WIAW: The Random Salad Chef

Like a lot of bloggers out there, I love me a good salad. Not just any lame rendition of greens and too much dressing will do, though–it’s gotta be flavorful and unique. There are a couple restaurants that actually make some pretty awesome salads (like Panera and Chipotle) and Whole Foods always has some amazing versions at their hot and cold bars but making my own almost always beats them out because I control what goes in…and I can make them huge to last for several days! Lately I’ve been feeling pretty creative when it comes to salads and I made a couple in big batches so I can enjoy them again and again. And luckily, they’re delicious enough that I want to eat them daily!

Breakfast: peanut flour chocolate chip waffle topped with sunny “raw”nola and honey vanilla agave.

I’ve been on a pancake kick lately but I’ve been wanting to switch it up so I dug out the waffle maker and decided to wing a high protein waffle. I based it off my peanut flour pancake recipe and it actually turned out almost perfect. Sure, it was a little thin and crispy but I loved it, especially with a few dark chocolate chips thrown in there and topped with my sunny “raw”nola and agave.

Lunch: southwestern style pasta salad, baby carrots, half a raw brownie, fresh blueberries.

This pasta salad was not totally thought out, but it worked. It’s been hotter than hell here lately (in the upper 90s, yikes!) so I’ve been wanting chilled dinners. I boiled some quinoa pasta (I love it more than whole wheat pasta and it’s gluten free), cooled it off and mixed it with pinto beans, chopped sweet peppers, cilantro and a homemade dressing made with a little olive oil and chili lime seasoning. It made a huge batch–I had some for dinner on Sunday, lunch on Monday and I still have a ton left. Of course, I topped it with some nooch, aka my obsession and served it with a delicious raw brownie that I froze, baby carrots and blueberries. Perfect summer lunch.

Pool time is where it’s at!

Kiddie pool time, that is!

Speaking of being hot, we just invested in an inflatable pool for our new backyard. My sis and I tried sitting in it for awhile on Monday but the water was a little too freezing. We ended up just settling for putting our feet in it and it helped cool us down, at least for a little while.

Snackplate: kettle corn, sweet potato multigrain chips, frozen pineapple, Chocolove coffee crunch chocolate square, maple macadamias, peanut flour paste.

Nothing crazy or new here, just a different variation on my typical snackplate.

Hopefully I wasn’t a hot mess like I felt I was…

Dinner: Moroccan quinoa salad, unpictured carrot cake smoothie.

This salad was more thought out and actually turned out pretty delicious. I dubbed it the Moroccan salad because the flavors seemed Moroccan-ish but what do I know?!

Moroccan Quinoa Salad (vegan, gluten-free)

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup raisins, golden or regular

handful green kale, washed and patted dry

1 medium sweet potato

1/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

cinnamon, hot chili powder, curry powder, sea salt (to taste)

sunflower seeds, to garnish

Place chickpeas, raisins and kale in a large bowl or container and set aside. Cook sweet potato in microwave for 3-4 minutes, or until partially cooked but still firm. Slice into thin rounds, brush with a little olive oil and some spices and place on oiled grill (or grill pan) for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato gets grill marks. Make quinoa (boil 1/2 cup of water, add in rinsed quinoa, turn down heat and let simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes) and then stir in with chickpea mixture. Once sweet potato is cooked, chop slices into quarters and add in with chickpeas and quinoa. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, apple cider vinegar and spices until it forms a thin paste (add water if needed to thin out). Mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge for at least half an hour. Top with sunflower seeds. Makes 4-5 servings.

Dessert: peanut butter Puffins in almond milk, sunny “raw”nola, almond peanut cashew butter.

Cereal is the best way to end the day, obviously!

Oh, and before I forget–please keep Colorado in your thoughts and prayers. There have been way too many wildfires here within the past month and a lot of people have been displaced temporarily or even lost their homes. There are large fires burning near both of the cities I call home (my college town and my hometown) and it’s been kinda scary watching the news lately. Thanks for thinking of us!

One of the fires, only 30-ish miles from my house 😦

What’s the most random salad you’ve ever made? How have you been keeping cool (if it’s hot where you are)?

WIAW: What I Ate (Monday)

I haven’t done a legit WIAW in awhile, you know, like posting all my eats from one specific day. Really, it’s just more fun to highlight some of my favorite meals from the past week instead of doing it all from one day, plus I always forget to take enough photos! But I thought I’d try to do a real WIAW this week since I actually remembered to take pictures.

