How Much Does it Cost to Juice?

I bought a juicer a couple of years ago and while I don’t juice every day, I try to pull it out every week or two. I’m not going to debate whether or not juicing is the right thing for you (you can read all about that in this post) because I just want to focus on cost. Juicing is trendy but love it or hate it, let’s see what it does to your bank account:

how much does it cost to juice

Store bought juice can run you upwards of $9 a bottle.

daily greens kale

I’ve tried Daily Greens, Suja, & Lumi. They’re all great for convenience but it’s hard for me to justify spending more on a bottle of juice than I do on a whole meal. So for me, juicing only really makes sense to do at home.

I bought the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer from Amazon a little while back. (Oops, I took a picture of the Spanish side of the box!)

juicer

I really like it because it wasn’t super expensive and it works well for me. You can get it for around $50. So the juicer itself is an initial investment but what about the ingredients? How much does it take to make juice?

green juice

Here’s an example with prices based on the produce I buy from Relay Foods:

  •    1 cucumber- $1.00
  •    1/2 bunch of kale- $1.00
  •    1 lemon $0.50
  •    1 tbsp fresh ginger $0.25
  •    3 whole carrots $0.50

Total for a 12oz glass of juice: $3.25.

Here’s another combo that I make regularly:

  •    1 cucumber- $1.00
  •    3 stalks celery $0.75
  •    1 small apple $0.50
  •    1/2 bunch of kale – $1.00
  •    1 lime- $.50

Total for a 12oz glass of juice: $3.50

The trick is to combine ingredients that will give you lots of health benefits and still fill up your glass. For example: Kale is great for you, but it’ll take an entire bunch of kale to get a couple ounces of juice whereas a cucumber might be a little less “potent” but will give you about 1/2 cup of juice. I try to combine juicy ingredients with less juicy ingredients in order to fill my glass without breaking the bank. Fruits and veggies that will give you lots of juice are things like cucumbers, celery, apples, lemons, and oranges. Things like kale, spinach, or broccoli won’t give you as much, so it’s best to combine those with juicer ingredients. For me, I know the combinations of fruits and vegetables that I like will cost around $3-$4 in order to make a large glass. That might still sound like a lot but I typically use produce that I know I won’t necessarily be able to use before it goes bad. I love having kale in the fridge to make salads but sometimes I can’t use up a whole bunch in time. For me, juicing has become pretty cost effective because I rarely load up on produce for the sake of juicing.

If you’re still on the fence about juicing check out this post:

Should you juice

Do you think juicing is worth the cost?

Tone It Up Meals

As I mentioned on Monday’s post, I’m following the Tone It Up Bikini Series Challenge so I’ve been trying to prep lots of healthy this week! While I’m usually pretty good about eating my vegetables, I felt like I’d started going a little crazy with sugar and snacks lately so the Tone It Up challenge has been a nice way to reset!

I started the day off with my standard bowl of Greek yogurt with strawberries & blueberries and a giant mug of coffee.

greek yogurt breakfast

Don’t mess with a good thing, right? I love Greek yogurt and the protein helped keep me full!

The Tone It Up plan recommends a morning snack but I had too many meetings at work so the day flew by and soon it was lunch. I’m so glad our cafeteria has healthy options! I had a salad (which was just mixed greens, veggies, & balsamic vinegar) and a bowl of white bean soup. The soup was loaded with vegetables, white beans, and chickpeas. It was pretty delicious and all the ingredients were pretty healthy.

healthy tone it up lunch

Sorry for the yucky iphone photo. You gotta do what you gotta do when you’re in the cafeteria at work! Nothing like plastic utensils for amazing food styling.

In the afternoon I snacked on a few kale chips (you can get the “cheesy” kale chip recipe here!) and some strawberries.

vegan kale chips

strawberries fruit

When I got home from work, we had to eat dinner pretty quickly because Alex had a softball game. I used a can of Amy’s vegetarian chili to start and then added some extra crushed tomatoes, black beans, spices, and avocado. I think I’d prefer regular vegetarian chili from scratch but when you’re crunched for time, those cans of soup come in handy!

  vegetarian chili with avocado

My goal is to curb my night time snacking but because we ate dinner pretty early, I had a spoonful of peanut butter when we got home from Alex’s softball game. A little nut butter is the easiest snack!

For my workout, I did this Tone It Up ab workout and I was definitely feeling it the next day. I love that their workouts are pretty fast and straightforward but they still make me sore! I’m so glad that Samantha & Veronica are keeping me accountable and the whole Tone It Up community is so supportive!

