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snack-a-thon

Yesterday morning was another day for oats!  I kept these more simple, still cooked in the rice cooker, because I wanted to add a few fun toppings.

Into the rice cooker went the following:

  • 1/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 chopped banana
  • 1/2 diced apple
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1 cup of water

They came out as creamy as ever!  I topped this bowl with peanut butter, rolled dates and a shake of cinnamon.

This breakfast didn’t hold me over as well as it usually does.  Maybe because of my morning run?

I feel like I snacked throughout the day on small-ish, but delicious, meals.

First up, vanilla yogurt with cinnamon and granola and a pear.

It was a crazy day at work, so the next thing I knew, it was 4 o’clock and I had missed lunch and my afternoon snack!

So, I ran out to pick up some soup – Broccoli Cheddar with a Baguette from Panera Bread.

This soup is really good, but very rich!  I need to try to make a batch at home for the winter.

Once home for dinner, I had a small serving of leftover pasta from Tuesday night.  I just wasn’t very hungry due to the late soup!

Still delicious after reheating!

After dinner, I whipped up some Super Charge Me cookies.  My sweet tooth was calling.  Served warm with milk. 🙂

These cookies are a great treat filled with healthy ingredients including, rolled oats, almond butter, raisins, spelt flour, shredded coconut, etc.

I have a yummy dinner planned for tonight. 🙂

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krema & crazy richard’s peanut butter review

Happy 4th of July!!

We are out and about in Pennsylvania right now, so I thought I would start your Sunday off with a delicious peanut butter review and a cupcake recipe. 🙂

Many months ago, Krema & Crazy Richards sent me some peanut butter to review on the blog.

We all know how much I love peanut butter, so I was esthatic when I receive 4 jars of the best stuff on earth. 🙂

I started out with the creamy versions of each of the peanut butters because I knew that I would like the crunchy better – and I was right!  But, only because I prefer chunky over smooth nut butters anyday.  I like a little crunch.

Both brands taste the same.  And, they are in fact the same recipe that are distributed as different brands in different parts of the country.  They are natural peanut butters, so they do seperate and have quite a bit of oil on top.  But, just stir it up and you are good to go.

The ingredient list for all 4 jars was amazing – Ingredients: Peanuts – You cannot get any better than that!

I ate the peanut butter as I normally would.

Stuffed into dates:

Mixed into smoothies:

And, then I also enjoyed the peanut butter in the best way possible…in cookies!!

These are Super Charge Me cookies from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.  Vegan or not, it is a wonderful recipe!  One in which you can change up the ingredients that are in there.  I have added almond butter and cashew butter in the past, but this time I added peanut butter and they came out fabulous!


Such a super peanut buttery taste – yum!

Simple ingredients make simple, easy and delicious foods.  They are the perfect treat for our Fourth of July celebration!

super sunday

I started my day with a 5 mile treadmill run at the hotel gym (which consisted of 1 treadmill, 1 stationary bike and 1 elliptical).  Luckily, no one else was there!  It always feels great to sweat after a night of drinking.

We were headed to a post-wedding brunch, but I was starving, so I re-fueled with a post-run recovery drink (8 oz Chocolate Almond Milk, 1 packet Chocolate Amazing Meal, ice cubes).  It was delicious!  This is my go-to recovery drink while on the go.  The Amazing Meal tastes great, especially mixed with almond milk, but it tastes best when ice cold.  I also had a packet of plain instant oatmeal with flaxseeds and a banana.

A few hours later, we hit up the brunch where they had a wonderful spread of food.  I ate some scrambled eggs, a slice of zucchini bread, spinach and fruit salad.

Brunch totally screws up my eating!  I snacked all afternoon…yogurt, pita bread, hummus, dried fruit and a supercharge me cookie.  I didn’t eat a lot of all of this stuff, but it still feels like a lot because I’m snacking all day instead of eating 3 meals.  Oh well.  Life is too short to worry about it! 🙂

This afternoon, we hit up the South End Open Market (SOWA), where we picked up some local greens, hummus and pita bread.  They all made an appearance for dinner this evening.

Mixed greens and Pea shoots!

Tabbouleh and Whole wheat pitas.

