Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays!

p2Things have been busier than ever this holiday season! With about 38 days until we officially move to San Francisco I have been apartment hunting in between biscotti batches, searching for movers as my cinnamon bun dough rises & planning how to pack as the granola bakes!! I’m totally looking forward to family time Wednesday evening and Thursday, I just have to finish that pesky little shopping thing first!

p3Now that we’ll be planning our wedding from across the country I am trying get 101015 things done before we leave: get the sketch and my mother’s dress to a seamstress so she can get to work on the redesign (that’s right, I’m wearing my mother’s dress down the aisle), figure out Pre-Cana so we can get married in the church, finalize the room block for the hotel and make sure the venue can schedule a private tasting for us when we come home for Phil’s brother’s wedding in June…

…did I even mention my fiance’s brother got engaged a little while after us and is getting married in June?!?!?! yea, that happened, so its going to be a year full of fun and travel in 2015. p1

I’m also doing my best not to fall behind on my 200hr TT with Yoga Medicine. Tiffany was gracious enough to give us a little break this week which means Colleen will be cramming two weeks of Sanskrit lessons into whatever morsels of free time are left. I have been steadily teaching 1-2 times a week which I love & have been taking steps each day to move me in the right direction…every little bit counts!

I know January will need to be well planned to accomplish everything left to do with the wedding, 200hr TT, and move but nothing worth it is ever easy & I’d say this is ALL worth it!

‘Til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Happy Accident: ‘Chocolate’ Pudding and Quinoa

Happy Hump Day! As requested, today I am sharing the soy, dairy and gluten free ‘chocolate’ pudding I have been eating for breakfast this week. Image

As the title suggests, this was a complete accident, but a happy one at that. I was attempting to make a brownie but needed to make it gluten, dairy, soy free and wanted to use the super ripe avocado sitting on my counter because I hate wasting food! Since I am terrible at following recipes – I’ve always followed the beat of my own drum – I  just started combining ingredients until I came up with something that mildly resembled brownie batter.

When I pulled it out of the oven, I realized the consistency really hadn’t changed…at all! It was still super creamy just without the avocado-y taste it had before baking. I contemplated my options and decided I would mix it with a little quinoa nd have it as a sort of chocolate pudding; which, thus far has been a delightful morning treat!

‘Chocolate’ Pudding with Quinoa:

  • 1 can rinsed and drained black beans
  • 3 eggs whites
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Combine all the ingredients except the quinoa in a blender and mix until all are well incorporated. Bake in the oven at 350 for 25 minutes, allow to cool and then mix in quinoa.

I feel silly even sharing because this is so NOT what I intended to make, nor is it how you would normally make a pudding, BUT oh well!

Here’s to happy accidents…enjoy!

Foodie Friday!

WOOOHOOO!!! Happy Friday! I am in a celebrating kind of mood!

Even though Thanksgiving isn’t for about a week, today marks the unofficial start of the Holiday season…really, Halloween did but that’s besides the point! Out of town family begins traveling home this weekend, friends & family gather for ‘early thanksgiving’ this weekend and the Christmas Village set-up at Love Park in Philadelphia kicks into high gear this weekend…SoOoOo exciting! I can’t say I shop much at Christmas Villiage but I love wandering through and taking in all the holiday merriment – it’s a real mood booster and an unbeatable way to get into the holiday spirit…

…as are these heavenly honey wheat cinnamon rolls!!!cin

These tasty treats were what rounded out mountain weekend as well as supplied the lovely ladies in my office with a baked bite to begin the work day! I can’t say this was entirely my original creation because I used this awesome honey wheat dough recipe I found on HealthyHomemakers but the gooey center and luscious icing are all me!

While the dough may not have any sugar in it, the center and icing are definitely not short on sugar…or butter for that matter, but the recipe yields about 6 8in cake rounds with 8-10 rolls a tin, so one or two dozen wont kill you! 😉

Pick a rainy Sunday, slow Saturday or try to bake these sweet treats – I am sure your family, friends and coworkers wont mind sharing in the fruits of your labor! Did I mention these would be awesome at ANY holiday party or as a special gift  for neighbors and loved ones?!?! Just throwing it out there!

Enjoy!

 

Mountain Recap

Although a day late because I was under the weather yesterday, I wanted to share a quick recap of our mountain weekend! We went on a long walk as soon as we arrived and I kept thinking “I should take some photos! No, don’t be silly, you can take some tomorrow, just enjoy the walk!” and I totally should have listened to my initial instincts because it rained Sunday and the weather was foggy/overcast so I didn’t get the amazing images I had envisioned…sigh! But the walk was lovely and the weather Saturday was just warm enough to enjoy a fire under the slightly cloud covered stars!fire

I will have more food posts from our amazing meals but I wanted to share these tasty treats first! I have had a hankering for coconut lately so I decided to try my hand at coconut macaroons! These bite size bombs are addictive and indulgent, so beware! macaroonCoconut Macaroons: Bake @ 350 for 25 minutes

  • 14oz coconut flakes
  • 120z condensed milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4oz chocolate

I will admit I am not 100% pleased with them but that didn’t stop me from eating SeVeRaL throughout the weekend! Combine the first two ingredients in a bowl with the vanilla extract and mix until will blended. Beat egg whites separately until it forms stiff peaks and then fold into coconut mixture. Spoon onto baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Set in the fridge to cool, melt the chocolate, dip the cooled macaroons into the melted chocolate and return to the fridge to set.

