I keep forgetting to mention that Dana and I have registered for a 10K race coming up at the end of April! My runs have become few and far between, and I’m going to blame that mostly on the weather. I know, lame excuse. Every time I am out for a run I feel fantastic, and every time I am done I always say I have GOT to do this more often. I wish I could bottle up these good endorphins and release them under my nose when I’m not feeling up to a run.
Now that I have a race to look forward to, I will be hitting the pavement more often again and am really looking forward to it.
Furthermore, the weather is really turning around here which makes it that much more enticing to run outside. Yesterday it was in the 50’s and today it is in the 40’s. The snow is melting super fast and I am loving it. Spring is officially here.
Can you spot the cardinal?!
Dana, Moose, and I headed out for a rainy run this morning. We tried a new loop in our neighborhood and covered 4.7 miles. Despite it being wet, rainy, and a little chilly, it was still a GREAT run! My endurance and stamina felt wonderful and I am confident I will be just fine for the 10K in April.
My hands are struggling to type right now because they are still pretty chilled but my body is so happy. 🙂
Moose hung on through the whole run but he isn’t quite used to runs longer than 3 miles after the winter months. His back paws got a little scraped up and he was bleeding at the end of the run. It’s time to build up those paws again! We covered his wounds with socks and he is now fast asleep on the carpet. Poor guy!
Since it is rainy, we have decided that today is SPRING CLEANING DAY! I am off to dust, windex, vacuum, and mop! Fun, fun, fun. Kidding, but it will feel really good to do a deep clean on the house.
Oh the goodness of Pinterest. So many pins, so little time.
One of my friends had pinned a link for homemade almond milk and I was beyond intrigued. I knew I could in fact make almond milk, but I had never really given it a thought because it sounded super tedious and it’s way more convenient to go to the store and buy a carton off the shelf.
But I was intrigued, so I clicked on the link which led me to LaurenConrad.com (yes, LC from Laguna Beach). I wanted to see what the process looked like. I was pleasantly surprised when I read through the directions…it didn’t look too bad at all! Plus, there are only FOUR ingredients in this milk. As you all know, I am all about keeping my food clean and simple the majority of the time, so this recipe screamed “MAKE ME!” So I did.
1. In a food processor or on a cutting board, chop one cup of almonds into big chunks and place into a heavy-duty food storage bag or into a glass container. Pour five cups of water over the almonds. Seal the bag or cover the container and place in the fridge to let soak overnight.
2. In the morning, strain off the liquid into a medium pot on the stove top and save the almonds in the bag.
3. In a food processor, blend up the almonds until they become a paste; grind them up as far as your processor will allow. Add the almond mash back into the water.
4. Add 1/2 tablespoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon of honey (optional) and stir. Heat mixture over medium heat for about seven minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Prepare a sturdy heat-proof container by placing a cheesecloth or a linen kitchen towel over the mouth of the container and fasten with a rubberband.
Notes: I started off using cheesecloth but then found that a towel worked better because it was more sturdy. Also, if you have a container with a larger opening, I would recommend using that as it will make the process go a lot faster.
Slowly pour liquid through the cloth. The towel will gather the almond pieces and the liquid will drain through. Use a spoon to assist the liquid through.
6. And voila you have almond milk! It will last up to a week, covered in the fridge. Enjoy!!
I used the milk on some gluten-free cereal with fruit this morning and it was WONDERFUL! Seriously, I really enjoyed it. Plus, I know every.single.ingredient. in that milk which makes it even more enjoyable. I had all of the ingredients right in my pantry. I think everyone should make this milk at least once in their lifetime!
Moving on. Yesterday morning was another NutriBullet smoothie morning. I stepped outside of my comfort zone with this smoothie which I have named “The Antioxidant Smoothie” because of all of antioxidant-rich ingredients involved. I tried to mentally track the amounts of each ingredient so that I could share the recipe with you, but my mind fails me sometimes, so we’ll see how well I can do here.
The Antioxidant Smoothie
1/2 cup blueberries
3/4 cup strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 cup kale
2 Tablespoons beets
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
water (add as much as you like to reach desired consistency)
aloe vera juice (optional)
a touch of honey (optional)
In case you were wondering, beets fall outside of my comfort zone. I don’t like beets but they are a food I wish I DID like because they are so pretty and vibrant, rich in B vitamins and other vitamins and minerals, and you could guess by their beautiful red color, that they are in fact an antioxidant food. This is why I included them in the smoothie; so I could get the benefits from the veggie, but not the full taste. I could only very subtly taste the beets in this smoothie, so it was all good.
I don’t like radishes either and I wish I did because they are so pretty! Maybe if I keep introducing myself to these two veggies they will grow on me, just like the salmon has grown on me!
