Ready, set … pin!

What a few days without or only miniscule internet access do to a blogger … like a fish without water. It’s kind of embarrassing to notice how much I (we?) depend on the wide wide web, no? Okay, to make a long story short: while I did manage to catch up on a few great posts once the connection was back I missed Lindsay’s recent Pin it party and saw it just yesterday. Better late than never when it comes to attending a party, right? Thanks to Lindsay for coming up with this great opportunity to show old[er] posts a little more lovin’.

Pin It Party_the Lean Green Bean

Here are some of my [and your] favourites from the archives!

1. Dear Kate Moss [What Skinny Really Feels Like]

Flower

By far my most clicked and commented post on here – and at the same time probably the one I spent the least time drafting. Written originally as a reminder to myself for why choosing recovery and a healthy life is the only right way this resonated with so many of you. Skinny is never worth swallowing its hefty price tag.

 

2. [Your kind of] Balance is best

Balance – what is it, really? In my opinion, there can never be a set defition of it fitting everybody in every situation in life. Yet it’s what all of us are striving for. What’s the right work-life balance? How much should you work out? Which diet is the best? There’s only one right balance: the kind that works for you.

 

2. The one question to ask when reading “healthy” advice

Grandma's cookies

A post dear to my heart. In line with the post above asking this question has helped me keep my distance from content that wouldn’t benefit me. It’s easy to feel like you aren’t healthy enough/eating too many treats/not working out as much as others or not living up to society’s expectations in another way. Asking this one question might help you live life at your own pace more – or simply aid in marking a bunch of unbeneficial posts as read in your reader. Or eat grandma’s cookies guiltlessly.

 

3. Peas over nuts [Cinnamon Chickpea Crunch Protein Bars]

Protein Bars 8

These are hands down the one recipe of my own I’ve been re-making the most. As odd as the combination might sound in the first place these bars just work. Work as a work or anytime snack, that is. Given the one and a half million variations [okay, maybe more like five or six] I’ve come up with when recreating these using different ingredients I’d go so far to call these [fairly] fool-proof. No dried mulberries at hand? Sub apple rings/dried blueberries/cherries … No oat fiber? Up the protein powder. In short: these are easily customisable and hardly take any time while tasting delicious and being much cheaper than store-bought bars.

4. Crispy Cauliflower Nuggets – gluten-free and vegan

Cauliflower Nuggets_1

Were you a fan of a certain fast food chain’s chicken nuggets growing up, too? I remember not being the hugest burger eater but I was always down for a box of these – without any dipping sauce because I was a weird child [sometimes]. Anyway, these chicken-friendly vegan Cauliflower Nuggets might not entirely remind you of childhood days but they’re just as addicitive and an amazing snack in their own right. No judgement if you serve them with sweet and sour sauce or ketchup – just don’t offer me any of that. Because some things never change.

 

Let’s get pinning!

 

Happiness-inducing today: An overall great and sunny Easter weekend with my family. It’s sad all relatives left again but we’ll hopefully meet up again soon.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

 

Are you active on Pinterest?

What’s the last thing you pinned?

Pin it? I’m in [for] it!

Looking at my overflowing boards it’s no secret I’m a Pinterest addict. Adding the ‘Pin it’ button to my browser made the whole situation even worse easier to handle. Lindsay had the brilliant idea of giving us another excuse to get pinning wild with her Pin It Party.

Just in case you’re surprised: yes, I’m double-posting today. Join in the randomness, too!

Pin It Party_the Lean Green Bean

If you’re new to the party it’s really simple: you pick five of your posts you’d like to see making their way to [dozens of] Pinterest boards, compile them in one post, link up with Lindsay and then pin every  three other participants’ posts. Sounds good? Great.

1. Starting with my latest but at the same time already one of my favourite recipes: Pistachio Vanilla Granola Clusters. There’s a lot to say about the recipe and at the same time just one: Try it! Okay, I get that’s not exactly convincincing but how about I tell you that the scent of this alone is enough to get you drooling? I’m not kidding: it makes a whole room smell buttery and honey-sweet when freshly baked. Plus, it’s crunchy but – thanks to the chia seeds – at the same time just that perfect bit of chewy. Resulting in big clusters only this cereal is perfect for all of us granola snobs.

