Refreshing light salad

salad1I like this salad so much that I’ve made it every day this week! I really enjoy the cool, crispiness of the vegetables and the lemony dressing and I’ve been looking forward to eating it at lunch time with my sandwich*.

I had some cucumber, tomato, carrots and lemons in the fridge at home that I needed to use, so those make up the main ingredients. The only slightly special ingredient that I bought is daikon root, but that can easily be substituted for radishes if you’d like. I got a pretty good deal on daikon (it was cheaper than radishes) so that’s why I used it in the salad.

Salads of course are flexible, if you have other vegetables feel free to put them in! The more the merrier really.

It’s been a very hot summer the past few weeks so I’m appreciating cooler food all the more.

The salad dressing is super easy to make: all I do is take a lemon wedge and squirt it all over the salad. Then I drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil and then sprinkle a tiny bit of salt and pepper on top. If you want to make it extra fancy you can mix the lemon juice first with a bit of honey for a really nice sweetness.

*In case you’re curious, the sandwich I’ve been eating is a super simple non-dairy “grilled cheese”. It’s the simplest (laziest) version I could possibly come up with. All I do is toast some gluten-free bread, usually just one slice. Then when it’s cooled slightly I put it in the microwave with a slice of dairy free cheddar cheese on top and cook for about 30 seconds. I really love it, it tastes awesome and I don’t have to wash a pan afterwards which is a nice bonus.

Recipe:

Refreshing light salad

Serves 1

  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cucumber, chopped
  • 2-3 radishes, or 3 inch piece of daikon root, shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded

Dressing:

  • 1 or 2 lemon wedges
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all the vegetables in a bowl. Squeeze lemon over the vegetables and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

To make the honey dressing (optional), combine the lemon juice and honey together and then drizzle over the salad.

 

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Slow cooker lentil soup

soup2This week I’m trying out some light meal planning, particularly for lunch. I never quite know what to eat and too often I end up buying fast food. My fast food lunches aren’t that expensive, usually about $3.75, but I know I can eat healthier and cheaper when I make food myself.

So for the next few days I’m going to try and have homemade soup and salad for lunch and see how that goes. Maybe a sandwich sometimes if I need some extra food.

Early this afternoon I made a pot of lentil vegetable soup in my slow cooker. I’ve never made soup before using the crockpot so it was a bit of an experiment. I just tried it and it’s pretty good! Basically you just put all the ingredients in and set it to cook for 7-8 hours, it’s very easy. Here is the recipe 🙂

Slow cooker lentil soup

  • 8 ounces brown lentils (1/2 of a one pound bag), rinsed
  • 5 cups water or chicken broth
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes (omit if using broth)
  • Tomato paste, 2 heaping tablespoons
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme, optional

Add everything into the slow cooker and set on low. Cook for 7-8 hours.

I stirred the soup around hour 5 just to mix everything together, but this isn’t necessary.

Turkey meatball and veggie soup

Happy New Year!! I’m definitely looking forward to 2017 and hoping that it will be a great year filled with new adventures, happiness, love and healing ❤

I also wanted to share an easy and yummy soup recipe. With the cold weather here I’ve been eating more soups and this is definitely a good one. I love turkey meatballs and usually eat them at least once a week. They add a nice amount of protein to the soup, which is helpful as that tends to reduce my food cravings.

I buy pre-made meatballs because they’re easy to use, but if you’re more ambitious than I am you can definitely make them yourself.

Also, feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, this is a flexible recipe. I had a bag of frozen broccoli so I used that and it worked really well.

Turkey meatball and veggie soup

Serves 2-3

8-10 turkey meatballs

2 cups chopped vegetables, fresh or frozen- such as broccoli, green beans, squash, etc.

2 cups coarsely chopped potatoes, russett or yellow potatoes

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes

2-3 chicken bouillon cubes (or 4 cups chicken broth)

4 cups water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

pinch of ground pepper (optional)

In a medium or large pot add the oil and turn the heat onto medium. When the oil heats up add the onion and saute until somewhat translucent. Next, add the water, bouillon cubes, tomatoes, potatoes and ground pepper. Heat until boiling and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are softening.

If using frozen vegetables and meatballs pre-heat them in the microwave for 5 minutes to help defrost.

Add the vegetables and meatballs to the soup and cook for 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are cooked through. Serve and enjoy!

A few photos 🙂

Hot chocolate recipe: dairy-free and sugar-free

I love dairy but recently dairy just isn’t loving me back and I’m finding that I get fatigue, bloating and just generally don’t feel well when I have dairy products.

I’ve been switching over to non-dairy milks, including almond, coconut and soy milks and I’ve definitely been feeling better because of it, so I think it’s a lifestyle change I’m going to try and stick with (although I do love real Parmesan cheese with pasta that’s a tough one to let go of).

Today was super cold and this afternoon I had a craving for a treat, specifically something chocolatey. However I didn’t want to have a calorie monster like a big slice of cake or a giant cookie and ruin my appetite for dinner, and also possibly bring on a binge.

