This Sandwich Isn’t for Sissies

My run in with the Banh Mi re-ignited my sandwich love.  I go through phases with these breaded darlings. I can only rely on City Market to get my fix, because they carry Udis and most sandwich places aren’t down with the gluten free. But when I was house sitting I wanted a simple lunch and since I was given free range of the kitchen (most of which I couldn’t eat anyway) I decided I was going to take full advantage of the package of bacon nestled between the shrunken blackberries and rigor-mortised lime that had seen better days.

Bacon is a devious meat. Even my friend Natalie, a vegetarian for many, many years, admits the smell of it sizzling is utterly seductive. In my opinion, bacon is one of the best tasting foods in the world, though unfortunately not the healthiest. I buy it once or twice a season, but if I had my way I’d eat an entire package of it in one crispy sitting. Since I planned on having a sandwich for lunch a few days, I didn’t want a meager BLT. I wanted something more substantial, something a 50s chauvinist husband would be proud of as he gave my bum an approving tap.  So, I combined my love of smoked salmon, eggs, and the BLT to create a mega sandwich of protein packed proportions. If you aren’t the salty-loving type this may not be for you, but if you are the guy or gal who would suck the pistachio shell just for the sodium, then please keep reading.

 

Ingredients:

2-3 Slices of Bacon

1 Fried Egg (I like mine a tiny bit gooey)

2 Slices of Bread (as always, for gluten free folks I endorse Udis)

3 Slices of Tomato

A few Spinach, Romaine, or Lettuce leaves

2 Slivers of Smoked Salmon

 

Equipment:

Long sleeve shirt (no one likes bacon grease burns)

Tin can

Fork

 

There is right way to cook bacon and a wrong way to cook bacon, and Chris’s mom once told me how to get perfect bacon that didn’t look like slices of coal. The key is to put bacon in the pan before you turn on the stove. This allows the bacon to become acclimated to the temperature. Don’t forget, you don’t need to spray, oil, or butter the pan, as bacon cooks in its own fat. Stay nearby when you’re cooking bacon and flip it with a fork before you think it’s cooked to your liking on the first side. The second side doesn’t take nearly as long, so now is not the time to get stuck in a conversation with your roommate or run to the bathroom. Tell me them shut up. Do the pee dance. Keep your eyes on the prize, babes. You will not abandon your post. Right before you think your bacon is done, take it off, as it will continue to cook even off the heat. I like my bacon crisp with a few rubbery knobs. Cut the bacon in half and put aside.

Next, very carefully crack the egg into the bacon grease. If you don’t have anything to cover your arms, it might be a better idea to crack it into a bowl and transfer that into the pan. While the egg cooks put take out your bread and put the bacon, tomatoes, spinach, and salmon on top. Flip the egg, and when that is done add it to the delicious pile of food and bring the pieces together. Hold on taste buds. Cool your jets stomach.

Now grab your tin can (and yes, it has to be tin or metal or glass, but not plastic, unless you want to be running to the ER with a burn) and carefully pour the excess bacon grease into it. Pouring this stuff down the sink leads to clogged drains. Let it cool and after you’re done eating throw the can away (unless you’re cool and save your bacon fat, in which case you’re already a pro and this is all “haaa-durrr” information”)

Now that your sandwich has had a little bit of time to settle, and the egg has cooled down, slice it in half, plate it, and try to not inhale it. Savor.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Lazy Saturdays

Life has been uneventful, though very healthy. The chia seeds have been doing great things for my insides (think flax seed but even better) and the weather has cooled off a little bit. This, of course, is a great thing. Believe it or not, northern New England is quite the humid place. We very rarely have dry heat. If you ever go to the beach on an 80+ day, you’ll probably find yourself pooling lots of sweat wherever your skin touches (i.e: back of knees, inner thighs, under arms, boobies.) It isn’t always a sexy scene. With the more bearable temps and bouts of shadiness, I was compelled to clean the house instead of desperately trying to make my way to the beach. This day turned into quite the adventure. There was fashion, food, and decorating all mixed into one.