Granola clusters 2

2. Another new one but yet another favourite. After my discovery of tortillas [better late than never] I ate this days in a row without getting tired – and that’s rare these days. Don’t let the long ingredient list intimidate you: it’s mostly spices that you’ll also likely have on hand. From the Vitamin C-boosting bell pepper to the cauliflower this vegan Enchilada Bake with Cauliflower Nacho Sauce screams nutritious but tastes just so good at the same time. Healthy food is boring? I don’t think so.

Tortilla Bake 4

3.  It’s getting hot outside – it’s time for frozen treats! In a perfect world I’d have time to prepare a batch of ice cream every week [and wouldn’t have left my ice cream maker at my parents’ when moving out…] but how often do dreams become reality in a pinch? This PB & J Frozen Yogurt does come together in a pinch plus it’s refined sugar-free, quick and easy to prepare and packed with protein.

faux_froyo

 

4. Summer or not I’m always in the mood for chili and I know for a fact there are others as crazy about it as me. Even better when chocolate’s included in the fun like in the [also vegan] Polenta Mushroom Chili Bake. Creamy polenta with a ‘meaty’ chili making for a satisfying hearty dish – any season, really.

Polenta bake_V

 

5. Don’t have a body – be SOMEbody:  Recipes are all nice and well but one of the posts that meant a lot to me was this one. Disconnecting our inner and outer selves by talking about ‘our bodies’ like they were separated from our souls is a habit that many of us share – with no positive outcome. Choosing to always see myself as a whole instead of picking at my least favourite [body] parts has made a difference for me. Try it yourself!

 

Happiness inducing today: Being able to wear one of my favourite summer dresses for the first time this year thanks to lots of – you guessed it – sunshine.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Questions of [P]Interest:

Tell me

a) the last thing you pinned.

b) the last thing you pinned and made (!!)

c) which of your Pinterest boards you’re adding to most.

 

 

Seasonally [in]appropriate cravings

Something is very very wrong about this Wednesday and we’re not talking about the weather. Unless you’re one of those people complaining about too much sunshine but then again we probably wouldn’t be friends. Kidding. Maybe. But I digress. What’s wrong is that – unlike last week – we’re not heading right into another long weekend :(. Very right, though, is the fact that Jenn is hosting our weekly virtual foodie party no matter what.

WIAWbutton_1

Something else that might not seem totally right? The answer to the question of whether or not I’ve kept up with my Pinterest challenge: yes, I did. But the Easter break in between that I spent at my parents’ may or may not have ever-so-slightly taken the wind out of my challenge sails. As in: food wasn’t as much of a big deal during the weekend, I hardly cooked or baked – but ate – and my camera took a good nap. Nevertheless, I tried one recipe that was so good I had it for lunch multiple times already and consider it a new favourite:

Coffee & Quinoa_chili

Spring, summer, fall or winter: In my opinion chili is a year-round food [and if you feel differently I’m fine with that but won’t let you convince me elsewise ;)]. Actually, I tried this recipe before even sharing the link in my post on Sunday.  And yes, as you can see I included the polenta. In case you remember me and polenta aren’t best friends. Or weren’t?! I’d actually bought a new bag a few days before stumbling upon Erica’s recipe because I had a random craving for cornmeal. Now that I’ve had it multiple times lately I feel it might become a staple for me again. Either way, this chili recipe is one of the best I’ve ever had. If you’ve never tried chocolate in chili before you absolutely have to. It adds a great depth to the dish enhancing the deep flavour and it complements the spices perfectly.

Continuing with my [probably] seasonally inappropriate chili cravings I came up with a Polenta Mushroom Chili Casserole based on Erica’s recipe myself. A thick layer of polenta slices, mushrooms adding a great ‘meaty’ texture, two kinds of beans because one’s not enough and a good sprinkle nutritional yeast [or cheese] on top. Recipe coming soon.

