Weekly Round Up 5/23 – 5/27!

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Written by Rohn Strong

The last full week in May came in and went quicker than winter in the south.

Also…this gif…the funniest thing I’ve seen all week. I cannot stop laughing. CANNOT. STOP.

This week on the blog we focused on a few interesting topics. Monday, I released a few new patterns into the wild that cost just $1 a piece. Tuesday y’all followed me on Snapchat and watched me work through Day 2 of my juice cleanse. Wednesday was all about my newest colored pencil painting. Finally, we wrapped up the week yesterday with a new recipe for Apple Pie Buckwheat Waffles (they were a HIT)!

Remember you can follow me on all the social medias:

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rohnstrong
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rohnstong
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/rohnstrong
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rohn_strong
Tumblr: http://rohn-strong.tumblr.com

Follow me on each one for exclusive giveaways and news! You can also stay completely updated by following me here on the blog at www.rohnstrong.com!

Have a happy and safe weekend y’all!

R

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Apple Pie Buckwheat Waffles

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Written by Rohn Strong

Buckwheat waffles are one of the few things I remember my father loving. He would rave over buckwheat pancakes and talk about how much ‘better’ they were than the regular bisquick pancakes I grew up on. These aint no bisquick pancakes…these are some gourmet waffles right here.

Yesterday while getting ready to make a batch of Apple Pie Muffins, I had a quick thought. What if I put these in the waffle maker? I’m sure they’d turn out good…right?

These aint no bisquick pancakes…these are some gourmet waffles right here.

In fact, I would venture to say these little beauties turned out BETTER from the waffle maker than they did from the oven. The quick cooking time means that the apples still retain a bit of their crispness while not being too overdone.

The secret to these waffles is the allspice. You have to use good allspice. Really good. Splurge. They give the apples a hit of something special that is really, absolutely, unequivocally needed.

A lot of people don’t know that allspice is not a combination of other spices but is, in fact, it’s own spice. Allspice is made from the dried pimenta fruit of the evergreen myrtle plant Pimenta Dioica. If you don’t happen to have allspice on hand you can combine equal parts of cinnamon and cloves, then add in a dash of nutmeg. It takes a few tries to get the right mix but if you need a waffle fix…it’ll work out fine.

The awesome thing is that these waffles are sugar free, oil free, dairy free, vegetarian, gluten free, and really low in calories! I do recommend adding a bit of jam or pure maple syrup. If not, these can be a bit savory. Which isn’t a bad thing! They would be fantastic with some fried chicken! Maybe some steak? CHICKEN FRIED STEAK.

Okay, anyways here’s the recipe.

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1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon course salt
4 large eggs
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
1 apple, very finely chopped
Optional: 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed

Preheat your waffle iron (or heat up a griddle for pancakes).

Combine flour, powder, and allspice in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Almond or Coconut flour may be substituted for the buckwheat flour.

Add salt, eggs, banana, and honey. Mix to combine. Fold in apple. If desired add in a bit of flaxseed. The batter will be quite thin.

Pour by 1/2 cup servings into waffle maker or onto griddle. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes each side. Serve immediately with warmed syrup or jam.

These can be frozen for up to three months in the freezer or 2 days in the refrigerator.

 

3 Juice Recipes You’ll Love!

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Written by Rohn Strong

Y’all know I talk A LOT about juicing but it’s for good reason.

Juicing has changed my life.

Today I wanted to share with y’all a few of the juice recipes I love. However, to get them you’ll need to head follow me on Snapchat!

I know, I know…I’m such a tease!

Snapchat is one of the most fun and interactive social networks out there. If you don’t have it downloaded it’s easy and free.

Follow me (my username is: rohnstrong) and you’ll get awesome inspiration, recipes, a look inside my personal life…and more!

BUT HURRY! These 3 recipes currently on my snapchat will only be there for the next 24 hours…then they’ll be gone forever. *okay I’ll probably post them again sometime in the future…but whatever.

See y’all on the snap!

R

Weekly Roundup 5/16 – 5/20!

We made it through another work week!

giphy3Written By Rohn Strong

I will say, this week slogged by didn’t it? That always happens when I have something fun coming up on the weekends. I ALWAYS end up dragging my feet through the week and then Friday’s here and I have a packed to do list…that I never think I’ll make it through. But I manage.

The blog this week was full of book recommendations, colored pencil stuff, juicing info, and a giveaway! Make sure you check out all those links and share the love!

Remember you can follow me on all the social medias:

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rohnstrong
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rohnstong
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/rohnstrong
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rohn_strong
Tumblr: http://rohn-strong.tumblr.com

Follow me on each one for exclusive giveaways and news! You can also stay completely updated by following me here on the blog at www.rohnstrong.com!

Have a happy and safe weekend y’all!

R

 

5 Tips for Top Notch Juicing

red-926196_960_720Written by Rohn Strong

Juicing can be a new and exciting adventure for a lot of people. Often times juicing is started as a way to boost health and/or weight loss and I find that a lot of people aren’t sure where to start. From choosing a juicing to peeling fruit…so many questions inevitably pop up! With that said, I want to offer these 5 tips that I think can really help make your entire juicing experience run a lot smoother.

1. Get Informed

Buy a book…or three. Watch a few youtube videos. Ask your doctor or nutritionist. Get informed about what you are about to do and how you should go about it. Juicing is a great addition to any diet and can always add health benefits. A full juice diet, however, isn’t for everyone and should only be done under doctor supervision.

I recommend this book by Joe Cross. He’s also written a new book that looks equally exciting and informational. There are also a ton of books full of juicing recipes! Head to the library and do a bit of research. Juicing is easy and fun to do…but you have to be informed.