Fashion

Pink is kind of a great color. I realized that a few months back when I did a post on a pink dress I wore to class. I haven’t always been the pink loving type. In fact, I think a lot of women shun the color, thinking it to be weak, childish, etc, etc. I now think pink is pretty cool (in small doses) and has the ability to perk you up. Recently I bought some pink sheets, which was quite the change up from the tan tones I was sleeping on for the past year. I love the way they contrast with my dark blue walls, and I cannot help but feel like a princess when I snuggle on in (or wake up in my glorious splendor.) Not only is the color great, but I’ve also realized the sheets are an excellent make-the-eggs-make-the-smoothie-walk-around-the-apartment look. The light weight fabric creates great movement—movement in clothing is so important—and I get to cover myself without resorting to gym shorts and crew neck sweaters. Am I a Grecian goddess? Am I a princess? Either way, I feel pretty good. I tried to take some pictures and I got this  really awesome effect. I’m not sure how it happened, but it needs to be immortalized somewhere, and WordPress seems to be the right venue. What do you wear when you traipse around your apartment?

80’s Movie sci-fi cover? I think so!

 

Gastro-Nonsense

After some passive cleaning, I dragged Chris down to the Asian market in the Old North End. I was listening to a raw foodie video the other day, which said Asian markets are great places to look for new fruits and vegetables—and I was bound to find a great supply of rice noodles. While Googling the best place to go to, I came across Asian 99, a store renowned in the area for a great banh mi sandwich.  Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich served on a baguette (there was a lot of French colonialism in Indochina) with shredded pickled carrots, onion , cilantro (I took that stuff off later), pate, pork salami Vietnamese style, and a spicy spread. The woman was quite understanding when I explained my gluten issue and that I would like the contents of the sandwich layered in a to-go box, which I would then assemble at home with some Udis. I also took a fat mango to go; the noodles would have to wait another day. Let me say: one has not lived until they’ve eaten a Banh Mi (and at $3.50 a sandwich I may have to live many lives!)

Humble looking, yet amazing.

Take. No. Prisoners.

Flowers and Rings: My Favorite Things

Before going out to meet a friend, I realized the apartment needed one final touch to spruce things up. My fake flowers have been a fuss-free godsend, but the other day I noticed some pink flowers growing right outside the apartment. With a water filled Mason jar and kitchen scissors, I stole away and clipped some branches off the bush. I added a few drops of bleach to help preserve them, and, voila, I was able to bring my mood enhancing pink motif into the kitchen. Let’s start making bets on how long I can keep them alive. Ps: Peep the awesome ring!

My Martha S. is shining through!

 

My days have been less hectic, but I’ve been finding ways to make the most of them!

Peel away ❤

Jocellyn

What Can I say? I’m the Miami Heat of Cooking!

Yesterday I cooked. Furiously. I came back from 8 hours of multitasking on 2 photocopy machines—I could live without ever seeing the button “properties” again—and needed to calm down. For the most part, the kitchen is generally my safe haven. The sun was still out, so as someone who’s working on their food photography skills, I jumped into action. I managed to take most of my photos before it got dark, and I tinkered around with the poor man’s photo shop (Picasa) to get some editing ideas. A fun and delicious evening. Hints and tips are welcome!

We’ll start at the end. Yesterday I felt like eating dessert first. I found a really awesome recipe on Pinterest a few weeks back for raw vegan chocolate mousse (there are so many floating around with varying ingredients) and decided that just had to happen. If you haven’t ever had raw vegan chocolate mousse…you just have to. That’s it. End of  story. It’s so decadent and not that bad for you, which are all good things in my book. Technically this particular mix isn’t 100% raw vegan (it’s more like 98%) because we use honey, which some vegans do not eat because it may harm bees, but it’s pretty darn close. If you want to go the full monty, soak some Medjool dates (or any dates, I suppose, but you can find those at a local co-op) in water for at least 2 hours and that will be your sweetener. At the last moment, sprinkle some berries on top and enjoy. I took the pictures in a pretty cup, but I’ll be honest and let you in on a secret. I actually ate some of it out of the food processor. Blade and all. My justification: it saves on dishes!

I won’t lie. The banana is mildly suggestive. PG-13.

My personal favorite!

 

I then decided my night needed a more visceral angle. My response was to grill up some red meat. Now when I take the time out to buy steak, which only happens once or twice a month, I go all out on the prep. Maybe it’s a rub, or a glaze, or both, but I very rarely slap it onto the grill and say “there.” My delicious mousse needed an equally delicious mate. I married my love off all things balsamic and coffee rubbed (although I don’t actually like to drink coffee) and found this delicious recipe. I only had plain balsamic and olive oil, but I used the other spices. Trust me, I don’t have flank steak money (a close cousin to McDonalds money), but I was able to turn this okay cut of meat into something delicious. For a side I made something I call: lazy man (or woman) “guac”. Slice up ½ an avocado, ½ a Roma tomato, and sprinkle with garlic sea salt flakes. No need to mash (unless you want to.) Bon appe-yum-yum. Note: I took this photo so you could have an idea of what I was eating. It got a little dark out by the time it was all said and done.

