April Foodie Pen-Pal Reveal

This month, I was lucky enough to get paired with Stephanie in Sonoma County, California. She filled my box with lots of local items (per my request) and she really did a great job picking out a nice variety!

Unfortunately, I’m a bad blogger sometimes and I didn’t think about getting a picture of everything until it was already opened or eaten.

I do have one picture for you though!

First, I’ll tell you everything I received in my box!

April FPP Box

1 peanut butter filled chocolate
Pure Empower Mint Tea
Pinot Grigio wine salami
Goat Rock Roast coffee
Chili Gods hot sauce
Hippie Dust popcorn
Sweet potato Pop-chips
Coupons for free Amy’s soup

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(**Everything isn’t pictured**)

The peanut butter filled chocolate got eaten right away. As in, I opened the box while driving in the car (I was a passenger, I promise!) and devoured the chocolate. It was tasty!

The sweet potato chips were next. Pop-chips don’t last long at my house, they’re just so good.

I opened the popcorn next. I was super excited about the popcorn. It was called Hippie Dust and the flavoring on it was nutritional yeast. I’ve seen the nutritional yeast used in vegan recipes before. I’m pretty sure they used it to give it a cheese-like flavor. I thought the popcorn tasted earthy and almost like a powdered mushroom flavor. I absolutely loved it, obviously. 🙂

I haven’t tried the tea yet, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. Mint tea is one of my favorites, but it just hasn’t been cold enough for tea right now.

The hot sauce was a great addition to my lunch quesadillas I’ve been making for lunch all week. I’ll have to blog about my quesadillas soon and tell you all about them!

I brought the coffee over to my dads because even though I drink coffee, I only drink it out and I don’t have a coffee maker. But that’s ok because my dad and step-mom love coffee so I was more than happy to share! We thought the coffee was great. It had a nice strong flavor. Yum!

I also brought the salami over to my dads to taste. We all loved it. It had a nice sorta wine flavor to it, and it’d be great with some cheese and crackers for a snack.

I am excited to use the Amy’s coupons for free soup. Stephanie, my FPP, works for Amy’s so I thought that was really cool that she sent me some coupons. I went to our new Spouts grocery store over the weekend and saw that they had quite a few different Amy’s soups there, so I’ll be bringing my coupons there for sure!

Thanks Stephanie for my amazing box!

What a great FPP month! I always love receiving my box of goodies every month. It’s like Christmas, only with food. If this sounds like fun to you, go sign up here!

The cool thing is, you can try it out once, or keep signing up every month. It’s up to you! If you’re a foodie, I highly recommend it!

Until next month FPP…

The Veggie Burger’s New Dream: Be More Like Meat

Veggie burgers are quickly becoming one of my new favorite things. They’re fairly simple to make and can be customized to include ingredients you like or prefer.

The restaurant Mooyah has a great veggie burger which I love to eat as an iceburger (wrapped in iceberg lettuce instead of a bun). This “burger” is becoming one of my new favorite things to eat when I go out for lunch or dinner.

So last Sunday, I was excited when the BFF mentioned how she had a Greek black bean veggie burger recipe she’d been wanting to try. As you know, we cook together every other Sunday and we always try a new recipe or two that we’ve never made.

Last weekend, we chose to make the Greek veggie burgers and zucchini fritters.

I’ll start with the zucchini fritters because they’re just so easy to make and very tasty! Before I tell you how to make them, I must give credit to Anna. She made these a few weekends ago for my sisters baby shower and she told me the recipe, and I knew I’d be making them myself because they were yummy and easy! Thanks Anna!

Ok, here’s the recipe!

Zucchini Fritters

2 cups grated zucchini (2 zucchinis)
1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup chopped white onion
2 eggs

First, you grate the zucchini and then put it into a colander and salt it to release the liquid. Don’t salt it too much like I did or your fritters will be too salty. After about 10 minutes, ring out the liquid from the zucchini.

Put the zucchini into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.

Use a tablespoon to scoop out the fritters and place onto a sheet pan that’s been covered with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

I believe we baked them at 375 or 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. You’ll know when they’re done because they’ll be firm and golden brown.

