Energizing Elixir

We had our first frost recently. Now all the plants are dead. Tomatoes are dead. Flowers are dead. Check out this dead sunflower.

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It’s sad right? It was eaten by squirrels before the frost. Extra sad. It’s also dark when I leave the house every morning. Dark when I get home. So depressing.

PSYCHE!!! Nothing can be depressing when you’re hopped up on super healthy energizing elixirs!! Oh, yeah, it’s that time again. Serafina’s handing down some caffeine-induced (and whatever the fuck else is in energy drinks) wisdom!!

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A golden-haired nymph appeared and gave me the idea for this wondrous, soul-saving concoction. Was she a hallucination? Maybe. Probably not, because it was before I drank the elixir. I forgot to take a picture of her when she was here so I recreated it for all of you with my famous courtroom illustrator skills

magical elixir

Ingredients:

Mango Naked Juice

Energy Drink

Instructions:

Mix energy drink first and then mango, then stir.

Consume.

Conquer all obstacles. Sing a song about conquering your obstacles. Stop singing, you’re getting distracted. That sounded really good though, make a note to yourself to get some audio recording software to share your gift with the world. Go to the store and buy more mango smoothie and energy drinks before it starts to wear off. Don’t worry if you can’t sleep anymore, you should just drink more energy drinks to combat the urge to sleep.

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Always listen to the golden-haired nymph.

Serafina

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Serafina’s guide to healthy snacking

Sometimes life gets chaotic and there isn’t time for homemade cookies, cookie dough, or the many other healthful snack ideas  that we have on this site. Sometimes you realize that your masters thesis is due in like two weeks, other times something more relevant to you might happen. Either way, I’m here to guide you through the wonderful snacks that will hopefully save you so your dreams aren’t ruined and you don’t have to cry in the shower until there’s no more hot water every night for the rest of your life.

A wonderful place to start is with healthy beverages to optimize your energy. I rely on coffee most of the time, but in extreme cases, it’s fine to put whatever the fuck is in these drinks in your body. Maybe they’ll help. At least that’s what I’m counting on.

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I bought the Focus Aid one thinking it was just a re-branded over-the-counter Adderall. I was wrong.

After your heart is racing and your stomach is queasy from energy drinks, it’s a good idea to get some wholesome food in your body. Shit, maybe we should have started with food, but you know what, it’s too late now. These foods don’t go together, but they are the only things in my refrigerator right now aside from energy drinks and almond milk.

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Oh carrots, I look forward to throwing you in the compost in a month when I am trying to figure out what smells bad in the fridge.

Healthy snacks can make a monumental difference in your energy levels and mood throughout the day. For example, before I ate this cookie, I seriously considered pouring tea all over my laptop because the lecture I was watching was mildly irritating. Since finishing the cookie and remembering I have an old broken laptop I keep around for displacing my violent inclinations toward technology, I’m feeling much more regulated.

ABC cookie

Another healthful snack that will hopefully stave off your aggressive and destructive tendencies for a few blissful moments is the fruit snack. Fruit snacks are perfection. It’s like someone noticed that it was ridiculous that fruit had all that fiber and shit in it, and was like, “Don’t worry guys, I’ve got this.” I accidentally bought fruit snacks that have vitamin C in them. It’s ok, they still tasted fine.

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I ate these vegan fruit snacks on the patio while telling my chickens they weren’t allowed to have any. It’s not that fruit snacks are unhealthy for chickens, I’m just selfish.

Just remember, your achievements are only limited by the amount of sugar you can eat in a sitting.

XOXO,

Serafina

 

Self Righteous Veggie Scramble

Have any of you ever read Omnivore’s Dilemma? If not, you can still read this spoiler because it’s not like it will make a difference. Basically, Michael Pollan spends all this time and energy making a dinner for which he can take full moral responsibility. Grew the veggies, gathered yeast, harvested wheat, the whole goddamn thing. Well, I’m here to say, BITCH, I DO THAT SHIT EVERY MOTHERFUCKING DAY!

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Sorry, I got a little heated there. Pollan and I have a long-standing frenemy relationship, much like mine and Mary Ellen’s, the only difference is that he doesn’t totally know about it. Frenemy relationships sometimes go better when the other person doesn’t know about it because it really decreases the risk of a clap back. Anyhoo, I’ve been working my ass off to grow food and humanely raise chickens, so I can feel morally superior, and it’s about time for me to rub it in everyone’s faces.