Chili_Polenta Bake

Can I count making the same recipe twice as continuing my challenge? Because they were just that good I simply had to make Ashley’s incredible brownies once more for Easter. One of the few times my mum actually had no obligations against me baking a vegan dessert. Or how else would I explain the disappearance of a batch in less than two days? Despite two non-vegan cakes and the usual overabundance of food at my parents’.

edible perspective_brownies

Seasonally appropriate where my snacks, though. Because I failed to take any pictures of the ice cream happenings on the weekend I’ll end this post on a sweet note with a blogger-approved favourite recent snack: Banana softserve. Why mess with bowls when you can eat it straight from the blender?

banana_softserve_II

Grab a snack to prevent getting too hungry when heading over to Jenn’s What I ate Wednesday or the Vegan Wednesday boards.  If it’s between me and you: banana softserve might not be the best option here. Because the little sweet something above was polished off in about five minutes [at max]. Still delicious.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

 

Happiness inducing today: The scent of lilacs on my walk.

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What was the best dish or snack you ate throughout the Easter festivities?

Is chili seasonally inappropriate or a year-round dish? As I said: there’s no convincing me elsewise but I’m still curious to hear you answers (:.

Does anybody actually bother transferring banana softserve to a bowl?

 

Pin Perfect [Pin It Party]

Can we talk about addictions for a minute? No, not the ones that could be stopped by ‘simply’ [or not so?] banning yourself from buying a certain something [like chocolate or cute dresses …]. No, we’re talking the serious can’t-be-avoided-anymore kind – more specifically: Pinterest addiction. Ever since I installed the Pin it-button in my browser it’s gotten all too easy to get click-happy whenever I see a great post, bit of advice – or, obviously – intriguing recipe. Needless to say I was all up when I heard of Lindsay’s Pin It Party.

Pin It Party_the Lean Green Bean

The Pin It Party means picking five of your own posts you’d like to see featured on Pinterest. The only rule is to visit at least three other posts in the link-up and pin some of their content – which I’m sure everybody will happily do. An allowance to pin even more? Yes, please 🙂 .

Choosing posts of mine I’d like to see make their way to some Pinterest boards I went with a mix of recipes and posts that meant a lot to me in general.

Chocolate Almond Caramel Bars

A peanutty base topped with date caramel and covered in chocolate – in other words: heaven in a bar. Did I mention they’re healthy, too?  If it wasn’t for my current lack of peanut flour I’d get into the kitchen to prepare a batch right now.

Bar I

Thoughts on blogger guilt

No matter how much fun it is blogging takes up a lot of time. Time we might not always have – and it’s easy to feel guilty for not keeping up with other blogs and commenting then. But in the end we can’t do more than try and keep in mind others won’t blame us.  There was a lot of great feedback and advice in the comments so if you’ve ever felt bad about being unable to interact as much in the blog world definitely read them.

Don't stress.

When a binge turned into a blessing

Seeing the upsides and lessons learned from a binge instead of letting it get you down. There’s no need to feel ashamed but a way of viewing these happenings in a positive way.

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Black Bean Truffles

Seeing how obsessed I was with making batch after batch of these after first coming up with the recipes these are an obvious favourite. Easy to prepare, healthy and delicious.

Banana truffles

Balsamic Butternut & Kale Pastry for one

My phyllo dough addiction is serious and while it’s hard to pick a favourite this has been making multiple appearances ever since I posted the recipe. Flaky and crispy pastry, creamy squash and balsamic onions – I can’t get enough.

Phyllo pastry

Happiness inducing today: Watching ‘The Butler’ at the cinema with my parents.

Do you know how many boards you have on Pinterest? I wish I could say but have to admit I’ve lost count ;).

What’s the last thing you pinned?

How did you keep organized before using Pinterest? Dozens of Word documents that started out organized but ended all mixed up are still in my memory …

Culinary confessions of an overbuyer

Hi there, fellow foodies!

First off: thank you so much for all of the encouraging and supportive comments on my last post! I appreciated every single one of them. Change still isn’t easy for me but I’m trying to just let it happen and see where life leads me.

Before we head straight into the more illustrated part of this post I feel like I need to explain its background a little. all it a confession of an overbuyer if you will … Picture this: you’re visiting the Farmers’ Market knowing that you’re well stocked in the vegetable department already. Clearly, your only intention is to get some of your favourite apples only available at a certain stall and then head home again. No other purchases or even side glances at the full array of beautiful produce allowed … Can you guess the end of the story? Yes, I somehow ended up buying the most humungous head of cauliflower you’ve seen so far for a fantastic price and a bag of awesome pears as well. Typical foodie problems?! Which leads me to today’s What I ate Wednesday.

wiaw fall into good habits buttonUsing up what’s on hand and not buying new produce anymore sounds like a good habit to fall into, don’t you think so?! Once more I’m also linking up for Vegan Wednesday so to all German readers: take a look at a collection of delicious vegan food over at Julia’s.

