Don’t Forget to Follow Me Over to Self-Hosted!

This is going to be short and sweet.

Since switching over to self-hosted, many people have informed me that they haven’t been seeing my posts on Bloglovin’ or Feedly.  If you are reading this, you are following my http://www.cleaneatingveggiegirl.wordpress.com account.  Therefore, you are not being directed over to the appropriate site.  Please visit my blog at http://www.cleaneatingveggiegirl.com and be sure to follow me from that site!

See you there! :)

Mexican Spaghetti Squash

mexican spaghetti squash 2Fall = pumpkin season in foodie land.  But do you know what other fabulous food this season brings?  Why, spaghetti squash, of course!  Since October began, I have roasted somewhere around five spaghetti squashes.  My cravings for spaghetti squash have been in full force and I most certainly do not see them disappearing anytime soon.

Are you new to spaghetti squash?  If you aren’t a “foodie” like I am ;) then you may be thinking…what in the world is that, how do I cook it, and what does it taste like?  If you want to give it a try (or if you are already a spaghetti squash lover), then this would be a great recipe to try it out in.  This is simple, yet tasty, and incredibly nutritious.  Now let’s get our squash eating on with this Mexican-themed dish!

mexican spaghetti squash 5

Servings: 2 large

*Adapted from one of Robyn’s delicious recipes!

Ingredients

olive oil cooking spray
1 large spaghetti squash
water, for cooking
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup Cajun-style black beans (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)
3/4 cup chunky salsa (I used medium heat)
1 ripe avocado, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a large baking sheet with foil and olive oil cooking spray.

2. Cut the top off of the spaghetti squash.  Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.  Place both halves of the squash cut-side down onto the baking sheet.  Roast the squash for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.  Let the squash cool for approximately 30 minutes so that you can handle it without burning your hands.

3. While the squash is cooling, line a large skillet with a thin layer of water.  Heat over medium-high heat until very hot.  Once hot, lower the heat to medium and add the onions and peppers to the skillet.  Cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until softened.  Add additional water, as necessary.

4. Once the peppers and onions are cooked through and the squash has mostly cooled, use a fork to scrape the squash from the shell into the form of “pasta.”  Add the squash to the skillet.

5. Stir in the beans and salsa.  Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until all of the ingredients are warm.

6. Serve the Mexican Spaghetti Squash topped with chopped avocado, because seriously, what is Mexican food without avocado?? ;)

mexican spaghetti squash 4I know that for some it may seem strange to use squash as a “noodle” or to combine it with Mexican-type ingredients, but let me just say…give it a try!  You seriously won’t regret it.  Plus, you really cannot beat how simple this dish is to compile.  You could absolutely roast the squash on the weekend and compile all of the ingredients on a week night.  Who doesn’t love a dinner that can be thrown together in under 20 minutes?  I would never complain about a meal like that!

mexican spaghetti squash 8 yDelicious roasted squash, spicy salsa and peppers, Cuban seasoned beans, and creamy avocado all combined into one dish?  Sign me up for this.  I could eat this one every single week.  Now if only spaghetti squash was in season year round…

mexican spaghetti squash 7P.s. Sorry for the not so pretty photos.  It turns out that spaghetti squash and my camera don’t get along ;).

And for the blog transfer to self-hosted update….yeah, still working on that one! :/

I Need Your Help: Switching to Self-Hosted

Hi y’all!!  So this is not a post that I want to be writing.  However, I am feeling quite desperate.

I am having a horrible time getting switched over to a self-hosted blog.  I have signed up with Bluehost and have downloaded WordPress.org through them.  I have gone through the process of exporting my blog files from WordPress.com and have attempted to import them to my WordPress.org account I can’t even tell you how many times.  The importing process always fails.  After it “imports” there is never an “error” message or a “success message”- the screen is just blank, and when I go into my dashboard I can find some pictures and tags, but no posts.  I have contacted the “help” area of Bluehost multiple nights this week and they can’t seem to figure it out.  It is making me crazy!!

Has anyone had any similar experiences?  Any ideas of what I can try/do differently?

Also, for those of you who paid for a “guided transfer,” was the cost worth it?  Is there a money back guarantee should it not work?

And finally…for those who had someone else transfer their blog over that was not affiliated with WordPress, do you have any recommendations for who to use?

At this point I am basically desperate and looking for any help/advice you can give me!