Alright folks, that is all for today. Go make yourself some almond milk! Get crazy and add a little cocoa or cinnamon to the finished product. Mmm..
Question of the day: What kinds of milk have you tried? What’s your favorite?
I am pretty pumped about a new gadget that has joined the counter in our kitchen. We have a NutriBullet! It can make smoothies, dips, soups, and even has a milling blade attachment so you can grind your own spices, seeds, etc. Besides the fact that this bullet literally whips up a smoothie in seconds, I also love that it is super easy to clean. The blender works great and all, but it can be a little tedious to clean and it takes longer.
Yesterday, I just had to use it, so I made a smoothie for Dana and myself. I don’t have the exact measurements but I included pineapple, strawberries, banana, kale, flax-seed, aloe vera juice, and water.
It’s maybe not the prettiest smoothie you have ever seen but it was delicious! I am hoping I stay on this smoothie train for a while to get me out of my breakfast rut of peanut butter and banana. The fridge is stocked really well right now so I think I should be able to maintain a creative week of eats as long as I put my mind to it.
Aloe Vera Juice
I realize I have mentioned this aloe vera juice for a couple of weeks now and not really said anything about it. As you may recall, I am tackling a laundry list of natural remedies to try to combat this colitis thing. Along with those, I am always teaching myself to deal better with stress, I am sticking to a gluten-free diet for now, I have eliminated refined sugars (as best as I can), I am beginning to include fermented foods into my diet to help aid in the digestion process, and I am taking my prescribed GI meds.
I continue to do my research and found that aloe vera juice came up in a lot of my findings. There is still more research that needs to be done, but some have found that aloe vera juice can help heal wounds (think about applying aloe vera to sunburn), and it can also reduce inflammation. It can also help boost the immune system. I am only taking a very small amount of it, and the taste is pretty unpalatable, so I have found that putting some into my smoothie masks the taste completely and is easier for me to stomach. (Note: I consulted with a medical professional before beginning aloe vera juice).
So that’s my little bit about aloe vera juice and btw I am feeling SO well. Moving on to dinner…
I was inspired by this recipe to make Carrot Crust Pizza! I have experimented with cauliflower crust pizza and veggie nut pizza crust, but never carrots. I can’t wait for the day when I can get my fingers on a good ol’ fashioned piece of pizza, but until that time comes, I’ll be making substitutes!
I began by washing six medium-sized carrots. I chopped them into big chunks and added them to a microwave safe bowl. I added about 1/3 cup of water, covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and microwaved for about 8 minutes or until I was able to pierce through the carrots with a fork.
Next, I food processed the carrots until almost smooth. I scraped the carrots onto a thin kitchen towel (you could use cheesecloth as well), folded up all four corners, and wrung out the liquid from the carrots into the sink. This was a major arm workout! There is a LOT of water in carrots.
I put the carrot mash back into the bowl and added one egg, 1/4 cup of cheese, and one grated garlic clove. I gave it a good mix.
On a baking pan lined with parchment paper, I spread out the carrots into a 1/4 inch layer. I spritzed the top with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Next it went into a 400°F preheated oven for about 28 minutes.
I removed the pizza from the oven when the outsides were starting to crisp up, and the center of the pizza was firm.
Then I added the goodies! I added marinara sauce, cheese, red bell pepper, onion, olives, and mushrooms. Back into the oven it went for about five minutes. I finished by putting it under the broiler for three minutes.
It was delicious! The crust wasn’t as crispy as I thought it would be, so I’m wondering if it should cook even longer? Either way, I really truly enjoyed this dish!
¼ cup and ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1 garlic clove, grated or minced
salt and pepper
½ cup marinara sauce (no-sugar added)
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
toppings of choice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet. Set aside.
Place carrots in a medium microwave safe bowl and add ⅓ cup of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 7-9 minutes, or until carrots are fork tender. Remove from microwave and let cool slightly.
Once cooled, place carrots in food processor and pulse until pureed.
Scrape carrot puree onto cheesecloth or thin kitchen towel. Gather all corners and wring out excess water from the carrots into the sink.
Add carrots back to the bowl, add ¼ cup cheese, egg, and grated garlic clove. Mix well.
On prepared baking pan, spread carrot mixture to a ¼ inch thickness. Spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake for 27-29 minutes or until outer crust begins to turn golden, and middle of pizza is firm.
Remove from oven and add sauce, ½ cup cheddar cheese, parmesan, and toppings. Bake for 5 more minutes.
Turn oven to broil and broil for 3-4 minutes.
Remove from oven, slice, and enjoy warm!
Have a great day my friends!
Question of the day: Have you ever had any strange pizza? Have you made any yourself?