2. Select a Good Juicer

One of my favorite celebrity chefs is Ina Garten. If you’ve ever read one of her recipe’s she includes ingredients such as ‘good olive oil’ and ‘good mayonnaise’. While the main ingredient is given the ‘good’ portion is left up to the home cook.

The same can be said for juicing. I have a large heavy duty Breville. Why? I juice every day and often three to four times a day. I use it A LOT. I wanted to invest in a machine that had a high output of juice with minimal effort. Choose a juicer that fits your needs. Here is a great Juicer Buying Guide to work from.

3. Prepare Your Ingredients

Juicing is simple right? You just throw in the veg/fruit and you’re good to go. Well…yes and no. You need to wash the fruit first. A lot of stuff can live on the outside of our produce so taking the time to clean it off is an important step.

You’ll also need to cut/tear your produce to fit in your juicer. This may mean taking out the core, peeling, or deseeding. The best way to know if you need to take these extra steps is to read the information that came with your juicer for guidelines.

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4. Don’t Toss the Pulp

Once you’ve ran your produce through the juicer, take a look at your pulp. Is it wet/damp? If so run it back through the juicer. This is much easier if you line the pulp bin of your juicer. Running the pulp back through will give you even more juice and dry out the pulp a bit.

What can you do with the pulp? LOTS! You can make veggie burgers, soaps, face masks, soups, compost, stuffing, cake, and even cookies! It is amazingly versatile and incredibly healthy.

5. Make Juice to Order

If at all possible make your juice to order. When juicing the real magic is in the micronutrients the juice streamlines to our bodies. What’s this mean? Well…the longer you let you juice set the less and less you’ll benefit from it.

Taking your juice for lunch? Try sticking it in a thermos or other air tight container and make sure it stays chilled. While the juice can be stored for 24-48 hours it is best when drank right away. The taste also seems to strengthen the longer it sits and juice with ingredients like Kale can taste spoiled.

Juicing can be a fun and invigorating way to spice up your diet! Do you all juice? What’s your favorite juice? Comment below and I may feature your answer in an upcoming post!

R

 

Weekly Roundup 5/7 – 5/13!

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This week was incredibly productive and eye opening! I hope all of y’all had a great week!

We we’re busy on the blog this week!

On Monday we talked about Dealing with Burnout and how to cope with it! Tuesday we discussed the 7 Secrets to Clean Eating Success. Then Wednesday came and I shared my creative process while creating my newest piece of art! Yesterday I shared my favorite juice recipe and talked about how I gave up coffee!

Make sure to take a look at all the posts and shore them with your friends and family!

I also wanted to share this amazing TED talk with you! If you get a chance check it out! It is really really good!

Remember you can follow me on all the social medias:

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rohnstrong
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rohnstong
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/rohnstrong
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rohn_strong
Tumblr: http://rohn-strong.tumblr.com

Follow me on each one for exclusive giveaways and news! You can also stay completely updated by following me here on the blog at www.rohnstrong.com!

Have a happy and safe weekend y’all!

R

Who Needs Coffee? Drink Juice!

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Written By Rohn Strong

Every morning, for the past month, I’ve consumed one thing. Juice.

It started as a cleanse but I liked the way my body felt so much that I decided to continue juicing and am LOVING the results.

I’ve been able to reduce my migraines, lose a bit of weight, save time cooking, AND I don’t drink coffee any more! I know…crazy pants!

The last time I drank any coffee was January. At first it just kind of happened because that’s what the cleanse called for, but then I made it a point to make sure I didn’t consume any and to replace it with a morning juice.

I usually wake up at six every morning and make a b-line to the juicer. I immediately make my Morning Go-Go Orange Juice. With the juicer set to high I combine:

6 Carrots
4 Apples
2 Lemons
6 Stalks Celery

This usually makes enough for two meals so I drink one for breakfast and use the other to mix in with a smoothie for lunch. It is incredibly healthy and pretty good for you! The apples help you stay fuller, longer. This is always a huge help when struggling to not snack my way through the day. The celery provide hydration. The lemons are great for digestion and to help your body absorb the nutrients more efficiently. Finally, the carrots contain just about everything that’s right in this world.

This juice is packed full of fiber and the micronutrients your body desires. In the morning we are usually dehydrated from a long night of resorting our bodies so giving yourself this morning jolt of goodness is just what your body needs.

I usually follow this up with a short but brisk 10-15 minute walk, a liter of water, and then get on with my day!

How do you start your day? Are you a coffee slave? Why not try juicing for just a week? I think you’d like it!

7 Secrets to Clean Eating Success

ththup3ytn6xslwf43vy_img_8003Written by Rohn Strong

Whether you are already counting points or just thinking about eating a healthier dinner once a week, here are some secrets to help you succeed…

1) Walk Off Your Next Meal

Sometimes you don’t need to change what you’re eating, you just need to change the amount you’re eating. I keep every meal within the same caloric restrictions. If I cannot walk it off in a reasonable amount of time…there are too many calories.

At my height and weight I burn off about 500 calories if I walk for 45 minutes at a brisk pace. That is a great tool to gauge the size and quantity of what I should eat. This will save you calories and after a few weeks will become second nature. Just make sure to adjust the caloric intake as you lose weight!

2) Be Mindful

Clean eating isn’t just about making sure you’re putting the right foods in your body to keep it running at the optimal setting. It is also about getting your mind and body in sync with one another. You must be mindful.