Thanks SO much in advance! :)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Banana Breakfast Cookie

Let’s be honest.  The idea of eating cookies for breakfast pretty much sounds amazing, right?  Take my word for it.  It is amazing.  For the past couple of weeks I have been enjoying my Banana Pumpkin Breakfast Cookie.  Pumpkin is all the rage right now, after all.  Hopefully pumpkin will be okay with sharing the spotlight, though, because this new breakfast cookie sure is tasty!

pbandj breakfast cookie 2I, like many people, absolutely adore anything that involves both peanut butter and jelly.  There is just something so nostalgic and comforting about a good ‘ole PB & J, am I right?  So, when I was pondering the idea of making a new variety of breakfast cookie, it was obvious that both peanut butter and jelly needed to be involved.  It ended up being a darn good combination if you ask me, though I might be slightly biased ;).

pbandj breakfast cookie 4Peanut Butter and Jelly Banana Breakfast Cookie

Servings: Makes one cookie

Ingredients

1/2 ripe banana, mashed
2/3 cup whole rolled oats
1 TB peanut flour (I used PB2)
1 tsp chia seeds (I used the milled variety)
1 packet of natural sweetener (I used Stevia) or sugar
1/8 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 to 3 TB grape jelly (or whichever variety you prefer)

For topping:

1/2 ripe banana, sliced
peanut butter + cinnamon
raisins (or your other favorite dried fruit)

Directions

1. Combine mashed banana, oats, peanut flour, chia seeds, sweetener, and almond milk.  Mix well.

2. Heat jelly in microwave for approximately 20 seconds, or until it is slightly melted.  Stir the jelly into the oat mixture.

3. Spoon the oat mixture onto a plate and flatten into the shape of a cookie.  Cover the plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

4. In the morning, top the breakfast cookie with banana slices, the peanut butter and cinnamon mixture, and raisins.

pbandj breakfast cookie 3Yyyuuuuuummmmyy!!  Seriously.  Go make this.  And don’t be afraid to eat this for dessert, too.  Cookies are for all times of the day.

I hope you enjoy it as much as the Banana Pumpkin Breakfast Cookie!  They are both keepers!

Oh, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for The China Study Cookbook.  This is one cookbook that you definitely want to have!

Finally, for the heads up, I am (hopefully) finally making the switch over to being self-hosted over the next week or so, so I apologize ahead of time if my blog is acting funky during all of that!

The China Study Cookbook Review + Giveaway

china study bookI received this bad boy in the mail a few weeks ago for review, and let me just say…I was just a wee bit excited about it!  Pretty much any cookbook that is focused on easy vegan recipes excites me, but this one had me especially intrigued since it is a companion to The China Study.

This cookbook includes a background on the vegan diet, advice on how to choose plant-based foods, tips for raising plant-based children, meal planning tips, meal preparation and storage tips, advice on how to transition to a plant-based diet, and TONS of amazing bread/muffin, breakfast, appetizer, salad, soup, sandwich, entrée, side dish and dessert recipes.  Yes, all of that is included in this one book.

But before we get to my review of the recipes I have cooked so far, I want to share a short description of the book that was provided to me by the publisher:

“The China Study, with 850,000 copies sold, has been hailed as one of the most important health and nutrition books ever published.  It revealed that the traditional Western diet has led to our modern health crisis and the widespread growth of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  Based on the most comprehensive nutrition study ever conducted, the book reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health with the power to halt or reverse many diseases.

The China Study Cookbook takes these scientific findings and puts them to action.  Written by LeAnne Campbell, daughter of The China Study author T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and mother of two hungry teenagers, The China Study Cookbook features delicious, easily prepared plant-based recipes with not added fat and minimal sugar and salt to promote optimal health.”

This description is absolutely true.  The recipes within this cookbook are delicious and can be prepared quickly and easily.

As soon as I received the cookbook, I sat down on my couch and eagerly thumbed through it.  I “bookmarked” an insane amount of recipes that had me intrigued, and I have already made a dent in my “to make” list.  So far, I have cooked up the following recipes:

china study african vegetablesAfrican Vegetables (pg. 163)

This was so delicious!  It is packed full of a variety of veggies (green peppers, sweet potatoes, spinach, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and onions), and packs protein with the peanut butter sauce and whole brown rice as an accompaniment.  The flavors in this dish are spot-on, and it reheats beautifully as leftovers, too!

china study german soupI also made the German Sauerkraut Soup (pg. 125)

