Monday, February 15, 2016

Meatless Monday Ginger Soy Veggie Stir Fry

As I mentioned earlier, I am dabbling in the world of pasta for the first time in my life - and yes, I have gone almost 30 years without ever cooking or enjoying pasta (every time I mention this people act like I'm saying I murdered someone) so there's a bit of a learning curve here. Not posted: pasta fails from last week  /:

This one was too easy, we both liked it, and we had leftovers for days. I never considered cooking with fresh ginger until I tried out Blue Apron (for a week) and now I want to add it to everything! I love the flavor the ginger adds! What else can I cook with ginger? Suggestions please!

Servings: 4
Cook Time: 20 mins
Prep Time: 5 mins

  • 6 oz organic pasta, rice noodles, or squoodles (whatever you prefer, I used the organic pasta from Wal-Mart) $2
  • 1 container Trader Joe's Asian Stir Fry Veggies ($4)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 handful cashews, chopped ($.50)
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (Paleo DIY)
  • Lime juice of 1/2 lime 
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil/coconut oil/cooking fat of choice
  • Salt & pepper

Cook the pasta. While pasta is cooking, coat a large frying pan with olive oil or cooking fat of your choice and heat. Add in the vegetables and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add in the ginger and cashews and cook another 3-5 minutes.

Once the pasta is ready add it to the pan. Add the soy sauce and lime juice and continue to cook over medium heat, covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Annnd that's it!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Veggie Packed Green Smoothies That Taste so Good I Have One Every Morning

A little over a year ago I ventured into the land of Green Smoothies and failed miserably, learned from those lessons, and continued to up my smoothie game. Goal: cram as many vegetables and nutrients into a breakfast that still tastes like something I can drink and actually fills me up. These are some pretty lofty expectations but I've reached something (after lots of fails) that is working out so well that I actually look forward to my morning smoothies!

A few disclaimers about this recipe:
  1. I make my smoothies at 6 a.m. For the last 6 months I have been meaning to measure out exactly how much of each ingredient I use so I can give measurements more technical than "handfuls", but alas, tasks like this are not possible for me pre-coffee.
  2. I finally caved and got a re-furbished Vitamix and while it hurt at the moment, it's the only thing I use every single day for probably more than 1 meal each day (it's a food processor and juicer also), and it has a 5 year warranty so I am justifying it. My friends and family also love their Ninjas and Blendtecs which can be a little less costly. I like my new blender better for these smoothies because it really gets the chunks out. And can blend the sh*t out of hard veggies (I once threw a beet in there. A beet.) and fruits.

Serving: 1
Prep Time: 10ish mins

  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Cashew/Almond/Soy Milk 
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 Handful Broccoli (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 Cup Mixed Frozen Fruit (I buy this giant bag at Wal-Mart and it lasts a little over 2 weeks)
  • 1/2 cup various leftover veggies (recently I've been adding in carrots and/or beet stems, I even threw in a few brussel sprouts the other day)
  • 1 handful of greens (I use Kale + leftover beet greens. Spinach works too)
  • 1/2 lemon of lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed aka Flax Meal
Put everything in the blender in the order listed and blend on high until everything is smooth (if using Vitamix put it on blender setting).

Ok also full disclosure: immediately after taking this picture, I screwed the lid on my smoothie- the lid of the container that is made to hold liquids, set it in my bag, my bag fell on the floor, and the smoothie exploded everywhere. Everywhere including my winter coat, Harrison's suit jacket that was sitting out ready to be worn, all over the carpet, every.freaking.where. SCREWY ON LID CONTAINER, YOU HAD ONE JOB. ONE. JOB. I cried (I was so hungry/hangry), and was 30 minutes late to work-not just because of cleaning up the mess, but because I sat and researched screw-on-lid tupperware and ordered 4 on Amazon. 

What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Favs: Monthly Subscriptions That Save Me Money and Make Life Easier

As an extremely frugal and analytical person, I intensely investigate pretty much everything before I commit to spending money on it to find any potential hidden costs and to determine whether or not it will actually save me money. Here are the subscriptions that have saved me money (and some that haven't) and my favorite things to use them for:

The Great Subscriptions:

Amazon Prime

Cost: $99/year

How It Works: Free two day shipping on Prime Items (almost everything is Prime) - BUT if you opt out of the two day shipping for an order you get credit towards e-books. Also includes Prime Video, Prime Music (haven't figured that out yet), free e-books (I haven't taken enough time to investigate this part), unlimited Cloud Storage (hi all the photos in the world), and early access to (fashion stuff!) and Lightning Deals (aka Black Friday Style sales).

Things I use it for/How I justify paying for it: 
The prices on products are generally pretty low and I can always find random little things that I don't know where to find with FREE SHIPPING. I think the free shipping pays for itself with the $99. I also feel like the free shipping around Christmas time reduces my holiday stress level ten-fold which is worth $99/year. I buy:
  • Dog Food and meds (30 lbs delivered to my door is much nicer than carrying 30 lbs from the Wal-Mart zoo)
  • Transparent (!!)
  • All Christmas gifts
  • Pretty much everything except produce - I'm at a point in life where if I can't get it on Amazon I don't think I need it that bad.
  • Cloud Storage- I have the Amazon Cloud app on my phone which automatically uploads my pictures and videos. I can organize them into files and share them even with people who don't have Prime. Clutch.
  • Access to all HBO shows and movies (hi snow day!)


Cost: $7.99/month

How it Works: Free movies and shows streaming to your computer/cell phone/ipad/Apple TV/Smart TV/Video on Demand.

Things I Use it For/How I justify paying for it:
Before I was roommates with Harrison (my current husband who requires ESPN and HBO), I canceled cable and it was fine because Netflix. All the shows and movies- specifically:
  • Master of None
  • Arrested Development reruns for life
  • Documentaries
  • Narcos 
  • Making a Murder 

Cost: $45/month

How it Works: For ~$13 bottle, Club W delivers 3 bottles of wine to your doorstep. You can choose your own or take their suggestions. You take a little quiz in the beginning and they make recs based on that. 

Things I Use it For/How I justify paying for it
Look I'm simple and my knowledge of wine includes only three things: 1) red wine stains my teeth which makes me appear drunker than I am, 2) I only know how to buy 2 Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's and 3) Vineyards are fun and pretty! Therefore, when I'm supposed to bring wine to a dinner or something I am clueless. How much should I spend? What do I bring? Is 2 Buck Chuck acceptable? So I leave it to Club W. I have also discovered wines I really enjoy (I usually drink at least one from the box, except snowzilla when the whole box was consumed) and have ordered those from Club W. Thank you, Leslie for turning me onto this!

Subscriptions that didn't save me money or work out for me for whatever reason (don't hate me!:

Meal box subscriptions (Blue Apron, Hello Fresh): $60 for 3 meals for 2 people? I try to feed 2 people all meals all week for under $100. Not in my price range.

Birchbox (eeek I know don't hate me!): I ended up using 1 or 2 products per box, which made me feel like a sample hoarder with nowhere to store my samples - they started pouring into personal spaces. It was too much.