Easy Taco Salad (Vegetarian Style)

Wednesday 7th October 2009 - 12:55:43 PM

This is a quick and easy way to indulge in a single serving vegetarian taco salad that’s simple and convenient, as you may have all the ingredients you need for it already in your kitchen!

Ingredients (I’m listing the healthy ones, but stray, if you must. I understand):
5 or so leaves of Organic Romaine Lettuce
2 Tablespoons of Organic Salsa (at whatever level of spiciness you like it)
1 Tablespoon of Light Organic Sour Cream
5 or so Corn Tortilla Chips

1. Clean and chop the lettuce into strips like you’d find it in a taco. Throw it in your salad bowl.
2. Break up the tortilla chips over the lettuce in your bowl, so that they are bite size pieces that you can easily pick up with your fork.
3. Add salsa and sour cream over top of the lettuce and chips.
4. Stir it all together and chow down!!

If you want some added flavor and texture, not to mention extra protein and iron, add some pinto beans to the mix as well! Maybe half a cup or so from the can, drained.

This is a great low fat, low calorie meal that will satisfy your taste buds to the max and provide a lot of the daily nutrients your diet calls for. Hope you enjoy it if you give it a go :D

Cupcake Cake Disaster – The Companion Cube

Tuesday 6th October 2009 - 11:59:40 AM

Happy birthday to my h-band John! I picked up some cake mix, icing and those little packets of colored icing for decorating, not really sure what I’d turn his cake into this year. I wasn’t feeling too inspired, possibly because I am so pregnant (39 weeks and just 3 days from my due date) and was just starting to feel some back pain that would turn into light contractions as I was sitting in the kitchen, trying to determine what to turn his cake into.

Last year I made him a cupcake cake replica of himself. Well, a very crude caricature of himself because I’m no cake artist… This year I had ideas about map cakes or map cupcakes but couldn’t really think of what kind of significant map I could put on a cake or cupcake for him. Then I started thinking about the other things in his life that he likes, including video games. We both really dug the game Portal when it came out, and so I figured it could be relatively easy for me to make a cupcake-cake into the companion cube from the game. Albeit I didn’t have any black and pink icing to use for the cube’s details, I figured I’d wing it with what I did have. The result is a sloppy cupcake cake companion cube (pictured above) that could have been way cooler, had I some fondant and time to color and shape it.

When John got home from work I told him I made him a cupcake cake disaster, which he thought was funny in itself, as he’s a huge fan of Cake Wrecks. But he could at least tell by looking at the cake what it was “supposed” to be, so that’s cool. ;) And we both enjoyed chowing down on the cupcakes themselves, the taste of which is pretty impossible to screw up. And John’s Dad, who came over later in the night, could even tell what it was supposed to be (sans a cupcake), and also enjoyed a cupcake or two. So it was not a total loss. Happy 28th, love!

DIY Iced Coffee

Tuesday 4th August 2009 - 2:12:17 PM

I recently got into iced coffees, mainly because it’s just too hot for hot coffee this time of year. I’m not crazy about flavored syrups, don’t like a ton of sugar in mine either, and I just like being able to add my own amounts of sugar, ice, creamer, etc. Not only that, but I hate to have to run out when I need a caffeine kick, and to have to pay so much to get it. So, being the ever frugal personality that I am, I decided to try my hand at making my own iced coffee. Here’s how it went down…

I have a coffee press that holds about 4 cups of coffee at a time. So I brewed 2 coffee presses worth of coffee, doubling the amount of coffee ground scoops I’d usually put in the press each time (6 instead of 3 in my case). This is the key, to make the coffee twice as strong, because when you go to add ice later, it will dilute the coffee and if it’s not strong enough to begin with, it’ll get watered down. I filled up an iced tea pitcher worth of the brewed coffee and let it cool over night in the fridge.

Then this morning I just grabbed a glass that holds about 10 oz, put in my half and half and a few scoops of sugar and stirred that up well (sugar doesn’t dilute so well in cold coffee so a lot of stirring helps distribute it). I then filled the cup to about halfway with ice. Then I poured in the cooled coffee the rest of the way. A few stirs and a sip proved delicious. You can always add more ice or water if you find your coffee is still too strong. And I’m sure if you’re big into the flavored coffees you can find flavored syrups to add to your home brewed iced coffee. If you do add a sugary syrup, you can probably forgo adding any more sugar to the coffee aside from the flavored syrup unless you feel it needs it. Mess around with it and you might find you really like the results. The biggest perk for me is not needing to spend time and money to go out to a chain store just to get the caffeine boost I need in the morning, and having the result of iced coffee that’s just as good as any I’ve ever bought, made just the way I want it.

