My best husband-approved soup recipes. One of the easiest and best things for your health.

Guess what?! I cut bangs! I asked my hairstylist cousin if she thought I’d look good with bangs and she said start off small. Every time I have bangs I have them for a few months then vow to never have them again. Well, I’ve since learned that you can just side part your hair and swoop it and voila, weird short bangs begone! So basically, no risk. They’re not perfect, but they’ll do. Here I am at the LMU library. When I cut them I felt like Billie Jean (’80s movie- you wouldn’t understand) or Jason Bourne’s girlfriend cutting my own hair. 

I started realizing however long ago that perhaps I should follow certain lifestyle methods of the Chinese and Japanese since they’re so dang healthy. I start the morning drinking a cup of lemon water followed by a cup of hot green tea, and after 30 minutes I eat breakfast. And boy, if you struggle with being regular, just follow this method and you’ll be as regular as Colgate regular flavor toothpaste. Well, this particular method I got from Gwyneth Paltrow (GOOP), but it’s like she’s her own country I guess. 

So, I’ve adopted the tradition of trying to have some sort of hot soup every meal, like when you go to a Chinese restaurant and there’s always egg drop soup available. Matthew said he thought canned soup was yummy, but my soup blows Campbell’s out of the water. Aww.

Here are some of my husband-tested, wife-approved soup recipes:

Hearty Whole Mung Bean Soup – I used kielbasa instead of ham, and once didn’t use chilis or onion and it was still yummy. Mung beans are really good for you, and can clear heat in your gut, which is what I really need, according to my acupuncturist. I bring this one to school with me in my Foogo on my long day  because it’s so hearty and easy to make the night before. (“Long” as in I see two of my classmates for 8 hours in just two classes, and that’s not even all of them.)

Egg Drop Soup – I left out the cornstarch, and sometimes add small veggies like peas, spinach, or zucchini, because Lord knows we all need more fiber and veggies. Well, my UP app kept nagging me about eating more fiber.

Chicken and Wild Rice soup Panera copycat – SOOO good y’all. Instead of the heavy cream I used almond milk and added a tablespoon or two of Earth Balance margarine. 

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup – This is actually not great for my gut because it’s so spicy but oh man. 

And last but not least, PHO! Turkey Pho – This is a more intensive recipe, but if you want a super easy quick fake pho, try this.  I always have pho, pad thai, and egg roll noodles on hand, you know, for emergencies. 

And the easiest quickest soup I’ve ever made:

Serves 2:

2 cups chicken broth

1.5 Tbs soy sauce




My healthy spin on Martha Stewart’s Simple Crepes

Sautéed apple and yogurt crepe for breakfast

I wanted a fun yummy brunch today after church, so I asked my tummy what it was feeling like, and it said “crepes.” What I made was a crepe filled with a sausage/mushroom/spinach gravy topped with a type of hollandaise sauce. We both had two, and we warmed our third crepe with a half tablespoon of butter (Earth Balance for me) in the middle topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and powdered sugar. Delectable! (Side note: I’ve also made a gluten free crepes recipe with corn starch, and I honestly do not notice a difference.)

crepe dessert
For dessert: melted butter, cinnamon, powdered sugar

I used Martha Stewart’s Simple Crepe recipe but I used 1/2 whole wheat flour, raw cane sugar, did 1/2 almond milk, substituted 1 flax egg, and used Earth Balance margarine. The consistency and taste were perfect.

For the filling I used All Recipe’s Crepes with Spinach, Bacon, and Mushroom Filling. I didn’t have any bacon so I used kielbasa, for the flour gravy I used whole wheat, and I omitted the Parmesan for my sake. Next time we’ll probably halve or nix the gravy as, overall, it seemed a bit mushy.

savory crepe
Sausage, spinach, mushroom crepe for dinner



Afterwards, I looked up crepe cake recipes, and for my next birthday I’m definitely trying my hand at one. The dilemma is which to choose: lemon mascarpone, chocolate eclair, creme brulée, chocolate hazelnut, chocolate amaretto, strawberry nutella, raspberry rose. . . Although, after taking a look at all the dairy that’s in the recipes, I better stay away (unless I use a dairy alternative), so I guess I’ll be making the Lemon Meringue or vegan Blackberry Cannoli Cream!

