Seriously Super Salad

(Say that five times fast!)

I’m not a huge fan of salad recipes.

To be honest, when I make a salad I want the freedom to throw in whatever vegetable I want, top it with some sort of protein and call it a fresh, nutritious, wholesome meal. Because of that, I don’t really like someone telling me what to put in my salad, but my hope is that you don’t feel the same way. This salad is good–really good. It combines the light, fresh flavors of greens with the chewier, sweeter flavors of raisins and pecans; then it’s all brought together with Great Northern Beans, creamy avocado and a homemade Raspberry Lime Vinaigrette.

I think it’s amazing, but don’t trust my opinion. Try it for yourself and see if you agree.

End-of-Summer Salad with Raspberry Lime Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • Salad greens (spinach, romaine, red/green leaf, etc. You decide.)
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped red peppers
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Chopped celery
  • 1/4 avocado, diced
  • 1/3 cup Great Northern Beans
  • Handful raw pecans
  • Handful raisins
  • Raspberry Lime Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss. Serves 1.

By the way, the emboldened ingredients are the most important ones that make this salad. The others are pretty basic and can be substituted as you see fit, but the tomatoes and peppers do taste pretty good. :)

Raspberry Lime Vinaigrette
(Serves 1)

  • 4 fresh raspberries
  • splash of water, if needed
  • 1.5 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • smidgen of sea salt
  • 1/2 t balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • sweetener (optional)

Place the fresh raspberries in a small bowl and mash them with a fork till liquefied. You may need to add a splash of water to help get things going. Next, add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together with a fork. Add the balsamic vinegar and/or sweetener, both of which are optional. I didn’t think it needed any sweetener, but I do recommend the balsamic vinegar. It ties everything together. Enjoy!

I reallyyyy like this salad. And this dressing.

Try it. Pretty please with raspberries on top?

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite salad combination? Are you a fan of salad recipes or do you prefer to make it up as you go? What about dressings–which are your favorite?

Thanks for reading!

Shaking Into Fall

Today is the first day of October! My goodness, where did September go? Time keeps getting faster and faster it seems.

With fall officially upon us, (September 22nd was the first day) it is now appropriate, if not expected, to enjoy the warm and wonderful flavors of autumn. These include cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, pumpkin and sweet potato among many others. I began to wonder what would be the best way to incorporate these flavors when I came across this recipe on Jessica’s blog. Apple Pie in a Jar? Yes, please.

I followed the recipe exactly, except I added a bit more ice and I used 1/3 cup silken tofu instead of greek yogurt. I also omitted the cardamom (I’m not a fan) and used a different topping instead of graham crackers.

What topping did I use, exactly? One that I came up with randomly and ended up loving. I knew that I wanted some sort of “crumb” topping with my apple pie shake, but most crumbs call for butter or Earth Balance. I didn’t have either and didn’t have the time to let my coconut oil refrigerate, so I improvised. Rather than butter I used peanut butter, and rather than oats (since I wasn’t planning on baking the topping) I used Uncle Sam cereal.

Peanut Butter Coconut Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup Uncle Sam cereal
  • 1.5 tsp peanut butter
  • 1.5 tsp coconut butter
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • sprinkle of salt
  • optional: shake of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and gently stir together with a fork, breaking up the large pieces. Makes 1 serving.

It went perfectly with my apple pie shake.

The next fall-appropriate liquid meal was one I created out of desperation. There have been pumpkin and butternut shakes galore across the blog world, but the fact that I have neither made me quite sad. One thing I DID have, however, was a sweet potato. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are similar enough… right?

Fluffy Sweet Potato Shake

  • 1 small (or 1/2 large) cooked sweet potato
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 block of silken tofu
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 shake nutmeg
  • 2 shakes allspice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • sweetener of choice, to taste
  • optional: ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and drink up!

Note that the shake gets its fluffy, smooth, creamy texture from the silken tofu. You can make it without it, but it won’t be quite the same. Also, ice is optional because the more liquid/ice there is, the thinner the shake. It takes away from the fluffiness a bit, but I like a cold smoothie so I sacrificed some of the thickness.

I also topped this with the Coconut Peanut Butter Crumb Topping.

Playing with the focus.

That’s better.

For you photography gurus out there, do you have any tips for me? I’ve recently started using my mom’s DSLR in hopes that I can have better blog photography, but it’s a work in progress. My skills need some work, and I’m still trying to figure out editing as well. Some things I’ve been trying to keep in mind are:

  • Good lighting
  • No flash
  • Interesting background/backdrop (I don’t have a ton of options for this one; oh well)
  • Interesting angles; off-center
  • Look at things from outside the box & keep an open mind

Like I said, my editing needs some work too. Practice makes perfect, right?

