Street Vegan Made Easy

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 
All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Before diving into this review I need to preface that I am not vegan nor do I adhere to the lifestyle completely, however, I have learned a thing or two from this cookbook by Adam Sobel, the owner and chef of the food truck Cinnamon Snail. 
One of the main things I’ve learned, is to not be fearful of vegan or vegetarian dishes. Just because it doesn’t contain meat or anything that comes from an animal doesn’t mean it lacks in flavor or fullness. The next thing I’ve learned is that you can use different ingredients to substitute for others and playing with spices or broths can really bring out savory flavors.
I’ve loved reading through this cookbook and attempting different recipes. The fact that it’s vegan has exposed me to more fresh ingredients and, for that matter, ingredients I’ve never cooked with before. The first recipe we tried was the Shredded Root Vegetable Hash Browns. Saturday morning my husband and I headed off to our local farmer’s market and was able to pick up fresh veggies, fruits, cheese, and of course you have to get the kettle corn! We weren’t able to find any parsnips so we had to take some liberties with the recipe.

I definitely recommend using a tool that can shred your vegetables for you. We didn’t and therefore just had chopped veggies instead. I had never worked with turnips before and have discovered that they’re quite tasty and almost have a potato quality to them. Another ingredient we couldn’t find was celery root, which is very different from celery I’ve come to find out. Regardless of not having everything the recipe called for, it was simple, easy to do, and tasted absolutely amazing.
I paired my hash browns with a fried egg and, of course, shared my attempt on Instagram (see below). I was so excited to see that the official Cinnamon Snail commented on my photo! However, I was a bit bummed that they didn’t so much agree with my fried egg (you know, cause it’s not vegan to have a chicken egg with your hash browns)…nonetheless it was pretty cool they noticed; even if it was for breaking the rules.
A photo posted by Kelly Daniel (@kjdaniel1) on

Like I said, we aren’t vegan, but my husband and I have an appreciation for all food and are excited by the opportunity to find recipes that expand from different lifestyles, cultures, and incorporate exotic and new ingredients for us. For dinner that evening my husband made the Coconut Curry Soup from Street Vegan (and they would be happy to know we played by the rules and didn’t stray from the recipe!) and yet again we were happy with how well it turned out!

Do you love to read or find new stories or cookbooks to get into? Better yet, do you love receiving said books for free? Blogging for Books has been a great service to collaborate with because I am able to pick a book from thousands of titles, genres, and authors, receive it in the mail (or ebook) within a few days, read it, post a review, then get to pick another book to enjoy! If you’re curious about Blogging for Books be sure to check out their website here and learn how you can get started!

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Slim Down Saturday + Linkup {5.30}

The Results Week Three

Ultimate Goal
My ultimate goal is to reach my goal weight, which is to lose about 40 lbs.

Gain/Loss From the Week
– 1 lbs

Total Loss Since Starting
– 5.6 lbs

Positives From the Week
YAY I hit my first milestone, which is five pounds lost! Another positive is that I’ve been really good about pre-packing my lunches the night before. Not only does this save time in the morning but it’s nice to have it all planned out and I’m not just blindly throwing things in my bag as I run out the door.

Things to Work On
Sleep and getting more of it is something I need to work on this week. With the end of the school year right around the corner (literally next week) I need to make sure I at least get a full 8 hours.
One Goal For Next Week
One thing that is still difficult for me to do is drink two full 32oz of water from my water bottle. I am able to average about one a day, which is still good but my goal is two. I can definitely see a difference when I drink more water throughout the day. Another goal is to keep up the hydrating over the weekends. Somehow I’m horrible at remembering to drink water throughout the day once Saturday hits.

Motivator
via
We all hit a wall no matter where we are in our weight loss journey. This quote has been a huge motivator because I know eventually that wall is going to hit or my weight is going to plateau, but it’s important for me to keep at it. Progress is progress no matter how small.

Tip or Trick
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The tip I have this week is related to packing lunches. These airtight Snapware containers have been a lifesaver in terms of portion control throughout the work week. I love that they come in different sizes and they’re awesome for preserving your leftovers. Consider investing in these guys if you’re looking to better manage your portion sizes!

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Enough of the Negativity

Every time I log onto Facebook, or really access the internet in general, I’m always in awe of the amount of negativity we are exposed to on a daily basis. It’s almost difficult to imagine how we are able to function and feel happy when we are faced with nothing but stories of disappointment, anger, frustration, tragedy, and sadness.

