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!

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
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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!

Five Things Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I’m back with my five things I’m loving from this week. As you may have noticed that I’m no longer hosting it as a linkup. After a few weeks it just wasn’t getting the steam I had hoped for but nonetheless it hasn’t deterred me from sharing my week with you all! Thank you to the few who have linked up in previous weeks!
Every week my husband and I do trivia at a local bar. It’s a fun time we spend together trying to remember little bits of useless information. Typically we have a team of about six people but last night it was just the two of us and we won FIRST PLACE! It’s the little things. The winnings? A $25 gift certificate to the bar we play trivia at 😉
This photo is from a while ago but is an example of what you win for second/third place. We have more than enough pint glasses. It’s become a little joke between our friends that if we were to win these pint glasses again the ‘pint glass fairy’ would leave them on the doorstep of those who couldn’t make it to trivia that night. Okay, it’s a lot funnier in person.
I just found out that at work I will be moving up from the preschool next year and be assisting with first grade! It’s crazy how one minute I’m with three year olds and then the next I’ll be back in elementary school with six/seven year olds again…
If you’re a teacher or interested in following me and my adventures in first grade, be sure to check out my teaching blog Sliding Into Second Grade (I created this when I was a second grade teacher)!

28 Before 28
If you’re not familiar, I’ve created a list of things I would like to accomplish before my next birthday, hence: 28 Before 28. One of the things on my list that I can’t quite cross off, but that I am doing consistently, is using my Fitbit. I love this little thing and I kick myself for keeping in my makeup drawer in the bathroom for so long.
It measures the steps I take each day and I’ve set a goal for 10,000 steps. Last night, and in conjunction with going to the gym, I was able to get over 15,000 steps in and it made me feel great to accomplish (and exceed) my daily step goal. This is just one easy thing I’ve added to help keep me active and motivated throughout my weight loss goals.
Link up with me every Saturday to share your fitness goals and progress each week. Check it out here for more details and previous posts!

And in keeping with my weight loss, I’ve officially hit the milestone of 5lbs lost total after this week! I kinda felt that I could have lost more but it was a holiday and we went to trivia and had some fries and onion rings. Which, by the way, tasted amazing. I should note that my husband and I DID go to the gym prior so I do win some brownie points there, right? Nonetheless, I’m very happy about my loss for this week!

via
One of my favorite snacks I’ve found via Pinterest are these yummy and healthy apple cookies. Just slice an apple, spread your favorite peanut butter, add some nuts (or I used coconut), and a little dark chocolate and these will keep you going. Find the recipe here.
And if you’re not already, find this recipe and other pins by following my Cookbook board on Pinterest!

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