The fact that this recipe instantly caught my attention makes me laugh since I used to hate sauerkraut.  But it is safe to say that I definitely love it now, and I love it in this soup!  The sauerkraut taste is beyond flavorful (you must like sauerkraut to like this one!) and the carrots, celery, mushrooms, and potatoes make this an extra hearty soup.  One problem that I ran into with this recipe, though, is that I could not find vegan cream of mushroom soup.  As an alternative, I subbed in Amy’s Rustin Italian Vegetable soup.  It was definitely a tasty alternative, though I still would love to try the soup with the cream of mushroom soup.

china study german soup 2The final recipe that I have tried out (so far!) were the Twice-Baked Southwestern Potatoes (pg. 238).

china study southwestern potatoes 2The cookbook also provides a homemade salsa recipe, but I just used a jarred variety.

china study southwestern potatoesThese are so easy to make, creamy, perfectly seasoned, and absolutely delicious.  I served my potato as a main meal instead of a side dish, and I paired it alongside a salad.  These are definitely something that I will be making again.

Trust me, there is a WHOLE lot more where all of this goodness came from.  Some of the other recipes that have caught my eye that I cannot wait to try include: Lemon Poppy Muffins, Fiesta Corn Bread, Breakfast Home-Fry Hash, Cucumber Dill Dip, Green Garden Mayonnaise, Tomato Tortilla Soup, Thai Wraps, Corn and Tomatillo Stew, Pumpkin Gnocchi, Vegetable Dumpling Stew, No-Baked Peanut Butter Bars, and Vegan Chocolate Cake…to name a few (or a lot! ;)).

The Giveaway

Are you hungry yet?  Do you want to start cooking up some delicious plant-based recipes that are super simple to make?  Well now is your chance because I have one copy of The China Study Cookbook to give away to one of you!  To enter this giveaway, please do one (or all) of the following:

1. Leave a comment telling me why you would like to win this cookbook.
2. Tweet about the giveaway.
3. Follow @BenBellaBooks on Twitter.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  The giveaway will be open until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 13th.  The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was provided with this cookbook for free for review, but all opinions are my own.

Friday Foodie Favorites: All Things Pumpkin

Now that is is officially Fall, it is only fitting that I dedicate a “Friday Foodie Favorites” post to one of my all-time favorite foods: pumpkin!  I know that I am not alone with my pumpkin-loving feelings, so hopefully these recipes and products will give you some fantastic ideas to satisfy all of your pumpkin cravings.  Oh, and I cannot forget to give Katie a little bit of credit for this post.  I loved her Pumpkin Approved post so much that I knew I also needed an ALL pumpkin post, too!

Friday Foodie Favorites: All Things Pumpkin

friday favorite pumpkin pancakesA couple of weeks ago I made Robyn’s Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Pancakes.  I ate half of the recipe for breakfast and saved the other half for breakfast the next day at work.  These pancakes reheat beautifully, and also taste absolutely delicious topped with peanut butter, almond butter, pumpkin butter, and/or…

friday favorite pancakes apple sauce…homemade slow cooker applesauce.  These babies are oh-so good!

Speaking of pumpkin butter…

pumpkin butterI have a slight obsession with Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter!  I actually have a huge stash of it from last year that I am still working my way through, but for those of you who do not, I have good news: it is back in stores!

WIAW 52213 5I love to eat mine slathered on toast.  Get to TJ’s now and get stocked up for the year while you can!

pumpkin muffinsI have mentioned these before, but they definitely deserve another shout out.  These Maple Kissed Pumpkin Muffins from The Happy Herbivore are amazing and SO easy to make.  Plus, the nutrition facts are fabulous!  Eat these up!

pumpkin larabarThese were made for me.  Seriously, I am convinced of that ;).  I am loving these Pumpkin Spice Larabars, and if you have not tried them yet then you need to get with it!

Next up is another great pumpkin-filled breakfast idea:

pumpkin oatmeal bakeHere is another great recipe from Robyn.  Her Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal is deeeelicious!  I cut my bake into three servings (instead of four..hey, I like to eat!) for some of my breakfasts for work this week.  I followed suit and topped mine off with peanut butter and banana slices.  One of the days I subbed in sliced peaches in place of the banana and that was fabulous, too.  This is a great pumpkin breakfast option and could not be easier to make.  Try this one out if you are a pumpkin lover!

And finally…

breakfast cookie 5 y editedThis post would not be complete without another mention of my Banana Pumpkin Breakfast Cookie.  I have made this bad boy several times since sharing the recipe because I seriously cannot get enough.  Yes, it tastes as good as it looks!  Oh, and for those of you who have been loving this breakfast cookie, I have a new breakfast cookie coming your way soon.  And it may involve PB & J! ;)

It is Fall, people!  Go eat some pumpkin!