Friday, August 27, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner!

Last night I came home from my 2-hour derby practice STARVING. I stumbled into my apartment like a zombie searching for brains....MUST...EAT...FOOD! Upon looking into my fridge, I realized I had to make something, 'cause there was nothing quick to just zap.

Suddenly it dawned on me that I had all of the ingredients to make huevos rancheros! YEAH!! So I cooked up some breakfast for dinner.

First I sauteed up some purple pepper strips. I got this purple pepper (it's as fun to say as it is to type!) at the Farmer's market last weekend. Kind of a cross between a red and a green pepper, and really freakin' yummers.

Next, I took some refried beans (Amy's Organic brand) and smeared 'em on a few corn tortillas. These babies I scored at the Farmer's Market too - they're chipotle flavored!

Next, I topped them with some enchilada sauce (just canned stuff), and zapped everything in the microwave for a minute or so. Don't you just love this step-by-step photo documentary?

I thinly sliced a tomato, then topped everything with the peppers.... lookin' good already, eh?

Well, huevos are eggs, so you gotta have those! These are cage-free organic eggs, and I seasoned them with a little salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin.

I cut up a 1/4 an avocado, and sprinkled the pieces over top. I cooked the eggs over-easy, FYI...

Lastly, get yerself some good green chili. I LOVE green chili SOOooooo much! This is a local brand I got from Whole Foods. Just so you know, the "medium" is my version of "spicy" - as a warning!

This is my last photo dumping the chili on top.... I immediately dove in after that. I plopped down on the couch and gorged myself on the Mexican-style goodness, while watching the last of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 1). Yes, I'm a nerd and I love it that way.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Yep, Another Farmer's Market post... (and an awesome salad recipe!)

So big surprise! I went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday! Got to get in all my goodies before the season is over... ugh - can't believe fall is coming already! I do adore fall, but I will surely miss the wonders of the Farmer's Market.

I had to stop at my favorite place for an arepas (pictured above) - my new favorite thing EVER! Not only are they gluten-free (yippee!), but they are scrumptious to boot. I promised them that I'd pitch them on my blog, so here goes! They're called El Caribe, and everyone who works the booth is super awesome. My favorite is their Queso w/ Sweet Plantains... I just love the salty/sweet combo. And the sauce is the best friggin' thing ever. I lika da sauce. :) They let me know that they just got a truck too so that they can drive around Denver & serve up their delicious creations all over the place. Best. News. Ever!

I always love how my fridge looks after hitting the Farmer's Market!! So full of color and beautiful healthy foods. I never know where to begin!

There was a lady at Whole Foods giving out samples of this Edamame dip, and I was shocked at how yummy it was. Kinda like hummus but different. OK that doesn't make sense, but trust me it was creamy and delicious, and perfect with carrot sticks.

Treated myself to the olive bar too, which I NEVER do because it's $9.99/pound! Yikes. But it was a wonderful treat - those bright green olives are my favorites. They're so creamy and decadent.

NOTHING beats Farmer's Market peaches. Perfect!

I made a new salad creation with some of my purchases too! It's the most delicious thing ever, and a nice twist if you're getting bored with your usual salads. Really yummy, and really easy to make (especially since I used store-bought dressing). :)

Not Your Boring Old Salad

Farmer's Market Mixed Greens
Asparagus spears (frozen or fresh)
Swiss cheese (cut into cubes or shredded)
Unsalted sunflower seeds (unshelled)
Dried cranberries
Annie's Papaya Poppyseed dressing
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp Butter


Roughly chop asparagus, and cook in butter in a large pan on medium-high heat until tender. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside & let cool.

Meanwhile, toss together the rest of the ingredients (except dressing) in a large bowl (eyeball the amounts - use more or less of whatever you like the best)! Add asparagus, and serve with Annie's Papaya Poppyseed dressing. A perfect balance of sweet / tart / savory / salty. YUM!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Breakfast & Biking!

