Kitchen Organization

I’ve been extremely motivated to do stuff over the past few days, so I’m sad that our holiday ends tomorrow.  The big thing I started this weekend is organizing my kitchen cupboards.  The sad thing is, I already completely reorganized everything after I went gluten-free in May, but our shelves still ended up looking like this:

EMBARRASSING.  But NOW, after the better part of today, they look like this:

LESS EMBARRASSING.  Thank you, mason jars!  Of course, that’s only 2 shelves out of my whole kitchen, but it’s a pretty good start.  I’ve also been slowly going through our appliances and cutlery to figure out what we can get rid of, and I’ve filled 3 boxes to bring to Goodwill.  Goodbye unitaskers!  See you later, two different sandwich presses!

I have also decided that my new favourite food is smoothies in a bowl.

This smoothie in a bowl was made with:

  • 2 tbsp Holy Crap cereal mixed with 4tbsp original almond milk (not blended into the smoothie, obviously)
  • 2 clementines, peeled and blended in the Vitamix
  • About 1/2 cup of organic apple juice
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup of mixed frozen peaches, mango, pineapple, and strawberries

Why are smoothies even more awesome when you eat them with a spoon?

Vitamix: THE END!

Well, not the end, because I’m going to keep using this bad boy every day.  I am evening bringing it to Ottawa with me for Christmas tomorrow!  But it’s the end of me posting about it every day, hooray!

I decided to cut it off at 15 days instead of 22, because I don’t have a lot of time right now with Christmas on the way, and most of the time I do have is being spent with crippling fatigue.  So, here are my 15 Vitamix posts!


Only 3 failures. Not too shabby for someone whose signature dish was Kraft Dinner 7 months ago.

Vitamix: Day 15 / Vegetarian Caesar Dressing

Fresh Restaurants used to have a “chopped Caesar salad” on their menu, and it was amazing.  It had tempeh bits and edamame and vegan Caesar dressing.  After I discovered this salad, I would literally crave it all the time.  Luckily, there is a Fresh location just around the corner from my apartment.  One day, I went to satisfy my craving and they told me they had taken it off the menu!

Life: ruined.

This recipe is based on the Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing by Angela at Oh She Glows. I made a few changes, namely, I made it not vegan.  Also, I realized halfway through substituting pine nuts for cashews that I actually had cashews, so I made it with 1/4 cup pine nuts and 1/4 cup cashews.  (I think entirely cashews would be better.)

Vegetarian Caesar Salad Dressing

  • 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic scape (or 1 clove garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup water

Mix everything in the Vitamix (or regular blender, whatever).

Vitamix: Day 14 / Simple Hot Chocolate

There are a lot of recipes for delicious hot chocolate on the internet.  For instance, Vegan Hot Cocoa by Elana’s Pantry.  However, I’m lazy, so I used 2 things:  chocolate, and milk.

I used 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk and this much chocolate:

That’s 70% dark chocolate and I am a crazy person.  Let’s just say it was… excessively rich.  It was probably a little over 1/4 cup of chocolate.  Did I mention I am a crazy person?

Mix it up in the Vitamix until it’s hot.  Or you can do what I did to save energy and time and cheat by mixing it, then heating it up on the stove, and then mixing it again so it’s nice and frothy.

I sure as hell wish I had some damn marshmallows.

Vitamix: Day 13 / The Ultimate Smoothie

Over the last 13 days I have perfected my smoothie.  I have one every morning and it rules.

Best Smoothie Ever

2 mandarin oranges, peeled
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 banana, peeled
1 large handful baby spinach
1 1/2 cups frozen fruit (I use a mixture of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
1 tbsp chia seeds

Blend the oranges first to make orange juice.  Add everything else and blend.


I’ve been trying to add more greens and decrease the amount of fruit.  I want more protein too, but I don’t know what to add.  Either way, this smoothie is delicious and totally makes my morning.

Vitamix: Day 12 / Candy Cane Latte

I decided the candy cane latte idea sounded pretty good after all.

Candy Cane Latte

1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup brewed coffee
2 tbsp crushed peppermint candy canes

Mix on high until hot!

This is delicious.  I put a huge blob of whipped cream on top (made with a couple drops of peppermint extract) and it immediately melted.  Photography failure.

Sugar & caffeine high time!

Vitamix: Day 11 / Vegetable Soup

Yesterday I said I was “working until 9pm“.  Actually, I was filling out TOP SECRET DOCUMENTS, which are now complete, so I feel that I can finally announce:

I got a studio!

