Food Porn Friday: Finger Foods For The Win!

Food Porn Friday fitandfancylife.com vegan vegetarian recipes

 

 

Food Porn Friday. Finger Food Friday. Finally it’s Friday….day.

I’ve been pretty lazy as far as cooking going this week. Between the pups, the gym, and family being in town there’s been several nights of leftovers and fast meals. So in keeping with the lazy hazy week I’m featuring finger food for today’s Food Porn Friday. Who doesn’t love finger food? The fact that it’s National Donut Day only confirms the idea that finger foods are the best! The chance to be uncivilized in social situations and eat portions based on holes, sticks of this and that, or number of poppers? Yes, please!

 

Southwestern Egg Rolls
Southwestern-Egg-Rolls-9b
These spicy, veggie-filled sticks are amazing. They’re safe for vegetarians and can be adapted for vegans by using rice paper wrappers. I added more salsa than the recipe called for, but I do that for everything that calls for salsa. The hotter the better! Check out the recipe here.

 

 

Crockpot Black Beans and Rice
Crockpot Black Beans and Rice 1
In keeping with the spicy trend, this concoction is a versatile love of mine. The mixture can be used as a dip for chips or as the filling for burritos. Just throw everything into your crockpot or pressure cooker, walk away, and return to serve up and eat. It really is that easy. Check out the recipe here.

 

Carrots in a Blanket
Carrots in a blanket
Yes, the name is similar to its “Pigs in a blanket” cousin. The major difference, the carrots, are just a huge improvement. In theory you could use anything to fill these babies (sweet potato, potato, asparagus), but the carrots provide for a sweet and “buttery” flavor to satisfy your taste buds. While Sandra’s recipe is great, I opted not to use oil. I found that if you own a high quality, non-stick pan there’s no need for oil. The carrots were able to “fry” in what remained of their own juices and turned out just fine. Try Carrots in a Blanket at your next party by getting the recipe here.

 

Skinny Baked Vegetarian Egg Rolls with Peanut Sauce
vegetarian-eggrolls-e1427300628458
My boyfriend loves these. It’s hard to tell if he loves the fact that he gets egg rolls without having to go pick them up from a restaurant or if it’s because he gets an excuse to eat more peanut butter. Regardless, it’s a hit in my house. This is the most complicated recipe today, but worth it. The egg rolls are deceivingly filling and you will more than likely have left-overs for a few days. You’re welcome. Catch the recipe here.


That’s it! Hope you guys enjoy these finger-licking recipes. How do these finger foods stack up with your favorites? Let me know your favorite in the comments below.

The art of picking yourself back up and moving forward

Everyone’s been there at least once in their lives. You’ve had the phone call that nightmares are based on, hit the point in your life where your problems have piled so high you can’t see past them, or experienced a disappointment in life so great it’s as if your world is crumbling down around you. These horrible  moments in life are unavoidable, inevitable, and soul crushing. They swoop in, often unexpected, and like a tornado they leave a mess of destruction and devastation in their wake. And as anyone who’s experienced these moments knows, it can be one of the hardest things to do to pick yourself up and keep going.

I get a piece of news like this recently. I surprised even myself at how powerfully the news hit me. Sure, I’ve had bad news before, but this was the worst. This was it. My world was over and it felt like someone sucked the life right out of me.

In the aftershock I found myself sitting on my couch, clutching my knees to my chest for any kind grip on reality I could muster, and crying uncontrollably. I sat there drowning in my emotions for so long that my dogs gave up trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I was so heartbroken that I couldn’t see what kind of future was left for me. It sucked.

I tried to hide it at first. I’m a really private person, which is why some people I know were surprised I started a personal blog at all. I don’t even post very personal things on my Facebook! (Cute animal videos and pictures of my dogs are about as personal as my Facebook gets.)