When cooking a meal, try shutting the kitchen door and focusing on just what you’re doing. Don’t multitask. Focus on the food. Limit distractions.

Doing this gives you the time you need to connect with your food and to connect with what you are going to be making yourself. Clean eating is about detoxifying your mind, body, and soul. Cleaning out all of those areas of life that have gotten clogged over the years.

3) Go Organic…if You Can

One of the benefits of clean eating is that you are limiting yourself to only putting good food in your body. That’s it. We all know that the world is full of stuff that’s not so good for us and often that stuff is injected, sprayed on, or coated on our food.

Going organic means you are keeping those chemicals off your food and out of your body. This is primarily important when juicing or consuming raw fruits and veggies. Washing doesn’t take all of the chemicals off.

The easiest way to go organic? Shop at your farmers market. Don’t have one? Grow your food. Can’t do that? Check your local area for a CSA (community supported agriculture) that you can join! Your body will thank you!

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4) Juice

I’ve said it before but I cannot express enough my love of juicing. Why? It is one of the most successful ways of delivering the right nutrients to you body. Think of it as healthy fast food.

Every morning I’m up at 6. I make my family a huge pitcher of Carrot, Apple, and Lemon juice. It is invigorating, full of fiber, and filling as all get out. I don’t drink coffee or tea. My energy is simply from the juice.

Juicing provides some key benefits:

  • Calorie reduction without nutrient deprivation
  • Promotion of healthy eating habits
  • Delicious way to consume fresh produce
  • Floods the body with micronutrients

Not sure about juicing? The best way is to try it just once a day as a snack! Lots of places sell cold pressed juice! Here in Raleigh, I can get it delivered!

5) Get Geeky

Sometimes the excitement of a new adventure burns only long enough for you to see it through one meal. The key is in repetition.

The best way to do this? Immerse yourself in the lifestyle. Cook lots. Read articles. Research cookbooks. Make your library or indie bookstore your best friends. There are so many resources out there for individuals looking to get a bit healthier.

My rule of thumb is to read everything once, making notes as I go about passages or chapters that I’d revisit. Then I go back. Sometimes a book isn’t worth it’s weight in paper and the diet industry is a billion dollar business…so be careful.

However, there are a few gems out there from trusted sources! Dig!

6) Follow the Leader

I often find what I need is to follow. I like a plan. A set workout routine. I want something that I can rely on with certainty.

In 2006 I discovered Leslie Sansone and her Walk at Home program. I HIGHLY recommend it to those of you that cannot get time to get outside and take a walk. If you can only fit 15 minutes in a day…you can walk a mile. Just 15 minutes will clear your mind, airways, and get your heart pumping the way it needs to.

Sitting is the new smoking…we’ve all heard it. Our bodies were meant to move. Get up and move. You’re body (and mind) will thank you! Not to mention…it helps flush toxins…a double benefit!

7) Be Independent

I always heard…YOU NEED A SUPPORT SYSTEM…I call bull crap on that. You don’t need anybody but you. You are strong enough to do this. You are strong enough to succeed.

The truth is…gaining weight is often isolating. Losing weight can be just as isolating. Sometimes a support system just isn’t there and I’m here to tell you…that’s okay. You don’t have to have a weekly meeting, a supportive spouse, or a family that backs you up. If you do? Great! That’s awesome and it might help you succeed even more.

Me? I live far away from most of my family and the support system here at home, isn’t always the best. Can it be lonely? Sure. However, that loneliness is often overtaken by a desire to succeed. You have to learn to be your own support system. No one’s going to be there to help every minute of every day…except you!

Clean eating and getting healthy can be the greatest thing that ever happened to you or it can make you feel trapped in a hamster wheel of kale and hemp protein. How do you make clean eating work for you? I’d love to hear your tips!

The Only Seasoning You’ll Ever Need!

When you eat clean, you have to learn to season the heck out of your food. It’s not that EVERYTHING tastes bad. It’s more that you need to flavor the food in different ways just to make sure you don’t get too bored.

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This season mix is one that I use every single day. I put it on my eggs. I put it on my chicken. It works in cauliflower soup (recipe next week!) and on salad!

It is really simple to put together and makes about a half cup. Just be careful, it can be a bit spicy! It’s sooooo good though. So, so good!!

Instructions:

3 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar (or brown sugar)
1 Tbsp Mustard Powder
1 Tbsp Black Pepper

Mix all of this together and shake it up. Store it in an airtight container (I like a mason jar) for a few weeks. After that things can get a little muddled. Try it on chicken, pork, beef, tofu, salad, and even eggs!

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A Week of Groceries for $50!

Eating on a budget can be difficult. Eating clean on a budget is almost impossible if you don’t know how to shop and what to shop for.

It is all about timing and does require a bit more work than stopping at Harris Teeter and grabbing a package of chicken…though that would work too! It is those small purchases that tend to add up.

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I have a weekly goal, shop for two people, three meals a day, for just $50.

First, let me say I don’t always keep it under $50. It is just my goal. On average I can go over anywhere between $10 – $20. However, having this baseline goal gives me something to shoot for.

This Saturday I did my shopping and was able to shop for 2 weeks and kept it right around $95.00! That’s less than $50 a week!

Woot!

So, I wanted to share both my weekly eating plan and my shopping list/where I shopped for what. You’ll notice three distinct things.

  1. I shop at a few different places – it just makes sense. I buy a few things on Amazon, a few at Food Lion, and a few at Harris Teeter. By being able to break up my list I am able to maximize savings.
  2. I eat the same thing – I eat a similar breakfast every few days. This keeps the ingredient list low and makes it easier on the wallet.
  3. I eat a lot – I shoot for a 1500 calorie diet, while still eating a good amount of food. You might be able to save even more money if you only have to focus on dinners!