Breakfast: peanut butter banana smoothie-in-a-bowl made with So Delicious unsweetened Almond Plus almond milk, peanut flour, xanthan gum, Truvia, mini banana and topped with peanut butter Puffins.

I’ve been experimenting with almond milks lately. So far, I’ve tried Pacific Naturals u/s vanilla, Almond Breeze u/s vanilla & chocolate, Silk u/s plain and So Delicious Almond Plus u/s plain. I’ve liked all of them, Almond Breeze and Silk are the creamiest and have the most calcium, not to mention I prefer the vanilla to plain, so I think I’ll be sticking to those to those two brands. The So Delicious one is good if you want  a little extra protein (5 grams versus 1 gram per cup in most almond milks) but I wish they would come out with an unsweetened vanilla.

Lunch: curried sweet potato pinto burger, carrots, ginger peanut sauce, fresh pineapple.

Being home has meant cooking for myself (for reals!) pretty much every day. For me, this isn’t a bad thing at all. Basically, because the rest of my family are omnis, I have to make my own dinner which has inspired me to get creative. Somewhat. I remade these awesome veggie burgers from spring break and they’ve been making an appearance at both lunch and dinner lately. The problem with cooking for one is you end up with a lot of leftovers…which maybe isn’t a bad thing at all!

Monday’s outfit: navy cardigan (American Eagle), dark grey lace tank (Hollister), navy/dark grey abstract floral skirt (Hollister), bangles (American Eagle).

The weather has been so effing bipolar here! Since I’ve been home, the weekends have pretty much sucked (temps. in the 60s at best, lots of clouds and wind, maybe some rain) and the weekdays are hit and miss. Monday was pretty warm, but cloudy for most of the day so I missed out on tanning. Boo 😦 Tuesday was super-warm, but I spent some of the day inside for my first day of my internship. What I did spend outside was extremely hot, even early in the morning. I’m just hoping this weekend is better because I want to do a lot of stuff outside.

Snackplate: freeze-dried fruit, raisins, square of dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt, stuffed date, kettle corn, blue and sweet potato Late July chips, peanut flour paste. Side of (half a can of) cream soda Zevia.

Snackplates are officially never going away…at least I hope not! The above assortment has been my go-to combo lately and I’m not getting sick of it. I’m just running out of almost everything on it! Time to make a trip to Whole Foods 😀

Dinner: Hugh Jass sweet potato topped with black beans/guac/nooch on one side, peanut flour paste on the other, side of mini sweet peppers and ginger jalapeno sauce.

The picture doesn’t do it justice, but this was one monstrous sweet potato! I enjoyed every last bite of it though, and of course had to please both my savory side (with the Mexican-inspired toppings) and my sweet side (with the peanut flour paste). The mini peppers are my new favorite veggie for summer, especially dipped in this spicy sauce. I can’t say enough good stuff about the Ginger People line of sauces. I love both kinds that I’ve tried and now I wanna try them all, well at least the ones without eggs or dairy in them!

Nighttime snack: PB Puffins in u/s almond milk, frozen grapes, peanut flour paste and almond peanut cashew butter.

See why I almost never post my meals from the same day? It’s because I repeat the same things throughout the day often. Like peanut flour, which I had 4 times on Monday, and Puffins which I had twice. I sometimes get really hung up on one thing and I eat it every single day or multiple times per day til I’m sick of it for awhile. I hope that never happens with my beloved Puffins and peanut flour…

Do you tend to eat the same things every day or multiple times per day? What’s your favorite thing to cook for just yourself? 

So Many Surveys

I think I have a problem. I literally cannot turn down any fun surveys that come my way! What can I say, I love wasting my time filling them out and they’re just fun to do. Yes, basically I have no life 😉

This is the healthy living survey that’s been floating around for a little while now. I just spotted it on Tessa’s blog and thought “Why not?” Now that it’s kinda sorta summer for me, I have plenty of time to blog and what-not, so if any more surveys pop up this summer, I will definitely be filling them out.

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

Peanut flour pancakes with homemade strawberry jam and sunflower seed butter.

Those pancakes above! Don’t they look amazing?! Sorry to tease you, the recipe will be up on my WIAW post for this week!

