green pepper chickpea pasta.

The last time I was at a summerstock where I had access to a full kitchen was when I was still just vegetarian. I got really good at quick boxed meals that I jazzed up, mainly mac and cheese. It was the Annie’s brand, so it was better than Kraft, and I added stuff like mushrooms and broccoli to not only add some taste, but to bulk it up and last longer. It was a great no fuss meal. Throw the water in the pot, cook the veggies in the water at the same time as the pasta. Stir, add some spice, voila! Done.

This time around it isn’t as easy. The whole being vegan thing put a damper on my really quick meals, so I’ve had to improvise. I still needed it to be quick, easy, and take up little space in the fridge/pantry (I live with three other girls, space is at a premium). I started off the summer making huge batches of pasta and marinara sauce and that got old really fast, so I started experimenting with pasta dishes. I came up with this which turned out fantastic. I didn’t write down any of the specifics, so some of these might be off but the beauty of this recipe is that it’s really hard to mess it up…just add things to taste!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of penne pasta
  • 1-2 green peppers, chopped (raw)
  • I can of chickpeas, drained
  • 3ish tbsp of Salad Booster Vegan Cheesy
  • 2-3 tbsp of vegan parmesan (I used the Go Veggie! kind, but be careful and look for the small container one that says vegan on it, they make one that isn’t vegan)
  • 2-3 tbsp of olive oil

Directions:

Cook pasta and drain. Rinse pasta to cool it down and add in the chickpeas and green peppers. Add the olive oil, mix, and then add the Salad Booster and vegan parmesan.

You can do a lot of different stuff to this recipe, sub Earth Balance for the oil, add nutritional yeast (I didn’t have any over the summer), add different spices. I used to make a tuna pasta salad that was almost dead on like this recipe (it had tuna, green peppers, parmesan, and mayo) and I think what I loved about this recipe was that it reminded me of that. The raw green peppers are key, and that Salad Booster stuff is just plain awesome.

 

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sandwich.

Guys.

Hi.

So, I’m really bad at updating this blog. I always have the intention and it never happens. Whether its because work is busy, it’s harder to type on the iPad, or just laziness I end up not posting as much as I want. But I think that’s ok, since most of the posts would be about how crazy work has been or something boring.

But today, I made the best sandwich in the world and I knew I had to share it. I fear I might now live off of this for the rest of the summer. And I think I’m ok with that.

You need:

Slice of garlic ciabatta bread
1/2 avocado
Some Treeline nut cheese (this is super expensive but INSANELY good. I could write love songs about it)
Onion
Portobello mushroom cap

Sauté onions, add caps and cook till tender. I like to steam mine by throwing some water in the pan and adding a lid on. Spread avocado and cheese on bread. Add mushroom and onions. Love life.

The best thing I’ve made here, hands down.

lemon penne broccoli with mushrooms

I am not a cook.

I cook decently enough, though. I like what I make. And sometimes when I make things for others, they like it. But I’m not sure if it’s like of the recipe, or like of me so they just pretend they like it. Either way, I’m still only a true cook to one: myself.

I’m hesitant to put this on the blog, because I don’t know if anyone else is going to appreciate how good it was, but I figured why the hell not. I still consistently look back at my smoothie recipe that I have, so using this blog as a virtual recipe book of my eats seems fitting and beneficial to me. This is your warning. You can make the recipes all you want, you just might not like them. I’m cool with that.

I find the best recipes come in desperation. That moment when you are so hungry, and want food at that moment, but have nothing in the shelves to make what you normally do. You are also so tired that going out (no matter how close the grocery store is) just isn’t an option. This is what happened with this dish.

Lemon Penne Broccoli with Mushrooms (Serves 1)

Ingredients*:

  • 4 oz of Smart Balance Penne (I used this stuff because it’s lower in calories. Any penne, or any pasta shape will do, really)
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • ~ tbsp of lemon juice (I just took a cut section and squeezed. Not technical at all)
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 heaping tbsp of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp of Earth Balance margarine

*These are estimates. The beauty of this dish is to add as much of something or little of something you wish. The lemon juice is probably that only thing you’ll have to worry in terms of overdoing.

Directions:

Boil water and cook pasta. If you are like me, you had frozen broccoli so I just added that to my boiling water to cook. While the pasta is cooking saute the mushrooms. Do it however you like, I like water saute for mushrooms: just add tbsp of water instead of oil and it basically steams the mushrooms. I only like this method with mushrooms, so I tend to do it as much as I can to cut down on added oil calories (especially since the dish already has Earth Balance in it). I’m calorie counting, so that’s what you get. Drain broccoli/pasta once it is done, and return to pot. Add mushrooms and all additional ingredients. Stir. Consume.