 

And finally, to tie everything together, I decided I needed a stiff drink. During my last week at Goodwill I bought a Cocktail book, which has proved to be most useful—or perhaps most wallet breaking, as time goes on.

My SAT reading comprehension skills are really coming in handy.

I guess we shall see. I found a recipe for a frozen daiquiri, so I made one from scratch and not that bottled stuff! I admit, it was a little strong, but prepared drinks aren’t necessarily something you should guzzle down. Nope, they need to be savored. Raw vegan chocolate mousse? Well, that’s another story. A very messy story.

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Groggy Mornings and Tasty Evenings

Last night I went out hard. No, I went out extremely hard. So hard that I woke up at 10:30 still plastered. Ugh, went my stomach. Grr, went my head. How did I use to live this way freshman year? I dialed Chris from the living room (yup, I was that pathetic) and offered him $1 to make me something to eat. He didn’t seem to keen on the idea, so I had to take matters into my own drunken hands: happy drunk at night is a delight. Still drunk in the morning? Everyone take warning. I rolled out of bed, got some toast in the belly, some Advil in as well, and went back to sleep in a mad attempt to sober up enough to make it to the beach. If a hangover isn’t the most perfect metaphor for Newton’s Third Law then I don’t know what is.

After some sun, fresh air, and ample amounts of water, I finally started to feel hungry, which is a good thing as I haven’t had much of an appetite these past few days. Tonight I took some south of the border inspiration and had a Mexican version of breakfast for dinner: re-fried beans, ½ an avocado, some steak slices cooked in balsamic, scrambled eggs, and homemade salsa. I’m still patting my belly and smiling in gastro-satisfaction.

The salsa was really easy to make, fresh, and light. Salsa, much like gazpacho, is one of those recipes you can really tinker with to suit your taste buds.  I cut up a roma tomato, a little bit of red onion, a glove of garlic, tossed it all in a little bit of olive oil, splash of red wine vinegar, and finally I sprinkled a spoonful of chia seeds on top. I made this first and let it sit in the fridge for awhile to let the flavors mix. In fact, I just took a brief writing break to try some, since it has had even more time to mix and mingle, and it’s absolutely divine.

Where the magic happens.

Hold up! Once you cut open an avocado it starts to turn brown and unappealing looking. What does one do with the leftover avocado half? Simple: you make yourself a delicious smoothie.

Berry-cado Smoothie

½ an avocado

1 banana

Milk or milk substitute

1-2 handfuls of frozen berries (I used raspberries)

Cut up the avocado, banana, and add to the blender. Then add in your milk. Right now I’m trying out Lactaid milk. Feel free to use any other dairy substitute as well. I admit I don’t measure out my milk. I’ve been making smoothies for a long time and know how much liquid to add so that I have a small mason jar sized drink. I know, me writing out recipes is mildly funny since I’m not much for measuring. But eyeball it. Do you want it thicker? Do you want it a little runnier? Start out small and keep adding (you can giveth, but you cannot taketh away—only God can do that!) until you reach a desired amount.

If you have a cheap blender, give the mixture a few pulses before adding in the berries, especially if you are using the frozen variety. If you’ve never used avocado in your smoothies before, you’ll be surprised by how thick just ½ of one will make your drink. Pour it into a glass and enjoy!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Chia Take Two

Several months ago I did a video about my obsession with trying new things. I enthusiastically jumped on the Chia Seed bus and got off a stop later. Ugh. The taste was so unsavory. So nutty. Which, I admit, was what the packaging said, but I didn’t expect it to be that bad. Fast forward to now, and with moving in and buying a new bed I haven’t had the money to buy an abundance of fruits and veggies for juicing, and I didn’t have any spinach to make a nutritious green smoothie—bananas, water, and raspberries seemed a little lackluster.

Hankering for something to kick start my system, (I’m still feeling like I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me since the dairy incident) I unearthed the bag of chia from the dark confines of the cupboard. “You better be worth it, Chia seeds, because this is the last banana,” I’m pretty sure I said out loud. I blended together a banana, water, handful of berries, and a tablespoon (the recommended dosage) of chia seeds. Chia seeds expand in liquid, so I let my drink settle in the refrigerator for 15 minutes while I went about making dinner.