2. How much water do you drink each day?

Not enough, that’s for sure! Now that I’m home, I think I’m a little better with this, since I drink water with both snacks and also at lunch, but usually not any other time. I love water (especially with a little vanilla stevia added in) but I just don’t think about it. Something to work on, especially as the weather heats up this summer.

3. What is your current favorite workout?

Either tennis, or the daily cardio circuits I do courtesy of some free iPod apps. I would like to mix things up and buy different workout apps or just try new workout routines. I’m starting to feel burned out, which is no bueno.

4. How many calories do you eat each day?

In an effort to not be triggering, I won’t say how much but let’s just say it’s not a  healthy amount. I am still working on bulking up my meals and working towards eating about the same amount last summer when I was able to maintain my weight and feel good. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how much I actually need, and maybe even the amount I was having a year ago wasn’t quite enough but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Oh gosh, I have a ton! I can’t list them all but here are a few…

  • Larabars (love the cappuccino and chocolate chip brownie flavors, excited to try the brand new seasonal flavors…)
  • Pure bars (chocolate brownie, wild blueberry and cranberry orange are my faves)
  • Clif Mojo bars (obsessed with the mountain mix and white chocolate macadamia kinds)
  • Fruit! Frozen, fresh or dried.
  • Almond milk ice cream/banana soft serve. What, it’s a lot healthier than actual ice cream, but it tastes so creamy and good!
  • Snack plates, with random items

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

When I was at school, it was mostly a bar (see above) paired with fruit and some baby carrots, since I was usually on-the-go. Now that I’m at home, I love having the time to prepare all kinds of things, from nut butter-topped sweet potatoes to epic salads.

7. What is your favorite body part to train?

Abs/core! I have definitely improved my core strength over the past few months and I love feeling that burn in my abs.

8. What is your least favorite body part to train?

I have to go with legs right now. My left ankle has been killing me every time I try to run or even walk for a long time and it’s not fun. I’m not sure what’s up with that…

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?

I still have a lot of foods on my “bad” list, but I honestly don’t crave them at all. I like eating healthy and my indulgences tend to be on the healthier side as well, but I guess I’ll go with dark chocolate. I used to say I didn’t like it, but I was totally lying to myself. Now I allow myself one square a day (Chocolove FTW!) but that means that chocolate is still somewhat of a fear food for me.

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

Yes! I have since I was a little kid, my parents were always good about making us do that. Currently I take a gummy multivitamin and a gummy calcium/vitamin D supplement, since I don’t get enough of those as a vegan.

11. How often do you eat out?

During the school year, it was about once every two weeks, because my mom had to take me back up to school after a weekend spent at home so we’d eat out at fast casual places like Chipotle, Panera, Noodles and Mad Greens. Now that I’m home for the summer, we probably won’t eat out as much, but my mom’s birthday (and Mother’s Day) are next week, so we’ll definitely be going out to a real restaurant for that!

12. Do you eat fast food?

No way! I haven’t had legit fast food in at least 5 years and I don’t miss it at all. We never used to eat much fast food anyway. Now when we want a quick meal on-the-go, we hit up places like the ones I mentioned above. They are all super tasty, have plenty of healthy options and even some things I can veganize, which is always a win.

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

This is tough, because I have three for sure–my mom, my dad and my little sister. I truly enjoy spending a lot of time with my family. We are really close, I know they’ve always got my back and we all share the same sarcastic humor 😉

14. Do you have a gym membership?

Nope, but in the fall, my apartment complex has a fitness center which I hope will be a good place to workout!

15. How many hours of sleep do you get each night?

I am high-maintenance in that I need 8-10 hours per night to function, otherwise I’m just dragging through the afternoon and sometimes end up with a headache. Since I’ve been home, my sleep schedule’s been thrown off a bit, but I’m sure I’ll get back into one soon!

16. Do you have a cheat day?

No. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m feeling better with eating stuff I love each and every day in moderation. I’m not sure I can call them treats, since they’re all pretty healthy, but if I want something, I will usually have it.

17. Do you drink alcohol?

Honestly, only small sips here and there when my parents offer it. I am underage, and I would rather wait til I am 21 (in a year and 2 ish months!) to drink more than that. I did enjoy a little bit of my mom’s homemade margarita on Saturday–had to celebrate Cinco de Mayo of course–and it was pretty good.

