Monday, March 30, 2009

Fire-Roasted Steak Asparagus Alfredo

How was your weekend?

Mine was really good ... Erik and I hung out a lot and that's just about my favorite thing to do, so that always makes for a great weekend!

As I mentioned in my previous post, my wonderful husband made dinner on Saturday night. It's kind of a tradition on either Friday night or Saturday night to have some type of pasta for dinner. Erik is a huge fan of pasta and always has been and whatever night we have that it's kind of our "splurge" night.

So anyways, not only is he a fan of pasta, he's also a great cook! In fact, he taught me just about everything I know about cooking, haha, because when we first got married, I wasn't much of a cook! In fact, at one point in his life he almost went to culinary school and was even accepted into the The Culinary Institute of America in NY buuut decided it wasn't really what he wanted to do. (But his past as a cook has its perks now ; )

And enough bragging about my husband for now ... onto the spaghetti he made ... the pictures unfortunately did not turn out very well at all, so they don't do it justice buuut it's the best I've got. Here's the Fire-Roasted Steak Asparagus Alfredo. I can't tell you what all was it in since I didn't make it, nor did I watch him make it but it was good!! (Obviously two of the main ingredients in the pasta was steak (eye of round) and asparagus).

Moving along ... I just had to put a picture up of my new wallet that my wonderful sister Karmon got me for my birthday ... I love it! (and it's my favorite color and I really needed a new one!)
I went to Target today and as I was checking out, I felt like something to drink so I got a Dasani Essence water (I got lime). Has anyone ever had any of these? I was expecting this to taste like "normal" flavored water but was surprised that the lime flavor was not very strong at all. It says "just a squeeze of natural lime flavor" and it was right. I was pleasantly surprised. It didn't leave a weird, artificial after taste in my mouth and was very refreshing and fresh. It's definitely thus far my favorite flavored water and I'll definitely be getting this again when I'm in the mood for a little flavor in my water.

That's all for now. Hope your week has started wonderfully!! : )

Stay tuned for my next post that will be all about fitness.

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
-Sir Winston Churchill-

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chicken Pine Nuts Veggie Soup and Herb Garden

Happy Weekend!

Hope it's going well for you all. It's snowing here ... gross!! It certainly doesn't feel like Spring that's for sure! But the good news is that it IS Spring, so the good weather is bound to come soon!

Last night with the impending snow and cold, and taking into consideration we had a bunch of fresh veggies that needed used up, soup was only fitting! I basically threw a bunch of things into a pot and came up with a delicious Chicken Pine Nut Veggie Soup.
For the majority of my "broth" I first brought some water to a boil and put in a couple tea bags. Then I put some chicken breasts on a skillet to cook. While I let the tea bags soak, and the chicken cook, it was veggie chopping time!

After that, I can't much tell you how much of anything I put in, but I can tell you what all I put in so here were the majority of the ingredients (assuming I don't forget any) ...
-Chopped chicken chicken breasts
-Chopped sweet potato
-Green Pepper
-Portobello Mushrooms
-1 can garbonzo beans
-Brown rice
-Tons of different seasonings/spices, ha ... I think I almost literally put a little bit of just about every spice/herb I had in my cupboard ... it doesn't sound like that could work, but I did it and it worked for me! ha. The ones I can think of are: onion powder, sea salt, pepper, garlic & herb, southwest chipotle, red pepper flakes, turmeric, garlic powder, and, yes, even just a dash of cinnamon
-Fresh chopped cilantro
-Raw Pine Nuts and a few raw cashews

My husband and I both ended up pretty happy with this odd mix/combination and I would definitely make it again. How did the pine nuts taste in the soup? Surprisingly good! I'd never put nuts in soup before and just thought, why not? and it actually added a nice flavor and small crunch to certain bites that just really seemed to work. All the ingredients turned out to be very flavorful.

Here's mine topped with some shredded fat free cheese: I forgot to mention this but a couple months ago my mother-in-law gave us a little "herb garden" set. Ha, it was kinda funny because a little boy was going door-to-door by her house selling them (it was a little project he'd put together with his dad) so she couldn't help but buy one. Anyways, she knew we'd like it so we started our "herb garden". (Ha, it even came with the lovely paint job and all ; )
And now ... here it is at our windowsill just about needed re-potted into something bigger ... hooray! (Excuse the bad photos!) Now, Erik is cooking dinner (and it smells SO good!) and we're about to eat and watch some movies : )

Hope the duration of your weekend is WONDERFUL!! : )

Thursday, March 26, 2009

City Market

Good day to you all!! : )

This week has been flying by! (But I guess I'm okay with that?)

