almost vegan pumpkin mac n cheese

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Our was good as it involved naps, new shoes, and walking. We also made this great dish last night. The recipe was vegan but I made some non-vegan substitutions based on what we had at home and it turned out great!

1 package, brown rice penne, cooked to el dente

1T margarine

1c milk

1T arrowroot powder

1/2t garlic powder

1/3c nutritional yeast

1T German mustard

1 15oz can pumpkin purée

1/4c whole wheat bread crumbs

1/4c grated parmesan


Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare pasta according to instructions, drain & set aside.

Whisk together milk, arrowroot powder and garlic in a bowl.

Melt margarine in a sauce pan. Whisk in milk mixture and let simmer for 2-3 minutes until it begins to thicken. Stir in nutritional yeast and mustard. Cook for 5 minutes. Mix in pumpkin purée and heat until warm.

Mix together breadcrumbs and parmesan. Set aside.

Combine sauce and pasta. Pour in a greased casserole dish. Top with breadcrumb mixtures. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until top starts to brown.

Serve topped with green beans for an added vegetable!



monochromatic greens

I found this recipe on A Pinch of Yum and had to share it with you! For our polish Easter dinner with friends we were asked to bring a salad. This salad was a huge hit so I imagine it will be making its way back to our table again soon. Maybe with some shrimp next time!

8c spring mix

1.5c pea shoots

1c low fat crumbled feta

2 avocados, cubed

3/4c almonds, chopped

1/2 a jalapeño, seeds removed

3/4c Greek yogurt

1T lime juice

1/4c evoo

1/2t salt

1T honey

4 cloves of garlic

2 scallions

1/2c packed cilantro


In a large salad bowl, combine spring mix, pea shoots, feta, avocado, and almonds. Set aside.

In your Nutribullet, combine jalapeño, yogurt, lime juice, evoo, salt, honey, garlic, and scallions. Blend until smooth. Add cilantro and only blend until you have small green flecks in the dressing.

Toss dressing with salad and serve immediately. This made a great side for sausage and perogies but I imagine it would be a very versatile salad.



wish list

I love having a wish list. When I know exactly what I want I always try to find a great deal before making a purchase. My list is always changing as things online can look different when I try them on, but thank goodness for good return policies when online shopping! Here are some of my current faves I am lusting over:

I am trying to find shoes to wear to three weddings this summer that require three very different outfits as well as graduation in few weeks. I am still not completely sure what I will end up getting but I have loved both of these for a while now.
This dress is so cute but surprisingly long so I ordered it in petite to get the length I want. We'll see what I think when it arrives.
The glasses are both cute but I think I will wait for the clear ones to come back into stock!

Have a good day!


strawberry chia jam

This may drive you nuts... it is April 22 and I am already done making 12 Christmas gifts. Seriously. If you are getting one of these for Christmas, you can pretend to be surprised in 8 months!
1lb strawberries, hulled
3T chia seeds
2T maple syrup
1t Mexican vanilla

In your handy nutribullet, pulse strawberries only until chunky. It only takes a few seconds! Bring strawberries, chia seeds, and maple syrup to a simmer in a saucepan. Cook on low until jam thickens to your desired consistency. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into a sterilized pint size canning jar. Seal canning jar in a bath of simmering water. Makes one jar.


running for lent

Happy Monday! How was your Easter weekend? Now that the lent season is over, how did you do on your Lenten sacrifice? Since I took up running rather than giving up something I thought I would let you know how it went.

We have been following the couch25k app and we made it through 6 weeks. On Thursday of last week I decided I needed to push myself and see how long I could actually run for. I set my timer for 30 minutes and I did it! I ran about 5km in that time with a 5 minute walk at the beginning and end to warm-up and cool down. I plan to continue the running 1-2 times per week and integrate some other activities back into my schedule.

Can I consider myself a runner now?




