Pinteresting Things, Stir-fry Edition

Delicious looking stir-fries from around the net.

There is something about this time of year that makes me want to eat stir-fries every day of the week.

Perhaps it’s the impending darkness at 4PM. Or perhaps it has to do with the fact that I want nothing to do with a long and laborious dinner after a full day of baby-wrangling and working. Cooking seems to be the last thing on my mind. Good thing stir-fries are super easy to pull together.

They are also great for cleaning out the fridge of whatever veggies you have leftover. Or so I’ve heard… you know… because that never happens around here or anything.

Here are a few that I’ve tried, and a few more that I will be trying in the week to come.

  1. Beef Lo Mein via Moms Dish
    This one is on the menu this week and I’m kind of jazzed about it. It looks super fresh, super tasty, and super easy to whip together. A definite winning combination around here. I even got some baby zucchini’s from the store that are going to be DEEE-VINE.
  2. Fried Rice via Give Me Some Oven
    I’ve made this one a few times lately and have to say that it’s pretty darn awesome. According to The Hubster, it’s also the closest thing to restaurant fried rice that I’ve ever made. Feel free to add whatever protein you want in here—chicken, shrimp, beef, tofu—it all works well.
  3. Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry via Skinny Taste
    I’ve had this one pinned for ages and have yet to make it. Likely because The Hubster doesn’t eat chicken and I’m not thrilled at the prospect of making a dish just for myself. It’s not like this is ridiculously complicated or anything. I just have a block when it comes to cooking for myself. I know. I’m weird. If you’re not a fan of chicken either, this would probably be yummy with shrimp.
  4. Winter Vegetable Stir Fry via Thug Kitchen
    I fucking want to have this right now. (Sorry, I always get inspired to curse after reading their site.) I have even gone so far as to buy all of the vegetables to whip this up, only to realize that I didn’t have the noodle. Dammit.
  5. Spicy Sriracha Shrimp and Zucchini Lo Mein via Baker By Nature
    Y’all know I’m currently obsessed with sriracha, right? That means a list of stir fries would be utterly incomplete without a sriracha inspired dish. And this one? Is so on the menu. I can’t wait to sample this spicy treat. Though, I will be omitting the shrimp and opting for a vegetarian version. Because that’s just how I roll.

What are some of your stir fry recipes? I’d love to know what your favorite flavor combinations are.

Looking for more Pinteresting things?

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest! You can check out all of my boards at pinterest.com/emilylevenson.

Beef with Broccoli and Cauliflower

Beef with Broccoli and Cauliflower | Emily Levenson

I am a huge fan of stir-fry.

I was a fan pre-baby because it was tasty.

I’m an even bigger fan post-baby because it’s tasty, super quick, and requires almost zero effort to whip up a deliciously healthy meal.

Beef with Broccoli and Cauliflower | Emily Levenson

Other things I seem to be a fan of: broccoli and cauliflower. I seriously hated those two veggies until this year.

I think I was getting kind of bored of the veggies I have been eating for decades. Or perhaps I am simply being hopeful that expanding my own palate will help The Babe get a taste for a wider variety of foods.

Either way, I’m pretty sure The Hubster is just happy to be eating new things.

Beef with Broccoli and Cauliflower | Emily Levenson

You know what else makes The Hubster happy?

Beef.

He gets almost giddy when it goes on the menu, and requests whatever dish that has beef in it (hamburgers, meatloaf, stir-fry) first.

Beef with Broccoli and Cauliflower | Emily Levenson

If you’re not as excited by the prospect of beef as he is, you are welcome to sub in tempeh or tofu.

Both would be equally as delicious, though I’m a bit partial to tempeh.

Beef with Broccoli and Cauliflower | Emily Levenson

Beef with Broccoli and Cauliflower
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tbs brown sugar or honey
  • 1-2 cloves (or 1 tsp) garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp rice cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 lb beef (sirloin or flank steak)
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • ½ cup water
Directions:
  1. Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, rice wine, and corn starch in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  2. Slice beef against the grain into pieces that are ¼ inch thick.
  3. Heat cooking oil in wok over medium-high heat.
  4. Add beef in batches (it took me three) and cook for 30 seconds on each side. Transfer to a plate or bowl.
  5. Add broccoli and cauliflower and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add water and cover, cooking for another 3-5 minutes or until veggies are crisp-tender.
  6. Remove lid and add in beef and sauce. Once sauce begins to thicken, remove from heat.
  7. Serve atop rice or noodles. Or simply eat on its own.
Allergen Information:
Dairy free, nightshade free, wheat free, gluten free, egg free.