Then, I whipped up some cookies, granola and nut butter for gifts.  Homemade gifts are the best (well, I think so at least).  They come from the heart and are made with love!

Super Charge Me Cookies (original recipe from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan).

To bring with us to the LOST finale party tonight.

Modifications to recipe:

  • 2/3 cup almond flour instead of flour
  • 3 tbsp cashew butter instead of almond butter

I have made additional changes in the past, but the original recipe is so good that it’s hard to change too much. 🙂

Crazy Nut Butter

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1 cup raw brazil nuts
  • 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw peanuts
  • 1/2 cup flaxseeds
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds

Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

Be patient while blending.  The nuts will go through stages, but will eventually become smooth and creamy!  This process took about 12 minutes for me.

This made a ton of crazy nut butter!  I filled three 1/2 pint jars.

Chai Granola

*I got the inspiration for this recipe from Sarah at The Smart Kitchen.  I used most of the dry ingredients, but varied the wet ingredients to what I had on hand!

  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 1 cup chopped raw cashews
  • 1 cup chopped unsweetened banana chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried ginger, chopped

1.  Add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl, including spices (but leave out raisins and ginger, as they may burn while cooking).  Mix well.

2.  Add all wet ingredients to a bowl and heat on a stove top over low heat until all melted and mixed together.

3.  Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix very well.

4.  Pour mixture onto 2 parchment lined baking sheets and cook at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until slightly browned (take out once at about 15 minutes to mix).

5.  Add raisins and chopped ginger, then place back into the oven for 5-7 minutes.

6.  Take out and let completely cool before storing in an airtight container.

7.  Enjoy plain, with milk or sprinkled over yogurt!

Time for dinner!

I made up a big salad with farmers market greens, tomato, cucumber, orange pepper and feta sprinkled with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano.  With tabbouleh, kalamata olive hummus and whole wheat pita bread.

Off to watch the LOST series finale!!

no snow?!

The weathermen predicted 10 inches of snow today, where is it?!  There isn’t more than a dusting and I am so happy!

This afternoon I snacked on some delicious homemade root vegetable chips.

And a coconut almond cookie.

Both of which would homemade by my mom!  She had a party last night and saved me some samples, which I just had to try!  They were great!

After my trek home on the T (my car is in the shop!), it was dinner time.

Salad with peppers, green apple, raisins and pomegranate vinaigrette.  This seems to be a staple salad lately.

And, Vegetable and Grain Torta – once again, made by mom!  The recipe is from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters.

It was pretty good!  The crust was quinoa and the torta was layered with zucchini and eggplant.  Something I would definitely eat again.

I made myself a cup of tea and ate a super charge cookie after dinner while watching The Hangover.

‘Night!

superbowl party

We stuck it out in New Hampshire for the superbowl!  We spent the morning snowshoeing and spent the afternoon preparing our feast! 🙂

The superbowl is always fun because of the company and the food – yum!  It wasn’t the healthiest day on record, and I probably won’t feel well tomorrow, but sometimes you just need to splurge and get it out of your system!

Before the night started, I did my favorite Power Yoga video.  This one is a killer!  You are basically in a plank the entire 60 minutes!  The first time I did it, I felt so weak.  But, today I felt much stronger due to all of my weight lifting.

Then, we started the night with a game of Beatles Monopoly and nachos!

While we were watching the superbowl and setting up for our “make your own pizza” bar, I had a beer – Circus Boy by Magic Hat.  I loved this one!  It is an unfiltered wheat beer, which are my favorite, especially with an orange one to make it girlier!

We set up everything for the pizza masters to go to work!

There were lots of good creations!

BBQ Chicken:

1/2 sausage and mushrooms, 1/2 onions and peppers:

1/2 Chicken & Broccoli, 1/2 Sausage and Peppers:

And, lots of everything on this pizza!

While the pizza cooked, some snacked on homemade chicken wings! (I skipped this course) 🙂

Instead, I waited for some salad and BBQ chicken pizza.

As you can see from the past few days, I have added cheese back into my diet in full force!  I stopped eating it for a few weeks to see how my stomach reacted, but I’ve missed it (and my greek yogurt!), so i’m adding it back in to see how it goes…

Dessert was some Chai Tea and a Super Charge Me cookie!

