it’s affordable.

2. My Favorite Yoga Pants

Going to the gym as often as I do, I go through yoga pants quickly!

Though I’ve tried quite a few different brands, my favorite, most comfortable, most flattering choice for workout attire comes from Miss Victoria….

Pants

There is definitely a reason these pants are titled ‘most-loved’ by Victoria’s Secret.

3. Homemade Goo Gone

My girls love stickers…

They will attach them to everything, including books, windows, and even mommy.

As you might guess, trying to peel a sticker off of a window or any other hard surface, often leaves a sticky residue that can be a pain to get rid of.

After reading a few DIY tutorials online, I found this one that explained I could remove the film with a combination of coconut oil and baking soda!

This stuff seriously works like magic, and I’ve even used it to remove the oily food remnants on our windows.

4. Personality Testing

I love personality tests, they’re such a fun way to get to know yourself better!

The Jung Personality Test is an interesting one that can tell you quite a bit about yourself, as well as what type of personality you mesh best with.

Strangely enough, my husband and I both showed up to be INFJs, the rarest type in the bunch.

You can take the test here, if interested.

5. Movie to Watch

I love this movie for its portrayal of a pregnant woman not overjoyed about the notion of being with child.

Most flicks that depict pregnancy and marriage, have a predictable plot line with an exuberant expectant mother, and this film goes against the grain of that, which I found funny and relatable. Keri Russell is awesome in the part, and you won’t even recognize Andy Griffith as her cantankerous boss!

What are you enjoying this week? Any new beauty products or renewed recreational interests?

What I Ate Wednesday (8/27/14)

Breakfast

Though I didn’t grow up with waffles, my daughters and husband all love them, so I try to make them every so often…

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Though I love my Blender Waffles, these were the ‘best I’ve ever made’, according to my hubby.

I used a combination of chickpea and rice flours, and they came out light and crispy. I added a touch of sweetness with some coconut sugar, and we all ate them sans syrup.

Snack

I’m really into soups lately, since they’re relatively quick and easy, and I’ve been trying to ‘healthify’ some of my old favorites…

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I tested out a new cream of mushroom soup that turned out pretty good! It needs a bit more work, but my girls and I ate all of it anyway (those are their little bowls in the back). :-)

Lunch

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For lunch, I had a good deal of zucchini going bad, so I noodle-ized them and made a Primavera sauce out of hemp milk and parmesan. I also added in some chopped cherry tomatoes, peas, and fresh basil.

Dinner

I was pretty full from lunch, so I didn’t eat again until dinner…

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I cooked some short grain brown rice and made a stir-fry with some leftover chicken, broccoli, carrot, celery, mushrooms, snow peas, and water chestnuts. I splashed in some soy sauce and rice vinegar, which really helped give the meal a more authentic Chinese taste.

Dessert

For some reason, I have been craving chocolate pie lately…

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The filling had a great taste, but the consistency was off. I’m hoping to perfect this for the upcoming holiday months! :-)

What are you eating this week?

Hearty Vegetable Soup with Sweet Potato Biscuits (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

During my college years, I was all about the low carb/Atkins craze.

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My diet consisted largely of protein shakes/powders, protein bars, chicken, spinach, salad, a little fruit, and diet drinks (the horror, I know).

I remember my mom trying even then to explain the dangers of artificial sweeteners, and it just kind of went in one ear and out the other. For the record, listen to your mothers, especially if they have a great track record for calling it like it is.

My mom has actually taught me about quite a few things that, initially, seemed like something only a crazy woman would be keen on, including chemical sensitivity, soy milk (in the 80s, mind you), and plastic surgery.

My mom is a character, she is.

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She’s a no B.S. kind of lady with a knack for telling it like it is, sensitive individuals be damned. I actually appreciate that she’s not disingenuous with me, and have learned to be grateful for her good qualities, including raising me with the knowledge of all things health-related, not the least of which was food.

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When I lived with her, one of our favorite meals to make together resembled this: a good, vegetable or bean-based soup and some scrumptious, warm crusty bread, though my chosen bread of choice then was usually some attempted knock-off of Macaroni Grill’s rosemary deliciousness.

For these recipes, I was set on creating a lower calorie vegetable soup that could be paired with a more indulgent biscuit.

The soup derives the majority of its flavor from the unique combination of herbs and vegetables, namely the basil and leek. I also add in a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice at the end to brighten up the taste.

In the biscuits, the flavors from the sweet potato and oat flour pair exceptionally well with the coconut milk, all lending a soft and tender inside with a slightly crusty outside. My girls just eat this right up!

Hearty Vegetable Soup with Sweet Potato Biscuits (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 good bowls
Ingredients
  • SOUP:
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ c. carrot, chopped
  • ¾ c. celery, chopped
  • 2 c. green beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 c. green cabbage, chopped
  • 2 c. tomatoes, chopped
  • 4½ c. water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ c. frozen corn
  • 2 T. fresh parsley
  • 2 T. fresh basil
  • 2 t. fresh lemon juice
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ t. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • BISCUITS:
  • 1 t. lemon juice
  • ¼ c. coconut milk (I use light)
  • ½ c. cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 2 T. oil (I use grapeseed)
  • 1 T. applesauce
  • 2 t. maple syrup
  • ¾ c. oat flour (I grind my own flour using Country Choice Organic Oats)
  • ¼ c. brown rice flour
  • ¼ t. sea salt
  • 2 t. baking powder
Instructions
  1. SOUP:
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil.
  3. Add in the leek and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in the garlic, carrot, and celery, and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Stir in a pinch of red pepper flakes along with a good pinch of salt (it helps to lightly salt each layer of additions as you go).
  6. Add in the green beans, cabbage, tomatoes, water, bay leaves, and corn.
  7. Bring the mix to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  8. Cover the pot and let the mix simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove the lid, stir in the fresh herbs and lemon juice.
  10. Season, to taste.
  11. BISCUITS:
  12. Preheat the oven to 400.
  13. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice with the coconut milk.
  14. Let stand 5 minutes.
  15. In a separate bowl, mix the sweet potato, oil, applesauce, maple syrup.
  16. Add the coconut milk mix to the wet ingredients.
  17. In another bowl, mix the flours, salt, and baking powder.
  18. Mix everything together gently, just until all ingredients are moistened.
  19. Dollop 7-8 spoonfuls of batter onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  20. Bake the biscuits for 15-17 minutes, until lightly golden.
  21. Cool and enjoy!
Notes
Nutrition facts (for soup) include ½ teaspoon of sea salt, though you may need more for taste. WW points (new system) (for soup): 3 Please see below the recipe box for biscuit nutritional info.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙ soup recipe Calories: 94 Fat: 5 g Saturated fat: 0.8 g Unsaturated fat: 4.2 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 12.3 g Sugar: 4.2 g Sodium: 194 mg Fiber: 3.4 g Protein: 2.2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

The above nutritional information is for the soup, while these stats refer to the biscuits:

Serving size: 1/8 of biscuit recipe

Calories: 117

Fat: 5.9 g

Sugar: 2.3 g

Fiber: 1.7 g

Carbs: 14.6 g

Protein: 1.9 g

WW points (new system): 3

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This makes a very satisfying and filling lunch! I love to dip my biscuits into the warm soup to soak up some of the broth, and the contrasting temperatures and textures from the savory liquid and the lightly sweetened rolls really complement one another!

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Do you get along with your parents? What is your favorite thing to pair with soup?

 

 

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