 

 

Keep what’s worth keeping.

"Keep what's worth keeping and, with the breath of kindness, blow away the rest." Dinah M. Craik

I dipped my toes into the entrepreneurial water in 2006 with a craft-based business.

I had no idea what to expect when I set up shop, or if it was something I would even stick with. But stick with it, I did. I even had dreams of doing it full time.

In 2011, I was beginning to realize that dream. I had quit my full-time job to work on my craft and build my fledgling coaching business. I was doing more and more craft shows, selling large wholesale orders, and creating products for my dream clients (Sara Bareilles, I’m talking to you).

I even had a month where I replaced my salary from my old job.

Shortly thereafter, I had a major panic attack and closed shop. At first, it was intended to be a break to get back into a good mental space and to give my body the chance to rest.

Three years later, the shop was still closed.

I had no intention of getting back into crafting, but couldn’t seem to let it go.

I had all of my supplies out and set up as if I were still doing it. Everyday, I would look around my office at those supplies and be reminded of how I couldn’t hack it. I had reached the very pinnacle of success I wanted and simply walked away.

It seemed as though I was trying to punish myself for my failings. Or, at the very least, hang on to the glory days…

Keep what’s worth keeping.

Last week, I decided that it was time. Time to keep what was most meaningful to me, and clear out the rest.

It took two whole days to sort, purge, and compile. I deleted my long-dormant Etsy shop. I let my domain lapse. I even deleted my email account.

And when I was done, I felt a deep sense of peace. That guilt I had been carrying around? Gone. The anxiety, sense of failure, and constant reminder of how I had everything that I had ever wanted and walked away? Gone.

When I look around my office now, I see space.

Space to create and imagine.

Space for new possibilities and realities to take shape.

Space to do all of the things I want to do.

My office is now a blank canvas. I feel happier, lighter, and like I am ready to take on something new. And instead of continuing to beat myself up for what I didn’t do, I am choosing to look back and say that I am proud of all of the things I did accomplish.

I am left feeling a deep sense of gratitude for that part of my journey.

Where are you holding onto things that are no longer serving you?

Are there things that are weighing you down or acting as a constant reminder of your misgivings?

It could be physical stuff, like paper, rejection letters, a photo of an old flame.

It could be emotional clutter, like stories around how no one ever notices you or that you don’t deserve to be successful because you did ______ ten years ago.

It could be digital clutter, like people who make you feel like crap every single time you log into Facebook or Twitter.

Whatever form it takes, I encourage you to keep what’s worth keeping, and let go of the rest with gratitude.

Pinteresting Things, The Truffle Edition

5 Delicious Truffle Recipes

As a kid who spent a good chunk of her formative years in Ohio, we honed our buckeye making skills verrrry early on. Pretty sure it was a staple in every child’s Home Ec. class starting in 2nd grade.

In any case, I’ve always had a soft spot for decadent balls of chocolatey awesomeness. Avoiding dairy made it somewhat impossible to indulge. And then, vegan baking took the world by storm and solved every single problem I’d ever had and then some.

The results? Some of the most delicious flavor combinations on the planet. I would like to try my hand (and devour) each and every one of these. Yes, including the ones that have chickpeas and avocado in them. Yep. I totally know I’m weird.

After I finish round two of the pumpkin truffles (round 1 was kind of a delicious mistake), I’m working my way through these:

