Wednesday, November 28, 2012

spaghetti squash sesame noodles

Since we live in Houston, we are just now creeping into fall-like weather.  For many of us fall goes hand-in-hand with pumpkins and winter squashes, which is why I wanted to test a new spaghetti squash recipe with an asian flair.  The flavor was outstanding!  A, went back for seconds!  Definitely try this recipe out when you get a chance.  The only changes I made was to add fresh ginger for flavor and bok choy for more substance.

spaghetti squash sesame noodles
adapted from Family Fresh Cooking

Monday, November 26, 2012

detox kale salad..

enough said.

detox kale salad

1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 beet, roasted and diced
2 tbsp pistachios
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese
s&p, 1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp olive oil

Clean one bunch of kale in a salad spinner and chop roughly.  Then begin massaging the kale with a pinch of s&p, extra virgin olive oil and garlic powder.  Add the remaining ingredients and serve with a glass of kombucha of your choice.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

peanut tofu udon noodle bowl

A and I generally have a stir fry or noodles on our weekly menu at home so when I saw this post on eat, live, run blog I knew I had to try it for one of those late nights at work.  There's something about eating a warm meal in a large bowl doused with lots of sriracha, especially when it's warm outside!  I followed this recipe mostly, except didn't have any bok choy or red bell pepper in the fridge but decided to toss in extra carrots and onions.  The only "unhealthy" part of this meal was the amount of peanut butter however you could swap out PB with almond butter.  Hope you enjoy!

peanut tofu udon noodle bowl
adapted from eat live run

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Snapshots of our last trip to NYC to visit my bestie, Megz and her future hubby!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

spinach lasagna rolls

Another great recipe from skinnytaste.  I enjoyed the presentation of this dish but would serve with additional marinara sauce as it turned out a bit dry.  Enjoy the sneaky pic of A and Shorty!

spinach lasagna rolls
recipe below from skinnytaste

10 lasagna noodles, cooked
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and fresh pepper
1 jar marinara sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 10 rolls.

Serve with garlic bread and red wine.

Monday, August 20, 2012

fruit pizza

I absolutely love this recipe because you get the thrill of eating dessert but can feel great about eating fruits in the process!  Feel free to change up the fruits, next time I will add kiwi for more color.

fruit pizza

1 frozen sugar cookie roll
1 can of icing
various fruits (i used grapes, peaches and raspberries)

Roll out the sugar cookie dough on a pizza pan in any shape desired.  Reduce baking time by 1 minute to ensure it is not crispy.  Once baked and cooled for at least 1 hour, spread an even layer of the icing.  Add the fruits immediately prior to serving.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

eggplant panini & avocado white bean hummus

My brother and sister-in-law gifted us a panini press/grill several months ago so we've been discovering more recipes to utilize this great appliance.  I found this recipe on skinnytaste one morning and knew I had to make it that evening.

eggplant panini
adapted from skinnytaste

1 large eggplant
olive oil spray
1 whole grain loaf
1 mozzarella ball
4 basil leaves (didn't have enough to make a pesto due to a pesky grasshopper in my garden)
1 tomato, sliced
s & p, to taste

Slice the eggplant into slices. Place the eggplant slices on a plate and season with salt; set aside about 30 minutes. Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Preheat panini grill. Spray the eggplant with olive oil and s&p.  Grill eggplant about 7-8 minutes, turning once half way through. Set aside.  Layer the ingredients on the bread, lightly spray the bread and place on panini press.  Once cheese has melted and bread is toasted, remove from the press and serve immediately!

avocado & white bean hummus

1 avocado
15 oz. white beans (I used fresh that I had prepared and frozen)
3 garlic gloves
s & p
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil

Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse for 1 minute.  Taste and add any seasonings if necessary.  Serve alongside the eggplant panini as a dip or with pretzel chips.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy One Year!

Happy One Year Blog-iversary to VegOutGirl!

I've had a great year capturing my recipes and travel and hope you all have been enjoying the updates!  More recipes to come in's been a busy summer :)

xo, SD

Thursday, July 12, 2012

white bean, quinoa and tomato salad

After a fabulous vacation in Sonoma, California, A and I were in desperate need of a detox diet!  I had each of these ingredients already in my pantry or fridge so it was a quick meal to pull together after work.  Hope you try it out :)  

white bean, quinoa and tomato salad

2 cups quinoa, prepared
1 can of canellini beans, drained and rinsed (I made fresh beans)
4 small sweet campari tomatoes, quartered
2 petite cucumbers, sliced
1 avocado, diced
salt & pepper, to taste
splash of balsamic vinegar

Layer the ingredients and serve!

Serves 4 people

Monday, July 9, 2012

vitamix recipes: juices & smoothies

A few weeks ago, A and I purchased a Vitamix from Costco!  This thing is beyond amazing!  If you're in the market for a juicer, forget it and splurge on the Vitamix.  Every morning we start our day with delicious smoothies or juices.  The Vitamix came with their own recipe book but we've found it easiest to just throw in any fruits and/or veggies we have on hand.


