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the best damn granola

It was a juice day today!

I woke up and remembered that I had a fridge full of celery, carrots, beets and apples…what better thing to make with those ingredients than a healthy, thirst-quenching juice.

I washed and chopped the ingredients, so that they would fit into my juicer.

Then, juiced away.

I love the color when I add beets.  Beets and celery are a great combination!

I also had some toast with almond butter and jam for breakfast.

A few hours later, I was hungry!  So, I made a few peanut butter crackers to hold me over until lunch.

For lunch, I bought again!  This weekend, it is a priority to hit up the grocery store.  Over the past 2 weeks, I have bought lunch more times than I ever have in the past – oopps! 🙂

A Meditteranean Wrap from Au Bon Pain – lettuce, rpasted red pepper hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalmata olives, sun-dried tomato spread and feta.

It is one of my favorites!  I just love feta!

Along with some watermelon that I packed from home.

My mid-afternoon snack included a new granola!

Cyndi from The Best Damn Granola Co. was gracious enough to give me a bag of her delicious granola to try!

I chose the Fig ‘n Nuts because it is her signature and is so good with the hints of cinnamon and spice.  I could eat this by the handful – and I have!

The ingredients are pretty good and everything is made by Cyndi and her family.  Check out their website for more info!

And, the best part is the chunks of fruit and nuts in each bag.  Mmmmmm……

And, it is super flavorful, but not too sweet.  In fact, it is much more spicey than sweet.

My snack consisted of plain yogurt with the granola.

Delicious!

We are off to the Patriot’s Pre-season game tonight!  Have a good one.

use up your csa veggies stirfry

What did I want for breakfast on a Monday morning to start off the work week?!  Dessert, of course!

I had a few frozen bananas in the freezer just waiting to be used, so I whipped up a batch of banana softserve, but made it a little bit fancier.

To my food processor, I added:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 tbsp of peanut butter

Once it formed my peanut butter banana softserve, I put it into a bowl and added a sprinkle of trail mix on top and a drizzle of chocolate coconut butter.

It was so good and very filling.  You should make this right now!

My lunch options were limited today because we were away for the weekend and don’t pick up our CSA until tomorrow night.  But, we still had some kale and and avocado left, so I made do.

Honey Avocado Massaged Kale Salad

I tore up my kale stalks and washed the leaves.  Then massaged in some homemade dressing – 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp balsamic, drizzle of honey and lemon juice,  pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Really use your hands and massage the leaves to spread the dressing evenly and to break down the kale a bit.  After it was coated in dressing, I mixed in 1 very small chopped avocado and 1 ounce of sweet curry sunflower seeds (from Kaia Foods).

It turned out great.  Along with my salad, I had an apple and chocolate yogurt.

Snacktime came late today, but I needed something to get me through my workout and cleaning before dinner, so I snacked on a Liberate Glo Bar and a few dried mango slices.  This bar was great.  I like the texture of the regular Glo Bars better, but for a raw and gluten free bar, this was awesome!  And, the flavor tasted just like banana bread!!

For my workout, I did 40 minutes of Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones, then cleaned my whole condo!  That was a workout itself!

Once dinner rolled around, we needed to use up the rest of our veggies before picking up our new CSA tomorrow.  In the fridge we had the following:

  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 2 spring onions

What do you do with those crazy ingredients?

You make a Use Up Your CSA Veggies Stirfry!

My feeling is that anything can be made into a stirfry.  I chopped one onion and fennel and sauteed them over medium heat with a little olive oil and garlic.  After about 7 minutes, I added in the chopped green pepper and cooked the mix for 5 minutes.  Then added 1/2 of the chopped cabbage along with some lemon juice, white wine, salt and pepper and cooked for another 5 minutes.  The flavors actually worked!  I was pleasantly surprised.

I served the stirfry with some leftover eggplant parmesan from Friday night’s dinner and a locally made pickle.

I am stuffed! 🙂

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!

pb & j smoothie

It sure was a hot day in Beantown today!  But, the mid-afternoon thunderstorms really cooled things down.

Anyways, I started my day with another Magic Bullet Masterpiece – a Vivacious Princess Smoothie from Kristen!

It was cool and refreshing, just what I needed on a hot day.

Lunch was not as refreshing, but still just as good – a Bean Burger Wrap!

Spread a whole wheat wrap with roasted red pepper hummus, CSA lettuce, a crumbled black bean burger and goat cheese.

Then wrap…

And eat with a big bowl of refreshing cherries!

(Source)

After work, I hit up the gym for a little workout.  This was not much better than working out outside in the heat, however, because the gym’s AC is not working properly!  Oh well…it felt good to sweat!