Meal Plan:

Day 1 

Breakfast: Greek Yogurt (homemade or organic) with Granola and a Banana
Lunch: Turkey on Sprouted Wheat Wrap, Orange, Carrot Sticks, Cheese Stick
Dinner: 4oz Burger, Whole Wheat Bun, Fixin’s, Salad

Day 2

Breakfast: Whole Grain Cereal, Almond Milk, 1/2 Banana with 1tbsp Peanut Butter
Lunch: Cheese Stick, Apple, Granola Bar – My Grab and Go Lunch
Dinner: 6oz Chicken Breast, Spinach Salad, 1/2 Avocado, 1/2 Baked Sweet Potato with Coconut Sugar

Day 3

Breakfast: 1/2 Bagel, 1oz cream cheese, 1 egg, 1 cup mixed fruit
Lunch: 1 veggie burger, sliced tomato with balsamic and basil
Dinner: 4oz steak, sweet potato fries, steamed veggies

Day 4

Breakfast: Greek Yogurt (homemade or organic) with Granola and a Banana
Lunch: Turkey Wrap on Sprouted Wheat Wrap, Orange, Carrot Sticks, Cheese Stick
Dinner: 6oz Grilled Chicken, Whole Wheat Bun, Fixin’s, Salad

Day 5

Breakfast: Whole Grain Cereal, Almond Milk, 1/2 Banana with 1tbsp Peanut Butter
Lunch: Cheese Stick, Apple, Granola Bar – My Grab and Go Lunch
Dinner: 6oz Chicken Breast, Spinach Salad, 1/2 Avocado, 1/2 Baked Sweet Potato with Coconut Sugar

Day 6

Breakfast: 1/2 Bagel, 1oz cream cheese, 1 egg, 1 cup mixed fruit
Lunch: 1 veggie burger, sliced tomato with balsamic and basil
Dinner: 4oz steak, sweet potato fries, steamed veggies

Day 7 

I call this leftover day. I have whatever we can scrounge up for the meals…it also tends to be Grocery Shopping Day

My Grocery List:

Harris Teeter:

Whole Grain Bagels
Ground Beef
Steak
Chicken
Kiwi
Avocado
Sweet Potato

Food Lion:

Eggs
Veggie Burgers
Tomato
Cantaloupe
Strawberry
Greek Yogurt
Granola
Turkey
Carrots
Salad Mix

Amazon Prime Now:

Cream Cheese
Whole Grain Cereal
Almond Milk
Sprouted Wheat Wrap
Apples
Granola
Cheese Stick

That’s it! How awesome is that? I hope this helps y’all shop a bit better and hopefully save a few dollars along the way!

 

Pastel Tres Leches Cake

Pastel Tres Leches Cake (otherwise known as the best dessert ever invented) is quite possibly my favorite dessert. Most of you know my love for all things Latin…and desserts are no different.

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While I love Pastel Tres Leches…Dairy and I just don’t get along like we used to in my younger days. Let’s just say that dairy is a friend that sticks around and makes a lot of noise…got it? Good.

So, I knew that I needed to be able to make a vegan alternative that wasn’t gross and didnt include SO much milk. A traditional Tres Leches is a milk based cake that is then soaked in milk and then coated in frosting. LOTS of milk. LOTS of milk that will do LOTS of damage to my body.

Not fun.

The real challenge was trying to make this healthier. I didn’t want to try to sneak in any flaxseed or chia. This is a dessert and sometimes a dessert needs to just be a dessert.

Our biggest challenge was in finding vegan (and tasty) alternatives to the evaporated and sweetened condensed milks. Basically, canned evaporated milk is nothing more than homogenized milk with 60 percent of its water removed. Condensed Milk, on the other hand, is Evaporated Milk with 40% sugar added.

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The great news was that the Evaporated Milk could be achieved just by boiling the milk down by about half. The Condensed milk would need a bit more finagling. After a bunch of research…and finally giving up I used this AMAZING recipe for Instant Dairy-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk from http://www.godairyfree.org. It was perfect!

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Ingredients:

Cake:

2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Unbleached Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
7 Eggs, separated
1 cup Organic Cane Sugar
3/4 cup Almond Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
12oz Evaporated Soy Milk (24 oz that has been reduced by about half)
14 oz Dairy Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup Coconut Milk

Frosting:

6 Egg Whites
Pinch of Salt
1/4 two Cream of Tartar
3/4 cup Water
1 1/2 cups Cane Sugar
Lime Peel

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Combine the Flour and Baking Powder together, whisk to remove any lumps.

In a large bowl and stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the sugar and beat to form stiff peaks, then add the egg yolks, one at a time. Turn down the mixer to slow and add the flour and milk, alternating by thirds until everything is added. Add in the vanilla.

Fill the prepared pans evenly (a kitchen scale works well here) and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and coconut milk. Pour half of the mixture over each of the cakes. Let soak.

To prepare the frosting, beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Set aside.

Mix the water, sugar, and limp peel in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until soft ball. Remove from the heat and add to the beaten egg whites in a thing stream. Make sure to add this SLOWLY. Beat for 6 minutes until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy.

Remove the cakes from the pans carefully, allowing any excess milk to drain off. Cover with frosting and refrigerate until serving.

5 Things You Need This Week

Today I want to share with you the 5 most recent things I have bought for my creative business. I know, I know…kind of vapid BUT I hope that you’ll be able to find some useful information AND it is always awesome to share with y’all the day to day of my work/home life.

