Monday, February 9, 2015

February Findings + Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

February. Can you think of a better month to get back into something that you stopped doing for a long time, like in my case, blogging? What's that you say, did I forget about January? Here's the deal, guys, I take January to reflect on the last year and get all things in order before I dive in again. And it just so happens that this January included packing and moving into a new apartment, so I knew getting this pretty little blog here back up and going was a distant dream.

Alas, here we are, the 8th of February and a new post is happening! Recap of things I want to do this year:
1. More yoga. I always feel so much more centered, focused and healthy when I practice, so it is one of my goals this year to make myself happy and get my yoga on. Plus, a friend of mine is my Wednesday instructor and she is the shit, so I need to make it a priority.

2. Be Intentional. This year, I will be focusing on being intentional in my friendships, relationships with my family members, my volunteer organizations and my professional life. We live in a world where we don't make time for ourselves to sit down and rest and although that is because of choices we all make, I am making the choice to carve out time for myself and others.

3. Keep my eyes open. Because sometimes I trip on the sidewalk when I close them. Just kidding, guys! Geez, I'm not that loony. But for real, I don't ever want to feel like life is passing me by. So this year, I am going all out, on everything. Get ready.

To get me started, I have for you protein energy cookies!! These little suckers were so good. They are such a great grab-and-go breakfast, snack, pre-workout or post-workout boost or easy treat to drop off to your local hotel in exchange for free coffee in the morning, and that's what I call a win.

2 ripe smashed bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup nut butter (I had smooth peanut)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped cashews (or whatever nut you prefer)
2 tablespoons ground flax
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Note: I added chocolate chips and cashews to this recipe, but play with it! If you prefer dried cranberries or raisins, pecans or walnuts, add them! I would have tossed in some chia seeds if I had any in my pantry too.

1. Smash up the bananas, eggs and applesauce.
2. Fold in the oats followed by the nut butter.
3. Add the rest of your ingredients
4. Scoop out into about 1 1/2 inch balls of the mix and slightly flatten them onto a greased cookie sheet. I greased my sheet with coconut oil.
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

I hope these give you the same energy kick that they gave me! Enjoy :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Moroccan Tomato Soup

Let's all just take a quick minute and think about this scenario: You are sitting outside on a gorgeous early summer day while the sun is shining brightly. Your sunhat is perfectly tilted over your right eye to give you the perfect amount of shade, the breeze is light and has the perfect touch to take the humidity out of the air. The only thing that would be better is if your stomach would just stop growling. Oh dear, what to fill it with?!                                                                                                                                                             Of course, the perfect bowl of fresh, homemade summer soup. And what's that you say? Your allergies are flaring up and you are in need of something spicy to clear out those nostrils? Enter Moroccan Tomato Soup, your new best friend.
Total time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

1. 1 can Trader Joe's Diced and Fire Roasted Tomatoes
2. 1 can Trader Joe's Diced and No Salt added Tomatoes
3. 3 cubes Dorat's frozen crushed garlic
4. 1 diced jalapeno
5. 1/2 container Trader Joe's Mirepoix
6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
7. 1 tablespoon Cumin
8. 1 tablespoon Curry powder
9. 2 teaspoons Turmeric
10. 1 teaspoon nutmeg
11. 2 tablespoons EVOO
12. 1 cup Coconut Milk
13. 1 cup water

1. Heat a soup pot to medium and add EVOO and garlic cubes
2. Add the mirepoix and jalapeno and sauté until soft (about 3 minutes)
3. Add in all spices and sautee until mixed (about 2 minutes)
4. Dump in both cans of tomatoes and water. Cover and simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes
5. Add Coconut milk
6. Using a hand immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Typically a few minutes depending on how chunky or smooth you like it.
7. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bumble Bars and Granitas

Saturday mornings at the Farmer's Market in Lincoln are pretty close to heaven on earth. A short 2 block walk from my apartment and I'm surrounded by local musicians rocking out on their banjos and violins, fresh produce and the smell of kettle corn wafting throughout the Haymarket district. This is the place to come for local treats and homemade delights. The Mill Coffeehouse is also the quintessential landing spot for all market attendees. With the perfect patio for people watching and catching up with a gal pal from the week's activities, the granitas are blended to perfection and the snacks are always delicious.
                                                                                                                I literally cannot make a stop at The Mill without enjoying what I used to call a nut and seed bar. Wait, what? Right, not such a cute name. Descriptive, yes. Enticing? Not so much. Well, when I went to the Farmer's Market last Saturday and made it into The Mill for my mandatory stop, I was astounded to find out that my delicious gluten free treat has a real name! And it is absolutely the cutest name ever. The Bumble Bar. Not too sweet, a hint of salt and honey and seeds galore, this little bar packs a succulent, enticing and heavenly taste that starts my weekend off right.

