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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pulp Egg Casserole

Preface: this is a weird recipe to prove than you can use the pulp that comes out of your juicer :)


I've been saving my juicer pulp for awhile with nothing really to do with it until I decided egg cassarole would be the easiest!  I used my bisquick pie recipe here as the liquid. I mixed equal parts juicer pulp (carrots, celery, broccoli, spinach, and green apple mostly) to de-thawed hashbrowns.


Added my bisquick base and some cheese on top.  




It wasn't the best casserole I've ever made.... but it turned out better than I thought it would - and I feel better now that I've used my juicer pulp!!! 

*This was definitely an experiment, not the greatest but better than "edible."  


Have you successfully used your juicer pulp in any recipes??


<3 justine="" nbsp="" p="">

Friday, June 28, 2013

H54F!!

Happy Friday!!


As always, I'm linking up with Lauren!


one:: I am absolutely loving swimming lessons - even though they are the most exhausting hour and half of my week and leave my body so sore I fall out of bed trying to get to the bathroom...but I love them!  I'm so happy I lurched out of my comfort zone and tried them.  After just two lessons its already getting easier, I'm feeling more comfortable, confident, and less like I got thrown off a dock in a straight jacket - hello improvement!!


two:: Came home to this on tuesday (after spin, yoga, and swimming).  They must have thought I wasn't ever coming back so they un-cycled my recycling out of shear boredom.  Those little jerks.


three: got to spend some much needed time with my dear friend Corinne last weekend and finally got to visit her new place....which came with chickens!!  I find them slightly terrifying but she is transitioning into urban farmer beautifully.


four:: We also went to dinner and to Frances Ha at Filmstreams - Corinne loved the movie, I left feeling quite unresolved.  I like a firm disney ending where everyone is happy.  But still an interesting film.


five::  Can I just say it feels so good to be running again! 


Bonus:: So I tried growing a lemon tree awhile back by just taking the seeds right out of a grocery store lemon and planting them in potting soil....I waited....and waited... and waited.  Nothing happened.  So being the lazy green person I am, I just planted something else in the same pot - a lavender plant from the farmers market.  Now suddenly - I have two brand new little sprouts that look nothing like the lavender plant!!!  Can you see them?!  Do you think I actually grew a LEMON TREE???!! 

I hope you had a wonderful week and have a great weekend!!

Tell me all about it!

-Justine




Thursday, June 27, 2013

Motivation Monster


Let's talk about motivation and the motivation monster.  

I am finally deep into marathon training once again and I just have to say - damn it feels good!  The motivation monster had me for almost a year as I've mentioned in previous posts - it was almost an entire year actually it was May 6, 2012 (the Lincoln Marathon) to May 2013 almost to the day that I started running again.  And it wasn't an easy start by any means.  

My favorite running inspiration from day one (the day I became a runner 01.04.2011) has been Stephanie Case an ultra marathon runner who blogs over at ultrarunnergirl.com (She has no idea who I am or that I obsessively read her blog - like obsessively).  She mentions the "motivation monster" who comes to visit every now and then without notice.  He comes in the form of injuries, excuses, exhaustion, work commitments, social outings, binge drinking, holidays, fear, anxiety, family commitments, etc.... anything that comes between you and running / working out.  

There's no getting around it.  You can either give in to the motivation monster and allow these excuses (to sum them all up together) to control your schedule or you can embrace the monster and work together.  

I was scared of the monster for almost a year - and my primary excuse was fear which allowed secondary excuses of work, social commitments and everything else to pile on.... excuse excuse excuse - I didn't have time to run.  Bullshit.  I had plenty of time, I just didn't want to.  

However, in the last three or four weeks, I've begun to embrace the monster and use that energy for good.  I do have time, I've always gotten up about 5am-ish to write, read blogs, read, watch the news or whatever and since I've already developed that habit, I figured it was a good time to start working out in the mornings!  Already two weeks down as a morning runner!!

