Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Favorite Time of Year- Chicago Farmer’s Market Season!

This heinous winter is finally coming to an end, which means one of many things- Chicago Farmer’s Markets are officially in season!

Farmer’s markets are outdoor markets that are held so that farmers can sell their fresh produce to local communities. With so many food options these days, choosing to support your local farmers is your best choice. You get fresh, normally organic, produce that’s at its peak ripeness while giving your hard earned cash to someone who truly cares about sustainable food.

As farmer’s markets take off, the variety of produce that they carry does too. You can go to the market and try fruits and vegetables that you’ve never heard of and the farmers can offer input on how to prepare those produce!

Along with the variety, the quality of the food is much greater than those found in supermarkets. Farmers usually pride themselves at markets of their organically grown, nutrient-dense produce- and they should!

Since the food that they pick was only harvested a short distance away (usually just goes from the farm, to the market, to your table), you get the most fresh in-season ingredients to use in your dishes!

A huge factor that I support farmer’s markets is because they sustain the environment while also keeping my wallet balanced, which is hard to find in any other grocery outlet.

Most of our food is flown or has to travel great distances to get to our grocery stores. So, when buying locally you’re conserving energy and making your footprint on this world a little less large and harmful.

Although not all farmer’s markets are dirt cheap, you are getting more bang for your buck. Since the food is fresh and not shriveled up on a shelf, you’re getting fuller food for equal or lesser value than you would at other grocery outlets.

In Chicago you can find numerous farmer’s markets. Starting with my favorite, Green City Market (open now), to the Daley Plaza (starting May 15) to Logan Square (starting May 18).

To check out more about Chicago Farmer’s Markets, head to:

Chicago’s Farmers Markets

Top 10 Chicago Farmers Markets

Chicago Now


Less Confused, Incredibly Inspired

Hungry, broke and confused, my college years leave me in need of some serious inspiration. As of now, I find that inspiration in Keara McGraw, a student at Columbia College Chicago. Though Keara commutes, holds two jobs and is a full time student, she has managed to create a website that tells the story of her life through artwork, vegan meals and more.

“My goal is for [Keara McGraw Creative] to serve as a storytelling hub for myself. More than just a personal portfolio, I want it to involve viewers on a deeper level, inviting them to experience what I’m passionate about as I create it! I want it to be a source of connection,” says McGraw of her hopes for her website. Once you visit, you see it is exactly what she has done.

McGraw (21) states that she has recently been learning so much about what’s important to her, and wants her site to reflect that. She decided to make a blog for her personal site so that those wishing to see her work could become involved with what she’s passionate about.

When you first go to you read “I Believe in Creation with a Purpose”- how can that not inspire you? Although there are numerous aspects to her website, my favorite is the blog portion which is jam-packed with mouthwatering vegan recipes, alongside accompanying illustrations all done by McGraw.

McGraw has been a vegan for over a year now. Why? Initially it was to save money! As time carried on and her research continued, she saw that veganism allows her to tread as lightly as she can on the planet, which benefits all.

Becoming vegan has taught McGraw how to cook for herself, which is something I believe we all struggle with. In our interview McGraw jokes how her diet used to consist of cereal and macaroni- when putting in the microwave was “too laborious!” Now she can’t stop cooking, inspired by the planet around her.

McGraw’s hope for her blog is that readers will be inspired to give plant-based meals a try, seeing that they actually can be easy to prepare. When making a recipe, not only is she choosing nutrient-dense, plant-based food items, but with a few exceptions she tries to choose ingredients that most people may already have in their pantry, or can easily get access to.

She wants readers to connect with the story she’s telling, the visuals she’s offering and the recipe she’s sharing. I’m inspired by Keara McGraw Creative, take a look and you might be too!

Instagram: keara_mcgraw

Ring Around the Egg

So currently I am in finals and sadly haven’t really had time to go grocery shopping but I did happen to have a bell pepper and a few eggs in my fridge that needed some lovin’, so I gave it to them- well I guess they gave me the lovin’ because I’m quite satisfied!

For breakfast this morning I made eggs in bell pepper rings, which is actually incredibly easy to make and very filling while also being healthy and cheap! Eggs are just under $2 for a dozen and the pepper cost me $.99!


  1. Wash your pepper and make sure that bad-boy is nice and clean before eating it
  2. Cut your peppers into ½ inch rings and cut away the inner whites and seeds
  3. Crack an egg into a bowl so that you can easily pour the egg into the pepper; I used two eggs so I used two different bowls

Cooking the peppers:

  1. Coat skillet with cooking spray
  2. Add peppers to cook and brown lightly
  3. Add one egg to the middle of each pepper ring
  4. Cook on low heat until yolks firm and egg whites harden
  5. Plate the peppers and add salt and pepper and Bon Appetit!


Recipe idea and help from WikiHow


Quinoa Black Bean Tacos

I have broken down this recipe’s price based on servings and I made this recipe to feed 4 so here you go! Enjoy!!

1/2  Cup of quinoa- $1.15
1 Cup of water- free
Dash of cheyenne pepper- $0.07
1 cup cooked black beans- $0.50
4 Tortillas- $0.40
1 Avocado- $0.99
1/2 package taco seasoning- $0.07
Trader Joe’s Fresh Salsa (Pico de gallo)- $0.24
Cheese- ~$0.60 depending on how much you like

4 servings= $4.02 so about $1.00 per serving!!

Let me know what you guys think!

What is Clean Eating?

It’s come to my attention that I haven’t really given you guys a definition of what I mean when I say this is a clean eating blog and I’d like to apologize for that!

So here we go:

Clean eating is hands down one of the best gifts you can give yourself. What I mean when I say that this blog is about clean eating is that it is focused on creating a diet that focuses on eating whole, healthy and fresh foods. I try to stay away from processed foods and if I look at a label and can’t pronounce what is in the ingredients I don’t buy it.

The focus is not to lose weight but to improve health. The majority of my diet is plant based along with grains and sometimes I’ll even indulge in meats but only if it’s completely organic!

I try, and want to emphasize the importance, to eat the rainbow everyday. The only things I count are colors, never calories. And I don’t punish myself or skip meals for occasionally over indulging in something delicious. Because let’s face it, I LOVE food and I’m sure you guys do too!

The benefits of eating clean are endless. Your energy levels will sky rocket and your body and skin will thank you almost immediately that you won’t want to eat anything that isn’t clean. The phrase “you are what you eat” is very much the truth.

Clean eating can be a bit overwhelming at first and you don’t need to jump in headfirst. Baby steps are better than no steps at all! So let’s get healthy the right way together!



Meatless Meals for Amateurs

Every now and then I find a blog that relates well with my blog’s goal and “Fool Proof Vegetarian” definitely happens to be one of those blogs!

Are you trying start to eat clean by cutting meat from your diet but don’t really know where to start? Well “Fool Proof Vegetarian” should be your first stop because that’s exactly the purpose behind Valerie Martin’s blog.

Martin began being a vegetarian her freshman year of college, about three years ago, at University of Illinois at Chicago where she studies English. She made the decision to become a vegetarian because she likes knowing that no animals were harmed in the process of creating her meal. Also, she just all around feels better since not eating meat.

Martin said it was difficult at first because she was living in the dorms where the cafeteria doesn’t have many meat-less options. She said that she “still struggle[s] with finding recipes that are easy to follow and make without a lot of kitchen knowledge,” which is why she began her blog.

Martin wants to make the transition from a carnivore into an herbivore a piece of cake for her readers because it ultimately does lead to a healthier lifestyle, which you know we’re all about.

Martin realizes that vegetarian recipes are usually more difficult to prepare because they involve turning a side dish into a main dish, which calls for a little more creativity in the kitchen. She showcases recipes for people that have little kitchen knowledge by providing readers with specific cooking instructions that help lead to a delicious meal.

Martin concluded the interview with a simple message for readers- she’s here to help. “Whether you are a committed vegetarian, looking to cook more meat-free meals, or just need some recipes you can make without screwing up,” this is where you need to be.

Plus, since her meals are on the easier side they have fewer ingredients which means they’re cheaper! So check out “Fool Proof Vegetarian” and get on your way with healthy eating!

Buy What’s in Season this March

Saving money at organic grocery stores is already a difficult task. To keep the cost as low as possible you should look into what’s in season locally.

Supply and demand are in full swing when it comes to shopping in season in every realm of life, including food. Certain foods tend to be cheaper due to the abundance of crop that is produced during different seasons in the area.

You’ll pay about double for those strawberries right now then if you were to wait and buy some in the summertime. Plus when foods are in season they all around just taste better because they’re fresh as opposed to being picked last week and shipped through this disgusting cold.

Here is a calendar you can check out for what crops are in season for every month of the year in Illinois!

Shop smart, keep your fridge full and your wallet fat!


Updated: 5/5/2014