Kale, cucumber, pineapple, greek yogurt
Grapefruit, carrot, ginger
Papaya, orange, banana
Cucumber, mint cooler
Celery, carrot, tomato - V8 Cocktail!
Pineapple, orange, ginger
Carrot, celery, orange, ginger
Kale, mango, strawberry, blueberry

I'm excited to try more of the Green Monster Smoothies, but I don't think A is as thrilled!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

tofu and califlower curry

tofu and cauliflower curry
inspired by Cooking Light

After holding onto a head of cauliflower for about a week, I finally decided to use it up by a recipe I found in the Cooking Light recipe.  I followed the recipe besides excluding a can of diced tomatoes, roasting the onions with the cauliflower instead of sauteing and serving the curry with brown rice instead of basmati rice.  Overall I enjoyed the dish and will definitely make it again!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

pav bhaji, indian street food

One of the first times I truly enjoyed this dish was while we visited my grandparents in India.  We went to dinner at Havmor, what seems to be more of a fastfood restaurant but delicious nonetheless. I remember ordering this dish but not knowing that it would be doused with butter and 4 white bread buns drenched in more butter.  In any case, I devoured this meal then but now I definitely lightened up the recipe by decreasing the amount of butter used as well as swapping out the white buns for whole wheat buns.  I hope you'll try this recipe out!  

pav bhaji, indian street food
learned from my mom

1 cauliflower, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 potato, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 bag of frozen green peas

Put all vegetables in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes and place aside for next step.

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
Rai (black mustard seeds)
Hing (asoefetida)
Everest pavbhaji masalo
Hardar (tumeric)
1/3 bag of frozen corn

In 2 tbsp of butter, add 1/2 tsp of rai and once it begins to sputter add the hing, garlic, onions, jalapeno and ginger.  Then add 2 tbsp of Everest pavbhaji masalo, salt and hardar.  On medium high heat, once evenly mixed add the diced tomatoes and cooked vegetables.  Mash the mixture and add extra masalo if necessary. Add the frozen corn and the juice of 1 lemon.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

kale and roasted beet salad

I'm not sure how you all feel about kale, but I'm really into kale whether it be raw, cooked and in green smoothies!  With the warm Houston weather, I've been craving cool salads with lots of flavor and texture.  Try this recipe and I promise you'll love it as much as I do :)

kale and roasted beet salad
adapted from Yes, I want Cake

1 head kale, trimmed and washed
1 beet, sliced thinly
1 oz gorgonzola cheese
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/8 cup smoked almonds, roughly chopped
handful of dried cranberries
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay beet slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway in between.

Mix extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, massage it into the kale. Let it set for a few minutes to help break down the kale. Then add the rest of the ingredients (including the roasted beets) and toss to combine.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

black bean mexican pizza

black bean mexican pizza

1 whole wheat pizza crust
1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 white onion, finely diced
1 tomato, diced
10-12 green olives, sliced
3/4 cup mexican cheese
3 tbsp jalapenos, finely diced
1/4 cup salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prebake pizza crust for 5-7 minutes.

In a food processor, blend black beans with a few tbsp of water.  Mix in the cumin, paprika, red chili powder and salsa. 

Once the crust is prebaked.  Evenly spread the black bean mixture, then add the remaining toppings and cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes and enjoy with a side of ranch dressing!

Serves 2-3 people

Monday, April 30, 2012

butternut squash mac-N-cheese

butternut squash mac-N-cheese
adapted from Cooking Light

All Sunday, A and I kept thinking of things to make for dinner and then finally I suggested macNcheese, but with a twist.  I had a container of frozen butternut squash from Costco which is the base veggie in the cheese/milk sauce.  The only changes I made to the recipe were using Smoked Gouda and Parmesan instead of the parm-reggiano/romano.  I served this with a side of our favorite spicy picante sauce.

Serves 6-8. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

spinach lasagna

spinach lasagna

1/2 box of whole wheat lasagna shells
1 container low-fat ricotta cheese
1.5 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 bag, frozen chopped spinach (thawed, drained)
1 cup, frozen mixed veggies (thawed, rinsed)
1/2 medium sized white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced lengthwise
1 bottle marinara sauce
crushed pepper, 1 tsp
italian seasoning, 1 tsp
s&p, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna shells and cook for 8 to 10 minutes; drain.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions, garlic in olive oil until onions are tender.  Add spinach and mixed veggies and heat evenly.  Combine ricotta cheese, salt, italian seasoning, pepper, and crushed pepper in a bowl.

