Tag Archives: avocado

And Then There Was Mousse. [Indulgence Friday]

Good morning bloggy boos! I hope everyone had a rockin’ Indulgence Friday🙂

Mine was a blasty! I had an awesome time do-si-do-ing through my half-day and then lunched it up before I read a ton of Thrive during my 60-minute elliptical power sesh.

How did I do that, you may ask? I brought the giantest (shut up there is no grammar this early in the morning) rubber band I could find and wrapped it around the elliptical to hold my book flat. I wish I had a picture but I don’t so I will leave you to your imagination:)

After my workout, I didn’t even bother to shower (I know I am gross) so I used my favorite trick…HOMEMADE DRY SHAMPOO🙂

I use this stuff way too often to reveal (showering is for wusses), and there will soon be a recipe for that dry shampoo:) Actually, it isn’t really a recipe, just more of super simple secret trick that I will soon reveal to you and you will never have to wash your hair again.

Okay, that is a lie, you should shower because otherwise you will be stinky and greasy and no one likes a stinky person.

Just saying.

AAAANYwho, the Baby Sister and I headed out to a dinner date we’d had planned for a week or so, and took advantage of a gift certificate AND a buy-one-get-one-free coup that we had saved up for one of our favorite restaurants (we love our coupsSmile).

I know, we are cheapo but hey, who can refuse a free meal? Winking smile

It involved a lot of this:

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SLUUURP Smile

And this:

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Can I just say I love my sister. She is the bomb.com.

Who else have you met that can devour THAT bowl, and do it like this:

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Um, I love my sister. We shared an epic high-five. This family loves their food:)

By the way, those chopsticks she’s using? A Christmas gift to Baby Sister from Yours Truly, since she is chopstick-ally challenged. Isn’t it adorable?

I will express it’s adorableness in photography taken by Baby Sister in an attempt to be artistic while I was in the ladies room.

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Did I mention she is the bomb.com?

Pure artistry right there:)

Oh, and in case you were wondering, we both devoured giant bowls of Peanut Butter Noodles.

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Sorry for the awesome lighting, y’all;)

Peanut butter + noodles = how much better can it get?!

We have been obsessed since we were itty bitty and knew what Asian food was, aka we would always demand peanut noodles because we were picky and to be honest that was  all we would eat.

Now we get it every time we go to this restaurant.

Which is every week.

Girl’s gotta get her peanut butter fix!

My fortune:

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Uh. Greed. Can I just say that fortune cookies are very very wise? Only a cookie could think of that;)

Then, we mosey’ed over to Sbux and didn’t buy anything, aka sat and chatted and shared jokes about the fun people that sit in the big comfy chairs with their laptops playing COD. Dream big, people, dream big:)

Then, in honor of Indulgence Friday, I recreated the foodgasmic Chocolate Mousse I had last weekend.

Oh, did I ever.

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Quick, simple, and rich. This will be my birthday cake frosting this year…sprinkled in cacao nibs:)

And the best part? It is mostly raw, and can be made completely raw with the use of raw cacao instead of cocoa powder (I am a compulsive “nothing goes to waste” person, so I was not about to open a new bag of raw cacao with a wide open can of Ghirardelli staring at me). Tadaa!

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Raw Chocolate Mousse

Makes about 1 cup (2 large servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder, or 3-5 tbsp. raw cacao
  • 3 tbsp. agave nectar, more if desired (I prefer a more bitter-tasting chocolate, so I used no more than 3, although I didn’t really measure)

Directions:

  1. Open avocado by cutting in half, removing the pit, and then scooping the flesh out.
  2. Process avocado in a food processor until creamy.
  3. Add in cocoa/cacao powder, then agave nectar (this order is important in order for the powder to not go all over the inside of your food processor). Alternatively, you could do all of this in a bowl by mashing the avocado and then mixing in the rest of the ingredients thoroughly once the avocado is creamed.
  4. Chill in the fridge (or the freezer is even better, if you like it super thick like I do) for at least 15-30 minutes.
  5. Serve topped with cacao nibs, fruit, chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, agave nectar, or whatever you fancy! Swedish Fish would work too:)

I topped mine with bloobs, raspberries, and cacao nibs. Love me some chocolatey endorphins🙂

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Round 2:

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With more berries, cacao nibs, and a Raspberry Amaretto Cookie🙂

The prep:

Gather your ingredients…

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Simplicity at its best:)

Slice your avocado like a champ.

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Whip out your trusty Chop Chop🙂

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I. love. this. thing. Perfect for blending up oats, aka this thing was my fifth appendage when I got my wisdom teeth out. All of my food = blenderized in this sucker.