Happy Friday! Also, I must add Happy Easter! It's nice to have a long weekend to relax and get some things done from my never ending list. With spring break coming to an end it will be nice to be refreshed for the last 2 weeks of the semester! Here are some highlights from my week:

1. B made crawfish jambalaya last weeknd. I would share the recipe but that would require him typing it out. For now, the jambalaya recipe remains a secret. A delicious secret. We added smoked turkey sausage to the leftovers to make lunches for the week.

2. On Saturday I made dinner without cooking. Sometimes a good kale salad with charcuterie is all we need!

3. I used one flat of strawberries to make jam. I still need to buy another flat to make more for gifts but I was really happy with how it turned out.

4. Did you know there are Stanley Cup Oreos? You can take a girl out of Canada but you will never get hockey out of my blood. And who does not love Oreos?!?

Have a great weekend! We hope to get outside for some exercise everyday, make more jam, and have an Easter dinner planned with friends on Sunday night.



Thai inspired chicken noodle soup

I promised you I would share this recipe. We really liked this recipe but we would half it in the future as it did not keep very well. After few days the rice noodles did not hold up... but the day we made it we love it!

2T evoo

1 yellow onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

pepper & herbs de Provence

2 chicken breasts, cut into bit size pieces

2 cartons chicken stock

2t fish sauce

24oz slices mushrooms

1c frozen peas

1 package Trader Joe's rice noodles

fresh cilantro, chopped


In a large pot, heat evoo then sautée onion and garlic. Add herbs and chicken. Cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked through. Add chicken stock and fish sauce, bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 5 -10 minutes. Add peas and mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes. Add rice noodles and cook for time specified on package. Remove from heat and serve topped with cilantro.




avocado chicken salad

Have I shared this recipe with you? It is the best way to use up leftover chicken. It is healthy, nutritious, and will fill you up!

2 chicken cooked chicken breasts, diced
2 avocado, mashed
1 small yellow onion, diced
1T lime juice
fresh cilantro, chopped
pepper, paprika & garlic powder to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Serve on toasted spelt bread. Seriously, it's that simple!




Happy Friday! How was your week? Mine went by so quick. It's officially spring break (too bad I am not in class anymore and still have to work but I don't have any teaching responsibilities for the next 11 days)! I've got to be quick as I am currently making oatmeal for breakfast then I am off to start my day! Here's some highlights from my week:

1. My lunch was famous... kind of. We are working on updating a program at work so my healthy lunch became the test subject for photos!

2. We made cauliflower fried 'rice' on the weekend. It was sooooo good!

3. We also made Thai inspired chicken noodle soup. Hopefully I will be able to remember what we put in it so I can share the recipe next week.

4. I had 3 great runs this week. The beautiful weather sure helped along with my tunes and a comfy pair of shoes.

Have a great weekend! The weather is supposed to be great here so we may go to the Baton Rouge Blues Festival and the farmer's market.



ebb to street

It's no secret that I love Lululemon. I saw these pants online last week and fell in love.

ebb to street pant

To order or not to order? I hope they come out in more colors soon!


Not much else is going on today. After teaching 3 hours of Pilates and going for my morning run I think I may spend the afternoon running errands. Have a great day!



oatmeal cookies

Since I wam making cookies this weeknd I decided to make some oatmeal cookies to take to work. These turned out slightly thinner than expected but they were still delicious and received tons of compliments. These cookies could have been made gluten free but I ran out of almond flour so I had to improvise... oops!

1c almond flour

1/2c all purpose flour

1t baking powder

1.5T Mexican cinnamon

1/4t salt

1/2c unsalted butter, at room temperature

1c packed brown sugar

1/2c white sugar

2 eggs

2t Mexican vanilla

2 1/2c gluten free oats


Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Cream together butter and sugars. Add in egg and vanilla. Mix until combined. Slowy mix in dry ingredients then oats until fully combined.