By the way, you may be wondering why I’m randomly mentioned Uncle Sam cereal. The truth is, this review is long overdue. Annelies from Attune asked me to review this cereal a while back and I haven’t done it yet, but I have a good reason why. I wanted to make sure I gave a good, sufficient review, but I kind of struggled with ways to use this cereal.

I don’t eat cereal very often to begin with, but this cereal is not your typical breakfast food. Unlike the artificial, HFCS-laden cereals kids are downing by the bowl, Uncle Sam is completely real: natural, unprocessed, wholesome and unsweetened.

That’s awesome and I admire that so much, but I just really wasn’t sure where to go with it. I wish I had thought to look at the recipes page on their website sooner, because there are some great ideas. When I have some time I plan to make the tofu or some muffins. :)

On top of being unsweetened and unrefined, Uncle Sam boasts some pretty nice stats as well. 7g of protein in a serving? Awesome.

A bit about the cereal. Oh, and as far as the taste goes, it tastes how I expected it would: like wheat kernels with salt and flax. It certainly doesn’t taste bad and I can enjoy it plain with some almond milk, but it’s quite different.

Overall, I would recommend this cereal if you’re looking for a natural, unsweetened, crunchy breakfast food. It has a multitude of uses in recipes and is packed with fiber.

One other good thing about Uncle Sam? It’s awesome in my Coconut PB Crumb Topping.

Question of the Day: How are YOU welcoming the fall? What are some of your favorite flavors and things to make?

Thanks for reading!

Stuffed & Saucy

I go through peppers fast.

Like, really fast.

I snack on them, I cut them up into salads, I roast them, and I use them as a dipper for hummus and such.

I use them a lot, so naturally I was ecstatic when I found red and yellow peppers on sale for $0.88 each at Sun Harvest. After receiving approval from my mother, I went to town and picked out several peppers. Other than using them in the aforementioned ways, I wanted to try something I’d only attempted one other time: stuffed peppers.

I began the search for a stuffed pepper recipe that appealed to me, but after looking at a few different ones, I realized that they all consisted of the same basic thing: a grain, vegetables and tomato sauce. I’ll just make up my own recipe, but dang, I don’t have a grain, I thought to myself. After pulling apart my pantry, a waning box of plain cous cous proved me wrong.

Saucy Stuffed Cous Cous Peppers

Ingredients:

  • Two large bell peppers, color of your choice (I used one red, one yellow)
  • 1 cup cooked plain cous cous
  • 1/2 zucchini, chopped (about 1/2 cup?)
  • 1/2 yellow squash, chopped (about 1/2 cup?)
  • 1/2 cup Great Northern Beans (or any bean of your preference)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Seasonings, to taste*
  • 2/3 cup canned tomatoes + extra for topping**
  • handful of fresh spinach
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • olive oil
  • Optional: crushed pita chips, for topping

*I used onion powder, sea salt, pepper, chili powder, a shake of Mrs. Dash Original and quite a bit of a special German seasoning we have called Tzatsiki. It’s not the greek yogurt dip you’re thinking of, but it really made the dish. My guess is that most of you don’t have it, so just use whatever sounds good to you.

**Any kind of canned tomato product will work for this: tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste–whatever. I used canned, diced tomatoes so I could get some juice + tomato bits. If you choose to use sauce, I’d recommend slicing some fresh tomatoes into the mix.

Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and cut the tops off of your peppers. Remove the white insides and all seeds, then place them standing up in a foil-lined baking dish. If they won’t stand up, feel free to cut a little sliver off of the bottoms. Put them in the oven to begin roasting.

If your cous cous is not already cooked, do so now.

Heat up a saucepan over medium-high with some olive oil, then add the zucchini and squash. Let them cook til soft, then add the beans and garlic to the pan. Add the seasonings and stir so everything is well coated, then add in the tomatoes. Once you feel like everything is sufficiently cooked and heated, remove the pan from heat. Stir in the spinach so it wilts, then stir in the nutritional yeast. (The alternative to this is adding everything at once at cooking it together, but certain things take more/less time to cook, so this is how I did it. Do whatever you like.)

Remove the peppers from the oven. Combine the veggie mixture and the cous cous, then stuff each pepper with the filling. I was able to fit about 2/3 cup into each pepper. Pour a few spoonfuls of the remaining tomato (sauce) over the top of each pepper and along the sides. Roast the stuffed peppers for about 10 minutes, then pull them out. Add the crushed pita chips to the top of each pepper, then let them cook for another 5 minutes. Let cool and dig in!

These are delicious and very filling! I cut myself 1/2 a yellow one and 1/2 a red one, but I could only eat about 1/2 of what was on my plate, haha. Let me know if you give these a try and tell me what you think!

Question of the Day: Do you like peppers? Have you ever made stuffed peppers?