Process until creamy, like so:

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Then transform it into chocolatey deliciousness.

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Done, and done.

Enjoy while laughing your ass off while watching Easy A with your family. Yes, we are comfortable enough to watch these kinds of movies with each other, I like to think of it as a special bond🙂

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Hahahaha I love Amanda Bynes🙂 Did anyone else watch What I Like About You back in the day? It was my favorite. show. Literally had to come home from school by three every day in order to watch this show or the world would end.

My plansky for the rest of the day? I’mma go make some protein pancakes and then get back to you with that recipe asap:)

After that? No idea, but I LIVE for the weekend and something fun will go down:)

Do you always order the same dish at your favorite restaurants, or do you switch it up?

I’m a creature of habit, but lately I’ve been getting a little bit more adventurous:)

Have you seen Easy A and did you basically pee yourself?

Yup, slash I am marrying Penn Badgley (I think that is his name, he is just hot Gossip Girl boy in my mind).

What is your favorite dessert? Or better yet, your favorite chocolate dessert?

I would have to say this mousse and any chocolate fudge cake/frosting. I am a chocolate MONSTA:)

Have a fun Saturday, loves!

xoxox,

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p.s. Did I mention that I love late-night snackage..yeah, right now I am noshing on some Baked Falafel Balls. Try them with balsamic vinegar, you will never go back! (or better yet, ketchupWinking smile)

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Rants, Recipes, Restaurants, Tips and Tricks, Vegan, Workouts

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for Breakfast

You heard me! Chocolate chip cookies – well, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Katebars, to be exact =)

I took my favorite brekkie, as per usual, and mixed in a chopped up one just before it finished cooking. Melty, gooey goodness! Get in mah belly:

With some almond buttah lovin, of course! Straight into my mouth 🙂

Pre-mixin'

With a fresh plum and half a grapefruit, of course!

As you can tell, I was really hungry. I’ve been hungry for lots of food lately, probably due to the huge increase in intensity of my running! I need lots of good fuel to help my muscles grow =)

Today I took a rest day and slept in until 5 (yes, that felt like sleeping in compared to yesterday..holy man), and boy, did my muscles need it!

I had a rough sleep, waking up every couple of hours and having some crazy dreams, accompanied by achy muscles – oh, the joys of 5K training =)

For lunch at work, I had leftover Kabocha Squash with Azuki Beans (yum), Carrot Cake Quinoa, a pink lady apple (see it on the top edge? so yummy!), and assorted raw veggies (carrots, baby tomaters, red pepper, and cukes).

I also had some of my homemade Kombucha tea for dessert! Happy tummy at work =)

After work, I came home to relax for a bit and then make din din, one of my all-time favorites: Portobella Mushroom Burgers!

I could eat these things every night of the week.

Yes, yes I could.

We topped them with smashed avocado slices, Amy’s Low Sodium Marinara, and squeezed between beautifully toasted Ezekiel 4:9 burger buns =)

Portobella Mushroom Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 4 portobella mushroom caps
  • 3-4 tbsp. EVOO
  • 3-4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Wash portobella caps and allow to drain, face-down, on some paper towels for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix EVOO, balsamic vinegar, and garlic in a shallow bowl – allow to sit for a few minutes to absorb the flavors.
  4. Dunk mushroom caps in the mixture, covering each side thoroughly and then place dark side up in a casserole dish (so the caps become like “bowls”).
  5. Once all are completely dunked, use a spoon to spoon the remaining mixture into the caps, creating pools.
  6. Bake, covered with tin foil, for 30 minutes. Then uncover, flip caps, and cook for another 10 minutes.
  7. Serve on a bun (or by itself!) with your favorite toppings – avocado, marinara sauce, agave-sweetened ketchup, tomato, onion, mayo, etc. – and enjoy! =)

These are to die for. I literally would do anything for another one right now – unfortunately, we only had 4 portobella caps in the house and there were 4 people. *Sad face*

Starring as supporting roles were: Roasted Brussels and Kabocha Squash with Azuki Beans. Somehow, I don’t ever get sick of those!

Then, it was off to Wegmans for some grocery shopping – I picked up some goodies that you’ll be seeing tomorrow 🙂

That’s all for tonight! I’m off to go finish read a few chapters of Beowulf…I’m supposed to be done with it by Tuesday, but who really does summer reading anyways?

…Oh yeah, I do! Boooo.

What are your favorite books from required summer reading?

