Sunday, February 16, 2014

Your Momma Was Right (?)

Dear Readers,

After seeing this post by Ms. Wendy Nguyen (love her) I found myself desperately wanting this sweater.  The issue?  It's $325.  And let's be real: this is not a time-honored staple, but a fun take on the nautical trend (which arguably is always in style, but the cutesy phrase doesn't read "staying power" closet-wise).  Anyhow, keeping with my "invest only if it's fabulous, 100% necessary or multi-season/multi-use" theory of shopping, I decided against the Banjo & Matilda sweater but believed very deeply I'd find it's cheaper twin soon.

How right I was.  Although, where I found it was a bit more surprising.  Talbots.  Yes, I know.  Your mother's store (or worse, grandmothers).  But I happened to catch a glance of this tidy little number in the window the other day and, along with the 30% off sign, decided to go inside and take a look.  The style is unquestionably similar and the fit is "classic" and loose, which makes it great with skinny jeans and as a layering piece.  Long story short: Sold.  (Question: Since I remember Talbots model Niki Taylor being in my Seventeen Magazine am I suddenly now their target market?  Good Lord...).

So there you have it: Catherine the Penny Pincher (laugh, go ahead, laugh) gets "the" sweater, it just took a little looking and checking my store snobbery at the door.  And it was worth it.

What else have I been missing....?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fast Food

Dear Readers,

I'm hot and heavy in trial prep, which actually has made this cleanse breeze by since I don't have a ton of time to worry about food (yay shakes twice a day!).  Anyhow, last night I looked in our (fairly empty) fridge and realized we had some cauliflower to use before it went to waste.  At first I thought of making a soup, but then decided to use one of my fav super simple recipes from GP's It's All Good.  When it was done, my husband and I both stood around the bowl and munched until it was nearly gone.  Soooo good.

Packed with health, this is just too yummy and easy not to share:

Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpeas with Mustard + Parsley
  • a 14-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon seeded mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian Parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan with 3 tablespoons of 
olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Roast, stirring now and then, until everything is dark and 
the cauliflower is quite soft, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the mustards, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil with a big pinch 
of salt and a few healthy grinds of black pepper.

While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing 
and the parsley.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Image from The Simple Veganista (this recipe is POPULAR!).

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl Super Food

Dear Readers,

We were invited to a Super Bowl party yesterday and I wanted to bring some healthy party food.  Being social and healthy can be a challenge.   I joked with the hostess we'd bring our own kombucha and twigs to snack on so not to worry about us.  All joking aside, I did want to contribute something we could all share and hopefully enjoy.  I settled on roasted, spicy chickpeas (from this recent post) and sweet potato brownies.  Both were a hit with the kids especially!  Who knew.

Here's the vegan, gluten free brownies I made from Deliciously Ella.  Not bad!  My husband pointed out: these aren't really "brownies" but they're good.  That about sums it up.  And they're good for you and a great alternative for little ones (and big ones) who want something sweet.

Check them out!

Makes 10 brownies
- 2 medium to large sweet potatoes
- 2/3 of a cup of almond meal
- 1/2 a cup of buckwheat flour (brown rice flour will also work)
- 14 medjool dates
- 4 tablespoons of raw cacao
- 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup syrup
- a pinch of salt
How to cook:
Start by pre-heating the oven to 350, then peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into chunks and place into a steamer for about  twenty minutes, until they become really soft.
Once they are perfectly soft and beginning to fall apart remove them and add them to a food processor with the pitted dates.
Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, before mixing in the sweet potato date combination. Stir well.
Place into a parchment paper lined baking dish and cook for about twenty minutes, until you can pierce the brownie cake with a fork bringing it out dry. Remove the tray and allow it to cool for about ten minutes – this is really important as it needs this time to stick together! Remove the brownies from the tray, leaving it another few minutes before cutting them into squares – then dig in and enjoy!

*Image above from Deliciously Ella.