Tag Archives: guacamole

Guess what?!! x2

3 Jul

Today is my 100th post on CSM!!

And I want to kick it off by thanking all of you, my lovely readers, for your support, your time, you encouragement and your friendship.  I can honestly say that the process I’ve gone through over the course of the last week has been made so much easier and sweeter because of you.  So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I want to celebrate my 100th post, as well as thank all of you by doing a fun giveaway!!  I’ll be releasing the details early next week so stay tuned!

The other piece of great news I have is that I got the job yesterday!  I’ll be teaching ESL classes as well as helping to plan and carry out events for international students and their families.  I won’t actually start teaching until the fall semester classes start in late August, but I will be doing some prep work and other things starting in a couple of weeks.  Whoop!

Obviously, securing this new job has helped boost my confidence about leaving my old one, and it just so happens that I was offered the new one on the same day that I sent in my resignation letter.  Coincidence?!

I’m really working hard to stop dwelling on the what ifs and concentrate on what I have going on now.  I also received some very wise and very sweet encouragement and advice from you guys yesteryday, and I wanted to share some of your thoughts, in case there’s anyone reading who is dealing with something of this nature

Heather said “Just keep reminding yourself of why you are making this choice.” – I’ve thought back to this advice many times over the past couple of days.  And when I think of it I’m reminded of all the exciting things that are yet to come!

My very wise friend Elyse commented saying “Your identity is not in what you do, it’s who you are. And a job is not who you are. Your worth is much more than the paycheck and responsibilities you had.”  – Wow.  What a wake up call.  It seems so obvious, but I hadn’t stepped back from the situation long enough to realize this.  I think it has been helping me a lot to try to step back and look at the situtation objectively.

Mary gave some very short and simple advice that I think will be my new mantra.  She said “Now go courageously on and choose joy.  – I think that oftentimes joy is something that we do have to consiously choose.  we can dwell on the negative or we can focus on the positive and choose to be joyful no matter our circumstances.

And from Kelliyou will be amazed at the blessings you encounter along your path when you have time to slow down and enjoy them. you will love your new freedom. (i can already see you are!) don’t be afraid to take the leap!=) – Our society is so fast paced that I think I sometimes feel guilty for just slowing down.  Like I won’t be doing everything I need to be doing if I take time to slow down and enjoy life.

Lastly, a very insightful thought from my sweet friend SarahMaybe we don’t hear about peoples regrets because they don’t have any related to quitting a job that wasn’t right for them? – So true!  Why would anybody have regrets for making a decision to be happier and leave behind something that is dragging them down?  Why would I regret that?

How could I not be feeling more positive and uplifted after all that?

Well, I can’t celebrate my 100th post today without some food pics!  Amen?!

Yesterday’s lunch…simple.

Amy’s low sodium vegetable lentil soup

apple – (leftover from my trip to Panera with my mom a couple weeks ago:)

Soy cheese and spinach enchilada with chopped onions and green chilis…covered in green enchilada sauce

homemade guacamole – obvs;)

This morning’s breakfast – Nature’s Path Organic Flax plus Raisin Bran (whew..what a mouthful!) with almond milk

We’re headin’ out to spend the weekend with my family at the lake.  We’re running soooo late because we tried to fit too many thing into this morning – workout (quick 5k on the treadmill), packing, giving Olive a bath and haircut (bad idea;), blogging, invoicing, going to the bank, picking up a book from the bookstore and going to Walmart.  AAAHHHHH!

Have an amazing 4th of July weekend everyone!  We have no internet at our lake cabin, so I’ll see ya when we get back to civiliation on Monday!

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epic vegan chocolate chip cookies (enough said:)

22 Jun

Happy 2nd day of summer!   I failed to wish anybody a happy 1st day of summer yesterday, so I figure why not make up for it today?!  Honestly, summer is not my favorite season, and so far this one seems hotter than ever!  I stepped outside about an hour ago to water our flowers, and after a minute flat I was sweating profusely.  Ugh. I’m pretty sure the flowers appreciated it though:)

Woke up this morning and headed to the gym for Piyo.  The instructor today made the class ten times more intense than the other instructor I’ve had.  I have never gotten into yoga.  In fact, I went to my first yoga class only within the last year.  I think I love it.  And it loves me.  The last couple of weeks I’ve been going a lot more, and now I crave it all the time.  I think I’m going to have to get some DVDs or find some online bc my gym only offers three classes a week, only one of those being only yoga (not Piyo).

Breakfast was a green monster that was as delicious as it was ugly.  Don’t know what happened to the color, but I’m not happy about it!  This one contained 1 cup soy milk, 1/2 banana, 1 scoop Amazing Grass, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp peanut butter, the last of my spinach and 1 kale leaf.

