Strange But Good Brother

Strange friends are the best of friends.

 

Most of the time, but we won’t go there.

Arman is my #strangebutgood brother from another mother.  When I knew I was going to be gone for this week’s link up, he was the first person I thought of to carry the torch!  He didn’t disappoint, even if he IS pissed at me.

I’ve made many of Arman’s creations and can assure you that even though they sound strange, they are amazing.  I still dream of the bison version of his Cheeseburger Pancakes I made!

Bison Pancakes

 

So, without further adieu, here’s my twerking brother…

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Hey fans of all things strange….but good.  My name is Arman and I’m the blogger behind The Big Man’s World - a Melbourne born chap who is currently trying to balance the big world of responsibilities – one meal, one deadlift and one kitchen experiment at a time.

picture1

 

I must say I was annoyed when Laura asked me to host this Friday’s round of #strangebutgood.

Why?

She’s off to Switzerland.

But why be annoyed?

Well. Hear me out. Since the beginning of our blendship (we can’t move to friendship status until we’ve met), I’ve been convincing her to come to Australia. Seriously. I made tantalising recipes to tempt her, harassed her on instagram and even vibed with her on many occasions in weekly recipe themes. (For three weeks straight, we used the same ingredients- Sriracha, beef and kabocha).

I even Twerked in her honour.

Yet she goes to Switzerland. Thanks, Laura.  (Editor’s note: You’re so very welcome. :P)

 

I’ve been a big participant in the weekly #strangebutgood linkup so thought today, I’d share my three favourite #strangebutgood offerings….in pancake form!

 

Aussie ‘Lamington’ Pancakes

Lamingtons are an Australian dessert which is based off a soft, sponge cake dipped in chocolate and covered in shredded coconut. More often that not, it contains jam in the centre.

Transform them into pancakes = #strangebutgood.

High protein, gluten free and with a grain free option? Give yourself a taste of Australia. You’re welcome.

Aussie ‘Lamington’ Pancakes

 

Sweet Potato and Cheddar Pancakes

Don’t chuck a pie in my face or chase me with a pitchfork but sorry…I will always take white potatoes over sweet potatoes. It’s not uncommon for me to eat a kilo of white potatoes in a day.

However, sweet potatoes are amazing when incorporated in these sweet potato and cheddar pancakes.Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Sweet Potato and Cheddar Pancakes

 

Grain Free Cheeseburger Pancakes

This is what happens when you crave cheeseburgers and pancakes concurrently. Not to mention that you’re too greedy to pick one of them. You just have both. Both in pancake form.

Sub any ground meat for beef or crumbled tempeh or tofu for a vegetarian option. Just promise me one thing… Don’t skimp on the cheese. That reminds me of the time I ate cheese with every meal. Moooooo.

Cheeseburger Pancakes

 

Thanks for letting me take over on here Laura! For more recipes, random rants and some healthy living perspectives from a food and fitness loving guy from Australia – come visit The Big Man’s World.

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)

   

   

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Everyone give Arman a big twerk for keeping #strangebutgood going this week! ;)

Have you ever tried one of Arman’s recipes?  Those Cheeseburger Pancakes ROCK!

What is the strangest pancake you’ve ever made?

 

 

Running Happy and Increasing Mileage

A runner, I am not.

 

Unless it involves chocolate or wine.

I’m sort of kidding.  I used to consider myself a runner (hence the name of this blog), but my ACL had other plans.

run on chocolate and wine

 

Regardless, I was struck when Kat sent me her guest post for today.  A lot of what she touches on is applicable to any area – whether it be other physical activities, work, or just life.

Who couldn’t use more stretching and rest?  As much as we all hate to admit it, we aren’t invincible.  Here’s Kat…

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I Still Love the Shit Out of You (and running)

by: Kat

I still love you… 

Read More »

Taking Care of Your Health, For Real….

My office had a tornado.

 

This should help explain fewer posts and the lack of replies:

EC schwag

 

My company’s formal launch is Jan 1.  Add to that all the holiday obligations and preparation… we are the poster children for the expression “running around like a chicken with it’s head cutoff.”

Who else is feeling overextended?  Kat’s post below is one we all probably need to hear right now.  It hit home for me!

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Taking Care of Your Health, For Real….

 by: Kat

I had no idea what to write about, so you’re getting a random health lecture from me regarding your very important Adrenal Glands, a very short concert review, and wishes for very happy holidays!

I’m sure I’m lecturing my doll here on something very important

I’m sure I’m lecturing my doll here on something very important

 

So I know I may appear to be all kinds of balanced and stuff on this blog, but maybe my body doesn’t see it that way.  I found out about 6 weeks ago that I have adrenal fatigue.  Stress is no joke, and my body is paying for it.  I hate to admit this here, but I think it will help many of you who go-go-go… and go…  (Editor’s Note: I wouldn’t know anything a bout that… *ducking head*)

Have some awareness around what stress can do to your body.

balance

 

Your adrenals are an extremely important part of your system.  They regulate your stress hormones, sex hormones, and a number of other bodily functions.  If they are not healthy, your whole body gets out of whack.  (Editor’s Note: In the words of the late, great Whitney, “Crack is whack.”)

