Relationships Are Made in the Kitchen: 30 Day Vegetarian/Vegan Meal Prep Challenge! Free Download.

eats

Hey friends!

     My fiance and I decided that we wanted to write a book…on meal prepping! For those of you who follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you have probably seen our cooking videos.  We meal prep every Sunday afternoon for 5 days worth of food. This is our special time to crack open a good bottle of wine, rock out to some music, and enjoy each other. We now look forward to Sunday’s (I used to dread them),  love to grocery shop, and prepare the food.  I mean, anytime I can make a ‘chore’ more enjoyable…I am alllllllll in. #lifehack

So how does meal prepping build relationships you ask?

Here are our notable effects when we meal prep:

We both feel a sense of relaxation during the day, knowing that we don’t have to worry about meals. The thought of having to run to the grocery store after work, or whip something up upon arriving home is an extra stressor which is completely eliminated by meal prepping.  Coming home to great meals and being properly nourished during the day, results in mental composure. It is much easier to take on life with a full belly! At the end of the day, we are able to focus on each other, rather than a sink full of dirty dishes or an upset stomach from delivery pizza.

Here is a look at what happens when we do not meal prep:

Basically…“if you have no plan, you are planning to fail”…

HANGER. It’s real. It sucks. It wares on relationships. When we don’t meal prep we feel chaotic, and every night seems to be a scramble. Before we began planning meals, we would ravenously get home…barely even greeting one other. Blinded by hunger while bickering at each other, one would angrily order takeout and end the night feeling bloated, annoyed, and not ready to take on the next day.  This was a draining cycle and as our pants got tighter, and wallets and patience ran thin, we realized a change was needed. 

As an avid pinterester, I began to watch meal prepping videos online and even purchased a few books of my own. Starting slow, we began to prep meals together on Sunday afternoons. This quickly became much more than just cooking. It became our special time that we spend together every Sunday, which slingshots us into a great week. In life, there are not many things we can control. However, food is one of them. So, by choosing to control this small aspect of our life, it makes other tasks seem a bit easier.

Soooooo why is it a vegetarian/vegan challenge?

          Although there are numerous reasons to go veg, ours is simple: we feel physically and mentally nourished completely through this way of eating.  We have tried many different diets together. Ketogenic, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, SAD (standard American diet) to name a few. Doing this gave us a real perspective on which type of eating makes us feel best. Most of us shop around before making a big life decision, right? We did the same…except, we ‘shopped’ around for a way of eating! This may sound silly, but we honestly wanted to try all different ‘diets’ before deciding to stick to one.  On a vegetarian/vegan diet, we feel full without the bloat, alert, and mentally clear. One thing we noticed right away, was our ability to wake up in the morning and head to work without that ‘ugh I am so tired’ feeling. We also noticed our moods and outlook on life, in general, improved. We dare you to try it too!

If you are interested in meal prepping, getting your spouse involved in cooking, would like more information, or simply want a few awesome recipes…. please download our eBook for a week of free vegetarian/vegan cooking!  Cheers!

Free Download

Vegetarian Challenge

If you enjoyed this week of eating, we will be releasing a full month of recipes at the end of December gearing up for a healthy January, be sure to check back!

image1

 

katie writes sig

GIVEAWAY!!!!The dreamiest, creamiest, non-dairy yogurt you ever did taste. 

eats

Hi all,

I’ve got a giveaway going on my Instagram right now and wanted to let everyone here know too!! For the longest time, I searched and searched for a delicious vegan yogurt. I tried many; almond, coconut, soy….and none were hittin’ the spot.  

After numerous failed attempts, I stumbled upon Forager Cashewgurt…..

Y’all ….. my…..mind. was. blown

It truly is creamy and delicious! My favorite flavor is the classic vanilla topped with blueberries, Bee Free honey, and cinnamon. However, Foragers vanilla isn’t your run o’ the mill basic vanilla. It’s so legit you can see flecks of real  vanilla bean in the yogurt!!! Try it for yourself. Click below and enter !! 