There is the cutest little shop in our town, Peck’s Lodge, and in our early college years Jon and I frequented it so much that we became good friends with the owner.  This past week his mother passed away.  I never had the pleasure of meeting her, but the way Dan always talked about her I know she was lovely.  This morning we attended her funeral; it was a very meaningful service that really made me think about life and what’s important.  I was reminded that at the end of life, the kindness and love that a person showed to others is what’s remembered most.  It really made me think about how caught up I get in trivial things that don’t really matter in the end.  Always a good reminder.

Soon after I got home, I threw together some lunch

leftovers of this meal, with the addition of homemade guacamole

I also snacked on a few blue corn tortilla chips.

Now onto the good stuff. I bring you….

Epic Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from here)

Yes…they were epic.

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp.salt
vegan chocolate or carob chips – YOU decide how many!
1 cup raw sugar (I used sugar in the raw, but you could use turbinado etc)
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup water
1 flax egg (combine 3 tbsp water with 1 tbsp milled flaxseed in a sauce pan.  Simmer until it reaches egg-like consistency
about 1/2 to 1 tbsp of Agave (I didn’t measure)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add chocolate/carob chips. Set aside.
3.  In a separate bowl mix vegan sugar and oil. Next add the vanilla and the water. Mix it well.  Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix well.   Spoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 8-10 minutes.  I basically just checked mine every two minutes after the initial 10.  I think they ended up taking about 18 minutes.  Take them out while they are still a bit soft and gooey.  They will harden as they cool; however, these cookies stayed very soft!
4.  This batch made about 12-16 cookies.

My husband is a chocolate chip cookie connoisseur.  They are his absolute favorite, and they have to be just right.  On top of that, he is always honest with me about my vegan/healthy creations.  He doesn’t bat an eye when telling me how he really feels, even if he abhors whatever strange concoction I’ve invented.

He loves these!  While he says they don’t taste just like a regular non-vegan chocolate chip cookie, they are still delicious and satisfying.  I’ll take it!  Besides, he can’t stop eating them, so that’s enough proof for me:)

Make these…asap.

Still to come this week: two more Paris recaps (humor me if you’re tired of these) + review of my affordable and fantastic Waring Pro Juicer from Target.

See ya later!

runnin' just as fast as i can

21 Jun

This morning I hit the gym for a quick 5k and some weight machines.  As mentioned before I have lost some of my running endurance, and I am now on the road to getting it back.  I took one walk break smack dab in the middle of my run this morning, so my final time was about 35 minutes.  Not that impressive, I know, but I’m just happy to be running!

Oddly, I wasn’t too hungry when I got home, so I held off awhile before fixing this for breakfast:

grilled banana and peanut butter sandwich on Ezekiel

This was my first time for a grilled pb and b, and I loved it!  Will definitely be making this again and again.  I simply spread a layer of pb on one side of a piece of Ezekiel bread  (toasted for about a minute to thaw it out).  Then I sliced a half a banana in half, laid it on the bread and put another slice of toast on top.  I then lightly buttered each side of the sandwich with Earth Balance so it would cook better.  Then threw it in a skillet and grilled away!

A few hours later I decided to make something fun for Jon since he was coming home for lunch.

For the bowl, crumple a piece of foil into a ball and lay a whole wheat tortilla over it, pressing it down over the ball.  Bake it in the oven at 400 degrees until the edges are slightly browned.  Spread the tortilla with refried beans and sprinkle on brown rice.  In the meantime, sautee green bell pepper and onion strips in seasonings until soft, then add them to the bowl.  Finish it off with rinsed black beans, cheese, salsa and homemade guacamole.  Jon could not stop raving over how delicious this was.  By the time he got home to eat, I was a bit hungry so I made one for myself as well, minus the tortilla and cheese.  Heaven in a bowl:)

Today I’m working on getting our office organized, which is proving to be quite a feat!  There is layer upon layer of stuff to go through, everything from college projects to current bills.  It feels like it’s never going to be done, but I know it will feel so good and be such a pleasant place for J and I to work once it’s all cleaned up.  We’re planning on rearranging and doing some more decorating as well…there will be chalkboard paint involved!

That’s all folks!  Hope you’re having a great Monday.  I’ll leave you with a quote I saw on a friend’s twitter earlier:

Inaction breeds doubt and fear.  Action breeds confidence and courage!

Amen and amen!

Also, stay tuned later for my promised juicer review as well as a recipe on these vegan beauties

Barcelona: dia dos

4 Jun

From eating bikinis to holding the hand of a giant, day 2 in Barcelona was one to remember.  Here’s our day in pictures:

We hunted down this restaurant that was built in 1786 – it is the oldest restaurant in Barcelona.  Sadly, it was closed, so we didn’t actually get to eat there.  It made for a cute picture, though.