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Check out Alyssa’s awesome FSTG Chips giveaway!

Yellow & Orange

With the Fall season quickly approaching, I have been craving one meal and one meal only: grilled cheese and tomato soup.

But wait a minute, you may be thinking. Kelsey doesn’t eat dairy; how can she have grilled cheese? Enter the beloved Daiya cheese. I’ve told you about the “mozza style” before here, but this was my first time trying the cheddar flavor. My mom graciously allowed me to get it at Whole Foods and needless to say, I was very excited.

(source)

The other dilemma with grilled cheese and tomato soup is the fact that most commercial tomato soups contain milk and dairy products. That obviously wasn’t gonna work, so I was forced to get creative.

Enter Gena’s Basic Tomato Soup.

  • 1 ¼ cups chopped cherry or Holland tomatoes
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp agave or dash of stevia
  • Dash of salt

Blended together in the Vita-Mix. This was really yummy, but I think next time I won’t use the balsamic vinegar. It was a bit too strong.

Grilled cheese with a tomato on Great Harvest 100% Whole Wheat bread and raw tomato soup. Yum!

This next one was the same basic concept, except I used a different (on sale) brand called Almond Cheese. It was kinda weird, and it had casein (a milk product) in it. I won’t buy it again.

The soup was good, though! This was a different recipe I found online that I modified a bit. It was simply 2 large, beefsteak tomatoes, a dash of sea salt, a single Deglet Moor date and 1/4 cup of raw cashews. This was my favorite one and I will for sure make it again.

Another fun thing to do is to make different varieties of grilled cheese. I wrote about an awesome combo peanut butter and apple combo here. This particular one was sliced apples and Daiya. Yum. I ate the remaining apple slices on the side with some cinnamon and almond butter sauce. (1 T almond butter + 1 T almond milk, stirred and microwaved.)

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So good! Have you ever had apples and cheese together? It’s an amazing combo, so if you haven’t tried it yet, do! I have memories of eating a hot slice of apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese melting over the top, and dang–it is amazing.

In other news, I am turning orange. That is not a metaphor or an analogy; it is plain and simple truth. We recently obtained a huge bag of organic carrots, and since I am the only person in my home that eats carrots, I have been eating copious amounts to keep them from going bad. My hands are literally orange, as are my knee-caps, arms and face. It’s pretty crazy and I’ve definitely had to slow down.

A contributing factor to this carrot overload has been my recent obsession with all things carrot cake. I think it’s subsided for now, but it was pretty bad a couple weeks ago. My two favorite carrot cake-y things were this carrot cake oatmeal..

Overnight carrot cake oats topped with shredded coconut, coconut butter, some other stuff that I can’t identify from the picture and a raw carrot cake bite. The recipe for that will come soon; I want to perfect it first, but it was my other favorite thing.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite grilled cheese combo, dairy or non-dairy? I know Ashlei has some great ideas.

Question of the Day 2: Have you ever turned colors because of a certain food or food group? Do you like carrot cake?

Thanks for reading!

Nut Butter Mania

What is this?

A box filled with Artisana goodies…

FOR ME?

Yes, friends, you read that right: I was privileged enough to a receive a box of wonderful raw butters from the Artisana company. To say that I was excited when the package came would be a gross understatement.

Along with the copious amounts of nut butters they sent (I’m talkin’ two packets EACH of cashew, almond, walnut, pecan, cashini and macadamia butter, plus an 8oz jar of raw almond butter), I received some awesome coconut-based packs.

Two packs each of coconut oil, Cacao Bliss (<3), tahini and coconut butter (<3 x 10) They were also incredibly generous and gave me an additional 8oz jar of coconut butter. Wow, wow, wow. You guys are amazing, thank you!!

As off-the-wall elated as I was, the addition of this box posed a new problem: an overwhelming abundance of nut butters.

Um, yeah. The above picture shows you all the jars of nut butter that currently live in my house. Since taking this picture I’ve finished the yellow-topped PB to the left and the top Kirkland jar (both were nearly empty) but still–this is ridiculous.

Ridiculous in the best way possible, of course.

I told you a while back about my love of peanut butter, but I think my most favorite nut butter out of all these jars is the one and only Nuttzo PF. Oh my gooooosh. Have you ever tried this stuff? My advice to you is DON’T. You will become addicted, and then you will be forced to shell out $20 for a little 160z jar in order to feed your obsession.

However, if you choose to disregard my advice and enslave yourself to the mother of all things nutty, my recommendation is that you make your purchase(s) here or here. The first option saves you over $12 and you get to try both kinds, but I’ve only tried PF so it’s the only one I can truly recommend in the second option, my shop. (Yes, I finally opened an Open Sky shop! More on that in another post.)

