WIAW: The Last One?

As much as I love the weekly party known as WIAW, I probably won’t be participating in it for awhile. Why? Well, other than being busy with school again (I just started up yesterday and I think this semester will be crazy, in a good way) I’m just getting bored with posting my daily eats. I tend to go in waves with things that I eat, so a lot of my WIAWs look pretty similar. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just not that exciting to me anymore. I will still be checking out all your WIAW posts though, no worries!

Breakfast: PB& J inspired French toast.

Breakfast: PB& J inspired French toast.

I went to Sprouts the other day for a few things, and finally found the bread I’d been looking for–Alvarado Street essential flax sprouted bread. I liked the ingredients (for the most part), the nutrition stats and the fact that it’s smaller bread so it makes for better sandwiches. I don’t know about you but I like my sammies to be all about the filling–I prefer open-faced sandwiches but those aren’t so portable. So this 50 calorie per slice bread is perfect, and has simple ingredients for being a lower-cal bread, unlike most brands. It also made the perfect PB&J inspired French toast. I just dipped two toasted slices of the bread in peanut flour thinned with almond milk, cooked it, and topped it with crunchy almond butter and microwaved frozen blueberries. This is as good as it gets for a breakfast made at 7 am. That might not seem that early, but it is to me #collegeproblems

Lunch: noochy kale salad with olives and roasted chili lime chickpeas.

Lunch: noochy kale salad with olives and roasted chili lime chickpeas.

I’ve been having salads a lot lately for lunch, and the key to a great homemade salad is shaking all the ingredients up so they get coated in the dressing. Today, I just mixed nutritional yeast with a little apple cider vinegar and thinned with water, then tossed in some dino kale, olives and some new-to-me roasted chickpeas. I love these things, they’re way too addicting. I also had some unpictured salted in-shell pistachios (amazing!) and a date stuffed with chocolate coconut butter. I don’t know what it is about that combo, but it’s delicious. I just discovered it yesterday, and now I need more dates to enjoy the combo on a daily basis.

Snack: homemade trail mix with spicy chickpea crackers, dry roasted edamame, raisins, freeze dried tropical fruit and mini chocolate chips.

Snack: homemade trail mix with spicy chickpea crackers, dry roasted edamame, raisins, freeze dried tropical fruit and mini chocolate chips.

Trail mix in a baggie–how classy. This is going to be a go-to snack this semester on my busier days when I don’t have time to swing by my apartment to have a snack. I love making trail mix myself because I can add in whatever weird stuff I like. The chickpea crackers in this one were a new addition to my normal mix–I made them the other day and they’re actually really good and basically just made from chickpea flour, nooch and spices.

Dinner: curry peanut kelp noodle stirfry with edamame, carrots and bok choy.

Dinner: curry peanut kelp noodle stirfry with edamame, carrots and bok choy.

Why do the most random creations turn out to be the tastiest? I was tired after my first day of classes (a long day, BTW) and didn’t want to think too much about dinner so I threw together some stuff to make a sauce for my typical kelp noodle stirfry. For the record, I combined Whole Foods brand crunchy PB (the only PB I can stand), Hope Hummus coconut curry hummus, Frontera hot sauce and coconut aminos with almond milk to thin and it made the most delicious sauce. I don’t know why, but it was amazing. This will be repeated nightly weekly.

Dessert: peanut flour microwave cake with chocolate chips and crunchy AB.

Dessert: peanut flour microwave cake with chocolate chips and crunchy AB.

This has been my usual dessert for probably two weeks and I’m still not sick of it. I like to have some protein before bed to keep me from getting hangry so this does the trick while also giving me my sweet fix. I also had an unpictured square of dark mint chocolate (Alter Eco brand, natch) and another cacao bliss-stuffed date. Told you I’m obsessed.

Do you ever make random but delicious meals? What would you put in your trail mix?