Sometimes you just have to change your story.  I don't want to be uncomfortable in my skin anymore.  I don't want my clothes to be tight.  I don't want to struggle getting dressed every morning.  I don't want to get nervous being photographed.  I don't want to be huffing and puffing up my three flights of stairs with my grocery bags anymore.  I want my damn runners body back.  So I'm going to get it.  But that means changing my story.  That means saying no to things because running and fitness must, MUST be a priority now.  

One thing I've realized as a gluten free runner and yes I will always consider myself a runner - I've earned that title and I will never ever give it up.  So, as a gluten free runner, I've realized that running and physical fitness is the only way I can control my weight.  I have no other explanation for it - of course I can't speak for anyone else out there but for me, I can't cut anything else out of my diet.  I already eat very healthy - sure I have my gluten free cookie binges, but honestly it doesn't happen often enough to cause excessive weight gain.  Sure if I was eating gluten free pop tarts for breakfast every day - then yes, but I don't.  So the only conclusion I can draw - is my lack of physical exercise.  2011 was the best physical year of my life - I was running almost six days a week - I was eating the same (gluten free of course) - and that physical fitness and health made everything else in my life great.  So I'm going to make damn sure the rest of 2013 is the same as is 2014, 2015, and the rest of my life.  

One thing I'm doing different from my first adventure into marathon training is a more concentrated focus on cross training to strengthen my overall fitness and lung capacity to make me an even stronger runner.  I'm doing spin classes which I have done before but not very seriously - now part of my strategic plan and something that I really enjoy in hopes to build my leg muscles.  

But what I'm most excited about - swimming lessons!!  Now, yes I can swim, swim to save my life if I was stranded (6 feet from the shore mind you) but athletic swimming or swimming for fitness is much different.  I had my first lesson last night and let me tell you - it is exhausting, intense, and the most difficult full body workout I've ever experienced.  The instructor made it look so graceful and effortless when he was showing me each drill - then I would attempt to copy his instructions; flopping around, splashing, gasping (and I mean GASPING) for breath, wiggling all over the place - he ended up moving me to the farthest lane lol.... needless to say I did get better by the end of the 2 hour lesson but it's going to be weeks before I can successfully "swim laps" as they say :) 

Anyway to wrap up this long rambling post - I guess I don't have any motivational tips, I just mentally decide I have to do something.  I don't really have any other option at this point to feel better physically - so running it is.  And I do have the time, I can make time.  There are plenty of hours in the day - it's how we use them that makes all the difference.  I have the luxury of DVR, so I can watch tv on the weekends.  I will admit that more running and working out will cut into my reading time, but for now, that will just have to be ok!  And another great benefit - it's a great excuse not to drink!  (lol I'm always looking for an out on that one!)

Make time for fitness - don't let the motivation monster get the best of you!



Always, J ♥





Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Roasted Veggie & Rice Salad


This summer is all about salads for me!


I roasted my Trader Joe's Veggie 8 Salad in the oven at 420 for about 20 minutes with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper. 


The base of my salad was farm fresh spinach from my weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) bag!


To make my rice that went on top of my salad - I made white rice according to the package directions.  Once cooled slightly, I folded in the juice of 6 limes (I love lime juice!) and one bunch of chopped cilantro.


Here's my roasted veggies!  I never considered roasting this veggie mix before - life changer, it's a fantastic idea.  I mean, it's great as a raw salad but it's soooooo much better roasted!!


I layered everything together.  Spinach, cilantro-lime rice, then the roasted veggies.  I added a handful of peanuts on top for some crunch.  Then I used my San-J Tamari Sesame dressing for some added flavor!  But I will admit, I ate this salad again for lunch the next day and completely forgot about putting the dressing in my lunch box - awesome with or without it!! 

Enjoy!