Nuttzo PF, I love you. A homemade version must be created soon, because I simply cannot afford your deliciousness.

So, what is one to do with these ever-increasing jars of nut butter? Make Peanut Butter Cookie ice cream, of course!

It looks so appealing, I know.

Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy milk of choice (or water if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
  • Sweetener
  • Pinch of guar gum (about 1/4 tsp?)

*I didn’t use the vanilla extract because for my sweetener I used about 6 drops of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia Drops.

Directions:

Before opening, shake the can of coconut milk to make sure the fat is evenly distributed. Pour the coconut milk into an ice cube tray (or two, if needed) and freeze till solid, preferably overnight.

In the morning (or whenever you make the ice cream), empty the frozen coconut milk cubes into a high-speed blender such as a Vita-Mix or Blend-Tec. Add 1/2 tbsp of the non-dairy milk and blend, carefully using more (or less) milk as you need it. At this point the mixture in the blender should be the consistency of soft-serve.

Give the ice cream a good stir, then add the peanut butter, vanilla extract and sweetener. Blend it together, then while the blender is running pinch in the guar gum. It’s important to add this while the blender is going or else you may have guar clumps in your ice cream. Ick.

Taste test your ice cream and make sure it’s to your liking, then either devour it on the spot or put it in the freezer to harden for a few hours!

I did a little of both. :)

Ahh, I seriously love this ice cream! It tastes JUST like peanut butter cookie dough and I am so happy with it. I just made up the recipe as I went and I loved the results. This would be fabulous with some peanut butter cookie bites stirred in. Chocolate chips would be awesome, too.

I chose to cook up some oats, blend them with cocoa powder and tofu (a la Katie’s blended pudding–check out her Larabar giveaway!) and top the oats with my new ice cream. Yum in a bowl.

But wait, what does one do when these ever-increasing jars of nut butter start to decrease?

Make OIAJ, of course!

OIAJ with the rest of the Kirkland PB jar. Yum.

Dark chocolate oats in the rest of my coconut butter jar. Yes, I have already finished the jar Artisana sent. Don’t judge. It’s been over two weeks. :)

Topped with ‘nibs and coconut.

And a twist! SPIAJ: Sweet Potato In a Jar.

1/2 steamed sweet potato, cinnamon, a bit of PB Cookie ice cream and cacao nibs in my jar.

Yum.

Huh, well this hasn’t been a monstrous post at all. Just kidding, it definitely has been. Thanks for reading all the way through.

Question of the Day: NUT BUTTER. What is your favorite kind and your favorite way to use it? Any awesome OIAJ combos lately? Have you ever tried Nuttzo or Nuttzo PF?

Thanks for reading!

Trader Joe’s Trip

Remember how I linked to this website at the end of the last post? Well, that’s because I was fortunate enough to go to Trader Joe’s recently! The closest one to me is in Albuquerque, New Mexico (about 11 hours away), but fortunately we pass through Albuquerque on our way home from Utah. My mom and I both LOVE Trader Joe’s (we used to shop there all the time when we were in California–another story for another day) so we knew a stop was in order on the drive home a few weeks ago. We’d done this one other time on our way home from Utah in January, but at that time I wasn’t as involved in healthy eating as I am now. I didn’t know what products to look for and I definitely didn’t have a gameplan. This time, however, was pretty different.

After hearing so much about TJ’s Sunflower Seed butter, that was for sure the first thing I picked out.

At first I wasn’t sure whether or not I liked it, but it has definitely grown on me. It could never replace my beloved peanut butter, but it has a distinct, unique flavor that I love.

I’d also heard that TJ’s bran muffins were quite good, so I chose some blueberry ones.

I think the stats are incredible, and the ingredients are super simple.

These were really good! Very bran-y, but that was to be expected. They were also a little too sweet for me; my mom did not like them.

I got some yummy freeze-dried blueberries.

I was ecstatic to pick out a lunch from TJ’s prepared foods section. This was my on-the-road lunch. It wasn’t great, but not too bad.

The wrap was HUGE. I could barely finish half of it.

I also got these tofu spring rolls for dinner. They were interesting as well; not my favorite.

I picked up a pre-made, refrigerated TJ’s whole wheat crust too, so the above picture is some pizza I made with it.

This juice was sooo crazy good. I wish we had thought to stock up on it, because both my mom and I were extremely sad when it was gone. Love love love.

Straight green juice. Heaven.

I also picked up some vegan chocolate chip cookies..

Heh. I shouldn’t have, but I really wanted to try them. They were really good.

I got a few other things, like some organic tofu veggie burgers that were made with kale (they were amazing!), a yummy black bean spread and some dark chocolate. TJ’s is awesome and well-priced, my friends.

I used some of my new (and old) finds to create a yummy soy yogurt mess.

