Borderline Strange Exercise Ritual

Pop quiz:

What is Veggie doing in this picture?

A) Attempting to throw a gang sign.

B) Giving mad props to former President George W. Bush.

C) Mindlessly running up a hill.

{I wish I could figure out how to type the answer upside down like magazine quizzes. Anyhoo: C.}

I’ve been running a lot of hills lately. Apparently the high intensity is great for my heart and means I can achieve more in less time. Sold!

My route du jour has a two-minute steep climb towards the beginning. That folks, is a warm up. Let’s couple that intensity with my tendency to check out mentally on runs. (That’s why I run! Total ‘me’ time.)

One day I checked back in and looked down to notice something strange. I was doing that weird “W” with both hands–huffing, puffing and running for all I was worth. Over the next few days, I realized that I mindlessly make the “W” often, always in stressful situations.

I’m not sure if crossing those fingers has some strange relaxation effect? Am I the only one who does it? I’d love to hear if you are a finger-crosser or if you have another odd exercise ritual. 

The Simplest Potato Side

Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that taste the best. These potatoes are just that.

Like much of my cooking, this recipe was born of an impulse buy at the grocery. I was cruising the fresh section when this bag caught my eye.

Oh my goodness. Aren’t these little guys the cutest?

These are gold potatoes (extra nutrition!) The steam-in-the bag option was appealing. And they’re mini. Everything is cuter in miniature.

And yet they sat in the pantry.

Then at breakfast yesterday, they jumped out at me, begging to accompany the Bello Breakfast Vore requested.

Simple Potatoes (serves 3-4)

16 oz small potatoes

1 small yellow onion loosely chopped, to make about 1/2 cup

1 tablespoon butter

Greek seasoning, salt, pepper and paprika

Steam the potatoes in the microwave for about 4 minutes. Set them aside and when they are no longer so hot they burn your fingers, slice them into bite-sized pieces. Skin on, please. You need the fiber!

Heat the butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until it’s translucent. Toss in the potatoes and and allow them to crisp up, about 3-4 minutes. Then season to taste. (If you haven’t met Greek seasoning, it should be your new best friend.)

You will be amazed at how something so simple can taste so grand.

Uncle Sam Showed Up on Our Front Porch

I arrived home from work yesterday to find a package outside the door. Happy day! The good folks at Attune were kind enough to send me all three flavors of their Uncle Sam cereal to try. Vore and I were glad to be Guinea pigs.

Here’s the skinny:

  • The recipe is more than 100 years old.
  • It’s wheat flakes rolled, toasted and flattened, with whole flax seeds mixed in.
  • Labeling used to read, “Natural Laxative Cereal” because it’s got a crap ton of fiber. Pun absolutely intended.

So, what’s a girl to do with three boxes of healthy cereal on her hands? Crack them all open and sample, logically. I did the unofficial taste test first (the second I opened the box) then I got Vore in on the game this morning. Would you believe we had the same favorite? The winner, friends, is…Strawberry?!?

We both thought we would hate the Strawberry and each independently crowned it most flavorful. Vore also declared that the Honey Almond flavor “tastes like Rice Krispy Treats.” Go figure.

One caveat: all three flavors have A LOT of whole flax seeds in there. To like this cereal, you’re going to need to like flax.

I incorporated the Strawberry in my breakfast this morning.

Egg whites with spinach and red peppers + pear topped with sunflower butter and Uncle Sam. There is sure to be more cooking with cereal soon…I do have three open boxes. Protein bars? I think so.

Pillow Cookies: Not So Fluffy, But Fabulous

I stink at following directions.

When it comes to recipes, it’s rare that I can resist the urge to tinker. Angela of Oh She Glows is a favorite on my Google Reader, and when I saw her post these little pillows, I had to give them a try. One problem: I don’t really like peanut butter.

I know. GASP.

Sunflower butter, cashew butter, almond butter? Yes, please. Lots. But PB…it’s not my thing. I consider it a blessing. It means that when others are passing Reese’s cups, I can say “no thanks” without batting an eyelash. But when left to my own devises, I often sub for another nut butter.

And so I tried these little beauties (recipe originally posted by Isa Chandra) using almond butter for the PB.

I think I had a happy accident.

I knew something was off when my dough was much runnier than what Angela had pictured. I resisted the urge to add flour. The result was more like a gooey caramel filling. Not my intention, but still grand. Rich and chewy, kind of like a brownie, with a vein of yum running through. Vore declared them wonderful.

Three cheers to delicious mistakes.

Bello Breakfast

Vore is tired this morning. He’s sleeping in. I can’t sit still.

When faced with a dwindling fridge supply, I decided to do a “kitchen sink” experiment. You know, the kind where you throw everything you have together to make a meal? After all, portobellos are too pricey to let them go bad. Mama Pea’s MMM Sauce is far to delicious to waste.

The results were fabulous. Don’t be too tight with the ingredients here. Have an onion, but not shallot? Don’t sweat it. No MMM sauce? How about cream cheese? Don’t be picky…freestyle this breakfast from what got on hand.

Egg-Tastic Bello Breakfast

For the marinade:

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar

*Use a spoon to scoop the gills out of your mushrooms, the let them soak in the marinade for a bit. Transfer to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 7-10 minutes, or until cooked.

For the filling:

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

1 egg

1/2 cup egg white

*Saute the shallots in a bit of butter or olive oil. Stir in the spinach and allow it to wilt. Pour the beaten eggs in the pan and lightly scramble until just set. Remove from heat.

For the topping:

MMM sauce

1/4 cup mozzeralla shreds

smoked paprika for garnish

*Add the eggs to mushrooms. Smear generously with delicious MMM sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and paprika. Broil until browned.

Organic Socks Rock

There are advantages to having cool friends. There are even more advantages when you get to work for cool friends. Such is my relationship with the fabulous Gina Locklear of Zkano Organic Socks.

Gina and I were tight B.S. (Mind out of gutter! Before Socks!) Back then Gina was a tortured real estate agent. She slowly found herself by combining passions for the family business–socks, naturally–and green living.

When I started writing freelance, a partnership with Gina was a natural fit. And now, I write for a paycheck…and socks!

I thought I’d share a few favorites from my latest and greatest care package.

 

 

 

 

The pink and grey are available now, and the green are coming for the spring. The freeform creations? Those are thigh highs!

What do you think? Love them as much as I do? I might be a little biased, but I happen to think they’re the best socks on the planet.

Rainy Day Hot Chocolate

Ugh. It’s a rainy, gloomy day in Alabama. There’s a chill in the air. I ate soup for lunch (tomato with tofu floaters!) and still needed a little something warm afterwards.

What’s a cold girl to do? Break out a toasty beverage, naturally.

I made a rough version of the microwave hot chocolate you’ll find at (never home) maker and my was it tasty. If you’re needing an afternoon pick-me-up, I’d suggest doing the same.

Rainy Day Hot Chocolate

Measure 1 C milk or almond milk. Bonus points for vanilla flavor.

Pour a couple of tablespoons in your mug.

Mix in 1 scant tbsp. cocoa powder. Stir like the dickens.

Pour in the rest of your milk.

Microwave until it’s warm, about 1.5 minutes for me.

Stir in your desired sweetener. (Stevia, please!)

Garnish. (hello there, cinnamon!)

Sip. Get warm.