If you wanted some crepe filling inspiration, here are some savory and sweet ones! 

All in all, Matthew doesn’t necessarily like healthy things, but he loved this savory and sweet crepe meal! Definitely a repeat. Now, time to clean the kitchen. . .

Quick & delicious breakfast: Rosemary arugula poached egg breakfast bowl

IMG_6565.JPGThis morning I felt like being creative with my breakfast, so I perused my new cookbook, Caroline Potter’s All American Paleo Table Cookbook. I didn’t have some of the ingredients for her Rosemary egg hash, so I made some substitutions… well basically it’s not really the same recipe, but I was inspired by her recipe.

In this rosemary arugula breakfast bowl, the flavors of each of the items can be appreciated because of the simplicity of the ingredients. I love using arugula since it has a bite to it, and is so healthy for you. When I don’t have arugula I use spinach.

As I was making this meal I was reminded of making breakfast at home this past Christmas. I broke open a farm-fresh egg and noticed 1) How large it was- It didn’t even fit properly in the egg carton and 2) How hard it was to open. My mom later told me it was a duck egg. Ha! She has dozens of eggs sitting at home. Lucky for her, her coworker has chickens and gives her a dozen eggs for $0.50. Um, where can I find hospitality and prices like that in Orange County? Do tell.


Steamed rice, white or brown

Handful of arugula

2 fresh free-range eggs

1/8 tsp rosemary

salt and pepper (I like to use Himalayan pink salt for added minerals)

Optional: salsa


  1. Poach eggs to your liking and dry them on a paper towel. For me, the runnier, the better!
  2. Put a scoop of steamed rice into a bowl. (I always have some pre-made steamed rice on hand in the fridge for quick lunches, then just microwave it for 1.25 minutes to heat up. Not ideal to microwave, but it’s the quickest option, and it softens just fine.)
  3. Add a handful of arugula on top. Place eggs on top, sprinkle on rosemary, salt and fresh-cracked pepper.
  4. Optional: I added a tablespoon of salsa on the side.

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Vanilla Frosting – Husband approved! – gluten free dairy free diabetic


I love the look on people’s faces whenever they see freshly baked cookies. No words, no smiles, just a gimme gimme gimme look, also known as the get in my belly look. I’ve kind of prided myself on perfecting my chocolate chip cookie and sugar cookie recipes, but haven’t made them in years since I’ve tried to eat healthier. Back to the recipe after the jump.



Getting Inspired

This week my Magnolia Story book came in the mail! I flipped. I’m almost done reading it, and a few chapters in I’d already cried twice. I freaked out about it so much my bookish husband was considering reading it. Joanna and Chip so delve into their personal lives that it really hit a nerve with me. They talk about all of the circumstances that helped them discover who they were created to be… To stop acting or being afraid of the future, and to trust in each other and in Jesus. I loved all of their stories about how things would seemingly go all wrong, like going to jail, but if those events hadn’t transpired, they wouldn’t have Magnolia Homes or their hit show Fixer Upper. I love this verse, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 

I decided to get back at it after taking a bit of a break in the cookie baking department, and I’m so glad I did! The downfall is that every time I go into the kitchen to grab a notepad or a glass of water, I, in auto mode, grab a cookie, go back down to sit, and then remember why I got up in the first place. Thankfully, I made each cookie quite small for this very reason!

I seriously adapted this cookie recipe and made it my own, as it incorporates really healthy ingredients like flax, applesauce, oats, and raisins. This recipe is great for Type 1 diabetics, or yuan qi deficient persons. It’s a denser cookie, but I dare say you will enjoy.