Soy yogurt topped with 1/2 a bran muffin, some Galaxy Granola, freeze-dried blueberries and TJ’s sunflower seed butter.

I used similar toppings on a green SIAB.

Granola, cacao nibs, blueberries and sunflower seed butter. Yeahh.

By the way, if any of you happened to miss it, the wonderful Tiffany at The Gracious Pantry did a post featuring her version of my Cream of the Coconut! Click here to check it out. Thank you, Tiffany!

I wanted to quickly show you a picture of my current favorite sandwich: avocado, tomato, black bean and hummus on whole wheat bread. Oh, it is so good. Sprouts and cucumbers make nice additions, but the basic 4 ingredients = an amazing sandwich.

Lol, this picture was taken at my grandpa’s house in Utah. Don’tcha love his awesome table cloth?

Question of the day: What is your favorite health food store? Have you ever been to Trader Joe’s? If so, which is your favorite product of theirs? If not, which product have you heard about that would you most like to try?

Thanks for reading!

Catch-Up

Hey everyone!

I’m home from camp and I had a wonderful time. It was so nice to be out in nature and to enjoy a technology-free life for a week. The food situation went smoothly for the most part, and I just made sure to plan very simple, easy meals. I really did not want to spend all my time in the kitchen when I had a whole bunch of friends to hang out with! That’s no fun.

For breakfasts I either did overnight oatmeal, microwaved oatmeal (not my method of choice, but sometimes you have to make do), or a green protein smoothie. Lunch was usually a salad with some chickpeas (they had an amazing salad bar!) and fruit or something, and dinner was different every night. I had a salad, a veggie burger, a potato, soup, etc. It worked out pretty well and I was very happy. Also, surprisingly, I was not the only vegetarian or clean/healthy eater there! In fact, there were three other vegetarians, and one of them had the same issue with dairy/eggs as I do. It was really cool, and I was one of many “clean” eaters there. I think there were four or five of us total.  So awesome.

Well, since I am STILL without a camera and I have no pictures for you, I think I’ll catch up on some much-needed product reviews. It’s been a while since I’ve done one, so it’s about time.

You may remember these reviews from a while back…

Jay Robb – http://cleanteenkelsey.com/2010/07/31/protein-post-numba-two/

Kardea – http://cleanteenkelsey.com/2010/07/23/much-needed-recap/

Bora Bora – http://cleanteenkelsey.com/2010/07/23/much-needed-recap/

Gnu – http://cleanteenkelsey.com/2010/08/04/parfait-please/
http://cleanteenkelsey.com/2010/07/11/farmers-market-fail/
http://cleanteenkelsey.com/2010/07/23/much-needed-recap/

Raw Rev – http://cleanteenkelsey.com/2010/07/11/farmers-market-fail/

Well, I am happy to say that I have tested ALMOST every bar that was sent to me! You may think “Seriously, you aren’t done yet?” but I received over 30 bars! It was very difficult to sort everything out, but I feel like I’ve finally been able to get a handle on it. Because I enjoyed each bar for different reasons, I’m going to do a brief overview of each brand.

Jay Robb Protein Bars –

Flavors: Cashew Coconut, Peanut Butter, Fudge Brownie and YAMMIT! Almond Energy Bar

Verdict: Jay Robb’s bars are very enjoyable. They pack 15g of protein into each bar and they are completely, 100% natural! There are no icky ingredients and quite a few of them are organic, which is awesome to me. The taste is all right. Each bar tasted like its name, but there was a slightly fake/powdery/artificial taste to them. I’m really not sure why. :( Overall I would recommend them: they’re completely natural and the taste isn’t bad for a protein bar.

Kardea –

Flavors: Chai Spice, Banana Walnut, Lemon Ginger and Cranberry Walnut

Verdict: I didn’t try the Chai Spice because it had black tea in it, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything else. The texture was different from your typical nut/date based bar and I really liked that. The other thing I really enjoyed was the fact that these bars pack a ton of unusual, good-for-you ingredients. These include plant sterols, chicory root fiber, acacia and psyllium husk. Pretty cool; I liked them a lot.

Bora Bora –

Flavors: Too many to list. Click here to view the flavors by category: Superfood, Antioxidant and Energy.

Verdict: I really loved these! They are organic, natural and are created with a specific purpose in mind. Whether you’re looking for antioxidants, extra energy or a dose of superfoods, Bora Bora has you covered. Each bar is crunchy, chewy and provides a variety of textures/flavors. I couldn’t pick a favorite because each bar was so different! I would certainly turn to these bars for a quick, portable serving of carbs and fat.

Hooray for bar reviews! Thanks to all the wonderful companies that entrusted me with their products. You guys rock.

While we’re here, let me quickly tell you about some awesome ice cream I got to test!

