Skinny Bitch author and former model Kim Barnouin has a new cookbook out, and it’s just as bitchy as the rest of the books in the series — actually, a lot gentler, I must say. It’s called Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Every Cookbook, and I’m a fan….

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In addition to truly scrumptious and creative recipes, there are great tips scattered throughout the book (kitchen tips, tips on eating seasonally, diet tips, antioxidant tips, tea tips, etc.). I’ve haven’t read a cookbook cover-to-cover in a long time…. But I did, indeed, read this one cover to cover. Rest assured, it has none of the horrifying and distressing information that made the original Skinny Bitch so powerful and provocative (and, in turn, largely responsible for turning yours truly vegan in the first place). The information in Kim’s The Ultimate Everyday Cookbook is positive and encouraging, and the photos are literally mouth-watering.

Although I’ll stick to the simpler recipes in the book, here’s a video of Kim making her Butternut Squash Ravioli on The Today Show. Enjoy!

By the way, as of today, Halloween (in 10 minutes), I’m breaking up with Starbucks soy chai lattes. We are DUNZO. I’m breaking up with this horrid drink on Kim’s advice — I love how she likens food addictions to relationships (in one of those yummy tip pages in the book). I’ve never broken up with anyone before. I guess there’s a first time for everything….

Love!

xo Haley-O


Lentil Pasta Sauce

My Rascal has been a terror for the past week. Dinner times have been fraught with screaming, since he won’t eat unless he’s sitting on my lap. Eventually, I give in and hold him. He eats a few bites and he’s done. Until I bring out the organic blueberries.

I didn’t know what to make for dinner tonight. I was so distraught by all Rascal’s screaming that I could hardly eat. I’m also so run down from doing so much myself. The last thing I wanted to do was cook up a non-vegetarian meal for my non-vegetarian family. That’s hard enough for me (vegan) to do on a GOOD day. So, I took out the lentils.

I had an organic bag of dried lentils in the pantry. I poured a cup of them in a pot, along with 3 cups of water, and I brought them to a boil. I let them simmer for 45 minutes — of which I kept track by watching three episodes of The Backyardigans with The Monkey, while Rascal napped.

Now, how to get the family to eat the hugely healthy — one of the healthiest foods in the world — lentils? Hide them in pasta sauce, of course!

And, it worked. Monkey loved the concoction…. Here she is posing with her already half-eaten dish:

One of the reasons it worked was THE PINE NUTS. They really complimented the nutty texture and taste of the lentils. It was brillers…. Check it!

INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4. But, it’s all to taste, really — it’s the ingredients, not the measurements that count here.)

3/4 cup Cooked Lentils (cooking instructions described above)
Bag of Pasta (I love kamut pasta)
Jar of Tomato Sauce of your choice
1 cup Pureed Broccoli (optional; for extra veggies the children will NEVER know about)
Pine Nuts (a couple handfuls)
Parmesan cheese (preferably vegan)

1. Cook the pasta. Drain. Return to pot (at low heat).
2. Dump in the tomato sauce, lentils, pine nuts, pureed broccoli.
3. Stir it up.
4. Dish it out.
5. Sprinkle on the parmy.

Enjoy! It’s SO easy. Let us know how you like it!

Love!
xo Haley-O


The reason it’s sexy is because it’s VEGAN (with vegetarian options), it’s YUMMY, and there’s NO TOFU INVOLVED, and, still, it offers a nourishing, satisfying amount of protein, fiber and nutrients. Black beans make a WONDROUS, whole-food alternative to ground meats.

I had the vegan version of the dish, and my kids and Josh-O enjoyed a little organic cheddar cheese grated on top. I don’t do soy cheese because I can’t find a brand that I like (and I’m not a believer in fake anything); so, I can tell you the dish was still delicious sans any cheese. If you’re really LAZY, you could sprinkle parmesan on top. But, this is Mexican we’re talking about here — which means GRATED cheddar. Besides, let’s face it, the big parmesan brands that you buy in the grocery store, are, well, pretty-much fake and laden with salt and chemicals…. Blech.

You can add any vegetable you want to this. But, if you’re dealing with picky children, sometimes a purée is best. Because I’m the Cheatiest cook in the West…, I added a spinach purée to it, which I’ll include in the recipe. Spinach is one of those super-healthy leafy greens that is a MUST in the diet, and it offers good calcium and iron for vegans (especially when combined with the vitamin-C in the tomato sauce).

Okay, so CHECK IT! Oh, and by the way, I’m putting vague amounts here, because they really vary, depending on how many people you’re serving, how much pasta you’re using, etc.. You’ll see….

INGREDIENTS

1/2 jar tomato sauce (any variety)
1/2 jar mild salsa
1 can black beans
1 cup spinach (to be purée in 1/4 cup water) (optional)
1 cup grated soy or organic cheddar cheese (optional)
Cooked pasta (or rice)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Pour all the ingredients over hot cooked pasta (or rice)!
2. Grate your cheese on top (in front of the kids, if possible, because they find it thoroughly entertaining — think making-spaghetti-with-play-dough…).
3. Stir it up!
4. ENJOY!

P.S.: This dish keeps really well in the fridge for a good 3-5 days. Or, freeze for later!


I am on a HEALTH. KICK. And, I feel great. In fact, I haven’t felt THIS good in a LONG time. And, it didn’t take long at all.

For a complete overview of the plan I’m on, check Cheaty Monkey. I designed it myself! There’s something to be said for putting the diet books DOWN and listening to your own body.

By far, the best thing I ever did — I HAVE TO SAY — is ditching the dairy. In fact, I attribute how great I’m feeling to that alone. I feel lighter, less congested, clearer-headed. And, it’s because I gave up dairy, FASHIZZLE. And, I was ADDICTED to cheese. I’d have cheese on EVERYTHING. Peanut butter and cheese on a bagel was, like, MY FAVOURITE THING! Now, though, not an INCH of a craving.

One thing I thought I’d really miss is parmesan cheese. BUT, in the following pasta recipe, I used a FAKE parmesan cheese (with no casein — very important to look out for that in fake dairy products), and it did the job. It wasn’t PERFECT, but it satisfied my craving for the texture and saltiness of parmesan.

CHECK IT!

TASTY TOFU BASIL PASTA

INGREDIENTS
(serves 4-6)

1 block (organic) tofu, cubed
4 cups cooked brown rice pasta
Bunch Portobello Mushrooms (optional)
Bunch Spinach (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 tbsp canola Oil
1 tbsp olive Oil
Basil (generous amount)
Pepper (to taste)
Fake Parmesan Cheese (to taste)
Pine nuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Get your pasta cooking…. When pasta is halfway done, toss in portobello mushrooms. Drain them with the pasta.
2. Meanwhile, heat canola oil — MEDIUM HEAT (never heat oil on high) — in medium-sized pan. Lovingly…, throw in the garlic and onion, and saute until softened.
3. Throw in the tofu, flipping it over and over gently, letting each side brown.
4. Sprinkle with TONS of basil and a little bit of pepper. TONS of basil.
5. Mix pasta and tofu together.
6. Drizzle with Olive Oil. Add MORE basil — you really can’t have too much.
7. Pour into dishes. Sprinkle fake parmesan on top, and PINE NUTS. And, ENJOY!

Serve with a nice raw green salad with flax seed oil dressing (see next post!).

By the way, this dish is of course great WITHOUT tofu, as well. The pine nuts and the portobello mushrooms provide ample protein.

Let us know how YOU like it!

xo Haley-O