I started off with 25 minutes of stabilization and weights circuit style:

  • squat with overhead press
  • 21’s on 1 leg, then alternate
  • lunge and lift
  • deadlift with upright row
  • tricep extension in static squat
  • back extension
  • then repeat 3 times…

After, I jumped on the elliptical for 30 minutes and did intervals!

It was a great workout – glad I went.

After my workout, I was more than ready for dinner.  Luckily, Brant had roasted some extra broccoli for me last night.  I popped an Amy’s Non-Dairy Burrito into the microwave and put some broccoli on my plate.  It was not a gourmet meal by any means, but boy did it hit the spot!

Topped with tomato paste and homemade pesto (recipe to come).

I was still craving something cold and sweet, though, so I whipped up something delicious – a Chocolate PB & J Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cherry jam
  • 5 ice cubes

It actually really tasted like PB&J!!

Whoa!  Deliciousness!!!

peanut butter & jelly time

Sorry for no post yesterday!  It was super late by the time we arrived home from Maine and all I wanted to do was jump in my bed. 🙂  I want my hour back!

I started the day yesterday with an 8 mile run.  I only have one week to go until my Half Marathon, so I wanted to take it a little easier on my long run yesterday.  I ended up completing 8 miles in the pouring rain and wind!  It was cold and miserable, but I felt better once it was out of the way.

I was WET and COLD!

I am going to take it easy this week and stay away from weights.  I will do a few easy runs and some yoga to stretch me out!

After my run, we chowed down on some breakfast.  I had some greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey, granola and an english muffin with just a little peanut butter.  I was famished!

For lunch, we made a stop at this incredible lunch spot.  It was incredible to me because it was called Peanut Butter and Jelly Time!

I was pretty much in heaven!  You could basically get anything that you want.

I opted for Raspberry sugar free jam and homemade Cinnamon PB on toasted multi-grain – YUM!

Brant opted for a Triple-Decker with jelly, PB and FLUFF!  Check this thing out!

I also ordered a House Chai from the coffee and tea shop next door.

They sweeten their chai with honey and figs.  How cool.

My sandwich and tea were so delicious!  If you are in Portland, definitely check out Portland Market and hit up these 2 hot spots.

I enjoyed every bite.

It was such a gross day, so we just hung out the rest of the afternoon.  Before we hit the road, we enjoyed some afternoon tea.

I am in love with Rebecca’s teapot!

Then, we ventured out into the storm for our trek home.  On our way, we stopped at Whole Foods for some fuel.  I filled my take away container and of course, finished it all.  In my mix: Kale and avocado salad, red quinoa and black beans, marinated cucumbers, carrot and rice slaw, quinoa patty and guac and a few homemade tortilla chips.

I am normally dissapointed when I get take out from Whole Foods because everything always looks so much better than it tastes!  But, tonight was different.  I loved everything.  The highlight was the Kale & Avocado salad – I will definitely be recreating this.

We had such a wonderful weekend with friends!  Thank you Rebecca and Steve for being such tremendous hosts!

ants on a log

This morning I was tired and did not make it to the gym.  I guess going to bed a little later really takes its toll.  My tummy also was not feeling great this morning either(the last 2 days haven’t been great), so I wanted the rest and something light for breakfast.

I decided on a slice of millet toast with cacao bliss and raspberry jam and a new yogurt.

I really love this combo on my toast.  It might not be the best for breakfast, but it would be perfect for a dessert or post workout snack.

The yogurt was delicious!  It is Chobani Champions Honeynana from their kids line of greek yogurt. 

They come in 4 packs and each yogurt contains 4 ounces, perfect for a little treat.  The yogurt was sweeter than I expected, but I still really liked the flavor.  The honeynana comes with chocolate (which I am dying to try!).  They also have mixed berry and straw-bana.

I feel like I ate multiple mini-meals (aka snacks) all afternoon instead of eating one substantial meal.  Around 11:00, I started with a yogurt, cereal and banana.

Chobani Raspberry, Uncle Sam Cereal, Banana

All mixed up.  I could eat this combination everyday.

Then, around 12:30, I felt hungry again, but not for anything healthy.  My tummy was still a little off.  I wanted carbs.  I wanted a cookie!  So, I trekked down to Barnes and Nobles and participated in Tina’s Cookie Friday.  Normally, I stay away from all unhealthy treats during the day because I know that I will inevitable crave something sweet after dinner, but today’s I just couldn’t wait.

So, I had some of this.