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

Usually not, but for tennis, I always play with my dad and sister.

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

It has helped me move away somewhat from my eating disorder. In my worst days, I’d eat all sorts of low cal crap, like sugar-free Jell-O and Lean Cuisines because I genuinely believed they were healthy, since they were low fat and what-not. Now I now that some fats are healthy and I enjoy them every day, especially in nut butter form! It helped me transition into veganism, which feels right for me and my body, and has opened me up to new foods I never would have thought to try before.

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?

I went for a walk with my dad yesterday. It was cold and windy, but I loved catching up with him and getting some fresh air.

 

Where’s your favorite place to eat out at? What did you eat for breakfast?

 

WIAW: The Finish Line

So who else had an awesome weekend? I finished two papers this weekend (not exciting, but it always feels great to get those done with, plus it means I’m just that much closer to being done-zo) and also saw Wicked at the Denver Center on Sunday. My sister is a huge musical fan, and Wicked is probably her favorite show, but this was my first time seeing it and I was blown away. Such an amazing score, costumes, actors and story. If Wicked comes to a city near you, I definitely recommend seeing it.

As I’ve mentioned probably a bazillion times, it’s my last week living in a dorm, and I only have 3 more days left as a sophomore. It’s kinda bittersweet, since I really enjoyed this year, but I definitely have some bigger and better things ahead of me, both this summer and in the fall, so I’m just ready to be done with this school year. So this WIAW is my final compilation of dorm room eats. I will NOT miss only having a microwave to do my cooking in!

A recent breakfast obsession: banana 'pudding' topped with crushed PB & chocolate Puffins.

I’ve been having smoothies-in-a-bowl almost every morning since I bought xanthan gum. I am so glad I made that purchase, because now my smoothies are so thick and creamy, almost like pudding. This one tasted like banana pudding, and it was amazing topped with Puffins.

Return of the snack plate: raw broccoli, spicy avocado Hope hummus, crushed Late July sweet potato chips, kettle corn, mixed dried fruit, kalamata olives.

I know most of the blogworld is obsessed with certain brands, like Chobani for Greek yogurt, Love Grown for granola and Sabra for hummus. Let’s just say I’ve never been one to go with the trends 😉 My favorite hummus brand is Hope Hummus, which is a Colorado company. They only make 3 flavors right now, but the spicy avocado flavor is the best hummus I’ve ever tasted.

Just like the diet cream soda I used to live, only more natural!

Diet cream soda used to be my favorite soda flavor. I never drank soda  a lot, but when I did it was usually that. Now that I avoid fake sweeteners, I love that there’s a more natural alternative to diet cream soda. And it tastes so good!

A very summery outfit: navy lace tank with pinstripe belt (Abercrombie Kids), red/navy/white plaid twill shorts (Abercrombie and Fitch), silver bangles (American Eagle), unpictured red flip-flops (Hollister).

It's crop top time! Dark grey Navajo-style cropped tee (American Eagle), fish necklace (American Eagle), dark wash jeggings (American Eagle).

Time for an outfit break! I’ve been loving the super warm weather (can anyone say 70s and 80s in April?) and wearing all my springy and summery clothes again. Summer is my favorite season for clothes–I could just live in dresses, cute twill shorts, pretty tanks and tees and leather sandals.

Sweet potatoes are back! Sweet potato topped with peanut flour paste and pecan pieces, raisins/dried apples/Mission fig dipped in almond peanut cashew butter, cheezy lemon pepper kale.

Sweet potatoes don’t go away just because it’s almost summer. Oh no! I enjoy them year-round, with a variety of toppings. I especially love nut butters/peanut flour/actual nuts on top.

Stuffed dates are my favorite little treat!

If you’ve never stuffed a Medjool date with some kind of nut butter, you’re crazy! My recent favorite is honey walnut butter–basically I took some Artisana raw walnut butter and stirred in a little raw honey. I normally don’t like raw nut butters because they’re blander, but the touch of honey made it perfect.

A random dinner: frozen pineapple and mango, spicy guacamole, crushed Late July sweet potato chips, cheezy lemon pepper kale, edamame with nooch.

