I’m going to slack off, and you’re going to pick up the weight. I’m cooking dinner tonight, and then I’m taking a break for vacation. We have friends visiting, and are getting out of town for a bit. We’re really excited…and need a distraction from the past month, and the crap-fest that will rain down upon us in another month. No matter how prepared you are, moving is not fun. And overseas moves require a trip through Mordor, surviving Dementors, and then you have to watch all of the Twilight movies without laughing.

So, I am going to bid you adieu until June. If you need recipe inspiration, just take a look through the archives. Lots to choose from! You can also find me on Pinterest and search through everything I’ve pinned.

For tonight: Lentil Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce– Gluten free and vegan. There are many options for changing this up….ground beef, “meat” crumbles, or Textured Soy Protein can be subbed for the lentils. Or you can create a combination of these. I plan to use lettuce wraps…not a big corn tortilla fan…no matter how long you steam them, they crack and it’s annoying. I will also probably not make the sauce. I like chunky guac, and that just sounds better to me.

Tschüß! Au revoir! Ciao! See you soon!



Grains, Peas, Potatoes, and Peanuts…Oh my!

You’ll see from this week’s recipes that I eat Grains, Peas, Potatoes, and Peanuts. These are major no-no foods for some people. Sometimes warranted, due to illness or allergy….but, for the most part, off limits because there’s a rumor that these are, “bad” foods.

I bought into the white potato embargo for a bit…but got over that real quick-like. Because potatoes are freaking delicious. Potatoes are full of Vitamin C (really), B6, potassium, and magnesium. They also contain protein, fiber, iron, a lil bit o’calcium, no cholesterol, and a teensy tiny bit of fat. If you deep fry potatoes in canola oil or slather them in butter, sour cream, and cheese…not so healthy. But, if you soak them (to remove some starch), dry them, and roast them with a little bit of oil (I’m talking spray the pan/foil and that’s it) at 400°F for 40 min, you have crispy fries.

I don’t see nothin’ wrong with a little whole grain. Grains (always, always choose organic), are very low fat, contain no cholesterol, have very low sodium, and contain protein and fiber. Here’s a great chart that has the specifics:Whole Grain Nutrition Chart

I don’t know why peas have gotten a bad rep. I know that hardcore Paleo people think they’re bad. You mean to tell me cavemen wouldn’t have eaten green peas, but they would have done Crossfit and then had beer? Pop off. Admittedly, they aren’t my favorite food in the world, but they add a nice texture sometimes. Peas are very high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and potassium. They also have magnesium, B-6, iron, fiber, and calcium. Perhaps people have issues with the sugar in peas? But, naturally occurring sugars are worlds apart from added sugar. I have 0 issues with something that grows from the Earth.

Peanuts. If you don’t like peanuts (unless you’re allergic), I have no time for you. Peanuts are delicious. There are so many great flavor combos…if I had to live in a world without peanut butter, I would cry. When I say, “peanut butter, ” I do NOT mean Skippy or Jif. No. Throw those away. There is so much sugar and salt added to those. My favorite pb in the world is Vitacost’s brand. It’s organic, comes in a BPA free jar, and the only ingredient is: peanuts. Whatever kind you buy, read the label. There is no need for added sugar, salt, or oil. Another alternative is de-fatted peanut flour. You add water or milk, and have a low fat version of pb. I like to use this for peanut sauce, or I mix it with a smashed banana for a quick, healthy “frosting.” My brand of choice is Naked PB. I recently switched to this brand over Bell Plantation’s PB2 powder, because Naked PB contains only peanuts. The other brand has added sugar and salt. Peanuts are high in fat (which satiates and makes you feel full) , but they are also full of protein, iron, tons of potassium, magnesium, B-6, and calcium. They have 0 cholesterol, and have a good amount of fiber.

The moral here is: Don’t stop eating something natural, because a handful of people have deemed it unhealthy. If it works for your body, and you enjoy the taste, eat it!

This week’s eats:

Monday: Coconut Kale w/ Turmeric Rice: I’m making this with quinoa, instead of rice. And if you have to use frozen kale- that’s fine! That’s what I have to use. Germans are very strict about only offering produce that’s in-season.

Tuesday: Seared Ahi Tuna Salad w/ Wasabi Vinaigrette

Wednesday: Very Vegan Jalapeno Pesto Sandwich: You could take this recipe as a suggestion. The pesto recipe is where the goodness is. Other than that, just make a sandwich with whatever you want on it!