Always, J ♥











Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gluten Free Stadiums & the College World Series


No no Ladies & Gentlemen - that is not a mirage.... TD Ameritrade Stadium, home of the NCAA Men's College World Series offers a Gluten Free Concession stand!  TDA Stadium has been home to the CWS since 2011 and has been offering Gluten Free treats since day one - something Omaha should be very proud of!!  Also something I look forward to every year when I attend the CWS games - first I go for the food second for the baseball :)


Someone else was excited as I was!




They feature Tostitos brand chips for their loaded nachos.


And they use Udi's for their hot dog buns.  No, I did not share my goodies - but my eyes were definitely bigger than my tummy.  I got through about half my loaded nachos and maybe three bites into my hot dog - but I just couldn't choose between them!!!


I did catch some baseball while I was there also.  Enjoyed watching North Carolina cream North Carolina State - sending them home from the series.  



Many other stadiums across the country are offering Gluten Free concession stands - which is AWESOME!!

Here's as many as I could find:

Minnesota Twins @ Target Field
New York Mets @ Citi Field
Seattle Mariners @ Safeco Field
Philadelphia Phillies @ Citizens Bank Park
Chicago White Sox @ U.S. Cellular Field
Chicago Cubs @ Wrigley Field
LA Angels @ Angel Stadium
Washington Nationals @ Nationals Park
Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park
Milwaukee Brewers @ Miller Park  *under concessions
St. Louis Cardinals @ Busch Stadium

*I'm sure there are tons more - after doing all this research I realized that most MLB stadiums probably offer a gluten free concession stand!!  Which is super great!  If you are traveling and heading to a game - just check in with guest services to find some options - I promise you won't starve!!  

Enjoy!

Always, J ♥













Monday, June 24, 2013

Chocolate Covered Bananas


I should have never attempted these....ooooh so delicious and way too easy! 

These were inspired by a dining experience with my bff during my latest Chicago trip.


note: I used dark chocolate chips and the sticks are just lolipop sticks for candy making or for cake pops.  You can find them at most craft stores I would assume - I purchased mine at Sur La Table.


This was by far the post difficult part - I'm happy I had an entire bunch of bananas because I destroyed - DESTROYED the first two bananas I tried to skewer.  Eventually I decided it would be easier to cut them in half.  Once skewered - drizzle, spray, or drege the bananas in some citrus juice (whatever you have on hand).  I used lime juice because it was really an after thought and it was all I had.  Really I think orange juice would taste the best and lemon juice would work the best - completely up to you.  I really didn't notice the flavor at all.  Then into the freezer!  They probably need at least 2 or 3 hours.  I did mine over my lunch hour - then came home to finish making them.


Over very very low heat, melt the chocolate chips and a heaping spoonful of peanut butter - for no other reason than peanut butter loves chocolate.  I of course only had super chunky peanut butter so mine is lumpy!  You could do this in the microwave also if you have that luxury appliance.  Pour the chocolate mixture on to a plate to cool slightly (but not much!).  I just found the flat plate easier to work with when coating the bananas!


Also a plate with the sprinkles.  Then get the bananas out the the freezer and go to town!!


Coat in chocolate.


Coat in sprinkles!  You need to work faster than you think because the frozen banana will start to set the chocolate immediately and the sprinkles won't stick!


Back into the freezer for at least an hour - then you're ready to serve them.



I was invited to dinner at a friend's house and was pretty excited to show up with these!  It was an easy treat to prepare ahead of time but they still look festive!  I was originally looking for 4th of July sprinkles hoping to be a bit more patriotic since it's technically that time of year, but I came up empty handed.  I think the colored sprinkles are better anyways!

It's utterly amazing to me how different bananas taste frozen...they are almost unrecognizable (in the best way possible).  Next I'm going to try and make the paleo ice cream out of bananas that I keep seeing on Pinterest - I'm sure it's just as good.  However, I have about a 1,000 lolipop sticks to use up so I might stick with chocolate covered bananas!

I hope you give these a try - such a great summery treat!

Always, J










Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spices

Let's talk about spices. 

