Yummy E2 Lentil Spaghetti Sauce

Matt made this recipe from the Engine 2 “My Beef With Meat” cookbook and it is seriously amazing.  It makes a ton (like we froze a big portion of it), and it would be really good over an orzo pasta and a bed of spinach.  It’s pasted here from the book.

Ps. Can we talk about how great it is when the hubs cooks – he’s probably a better cook than me (I stick to the same old stuff, or it feels that way most of the time!).  

Rompin’ Red Lentil Pasta Sauce By Ann Esselstyn

Prep time/ cook time: 45 minutes • Makes about 8 cups sauce

1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes or one 26-ounce box Pomi brand chopped tomatoes
3 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth
½ cup red lentils
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup fresh basil
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large frying pan stir-fry the onion over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, then add carrots, celery, and garlic and continue cooking until all of the vegetables soften and begin to brown.
Add the dried basil, oregano , and pepper flakes and stir and cook for 1 minute.
Increase the heat and add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, lentils, and tomato paste and stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.
Stir in the parsley, fresh basil, nutritional yeast, and black pepper, and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes more.
Serve warm over pasta and veggies.

Esselstyn, Rip (2013-05-14). My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet–Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes (p. 229). Grand Central Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Fab Finds – Fabletics!

Anybody else out there live in yoga pants?

Ahem…

Ok, put your hands down :)

I love, love, love a good pair of yoga pants!  Something I don’t necessarily love?  The cost of a good pair of yoga pants.  Now that I am running pretty religiously, I’ve been looking to expand my workout wear, especially now that it is getting warmer.  I’ve stumbled upon the-busy-girl-who-loves-to-shop-but-likes-bargain prize pack!  If you are on Facebook, I’m sure you’ve seen JustFab (those 2 pairs of shoes for $39.95), or if you are Citrus Lane subscriber (like we are) you’ve seen a coupon or two for a free outfit from FabKids.  Fabletics is the same company (and concept) – you take a short quiz and the site picks outfits based on your answers.  You then sign up for monthly service (and get half off your first outfit – yep!), and then each month on the 1st a new round of outfits is picked for you and shipped after the 10th.  

I was a little hesitant at first, but after reading the FAQs, it’s pretty easy.  If you don’t want an outfit that month, then just login before the 10th and say you don’t want an outfit that month.  Like what you bought with your half off, go online and review each piece for 20 points.  Earn 2 points for every dollar you spend. Refer a friend, get 500 points.  Every 1,000 points gets you a free outfit (for those of you following along at home, that’s referring two friends – easy!).  Free returns as well.  I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it just once (and after going to a running store this week and looking at $90 capri pants, I was down for a $25 outfit).  Want to check it out, click here to get started.  

Honest review – because I know you don’t just want a shameless plug from me so I can get free yoga pants…

Image

I LOVE IT!  I picked this outfit because I needed shorts (I literally have none), and I liked the bra and could really stand to replace some of the ones that I have.  In a nutshell…
The shirt – I did not think I would like it when I took it out of the package.  The fabric is nylon-y and stretchy to wick away moisture, but I was not impressed.  Then I ran 2 miles in it – not a single chafe, so comfortable to run in!
The bra – It came with padding (ha!) which I immediately threw away.  This bra was “medium” support – the band and straps are pretty supportive, the actual bra/cups not so much.  It wasn’t terrible to run in, but definitely more of a yoga or t-shirt bra.  I do really like it though. My survey said I should be an XS in the bra department, and I find that sizing a bit debatable…
The shorts – The BEST part.  Definitely compression style shorts, but they were awesome to run.  Pockets on each leg (big enough for an ID or credit card) and a hidden pocket on the hip for a key.  They are awesome and I will be ordering another pair.  The material is thick and the stitching looks to be very durable.  A little high wasted, but I’m OK with that when running to hold my flab in ;)

Overall, I’m really happy with my purchase.  Now, will I get another outfit each month – maybe for a month or two more so I can have some more running gear and bras, but probably not year round at $50 a pop (the hubs would probably kill me).  If you are interested, you can follow the link below and help me earn those free pants I mentioned before ;)

http://www.fabletics.com/invite/24964368/

Happy shopping!

B

Yums! Basic Smoothie Recipe

Lesson learned whilst training for a half marathon… do not eat like @#$!. Like for real, take my advice and do not eat (insert drive-thru of your choice here) and then try to bang out a few miles.  It will. not. work.

Steps off soapbox.

Anywho, I’ve decided not to eat like @#$% anymore – unlike when I meal-planned and had it all together, right?  Well one of my new favorite things to do is whip up a smoothie in the morning.  It takes a grand total of 3 minutes (get stuff out of fridge, poor said stuff in blender, pulverize it, pour into cup, sip, rinse blender), and makes for a great first-breakfast.

Yep, I eat two breakfasts.  Oh well.

So here is my basic smoothie.  Very easy to cut in half.  I like a pretty large smoothie, so this recipe makes 2 pretty full glasses and some left over for kiddo.  Kiddo drank these for 2 mornings, and then said “screw you mom, I want a biscuit.” Ignore the quotes, I’m paraphrasing (I promise my kid wouldn’t say anything like that yet, we’ve yet to enhance her vocabulary to swear words…).

OK, moving on.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 8.41.12 PM

Ingredients (put them in your blender in this order).  I am going to repeat that.  PUT THE INGREDIENTS IN THE BLENDER IN THIS ORDER. If you don’t, stuff gets stuck in your blender and it makes a ton of noise and your toddler will FREAK OUT.
(sidenote: I am using a Vitamix. It is amazing.  Like. Ah-mah-zing.)
2 cups of coconut milk (do not use cow milk, it will be uber-gross, use almond milk if you don’t have coconut)
1 overflowing handful of greens – think spinach and kale. I use Organic Girl Super Greens
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 big banana
Splash of apple juice

Liquify. Drink.