But when it came down to it, when I was slapped in the face with such a heart wrenching life-plan changer, I did what any reasonably private woman does. I said “I’m fine” and kept going. I functioned like a perfectly rational looking human for the next hour. I walked my dogs, welcomed my boyfriend home, and went to the kitchen to start dinner.

Que the second wave.

I don’t know how long I sat there. I don’t know how I went from reaching out to open the refrigerator door to sitting on the wood floor of the kitchen, back painfully pressed against the refrigerator in the same knee-to-chest position I pretended I wasn’t in earlier, crying. That’s where my boyfriend found me. And it wasn’t until he came over, asked me why I was on the floor, peeked down to see tears streaming down my face (again) that I even realized I was there. The past few hours were a dream-like blur.

We sat there for a while, me sitting on the floor and Jonathan sitting across from me quietly. When he asked me if I wanted to talk about it, and all I could do was shake my head so as not to let the sobs threatening to break free come forth, I realized how not “fine” I really was. Even his small jokes weren’t enough to pick me up.

It took several more minutes and understanding reassurances from my wonderful boyfriend before I could get up and get moving. It took several more weeks before I could consider myself fully recovered from the initial shock, disappointment, and aftereffects of that event.

So in the past month I have been, getting sick from anxiety, accepting what I could not change, and dealing with getting better and moving forward in life. And that’s where I am right now. I’m fully ready to pick up the pen keyboard again and get to sharing with the rest of the world.

I think what really helped me pick myself back up was my rock of a boyfriend and the knowledge that when you feel like the rest of the world just crumbled around your feet – it hasn’t. If you just take one deep breath, and walk outside you’ll see the rest of the world is carrying on and, since you’re still apart of the world, you will carry on too. Time heals everything and the open wound that is crushing you today will get better with time as long as you allow it to.

So I’m back to kicking butt, living life, and enjoying the little things. Welcome to the next chapter of my journey.

April @ fitandfancylife Signature

Spaghetti O’s for the vegan hearts

 

Food Porn Friday fitandfancylife.com vegan vegetarian recipes

Today’s Food Porn Friday is kicking it primary school style. I’m taking your virtual taste buds down memory lane to the good old days when the most exciting dinner options came from cans. I’m bringing back Spaghetti O’s!

Do you remember those tiny noodle rings in magical red sauce? Did you get the same fist-pumping reaction that I did when my mom broke out the can of Spaghetti O’s instead of orange marinated pork loin again? (Or some other feared dish that everyone in the house hated except the person cooking the monstrosity.) If you answered yes to either of those questions – your childhood clearly rocked.

Spaghetti O’s have always been near and dear to my heart. I have a bit of a tradition with my best friend, who shares the same ageless taste buds as me, that when we do dinner together we check our adult hats at the door. Spaghetti O’s and grilled cheese sandwiches are our favorite go-to dinners.

When we both became vegHeads, one of our biggest regrets was saying good-bye to our Spaghetti O’s and grilled cheese sandwiches. The struggle was real folks. Neither of us cared about ditching meat, but when it came to these two power-players we were mourning. Then I found this amazing recipe by MilkFreeMom.com and Spaghetti O’s were back on the menu!

Dairy-Free-SpaghettieOs

Ready for the really awesome part about this recipe? It’s vegan! It’s also got a short ingredients list, has 8.5 grams of protein per serving, and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Dinner time win-win.

As with most things highlighted on Food Porn Friday, this recipe is adaptable to fit your needs. If you want to try a different type of dairy-free milk, go for it. If you want to boost the already decent vitamin count, add steamed spinach or kale.  If you’re catering to friends and family that still eat dairy, you can always substitutive cow’s milk and Parmesan if they aren’t willing to do the recipe’s original ingredients.  (Or you can just use canned Spaghetti O’s for their servings and keep all the dairy-free Spaghetti O’s to yourself. It’ll be a sacrifice in the name of love and extra leftovers. Try not to look to eager or they might catch on to you.)

You can find the recipe here.