Good luck, my loves!!! 

Egg free, Pescatarian, Keto Diet? It’s possible.

eats

Hi all,

Today we’re diving into some real talk, about food. Mainly, finding success on the Ketogenic diet with major allergy restrictions. A bit daunting, right?

As my wedding day swiftly approaches, I am highly motivated to get my bridal bum in shape. I’ve had about 10 extra lbs of love hangin’ around, and I am ready for them to be gone. My original goal was to be more svelte by summer, butttttttt that didn’t quite happen. So now I’m backtracking.

After some research, I was intrigued by the Ketogenic diet. Everyone’s doing it, and it seems to work. I am always eager to try something that has brought success to others. The Keto diet fit the bill, there was just one hitch….. (cue the horror music)……..

DUNN…….DUNNN……..DUNNNN……..

FOOD ALLERGIES. I have a few, which makes following diets, to a Tee, nearly impossible. Keto being no different. My main intolerances are eggs, peanuts, and chicken. I choose to avoid all poultry, pork, and red meats too.

The Ketogenic diet is a way of eating that involves the consumption of high protein/fat, and very low carbohydrates. Therefore, typical Keto meal plans include numerous recipes featuring meat and eggs. Here are some simple ways to make the Keto diet more manageable, for those with food allergies.

1. Use egg replacements. I love eggs and when I found out I was allergic to them I was devastated. My favorite swap is the VeganEgg by follow your heart. Honestly, when using the VeganEgg to make an omelet or frittata, I don’t even miss the real thing. This product works well for baking too. It is especially great for low carb pancakes and muffins. I love it. My favorite way to prepare the VeganEgg is with some colby jack cheese, any veggies I have in the house, a little cayenne, topped with some sour cream and salsa. Tasty and Keto approved. Below you will see two of my fave breakfasts with recipes linked.

eggs

Side note: This is what the VeganEgg looks like. Click on the picture if you’re interested in visiting their website.  My local grocer keeps these in the refrigerated ‘vegetarian’ section. They do not actually need to be refrigerated though, so you might find them in an aisle.

Did I mention how much I love, loveeee these pancakes? They totally crush my doughy-carby-sweet cravings (and they’re even good for you!!) Top them with some sugar free syrup, and you’ve got a party. YUM.

the-mostdeliciousand-healthysnacks-to-eat1.png

122652.jpg

Here is the perfect frittata recipe. I just throw in whatever veggies I can find and it turns out flawlessly every time.

the mostdeliciousand healthysnacks to eat

2. Swap out peanuts for almonds. This tip is so easy to do, and many of you might already.  Almond butter is beyond luscious and I could eat it by the spoonful. I like to make my own, but if I don’t have time, this Barney AB is the bomb. (I order it right on Amazon)

091b267c54c862f276a82d2a762d7113

3. Exchange meats for seafood.  Substitution has been my savior when it comes to Keto. There are already tons of Keto seafood recipes, but if you’re trying to follow a specific meal plan (like on an app) this helps to stick to it. Since I am so new to Keto, I just downloaded meal plans online so that I didn’t have to do any guess work. Here is a Ketogenic chicken stir-fry recipe that I followed, just swapping out the chicken for shrimp. Viola! Allergy friendly.

image

4. Utilize meat substitutes, SOME are Keto friendly. I love a Boca patty or Morningstar farms breakfast ‘sausage’, here and there. It’s not something I crave everyday, but it is nice to have options. I was never a huge meat eater to begin with, but seeing tons of beautiful Keto pictures online gives me meat cravings every once in awhile!

These are my favorite Boca burgers. I like to top them with cheese, avocado, pickles, mayo, and sugar free ketchup.

