Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Recipe: Stir fry with tempeh

I've been eating mostly vegetarian for the last year or so, and recently, I decided to make the change permanent. Truthfully, my body and conscience feel significantly better when consuming plants versus animal proteins. It's been a mostly easy transition, and I've been cooking more and more with this new change.

Truthfully, I had been putting off trying to cook vegetarian proteins for a while. Trying something new is intimidating! 

Last week, I decided to take the veg. protein plunge and bought tempeh. After I got home, I realized I had no idea what to do with it. Really, not a single clue. Luckily, a friend and fellow yoga teacher, Ellie, has a vegan blog, Vegetabellie, and gave me a few much-needed tips on cooking with tempeh!

Here's what I found out. Tempeh is so easy to cook with. It's easy to cut, doesn't take long to cook and soaks up any marinade in minutes. It also has between 15-19 grams of protein per serving. 

Ellie suggested I try a stir fry and soak the tempeh in a marinade before cooking. With all the ingredients on hand, I gave it a shot (I could always head to Whole Foods for dinner if it was a disaster, right?)

|| Photo is property of Mountain Shadow Morning. Must give credit. ||

Stir Fry with Tempeh
Makes two servings; approx. 500 calories per serving

Tempeh: One package
Vegetables: 3 cups (I used red peppers, onions, sugar snap peas and zucchini)
Ginger: 1/2 teaspoon
Red pepper flakes: 1/2 teaspoon
Soy sauce: 4 tablespoons
Maple syrup: 2 tablespoon
Olive oil: 2 tablespoon
Garlic: 2 teaspoons chopped
Apple cider vinegar: 2 teaspoons


1.) Chop the tempeh into strips (there's no right or wrong way of doing this, anything works!)

2.) Make a marinade using the soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Submerge the tempeh strips into the marinade and allow them to soak.

3.) While the tempeh is marinading, chop your vegetables. I used red peppers, onions, sugar snap peas and zucchini.

4.) Pour the tempeh and excess marinade into a wok or pan on medium heat. Allow the tempeh to cook until the edges begin to caramelize.

5.) Add the vegetables to the wok. Stir the mixture and allow to cook until the vegetables are tender.

6.) Remove from the heat and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Travel: West Coast Road Trip - Seattle and Mount Rainier

You know that feeling where you have this crazy idea and then wonder if it will ever happen? That's how I feel about our recent West Coast road trip. It all started between one of my closest friends, Caitlin and me (Caitlin and I went on this amazing trip together earlier this year). It was a grand idea and a pipe dream, but we always kept it in the back of our minds.

Fast forward two years later, and we did it. We dragged our boys with us for a ten day adventure from Seattle to San Francisco. Ten days, four best friends, one car, four sets of hiking boots, dozens of cups of coffee, an embarrassing number of Pacificos, unlimited conversations and one season of Serial later, and we did it. What an incredible adventure.

With this trip came an absurd amount of photos and recommendations from each place we visited. We were lucky enough to chat with so many helpful friends and family members who gave us advice on where to go and what to do, and I want to share them all with you! To do that, I'll post our trip in parts (city by city). 

Let's start with the beginning of our trip -- Seattle.

Seattle and Mount Rainier

If you can, pack a backpack for your entire trip. It helped us keep our luggage light and easy to carry (for the most part). If your'e looking for a bag, I stand by my Duluth Pack (Pathfinder version) 100%. Best gift I have ever received. 

For breakfast, head to Portage Bay Cafe. They have a few locations around Seattle, and this restaurant is a can't miss. Jack and I first visited this restaurant when we went to Seattle over Labor Day weekend last year. Yum. 

We stayed in AirBNBs for our entire trip and highly recommend it. More room, less money and incredible apartments? Yes please. In Seattle, we stayed at Clay's place in Capitol Hill. Great place to kick off our trip.

Make time to walk around the University District near the University of Washington. We hit up Buffalo Exchange, numerous used record stores, Cafe Allegro, Magus Books and a handful of other cute shops.

Drink the local brews! We went to Big Time Brewery and Alehouse, Brouwer's Cafe and Fremont Brewing Company. Stop at a liquor store and buy a few of the other brews too if you can!

Pike's Place Market is a can't miss. Go toward the end of the day when it's less crowded. No matter where you are in the city, it's a short and affordable Uber ride there. Try some of the local fruit and vegetables, and make sure you find the Gum Wall.

Either buy seafood from Pike's Place or head to a restaurant in the city where you can get some quality seafood. Nick is a fan of oysters, so we had some wherever we went.

The trails near Mt. Rainier are a must-see. We hiked Naches Peak, which wasn't far from Seattle on our way down to Portland. Gorgeous scenery, lakes, mountains and fog. You can hike for as long or as short as you want with most of these trails. We hiked for 3 hours and had a great time (but dress warm!)

|| All photos are property of Mountain Shadow Morning. Must give credit. ||

After Mt. Rainier, we headed to Portland and Bend. More on that soon!

Monday, September 28, 2015

DIY: Skin-Clearing Post-Yoga Face Spray

Now that my day revolves around teaching and taking classes, my body is constantly sweating. To keep my skin clear and healthy, I've been looking for a facial spray with all-natural ingredients that smells great and isn't too expensive. I had been searing online and hadn't had much luck when it dawned on me that I could make one myself!

I did some research online and was inspired by a few different facial sprays, including this one from Free People. After a few test trials, I settled on the following natural ingredients:

Peppermint tea: Peppermint tea has been used for hundreds of years to treat oily skin, as well as cure skin irritations. 

Sea salt: Sea salt absorbs toxins from the skin, making it an excellent detoxifier. In addition, it helps exfoliate the skin and reduce stress. 

Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has been proven to reduce acne as well as benzoyl peroxide.

Lemongrass: Lemongrass is an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial herb. It helps prevent skin infections and acts as an astringent, which helps to minimize pores.

Lavender: In addition to its calming aromatherapy effect, lavender contains powerful antioxidants that helps to keep skin clear and clean.

It couldn't be easier to make this facial spray. All you need to do is brew the tea and mix all of the ingredients together, and then allow to cool. I refrigerated mine to speed up the process. Depending on the size of your bottle, this will likely make more than a bottle's worth, so share the love with your friends!

|| Photos are property of Mountain Shadow Morning. Must give credit. ||

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mood: September/October Feel

Happy Sunday!

It's been a very busy last few months. Between a new job, finishing my 200 hour teacher training, taking on extended teacher training, a big road trip (more on that to come!) and the last few weeks of summer, we've been beyond busy. Now that we're officially in a new season, we're taking time to slow down and "nest" in Minneapolis as the temperatures drop.

Now that it's officially autumn, pumpkins, candles, coffee and sweaters are staples in our apartment. This month, we're taking time to sleep in, settle down and find our "groove" after settling into some big life changes. That, and lots and lots of snuggles with our happy little Camper. 

Happiest fall. 

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