Oh, and you should also know that your body doesn’t know the difference between physical and emotional stress.  Little did I know about this when I was attempting to run 100 miles shortly after studying for and taking the bar exam.  NOT SMART.

 

The symptoms are crazy… sleeplessness even when you’re exhausted, moodiness out of nowhere that’s purely physical and not necessarily caused by anything else, random pains in your body, not being able to focus, not being able to generally cope with day-to-day stressors in a reasonable manner.

Now I’m trying to get my health back in order.  That means LOTS of vitamins and minerals, eating as close to the end of a run/workout as possible (Editor’s Note: A good rule of thumb is to eat within 30 mins), and getting essential fats in my diet.

adrenal honey

 

Oh, and most importantly, you have to rest.  Again, something I’m really not good at. (Editor’s Note: Preach on! Rest is so boring…)

However, with the help of an excellent partner-in-crime, we slept until 12:30pm on Saturday (I know, right?!!?), then had food, went back to bed, woke up and walked to a P!NK concert, which was amazing!

It was really hard to get good pics!

It was really hard to get good pics!

 

P!NK is the epitome of an athlete and a performer.  It was a spectacular show, with tons of dancing, acrobatics, and aerial skills.  If you have not seen her live, I highly recommend it.  It was an early Christmas present, and part of my new resting regimen.   (Editor’s Note: So jealous!  She’s my hero.)

 

I hope you all have fantastic holidays!  We will be staying here, resting and relaxing with the animals.  Yes, no shuffling from house-to-house, no stress.  Just warmth, love, maybe some friends, and definitely some good cocktails (if I’m feel better by then).  (Editor’s Note: Come to my house!!!)

happiness

 

Happiness from the inside out… on the way!

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The winner of the Sizzlefish giveaway has been selected!  Click here to check back at the post for the lucky winner!

Have you ever had a health issue you didn’t see coming?  How did you deal?

What are you doing for the holidays?

 

Blogging Business 101: Protect Yourself

Do you use protection?

That’s not quiiiite the topic today…

Kat and I went to dinner a couple of weeks ago and she started asking me questions about blogging, and if I had taken steps to protect my name and my content.  I stared at her blankly.  I had NO idea I should be doing a few simple things to make sure there’s not a zombie attack on my blog!

I know a lot of you are bloggers, so I asked Kat to focus a guest post on the topic.  I hope this is as enlightening for you as it was for me!

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Blogging Business 101: 

Protecting Your Name and Your Content – Why would a blogger need to talk to a lawyer? 

By: Kat Stay on your Path

 

You invest so much time and energy into your blog that it’s practically a business or a second job (Editor’s note: and third… and fourth…).  Perhaps it is your business or related to your business.  If you don’t protect your name and content, you can lose your investment and be forced to change or abandon your creative works.  Why not invest a little more to ensure you and your blog are protected?

Today I’m sharing a couple of things you need to know.

tree hugger

If you love your creative expression, it’s up to you to protect it.

 

Trademarks – 101

Surprise!  You can trademark your blog’s name and logo!  Why would you want to do this?  There are several reasons.  You are providing an educational service to others through your blog, and you have invested a TON of time in marketing, advertising, connecting with other bloggers that will support you, and creating content to share on your blog.

Now imagine that someone else out there decides they really like the name of your blog or your logo, and they decide to federally register the name and/or logo as trademark.  (Perhaps they came up with it on their own, or perhaps they copied it from you.)  They would then own all the rights to that name and/or logo, and could potentially serve you a cease and desist letter telling you that you can no longer use the name in your blog, and you need to take down all the content using the name or logo, rebrand, perhaps even costing you more time and money.

This situation happens frequently, and it is disheartening for those who have invested time, perhaps even years, in creating content for their blog using their name and logo.  Your blog is your brand.

 

Federally registering your blog name and logo as a trademark will give you a legal remedy if someone tries to copy or misuse your blog name.  Not all blog names can be trademarked; they have to be distinct and non-generic.  In order to determine whether your blog name may be trademarked, it is a good idea to consult an attorney and invest in legal research.  Contact me if you would like more information about whether your blog name is protectable.

 

You may also go to Counsel to Creativity for a free trademark crash course, available on the homepage.  If you would like a free 30 minute consultation with me for more information about whether your blog name and/or logo are protectable, contact me (kat at counseltocreativity dot com), or use the coupon code “KAT30” in the contact form on the website.

c2c

 

Copyright – 101

While many bloggers may not realize it, every time you post original content to your blog, whether it’s a post with a story, a method, or a recipe, you are creating legally protectable content.  For many of you, this will primarily come up with respect to your recipes and photos.  How many times have you posted a recipe or a picture that was reposted by someone else(Editor’s note: Wayyyyy to often, no?) hardly modified at all, and they took credit for it?  This could be copyright infringement.