51XFdKUqmTLI enjoy these breakfast patties with a side of avocado or vegan eggs. I like to drizzle a bit of Walden Farms sugar- free syrup over them too.

c6699cf6-6e19-4d66-890a-3d078a37edab_1.8342f0df9130e2c95eaa03b4b63591a2Like I said, I am pretty new to this way of eating. I simply wanted to share a few things that have helped me so far. After only a month of Keto, I have definitely noticed some changes in my body. YEY!  This is the first diet that does not feel like a diet at all. Also my mood has remained positive, because protein/fat is satiating. So there you have it! I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful for following a modified Keto diet. Please let me know what your favorite Pescatarian Keto recipes are!

katie writes sig

My DIY Raised Bed Garden- Update. Tips, Tricks, and lots of Pics included.

gardening

baby straw

 

I wanted to give y’all a garden update. Prepare yourselves for lots of pictures! I have completely, totally, utterly, become a crazy. plant. lady. I don’t know what has happened, or what has taken over me. Since I do not have any kids to photograph, apparently this is my outlet? A year ago, I would have laughed in your face, if you told me that this  is how I spend my thyme now (..you guys, I even make garden jokes..). Either way, gardening and photographing nature’s beauties has become my recent obsession. It makes me happy, so I’m rollin’ with it.

Now that I have come clean about my addiction…I’ll start with some real talk.

First of all, I need to get this out there. I have NEVER  been able to grow anything. Ever.  Many thymes (…ugh…I can’t stop, sorry)…, my followers will say things like “I am so jealous of your green thumb” or “I’m so bad at gardening”…. I was no different, and do not have ANY special mother-earth-magical-garden superpowers. I promise. So please do not look at these pictures, or read my blog, thinking that I have any more talent than you do. I am brand spanking new to gardening, and this is the first time (in my life) that I have been able to keep anything alive…for more than a week, that is. If you want to start a garden, but are afraid that it will not be successful, I encourage you to try! I had these worries too, and it has really worked out for me. I know the biggest reason my plants are actually thriving is because of three basic things: Sun, water, and good soil. I’m sure you’re thinking ….DUHHHH, Katie…but hear me out.

Sun: there IS  such a thing as too much, or too little direct sunlight. Although this sounds silly, I genuinely did not know this. The way our garden is situated, it seems to be the perfect balance of shade and light. Our garden patch is surrounded by trees, so it isn’t getting full sun alllll day. In the past, I thought, the more light the better… makes sense, right? Wrong. plants need some shade too!

Water: Mother nature has been my home-girl this season, not gunna lie. This summer we have had alottttttt of rain. This has been wonderful for my thirsty, growing babes. I still water on hot, dry days, but like I said, the watering has basically been done for me.

GOOD soil: Since our beds are raised, we were forced to purchase fresh dirt, rather than use what was already there. This was a game changer. Getting quality soil is key for plant growth.  Once again, this sounds obvious, I know. In the past, we would simply get out the dusty ol’ tiller, and plant directly into the ground. Our soil quality was obviously lacking in nutrients, because we didn’t have much success. I urge you to take my word for it, and treat yo-self’ to some quality soil. Your plants will thank you.

 

If you have made it through all of the above ramblings, you’re in luck. Here are the pictures I promised. Enjoy.

 

This was about two/three weeks after we planted, in full sunlight. If you read my original garden post, you’ll know that we planted mostly everything pre-sprouted (about 3-4 inches). We did this because, by the time our garden was built, it was a bit late in the growing season. Next year we plan on starting everything from seeds.

garden mid

 

This is our garden in its current state, on a cloudy day. As you can see, it has really taken off. We went from cute, organized plants, to a full on jungle. I have embraced the chaos, and choose to see it’s unruly beauty.

garden full

 

Pictured below, is our main fruit-growing section. We have blueberry and raspberry bushes planted here. These probably will not fruit this year, but hopefully next season there will be an abundance of berries! Good things come to those who wait, right? I am beyond eager for these sweet morsels to arrive.

shovel

 

Best part? This garden is puppy approved. Our beloved 13 year old Bandit is a huge fan. He looks pretty excited for the blueberry and raspberry bushes to fruit, as well.

pup stand

 

We just love letting him run around the garden to explore. He adores all the different sniffs, twists, and turns the structure provides.  One thing man and beast have in common? It’s both of our happy places.

pup run

 

*Disclaimer: I am going to do a separate post alllll about what we have harvested so far, and what we have made with the fruits of our labor. However, I couldn’t resist, so here’s a sneak peek of my favorite shots.