It didn’t smell nutty, so I took a tentative sip. Deliciousness from the Aztec running gods.  Chia, I guess you weren’t so bad after all…in small tablespoon doses. What else could I do with these delicious, tiny seeds? I decided I was going to make some chia pudding—a popular way to consume chia—but my way, not using the directions that had let me astray months back. The outcome was delicious, so I bring you the recipe. As usual, I sort of throw things together depending on how much flavor I want, so besides a few measured out ingredients, feel free to guesstimate depending on your taste buds (and how much nutrition you are going for!)

Jocellyn’s Snappy Chia Pudding

(or)

(Insert your name) Snappy Chia Pudding.

Chia Seeds

Water

Vanilla extract

Raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Cocoa Powder

Cinnamon (Whenever I use cinnamon I think of that Apple Jack’s commercial with the Rastafarian cinnamon stick that skateboards and says “here I come I am cinn-a-mon”)

In a small bowl put in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Add in 3 tablespoons of water and swirl together. Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. The longer you leave it the more water will be absorbed, but for this treat 15 minutes is just fine.

While this is going on grab a handful of raspberries. If you are new to chia seeds, and not sure how you’ll like the flavor, add in a few more raspberries for good measure. If they are fresh, awesome. If you be a broke person like me then microwave some frozen ones for 1 minute.  Sprinkle some cocoa powder over the raspberries. I didn’t use a measuring device for this. In fact, I couldn’t even give you a ball park estimate of how much (or little) I used. Let your at-the-moment taste buds be your guide. Set aside.

After 15 minutes, take the chia gel out of the refrigerator and add in a small amount of vanilla extract. Mine comes in a tiny jar, so I used one capful of the equally tiny top. Don’t go to crazy with this stuff.

Combine the forces into one bowl and mix together, ensuring you don’t get a huge chunk of chia. Add a little sprinkle of cinnamon and voila! You now have a seemingly indulgent, but healthy treat.

Peel Away & Enjoy ❤

Jocellyn

Mango Soup

Sleep quality has improved ten-fold since getting my new bed. I love it. I feel rejuvenated in the morning. Heck, I’m bright eyed and busy tailed at 6:45, which is quite the feat! This morning was no exception, and I was a busy bee in the kitchen making kale chips for my yoga comrades (Saturday is teacher training day) and some raw soup to take to class. My last foray with raw soup—the carrot recipe—was not the greatest, but I have made a few variations of this one, so I knew I wouldn’t be terribly let down.  If you love mango, you must try this.

Cold Mango Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large mango, peeled and destoned
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1-2 small chilli peppers, minced (or to taste)
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp grated or minced ginger

Preparation:

Process all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy, adding a bit more or less water as needed. Chill before serving. Makes two servings.

You’re in and out in 15 minutes max, and if you put your onion in the refrigerator the night before you’ll cut down on the teary-eye factor. If you don’t have whole chili peppers, approximately ½ a tsp of pepper flakes is equal to one pepper. Adjust accordingly. I’m a wussy and should have done a few less flakes, but it was still darn tasty.

Gluten Free Living!

Last week I did a video on gluten free living and forgot to upload it. Go me! Here it is. I’m not a huge fan of gluten free foods. I think if you’re going gluten free you really need to overhaul your entire diet if you aren’t already eating whole foods, or else you might fall into the pit of eating a lot of processed gluten free junk food. However, I don’t stay 100% away from gluten free foods. Here are some products I buy occasionally. I thought I’d share them because gluten free foods are not only expensive but very hit or miss! Nothing is worse than dropping dough (oh, the irony) on some nastiness.

Brands I like!

http://www.againstthegraingourmet.com/products/

http://www.quinoa.net/145/163.html

http://udisglutenfree.com/products My personal favorite! I had their bagel’s last week. Omg. Omg. Omg. I forgot how delish a bagel is.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2012/03/the-best-and-worst-gluten-free-beers.html Redbridge is #10 for best gluten free beers! St. Peter’s Sorghum Beer is ABSOLUTELY disgusting.  I tried it the other day. $5 for one bottle, and I dumped it all out. Meck!

 

Peel Away all you gluten free honeys and honitos (honitos?) ❤

Jocellyn

Awesome news! Michelob Ultra  as of last week came out with a light cider, which is awesome news because despite how delicious ciders are, they can be a little heavy. I imagine these will be perfect for a day at the beach! I found it at the local Shaw’s and I’m planning on trying it tomorrow!

