Recipe time · Uncategorized

Recipe: Asian-Inspired Vegetable Soup

My boss at work is currently taking a plant-based cooking course, so she brings in all kinds of delicious recipes for the office to try. Last week, she made a great traditional vegetable soup for everyone with lots of potatoes, onions, white beans, and cabbage.

After trying her soup and seeing how easy it was to make (she made it on our lunch break with one pot!), I decided to try my hand at making my own this past weekend but with an Asian-inspired twist. It turned out really, really good and is filling and full of vegetables which makes for a great diet food! I’ve been bringing it for lunch at work all week, and I’m not tired of it yet.

Asian-Inspired Vegetable Soup


  • 1 large sweet potato, diced in 1″ pieces
  • 3 large carrots, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 1/3 head of green cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 container shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 block of extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and diced into 1″ pieces
  • No-Chicken bouillon or broth (8 cups worth)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 1/3 of a sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha to taste


  1. Bring no-chicken stock to a boil in a large pot.
  2. While the stock is heating up, saute the onion, garlic, and ginger in Earth Balance spread on medium-high until onions are translucent, then add mushrooms and Hoison sauce. Stir to mix, turn down to medium low and cover until mushrooms are soft.
  3. Add mushroom mixture, tofu, and other vegetables to boiling stock. Reduce to a simmer and cook for another 20-30 minutes.
  4. Add sriracha to taste. Serve hot.

Serves 6

Recipe time

Overnight oat obsessed

Ummm , so how did I not try these before? I’ve been reading about other bloggers eating overnight oats for months, but I was never very interested. Dumb.

On Saturday, I hit up Harry’s Farmers’ Market and realized that organic rolled oats were only $1.59 a pound. It was enough of a push to try overnight oats for the first time.

I based my oats off a recipe from Kathy Eats Real Food and after a few days of playing around, got to a consistency I really dig. I like mine best with vanilla Greek yogurt, agave, and cinnamon. Soooooo yummy.

Only a few simple ingredients.

I make mine in a mason jar so that it’s easily portable. I love having some left over for a mid morning snack! Plus, everything looks cuter in mason jars.


Super filling, super delicious, super cheap. Winner in my book.

What’s your go to breakfast food?

How do you like your oats?

Recipe time

Granola goodness

I love, love, love granola. I eat tons of it, especially in the morning with Greek yogurt. So I was thrilled when I got to my mom’s house for dinner and she has whipped up these yummy granola squares.

My mom found this recipe on The original has corn syrup, but I modified it slightly to use agave syrup instead.

Gobble Up Granola Snacks



2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. In a large bowl, stir together cereal, oats, and raisins. Set aside. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Combine brown sugar and agave syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until just boiling, then remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour over cereal and oat mixture. Mix well.

3. Press mixture into greased pan using the back of a large spoon. Allow to cool and then cut into squares.

These are super delicious and satisfying. And they make the perfect snack while watching football!

What are your favorite football snacks?


Recipe time

Power protein smoothies

Being a lacto-ovo pescatarian ( I eat eggs, dairy, and fish, but not other meat), I haven’t really found it hard to get enough protein. It’s one of the most common questions I get asked when people find out I’m not eating chicken, pork, or beef. My response is that it really hasn’t been an issue or something I’ve had to think hard about.

However, with the gym at my complex reopening, and having access to weight machines again, I went ahead and bought some protein powder. I felt like I needed something that is easily digested for immediately after a workout.

After reading some reviews, vanilla powders were getting the best reviews as smoothie ingredients, and I’m a smoothie lover.

On Friday, I decided to try it out after running 2.62 silent miles for Boston and hitting an upper body workout.

blender pic

smoothie ingredients

I threw a banana, about a half cup of pineapple, and four extra large strawberries into a blender with 4 ounces of almond milk and 4 ounces of plain yogurt along with a scoop of Body Fortress vanilla whey protein powder.

I would probably pare down to half a banana and add some more pineapple next time. It was really good, but the smoothie needed a little more fruit flavor to combat all the liquid. This kind of smoothie would be a meal at close to 500 calories, but it did a really good job of keeping me full for about 3-4 hours. The recipe also made a lot of smoothie—about 24 ounces!

protein smoothie


If I’m just going for a post workout snack, I’ll just mix the powder with a cup of almond milk for a 200 calorie protein shake.

