all hail kale

The detox day 2 started with Vans toaster waffles and a wonderful 4 mile run. I felt super speedy! The treadmill running I did last week paid off. There were a lot of branches down and my legs got a little bit scratched up but nothing too bad. It felt great to get back into outside running after nearly two weeks “on the inside”. Outside > treadmill but I can see how the treadmill has its benefits.

I’ve been on vacation for two weeks now and I’m having a strong desire to spend time in my kitchen. Just you wait. I have so so so many cooking plans brewing for the next week. It’s so nice having nothing else to do other than putter around my kitchen cooking. No readings to worry about and no deadlines. Today in the spirit of my post holiday detox I puttered around and made Skinny Bitch Kale and Sweet Potato Pizza!

Because I’m a lazy bitch I used Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat crust. I checked, and it is vegan! Then I gathered and chopped my ingredients and preheated the oven.

I give you a heart of kale. Am I the only one who thinks Kale is glorious? Not to mention it was only $2 a bunch at the FM!

I chopped kale, sweet potato, onion, and garlic. The recipe called for leeks but I didn’t have any so I omitted them.

I cooked down the onion and then added the kale, sweet potato and some seasoning!

A little bit of cumin makes all the difference in taste! Love me some cumin.

I let all the ingredients heat up and cook together. I love how green kale gets.

I added in the garlic and let the kale mixture cool. While it cooled I rolled out the pizza dough.

One thing I really liked about the Skinny Bitch recipe was that she recommends coating the pan in grape seed oil instead of flour. This made the crust extra crispy and I liked it a lot better then simply cooking the pizza on flour. I didn’t have grape seed oil so I just brushed canola oil on the pan.

I have canola that I rarely use because I’m so devoted to EVO. it was nice to use it up a little.

Time to construct the pizza!

And let it bake.

Plus two traditional add ons to top it off…

Ta Da!

This pizza was delicious! The pizza made 8 slices at 210 calories a slice. It was completely vegan. The kale made the pizza hearty but the sweet potato added so much flavor and played well off the kale. This is definitely going to become a staple of my kitchen. If you read this blog while I was training for my half marathon you know that homemade pizza is my favorite recovery meal! This pizza was nourishing and left my system feeling clean. I also had left overs to munch on all week which is good because I have an aversion to making lunch.

I have some kale left and I think I’m going to make kale chips. Before today I hadn’t really done too much on my own with kale but I will be using it more from now on. It’s good and good for you! 

Do you cook with Kale? If so, what do you like to do with it?

Back at it

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving?

Mine was awesome! I took Thursday and Friday 100% totally OFF. I didn’t read, I didn’t outline, and I didn’t blog. All I did was hang out with Catie and her family, ate good food, gave thanks, watched movies, shopped and put my feet up. It felt gooooooood. Sometimes you just want a day or two off. Saturday I got home and ran errands, organized my life, studied and crashed really early.

Good thing too, because guess what tomorrow is? The last day of classes. This is both good and bad. Its great because I will have a lot of very unstructured time, it means the semester is almost over and I’m almost half way done with law school (gah! I can’t even believe it). It also means I have finals. Boo.

Here is what we have to look forward to:

Yup, it all ends on the 16th. Can’t wait!

Tonight I made a very healthy recipe from the Skinny Bitch cookbook: Leek and Sweet Potato Casserole. Casseroles are great when it is chilly. Yes, it was only 55 degrees today. I realize there was a wind chill of 9 in Chicago on Thanksgiving, but I don’t want to hear it. My blood has officially thinned out and a high of 54 is cold. Casseroles reheat well, which is good when you anticipate being short of time. And I really love sweet potatoes. Any excuse, right?

3 leeks. 2 sweet potatoes.

Sliced.

Sauteed (with salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic).

Arrange (potato, leek, potato). Top with panko. Add vegetable broth. Bake at 400 for 30 mins.

Yes, I added a thin layer of Swiss. I realize that this isn’t vegan or part of the skinny bitch recipe but I ran 8 miles today and I wanted some cheese. Deal with it.

This was a great, easy casserole. Another reason I like Skinny Bitch is that she lists all the nutritional information after all of her recipes. One serving of this is only 280 calories! It probably ended up being more per serving because I added a little bit of cheese. I ate slightly more than one serving because of the aforementioned run. This was a fantastic dinner and I am already looking forward to the leftovers! Definitely a dish worth repeating.