What have you been eating lately?

I’m linking up with Jenn for What I Ate Wednesday!

“Cheesy” Kale Chips [+ Tone It Up Bikini Series]

Happy Monday! After being out of town for a week it feels so good to be home and getting back into the swing of things! I decided I might as well hit the ground running by starting the Tone It Up Bikini Series which kicks off today. I have a few friends who are doing it with me which makes it so much more fun. Cheers to accountability!

It definitely feels like a fresh start since our fridge and pantry were nearly empty. I ordered everything from Relay Foods which made it easy. (If you’re in the Virginia/DC/Maryland areas and you haven’t tried Relay yet, I highly recommend it! You can even get $3o off your first order here.) I stocked up on tons of fresh veggies, fruits, veggie burgers, tempeh, & beans. I’m planning on making zucchini pasta, stir fries, and burrito bowls in the next few days.

In preparation for some healthy snacking, I made some kale chips yesterday afternoon. I’ve made lots of different types of kale chips but this particular version is my favorite. Even Alex couldn’t stop eating them!

vegan kale chips

5.0 from 1 reviews

“Cheesy” Kale Chips
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This vegan kale chips have a cheesy flavor and are packed with vitamins and minerals!
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp parsley
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Wash the kale and remove from stems. Tear into smaller pieces.
  3. In a bowl, combine everything except the kale. Stir until well mixed.
  4. Massage the kale with the nutritional yeast mixture until the kale is evenly coated. Make sure that none of the piece have too much seasoning on them, or they’ll be soggy instead of crispy!
  5. Spread on a lightly greased baking sheet, ensuring that they’re not overlapping or stacked.
  6. Bake for 6-8 minutes, checking every few minutes. Be careful because they can go from undercooked to burned very quickly! Every oven is different so be sure to keep an eye on them.

These are a perfect snack but make sure to keep them in a plastic or glass container because they crumble easily!

vegan kale chips

I’ll be making lots of “Tone It Up” approved meals over the next couple of months! If you haven’t signed up for the Bikini Series yet you can sign up here! (It’s free and it’s an awesome community of girls!) If you’re following along, let me know! The more the merrier.

What’s your favorite healthy snack?

My Favorite Recipes from Other Food Bloggers

One of the best parts about blogging is joining in an amazing community of other bloggers! I guess you could think of other bloggers as competition but I’ve met so many friends through blogging that I like to think of it as more of a team. As much as I love making up my own recipes there are a few I’ve tried from other food bloggers that I just can’t get enough of. They’re so good that it’s worth following the recipe exactly. I bet I’ve made each of these recipes at least a dozen times.

Brittany’s garlicky kale salad is actually a “copycat” recipe from Whole Foods and she nailed it. This has been my favorite kale salad dressing for years now. I don’t live super close to a Whole Foods so it’s nice being able to make it from home! Every recipe I’ve tried from Brittany’s blog has been delicious but this is one I just can’t stop making. And like all her recipes, it’s healthy!

IMG_5821

Jenna’s Channa Masala recipe was the first Indian recipe I tried. Honestly, I didn’t know anything at all about Indian food so I knew I needed to follow a recipe. This one did not disappoint. I still make it at least once a month. I love that the spiciness level can be adjusted so if I’m making it for myself I can make it my-eyes-are-watering spicy, but I can tone it down if I’m cooking for others. The other great thing about this dish is that most of the ingredients aren’t perishable, so I can keep my pantry stocked at all times.

Jenn’s tomato soup with mozzarella balls is one of Alex’s favorite recipes and it’s a perfect week night dinner! The tomato soup alone is perfect but the mozzarella balls take this tomato soup to a whole new level. It’s like your tomato soup married your grilled cheese and you’re like… finally.  I could basically eat this every day and be content.

I’ve been attempting more recipes lately because even though following a recipe is harder for me that just throwing something together, it’s a great way to learn a few things!

What are some of your favorite recipes?

What I Ate: For Easter

I dragged my camera with me to Ohio with every intention of taking pictures along the way but I certainly didn’t do as well as I hoped. Oops! I thought it would still be fun to share my meals from Easter Sunday with you. It was so much fun being home with my family!

I woke up early and started the day off with a bowl of yogurt, berries, and coffee.

greek yogurt breakfast

We headed to church for our Easter service which was so fun since I got to see a bunch of people from the church I grew up in. My mom and I played a duet which was a little scary since I hadn’t played piano for anyone in quite some time.