 

Bountiful broccoli. I honestly didn’t even know how broccoli grew, before we planted some. It started off almost floral looking. Then, voila, broccoli started to bloom from the center of the plant.

IMG_2358

 

Fresh, yummy, romaine. I cannot tell you how crisp and decadent this was with my homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.

IMG_1897

 

Check out this cute lil’ bell pepper! We have not harvested these yet,  but I can almost taste the stuffed peppers I will be making……yum!

IMG_2378

 

This grilled corn on the cob was just amazing. Every kernel popped in my mouth. It was so marvelous that I didn’t even top it with butter or salt!  I couldn’t get it in my face fast enough. No lie.

IMG_2788

 

For the final shot, I had to include our first official, farm-to-table, meal! We made Pasta Primavera. For the sauce, we used parsley, garlic, shallots, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, and zucchini. This was decidedly the most rewarding moment so far. The meal was divine, I almost licked my plate. Of course, it tasted even better knowing that we somehow grew it all. #winning.

IMG_2737

 

Anyone else out there feeling empowered by growing and eating their own food? This garden adventure has been such a joy. Thank you for tuning in, and keep an eye out for my next posts containing recipes and more pictures!

katie writes sig

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk toast.

eats

AvOHHHcado toast. It’s everywhere.

I am relatively new to the whole ‘avo toast’ epidemic. To be honest, until a few months ago, I just didn’t see what all of the hype was about. That is…until I actually sunk my teeth into some. Whoa, mind blown, I’m a believer, you will be too. I promise.

There are infinite ways to prepare this delight. My favorite ways to enjoy cado’ toast are pretty straightforward. To begin, I like to cut the avo in half and gently peel away the skin. This makes it easy to cut into slices, on a cutting board. I have only recently started prepping the avocado this way. I used to simply cut the fruit in half, make vertical knife cuts, and then scoop the flesh out using a spoon. Although this method is completely functional, I prefer the first way of de-skinning the avocado to the latter. This applies only if you are making toast #1 or toast #3. For #2, cutting the fruit in half and mashing in it’s shell with a fork is perfect, and gets the job done. I like to use the mashed avocado version if my green beauty isn’t so green and starting to bruise…avo lovers out there know what I mean!avo

So, for toast#1, I simply cut the avocado into slices and lay them on a piece of multigrain bread. A few weeks ago my toaster wasn’t working and I couldn’t get a new one fast enough!! Anyways,for this version, I like to add fresh sea salt and a drizzle of EVOO. The rich flavor of the olive oil pairs nicely with the avocado. The sea salt also amps up the flavor. A resounding win.

avo oli

Moving on to toast #2. As you can see, I mashed the avocado and put it on the whole wheat toast. I top this one with dots of sriracha and Himalayan pink salt! This is my fiances favorite. He was soooo not an avo guy, but as I started making these constantly, he eventually caved and is a huge fan. Yum! Perfect for anyone who likes to start their day out with some gusto!avo sri

My final toast, #3, is for all you minimalist’s out there. This one is obviously veryyyyy basic. Easy sliced avocado, on toast, garnished with a cute little tomato from my garden! I mean, it’s heart shaped, c’mon nature you’re too much, I love it! I make a point to top all of my toasts with salt, on this one I added some garlic powder too. Classic and delicious.avo basic

I’d love to hear what your favorite ways to enjoy this tasty treat are! It is so versatile and can be eaten at any time…perfect for snacks, actual meals, and even… dessert? Maybe not dessert…but you get the idea. Please comment and enlighten me, I am ever eager to try new versions of this sweet, sweet, delicacy. All. The. Yum.

A