Drop heaping teaspoons on cookie sheets about 3" apart. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Let cook on baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to wire rack. These too should be stored in an airtight container or frozen!



chocolate chip cookies

I put on my baking hat this weekend and made classic chocolate chip cookies. They were chewy and moist, just how we like them. B's colleague lost a family member last week so I thought it would be nice to surprise him with some cookies to brighten his day!

1 1/4c whole wheat flour

1t baking powder

1/2t salt

1/2c unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2c packed brown sugar

6T white sugar

1 egg

1t Mexican vanilla

1 1/4c mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

Using a mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Add in egg and vanilla. Mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients then fold in chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoons on to cookie sheets about 2" apart. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Let cool 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks. Store in an airtight container. Or... if the cookies are a gift for someone who likes their cookies frozen, just put the bag in the freezer until delivery!




Happy Friday! This week flew by! I am excited for another weekend of relaxation, hopefully some yoga, and maybe a run if it des not rain all weekend. Here are some highlights from the week:

1. My new permanent resident card arrived in the mail. What a great photo! I did not know government documentation could arrive with such a well taken photo.

2. I am obsessed with my jorts. I have a feeling these will be worn a ton this summer! Okay, let's get real, it already feels like summer here and I have been living in my jorts.

3. Homemade shrimp & grits. My fave!

4. We went on a date to Bin77 last night. The wine was great, the service was great, and once again, I had shrimp & grits. I am starting to really love this southern living thing.

Have a great weekend!



monochromatic green salad

This salad was delish. Brussel sprouts were involved... which means B was out of town... not like I would actually tell you while he was away.

2T evoo

15 brussel sprouts, thinly sliced

12 spears asparagus, chopped

1 zucchini, quartered & sliced

1 cup peas, frozen

1 can artichokes, drained & halved

1/2 can green olives, quartered

pepper & red pepper flakes

grated manchego


Sautée brussel sprouts, asparagus, and zucchini until soft. Add peas and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat and stir in artichokes, olives, and pepper. Serve topped with manchego.



things I don't do

Happy April! This year is flying by! April is an exciting month as we have spring break and a great Easter dinner planned with friends!

The world is an interesting place. With Facebook, Pinterest, and blogs it always seems to be able what  you "do". It is a competition? Or do we just really like to share? What I share with you is only a very small portion of my life. Seriously, I do more than cook, shop, take photos, and travel to exotic places. I saw a post recently on The Balanced Life about the pressure to do more. Along with everything I do, there are many things I don't do:

1. I don't keep plants alive. I try but then I forget, neglect, and they die. I buy small plants and flowers to add color to my life. When they die, I go to Trader Joe's and buy more.

2. I don't always eat fresh vegetables. We always have frozen broccoli and green beans in the freezer. I also really like canned artichokes. It's better to eat frozen/canned veggies than no veggies at all. Convenience wins some days.

3. I don't run fast. I may be working on my running skills... aka ability to run for more than 5 minutes at a time. Slow and steady wins the race for this girl. When I go to classes at TREAD I can sprint on the treadmill at 10mph for 30 seconds like it's my middle name but I prefer a leisurely jog.

4. I don't wash colors separately. Laundry is simple: Lululemon and other. Other consists of everything. Purple scrubs from work? Yes. White t-shirts? Yes. Just wash it on cold and 99.9% of the time it comes out fine. Convenience wins again. I did not get these skills from my mother...

5. I don't make my own coffee. We don't even own a coffee maker. I love coffee and B loves tea so most mornings we stop at Starbucks. It's our tradition and we think its worth the money as it is something we enjoy.

And you know what, its not a big deal. You don't need to do everything. My world continues to function successfully every single day because I don't try to do everything. The things I choose not to do allow me to be successful in so many other areas in life!

Now that you know everything I don't do, I am proud to share some things I do: practice yoga and pilates, run, cook, knit, teach, sleep 8 hours a night, stay on budget, and nap. I also have 3 part-time jobs that I love, am finishing my MS degree, passed the national OT exam very recently, and continue to work on research at the university. I love what I do and I make sure I do those things well!

What don't you do?
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