Beowulf is actually pretty good, so that would be in the top few – I just can’t get around to reading it! I do remember reading many a good book during junior high when they gave you novels (that they knew you would read!). I always enjoyed those, and the fun projects they would assign – like making a movie poster for the book! I always got crafty =)

See you tomorrow lovlies! I have the 10 am shift tomorrow, thank goodness!

This will be a more normal morning, which makes me very happy – sleeping until a normal (humanly) hour, running (yay! 2 days until the 5K) and eating breakfast and lunch at the usual time.

Today and yesterday I’ve had to eat at the bright morning hour of 6 – and then given lunch break at 10:30. Talk about a crazed-up appetite clock!

Goodnight! xoxox,

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Filed under Recipes, Vegan

Mother Nature and the Tao of Breakfast

MOTHER NATURE:

Us girls (sorry fellas, this is not quite tailored to you) have the joy of receiving Mother Nature’s monthly “gift” on a regular, much-dreaded basis. My gift got dropped off a couple of days ago (I apologize for the potential TMI), and I’m feeling the brunt of it. We’re talking bloaty, swollen, and tired. Wooo! The one part of nature I wish I could do away with.

So, I’ve been getting my sleep and exercising regularly to keep the crampies away – success! One thing that I’ve noticed really helps are herbal teas with cinnamonlicorice, and ginger (Yogi Tea brand‘s detox tea is great for this!). They help to de-puff and de-bloat, making you and your jeans a little happier. Hallelujah for herbs!

Also, healthy fats (such as those from avocados and nuts) really help to ward off mood swings, fatigue, and cramps. A little extra sleep never hurt, either 🙂

Don’t be tempted to reach for the pain reliever – your body doesn’t need chemicals messing with it. Instead, reach for herbs, your workout clothes, and use your opportunity to have some extra avocado on your salad. Work with nature to keep it from interfering in your life – don’t fight back with sissy pills!

DINNER:

Anywho, onto food! I’ve been super busy and oddly fatigued (hmm, Mother Nature, did you have something to do with that?), so you will be seeing 4 meals1 brekkie, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners. Hooray!

Wednesday night, I had some leftover quinoa (but not enough for the whole fam), so I decided to experiment and make my own burgers. They turned out delish, and were super healthy to boot! Loaded with protein-packed quinoa and lentils, these suckers filled me right up and kept me full through the night. The fam didn’t think they were too shabby, either 🙂

Slight camera fail - does not do them justice

Lentil-Quinoa Burgers

Makes 6

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups cooked lentils
  • 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • nutmeg
  • sea salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste or ketchup (I roll with tomato paste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until no whole lentils are left.
  3. Using your hands, shape into burger-like patties and place on a lightly EVOO’d baking sheet.
  4. Place in the oven for about 40 minutes, carefully flipping burgers every 10 minutes and spraying a little EVOO on the sheet (or drizzle a tiny bit).
  5. Once they are browned, allow them to firm up for about half an hour and then reheat in a skillet with some EVOO over medium heat, flipping every 2 minutes until warmed thoroughly and crispy.
  6. Serve alone or on a bun with some baby spinach, tomato, some vegan mayo, ketchup, and enjoy! 🙂
THE TAO OF BREAKFAST:

Now, onto breakfast! After my butt-kicking workout, it was exactly what I needed. This breakfast was delicious, A. Because it had a plum, and I LOVE plums! and B. Because it had almond butter in it. Period. Actually, almond buttah should probably get the prime “A” spot, just because nothing beats almond buttah. Nothing.

Creamy Buckwheat with a plum, bluebs, and blackberries. Oh, and a giant jar of almond buttah!

All mixed up 🙂

Oh, and a giant dollop of almond buttah.

If you’re skeptical as to what kind of crazy person would put almond butter (or any nut butter for that matter) on her breakfast, think again. Healthy fats first thing in the morning are exactly what your body needs to burn fat throughout the day, speed up your metabolism, and keep you full (EDIT: You can read more about healthy fats here). Don’t believe me? Check out this site. This lady is the greatest. She hit the importance of breakfast right on the nose; so well, in fact, I’ll have to quote her:

YOU AND BREAKFAST!

Ever skip breakfast, secretly hoping you’ll fit into your jeans better if you do?

It’s a natural thought. Less food in your belly means more room in your waistband, right? Think again. New research shows that skirting the ritual of a morning meal can totally sabotage your waistline by setting you up for minimal calorie burn and a bigger appetite throughout the day.

