Meatless Monday: Vegan Greek Falafel Salad

trader joes mediterranean hummus meatless monday vegan greek falafel salad 4

I’m all about quick and easy meals that take under 30 minutes to prepare and cook and they don’t come much quicker than this Falafel Salad because I use the Fully Cooked Frozen Falafal from Trader Joes. These are in the frozen aisle at Trader Joes and just delicious. They aren’t an everyday food for me as they have 490 mg sodium per serving but until I get to a point where I can prepare my own (my next step, experimental recipes ahead!) then these are a good substitute.

Vegan Greek Falafel Salad
Quick and easy, Greek style salad with Trader Joes falafel and hummus.
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Ingredients
  1. Trader Joes Falafel
  2. Trader Joes Mediterranean Hummus
  3. Pita
  4. Romaine lettuce
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Cucumber
  7. Beets
  8. Rice Vinegar
Instructions
  1. Place falafel on microwaveable safe plate and heat according to instructions (approx 1 minute per serving - 3 falafel).
  2. Chop lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and beets and mix with a little rice vinegar.
  3. Place hummus on top of salad, add falafel and quartered pita on the side
Great Tip
  1. If you aren't going to use a whole bag of pita then they freeze great! Simply take one out the freezer as needed and reheat using a toaster!!! Simple, easy and saves money.
Work Out With Di http://www.workoutwithdi.com/
 
trader joes mediterranean hummus meatless monday vegan greek falafel salad 4

The Falafel bag is $3.99 and contains approximately 4 servings or 12 falafel balls. Each serving has 8g of plant protein, zero cholesterol, and 320 calories. Like I mentioned the salt content is a little high as is the fat content with 19g per serving, two reasons I want to start making my own! They are pretty big in size though and I find two falafel are plenty for a pita sandwich, just break it into chunks and place in a pita with salad and hummus.

trader joes mediterranean hummus meatless monday vegan greek falafel salad 4

They literally take 60s in the microwave and BOOM done. As I was having this at home I opted for a simple salad with the falafel, hummus and pita bread on the side. The salad took longer to prepare than the falafel or pita. I had romaine lettuce with tomato, cucumber, beets, and a little rice vinegar.

trader joes mediterranean hummus meatless monday vegan greek falafel salad 4

I prefer the Mediterranean Hummus which is $3.99 from Trader Joes. I like this one because it’s smooth and creamy. A 2 tablespoon serving has 70 calories, 80 mg sodium and 4g of fat though so use sparingly. I use this on wraps instead of a sauce, or as a salad dressing (mix 1:1 with water for a light dressing). Again making my own hummus will be something I strive for in weeks ahead as this is pretty high in fat with HALF the calories in the hummus coming from added oils! I don’t count  fat in nuts, seeds and avocado but this contains oils which I do try and stay away from.

meatless monday vegan greek falafel salad

The meal itself is quick and easy to make and takes longer to eat than prepare.

trader joes mediterranean hummus meatless monday vegan greek falafel salad 4

 

 

Grocery Shopping

This week I did a multi-store shopping trip. I had things to get at Target so I picked up some spices I had been meaning to grab. These italian spices come recommended for making a vegan ‘ranch’ dressing. As I’ve been experimenting with my own dressings lately I figured I’d give it a go.

March 8th Target = $2.24

  • Italian spices

Honestly I only went into VPM for curry sauce. Bob loves the Golden Curry there, and as I work late Mondays it’s always good to have some on hand so he can add some pre-cooked rice, reheat the curry, toast a garlic naan and he’s good for dinner.  I ended up buying the cauliflower because I’d seen a few recipes for ‘buffalo cauliflower bites’ and wanted to try some out. Plus I remembered having a “cheese” sauce packet to use in the cupboards so if not buffalo then cauliflower cheese with salad would be good. I also missed jicama on my salads and Trader Joes doesn’t sell it. The walnuts and peanuts were on sale. And as I can’t get organic cucumber or squash at Trader Joes locally I bought them at the market instead. So I went it for 2 things and ended up with 7!

March 8th Valley Produce Market = $20.14

  • Walnuts
  • Curry Sauce x2
  • Peanuts
  • Jicama
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Squash

The biggest thing here is I need to USE the items I bought. That means salads, cauliflower something and making a lentil/nut loaf recipe adaptation I keep talking about. Time to get menu planned for the week ahead!!!