Finding myself with an overload of produce – more specifically: cauliflower, bell pepper and carrots as well as slightly more “normal” amounts of random others – I had to modify my Pinterest challenge. It’s almost the usual for me to overbuy produce. But with my move coming closer I need to hurry up on eating my way through the produce party. Hence challenge “Make a dent” – not to be confused with any current appointments at the dentist’s …

Cream of corn

Have you ever been lured into the “season’s almost over so I have to buy it!” syndrome? With corn season being almost or even already over I noticed I hadn’t had fresh corn at all so far. Yes, shame on me. This recipe for sounded awesome and it didn’t disappoint. While I expected it to be good it turned out even better. So good, in fact, that I could have even done without any add-ins. Why didn’t I realize any earlier just how amazing fresh corn tastes?!

[Actually, I made this months back already but forgot to mention it in previous WIAW posts. Sorry!]

Next up was a freshly pinned recipe that I mentioned in my post on Sunday: Susan’s Spaghetti Squash Pesto Lasagna. Will you believe I actually followed the recipe [almost] to a T??? Okaaay, I subbed grated zucchini for the spinach – all for the sake of using it up – and used additional and also silken tofu though Susan doesn’t recommend it [with added cornstarch to thicken it up]. But other than that I didn’t make a lot of modifications. Verdict: Delicious! Once more I was skeeved by the low lighting but you can’t change the weather.

Squash Lasagna

Carrots first found their way into my Red Lentil Kabocha Chili which you’ll probably notice I modified a little and tried to measure how much water I added. How I forgot to add almond butter on top the first time I tried it is beyond me.

My original intention had been to try a Pumpkin Cauliflower Curry. However, the [red kuri] squash stored in the basement seems less perishable than carrots. And with no canned pumpkin available I had to prepare my own puree in anyway. So why not go for carrot instead of pumpkin?

oat loli

Don’t let the look deceive you. Despite its mediocre appearance I came up with a flavourful and spicy (!) curry that hit the spot once reheated. Does anybody else find that curry – just like chili – tastes better when reheated? On the side I tried another new-to-me recipe: Khusboo’s Oat Lolis. They had been on my Pinterest board/to-make list ever since she posted them and yesterday offered a great opportunity to try them.

scoop

Super easy and fast to prepare but the best part: they’re an great scooping device. In case you’re wondering: I added cumin seeds [obsessed!] and the first loli disappeared before it could even make it into a picture. Hangry blogger at work? Maybe … I’ll share the recipe for the curry later this week for any others desperately in need of using up cauliflower ;). Or just those who enjoy a good curry.

Cauliflower snack

Okay, this one is strange but good. Remember how I mentioned the cauliflower was humungous? I wasn’t kidding and I actually still had half a head sitting in the basement that I’d somehow forgotten about. Enter cauliflower not only for lunch but as a snack, too. Not any old cauliflower, though, but vegan egg-battered amaranth-coated cauliflower. More details on that in my next post :).

Avocado-Törtchen

Ending on a sweet and [semi-]raw note once more: [frozen] Chocolate Avocado Cupcake made by my sister. She’s been asking me for healthy food ideas and started experimenting on her own for quite some time already coming up with some awesome creations. Though they haven’t been eating weird food before it’s funny to see family members jump on the health foodie bandwagon every now and then lately, too. Who knows, maybe I’ll turn them into nut butter addicts and oat bran fiends one day after all?! Wishful thinking – but then again: Sharing my nut butters? I don’t think so ;).

Happy [healthy] Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: Mailing another surprise letter.

Help me out: What are your favourite uses/recipes for cauliflower and bell peppers? Aside from roasting [still not a fan – totally untypical foodie here, sorry!] I appreciate any suggestions.

Are you good at resisting produce offers when you know you’re well stocked already?

Did you interest in [healthy] food rub off on family members yet?

Pinterestingly delicious

Hi and happy Wednesday!