Next time you find yourself in Lincoln between the first weekend in May and the second weekend in October, get yourself to the Farmer's Market and get you a Bumble Bar at The Mill!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Chili Garlic Chicken and veggies

Well hello there spicy and flavorful dinner. Aren't you just a delight? I was house sitting recently and while I love the vacation home getaway feeling of being there thanks to the housekeeper, back patio and pool and tennis courts, not to mention the chef's kitchen and to-die-for lounging couches, I miss my little kitchen with all.the.things.!

For someone who loves cooking and has a pretty good handle on what she has hiding in her pantry and fridge, I was a little bit lost in the chef's kitchen. Alas, I had stashed some goodies in the fridge including some fresh brussel sprouts (my totally go-to veggie) and red cabbage that I die over along with some Chili Puree with Garlic magic in a jar. Grab a chicken breast and some EVOO and voila, dinner!!

Easiest dinner ever. I simply sautéed the halved brussel sprouts and chicken breast in EVOO and chili sauce, roasted the red cabbage in the oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste when done. That's it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Orange Champagne Brussel Sprouts

Ok. So I kind of have a thing for brussel sprouts. I know, I know. They look like tiny green brains, they smell, and you were probably forced to eat them as a kid. But here's the thing: they are delicious. That's right, I said it. And I would shout it from a mountain top if I had one handy here in plains country, "I love brussel sprouts!" 

Here's the deal. It's all about how you cook them. I hadn't even attempted to eat these little baby cabbages in years until I went to a new tapas restaurant in Lincoln, Sebastian's Table. Uh muh gaw. They are kitchen wizards and I was not mad about it. I was reintroduced to brussels, and my love bloomed from there. 

I have tried several attempts to make my own sweet and savory brussels in hopes of coming even a tiny bit close to the heavenly taste of those little bites at Sebastian's and I think I've finally turned a corner. Enjoy this recipe for easy homemade orange champagne brussel sprouts! And next time, I'm totally adding bacon, because why wouldn't I?

1 lb brussel sprouts halved
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
3 tblsp Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Quickly steam halved Brussels in a covered microwaveable bowl with a tblsp water 
2. In a pan on medium heat, add 2 tblsp EVOO and toss in brussel sprouts
3. Add champagne vinegar and spices 
4. Mix and sauté until Brussels are browned and slightly crispy, about 10 minutes. 


Monday, February 18, 2013

Paleo Raspberry Muffins

Oh lawdy are these muffins amazing. One of my dear friends first introduced me to these paleo delights this past summer and they are easily one of my favorite treats and a go-to recipe for any occasion. When I need a sweet baked fix and know that any item I would buy and eat from a local place would make me sick (damn you gluten intolerance!) I am so glad I have these in my back pocket...and my Perfectly Paleo Pinterest board ;)

I used to bake all the time but after discovering my unfortunate intolerance, I had to change my ways a little bit. And honestly, I am so thankful. I have never felt better and my body has never felt stronger or more in balance. Simple adjustments made to your diet can be amazing and completely change your life and the way you feel. So do what's right for you to feel great!

With some simple and healthy ingredients you most likely already have in your cupboard, these sweet and scrumptious cuties can be yours!

6 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
4 tblsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tblsp coconut oil, melted (if not on hand, double butter)
3/4 cup plus 2 tblsp coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries (do not thaw)

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 and make sure rack is in middle of oven
2. Line muffin pan with liners
3. Whisk eggs, milk, honey, extracts and butter in a large mixing bowl.
4. Sift coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt over a medium bowl.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until no lumps remain.
6. Fold in applesauce followed by raspberries.
7. Spoon batter into muffin liners and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown on top.
8. Let cool and store in airtight container.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tuna Steak ala Sarah

Ok, let's get real, I live in the flipping middle of the United States, there is no salt water in sight and our state fish is catfish. Not quite the aquatic fare of choice, but I'm not going to lie and say that I haven't tried it, sorry I'm not sorry. You know how people say frying makes everything taste good? Well those people are dirty liars. There is no helping the taste of catfish.

As much as I love me a fantastic medium rare hunk of steak, like any good Nebraska girl does, I die for seafood. Thank the dear sweet Lord that modern technology has given us planes so we can life flight some fresh fish in to the most land-locked place in the continental US. So after saying all of that, y'all are going to be real disappointed to hear that this beautifully photographed tuna steak is just a frozen delight from Trader Joe's. Whaa Whaa, let down. What you may not know is how absolutely yummy those frozen steaks can be. For realz, don't be afraid of the frozen fish...but if you have access to fresh and you are taking my frozen tips right now, may the gates of the underworld open at your feet. Get out of the frozen section you crazy person!!

Well, there you have it, my rants of the day. Now go cook your tuna steak in a cast iron skillet with only salt and pepper and olive oil. And for God's sakes, rare in the middle, please.