Monday, April 30, 2012

Juice Cleanse: Day One

Hello friends!

I recently decided to hop on the bandwagon and do a juice cleanse. But I am not made of money or influence and cannot afford the $100 a day for the much talked about R.C. However, I really like the idea of resetting my body and brain a little bit, and I definitely struggle with appropriate portion size and impulse control, and that seems to be a touted benefit of doing a cleanse.  So after re-reading Hannah's post on XOJane I decided to give it a go myself. I purchased a juicer thanks to my tax refund, and I got to work.

Last night I made 2 juices, and forgive the indulgence but I have given them slighty silly names:

Green Goodness
2 handfuls of chopped kale and baby spinach
1 fuji apple, peeled/chopped
1 kiwi, peeled/chopped
4 romaine leaves, washed
1 tablespoon lemon juice (I juiced 2 lemons and am keeping that in the fridge to add as needed, I probably needed 1.5 for this juice)
2 mini english cukes, chopped
tiny piece of peeled ginger
a few parsley & mint leaves

Ravishing Red
(the inspiration for this was a frequent side dish favorite of mine which is orange ginger roasted beets)
1 beet, washed, peeled, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped 1 fuji apple, peeled, chopped
1 orange peeled, broken up into reasonable segments
larger piece of peeled ginger
4 romaine leaves

I sent all ingredients through the juicer, though I found that I needed to send the expelled pulp back through a couple of times. Both juices came out fine. The recipes here maybe made 14 oz of juice, maybe 16 oz.? I am using 20 oz. water bottles so I just made up the difference with water. Both juices were good but it certainly was not enough to get me through the day and I came home cold, hungry and a little crabby. So I made this: Juice cleanse soup.
(Does that amazing looking manicure intrigue you? Check back tomorrow for the details!)
3 small tomatoes
2 handfuls kale, one of spinach
1/2 small clove of garlic
A few parsley leaves
Sprinkle of cayenne

I then added a little water to this, plus a couple of pinches of salt (!!!! I think the salt is definitely cheating!!!!) and heated up the whole mixture in the microwave. It was fine, it was obviously not a perfect substitute for the delicious, delicious pizza I am craving right now. The pizza that is in my fridge not 10 feet from where I sit. But I will ignore it and stick with the juice as long as I can, and I'll be back on Wednesday with a cleanse update!

-Ms. Meghan

p.s. Big disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and I don't necessarily recommend doing anything like this without doing research and/or consulting with your doctor.  Do what's right and healthy for you.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Featured on Temptalia: Polka Dots on Pink!

Hey friends,

Temptalia put out a call for spring nails, and since I was stuck at home dealing with major drama (UGH) but nothing to do, I decided to put together a sweet manicure to submit!

Spring/Easter nails!
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear polish was used for almost all of this look. Bubblegum Pink is the base, and the dots were done in Mint Sorbet and Lacey Lilac. I added a top coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust, because it's a nice subtle sparkle that doesn't hide the colors underneath it.

I've done just the polka dots as an accent nail, for my birthday manicure last year:
You can't really see them because I topped the whole look with the sinful glitter polish and it's kind of thick.

So if you want to check out the other shot of my look or all the other super cute spring manicures, just click here! Thanks to Christine for opening up for submissions, that's super cool of her!

love and cupcakes,
Ms Meghan

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sicky McInfectedpants Soup!

Hello friends.

Today was absolutely lovely around here, it was sunny, and in the high 50's at least. I mean, I spent most of the day inside, but when I left work it was nice out. I'm even typing this with the window open in my kitchen. In spite of all the nice weather, I am feeling crummy. So I ran a few quick errands, picked up a couple of things at the grocery store and have made my go to #1 soup for when I am feeling ill. I call it Sicky McInfectedpants soup, and it is pretty tasty, seriously easy, and good fer what ails ya. When I'm feeling unwell, I tend to crave fresher flavors, but I really love spicy/sour flavors, it wakes me up and makes me feel better just by eating it. And if you're congested, who needs Sudafed when you have spicy soup?!

I'm going to outline the simple version, and then detail how I gussy it up further. You can make it as simple or complex as you're feeling.

Sicky McInfectedpants Soup!

Sicky McInfectedpants soup
1-1.5 tsp grapeseed oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, grated
1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
crushed red pepper flakes
32-48 oz. of stock (I used a box of Kitchen Basics unsalted chicken stock and then added 2 c. of water and one veggie boullion cube)
pinch of salt, or more as needed.
handful of grated carrot
1 scallion, thinly sliced
lime juice (1 wedge per bowl)

1. Heat up the oil in a medium pot, grating in the garlic & ginger once it starts to thin out. Add a pinch of salt and cook on medium heat until they start to get a little clumpy and very light brown.
2. Add the crushed red pepper flakes (to taste, some people like a little, some people like a lot!) and cook for 30 seconds. Turn the heat up to high and add your stock.
3. Once the soup comes up to a boil, turn down to a simmer and add the carrots.
4. Serve hot with a squeeze of lime juice, and some crackers on the side.

Now, I wasn't feeling so crummy, so I got a little fancy:

1. I added ~1 tsp of tom yam paste to the garlic and ginger. This can be found at a well stocked Asian market. It has a very high sodium content, so I used it pretty sparingly.

2. In a separate tiny pot, I toasted up the crushed red pepper flakes with whole coriander, whole black peppercorns, and whole cardamon (the little seeds, not the whole pods). I added a little bit of stock to this plus the stumps of the garlic cloves I grated into the bigger pot. I cooked this at a boil for a few minutes then poured it through a strainer into the big pot.

3. Once I brought the stock up to a boil, I ladled it into a bowl with: chopped baby spinach, finely chopped parsley, grated carrot, and topped all this with scallions. It was hot enough to cook everything.

4. I added some low sodium soy sauce because the soup was under-seasoned. This is the kind of recipe that you can add salt at the end if needed and the soup won't suffer for it. Just add it a little at a time so you don't over-do it.

5. You can add shredded chicken or chickpeas to this to make it extra filling. You can also add bulgur, just make sure to stick to only about 1/4-1/2 c. uncooked bulgur because it soaks up liquid, and you want to have soup, not mush.

Sicky McInfectedpants Soup!

See, that wasn't so hard! And it takes less than 1/2 an hour to put together, so you have plenty of time to veg on the couch and watch cartoons, or if you're me, play your new video game!