Guilt Free Pancakes – Serves 2+

Hello, it’s me.  Hiatus is over and I’m back.  Oh, and Happy 2017!!!

Since late November I’ve been on a series of adventures which included a drive from Texas to California.  I survived the drive and honestly have a new appreciation for road trips especially those that include utilization of an RV (genius idea).  I think the key to any successful road trip is movement, food, hydration, and whomever you are with.  My trip spanned five days and each day was a new adventure.  The only one who didn’t really enjoy the road trip was my poor pup, Theodore Roosevelt III aka Teddy (#TRIIIthecav).

Day 1: Drove straight from the Alamo (San Antonio, Texas) to Santa Fe, New Mexico with a stop in Roswell to find aliens (failed but did find McDonalds), Day 2: Flagstaff, Arizona and dropped my pup off then went to see the Grand Canyon for sunset, Day 3: Phoenix, Arizona where epic friendships were solidified and many laughs were had, Day 4: Oxnard, California with a stop in Hollywood to hike the sign, and Day 5: Drove along route-1 aka the California coast all the way up to San Francisco with multiple photo and hike breaks especially around Big Sur.

pancakes

Now I’m settled and back in the kitchen per usual.  I love easy eats and this is a great staple on my weekends for brunch or during the week.  I absolutely love to pre-make these pancakes to have them ready for a ‘grab ‘n go’ type of post workout item or snack especially since they’re a great source of protein which helps maintain satiety.

Threw together a cool topping for the pancakes which included apple pears which are the new super fruit in my opinion.  They’re loaded with fiber, vitamins (specifically C and K), and minerals.  Therefore, if you have yet to try apple pears, just do it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 apple-pear; diced
  • 6 blackberries; halved
  • oil of choice for the pan (I used coconut)
  • OPTIONAL: honey or syrup

Methodology:

  1. In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients but the fruit and optional items.  Stir well until homogeneous.
  2. Heat a frying with enough oil to moisten the surface well.
  3. Pour batter onto the pan to create 2-4 pancakes depending on the size desired.  Cook each side for 2-3 minutes and flip.  Add a final toss for each side of the pancake (20-30 seconds per side).
  4. Combine the fruit pieces then serve atop the pancakes with a drizzle of honey or syrup.
  5. Pair with a mimosa or two…

 

xxx – Sarah

Power Strawberry Pumpkin Pudding – Serves 2+

I seriously love all things pumpkin.  You can tell the moment you step into my home – pumpkin scents everywhere.  Now that it is almost fall there are some gourmands here and there…  Imagine, it’s only September which means there is still time for me to up my game even more.  Look out friends.

Pumpkin.  What do you know?  Well for starters: 1) High in fiber which helps with satiety and blood glucose control, 2) High in antioxidants as well as vitamin-A and vitamin-C which supports retinal function, hair, skin, and nail growth/support, and 3) High in water content thus if you’re slacking with fluids this will help.  This awesome beta carotene/orange goodness is full of flavor which can be enhanced by spices such as cinnamon, cumin, and of course, pumpkin pie spice.  This recipe is a wholesome way to get all your nutrients in while on the run and has been a breakfast lifesaver!

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  • 1/2 cup pumpkin; canned
  • 2 frozen bananas; softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp almond butter; smooth (unsalted)
  • 2 tbsp dry oats
  • 1 1/2 scoops vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2-1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 medium-large strawberries; fresh and chopped

Methodology:

  1. Combine all ingredients sans strawberries and mix/mash well until a homogenous mixture is formed.  Divide pumpkin mixture among two mason jars or similar containers.
  2. Top with chopped strawberries and seal with a cover.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or 2-3 hours prior to consumption.
  4. Grab a spoon and get moving!

 

xxx – Sarah

Italian Herb Pizza Frittata – Serves 10+

Italian?  Yes.  Herbs?  Yes.  Pizza?  Kinda of…  Minus the bread and cheese.  Frittata?  Yes.  Should you make this?  Absolutely.

Are you looking to change up your breakfast routine?  Well, this is a hearty change that will leave your mouth watering for more.  This is also good for those of you like myself who love the ‘Reverse Diet’ aka breakfast for dinner which is what I do at least 150 days a year.  This recipe is loaded with antioxidants, protein, and slow digesting carbohydrates that will fuel your goals.

I previously mentioned utilizing the bulk section at local grocery spots can help you to select, try, and obtain fresh spices at a lower cost and control your portion to ensure freshness.  I recently loaded up on fennel seeds hence its addition to this recipe and it is fabulous.  Fennel is sweet due to its composition of anise which has a similar taste to licorice.  If you are trying to boost your fiber intake – try fennel.  In addition to its fiber content fennel also has antioxidant, mineral, and vitamin properties.

Ingredients:

  • 10 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh or canned/drained yellow corn
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes; quartered/slivered
  • 1 cup raw kale; chopped
  • 2 ounces prosciutto; chopped/ripped into various sizes
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage; minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary; minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley; chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 tsp sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. On a stovetop heat up a frying pan over medium-high heat to toast the corn, fennel seeds, and black pepper.  Toast for 5-8 minutes until fragrant and/or slightly browned then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and the corn from step one.
  4. Oil a circular pan and pour in the egg mixture from step two.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a knife can be inserted in the center and removed without residue.
  6. Set the pan aside, inhale, allow to cool, slice, and serve.

 

xxx – Sarah

Adulting like the King – True Story

Not sure if the warmer weather or longer days have changed my palette but lately I’ve been craving sandwiches.  The King and I seem to share a favorite – peanut butter sandwiches with bananas.  However mine have a twist aka a gluten-free twist plus I use fresh ground almond butter.  PS – when I say the King, I’m referring to the one and only, Elvis Presley.