WIAW: Snack Talk

July’s almost over and I haven’t even done a WIAW post that really fits with the theme for this month…sorry to disappoint, but this one doesn’t either! Oh well, I play by my own rules 😉

As you can probably guess by the title, this WIAW is all about snacking. I am big on snacks and have at least 2 per day, along with little bites and tastes of fruit and nuts here and there. I can’t do the 3 square meals a day because I get full fast but I also get hungry fast so my 5 meals a day are all fairly small and snack-sized but that’s what works for me. And I love getting to eat a little bit of a bunch of things rather than one big thing so snacks are perfect! These are some of the snacks I’ve been enjoying this week…

One of my favorite new finds: Alter Eco dark chocolate with quinoa crisps.

Chocolove used to be my favorite chocolate brand because of all their creative flavors, like ginger dark chocolate and chilies and cherries in dark chocolate. But once I discovered Alter Eco chocolate, I’m not planning on going back to Chocolove. For one thing, Alter Eco’s chocolate is organic and fair trade. But it also tastes richer and more like chocolate. Oh, and it comes in a quinoa crisp-studded flavor. Yeah, it’s like those chocolates with rice crisps in it, but way better. Quinoa may seem weird in chocolate but it so works!

Nothing better than fresh mango!

I didn’t eat this bad boy all at once, but I probably could have. I love the juiciness of a ripe mango and don’t really care how messy and sticky it is, it’s just so damn good. They’re so hard for me to cut, but it’s well worth the deliciousness.

Homemade trail mix: dry roast edamame, freeze-dried mango, pistachios and mini chocolate chips.

I’m a trail mix lover for sure. What I don’t love is the price–store-bought trail mix is pretty pricey and not always tasty. That’s why I like to make my own because I can put only the stuff I like in it and it’s cheaper to buy all the ingredients I need in bulk. That’s a win win in my book.

Outfit break! Red flutter-sleeve shirt (American Eagle), aqua cami (Aeropostale), denim cuffed shorts (Abercrombie Kids).

I always say that I don’t really have a set style. It’s kind of a mix of girlie, preppy and boho but it’s all me. This outfit was more on the breezy, boho side. I bought this top a couple summers ago and I love it. I don’t have a lot of red in my closet but some days I like wearing the color if I’m feeling really bold and fun.

Nighttime snack: vegan chocolate chip cookie, Nadamoo mint chip coconut milk ice cream.

I recently discovered Nadamoo and their coconut milk ice creams and I can’t get enough of them. So far I’ve had the maple pecan, java crunch and now the mint chip. My favorite is hands-down the mint chip. Everyone has a favorite ice cream or froyo flavor that they go back to over and over and mine is anything pairing mint and chocolate. The coconut milk ice cream version is super creamy and reminds me of Christmas because it’s more pepperminty but I love it. And I love that it’s colored slightly green by spirulina instead of artificial colors!

Who said vegans couldn’t have maple bacon waffles?

This wasn’t a snack, but I just had to share it. I have no idea where I came up with this waffle flavor, but I realized I had a package of smart bacon in my fridge and wanted to experiment with it. I’m not the hugest fan of it because it’s pretty processed, despite being low in calories and stuff, but it does taste good when it’s crisped up in the microwave. I decided to put it in a waffle and this sweet and salty combo was born. It was actually decent, but next time I’d drizzle more maple syrup on top. Oh, and I’m a huge fan of real, pure maple syrup. None of that low-cal, fake syrup stuff for me!

What’s your favorite frozen dessert flavor? What’s the weirdest waffle or pancake flavor you’ve ever seen?

WIAW: Early to the Party

Hi all, what is up? I’m glad you appreciated my random ramblings in my last post–finals just really make you lazy and scrambling for any blog content no matter how lame. At this point, I have 2 finals left (one today and one on Thursday) and then I’m headed home on Thursday afternoon for a month of glorious freedom! I can almost taste it 😛

My weekend was super-fun in a low-key way and definitely a preview of winter break, because I went home for an extended weekend–from Friday afternoon til Monday afternoon. Despite having to work on a stats take-home exam, I had a good time with my family and it only made me even more excited to come back home for a much longer time. I haven’t been home for more than a week since this summer so it should be amazing! A few random highlights from my weekend include hearing my church’s choir sing Christmas songs at a special service, signing my lease for an apartment next year ( 😀 ) and actually getting to cook. But you’ll get to see that part in the rest of the post!

