red, leopard, and gardein

Can I just say this little combo made me so happy when I wore it on Friday:

Red skinnies and leopard flats.   Try some red and leopard this week, you won’t be let down, and if this rainy weather keeps up you’ll need some color pops in your wardrobe to pick you up.

It’s not even 11am but I’m already fantasizing about my new favorite find.   Gardein crispy tenders:

Short of throwing some tofu in a Moe’s bowl, I hadn’t jumped on the simulated meat bandwagon because I thought it would taste creepy.  My friend Laura suggested I try these  and I’ll admit I was super skeptical.  Shouldn’t have been -they were delicious!  The consistency is similar to chicken, and while it doesn’t taste like chicken it’s not like eating a bad veggie burger.  The breading is also fantastic and not too overpowering.    I’m thinking I might even be able to fool the kid with them.   I basically made the same meal I made last week because I love sweet potato fries and kale, but used the agave/balsamic glaze as dipping sauce.

Curious about the other Gardein products, would love to hear your thoughts!

simple spring pasta

I’m feeling under the weather, stomach problems, JOY!   I lost 4 pounds in a day, so…yea.    When I’m tummy sick I have to trick my body into accepting foods.   It usually involves carbs, so I decided to break out a very simple spring pasta and asparagus recipe.    I was hoping this fresh asparagus would act as a veggie superhero and make me feel amazing.

This recipe is the easiest thing in the world.   I don’t remember where I found it, it was one that I had written up in one of my recipe books and I modified it to be veg friendly.   I will say that if you aren’t veggie or vegan making this with the original ingredients (chicken broth and pecorino cheese) is delicious!  Maybe even throw some bacon on there too?

ASPARAGUS & PENNE PASTA

  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound of fresh asparagus (sliced in 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth (I subbed with 1 cup organic vegetable broth)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese (I skipped the cheese)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shaved fresh pecorino Romano cheese (I skipped this cheese too)

PREPARE

  1. Cook pasta in boiling water with 1 tablespoon kosher salt according to package directions, omitting additional fat. Drain.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat.
  3. Add asparagus to pan; cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan; keep warm.
  4. Add broth, lemon rind, and garlic to pan; cook until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 6 minutes). Return asparagus to pan.
  5. Add pasta, grated cheese, salt, and pepper; toss well. Place about 1 1/4 cups pasta mixture in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons shaved cheese.
While making this, the lemon rind really perked me up.    Nature’s created all sorts of little pick me ups
It’s a perfect tasty pasta, great to make in the spring or summer!

happy 3!

This month I celebrate three years of blogging incredibly random posts on ashallann.com.  I know my blog isn’t very focused, I don’t make $$$ off it, I just post what  I want and that makes me happy.  I’ve met some really cool readers, bloggers and discovered some awesome sites because of this thing.   I don’t know what made me stick with this one, but I’m happy I did.   Sometimes just writing a random post about a wine bra can really keep you level, serious.    I haven’t done a giveaway in awhile, I think I’ll throw one out there in a few weeks to celebrate, I genuinely enjoy giving stuff away.

I have a doctor’s appointment this morning to discuss —- something — hmmm what was it?  I can’t remember the exact reason the doctor wanted to see me, I just hope I don’t have to put on one of those gowns, and stirrups had better not be involved. I hate being told I need to be seen “right away” if I call with an issue and then given an appointment 6 weeks out.   Speedy service.

Odds are good panic attacks will come up today with my doctor, oh glorious anxiety.   I’m finding more and more a lot of friends have dealt with severe anxiety, and have overcome it to some extent.   One friend found her  escape through meditation (already signed up for a meditation retreat in the new year, check.)  Another friend found help with hypnosis (I‘m going to try to be a guinea pig for a friend training to be a hypnotherapist, check.)  Several friends found help through diet change (working on it, check-ish.) One found a relief from anxiety through running marathons (ahhhh, we’ll see.)

The diet change aspect is probably the easiest to control in the immediate.  I have a lot of friends who rave about vegan-ism.   Short of enjoying some vegan items at New World Bistro it always sounded way too difficult.  My friend Betsy went vegan (is that how you say it, do you go vegan like you go to a bar)  about five years ago because she’s a superhero.  She’s been telling me for years how much it’s changed her life for the better.  I listened intently as she would discuss her love of disgusting things like tofu and vegetables I never knew existed.   As more and more friends keep calling it their answer I’ve turned back to Betsey looking for guidance (and I’m sure she’s gloating as she reads this, suck it.)  I’m not going to become a vegan, but I’d like to investigate.  I don’t eat meat.  I can’t eat dairy.  I’ve abandoned most processed foods (once the Halloween candy is gone.)  My biggest question for Betsey was “what the f*ck can I eat that isn’t scary?”   She told me she finds a ton of great  easy recipes on Pinterest.   She was right, I went searching/pinning last night and found the cutest website ever created.  The Vegan Stoner.    How delicious does this look:

Right?  And check out how stupid easy these recipes are:


I could totally do this.  I bet I could even trick a few of my friends at work into eating this stuff too:


I might even be able to trick manfriend into easting some of this stuff and he practically brushes his teeth with meat.    I’m just desperately looking for any non drug relief from anxiety, so trying a few “healthy” recipes void of processed isht can’t hurt, right?

 

*images via the Vegan Stoner (sorry can’t link direct to the recipes, apologies for the interwebs hijacking)

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