This powder doesn’t fall into the “clean” category, but I do believe that it will be beneficial to my workout regime. I’m a big believer in women building muscle, so I need to up my protein intake some. I’m ready to burn some fat and reveal some hard-earned muscles!

Do you have any protein powders or other supplements you swear by?

What is your favorite kind of smoothie?

Get fit · Healthy living · Recipe time

Clean(er) eating

I’ve mentioned before that I’m focusing on eating a cleaner, mostly vegetarian diet. I hear it over and over again: “abs may by formed in the gym, but they’re revealed in the kitchen.” So…Wendy’s is bad for showing my six pack? Who’da thunk it?

However, while I know that fast food is not waistline friendly, I’ve relied pretty heavily on highly processed foods for a long time. They tend to be super cheap and convenient, which was very attractive to a brokey like me.

As I’ve changed my focus from quantity of food to quality of food, though, those processed quickie meals don’t make the cut. I’m pretty tired of having absolutely no idea what I’m putting into my body.

Am I going to eat 100% clean 100% of the time? Hell to the no.

But I’m going to eat as clean as I can as often as I can—even if that just means choosing the apple dippers at McDonald’s that day. Whatever the healthiest option is in the situation I’m in is the option I’ll try to take. And sometimes the healthiest option will be to let myself have a treat. After all, I’m so not about depriving myself anymore.

With that said, I’m trying to get my fridge stocked up with healthy foods to make awesome, easy meals. Both of these meals took me less than 10 minutes to throw together and were pretty darn clean and natural.

Meal A:


  • 2 whole brown eggs
  • 1 100% whole grain (no white flour!) English muffin
  • 2 tbsp all natural peanut butter
  • 1 large clementine
  • coffee with light creamer and raw sugar

Meal B:


  • 1 breaded chick’n breast from Gardein
  • 1 medium sweet potato, baked in the microwave
  • 1/2 cup boiled edamame in the shell

Serious deliciousness. Because when I get home late at night, I’m not going to spend forever cooking, I need to have easy, healthy, quick options. Otherwise I’m going to say “screw this, I’m eating Thin Mints.” Talk about not waistline friendly.

What are some of your go-to healthy and easy meals?

I go either with meals like the above, or something that’s been cooking in the crock pot all day.

Do you try to eat clean or do you go for convenience?

Eating disorder recovery has made me focus a lot more on what I’m putting into my body versus how much. It’s a much more balanced way for me to approach my eating.

Recipe time

“Chicken” a la Vodka

I’m a sucker for pasta dishes. In a world of carbophobes, I’m a proud carb lover. I’m also a proud cheapskate. And pasta is cheap.

I was craving something beyond normal spaghetti, but not as heavy as alfredo. Then it hit me: vodka sauce! The perfect mixture of tomato sauce and creamy sauce.

I threw in some veggies for color and because, you know, veggies are good for you. Even though I don’t really eat meat (mostly pescatarian), I still haven’t gotten totally on board with no meat in my recipes. Especially when I’m cooking something delicious! So I spoiled myself a little and bought a pack of meatless chicken patties. I totally already threw away the packaging, so I can’t even remember the brand. But they were awesome. Next time I buy them, I promise to post a picture!

The meal turned out absolutely delicious, and I had sweet leftovers to take for lunch this week.

vodka chickn

“Chick’n” a la Vodka


  • meatless faux chicken patties, 1 per serving
  • olive oil to coat skillet
  • 1 box whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 jar Classico vodka sauce
  • 1 package white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • garlic salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Coat a skillet with olive oil and heat on medium-high. Add chick’n patties and brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side. When patties are done, set aside and cover to keep warm. (pic of chicken)
  2. Add mushrooms and zucchini to leftover oil and chick’n drippings. Saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add vodka sauce, balsamic vinegar and pepper, then simmer on low 20 minutes.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, boil pasta in a large pot until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander, then transfer back to pot.
  4. Cover pasta with the vodka sauce, then stir to combine. Serve pasta mixture and set a chick’n patty on top. Serve hot.

See? Easy peasy. Because y’all know I’m not about the crazy hard recipes. Okay, that’s a total lie, but I do love my simple, healthy and delicious stuff, too! And each serving comes to less than $3 per serving. Sweet for a broke foodie.

What are some of your go-to recipes?

Are you a carbophobe or carbophile?

Budget shopping · Recipe time

Oh, slow cooker, my love…

Dear slow-cooker,

You are the light of my life. You make the most delicious meals with so little effort on my part. The perfect fall and winter foods are child’s play for you.