If it comes out too thick, add some more milk.  To chewy (yep, this has happened to me), liquify some more or just get over and drink it (yep, done that too).

Easy changes – swap out the frozen fruit for other combinations (pear/peach/mango, raspberry, etc.), or cut all the ingredients in half for a smaller batch.

B

Runner Runner

I’m obsessed.  Like for real obsessed.  I have officially gone crazy for running.

Once upon a time (read: before baby Cam) I would put in 30 or so minutes on the treadmill, and this last fall I attempted my first 5k.

And it sucked.  Well, I sucked.  I couldn’t even run a mile without taking a break to walk.  I had a lot of fun (it was The Color Run, there is another on in OKC on April 12th – you can sign up here and join the team TEAM EARLES and get a cheaper price – woot!), but I was pretty disappointed in my fitness level.  Once November rolled around, I had a friend complete the Route 66 half marathon, and then my Facebook feed went crazy with other friends completing the same run, and I just felt like I needed to go out and conquer a fitness goal…nay MOUNTAIN…like a half marathon.

So, not only did I sign up for the OKC Memorial Half Marathon (you can to – just click here!), but my friend Tessa and I signed up to raise money for each mile that we ran (we are currently at $650 of our $1000 goal – go us!  Oh, and you can donate to us here!).  Nothing like adding another layer of pressure (beyond the daunting task of running 13.1 miles) than to put some good old fashioned peer pressure to make you tie on your sneaks and go log some miles.

Official training started at the beginning of February (you can check out the Hal Higdon running plan I am using here).  I’m on week 3 (running schedule to follow!), and I can bust out 3 miles right now and not die.  Go me!

To sum it up – I love to run, and I love this new physical challenge that I’m currently living in.  I’m also super thankful for my running buddies Tessa and Elizabeth, and my super awesome husband who takes care of bedtime so I can get runs in.  More updates soon!

B

I’m back!

You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged in 5 months…

Well…you probably didn’t notice, but that’s ok too :)

So, here’s what happened.  I was trying really hard to have a blog in a niche (meal plans for the crunchy vegan mom) and I am just not that organized in real life to be a crunchy mommy meal planning blogger.  Nothing makes you want to meal plan LESS than trying to blog about meal planning.

About this same time, I actually really started running.  Y’all, I have an announcement.  This girl is a RUNNER.  Not like a trying to be a runner runner, but I can go out and run 3 miles if I want to (well I have once anyway) RUNNER.

So, I picked my treadmill over my laptop and started one 60-second interval at a time.  Oh, and I signed up for a half-marathon.  Eek.

But more on this later.  Back to the blog.

I really want to share my fitness journey and other lifestyle musings.  I will be leaving up the recipes and meal plans that I posted before, only because I want to go back and reference them (and maybe re-post some if I happen to cook them that week).

B

Grocery List #YPHHW6

Lots of greens this week friends!

Romaine
Green chard
Kale
Fresh spinach
Tomatoes
Carrots
Red pepper
Salad dressing 
Cauliflower
Pumpkin seeds
Cumin
Cinammon
Spaghetti stuff (I think you guys can handle what goes here…)
1 can of chick peas 
Avocado
Lemon
Oranges (cuties)
Tahini
Apple cider vinegar
Maple cider vinegar
2 cans black eyed peas
Sweet potato (1 big one will do)

Happy shopping!

(second) Salad of the Week – Cauliflower Rice

I am super excited to make this!  I am trying to work in more veggies (but am totally over just salad itself), so I found this recipe for cauliflower rice that looks just great!

For the salad base:
Greens – I’m using romaine and spinach (Matt refuses those mixed greens that sometimes taste a little like wildflowers)
Veggies – tomatoes (I love tomatoes) and shredded carrots and red pepper (because that’s what I have in my fridge)
Dressing – I’m an Oklahoma girl that loves Ranch (for real), but I don’t have any of that in my fridge at the moment…so this will be topped with Annie’s Smoky Tomato dressing (Annie’s makes the best dressings!  I want to buy all of them!).

For the cauliflower rice (found the original recipe on choosingraw.com) – I adapted it for what I had/what I could find at the grocery store:
4 cups of raw cauliflower
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp cinammon

Put all ingredients in the food processor and chop until the consistency of cous cous.  Throw on top of your salad and devour.

Happy Eating!

(not that kind of) Cheat Meal #YPHHW6

So, I posted last week that I’d get some recipes up…

Then the hubs essentially (not really) died of a cold.  Like the cold that never quit.  It was terrible.  

To say that I didn’t cook more than soup would be an understatement – I really just bought it from Whole Foods.

I did whip up some AWESOME spaghetti for Friday night when I had a date with the ladies at my office.  So, you obviously don’t need a recipe for spaghetti, but I thought I’d share some of my favorite sauces and extras to change up your usual Ragu.

Sauce!
Target – I found a new sauce this week (the new Simply Balanced brand) that has pumpkin and squash – IT’S SO GOOD (and cheap)!
Whole Foods – I love any of the WF brand sauces (specifically the eggplant sauce) – and I REALLY love it because it comes in real Mason Jars.  We save these for storing just about everything (or making fun salads in a jar).

Toppings!
Nutritional yeast (if you haven’t gotten this yet, you need to – it’s got a great cheesy flavor without all the fatties that come along with actual cheese)
Chopped spinach – a great way to sneak in some extra veggies
Shredded cucumber – this is also a great topping for chinese dishes, gives it a great cool crunch
Gardein meatballs – cooked in the oven (not in sauce), these are by far the best meatless meatballs I’ve had.