Really, that’s all I did. Nothing fancy, but the added lemon juice was awesome. I’m sure someone reading this is thinking: “Jessie, that’s an old recipe” and to that I say: it might be. But I genuinely just made it up one night with what I had in my pantry, and I like it so much that it will happen again.

One last thing. I really suck at pictures of food. Mostly from it being later at night and only having my cellphone by me so this recipe gets none.

Weigh-in #7

Hello!

So let’s talk about this past weekend. I was all prepared to go out to the infield at Churchill Downs and have the time of my life with my friends Mercy, Rebecca, along with Rebecca’s brother and his friends. And then I spent some time thinking about it and realized that I really didn’t have the money to buy the ticket into the infield, and the amount of money spent on other things like alcohol and food (alcohol is not allowed in, but can be bought there, although I am proud of Mercy who I think wins the best way to sneak in alcohol award by using her hair). So, I ended up going over to Rebecca’s empty house, with no parties to go to since everyone I knew was at Churchill or at work, and did laundry, played with her two dogs, and just had a lazy Saturday. Her house is 2 miles from Churchill so it was almost like I was there! It’s sad, but there is always next year, which I plan to save up for and without a doubt go to.

This past Sunday I officially stepped back on the scale to start weigh-ins again. I was scared what it was going to be, since I have only been tracking my calories this past week, and even then I was consistently going over. I was scared what those weeks of doing that every day would have done to my progress. I was also scared because I decided that this weigh-in would be my first weigh-in that I announced over on my Youtube Channel. Writing it is entirely different then saying it out loud.

So, I figured out it might get a little confusing since it is Weigh-in #1 on video, but it is officially my Weigh-in #7 in total. We’ll see if it gets too annoying and I’ll have to fix it.

As you can tell from my video, my weigh-in was at 304.8. My last recorded weigh-in was on the 14th of February and it was at 298, which means that I have gained 6.8 lbs. I was honestly shocked when I stepped on the scale, not because of the gain, but how little it was. I had gotten on the scale a couple of weeks ago, right after the time of my birthday where I went out for every meal for probably a week, and then it had said I was 314. I was scared to death that it crept up farther and that when I stepped on it this time, I would have gained every last pound that I had lost. That’s not the case, I am proud to say. It’s a real wake up call, and it’s definitely motivated me to keep up my calorie counting, and slowly get back into a steady workout routine so that I can get back to the 298, and go even farther. I’ve done it before, there is nothing that can stop me from doing it again.

Maybe I’ll gain one week, and maybe I wont, maybe I’ll lose for a couple of weeks. It doesn’t matter how I get there. It’s continuously getting back on track and not letting the upsets of yesterday effect the today, the present, the now. We all fall off the horse. Some people jump up and get back on, others lay there for a while before getting on, and others get up and walk away. It doesn’t matter. As long as you get back up on that horse, and not walk away, you are not a failure, you are not giving up. I feel that I was laying down on the ground for a while these past couple of months, and I realized that I needed to get back up on the horse. I love horses, and horseback riding, so why should one little upset prevent me from never doing that again? I love my life, why should I let one upset ruin it, and quite possibly lead to death because of complications of my health in being this overweight.

Yesterday I also decided to try my hand at black bean burgers, which I haven’t ever made for myself but have ate plenty at restaurants. I had a recipe in my Spingpad (which I have been wanting to write up a post about, I might do later on) that I wanted to try from the time I saw the post over at Eating Bird Food come up in my reader.

Oh. My. God. They are amazing! So easy, so cheap, very little time and ingredients and fantastic. The recipe can be found here. Seriously, go try them. I’m having them for lunch. Love them! I know what I’ll be living off of this summer while in VA for my summerstock gig.

Smoothie Queen

I am EXTREMELY jealous of everyone who is currently at CES right now. Anyone want to sponsor me next year? I’ll totally hit up some awesome booths, take video and do interviews 🙂 It’s definitely on my list of things to do in my life (along with go to Greece, go the Olympics, and attend Sundance, it will happen!)

I just made the BEST smoothie I think I’ve ever made. I am in love with this new personal blender that I got for Christmas, and have been using it almost nonstop!

Here’s my ultimate recipe so I never forget it

1 cup 2% milk

1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed fruit

1 tbsp of ground flax

1 packet of Truvia no calorie sweetener

~264 Calories

Mix it up, drink, and be happy with life. I’ll probably end up using this basic formula but probably tweeking it depending upon what I have available. I usually only have soymilk in the house, but had a package of boxed mac and cheese that required the real stuff so that’s what I used. I use frozen because I don’t have to use ice, and for convenience. I sometimes don’t end up having fresh fruit all the time, and sometimes I don’t go through all of it before it goes bad and it’s a huge waste of money. My mix contained pineapples, grapes, strawberries, and peaches. It made a lot, 16-17 ounces in total. It’s super thick, I had to eat most of it with a spoon but that’s how I like it!

Yum!