Orange Ginger Vinaigrette

Happy Friday before Christmas!

We got soooo much snow here in Salt Lake! I bet we got 8″ at our house! Definitely feels Christmas-y 🙂

This is yet another recipe I’ve been obsessed with for the last month or two but am just now getting around to posting. It’s seriously so good, so easy to make and so cheap! There’s a good chance you have all these ingredients laying around the house already. No blender needed even. Just a spoon and a cup. Over the weekend I made a batch of it but then I smacked the cup with a giant bok choy and spilled it all over the kitchen counter.

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I would have been upset if it wasn’t so easy and cheap to make.

I’ve been eating this dressing over a huge bowl of raw spinach and tofu for dinner every night. But then I got wild and decided to steam my spinach and then topped the steamed spinach with tofu and this dressing and GUESS WHAT?! It’s amazing warm too! I actually don’t know if I like it more warm or cold, all I know is I’m not getting sick of it. Give it a try over a fresh green salad or some steamed greens, rice or noodles.

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Orange Ginger Vinaigrette Dressing

2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1.5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or cup, stir until incorporated. It could take several minutes for everything to combine. Store in the refrigerator. The olive oil will get hard in the refrigerator so let it sit out for a few minutes before using it, or heat it up in the microwave for a couple seconds.

Here’s Lilly looking pensive…

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Enjoy the weekend!

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Curried Spinach Dip/Sauce

I have a new food obsession. I am in love with this dip/sauce that is so amazing I could eat it by the spoonful! And the best part is, I could eat the entire batch and I wouldn’t hate myself in the morning because it’s mostly just spinach, almonds an onion and some spices! The warming spices are heavenly, especially this time of year. And turmeric is supposed to be super good for you!

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I’m a snacker by nature. I get home from work and I just want snacks. The problem is, I’ll eat anything in sight that is easy to get to which means usually I will eat chips if they are readily available. Or chocolate chips. So I wanted to make something as easy to shovel in my mouth as chips but healthier than chips. But I also wanted something fairly low calorie because I can also get out of control eating…anything. So about a week ago I made this recipe thinking it would be a good healthy snack I could dip baby carrots in. It’s true, it can be used as a dip. But then I got wild and put it on my rice and tofu AND IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!

I think this dip is a great alternative to hummus. Beans can be pretty harsh on the ol’ digestive track. Well ditch the beans and get with the greens, haha!!

I think you should make this and take it to a holiday party. And if you do take it to a holiday party, invite me so I can come and eat it all! I actually have a party to go to this week but I’m not bringing this because I know someone else is bringing a real spinach dip that has cheese in it and I know this would sit next to it, neon green and cheese-less and nobody would touch it and I would feel sad for my dip. That was kind of depressing. Or maybe the truth is, I just don’t want to share.

Have you ever seen a dog that kneels?

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Lilly does! When we scratch her back she “takes a knee”. She is such a goof.

Curried Spinach Dip and Sauce

6 cups/handfuls raw spinach
1 small to medium yellow onion
2/3 cup raw almonds
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 teaspoons nutritional yeast (probably optional)
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat a saucepan over medium heat with about a teaspoon of the olive oil. Coarsely chop the yellow onion (it will get pureed later) and add it to the saucepan. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for a few minutes while you get all the other ingredients together. While the onion and garlic cook, add the almonds, spinach and lemon juice to a food processor. The spinach might not all fit at first and that’s ok.
Once the onion looks soft add all the spices including the nutritional yeast to the saucepan and sauté for another 30 seconds to a minute. Transfer the hot mixture to the food processor, add the remaining olive oil and puree until smooth, adding more spinach as the mixture breaks down.

I personally like this dip best warm. It’s good cold too but I like warm food. Use it as a veggie dip or spoon it over rice, tofu and veggies.

I hope you enjoy it!

Have a wonderful week!

Classic Vegan Chili

It’s SO cold in Utah right now! The other morning when I woke up it was -1˚ F. I can’t remember it getting that cold here in quite a few years. Of course I can’t really complain because I heard parts of Montana were getting down to -35˚F! Ok, I can’t even imagine what that would feel like and I don’t want to know, haha!

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When it’s cold out, hot soup is just a natural. Plus it’s such a good way to sneak loads of veggies into your diet (or sneak veggies into the diet of veggie haters). Chop vegetables up small and you won’t even notice they’re there. Soup is skinny food too! I ate this chili every day for 7 days straight and now that I’m thinking about it, I want to make it again. It’s super easy too as long as you have a food processor.

Lilly is not a huge fan of the cold. I tell ya, she doesn’t dilly dally outside when it’s 7 degrees. She just goes out, takes care of business and comes right back in! That’s been the nice part about the cold because usually she wants to mosey around forever while I stand there and watch.

