Zucchini “Pasta”, Breakfast & A Furniture Makeover

Hello hello! Happy hump day. We’re going to be a little bit all over the place today, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

First, if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you may have seen a delicious photo that looked something like this a couple of days ago:

zucchini pasta with turkey meatballs

If you didn’t see it, you should probably double-check to make sure you are following me on Instagram and Twitter. ūüôā

Besides putting a little TLC into creating the zucchini “pasta”, this dish came together pretty quickly with the help of some leftover Thai turkey meatballs from the freezer.

For the zucchini:¬†I was too lazy to pull out the mandolin to thinly slice the zucchini and I figured it would be just as easy for me to cut it all by hand anyway, so I thinly cut two fresh farmer’s market zucchini, put them into a strainer over the sink, sprinkled them with a little bit of salt, and let them sit for about 20 minutes to help remove some excess water. I then placed them into a pan on the stove top which I had coated with sesame oil. I let these cook on low for about 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Towards the end of the cooking process I added a couple of splashes of coconut aminos, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and at the¬†very¬†end I added chopped fresh basil and cilantro.

Turkey meatballs: You can check out the recipe by looking back at this post if you are interested. I took the meatballs out of the freezer, let them defrost, then placed them on a baking sheet under the broiler. I broiled them for approximately 8-10 minutes until cooked through and slightly browned, turning them halfway.

Onto the plate: Once the zucchini and meatballs were done, I first plated the zucchini pasta, next the turkey meatballs, and finally a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Voila!

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Moose is still loving doing his night time yoga stretching. He took over the yoga mat completely the other night. In his offense, I wan’t yoga’ing too intensely so naturally he thought he should probably take over.

Moose yoga

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Breakfasts

I’ve been changing up my breakfasts from the usual smoothies. I’ve been rotating between¬†my old favorite of banana and nut (almond) butter, over-easy eggs, fruit and nut “cereal” bowls, and smoothies.

Lately the cereal bowl is my jam. In it is blueberries, strawberries, chopped almonds, chopped cashew, almond milk, and a touch of honey. So refreshing and so fun to me because I feel like I’m eating cereal.

fruit and nut cereal

 

Love it.

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Dresser Turned TV Stand

For the longest time, Dana and I have been on the lookout for a new TV stand. The one we had been using was from Dana’s college years and was just that—a TV stand appropriate for a college apartment. It just didn’t look right in our living room now. Neither of us were willing to fork over hundreds of dollars for a new one though, so I decided to get crafty . With the inspiration from my beautiful friend Haley as well as Pinterest,¬†I was going to make my own TV stand and I was going to make it from an old dresser. Project renovation.

It wasn’t an urgent project, so gradually I began looking at second hand stores and garage sales for decent priced dressers. ¬†The one I found was at a garage sale right in my neighborhood. I spotted it while I was driving home, it looked like the perfect size, was in great shape, and was only $20. Sold. You’ve got to love the butterfly drawer knobs too. I mean come on.

dresser turned tv stand

To renovate:

  1. We gave it a good scrub down.
  2. Slathered three coats of paint on it (letting each coat dry in between of course).
  3. Placed a painted piece of plywood on the top shelf to serve as a resting place for the cable box and DVD player.
  4. Cut a hole in the back of the top shelf for the cable wires.
  5. Put new knobs on (I kept the butterfly ones just in case—they’re so adorable).
  6. Moved it into the living room, reconnected the cables, and that was that!

It was a two day project which totaled out to be about $50. Not bad if you ask me! I may have found my calling. ūüėČ

dresser turned tv stand

The color we picked out is a little more purpley than I had thought it would be, but it actually looks just perfect in our living room. It makes the space look more homey and inviting. I love it!

I could continue on this randomness but I think I will stop at that.

I have some super fun plans tonight and I am very excited to share them with you all in the next few days. Be on the lookout!

Are you enjoying the abundant zucchini as much as I am right now?
What’s your favorite breakfast right now?
Have you gotten crafty lately?

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Clean Almond Chocolate Cookies

Thursday, August 8th is Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen will donate $1 to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for each blizzard purchased. Make Thursday a DQ Blizzard day if you have one in your area!

