Thursday, November 29, 2012


I LOVE tomatoes. Capitalizing “love” may actually be an understatement. More like…LOVE. Yes, that much! Whether in sauce, salsa, or even plain, I just enjoy tomatoes. While for snack most people grab their yogurt or cheese stick, I grab my tomatoey friends and take a bite.

Story time. I was at the mall with a friend and chose some of the plumpest tomatoes at a nearby supermarket. I walked into William Sonoma, and bit into my tomato (yes whole tomato) as the employee asks, “Is that a tomato?”. Don’t knock it till you try it. Alas, tomato season is coming to an end, but I have been enjoying my favorite snack from the jar. Yep, you didn’t misread that. I’ve been eating plain salsa. No tortilla chips, no crackers, no carrots, just spooning it up! But, if you had tried some of the amazing salsas I buy, you wouldn’t be giving me that weird confused face right now.

Salsa Roll

1. Target has a mighty good jarred mango peach salsa. I don’t even recall how I happened upon it, but it has big chunks of pineapple. It is pretty sweet, with a teensy weensy bit of spice. It also has a tomatoey taste. This is a really sugary sweet salsa though so it may be an acquired taste. This is really the ONLY salsa I buy out of a jar. Who would have thought—Target. They also have other flavors if you are solely opposed to the fruity types. The pineapple mango variety is also yummy, but a decent bit hotter. My nose actually started to run.


2. Whole Foods has an ahhmmazing variety of fresh salsas. Between their pico de gallo, mango salsa, and even watermelon, they have some of the freshest and most flavorful varieties. These are usually located right next to the cut up fruit. But, if you can’t find them, ask a very helpful team member. The pico de gallo has large pieces of juicy tomatoes with some onions and a hint of seasoning. The mango salsa is always full of the freshest mangos. But, that watermelon salsa is amazing. It sometimes has jicama included, lime juice, and pepper. Caliente! Not to completely contradict the point of the post, the mango salsa and watermelon salsa aren’t tomatoey, but I always seem to associate salsa with tomatoes so I’m including them because you usually also eat them with chips.


3. Lastly, good ol’ Trader Joes. I go to the refrigerated section and seem to enjoy any of their pico de gallo salsas. But, stay away from the bruschetta. I used to love this, but recently bought one that was spoiled before I even opened it! Hopefully this was a one off.

On a fitness related note (not having anything to do with tomatoes). I am very excited to have finally made my way over to Target to buy some hand weights for Turbokick. I see everyone wearing them and figured it was finally time to acquire a pair. They really add a new dimension to my workouts with some mighty sore arms by the end of my workout. But, not too sore J

I also added a little more Latin spice to my life last week by taking a special Zumba class in Seattle at 24 Hour Fitness. I am not usually the biggest Zumba fan, but this class was super fun. I much prefer the modern hip-hop style. I can not tell you how much fun it is to Zumba to Gangnam Style.
On another note, I whipped up some of my famous fizzy lemonade for a debate tournament I judged. Yum! Store bought lemonade has so much added sugar. I like to get back to the basics by whipping up my own with lemons off the bush. I put it in my water bottle for an on-the-go drink! It also tastes so much fresher! For debate tournaments, this fizzy drink is especially symbolic with the eventful nature of these competitions...
Shake It Up Fizzy Lemonade Recipe
2 large lemons
1 tablespoon sugar (or more for taste)
6-8 oz. carbonated water (in water bottle)
1. Squeeze the lemons out. You can either use a juicer or work those muscles squeezing my hand.
2. Pour the juice and sugar into your carbonated water bottle
3. Shake it up. Wait a couple minutes for air particles to return to normal before opening (yes I have had some explosions with that).
4. Drink up! You'll be shocked at just how fresh off the bush it tastes.
For audience enjoyment, I'm going to provide some of my debate tournament thoughts below. Judging high school debate leads to some fun times and listening to high schoolers discuss due process can lead to some...interesting scenarios. Fellow debaters will especially enjoy this:
Thought 1: These kids sound like they want to kill each other during cross ex...Awk apples. I feel like the third wheel in this argument.
Thought 2: One of the debaters says "I have three minutes of prep time...I'm just going to use it and see where it takes me." To some good arguments I hope...
Thought 3: Dude this kid is MEAN...alas he's correct.
Thought 4: These judges are sure excited about cheese and bacon...I'll stick with my pumpkin thank you very much.
Thought 5: Who needs tv with this super debate drama.
Thought 6: Woo hoo! This judge lady is totally matching my awesomeness in workout wear. Yoga gear all the way. Too bad that debaters have to wear suits...I much prefer my yoga pants.
Thought 7: I feel like I'm chewing my jicama super loudly during this round...ah well, at least it's quieter than carrots. But, it's so delicious!
In conclusion, today is one of those days where along with the yummy recipe, you get a bit of unsolicited humor :) Sorry about that, but my brain travels. Have a thoroughly terrific Thursday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hey...Lookee Here