March 8th Trader Joes= $74.52

  • Peppermint tea
  • Falafel
  • Waffles
  • Corn frozen organic
  • Organic rice cakes
  • Soy Ice cream
  • Frozen blueberries
  • vegan mozzarella
  • pop chips
  • Musthrooms x2
  • sliced tofurkey
  • soy cheddar
  • beefless beef
  • tofurkey sausage
  • OJ
  • canned corn
  • flour
  • almond milk x2
  • hummus
  • baby organic kale
  • organic tomatoes on the vine
  • bagels
  • iceberg lettuce
  • organic sugar plum tomatoes
  • bell pepper
  • 20 bananas

All in all over budget. Only $6.30 over but still not the right direction after a good week last week. I did great at sticking to my list however which is a first in recent weeks! I have a lot of food in the house but am aware that I will be running low on fresh veggies come the weekend, so may need an emergency trip to Trader Joes for lettuce etc.

Totals for the year.

w/e 13th March = $96.90

w/e 6th March = $51.49

w/e 27th Feb = $119.83

w/e 20th Feb = $92.85

w/e 13th Feb = $95.09

w/e 6th Feb = $88.99

w/e 30th Jan = 104.39

w/e 23rd Jan = $122.55

w/e 16th Jan = $88.04

w/e 9th Jan = $69.53

Weekly Budget = $90.60**

Yearly Total = $929.66

Balance = -$33.66

**Figures based on USDA cost of food reports**

Untangle your earbuds with Cordskinz! + Giveaway!

untangle your earbuds with cordskinz

If like me you workout a lot with music you’ll know the pain of tangle earbuds. Absolute pain in the butt to rummage around in your bag to find your earbuds only to discover something that resembles a drawing by a 2 year old. Yes, I know that if you put the earbuds back in their little case then this isn’t a problem, but WHO DOES THAT? Nobody that’s who.

untangle your earbuds with cordskinz

Anyway, the people at Cordskinz have us covered with these handy little covers for the earbud wires, and they were kind enough to send me some to try. And disclaimer to the FTC while I got these for free the opinions as always are my own. I don’t recommend products I don’t use. I was sent two pairs, Sky Blue Cordskinz and Glitter Pink. If you’re interested in winning a pink pair, then keep reading!

So what are Cordskinz? In essence they are a sheath for the wire on your earbuds that serve three purposes:

  1. Easy Anti-Tangle
  2. Cord-Protection
  3. Ability to style earbuds

With each set you get two 20″ Cordskinz (one for each earpiece) and a skinner application tool. The application is easy as pie. Put the cord of your earbud in the groove, slide the Cordskinz up the small tube and pull. They have a handy dandy video so you can see the full application process

untangle your earbuds with cordskinz

My earbuds, like many nowadays, have the volume control nodule on them so I simply snipped the Cordskinz at the appropriate length and then started again below the control panel. Super easy to do. The whole thing took a couple of minutes.

untangle your earbuds with cordskinz

Then BAM done! I had my earbuds covered with the Sky Blue Cordskinz. Trust me, if I can do it, it must be easy. I loved the Sky Blue color, as blue does seem to be my default color. Snazzy right?

untangle your earbuds with cordskinz

As I’m a functional kinda girl, I ended up liking these for the pure joy of being able to actually FIND my earbuds in my bag without them blending into the background. All in all a thumbs up from me!

untangle your earbuds with cordskinz

You may wonder “what’s the point? I can already buy colored earbuds”. Yes you CAN buy colored earbuds but Cordskinz offer the anti-tangle and protection along with the snazzy color, plus the option to remove them and change them out for a different color, incase you are one of those people that like matching your accessories to your outfit…

untangle your earbuds with cordskinz

You can check out Cordskinz on their website, or purchase them on Amazon. They also have a facebook page where they sometimes do giveaways, and offers. Right now they have a buy 2 get one free deal!

 

============ GIVEAWAY ==============

I loved the blue Cordskinz, so I decided immediately that those are for me, and as I am all about LIGHT and on a big decluttering mission I am giving away the pink pair.  So if you’d like to enter to win the pink ones simply leave a comment below.

  1. Make sure you leave your email in the comment form (won’t be published but I need it to contact you),
  2. Blog link if you have one
  3. let me know your favorite workout song.

That’s it! No facebook likes, no instagram bonus, no twitter follows, just leave a comment and everyone gets an equal chance at winning

I’ll pick a winner March 31st.

 

Meatless Monday: Vegan Tostada Salad

MEATLESS MONDAY TOSTADA SALAD

 

I have a few favorites at Natural Cafe, the Yogi Special, Black Bean enchilladas or Buddha Burrito and pretty much anything can be made vegan by asking for no cheese or sour cream. I’ve liked the Natural Salad for a while but wished there was more substance to it, like rice and beans and then Bob introduced me to the Tostada Salad.