Now before anyone gets on my back about the ingredients I used that I didn’t grow (olive oil, salt, and pepper), I have a preemptive retort: I’ve already googled how to grow peppercorns and olive trees. I’m working on it. Sort of. I’m not working on it in the sense that it will happen ever, but I’m working on it in the sense that I thought about it for a minute, which was good enough for me.

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If you want to eat a meal for which you can take full moral responsibility, you’ll need to start growing some veggies, and if you’re not a vegan/want eggs, you’ll need to get some chickens. I also thought about getting a cow or a goat to make butter for this meal, but there are city ordinances against cows and goats, and my boyfriend nixed my idea of indoor goats when I brought up that workaround. Aside from a cow or goat for butter, the only other recommendation I have for this meal is to get a wheat field and make some bread. This would only be worthwhile if you have butter. Otherwise, this is a lovely scramble with ethically produced eggs, zucchini that only suffered minor verbal abuse, and very well cared for tomatoes.

Ingredients

2 eggs, beaten

About ½ a zucchini, halved and sliced relatively thin

A handful of cherry tomatoes, lovingly halved

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Fresh basil or other herbs (optional)

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PSA: Dangers of placing food on the floor to photograph outweigh benefits

Instructions

Cook zucchini in a pan with a little olive oil for about 4-5 minutes until it is close to being done. Add cherry tomatoes and cook for another minute. Add eggs and stir frequently until the eggs are cooked. Garnish with beautiful basil which is still somehow alive in September. Maybe you grew it in part shade or something.

Eat on your patio while your chickens roam. It’s ok to eat eggs in front of the chickens because they also eat their eggs, so they were the ones to make it weird first.

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Food is only somewhat safer on the patio, chickens may still attempt to eat the eggs even though they prefer their eggs freshly laid and uncooked

Zucchini is more flavorful after verbal abuse

-Serafina

Quick Garden Dinner

Friends, I’ve read enough of your fan letters to know that Mary Ellen and I are not the only ones who struggle to get a healthful meal on the table every night after a hard day of work. Quick meals are lifesavers whether you’re Mary Ellen, chasing around her toddler while ensuring her make up is on point, or me, laying around the house in my fanciest business pajama suit pretending to finish my last semester of graduate school. At the end of a long, trying day, cooking a meal that is quick and easy becomes as important as cooking one that is healthful and nourishing.

In light of this, I’m bringing you my super-fast garden meal. You’ll need approximately 3-5 months to prepare this meal, depending on your local climate. Gardening is hard work, and between the costs of your own labor, soil, water, plants, and seeds, you’ll probably spend more on your garden veggies than you ever would on the actual produce from a grocery store. But, as they say, you have to spend money to make money.

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Since garden based meals will depend on what you plant and what is ready to harvest on a given day, I’m going to provide some general guidelines instead of a strict recipe.

  1. Plant zucchini. You’ll need to do this in late spring/early summer, so plan ahead! No one really likes eating zucchini, but as I have previously mentioned, you’ll certainly harvest a lot of it. Corn, green beans, tomatoes, and lettuce will round out your meal, and will also take several months of intermittent effort before you’ll be able to acquire food from the plant.
  2. If you want to eat something other than the vegetables you harvested, you’ll need to go to a grocery store. I know, you’re thinking, why did I bother planting all that zucchini 4 months ago? Shhh, don’t worry, you planted it for lots of reasons. And you should be asking why you didn’t plan ahead better and plant something that grows veggie burgers. There’s always next year.
  3. Find a partner, friend, or neighbor with a grill. Grills are scary, and you don’t want to try to deal with one on your own. They’re also hot AF, but not in the good way.
  4. Chop up vegetables and wrap them in foil. Then have your boyfriend (or whoever you found to use the grill) put your veggies on the grill. They also make giant grill skillets but foil prevents your vegetables from being contaminated with meat if you have a boyfriend who refuses to cook himself a veggie burger.

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    You should also probably season your zucchini. Olive oil, salt, and pepper will be fine. Throw in some garlic powder if you’re feeling super fancy
  5. Put food on plate and then consume.
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This was my boyfriend’s plate. He always eats with his xbox controller nearby. It’s like a safety blanket.

Quick, easy dinner in only 4 months.

