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my newest cravings – carbs!

I still can’t figure out if my cravings are really from being pregnant, or just normal cravings that every woman has. What I do know, is that I give in to my cravings much more these days…and I love it. 🙂

This week, my newest obsession is cereal. But, not just any cereal…crunchy cereal! The last few days, I have been loving Kashi Go Lean Crunch – Honey Almond Flax.

It is crunchy and sweet, without being overly sweet.

And, I love it topped with banana and served with freezing cold milk.


The ingredient list isn’t so bad, and the nutritionals are definitely up to par. With 200 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 8 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein it will keep you full and satisfied for awhile.


Other favorites for lunches have been hummus sandwiches made on homemade bread (made with my new breadmaker!!) filled with hummus, spinach/lettuce and cucumbers.

This might be my absolute favorite lunch…it’s delicious and satisfying. Two really important things!

Along with my sandwiches, I try to eat a piece of fruit and a yogurt for more staying power.

And, for dinners I have been craving carbs! So, the other night we decided to make up a lighter Mac & Cheese that I found in my Women’s Running magazine.

It was delicious! Made with butternut sqaush and a limited amount of cheese…it still tasted cheesy!

We cheated and used frozen butternut squash, which made the dish extremely simple to make.

You just mix everything up.

Pour into a baking dish, sprinkle on a breadcrumb and parmesan mix and bake for 30ish minutes!

It bakes up with a crispy, crunchy top which makes a perfect mac & cheese.

This is definitely a dish worth making…and it served us both for 3 meals!

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holiday brussels sprouts

Despite daylight savings and it being lighter earlier in the mornings, I seem to be having more trouble waking up!  Maybe it’s my body telling me I need more sleep?  Maybe it’s because I’m not sleeping well at night?  Who knows!

What I did know yesterday morning, was that I wanted a smoothie for breakfast.  Are you surprised?! 🙂

Mango Smoothie

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp pepitas
  • 3/4 cup milk

Mix it all up and enjoy!

Mid-morning, I was hungry for a snack, so I opened up a new bar I found at Trader Joe’s:

A Pure Bar

It was a bit chunkier than a Larabar, but had a similar texture.  And, a great ingredient list!

For lunch, I heated up an Amy’s Burrito.  There were slim pickings in our fridge yesterday, luckily Brant headed to the grocery store last night!

I ran out to do a few errands, and PinkBerry just happened to be there!

A small tart with mango, raspberries and brownie bites…mmmm….

For dinner, I was half creative and half boring!

A veggie burger on an english muffin with a side of Brussels Sprouts.

For the delicious brussels sprouts, I tried something a little bit new.  They would be perfect for a holiday dinner!

Brussels Sprouts with Cherries & Cheese

  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • drizzle of agave or honey
  • pinch of salt
  • grind of pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheese (i used stilton)

First, wash, rise and chop your brussels sprouts.  Then add them to a heated skillet with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil.

Turn your heat up to medium-high and make sure that they are all face down so that they brown and caramelize a bit.

After 7-10 minutes of cooking, check your sprouts to see if they have browned a bit.  They should look like this…be patient!!

Once browned, turn the heat down to medium and add your mustard, agave (or honey), salt and pepper and mix.

Then, add your cranberries and crumbled cheese.

Mix until combined.

These came out great!  They were cooked perfectly and the spiciness of the mustard really balances out the sweetness of the cranberries and cheese.  YUM!

Homemade veggies to balance out my boxed veggie burger. 🙂

homemade vegetable broth

I absolutely love our CSA.  It helps out the farmers and we get freshly grown produce each week for a fraction of what I would be paying at the grocery store.  However, sometimes when we are away on the weekends, we end up with some extras!

I don’t want those extras (mostly carrots, celery and onions) to go to waste, so tonight I put the past 2 weeks of celery, carrots and onions together to make a homemade vegetable broth!

My plan is to make some soup this weekend, which I will be needing this broth for, so it was perfect timing.

Homemade Vegetable Broth

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound celery
  • 1 pound carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 16 whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

Directions:

Start by washing and chopping your vegetables.

While chopping, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a large stockpan over medium-low heat.  When each veggie is done being chopped, throw it in the pan and let it sizzle a bit.

Celery

Into the pot it goes…

Onion, very roughly chopped

Carrots, both orange and red

Did you know that red carrots are really orange on the inside?

Throw it all into the pot,

along with 3 cloves of galic (make sure you take off the peel),

16 peppercorns, give or take,

and 1 bay leaf.

Now, add 1 gallon of filtered water.

Turn up the heat and bring the water to a boil.  Then, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, your broth will look more like this:

That means you did it right!!

Now, add your salt and soy sauce and any other seasonings you may want to add (taste it here to figure it out) and simmer for another 15-20 minutes so the flavors come out.

I cooked my veggie broth in a strainer pot, so that I could do this at the end instead of pouring the broth into a strainer.

It worked quite nicely.  I was left with a strainer full of veggies and a pot full of homemade broth!!

Discard, compost or blend your leftover veggies into a soup.  Unfortunately, mine went down the drain…

But, I was left with a delicious homemade veggie broth to add to my homemade soup this weekend.

Delicious!  And, very much worth the wait.

bbq pizza-dilla

Last night after work, I headed out the door for a run around Southie.  I love my morning workouts, but I have learned to love running at night as well.  I think I like the mornings so much because you start your day off on the right foot and get your workout out of the way.  But, now that I am not training for anything specific, I realized that it is ok if I miss a morning workout.  In fact, sometimes running at night is just as good and allows you to release any stressors the day may have caused.