Okay, so you’re probably thinking, “This girl is obsessed with cheezy lemon pepper kale.” And you’d be right! But it’s a good obsession…I’ll even share the super-simple recipe I came up with with you. It doesn’t even have real measurements, which is always the sign of a good recipe 😉

Cheezy Lemon Pepper Kale (vegan, gluten-free)

handful kale, about 1 cup (I prefer shredding mine into smaller pieces)

squeeze of lemon juice

pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper

nutritional yeast, to cover the kale

Squeeze lemon juice over kale in a bowl or measuring cup and massage into leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste, and nooch to coat the kale. Stick in the fridge for at least an hour, and enjoy as a salad base or a side dish (makes 1 serving).

Chocolate banana smoothie in a bowl with crushed PB & chocolate Puffins.

The chocolate version is just as good as the banana pudding version, but it’s even better with the Puffins on top. I love the contrast between the thick, smooth ‘pudding’ and the crunchy cereal.

Another iHerb order: peanut flour (duh), cacao sweet nibs, tiny jar of kumquat jam, sunflower seed butter, Chocolove dark chocolate bar with sea salt and almonds.

iHerb is officially my favorite online store ever! I can get so many foodie items that I either can’t find around me (cough cough peanut flour) or that are actually cheaper online. I finally realized that if you order at least $20 worth of stuff, you get free shipping. Score! So I stocked up on more peanut flour (can’t live without it), as well as three new-to-me products: cacao sweet nibs, sunflower seed butter and dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds. And they sent me a little freebie, a tiny and super-cute jar of kumquat jam, which I can’t wait to try! So exotic. The sweet nibs aren’t exactly like dark chocolate, but I like that they’re a raw product and only have 3 ingredients. The sunflower seed butter is my new second-favorite nut butter after almond peanut cashew butter; it’s perfectly salty and seedy. And the chocolate is heavenly and probably my favorite Chocolove flavor. Dark chocolate+almonds+salt=perfection.

What’s the most exotic jam or jelly flavor you’ve ever had? Do you like smoothies in a bowl?

Easter Weekend in Pictures

Hi bloggy friends! I hope you all had a lovely Easter/Passover weekend (if you celebrate). Mine was really really good, but as usual, it went by super fast and it’s back to the daily grind. The only good thing about that is that the countdown is officially on–4 weeks til I’m no longer a sophomore! Wooooooo 😀 I am beyond excited for summer and everything I have planned for it, plus all the little things that are sure to pop up. Just gotta get through these next few weeks.

I took a bunch (well, not really) of pictures this weekend so I wanted to do a mostly wordless recap of my Easter weekend. So here goes!

Small sweet potato topped with peanut flour paste and almond peanut cashew butter, garlicky kale, fresh strawberries, chocolate and peanut butter Puffins in unsweetened almond milk.

Look how bright those strawberries are! My mom bought a huge box of them at Whole Foods for only $5 and even though they started to go bad by the end of the weekend, I got to enjoy them several times over the weekend. They’re my first of the season and were really juicy and fresh. Definitely a sign that summer is on its way! The garlicky kale is a super simple dish that I whipped up three times this weekend–oh yeah, it’s that good!

Garlicky Kale (vegan, gluten-free)

large handful curly kale, washed and patted dry

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2-1 tsp minced garlic (or freshly grated garlic clove)

sea salt, nutritional yeast and black pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add kale and salt and pepper, until the kale starts to shrink and gets crispy edges. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant and browned. Sprinkle nutritional yeast on top and serve as a side dish (makes 1 serving).

Saturday's outfit: navy striped cropped tee (Hollister), dark wash jeggings (American Eagle), necklace and bracelet (American Eagle).

Saturday was fairly busy but pretty fun. My sister and I went for a walk, then my dad and I popped in at my pastor’s house for his birthday open house and later my whole family went out to eat to celebrate my dad’s birthday a few days late. The restaurant wasn’t too vegan friendly, but I did get a yummy homemade-style black bean burger with a side of avocado and black bean salsa. Yum!

The lovely Easter eggs, post-dyeing.

Coloring Easter eggs is one of our family traditions. My sister didn’t join in on the fun this year because of homework, but I had fun dyeing the eggs. Do I have a future as an artist? Ummmm, probably not!

Easter outfit: yellow floral dress (Abercrombie and Fitch), bracelets and necklace (American Eagle), unpictured silver wedge sandals (Target).

Besides going to church on Easter (I always love the holiday services!), we also went to Starbucks where I got my new favorite unsweetened iced coffee, played tennis for 45 minutes, snacked outside in the gorgeous weather (sunny and in the low 70s), colored eggs, made a special dinner and Skyped with my grandma and grandpa.