Good Karma allowed me to test some of their products!

“Our mission is to bring you the healthiest and greatest tasting, organic, gluten free, dairy free  and vegan natural food products available on the planet today.

They sent me two coupons for free products and one $1 off coupon. I went to Whole Foods a while back to pick out my products and this is what I chose.

Organic Rice Divine Carrot Cake Ice Cream!

“You’ve never had a carrot cake frozen dessert before?  That’s because no one imagined how good it would be – – until now.  Creamy Organic Rice Divine™ with sweet organic carrot juice, organic raisins, organic nutmeg, and pieces of actual cake (gluten – free, of course) make this a truly remarkable Rice Divine™.”

Ingredients: Organic Rice Milk (Filtered Water, Organic Rice Syrup Solids Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice), Organic Carrot Flavor (Organic Carrot Juice Concentrate, Organic Dehydrated Cane Juice, Water, Organic Tapioca Starch, Organic Raisins, Annatto, Salt, Cinnamon, and Natural flavor),Organic Dehydrated Cane Juice, Organic Carrot Cake (Organic Brown Rice Flour, Organic Dehydrated Cane Juice, Organic Palm Oil, Organic Raisins, Organic Carrots, Organic Invert Dehydrated Cane Juice, Rice Flour, Organic Molasses, Organic Cinnamon, Sodium Bicarbonate, Organic Vanilla, Salt, Citric Acid), Organic Sunflower Oil and/or Organic Canola Oil and/or Organic Safflower Oil, Chicory Root Extract, Organic Tapioca Starch, Organic Locust Bean Gum, Organic Guar Gum, Carrageenan and/or Xanthan Gum, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Sea Salt.

Okay, so I was a little nervous about this flavor at first. I’d never tried a Carrot Cake ice cream, and the long ingredients list was a tad daunting. I knew it would be risky, but I took a leap of faith.

Boy, am I glad I did! This ice “cream” is so incredible. I didn’t know if I would like it, but I absolutely love it. It’s perfectly cinnamon-y, a bit sweet, and it has little cinnamon carrot cake bites through out. Oh, it’s incredible. I definitely enjoyed it.

I also picked out some of their Original Rice Milk, because the Unsweetened Variety has yet to show its face in my Whole Foods.

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Expeller Pressed Canola and/or Organic Expeller Pressed High Oleic Safflower Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sea Salt, Organic Vanilla Extract, Natural Flavor, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12.

This was good. I’m not a huge fan of rice milk, but I didn’t mind this one. I liked that it was completely organic and the taste was smooth and creamy.

Awesome, well I think that’s it for now. Stay tuned for a NuNaturals, Uncle Sam cereal and Artisana review! Also, I have something very exciting to tell you about.

Question of the Day: What bars have you tried? Which are your favorites? Also, have you ever had non-dairy ice cream? What’d you think, and which kind is your favorite?
Thanks for reading!

Unplugging

Hey blog friends!

Thank you SO much for all the feedback on the last post! It made me so happy; you guys are truly the best. I love y’all.

Hm, so you know how I was going to try to get another few posts up this week? Well, clearly it did not happen. I am SO unbelievably busy and I’m finding myself with less and less free/leisure time. I have no idea how those big bloggers write a post every single day, and some of them write 2-3! I commend them, because (clearly) I could never do it.

In addition to my decreasing amount of time, I’m lacking the use of a camera. My brother Brady and I have similar cameras, and just as he was leaving for his mission he realized he had no cord to charge his camera. His was completely dead and we had no time to get him a new one, so I gave him mine instead. The plan was to buy me a new cord off of eBay or something, but we have yet to do it, so I am stuck with a dead camera and few pictures for you. Not the best thing for a food blogger, lol.

Also, because I have had so little extra time, my meals have been quite boring and uneventful. Breakfasts have consisted of a slice of this bread (something I picked up after seeing Emily write about) and some coconut butter, along with a plain chocolate protein shake or a protein Green Monster. On days that I’m not home–which seem to be always–lunch is pretty much nonexistent. That is definitely not typical for me, but I usually forget to grab something on the way out. On days that I AM home, lunches are a salad or leftover pizza (yes, I made more.. I’ll cover that in my next post this coming weekend) and dinner is just whatever I can throw together with little to no effort. Told you, not very exciting.