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While I was making these fritters, Megan was hard at work making the Greek veggie burgers. Here’s the recipe!

Greek Black Bean Veggie Burgers

2 and 3/4 cup canned black beans, divided
1 and 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup hummus
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 to 1 tsp Greek seasoning

Put 2 cups of the black beans in a food processor and process until pretty smooth. Scoop out the puréed black beans and put into a large mixing bowl. Add the quinoa, hummus, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, and Greek seasoning and stir until combined.

Next, stir in the remaining black beans that you didn’t purée and the crumbled feta cheese. Form into burger patties (makes 6-8) and then bake in a 400 degree oven for 18 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

Megan opted to add in chopped up kalamata olives to hers, which made it even more Greek. I don’t like olives, so I had mine without.

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I topped mine with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and just a smear of grey poupon. Sorry I don’t have an “after” picture. I was hungry and dug into my burger quickly. It sure was good though!

I thought this recipe was great. I loved how the burgers looked like meat in the bowl once everything was mixed together. My only suggestion is that next time I’d use more seasoning. I think I’d either increase the amount of the Greek seasoning or add in some fresh herbs such as oregano or cilantro to enhance the flavor.

I love our Sunday night get togethers! It’s so much fun trying out new recipes often. If any of you have a recipe to share that Megan and I could make, send it to me! We’re always looking for new ideas!

Hope you enjoyed!

Lemon Poppyseed Overnight Oats Recipe

I am not sure when my love for lemon poppyseed came about. I DO know that I remember when I was younger, my sister and I would get to pick out which flavor of muffin mix we wanted when we’d go to the grocery store. I think my sister almost always picked out the strawberry one. I of course didn’t want to get the same flavor, so I got either chocolate or lemon poppyseed.

I loved the lemon poppyseed muffins because..
1. They tasted like lemon without the sourness. And 2. I heard that if you ate a lot of them, they’d make you show up as positive on a drug test.

To a young middle school girl like myself, I thought that was pretty cool. 🙂

Now, I like the lemon poppyseed combo just for the fact that it’s delicious! I think just about anything can be flavored lemon poppyseed. I actually remember one of the first recipes I made off of Pinterest was lemon poppyseed pancakes. Seriously yum!

With all of that being said, I created lemon poppyseed overnight oats. I tend to find one thing I love, then eat it everyday for a few days, and then forget about it until I crave it again. That’s exactly what I did with this overnight oats recipe. I had it for a week straight for breakfast a couple months ago, then forgot about it. Now, I’m bringing it back and lucky for you, I’m sharing my recipe with you!

Lemon Poppyseed Overnight Oats

1/4 cup steel cut oats
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or skim milk)
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs poppy-seeds (I like mine really poppy’d)
1 tbs PB2
1/2 tsp lemon extract (or more if needed)
2 squirts stevia extract (or use sweetener of choice to sweeten to your liking)

Mix everything together in a bowl or cup. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir well in the morning. Add more milk if it’s too thick for you. Then eat.

I think the secret ingredient in this recipe is the PB2. It doesn’t really give it a peanut butter flavor, but it ties everything together and I think gives it that “muffin-like” feel that I associate with lemon poppyseed.

This recipe comes in at 300 calories, or 320 if you use skim milk instead of almond milk. It’s a perfect breakfast for me, especially since its so easy to grab and go. I hope you’ll try this recipe out for yourself!

So Close To The 200’s…I Can Smell It!

I haven’t given a weight update in a while I’m sure, so I thought I better do that today.

My weight loss hasn’t been the best the past couple of weeks due to my traveling and bad food choices. I weighed 311.9 pounds a few weekends ago before I left for Dallas the first time. When I got back, I gained a little weight. I think I got back up to 318.

My weight today is 310.6 pounds.

I realized I’ve been getting lazy. I’m not putting myself down, I just generally have been lazy with my healthy eating. I find that on weekends, I tend to be a little more lax on eating healthy. I’m not going out and eating fried foods and burgers, but I’ll have sauces on my foods or I’ll eat out at restaurants where I’m not sure how many calories are in my food, or I’ll eat less vegetables on the weekends, stuff like that.