Serafina

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my “Fuck, I need to make a dessert and shave my legs and I don’t really have time for either” cookie recipe. It works well when your significant other comes home and reminds you that you have plans to go to a dinner party/game night and he told everyone we were bringing dessert.

I made these cookies in about 20 minutes and also shaved my legs in the kitchen sink while they were baking. It was an impressive display of my domestic and feminine abilities. Then I went on to win at Secret Hitler because, not to brag, but I’m pretty great at being Hitler. I know how that sounds, but sometimes you have to put aside your values because winning a board game is more important.

These are my go-to vegan cookie, but for time’s sake I used real butter which doesn’t fuck up the consistency of the cookie when you melt it.

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I actually had an excuse not to clean the kitchen before shooting these photos with my phone

This recipe was adapted from one of my first vegan cookbooks, How it All Vegan. I bought the book thinking the authors were lesbians and was very disappointed when they talked about male significant others.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup softened butter (if you want these cookies to actually be vegan, you obviously need vegan butter)

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

3 tbsp water

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt (less if butter is salted)

1 cup chocolate chips

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Two types of chocolate chips sounded fancy to me at first, but it just made it seem like I didn’t have enough of any one kind, which might have also been true

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a small bowl, combine sweetener, margarine, oil, water and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt
  4. Add butter mixture and chocolate chips to the flour mixture and mix well.
  5. Scoop balls of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are browned

Makes 12-15 cookies

Eat enough cookies that you no longer want to murder your significant other for failing to give you adequate warning to prepare a dessert.

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These were two leftover cookies at the end of the night. I ate them both when we got home.

Just to be super clear, it’s only okay to be Hitler when you’re playing board games. We may flirt with being terrible people around here sometimes, but there are some lines we won’t cross, like actually being Hitler. If I think of any other lines we won’t cross, I’ll be sure to let you know.

-Serafina

 

Hipster Brunch

I had originally planned on posting this on Friday, but, you know, I passed out drunk before I could find my computer.  Then I had to write a new intro for this.  Just know that I work hard to create amazing content for this blog, it just hasn’t been uncovered yet.

 

Today’s post is inspired by my favorite generation, the Millennials.  We actually are the greatest generation.  I mean, come on, even our name is super cool.  We fly around in our jet packs, vacation in nearby star systems, and —

 

Wait, wait.  Sorry, I’m still a little drunk.  Okay, now it’s coming back to me.  Ah yes, we make toast and charge $15 for it.  See?!  GREATEST GENERATION, SUCKERS.

 

Toast is my wheel house.  I have tons of toast recipes.  But you know what alludes me?  Avocado toast.  Avocados are a conspiracy.  Not even government conspiracy.  I’m taking Illuminati shit.  Let me ask you:  how many of you have actually bought avocados and were able to use all of them at the right moment when they were ripe and not brown?  Hmmm???  I can count three whole times for myself.

 

Buying avocados is stressful.  They are expensive, soon-to-be-garbage.  That’s why they charge so much at restaurants, because the stakes are so high.

 

Anyway, let’s make some guacamole toast because it’s lazier anyway.

 

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I threw these on the chair and took a picture of them.  I’m so close to being a professional photographer I’m getting goosebumps.

 

Ingredients:

  • Bread (I used religiously sprouted ones because I’m legit holier than thou)
  • Guacamole (get the individual packs to increase success and happy times)
  • Hemp hearts (because you need to dress it up for Instagram)

 

Directions:

Toast the bread however you like, I won’t judge if you don’t tell me.  Spread guac on bread.  Sprinkle the hemp hearts on.  Read comments on the internet and get into fights with Boomers.

 

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BTS story: I originally had my toast on a plain white plate, but then I thought, “hey, this needs more whimsy.” The process of an artist is a deep river of complex creativity.  

 

Still should probably add butter to this recipe somehow,

 

Mary Ellen

 

Zucchini, rice, and beans

Friends, I’m going to put aside my skin care feud with Mary Ellen for the moment (we all know who won that one, right?) and talk to you about a recipe from my childhood. You can tell this is a very modern recipe, because it comes from a Jane Brody cookbook with the subtitle “Living the High Carbohydrate Way.” That’s right, before all of this keto and paleo bullshit, there were plenty of people encouraging us to eat more carbs, and they were saints.