Pour marianara sauce to cover the bottom of the 9x13 inch baking dish and lay 3 lasagna shells. Spread spinach/veggie mixture over shells. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.  Repeat steps with ricotta cheese, sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 3 lasagna shells.  Lastly add lasagna shells and remaining mozzarella cheese.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Serve with green salad, garlic bread and red wine :)

Serves 4.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

buddha's delight with tofu, broccoli and water chestnuts

Buddha's Delight with Tofu, Broccoli and Water Chestnuts
Adapted from Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarian

3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp agave nectar

1 pkg extra firm tofu, 1" cubes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 small heads of broccoli, chopped (florets and most of the stem)
3 carrots, sliced diagonally
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups snow peas, trimmed
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
1 tsp cornstarch
1 cup brown rice, cooked (about 3 cups cooked)

In a shallow dish, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and agave nectar. Toss the tofu in and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. When ready to use, drain the tofu and reserve the marinade.

Cook broccoli florets, carrot, and broccoli stems in boiling water for 2 minutes; drain. Plunge into ice water. Drain and set aside.

Heat canola oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add tofu and stir fry for 5 minutes, until lightly browned on all sides. Add in onions, ginger and garlic - stir fry for 30 seconds. Add in broccoli and carrots - stir fry for 1 minute. Add in snow peas and water chestnuts - stir fry for 1 minute. Whisk together marinade and cornstarch. Add this mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until marinade has thickened. Serve with rice and Sriracha.

Serves 4

Thursday, April 5, 2012

4th Anniversary & Neilesh/Ashima's engagement!

Last weekend, A and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary in Austin, TX, the city where we fell in love almost 10 years ago!  After work on Friday, A whisked me to dinner at Vespaio on South Congress.  We were amazed at how much this street has changed over the past few years.  It's lined with amazing restaurants, cute boutiques, funky food trucks and of course fabulous views of the downtown Austin skyline.

Source: Google
Source: Google

Here's a few pictures after sharing a bottle of red wine and delicious italian food :)

On Saturday, we headed to San Antonio to celebrate the engagement of our good friend, Neilesh to Ashima.  However, first we quenched our thirst with a stop at Freetail Brewery.  A enjoyed the sampler while I got the La Rubia, a wheat beer.

The engagement ceremony was held at his parent's home, followed by drinks/dinner/dancing!  Congrats to the happy couple :)

The next morning, as we drove home we were in awe as we passed by the gorgeous Texas wildflowers growing on the sides of the highways.  If you remember, last year we enjoyed our anniversary weekend in the Texas Hill Country with those same amazing wildflowers.  Although this weekend was not only about A and I, it was nice to be away together.  On to year 5...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

lemon garlic steamed artichokes

lemon garlic steamed artichokes 

This is one of my favorite vegetables to prepare because of the flavor and oddly enough, the determination required to get to the heart.  In the past, I've baked the artichokes but I find that steaming yields a better textureTo learn about initial prep of the artichokes click here.

2 fresh artichokes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, halved
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

Meanwhile, in a large pot place a few inches of water and insert a steaming basket.  Once they're cleaned and trimmed, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and juice of half a lemon onto each choke. Then add the garlic, salt and pepper.  Add the artichokes to the steaming basket and cover.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes.  You will be able to remove the outer leaves with ease when they are ready.  One by one you will remove the leaves and scrape away the flesh.  Once you get to the choke (inedible furry part), scrape this away until you see the remaining bottom.  This is called the heart of the artichoke, and my favorite part! Enjoy

*Many recipes call for heavy butter sauces to dip each artichoke into but I enjoy mine plain and simple.

Serves 2

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sorry for dropping off....

...I've been busy with weddings, wedding and more weddings the past month but wanted to pop in quickly before sneaking away for a quick getaway with A to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary!  Here's a picture of us 4 years ago after we were officially announced husband and wife! Gosh we look sooo young!  Time definitely does fly by when you're having fun!  I can't wait to see what's in store for us. xo, sd

Friday, February 17, 2012

park city, utah & A's 30th birthday celebration

During MLK weekend, A and I headed off to Park City, Utah to celebrate his 30th Birthday as well as partake in an annual ski weekend tradition our friends have been hosting for almost 10 years! It was great to meet new friends as well as create more memories with our great friends.

Our first stop after we landed at SLC airport was to Squatters, a brewery/restaurant that A and I visited during our last trip to SLC.  We started off with a beer sampler and some yummy salads.  We then headed to our fabulous home we rented for the weekend equipped with a huge theatre, jacuzzi spa, private home gym, huge kitchen and probably 5-6 bedrooms...I lost count :)

beautiful scenery but horrible snow levels!

huge theatre!

Each night we cooked food together, played games and had fun.  The majority of the weekend (aside from skiing and watching football) was spent playing either beer pong or flip cup.

hook 'em!

During the second day while everyone, except Ashima and I, went skiing/snowboarding we ventured into the Park City downtown square for massages/facials and explore the shops by foot.  It was such a cutesy town area with gorgeous views of the slopes.  Maybe next year I'll actually go onto the slopes...tbd!

Later that night after everyone cleaned up from their time on the slopes we cooked dinner together then ventured back into the downtown square for some bar-hopping.

To end the trip with a bang, we celebrated A's 30th birthday during our last few hours at the house before catching our 7am flight.  Happy Birthday A!!!

terry, A, me, neilesh

Goodbye PC!  See you next year in Whistler!