  1. Prismacolor Premier Verithin Colored Pencils, 36 Pack– I adore Prismacolor Premier pencils but unfortunately they are not the greatest for detail work. Wax based pencils rock for color and pigment but the soft leads almost prevent a sharp point from sating sharp for very long. The Verithin are a thinner harder led with the same wax base. Next up are some Polychromos 36 Pencil Metal Tin Set
    …an oil based pencil that comes HIGHLY recommended.
  2. Autumn Cobeland Print – Autumn Cobeland is one of my favorite local artists and I have three of her prints in my studio now. They just bing so much joy to the space and in a white frame…they are set off perfectly. This is my most recent acquisition:
    andersonpointpark_5x7I love being able to support fellow artists and local artists at that. Each of her Greenway prints also give me the motivation to get out and see these places in person!
  3. Mason Jars – I know, I know…not the most glamorous thing but quite possibly the most used product in my entire studio. I use them to store paint brushes, crochet hooks, colored pencils, quinoa, millet, spices, and just about anything else that can fit. I buy them by the case and replenish my stock every few months…I mean…you do break a few eggs along the way.

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  4. Fresh Flowers – I fill my studio with fresh flowers every day. It makes me feel alive, invigorated, and fresh. This week my studio is filled with the perfumed scent of hyacinth. I’m also feeling the tulip love and always love hydrangeas. Flowers help freshen the house and clean the air!

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  5. Office Supplies – You have to spend money to make money. In my case, the biggest bump in spending each month comes from office supplies. I am in a constant state of organizational overhaul it seems and this week is no different. I am working on getting completely organized to take on May and overhaul the business a bit – which means lots of binders, dividers, pencil sharpeners, paper, pens, and just about everything else. I should get miles for every dollar I spend at Staples. I would be able to travel around the world twice.

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So…that’s about it. The 5 most recent items I have bought to make this business a complete success. I hope y’all have found a few things that may help you!

4/18 – 4/22 Weekly Roundup!

We did it! We made it through another week.

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It was the second full week of blogging and I think we did a great job. Y’all were right there with me. So, that always helps!

This week I was PINNING A LOT. Pinterest is my new obsession. I spend WAY too much time on there.

Remember, you can follow me on lots of different social media! Check out the links below:

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rohnstrong
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/rohnstrong
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rohn_strong
Tumblr: http://rohn-strong.tumblr.com

Follow me on each one for exclusive giveaways and news! You can also stay completely updated by following me here on the blog at www.rohnstrong.com!

The blog was incredible busy this week too!

Monday I announced a new crochet pattern and mystery CAL.

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Tuesday we shared our favorite clean eating kitchen essentials.

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Wednesday was all about finding and keeping inspiration like a pro.

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Thursday I shared my Go-To Brussels Sprouts and Avocado salad.

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This week was pretty awesome. The most popular photo of Instagram was this great pic I posted on Wednesday…because I accomplished nothing that day. Except this picture. HA!

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I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see y’all next week with more recipes, colored pencil painting, and crochet wonderfulness!

Here’s to the weekend!

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Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Salad

Today I want to share with you my ‘go-to’ salad. It is the only thing I grab for when I’m sick of juice (gasp…I know) and want something a bit solid. It is packed with healthy fats, lots of fiber, a hit of lemon, and is as green as you can get.

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Now…I will say that the salad part is a bit strange and takes some getting used to. Brussels Sprouts are often cooked…and hated…but honestly? I LOVE these little jewels raw. They taste like romaine lettuce but have the texture of cabbage. They satisfy that crunchy and crisp need to chew I often get when on long stretches of juicing.

The salad itself is made up of just a handful of ingredients and the hardest part is prepping everything together. I usually do this the day before so I’m not annoyed when my entire lunch hour is spend chopping the ends off of the sprouts.

Make this at the beginning of the week and stretch it throughout! Just top it with the avocado and dressing each day and you’ll be set to go!

First things first…mise en place…or getting stuff together.

Grab a pound of brussels sprouts and wash them up. Tear off the outer leaves.

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Then cut off the bottom part. If you bought the sprouts on the stem then you’ll know right where this is. If not and you bought a bag like me…simply cut the smaller end to free up the leaves.

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Tear the sprout apart.

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Do that 100009484747858585 times.

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Spin the heck out of them.

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Prepare the dressing. Combine the zest of 1 lemon and equal parts lemon juice and olive oil. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Add the sprouts to a big ole bowl. Pour about 1/2 cup of dressing over and toss. Throw in a handful of sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

Almost done! Dice or slice an avocado and add it in. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. DIG IN.

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I like to top the salad off with a bit of lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt. This salad is SO good and SUPER healthy.

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R

Essentials for Your Clean Eating Kitchen

I get asked all the time what are some of my favorite tools for the kitchen. My kitchen is stocked full of tools that I think I’ll use but never do…I’m looking at you bench scraper.

However, there are a few tried and true items I use each and every day and have therefore tested the heck out of them.

