Two-Week Vegan Challenge {Day III}

Thursday

Overall, I felt good! Around dinner, I started to notice a lack of energy and the gym felt harder than usual; however, that could be because I haven’t been to the gym in a week. Oops…

breakfast – 10:00 am

Rice Krispies cereal with soy milk and bananas. I had time to make biscuits, but I didn’t have any margarine that didn’t contain whey (and obviously can’t use butter). I thought it was going to taste weird, but I could honestly barely taste the difference between regular milk and soy milk. I’m so glad I bought that Silk last night!

Snack – 12:00 PM

A few chips with salsa and a square of chocolate. Around this time, I was super excited about the vegan possibilities and decided to go grocery shopping!

Veganism

I bought tofu (nervous about it), vegan “cream cheese,” hummus mix, falafel mix, lots of veggies vegan wonton wrappers (!!), pasta, whole wheat bread, and pita bread. I, upsettingly, could NOT find ANY egg substitute! It was so frustrating! Granted, I was at a regular ol’ grocery store, but being vegan shouldn’t mean I have to shop at special stores. Ugh. I mean, they had tons of vegan stuff, but NO egg substitute! Infuriating.

lunch – 3:30 pm

I had sort of a late lunch, but it was so worth it! I made the falafel / hummus mixes and enjoyed a savory Mediterranean meal!

First, I made the falafel balls according to the package instructions, then prepared a piece of pita bread with a tablespoon of both the hummus and my vegan cream cheese.

Then, I cut up some tomato, lettuce, and cucumber. I added it all to the pita bread, folded it like a taco, and ate up!

IMGP4230

I was so excited at how yummy it was! I felt like I was in another country. It’s so fun to have so many different types of food.

Not-related Adventure of the Day:

Around 5:30, I went to a master class / open rehearsal with violinist Joshua Bell. The friend I went with is getting his masters in music and raved, giggled, and skipped with excitement as the thought of us getting to see (in his words) “the world’s best violinist” for free. I was skeptical. Bell started out by saying it was just a sound check and he probably wasn’t going to play very much. Then, he busted out the full Devil’s Trill by Tartini! He played the whole thing! Oh my gosh, it was a dream. Do yourself a favor and listen to it:

When he finished, he just sort of shrugged. Shrugged! I’ll tell you something, I went in not super ready to be impressed, but I quickly was won over. He was so non-assuming. I also heard he did an experiment. I saw the article back when it was posted, but didn’t read it. I just finished reading it. You should too. He also answered a ton of questions from the audience and gave fantastic responses. I was so inspired. I even took notes.

dinner – 8:00 pm

A bean and rice burrito was my dinner. I was going to make a tofu stir fry, but I wasn’t all that hungry. I also munched on some carrots while doing my homework!

nutrition information

Grade of A- (up from yesterday’s C+!).

  • 25.9% fat
  • 12.5 % protein
  • 61.6% carbs

According to USDA recommendations, I had too little vitamin C, calcium, iron, and potassium. I bought iron vitamins at the store today, but I had almost enough iron in my food, so I didn’t want to take a pill and get too much. I don’t know if that’s a thing, but I didn’t want to risk it.

Conclusion

I went grocery shopping, to the gym, cooked my first truly vegan meal, and got to see one of the world’s best violinists perform for free, and talk about music and truth. I’d say a pretty good day!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

After I bought the ingredients for the quiche I made last week, I had a bunch of ingredients left over–and I’m like HEY, what else can I make with all this spinach and cubed ham? Welcome to my take on Stuffed Peppers:

(Makes 4 stuffed peppers)

Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers – any color.
  • 3/4 cup cubed ham
  • 1 (8 oz) can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack or mexican blend cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice the tops off your peppers and set aside. Remove the cores of pepper body.
  3. Place your peppers upright in a bread pan.
  4. Pour the can of tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Pop out the middles of your pepper tops and discard. Dice remaining pepper rings, and onions.
  6. Put the diced peppers, onions and ham in a pan with the olive oil and sauté until slightly brown.
  7. Fold in spices.
  8. Place the entire mixture a medium bowl. Add stewed tomatoes. Stir well.
  9. Fill your peppers with the meat mixture and cover with cheese.
  10. Cover with a lid. If you don’t have one, cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  11. Bake for approximately 50 minutes at 350 degrees F.

yellow and red peppers pre-cooked stuffed peppers cooked stuffed peppers

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Crustless Ham and Spinach Quiche

Crustless Ham and Spinach Quiche

I hate it when blogs make you read a whole spiel about why they baked it, the events surrounding the day when you baked it, and the history behind the food, etc. Just makes me work harder to scroll past it all to find the actual recipe. WITHOUT further ado, the recipe: (click to make bigger and to see the PDF)

Crustless Quiche Recipe

Click to make larger and to view the PDF

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Mini Pecan Pies

Mini Pecan Pies

So last week was Pi Day and I went to a pie party…and of course, made mini pies. Because WHY NOT. Everything is mini nowadays. But seriously, this recipe is TO DIE for. I literally could have eaten the filling plain right then and there. And I almost did. I also made blueberry ones, but those are pretty much the same recipe with different filling.