If you are the author of your picture, recipe, or other content, you have the right to protect it against someone else’s infringing use, if their use is substantially similar.  Becoming angry, or commenting on their blog demanding they take down your content is frustrating and often fruitless.

 

So, what do you do?  In many cases, an infringer will take down their infringing content upon a demand letter from an attorney, but there are other ways to handle the situation as well.  If you want legal advice about what you can protect, why it is protectable, or why you should protect it, email me (kat at counseltocreativity dot com).

push

 

You don’t want to have to P.U.S.H. – pray you are protected until something happens that unhinges your investment.

If you get legal advice and protection before a dispute pops up, you can maintain significantly more control over your protectable content.

committed

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 I’m still shocked this happens – I’d only thought about the risk of letting your domain name lapse!

What was your biggest take-away about protecting your creative content?

What intellectual property from your blog is most important to you?  Your name?  Logo?  Recipes?  Photos?

 

Cauliflower “Meat” Balls

I can be strange.

 

If this you news to you… welcome to the party.

As such, my friends are pretty unique too.  Today Kat is bringing her A game with some #strangebutgood balls.  Today I am grateful for friend like her.  Friends that just get it, friends that are there even though you’ve barely spoken for a few weeks.

super busy

By that same token, I also appreciate you guys coming back and reading even thought I’m behind on replies and blog reading.  I swear I’ll catch up one day!  Perhaps with an explanation of my job and WHY things are so insane right now.

Without  further adieu… here’s Kat.  With balls. ;)

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Cauliflower “Meat” Balls

By: Kat

I’ve been a lawyer now for 3 weeks!  And now I have to start really generating business.  At first this seemed really scary, but now I’m ready to just jump in head-first.  I want to help entrepreneurs and small businesses get off to the right start in protecting their intellectual property and getting a good, solid business set-up.

This is the life I have dreamed of.  (Editor’s note: this makes me so very happy for you – livin’ the dream!)

your mission

 

I would ideally like to work with people in the creative, holistic, food, and fitness industries, protecting their trademarks and copyrights, and helping with creative and strategic business plans.  Let me know if you ever need a lawyer, you creatives!  (Editor’s note: Shamless plug.  I like it.)

In the meantime, since I’m still not quite full-time, I’ve been experimenting like crazy.  I thought this would be a squash-y blog post, but I have a new favorite recipe I would like to share instead (squashing my own squash idea… hehe so nerdy!).  Cauliflower meatballs.  Random brainchild, since I’d never made any kind of meatball before.

if you must pick between 2 evils

 

These meatballs are incredible!  They are hearty, flavorful and as “meaty” as cauliflower can get.  They would go with any kind of sauce, from a Tomato and Pesto Mayo (which I used), to a rich marinara.  They are also gluten-free.

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cauliflower meatballs

Cauliflower Meatballs Over Squashes

  • ½ head of cauliflower, diced finely
  • ½ medium white onion, diced finely
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • ¼ C Parmesan cheese
  • ¾  C breadcrumbs (I used Glutino’s GF)
  • Herbs of your choice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 375.  Saute the onions and garlic over medium/medium high heat with salt first for a bit (about 3-4 minutes) to get them soft, then add the cauliflower.  Saute for another 10 minutes, until they are almost cooked.

Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle in the herbs and cumin (I used about 3T parsley, but you can also use fresh basil/oregano/any herb), stirring to combine.  Then mix in the bread crumbs, egg, and oils.  It should resemble a meatball-like mixture now. 

Mold into 1 ½ in balls.  Place on parchment paper.  Bake ~40 minutes, or until brown on top.  You can then submerge in sauce or serve as-is with dipping sauce.

 

cauliflower meatballs process

 

You can also elect to blend the cauliflower/onion/garlic in a food processor if you want them to have a smoother, more chicken-nugget-type texture.

Personally, I really liked the “meatiness” of having little bits of cauliflower comprising my delish balls.  (Editor’s note:  That’s what she said.)

cauliflower meatballs and squash

 

At least if I’m nervous about starting my own business/law firm, I know there are others out there equally scared to go against the mold, do something different, be an entrepreneur.  I also know that I can come home and be as creative as I want without judgment.  (Editor’s note: This is why I love you and I cannot wait until we have our reunion date Saturday!!!)

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Quick note about #StrangeButGood: It’s ON tomorrow, but next week I’m taking a Thurs-Fri Turkey Day break.  Save your Strangess for Friday, December 6th!

Who has been scared to start their own business?  Me!!!

Have you ever made cauliflower meatballs, or something equally odd?  Does my cauliflower pizza crust count?  How about the pancakes?

 

Creating a Life & Creating Fun Recipes

Who doesn’t love a holiday?