So speaking of ice cream, I have been seriously craving it, like in a really bad way. When these cravings arise I will make myself a batch of banana soft serve but ya know what, I’m not going to lie, it’s just not the same. I can’t wait for the day when my body is stable enough to enjoy a frozen ice cream treat now and again!

Until then, I will continue to find substitutions to the sweet treats my body has been craving.

On Monday, we had a cool and cloudy day here in Minnesota; the perfect cookie baking kind of day. I whipped up a batch of clean almond chocolate cookies! I was inspired by a recipe from the Clean Blog but made quite a few changes, so I wanted to make sure and share my recipe with you all.

These cookies are gluten-free; made from almond and coconut flour.

They are refined sugar-free; sweetened with coconut nectar and applesauce.

They are rich and chocolatey thanks to raw cacao powder and cacao nibs.

And they are pretty darn delicious if you ask me.

Almond Cacao Cookies (clean) Almond Cacao Cookies (clean)   Almond Cacao Cookies (clean) Almond Cacao Cookies (clean)

almond cacao cookies

They have a rich chocolatey flavor, they are subtly sweet, and Dana and I have really been enjoying them for the last few days! We can’t always have cookies around or we would turn into cookie monsters, but it’s fun to have them around the house every once in a while!

Almond Cacao Cookies
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Serves: 3 dozen cookies
Recipe adapted from Clean blog: http://blog.cleanprogram.com/almond-butter-chip-cookies/
Ingredients
  • ¬Ĺ cup coconut flour
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups almond meal/flour
  • ¬Ĺ cup coconut sugar plus ½ cup to coat dough balls
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup raw cacao nibs
  • ¬ľ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • ¬ľ cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup almond butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking pad or coconut oil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cacao powder and cacao nibs. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, coconut oil, almond milk and vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients slowly into wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. On a small plate, sprinkle ½ cup coconut sugar.
  6. Roll batter into 1 inch balls, then roll in coconut sugar, and place on the baking sheet leaving about an 1½ inches between cookies. Use your hand or the back of a cup to flatten the cookies to about ½ inch.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Let cookies completely cool on the pan.ENJOY!

Have a great day friends. Enjoy a cookie!

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Cinnamon Muffins {refined sugar-free and gluten-free}

The perfectly sweet way to start your day…with mini cinnamon muffins! They are cute, sweetened with honey and no refined sugar, gluten-free and would be PERFECT with a little smear of nut butter. Although I recommend taking time in the morning to sit down and thoroughly enjoy your breakfast, I know that this isn’t always realistic in the busy world we live in, these muffins would be perfect for on the go.

cinnamon muffins (gluten-free, refined sugar-free)

Since they are mini-size you can decide how many you want to enjoy at any given time. They also make a perfect pick-me-up snack or even for dessert. You could even bake up some apple slices with cinnamon and crumble one of these little guys right on top of your apple slices! Or crumble one on top of some Greek yogurt! I’m getting all excited over here! Mmm, mmm.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

cinnamon muffins (gluten-free, refined sugar-free) cinnamon muffins (gluten-free, refined sugar-free)   cinnamon muffins (gluten-free, refined sugar-free)

 

**Note: Although these are made with no refined sugar, they still contain sugar from the honey. Just something to be aware of! ūüôā

Recipe adapted from stiritup.me and¬†Elana’s Pantry.

Cinnamon Muffins (refined sugar-free, gluten-free)
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Serves: 3 dozen mini muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp flax seed + ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • Topping:
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat two mini muffin pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor combine flaxseed and water and process until frothy.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the flaxseed mixture, oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. Slowly blend dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined.
  6. Carefully spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients: melted coconut oil, honey and cinnamon. Mix well and spoon over muffins.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tooth pick inserted into middle muffin comes out clean.

Happy Weekend!!

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Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” with Lentil Stuffing

Thanksgiving in July

It was Thanksgiving at our household last night. Thanksgiving in July? You bet. There are no rules about Thanksgiving food. It also happens to be one of my all-time favorite meals.