Lilly wears a little sweater now that it’s cold. She pretty much just stays huddled up in her bed. Her ear is so much better too! I can tell she feels better because she wakes me up at 5am every day just so she can say hi. Lilly’s way of saying hi is to squeal and throw herself on you while snorting the whole time. I swear, I got the most hyper-active pug on the planet. Note: hyperactivity not shown below.

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Oh, and I start physical therapy for my leg/ankle this week! It’s already been 8 weeks since I ruptured that tendon. I still have to wear my boot for 3 more weeks (that’s when I see my Dr) but the end is finally in sight! I was really anxious about not being able to workout for 11 weeks. I thought I would go crazy and I was really afraid I’d gain a bunch of weight. But gladly, neither of those happened. I’ve taken the last 8 weeks to work on my flexibility and catch up on reading. So even though I haven’t been able to work out, I feel like I have definitely improved other aspects of my wellness which I have been extremely thankful for.

Alright, here’s that soup recipe! I got this recipe out of my “Appetite for Reduction” cookbook. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for ways to eat more vegetables, vegan or not, it’s a great cookbook. I modified this recipe slightly to fit ingredients I had on hand. Feel free to substitute any vegetable you like!

Classic Vegan Chili

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, diced small
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, diced small
1 pound zucchini, cut into medium-small dice
1 can corn
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
several pinches of ground pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I run these through the food processor first so there are NO chunks of tomato)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice

Preheat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and bell pepper in oil until translucent, 4-7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
Mix in the carrot, zucchini and corn. Add the vegetable broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.
Cover the pot and bring to a boil, keeping a close eye on it. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, and cilantro, cover and cook for about 10 more minutes. Mix in the brown sugar and lime juice. Taste for salt and seasoning and serve over some cooked quinoa (optional).

The author of this recipe was nice enough to include nutrition facts for this recipe. One serving is 1/6 the recipe and doesn’t include the quinoa if you choose to serve it that way.

Calories: 200
Fat: 2.5g
Carb: 38g
Fiber: 12g
Sugars: 10g
Protein: 11g

Have a great week! I’m behind on blogging as usual but I have tons of good stuff to post, I promise!

Happy Cyber Monday

Happy Cyber Monday!

I had a lovely 5 day vacation at home and guess what I did?! I made that bracelet I wanted to make! My friend had to hold my hand through the craft store, but she helped me pick out all the supplies and then sent me a how-to video so I really had no excuses!

Here is the one I wanted to copy:

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And here’s the one I made:

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Pretty good huh?! I am pretty proud. All the materials did cost about $36, BUT I have a bunch of material left over so if I made another one it would only be about $15. Here is the video I followed.

I also made some mouthwash over the break. I will report on that later. I feel like such a weirdo for typing that line…
We also watched a lot of Dexter. We just have one more season to watch. That show is so suspenseful I can hardly take it! But I love it.

Alright, here are some long overdue Lilly photos and stories!

A couple months ago Lilly got really sick with what looked like a stroke, but the vet (not her normal vet) told us it was “old dog vestibular syndrome” and told us it would go away on its own in about 3 weeks and to just wait it out. It’s some inner ear condition that causes the dog to be extremely dizzy and off balance. Lilly had an ear infection about 3 weeks prior to this old dog syndrome diagnosis, but the vet didn’t think they were related. So we waited a couple weeks and she wasn’t getting better, in fact it looked like she had a really bad ear infection. SO, we took her back to the vet (to her regular doc) and he diagnosed her with a raging ear infection and started her on antibiotics and ear drops. Antibiotics and ear drops didn’t even touch this ear infection so he put her on even stronger antibiotics which STILL did nothing. The good news is that while all this was going on Lilly wasn’t bothered in the least. She seemed to feel fine, she just had a tilted head and poor balance. Then about a week ago the vet prescribed some different ear drops and FINALLY her ear is doing MUCH better! She still has a tilted head and poor balance but I’m hoping she will equalize soon and get her land legs back.

So it’s great news, she’s just as cute and funny as ever, here are some pictures and videos!

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A couple weeks ago my husband was out of town and Lilly was constantly going over to the stairs to look for him. So sweet. We have this curtain hung up to keep the draft from the lower level out.

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Here’s what it looks like on the other end:

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Looking up the stairs for him:

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She won’t do stairs any more. I think it’s too hard with her poor balance. Except sometimes she will walk up the stairs when we aren’t looking. But if we are watching she pretends like she is scared. She’s such a faker.

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Here’s a really silly video montage of Lilly which looks more like an “in memory of” kind of video, but I promise she’s fine.

And last, here is a video of Lilly falling asleep in the bathtub! She likes to sit right under the faucet and then lay down as much as possible. I have to keep an eye on her!


Ok, find some good cyber deals today! I’ll be back with some healthy recipes!