**Baking notes: I decided to top these cookies with frosting because 1) I love frosting 2) the cookies turned out very healthy-tasting if you catch my drift. Some people don’t mind that, but I knew that would tip my husband off and he’d cry foul, so I added the frosting. I got my Miss Jones organic frosting at Sprout’s Market on sale for 2/$7. It’s a great tasting frosting, you’d never know it was healthier than a normal store-bought one. Looking at the ingredients in Miss Jones, here’s a similar recipe, except they use agave syrup, tapioca syrup, and palm oil. Actually, I probably could have saved $2 just making the frosting myself.

If you don’t want the frosting but still want a regular-tasting cookie, my tip is to replace the applesauce with brown sugar if you want it to taste like a regular sugary cookie.

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies– good for diabetics


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Make your flax eggs. In a medium bowl, cream together the Earth Balance and apple sauce until smooth. Stir in the flax eggs, vanilla and lemon juice. Sift together the flour, baking soda and cinnamon, gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the rolled oats and raisins.
  3. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto unprepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies start to brown. I like to flatten the cookies with the back of a spatula when done. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.
  4. When cool, spread frosting on each cookie. Place rack in fridge to allow frosting to harden. Refrigerate to store.


Trouvés Top Five! Highlights from this week to make life a little sweeter.

I always feel the need to share what amazing discoveries I happen upon to make life a little easier. Brought to you by Trouvés Top Five!

Echo Park birthdays, you know
Echo Park birthdays, you know


The hair tie bracelet is a thing of pure genius. Patent pending.



I found a new workout series to do called “Train Like an Angel.” It’s, um, workouts by Victoria’s Secret Angels.  It’s crazy how doing a few slow ballet poses makes you sweat really quickly. You can find the videos on Youtube. I’ve been doing more yoga and ballet workouts as I used to have to lift a lot of weights back in the day, so my body is a little bulkier than I would prefer. The ballet workouts help lengthen my muscles. I’m doing an okay job at working out, but the main reason I have been trying to get my heart rate up 3 times a week is because I’ve been having some health issues that they say would’ve not manifested had I been getting enough sleep and exercise and taking my vitamins. So ladies and gents, this is my plea to you to get movin! Even if it’s a workout video starring supermodels that most of us don’t and won’t look like… but hey they’re beautiful, you’re beautiful.

Healthy Eating

One thing I love in the summer is iced tea. I’ve started cold brewing some orange apple cinnamon iced tea in the fridge so that I’ll drink that instead of reaching for a sugary juice or a cookie. You just place some tea bags in a pitcher with water and stick it in the fridge for two hours to brew, or half an hour at room temperature, and voilá! An easy and healthy treat. (Side note: drinking/eating too many cold foods wreaks havoc on our bodies, so I actually try to drink room-temperature and hot liquids more often than not.)

Living with Grace

One thing I’ve been really mindful of lately is how I am not portraying myself on social media. A mom-friend of mine said I lived a charmed life, while in some cases was true, I made sure to tell her about our struggles. I didn’t want to contribute to the culture of not-enough, of deceiving others by displaying a pristine, elevated life instead of joining in solidarity with my sisters. I think it’s important we are all mindful of being honest about our lives, without feeling like we need to bear our souls on the internet.

It’s interesting that I happened upon the last copy of For the Love by Jen Hatmaker at this pop-up book fair in the lobby of the Social Security building. Really enjoying reading it so far.


Taylor Swift

I didn’t know Taylor Swift could sing like that. I just read her interview in the latest issue of Vogue. Really good.

Amazing Restaurant-Style Broccoli Beef Stir Fry

So good
So good

Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going great! Here at the Goddard household we are enjoying the SoCal weather. I told myself I wouldn’t rub that in since half the country is engulfed in snow, but sometimes things just slip out, whups! I’ve been working on a couple projects that I’m excited to unveil in the next few weeks. Stay tuned! Here is a sneak peak on what it is: trouves_drawing_peony

I made the BEST meal for us this week- Broccoli beef stir fry. It tasted just like a restaurant version. I think a large part of why it was so good was the Thin Sliced Beef from Trader Joe’s- it is barely-there-thin (the green package in the fresh meat section.) It was $12 for 1.5 pounds and I only used a third of it to feed two people, so the meal was $3/person. An old roommate of mine and I used to make the most amazing meals and then we’d always try to figure out how much it would have cost at a restaurant in Silver Lake because we’re dorky like that.

