Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hello again.  I've been away for a very long time again! 3 years ...DANG!! Well, coming back is what's important, right?!  Like visiting an old friend you haven't seen in years.  If it's good, you just pick up without skipping a beat so that is what I will attempt to do.

What's up?????....

2015 - nothing I can think of.

2016 - more nothing I can think of.  What a boring life, eh?!

2017 -  I went WFPB ~ Whole Foods Plant Based ~. Sometimes I just say vegan because people understand that.  Mostly.  I still get the occasional question "You eat fish, right?  No.  How about this cake?  It has no meat, just eggs and butter!  No."  To be honest, I don't mind the questions because I love sharing any knowledge I have about how awesome this way of eating has made me feel.

Since changing my diet years ago I have always felt good but I wanted to see if I could feel REALLY good and after watching a bunch of documentaries - Forks Over Knives, Food Matters, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, etc... I gave it a go and have to admit I do feel pretty darn amazing.  So that's my update in a nutshell.

BF and I bought a new house early in summer with a fabulous  fenced in yard so the dogs have lots and lots of yard to run in and chase bunnies ...Martini's favorite outdoor activity I think!  Watching them run around the yard makes me happy.  Makes a 30 year mortgage totally worth it!

2018 - Still chopping and dicing and smoothie making, and have added in juicing now!  Still on the "making the best version of me" train.  Still wanting to share what I know with others...which has sort of lead to this blog being re-incarnated.  I absolutely love it when a friend approaches me about going plant based or a cooking question.  I've figured out I'm happiest in the kitchen - love prepping and chopping and cooking ...even though I tend to make a mess, I always clean up! And hey, that"s part of the process!

I started a food related Instagram ...maybe you've made that connection already, if not, find me on IG at happinessmadeinthekitchen.  Maybe you'll see a thing or two you like.  Maybe you'll pick up a tip or two.  Maybe you'll find a recipe that will inspire you to try it as well.  Maybe you'll get a little hungry.

So let's get this train rolling again....

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Catching up

I've got some catching up to do here! Today is a good day for that....here in the northeast we are in process of a nor'easter! It's been showing since midnight or so and as I write this it is 10:30 AM and we've already gotten 12" of snow! And this storm isn't getting out of here until very late tonight or tomorrow morning! Yikes!! This winter has been a doozie! Around here I believe the total had been around 48 inches for the season before today. We got off easy the past few years with close to nothing and I think many of us have gotten spoiled.
So it's a snow day! A day off from work! Though I have some paperwork I'm looking at inbetween loads of laundry and snow shoveling!

What have I made lately? 


The brownies are flourless, made with black beans, yes, black beans! And they are amazing! I did nothing different from the recipe except add nuts because who doesn't like nuts in their brownies?!

I also made a variation of wonton soup. These wontons are filled with onions fried and doused with paprika. This is something my BFs grandmother would make, "knotted soup", which i did make before...http://barbarababbling.blogspot.com/2012/11/knotted-soupaka-more-pasta.html

So I just borrowed the idea and made it easier with wontons! I made little ground turkey meatballs and tossed some kale in the soup along with th he obligatory carrots and celery and it hit the spot on a cold winter night! Give it a try...there is something about big, pillowy, yum filled sheets of pasta that just make you feel good!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Seed Crackers

Ever make your own crackers? These are incredibly easy as well as incredibly good for you! 
Seeds seeds seeds!  And whatever flavoring you desire! Possibilities are endless!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
I'm not one to measure things exactly.. so roughly,  in a bowl add and mix together:
1 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup chia seeds
3 T sesame seeds
2 T pepitas
2 T hemp seeds
1 t salt
1/4 cup water
- the mixture shouldn't be soupy nor dry.  It should be a wet mixture that you could shape.
Oh!  And whatever seasonings you want! 
Like rosemary?  Add rosemary!
Like garlic?  Toss in a hefty couple of tablespoons of garlic powder.
Whatever you desire!  My sister sent me sumac which I had never had,  yet alone heard of,  except for the poison variety!  I added a good 2 T of sumac and these came out delicious! 
The rest of the procedure:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I found it easier to then remove the parchment paper and use that as my guide - put the seed mixture on the parchment and pat it down some.  Cover with a piece of wax paper.  Take a rolling pin and roll it out to the size of the parchment paper,  or as close to the edges add you can.  You want it about 1/8" inch thick.  Remove the wax paper!  Bake for about 15 minutes,  until edges start to brown.  Let cool.  Break into random pieces.  Eat.  Enjoy.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Healthy IS delicious!

I've been making smoothies just about daily, for probably over a year. The smoothies I make usually have spinach, a mix of various fruit, a banana and raw protein and other superfood mix in's such as maca powder, greens, hemp seeds, etc.  I've also been using a 14 year old Hamilton Beech blender, which has been very good to me. I've made too many smoothies to count in it as well as pesto, hummus and other things. For my birthday this past December my BF got me a NutriBullet! I was so excited! I can't quite get myself to put away the blender just yet. I still have room on my counter so the old Hamilton Beech still has a place in my heart and a place on my counter!