Wednesday. The day of the week when I’m giving you a sneak peak into my eats. But how about giving you a short insight into the making of What I ate Wednesday in the polka-dotted household, too? It’s actually pretty easy – and not. Being the planner that I am yet not a meal planner I’m looking through my meals from the past week [or at least those I took pictures of] trying to pick the most interesting ones. Easy. But I’m usually not content with that. Nooo. The real fun is when I see a topic emerging. Which I realize would be easier to assure if I meal-planned hence knowing what I’ll end up with … Back to today’s post, though, which – you guessed it! – [more or less] follows a topic. Hoping that Amy won’t mind me stealing her idea here’s to a Pinterestly delicious What I ate Wednesday. Thanks to our lovely hostess Jenn!

WIAWbutton_1

Unlike you might guess I’m actually still eating non-blended/Vitamix-ed foods. Unbelievable but true. Yes, I’m still thinking the Vitamix is all kinds of awesome but I have yet to find that switch to get it to clean and dry itself ;). Let me know if you find it and I won’t stop blending anymore.

Something that hasn’t changed, though, is my desire to eat ice cream on a daily basis as long as the Vitamix is still on his visit at my place. I make myself laugh eating ice cream when the temperatures outside are dropping by the day. Well, that’s what tea was invented for, right?

Ice cream

And who could say no to a bowl of ice cream topped with sprinkles?! Will you believe I hadn’t had sprinkles in … forever [?] until now? For once because they usually aren’t vegan and maybe also because I considered them sugary non-sense [read: wasted calories] for way too long. Not anymore because – and I know Sam will agree – everything’s better with sprinkles. The basic recipe I use for this is Katie’s using hazelnut milk. I like to add some ‘cookie dough’ crumbles prepared by simpy combining coconut and peanut flour with some sweetener, a pinch of salt and a little bit of soy milk. Some coconut butter added to the ice cream when blending adds a nice touch – just saying ;).

Sprinkles

The first one I tried right after seeing it on Amy’s blog for lunch last Wednesday was Nikki’s Carrot and Red Lentil Soup – in fact before I’d even pinned it – how’s that for overachieving ;)? And unfortunately, I have no picture to show you. Did I mention it was a late lunch on a cloudy day? Needless to say I didn’t even attempt to take a picture but take a look at Nikki’s great ones and give it a try! I can, however, show you a picture of the Red Lentil Kabocha Chili that Nikki’s soup inspired me to create. While I’m a huge legume fiend red lentils are a kind I keep forgetting about though they are so good. Recipe for this simple dish to come on Friday. For once it’s even a mum-approved dish because I prepared it once more when she came for a short visit yesterday.

Chili

An alternative title for this post: The one when the weather didn’t cooperate. Despite my serious dislike for taking pictures with flash on the foods were just to good to not show them. So overlook the qualitly of the pictures and trust my judgement: deeeelicious. First off was another very recent pin: Michelle’s peanut butter drizzle idea. Once more I played around with her recipe with great results.

Peanut drizzle

With my mum coming for a visit yesterday I sensed my chance to try a recipe that had been on my “to try in case I ever get my hands on a Vitamix” list before I even knew I ever would. Weird? Maybe – though I’d rather call it very optimistic thinking ;). Back to the recipe, though: raw cheesecake. Or any nut-based creamy dessert, really, but The Detoxinista’s recipe had caught my eye long ago with its short ingredient list and simplicity. Mine wasn’t actually raw because I prepared a different crust, didn’t search for certified raw ingredients … in short: it was a no-bake cheesecake. The result was an amazingly creamy and maybe not cheesecake-like but still super delicious treat. Seconds were a necessity. Never mind that I didn’t have a small enough pan so it ended up being a very flat cake. Lesson learned: buy more pans. As if I needed an excuse …

Slice

Don’t let the simple look deceive you!

All in all the Mission: Tackle my Pinterest boards has proven to be rewarded with delicious results so far. Fingers crossed for more pinteresting proof of tastiness to come!

My Blogiversary giveaway is over. Don’t forget to check if you’re one of the winners! Please mail me your shipping info until Friday!

Happiness inducing today: Without a doubt my mum’s visit.

What are some ingredients you enjoy but keep forgetting about?

Did you try any awesome new recipes during the last week? Feel free to share the inspiration!

Have you ever tried a nut-based dessert like the cheesecake? Which one?