So, since I have nothing fun to write about, let me tell you a little bit about what I’m going to be doing this week. Every year, my homeschool group attends a family camp at a beautiful campsite in Texas. It’s typically one of the best weeks of the year and I ALWAYS look forward to it. One of the things I like the most is being completely unplugged: no cell phones, no music players (besides the ones required for the dance), no video games, no television, no computer–it’s quite nice, really. Natalie did a post on this recently and it really made me think about incorporating more “unplugged” times into my life. I know that for me, when I’m not focusing on technology and electronics I’m able to more fully take in my surroundings and appreciate the beauty around me. I pay attention to the trees, I admire the clouds and I listen to the river. I also have time to go on 5-mile hikes through the rocky terrain and water, and I’m able to devote more attention to my friends and family. All of those are great things, and I’m looking forward to a week full of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Question of the Day: How often do YOU unplug? What are the benefits for you? Will you try to unplug with me at least one day this week? (I had to try. )

Thanks for reading!

P-I-Z-Z-A

Hey hey!

Wow, so major fail on my part. I had no idea how busy I would be in Utah, and I had no idea how little access I would have to a computer. I’m so sorry for the lack of posts, but sometimes I just gotta live my life and not be tied down by a computer.

My week in Utah was… bittersweet. I had such a wonderful time visiting family and friends, but it was one of THE hardest trips in my whole entire life. I had to say goodbye to my older brother for two years which was beyond difficult. He is one of my closest, best friends and I miss him more than words can say. When we finally left Utah, it was also hard to say goodbye to my sweet 86-year-old grandma. She is in a nursing home, and she is so dear to me.

Aside from the sadness, I did have a lot of fun. My last few days with my older brother were excellent, and it was great to spend so much time with my family. The Lord has blessed me with some strong people in my life, and I look forward to becoming even closer with them over these next few years.

Well, I guess I’m due for a recap, eh? I’ll go ahead and finish the post I meant to post before I left! Goodness gracious.

Because of the newly-released Larabar flavors, cookie dough has been the topic of many bloggers‘ posts. I then, of course, had it on the brain, so I decided to satisfy my craving.

I really didn’t have a set recipe; I just kind of took little bits here and there from other recipes. Basically it was:

  • Raw cashews
  • Raw almonds
  • 2 pitted dates
  • Sprinkle of sea salt
  • Dark chocolate chunks

all processed together in a mini food processor and formed into a ball. Yes, I only made one serving… I felt like experimenting.

I didn’t quite believe that nuts and dates could achieve the same flavor as flour, butter and sugar, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much it DID taste like cookie dough. It was very good, and I would for sure make it again.

Hmm, let’s see. For one of my breakfasts, I made Katie’s Strawberry Shortcake in a Bowl. I make Katie’s recipes a lot..

1/2 cup cooked oats blended together with some strawberries, almond milk and NuNaturals Stevia. Topped with some pecans and a little bit of dark chocolate. Holy yum. Also, that is a chocolate protein shake on the side.

Pecans have quickly become one of my all-time favorite nuts. Just sayin’.

On another note, I drove for the first time a few weeks ago! My dear friend and “big sister,” Rachel, took me to practice in a parking lot and it was a lot of fun.

After driving for about an hour, we came home and made pizza from scratch. We had made the dough before we left so it could rise while we were gone, and it was ready when we came back!

I wish I could find the exact recipe we used, because it turned out sooo well. I have it bookmarked on the other computer, but it’s currently down. Darn. The crust basically consisted of (if I can remember correctly. It was over 2 weeks ago):

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp quick-rise yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • vital wheat gluten
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • warm water

We rolled out the dough on my countertop, put it in a jelly roll pan–we wanted square pizza–and topped it with some sauce.

>

Next, the toppings! Squash, zucchini, green/red peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and pineapple for me. Rachel was a little weirded out by pineapple on pizza, but I love it! What about you? Are you a POP (pineapple on pizza) person or do you think the tropical fruit was meant to be eaten on its own?

Chopping some veggies.

I’d never cut peppers like this before, and I was quite amused by the flower-like shape they took on. What can I say, I’m easy to please.

Our beautiful pizza all ready to go in the oven. For cheese, we put mozzarella on Rachel’s half and Daiya Mozza “Cheese” Shreds on my half.

Oh my heck, have you other vegans/dairy-avoiders ever tried Daiya? I picked this bag up at Whole Foods and I am absolutely, positively in love. It is all-natural and it tastes incredible. I was amazed at how much it tasted like mozzarella, and don’t even get me started on the melting properties of this stuff. When I put it on my pizza, it melted perfectly and came out creamy and delicious. I was so surprised at the texture, which almost resembled a smooth, slightly thicker alfredo sauce. Ahh. I can’t wait to try the cheddar.

Daiya + Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chip nachos.

The oven does a much better job at melting than the microwave does.

But back to the pizza. After 25 minutes or so in the oven, our beloved pizza was done!

You can tell which side is mine by looking for the pineapple.

My delectable half.

Rachel’s half, which I’m assuming was delectable as well.

Oh. My. Goodness. Hands down the BEST pizza I have ever had. Homemade truly is the stuff, kids.

