In the middle of this Heat Wave…

Waiting and waiting for summer…

and then you live one day in a heat index of 117 degrees. A small part of me was day dreaming of the cute scarves and light jackets of fall, uh oh…So to stay in the cool zone I’ve been taking my spinach smoothies to the next level with an abundance of fresh and chilly fruit 🙂

With as much spinach as I can fit in the blender, lots of cinnamon, ground flax, half a frozen banana, frozen strawberries, peaches, pineapple, and finished off with almond milk and a drop or two of pure vanilla extract. BLENDddddd. to cool creamy nutrient packed goodness!

Stay cool now ~

Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad

I am on a tight budget this week as far as meals go.  Hence $2-3 entrees from Trader Joe’s are my savior.  After a long day at work and the lovely trek back to my room [the staircase next to my door won’t open from inside the stair well..GO FIGURE] so I walk all the way around the building.  Extra cardio, though, right?..[disgruntled noise].

Back to dinner, my stocks were rather low.  So I decided it was finally time to use the can of black beans I’ve been staring at all summer.

~ Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad ~

+ sweet corn [yum]

~ spices ~

My latest department store deal.  I found this bottle of gold at a Marshals…maybe a Ross, definitely a store of a similar nature 😉  It is so good!  and you can spray it on almost anything.

The finished product.  I love the red specs of the cayenne pepper!

Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad ~
1 can of black beans, rinsed & patted dry
1/2 can yellow corn, rinsed & patted dry
1 tbsp or so of honey
sprinkle of cayenne, salt, and cumin.
[I didn’t use exact measurements, so use what your spice levels are comfortable with]
Spray down with garlic grape-seed and sesame oil

Just toss everything together and serve.  Quick.  Affordable.  Easy.  This is a very versatile dish, if I had more ingredients I would have added fresh lime juice and cilantro and served over a bed of lettuce 😉

Afterwards was another Almond Butter Coconut Ball.  I swear these things taste better and better the longer they sit in the freezer.

Yes I am going backwards 😮 , thought I’d start with what was most recently on my mind.  Breakfast today was a quick pomegranate spinach smoothie.

Just some frozen pomegranate kefir, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, cinnamon, and the rest of a bag of spinach.  Blended.  Cold perfection 😀

With an ABC Ball [of course]  possible new addiction? >:)

Trader Joe’s has ceased to please.  Never have I enjoyed a frozen meal as much as the ones at TJ’s.  The freshness and flavor are the same if not better then eating at a restaurant.  Promise.  Today I tried the shrimp green curry on jasmine rice.

It.  Was.  Out.  Of.  This.  World.

Look at this ingredients list!  In my book I don’t want Thai food without all the authentic spices and this dish lived it up in the authentic flavor department.  Thai eggplant and peas, umm AMAZING.

Some more fellow bloggers giveaways!:

http://www.onefrugalfoodie.com/2010/08/18/popular-vegan-cookbooks/

QUESTION:  What do you do for meals when your on a tight budget?

I tend to resort to the famous PB & J 😉

Pom-Spin Smoothie/Sushi/Cutest Pup Ever/Makin’ Dinner!

Return of the pomegranate – spinach smoothie.  It has been too long.

I took pics step by step as I made it 😉

– First 1 tbsp chia seeds –

– Then lots of cinnamon (you can’t ever have too much)

– 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach –

– Frozen B-nana –

– spoonful of peanut butter 🙂 –

– 4-6 ounces of pomegranate kefir (the more you use the more liquid consistency you will get) –

– THEN blenddddd –  [top with more cinnamon]

– And a sprinkle of cacao bits –

My morning was filled with puppy love. [<3]

A co-workers 8 week old boston terrier.

Asleep every other ten minutes! 🙂

Cutest thing in the world.  She took everyone’s attention.

And looked fabulous atop my red purse 😉

🙂

Lunch was a quick trip to trader joe’s

Organic carrot juice.  amazing.

And brown rice california rolls

brown rice and seaweed with avocado, crab, and carrot.

Then rolled in toasted sesame seed good-ness.

Yum

For dinner tonight I was invited to cook at a friends house.  I was so pumped, being cooped up with only a dorm fridge and blender can make you go a little crazy after a while.

