Southwestern Salad

This salad may be low calories but it is no slouch when it comes to filling you up!  Using salsa verde instead of an oil laden dressing will keep it light and all the natural flavors of the food can shine through!  Adding beans packs it with protein and the avocado gives us  some nice healthy fat (why not get your fats straight from the whole food, right?!). Plus all the amazing colors are oh so pretty!!!


Southwestern Salad

(Print this recipe!)

by Sarah Collins Chapman

Keywords: salad vegan vegetarian salsa black beans Mexican Southwest



Ingredients (2 big salads)

  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped and rinsed
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh, canned or defrosted frozen corn will all work fine)
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde (or more to taste)
  • squirt of lime juice
  • tortilla strips(or crushed tortilla chips) and cilantro for garnish


Layer lettuce, beans, corn, tomatoes avocado, and onion in a very large bowl or into two large individual salad bowls.

Top salads with salsa verde, a squirt of lime juice, some tortilla strips and a little cilantro.

Serve immediately

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This is one that we’ll definitely be making again and again!!



Weekly Wrap-Up: 1/23-1/29

Hey y’all!  I really meant to post this this weekend but I was super busy so it just didn’t end up happening. 

I decided I would try out a weekly wrap-up post instead of making separate posts for my weigh in, work outs, new stuff I’ve tried, and just general goings-on.  I thought it might be nice if I kind of condense it all.  It’s just an idea, so we’ll see where it goes!

First my weekly weigh- in!

Last week’s weight: 175
This week’s weight: 174.6

Change this week: – .4
Total weight lost:  35.4 lbs!!

I gained about 5 lbs during finals and Christmas break (stresssss) so I decided that I wanted to lose that 5 lbs by the end of January.  And if I made it I would reward myself with something.  I left the reward open ended so that I could choose whatever I wanted when I reached my goal. I doesn’t usually work for me to choose the prize ahead of time because I’ll just end up saying “screw it” and buy the item for myself regardless of the outcome. Anyway the first weigh in of January I lost 4.8 lbs!  And then the second weigh in I lost .2 and then this week, of course, I lost .4! 

About halfway through the month I started seeing people tweet about the Nike Fuel Band.  I was curious about it so I started looking at it.  The more I read about it the more I knew I had to have one!  So since I was so close to that 5 lbs and I was confident I would make it I went ahead and got one when they went on pre-order (they’re not actually available until the end of February).  I’ve now earned my reward and I can’t wait to get it- I think it will be delivered on Feb. 22nd!  I can’t wait to test it out and let everyone know all about it!

Since I did so well this month I’m going to keep my weight loss goal on the smaller side for next month and say that I would like to lose 2 lbs.  That’s 1/2 a lb per week. I think that is attainable but a little daunting since I normally lose .2-.4 lbs at a time.


Weekly recipe round up!

This is totally new!  I thought I would talk about recipes/meals I make each week for anyone that was looking for ideas for tasty healthy meatless meals!

So we’ll divide this up into my personal recipes I posted this week

Barley, Tomato and Arugula salad!



Chocolate Cupcakes!


And recipes I made and loved this week! (cell phone pics+ bad lighting. Sorry!)

Veggie Pot Pie stew and sweet potato biscuits from Appetite for Reduction.  The stew was fabulous, but the sweet potato biscuits were not unfortunately

2012-01-23 20.04.35

Tamale Casserole from The Happy Herbivore.  This was delish- the husband was a huge fan!  We served it with some steamed collard greens.

2012-01-26 19.43.49


And I played with a new product called soy curls.  More on this later- I’m planning a whole post about their fabulousness!  I followed these directions and we had BBQ sandwiches out of them served with oven fries!   Will definitely be using soy curls again- so delicious!!!

2012-01-24 20.03.09


And finally let’s wrap up this little wrap up since it’s starting to get kind of long.


This week’s work outs!

My runs have been epic failures most of this week but I have been doing some strength training so I’m pretty proud of that!


This one was HORRIBLE!  I’ve been having such a hard time breathing lately.  I go through this every winter with breathing problems and bronchitis.  Blah. (p.s. thanks for the encouragement Diana and Laura!)


I was feeling a little better on this one…


And I finally got a long run under my belt on Saturday!



This post has gotten longer than planned, so I’ll go ahead and say adios!  Have a great day!


Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Happy National Chocolate Cake day!!!