Thursday: Mexican: No recipe needed here. Make some guac, chop some vegetables, make some spicy meat (if you want), and put it on tortillas/lettuce wraps. And have a margarita for Thirsty Thursday.

Friday: It’s National Pizza Party day! Leave it to my husband to know this. Some friends and I lovingly call him, Pizza Rat. He can find pizza anywhere. He goes to children’s birthday parties to get the free pizza. He will invite himself over if he sees a pizza man deliver to your house. He has to have pizza and back-up pizza in the freezer at all times. I’m surprised he doesn’t have a TMNT costume, so he can eat pizza and be, “in character,” 24/7.  May 20 is the biggest day of the year for my Pizza Rat. I think I’ll order him Pizza Hut, and for me…not sure yet. Every gluten free crust recipe I’ve made is just, “eh.” I’m on the hunt for a pizza that makes my heart sing.

Saturday: Miso Tahini Soba Noodles: I’m a bit fanatical when it comes to only consuming organic soy anything. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to organic edamame, so I plan to substitute peas. I also plan to use peanut butter instead of tahini, simply because I don’t have tahini open right now, and I’m on the clock for when I have to consume refrigerated food before the movers get here. If you have tahini, use it.

Sunday: Hearty Vegan Spanish Potatoes and some kinda protein (TBD): This sounds so good. Just be sure to use gluten free bread, if that suits you. I haven’t decided what kind of protein would go best with this…

I took last week off. Honestly, I forgot to post last Monday….and then I just kinda went with it. Apologies. My heart just wasn’t in it. Thankfully the sun has instilled me with some life again!

Most of these meals are vegetarian, but all of them can very easily have meat added to them.

Monday: Carrot BBQ: Vegan and gluten free. I’m a little obsessed with this recipe. I made it 3 times last week. It’s so good, fast, easy, and really makes you feel like you’re eating pulled pork bbq. I made the bbq sauce included in the recipe, but if you have your own recipe or a pre-made sauce that you like…this will come together in a minute. The sauce recipe can easily be multiplied. I buy bags of pre-shredded carrots…another time saver. I like to top this with coleslaw. It’s good.

Tuesday: Sweet Korean Lentils: Gluten free and vegan. You can substitute the brown sugar with coconut sugar, maple syrup, or honey to make this refined sugar free. Serve this over rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. If you’re feeling it, make extra (rice, or whatever you plan to make) so you don’t have to make it again for tomorrow’s meal.

Wednesday: Sushi: This is very easy to do on your own, but if you can find some good quality pre-made sushi from a local shop, or can order out…do it! If you want to make your own sushi, buy some sushi rice (at any grocery store). Sushi rice is stickier than other varieties. When it’s done cooking, add a few tablespoons of rice vinegar and one tablespoon of sugar (whatever kind you normally use). This will also work for quinoa. You can use any vegetables you want to here. You can also use ahi tuna, crab, and/or salmon for more protein and variety. To make this really, really, easy…throw it all in a bowl instead of making rolls.

Thursday: Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: Gluten free, vegetarian, can be vegan (no feta). This requires basically no cooking! You’ll need to make the quinoa and blend the sauce, but if you buy jarred red peppers, the cooking is all done for you!

Friday: Spaghetti and Meatballs: My husband likes red sauce, and has requested it. I hate red sauce. I’m a terrible Italiana. I plan to eat leftovers. Since it’s Friday, and I have a life to live…I plan on buying him a jar or Organicville sauce and calling it good. Organicville is the only pre-made organic sauce that I have access to…I’m sure there are a ton of good options out there. For the meatballs, take some ground beef or ground chicken or ground turkey and add spices, a squeeze of tomato paste, and some chia seeds (to replace breadcrumbs), let it set for about 30 minutes. You can bake them, or cook them in a pan (very little added oil will be needed).

Saturday: Coq Au Riesling: Gluten free…can’t get around the chicken in this recipe, though. We’ve already inventoried our wine shipment out of here, and it’s time to get rid of all of the Riesling one acquires when living in Germany! You can use full-fat coconut milk, and Earth Balance or coconut oil to make this dairy free.

Sunday: Mexican Steak Cobb Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette:  Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, paleo, I think it’s Whole 30 compliant too. Feel free to add any other salad toppings that you like.