Meatless Mondays: Vegan Potluck Cookout

Meatless Mondays: Vegan Potluck Cookout

This past weekend, Hubby and I went to another vegan potluck at a friend’s home. This time, it was a cookout complete with barbecued seitan ribs, corn on the cob, garden burgers, potato salad, pesto pasta salad, fresh cantaloupe slices and ice cream. Hubby even baked his chocolate chip cookies again.

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-28,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-28,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

Since it was basically the same group, we had an amazing time yet again. I was pretty wiped out from attending 3 events and cooking before we even got there but we looked forward to seeing everyone and of course, it was all worth it. I also realized I had never been to an all-vegan cookout, either. We were all outside, talking, laughing, eating at picnic tables and watching the children run and swing. There’s really not much of a difference.

There’ s comfort in going to a place where you don’t have to explain why you eat what you do but by far, the comfort is always because of the people.

And the connections.

As I’ve written here many times before, it never stops being about the people and the connections.

 

Meatless Monday: Vegan Pesto Pasta with a Honeydew Lime Smoothie

Meatless Monday: Vegan Pesto Pasta with a Honeydew Lime Smoothie

Tonight, I decided to do things a little differently. Hubby and I are big smoothie lovers and I realized I’ve never featured any on my Meatless Monday posts. I decided to make pesto for the first time, too. I definitely had become a little too dependent on tomato and vegan Alfredo sauces so it was time to change things up. I got the recipe from greenevi.com and the Honeydew and Lime Smoothie was inspired by a YouTube video from Health with Kisha. I don’t remember her exact recipe but I remembered Honeydew melon and limes and I figured I could adjust according to my own taste.

We used a container of honeydew that was 1.17 lbs, the juice of 3 limes and blended it with ice.

Here’s Hubby hard at work juicing the limes for me:

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We used organic red lentil penne pasta for our vegan pesto pasta. We love the Explore Cuisine brand for red lentil and black bean spaghetti.

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Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS
  • Pasta of your choice
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts
  • 1 cup of fresh basil (tightly packed)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt, pepper
  • ½ lemon (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare your pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile roast pine nuts in a skillet until lightly toasted.
  3. Add basil, garlic, toasted pine nuts, nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend until smooth. Mix pesto into pasta and add cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!
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Pine nuts toasting
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All the ingredients. I blended them instead of putting them in the food processor but the pesto still came out great!

Hubby has already said he wants to me cook everything again next week. I fell in love, too. The honeydew and lime smoothie was incredibly refreshing. I can see making that regularly especially when summer hits.

Let me know in the comments if there are any new plant-based recipes you have tried or want to try.

 

 

Day 6

Day 6

It’s the close of Day 6 of 21-day Water-Workout-Write 21-Day Challenge. I definitely have to work on getting one workout in before work. I can’t believe how hard it was for me to move this morning. I understand old habits die hard. I am clearly pulling from a deeper place and writing about it every day was the only reason I worked out today. I am not sure if it is just sheer laziness or gloomy skies but I didn’t move and do both workouts until about an hour and a half ago. I drank water and am halfway to my goal.

I put one of Jeanette Jenkins Pop Sugar workouts from YouTube and made it about a half-hour. She started to do burpees and even the modification model’s version horrified me so I decided I would take a quick break and find something else. I found a Zumba compilation and a reggae dance workout. I gave it my all, single-single-doubled through the yawns and the sweat.

I feel like I am running to catch up with my goal and on another day, something could easily make me veer off course. But I made it through today and I can only allow myself to worry about today. Tomorrow will have its own challenges and triumphs.

Stay tuned for Day 7!

Day 4

Day 4

The first day in this challenge with a schedule change. It was really Sleep-In Saturday for me. I didn’t want to leave the bed. Getting out of it was a struggle and as beautiful as it was outside today, I chose to let my body rest. I eventually got up and did another Afrifitness video. My husband and I had a signing we planned to go to for Arvat McClaine’s new book, When Black Women Speak the Universe Listens. I decided to wait until after the signing to get another workout in. In the meantime, I was able to fit in about half of my water intake for the day. As I am writing this, I still have the other half to go.

We thoroughly enjoyed the signing. It is always inspiring to watch a new author stand up and talk about his/her work, observe their nervous energy and then watch it fall away as they answer questions about their baby they’ve just birthed and are finally sharing with the world. I know my turn is coming. This challenge is teaching me I can build the discipline muscle to finish the works I have been writing and outlining for some time now. The fears I harbor about rejection don’t seem as daunting anymore.

After the signing, we walked downtown. I have been walking alone lately which I love but I always appreciate my husband’s company. Today taught me that I have to be ready for any schedule changes in completing this challenge. Adapt.

Stay tuned for Day 5!

 

Water-Workout-Write 21-Day Challenge-Day 1

Water-Workout-Write 21-Day Challenge-Day 1

After completing the 5-day Instagram greatness challenge issued by Lewis Howes, I found myself asking what’s next?  I was asked to reflect on who I am, obstacles I encounter on the way to becoming my best self, a part of my morning routine, a significant quote and finally post about someone who inspires me. After so much reflection, I found that I did not want it to end. Not that reflection should ever cease whether you share yourself with the world or not. The obstacle I chose to share was not keeping to a writing schedule. Instead of just leaving it at acknowledging the problem, I am choosing to push myself to do something about it.

And then I thought, I have been actively working on my wellness goals the last couple of months. I am still plant-based and I quit coffee (haven’t been a soda drinker in over 15 years). I should make aspects of my wellness journey a part of this, too. My lack of consistent water drinking came to the surface.

I can’t tell you why I neglect to do this because as someone with psoriasis, I should practically be hooked to a faucet. I am already working out but again I know I can do more. And if I acknowledge I can do more, why not do it?

I did not want to replicate the previous challenge by doing it for five days. By now, we have all heard it takes 21 days to establish a habit. I decided to commit to moving myself twice a day, drinking at least 100 oz. of water and writing about it every day for 21 days.

Today was my Day 1. I had a magnificent walk in the sunshine, listening to DeVon Franklin speak and Solange sing. After work and grocery shopping, I came home and did an Afrifitness video on YouTube. I love dance workouts! Besides the fact that they are fun, moving myself in this way makes me forget that I am working out. I can lose myself in the rhythm and choreography.

I know it is only Day 1 but drinking enough water will be the goal I will have to be the most diligent about checking off each day.  It might be early for a takeaway but I already have one. I must set my intentions each day or I won’t do it! This is a lesson already learned for me but apparently it did not take. But I know it’s not too late.

Mindfulness and intention are the two words I feel will resonate with me for the duration of this challenge and for the rest of my life.

Stay tuned for Day 2 tomorrow!