Everything is good with carmelized pecans

The lack of posting is due to a potential job opportunity.  I had an interview and everything seemed to go well, but I haven’t gotten the official “we want you to take the job” statement yet.  In the spirit of keeping the blog semi-private, the general idea of the job is to be a wellness counselor and take groups of people enrolled in the program and teach them relaxation techniques through yoga and stress-relief through exercise.  It will also include some nutritional counseling and partnerships with other medical professionals.  I am really excited about it!

I realize that I have not posted much about exercising lately.  Mostly because I do not really want to, but also due to laziness.  I have been working out more than usual lately, and it is mostly due to the prospects of this job.  I want to be in my best physical conditioning so that I could properly work these participants out.  J has been religiously waking up with me to do various P90X videos that do not require any weights (we are either too lazy/too cheap to buy the equipment right now).  Typically, I will go to the gym in the morning after that and do a long run (over 4 miles) and alternate between upper body and lower body circuit workouts. 

Anyway, the other night I made a well rounded meal for us.  J got Balsamic Chicken and then for sides we had asparagus risotto and mashed sweet potatoes.  I also made pomegranate molasses for Carla’s “Pomegranate and Carmelized Pecan Muffins.”  I somewhat cheated on the risotto because it was a mix from Harry and David.  But I did take all the time to heat the veggie broth and stir and stir until it was done.  Boy was it delicious too!  Anyway, the muffins, chicken, and sweet potatoes were from scratch ;).  We have also done pizza with a new whole wheat crust recipe and I made Oh She Glows Pumpkin Breakfast Cake.  The breakfast cake was fantastic, but was consumed for dinner and not breakfast.  Oh well.  I had a horrible headache last night, which I don’t have often and therefore am a pansy when they come on, and decided that something nutritious that was just thrown into the blender was perfect.  Do not expect it to be super sweet, but it was savory and spicey, which was wonderful since it has started snowing frequently again.  Just when I was starting to get used to not wearing snow boots…anyway, here is a fantastic picture…


First off, the muffins were fantastic.  I had some trouble tasting the pomegranate, but I would totally make these again.  They were delicious and the carmelized pecans were wonderful!  J even enjoyed them and had more than one, which is always a good sign.

Delicious Muffins!

Balsamic Chicken (not vegan)

1.5 lbs of chicken tenderloins

1/4 c. flour

1 tsp salt and pepper

1 onion, chopped

1/4 c. water

2 tbsp blasamic vinegar

1/2 tsp thyme

1/8 tsp rosemary

Combine flour and salt and pepper on a large platter and toss chicken to coat.  Saute chicken in olive oil for about 4-5 minutes each side until browned and done.  Remove and keep warm.  Add onion to the same pan and cook until tender.  Add water and scrape browned bits off the bottom of the pan.  Add vinegar, thyme, and rosemary.  Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Notes!  J loved this.  I was also content that it was fairly healthy.  I will add more balsamic vinegar next time, because when the sauce reduced there seemed to not be enough to cover the chicken.  He initially had this with the risotto then he had it over rice, because he loves the carbs.

Balsamic Chicken

 Just for kicks here is the risotto…halfway cheated since it was from a mix, but it worked well and was amazingly delicious, and vegan!

Asparagus Risotto (vegan!)


Risotto yummy-ness

Mashed Sweet Potatoes (vegan)

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into cubes

2 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine

2 handfuls of walnut pieces

brown sugar for topping

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.  Drain potatoes and place back in saute pan.  Mash with potato masher and add in margarine and walnuts.  Top each serving with a small sprinkling of brown sugar.

Notes!  I put this together at the last minute because I had three sweet potatoes that needed to be cooked.  This was so good, and while J would have liked more butter, less sweet potato and more red potato, it was delicious nonetheless.  Plus it really isn’t that bad for you.  I used Earth Balance for the margarine and it was tasty as usual.

Sweet Potato Mash

Whole Grain Pizza Crust (vegan)

1 1/2 c. warm water

1 tbsp active dry yeast (1 envelope)

1 tsp maple syrup

2 c. flour

1 c. whole wheat flour

3/4 tsp salt

2 tsp olive oil

Combine 1/2 c. warm water with syrup and yeast and let sit 5 minutes.  Mix flours and salt in stand mixer with dough hook until combined.  Add yeast, oil and remaining 1 c. water.  Mix until dough forms a ball.  Take dough and place on a floured surface and cover with wax paper.  Let rest for 20 minutes.  Divide dough into two balls and use for two different pizzas.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Top pizza dough and bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until browned.

Notes!  I love this dough.  I like it better than the last dough that I made and will probably make this all the time.  As we speak there are four balls of dough in the freezer ;).  Plus it takes way less time to make which made it even better.  No picture though…sorry!


About OneVeganFoodie

Let's see. I am a certified personal trainer (CPT), group exercise instructor, nutritional counselor, and wellness counselor. My training background focuses mainly on getting overweight populations into shape, but I have worked with people wanting to gain strength/healthy weight and agility. I worked with the Army and the Marines for several years before settling into a civilian lifestyle. I'm still adjusting and I really miss it. I also enjoy coaching non-runners through their first running event. I post my workouts on here but remember that you need to seek medical advice prior to starting a new exercise regimine. I also love food. I've been vegetarian for 10 years and 4 of the last years I have been completely vegan. I love food and I love to cook. I follow a strict diet that I do not recommend for everyone, but I really enjoy as it keeps me healthy and helps me to know what is going into my body.
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