Pot roast? No big deal.

Lamb stew? On it.

Pulled pork? Bring it on.

I just thought you should know how grateful I am for your awesomeness.




I seriously love the slow cooker. Unfortunately, I’m currently lacking one at my casa, but my wonderful mother let me use hers (exactly like the above picture) all day today to make a twist on a traditional beef stew.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good, traditional beef stew, but I also love trying new recipes and playing in the kitchen.


So, so, so true.

Yesterday, at Harry’s Farmer’s Market, I came across a pretty good price on stew meat, so I picked up a pound. That’s not even close to how much I usually use, but it will make enough servings for me to have leftovers this week. Remember folks, I’m lame and cook for one.

I decided to take a Mediterranean twist on traditional stew.

photo (2)

It’s not the prettiest picture, or great quality, but that’s what I get for packing it up and taking it to my house before remembering I wanted to blog about it.

Mediterranean Stew


  • 1 lb stew meat
  • 1 bag Whole 365 frozen Mediterranean blend veggies
  • 1 packet garlic vinaigrette mix
  • 2 small potatoes, roughly diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (I use low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic


  1. Put meat and veggies into slow cooker.
  2. Mix broth, water, seasoning packet, and garlic together in a small bowl. Pour mixture over meat and veggies.
  3. Cook on low, 8 hours. Serve hot.

Easy-peasy. It makes 3 large or 4 medium servings. For a larger group, I’d double the ingredients to make a big batch of stew. The stew itself has a nice little kick from the garlic and the red bell peppers, but is still mild enough for most palates. Also, you can leave out the garlic if you prefer something milder. That’s what I love about cooking…the results are almost endlessly customizable.

All-in-all this stew cost me about $9 to make. That’s a little pricy for me, but it still comes out to under $3 per serving. Considering I can’t eat at McD’s for that, I’ll totally take it.

Healthy food and some extra moolah in my pocket? That makes this broke girl very happy.

Do you have any awesome slow cooker recipes? Do tell!

Do you like to cook? What’s your best dish?

Budget shopping · Healthy living · Recipe time

Grocery shopping the broke girl way

A couple posts ago, I mentioned that I typically spend $25 a week on groceries. I get a lot of questions in real life about how I do this, so I decided to do a little post detailing exaclty what I bought and how it breaks down. It may not be super exciting, thrilling stuff, but these are the things I do in my every day life. I’m human. I grocery shop. And I try to do it cheaply.

When I first began trying to grocery shop for a tight budget, I shopped at my local Wal-Mart. I’m not saying Wally World is the devil, even though a lot of people might believe so, but as my healthy eating journey has evolved, so have my tastes for food. Particularly coming into ED recovery, I want to give my body the healthiest things possible to help fuel and heal it.

So now, I shop at Harry’s Farmers’ Market, a local offshoot of Whole Foods.

The prices on produce are fantastic here, and it’s honestly been easier for me to shop cheaper here than at other grocery chains, because I’m more mindful of what I’m putting into my cart.

Here’s the haul:

I have leftover lemon lentil soup from earlier this week to take for some lunches, and my wonderful mama bought me some new Babybel Gouda cheese and a couple frozen dinners.

Here’s tbe breakdown.

  • Creamy feta crumbles–$2.79
  • Freshly ground, unsalted peanut butter, 0.7 lbs–$2.06
  • Loose baby spinach, 0.2 lbs–$1.26
  • Stretch Island Fruit Co. Apricot Fruit leather, 2 pieces–$1.18
  • Odwalla bars, 2 bars–$1.98
  • Organic cream of mushroom soup–$2.00
  • Snapea Crisps–$1.49
  • Ground turkey, feta, and spinach sausage, 0.36 lbs–$2.52
  • Brown Basmati rice, .89 lbs–$1.50
  • Ghirardelli 60% cocoa square–$2.99
  • Large brown cage-free eggs–$2.29

Total, including tax and reusable bag discount: $23.42

No, I didn’t buy a lot, but this will feed me for the week with snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is why I’m such a fan of bulk meals; I have enough left over from my previous cooking foray to eat leftovers this week. I’m also planning on making a sausage, spinach, and feta frittata and a chicken and rice casserole.

When I’m feeling flush, I’ll up my budget to $35 to $40 to restock on household basics, frozen foods, and canned goods for a week where I might be living leaner than normal. That way, I always have something to throw together and eat.