I’ve also found that I’m not measuring foods out. I guesstimate. Guesstimating doesn’t always work, so to solve this, I went out and got some new measuring cups and spoons (mine slowly disappeared over time, I think the dishwasher ate them!).

I can’t get too too confident with my eating, because even though I’ve lost 61 pounds, I’ve still got a lot more to lose. I really want to get out of the 300’s, so it’s back to being strict with my eating!

Here’s my plan:

1. No more sushi on Friday nights. Sushi doesn’t have enough any vegetables.

2. When I eat out, I’m going to actually calculate the calories of the meal and not assume.

3. Drink less diet pop. This one’s going to be hard.

4. Measure out my foods so I know exactly how much I’m eating.

5. Keep up the exercising.

I think if I follow these steps, I’ll quickly reach my goal to be out of the 300’s.

Wish me luck!

Sweating Rainbows

The Tulsa Color Run was this past weekend, and it was my first time participating. If you remember from my goal list, I had on there to complete The Color Run, and I’m glad to say, I did!

It took about an hour to finish, and I was definitely happy with that time. I got my mom to do the 5k with me and I’m glad it was something we got to do together!

If you’re not familiar with The Color Run, it’s basically a fun 5k where you start out wearing a white shirt (and some pants of course!) and along the way, you get covered in colored powders. In the end, you end up looking like a rainbow. 🙂

The race was great because about 5 times along the way, they had the color stations set up. It gave you something to look forward to so that the exercise part didn’t seem so bad.

Here are some before pictures…

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Like I said earlier, there were color stations along the way. At one of them, I told my mom that we should take a pictures, so we stopped over by the “orange” sign to take a couple pictures. As I was pulling out my phone from the ziplock baggy, my debit card flew out of the ziplock and bounced down into the rain drain on the side of the road. I’ll forever remember the color run for the fact that I lost my debit card down the drain!

Here I am right after it happened. I’m pretty sure I was annoyed…haha.

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I quickly forgot about the debit card and enjoyed the rest of the race with my mom. After we finished, we met up with Megan and took some after pictures.

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And then we refueled with some KIND nut bars they were handing out after the race. Yum! I had the dark chocolate nuts and sea salt one. Delicious!

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After the race, I of course took a long shower, but I had blue coloring in my ears for 2 days after! It was a really fun race though and I’m already looking forward to The Color Run-2014!

I’m setting a goal right now to be able to run (not walk!) The Color Run next year. We shall see…

I’ve Died And Gone To Food Truck Heaven

I have an obsession with food trucks. There’s something about serving delicious foods out of a tiny truck that excites me.

The whole food truck phenomenon has really caught on in some larger cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, etc. I had high hopes that Tulsa might eventually join the bandwagon of food trucks. You wouldn’t believe how surprised/excited I was to come across a Groupon one day for a food truck in Tulsa. Unfortunately, the gourmet food truck closed before I had the chance to use my Groupon. I was totally bummed out.

Luckily, last weekend, I was able to get my food truck fill!

While in Dallas this past weekend, my mom and I had Sunday morning/afternoon to do whatever we wanted to do in Dallas before we headed back to Tulsa. My sister had told us about this park called Klyde Warren Park and had mentioned how they had food trucks there. My response? “You had me at food trucks!”

My mom and I decided to go check out the park and eat at the food trucks for lunch. This park ended up being the best park I’ve ever been to! It wasn’t great just because of the food trucks, but also for the park itself. There was a dog park, lots of different play areas for kids, a really cool tree house, in-ground water fountains, a garden area, an area with books, toys, and a piano, a large open area for picnics or games, a small stage for events, etc. There was tons of seating in the form of benches and lots of tables and chairs. Here are some pictures I took of the park, although I don’t think these pictures do the park justice.

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After we walked around the park, we scoped out the line of food trucks. There was a good variety of options to choose from. They had a sushi truck, a cupcake truck, a Vietnamese fusion truck, a New York deli sandwich truck, a grilled cheese truck, a make your own ice cream sandwich flavor truck, etc.

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My mom and I both ended up choosing the Vietnamese fusion truck. Here’s their menu.

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My mom got the banh mi with pork and I got the tacos, one with chicken and one with pork.