Us at a fancy shmancy restaurant in Miami
Us at a fancy shmancy restaurant

A healthy tip I have is I always have a bag or two of frozen broccoli in the freezer. Why frozen? Since they flash freeze the broccoli, it has more nutrients than the broccoli that’s been sitting out for a while. Plus, you’ll always have a quick stir fry when you have frozen broccoli around! With the rest of the beef I’d love to make philly cheesesteaks with it. I just love a good gooey philly cheesesteak, but they’re really not that healthy for you- One sandwich is one entire day’s worth of calories! I’ll have to change up the classic recipe a bit and probably use Oh She Glows’ vegan cheeze sauce and pita bread. Get the broccoli beef recipe here! p.s. I didn’t have any oyster sauce left so I used a soy/sugar/fish sauce mixture. I also used rice wine instead of sherry, and it was all still yummy.

Sometimes I think that my days revolve around what I’m going to make for dinner…

Down with long grocery store trips! Free pretty grocery store map download

Create your shining year Leonie Dawson

Skip to the bottom to access the free grocery store map.

So, it’s 2016! Yesterday, to help me close out 2015 and prepare for 2016, I finally printed out my colorful Create Your Shining Year workbook for business that I bought a year ago… Better late than never! They are available in print and digital versions starting at $10. I’m also reading and watching some biographies to get my 2016 game face on:

They’re all like peas in a pod! I’m also really excited about some collaborations I’m working on right now, so the excitement is helping me get out of holiday break mode!

hiking_juggling_water_canyon_california (2)
Holiday hiking and juggling and other tomfoolery

Grocery Store Shenanigans

I take food very seriously. Now that I have a husband I want to impress with my culinary skills every night, I’m finding I’m being more precise about grocery shopping and using fresh ingredients. You know what I mean ladies… as a single gal, half the week might be spent eating soup out of the saucepan while lounging on the couch and perusing Instagram… I mean reading Anna Karenina. I am, however, spending 3 times as much time at the grocery store. I literally had the thought the last time I was at the store “I could be knitting right now. I better hurry up and find this nutritional yeast.” When I came home, I had the idea to make a grocery store map to make life a lot easier! So, next time I can write my shopping list in order of how I enter the store. I actually want to make these in a bunch of different colors, but for now I chose a fun yellowy-green vintage color. Enjoy!

Free Grocery Store Organizational Map Printable download as PDF –> Grocery_store_map_organizer



Easy Pad See Ew Thai Recipe- Really Good!

Pad See Ew Thai recipe easy

Since our household is on a budget- We’re trying to, as Dave Ramsey taught us, “Live like no one else so you can later live like no one else.” Plus, we have a lot of student loans… which is why I’m so grateful for asian food! I finally was able to drive by an asian supermarket, and I couldn’t believe how cheap some things were. The most expensive thing I bought was a $3.50 bottle of bean curd. Never ate it, had to try it. I had a couple of fun experiences, one of which involved a woman talking my ear off about mushroom seasoning and her friend’s soup, and asking if I knew where it was. I think I have that face that makes people feel comfortable asking a stranger a question- it happens to me all the time!

I tweaked this pad see ew recipe from ThaiFoodLovers and it’s divine! Matthew raved about it, and I was amazed at how soft and flavorful the noodles were.

I used baby bok choy instead of chinese broccoli, and I added chicken broth, 1 Tbs. more soy sauce, and 2 eggs instead of 1. Since the bok choy wilts down a lot, next time I will use more. I also always cook my frozen chicken this secret way.

Once I finish my special diet, I’m going to attempt making drunken noodles… yum.

Here is my recipe:

Serves 2. Prep and cooking time: 35 minutes

  • 15 oz. dry flat white noodles (about 1/4 inch in width, or wider)
  • 1 sliced small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1.5 cups chinese broccoli or other dark greens (add 1.5 cups more for leafy greens, as it will wilt down a lot)
  • 1 chicken breast (sliced) and cooked this way
  • 1 large egg (or 2 if you’re being decadent)
  • 3 tbs cooking oil (not olive oil, as the temperature will get too hot)
  • 1/8 cup chicken broth (optional)

Seasoning Ingredients – to taste:

  • 1 tbs dark soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbs light soy sauce
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp mushroom seasoning (optional)


1. Cook the chicken while you prepare the sauce, cut the veggies, and prepare rice noodles according to package directions.

2. Heat the cooking oil in the wok, then fry the onion and garlic till golden

3. Add the sliced chicken just until warm.

4. Add the egg into the wok

5. Before egg is cooked, add the noodles, vegetables, and the seasoning ingredients

6. Stir fry on high heat until all ingredients are well mixed in, about a minute.

7. Taste and adjust the flavoring if required with salt, pepper, soy sauce. (I added the 1/8 cup of chicken stock here because I felt it was too dry.)


My Japanese Facial Regimen to get Fresh, Glowing Wedding Skin

Hello everyone! In the last week my skin has been very dry because fall is coming. In my 30’s this means my smile lines and wrinkles are also more prominent, but I want my face to look radiant in a few months for my wedding! I look young for my age since I’ve worked hard at putting natural products on it, but I think my unhealthy gut has taken its toll on my face, including getting painful cysts on my jawline (see my post about it here). I had looked up six years ago what the Japanese do to make their skin look so flawless. I then drank a lot of green tea and water and ate strawberries and blueberries, and it worked- my face looked amazing and glowing, especially compared to how dull it had been looking. Contact me if you have any questions about how I got my skin to clear up! Skip to the bottom to read about my Japanese beauty regimen, but first, here’s what’s happening in my neck of the woods!

Autumn is almost here! In the Midwest that means raking, pumpkins on the porch, mums in fun pots, and making a fall wreath with friends. I already bought a purple mum last week and put her in a cute yellow pot- I feel like it’s my baby, I’m so proud of her every time I drive by. You can see her hiding in the photo.

propped-up blue shutters. What do you think of the blue? I was going to do a midnight blue. Update: See the finished project on my Instagram!

On the wedding front, I vow to start sewing my wedding dress next week. I had said I would have it done before I had my bridal showers, so that means I have 2 weeks to finish it!

I’m very excited because today Revised comes to my house to do some minor Revised_des_moines_iowa_construction_contractorrepairs and put up my blue shutters for me. Revised: A New Perspective on Home Remodeling is the genius concept of Caleb W. who went to my former church. He teaches underresourced young adults how to fix and build homes. Caleb is a strong-jawed home building visionary and his wife is a perky rockstar teacher with a huge heart. Come to think, Caleb reminds me of the actor in The Longest Ride.

My Japanese beauty regimen for beautiful skin:

