On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


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Today: Vegetarian chili for lazy people.

And busy people.  And people who are afraid to leave slow cookers on whilst they’re at work.  And people who would rather risk eating beans from a can than soak dried beans overnight.  And people who like tomatoes, a variety of beans, some onions, some garlic, and a kick of spice.  Because, really, that’s all it takes.

Lazy vegetarian chili

Yields 6-8 servings.  Sort of depends on how hungry you are.

Ingredients:

  • One 16 oz. can of organic whole peeled tomatoes
  • Three cans or cartons of organic beans (I used dark red kidney beans, ranchero beans, and black beans)
  • Three cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • One medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons organic olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Thoroughly rinse your beans.
  2. In a large stock pot, saute garlic and onions in olive oil over medium heat until onions are soft.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and any other desired spices.  I like to add red pepper flakes for a little heat.
  4. Stir in beans and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with a large wooden spoon (This can also be done ahead of time, but why dirty up another bowl or pot?  Maybe you’re not so lazy after all?).
  5. Cover pot and reduce to a simmer.  Your lazy vegetarian chili is ready to enjoy as soon as your beans and tomatoes are heated through, but the longer it simmers, the more flavorful it becomes.  And the more spicy your condo smells.
  6. Serve piping hot with a bit of cilantro, red onions, or shredded cheese.

Sometimes laziness pays off.  Sometimes.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Weekly B12 shot
  • Heading to the Head of the Charles this weekend?  Get schooled here.
  • Missing hockey 😦

What’s On Tap for your weekend?


6 Comments

Today: A weekend at home.

Home Alone

My older brother and sister-in-law celebrated their wedding anniversary this week, which meant Nick and I got to babysit our niece for the first time.  We partied like animals, singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star while changing into PJs at 6:45 PM and reading not one, but two books before bed.  She is just heaven to be around.

Home Improvement

Much of the rest of the weekend was spent working on wedding projects and trying to rectify the broken sink situation.  We made two trips to Home Depot and managed to sneak in a little fun between visits to the faucet aisle.  There is so much to see and touch (and break) in that store.  I was tempted to buy a pink ride-on pony from the Christmas section, but refrained.  Instead, we picked up some PVC pipe for mobility and Crossfit practice at home.  It will also come in handy when I want to turn off the light switch without getting up from the sofa.  Just kidding.  Mostly.

Home away from home

 

We spent this morning at Clark’s home away from home, the local children’s hospital where he does his therapy dog visits.  I can think of no better way to pass a rainy Sunday morning than watching the kids snuggle with the Frenchie, feed him treats, tug on his ears, and hold him in their laps.  It makes my heart swell.

Home cookin’

At the risk of tooting my own horn, I’m very excited to share that On Tap for Today was included in the North Atlantic edition of the Whole Foods Market 2012 Holiday Magazine’s “On the Web: Fresh Voices” feature, along with my pal Caitlin and the lovely We Are Not Martha girls.  I’m really grateful to the team at Whole Foods for including me, and was sure to pick up a few copies today after grabbing groceries at River Street.

On the menu tonight?  Enough vegetarian chili to feed an army.

 

Homemade

What would Sunday night be without a do-it-myself manicure?

I live for rituals.  And weekends at home.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Packing up goodies for Kasee, my #atxbos match
  • Getting ready for the week ahead
  • Seating charts 🙂

What’s your Sunday ritual?


3 Comments

Today: Give us this day our daily juice.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I bought a juicer a year ago, or so.  I used it a number of times, almost lost a finger once, got sick of cleaning up after myself, and then hid the whole thing away.  It lived under our sink with 9,000 reusable Whole Foods bags (I’m more likely to buy a few new ones that the store than endure the shame of requesting paper) and various other rarely used appliances until last week.  Nick and I have been going balls to the wall, proverbially speaking, with juicing as of late.  A man who will give you the choice of first shower or firing up the juicer?  I’ve got myself a keeper.  After a few weeks of struggling to get up and out the door on time, our new little juice ritual is working wonders.  Perhaps this #hulkjuice is turning me into the Incredible Elizabeth?

Drinking fresh vegetable and fruit juice in the morning is sort of like exercising at the start of the day.  It’s an insurance policy against all the naughty choices I might make later on, and great motivation to keep on the straight and narrow.  Whatever that means.  Even after just a single week of morning juice, I feel a difference.  I have more energy and fewer random cravings.  I don’t need to sneak Diet Coke.  I’ve made better choices at lunch and dinner (namely: more vegetables, in non-liquid form).  I haven’t given anyone the finger during my commute.  Did I mention my skin is glowing?  Oh.  Maybe that’s just the fluorescent overhead lighting.

It turns out the juicer is very easy to clean if you tend to it right away.  I am sure that was somewhere in the directions (why read them when you can promptly recycle them?).  It still takes up considerable counter space (the juicer isn’t getting any smaller, and our condo isn’t getting any larger), but we’re making do.  For people like me who have trouble following recipes, winging it is perfectly acceptable when juicing.  After making multiple trips to procure more kale, I finally just started grabbing whatever was in our refrigerator or on the counter.  A few combinations that have worked well:

  • 1 bunch of kale, 2 cups of spinach, 1 lemon, 1/2 cucumber, 3 stalks of celery, 1 inch of fresh ginger, 1 apple, 1 handful of parsley
  • 3 cups of spinach, 2 apples, 2 carrots, 1 lemon
  • 2 cups of spinach, 3 stalks of celery, 1 lemon, 1 apple, 1 orange, 1 medium cucumber, 1 cup of raspberries

Each batch perfectly fills two tall glasses.  Next adventure: make use of all that pulp.  And make fewer trips to the market.