My best advice for buying spices is to find an Indian or Middle Eastern grocery store nearby and see what they have for spices.  That's been my trick over the last couple years.  Plus they have so much other wonderful products there and some of the best produce!

one:: they provide both whole spices if you want to grind your own and already ground spices.
two:: the spices come in bulk - i.e.: much larger amounts than the standard grocery store
three:: these are pure spices without risk of fillers (no gluten!!)
four:: you might find some spices you've never tried before
five:: the price is unbeatable... it's not even comparable to the standard grocery store. 

That's a lot of cumin!







I've never had any problem keeping the spices in these canning jars - you can get them at walmart the cheapest.  I just separate the spices into the jars, use a sharpie on the lid to identify them, and I'm good to go!

I also like sharing these around with friends and family because I just don't go through the spices that fast - they do keep quite awhile (at least two + years if in a cool dark place) but I would never go through three jars of cumin.  So they make lovely gifts.  Maybe a little ribbon and you're set! 

*See my 8 pounds of chickpeas in the background?... that's for my falafel project :)  Hopefully I'll have time this weekend!! 

Let me just drive home how reasonable these spices are priced.... I bought 8 pounds of chickpeas, a lifetime supply of cumin, turmeric, and coriander...all for about $17.  That's a good deal.  Then I spent another 8 dollars on the little jars.  Worth IT.


Always, J 









Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Falafill - Chicago








Nominated as the best place in Chicago for falafel - I second that nomination!  I stumbled across this gem actually looking for another restaurant that was closed due to Memorial Day - luck was clearly on my side because this was too good to miss. Welcome to Falafill.

I really wasn't looking for a meal or anything - just a bite to get me by.... a snack I guess.  But I saw this place, and you know I can't resist falafel!  When I walked in, I was instantly greeted by the most friendliest of wait staff - who helped me decide what to try - I went with two different types of their falafel (the classic and the curry) - and then on to the dipping sauces (my favorite part!!) - and at the last second I decided on the fries - my "snack" was getting pretty large...

As we were chatting, he began to tell me how Falafill came about - local sourced, whole ingredients feeding people one of the world's oldest dishes - just not something the US eats regularly but something the rest of the world greatly enjoys!  I was enamored by his passion for 1) falafel (as a fellow falafel lover) 2) his job and 3) he spoke so highly of the neighborhood and of Chicago!  I just wanted to pull up a chair and never leave. 

Now about the falafel - they really were the best.  Perfect mix of spices but the balance between the soft texture of the chickpeas on the inside against the crispy fried outside is my favorite!  Sometimes there just isn't enough contrast - but these were divine! Falafel can be great on their own but sauces take them to a whole other level - and Falafill knows what's up when it comes to sauces!  I love the idea of having a sauce bar - so you can mix and match, great for me because I love spicy but usually need to cool it off a bit with something a little more mild.  I went with a mix of taratour (tahini and lemon sauce), harissa (an african fire sauce - the red one), and a zhug (jalapeno and cilantro sauce - the green one) - sauce wonderland!! 

Let's not forget the fries...from now on I expect all fries to be tossed in lemon juice, garlic, crushed red pepper, paprika, cayenne, and cilantro.  Done deal.  My snack turned into a meal and I was just fine with it - blissful actually. 

Another great thing about Falafill - the can accommodate Gluten Free needs (obviously that was my first question when I walked in the door) but they are also Vegan friendly for all my Chicago Vegans out there!  

I really fell in love with the neighborhood where I found Falafill - On Broadway but in the Belmont area maybe?  I'm honestly not exactly sure where we were - a ways down Lakeshore drive and then just west a bit.  Such a beautiful hipster neighborhood - they are the BEST - locally owned bookstores, boutique clothing stores, Gluten Free and Vegan eating options always....I feel at home! 

Where ever you are - this is worth the drive...have a snack, have dinner, enjoy the neighborhood!


Always, J ♥



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