After church we grabbed lunch at Max & Erma’s with some family friends and I had a black bean burger (with a side salad that I ate earlier).

black bean burger

It was really good but not quite as good as the Northstar Cafe veggie burger!

I hit the grocery store and picked up tons of produce. My mom and I made (a very non-traditional) Easter dinner and I had a bunch of kale salad with some roasted broccoli.

kale salad Kale, purple cabbage, apples, & Parmesan with lemon, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. I also added some walnuts on top after this picture!

I ended the night over a “skinny” mojito with a few of my good friends and ate some chips and salsa. I managed not to eat the whole plate, so that seems like a win ;) My camera was off duty so I didn’t take any pictures but it was awesome getting to catch up. This weekend has felt like high school with the amount of time I’ve been able to spend with my high school girlfriends!

What did you do for Easter?

I’m linking up with Jenn for What I Ate Wednesday!

3 Tips for Healthy Travels

It’s been an awesome weekend of catching up with family and friends. I flew back to Ohio for a long-ish weekend and I’ve been reunited with so many wonderful people. Friday afternoon I drove all around the city visiting friends and family. After quite a few cups of coffee with my Grandma, I headed to Dan the Baker’s toast bar. I got to catch up with my dear friend (and former piano teacher) Christine and it was so lovely just talking and talking over toast.

toast with christine

Yes, I got a flight of toast! Seriously, who wants to open a toast bar with me in Richmond? Christine and I even got meet Dan the baker so that was pretty cool! I also got to enjoy dinner at my very favorite restaurant in Columbus, Northstar Cafe. Their veggie burger is so amazing I can’t even explain it.

northstar veggie burger

It’s not easy staying healthy when I’m traveling but I’ve been trying to do a few small things to keep myself in check.

kale salad

I aim for a salad at every meal. As much as I adore sweet potato fries, I know I’ll still enjoy a veggie burger if it’s served with a side of greens. That’s what I had when I went to Northstar Cafe on Saturday and Max & Erma’s on Sunday. Both have awesome veggie burgers and the mixed greens on the side helped balance things out.

I’ve also been trying to walk as much as possible. I brought my pedometer with me and luckily my parents are both really into “getting in their steps”, too! We walked around the neighborhood when it was nice out and we walked around Target when it wasn’t. (It’s amazing how many steps you can get in at Target! Luckily, my small suitcase prevented me from making any impulse purchases.) I made sure I walked at least 10,000 steps every day. It’s not too hard to do if I keep track, but I do have to make a conscious effort!

I’ve been trying to choose water before snacks. It’s not an easy one because I naturally reach for a snack anytime I’m near the kitchen but I know that a lot of times I’m really just thirsty. I try to have water first and if I’m still hungry, then I’ll eat a little something.

I ate out a lot over the weekend but I tried to eat mostly healthy dishes (except for that spinach dip…) and on Sunday night I decided to do some cooking. I made roasted broccoli and a huge kale salad, pictured above. I really do love my vegetables and sometimes it’s just a matter of hitting the grocery store and restocking the fridge!

It’s been so much fun catching up with friends in Columbus! I’m headed to Nashville to work tomorrow so I’ll be attempting to stay healthy at GrowCo. Wish me luck!

Do you have any tips for traveling?

Greek Cucumber & Tomato Salad

We can agree that all salad ingredients are not created equal, right? I mean, I love my veggies but I’m not going to pretend that the lettuce is better than the feta cheese. Right? So that’s what I love about this salad. It’s really just the good stuff, no filler. I told Alex I was going to make a cucumber tomato salad and he said “Don’t you need to get lettuce?” That’s when I said those 5 words he’s been longing to hear since we got married: “No, we don’t need lettuce.”

I do want to point out that this is still a real salad. This isn’t a potato “salad” or a pasta “salad”. Those dishes have their place but I don’t think they deserve a salad label. Still, that’s an argument for another day and we need to get to this recipe. <End Rant>

So I made this cucumber salad for our small group as an accompaniment to pizza. It’s always nice to have some veggies on the table!

greek tomato salad

5.0 from 1 reviews

Greek Cucumber & Tomato Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 large cucumbers
  • 2 large tomatoes or 1 pint of cheery tomatoes
  • ¼ small red onion
  • 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or Greek salad dressing
  • Dash of Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Wash and slice the cucumbers length wise.
  2. Chop to ½” slices.
  3. Wash and chop the tomatoes into chunks or slice the cherry tomatoes in half.
  4. Slice the red onion into thin slivers.
  5. Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion into a bowl.
  6. Sprinkle with feta cheese and toss with olive oil.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

cucumber and tomato salad

If you want to get really fancy, you can add this Greek salad dressing on top but it works just fine with plain olive oil.