By the response from my last post, it looks like we are all VERY ready for Summer produce!! The thought of all those fresh berries, melons, and garden veggies make my mouth water!
While we were in Kansas City this weekend for my birthday weekend we stopped by City Market. As their website says "the City Market has been one of the largest and most enduring public farmers' markets in the Midwest ... in addition, more than thirty full-time merchants are open year-round and offer specialty foods, fresh meats and seafood, restaurants and cafes, floral, home accessories and much more".

I've only been there a few times and walked around, but I seem to like it more and more each time I go and I'm definitely excited to go back more this summer. (It's about 50 minutes away from us). Here are some random pictures while we were there this past weekend ...And tonight I didn't feel like cooking and my husband was super tired, and I was craving sushi. So we just went to one of our local grocery stores and got some sushi (though it's not the greatest tasting sushi in the world and it's kind of fake sushi, it satisfied my sushi craving) ... There's not much of a choice there so we got California rolls and some squid salad. I was a little leery about the squid salad but ended up thinking it was pretty tasty.
What are you plans for the weekend??

I don't really know that we have any, and I'm glad!!

And before I go, I have neglected to mention something! Lately, I have really been overwhelmed with kindness from a few bloggers who have given me awards and I've been terrible and forgotten to mention them all! So ... here they all are and THANK YOU for making each day a little brighter for me!! : ) I continually am amazed at how nice and wonderful you all are! Who knew you could "meet" such nice people like this! (** keep in mind these are over a period of weeks, I'm not as popular or cool is it may appear by lumping these all together on one post, I promise! ; )

First off, Sophia at Burp & Slurp passed onto me the Lemonade Cheers AwardSecondly, Candice at brand new sidewalk passed along to me two awards (they came in a package together;)
Next, Kristy at the wicked noodle and Helen at Helen's Journey both passed the Sisterhood Award
And last bBoldut not least, Olga at Mango & Tomato passed onto me the Friends Award. So, thank you all again, I really appreciate all the love! : )

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
-C.S. Lewis-


This is where different highlights, memories, and favorite posts of The Purple Carrot are kept!

KC Magazine
Featured in the January 2012 edition of KC Magazine as one of 13 local foodies to know.


Best of KC 2011
The Purple Carrot was voted as #2 Best Food Blog in The Pitch’s Best of KC 2011 Readers Choice Nominations

Fitness Magazine
In 2010, The Purple Carrot (formerly Lesley Lifting Life) made FITNESS Magazine’s list of “
Favorite Health Blogs


Local Eats Featured Blog
Listed as one of “The Best of Kansas City Food Blogs” by Local Eats.

Restauranteers Top Blogger
Featured as a “Top Blogger” for

Food Bloggers
Member of the Association of Food Bloggers

My Galleries
My photography galleries:

Farm Aid 2011 Recap

Yearly Blog Highlights
In 2009, I started compiling these highlights at the beginning of each new year, and plan to keep this an annual tradition.

Interview with Tosca Reno
I got to interview bestselling author of Eat Clean Diet, Tosca Reno in 2009.  This was exciting for me, as I love Clean Eating Magazine, and Tosca’s clean eating approach to food and fitness.

  • You can find the interview here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our Kitchen Staples

Erik and I have been vegan since the beginning of 2011, mostly for health reasons {see Forks Over Knives} and we love it. We certainly aren’t haters, if you’re not vegan it’s perfectly find with us! It’s just what works in our lives, and vegan or not, we love food!!
In a brief summary, our kitchen is soy free, vegan, and mostly all organic. Two quotes I love when it comes to food is Eat close to the ground and move, and the ever popular Michael Pollan quote Eat food. Not too much.  Mostly plants.
Here’s the general idea of our kitchen staples, vegan style:
Fruits & Vegetables
  • Large assortment of fruits and vegetables.  Our fridge is mostly full of fruits and vegetables and it seems about every meal is centered around them.
  • What we seem to go through the fastest are:
    • Kale
    • Carrots
    • Lemons/limes
    • Apples
    • Oranges
  • Cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seed
  • Assortment of nut butters


  • Assortment of beans
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole wheat bread (we like Ezekiel  bread a lot)


  • Hemp oil
  • Coconut oil


  • Agave nectar
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Assortment of spices
  • Shredded coconut
  • Basic baking items
    • Baking powder/soda
    • Cacao powder
    • Cacao powder
    • Unbleached/whole wheat flours
    • Cane sugar/sucanat

And I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but you get the idea! Any questions about vegan cooking/baking? Just ask!



Our Kitchen Staples

As I was thinking about a few grocery items I needed to pick up after work the other day, I was thinking about the food staples in our house, the things that we mostly always have around.