This is my version of Jane Brody’s Company Rice and Beans with fewer frills (I think she wants you to have like 4 fresh vegetables on hand, which seems ridiculous. I just used canned goods, dried spices, and a zucchini from the garden). Jane Brody also recommends cooking your rice at the same time as the rest of the food (I audibly gasped with disbelief at the thought of multitasking), so I’m going to go another step further and tell you to use a rice cooker. I bought a rice cooker about a year ago and this is second time I’ve used it, so that was a super meaningful purchase that made a measurable difference in my life.

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Yeah, you cook that rice, rice cooker. Then, back to the cupboard for another 6 months!

Get ready for some high carbohydrate living!

Ingredients:

1 cup rice (yield will be two cooked cups)

1 zucchini, halved and sliced

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 can of beans (I recommend garbanzo or kidney, but any bean will do)

Olive oil

About 1/2 tsp oregano

Some garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: cheese (Jane recommends cheddar)

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You may notice that I didn’t actually use a can of diced tomatoes because I didn’t have any. So I used tomato sauce, which was fine, but a can of diced tomatoes would be better.

Instructions:

Cook the rice. 1:2 ratio of rice to water. Unless you have a rice cooker and then read the instructions or something. I used brown rice because I wanted extra credit.

Saute the diced tomatoes, zucchini, and spices in olive oil for about 5-10 minutes. Add the beans when the zucchini is starting to soften and bring to a low simmer until the rice is done.

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If you leave the stove unattended, you may get tomato splashes all over your cookbook. And also the stove. And maybe your camera.

Serve the tomato/zucchini/bean mixture on top of rice. Top with shredded cheese if your GI tract is up for such indulgences.

BTW, my zucchini plant produces a new fully developed zucchini about every 45 minutes, so prepare yourself to watch me put zucchini in everything I cook until October.

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Carbs are life,

Serafina

Cinnamon Rolls

Remember how I said I was worried my boyfriend was going gluten free? Well don’t worry, I decided to disregard his dietary restrictions and make these cinnamon rolls. And now he’s no longer interested in being GF. Don’t look at me like that, I’m a good person. It’s not like he has Celiac’s or anything (probably).

Anyway, my new goal in life is to stop eating vegetables and eat only sugar. My biggest hurdle so far is the horrific GI distress that ensues after eating all the pastries and then I turn back to my horrible, disgusting salad eating habit. I know, I know. I’m working on it. I’m kidding of course about the all-sugar diet. This weekend I ate a strict diet of Chipotle and frozen food from Costco. I’m the picture of health.

Anyway, to work on my #healthfoodgoals I used half whole wheat flour here. All whole wheat is too much, but you can get away with half without worrying that you accidentally had some fiber with your breakfast.

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You’re going to wonder if that is enough butter and sugar on top of the dough. There’s never really enough, but this amount is good enough

Ingredients

3/4 cup flour

¾ whole wheat flour

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2/3 c unsweetened almond milk (or, like, regular milk)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

6 tbsp melted butter, divided

½ cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

For the glaze

About 2 tbsp each: melted butter, brown sugar, and unsweetened almond milk

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You don’t have to pull out a ruler to cut your cinnamon rolls unless you are really unable to tolerate the inevitable height disparity

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°

Spray a muffin pan with oil

Combine the flour, white sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix the almond milk, vinegar, and 4 tbsp butter.

Add the milk mixture to the flower mixture

Roll out with a lot of flour on the counter (seriously, use a shitload of flour or you’ll cry when your dough is stuck to the counter).

Mix the melted butter with the brown sugar and the cinnamon and then smear all over the dough.

Roll it up, then cut into 8 or 9 even pieces. Place each piece in a muffin slot. Honestly, this would probably work with just a regular cookie sheet, but give them a little room to expand.

Bake for about 15 minutes

Make glaze by melting together more butter, brown sugar, and almond milk. Glaze cinnamon rolls.

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The glaze is mostly clear, but it’s still necessary. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not contributing.

Try not to eat too many salads in between your cinnamon rolls

-Serafina

Meal prepping like you have your life together

My dear readers, last night, as I finished a paper several hours ahead of schedule, I was feeling incredibly impressed with myself. After contemplating what I would be able to do for the rest of the evening, it dawned on me that the next day was my day to post and I had nothing prepared. You see, Mary Ellen and I have shown you all that we are “with it” ladies of the go-go 90’s, and you know we wouldn’t misrepresent ourselves. We have published volumes on time management and avoiding the perils of procrastination. And yet, there I was with nothing for you fine readers.