This post is going to take a little bit of a turn but bear with me.

I’ve had enough. Enough of the negativity.

I get it, we live in a world where technology has allowed us to be connected and share in more ways than one. The birth of social media has brought on exciting and new ways for us to communicate, share, and support one another, but yet I begin to question the purpose in which some of us use it.

Memorial Day Shaming
To those who felt the need to ‘remind’ your followers on Facebook what Memorial Day means by sharing this…

It’s just rude and you’re acting under the assumption that those who BBQ or enjoy a day off of work take for granted the efforts of our military. Don’t be so shortsighted.

The Oversharer
Or to those who constantly feel the need to overshare their relationship or emotional issues. If you’re having a tough time, as we all do every now and again, refrain from sharing your business on Facebook where everyone can see it. If it’s an issue that really matters, call or talk in person to those who can actually help you. Otherwise it’s just passive aggressive and you may want to look at yourself and how you’re choosing to handle it.

The Duggar Story
This one in particular gives me mixed emotions. On one hand I am in no way supportive of abuse of ANY sort, especially when it is in regards to children. However, this story has blown into something massive and at the end of the day it doesn’t deserve our commentary or judgement by me. It only fuels the fire of scandalous reporting and not actual news. As a follower of Christ I believe that everyone will have to answer for their actions before God and only He has the power to decide what is just. I am not related to the Duggers nor do I have a first hand account of what actually happened so for me to have an opinion is redundant.

What hurts me about this story is it is yet again another scandal that will turn minds off from God and His church. 
I surely hope His grace is more powerful than that.

What about these stories? Don’t they deserve to be our focus and reminder that through difficult circumstances we have the ability to show compassion…

These students who donated $8,000 to their principal who was battling cancer.

or the man who went against his religious practices and took off his turban to save a child’s life.

Or Google donating $150,000 for Central Texas flood relief
These are the stories of compassion I hope friends on Facebook and across the web will share more often. I know it’s easy to hit that ‘share’ button but sometimes it’s important to stop and think about what exactly you’re sharing with others. Our broken world is filled with despair and suffering, however, I challenge you to see the good that others do for one another despite their circumstances. My hope in humanity is always restored when I come across such stories that continue to communicate, share, and support others for that is what we are called to do.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4  

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Slim Down Saturday + Linkup {5.23}

It’s Saturday and it’s time to join me and other bloggers for week two of Slim Down Saturday! This week I saw some results from snacking on more fruits and veggies and even noticed that I’m feeling fuller faster! I’m trying to average about losing two pounds a week in order to make my goal weight within the three month time frame and I’m happy to have almost done that!
Let’s get rolling on week two…

The Results Week Two

Ultimate Goal
My ultimate goal is to reach my goal weight, which is to lose about 40 lbs.

Gain/Loss From the Week
– 1.6 lbs

Total Loss Since Starting
– 4.4 lbs

Positives From the Week
My first cheat day was a spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a and I have no shame whatsoever. Like I said before, it’s important to have cheat meals during your week because it reminds you that food is satisfying and should be something you love. And boy do I love me some chicken sandwiches. And that sauce…I could drink it. #realtalk
Another positive is when I do dine out I am drinking more water and limiting my wine consumption to one glass (I know, what’s the fun in that?!). I find myself making more health conscious choices which dining out, which is a major improvement.

Things to Work On
I did skip one of my workout days due to being tired from work and commuting. This is something I need to be sure I stick to throughout the week no matter how tired I feel. Being active has definitely helped me burn some extra calories and allows me to enjoy my cheat meals.
One Goal For Next Week
Not to eat out as much. Although we meal planned for the week, we ended up eating some of the meals for lunch over the weekend. This left holes in our menu and was left open for dining out (we did eat sushi one night which was a low-point meal). Week 3 I want to limit our dining out nights to once a week or not at all if possible.

Motivator
One motivation from this week has been being able to notice my clothes beginning to fit a little looser. There’s no greater feeling than your jeans feeling a little less snug and being able to feel confidant in your clothes.

Tip or Trick
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Grapefruit juice has been proven to aide in burning fat around your midsection and is great for your overall health. I’ve been drinking one 8 oz. glass a day and have seen a difference in my waist even after a week! Just be careful of fruit juices and their sugar content. I love Trader Joe’s grapefruit juice because it’s 100% grapefruit.

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