I decided to adapt a recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  Sausage filled potatoes, with sides of lightly sautéed zucchini and tossed arugula salad.  It Turned out divine!

The original recipe can be found here.

First we mixed up a sauce for the potato filling and later for the salad dressing.

A bit of mayo, tomato paste, anchovey paste [I had to search for this, sounds gross, but makes the dish.  Like fish sauce is to Thai food]  And trader joe’s dijon mustard which was heavenly.  I have a new love in the condiment category.

MIX

Onion – Chopped

To save on time, the potatoes went into the microwave first then were halved and scooped out.

amounts of cider and trader joe’s olive tapenade were consumed in the process 😉

Onion then went on the stove with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt

Zucchini was washed and then chopped.  In a food processor with a chopping attachment.  I have never used one of these before and felt like a little kid at a candy store, for the very first time.  Out of this world.  If I owned one of these I would be chopping everything and anything all day long for no apparent reason, maybe it’s a good thing I’m not in possession of one yet 😉

Beautiful

Zucchini chopped – and into the pan on light heat with olive oil and sprinkles of salt and pepper.  With a bit of parmesan cheese at the end.

water, more dijon, and lemon juice was added to some of the previous made sauce and tossed with fresh arugula

The potatoes were filled, baked, topped with more dijon mixture, broiled, then set on a plate.

Dessert was a homemade blueberry crumble, made by the host, with fresh blueberries from their back yard.  I don’t think there is anything better.

Topped with vanilla ice cream [the authentic kind….with the black dots] 🙂

What a night.

🙂

This weekend is Southern Belle Swing Dance here in Atlanta, GA.

A weekend of great dancing and amazing performances.

Question – What is your favorite summer dessert??

Drinking Kale … For the Very First Time

After my lunch, breakfast I decided to make a Green Monster.  Now, so far I have only been using spinach but I’ve read so many stories of venturing past the now seemingly common veggie to more adventurous greens.  KALE.  Now I know this doesn’t seem that out there to some but for me it is a first.  I had no idea how it was going to turn out.  I also used some of my fresh fruits, a.k.a. raspberries, strawberries, and some banana.  And WAIT, another first here, raw cacao nibs.  These were my recent splurge from whole foods and I was itching to try ’em out.

Kale Green Monster:

1 tbsp chia seeds
lots of cinnamon
2 large handfuls of ripped up kale
2 large frozen strawberries
1/2 frozen banana
handful of raspberries
about 8oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
topped with a spoonful of almond butter and cacao nibs.

I blended this all together in my magic bullet and was surprised by the taste.  It was very refreshing.  I will definitely be using kale more often.  Topped with a bit of almond butter and some cacao nibs was a crunchy creamy energy concoction!  Only problem was that the bottom pieces of the kale did not blend very well.  Do you remove more of the stem?  Or maybe my magic bullet is aging…

Along with the kale GM I tried one of the new larabar flavors: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Best yet, I am in Love.  I ate half and put other half in freezer for an amazing snack tomorrow.  If you haven’t tried the new flavors yet you need to.  NOW.  😀

For dinner I met my Grandma for pizza!

A wonderful greek salad + tomato, tofu, pesto pizza.  Doesn’t that combo make your mouth water?  And good news is there are leftovers for tomorrow.

Let the Blogging Begin!

So I have finally had a free night and am so excited to get this thing going!

I have been wanting to start this for awhile now and am trying to actually accomplish all the things on my to-do list, i’d say that’s a pretty good goal, no?

What is SohdaLex?  It is actually the nickname my mother gave to me as a child and it just stuck ever since.  We would always joke that if I ever went out in the world and created something this is what I would call it, 🙂 so here it is.

The main reason I wanted to start this blog is for my upcoming trip to Southern France, where eating, food, traveling, and just all over good-ness will be happening in abundance.  But I also am looking forward to taking it beyond this trip and have it be a place where I can put to good use my love for food, travel, and life.

I have no photos from today, but believe me tomorrow I will be on it.

Today was my first time experimenting with fruit in my ‘green monster.’  I always use frozen bananas, again and again and again.  BUT today I pulled out some frozen strawberries and decided on half and half.  Let me just say it was AMAZING, I can’t wait to throw more in next time.

Well good-night and I look forward to a happy relationship here on SohdaLex.