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broccoli crunch

Yesterday morning, I made up my new favorite smoothie again – Butterfinger!  It’s funny, I definitely go through phases.  A few months ago, I couldn’t get enough of the Chocolate Cherry Bomb Smoothie, but now all I want is Butterfinger!

If you like butterfingers or toffee or butterscotch…and smoothies, you’ll love this one. 🙂

Mid-morning, I snacked on some dried fruit that I picked up at the Farmer’s Market this past weekend.

Dried kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, cherries, papaya and golden delicious apples.

Lunch had 2 parts:

Salad

Romaine lettuce with dried cranberries, almonds, apple and honey balsamic dressing.  This is my favorite salad!

Yogurt

Plain greek yogurt with granola and honey.

Mid-afternoon, I was craving some chocolate milk!

After a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood, Brant and I got started on dinner.  It has been awhile since we’ve made a dish from 101cookbooks.com, so we tried one out tonight.

Broccoli Crunch

We followed the recipe exactly, except we subbed onions for shallots and added sugar snap peas for 1/2 of the broccoli.  We caramelized the onions until sweet.

Mix all of the veggies/nuts/fruits in a bowl.

Then, add the delicious almond butter sauce!

The sauce is by far the best part of the dish…next time, I would make extra!

Served over a bed of millet (cooked in our rice cooker with salt, pepper and olive oil – about 40 minutes).

This recipe was simple, quick and delicious.  Can’t get much better than that for a weeknight meal!

There were plenty of leftovers for lunch today, we well!

my favorite things – part one

We are headed out of town this weekend on a mini vacation, so I wanted to leave you with something fun!

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I get quite a few questions from readers, family and friends about some of the things that I eat, bake and cook with and why I use them over other ingredients.  Therefore, I thought that it would be fun to write a post about some of my favorite ingredients.

Since I have so many favorite things, I decided to split this up into two parts.

Enjoy. 🙂

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are packed with fiber, antioxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals and omega-3.  They are extremely easily digestible in their state, unlike flax seeds which need to be ground.  They are great for athletes because the seeds give you an energy boost and absorb water to keep you hydrated!

You can eat chia seeds on their own, but I prefer to add them to smoothies, yogurt and oatmeal!

Brown Rice Syrup

Brown rice syrup is a sweetener with a honey-like thickness that will not cause your blood sugar to spike.  It is a simple sugar which means that your body does not need to work as hard to break it down for digestion.  All sugars that enter your body are broken down into simple sugars before they can be digested.  In this case, the work has been done before the sugar enters your body.  This makes brown rice syrup one of the healthiest out there.

I like to substitute brown rice syrup for honey, maple syrup, white sugar, etc in recipes.

Almonds

What is not to like here?  Almonds are packed with all sorts of stuff – Vitamin E, calcium, fiber, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron – making them one of the healthiest nuts out there.  Yes, like all nuts, almonds are hign in fat.  However, they are high in monosaturated fat which is the healthy fat.  The kind of fat that your body uses to live.  Eating almonds has been show to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and will keep your cravings at bay by keeping you satisfied!

Almonds are tasty on their own, but I also love them in trail mix, cereal, on top of oatmeal or crushed into almond butter!

Cinnamon

Did you know that cinnamon is often used as a health remedy?  It slows the rate at which the stomach empties after you eat, which reduces the rise of blood sugar after meals.  Cinnamon is also a great source of dietary fiber, iron and calcium.  Plus, it tastes delicious!

I love cinnamon mixed in oatmeal and yogurt or sprinkled on fruit.

Greek Yogurt

I would choose greek yogurt over other types anyday!  It has a thicker texture which turns some people off, but once you get used to it you won’t look back.

Not only does greek yogurt keep you full much longer than other types, but it is also full of protein!  Make sure to watch the sugar content if you buy flavored yogurts – it is can be decieving!  I prefer to buy plain greek yogurt and add my own flavorings.  You can add everything – vanilla, honey, peanut butter, granola, etc.

Have fun with your food!

Cacao Powder & Nibs

These 2 things could easily be my favorite!  Cacao = Cocoa.  Cacao powder is unsweetened and usually raw.  It is ground from cacao nibs.  Cacao nibs & powder contain more antioxidants and magnesium than any other food out there.  However, in order to reap the benefits, you need to eat cacao in it’s natural form – the nibs and powder count!

Cacao powder is delicious when added to smoothies or in oatmeal.  You can use it as chocolate in baked goods when combined with a sweetener of your choice.  I add cacao nibs to everything – trail mix, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, ice cream, etc!

Coconut Water

Coconut water is my post-workout drink of choice.  It contains natural electrolytes to replenish lost stores in your body.  Check out more benefits of coconut water in my last post!