 

 

Simple Salad

Today was an exceptionally naughty 8 hour shift at work. One of my co-workers , Allyn, is a regular Betty Crocker. On a weekly basis he makes cupcakes and brownies for us Goodwillers to gobble up. All except me. Which is good, because I’d totally own that brownie pan! Phew, sometimes being gluten free is a blessing in disguise. Allyn is also known for making some exceptional fudge, so I finally worked up the courage to put in a dietary restriction related request.  I was elated to find a full Tupperware container of chocolate fudge this morning. I had a piece here. I had a piece there. I had several pieces everywhere. End of shift=Commencement of unbuttoning pants.

I was still very full when dinner time rolled around, which worked out perfectly tonight because we were making some salmon with a light accompanying salad. I held off on the salmon—tomorrow, stomach, tomorrow—and ate a large bowl of this simple, cooling, and  soft textured salad.

I got the idea from the blog Cupcakes and Cashmere, and she got it from a NY Times article on 101 Simple Salads.  I love these sorts of meals because the measurements don’t have to be exact. You can mix and match whatever you like and tinker with amounts to get the best flavor.

Recipe

1 Avocado

4 Small Peaches (or 2 big)

1 Roma Tomato

½ Red Onion (I actually had used the red onion for a previous meal, so I went without this time, but I think it’d be an excellent addition)

Splash of Lime Juice (fresh squeezed or bottled. I went with the bottled this time, because I didn’t feel like getting out my juicer)

Sprinkle of Red Pepper Flakes.

Cut the avocado, peaches, tomato, onion, and put them into a bowl. Because these are soft ingredients, gently mix them together. Pour (or squirt) the lime juice on top and sprinkle on the red pepper flakes. Gently mix again. Savor.

This is a perfect snack (or meal if paired with some added protein like chicken, steak, beef, or vegetarian/vegan substitute) on a hot summer’s day. And, for anyone of you getting your wisdom teeth out in the next few months, since summer seems to be prime removal time, this would be a hearty, yet soft snack for you to eat while you ice your cheeks and dose off in a (RESPONSIBLE) pain killer induced haze.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Fuel the Body. Feed the Soul.

I know my way around a spoon…

This is a phrase I used in a previous post and something I believe in strongly. Your body needs the proper mix of vitamins, nutrients, calories, and foods to run properly. This is of the utmost importance, however that doesn’t mean what you eat needs to be “bland.”

Last week I stumbled upon this really cool blog called The Pescetarian & the Pig. Pescetarianism (forgoing meat but eating seafood) was a lifestyle I followed for 11 months. I’ve strayed away from that, but as summer rolls around I find myself wanting to eat less meat, so I was more than excited to see some tasty pesco recipes to reignite my tastey-buds.

Note: Yes, a diet is like a romance. You need to add some spark every now and then, lest it fizzle!

Although I didn’t use the scallop recipe on the blog, I was inspired to go out and buy some for tonight’s dinner. Purchasing jumbo scallops is not something to be taken lightly, as they are pretty expensive buggers (16.99/lb!) I mixed and matched ingredients until I came up with a recipe that not only sounded tasty and clean, but also had overlap with what I was already buying. I revised this recipe to suit my needs. I seared some scallops—yes, I got to use some ghee!—and laid them over a “salad” of segmented grapefruit, Roma tomatoes, scallions, lime juice, and a dash of hot sauce, with some salt & pepper to taste. The dish was filling, yet light, and extremely flavorful. It was well worth the money, and the cheap bottle of white wine we bought, because the standard glass of milk just doesn’t cut it when you’ve put time and money into an elegant meal.

El “salad”

Thankfully, as stated above, the meal was light enough for us to squeeze in a delicious dessert, which I’ve been waiting to concoct for a few days. As you may know, I love Tara Stiles, and when she started her Tara Eats blog I practically fainted. There was finally an easy way for me to follow her delish & healthy recipes! A recent recipe piqued my interest (and belly.) Plus it was simple, and simple and measurement free is the surest way to my heart. Oh, what a pain it is to wash all those measuring cups and spoons!

“Check out the recipe (Scroll down a smidgen!)

You’ll need

1 small-ish dark chocolate bar (thanks Heather Berger for the birthday gift!)