Easy greek salad dressing

This is definitely the kind of salad that you can prepare with dinner and then take the leftovers for lunch. I packed up a container to take with me the next day and it was just as delicious! Since there isn’t any lettuce, you don’t really have to worry about wilting.

What’s your favorite salad ingredient?

What I Ate: Saturday

This past weekend was splendid. As I mentioned on Monday, it was a little chaotic but it certainly wasn’t boring and I’d take chaos over boredom any day. We woke up around 7am and I immediately made some coffee and ate breakfast. I’m one of those people that has to eat breakfast and have coffee as soon as I get out of bed. Why wait, ya know?

good news granola

So it was Greek yogurt, frozen blueberries and this Hudson Henry granola which is not only local but also delicious. I’m pretty sure I could eat an entire bag straight from the bag but I’ve managed not to do that in order to have some to sprinkle on my morning yogurt. A true test in self control, I assure you.

As soon as we finished breakfast, we got to work. Alex set up his new Miter saw (which was an undertaking in itself) and we started adding some trim to the stairs. It basically involved lots of cutting and lots of small pieces of trim. It was time consuming but I did learn how to use a nail gun so that was pretty cool. (Honestly, it was harder to aim than I expected, but had we not been using such tiny pieces of wood, I think I would have had a much higher success rate.) I also ran outside every hour or so to add another coat of spray paint on this patio furniture.

Somewhere in between the stair trim and the spray paint I whipped up a pan of baked ziti. (It’s a super easy recipe so that made it easy!) We took a quick break around noon for lunch. I had a giant plate of kale salad with some almonds sprinkled on top for a little extra protein. I wanted to use up the rest of the kale in the fridge and I had a bottle garlic tahini dressing from Whole Foods (which is the best) so it was an awesome lunch.

kale with almonds

Of course, running around the house painting and nailing certainly worked up my appetite and I was hungry by 3pm. Our house is seriously lacking in the snack department (which is kind of intentional… because I can be a huge snacker) but luckily I had popcorn in the pantry. After a few minutes in the microwave I was happily munching. I intended to share it with Alex but if we’re being honest, it wasn’t really a fair deal.

popcorn

Obviously we only eat popcorn in adorable polka dot containers. Obviously. (Not really. But I found them in the cabinet while I was cleaning and they were just too cute not to be in a picture.)

Once we wrapped up the house projects my brother, sister in law, and nephews came over to visit. I hadn’t seen my little nephews in a while so it was awesome getting to play with them. We all had dinner together before the Wisconsin game.

baked ziti recipe

click for the recipe

Mmm. Ziti. Carbs + Cheese = happy me.

We all watched the first half of the game together and then I headed over to Christina’s house for a glass of wine, some snacks & few girl scout cookies. By that point, my camera was off duty so there is no evidence of said cookies but trust me… they we’re good.

It was a jam packed Saturday but it was full of all the things I love, so no complaints here!

Are you a first-thing-in-the-morning breakfast eater?

I’m linking up with Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!

Easy Shortbread Cookies

Sundays are usually when I clean the house and prepare for the week. I get the kitchen cleaned, I pack up leftovers for lunches, I get laundry put away. I get ready.

But last night, I walked into the house after an awesome night of Cooking Club and the house was just… chaos. The latest Home Depot purchases are scattered around the kitchen floor. Laundry piles are everywhere. The newspaper is in 10 parts around the living room. The sink is full of dishes which can’t go into the dishwasher because it’s full. Mind you, we don’t even have kids. How did we make such a mess?

And believe it or not, we actually worked pretty hard this weekend. Alex bought a miter saw that had to be set up and then we worked on wood trim going up the stairs. I also painted some patio furniture which required 4 coats of spray paint.

We ran errands and we got stuff done and yet there is still. more. to. be. done. I’m not the only one feeling this, right?

So in the midst of the mess I decided to make cookies. (Hey, the kitchen was already messy, so why not?) There is something peaceful about baking and this recipe is so simple that it didn’t require any brain power to make. Really, all it takes is some patience, although a good stand mixer certainly helps.

Sometimes you just need that recipe that let’s your mind wander while you mix. So these cookies aren’t particularly healthy but they are simple and delicious… and sometimes that’s what life requires.