 

Especially one that lends itself to so many inappropriate jokes…

Step 1…

 

I know Halloween isn’t technically a holiday (i.e. we still have to work), but it one of my favorite festive events.  I won’t be party-ing it up this year, so I’d like to ask all of you benevolent ghouls to have an extra drink/Reese’s pumpkin/costume fun for me.

Not to worry, I plan to taking a nice walk through a neighborhood to scope out the trick-or-treater costumes while trying not to look like a creeper.  Watching all the kids having so much fun in pursuit of a sugar-high is the best part anyway.  Well, second only to knowing I don’t have to come home and try to put an over-stimulated child to  bed.  ;)

Kat is in the spirit too!  She has some new to share… I think you’ll agree that she deserves to celebrate a little extra tonight…

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Creating a Life & Creating Fun Recipes

by: Kat

Even when you think you have it all figured out, you still have a chance to change and create.

It just occurred to me recently how much change has happened in my life this year that I don’t even really recognize my life (Editor’s note: that happened to me a couple of years ago… crazy, isn’t it?!  Life is so good.).  With all the changes happening, it is a chance to really think about how I want to create my life, and how I want to see thing unfold.

Create a Life

 

This year, I graduated, leaving the perceived safety of an academic environment, spent a summer barely working while studying for the bar, started a new relationship, our families of animals (3 dogs and 3 cats) have come together in one home (yes, I now have pet hair-I only had two hairless cats for the longest time)…

…and I’ve OFFICIALLY PASSED the bar, so I can try to stop working just part-time and really practice law.  (Editor’s note: SO insanely proud of you.  I can’t wait to celebrate your success!)

I got SWORN IN yesterday! This is me signing my attorney’s oath.

I got SWORN IN yesterday! This is me signing my attorney’s oath.

 

Now – how do I create my life so that it feels good – so I’m doing work that inspires me, motivates me, and fills me up?  How do I navigate a home-space so different from where I was comfortable for so many years to have an even more comfortable, more happy environment?  I have options, and I’m excited (and nervous!).

All of this change has sent me right back to therapy.  (Editor’s note: you’re a smart girl – I should have done that when change was busting my balls.)  I have an awesome new creative, holistic therapist helping me use my personality strengths so they can be guiding my new life (instead of letting those not so pretty reactive parts shine through)!

 

Also, Happy Halloween!  To those of us not handing out candy…

heres some chia

 

And you can also get creative by being wickedly inappropriate.  (Editor’s note: I think it’s a boy…)

Birthing Pumpkin

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Or you can be boring like me and go about your daily life making recipes inspired by your cravings.

Lately, I have been craving EGGS.  You can only eat so many over-easy eggs with toast in one week before you really want something different (Editor’s note: blasphemy!).  I saved some sautéed peppers, onions, and mushrooms from a pizza night and used them to make this Pesto Omelette.

Omelette in Pan

 

What I love about this recipe is that it really creates a great meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it’s loaded with healthy fats, protein, minerals and vitamins.  It’s also super fast, and the pesto/drunken goat cheese combo make it super special!

I have a ton of fall recipes I’m getting ready to hone in on and share.  First is my Butternut Squash with Brown Butter Sage Sauce (Editor’s note: you needed a taste-tester for that, right???).  This will be happening soon, along with a new surprise squash I’ll be getting with my next veggie delivery!  So stay tuned!

_______________________________________________________________________________________ Omelette

Pesto Omelette

  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 2 ½ T coconut milk
  • 2-3 T sautéed veggies
  • Garlic salt, to taste
  • 2 T pesto
  • 2-3 T drunken goat cheese, sliced
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • Sliced tomatoes (optional)

 

Preheat a nonstick pan over med-high heat and add coconut oil. 

Whisk the eggs in a bowl until they fluff up a bit, add the coconut milk and whip a little more (this is important for any fluff). 

Pour the mixture into preheated pan, add garlic salt evenly over the entire mixture.  Stir vigorously with a rubber spatula for 5 seconds, then add the sautéed veggies, cheese, and pesto to one half of the egg mixture. 

Let it cook until you start to see that most of the eggs on the side without the veggies is forming a solid mass.  Lift the pan so that the excess liquid/egg mixture distributes, and then use your spatula to loosen the edges from the pan. 

Shake the pan to loosen the eggs, and slide the spatula under and around the side without the veggies.  Let it cook for another 45 sec – 1:15 on each side.

Plate and serve with sliced tomatoes.

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The thinkThin bar giveaway winner has been selected!  Check out the original post to see if YOU won this treat.

What are you doing to create your life so that it feels good to you?

What exciting fall recipes or ingredients are you playing with?

 

You’re Off to Great Places + Growing Naturals Giveaway

I’m addicted to the powder.

 

Not that powder.  Where are your minds?!  Shame!

Protein powder, bro.  I have high standards:

  • NOT grainy or chalky
  • Not full of sugar or loaded with a billion carbs
  • Must actually taste like the flavor on the label
  • Ingredient lists need to be recognizable and short
  • Must contain at least 20g of protein

 

I have tried them all.  Today, I am SO excited that my #1 favorite protein powder of all time, Growing Naturals, has agreed to join in the Blogiversary week celebration.  They meet my high standards and then some… they are even soy-free and vegan!