The Saints pulled through in the game!  Off to bed after a fun and exhausting weekend!

cookies and blt’s

Bet you never thought I’d write a post about BLT’s, huh?  Well, in place of bacon, I used my dehydrated eggplant bacon!

Eggplant Bacon

from Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 dried chipotle chile, soaked at least 2 hours – omitted because I didn’t have any!
  • 1/2 cup soaking water from the chipotle peppers – omitted, and added a little water instead
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons nama shoyu
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch black pepper
  • pinch cayenne

Directions:


Cut the eggplant in half, then slice thinly to make ‘bacon’ strips.



Sprinkle it with the sea salt and allow to sit for 1-2 hours on paper towels.


In the mean time, blend all of the other ingredients in your high speed blender or food processor.


Press our the extra moisture in your eggplant by blotting it with extra paper towels.


Then, submerge the eggplant in the marinade and let sit 30-45 minutes.




Carefully lay out the eggplant strips onto your dehydrator and dehydrate at 115°F until crispy (mine took about 14 hours – I put it on before I went to bed, and it was done mid-morning).




13.5 hours later, my eggplant bacon was crispy and done!


It tasted great!  Definitely not like real bacon, although I probably haven’t had that in at least 10 years!  It was crispy and the flavor was great, so I’m glad I used the marinade!


To make our BLT’s for dinner, I took 2 slices of sprouted grain bread and toasted them, then spread a thin layer of mustard on each.

I layered the toast with green leaf lettuce, yellow tomatoes and eggplant bacon.


After the sandwich was put together, I put it on our grill pan to press it a little bit.


Yummy!  The eggplant bacon was crispy enough that it really did remind me of real bacon, besides the flavor.  But, then again, I used to eat BLT’s because I liked the crunch, so this works just fine for me!



I served our sandwiches with a side of zucchini and kale chips, which I dipped in ketchup!


Yesterday morning, I took my zucchini chips out of the dehydrator after 9.5 hours!  Here is how they turned out:




They were crispy, just like chips!  I liked the flavor better dipped in ketchup, so next time I will use some kind of seasoning before dehydrating.  I’m thinking even italian seasoning would be delicious!

For dessert I made some Super Charge Me cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

Super Charge Me Cookies

adapted from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan

makes 12 ‘ice cream scoop’ sized cookies


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick oats (i used rolled oats)
  • 2/3 cup spelt flour (i used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon (i used 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut (i used 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup raisins or other dried fruit ( i used 1/3 cup raisins)
  • 3-4 tbsp carob (to be vegan) or chocolate chips (i used 4 tbsp dark chocolate chunks)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp almond butter (i used Futter’s Almond Haze)
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp canola oil (i used coconut oil)

Mix all of the ingredients together, scoop with an ice cream scoop and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350°F for 13 minutes.

I took my cookies out after exactly 13 minutes, and they were perfect.  Enjoy!!

These cookies were great.  It will be my new go-to cookie for awhile now.  They are extremely east to make, and I normally have all of the ingredients in my pantry!

quinoa stew and macaroons

My yogurt maker made delicious yogurt!  I’ll post towards the end of the week with some ideas and uses for it. 🙂

It was Day 2 of my weight training today, so I worked out my Legs & Abs.

5 minute warmup – jumping jacks

Legs

  • Lunge & Lift – 3 sets of 12
  • Stability Ball hamstring curl – 3 sets of 12
  • Mountain Climbers – 1 minute
  • Calf Raises with 10 lb weights – 3 sets of 12
  • Squat jumps – 1 minute
  • Deadlifts with 10 lb weights – 3 sets of 12
  • Step-ups with 10 lb weights – 3 sets of 12
  • Burpees – 1 minute
  • Leg lifts – 2 sets of 12

Abs

  • Crunches – 3 sets of 15
  • Reverse Crunches – 3 sets of 15
  • Bicycles – 3 sets of 20
  • Frogs – 3 sets of 10
  • V-ups – 3 sets of 10

5 minute cooldown – jumprope

Tough workout tonight, my legs were burning during those squat jumps and burpees!  I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow, but it was worth it!

Then, it was time for dinner and baking!