Instead we opted for this cute little cafe – Cafe de L’Opera.  We saw it the day before while strolling down La Rambla, one of the busiest and most interesting streets in the city.

I ordered a bikini – hold the ham:)  A bikini is a staple menu item at most restaurants here.  It is essentially a ham and cheese sandwich – so you can see exactly how exciting my lunch really was.  It actually was quite tasty, though.  Jon went with the full bikini.  He’s crazy like that.

Jon had scouted out this quaint little herb shop in our guidebook called L”Herboristeria. Del Rei.  It really was just a little hole-in-the-wall shop that was cute as it could be. It even had this giant guestbook for us to sign, leaving our mark on this little place forever.

Adorable, right?  And guess what else…

…chia seeds!  It was the most random moment when I spotted them.  This sweet little lady is the owner of the shop, and she didn’t even know what chia seeds are.  Jon nearly brought her to tears by showing her the picture of her shop in our guidebook.  Sweet.

The building on the left is an old government building where the royal family used to live.  Inside you find these absurdly large statues of royalty. Kind of creepy…yet fun!

And moving on…

Sweet little nuns.

I love this little girl – from a distance of course:)

Beautiful church – even though it’s under construction.  That is another quirk about Barcelona  – there is construction everywhere!

Remember yesterday when I mentioned pick pockets being a serious problem here?  We found this sign in Starbucks.

Arc de Triomf – when Jon and I were in Laos, the main (and only) sight to see was the Arc de Triumph, which was built by the French in Laos.  This was my favorite part of day 2 in Barcelona because it was so beautiful.  There was a huge park that backed up to the Arc and we spent some time just laying in the grass and walking around.  The weather was beautiful and there were a lot of Spaniards out just hanging with friends, sun bathing, playing games etc.

Jon and I in front of the Laotian Arc de Triumph two years ago.  I have to say I’m pretty excited to actually get to visit the Parisian one in the next few days.

Jon chillin’ on the Arc de Triomf

lovin’ on each other:)

Next on our path was this group of yoginis.  I seriously wanted to join them, but I resisted.  We still had sights to see!

Cascada in Parc de la Ciutadella – Okay, honestly that is all I know about this place.  We saw it, climbed it, took pictures of it…just because it was so dang pretty.

Another beautiful church.  I have to say, though, that if you’re into this sort of thing you must stop back by tomorrow because there will be an insanely gorgeous and amazing church in tomorrow’s post.

Mid-afternoon snack – a veggie pastry

and the precious little shop we bought it from

One of our last stops for the day was this Mediterranean port – there was a mall at the end of the pier and we did a little shopping at H & M.

And of course to top off the day Jon and I found our Mexican food.  This guacamole was some of the best I’ve ever tasted!  I also ordered a vegetarian burrito that was to die for. It was filled with veggies, refried beans, avocado, lettuce and some kind of unidentified sauce that was the key ingredient.  Delish.

That’s all for day 2 (I’m blogging a day behind)!  Tomorrow morning we leave for Paris.  I’m going to try to keep posting, but our Paris hotel doesn’t have internet, so I’m going to try to track down an internet cafe.  If you don’t hear from me, I’ll post recaps once we’re back in the States!

I miss you all, and I hope you’re all having a great week!

P.S.  I love my husband.

homemade black bean burgers

24 Jan

I’m excited to share a recipe that Jon and I made Thursday night for dinner.  It was all his idea, and he found the recipe in The Eat Clean Diet Recharged (the book that changed my life:).  So, without further ado…

Paradise Island Bean Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed, drained and mashed
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice1 clove garlic (passed through garlic press) (I just used minced garlic to save time)
  • 2 tbsp leeks, whites only, finely chopped (I used onions b/c I didn’t have any leeks on hand)
  • 2 tbsp cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 4 ezekiel buns, toasted

Method

  • Mix all ingredients except the olive oil and buns in a large bowl.  Coat clean hands with olive oil to mix.
  • Divide mixture into equal fourths.  Shape into patties.
  • Heat grill pan over medium flame and coat lightly with oil.  Add patties and cook five minutes per side or until the patties are golden and crispy
  • Serve on toasted burger buns.

I topped mine off with some (previously) homemade guacamole, a little bit of hot sauce, some greens, a slice of tomato and some pickles.  Obvs. with a side of baked sweet potato fries.   This meal was super tasty.  The bean burger itself could have used a little bit heavier dose of spices in my opinion, but overall it was pretty tasty.   It was pretty quick to put together, too!

expect the unexpected

17 Jan

Hiya blog friends (haha – I love pretending someone is actually reading:)!  You will not believe what the hubs and I did today…or I guess I should say “did not do” today.  I haven’t known you guys very long – ha!- so this will be a little insight for you as to the kinds of things we McCoys often do.