Tostada Salad $9.49 Baked whole wheat tortilla topped with black beans, rice, mixed greens, carrots, jicama, salsa, sour cream, guacamole.

I ask for no sour cream, and BAM awesomeness. The salad etc is INSIDE the tortilla which makes for a little bowl. As we both enjoyed it I figured how hard can it be to make? So I threw some rice in the rice cooker, opened a can of black beans and made my own version, and for much less than the $10 it would cost at Natural Cafe.

Natural Cafe Inspired Tostada Salad
Mexican style salad with rice and beans inside a crispy tostada bowl
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Ingredients
  1. Rice (pre cook to reduce preparation time)
  2. Black Beans - canned, low sodium
  3. Romain Lettuce
  4. Jicama
  5. Tomato
  6. Carrot
  7. + your choice of other salad vegetables
  8. Guacamole
  9. Pico De Gallo
  10. Vegan Cheese/Sour cream
  11. Wheat Tortilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place wheat tortilla into an oven safe bowl and press to the inside of the bowl. Place in the oven for 5 minutes or until crispy. This is your tostada "bowl".
  3. Reheat Rice and black beans in the microwave, while cooking prepare the salad.
  4. Chop lettuce, jicama, tomato, and carrot and any other veggies you enjoy in a salad.
  5. Place the tortilla "bowl" on a plate, and place the lettuce in the salad bowl, layer in the rice, black beans and other veggies. Top with Pico de Gallo, vegan cheese (optional) and guacamole.
Great Tip #1
  1. Always have some pre-cooked rice in the refrigerator. Not only does it come in super handy for this Tostada Salad but for enchiladas, stuffed peppers and more.
Great Tip #2
  1. To give this more of a kick try it with the cuban style black beans from Trader Joes. A little more sodium but definitely a little more flavor than regular black beans, with a chili pepper kicker.
Adapted from from Natural Cafe
Adapted from from Natural Cafe
Work Out With Di http://www.workoutwithdi.com/
vegan tostada salad bowl

Grocery Shopping

The last few weeks have been tough to write anything due to taking care of Sky, my yoga training weekend, and then Sky passing away, but I’m hoping that I can move forward from here and get back on track as I am really enjoying cooking, menu planning and most of all EATING. As such this week will include two weeks grocery shopping trips so I get up to date.

Feb 23rd Trader Joes= $119.83

  • Pop Chips x2
  • Peppermint tea
  • Rice Cakes
  • Hummus
  • hot dog buns
  • frozen peas
  • sweet potato fries
  • whole wheat pita
  • olive oil wraps
  • guacamole
  • frozen indian paneer tikka masala
  • garlic naan bread
  • vegan mozarella
  • Soy cheddar
  • Tofurkey slices
  • chickenless strips
  • tofurkey sausage
  • OJ x2
  • mustard
  • black beans x3
  • Corn
  • bagels x2
  • raspberry preserve
  • meatless hot dogs
  • shredded coconut
  • tempeh
  • beefless beef
  • tofu
  • margarine
  • coconut water x2
  • bananas x25
  • bell pepper
  • 4lb organic gold potatoes
  • 4 apples
  • 2 lemons
  • organic sugar plum tomatoes
  • 3x mushroom packages
  • cucumber
  • clif builder bar x2
  • peanuts
  • dried cranberries

This first shopping trip I bought some things I wouldn’t normally as I would be leaving Bob for a couple of days on my yoga training weekend. I got a couple of meals at the retreat but took some food with me also, including many of those bananas, some bagels, peanut butter and other snacks. Obviously I went over budget but I knew I would be coming home to a bunch of food in the fridge, and cupboards and as Bob had been sick with a cold he wasn’t eating much either.

Feb 26th Target = $6.32

  • canned peas x8

March 3rd Trader Joes= $45.17

  • cucumber
  • tortillas
  • 2 Big baking potatoes
  • mushrooms
  • 22 bananas
  • 4lb organic potatoes
  • bagels
  • organic romaine lettuce
  • red onion
  • 2x coconut water
  • pop chips
  • clif bar x4
  • brown rice
  • olive oil wrap
  • frozen blueberries
  • OJ
  • salsa pico de gallo

So after a BIG blowout the last week in February I came back with a less crazy grocery bill. This was much more doable. I admit that I was comfort eating somewhat the first few days after Sky’s death but I managed to get the eating back on track by the weekend.  I even managed to get a shopping list done and stick to it. I will say that Bob cut down his food intake this week too and it’s starting to show. He’s making better choice nutritionally and soon we’ll be increasing our training as we have a duathlon in FIVE weeks!!!! One thing to note this week is that the food budget plan for January was released at the plan increased to $90.60 per week. That’s up almost a dollar on Novembers plan. So I updated my spreadsheet for January and will continue to monitor the USDA plans to stay on track. It’s worth noting that just adjust the budget by 20-60c reduced my negative balance by $3!!!