Tonight on the menu was our favorite – quinoa!  You probably think that we eat quinoa all the time.  Well, we do!  It is a delicious grain (actually, it’s a seed) and it pairs nicely with any type of vegetable.  Quinoa is about 15% protein, which is very high for a grain, so we rarely eat much other protein with it.

We used a recipe out of one of the Moosewood Cookbooks tonight.  These cookbooks are great, especially for vegetarians.  They make all sorts of delicious recipes.

Quinoa cooks like a couscous does, very quickly.  I started dinner by rinsing 3/4 cup of quinoa (it is important to rinse the quinoa because the seed produces a natural coat to protect itself from insects and you want to rinse this bitter coat off) and placing it in a pan with twice as much water to boil.  Once it boils, you just reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.  A few minutes before the quinoa was cooked, I added some corn to the mix.

Meanwhile, I chopped up my veggies: garlic, onion, green pepper, zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes.

Add the onions and garlic to a pan heated with olive oil and cook until tender.  Then, add the pepper, zucchini and squash and cook until a little browned, 5-10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes along with 2 cans of diced tomatoes and a tablespoon of thyme and cover, simmering until the veggies are all tender.  Then add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.  We like our food a little on the spicy side, so I added extra pepper flakes!

Serve the stew over a scoop of the quinoa mixture!  The quinoa really works nicely with the stew.  It is a much lighter dish that it would be with a rice.  Delicious!

Quinoa with Vegetable Stew

adapted from Moosewood Restaurants Low-Fat Favorites

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 summer squash, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Rinse the quinoa and add to pan with water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender and fluffy.
  2. When quinoa has cooked for about 10 minutes, stir in the corn, and continue to cook.
  3. Meanwhile, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, until the onions soften.
  4. Add the pepper, zucchini and squash; cook until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and thyme.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until veggies are tender.
  6. Add red pepper flakes, then salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Fluff the quinoa mixture, spoon it onto individual serving plates and ladle on the vegetable stew.

Nutrition Facts: About 300 calories per serving.  9.2 grams of protein and 6.5 grams of fat.

My dessert creation of the night were some delicious Almond Coconut Macaroons and Chocolate Almond Coconut Macaroons!  We are having some friends over for dinner this week, so I needed to try some things out.  I can’t serve just any old thing to my guests. 🙂

I got this recipe from another foodie’s blog and they came out perfectly.  Plenty of almond and coconut flavor.  I added extra sun-grained chocolate chips to the chocolate ones which makes them much more chocolaty and sinful!

I buy my raw almonds and raw coconut whole because you get more bang for your buck, so my first task was to chop them all up.  I ground up the almonds in my food processor until they were almost to a flour-like texture.  I did the same with the coconut, but made sure it had more texture.

Once chopped, I mixed all of my ingredients together and formed them into ice-cream scoop sized balls.  These are supposed to be placed in a dehydrator, but mine isn’t large enough, so instead I turned my oven on to 170°F (the lowest it will go) and “cooked” them for about 4 hours.

Almond Coconut Macaroons

borrowed from Joggerslife.com

makes 9 macaroons

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Raw Almonds, ground (flour-style)
  • 1 Cup Raw Ground Coconut
  • 2 Medjool Dates, spun in food processor
  • 1/8 Cup Raw Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Extract

Double Chocolate Almond Coconut Macaroons

borrowed from Joggerslife.com

makes 9 macaroons

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Raw Almonds, ground (flour-style)
  • 1 Cup Raw Ground Coconut
  • 2 Medjool Dates, spun in food processor
  • 1/8 Cup Raw Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Sun-Grained Chocolate Chips

Directions for both recipes:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°F. (or use a dehydrator at 105°F for 6-8 hours)
  2. Combine all ingredients.  You’ll know it’s perfect when everything sticks together easily.
  3. Form batter into round balls, and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  4. Allow to stay in oven for 3-4 hours, or until macaroons are firm to the touch. (mine took 4 hours)

These babies are so good.  I could eat them all day long!  They would be great topped with a little almond butter, or even broken up over some coconut ice cream!

I will be making these for family and friends in the very near future!  They just might be the 2010 Christmas cookies!  By then, maybe I’ll have a bigger dehydrator. 🙂