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couscous salad and today’s eats

Hey hey everyone!  How’s it going?  As promised yesterday, I have a newbie and an oldie recipe for you!

First up is Couscous Salad

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup couscous, uncooked
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1.5- 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1.5 can low sodium corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 chopped avocado
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder

Directions

  • Bring vegetable broth to a boil.  Add couscous. Remove from heat and cover.
  • Chop bell pepper, onion and scallions and set aside
  • Whisk together oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, and cumin in a large bowl
  • After couscous has sat for 5-10 minutes, fluff well with a fork and transfer sauce in bowl
  • Add black beans, corn, bell pepper, chopped onion, scallions, cilantro, chili powder, salt and pepper and mix well
  • Add chopped avocado just before serving

recipe adapted from here

This salad is great chilled, but can also be served hot.  I made this recipe for my family Easter gathering, and I brought home a couple servings worth of leftovers.  So, if you’re making it for one, you may want to half this recipe.  I love having leftovers on hand, though.  I took a bowl of this for lunch today, and it was filling as a meal too!

You guys have got to try this – I absolutely loved it and so did my fam!

Next up is my version of Averie’s Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

This was actually my second time to make these, but I altered a couple of things from the last batch, and I think they turned out even better!

Ingredients

one ripe banana, mashed
1.5 cup oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup natural pb
1 scoop of Jay Robb Brown Rice Protein Powder (or protein powder of your choice)
3 tbsp sliced almonds
2 tbsp whole flaxseed
2 tbsp chia seeds
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Mash banana in a large bowl
Combine the rest of the ingredients a few at a time and mix well
Place saran wrap in 8×8 pan (Averie’s idea:)
Press mixture into pan with hands
Cut bars right away – I cut mine into 16 squares
Freeze bars

I think these bars are best served right out of the freezer, but you can eat them any way you like!  As you can tell these are quite calorie dense, but they are so sweet and delicious that one small square is satisfying!  After freezing mine, I took them out of the dish and wrapped them individually.  Instant portion control!  I was so happy because these were a total hit with my family.  Usually they aren’t too keen on my concoctions, but I think they really loved these.  Score!

My eats today were pretty basic.  For some reason I wasn’t that hungry today.  I sipped on my green smoothie throughout the morning, whereas I usually finish it on my drive to work.  I even took the last bit of it to lunch with me.  As mentioned earlier I also had leftover couscous salad for lunch.

I also packed all of this!


Kiwi, carrots and almonds…with a side of plastic;)

Whole soy yogurt and sliced almonds/dried cranberries (my favorite!)

Pretty kiwi:)

So, I actually didn’t end up eating the kiwi or the carrots because I just didn’t need it.  It’s sitting in my fridge at work, waiting to be eaten tomorrow!  I don’t think I’ll be able to resist it tomorrow – I love kiwi!

Dinner tonight was Whichwich.  We just didn’t feel like cooking – we both had a lot to do tonight and wanted to just chill out and skip kitchen duty. So, Whichwich it was!

Tomato and avocado on whole wheat with lettuce, pickles, pepperoncini, mushrooms, bell pepper and onion – my fave!

Well, it’s getting pretty late and I still want to go out for a walk with Jon and Olive.  Our walks are always the highlight of my day!  I think we may have some storms coming in though, so off I go!  See you guys tomorrow!

Btw, I do have some potential developments in the works regarding this post.  I’ll update as soon as I can!  Please keep your fingers crossed for me:)

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a family Easter

Hey friends!  Happy Easter!  I think I’ve said that already in at least one post, but I think it’s fun to just celebrate all weekend!

Saturday Jon and I headed to my hometown.  We met up with my mom and step dad and then headed over to my Grandma’s for Easter dinner.  Before we left our house though, I tried to shove a little too much into the morning, which made us run pretty late.  I did get a lot accomplished, though!  Went for a three mile run, made a couscous salad and protein bars, packed, went shopping for a birthday present for my Grandpa and drove an hour home!  No wonder we were late!

We had such an awesome day with family, though.  I got to meet my little cousin, Caroline for the first time ever, and she is just a doll!  It totally made my day (and gave me a little bit of baby fever:) to see her.

I just have to say – my Grandma and Grandpa are awesome.  I love them so much, and I’m so proud of them.  They have both made healthy changes over the past year, and jointly have lost about 60 pounds so far.  They both have so much more energy!

It thrills me to no end, too, because my Grandma has moved to fixing healthy dishes at family gatherings, as opposed to all the traditional unhealthy staples.  She does still mix some of those in, but I never have to worry about having something healthy, even vegan, to eat when I go home!  Check out my plate from yesterday.

I ended up with fresh strawberries and pineapple, a black bean and rice dip, red bell pepper strips, cucumbers, the couscous salad that I made, and one perfect little chocolate covered strawberry:)

It was delicious!  She had a ton more options of veggies, as well as some ribs, chicken and baked beans (which I passed up of course:).  I was just too full to eat it all!

After dinner, we had great family time.  I love just sitting around hanging out together.  We did have a little dessert as well.  It was my Grandpa’s birthday, so my aunt brought birthday cake.

I brought vegan peanut butter chocolate chip protein bars, and everybody loved them!  Well, most everybody at least.  It totally made my day because the last time I took a vegan cake, it was NOT a hit:(  Can’t win ‘em all I guess!

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the recipes for the couscous salad as well as the protein bars that I made.  Make sure you stop by because the couscous salad was to die for!  It was the first time I’d made it, and I seriously loved it. Here’s a little teaser:)

Today we went to my mom and Clark’s church, and then met my grandparent’s for lunch at Mazzio’s (an italian restaurant here in OK) afterward.  I was a little concerened because I hadn’t been to Mazzio’s since I became vegan, and my old favorites included their famous ranch dressing and deep dish pizza (eek!).  It totally worked out, though!  I’ll also be sharing that with you tomorrow:)

Well, I’m off to get stuff ready to start another week of school.  I hope you all had a lovely weekend, whatever you did, and have a great start to the week!  See you tomorrow!

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the week in food pics and happy Easter

Hi!  If you didn’t catch my earlier post, check it out to see who is the winner of the chia seed giveaway!

As mentioned (ahem) yesterday, I’ve been a bit behind on blogging my meals.  And I figure what’s a food blog without pictures of food?!  So, here’s a little catch up…

Two different days this week lunch was Amy’s low sodium lentil vegetable soup.  I love to have Amy’s soups on hand for busy weeks like this one.  I think this is my favorite one!

The stats:

Not bad, eh?  The ingredient list is stellar as well.  I also had a nice, juicy pear on the side.

This is my “plan b” for mornings when I don’t have a green monster: an ezekiel english muffin, 1 tbsp nut butter and half a sliced banana.  Heaven.

A quick and easy dinner – Joseph’s whole wheat and flax lavash wrap, hummus, mushroom, cucumber, zucchini, squash, onion, spinach and hot sauce! With pear slices and a kiwi.

I love to take salads for lunch – they’re so refreshing!  They’ve got to be loaded with goods if they’re gonna make the cut, though;)  This one was fixed up with chopped cucumber, zucchini and squash, corn, chick peas, chia seeds and balsamic.

I hope everyone has a fantastic, family filled Easter!  It’s one of the greatest weekends of the year because we get to specifically celebrate Christ’s Resurrection and the fact that we serve a living God.  I love that!  I honestly don’t know how I would live without Jesus by my side giving me comfort, guidance, love, grace and acceptance.

Aside from praising and thanking Him, we’ll be spending lots of time in the beautiful weather doing this…

with the wind in our hair:)…

See you all later!

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