Wow! I was browsing the Arctic Zero website and what do I come across on the recipe page, but my recipe!

Coincidentally enough, I had just made my way to Sprouts yesterday and stocked up on three flavors! The Vanilla Maple, Mint Chocolate Cookie, and the Coffee. I never know what I'll be in the mood for so I am always prepared. I finally saw the Pumpkin flavor on the shelves, but they were discontinuing Strawberry and Cookies and Cream..hmmmm.

Lately I have been eating lots of brocolli. At my aunt's house for Thanksgiving. she had this delicious teriyaki sauce that I couldn't get enough of!
On that note, I used it in a fantabulous recipe for tofu, brocolli and pineapple stir fry!


1 head brocolli
1/4 package tofu
1/2 pineapple
2 tablespoons teriyaki or any yummy Asian sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Grab a stir fry pan and heat oil.
2. Add the brocolli in first and cook until softened.
3. Add the tofu and pineapple in.
4. Cook thoroughly (medium/low heat) until brocolli is a tiny bit brown, and then add your sauce.
5. Serve it up! The sugar in the pineapple adds a sweet taste as the sugar carmelizes! The teriyaki sauce coating the pineapple create a flavor explosion.

This is an absolutely delicious dinner, and you can add in other veggies like red peppers if you like.

Things I've been loving lately:
I like making lists (to keep organized and get my thoughts out) so I thought I would list a couple things that I have been loving lately. Let's call it the "Love It List" just to be catchy

1. Watermelon--It's not the season, but I continue to buy the cut watermelon from Trader Joe's. A couple times it has almost been watermelon wine...a bit fermented, but I've still been buying it because they have some of the best watermelon I've ever had!
2. Coffeehouse Classic Cappucino Foam-OMG this stuff is amazing! I am a huge whipped cream fan. I really like the Fat Free Reddi Whip, and I saw this and was hooked. When you serve it cold, it is thick whipped cream. Put it in the microwave, and it turns into foam. So cool!
3. Trader Joe's Pineapple Salsa-Yum! This had large chunks of pineapple, a tomatoey taste, and a tad of spice. So yummy I ate the jar in one night!
4. Stalks of brussel sprouts-I just buy the stalk from Trader Joe's for less than $3! So cheap and delicious.
5. Grilling--I was lucky enough to have grilled eggplant for lunch at work today! I love that charry grilled flavor especially with a vegetable like eggplant. I had grilled veggies two days in a row.
6. Key Limes-I bought a big bag of them. I've been craving sour lately, and I sprinkle a bit of sugar on them. De-lish.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Roasted Brussel Sprouts...With a (shhhh)Secret ingredient!

Hello peeps!

Happy day of black consumerism. Well, the day of giving thanks has come and gone. But, the recipe I ended up making will be around for a while due to its deliciousness. I ended up cooking some scrumptious roasted brussel sprouts. As we all know by day, following recipes can make me a bit bored So...I, of course, added a secret ingredient.


1-2 stalks of brussel sprouts (The stalks are super awesome. I feel like I could hang a bag off the end and become a brussel sprout nomad. The brussel sprouts condense so 1 stalk may seem like enough, but I actually ate half of my first batch...oopsy.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (Yep, the secret ingredient. This adds a very nice taste of sweetness.)