3 ingredient shortbread cookies no egg

5.0 from 2 reviews

Easy Butter Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Makes 10 small cookies. You can add a splash of vanilla extract or some sprinkles if you want to spice it up!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix for 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes.
  3. I used a stand mixer on low. You could use a hand mixer, if needed.
  4. Scoop into tablespoons onto a cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes until they just begin to brown on the bottom.
  5. Remove from the pan immediately after you take them out of the oven.

This simple little recipe only makes about 10 cookies but you could easily double or triple it if you wanted to make a larger batch. A small batch was just perfect for us.

easy 3 ingredient cookies

After I made the cookies I tackled those dishes in the sink and the piles of laundry. Alex helped move the Home Depot haul down to the basement and after we got the house into some sort of order we still had time to sit down and enjoy a cookie together. Not a bad way to start the week.

Was your weekend productive, relaxing, or a mix of both?

Eating Through Carytown: A River City Food Tour

A few weeks ago, my friend Brian asked if I’d like to check out his food tour of Carytown. A food tour? In one of my favorite parts of the city? Um, yes. Brian started River City Food Tours in January, but he hadn’t had a vegetarian try out the tour yet. That actually didn’t surprise me because as much as I love food, I don’t really do a lot of foodie “events” since most of them revolve around meat. When Brian told me the food tour had vegetarian options at each stop, I started getting pretty excited. (Full disclosure: Brian let Alex and I try the tour out free of charge, but he didn’t ask me to blog about it, I just loved it so much I had to share!)

My old apartment was one block away from Carytown, so I’d been to all of the restaurants we stopped at, but I had a new-to-me dish at almost every stop! I also learned bits and pieces of Carytown’s history along the way, which was pretty cool. We started out at Carytown Cupcakes where I had a taste of a Chocolate Potato cupcake and an Irish Car Bomb cupcake. The potato one was a bit strange (although it was good… sort of like a chocolatey potato bread) but the Irish Car Bomb was definitely my favorite.

carytown cupcakes food tour

I didn’t realize that Carytown Cupcakes does a different flavor theme each week! We caught them on their St. Patrick’s Day flavors but this week I think they did different ones for the French Film Festival. It’s a cool idea and it’s nice to know that they’ll always have new flavors to try!

We headed further down Carytown and Brian stopped along the way to tell us about how Carytown got it’s name. It was nice to have a little history in there! (I mean, it’s not just about the food… right?) We stopped into Water Coastal Kitchen where the meat eaters had fried oysters and Alex and I had a roasted red pepper stuffed with quinoa.

water grille food tour

It was served with pickled celery and honestly that was my favorite part. I need to try pickling some soon.

Brian, our tour guide for the day!

Brian, our tour guide for the day!

Our next stop was my favorite. We went into Xtra’s, where I’ve been lots of times before, but they made us all taquitos and they were amazing.

Xtras Food Tour

The meat eaters had something with beef but ours was potato, goat cheese, and jalapeno. Yessss. It was so good and it was a huge portion size for a tasting! We stayed long enough for me to sip on a glass of red wine which was perfect. This was definitely my favorite stop of the tour!

We made a few more stops at the Virginia Diner Shoppe (the Old Bay peanuts were my favorite) and at Don’t Look Back for tacos.

Virginia Diner food Tour

At Don’t Look Back, they served us vegetarians the potato taco and the TVP (textured vegetable protein) taco. That’s exactly what I would have ordered had I been there on my own so it was perfect.

Our very last stop was the most unique. The Nile, a local Ethiopian restaurant recently partnered with Portrait House, a bar in Carytown (that previously served pizza and burgers) so now they have an Ethiopian menu and a great list of beers on tap. Interesting, right?

The Nile Food Tour

I don’t know what either of these things are called (much less, how to spell them) but the dish on the left was Injera bread rolled with a spicy, creamy cheese. It was super spicy, but I liked it. The pastry on the right was savory and filled with lentils. I loved this dish. I’ll have to figure out what it’s called so I can order it again. Does anyone know?

The tour lasted about 2 1/2 hours and we were stuffed by the end. It was a fun way to experience Carytown a little differently. If you’re from Richmond or just visiting for the day, I’d highly recommend this! It’s best if you’re a somewhat adventurous eater, although it’s nothing too crazy. I absolutely loved knowing there was a vegetarian option waiting for me at each stop rather than wondering if I’d be able to eat something. It’s also a fun way to explore Carytown and learn a little bit more about the history. If you’re interested in checking it out, visit Brian’s site, River City Food Tours.

Have you ever done a food tour?