So I did it. I got creative! Thanks to some inspiration from Pinterest, I pulled together a savory meal.

cauliflower mashed potatoes with lentil stuffing

 

The cauliflower mashed “potatoes” inspiration was courtesy of¬†Nom Nom Paleo. The only difference is I steamed my cauliflower in a bowl in the microwave instead of on the stove. Oh, and I didn’t use nutmeg either.

So basically here’s how I made my cauliflower mash:

  1. Place cauliflower florets and a little bit of the stalk into a microwave safe bowl. Fill with approximately 3/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from microwave, stir the cauli, cover back up, and microwave for another 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from microwave and add in three chopped garlic cloves. Cover again, and microwave for 3 more minutes.
  4. Remove from microwave and carefully place cauliflower and garlic into a food processor. Try to exclude the excess water in the bottom of the bowl. Add in 1 Tablespoon of butter (grass-fed organic preferred).
  5. Process until you have reached a smooth consistency like mashed potatoes!
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with my lentil stuffing!

cauliflower mashed potatoes with lentil stuffing 2

 

The stuffing was extremely easy to make. I started off with 2 cups of cooked lentils (I cooked mine in chicken stock to add more flavor). You can set those aside to begin with while you prepare the other veggies.

I first sautéed 1/2 cup each of diced carrots, onions, and celery. I then added 1/2 cup of diced zucchini and sautéed for a couple of minutes (more detailed recipe below). Lastly I added in all of my herbs and seasonings as well as the cooked lentils and let everything cook through.

When it came time to plate I plated the cauliflower mashed potatoes first, followed by the lentil stuffing. In retrospect, I wish I would have used a different colored plate! It would have made for a prettier photo. Oh well!

cauli and lentils

 

Here is the complete lentil stuffing recipe:

Lentil Stuffing
4.0 from 1 reviews
Print
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or pumpkin oil
  • ½ cup carrots, small diced
  • ½ cup onion, small diced
  • ½ cup celery, small diced
  • ½ cup zucchini, small diced
  • 2 cups lentils cooked in chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • sprinkle of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium saute pan, heat oil on stove over low-medium heat.
  2. Add carrots, onion, and celery and saute for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add in the zucchini and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add in the lentils and the rest of the seasonings and stir.
  5. Continue to cook and stir until heated through for 3 more minutes.
  6. Serve on top of cauliflower mashed "potatoes". ENJOY!

 

I felt like I was eating mashed potatoes with stuffing from Thanksgiving dinner. The slightly crunchy texture and savory flavor of the stuffing reminded me exactly of the “standard” Thanksgiving stuffing, and the cauliflower mashed potatoes tasted surprisingly similar to mashed potatoes!

If you are vegetarian or vegan, you could replace the chicken broth with vegetarian broth and exclude the butter if you wish, and you would be set!

This recipe may seem a little out there to some, but don’t knock it ’til you try it. You will be pleasantly surprised at the flavor and textures of this dish!

Happy Thanksgiving Wednesday!!

If you get the chance, hop on over to Katie’s blog at¬†Running4Cupcakes. I wrote a guest post for Katie today about making Almond Butter which will be going up at some point today! Since I’ve lightened my peanut butter consumption, I have become a pro at making super creamy and slightly sweet almond butter!

 

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Redundant Summer Meals

I know I’m not alone on this one…when the summer rolls around, I tend to struggle with maintaining my creativity in the kitchen. The grill and I become B.F.F. and I wind up tossing a protein food source with a bunch of veggies and calling it a meal. Hence the reason I haven’t had too many food photos to share with you all.

You’ll see the pattern…

Salmon and veggies

salmon and veggies

Pork loin and veggies

pork and veggies

Ground beef and veggies

beef and veggies

A little redundant, right?

Less time in the kitchen means more time to be spent outside enjoying the beautiful sunshine!

IMG_3122   Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

 

dana and melanie

 

However, I would like to step up my game just a little bit because I am getting pretty bored with my eats. So that is going to be my goal for the next couple of weeks: to amp up my food creativity level. The grill can still be my B.F.F., but it can serve for a more creative cooking vessel versus just grilling a piece of meat and calling it a day.

I am hoping to make up a batch of hippie loaf with a few modifications this week. Here’s to hoping!