2 handfuls frozen organic blueberries

1 banana

A sprinkle of cinnamon

Now What

Combine chocolate and berries in a sauce pan

Simmer

When all melted and gooey combine banana

Melt some more

Stir continually

Serve it up with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top

Makes 2 servings”

Homemade Double Boiler. 100% necessary for melting chocolate!

A pinch of salt to bring out the flavor of the chocolate! Try it sometime.

 

 

If this isn’t a prime example of feeding your soul then I don’t know what is! So, here’s the deal. You can feed your soul with takeout, ice cream pints, Reese’s Cups (guilty as charged…Like, death row guilty), or you can make desserts/treats like this. Berries are still healthy, dark chocolate (in moderation) is great for you, and bananas are just delicious goodness. You end up making a completely decadent dessert without really sacrificing much in the health realm, and your taste buds aren’t the wiser. And even if the recipe you try out isn’t healthy, I think there is something to be said for making a treat yourself. You’re putting time into it, and  interacting with your food beyond scarfing it down. And I like to think you burn a few calories going the few feet to the fridge and stove…yeah? No? haha. Just kidding! But you get what I mean.

How do you fuel your body and feed your soul?

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

The Meals That Got Away

Everything in the kitchen isn’t all sunshine and daisies; sometimes you create  meals that are real stinkers. And, as luck would have it, these off meals are generally the ones you’ve poured the most time and energy into. Nothing sends me into a frenzy of emotional eating  more than taking the third nope-this-isn’t-going-to-work bite of a meal that flopped. By then I’m running to fill the void in my heart (and stomach, duh) with something terrible.  Oddly enough, I got both these recipes off the same blog. Maybe it just isn’t the place for me to get some foodie advice.

Last week I was on Bex Life (I love listening to her talks!) and she had a guest blogger who was giving out a recipe for cauliflower crust pizza. My gluten free heart sang as if it was battling for the win on American Idol.  I love cauliflower and the fact that I didn’t have to utilize any of my insanely pricey gluten-free flour blend made my wallet hum a ditty as well.

Looks are deceiving! The inside was complete mush!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza (serves 3)

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano

Toppings:

  • Sauce (I used a box of crushed tomatoes)
  • Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor pulse cauliflower until it’s well processed. Scrape down the sides as needed. Lay cauliflower out on a baking sheet, pre- sprayed with non-stick spray or using a slipat. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a large bowl. Add eggs, grated cheese, flax and spices. Mix together well. Spoon “dough” onto a pizza stone, covered pizza pan* or baking sheet. Bake for 16-17 minutes. Remove from oven. Spoon sauce onto dough and season with spices. Add fresh mozzarella. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

I mean, look how awesome and clean that recipe looks. I managed to find the particular brand of tomatoes—Pomi—she mentions in her video. I even went authentic and sprung from the fresh mozzarella, like any good Italian Mamma would do. Wait, there’s more, I even bought the really shnazzy Boars Head pepperoni. Man, I had high, high hopes, but I knew something wasn’t going right when, after taking the ground up cauliflower out of the oven for the third time, it wasn’t the golden, crispy brown as seen on the video. Mind you my food processor is a fraction of the size of hers, so it took be 12 painstaking batches. I baked the pizza for 30 minutes and had to accept the crust just wasn’t going to set. I was bumming.

The next recipe I tried was a raw vegan carrot soup with a few simple ingredients: seven carrots, two cloves of garlic, one whole avocado, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.

You may know I’m a huge fan of making a batch of soup at the beginning of the week during the school year. Now that summer is rolling around I can start looking towards raw, cold soups, which are perfect for the temperatures we’ll (hopefully) be getting in the near future. I had tried out this recipe a few months back, prior to my juicer, and my blender couldn’t handle the pureed carrots. It sputtered, it grumbled, it said “no smooth soup for you!”  I was left with a chunky, off tasting mess. This time I was so ready, but to no avail it still tasted funny. I wanted so desperately to like it, and I’m sure it’s not a bad recipe, but my taste buds just weren’t feeling it.

Needless to say, I was at least able to salvage a few pictures from the creation.

Yup, making food you don’t end up liking sucks. You’ve wasted time, you’ve wasted money, and if you plan out your meals like I do you probably don’t have much lying around to calm those tummy grumbles. Sometimes all you can do is grab a banana, slather it in some peanut butter, and deal with your melodramatics by watching a C-rate Netflix movie while drinking a glass of nice wine that you had been saving for the ill-fated, extravagant meal….I’m not bitter or anything!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn