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sunday

I love Sundays…especially when there is no work on Monday.  There’s nowhere to be, no pressure to prepare for the week ahead…plenty of time to just be:)

Our go-to quick and easy lunch

Joseph’s whole wheat lavash wrap, broccoli slaw, spinach, homemade hummus, Morningstar black bean burger

Prime example of how flavors aren’t just about the actual food.  They implicate environment, memories, seasons and tradition.  I couldn’t resist a Pumpkin Spice latte…but ordered it iced because it’s still 90 degrees.  It just wasn’t the same:(

However, it still warmed my heart just seeing the sign.

Creepy face.

Dinner was a combination of two favorites.  Mexican Pizza.

Whole wheat pita spread with vegetarian refried beans and topped with all the goods – soy cheese, black beans, diced green chilis, onions and drizzled with green enchilada sauce.  mmmm.

The husband was sweet enough to let me lead him through a yoga class tonight.  And even extra sweet by pretending he enjoyed it!  He’s my guinea pig throughout this whole “learning to be a yoga instructor” process.  I’m so lucky. We worked up quite a sweat actually, and it left me feeling really energized and much more ready for our run than I was before.  Three cheers for yoga!

And then I went out with a bang tonight when my bedtime snack turned into this


That would be Oikos greek yogurt and Kashi Go Lean crunch splattered on my kitchen floor.  Tasty, no?

I’m off to bed – we’ll be starting Labor Day off right with a nice long run!

Hope you are all enjoying your long weekend!

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$6 well spent + spicy chia black bean burger

This morning Jon and I slept in a bit, then got up and headed to the Farmer’s Market!  We are really trying to stay on a strict budget these days, so I planned to only use the cash that was leftover from our trip last week….which was $6.

I repeat.  $6.

We didn’t really need anything, surprisingly, so six bucks isn’t quite as ridiculous as it sounds.  Last week I had picked up some fresh blackberries and they were so good!  I was dying to get some more this week.  The vendor I bought from last week was out, so I had to get them from another.  Guess how much they were.

$6.

Ha.  So, I spent my entire budget on blackberries!

Breakfast – decaf iced soy latte (by way of gift card!) with a bowl of berries

They have already been worth ever cent so far.  Delicious:)

Now that we are crackin’ down on our budget, I’m really trying to utilize all of our leftovers.  Hence, this salad for lunch.

chopped fresh spinach, broccoli slaw, corn, leftover black bean burger (recipe below!), vegetarian refried beans, salsa, a sprinkle of cumin and chias

This was just okay.  I had let the second batch of black bean burgers cook a little too long the other night, so this was a bit dry and crumbly. It did the job, though;)

For our anniversary celebration (our anniversary was actually Thursday) last night, we went Cafe 501, a really nice little place in the city.  Jon had been there once a really long time ago, but I had never been!

And enjoy we did.  It was really wonderful.

free bread and garlic oil while we waited – we each had about a piece and a half

Appetizer – hummus with roasted red pepper and garlic.  Served with warm pita bread.

I really could have just ordered this and been perfectly fine…and full.  But of course I didn’t realize that until I had already ordered my meal and eaten about half of the hummus!  eek.

I did thoroughly enjoy this salad, I’m not gonna lie.  And all it’s sweet, crunchy, feta cheesy goodness. It was made up of a bed of fresh greens, feta cheese, spiced pumpkin seeds, granny smith apples and a lemon vinaigrette dressing.  Dressing on the side as to avoid floating lettuce:)  I ate about half.

After dinner we had planned to go to a movie…but alas, we were both tired, and it sounded much better to just head home and cuddle up in bed  to watch something (Isn’t that always better anyway?).  And that we did:)

Okay, now for the two recipes I promised yesterday!!

First up - Spicy Chia Black Bean Burgers


Ingredients

  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed, drained and mashed
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed (minced will work)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp avocado (mashed sweet potato will also work)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Directions

  • Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  • Divide and shape mixture into four patties
  • Heat George Foreman grill (or skillet) and coat with olive oil
  • Cook patties until crispy

recipe adapted from The Eat Clean Diet Recharged

I made these once before, but this time I tweaked the recipe and cooked them on our George Foreman rather than the stovetop, and they worked quite nicely. They do tend to be a bit more fragile than your average beef/turkey burger, but these held together just fine!

We enjoyed them on Ezekiel buns; I only had the bottom part of the bun and ate it with a fork.  Also added broccoli slaw, spinach, pickles, onions and hummus.

Hi husband and Olive.  hehe.

We also had some baked fries on the side.  I cut up one whole russet potato, spread the pieces on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with a little of this (seasoned salt, garlic powder) and a little of that (ground red pepper) and baked at 400 degrees for about 20 – 25 minutes, flipping them every once in awhile.  Don’t forget to spray the pan really well before you lay on the fries! Not that I’ve had a problem with this or anything:)

Tasty!!