This year's Easter basket!

My mom still hides Easter baskets for me and my sister…yes, we are still 5 years old! Haha, just kidding, but I still think it’s fun to go find the basket and see what’s in it. This year, I got some Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail strips (super excited about these!), some sparkly green nail polish, guava-scented body wash from Ulta, mini Sweet Tart bunnies/ducks/chicks and two new-to-me Chocolove dark chocolate bars. My mom knows me so well 😀

My Easter dinner: grilled chili lime tofu and mini sweet peppers, broiled lemon pepper asparagus (tops only, the best part) and cheezy quinoa (sprinkled with nooch).

While the rest of my family enjoyed their carnivorous dinner (flank steak, asparagus and cheesy mashed potatoes, in case you were wondering), I had a very vegan and very yummy dinner. It was my first time grilling tofu and I was a fan. I think next time I’d get extra firm, rather than super firm sprouted tofu, since it was kinda bitter, and I’d try out a marinade, rather than a seasoning on the outside. But still a really nice Easter dinner.

My new favorite 'ice cream': So Delicious mini Neapolitan nondairy ice cream sandwich.

I really wanted to try the new So Delicious almond milk ice cream sandwiches, but my Whole Foods didn’t have them. I did find these, which are soy ice cream, and actually really good, if really small. I haven’t had an ice cream sandwich in years, but these are better than regular dairy ice cream sandwiches. They also have coconut milk ice cream versions, if you like coconut milk.

Just what I needed on a Monday morning--Starbucks tall coffee light Frappuccino with soy.

Monday came early–at 6 am, to be exact. I wanted to stay all of Sunday so I could spend more time with my family, so my dad had to take me back up to school on Monday morning and we had to leave at 7. Luckily, we made a stop at Starbucks and I got my first Frapp in about six months. It was the perfect little pick-me-up!

How did you spend your weekend? What’s your go-to weekend lunch? 

Best of…March!

Hi! Can you believe we’re at the end of another week already? If time keeps flying by this quickly, it’ll be summer before I know it! Of course, I’m not complaining. School is starting to get hectic and I’m more than ready for an actual break for a few months.

As usual, I have my monthly recap post. It’s hard to believe that I’ve already done five of these (I started last October). I always have fun compiling these posts and I hope you all enjoy reading them as well.

Best WIAW: Spring Break Bonanza

I can see this being my go-to dinner this summer!

Over spring break, I got to try so many new products and new recipes. It was totally a party in my mouth 😉 I’m looking forward to being able to do this all over again in just 4 short weeks when summer starts.

Best Deep Post: When Less Isn’t More

Working on increasing my intake hasn't been easy, but I think it'll be worth it in the long run.

You guys really blew me away with your well thought-out, candid responses. Yes, some of it was hard to read, but I know if I want to make progress, I have to break bad habits and work through my issues. The only way to do that is to be honest, and while I was scared to post it, I think it was worth it.

Best Fun Post: ABCs and Recipes

I miss being able to tan outside...

Surveys are so fun! I’m really hoping someone in the blog world comes up with a new one ASAP because I’m definitely not creative enough to come up with one as good as this one. I also loved reading what you guys answered for all the letters if you did it on your own blog.

Best Recipe: Raw Key Lime ‘Cheesecake’

How delicious does this look?

I had 5 real recipes from last month, so it was hard to pick, but this one was definitely a winner! Next time I make it, I’ll experiment with other flavors (I want to try a chocolate raspberry variation) and increase the ingredients so it makes a bigger cheesecake. Who knew cashews could make an amazing dessert?

Best New Discovery: Chocolove Chocolate

So far I've tried 4 of their dark chocolate varieties and they're all really good.

I can’t believe 6 months ago, I was still deathly afraid of chocolate. It’s still a fear food of mine, but I can proudly say that I have eaten a small serving of dark chocolate every single day and I haven’t blown up like a balloon. Chocolove is now my favorite brand because they have so many flavors of dark chocolate. I love the orange peel, raspberry and chilies/cherries varieties, but I still want to try the crystallized ginger and peppermint ones, just to name a couple. I’m obsessed!

Did you do any recipe experimenting last month? What’s something you tried last month for the first time that you can’t live without now?