Sometimes you want to splurge on something full of sugar, fat and pure decadence.  And that’s A-Okay!  In fact moderation is a big part of living a healthy lifestyle!  But sometimes you just want something sweet and chocolatey without breaking the calorie bank. Without it being full of fat and sugar.  This recipe is for you! 

In the past 6 months or so I’ve stopped cooking with oil (oil is totally over rated!)  And I’ve found that you don’t lose any flavor or moisture cooking with applesauce instead of oil or margarine- try this recipe or any of my muffin recipes if you don’t believe me- I swear you won’t miss the oil or butter!!

The thing about these cupcakes though is that you can’t tell that they’re almost fat free!  They taste super decadent without losing that sweet chocolatey flavor or a bit of moisture.  Give them a try- you won’t regret it!


Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

(Print this recipe!)

by Sarah Collins Chapman

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Keywords: bake dessert vegan vegetarian whole wheat pastry flour applesauce cupcake


Ingredients (12 cupcakes)

    For chocolate cupcakes:

    • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
    • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup AP flour
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
    • 3/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple suce
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    For Vanilla Icing:

    • 1 cup organic powdered sugar
    • 2 T unsweetened almond milk
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


    For chocolate cupcakes:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with liners and spritz them with a tiny bit of cooking spray (don’t skip this step- it’s important since there is practically no fat in the cupcakes! Otherwise they will stick to the liners)

    In a liquid measuring cup stir together milk and vinegar. Set aside.


    In a large bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.


    In a medium bowl combine the milk, sugar, applesauce, and vanilla.

    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.


    Divide evenly into the 12 muffin liners (I like to use an ice cream scoop to do this- 1 scoop of batter per muffin liner!)


    Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.

    For icing:

    Stir together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Adjust to your liking- if it’s too thin add a little more powdered sugar, if it’s too thick add a little more milk.

    Ice each cupcake with 1 Tablespoon of icing.

    Note: The icing works best if you refrigerate it for a bit before you ice your cupcakes- this will make it much easier to work with. Also refrigerate your cupcakes immediately after icing to make sure the icing doesn’t melt.






    Here’s the nutrition info if you want it!

    1 cupcake with 1 Tablespoon of icing…



    1 cupcake without icing…




    Barley, tomato, arugula, and spinach salad

    This is my spin on a recipe that was in a recent weight watchers weekly that we receive at meetings.  This is great as a side dish or you can make a meal of it!  You can bump up the nutrition even more by adding some cannellini beans!



    Barley, tomato, arugula, and spinach salad
    (Print this recipe!)

    by Sarah Collins Chapman

    Prep Time: 5 min

    Cook Time: 30 min

    Keywords: sauté salad side vegan vegetarian barley tomatoes arugula spinach


    Ingredients (4 servings)

    • 2 cups water
    • 1 cup pearled barley
    • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1/2 small onions, finely diced
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 cup fresh arugula
    • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
    • salt and pepper to taste


    Bring water to a boil. Add barley and reduce heat to low. Let cook about 30 mins or until barley is tender. (you can also do this in your rice cooker!). Set aside.

    Over medium heat, saute onion in a medium skillet until it starts to get tender.

    Add tomatoes and garlic and saute until the tomatoes soften.

    Add barley and stir until combined.

    Stir in arugula and spinach until wilted.

    Season with salt and pepper, to taste and remove from heat.

    Eat warm or cold- either way it’s delicious!

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    I know what I’m having for lunch today!!



    Banana Muffins 2 Ways

    These muffins are seriously amazing!  You could go with the traditional banana nut variety or with the banana chocolate chip variety or you could go half and half.  Any way you go, you can’t go wrong!!

    Banana Muffins 2 Ways
    (Print this recipe!)

    by Sarah Collins Chapman

    Prep Time: 5 min

    Cook Time: 20-25 min

    Keywords: bake dessert snack vegan vegetarian whole wheat pastry flour muffin


    Ingredients (12 muffins)

    • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 cup organic sugar
    • 1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
    • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top OR 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped, plus more for sprinkling on top


    Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray muffin pan lightly with cooking spray.

    Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl.

    In small bowl combine mashed bananas, sugar, nondairy milk, and vanilla.

    Fold in chocolate chips or chopped walnuts.

    Divide batter evenly into the muffin pan. You should get 12 muffins.

    Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips or chopped walnuts on top of each muffin.

    Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

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