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  1. A Good Knife – I don’t believe you have to spend a fortune on knives. Maybe I’m frugal or maybe I just don’t see the need for a $500 knife that I have to then sharpen…who knows. I use the a Victorinox Swiss Classic 6″ Chef’s Knife. It is a work horse, inexpensive, and sharp as all get out.
  2. Cutting Board – I use my cutting board more than my counter tops. If you are going to invest in ANYTHING invest in a John Boos Chop-N-Slice 20-by-15-Inch Maple Cutting Board. They will last about as long as you can imagine just take care of it.
  3. Juicer – I juice…a lot. A LOT. So, a good juicer is a must. I have used a Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Juice Extractor and love it. It can juice a lemon without slicing it, making juicing while running out the door easy and quick. It is a beast to clean though…so keep that in mind.
  4. Juice Recipe Book – I am all about cookbooks but I think your kitchen needs a great book about juicing. Why? It will change your kitchen. I love The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet: Lose Weight, Get Healthy and Feel Amazing…read it and follow the recipe’s!
  5. Stainless Steel Cookware – You don’t need to spend a $1000 on a set of stainless Steel pans, to be honest. Good, solid, cookware is essential and these pans from Wolfgang Puck 18-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set are a staple in my kitchen. They’ve lasted years and conduct pretty amazingly. Obviously I don’t cook on the stovetop too often but when I do…I grab these pans.
  6. Induction Stove – I live in an apartment with that comes limited changes I can make to my home. I cannot buy and install a new stove…trust me I asked. I don’t  know why a Viking Range would be a problem. So, I discovered the NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop and rarely use my stovetop anymore. This is the best invention I have EVER used. Seriously get it…your life will never be the same.
  7. Mason Jars – Simply put…I use these guys for everything.
  8. Coconut Oil – I put this in about everything from fudge to juice. Coconut oil is my saving grace and my fav is Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 54 Ounce.
  9. Hemp Protein – Man cannot live on juice alone…so I make sure to add a booster to my lunch juice to make sure my body is running on all cylinders. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 Protein Supplement, 32 Ounce is my go-to. I usually pick it up at the Vitamin Shoppe every couple of weeks. It takes awhile to dissolve and can be a bit gritty…but I love it.
  10. Rohn Strong Recipes – Yup…I know, I know…totally self indulgent. Make sure you subscribe for blog updates below and check back each day for more!

What are some of your kitchen essentials? Comment below!

-R

Protein Peanut Butter Cookies

I’m a HUGE fan of Peanut Butter Cookies, have been for quite some time. I used to bake and eat them every day. Yup. Every single day. Well, that’s not healthy no matter how you look at it. So, I needed an alternative.

This recipe came about after really wanting to make a cookie that was packed with protein and healthy ingredients. While they don’t taste anything like those classic Peanut Butter cookies we’re used to, they do offer a great alternative.

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Packed with protein, healthy sugars, flaxseed, and even a bit of chia…grab these cookies on your way out the door before your morning workout or for a great ‘pick me up’ in mid afternoon.

They won’t spike your blood sugar and actually fill you up! Can you say dessert BEFORE dinner? I even though about frosting these with a bit of peanut butter frosting  with a hint of coconut oil? Could you imagine the awesome flavors that would impart!

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The family gobbled these up about as fast as I could make them and I’m itching to try a few different methods of making. Including substituting almond butter, adding a bit of coconut oil, and even spiking them with a touch of earl grey tea. Yup.

What do you think? Should we make more of these homemade protein packed bars? Maybe an e-book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Download the Recipe Here: Protein Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Tofu Ricotta and Marinara Pasta Bake

I’ll admit it. I had a tough time coming up with that title. Come on, though…what do I call this?

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BESIDES DELICIOUS?

This is one of the easiest recipe’s you’ll ever make and there’s enough for an army (or for a weeks worth of dinners if you usually cook for one or two). What do you need? Well, to be honest…just some sauce and tofu…okay there’s a few more ingredients than that BUT overall this is one of the smiliest and tastiest recipes you can make.

It also happens to contain some really really really healthy ingredients. The dish is vegan, vegetarian, clean, and can easily be converted to gluten free! You could easily make this a lot healthier if you wanted but let’s not go too crazy here.

The Bake is essentially just three parts:

  1. Tofu Ricotta
  2. Pasta
  3. House Marinara

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You’ll remember our House Marinara recipe here and you should know how to cook some pasta by now but if not…just read the box! All the directions are there. Although, keep in mind we will be baking this so cook it for about 2/3 of the recommended time on the box. This will ensure your pasta holds up and doesn’t disintegrate to mush. No one wants ricotta and marinara mush. No one.

Once you make all the independent parts, just combine them together, throw them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until everything looks bubbly and delicious and – yup – cheesy.

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I know, tofu ricotta is not real ricotta. Your right and on its own I wouldn’t eat this with a spoon. However, by mixing it with the marinara and the pasta we get this cheesy like substance that is not just good for us but tastes pretty darn good too.

The secret is in the making of the tofu ricotta. You cannot just use tofu. That won’t work. You have to add a bunch of flavor to it. Tofu is just a blank canvas and you have to paint your tastes right on it. My secret? Miso Paste.

What is miso paste?

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Miso is a paste made from soybeans, sea salt, and koji (a mold starter), and often mixed with rice, barley or other grains. The mixture is allowed to ferment for 3 months to 3 years, which produces an enzyme-rich food. The binding agent zybicolin in miso is effective in detoxifying and eliminating elements that are taken into the body through industrial pollution, radioactivity and artificial chemicals in the soil and food system.

What does this mean for our bodies? Well, Miso contains all the essential amino acids we need, making it a complete protein. It also stimulates digestive fluids, is a great source of probiotics, a great source of B12, strengthens the immune system, lowers LDL’s, and is high in antioxidants.

All of that in your pasta! Who’da thought!

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If you decide you don’t want to dive headfirst into Miso Paste and Tofu Ricotta, here’s a tip…just use regular Ricotta. It’ll work out just fine! Sprinkle with a heaping helping of Parm and you’ll be good to go!

Download your recipe for the Tofu Ricotta and Marinara Pasta Bake!