A pumpkin chocolate chip muffin!  I only ate the top, and it hit the spot.

But, that’s not it.  Around 2:30, I craved something healthy (does this happen to anyone after eating an unhealthy treat??).  Luckily, I brought some celery (for green!), peanut butter and raisins for a snack.

And, I made my favorite healthy snack as a kid (although, I’m pretty sure I didn’t know the difference between junk food and health food back then) – ants on a log!!

Phew!  I finally feel full and satisfied.

This is why good, healthy, satisfying meals are a great thing to eat.  But, I just wasn’t feeling it today!

homemade veggie burgers

I had an awesome 12 mile run this morning along my favorite running route in Boston -The Charles River!

Before my run, I had a bowl of plain greek yogurt with sliced banana, a BlueBran Vitatop and a scoop of peanut butter.  This was the perfect pre-run fuel with fat, carbs and sugar!  It stayed with me my entire run, but not in a bad way.  I felt great!

I didn’t like BlueBran Vitatop as much as I liked the Banana Nut, which I reviewed here.  It smelled like a Blueberry muffin as it was toasting, but was a little dry for my taste.  It was good mixed with my yogurt though!

After some time to digest, I was out on my run.  I haven’t run along the Charles since before the marathon(!), so I thought I’d share some pictures of my favorite Boston running route!

Cambridge side of the river!

Citgo Sign!

Mass Ave Bridge

Boston side of the river.

It was a gorgeous day in Boston for a run.  A little windy, but overall it was great.  I had a great run, check out my splits:

1 – 8:42
2 – 9:06
3 – 9:05
4 – 8:05
5 – 9:01
6 – 9:00
7 – 8:39
8 – 8:38
9 – 8:23
10 – 8:07
11 – 8:37
12 – 8:47

Average Pace = 8:40!!!

Once home from my run, I was craving fuel (and protein).  I grabbed a bag of trail mix from Youbar and munched on it while making my protein smoothie.

This mix contained chocolate covered raisins, cheerios, peanuts, raisins and apples.  Overall, the mix was great, but unfortunately the cheerios were a little stale.  These trail mixes would be perfect for a vacation with workouts planned!

I also used a protein shake mix from YouBar – Breakfast Shake.

This contained Whey protein, cane juice, egg white protein, bananas and cocoa.  Normally I prefer a natural form of protein, but I had this to use and it was perfect for today.  I souped up my protein shake by adding a banana, 1 tbsp of peanut butter and 1/2 cup almond milk.

This was perfect.  It tasted mostly of peanut butter and banana with a hint of chocolate.  I really enjoyed it.  The protein shake does not have a chalky taste, like many do.  They really taste like what is listed in the ingredients, which I love.  I think this would be perfect on it’s own mixed with milk, but I liked my additions to make it thicker and heavier.

However, this snack did not hold me over for long!  An hour or so later and I was ready for lunch.  I was craving salt, so I popped open a new can of Amy’s Soup and made a grilled cheese with cheddar.

Amy’s Fire Roasted Southwester Vegetable Soup

This soup was delicious.  I loved the whole chunks of potatos, carrots, tomatoes, corn and black beans.  It had a spicy kick to it and paired perfectly with my grilled cheese.

And some plantain chips!

Dinner was homemade veggie burgers!  This was a recipe out of the Moosewood Cookbook, which turned out great!

Middle Eastern Cannellini Patties


from Moosewood Restaurants Low-Fat Favorites

Serves 6 (makes 18 small patties)

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups minced onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup minced bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Warm the olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the onion, garlic and salt and cook 5-10 minutes or until onions are tender.

  • Add the pepper and cumin and cook 5 more minutes, or until peppers are soft.

  • Mash the cannellini beans by hand in a large mixing bowl.

  • Add the parsley, lemon, rice and vegetables and mix well!  Add black pepper to taste.

  • Shape the mixture into small patties.

  • Cook the patties in a skillet or on a griddle for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

  • Serve with toppings of choice.  We served the patties in pita pockets with lettuce and avocado.

The cannellini patties came out delicious!!!  They were a little messy because they began to dry out and fall apart when cooked, but they still tasted moist enough and so good.  Even my husband liked them!!

They did take awhile to make by the time the veggies and rice were cooked, so it worked out for a weekend meal.  I’m not sure I would make this during the week due to time constraints, but they will be great for leftovers this week!

According to the Moosewood Cookbook, each serving (3 patties) contains 239 calories, 10.6 grams of protein and 44.2 carbohydrates.  With the avocado it makes a perfect meal.  You could also serve the patties on top of a salad or with a tabouli salad.