Not sure what a banh mi is? Here’s the breakdown for you!

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I was excited she got the banh mi because I’ve always wanted to try one. We decided to share our meals, so I got 1/2 of a banh mi sandwich and one pork taco.

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The taco and banh mi sandwich had the same toppings so its hard to tell them apart in that picture. I was actually afraid I wouldn’t like the pickled carrot and daikon on the banh mi so that’s why I didn’t order it. (Some things just aren’t meant to be pickled, ya know?) The tacos ended up coming with the same pickled vegetables, so I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like it.

I actually didn’t like it……..I loved it! The pickled carrot and daikon ended up being the best part! It was slightly sweet, still crunchy, and delicious. The pork on both were super flavorful, even though they were different flavors of pork (one was BBQ pork and the other was honey grilled pork).

If I’m being honest, I loved the taco more than the banh mi. I just prefer the corn tortilla instead of the baguette bread. My mom felt the same way, but they were still both incredibly delicious.

After we finished our Vietnamese food, I decided I HAD to try the ice cream from the food truck where you could make your own ice cream sandwich flavor combinations. They had some unique ice cream flavors and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try one.

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Once I saw the fried chicken and waffles ice cream, I stopped reading the other flavors. It wasn’t until now that I realized they had beer and pretzels or mango with saffron or brown butter with candied bacon ice cream flavors.

Of course I had to try the fried chicken and waffles!

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Doesn’t look like fried chicken and waffles…

And definitely didn’t taste like fried chicken and waffles…

Don’t get me wrong, it was great ice cream, but I guess my expectations were a little high. I was hoping to see chunks of fried chicken in there! It was more like a buttery ice cream with a nice caramel flavor to it. Eh, I think they should change the name though, it’s deceiving. 🙂

The last food truck I visited was the cupcake food truck. I saw that they had an Oreo cupcake and I knew I had to get one for the BFF. She recently made an Oreo cookie filling dip so I knew that the Oreo cupcake was meant for her. Since they were mini, I got her 3 different flavors. I forgot to take any pictures of the cupcakes but she said they were all yummy!

I had such a great time at the Klyde Warren Park and an even better time getting to FINALLY eat from a food truck! I can’t wait to visit other food trucks in the future. I think I’ll make it a goal to try out a new food truck in the next city I go to!

Completely unrelated, but I took a cute picture of myself in the hotel in Dallas so I thought I’d share!

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Hope everyone’s week has been great!

Being Single: My Honest Confession

As I was driving home tonight from work, I was talking on the phone to an old friend. He was telling me about his relationship problems and was needing some advice. I think I give pretty good advice and I love trying to help others with an unbiased opinion.

After we hung up, I had this feeling that I was glad I wasn’t in a relationship and that I don’t have to worry about having those petty disagreements or arguments with a boyfriend or spouse. I instantly felt completely content with being single. Then, I wondered, “Why am I ok with being single? Have I shut myself off so completely in the sense that I don’t need or want love or companionship ever in my life?”

After a few moments, I flashed forward and pictured that singleness in future years. All of these thoughts started passing through my mind. Will I still be single in my 40’s? Am I really ok with being single and not having children? Will I always live by myself in a one bedroom apartment? The future of my singleness looked incredibly scary.

Once I got home from work, the thoughts subsided and I went into my usual evening routine. I heated up dinner, I ate dinner, I walked my dog, and I started watching a little tv.

My thoughts from earlier crept back up into my mind as I started watching a tv show about falling in love. Everybody is looking for love. I feel like its in our DNA. We all yearn for that partner in life, that companion.

I’ve heard it said to me a million times that you don’t need a guy to make you happy. I realize that, I don’t. But I want so badly to have someone to go to the movies with, to go out to dinner with, to make me soup when I’m sick, to travel with, to start a family with, etc. I’m not looking for a guy to make me happy, I’m looking for a guy to experience life with.

Doing everything by yourself gets lonely sometimes. I used to have the hardest time dealing with being alone. I couldn’t handle it. This past year I’ve grown a lot and became much more independent and much happier than I’ve been in years past. But every now and then, sad days like today creep up and put things into perspective.