Mmmm breakfast. My favorite meal of the day. Yesterday morning I had some Kona Coffee (hazelnut flavor - yum), scrambled up an egg & topped it with salsa, and a slice of my mom's zucchini bread. (She said she had to make it because she found a 3-foot long zucchini in the garden. 1-foot of which she gave to me. I may have to make some bread myself!)

I don't have coffee every morning, but yesterday it just felt right.

Over the weekend I went on a bike ride to enjoy the last of the glorious summer days that we have left this year! Amy (my awesome neighbor) came with me, and we had a lovely time.

I love feeling the wind in my (pink) hair.

Amy - such a ham! Love her!
Oh, and my sunglasses matched her bike. I totally didn't plan that though. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lakeside Amusement Park - what a "Wild Ride"!

Last week I finished a ridiculously fun, witty, and super cute book called "Wild Ride" by Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer.

I love all of Jennifer Crusie's books - she usually writes clever romance novels (for current-day gals), that I enjoy taking to the beach with me. This time I needed something easy and fun to dive into while between Book Club books, and this one definitely fit the bill! It was about a group of characters living in an amusement park that had to keep the world safe... by keeping 5 demons locked up in separate areas of the park. I won't give away more than that, but it's full of romance, adventure, quick comebacks, excitement.... I couldn't put it down.

Then yesterday, one of my favorite friends ever, Jesse, invited me to go to Lakeside Amusement Park - right here in Denver! I couldn't turn him down, so I skipped derby practice to see what all the hooplah was.

Turns out that the park is a wonderful slice of history - opened in 1908, and containing the world-famous "Cyclone" roller coaster. Needless to say, it was the first ride we went on!

On our way up the hill... Jesse tells me "You'd better put your camera away - you're gonna drop it!"

To which I reply "No way, man - it'll be fine! It's just an old coaster, and I want to take a picture of the sunset...... oh.... my.... AHHHHHH!!!!" :)

Yah, it was WAY scarier than I thought it was going to be - partly because I thought it was going to fall apart and send us careening to earth at any moment. But it didn't.

The park was so beautiful. It definitely needs some love from a wealthy investor, but the joy and nostalgia is still there, and people still come to reminisce, entertain their kids, and have some good-old fashioned fun.

It was the perfect place to go to after reading "Wild Ride"! Maybe I should make a theme of it! Read a book, then do something related to the book. Hmmm.... I think I have something there!

Jesse - so cute! He was my ride-buddy for the evening, and a great one at that.

I wish my camera hadn't run out of juice before the sun went down.... everything looked so awesome lit up in neon lights!

That's the original ferris wheel on the left... I think it's so cool that it's still there!

Gettin' ready to get on the "Whip"...

I totally almost lost my camera to get these shots, but they were definitely worth it! Hilarious!

We went on the bumper cars, the bumper boats, played skee-ball, found our way through the Crystal Palace maze, ate pizza & soft serve ice cream.... it was like my childhood relived! I could not wipe the smile off my face the entire time we were there. Case in point:

Oh, and pretty much the ONLY ride I refused to go on that night (but that Jesse was brave enough to attempt)... I know I would've thrown up. Maybe 15 years ago, but not anymore!

It was probably one of the best evenings of my adult life. Good thing I can still act like a kid every now & then!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hyperbole = Hilarious Blog

I just discovered this blog a few days ago from a friend that posted about it on Facebook. I have been laughing my butt off ever since!

She basically tells real (somewhat exaggerated for the sake of humor) stories about her life, with funny little crappy illustrations to go along with it. If you like dark / witty / ridiculous / well-written / sarcastic humor, this is the place for you. I have literally been "LOL-ing" (sorry, but it's true) ALL day!

Here are a couple of snip-its from the page (and her "Expectations VS Reality" post):

Here's one of her videos too - oh my gosh - so funny!!

Keep in mind, her descriptions make up half the hilarity. I hope I'm not blowing it completely out of proportion, but whatever!

All images from Hyperbole and a Half blog - all rights are hers, they ain't mine!