Basically this is how it works:

  • Mini muffin tin, sprayed, oven preheated to 325 degrees F.
  • Pillsbury Pie Crusts (the box that comes with two, makes about 30 one-crust mini pies if you re-use the scraps until they’re too small to do anything with)
  • Cut out about 3″ diameter circles
  • Gently press them inside the cups
  • Add the filling (see below for Pecan Pie filling recipe)
  • Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until crust is golden

Pro-tip: If you use the filling from a can, you might need to add a top crust, because the liquid will evaporate otherwise and leave the pie filling with a gelatin-like texture. You could also dilute it a little. Best to make your own fillings–I’m still perfecting my blueberry filling, so if I cook it again and get it to turn out just as good, I’ll post it here.

PECAN PIE FILLING

  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  1. Beat egg, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt until combined.
  2. Fold in pecans.
  3. Fill mini pie crusts 3/4 full.
  4. Bake 17-20 minutes, or until crust is golden.

Trust me, you’ll want to devour these little guys whole. Make sure they cool adequately, though, because the insides will be SO HOT. So very hot. And delicious. They got scarfed up at the party!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Mini Mojito Cupcakes

Mini mojito cupcakes

Oh my heavens, are these little guys delicious! I ended up making these for St. Patrick’s Day and I will make them again. The original recipe was a good starter, but I honestly changed is too much to call it anything but a new recipe. First of all, I didn’t have any legit rum, so I used imitation extract. Also, I am serving these to people who don’t drink alcohol, so I thought a more mild taste would go over better. Without further ado, the darling Rum/Mint/Lime Cupcakes:

Mini Mojito Cupcakes

(Makes around 34-38 mini cupcakes)

RUM CUPCAKES:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of butter ( ½ cup), softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 3 ½ teaspoon rum extract
  • ¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line one and a half mini 24-muffin pans.
  2. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the egg, lime zest, rum and vanilla, beat until combined.
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and apple sauce, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter between the muffin cups, about ¾ full.
  7. Bake about 17 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven, then immediately place the cupcakes onto a cooling rack.

MINT AND LIME CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • Lime zest of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon mint extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Beat butter in a bowl until creamy.
  2. Add cream cheese and beat until combined.
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar until well blended.
  4. Add lime juice, mint extract and half of the lime zest, mix.
  5. Frost your cupcakes once they’re cool, garnish with remaining zest and enjoy the heck out of them.

Optional thing I considered but didn’t actually do: pull out the green food coloring. I just couldn’t help but not want to artificialize the cupcakes any further. Anyway, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Have a good one!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Unhealthy Eating Behaviors and their Remedies

I just weighed myself for the first time in a year. I didn’t realize it’d been a year, but yes. It’s been almost exactly one year. I have gained almost 10 lbs since I moved back to Utah from California. 9.1lbs to be exact.

I exercise way more than I did in California, it’s just that I ate like a bird because I never had enough money to buy anything substantial! Isn’t that sad?! I lived on avocados, toast and oranges. Oh, how things have changed.

Oh, how they need to change again. I just need to find that happy medium.

This semester, I’m taking a fitness class for fun, just a one credit class, and one of our homework assignments was to study unhealthy eating habits. I have a lot of these. Here they are, according to my textbook:

  • Overeating, when seeing a certain restaurant, entertainment, or at events
  • Binge-eating certain foods and beverages; or when very hungry; or when feeling certain emotions
  • Choosing food portions that are too large or too high-calorie
  • Eating too fast; everything on the plate even when no longer hungry; leftovers because it’s “a sin to waste food;” while watching TV, reading, or doing other passive activities; throughout the day; or when not hungry
  • Overeating when stimulated by the sight, smell, nearness of food, in social situations, or at the persuasion of family and friends
  • Eating as a reward
  • Skipping meals, but overeating at dinner or later in the day.

Luckily, there are more solutions than there are problems, in a handy-dandy A-Z list:

Preface: my only problem with this list is under “Q,” and their quote “nothing tastes as good as slimness feels!” It’s only a step away from Kate Moss’s declaration that anorexics have taken as their own sort of motto (just Google “nothing tastes…” and you’ll see it). SOOOO, I’m going to suggest amending that to say “Nothing tastes as good as healthiness feels!” Silly, silly fitness book.

Solutions to Overeating (click to see the PDF)

Solutions to OvereatingSo let’s all vow to do better. Overeating = bad. Finding a balance = good. Also, sorry for the 3 of you that look at the blog regularly. It’s already the 8th and this is only my first post of the month. You don’t want to hear my excuses. Have a healthy weekend!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Hawaiian Chicken with Rice

Hawaiian Chicken with Rice

This recipe was really easy. Sorry the photo looks so saturated. The purpley/blue is just a reflection from the window. Those parts are actually just black. Didn’t feel like fixing it! But back to the recipe: it’s really easy. ALSO, for like once ever, I made it myself without a recipe to start off of from Pinterest! *takes a bow*

Ingredients:

  • some chicken
  • soy sauce (should be 1:1 ratio to water)
  • water
  • garlic powder
  • brown sugar
  • diced onion
  • pineapple wedges
  • sesame seeds
  • coconut oil
  • rice

That’s what I used.