How many days within the past week did you eat breakfast? Here are some fun facts for you:

Over 90% of people agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and 75% believe eating breakfast will give them more energy, but fewer than 50% fit it in seven days a week. What is the deal?(Source: Cynthia Sass, Registered Dietitian)

Eating breakfast every day is vital for a number of reasons. Breakfast skippers are four and a half times more likely to be overweight, and studies show that people who eat breakfast naturally eat fewer calories all day. Plus not only does our body need fuel but so does our brain.

Many people say they are just not hungry first thing in the morning or they just have not time.   I will never understand how someone is not hungry in the morning!  If this is you, it is a big clue that you have a slower metabolism and I am here to help.  If you struggle with breakfast barriers, here are my suggestions for knocking them down.

  • Step one: Try to stop eating late at night.
  • If you’re not hungry in the am: re-train your body. Start by eating or drinking something small, like a handful size serving of nuts or a piece of fruit.
  • After about a week, add something else, like your choice of milk or a smoothie.
  • The following week, add a third item, like a banana.
  • Within a month’s time, strive for a balanced breakfast that contains four parts:
  1. A whole grain (oatmeal, whole grain cereal or whole grain bread)
  2. A lean protein (nonfat yogurt, low-fat cheese, an egg or egg whites, organic skim, soy, rice, or almond milk)
  3. Produce (veggies in your omelet/egg sandwich, a smoothie, or fruit in your oatmeal)
  4. A healthy fat (nuts or seeds, natural nut butter, avocado or extra virgin olive oil).

If you really are still struggling with the idea of a full meal at this point, you can split it up into two smaller meals. Eat half at home before you leave, then one to two hours later, enjoy the other half.

In no time you will not only feel more energized but you will have created a faster metabolism. If you start the day off right, you will most likely make better choices throughout. Give it a try!

Not convinced? Try it out for two weeks and see if there’s a difference. I guarantee you’ll feel a million times better – how do I know this? Because I’m living proof. As someone who used to eat only fruit for breakfast (and not until I was starving), I’ve felt my vitality go from zero to hero in a matter of days. Morning workouts are easier, especially with the promise of a nourishing breakfast awaiting me, as well as having more energy throughout the day. Now, doesn’t that sound dandy?

That’s all for tonight, more pictures and recipes in the morning! It’s time for me to go read some VegNews 🙂

xoxox,

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Filed under Recipes, Tips and Tricks, Vegan, Workouts

Puppy Love

Some may call it puppy love – but I know I’m in it for the long haul.

I’ve fallen in love with running.

Yes, that activity that used to plague me with a wave of utter dread and anxiety – it has become something that makes me excited to wake up in the morning.

As the girl who used to push herself to the extremes just to burn 100 more calories, do just one more mile, sweat just a bit more…I’ve learned to take each day with a grain of salt.

Every day I feel better, lighter, stronger, more energized, and one step closer to my inner peace. With every step of my feet, I feel the ground lifting me up and propelling me forward, clearing my mind and giving energy to every fiber of my being, from my toes to the top of my head. It’s as though everything around me stops for a moment to allow me to be in myself, spend some time for some me time. There are no deadlines, to-do lists, or responsibilities when I’m running – it’s just me, my mind, and the ground below me.

I’ve learned to be more in tune with my body. I’ve learned to listen to my body; when it tells me I’m hungry, or when I’m not hungry; the importance of knowing when to take a rest day, and when to do a tough workout. It’s all a matter of inner harmony – when you treat your body well, your mind and your body don’t disagree. You begin to work like a perfectly-functioning machine, your body and mind completely in sync because you’re giving your body what it needs. And what your body needs is good treatment: quality nourishment and balanced exercise.

I may not be a marathon-runner or a triathlete, but every day my body is becoming stronger and building its endurance to take me to where I want to go. I’m certainly taking baby steps, but every day I feel the difference. It’s all in the balance.

What are your thoughts? Do you have something that has taught you about inner peace?

WORKOUT:

Today’s workout was a bit harder than yesterday’s; I decided to up the time running since 30 seconds longer didn’t seem to difficult. Plus, I had just gotten a lot of sleep, so I was up for a challenge! My workout looked like this:

  • Treadmill workout: 5 minute warmup at 5.5, then 3 minutes running at 5.5 followed by 1 minute walking at 4.0 repeated 4 times; last rep, 4:40 at 5.6 then 5 minute cooldown at 3.5. Totals: 3 miles, 36 minutes, 455 calories (accuracy = negligible).
  • Stretching
  • Abs: 50 crunches, 30 with legs in the air, 50 with legs almost flat, 50 legs left/legs right, 1 minute traditional plank.
  • Arms: 20 bicep curls, 5 lbs. each arm. 15 lateral raises, 5 lbs. each arm. 30 tricep extensions, 10 lbs.