We slept in until about 8:30 am, then headed to the gym shortly after.  I had piyo (pilates+yoga) this morning, and Jon had his usual cardio workout.  After our lovely time at the gym, we came home, showered, got ready, and jumped in the car to head to the city (about an hour away).  We had two tasks for the day – I had a baby shower of a college friend to attend, and we wanted to return a few things we received for Christmas.  So, there we were in the car, me all dressed up, when we realized that we didn’t grab the bag of “take back stuff” from the house.  Bah!  I was so mad at myself.  It’s just like us to do something like that.  Little did I know, things would only get worse.

Before Jon dropped me off at the shower, we had to run to Target to buy a gift.  We always end up buying gifts for showers on the day of, and that is seriously a habit I want to break!  So, we got the gift, jumped back in the car, running late of course, and headed to the shower.  As we approached my friends house, I started to get an uneasy feeling. Why, you ask?  Oh, maybe because there were NO cars there, and I was 10 minutes late!!  Oh, that’s right….the shower is actually 2 weeks from now!  No one is celebrating, playing baby name games or eating cake…and here we sit in the street…FAIL yet again.  So, basically, we drove 2 hours to accomplish 2 tasks, and we ended up accomplishing none!

So, let me introduce us again.  Hi, we’re the McCoys, and we thrive on doing really dumb things and wasting lots of time. At least we do it together though;)

Really, though.  It took me about 10 minutes to get over being mad at the world, then I decided to just get over myself and try to look at the bright side – at least I finally didn’t buy my shower gift on the day of the shower.  Win!

Okay, onto my eats.  Last night Jon and I were really craving mexican food.  A month ago we would have jumped in the car and sped to our nearest favorite mexican establishment (we have multiple), but that was the old us.  The new us decided to healthify a mexican feast on our own.  Here is our creation.

Hers: whole wheat tortilla, sauteed spinach, chopped green chilis, chopped mushrooms, little bit of veggie shreds, onions, and green enchilada sauce.

His:  whole wheat tortilla, sauteed spinach, shredded chicken, onions, chopped green chilis, low-fat mozzerella cheese and green enchilada sauce.

I also whipped up a batch of my favorite homemade guac – 2 organic avocados, chopped onions, garlic powder, ground red pepper, chopped toms, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.  We had it with these organic blue corn tortilla chips and some refried beans.

This meal was excellent – and it really hit the spot!  This is a perfect example of how you can  A. make healthy food taste awesome B. prepare clean versions of old favorites and C. make a vegetarian and meat eater happy with little hassle!

Fast forward to today – which was really wacky in terms of eating times.  After I got home from the gym, I threw together the most fabulous bowl of oats.  This included 1/3 cup oats, 3/4 cup water, one heaping spoonful of vanilla soy yogurt, splash of almond milk, 1 tbsp chia seeds, about 1 tbsp almond butter and a sprinkle of clean organic granola.  These were some tasty oats, even though I didn’t eat them until about 10 o’clcok.

We decided that since we had a late breakfast, and the shower (uh huh)  was smack dab in the middle of the afternoon, that we would just throw in a larabar (cashew cookie – my fave) for a snack and then have “linner” around 4 when the shower was over.  Well, I had just finished off the last crumb of my larabar when we realized we were lone attendees to the non-existent shower, so we decided to wait about an hour and then go eat.  About 3 hours later at 4:30 (due to shopping) we landed at PF Changs.

This was only my third time to go to PF Changs, but I always love it!  The ambiance is so relaxing and it reminds me of our days in southeast Asia.  I have to praise my husband here for a moment because he went all vegetarian with me so we could share an appetizer and an entree.  Isn’t he sweet?  So, we settled on the tofu lettuce wraps for our appetizer (Ah-may-zing!)  and the “Buddha’s Feast” for our entree.  Both dishes completely outdid themselves!  And score one point for our waitress – she surprised us by bringing out their eggplant appetizer for us to try.  I’ve never had that happen before, have you?  It was so nice!

Buddha’s Feast consisted of stir fried tofu, broccoli, asparagus, carrots and snap peas in a vegetarian sauce with brown rice with 210 calories for half the dish (without the brown rice) and 15 grams of protein – I can live with that for a restaurant meal!  Apologies for the picture…all I had was my little point and shoot camera.

There may or may not have also been a stop through Orange Tree on our way home for some (dairy free) yogurt:)

All in all it was a great day!  I just love days off when I get to spend so much time with my favorite person and NOT work on school stuff.  Can’t beat it, really.  I hope you all had a lovely Saturday as well.  I’m off to bed pretty soon so we can wake up in time for our chuch’s early service.  Until tomorrow…