The chocolate rice powder really does impart a chocolate taste.  It’s perfect in my Mocha Beet Frapp.  The vanilla was just the right amount of flavor to make my Plantain Ginger Bread taste like a warm treat.

Plantain Ginger Protein Bread

 

I’m getting wordy.  It’s Kat’s turn to blog today.  Just click here for more on why they rock.  Or, for proof, know that  beg seek them out to sponsor me at Blend and do giveaways… I want everyone to try it! ;)

Sooooo… here’s the schwag one of you will WIN (giveaway entry at the bottom – US only, along with winners for Monday and Tuesday’s giveaways!):

Growing Naturals

Speaking of protein… my girl Kat is going to need plenty to fuel the race she’s running this weekend.  Check her out and wish her luck below!!!

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You’re off to great places!

(by: Kat)

I’m leaving for my 100 mile race in Pennsylvania today.  Yes, 100 miles, 32 hour time limit.  I’m trying not to try to figure out how fast I have to run each mile to finish in under 30 hours, under 28 hours, etc.  I really just want to finish.  (Editor’s note: You are officially my hero.)

You're off to great places

 

I’m scared, and I even emailed the race director to see if I could defer my entry ‘til next year.  He said no, so I’m going.  Eeeeeeek!

This has brought up serious insecurity.  Why do my friends believe I can do this more than I believe in myself?  My new mantra on my runs has inspired some confidence in me.  I’ve been telling myself, “I am strong, I am injury-free, and I can do this!” 

It really does help me re-frame and know my body is capable and my mind is yearning for the … what?  (Editor’s note: This is so true.  I do it in lifting.  It’s amazing what positive self-talk can do to your physical abilities… and you know I’m not the touch-y feel-y type.)  Maybe a break-through, maybe a break-down.  Sometimes we need a little of both.

No Matter How you Feel... never give up

 

I plan on taking good care of myself, and Wednesday night was all about packing carefully, and preparing my food/necessities.  With 100 miles on foot, you have to think: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and more calories.  (Editor’s note: Meal time is my favorite!)

I also have to think about injury prevention, which means lights, batteries, keeping myself warm.  I have to honor the body that allows me to even attempt this kind of challenge.  I am so grateful to have a healthy body that allows me to push myself physically to achieve something mentally.

Keeping Your Body Healthy

 

I also need to mention that waiting for my bar results has been a terrible waiting period, and I keep getting asked about the date for results which makes me a little batty.  It’s October 28thResults October 28th.  (Editor’s note: We are going to celebrate hard core!  I know you OWNED it!)

 

Right now, I’m wound up tight, and so are my finances.  I’m so grateful for everything I have right now, including my Cold Life  Organics deliveries, which save me money and allow me to experiment.

A few experiments lately include this parsnip-cauliflower puree and stuffed red bell peppers.  They are both so easy I didn’t initially think of them as a blog post.  But they are unique, delicious recipes that helped me to think outside the box.

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Cauliflower Parsnip Puree

Parsnip-Cauliflower Puree

  • 3 large parsnips, cut roughly into ¼ inch pieces
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut roughly into ¼ inch pieces
  • ½ Vidalia onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-2 T coconut oil
  • 3 T butter
  • ¼ C coconut milk

 

Saute onion, garlic, cauliflower, and parsnips in the coconut oil until it is generally soft-ish.  You should easily be able to pierce the parsnips with a fork.

Add saute to a food processor and puree.  Add coconut milk, butter, and salt to taste.

 

The parsnips give the cauliflower puree a floral taste that isn’t overwhelming.  It’s a fun substitute for mashed potatoes that will leave your guests wondering.  It’s gluten free, and can be made vegan by substituting the butter for your favorite butter substitute.  It’s also lower carb and lower calorie, if you’re going for that!  I served it with a little salad and chicken.

 

Stuffed Pepper

Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

  • 1/4 lb ground anti-biotic free chicken
  • 1/4  C rice, uncooked.
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 C marinara sauce
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 green bell pepper
  • 1/8 C nutritional yeast

 

Preheat oven to 400. 

Cut the tops off of bell peppers, and clean out seeds.  Boil water and cook the bell peppers in the water for about 4-5 minutes.  

Meanwhile, cook rice according to package instructions.  Set aside. 

Saute green pepper, onion, and garlic in the coconut oil, add the chicken and continue to saute until just cooked, but not dried out.

Stir in marinara and nutritional yeast. 

Stuff peppers with the mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

I put cheese on top of one, and not on top of the other.  Both were delicious.  They’re gluten free and can easily been made vegan by eliminating/substituting the chicken for TVP.  These were so easy and tasty, and they brought back childhood memories for my dinner partner.  We love nostalgic food.  We both also added additional nutritional yeast as a condiment while we ate.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check back at the NuNaturals and Muesli Fusion giveaways for the winners!

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Good luck KAT!!!!  P.S. You guys come back tomorrow.  It’s a giveaway I put together myself of my favorite most-used items. :)

What easy recipes/meals do you forget to share because they are just so easy?

What challenges are scary to you lately, and how do you keep yourself going?

 

A 50 K, a 50 mile, and Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

Wise, insightful posts are so inspiring.

 

I so admire people who can write them.

Kat wrote one such post today in her bi-weekly guest spot below.  I am forever grateful to her for bringing a mature different voice to this blog.

It make me feel less guilty for sharing crap interesting tidbits like this:

hello kitty beer

 

Hello Kitty beer.  It’s a real thing in China.  Apparently it comes in lime and peach flavors… and there are 4 more coming.  Like banana.  *gag*

Rather than making about a million inappropriate jokes, I going to stop and let Kat take over.  Her Vegan Eggplant Parm recipe certainly tastes better than Hello Kitty fruity beer.

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A 50 K, a 50 mile, and Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

 

The rest of my West Coast Trip ROCKED! I finished 3rd in my age group at the Mount Tam 50K, and it was such a beautiful race!  However, I wore the wrong shoes, and my feet ACHED!  I wore the Saucony Kinvara trail shoes (which I love, but only for about 15-18 miles or so).  I got new shoes as soon as I got home (to wear in my 50 miler last Sunday).

Mount Tam 50k

Mount Tam 50k

 

Then I went zip lining through the redwoods!  I highly recommend this!  (Editor’s note: I’ll pass on the 50K but sign me up for this!!!)

I learned so much about the trees and how adaptive they are.  They really are super cool, and the zip lining is a blast, too.

Zip lining redwoods

 

After 10 days, getting back to “normal,” has been a slow process, at best, but I’m so happy to be home with all of my babies – the three kitties and the three puppies!  (Editor’s note: I always feel that way too – even after the most amazing of trips.)

I also was super excited to run the Yeti Snakebite 50/50 on Sunday, September 1.  So many of my friends were there to either run 50K or 50 miles, and it was awesome to see all the friendly faces.  Unfortunately, it was a much harder race and hotter day than most anticipated, so tons of people were unable to complete the race (and I was super slow). However, I finished the 50 miler, a little over 12 hours after I started.

Snakebite 50/50

 

Krista gave up her whole day to crew for me. She showed up at every aid station to bring me things I needed and wanted and to help me though.  I am humbled and grateful to have people in my life who care about me and are willing to support me in my (crazy) endeavors.

 

My new Innov8 Trail Roc shoes also ROCKED! I was a little nervous, having only run in them once (for about 6 miles), to wear them in such a long race, but I highly recommend them.  They are lightweight, but have a beastly cleat (Editor’s note: Best description ever) on the bottom to help you on the trails, while not hurting your feet for short spurts on pavement.

The Race itself was extremely difficult, and when it rained (POURED) on us, it was slippery and dangerous.  EEK! I also got off-trail for a bit, which reminded me to just smile through it and eventually cross the finish line!  The volunteers were amazing, and kept us going even when super frustrated.

Do What You Fear

 

It helps to step back after a race like that and ask yourself, “Why?” Why do we do this? Why do we intentionally do things that we know will hurt, that will push us to our physical and mental limits?”

I keep coming back to the answer that it shows me that I can push through the most difficult feelings, and survive when I want to quit.  Applying this lesson to life, I keep wanting to also show myself I can do it with a smile.  (Editor’s note: That, and you’re a little crazy.  Which is why we get along. ;) )

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Cold Life

At my house, we recently started getting fruit and vegetable delivery, once a week, from Cold Life Organics. They have several options for boxes, and you can add on to any box, skip a shipment, or change which box you need or want.  It’s only $40 for one week for two people!  It’s been awesome, and with the variety they bring, it encourages me to try new things and think outside the box. ;) (Yes, that was a cheesy pun. You’re welcome!)

Last week we got eggplant.  I wanted to have friends over, rather than going out and spending more money, so I decided to get creative for my vegan friend, Ann.  I ended up doing a play on Eggplant Parmesan, sans the Parmesan… and it was SO GOOD!  (Editor’s note: Holla at this friend!!!)

Vegan Eggplant Parm prep

It was super crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside, and perfectly delicious. Using the pecan meal with the nutritional yeast gave it the perfect amount of nuttiness that we didn’t get from the real Parmesan, and the garlic gave it an awesome little kick with some sweetness.  And I would not do this without the fresh basil!  Try this recipe!

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Vegan Eggplant Parm

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

  • 1 Medium eggplant
  • 1/2 T org. buckwheat flour
  • 1 T almond meal
  • 2 T pecan meal
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • Big pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Plenty of coconut oil
  • 16 oz jar of tomato sauce, or homemade tomato sauce (I made my own)

 

Pre-heat the oven to 425.

Mix your buckwheat, almond and pecan meal, parsley, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and fresh basil in a bowl with a fork.  In another bowl, pour some melted coconut oil.

Cut eggplant into ¼ – ½ inch rounds.  First dip them in the dry mixture, then into the coconut oil, then back into the dry mixture.  Make sure it gets a good coating on there.  Repeat with the whole eggplant.

Place on baking sheet lined with foil and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy on top (I had to broil mine an extra 2-3 minutes after).

Let some of the oil drip onto a towel/paper towel and let cool for about 3-5 minutes. Then serve with sauce!

Makes 3-4 servings.

***

I think Kat nailed it this week with a #strangebutgood recipe!  And I am adding this to the list of things to beg her to make me…

What do you do for self-improvement?  How do your workouts help?  It clears my mind and helps me remain more focused on goals!

Do you have organic veggie delivery!?  Would you look into it?

 

Keeping it Healthy in San Francisco

 Vacations are an important part of staying healthy.

 

Mental health is no joke!

I took Monday off of blogging because my friends and I impulsively decided to extend our stay in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  My sanity and I needed it.

It was a fun-filled weekend… there was plenty of debauchery, but we stayed active too.  Curling giant bottles of wine counts, right?

Blue Ridge

 

We braved rain and chilly weather to go paddle boarding.  It was my first time!  I think it would be more fun if it had been warm amd sunny… and you best believe I’ll be trying again!

I didn’t fall in once!  Fear of cold water will give you balancing super powers.

Paddle boarding

The dog (Milo) went down the river too!

 

The more “traditional” relaxation activities ensued as well.

The cabin’s hot tub was well-loved.  We refueled with a feast cooked by the lovely Latina women on the trip.  And we played board games that involved poetry writing.  Have you ever heard of Quelf?  Good fun!

The poem for me. :)

 

I may not be a natural at everything, but relaxing?  Relaxing is my jam.

Kat is having her own relaxation time after taking the Bar Exam.  Of course, her version includes winning races in San Fran and running a 50K.  You know, for fun.

Read on for this force of nature’s adventures and healthy travel tips!

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My San Francisco To-Do List – Keeping it Healthy

Because I’m not working full-time yet, I am actually taking some time to relax, enjoy life, go on a couple of trips and maybe do a little conferencing.  This week I am in the San Francisco Bay Area (Editor’s note: Color me jealous.  This is one of my favorite parts on the country!) for the annual Lavender Law Conference, but I tacked on the weekend to do essential “Kat” things.

To Do List

 

As many of you know and experience, it can be hard to stay healthy on vacation.  Laura did a great job on her birthday trip with running, and some healthy meals (Editor’s note: Shameless plug… this is the post I did about that on my California trip).

I’m having a similar trip, and still enjoying cool food (Editor’s note: I’d break up with you as a friend if you didn’t ;) ).  I’m also enjoying the cider, wine, and cocktails, but nothing to excess.

 

My favorite tips for keeping a healthy vacation:

  • Find rock-star baby-sitters for your fur-babies.  It can put your mind at ease, and keep stressors low.  I could not be here with out Khristina and Tara helping me out.
  • Try to stay with a friend, if possible.  It makes many of the following tips easier.  (My friends Sara and Jenny are angels for hosting me for 10 days).
  • Go to the grocery store and pick of some of your favorite healthy staples!  (I immediately got apple cider vinegar and bee pollen).
  • Plan a few nights to have meals at home.  You know what’s in your food, and can make healthy (and delicious) choices.  (Doesn’t hurt that Sara is also an awesome cook!)
  • Make or find fresh juices and don’t have a heavy breakfast every day. (Oh, and Sara juices with fresh fruit and veggies every morning… I’m in heaven).
  • Plan to be outside!  It’s the easiest way to stay active – weather walking, running, biking, hiking, etc.  (I planned two races and 3 other day trips!)
  • Breath Deeply.
  • Actually try not to think about work!  I didn’t check email all day today.  Laura can attest to this, as she thought a blog was not coming for Thursday!
  • Give yourself a break.

 

I know a lot of them overlap, but how many of you still sometimes work (even a little) on vacation?  I bet more of you than want to admit it.  But time off, to renew and regenerate is key to happy, healthy living.  It can help you be a better girlfriend, wife, employee, mom, friend, etc., etc. when you get back.

Note To Self

 

I know breathing deeply doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is.  (Editor’s note: I have to remind myself of this on the regular.)

Sara and Jenny have taken me to 3 overlooks, just to enjoy the views, breath, smile, and relax.

Wildcat Canyon Road Overlook from Berkeley

Wildcat Canyon Road Overlook from Berkeley

San Francisco From Twin Peaks – check out how the fog opens up!

San Francisco From Twin Peaks – check out how the fog opens up!

(all photos taken from the same spot within 5-7 minutes)

San Francisco from Sausalito

San Francisco from Sausalito

 

I also decided to keep it active and fun by exploring tons of new trails!  I first had a Cinderella 30K race at Joaquin Miller Park and the Redwood Regional Park on Sunday (and I placed in my age group!), then I did some exploring in the city on Monday (who knows how many miles Jaime and I walked).

Tuesday I ran/hiked all the trails on the southeast side of Tilden Regional Park, and Wednesday I went to Half Moon Bay for a walk on the beach, and to Huddard Park for the MOST FUN run of the week.  I was flying.

Joaquin Miller Park

Joaquin Miller Park

Tilden Regional Park

Tilden Regional Park

Halfmoon Bay & Huddart Park (redwood central)

Halfmoon Bay & Huddard Park (redwood central)

 

Next weekend, I get to participate in the Mount Tam 50K.  It’s got limited entries, and I got in off the waitlist!  yay!

I could go home now and not be disappointed.  But the conference starts today, and I’m super excited to network, learn a bunch, and maybe even party a little with the folks from the conference!  (Editor’s note: My career counselor in grad school taught a class called “Networking or NOT working” – SO true.)

I feel compulsive about wanting to share my adventures with you guys (Editor’s note: Welcome to being a blogger)!  But I guess there will be more in two weeks!

Random Vacation Pics

Random Vacation Pics

***

Kat’s post this week is making me want to go back to SF!  Also, I giggled while posting the hot tub pic… ;)

How do you stay active and healthy on vacation?  Do you turn off your cell phone?

Any tips for more stuff to do in the San Francisco area?  There might be zip-lining in Sonoma on Sunday!

 

The Most Luxurious Hummus Ever

This is a bold statement.

 

I didn’t make it.

Claims like these typically make me skeptical… but I make an exception when it’s made by a Greek food blogger.  After reading her recipe below you will be a believer too.  I started drooling at the mere mention of truffles.

I first met Anna at a Food Buzz conference a few years ago.  She immediately impressed me with her height ability to eat copius amounts of hummus #strangebutgood approach to food.  Her blog has been in my Reader Feedly ever since!

 

When she proposed we do a hummus recipe exchange, I was a little nervous. I mean, this IS the lady that dreamed up Peanut Butter Bacon Hummus.   After gathering my balls courage, I finally came up with a recipe for Guacamole Hummus.  It’s pretty gosh-darn good if I do say so myself.  Why wouldn’t you combine the two best dips ever?!

Note: My recipe includes THE secret for achieving perfectly smooth hummus. ;)

Guacamole Hummus 1

Check out Anna’s Luxurious Hummus below, and then hop on over to her blog for my Guacamole Hummus.

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I first met Laura at a food blogger conference in San Francisco.  Coincidentally it was a conference of hummus, sponsored by hummus giant, Sabra.  The first night of the conference we all got absolutely bombarded with hummus. The grand finale offering was hummus dessert, which the world might not just be ready for yet.  I’ll leave this to Laura as a “Strange But Good” challenge.

 

Anna is in the middle

Anna is in the middle

I’m Anna from Banana Wonder. The six-foot spawn of a Greek mathematician and Californian hippie, I’m fanatical about almond croissants, pretzels, and most importantly, hummus. I am addicted to making and eating hummus!  Ever since I got my first mini food processor five years ago, I have not stopped.  The mash-ups are countless!

 

On this occasion, I made the most luxurious hummus ever.  It’s hummus in a tuxedo and vegan snake-skin boots.  It’s got cashew cream, velvety cannellini beans, white truffle extra virgin olive oil and black truffle salt.  Creamy, rich, and downright elegant, this is the treat yo-self hummus.

Luxurious (Truffle) Hummus bowl

 

Now, you may be thinking, but hummus is made with chickpeas… ok, ok, so sometimes I blend up other beans with tahini and to me it’s still hummus. Feel free to make it with chickpeas.  I do love chickpeas, but I find white beans made an even smoother, creamier dip.

 

Truffle oil embodies the dip, giving it body and depth.

Truffle salt boosts the above.

Cashew cream. Well, it’s kind of like butter…

 

Peep Laura’s Guacamole Hummus over at bananawonder.com!

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 Luxurious (Truffle) Hummus

The Most Luxurious Hummus Ever

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (do not skip the draining and rinsing part or else your hummus will come out like chunky glue)
  • 1/4 C raw cashews
  • 1/4 C warm water
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp truffle salt
  • 2 T white truffle extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • dash of rice wine vinegar (totally optional)

 

Combine cashews and water, let stand for about 10 minutes. Blend until smooth in a processor, blender, or whatever you emulsify in. 

Add garlic, tahini, olive oil, salt and vinegar and blend until smooth. 

Whirl in the beans until smooth. 

Finish with extra cashews and olive oil if you choose. 

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I emailed Anna as soon as I read this to complain that I’m out of truffle oil.  Looks like a trip to Whole Paycheck is in my future…

What is your favor hummus flavor?

Do you like to make your own hummus or prefer the store-bought?