I felt so good through the whole thing, and even started singing in my head and dancing along – I don’t like listening to music when I run, but sometimes the rhythm reminds me of a good song. Today it reminded me of Imma Be, so I was rockin’ out for one rep – don’t judge :).

By the end, I was plenty sweaty and so proud of myself. It was nearly impossible to wipe that grin off of my face – I had done 3 miles! This is the first time I’ve been able to do 3 miles at once since my pre-vegan days (more on that another time).

One small step for Katelyn, one giant leap towards my 5K! The days are slowly approaching…as of today, I have 11 more days left to train before my first race. Ahh! 🙂 I am so excited.

Anywho, after my run I was plenty hungry, and since I had slept in, my whole morning was pushed forward. I didn’t have my favorite brekkie today, but instead I had Lunch for Brunch. You see, it was still early enough to be brunch (about noon), but I didn’t have anything breakfast-y at all – so it was Lunch, but for Brunch.

LUNCH FOR BRUNCH:

My mouth was watering like crazy by the time I reached the kitchen, so I pulled out the last piece of ‘Shroom Pizza along with some brussels sprouts, the last of the Sweet Potater, and Garlicky Beans.

Popped the pizza in the handy-dandy toaster oven and the nuked the rest (even though I hate microwaves), then dug in with hardly any mercy.

It was such a sunny, perfect day – can you tell? 🙂

After Lunch for Brunch, I showered and then got to the tasks at hand.

You may be wondering, “What’s the Hoodie Pile?”. Well, you should see for yourself.

Yes, that beautiful mountain has been sitting in the middle of my room for the past few days week. And I finally decided to clear out the top shelf of my closet to place them on, and in the process found a ton of old journals (dating back to when I was 8 years old..aww!) and a box of dried roses from when I was confirmed. I love going through old things.

What do you have in your “treasure trove”?

DINNER:

Then, it was time to make dinner! I was in the mood for squash (I love my orange vegetables), so tonight I made Spaghetti Squash Primavera with some asparagus, salads con avocado, and Quinoa.

Now, mind you, the Primavera was not very asthetically pleasing in the serving bowl, but on my plate it looked just like spaghetti! Tasted a million times better though, due to the fact that virtually any kind of squash will make my tummy happy.

Spaghetti Squash Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • EVOO
  • 8-10 baby bella mushrooms, quartered or sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 1 large tomato, diced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Place spaghetti squash on a baking sheet/casserole dish (anything really works as long as its big enough) and cook whole in the oven for 50-60 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, sauté garlic over medium heat in about 2 tbsp. EVOO for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until they have reduced and mushroom liquid has seeped out. Cover and remove from heat.
  4. Using an oven mitt, hold the squash with one hand and cut squash in half with a long, sharp, toothed knife – do not cut it bread-style, be a daredevil and stick it straight in! It cuts easiest this way.
  5. Use a spoon to spoon out the seeds, then use a fork to coax out the “spaghetti”. Only the shells should be left when you are done.
  6. Return the skillet to medium heat and add “spaghetti”, spinach, and tomatoes. Toss and cover, stirring every few minutes until the “pasta” has reduced slightly and has moistened up and cooked more.
  7. After cooking and tossing for about 15 minutes, top with some vegan parmesan cheese, then serve and enjoy! 🙂

There’s really no way to go wrong with veggies in this recipe, so use whatever you have – broccoli, zukes, cukes, bell peppers, onions, anything! It would also be good with some marinara sauce, a bit of EVOO and salt ‘n peppa, or even some lemon juice. Let me know what you try! 🙂

DESSERT:

No meal is complete without dessert. Tonight, we finished the last few Chocolate Chip Cookie Cakes (sad face 😦 ), which were nuked (with love) for 1 minute and then devoured promptly (with care).

I love my ooey gooey goodness 🙂

Is your mouth watering yet? …You’re welcome! 🙂

Ahhh, time to go work on my summer reading! I got a giant wake-up call today when I got my schedule in the mail – and yes, I got every teacher I wanted with a perfect schedule of frees. I have 5th and 8th period free every day, giving me the best lunch period and the opportunity to leave school early or even go to work earlier every day (meaning coming home earlier!). Plus, on day 5 I don’t have class until noon. Oh, the joys of senior year 🙂

That’s all for tonight! See you in the morning lovlies 🙂

xoxox,

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Filed under Recipes, Vegan, Workouts