What are your favorite meals to make in the summer? Do you feel your meals get a little redundant like mine?

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Dinner Out at Mill Valley Kitchen

Last night Dana and I ate dinner at Mill Valley Kitchen in St.Louis Park. They offer Northern Californian cuisine and use fresh, local, and sustainably sourced ingredients to create their menu. I was looking for a restaurant with a nice atmosphere, with healthy and delicious food that wouldn’t throw my GI system off. Luckily, Mill Valley Kitchen had just what I was looking for.

mill valley kitchen

 

I started dinner off with their raspberry lemonade from the natural refreshments menu and Dana ordered a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

natural refreshments mill valley kitchen

raspberry mint lemonade mill valley kitchen

 

I drank the whole thing and even ate the mint. Is that weird? Does anybody else do that?

 

For dinner we both ordered the Nantucket Day Boat Scallops…

scallops

 

Gorgeous!

 

scallops mill valley kitchen

scallops mill valley kitchen

scallops mill valley kitchen

 

They tasted as good as they looked. Cooked to perfection.

 

We also got a side of Sesame Carrots….insanely delicious. I WILL be making these at home.

sesame carrots mill valley kitchen

 

and Brussels Sprouts with Lemon.

lemon brussels sprouts mill valley kitchen

 

It was a lot of food and I was so happy to have had so many leftovers to take home with me for the next day because everything tasted so good! The food was cooked simply and with such fresh and flavorful ingredients. It’s exactly how I like to cook at home! The nutrition facts are listed on their menu and they have clearly marked gluten-free options too. I like that I could leave the restaurant feeling good about what I ate.

I would recommend Mill Valley Kitchen to anyone looking for a healthy and comfortable dining experience.

Since we were all dressed up from dinner, I took the opportunity to get a family photo once we got home. ūüôā

 

 

dana and melanie and moose

The rest of the evening was spent with Moose. We went for a walk and then sat out on the back patio. The weather was absolutely perfect last night. It was the perfect way to end the night.

.moose

 

Happy Saturday!

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Mint Dark Chocolate Recipe (Sugar-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free)

That’s what I’m talking about.

One of my biggest vices has always been sweets, mainly chocolate. When I started seeing my Naturopath I told her about my sweet tooth and that I truly enjoy eating chocolate on a daily basis. Since I know that my body reacts very negatively to sugar, especially at this point in my journey, I should be avoiding processed sugar as much as possible. I had settled with fact that at this point in my life I just wouldn’t eat chocolate or at least not as often as I was before.

But then…my naturopath suggested that I make my own chocolate using raw cacao powder, coconut oil, stevia, and almond butter. Why had I not thought of this? Brilliant. She recommended I do some searching online to find a recipe.¬†And that is just what I did.

I found a recipe from Practical Paleo which served as my inspiration. I ended up creating these beautiful chocolates!!

homemade chocolate

I have been experimenting with different ingredients and amounts of ingredients. I have had a couple of flops (my first batch came out pretty bitter) but I would say that I am getting pretty darn good at making my own chocolates. I cannot believe how easy they are to make!

My friends at Navitas Naturals were kind enough to send me a bag of their Raw Cacao, Raw Cacao Nibs, and Coconut Sugar so that I could continue to experiment in making my own chocolates.

Their mission as a company is “to provide the finest organic superfoods that increase energy and enhance health.” Their products are all organic, non-GMO project verified, and provides a high quality and safe product. I am 100% behind this company.¬†source

navitas naturals

So far I have only used the cacao powder, but I know I will be using the other two ingredients at some point. I am super intrigued by the coconut sugar. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular cane sugar so it helps an individual maintain a more steady blood sugar versus major blood sugar dips and spikes.

Raw cacao is one of the richest antioxidant sources found in nature. Not only that but it provides other important minerals like magnesium and iron. So yes, the rumors are true that dark chocolate is indeed good for you (in moderation of course).

You’re probably thinking, cut to the chase Melanie, I want to see this recipe! Okay okay here you go. This is my recipe for Mint Dark Chocolate which is my favorite recipe so far (the rest still need some tweaking).