If you haven’t tried Udi’s bread… Do it.  Just do it.  I’m partial to their Omega Flax and Fiber as well as their Millet-Chia breads since both have 6 grams of protein per serving (2 slices).  These breads have become a pre-workout and post-workout staple for me these days due to their carbohydrate/sugar/fiber content.  It’s hard to find good gluten-free bread with a flavor ‘wow’ factor.

Anyways, I’ve been changing up the traditional PB and King sandwich with different fruit variations.  My ‘go to’ variation is a slice of bread with almond butter/sliced strawberries or almond butter/sliced bananas with a dash or two of cinnamon.  Take a walk in the footsteps of the King and I.  I promise you won’t regret it. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of toasted Udi’s bread of choice
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (basically a tbsp per slice), creamy or crunchy
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 3 strawberries, sliced/slivered
  • a dash/pinch/sprinkle of cinnamon, ground

Methodology:

  1. Spread almond butter atop each toasted slice of bread.
  2. Top one slice with bananas and the other with strawberries.
  3. Add a dash/pinch/sprinkle of cinnamon over the fruit.
  4. Combine the two  slices to form a sandwich or keep them open-faced.
  5. Pair with your coffee!

xxx – Sarah

 

 

Nutty Chocolate Drops – Serves 10

This has quickly become my favorite go to when I have a sweet tooth…  It’s free of the major food inflammatory agents aka gluten, peanuts, eggs, and dairy.  Another winning bullet point is that it’s free of white refined sugar and its sweetness is derived from dates.

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Medjool dates are a great fruit to add sweetness to a dish without reaching for processed sugar or its alternatives.  Unlike other fruits, its nutrient content lacks vitamins A and C.  However they are a great source of energy due to their carbohydrate/sugar content, potassium (dates beat bananas in this department), and soluble fiber.  Therefore if you’re making a smoothie pre-or post-workout be sure to add a date or two!  Now, this may be a bit TMI but if you’re constipated be sure to add some dates into your life!  The dates work as a great solidifying agent to give your bowels a push.

Let’s get down to business.  If you are craving the sweets instantaneously, the good news is that this tastes phenomenal without being cooked and is safe for consumption.  However, if you can wait a few minutes – pop these drops into the oven for 5-10 minutes!  Also, good news, if you’re not a chocolate person that’s okay because these drops taste amazing without it!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil; melted
  • 1 cup cashews; soaked and strained (try to soak for 10-15 minutes)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter; crunchy or creamy (unsalted and aim for crunchy for some texture)
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal; dried
  • 3-4 medjool dates; remove the pits
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • OPTIONAL but highly recommended: 1/3 cup milk or dark chocolate mini chips
  • To taste: sea salt (I added about 1-2 pinches)

Methodology:

  1. Utilizing a food processor, combine all ingredients BUT the chocolate chips.  Pulse until blended then transfer to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add in the chocolate chips and stir well until the mixture appears uniform.
  3. On a piece of parchment paper, create small drops/balls using a tablespoon and/or your hands to mold.  Set each drop/ball about a ‘thumb’ of distance between each other.
  4. If you want to eat right away – do so.
  5. If you want to wait and cook em – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 5-10 minutes until golden then set aside to cool.
  6. If you want to wait and have em cold – place in the refrigerator and nibble when ready.
  7. It’s time for some dates in your life.

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xxx – Sarah

 

Twice Baked Squash Bowls with Rosemary Steak – Serves 4

Hellllllooooo December!  Thought I would start off the colder weather with a hearty food post.  I love butternut squash and even more so when it is in spaghetti form!  It’s a great way to fool your kids, spouses, loved ones, and friends into eating something healthy.  

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Spaghetti squash is a starchy vegetable that looks like spaghetti.  Its benefits are immeasurable; loaded with fiber, vitamin-A, vitamin-C, magnesium, and potassium.  Its caloric content for 1 cup plain ranges from 40-60 calories.  Meals are brightened with this addition since when cooked its flesh turns bright yellow or orange.  I often cube the squash or turn it into spaghetti by means of roasting.  A quick way for preparation is utilizing the microwave.  

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 sprigs of rosemary; minced
  • 1 medium-sized yellow spaghetti squash; halved into bowls with the pulpy insides and seeds scooped out
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 pound skirt steak; cubed
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper (or as desired)
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil to douse the steak (along with a drizzle to heat the frying pan)

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Top a cooking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the halved spaghetti squash (aka bowls) with its outside shell directly on the paper.  
  3. This step is optional but highly recommended – add a thin slice to the bottom of the squash bowls so they lay flat on the pan when roasting.
  4. Roast the plain squash in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
  5. Toss the meat with olive oil, black pepper, and rosemary until all pieces are uniformly covered.
  6. While the squash is roasting, heat up a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil under medium-high heat and cook the meat until as desired (I prefer rare-medium).
  7. Add the pomegranate seeds to the meat and set aside.
  8. Remove the squash and scoop out half of the insides.  Add the insides from the squash to the meat mixture and mix well.  
  9. Evenly disperse the meat/squash mixture into the bowls and return to the oven for 7-10 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and cool for a few…
  11. Pop open a bottle of full-bodied red vino and enjoy!

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Disclaimer…  I recently started a membership with Club W which is an interesting way to learn about wine and its recommended food pairings.  It customizes wine recommendations based on a little test that you complete based on your taste preferences.  If you are tight with time this is a great way to get bottles that are fan favorites and well-priced ($16/bottle).  Best part is – its delivered to your doorstep!

 

xxx – Sarah