1. Rip the brussel sprouts off the stalk and cut the ends off. (Note: The reasons many people dislike brussel sprouts is because the ends are very bitter. If they didn't eat the ends, these babies may have had a better rep.)

2. Put the brussel sprouts in a bowl and microwave for four minutes. This is very important to soften them up a bit before baking--another step to avoid bitterness.

3. Mix the olive oil, vanilla, and balsamic.

4. Put the brussel sprouts on a baking sheet, and pour the mixture over them.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are nicely browned and chewy.

ENJOY! I literally don't think I have consumed such large quantities of brussel sprouts in my life. I probably ate almost three cups of them.

I am also going to try to make brussel sprout chips soon because some of the leaves that fell off the sprout became very crunchy when baked. Yum! New idea alert....

Pictures of these babies will be coming very soon :)

There weren't any brussel sprouts left for brekkie (darn). So instead I ate some of my dad's delicious cornbread and a honeydew melon...yes an entire honeydew. It was too sweet to resist.  

Did you have any of your meal as your morning after breakfast?

Happy Fri(Buy)day!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Miracle Rice 'Tapioca' Power Protein Pudding

Well I was only going to do one post today, but a miracle happened (no pun intended).

I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about a concoction in my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am a big fan of tapioca pudding. I used to think it was rather yucky, but that sweet creamy vanilla-like taste grew on me. I have also recently acquired a taste for Miracle Rice. This is made by the same company that makes the Miracle Noodles. I actually really enjoy their taste. Post work out, I was craving a nice tapioca pudding, but that’s not exactly the best protein filled snack. Hmmm. I put on my thinking cap and suddenly IT CAME TO ME. One of the best recipe ideas I have had in my life!

I can use miracle rice to simulate tapioca pearls. They take on the taste of the sauce so I can definitely use them in a pudding.


6 oz EAS Advantag Vanilla Shake or you can of course use milk

2 scoops protein powder

1 bag miracle rice

4-5 tablespoons Fage Greek Yogurt (Depends on how thick you want it. Fage is a great yogurt to use because of its thickness.)

And if you want to serve this as a satisfying Thanksgiving dessert, add in cranberries to the recipe for another hint of sweet and tartness!

For this recipe, put everything in a bowl or saucepan.

1. I poured in the miracle rice first.

2. Then I added the vanilla protein shake.

3. Then add your protein powder and give it a good mixing. I just used a spoon, but would be curious to see the consistency if you did use an electric mixer.

4. Finally, add in the greek yogurt to thicken. You can always add more if you desire thicker pudding.

5. If you are using milk, you may want to add a bit of sugar or Stevia to sweeten.

6. Give it a final mix and you’re ready to go.

This recipe honestly made my day. I can’t believe how similar this tasted to tapioca. It was thick with that sweet vanilla flavor plus no need for a protein shake. The miracle rice was the perfect tapioca simulant. You should get about a WHOPPING 50 to 60 grams of protein. This would also be a great on-the-go snack. I am such a happy camper today. If you try this, please tell me how you like it! Have a super Saturday.

Oh, hello there.

Well, about three weeks after starting this blog, I realized I never really formally introduced myself. What…pumpkin isn’t enough introduction? Hello, my name is Libby. The end.

Not really, but it’s really hard to categorize me. During a job interview, someone asked me, “What are three words your friends would use to describe you.” Yah, let’s just say I didn’t really get a call back on that one.

So when people start a blog others wonder why/who cares what this random person is doing with her life out of the billions of other humans in the world including Lindsay Lohan, Justin Bieber, and Rachael Ray (well this is a food/fitness blog so I figured I’d include a food star). I’m not Lindsay. But, considering how much I enjoy writing, people seemed to think it was odd that I didn’t yet have a blog since I like to submit articles to all my local newspapers (just hit 7 published!!!) and really enjoy yelping. And, I like to bake quite frequently as our neighbors would tell you. So I figured why not just document my cooking and baking? Even the failures. I really enjoy reading other blogs and making recipes. However, when I’m too hungry to hit the supermarket, I whip up my own little “concoctions.” This may mean some ingredient substitutions. These concoctions either turn out as the best thing I have ever made or completely inedible. Which is nice because I either have a super yummy new recipe that I end up replicating for about a month in a row or I brush off my hands and start anew.