Because the ramen-noodle-every-night budget is boring.


Budget shopping · Healthy living · Recipe time · Running

Put it all together and what do you get?

Seeing as I am le broke, most of my shopping trips and meals consist of “what’s on sale at Harry’s this week?” I typically only budget about $25 a week for groceries, so shopping the sales is extremely important for me. I tried couponing, but I rarely found deals on the real, whole foods I enjoy eating.

One of the ways I save money is by shopping the bulk bins for rice, beans, and small veggies. I also try to get ingredients that will allow me to make at least one big meal that will feed me for multiple days.

Here’s the hodgepodge I came up with this week. I’m calling it Lemon Lentil soup, and I’m really hoping that it tastes good reheated.


2 boxes (4 c. each) vegetable broth

2 c. dried lentils (bulk bin find)

2 c. whole mushrooms (another bulk bin find)

2 small lemons

Any meat you want to add (I used tuna this week, but andouille sausage would be the bomb-diggity)

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring 1 box of broth to a boil with juice from 1 lemon in a large pot. Add lentils, then return to boil. Let lentils cook for abouit 45 minutes, or until soft and tender.

2. Slice mushrooms about 1/4 inch thick. Cook meat if needed.

3. Add remaining ingredients, juice from second lemon, and season to taste. Cook covered on low heat for about 90 minutes.

You can serve this hot, or refrigerate it and reheat it for leftovers. I’m going to end up using most of the recipe for lunch this coming week with a sweet potato or some fruit as a side. The recipe may take a long time to cook, but it’s super simple, and makes about 8 servings. Cost-wise, it comes to roughly $1.25 per serving. I’m good with that. Especially when lunch out will cost me a minimum of $5.

In other news, half marathon training hit a minor snag. I’ve developed a minor case of plantar fasciitis. Because of this, I didn’t run last week, nor did I run today, in hopes that I’ll be feeling good for tomorrow’s 6 miler. I’m hoping to get on the road running by 7:30 to enjoy the fall-ish weather we’re experiencing in Georgia right now.

Now, I just have to get off my lazy butt and do the darn thing. Motivation, anyone? Maybe if I set my alarm tone to play “Eye of the Tiger”…

What are some of your best “just throw it together” recipes?

How do you motivate yourself to get through your workouts?

Recipe time · Uncategorized

Chorizo, zucchini, and pepperjack, oh my!

I’m not gonna lie, I’m replacing the lyrics to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” with “cooking queen” in my head…

And this bad boy is the reason why! I whipped this up tonight to slice up in the mornings and eat for breakfast. This is the second week in a row I’ve made a frittata. I like fritattas for a couple of reasons.

a) They’re easy and don’t take long to make.

b) They only require a few ingredients. Since I’m on a super tight budget, I like things that are fairly cheap and feed me for a long time.

c) They’re delicious. Seriously. I mean, how wrong can you go with eggs and cheese?

Those all sound like awesome reasons to me. I also really like that I can customize each fritatta so I can eat these week after week and not get bored. A high protein content also helps me out a lot, since some days I don’t get a chance to really eat from seven to noon. And me getting really hungry is like asking the Hulk to come out and play. Or like watching one of those “messin’ with Sasquatch” commercials.

Anyways, let’s get to the meat of the post (see what I did there? Wink, wink).

Chorizo, Zucchini, and Pepperjack Fritatta


  • 1/2 pound of ground chorizo
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped, about 1 cup yield
  • 6 large eggs. I use cage free brown eggs because I like them better, but any eggs will do the trick.
  • 4 oz pepperjack cheese, grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a frying pan, brown the chorizo.
  3. Once the chorizo is browned, drain away the fat, then add the zucchini and cook until tender. This only takes a couple of minutes, so keep a close watch!
  4. While the zucchini is cooking, whisk together the eggs in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour the eggs over the chorizo/zucchini mixture, then stir lightly to mix. Let sit until the edges of the eggs set (when the eggs start to look a little dry around the edge of the pan).
  6. Top the fritatta with the cheese, then stick the whole frying pan in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

You can eat it straight out of the oven, or let it cool, then slide it onto some tinfoil to wrap up for later. If you don’t have access to ground chorizo, ground sausage would taste great in this, too. I typically cut my fritattas to serve six, but it’s up to you how much or how little you want in a serving.

Because you are the cooking queen, young and sweet…