So I gave it some thought and decided to try and make hot chocolate. I really enjoy hot chocolate, it’s delicious, soothing and warm and felt just right for what I needed today.

I had some of the ingredients at home already but I needed to buy the cocoa powder and vanilla extract.

I like the recipe I came up with, however because I’m not using standard ingredients like dairy milk and white sugar you may definitely need to tinker with it to have it fit your taste needs.  I made it for myself, so the recipe only serves one. As a bonus, it’s  also low in calories!!

The ingredients I used:

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Hot Chocolate: Dairy-Free and Sugar-Free

Serves 1

1.5 cups almond milk, unsweetened (sweetened is fine, you may prefer to use less stevia)

1/4 cup non-dairy creamer

1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon stevia powder, or to taste (note: check the label of your stevia as sweetness levels can vary widely)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch salt (optional)

In a saucepan add all ingredients except the vanilla extract. Over medium heat whisk in all the cocoa powder. When hot chocolate begins to gently simmer turn off heat and add the vanilla extract. Serve and enjoy!! 🙂

Feel better garlic soup

I have a bit of a sore throat today so I thought I’d try some home remedies to see if they help me feel a little better. Garlic is one of my go-to foods to help me feel better, so I thought I’d try and make some veggie garlic soup!

This soup is definitely not a beauty because I barely have any vegetables in the house only green beans – but it is full of garlic! It’s a very simple recipe so feel free to add in any vegetables you’d like.

The nice thing about this soup is that it’s quick to make, only has a couple ingredients and is very tasty!

I forgot to chop my green beans, but it is easier to eat if they are bite size 🙂

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Feel better garlic soup

Serves 1

1.5 cups water or chicken broth

1 chicken flavored bouillon cube (leave out if using chicken broth)

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of chopped vegetables, your choice

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

In a saucepan warm the oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until garlic begins to cook down and turn very slightly brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add the water, bouillon cube and vegetables. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until garlic and vegetables are fully cooked.

Note: If you are using delicate vegetables such as peas, add them in after the garlic has been simmering for about 5 minutes so they don’t over cook.

10 Delicious Drinks to Help Kick Your Soda Habit

fruit2Are you trying to drink less soda or quit drinking soda entirely? Luckily there are many delicious alternatives!

I’m trying to quit drinking soda and recently completed a three day no soda challenge. I’ve been a long-time soda drinker, but knowing there were other tasty options made it easier to reach for those instead.

Soda has many negative health impacts. This drink is linked to weight gain, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and dental problems along with many other issues.

Here are 10 quick, cheap and easy drink ideas to have instead of soda:

  • Flavored waters: Add slices of fruit, veggies or herbs to a pitcher of water and chill for a refreshing low calorie drink. You can add limes, lemons, oranges, apples, mint, basil, watermelon, cucumber or any of your other favorites to the water.
  • Seltzer or water mixed with juice.This is great because you get a nice sweet, fruity flavor without as much sugar or calories. My favorite juices to mix with water are orange, cranberry, apple and mixed berry juice.
  • Cheapo lemonade: Squeeze a lemon wedge in water and add a packet of stevia
  • Veggie juice such as V8 or homemade using a juicer or blender
  • Vegan milk such as almond, rice, soy or cashew. These often come in different flavors such as unsweetened, vanilla or chocolate.
  • Smoothies: Super easy and quick to make in a blender. Just add some milk, fruit and other mix ins such as greens or protein powder. Blend and enjoy!
  • Coconut water
  • Iced tea, regular or decaf black or green tea.
  • Hot or iced herbal tea such as chamomile, cinnamon, or peppermint
  • Ice water – very refreshing and the least expensive! : )

Super Simple SautĂ©ed Cabbage

I made this simple and delicious side dish to go with dinner tonight. I had my favorite rice and beans recipe which is also easy to make.

Cabbage is one of my best-loved vegetables because it’s cheap, cooks quickly and is delicious. Adding cabbage to soups, stews and casseroles can also give them healthy volume without being heavy.

Having a good amount of vegetables in a meal can be helpful for me in preventing a binge. If I feel full and healthy after a meal I often feel better about myself and this can be helpful in not bingeing afterwards.

Super Simple Sautéed Cabbage

Serves 2

1 small head of savoy or regular cabbage, or 1/2 of a regular sized cabbage

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 chicken flavored bouillon cube

1/3 cup warm water, plus more if needed

Pinch of ground pepper (optional)

Remove any damaged leaves from the cabbage and rinse.

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Carefully slice the cabbage into thin slices.

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Dissolve the bouillon cube in the warm water.

In a large skillet with a lid, heat on medium heat and add the canola oil. When the pan is warm add the cabbage and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the water (with dissolved bouillon) and mix well into the cabbage. Stir for another 30 seconds. Cover the pan and turn the heat down to low. Let the cabbage steam, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes or until soft but still bright green in color.

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Serve with your favorite meal! Add a pinch of ground pepper on top for extra flavor.

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