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Posted on Oct 30, 2013 in Recipes | 11 comments

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Oh, Autumn. How I love thee so. With you comes crisp weather, apple-based desserts, and, perhaps my favorite thing of all, pumpkin EVERYTHING.

Seriously, you can’t walk three steps through the mall come Fall without bumping into something pumpkin-related. Pumpkin scones, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin scented candles, pumpkin perfume (don’t laugh, I’ve seen it!). Of course, it’s not really like I’m complaining. I looooove pumpkin! Especially when it comes in the pie variety (something I’m very much looking forward to, come Thanksgiving).

Unfortunately, my impatient nature doesn’t really bode well for the whole “wait until Turkey Day” thing when it comes to pumpkin pie. But, then again, it’s not like I can just eat a slice of pumpkin pie every day. Or, well, I mean, I could, but I really shouldn’t. Enter: the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking. There are TONS of pumpkin pie smoothie recipes out there! I’m sure that September and October bring nothing BUT pumpkin smoothie recipes to the healthy living blogosphere. But. Let me tell you something. All those other smoothies? They usually have a whoooooole lotta stuff in them. Stuff like frozen bananas and almond butter and QUINOA FLOUR. Things that, my friends, you simply would never find in a pumpkin pie.

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My solution? A true, simple, minimal-ingredient recipe that will give your tastebuds a treat without A) packing on the pie-induced pounds, and B) actually tastes like pumpkin pie. And hey, bonus! It’s vegan! #winning

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
(Makes 1 very large serving or 2 smaller ones — it’s quite filling so I definitely recommend sharing with a friend!)

Ingredients:

1 cup pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix — I use Libby’s)
1 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice

Instructions:

As with all smoothies, the instructions are:

1. Put ingredients into a blender.
2. Blend.
3. Enjoy!

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almondbreezelogoThe above post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, but all content is 100% my own.

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Posted on Apr 12, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 11 comments

Let Them Eat (Birthday) Cake!

Good morning, everyone! Thank you all so much for your kind birthday wishes yesterday!! I had an awesome day, and you are all welcome for the incredible weather that clearly only happened because it was my birthday. 😉

After work yesterday I got my birthday massage at the Canary Orchid Retreat in Falls Church, courtesy of my sister’s generosity, and then I treated myself to a birthday pedicure at Aislinn Nail & Spa right next door! I got their White Tea pedicure special, which included a free paraffin foot treatment. Ahhhh, so luxurious. I felt grrrrreat!

Doubleplusbonus, when I told my pedicurist that it was my birthday, she offered to do free nail art on my big toes! People with grossing-out issues, look away for a mo’:

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So fun! I wanted to get a bright, spring-and-summery color to celebrate the incredible warm weather… which I hear is supposed to go away today. Oh well, it was still like 67 degrees when I left the house so I’m not complaining yet!

As for the rest of my amazing birthday, after my spa sesh I jaunted over to good ol’ Mom & Dad’s with the pups for birthday dinner #2! The roamed around in the backyard for a little bit while my mom finished up some gardening. Happy, happy dogs!

Hot diggity dog.

Harry Beary
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For dinner my mom ordered a bunch of amazingness from Sunflower, the all-vegetarian restaurant I’ve raved about before.

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It was a feast! We had lettuce wraps, general tso’s “chicken”, and some kinda bamboo shoot/asparagus/mushroom-something dish that looked really weird but tasted really awesome. 😀

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In addition, my mom made special Chinese Longevity Noodles. According to her, they are essential for birthday consumption in order to live a long and prosperous life. According to me, they are simply delicious.

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And as if all of that wasn’t enough, my mommy (heh) also baked me a vegan birthday cake! I was so impressed. She didn’t even use an egg replacer or flax egg or anything – just olive oil and apple cider vinegar, and it was still fluffy and light! It even got the brother‘s seal of approval because it was just that good. And now prepare yourselves for a multitude of birthday cake shots taken by Ben, hehe:

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It was so good. So good, in fact, that I may or may not have but definitely did eat a piece for breakfast. Don’t worry, I enjoyed an apple along with it. 😉 Thanks, Mom!! And thanks to Ben and Taylor for the newest addition to my cookbook library. They got me an Asian-style cookbook that covers Thai, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine! The latter will probably get experimented with least, since my mom is pretty much the best Chinese cook on the planet (awwww), but I’m totally diggin’ the rest, especially because eating out every time I have a craving for one or the other racks up the dollahdollahbillsy’all.

My last surprise of the birthday day (redundant?) was my homemade present from my roommate, Erin! You just have to check out this awesomeness:

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Yes. It’s a CROCHETED DAXTER!!!!!!!!

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I die of cuteness. Erin sells her crocheted creations in her Etsy shop, so if you guys want a mini-schnauzer to cuddle up with of your own (or probably any other adorable animal, frankly) I’m sure she’d be willing to work it out with you. 🙂 Thanks, roomie!

Thanks to everyone for making yesterday such a special, awesome day. Do you now see why I love my birthday so much!? 😀 I’m still in such a good mood, in fact, that I’ve decided to share the love and will be hosting my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY soon!! Huzzah! So stay tuned for that, and all you non-commenting lurkers out there, start polishing your typing fingers. 😉

<3

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Posted on Mar 22, 2011 in Food | 11 comments

Sunflower

Good morning, friends!

I’m proud to report a shiny 2 miles on the treadmill from yesterday afternoon! I ran the whole thing at a 12 minute pace (5.0 speed on the tready) which I was pretty proud of. I’m the turtle, mmkay? Slow and steady blahblahblah. 😉

I realized after I left the gym that it was actually like perfect weather outside despite the whole raining-cats-and-dogs thing from yesterday morning. Poo. Oh well, Amanda and I have plans to run tomorrow, and hopefully the weather will cooperate for us again. Gotta get myself in gear for the 5K on Saturday!

Sunflower Restaurant

After a little gym time, I met up with my friend Reema to have dinner at Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant in Falls Church. I always love meeting up with friends for dins, and getting to go to Sunflower was extra fun! Their food is really good, and every single thing on the menu is vegetarian, almost everything is vegan, and when it isn’t vegan there’s a little (!) icon next to it letting you know that it isn’t. Makes my Lenten life easier, that’s all I have to say.

I started with a hiyashi seaweed salad and cold basil rolls (basically like a summer roll.) Both were good, but the seaweed salad took the cake! I think I liked the rolls for the peanut dipping sauce more than the rolls themselves, hehe.

For my main course, I got the Sweet & Sour Sensation. It’s soy protein with pineapple, carrots, and zucchini in a sweet & sour sauce. Served with brown rice, natch:

I only got through about a quarter of the main dish – the portion was HUGE! Of course, as Sunflower is an Asian restaurant, it’s really intended for family style eating. So if any of you locals decide to venture out, my recommendation would definitely be to order one less dish than there are people, and just share everything! Makes it more fun, too. 🙂

It’s always fun for me to find friends to go eat at these kinds of places with me, since despite my cajoling in the past, Steve has yet to agree to take me on a Sunflower date, hahaha.

Any other recommendations for vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the DC Area? I’m really trying to use Lent and my pledge of veganism to expand my culinary horizons a smidge. I Yelped “vegan” near “Falls Church, VA” yesterday and it returned a whole list of places I want to try out now! Has anyone ever been to The Loving Hut in Falls Church? Or Sticky Fingers Bakery in Columbia Heights? Augh! So many places to go, so little time (and so little experience venturing inside the DC limits!) Halp!

Okay, so I have a question por vous. I’m thinking about starting to get all instructional up in this hizzy, because I receive a lot of questions asking me about how I’ve lost the weight so far (48 pounds as of yesterday WHAT UP!) and about nutrition in general. Obviously I am in no way qualified to give out specific nutrition advice or anything, but I thought that people might like to hear my tips for how I’ve lost weight and “done it right” this time. Thoughts? I would obviously also include all the resources (websites, blogs, books, movies) that have contributed to where I am food- and health-wise now. Anyway, just an idea I’m tossing around. It would probably end up being kind of like a Weight Loss 101 series, with the aforementioned disclaimer about how I’m sooooo not a nutrition or medical professional.

I’m currently trying to gulp down this morning’s juice creation, which is like half juice/half smoothie that I created with a coworker. (Can I just say how much I love that people in my office are juicing and eating super healthily now, btw? I totally, vainly, conceitedly give myself credit for this. ;)) Anyway, the juice is carrots and mandarin oranges, and then mixed that with spinach that was just blended with water (trying to up my fiber content.) Errrr yeah. I don’t think I’m going to try doing it halfsies like this again. It is SUPER spinach-y, and the texture is kind grossing me out. Oh well, still good for me though! Just gotta remember my cucumber next time — cuke is juice GOLD! 🙂

Hope everyone has an awesome day!

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