Also On Tap for Today:

What does your morning routine look like?


3 Comments

Today: Grown up snack packs.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I couldn’t help but think of Billy Madison on Sunday night, while whipping up lunches for the week.

Billy Madison: Where’s my snack paaaack?
Juanita: You got a banana, you don’t need no snack pack.

I don’t care what Juanita says.  I need both a banana and a snack pack to get me through the day.  I like variety.  And you know what they say: Good things come in small (plastic, likely hazardous) packages.

I’ve been following my RD’s recommendations to ensure I get enough protein.  Knowing now that lactose isn’t an issue, I’ve been back on the sauce low fat cottage cheese lately.  Though it looks rather terrifying in the photo above, cottage cheese can be a great source of protein for vegetarians.  I like to add a little ground pepper to spice it up a bit.  In addition to a bigger green salad, I packed up a few miniature caprese salads featuring teeny, tiny bocconcini, heirloom cherry tomatoes, and a heaping amount of fresh basil.  Also in my snack pack to start the week: fresh raspberries and carrots with hummus.

Check out my snack pack stack.  Or whatever.  Kids shouldn’t be the only ones to have fun at lunch time.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was your favorite food growing up?


3 Comments

Today: The non-dairy queen.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Weather like this has me craving a Blizzard.  The ice cream treat, not the weather event.  There is only so much Lactaid a girl can take, though.  Fortunately, there are all kinds of frozen non-dairy “ice cream” available these days.

All it takes is three simple ingredients (four if you include the punchy straw): almond milk, mint chip non-dairy frozen dessert (also made with almond milk) and ice.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite summer treat?


4 Comments

Today: Freedom Trail mix muffins.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I was strolling down Main Street in Charlestown when inspiration for the HLS Breakfast Showdown struck.  With the Freedom Trail at my feet, and a kitchen stocked with Wild Harvest goodies, I knew what I wanted to whip up.

Wild Harvest, Gold Sponsor of the 2012 Healthy Living Summit, sent this year’s participants ten of their favorite products, with the challenge to create a fun and healthy breakfast using three or more Wild Harvest ingredients.

Freedom Trail Mix Muffins

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups trail mix (I used WILD HARVEST organic animal crackers, WILD HARVEST organic raisins, dried Cape Cod cranberries, peanuts, and miniature dark chocolate chips)

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 WILD HARVEST organic eggs
  • 1 cup WILD HARVEST organic apple sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prep your muffin tins.  This recipe yields twelve regular sized muffins and 24 miniature muffins.
  2. Setting your trail mix aside, combine other dry ingredients and slowly incorporate wet ingredients.  Mix well.
  3. Add in trail mix and stir.  And try not to eat the batter.
  4. Fill each tin 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Why buy a pre-made trail mix when you can get creative and use what’s already in the pantry?  Dried fruit, nuts, and dark chocolate are sure bets.  I used Wild Harvest’s animal crackers as the base, and felt a bit badly breaking the head off an elephant and the butt off a bison.  Oh and yes, vegetarians do eat animal crackers.  Using apple sauce instead of butter or oil is a great way to keep your baked goods moist and light.  From a little idea on Main Street, these humble muffins hit the spot.

[Image source]

This little breakfast treats are perfect for a morning meal on the go, or for enjoying while sightseeing or strolling.  If you’re visiting Boston this summer, the Freedom Trail is not to be missed.  The 2.5 mile route covers sixteen historical sites and tells the story of the American Revolution.  Pack a snack.  Nerds like us shouldn’t have to choose between monuments and monumentally good muffins.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your weekend?


4 Comments

Today: Like the hippies do.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I am not especially pleasant when I am hungry.  It’s been a challenge to fill up while on an elimination diet, especially when some of my favorite sources of protein and fiber are off limits.

While whey protein isolate is on the okay, if you must list, the artificial sweeteners and other chemical brothers found in my protein powder of choice are very much on the don’t even think about it list.  My RD recommended hemp or rice protein, but I had no clue where to start.  Thanks to the magic of Twitter, I found myself on Hippie Butter‘s website.  And placed an order.  On 4/20.  (Sheer coincidence.)

After starting the morning like hippies do, I am feeling satisfied, energized, and not the least bit cranky.  Those happy people are on to something.

Vanilla, hemp and cinnamon protein shake

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp hemp seed protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp organic cinnamon

(Extremely obvious and likely unnecessary) Directions:

  1. In a large glass or shaker cup, combine hemp protein and almond milk.
  2. Stir until liquid and powder are incorporated.
  3. Add cinnamon, and stir.
  4. Shake can also be served over ice, and makes a great post-workout drink.

While the hemp seed protein powder is dense, it is not at all chalky.  I imagine it would mix well with frozen berries, citrus, and any number of smoothie or shake add-ins, as the powder itself has a very mild taste.  I much prefer it to other flavored powders.

I am looking forward to continuing to experiment with my happy little hemp seeds (I bet Bob Ross would have loved this stuff).  Hippy Butter has a number of other interesting products, too, including hemp coffee and skin care.  Like everything else that is good in this world (namely sparkling wine and stinky cheese), hemp powder should be kept refrigerated.

[Yoga Journal, June 2012]

With a few minutes to spare before the morning craze set in, I continued to embrace my inner hippy with a quick meditation.  One of my favorite aspects of yoga is the emphasis on setting your intention for your practice, or your day.  There’s nothing like a healthy dose of perspective, gratitude, and hope to keep you on track.

Now, if only my peace moccasins matched today’s outfit.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite way to start the day off right?