vegan pulled pork sandwiches

Hello all! I know that title might sound weird, especially as my husband and I are religiously pork-free and don’t eat it at all, so why would we even want pulled pork sandwiches?

I don’t really know why I tried this recipe, but it might be because when I watch the Food Network, there are tons of pork recipes and juicy-looking pork stuff going on, and sometimes it does look good. I’m being honest, here. Sometimes it does look good.

Often I will see pork recipes that read tasty, and I will make them with chicken – usually works ok. But it’s not the same, and I also have plenty of recipes for pulled chicken what-have-yous. This is completely different! (And, side note, lentils and carrots are a lot cheaper than organic chicken!)

Not only that, but Joshua LOVED them! I mean, I didn’t even know he liked pulled pork sandwiches back in the day. But apparently yes! And these really were “the best”, as Minimalist Baker has said. Messy, and best eaten with a hard apple cider on the side…

Just saying.

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mustard-crusted potatoes

To go along with my chicken I posted the other day, I made these mustard potatoes. They remind me of potatoes I had at my sister’s house one time – very tasty! For those of you watching your fat intake, as my husband is, I found the olive oil not totally necessary. The recipe calls for 1/3 cup, but I didn’t put near that much, and it worked great, all the same.

One important note, not mentioned in the recipe: line your baking sheet with tin foil. Obviously, the mustard sauce tends to drip onto the pan, and mine got burnt in place on my pan, which made clean-up difficult. Nothing wrong with the potatoes themselves, though – they were fine and not burnt at all.

This one’s a keeper!

Mustard-Crusted Potatoes

taco torte + green chile queso

For two and a half days last week, I babysat my sister’s three adorable children (ages 4 and under). Let me tell you: it was a crazy ride! Thank goodness, they are well-behaved and generally extremely obedient and also on the quieter, peaceful side, so it was actually kind of fun being “mom” for a few days. On the other hand, I didn’t do much cooking, because my sister had her menu planned and food provided.

However, on Friday, the evening my sister and her husband returned from a birthday trip in DC, I made a spicy Mexican fiesta to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday. My sister doesn’t cook spicy very often because of her kids, so this was apparently a treat.

My menu included a taco torte (Mexican lasagna) from Smitten Kitchen and a deliciously creamy and very spicy homemade green chile queso from How Sweet It Is. We threw chips, pico de gallo, and guacamole into the mix as well, not to mention the margaritas…it was quite the meal. Both the torte and the queso deserve a mention in this post, as they were delectable and will definitely be reappearing on our table at some point!

Taco Torte

Green Chile Queso

Note: I used 6″ corn tortillas to make my torte, and placed the stacks side-by-side in a glass 13×9″ baking dish lined with foil. It worked perfectly, and served four hungry adults with plenty to spare.

there will be light

We are winding down day six of this cleanse. It has been a tough row to hoe. I really didn’t think I would say that! I mean, I’m a foodie, but…it’s just food. And it’s only 10 days. Really, how bad could this be?

Well, pretty bad.

On Saturday, Joshua and I were staring at each other, just reeling off all the things we were craving. Burgers, cheese, ice cream, pasta, rice, coffee, wine, cocktails…the list was kind of endless. And that was only day three!

No meal felt satisfying.

We were full, we didn’t need to eat more. We just weren’t satisfied.

And then on Sunday, we were kind of dragging all day. We helped a family move in the morning, which  took two hours, and I felt so worn out at the end of it. I didn’t even really do any heavy lifting, but for the rest of the day, I felt like I just needed to sit down. Standing up was work. All my bones felt tired. And achy.

Monday was day five, the start of the hardest days of the cleanse (with regard to food). More restrictions, more limitations. Lots of apples and beans and spinach, not a lot of anything else. Oh, except Metagenics protein powder. <gag> The berry one is not bad! But when you have two scoops four times a day………… And on top of that, more aching. Joshua said he felt like he had the flu, and I was like, “That’s good! That means it’s working!”, because that’s what they tell us. And I do believe that. We couldn’t feel like this and it not be doing anything. Right? Right???? Right.

My mom suggested we take an epsom salt bath to help draw out the impurities, and I abhor baths. I really hate them. It’s totally a mental thing, but I have a real aversion to the feel of a bath. Guess what I was doing on Monday night?

So yeah. The cleanse has pushed us to our limits in some ways. We had big plans of doing half-workouts for the week of the cleanse, but we quickly threw that out, once we realized what this was doing to us.

Today, we feel better. Maybe it’s the bath, maybe it’s that the toxins are almost out of our systems, who knows. More importantly, and more apropos to the subject matter of this blog, we are having one of my favorite recipes tonight, with only a few minor tweaks. Spiced Indian Lentils. Instead of serving them in tacos, as I usually do on Taco Tuesday, I’m doing a roasted cauliflower base. Most of the meals we’ve eaten during this cleanse have been very simple and usually just one dish.

So that’s where we are! Don’t think that the cleanse is horrible – it’s not, it’s just harder than I thought it would be. But we will survive! And in the meantime…

…dreaming of waffles.

the joy of cleansing

Hello! It’s me!

I’m back.

I was recently reminded that this blog of mine existed when my brother-in-law was laughing about the title (so literal, he said!). And then I’ve been keeping up with my sister’s new blog she launched a few weeks ago, and I thought, wait a second! Don’t I like to blog? And I thought, yes. I do.

So here I am! Another reason I am jumping back on the blogging bandwagon now is because my husband and I are actually starting a liver cleanse today.

Oh joy.

I know, you’re so excited about all the amazing and tasty cleanse recipes I’m going to post.

I know how you feel.

No, it won’t be exciting. But I thought I would post throughout the cleanse (it’s only 10 days), not every day, but enough to tell how it’s going. And then next year, maybe we’ll cleanse again and I will know exactly what I did and how it went and we can just replicate the process. #soeasy And then maybe you would also like to cleanse! And you would have my plan at your disposal. 😀

So, for starters, we are using the Metagenics brand UltraClear protein powder and method for our liver cleanse. It comes with a little booklet of instructions and lists of food you can eat and a handful of recipes in the back. If you like to cook healthy food, the cleanse doesn’t sound too hard. I do, and I also like to plan things out very carefully, so I spent what turned into a couple of hours planning out the breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks we would be eating for these 10 days. It took me a while, probably because it was nighttime and also because I didn’t have any caffeine in my system, and then also because I wasn’t hungry. My mom says to always plan your menu when you’re a little bit hungry. She is so right.

Anyway. We are starting today! Yay! This first day is one of the easiest. We are having oatmeal for breakfast (homemade, unsweetened), with berries and bananas. Joshua is having brown rice pasta and a homemade tomato sauce with mushrooms for lunch. And then we are having a spicy black bean recipe over rice for dinner. We are allowed to eat some starches and grains at this point, so it’s relatively easy to fill up and enjoy the meal. We’re having sugar snaps and clementines for snacks; life is still very good.

The liver cleanse booklet says that being hungry the first few days is normal, but that it will subside. Also, they say if we feel muscle aches, that’s normal, and it means the cleanse is working. (!) They also say to lay off strenuous or prolonged exercise while cleansing, as your body needs the calories you’re consuming, and it can’t really spare any for rebuilding muscle and such. So we’re cutting our workout routine in half for the days of the cleanse. (It’s actually kind of exciting.)

If the spicy black beans are tasty, I will post the recipe. If they are not, I will save you from them.

In the meantime, cheers! And here are a few of my favorite recipes I’ve made the in recent past – enjoy:

  1. Spicy Vegan Pad Thai
  2. Baked Corn & Tomato Risotto
  3. Grilled Chicken, Burst Tomato, and Artichoke Skewers w/ Goat Cheese Dip
  4. Nigel Slater’s Banana Bread
  5. Sheet Pan Chicken Tikka