Drink it straight up, mix is with your favorite fruit juice or add it to a smoothie!

Ginger

Ginger is often used to aid in digestion, treat stomach upsets and nausea.  It has also been shown to treat arthritis and the common cold.  I love ginger for the taste, but I also love it for helping with tummy troubles.

I drink ginger tea after large meals or when my stomach is upset.  I also love dried ginger!  It’s perfect to keep in your purse to nibble on a few pieces after you eat or drop it in a cup of hot water for tea.

Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are very rich in omega-3’s which makes this seed very powerful for everyone, especially vegetarian’s and vegan’s who stay away from animal products.  It also contains a lot of fiber and has been shown to increase immunity strength in your body.  Whole flaxseeds cannot be digested by your body, so it is important to grind them (or purchase the ground!) before eating.  I grind my own in my coffee grinder!

Flaxseeds and ground flax can easily be added to yogurt, oatmeal, cereal or in baked goods!

Steel Cut Oats

In a nutshell, oatmeal is good for you.  It has been shown to reduce cholesterol when eaten on a regular basis.  It is filling, satisfying and a great breakfast, especially on cold winter days!  Oatmeal is high in protein and fiber and will not make your blood sugar spike.

I prefer Steel-Cut Oats because they are the least processed of most oats.  The different types of oats (steel-cut, rolled, oatbran) all have to do with the amount and type of processing that they go through before hitting store shelves.

Steel-cut oats take much longer to cook due to the minimal processing, but it is worth it.  They have a heartier taste that I love!

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I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite things!  Make sure to come back later on this weekend for part 2!

heading out of town

Guess what today is?!  It’s Friday for me!

We are heading out of town this weekend for a mini vacation and I am so looking forward to 4 days of relaxing!  (For those of you who know me, you know that I have trouble with that.) 🙂

I started the day with a smoothie to go.

In the mix:

  • 1 frozen banana (organic)
  • 1 cup frozen mango (organic)
  • 3 frozen strawberries (organic)
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein powder
  • 1 tsp maca
  • 1 tsp spirulina (which gives it the pretty color!)
  • 1.5 tbsp raw cashew butter
  • 1.25 cups coconut water

It was really good today!  I have been super thirsty for the past few days even though I have been chugging water, so this definitely helped.

For lunch, I had something a bit different for me today – Almond Butter & Jelly Sandwich on whole wheat multigrain, 2 carrots and a grapefuit.

I ended up not eating the grapefruit because I didn’t have time to peel it…but, the sandwich was really good!

I skipped an afternoon snack because I needed to eat an early dinner!  I packed my dinner to-go tonight because I am taking a CPR class.

Amy’s Burrito, yogurt and granola.

This was my first time having an Amy’s Burrito.  I try to stay away from stuff like this, but I needed something quick and fairly healthy.  Amy’s uses minimal ingredients in their pre-packaged meals.

Amy’s Non-Dairy Burrito: Organic flour tortilla wrapped around organic pinto beans, rice and vegetables in a mild Mexican sauce.

INGREDIENTS : (VEGAN) ORGANIC PINTO BEANS, ORGANIC WHOLE WHEAT AND WHEAT FLOUR, FILTERED WATER, ORGANIC BROWN RICE, ORGANIC TOMATO PUREE, EXPELLER PRESSED HIGH OLEIC SAFFLOWER AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL, ORGANIC ONIONS, ORGANIC BELL PEPPERS, ORGANIC SWEET RICE FLOUR, SEA SALT, SPICES, ORGANIC WHEAT GLUTEN, ORGANIC GARLIC.

Not so bad for a frozen burrito.  I’m not going to lie – I loved this!!  The tortilla was not soggy at all (I was fearing it would be) and the flavors were delicious.  I love beans!  I would totally buy these again for quick lunches and/or dinners when I am in a rush.

Along with my burrito, I also had a greek yogurt and granola.

Above are 2 new flavors of Galaxy Granola that I was sent to sample!  I was psyched to receive these.  I liked the other flavors of Galaxy Granola, but these 2 sounded so much better to me – Maple Pecan Quinoa and Hint of Honey?!  YUM!

Tonight, I tried the Maple Pecan Quinoa Granola.  I love quinoa, I love pecans and I love maple syrup!  I couldn’t go wrong.  The granola was great.  Similar texture to their other flavors, and the maple really came through.  I liked the additional crunch from the quinoa.  These 2 flavors hit stores this month, so be sure to check them out!

I also brought an apple, some dried fruit and a few pieces of dark chocolate to snack on during the class if I feel the need.

Off to CPR…