These recipes seem to be metaphorical to my life. This year has brought the highest of highs and lowest of lows. So along with delicious recipes and fun fitness, I might just have to throw in a few crazy stories. So, as you can see, it’s difficult to categorize me. I study hard and allow academics to overwhelm me at times—but enjoy both intelligence based and performance activities. I am an ex-debater/current Model UNer (yep one of those talky people), but I also am an ex-gymnast, pageant chick (Yes, world peace would be nice), and a Turbokick obsessed fitness girl. The past year of my life has brought new challenges and yummy recipes and foods to go along with them. It’s difficult to know which point people would pick out to categorize me. But, what I know is true, is that a lot of people pick out the healthy eater portion. Vegetarian for 11 years—my mother would say this is an indication of my determination and willpower. But, unlike many, I love veggies and fruits. There are 0 veggies I dislike. Yep, you read that correctly. I don’t just like veggies, I LOVE them. Sometimes, surprisingly, this can get me in a little trouble.

So this blog will be full of concoctions—veggie and otherwise. It will be full of new food products—taste tests shall we call them. It will be full of fun fitness. And possibly realizations or stories—but not too much of the deep stuff.

So, that is a sufficient summary. I like putting the pen to paper or, in this new tech age, the keyboard to computer screen…yah maybe not exactly analogous. Anyway, that’s ME!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

T-Givin:Veg Style

Oh my goodness. It's almost the end of November. How time flies! Well the Turbokick instructors mentioned a special co-taught TKB class for Turkey day. Which reminded me that the day of giving thanks is near!

Oh Thanksgiving. Warming up with some Arctic Zero Peppermint Mochas, eating some delish tofu, and finishing it off with maple pumpkin puree. Where is the turkey you ask? Yah—veg head right here. The typical American always seems to have one complaint on Thanksgiving—“I’m so stuffed.” Let’s just say Thanksgiving isn’t really my holiday. Yes—I am a pumpkin lover, but I associate this more with Halloween. And no I don’t like turkey nor the fake tofu turkey. So I always find myself just having a normal dinner on Thanksgiving. However, I am always able to witness some odd Thanksgiving eating with our family. Apparently, no one in our family, veg or not, seems to care for turkey. I have witnessed the odd courses of lobster, pasta, and even some garlic bread. (One year we went Italian…). So this year I have a great plan in the making! I’m going to try a new Thanksgiving recipe. I am not sure exactly ideas would be greatly appreciated! But, whatever it is, I am going to make it a Thanksgiving staple. Finally have a Thanksgiving tradition. So, what is your favorite T-giving vegetarian dish or concoction that I should make? Pumpkin pie smoothie? Sweet potato super mash?
On another exciting note, I bought some 'Turkey' burgers to try from Whole Foods. This whole fake meat concept seems to be growing on me! Happy day from Friday for those who become enthused about the weekend!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hip Dips--A La Protein

I am a dipping machine. As of lately, I have been craving some good dips. I really enjoy dipping crunchy carrots into anything remotely creamy, spicy, or beany. Yep—I do enjoy my hummus. Well, I had some dip packs sitting in the cabinet. These are basically just expensive spices that you are SUPPOSED to mix with sour cream. Ewwwww. I, personally, am a cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream hater. So, I much prefer whipping out the Fage to make a perfectly delectable, protein filled dip. I had some dill, tomato pesto, and even raspberry white chocolate dip mixes sitting in my cupboard from a fair. Now, the secret to thickening up these delish dips is letting them sit in the fridge overnight! If you eat then right away, they basically taste like seasoned Greek yogurt. However, let them sit and you will have a thick little treat for your carrots, cucumbers, or even pita chips. Or if you are a Trader Joe’s fan—try the lavash chips. This dip will leave you sans salt or savory craving and 20 grams of protein richer if you eat the entire eight ounces (which yes I always do!). The perfect on the go snackeroo.
                                                            Here it is in all its delishnish!