I said I was excited over the NutriBullet, didn't I?! Woo hoo!! And not just any NutriBullet, but the Pro 900 series!  My smoothies have never been as smooth as they are now! They are like velvet! After watching the infomercial for years, I'm sure many think it is just a blender, what's the big deal? Well let me tell you it's amazing! I love it! There. I said it. I love my NutriBullet!

The recipes included are really well thought out and have made me a bit more adventurous! Partly due to the temptation to juice, I set out to make what I call a NutriBullet juice. Now this is not a real juice as it does contain all the pulp, which means all the nutritious fiber. Really, it's a smoothie without a banana, and to me, a smoothie has a banana! You know, for smoothness. :)

This was my attempt at a green green smoothie juice thing! The results were delicious and refreshing! Chock full of Vitamin C and all things good for you!

Green green smoothie juice:
   Handful of spinach
   1/2 Granny Smith apple, cut into pieces
   2 kiwis, cut into pieces
   1 lime
   Few slices of ginger

Add all to your blending device.
Blend. Drink. Enjoy. Like a delicious Lime Aid. And the color? So pretty!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Resolutions continued

Another resolution I made this year was to start using more natural, greener and cruelty free products.  Honestly, I started in December but I made it a resolution for the new year as well!

Now, I was a bit worried about deodorant! I had thoughts of smelly hippies truth be told, but I was out one day at my local health food store and picked a natural, organic one with the promise of a nice scent, almond and vanilla. All day at work I would catch myself sniffing here and there to make sure I wasn't offending anyone and I'm happy to report that I don't believe I have! Nourish Organic, you made a believer out of me!

I've switched toothpaste to Jason Sea Fresh. Very minty, in a good way! No worries there about offending anyone with my breath!

As I make the switch to new greener, natural and cruelty free products, I'll be sure to post about them!

Friday, January 3, 2014

New year....New commitment!

New year...New commitment!...to myself and to getting back to this blog!

2013's resolution was to lose the weight I had put on over the past 5 years...5 years of laziness, 5 years of eating whatever I wanted, 5 years of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin.  I'm happy to report that I stuck with it and as I write this, I am 82 pounds lighter than I was last year at this time. Yea me!

So 2014 rolls around and new resolutions...to continue being the best me I can be! Physically, mentally, spiritually...every "-ally" that I can think of! Right off the bat I upped my running. Last year I started walking and when that got easy I got back into running. I love running. I started running at another previous point in my life when I had lost weight and its something I really missed. October saw new running sneakers and I was able to continuously run 5 miles. Because of my work schedule and this other thing called "life", I can only find the time to run on weekends. On average I ran a little over 5 miles each Saturday and Sunday. I figured January 1 was the perfect time to up it, and New year's day I covered 6 miles, no problem! Yea me! So I'll try to keep that up and then gradually increase slowly so to avoid any injuries!

Next up, to eat even better than I am. I'm pretty happy with my diet; it's mainly fruits and vegetables, good fats, nuts and seeds, and poultry. I've cut out processed foods except for the occasional bottled salad dressing, I buy natural and organic most so I think that's alright.

Speaking of eating, I've made some fun things lately. Here's some of them:

"Larabars" - dates, almonds, protein powder

Chicken parmesan meatloaf- ground chicken breast, parmesan cheese, sauce, seasonings

Almond milk - soaked overnight almonds, rinsed then blended and strained

Simple sauteed kale and brussel sprouts in coconut oil with nuts

Buffalo chicken bites from

 Really simple, yet tasty healthy food!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Eating with your eyes

That's what they say right?  That we first eat with our eyes,  that if something looks good,  we can not wait to dig in!  That is exactly as I felt looking at this beautiful mound of greens on my plate! 

Dinner was turkey burgers, not homemade, I hesitantly admit! These are from Costco! They are all white turkey breast burgers and really handy to keep in the freezer and they can be cooked right from the freezer so they're great to have on hand for a quick meal.  And they only have 200 calories; portion controlled and tasty too!

I did mix in some of the roasted tomato pesto from yesterday with some of the hummus... that made a little appearance on my plate as well,  but the big star was the greens!

The greens are a mix of kale, spinach, beet tops and chard.  I added a bit of Greek feta and an heirloom tomato, tossed it all with the juice of half a lemon and a good drizzle of olive oil.  A little salt. A little pepper.  Another good toss and I was in love! 

Lemon juice and olive oil is a very simple dressing that I never do!  For some reason though it came to mind when I was thinking of these greens.  It is unbelievably delicious and fresh tasting.

Honestly,  I get a wee giddy now when I see food that really does look beautiful to my eyes first.   And then of course eating is the ultimate reward! 

Hello again.  I've been away for a very long time again! 3 years ...DANG!! Well, coming back is what's important, right?!  Like visi...