 

(kind of) HEALTHY BROWNIES!

 

Yep.

Brownies.

Healthy.

(kind of).

There is just something about a brownie. It brings back feelings of happiness and home…a true comfort food.

This recipe is an loose adaptation of another brownie recipe from King Arthur Flour.

My version is made with a combination of almond and brown rice flour which makes it Gluten Free! It also has the benefits that come with coconut sugar! Seriously…how could you not love these?!

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While I don’t recommend eating a HUGE pan of these…two or three aren’t too bad for your diet. The combo of brown rice and almond flour lends a fudgy (it’s a word) and dense texture without being too dense. I also used a combo of coconut sugar and palm sugar. The coconut sugar is a lot like brown sugar but not as bad for you!

The palm sugar is a nutrient rich, low-glycemic sugar that is completely natural and unrefined. It is also rich in a number of key vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6.

I also used a natural cocoa that’s pretty high fat. I purchase mine at Penzey’s…and the company can be a bit expensive but it’s totally worth it. They give them the best, most chocolatey, brownie like taste you can imagine!

You can substitute all purpose flour for the almond/brown rice flour and white sure for the coconut/palm sugar. Just keep in mind they are not going to be the same, at all.

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Here’s what you’ll need!

Ingredients:

1 cup Palm Sugar
3/4 cup Coconut Sugar
5 Tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup Cocoa Powder, High Fat
3 Extra Large Eggs
1 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Almond Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Grease an 8″ square pan.

Place the sugars, melted butter, and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the vanilla and cocoa, then add the eggs and mix well. Add the flour and baking powder, stir until just combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 33-38 minutes until the top is set. A skewer tester will come out with a bit of chocolate on the top.

Allow to cool and serve room temperature (they just taste the best at room temp)! Cut into 16 small squares!

Download the Recipe here, (kind of) Healthy Brownies!

 

Toasted Spaghetti Kindonara

I know…two pasta dishes in one week. Here me out…it’s worth it.

I have this thing for Spaghetti Carbonara. Like…a big thing. A few years ago…well more than a few…a friend made this dish for me. It was my first time eating something so good. I ran home to made it myself and was just as satisfied.

Maybe that’s what pushed me to 450 pounds! HA!

I mean…pasta is one of those things that just makes my knees week and mouth water. I get that little ting in the back of my jaw when I taste it. The salty and savory and buttery noodles slipping past my lips and delighting my tastebuds.

Can you tell I’m on a Juice Cleanse? I’m talking about food like we’re dating.

Anyways, this dish right here is a healthier take on Carbonara. What I like to call Kindonara. A healthier spin that is still full of flavor.

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Carbonara is essentially an egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich…but in pasta form. My version is more like an egg, onion, and breadcrumb sandwich but in pasta form.

See…Kindonara.

It’s a thing. Jump on the boat.

 

The real winner? Well…the toasted spaghetti. Yup. TOASTED SPAGHETTI. Trust me, you’ll never have pasta the same way again. Toast that stuff in butter, cook it in chicken broth, go to town.

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So, is this clean and healthy? Technically…yes…but on the real? I wouldn’t go to town on a whole bowl of this by yourself. The recipe feeds 6-8 people, and with over 1/2 stick of butter it could be a bit healthier. This is for those indulgent times where you need a little something to feel comforted. You know? Like a Monday.

Download the recipe for Toasted Spaghetti Kindonara!

 

House Marinara Sauce

Everyone has their own version of Marinara Sauce, right? Growing up I was relegated to eating that horrible red stuff that comes in the glass jar and flavored with simply…MEAT.

What kind of flavor is that anyway? Don’t I want a tomato sauce to taste like…you know…tomatoes? Not…meat? Or a sorry substitute for it?

So, don’t suffer with that sorry excuse for a real marinara sauce when you can whip up my House Marinara in just a few minutes and ingredients.

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What sets this Marinara apart from others? Well, apart from how amazing it tastes, there is a secret ingredient. Coconut Sugar.

Did I lose you?

Hear me out. Tomatoes are acidic and therefore you need something a bit sweeter to counteract that acidity. Some use carrots but my Nana always used white sugar. I use to think it was crazy until I realized she was onto something.

Coconut sugar is a great alternative to white sugar. This sugar is actually derived from the coconut palm tree. It was show to contain minerals such as Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium, along with some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants that may also provide some health benefits. What’s all that mean?

That it is a great alternative to the empty calories of white processed sugar.

AND…a little goes a long way. So, at the very least we are saving on calories, which we all love.

This marinara also contains a powerhouse of flavor that will compliment pasta but not overwhelm it. I also included a recipe for my favorite way to use this sauce up!

Oh…you want another added benefit? This sauce meets the dietary requirements of most people out there! It is vegan, vegetarian, paleo, clean, whole, dairy free, nut free, and gluten free!

Just go make it. You won’t regret it, I promise!

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House Marinara

1 large Onion, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Coconut Sugar
1 tsp Dried Organo
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 Can (28 ounces) Whole Tomatoes, crushed.
1 Cup Pasta Water

Preparation

Heat oil in a large pan, add onion and garlic and cook until onions are slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle on Sugar, Oregano, Basil, Pepper Flakes, Salt, and Pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add tomatoes and Pasta Water. If you’re making this ahead of time just leave out the pasta water and then add it in when reheating.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, until thick and creamy.

Recipe makes enough for about a pound of pasta.

Print the Recipe for my House Marinara!

Print the Recipe for my Simple Weeknight Pasta!