I still have a ton of brewed coffee left. It should honestly last me a few days, depending on whether or not my h-band gets into it as well ;)

Leftover Chicken Salad Sandwich!

Monday 20th July 2009 - 12:27:32 PM

This may just be a bit too flavorful for some, but I am LOVING it…

Leftover chicken (rinse off chicken to get rid of any unwanted spices)
Celery Stalk
2 Pickle Slices
Spicey Mustard

Chop up the chicken, celery and pickles into nice bite sized pieces and mix together. Add a heaping spoonful of mayo and some mustard as well as the pepper to taste and mix well. Toast some whole wheat bread and add some green leaf lettuce to the sandwich and go to town!

Knitty Mail

Monday 6th July 2009 - 12:12:43 PM

This is a cute idea by KnitKnit that I’ve seen on Etsy and elsewhere. I decided to make one for my niece who always seems to be big into knitting, at least when I’m around (probably because she can bug me to hep her with hers when I visit).

I used some white acrylic yarn given to me, through the grape vine, by a knitter who had no need for it anymore. Along with that white yarn I used some really thin but fuzzy and colorful recycled yarn that I purchased via Etsy (there are a ton of great shops that sell recycled yarn on that site). It was fast enough to whip up, using 2 size 8 dpns. For the portion that I write on, I just used an old cereal box cut to the size of the knitted face of the postcard, and a tapestry needle to attach the two to each other. That little bow on the front is the ends of the yarn that I used to attach the two pieces together.

I’m hoping the post office doesn’t give me crap about sending it, and that it doesn’t require much more postage than it already has because there’s not a lot of room for any more ;)

My Toothy Rainbow Creations

Monday 18th May 2009 - 11:43:50 AM

On Friday I came across an awesome blog post/how-to by Purplelicious, on how to make tie died cupcakes!

These instructions couldn’t have come by me at a better time because I was just trying to think of something cool to do for my graduating friend the next day, who just so happens to LOOOOVE rainbows. So, a long story short, I hit up the grocery store Friday afternoon, whipped these puppies up and viola!

Here are some of the better photos of us indulging in them. The green things sticking out of each cupcake are those portable floss sticks. I embellished each cupcake with them because my friend was graduating to be a Dental Hygienist and let’s face it, she’s big on teeth…

If you think tie dyed cupcakes would go over well with someone in your life, definitely check out the link above on how to make them. It’s a very simple process. The only weird thing for me was that I was supposed to get something like 24 cupcakes out of the box mix I used, and I only ended up getting about 18 out of it. This might possibly be b/c I didn’t use one of those rubber things that gets the batter off of the edges of containers and I had to divide the mix up between so many containers. Or maybe 24 cupcakes was just a lie. Who knows.

At any rate, congrats to my good pal Crystal on her graduation, and I wish her a ton of success with her teeth cleaning and future education endeavors!

Make Your Own: Sugar Body Scrub

Monday 27th April 2009 - 4:42:26 PM

Why should you make yourself a body scrub?
1.) It’s waaaaaay cheaper than buying it in stores or online.
2.) Sugar scrubs are a ridiculously awesome way to exfoliate your skin in the shower and really moisturize it too! And I’m talking moisturizing that lasts well beyond the shower. I don’t even think about picking up the moisturizer lotion after I’ve used a good sugar scrub.
3.) You know exactly what’s in this stuff you’re putting on your body, and in the case of this recipe, it’s all stuff you could eat!

Body Scrub Ingredients…
Welp, first and foremost you’ll need the following:
- A sealable plastic container that can hold about 10 oz.
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 1/2 a cup of olive oil
- 1/3 a cup of left over coffee grounds (or if you really don’t want coffee in yours just use a whole cup of sugar instead of 2/3rds)
- A teaspoon of vanilla extract

How to make your body scrub…
Combine all ingredients listed above into your plastic container, and mix well!

How to use your body scrub…
Just rub it onto your skin in the shower, wherever you’d like to exfoliate and moisturize. Then rinse!