Okay, next up is a recipe that isn’t really a full recipe.  More of a how-to of sorts.

As you all know, I participated in the Foodbuzz Ultimate Banana Split Challenge by making this baby

I wasn’t able to eat the entire thing (as no self respecting person would:)…but the three bites I did inhale eat were out-of-this-world!  It tasted every single bit as indulgent as it looks.

To start, I used my food processor to make 3 different kinds of banana soft-serve.  I added a small handful of strawberries to the first batch, about a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the second batch and a tablespoon of natural peanut butter to the third batch.  Each batch contained one whole banana.  All you do is process a frozen banana until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency.  Then add your extra ingredient (the possibilities are mind boggling) and process until mixed well.

I froze each flavor for several hours so it would be the right consistency for scooping.

Next I made the coconut whipped cream.

First things first – leave your mixing bowl and beater in the freezer for several hours so it is very cold.  Next, poke a hole (or several) in the bottom of  a can of Thai Coconut Milk (only the full fat version works).  Let the milk drain out the bottom.  Use a can opener to open the top, at which point you’ll see the thick coconut fat.

Scoop the fat out into your mixing bowl.  Mix until smooth, but don’t over mix.

Next add about .5 to 1 cup of powdered sugar and continue mixing until it becomes a whipped consistency. Ta-da!  Vegan whipped cream:)

recipe found here

I know I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but I have some big news coming up in my next post!  Remember in this post when I said I have “a few other things up my sleeve?”  Well one of those things is going down tomorrow! I am so excited…and I can’t wait to tell you guys.

Talk to you later!

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time to celebrate

Do you ever have one of those days where it just seems like you blink twice and the day is gone?

Today has been that kind of day!  Jon and I went for a little walk with the pups this morning after which I came back and gave some baths before heading back to the gym for some running and yoga.

He (my nephew) wasn’t too keen on holding still, so it’s a bit blurry:)

I also squeezed in 1/2 of a green monster before the gym

Jonathan brought me these purty flowers for our anniversary

For this monsta I used

3 handfuls of spinach
1 tbsp of chia seeds
1.25 cups almond milk
1 scoop Amazing Grass
leftover chocolate and peanut butter softserve from yesterday (about 1/3 cup)

As you know, yesterday was our 4 year wedding anniversary, and it was such a sweet sweet day:)  We planned on not making a big “to do” about it yesterday because we wanted to celebrate tonight!  We did, however, go out to lunch at our favorite little cafe, Cafe Bella.

I went with the Hummus wrap which was filled with hummus (obvs.:) tomato, greens, onions, cucumbers and feta

Honestly, it was just meh.  I like the sandwich I usually get from there much better.  I’m still glad I tried it though!

Last night we celebrated by making homemade black bean burgers and baked french fries.

Come back tomorrow to get the recipe!  I can assure you, it’s a keeper!

After dinner we spent the evening working on my banana split for the Foodbuzz Ultimate Banana Split Challenge

It may seem silly that we spent the evening of our anniversary making this beauty, but let me tell you – it was so fun!  From making the ice cream, making the coconut whipped cream to staging it all….we really enjoyed it.  We really love working on projects together, so I guess it makes sense!  I’ll be posting these how to’s tomorrow as well!

I must run now – because we’re doing our real celebration tonight!  Tell you all about it tomorrow!

Tomorrow is going to be a pretty full day it seems;)

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all in a day’s eats

Eek!  I can’t believe I’m just now getting around to posting.

I have been pulling some seriously late nights this past week, and it needs to stop!  It’s causing me to be so exhausted during the day.  I just love staying up late, though!

Lunch today was simple.

Two slices of Ezekiel bread, Morningstar black bean burger, hummus, a healthy dose of sunflower sprouts, and rotel tomatoes.  Yum!

And the biggest watermelon spread ever! I promise I didn’t eat all that…at least not for lunch;)

I’m pretty sure I’m going to morph into a watermelon before it’s all said and done. That or a sunflower sprout:)

I had totally forgotten that yoga was tonight until I started craving it this afternoon.  Then it hit me!  So, after tutoring I went straight to class, and did some lovely sun salutations, half series and child’s poses.  love. love. love.

Since I knew I’d be getting home sort of late from yoga, I spent some time this afternoon chopping up veggies and making a stir-fry sauce.  So, when I got home all I had to do was dump it all in the wok and cook some bulgur!

I included cabbage, bell pepper, pattypan squash, carrots, onions, zucchini and sunflower sprouts.  Obviously I added a sprinkle of chia seeds to top it all off!

The most important thing about stir-frying veggies is timing.  I always put my carrots in and let them cook for a bit first (same story with broccoli if you’re using it); then I add bell peppers.  Soon after the peppers I add in everything else except for the sunflower sprouts, which I toss in at the very end.