We eat pretty "clean" and basically most of the time only eat fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, lean meat, fiber-filled foods and we try to eat things as minimally processed as possible.

I think a good goal in living a healthy lifestyle is "Eat close to the ground and move". I actually heard my pastor say that once randomly in a sermon ... I don't remember what the sermon was about, but I've always remembered that statement. (Meaning eat things close to their natural state when possible and don't live a sedentary lifestyle, but stay active! ... I'm not insinuating you should sit on the ground when you eat while moving around or anything like that ; )

Anyways, here are some of our food staples:

(fruits vary so much depending on the time of year so this is hard to say but I'll do my best)


--Bags of frozen veggies
--Sweet Potatoes

New Image

Healthy Fats:
--Peanut butter
--Natural almonds
--Olive Oil
--Coconut Oil

healthy fats

--Some type of fish; i.e. can of tuna in water, salmon fillets
--93% or higher ground turkey
--chicken breasts


Whole Grains:

--brown rice
--whole wheat pasta
--sprouted grain bread
--beans (garbanzo, black, pinto)
--old fashioned oats


 Dairy Items:
--Greek yogurt (**click here for recipe)
--2% cheese
--Farm fresh eggs
--Skim milk (only to make yogurt, we rarely ever drink it)
--Almond Milk (I know, it's not dairy but since it's milk, I'm leaving it under dairy)


--Honey mustard
--Heinz low carb ketchup
--Balsamic vinegar
--Red white vinegar
--Onion powder/garlic powder
--Minced garlic
--Variety of Mrs. Dash spices (because they have no salt)
--Sea salt
--Chili powder


 Other Miscellaneous things:
--Tea (**we both drink anywhere from 1-3 cups of hot tea per day and it's usually black or green tea)
--Some type of Stevia sweetener 
--Agave nectar

I'm sure I've forgotten some things, but there's a basic idea. Apart from those staples, I basically just buy other items if I'm going to make a certain recipe that calls for something I don't already have, or we'll buy other items based on what's on sale, etc.

Questions or comments on how we eat any of these items or what we use them for, etc ... or anything else?? Just ask : )

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL day!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spinach & Garlic stuffed Chicken with Strawberry Pomegrante syrup; POM Review

Another week has begun!

So, I'll just get right to business ... I've cooked several different things incorporating my POM juice in it as well as drank some plain, and so far ... I love it!I hadn't actually tried POM Wonderful pomegranate juice until I received my care package (though I already knew I love POM Wonderful's pomegranates!). So, having tried the juice, I was definitely not disappointed!! I could definitely drink it everyday and not get tired of it. Also, I'm finding that you can do a lot of things with it while cooking and it really adds great flavor!

So tonight, I made garlic and spinach stuffed chicken with a pomegranate strawberry syrup on top.
To make the syrup:
--Very simply, just blend together around 4 large strawberries, about 4 oz. (or a little less) pomegranate juice, and a small spoonful of agave nectar. Then, transfer mixture into a saucepan and heat on medium high while stirring for 5-10 minutes.This syrup would also taste awesome on the almond pancakes I made the other day. Another great idea is to saute veggies with a little bit of POM juice in a skillet. (I've done this a couple times so far ... yum!)

One of the health benefits I like the most about POM Wonderful's juice is that it has such high antioxidants. As it says on POM Wonderful's website "hundreds of scientific tests also show POM to be a superior source of antioxidants, with more and better antioxidants than red wine, grape juice, blueberry juice, cranberry juice, green tea, vitamin C and vitamin E". (And it works out great for me, because I like the taste better than red wine and all those other juices, too! ; )

I'm sure I'll be cooking more with my POM juice so there's probably more POM to come in the future!

And ... that's all for now! Today felt monotonous and I was really tired so hopefully tomorrow I'll be more chipper!! haha.

Hope you're having a great day everyone!! And go drink some POM juice!! ; )

"Love has reasons which reason cannot understand."
-Blaise Pascal-

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kona Grill Birthday Weekend

Does it have to be Monday already again?

We had a blast this weekend and I didn't want to come home back to reality! Ha, but we had to ;)

I'll try to make this post quick because I'm also currently making rice and yogurt for this week and getting my lunch/snacks together for work tomorrow.

It felt like such a long weekend because we did so much! Here are a few recaps. One of the highlights of our weekend was that we ate at Kona Grill on the Plaza in KC and had sushi! Yum! As I've mentioned before I haven't had much sushi in my lifetime and have been wanting to try more ... and Kona Grill definitely did not disappoint! Erik and I ordered a sushi assortment and a salad to share. (with a few California rolls already missing;) I don't remember what the salad was called but it was very good and it had huge grilled asparagus spears in it. After dinner we walked around the Plaza a little bit and being the birthday weekend it was and all, we stopped by Coldstone. I got this ... Sinless sans fat cake batter ice cream with a brownie and graham cracker. YUM ... a perfect birthday treat.

