Monday, February 18, 2013

Veggie Buffalo Bites

Since giving up most meat from my diet, there have been a few times where I came across a recipe that looked really good, but I had no idea how to make it vegetarian.  I was thrilled when I came across this recipe for vegetarian buffalo bites.  I always loved hot chicken wings, and this seemed like a great swap-out!

I made them a while back for one of the Colts playoff games that we watched at my parents house.  I was a bit nervous how the recipe would would turn out but these little veggie buffalo bites were a hit!  The game didn't turn out so great, but everyone loved the bites!  My mom and brother even made them again a few weeks later for their Super Bowl party!  Even though football season is over, these are still totally snack worthy for basketball games, or just for when you are really hungry!

Veggie Buffalo Bites
adapted barely from The Curvy Carrot


1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup unbleached AP flour
2 tsp garlic salt
1 cup Frank's Buffalo Sauce
1 tbs unsalted organic butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

In a large bowl whisk together buttermilk, flour and garlic salt.  Whisk until mostly smooth.

Very gently place chopped cauliflower in the bowl and lightly toss.  Completely coat with the buttermilk mixture.

Place coated cauliflower in a shallow baking dish and bake for 15-18 minutes, making sure not to let them get too browned.

While the cauliflower is cooking, combine the buffalo sauce and melted butter in small bowl.

Once cauliflower is done, remove from oven and pour the buffalo sauce mix over, stirring gently to coat.

Return to the oven and bake for another 5-8 minutes.  Let cool slightly and serve with celery and dipping sauce.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Words to live by.....

The wise words of Barney Stinson to send us into the weekend!  Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

This week is a bag of mixed emotions for me.  Valentine's Day is a day for love and giving and warmth and hugs and I can't get enough of all that stuff.  Pat and I even got engaged on Valentine's Day 4 years ago.  And while we just got back from a wonderful trip, and have a sweet little family celebration planned tonight....I can't help but think about the baby that we could have been having right now.  Nine months ago I took a test that took my breath away.  Two pink lines stared at me while my body was wracked with fear thinking how on Earth were we going to have another baby.  And before I even could wrap my mind around it....the pregnancy was over.  Just like that.

I knew this day would be coming but truly didn't know how to resolve it or what to do with it.  I haven't really talked much about it because sometimes I feel there isn't much to say.  We were going to have a baby.  And then we didn't.  But I read my friend Lindsay's blog which encouraged me to get the words out.  To tell my story.  If only so that I believe it myself.

So here we are, middle of February and no baby.  I know there is a reason and I know it's part of God's plan....but that sure doesn't mean I don't hurt over it.  And truthfully, one of the biggest pains to my heart is watching Lucy with her baby dolls.  She is so sweet and kind to them.  She hugs them close to her chest, bouncing up and down.  She gives them little kisses on the head.  She pats their tiny butts and whispers "Shh, shh, shhh" in their ears.  She shares her bed and she shares her snacks with them.  And as sweet as it is to watch, its like a dagger straight to my heart each time.  A reminder that I can't seem to give her a tiny baby brother or sister to watch over and hug and "shh".  It kills me to watch what an amazing big sister she would be and not be able to fill that role for her.

But then I remember that is pain and guilt I'm putting on myself.  Kids are great in that they are free little spirits who love and don't hold grudges or guilt.  She is a reminder that there is hope in each day and joy.  Hope and Joy. Two words I have been praying over and focusing on this year.  And God is the great redeemer.  He can take someone who was a broken mess at the end of last year and turn them into someone who is full of hope and finds joy each day.  And more importantly, joy in the unknown.  I don't have to know what the future is because that just isn't my job.  So I'm working on loving more.  And hoping more.  And finding joy in each day.

And while I am sad and I do think about the little baby that could have been joining our lives this week, I remember that I already have so much.  And that love is the great healer.

So tonight I am looking forward to scooping my sweet girl up, and kissing my handsome husband and celebrating a day devoted just to love, but knowing that in my heart, every day is a love day.

A cheerful heart is good medicine
Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Waffle Heart Sandwiches

Now that Lucy is a bit older I am excited to try new things with her to celebrate various holiday's throughout the year.  When I saw the post for these Waffle Heart Sandwiches over at Weelicious I just knew she would love them!

We used almond butter, whipped cream cheese (a luxury item around here), some fresh raspberries and honey.  We had so much fun cutting out the hearts and filling the sandwiches with yummy stuff!  While I thought about it too late, I think adding some sliced bananas would be really good in them too! Feel free to play around with what ingredients your family likes best!

Waffle Heart Sandwiches
adapted from Weelicious


6 slices of whole grain bread
3 tbs whipped cream cheese
3 tbs almond butter
handful of fresh raspberries


Preheat your waffle iron

Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut each slice of bread into a heart shape.

Slather the bread with almond butter, whipped cream cheese a drizzle of honey and 3-4 raspberries and the put the pieces of bread together to make a sandwich.  Add heart sandwiches to the waffle iron and toast for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly and enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Fresh Life

I can't even tell you how excited I am about all this!  I have been busy studying and working hard learning all I can at IIN recently.  I have also been spending much time brainstorming and thinking of just what I want my health coaching practice to look like.  After much prayer and thought I finally have it.  Set your eyes on....
 The Fresh Life will be offering Holistic Health Coaching and Wellness Consultanting programs and I am just so excited about it!  I will be working with clients trying to overcome sugar cravings, achieve an optimal weight, find easy ways to prepare healthful meals for your family, and have more energy to enjoy fresh and joyful living.

I feel like God truly blessed me with this opportunity and it came at just the right time.  While I still have a few months yet before I can start seeing clients, I do have a Facebook page up and running and would love for you to take a moment and "like" The Fresh Life to keep up-to-date with new program information and healthy living tips!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pesto Spaghetti with Kale, Mushrooms and Feta

Are you ready for Valentine's Day???  I am super excited for Valentine's this year.  Pat and I are actually heading to a cute B&B up in South Haven MI in the next week for a little get-away, just the two of us :)  I also found some really cute heart themed food to make with Lucy next week too!  I can't wait to share everything with you!

But for now, here is a super easy, healthy and totally yummy meal you can make for your loved ones.  Even my meat-lover husband thought this was filling and delicious, but if you wanted to add a little extra protein, some sliced grilled chicken might be really nice.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pesto Spaghetti with Kale, Mushrooms and Feta
adapted from A Couple Cooks


2 12oz jars of roasted red bell peppers
1 6.5oz jar of sundried tomatoes packed in oil
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup to 1 cup walnuts
1/4 tsp salt
1 bunch kale
8 oz baby portabella mushrooms
1 tbs olive oil
pinch red pepper flakes
12oz to 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Feta crumbles


In a food processor combine roasted bell peppers, sundried tomatoes and oil, 1 tbs olive oil, 1/2 cup walnuts (or more if you want a nuttier pesto), and 1/4 tsp salt.  Process until smooth.

Boil the pasta according to package instructions.

In a dry skillet, toast 1/2 cup chopped walnuts over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and toasted.  Set aside and clean out skillet to use again.

Wash and chop kale and mushrooms.  Heat 1tbs olive oil and red pepper flakes in the previously used skillet over medium heat.  Add kale and mushrooms and sauté.  Add a pinch of salt.

When mushroom and kale mixture is done add to the pasta and mix in pesto according to your taste preferences.  Top with toasted walnuts and feta crumbles.  Enjoy!