It felt great out last night.  A cool breeze was coming off of the water and there were a lot of people out running and walking.  I never see that many people in the mornings!!  I ran for just over an hour and felt great!  Refreshed after my day.

I came home to make a quick dinner.  My first thought was a pita pizza, my next thought was a quesadilla.  Then, I combined them!

A Pizza-Dilla!

Start with a wrap of choice.

Spread half of it with tomato sauce (or tomato paste as I did here).

Then, layer on your cheese and toppings of choice.  I went with pepper and italian seasoning.  The cheese is a blend of cheddar and mozarella.

Drizzle with bbq sauce, if desired.  I love bbq sauce, so this was a no brainer for me. 🙂

Fold the wrap in half and grill on the grill or grill pan for a few minutes on each side until the cheese is melted.

Mmmm…a delicious, eat with your hands, quesadilla!  That tastes like pizza. 🙂

This could be great as an appetizer too!

zucchini muffins

I am finally back with a delicious recipe after my 2-day hiatus from blogging. 🙂  Enjoy!

Last week, we received a huge zucchini from our CSA.  It is so big, that it is almost as long as our cutting board!

I was trying to figure out what to do with this zucchini because I felt like I should do something fun!  I could have just sliced it up like I normally do and grill it, but this zucchini wanted to be made in to something different.

So, I looked up some recipes and decided on Zucchini Muffins!

Zucchini Muffins

makes 24 muffins

(adapted from Simply Recipes)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups grated zucchini
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups natural cane sugar, such as sucanat
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

1.  Preheat your oven to 350F.

2.  Take your zucchini and slice it into smaller segments to grate it in your food processor.  This makes the grating process much easier!  This huge zucchini grated 6 cups of zucchini!  I only used 4 in this recipe.

3.  Mix your zucchini, melted butter, sugar and eggs until mixed.  Then, add in the vanilla, baking soda and salt.  Mix again.

4.  In a seperate bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Then, add that mixture to the zucchini mixture and stit until well combined.  Add the walnuts at this point.  The batter will be a little liquidy, but it will not affect the baking.

5.  Spray your 2 muffin tins or line them with muffin liners, then scoop in the muffin mixture.  Fill each cup about 2/3 high.

6.  Bake for about 25 minutes until the tops bounce back and a toothpick comes out clean.

7.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely (or serve warm!).

These zucchini muffins came out great!  They are sweet, but not overly sweet and I really like the hint of cinnamon that you can taste.

Definitely a great recipe with all of our excess zucchini!  I hope we get more this week. 🙂

quick & easy veggie burgers

Last night I wanted to whip up something quick for dinner.  I kept thinking about all of the CSA veggies we had sitting in our fridge and needed a good way to use them.  Something different than the normal stirfrying, roasting or grilling.

What about veggie burgers?!

Quick & Easy Black Bean & Veggie Burgers

Makes about 12 patties

(recipe inspired by Oh She Glows In a Jiffy Burgers)

I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand, so I just added what I did have and I think they cam out pretty good.  Next time, I would season them more!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 3 small carrots
  • 2 spring onions (bulb and stalk)
  • 1 cubanelle pepper (or pepper of choice)
  • 1 stalk of beet greens with stems removed
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t dried chile pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup curry flavored sunflower seeds (Kaia Foods)
  • 2 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Place all of the ingredients (except for the nuts, oats and flour) into a food processor and blend until smooth.  You can leave some chunks if you would like.  It is all personal preference.

After the mixture is blended, transfer it to a large mixing bowl and mix in the seeds, oats and flour until well mixed.  I mixed in the seeds, then oats, then flour in small increments.  Only use as much flour as you need.  My mixture was wet, so I added all 3/4 cups.

Shape the mixture into patties of any size.  This amount will make about 12 normal size patties, but next time I may make them smaller and roll them into balls as salad toppers!

Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes, then flip and bake another 15 minutes or so until patties are cooked, but not too dry.

We served these patties on a toasted whole wheat bun with a little mozarella cheese and a roasted red pepper/artichoke spread.

Along with kale chips and pickles as sides.

They were delicious!

You could also grill these, but you might want to bake them a little first to help them stay together.

stuffed patty pan squash

Last night, I was determined to turn my Patty Pan Squash into something amazing.  I was craving a good, healthy dinner and that is just what I got!

A few weeks ago I saw a recipe for stuffed patty pan squash on Oh She Glows, so I thought I would give it a shot.  I basically followed Angela’s recipe, but made some modifications for what I had on hand.

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

adapted from Oh She Glows (original recipe here)

Ingredients:

  • 4 Patty Pan Squash
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 spring onion, bulb and stalk
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups cooked black beluga lentils 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small jar tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter of choice 
  • sea salt & pepper to taste 
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • sprinkle parmesan cheese, optional

Directions:

Cut the tops off of your squash and the zucchini in half and scoop out the insides.

I sliced my zucchini into smaller pieces so that they would be easier to eat.

Add the squash and zucchini meat, onion bulb and stalk, carrots and garlic to your food processor and blend until smooth.

Let that mixture sit until you have your rice ready.

Add your cooked brown rice and lentils to a pot with the butter and tomato paste.  Warm over medium-low heat until the butter is melted and everything is mixed in.

Then, add the veggie mixture to the rice mixture and mix well.  Add italian seasoning (or seasoning of your choice), salt and pepper to taste.  I added about 1 tsp of salt and pepper.

Stuff the squash and zucchini.  I like them to be overflowing!

Then bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until the squash is tender.  23 minutes was perfect for this amount!

Let cool for a few minutes before serving and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

We loved these!  They were perfect and the tomato in the rice was awesome.

Glad I have leftovers for lunch today!