Hope everyone had an awesome holiday weekend!

Things to be Thankful For

Hey Blog World! Today was a good day. I have had such high energy this week and today I was reflecting on all the wonder things I have to be thankful for.

For example: I have great friends, I can run 10 miles and will soon be a half marathoner, I get to study race at a top institution with a one of the kind program, I can and do make choices to make myself happier everyday, I help those around me, and I get to blog for fun. How lucky am I and how is this my life? Things always turn out so much cooler than I could have ever imagined.

And on top of that I sorted out my situation for next summer and took a job offer. Wahoo! This demands a celebration so I went to Susie Cakes (obviously).

Seasonal Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting:

Soft and moist, with light seasoning. The cream cheese wasn’t heavy at all. Simply delicious. The best celebration treat ever!

I might have gotten a cookie for lunch tomorrow to. So shoot me.

Its just too cute.

So you’ve had a cupcake treat, what are you going to make for dinner? Answer: a creation from the brand new, yet to be released Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook. This book is completely vegan and emphasizes local, pure food. What do I mean by pure? No preservatives. While I am not vegan I do eat mostly local (all local produce) and eliminated almost all preservatives from my diet in order to lose weight and fuel my runner’s body.

I used the pasta that I had, cut down the recipe, and substituted some major ingredients but I kept it vegan and let me tell you: best white wine sauce ever! In the past when I made white wine sauce I’ve use butter. Let me tell you, this is better. Did I just say better than butter? Why yes I did.

I don’t want to post the recipe because this book literally just came out. Buy it here! I will say that the sauce had grape seed oil, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, spinach (swapped with arugula), white wine, and vegetable stock. I wouldn’t have thought about the veggie stock but it was a great addition and gave the sauce a lot of flavor.

So the deal with the pasta: I didn’t have spaghetti. It ended up being a mash up of whatever I had left over but I think it looked pretty good.

As I mentioned above, this white wine sauce was better than the sauce I made in the past with butter. I am still in disbelief and will most definitely be making more from this book. If you are a vegan or just want to eat delicious wholesome food you should get this cookbook. There is tons of basic information about healthy eating and living a more healthy lifestyle. Left Coast Approved!

The Nasoya Tofu U Pledge Party

**It’s not too late to vote for my champagne luxe on a PBR budget in round 3 of Project Food Blog. You can vote here. Thanks for your vote!**

Tonight was such a treat! I was invited to the Nasoya Tofu U Pledge Party hosted at Palihouse in West Hollywood. I was excited to attend this great event.

If your a reader you probably are thinking, “tofu?! I’ve never seen her eat tofu!” You would be right. But something that I have been discovering recently is that I really like a lot of foods I thought I didn’t like. Recent discoveries include Brussles sprouts, beets, and mushrooms. I had a sneaking suspicion that tofu would go the same way as beets and tonight confirmed my suspicions.

felt so official with my name tag!

First of all, the Palihouse in West Hollywood was a beautiful venue. I loved the decor, it reminded me of my apartment.

The event was to promote Nasoya’s new website, Nasoya Tofu U which give you the low down on tofu including tofu basics, several different recipes, how to videos featuring Sabrina of Rhody Girl Tests, and a pledge (you get coupons!). We sampled some of the Tofu U recipes at the event. Guys, I’ve officially changed my mind about tofu. Here are a few reasons why…

Tofu Spring Rolls

Was there even tofu in this? It was delicious. My biggest gripe with tofu and the reason it hasn’t been incorporated into my diet is the consistency. I could not tell that this dish had tofu in it and it was yummy.

But the star of the night was the Moroccan Tofu.

The seasoning in this dish were spot on. It almost tasted like pad thai because the dish had peanuts. The tofu, again was well prepared and the consistency didn’t both me. I ate several spoonfuls of Moroccan Tofu and it was delicious. I really want to recreate this at home.

I also got to meet Kim Barnouin, author of the Skinny Bitch Cookbooks! She was so nice and chatted with all the bloggers. We got a copy of her new cookbook “Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cooking”. Based on a perfunctory reading it looks like it will be a great addition to my kitchen. I love how she lists servings and calorie information after all of her recipes. You will be seeing it on the blog!

Overall it was great to meet some LA area foodie bloggers and get more acquainted with tofu. Now I can put it on my list right next to beets!