 

Asparagus and Shallot Frittata

I would like to subtitle this blog…”How to Make a Perfect Frittata”.

Okay, I don’t know if it is the perfect frittata but it is really…really…really good.

It includes some of our favorite ingredients in my kitchen. Mushrooms. Asparagus. Shallot. Garlic. Jalapeño. Eggs. Salt.

Why do we love these ingredients?

Well, it may be a bit obvious but they are all extremely healthy and are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that make our body’s run at peak performance.

Of course, you can really mix and match any veg that you’d like, I just threw together a nice collection of ingredients that I had on hand and that tasted just amazing.

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Let’s start here…what is a frittata. When I first explained the concept to some students once I said it was like an egg cake made in a skillet. We cook the veg, add the egg, cook the bottom of our mixture, then throw it under the broiler to cook the top and give it some puffiness, and enjoy.

That’s it. The entire recipe takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and can even be made the day before and served slightly warmed up for brunch. This recipe is small and makes only two servings, however, just double the recipe and you’ll have enough to feed your family. Pair it with some healthy apple cinnamon chia waffles with a sprinkling of flax seed and you’ll have a weekend brunch that will feed your family and keep them full.

First, let’s prep.

Slice a jalapeño in half and remove the membrane/seeds. It’ll be almost unbearable hot if you decide to leave them in, then dice.

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Next, slice your shiitake mushrooms (make sure you clean them!).

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Mince your garlic.

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Slice your shallots.

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Cut your asparagus into 1″ segments.

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Throw all of these into a pan with a touch of extra virgin olive oil, that’s been heated on medium.

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Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are translucent.

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Add the asparagus.

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Cook for a further 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is tender and bright green. Next, crack your eggs, salt and pepper, whisk.

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Add to your skillet. Now don’t do anything for 3 minutes. Resist all urges to move the eggs around. Just say no. Once you see the edges start to set, throw it in the oven under the broiler.

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Let it sit there for 3 more minutes.

Now, pull it out of the oven. Your frittata should be golden brown, a bit puffy, and look super delish.

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Okay…last step…let it rest. Yup, just for 5 minutes. That’s it. Here’s the thing about frittata, they are meant to be eaten at room temp or lower. Me? Well I like ’em hot. I don’t eat food room temperature. It grosses me out.

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So, I serve myself after about 5 long long long minutes and enjoy!

You can serve these with a touch of homemade salsa, a sprinkling of parsley, or a few greens like a peppery arugula.

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Asparagus and Shallot Frittata

If you liked this recipe or any of the other recipes on the blog, take a moment to like this post, comment, and subscribe to get instant notifications anytime I upload a new recipe! Have a wonderful day y’all!

 

Southern Portobello and Kale Salad

In the south we all eat, what we call,

Greens

a.k.a

Collards

a.k.a

Collard Greens

Whatever you call them, usually the dish consists of smoked meat of some kind, salt, some kind of hot sauce, collard greens, and…of course…butter.

Yup. Greens and butter.

That’s why they taste so darn good.

Well, I needed another option to serve at family gatherings or something I could whip up in just 20 or 30 minutes on those nights where I’m just too busy. You know the ones. Where you’re too tired to get off the couch to cook a grand meal.

Thus the Southern Kale and Portobello Salad was born.

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It can be served as a side dish and hold up to any main dish you throw at it…or use it as an entire meal which makes it a great vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and nut free option.

One thing it does have plenty of? Flavor.

First things first, you need to gather your supplies. I know, I know. If you’re like me, you don’t measure out things first…you work as you go. However, everything in this recipe cooks so quickly, you need to have it ready to go.

Second, dice the mushrooms. If you don’t know how to prep portobellos mushrooms…it is as easy as making lemonade.

Never wash mushrooms, they’ll just absorb the water. Simply wipe the top of the mushrooms off with a damp towel. Invest in some good cloth towels. Stop using paper towel. Stop it.

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Then you’re going to slice the mushrooms.

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After which you need to slice off all the meaty brown parts. This is what gives the mushrooms their somewhat dirty and woodsy taste. Which I hate. If you like it, by all means keep them on.

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Next, dice the mushrooms.

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Slice a red onion by cutting it in half and then making thin slices about 1/8″ thick.

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Dice up a small red chili. If you want to discard the seeds, you can do so but I like to keep them in for heat.

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Mince 4 garlic cloves. Simple.

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You’re done! Now combine all those in a big bowl and get a sauté pan on the burner, over medium, and heat a few tbsp of extra virgin olive oil…you know…the good stuff.

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Plop (yup…profesh terms here) all of your prepared veggies in the pan. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes…or until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are tender.

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Once they are tender, salt and pepper everything. Why now? We don’t want to draw too much water out of the mushrooms and so if we salt it now, we season instead of dehydrate.

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Next, throw in 3 cups of sliced kale. Sliced is the key word. Don’t leave these guys too big, kale can be a bit grainy if you’re cooking it and it is too large.

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Sautee, mixing, until the kale is thoroughly mixed in.

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Add in a splash of Red Wine Vinegar and cook until the kale is wilted and tender and bright green and it looks as yummy as can be.

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That’s it!

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This makes enough for one serving if you’re making it as a main dish, but if you are using it as a side dish…split it up between a 2-4 people. Make sure to provide plenty of salt and pepper. This salad needs it. Something about the salt really makes all the flavors pop.

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How easy was that? This is, hands down, my favorite way to serve kale, which is a tricky ingredient to win people over. Put a plate of this in front of anyone and they’ll be begging you for the recipe.

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Just click here to download a handy dandy printable for my Southern Kale and Portobello Salad.