Erik and I were even night owls for us, haha. We stayed out until almost midnight and we haven't stayed up that late in a long time!! (when you get up at 4:45 during the week, it just doesn't happen much).

There's so much more I could talk about and there's so much more we did but that's all for now. (Maybe a few more highlights to come later). Bottom line, I had an amazing birthday weekend all thanks to my wonderful, thoughtful husband! : ) And thanks for all the well wishes for the weekend on my last post! :) Hope your weekend went well!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

POM, Roses, and Giant Brussels


You guys are great. I said I felt like I was talking about my birthday too much and you all told me I could, so thanks, haha! : )

So I ended yesterday's post with a picture of some roses. Those roses, are in fact the roses Erik gave me for my birthday : ) Even though we're celebrating this weekend and I get to go shopping, he still surprised me (when I sort of disappointingly) thought I wasn't getting anything on the actual day of my birthday (and that's the way we had planned it). He even
waited until late at night when all my hope was gone, haha, and while we were at youth group he had his mom bring them over to our house and sit them in "my spot" next to my laptop on the kitchen table where I always sit. I'm so blessed and thankful for him!
In other news, I came home to a package today from POM Wonderful!! (I love packages: )Thanks, Molly at POM and thanks, POM! You can expect my review of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice sometime next week. I already used some POM to make a VERY tasty dinner tonight ... so check back!This post is rather random and really has no point, so I apologize for that. I almost didn't even post tonight but I'm going to be out of town this weekend (It's my birthday weekend, woo hoo!!!!:) ... so I just couldn't be "away" that long!

Okay, one last thing ... did anyone know that Brussels can be this huge?? (**note: two "regular" sized Brussels vs. two giant ones)

Ha, Erik and I were at the grocery store and looked at where the Brussels normally are and I see these huge Brussels with the normal ones and I just had to get some! I wonder what the these looked like on the stalks and how huge the stalks must have been?!?! Ha, this is one of the many reasons I just love Brussels!

I'll be back in a couple of days. I'm very excited for this weekend ... I don't know what all we're doing because Erik likes to surprise me and I like surprises but he told me I'll love it and I believe him!! : )

So, until then ... hope you all have a happy, blessed and lovely Spring weekend!

"Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave."
-Martin Luther

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Breakfast for dinner!

It's almost the weekend, everyone!! : )

Though I must say, this week has been pretty good. (I suppose it helps when it's your birthday week, lol). I feel like I've mentioned my birthday an awful lot and I don't want to wear you guys out with myself, ha, but for some reason the celebrations/presents have been really spread out this year. (Not that I mind too much ... I mean you only turn 21 once buuut at the same time, I don't want talk about it too much! Ha, so if you're sick of hearing the words "my birthday", please come back next week ; )

Last night my quick dinner was an egg sandwich with some roasted Brussels and corn. I roasted the veggies (well, the oven did, but i prepped them;), and my husband made my egg sandwich for me. (I requested it ;). I have been majorly craving pancakes lately so last weekend I looked up healthy recipes for some kind of pancakes and I found the perfect one! Sooo, I've been telling Erik we have to have pancakes sometime for dinner (he wasn't too fond of the breakfast for dinner idea). Buuut, when it's around your birthday time you can get away with things like this ;) sooo tonight that's exactly what we had! We had homemade almond pancakes with an apple almond syrup, homemade turkey sausage bites, and some scrambled eggs (which consisted of 2 whole eggs and 3 egg whites).

Almond Pancakes

- 1 cup almond flour (I just ground up raw almonds with our coffee grinder)
- 2 eggs
- little bit of water (less than 1/4)
- 2 tsp olive oil
-2 Truvia packets (or some type of sweetener/sugar ... that's just what I used)
-dash of sea salt
*Mix together and make like regular pancakes. Makes 5-6 pancakes.

Almond Apple Syrup
*Blend together finely chopped half of an apple, splash of almond milk and 1 T agave nectar

How did the pancakes turn out? We loved them! I haven't had pancakes in so long and it's great to find a healthy version that I don't feel guilty eating that taste wonderful! And Erik was even glad we had breakfast for dinner ; )

And finally, I'm SO glad the weekend is upon us!!

You'll have to come back to see what it's about buuuuut ... here is a picture preview of tomorrow's post:

"It has been said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength."
-Charles Haddon Spurgeon-

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