Totals for the year.

w/e 6th March = $51.49

w/e 27th Feb = $119.83

w/e 20th Feb = $92.85

w/e 13th Feb = $95.09

w/e 6th Feb = $88.99

w/e 30th Jan = 104.39

w/e 23rd Jan = $122.55

w/e 16th Jan = $88.04

w/e 9th Jan = $69.53

Weekly Budget = $90.60**

Yearly Total = $826.44

Balance = -$27.36

**Figures based on USDA cost of food reports**

Losing Sky to kidney failure

Yesterday we said our last goodbye to Sky. She had been sick since the New Year and the treatment we gave her in January gave us an extra 6 weeks with her. We knew it wasn’t a cure, just a little extra time to say goodbye. Caring for an older dog can be tough, and knowing when it’s time to help them pass is tougher. Yesterday we knew that time had come. We can never be sure of her age as she was a rescue dog, but she was around 14 which is a good age for a dalmatian. . . . click here to read more about Sky

Meatless Monday Review: Hugo's chocolate brownie sundae

Sometimes I am your typical girl, I like a good dessert. Doesn’t happen very often but when I splurge I splurge with style. Last month I had a weekend training that left me pretty wasted, so time to go out for dinner and get my splurge on. As we were at Hugo’s I decided to opt for the Chocolate Brownie Sundae, vegan style!

All for me???

 

Yep, this is VEGAN! 100% dairy free. They have a few vegan options for dessert and some that are vegetarian normally, like this sundae, can be . . . click here to read more about Review: Hugo’s chocolate brownie sundae

Household Chores and weight loss

 

 

 

One of the things I hear all the time from people I coach is “I don’t have time” whether it’s to hit the gym for a workout, get out for a run or just include more physical activity into their day. However studies show that we are LESS active as a nation, the average women now spends 2 1/2 hours a day watching TV double that of women in 1965. Conversely in 1965 the average woman spent 2 1/2 hours cleaned her house, compared more recently to the 1 1/2 hours . . . click here to read more about Household Chores and weight loss

Meatless Monday Review: So Delicious CocoWhip

 

Over the holidays we had our Tofurkey Roast which this year we got from Whole Foods and opted for the ‘feast’. Which included the roast, savory gravy, wishstix and organic chocolate cake. These were a bargain over the holidays under $20 and though it ‘serves 6′ let me just tell ya that the roast might serve 6 but there is NOT enough gravy for 6 people. The wishstix are kinda pointless too, we gave ours to the dogs.

 

Now I like vegan chocolate cake as much as the next girl, but . . . click here to read more about Meatless Monday Review: So Delicious CocoWhip

One little word 2015: LIGHT - defining, intentions and realizations

 

I’m a little late joining in the One Little Word Challenge, but as Ali says “there is now perfect way to tackle the process”. I admit I’ve been hesitant to start the project this year as it means setting some boundaries of what I want to share publicly and what I want to keep to myself. This year will truly be one of personal  emotional growth rather than previous years focus on business, health, work, etc. So I finally got around to making my pages for Januarys prompt. I’ve decided to go digital for this . . . click here to read more about One little word 2015: LIGHT – defining, intentions and realizations

Gardening for physical activity & weight loss

This week I posted the above photo to social media saying “digging in the dirt, the original total body workout”, think about  it – so true. While we won’t remember the times of hard manual labor just to eat gardening truly is a total body workout, and it’s good for weight loss. After I posted the photo my friend Jessica sent me this:

I mean really? Think about it! I can honestly say that the first time I get out in the gardening in the New Year I FEEL it the next day. How . . . click here to read more about Gardening for physical activity & weight loss

A love inspired spinning playlist for Valentine's Day

It’s the season of love hearts, chocolates and flowers which means it’s time for a new spinning playlist! Though this playlist could be used for running, hitting the gym, gardening or having a dance around your kitchen *ahem*. This playlist is a rehash of one I made last year but never got around to posting, because I suck. Ok maybe I don’t totally suck, but I kept saying I’d post playlists regularly and never got around to it, bad blogger! So here is the new updated valentine, love, relationship inspired playlist. Remember it isn’t all lovey dovey . . . click here to read more about A love inspired spinning playlist for Valentine’s Day