PSYCHE! I have an obscene amount of posts that I prepared at various times when I was avoiding writing papers, just in case there was ever a day when I wrote my papers over my blog posts. While I’m deeply ashamed and remorseful that day finally came, I am grateful for my past self who had her priorities in line. I promise I’ll get my shit together soon and take more pictures of gummy bears to inspire your healthy eating habits!

Let’s get to talking about meal prep. Now, I’ve read a lot about meal prep on other blogs. All the internet bitches are super into it (I’m using “bitches” in a gender-neutral sense here, so it’s not a hate crime). They say all this shit about how it’s “cheaper” and “healthier” than whatever the alternative is, but it’s really just a way to justify buying tons of glass containers off Amazon. Well, it’s time I joined them. And since we’re being thoughtful about our meals for the rest of the week, we want to make sure we are nourishing our minds, bodies, souls, and also being stewards to the planet. Let’s make a frozen pizza!

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Make sure you pick up some bulk Lactaid while you’re stocking up on pizza, you’re going to need it.

So you can see here that I have purchased this frozen cheese pizza from Costco. I used to buy the organic frozen pizzas from Costco, but since becoming an impoverished professional student, I switched to the normal, more economical convenience foods. The good news is that what this pizza lacks in fanciness and flavor, it makes up in calorie density!

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In order to ensure that this sumptuous feast will feed me for days of school and work, I have purchased some completely unnecessary glass containers and placed pizza in each container. I’m sure this would not have worked if I used the tupperware I already owned.

I know what you’re thinking: what the fuck was that first picture with the green rice and chickpeas? Well, it was a legitimately good meal that took fucking forever to cook, so I don’t plan on making it again anytime soon. But it was really good so I’ll link it for you out of the kindness of my heart. Read that recipe and then go stock up on frozen pizza.

In health and wellness,

-Serafina

 

Vegan Pancakes and Hash for Your Soul

Yes I know.  I’ve been cooking.  Honestly, a person can only get so much therapeutic benefits from an Irish health smoothie before they have to clean up their life.  That person might be me.

 

This week’s recipe is one that even Serafina’s vegetarian ass can get behind.  It’s healthy, wholesome (unlike your mom), meat and dairy free, and also guilt free, so you can shove all these things in everyone’s faces at the next family get together.  There’s no reason Easter also can’t be a holiday that families fight about food ethics.  We can do better.  Insert your jabs about Trump’s policies on deporting all vegetables from his plate, or how Bernie wouldn’t be such a commie if he’s stop enslaving cows.  There you go, I provided topics for next year to get past all that awkward “weather” talk.

 

I was inspired to create these recipes to try and get my toddler to eat something with nutritional value.  It didn’t work on him, but it did work on my husband so it’s a soft win.  This also satisfies both team sweet and savory at the breakfast table.

 

For the Hash:

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I am slow to prep veggies, so I put it all in together, and no one died because I didn’t cook down the onions first.  

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs yellow potatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBSP fresh dill
  • Herbamare to taste
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Oh wait, no I died a little inside but there’s no evidence it was because of the onions.

Directions:

Heat olive oil on medium heat.  Add the potatoes, pepper, garlic, and onion to the pan and sauté until the potatoes are fork tender.  Mash up the chickpeas and add to the pan, as well as the nutritional yeast and dill, and cook until the chickpeas are heated.  Season to taste.  Burn a little bit to the pan.

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Serve with salsa or hot sauce or whatever.  I chose salsa.  I guess I should have included it in the ingredients list.  Too late now.

 

For the Pancakes:

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OMG it seriously is hard to take these dripping batter pictures.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats, ground to a powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 – 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
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It surprisingly fluffs up, despite the lack of eggs.

Directions:

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a big bowl.  Add the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.  You don’t need to whisk wet separately, and you need the batter smooth, no clumps.  Let it rest for a few minutes before you griddle it up.

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This was my personal plate.
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Tried to take another drizzle pic, failed even harder.  This is homemade cashew cream to keep with the vegan theme.

I don’t know how to end this post, but I want to go eat pudding now, so I’ll just do it awkwardly.

 

Mary Ellen