In a microwave safe bowl, mix together 1/2 cup melted coconut oil with 1/2 cup cacao powder. You can use any cocoa powder but raw high quality is best and make sure it is unsweetened. You can find raw cacao by Navitas Naturals at Whole Foods and I found it at our local co-op as well.

Next, mix in 1/2 cup of almond butter. I use homemade but you can use store-bought, just make sure to look at the ingredient label and check that there is no sugar added!

homemade chocolate

Next, I add in 15-20 drops of liquid vanilla stevia. You can adjust the amount of drops to your liking. More if you like sweeter, less if you prefer not as sweet. Lastly, I add in a minuscule splash of mint extract. I have never really measured this but I would say 1/4 teaspoon or less.

Give this all one last good stir.

homemade chocolate

Next, drop the chocolate into mini cupcake liners ( I didn’t have these so I just used the normal sized ones) on a baking sheet. Once all of the chocolate is dispersed evenly among the liners, place the pan with the cupcake liners and chocolates in the freezer.

(Side note: the top chocolates in this picture below were an experiment that didn’t turn out to be my favorite so I am not sharing any recipe for those ones until I perfect them!). The chocolates on the bottom are the mint ones before they went into the freezer.

homemade chocolate

It doesn’t take long for these to set (20 minutes or so) so before too long you have yourself some tasty, sugar-free homemade dark chocolates!¬†IMG_3200

homemade chocolate

Since I had to use the normal sized cupcake liners, I cut my chocolates into quarters so that they were more bite-sized and I stored them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. ¬†If you used the mini cupcake liners you probably won’t need to cut them. You need to keep them in the freezer because they will melt at room temperature.

Now you can have your dark chocolate and eat it too! I hope you enjoy!

Homemade Dark Chocolate (Sugar-Free)
Print
In a microwave safe bowl, mix together ½ cup melted coconut oil with ½ cup cacao powder.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 15-20 drops vanilla stevia (to your liking)
  • ¼ tsp or less of mint extract (to your liking)
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together coconut oil with cacao powder.
  2. Add in 15-20 drops of stevia. You can adjust the amount of drops to your liking. More if you like sweeter, less if you prefer not as sweet.
  3. Add in the mint extract.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Drop into mini cupcake liners on a baking sheet.
  6. Place in freezer and let set for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Store in freezer. They do melt at room temperature so you need to keep them cold!

 

 

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All About the Food & Yellow Quinoa Recipe

Except for breakfast yesterday, I actually managed to snap photos of a lot of my food so guess what I am going to be sharing with you all today!

My breakfast was my favorite at the moment blueberry smoothie all jam-packed with blueberries, kale, pineapple, and so much more. It tasted awesome per usual.

Lunch was insanely delicious. I pulled together a salad using leftover mixed dark greens with tomatoes and cucumbers from Sunday, leftover yellow quinoa (recipe below!), leftover chicken, zucchini, sunflower seeds, and this homemade Greek dressing. The flavor in this thing was outrageous. I am going to be making this for lunch again today I think.

salad

I spent a little time in the kitchen mixing up some confectionaries (sugar-free). This is a teaser photo. I promise I really am going to share some homemade dark chocolate recipes with you all soon.

chocolate

I also made dried pineapple in the food dehydrator. These make for the perfect sweet dessert. They taste like gummy candy. So good!

pineapple

Dinner

I didn’t really have any plans for dinner, but when the time rolled around, I knew I had a fridge packed full of veggies, and they were screaming to be eaten. So I threw together my old go-to dinner: veggie hash with an over-easy egg.

This time I used onions, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, salt, pepper, and paprika. I was so excited to be able to eat an egg again. I had eliminated them from my diet when I was following the Clean Program and this was my first time eating one in about a month. I missed my eggs!

hash with egg hash with egg

Mmm seriously such a good dinner. Such a great day of eats in general!