OH, and just for some more fun (and more laughs), do yourself a favor and watch some Nick Swardson stand-up comedy on YouTube. Click HERE to watch the first section of his Comedy Central Special ("Seriously, Who Farted"). If you like the first, watch the rest. Trust me, you'll be giggling at work enough to make your boss take notice (uhm, as I did), so you may want to watch 'em at home! :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Elvis Perkins - Beautiful, Quirky, Awesome Music

I've been listening to Elvis Perkins all day, so I had to share. Here is one of my favorite songs by him - I love how everyone comes in little by little to add to the tune!

I would highly recommend going out & getting all of his music - you won't be disappointed. It's really lovely, quirky, and clever - with swooping melodies, creative harmonies, & strange instruments. If that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will! :)

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Last Night's Dinner

Last night while I was on the phone to my momma, I described what I was having for dinner. "You're so darn healthy", she says "I try to be creative like that, but I always end up with chicken breast and a side of broccoli!"

I told her, that it don't take much to create a healthy / yummy / unique meal! :)

For this one I cooked up a Vegetarian Spicy Black Bean burger (I think it was Morningstar brand), plopped it on top of an Ezekiel (gluten-free) English Muffin spread with low-fat cream cheese, a dollop of salsa, fresh sliced tomato - and topped it with a lettuce leaf (since I'm not big on buns for both sides - it's just too much darn bread. You can't taste the best part - the FILLING)!

Next, I sliced up a 1/4 of an avocado, and drizzled it with a little BRAGGs for seasoning. My other side was leftover mashed potatoes & cauliflower that I'd made a few nights ago (which although came out rather clumpy, was very yummy).

It was all perfectly filling, and a great meal after a tough derby practice!

Beth's Quickie Smashed Potatoes & Cauliflower
- 1 small head of cauliflower (broken into florets)
- 3-4 small red potatoes (cut into pieces)
- low-fat cream cheese (or Tofutti cream cheese for vegans)
- unsalted butter (or fake butter for vegans)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
- salt/pepper

Makes about 4 servings

Boil water in a large pot, and dump in the cauliflower & potatoes. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until everything is tender. Drain & return to pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, and start mashing the crap outta it to combine. Stir well, and serve hot! It's OK if it's all a bit lumpy - I kinda like it that way. This is great as leftovers for the week too!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Amazing how things change... just a week!!

WOW - remember that funk I was in on
Monday? Today has totally turned things around. I've had one of the best days ever, and it's only 4:00pm!

- Breakfast with one of my favorite people ever, Nikki, at Watercourse.
- Running into 2 more of my favorite people, Geneva & Bill at Watercourse!
- Having lunch with yet ANOTHER one of my favorite people, Katy, at Illegal Pete's.
- Finding out I'm getting a brand-spankin' new pair of skates for a ridiculously cheap price (that actually FIT me!) See the picture below for the reason why I need a new pair of skates in the
first place... that's what happened at practice last night....whoops!

- Finding out I've been moved up to KILL SCOUT status with the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (basically meaning I've paid my Newbie dues, and showed my devotion to the league. Newbie no more! WOOT!)
- Knowing that tonight I get to have dinner with all of my amazing derby girls then dance the night away to a live band....

Sigh, nothing makes things better like all of that!! Wowza. I'm ready to take on the world, a baby step at a time. :) It's so comforting to know that no matter how shitty things seem, things can turnaround a lot faster you'd think.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Fun Farmer's Market Treasures

I got almost all of this at the Farmer's Market over the weekend (the Coconut Milk, energy bars, and Braggs I got at Whole Foods), and I just LOVE looking over all of the goodies! I got all of it for right around $45, which ain't too shabby considering it'll all last me a good 2 weeks (although I may need to grab some more fruit before next week...)

And look how gorgeous these carrots are!! They were a great addition to my curry.