I’ve been looking for a place with a friend for several months.  We found a studio we absolutely loved, but the owner backed out of the deal twice.  Since then, nothing good really came up.  Yesterday, we looked at 3 places that I wasn’t too excited about on paper, but one of them ended up being super awesome.  It’s a 1600 sq ft loft on two stories.  I’ll be able to move in February 1st.  I’m looking forward to getting back to work AND having a sweet photography space that isn’t 10′ x 10′.

Here’s a picture of the kitchen from my phone, because it’s nicer than my own kitchen at home.  I envision many photoshoots here!

I pushed myself too hard today.  I was feeling pretty good, and excited, and invincible, so I did a whole bunch of stuff (including walking several blocks with heavy bags of groceries) and ended up in bed at 4pm because I couldn’t stop shaking and I was exhausted.  So, not invincible, but still much better than I was a few weeks ago, and I have to be thankful for that.

I made soup for dinner.

I accidentally turned on the Vitamix while the switch was set to “high” and ended up getting Exorcist-ed.

Does that whet your appetite?  This recipe was out of the Vitamix cookbook, and I’m really iffy about it.  I’m going to post it anyway.

Spinach and Vegetable Soup
Yield: 7 cups

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp diced onion
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped and steamed
  • 4 spears asparagus, steamed
  • 3/4 cup broccoli, chopped and steamed
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped and steamed
  • 1 cup potatoes, diced and cooked
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 15-oz can chick peas, drained
  1. Place everything in the Vitamix in the order listed, except the chick peas.
  2. Select variable 1, turn on, quickly increase to 10 and then high.  Blend for 6-7 minutes or until steam escapes from the lid.
  3. Reduce to variable 2, add chick peas and blend for 5-10 seconds.

Okay, so my problem with this soup:  way too watery.  The taste was fine, but it needed some texture.  I think next time I would reduce the water, and add more of the veggies at the end.  During the demo at Whole Foods, she added a bunch of chopped peppers and stuff at the end and it was really good and not too watery.

I’m still pretty pumped that I can make soup in the Vitamix and it heats BY SCIENCE.

I have no idea what I’m going to make for the next 11 days.  High five!

Vitamix: Day 10 / Almond Milk

I put up our dorky little Christmas tree tonight.

Excuse my blinds / wires / terrible photo.  This means CHRISTMAS BOKEH UNTIL THE END OF TIME.

I had a really, really busy day and ended up working until 9pm.  I had planned to make soup for dinner but ended up just eating leftovers.  Which left me at 10pm with NO VITAMIX RECIPE FOR THE DAY!  So I decided to try and make almond milk using the recipe from the Vitamix book.

It was gross.

I tried whole almonds and slivered almonds, sweetener and no sweetener, straining it and not straining it.  Cold, warm, mixed with chocolate.  It was just gross.  I am going to continue buying it from now on, because yuck.

Too bad!

Vitamix: Day 9 / Pesto

The other day I grabbed a package of this stuff at the health food store to try out in my smoothies.  It’s Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer in berry flavour.  I’ve been looking for a protein supplement to add to my smoothies that is a) gluten-free, b) dairy-free, c) non-ass-tasting.  I added it to my smoothie this morning:

It wasn’t that great unfortunately.  The “berry” flavour totally took over the whole smoothie and just tasted kind of weird.  I was not a fan.  I still might try the chocolate version.  Can anyone recommend a better one?

In other super important news, I finally found some damn basil so I could make pesto again.  I used a slight variation of the same recipe, with real cheese instead of nutritional yeast.


2 cups fresh basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup pine nuts
5 cloves garlic (I like garlic)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until nuts are ground. Pesto should still have texture and not be completely smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I wanted to see how the Vitamix did compared to my food processor.  Pros of the Vitamix: less parts, easier to clean.  Pros of the food processor: it was WAY easier to scoop out the pesto.

I don’t know if there’s some trick I haven’t learned yet about getting stuff OUT of the Vitamix, but I ended up trying to scoop it all out with a rubber spatula for about 5 minutes until I gave up.  Quite a bit was wasted because it was stuck in the blades.  It blended almost as well as the food processor, but I did find a few stray pine nuts.

I think I actually liked the nutritional yeast better than the parmesan!

Vitamix: Day 8 / Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream

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I was going to make pesto for a late dinner after Dan got home from his hockey game.  Except he went to the grocery store and they had no basil, so we just whipped up a quick stir fry instead.

And then I totally cheated, I made basically the same thing as I made on Friday.  Except this time it was strawberry chocolate ice cream. Strawberries instead of raspberries, dark chocolate almond milk instead of regular, and 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips added.  Delicious!