What are the results of your body scrub?
Well for me, at least, I have exfoliated, moisturized skin that smells deliciously of vanilla coffee, and I love every second of it…

I hope you get as much enjoyment out of this recipe as I have coming up with and using it!

Mmmmm. Greeen Driiiink

Wednesday 8th April 2009 - 5:10:51 PM

Hey bloggies! I haven’t officially announced it yet, so I figured I should…

I’m pregnant! Whoop!

The little one on his/her head. About 12 weeks here.

The little one on his/her head. About 12 weeks here.

This is mine and John’s first little bun in ze oven, so to speak. I’m mid my 13th week. I’ve got a LOT more energy and a lot less morning sickness than I did from about weeks 7 – 11, thankfully. I’ve been on prenatal vitamins ever since I found out I was pregnant, which was around week 5. Still, I don’t take that as a free-for-all to eat whatever, and still try to eat as healthy as ever, although sometimes I get some flat out non-healthy cravings, i.e. fast food hamburgers. Luckily those don’t happen very often.

Anyhow, from what I’ve read about pregnancy and nutrition, important vitamins for both me and my baby include folic acid (i.e. folate, in its natural form), calcium and iron, among others. Those 3 just stick out to me as very important for the baby and important for me to get more of because I’m pregnant and thus need more of both for my increased blood supply and because my body is using more calcium overall.

This leads to an in-eloquent segway… A week ago I discovered a video where this little girl of 5, tops, was making green drinks while her mother video tapes. She basically spelled out and showed the ingredients and process. What remained was for me to do some guess work to figure out how much of each ingredient I’d need to repeat the recipe. I think I got it just about right and so wanted to share with you that recipe for a very delicious green drink, high in lots of nutrients and good for the wee one and mama combined…

Ingredients (for 1 serving):

  • 1 orange, peeled and pitted if necessary.
  • One banana, peeled and cut or just broken in halves (for easy blending)
  • 3/4 cup of strawberries, washed and cut in halves
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach leaves, washed
  • 1/2 cup of fresh, cool water
  • Tools needed:

  • Blender
  • Directions:

  • Measure, wash and cut all ingredients before hand.
  • Throw all ingredients in the blender, in reasonable sized pieces so that blending isn’t a pain.
  • Add the water to the mixture in blender.
  • Cover blender and start blending at a low setting, stopping if necessary to move the contents around a bit in order to help them get caught be the blender blades, always making sure to re-cover the blender before you continue blending.
  • As the items start to catch more easily in the blender blades, you can turn the settings up. I went as high as “liquefy” on my blender. In all it took about a minute, tops, to blend thoroughly.
  • Once everything is well blended get yourself out a tall glass and pour your delicious green drink to the tip, then simply enjoy your drink!
  • Here are some nutrition facts about what is included in this green drink recipe:
    - Spinach: High in Vitamin A, with decent amounts of Vitamin C, Iron and Folate.
    - Strawberries: High in Vitamin C
    - Orange: High in Vitamin C, with decent amounts of Vitamin A, Calcium and Folate.
    - Banana: High in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, with decent amounts of Riboflavin and Folate.

    In all this drink contains about 329 calories. Pregnant women generally need only 300 more calories a day in their diet than non pregnant women, so this drink could be a really beneficial source of those calories because it’s packed with nutrients. I’ll have to look around for different drink ingredients, just to mix it up so I’m not in-taking the same vitamins and nutrients every time I go for a green drink. If I find a decent source I’ll share it with you all later… Let me know how you like this recipe if you do try it. I think it’s quite delicious. You don’t taste the spinach at all as far as I can tell, yet it dominates the drink color and adds a lot of great beneficial vitamins to the mix!

    EcoEtsy’s March Madness: Free & Green Promotion!

    Wednesday 4th March 2009 - 11:07:08 AM

    If you’re interested in some freebies, check out EcoEtsy’s March Madness promotion going on for the month of March.

    EcoEtsy Presents... March Madness: Free & Green

    It’s as easy as buying from any participating EcoEtsy shop, and providing them with the promo code “free & green” during checkout, in order to get yourself a little somethin-somethin for free! Click the March Madness banner above to find out who is participating in this promotion and all of the other minute details of the offer. And happy green shopping!

    Knit Your Own: Neck Sausages!

    Tuesday 3rd February 2009 - 10:40:06 AM

    My knitted neck sausage links can now be made by anyone! I have the pattern for sale in my shop.

    Or, if you’re not the knitty type, you can just buy one made by me!