  1. Homemade Vegan Rolos via Fork and Beans
    I loved Rolos as a kid. Loved. So it’s no surprise that these bad boys caught my eye first. I’m also super excited to try my hand at the vegan caramel recipe, as I’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship with it in the past (i.e.—it never works).
  2. Avocado Chocolate Truffles via Honey & Fig
    This sounds like little balls of chocamole. Which, HELLO. Sounds amazing. I think they would be fantastic rolled in chocolate sprinkles (or jimmies) like the picture shows. I also think they would be even more fantastic dipped in chocolate. Because chocolate.
  3. Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Truffles via Minimalist Baker
    Salted caramel, peanut butter, and chocolate? Shut. The. Front. Door. I seriously want to run to the store and buy dates just so I can make these now. I don’t care if The Babe is napping (or not). These are a definite must make.
  4. Flourless Cookie Dough Truffles via My Whole Food Life
    Cookie dough is a welcomed treat in my world, particularly when said cookie dough is dairy free. I also think that because this one contains chickpeas, it should be considered a health food, and therefor does not carry any guilt with eating them. Just saying.
  5. Vegan Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles via Minimalist Baker
    So, uh. Remember when I was flipping out about the salted caramel peanut butter truffles (also by Minimalist Baker)? Yeah…I hadn’t discovered these yet. This seriously sounds like my idea of heaven in food form. I am confident that goosebumps will appear on my arms after that first bite. I am also confident that I will never ever share these with anyone. 

What are some of your favorite truffle recipes? I’d love to know what your favorite flavor combinations are.

Looking for more Pinteresting things?

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest! You can check out all of my boards at pinterest.com/emilylevenson.

Recipe: Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Coconut Bites

Pupkin Truffles (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nightshade Free, Vegan) | Emily Levenson

There is something that happens every year around September. It starts out innocently at first, with a few recipes here and there. And then turns into an all out rampage, with everyone trying to one-up the other for the best flavor combination one could dream up.

What am I talking about?

Pumpkin season, of course.

Pupkin Truffles (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nightshade Free, Vegan) | Emily Levenson

And while I’m all for pumpkin flavored things (I prefer things like Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Flax Granola), there is such a thing as taking it too far (I’m talking to you Pringles and Extra).

So when I stumbled upon this recipe for Pumpkin Truffles, I kind of knew it was going to blow up.

Turns out a lot of people were interested in the pumpkin-chocolate-y goodness.

Pupkin Truffles (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nightshade Free, Vegan) | Emily Levenson

I will admit, when I first found the recipe, I was geeked that it was dairy-free. On closer examination, it was also gluten-free, grain-free, vegan and paleo-friendly. Score!

When it came time for me to try my hand at them, I apparently didn’t read the directions too closely (I’m guess it had something to do with a screaming baby) and subbed coconut flour for the coconut butter. I also decided that it would be fun to make them into more a buckeye (chocolate peanut butter truffle) and less of a healthy snack.

So, yeah.

Pupkin Truffles (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nightshade Free, Vegan) | Emily Levenson

With all of that in mind, I’m going to rate these bad boys at an 8 out of 10.

They are delicious, don’t get me wrong. They just weren’t what I was expecting. You know?

I plan to make another attempt at the pumpkin infused truffle-like balls. And this time, I’m going to know that coconut butter is a totally different ingredient than coconut flour. Also, I probably won’t use either. I’ll probably end up using another ingredient altogether. Because I’m crazy like that.

Pupkin Truffles (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nightshade Free, Vegan) | Emily Levenson

Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Coconut Bites
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-18
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 3 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 oz (dairy-free) chocolate chips
  • 1 tbs spectrum vegetable shortening
Directions:
  1. Combine pumpkin puree, coconut flour, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl and combine until all ingredients incorporated.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spoon 1-2 tbs of mixture and form into balls (I made mine about 1" diameter) and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Transfer to refrigerator to firm up (about 5-10 minutes).
  5. While your balls are chilling (heh), prepare your chocolate: put the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl and melt the chocolate in the microwave: Heat on high for 60 seconds, and then stir well. If it’s not quite smooth, heat in two or three 10-second bursts, stirring well after each burst. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate, stirring frequently, in a double boiler, over just-simmering water. Avoid overheating, which can cause chocolate to seize up into a stiff mass.)
  6. Take the sheet of balls from the refrigerator; use a toothpick to dip each one most of the way into the chocolate, leaving a round or oval opening of undipped pumpkin mixture on top. Return to the wax paper, undipped side up.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  8. Store in the refrigerator or freezer and serve chilled.
Allergen Information:
Nightshade Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Corn Free, Soy Free, Egg Free.

Note: Enjoy Life Brand chocolate chips are free of the top 7 food allergens, meaning they have no wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish or shellfish and are also made without casein, potato, sesame and sulfites.

Chocolate Dipped Almonds

Oh, and if you’re like me and always have leftover chocolate… grab whatever you have and dip! I love dipping almonds. I also think orange slices, bananas, and strawberries are excellent choices.