Derby takes a lot outta me... and sometimes I forget to bring enough food with me to work to make it through a 2 hour tough-as-nails practice. This guy is one of my experiments - it's made with Quinoa (great stuff), and it's local! I haven't eaten it yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Mmmmm foooooood. And may I repeat.... who needs meat?? :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Super yummy (and EASY) Curry Recipe

I'm feeling a lot better today - still not 100%, but getting there!

Over the weekend I bought a bunch of veggies at the Farmer's Market to use in some kind of vegetable curry dish (that I hadn't even picked out yet). I figured I'd go with some safe bets: red potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, garlic, etc.

Turns out, I got many ingredients required in the curry from my favoritest cookbook ever - "How it all Vegan"! (Have I mentioned how much I love this cookbook enough times? Because I love it. A lot). I created my own version of the recipe, adding / subtracting things here & there. I really wanted to add another form of protein too, so I bought some red lentils for the extra healthy kick.

What's awesome? Now I'm set for dinners for the rest of the week! YAY!! No more cooking attempts at 9:00pm when I get back from derby practice. Just heat & eat!

Beth’s Bodacious Curry

Everything is a bit of a guess here – I kind of just went with whatever! Use your own judgment with what you like / textures / consistencies / etc. Have fun with it!

- ½ head of cauliflower (broken into florets)
- about 4 medium sized carrots (chopped), skins left on (for added nutrition!)
- about 4-5 small red potatoes (diced), mine were pretty small
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 4-5 cloves garlic (minced)
- approx 2 cups low-sodium veggie stock
- 3 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
- approx 2 cups coconut milk (or soymilk)
- 1 ½ cups red lentils
- 1 medium zucchini (sliced)
- frozen peas (optional)
- Cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, salt
- 3 tbsp Braggs (or Soy sauce. I prefer Braggs - which can be found in the same section of the grocery store as Soy Sauce - because it contains less sodium, and is stock full of amino acids)
- 1-2 large tomatoes (diced)

In a large pot, warm coconut oil (or olive oil). Sautee carrots, onion & garlic until onion starts to become clear.

Add cauliflower, potatoes, zucchini and spices (eyeball how much you’d like – be generous with the curry though, I used about 1 ½ - 2 tbsp), and stir well. Add coconut milk & veggie broth – simmer for about 15 minutes (check to be sure that the potatoes are starting to get tender).

Add red lentils, stir well, and cover. Let simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

Check to be sure the vegetables are tender, and turn off heat. Add diced tomatoes, peas (optional), and Braggs. Stir to combine.

Serve over Cous-Cous, or Quinoa! Yummy yum!

And yes, I put everything into separate portion-sized containers. I am a nerd, but I love being organized! :)

Another fun treat? Here is what I had for lunch earlier that day:

The very nice & friendly woman that runs the Grateful Bread Company booth at the Farmer's Market promised me a trade (I hooked her up with a few tickets to a show), so I got a FREE loaf of Ciabatta bread from her! It is so yummy, and I've been enjoying it all week.

Anyhoodle, I made my "pink soup" recipe again - yep, another recipe from "How it All Vegan" - you surprised? It's just their carrot soup recipe with 1/2 of the carrots replaced with fresh beets. It's my new favorite soup.

I also made their homemade hummus recipe (which I've never done before - I'm usually a hummus buyer), and it's FANTASTIC! I smeared it on some of my Ciabatta bread, topped it with fresh sliced tomatoes & a little sprinkling of Gomashio (sesame seed seasoning), and made some Kale chips for the side. The crusty bread was perfect for dunking in my soup too!

If you haven't had Kale chips, they're a must try! Super easy to make too - Just wash them well, cut out the spines, roughly chopped 'em, spread the leaves on a cookie sheet, coated them with spray oil, sprinkled with salt/pepper/garlic powder, and bake for 5-7 minutes at 425 degrees. Crunchy, savory, delicious - and one of the few ways that I have learned to LOVE kale!

I was so in LOVE with this lunch that I had the same thing again the next day (with roasted green beans in the place of the kale).

Who says vegan food is boring??