Made-from-scratch, all-natural, fluffy whole wheat pizza dough; my favorite veggie toppings; and creamy, smooth Daiya cheese. Um, can it get any better? I think not. Heaven.

Uhh, here’s some random pancakes I ate. I have some pictures of them, but I don’t remember them being all too exciting. I think there were strawberries and blueberries in the pancakes.

Oh, the day after my wonderful pizza adventure, our wonderful, generous friend offered to cut my hair! I went from this:

To this:

Lol, I look so serious. Hooray! This is the first time I’ve had bangs since I was 12-years-old and I am so happy with them. I have wanted this cut (shorter, lots of layers and side-swept bangs) for a very long time, but I never got it because I was afraid it wouldn’t look right on me. I’m very pleased with it!

My mom got her hair cut, too, but I don’t have any before pics for you. Here are some after ones though, because we recently got family pictures taken.

From left to right: my little brother Dakota, me, my mom and my older brother Brady.

We are a happy family.

I love them. A lot.

Me and my older brother, Brady. I miss him. <3

Can’t touch this.

Hahaha, I love this picture. We are certainly goofballs.

<3

In parting, here are some random doggy-love pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Chansey, our lab mix, is on the floor, and..

Schatize, my pomeranian, is on the couch. His name is pronounced shot-see; it’s German for “my treasure.”

Also, in case you were wondering: yes, Chansey IS named after the Pokemon. Long story.

Well, I think that just about wraps this recap up. It’s gettin’ pretty long, but I hope you enjoyed it. I have missed blogging and all my wonderful blog friends, so hopefully I’ll get a few more posts up this week. I’m leaving again next week for a homeschool camp, but perhaps I will schedule some posts to go up. That’d be good.

By the way, my college classes officially started yesterday! I got all registered and started doing the work. For those of you who didn’t know, I’m taking online community college classes this semester and I’m very excited about it. The state of Texas pays for me to take two “dual-credit” classes, which basically means that I can take college classes as a high school student. The classes will not only count as high school work, but they will also count as college credits. Pretty cool, huh? I’m taking U.S. History and Kinesiology: Personal and Community Health. In the third or so week of Kinesiology there are two chapters devoted to health and nutrition–needless to say, I am very excited.

Question of the Day: Have you ever made homemade pizza before? Did you like it? (Silly question.)

Question of the Day 2: Summer is officially over!! How was your summer overall? What was the highlight? What did you do?

Question of the Day 3: Do you have any animals?

Question of the Day 4: What was your best/worst hair cut? Any crazy, hilarious, sad stories? Let me know.

Thanks for reading!

On the Road Again

Hey, friends!

I’m checking in from the road, because my family and I are on the way to Utah. You’re all aware of my brother’s mission, and we have to take him to Utah before he can go to Mesa. While we’re there, we’ll be visiting a lot of friends, family, and attending some awesome workshops at a college campus. Hey, maybe I’ll even run into Janetha!

I had plans before I left to get up a fun post about driving, homemade pizza and family pictures, but time evaded me. With packing, shopping and organizing trip food, it simply did not happen. I don’t have great internet access right now (the reception is spotty in Gallup, New Mexico. Hi, April!) but I’ll be sure to finish the post once I’m at my grandpa’s.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit, and I’ve realized that this trip to Utah will be unlike any other. Although I’ve always been a health-conscious teen, the healthy lifestyle I’m living now is far more commited than before. In fact, it was in January at a Border’s in Utah that I first found The Eat-Clean Diet and started applying its principles in my life. I’ve made a lot of positive changes in my diet since then, and it will be interesting to see the difference between what I would’ve eaten then and what I will eat now.

I imagine I’ll still indulge in the occasional Iceberg shake, Creamie or Cafe Rio salad, all of which are native to Utah, but my goal is to eat as clean as I can. I hope my grandpa won’t take offense when I politely decline the packaged Honey-Buns, the Fig Newton’s or his favorite doughnuts from Smith’s, all of which are native to his kitchen. He is aware of this new lifestyle and I hope he will understand.

Because eating healthily on a trip is needed so often, I plan to do a post on it very soon. I’d like to include what types of food to have, how to plan your meals and other necessities you should bring. Is there anything in particular you’d like me to cover? Do you have any questions about it? Leave them in the comments, please! Fortunately I’ve packed food on several trips, so I will do my very best to share my trial-and-error experiences with you.

Well, it’s back to the drive. I think I’m going to journal, read and write some letters. Oh, I’m gonna catch up on your blogs too, but I won’t be able to comment. the app on my phone allows me to read them, but I have to use internet to comment. Like I mentioned before, my internet access is very weak, but know that I AM reading.

Thanks for reading!

Kelsey

P.S. We’re in Colorado now. Hi, Court and Whit!