These suckers took no time at all to whip up and they disappeared just as fast!

 

Enjoy!

Foodie Friday!

Happy Friday!!!

I hope everyone’s day blissfully breezes by until it’s officially the weekend! To make the day a little better I brought along these coconut, chocolate chip, hazelnut cookies I made last night!!! Image

Now before you get all ‘Wow, kicking off our indulgent weekend a little early aren’t we, Colleen, its not even 10am!?!’ these little lovelies are chock full of healthy substitutes that not only make them guilt free but good for you too! Talk about a sweet start to the weekend!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies: Bake @ 400 for 12min.

  • 1/2 c coconut oil (liquid) ~ 2 eggs (beaten)~ 1 tsp vanilla extract ~ 1/2 c brown sugar ~ 1 c applesauce
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour ~ 1/2 c almond meal ~ 1/4 c flax (ground) ~ 1 tsp baking powder ~ 1 tsp baking soda ~ 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 c coconut flakes ~ 1/4-1/2 c dark chocolate chips ~ 1/4-1/2 c hazelnuts (chopped)

I wanted to play around with making these as cookies first, so I can get closer to making my own version of the chocolate coconut protein bar Luna Bar makes. Those things are insanely delicious, and my go to protein bar if I am ever too lazy to bake my own; which of course, never happens because I am perfect, hahaha!

Anyway, combine line one, combine line two and then mix all your dry ingredient into your wet ingredients. Add the items in line three at desired amounts (vary depending on personal taste), spoon onto baking sheet and go to town! Be sure to allow the cookies to cool on a rack before packaging in an air tight container.

These cookies are fantastic and great to eat morning, noon and night…literally, I recommend consumption three times daily for optimal happiness!!

Kick your weekend off with something sweet….enjoy!

Seasonal Muffins for Monday

Happy Monday wordpress world! In keeping with my pumptastic seasonal sensations I give you my pumpkin protein muffins!ImageIf I could recall the recipe for these magnificently moist morsels I would absolutely share it but I sort of threw some stuff together and crossed my fingers! They’re perfectly pumpkiny with just the right amount of sweet to start your day or treat yourself when the mid-afternoon munchies strike!

In general, I used a can of pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup applesauce, two egg whites, vanilla extract, 1 cup old fashioned oats, a few tablespoons of flax, 1/4 almond meal, 1/4 vanilla protein powder, a few tablespoons of pumpkin spice and somewhere around a tsp of baking power, baking soda and salt. Keep in mind I am guessing at these amounts but next time I whip up a batch (which will likely been soon) I will be sure to write it down! I mixed the wet ingredients in a bowl, mixed the dry ingredients in a bowl and then combined the two…spooned the beautiful batter into my muffin tins and baked for about 20 minutes at 350.

The sweet smell of the fabulously fragrant batter filled my whole apartment and while I might bake them a little longer next time, they turned our terrific!

I hope these muffins get you into the seasonal spirit…enjoy!

Powerful Starts

chervanalmmuffins(Cherry Almond Protein Muffins)

Looking for a mid-week sweet start? Whip up some cherry almond protein muffins for a delicious breakfast full of fiber and protein!

Indulge in some baked bliss and give your morning an extra boost at about 100 calories! These little gems have oats, whole wheat, and protein to keep you full and energized as well as powerful little bursts of sweet cherry goodness!

Cherries are a great source of fiber, rich in vitamins E,C,A and packed with anti-oxidants like melatonin which helps regulate sleep cycles and heart rhythm.

I am admittedly still tweaking the recipe a bit but here’s a good starting point (after I play around with it I will adjust the post to reflect the most yummylicious version and you are welcome to comment with suggestions of your own!): 1/2c. old fashioned oats, 1/2c. w.w. flour, 1 1/2 tbs. light brown sugar, 1tsp. cinnamon, 1tsp. baking powder, 1/4c. raw almonds roughly chopped, 1 egg, 1 scoop vanilla whey protein, 1tbs creme fraiche, 2tsp. sugar, 2/3c. vanilla almond milk, 1/2c. dried cherries.

Preheat to 400, mix the ingredients through almonds in a bowl together. Beat together the ingredients through almond milk in a bowl. Mix cherries into the wet ingredients and in three parts mix the dry into the wet. Scoop into muffin cups and bake for 17-20 minutes.

Give yourself a powerful start…enjoy!

Totally Baked

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Just because I don’t like the high calorie, high fat content that comes with frying food in oil, doesn’t mean I don’t crave the amazingly crispy crunch and soft center of a good sweet potato fry!

Baking is a great alternative to frying certain foods when you want to achieve the same texture without all the saturated fat and extra calories!

Baked sweet potato fries, baked tofu and some goat cheesy mixed veggies makes for a rich, filling, healthy, low calorie meal!

I par boil the peeled and sliced sweet potatoes for a few minutes, drain and let cool. Instead of using oil I brush these fries with a little honey and season with salt, pepper, rosemary and cayenne. Bake @ 375 until they start to crisp up (about 15 minutes).

On that same pan I lay some sliced, similarly seasoned tofu to crisp up! The key here is to get rid of as much excess moisture as possible (so press between kitchen towels before seasoning and baking).

Rounding out the plate is a big pile of mixed veggies…cooked using stock from earlier in the week instead of oil. Adding a little goat cheese at the end really makes this sassy meal saucy and delicious.

Just like everything livingleen this meal is nutrient packed, low calories, high protein and fabulous for you!

Get totally baked…enjoy!!!