Most detailed recipe ever.

I didn’t really measure anything out, especially since I was just making one portion. Then, I just let the chicken marinate in the soy sauce & water, garlic powder, brown sugar and onions for a bit, then dumped it all in a frying pan on low for about 10 minutes on each side. In a bigger pan, I took the leftover white rice from Chinese takeout yesterday and warmed it up/fried it with about a half-teaspoon of coconut oil. I added some of the marinade mixture from the pan with the chicken, but not a lot. Then I sprinkled in some sesame seeds. After the marinade reduced a little and the chicken was almost done, I added the pineapple wedges, continued to cook on low for the remainder of the time, then turned up the heat and seared both sides of the chicken. I took all the chicken and rice off the heat, then let the soy-sauce marinade cook a little more ’til it was pretty much caramelized, then drizzled it on top of the chicken. Et voila!

P.S., it was SOOO yummy. Mmm mmm mmm.

So many words. Thanks for reading if you did! Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you all so much!

The Cloud Cake

Spent lots of quality time this past weekend with Kate. It was all just quite lovely. We played lots of music together and even baked a cake.

The cake was quite an adventure! We wanted to make something sweet to go with our dinner, so we found a recipe via Pinterest (as per usual) and said, “we have all the ingredients, let’s DO IT.” Come to find out it’s one of those recipes that people with degrees in cooking make.

It’s the most dramatic recipe ever.

First of all, it calls for sifted flour with a sieve four times. I don’t even know what a sieve is, much less am I going to take a half an hour to sift some flour FOUR TIMES. I mean really.

But, oh man, did we whip that meringue. It was perfect. We some how managed to make a pretty good cake, regardless of Martha Stewart’s Most High Maintenance Recipe Ever.

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you all so much!

Twice Baked Cheddar Broccoli Potatoes

Ingredients

6 medium to small potatoes
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 cup finely chopped broccoli florets
Salt & pepper to taste
**Sour cream & butter for topping**

Instructions

Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees F for 50 minutes
Slice in half, long ways
Carefully scoop out the middle and put the skins on a baking sheet
Put the potato meat into a bowl
Mix other ingredients, really mash ’em up well
Spoon back into skins
Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 more minutes
Serve with sour cream and butter

YUM – am I right? It was a great recipe, turned out pretty yummy! I have to say I probably won’t do it again very often, because you could just bake the potatoes and serve with the broccoli and cheese separately–and that would save like 20 minutes. But it is great for presentation!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you and be good!

Healthy Vegetarian Lunch

I’m not a vegetarian, but lately, the thought of meat (especially red meat) has made me a little nauseous. Today, I decided to have some of my favorite little bits for lunch. Then I took pictures and thought I’d share on here. You’re welcome…

Tell me that doesn’t just look delicious! Yum! Now one by one:

Blueberries are some of my favorite fruits. I used to really not like them when I was younger, but now I feel like I could eat anything blueberry related and have it instantly become a favorite. Did you know the serving size for blueberries is one whole cup?! A WHOLE CUP OF BLUEBERRIES! That’s so many. I usually just get a handful, I don’t think I could have eaten a whole cup.

Okay, I have a confession–I’m a honey-snob. I know, I know, what kind of thing is that to be picky about? Let’s just say if you grew up with a certain kind of honey that your grandfather got from his bees in California, you would look at that bear-shaped package of clover honey and inwardly gag too. I only spread one half with the peanut butter, because the honey is moist enough with the bananas that it all soaks into the bread and makes it taste amazing. Also, someone told me once that even though peanut butter has good things in it, the fat content is so high that it’s rarely worth it. I love peanut butter too much to give it up though.

On the bread–it’s homemade, hearty goodness. There’s just something about a denser loaf of bread that just makes me feel happy inside.

I love granola! This is from Bear Naked Fit, it’s their vanilla almond crunch natural granola. It’s so yummy. I have to admit, I sometimes just pick out the almonds. That’s why there’s only one in the photo. It’s the only one I could find in the bag. So a serving of this is 1/4 cup. I didn’t measure it out, but I’m sure this is pretty close. It’s really good. Perfect to snack on, too.

Technically, the serving size for these is 2 cookies, BUT! anyone that knows me knows I love chocolate + coconut, and there’s no way I’m only eating two of these. So I splurge, whatever.

It’s funny, I started out today planning on doing a vlog update about my first day of fall semester, but there were so many people around at the school that I couldn’t find a single place to record it where there weren’t other people to disturb. I should just walk the halls, holding and talking to my camera and see how many looks I get. Honestly, there are so many people that I almost wouldn’t be surprised if no one noticed… the next Project Good is probably going to be finished this weekend. If you missed the first one, here it is. Keep submitting!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you and be good!

A Little Family

image

Driving on my way to Texas Road House to meet my parents, sister and nephew for lunch!

image

He’s so adorable!

image

My parents are the greatest!

image

Me and my lovely sister! She and her baby are taking up the whole bench…

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!