I would give you the recipe for the sauce I made, but it needs some revamping.  It involved low sodium tamari sauce, garlic, olive oil, maple syrup, seasoned rice vinegar and ground red pepper; it was a bit bland unfortunately, so I’ll spare you the details.  The incredible veggies were the star of this show!

Dessert was a brown rice cake with a thin layer of Maranatha Chocolate Almond Butter spread.  This stuff is just like eating icing.  It is so good!

With a cup of decaf iced coffee on the side.

Well, I hate to cut this short, but I gots to gets to bed!

Tomorrow is a special day here, but I’m going to wait ’till tomorrow to tell you why!  Any guesses?!

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comfort food + chia giveaway winners revealed

Jon and I had great intention of running a 5k this morning, but we have a bad habit of chattin’ it up so much that our running suffers.  We ended up running/walking 2.54 miles in about 35 minutes .  Obvs. there was a lot of walking involved.  o’well…at least we were up and moving!

By the time we got back, I had to rush around to get out the door on time!

green monster to-go please!!

2 handfuls spinach, 1.25 cups soy milk, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 scoop Amazing Grass, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, chia seeds, ice

Need. Bigger. Cup. (I’m hardcore like that;)

After my orthodontist appointment (hi, I’m Candice and I’m 13 years old) I ran through S-bucks for a decaf soy latte.  I have cut down on my Starbucks runs exponentially; it’s funny how much better it tastes when it’s a rare treat. Totally worth every last cent today.

After a quick stop at the mall to do an exchange, I headed home for lunch.  Sweet Jon had it all prepared for me

Sunflower sprouts make their debut!  hooray!

whole wheat pita with hummus, Morningstar black bean burger, broccoli slaw and sunflower sprouts

with a side of juicy watermelon that I picked up last night

one of my thousand new obsessions.

And several hours of work later I dug into this new container of Sabra hummus with baby carrots.  Does anybody know how baby carrots came to be?  Do they grow them that way?  Curious minds want to know!

love me some carrots and hummus

Tonight I was in the mood for some comfort food because I received some bad news.  The ESL teaching job I told you guys I landed last week fell through. She called today and said that there had been some kind of hiring freeze and that they weren’t going to be able to hire me after all.  Sad:(  It hit me pretty hard because I was counting on that being a sure thing when I resigned from my job.

I’m trying to stay positive regardless of what happens.  I know that God will provide, and I know everything will work out for the best…I just have to have faith.

Someone quoted the following on twitter last week.  Please tell me if you know who it was because I can’t find where I wrote it down!

“This week shall rock!  I’m going to hold steady and strong at not digging up in doubt what I planted in full on faith.”

This has been my mantra since I read it last week…I keep repeating it to myself every time I start to sink into doubt.  I can’t lose hope the second things don’t go as expected.

Onwards and Upwards!

So, back to the comfort food.  I’ll give you 1 guess as to what comfort food was calling out to me.

You got it

Our specialty: homemade enchiladas.

  • Whole wheat tortilla
  • black beans
  • rotel tomatoes
  • soy cheese
  • Roll tortillas up and place in a baking dish
  • Pour canned green enchilada sauce over entire dish
  • Bake to perfection at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes

**We make six at a time because they are great for leftovers!

All jokes aside about our obsession with Mexican food...if you like enchiladas, you MUST make these.  They are like biting into a little piece of heaven.  No kidding.  You can make any variation – spinach, beans, cheese and onion or a mix of all three!  Let me know if you try them out, and I’ll post ‘em on the blog!

In an effort to save money this month, I decided to make a big batch of homemade salsa since we eat it like it’s goin’ out of style.  Below is the recipe I came up with tonight, but I think it still has room for improvement.  Let me know if you have any ideas for alterations!

Place the following ingredients in a food processor:

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 jalapeno pepper, seeds and all!
  • ~ 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • small handful basil leaves, chopped
  • small handful cilantro, chopped

Process until it reaches the consistency you prefer.  Eat up!

There are millions of different ways to make salsas – peach salsa, chipotle salsa, black bean and corn salsa, the list goes on and on…

Jon and I prefer just basic, spicy salsa – we’re not crazy about all the add ins.  I’m excited to experiment with this a bit more.

Okay, okay, now for what you’ve all been waiting for.  I selected the winners using True Random Number Generator from random. org.

Drumroll please.

The winners of the chia seeds so graciously donated by Monterey Bay Spice Company are….

Rhea from Happy Greek Feaster

and

Amber from SAHM’s Musings

Congrats Rhea and Amber.  Email me your information, and we’ll get your chias shipped asap!

Thanks to everyone who entered.  And a very special thanks to Monterey Bay Spice Company for being our lovely sponsor.  Hop over and check out their website when you get a chance.  Chia seeds are only the beginning of their amazing products!

That’s all for tonight, friends.  Hope you all had a fantastic Monday!

What kind of salsa is your favorite?  Any tips to improve my recipe?  I’m all ears!!

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