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So remember that yellow quinoa I made for Sunday night’s Mediterranean dinner?

homemade mediterranean dinner

 

My inspiration for this recipe came from multiple dinners to one of my favorite Mediterranean restaurants where they serve yellow rice underneath mounds of veggies and shawarma. Num. Ca you see it hidden under there? This was a photo of my dinner from the restaurant a while back.

med cruise yellow rice

 

The secret ingredient in my quinoa that makes it yellow is a spice called turmeric. Did you know turmeric has been shown to be a natural anti-inflammatory? I can almost guarantee that nearly every one of us could benefit from a little anti-inflammatory assistance within our bodies. I know I can use the extra help!

Anyway, this quinoa is extremely simple and it was the perfect accompaniment to the Mediterranean inspired meal I made for Sunday night’s dinner which included grilled chicken, kabobs, and a veggie salad.

You could add in onions and green peas to this quinoa recipe to amp up the nutritional value even more. You could also add in veggies AND a lean protein like chicken and you would have yourself a one pot meal.

Yellow Quinoa
Print
This makes one BIG batch of quinoa
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups dry quinoa
  • 5 cups chicken bone broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 heaping tsp cumin
  • dash of onion powder
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan or pot, combine quinoa, broth, and garlic and bring to a boil.
  2. Cover pot and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. At the end of the cooking process, add the remaining seasonings. Season to taste if necessary.
  4. Serve with your favorite kabob combination, on a salad or even on its own!

Happy Day my friends.

Have you ever cooked with turmeric? What are your favorite spices to cook with?

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Weekend Snapshots

I am coming off of what was one epic weekend. It was an absolute blast having my brother and Ana around all weekend. Our family was able to spend a lot of time together this weekend which of course I just love.

Since it’s Monday and since a good majority of us including myself may be a little tired today, I’m going to keep the rest of this post real simple.

Here are some weekend snapshots!

Thursday night we hosted a small BBQ for our special Colombian guests.

Friday I grabbed lunch with the lovely Katie and Becky at Crave at Mall of America. Love love these girls.

blends crave

I ordered the salmon salad which came with mixed greens, salmon, mandarin oranges, goat cheese and pistachios (I think). Honestly it wasn’t anything to write home about but it tasted good still. I think I was so absorbed in conversation that I hardly remember eating it. Yikes!

crave salmon

Friday afternoon Dana and I enjoyed a short and hilly bike ride through the neighborhood. I am hoping to do a post this week about my casual approach to training for the duathlon.

Saturday morning started off with banana with almond butter and no-sugar added dried cranberries.

banana and almond butter

Then we ran a bunch of errands including a trip to the local farmers market where I picked up these beauts for my mom and dad.

farmers market flowers

And later in the evening we had a Mexican fiesta with the family.

taco salad ana grandpa jeff

On Sunday Dana and I took our bikes to St. Paul and biked 10 miles bike along the Mississippi. I LOVE this area. It is beautiful.

bike st. paul dana and melanie bike

I finished the weekend off with a homemade Mediterranean dinner complete with kabobs, grilled chicken, mixed green salad, and yellow quinoa (recipe to come for the yellow quinoa).

homemade mediterranean dinner

It was an absolute incredible weekend. I hope yours was too!

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My Go-To Blueberry Smoothie

First and foremost, happy Friday to you all!

We have two very special guests staying with us this weekend so I am one happy gal.

jeff and ana

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I’m keeping it short and simple for you all this Friday.

I have been really loving my smoothies lately especially now that I have reintroduced bananas back into my diet. I have been mixing up lots of different concoctions but have found one that has become my go-to smoothie.

I never really measure out the ingredients, I prefer to “eyeball” them, but I did my best to estimate the correct measurements per ingredient so you can try making it at home yourself!

smoothie

My Go-To Blueberry Smoothie

  • about 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4-1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • handful of kale
  • spoonful of hemp protein powder
  • spoonful of raw cacao powder
  • spoonful of almond butter
  • touch of stevia
  • 1/2-1 cup almond milk

Give it a good whirl in your blender or Nutribullet until completely blended. Enjoy as an on-the-go breakfast or a perfectly healthy afternoon snack!

Warning: Be careful drinking this smoothie when wearing white clothes! I usually play it safe by wearing an apron in the car if I’m taking it on the go. Nerd alert.

smoothie on the go

I hope you all have a fantastic Friday! xoxo

Question: What’s in ¬†your go-to smoothie?

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