  1. Drink as tea or add matcha green tea powder to my food. This has something like 10x more antioxidants than gojiberries or acai berries. It is also chock full of Vitamin C, which makes for a glowing complexion, and “breaks up melanin and removes pigmentation.” –
  2. Oil cleansing method. I’ve been doing the Japanese oil cleansing method for a year now, and it’s great! I got my recipe from Wellness Mama, and use the castor oil/almond oil recipe. Making a 2 oz. bottle costs about $0.50 and lasts ~4-6 months. I would also like to get a pack of Revive fair trade sustainable bamboo washcloths $16/pack of 5 to take the oil off. download
  3. Take Omega 3 fatty acids via fish, flax seed, or chia seeds in my yogurt. I get my organic chia and flax seeds from Trader Joe’s. I used to make my own kefir yogurt but I got tired (or lazy) of making it. p.s. Did you know you can mail kefir grains? I just washed it off, put it in a baggie, and mailed it to my bro. Fermenting: the gift that keeps on giving.
  4. Seaweed. I love sushi, but it can get pretty pricey. My friend J. once told me that sometimes she goes to get sushi by herself because if she goes with her husband it can get too expensive. I buy the snack-size MSG-free seaweed papers from the C Fresh Market grocery store ($0.30/pack), and just fill it with rice, fish, grapeseed oil “mayo”, cucumber, avocado, sesame, and pop it in my mouth-easy! I used to make sushi rolls but that was too time-consuming.
  5. I make my own daily facial moisturizing oil. It’s Trader Joe’s jojoba oil with 1-2 drops of quality Young Living rose oil, lavender oil, frankincense oil, and carrot seed oil for SPF. I used to put lemon oil in it, and loved that it got rid of my scars, but I now reserve that for my night cream since it makes your skin sensitive to sun. Contact me if you want to order a bottle with or without signing up for the membership discount.
  6. Collagen Gummy Bears- My friend Melissa gave me one of her collagen bears and I was sold. I use Great Lakes kosher beef gelatin to make gummy squares and use this easy recipe from I tried twice to drink it in juice but the new texture and taste is too different for me to stomach. (Update: I am now fine drinking it in juice!)

Let me know if you tried any of my Japanese beauty tips, and how it worked out!

The BEST Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (healthy, almond flour, coconut)

The best paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe with almond flour, dark chocolatepaleo chocolate chip cookies

I’ve finally found it. To die for, melt in your mouth, crispity crunchity on the ouside, soft on the inside paleo chocolate chip cookies. The chocolate chips were still melty even 30 minutes post-oven, and stay melty at room temperature. I ate 3 small cookies with a glass of almond milk, and I think now I can breathe again after being told I should stay away from all sugar for a while. Should I have eaten these while my gut is trying to heal? Probably not since I’m not supposed to have sugar (remember my scary facial issues from a couple posts ago?)… But they are a great alternative to what I could be eating, and knowing me, I’d cave and shove a sweet in my face at some point (like last Saturday.)

paleo chocolate chip cookies

Last night my fiancé ate a bunch of regular just-baked chocolate chip cookies in front of me, and I guess I’ve been craving them ever since!

I used the recipe from but I tweaked it. I didn’t have coconut sugar so I used organic turbinado sugar instead.

Tip 1: I didn’t preheat the oven to 350 until 20 minutes after I had finished making the cookies, since you have to chill them in the fridge for an hour (I always cheat and stick them in the freezer for ~15 minutes).

Tip 2: Definitely chop up bars of dark chocolate instead of using the chips- that’s how it stays so melty. Socially conscious note: For the bars, I suggest Made in the USA in Seattle fair trade organic chocolate from Theo. We went on a tour of the factory and got free samples, yes! Only $4/bar.

Note: The first time I made these I used turbinado sugar, and the cookies were sweeter and crunchier on the outside than the second time I made these using coconut sugar. I prefer the turbinado sugar, but it looks like I can’t eat that right now.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields: 30 cookies
  • ½ cup organic coconut oil, room temperature
  • ¾ cup organic turbinado sugar (or coconut sugar or packed brown sugar)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2¼ cups (9 oz.) almond flour or almond meal
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) chopped Theo dark chocolate bar
  • optional chopped walnuts
  1. Beat together the coconut oil and coconut sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  2. Add the almond flour, salt, and baking soda to the wet ingredients. Mix until well incorporated. Fold in the chopped chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (can prepare up to 48 hours ahead of time).
  3. Preheat oven. After refrigerating, use a cookie scoop to form cookies and press down slightly. I leave them mounded about an inch thick. Bake for 8-10 minutes or just beginning to turn golden brown around the edges. Make sure not to overbake. Note: When mounded, the cookies won’t flatten out like normal cookies, but that’s what makes it so moist on the inside. Let cool on pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  4. paleo chocolate chip cookies