Peas and Crayons

I decided to post my WIAW a little early this week because I’m super excited to show you all some things I made this weekend. Not recipes, per se, because they’re almost all so simple a 10 year old could make them, but I’m proud that I created and enjoyed them.

Maybe my favorite voluminous overnight oats combo to date--trail mix oats!

First up, my favorite part of the day…breakfast! You know me, can’t go a day without oats so I started my Sunday morning (and Saturday night…) off with a new oats combo–trail mix. Basically, I made my usual 1/4 cup of voluminous oats (so it really makes a fluffy 1/2 cup) and in the morning I heated it up and topped it with a pinch of chopped pecans (maybe my new fave nut?), a little bit of Whole Foods kettle corn, a couple of vegan chocolate chips and a bunch of raisins. The chocolate melted a little which made the combo even yummier. This is a definite keeper–simple, yet really tasty! And you can customize the trail mix topper any way you like, I personally love the chocolate/nut/dried fruit combo and the sweet-saltiness of the kettle corn added a little something extra.

I'm really in the Christmas mood, obviously.

This is obviously not food, but a picture I took of our big kitchen window that I wrote on. We just got a new dryer and it filled the house with steam, so the windows fogged up. I am definitely a 5 year old, so I couldn’t resist writing on the window. My mom came and wiped it off of course, but I had to snap a pic first!

Fancy pumpkin pecan pie s'mores.

My creativity really got away from me making s’mores this weekend. I can’t wait to find vegan marshmallows to really take this over the top, as the marshmallows I had were too hard and I ended up scraping them off the graham and eating the s’mores sans marshmallow. But basically, I took the pumpkin s’more recipe and added chopped pecans to it. It turned out amazing and really amped up the basic s’more to a whole new level. Try it, you won’t regret it. And I will be coming up with even more crazy s’mores ideas, so stay tuned!

Staying home alone makes me resort to lame photo shoots with myself. No shame.

I stayed home alone on Monday, since my sister had school and my parents had work so what did I do? Besides whip up a batch of homemade nut butter (hold on, it’s coming right up!), I also had an impromptu iPod touch photo shoot with my lovely self. I love my iPod because it has the dual camera, so I can see what I look like before I snap the picture. Basically, I am obsessed with weird random selfies that I sometimes edit with Instagram. I obviously have no life 😉

Coffee maple pecan volume oats...try saying that three times fast!

The new oats combos continued with this baby, which wasn’t quite as good as the trail mix kind, but it’s a work in progress. I need to find some way to keep the drizzled maple syrup from getting mixed in with the oats before I mix it in. But it’s a delicious combo anyways.

The coffee maple pecan trend continues with...homemade coffee maple pecan butter!

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for…the homemade nut butter recipe! I’ve always wanted to make a nut butter at home, but I never got the opportunity until now! I used up the chopped pecans to create this deliciousness, which is nice and sweet with a touch of bitterness from the coffee. But trust me, it’s good…I almost can’t wait until Thursday night to enjoy it again!

Coffee Maple Pecan Butter (vegan, makes 1/3 cup)

3/4 cup chopped pecans, raw or toasted

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp instant coffee powder (I used Starbucks VIA mocha)

Pulse pecans in a food processor for 5-1o minutes, until smooth and buttery. Add in maple and pulse til combined. Add in coffee powder until all ingredients are mixed. Serve on fruit (apples or bananas would go well) or right off the spoon 😀

Each tablespoon of the pecan butter has about 115 calories, which is pretty comparable to most flavored nut butters. Best of all, it’s really yummy, unique and super simple to make!

What kind of nut butter combo would you make? What kind of flavor combo would make a perfect s’more?

WIAW: Compare & Confess

Hi everyone 😀 How was your weekend? Ehhhh, mine was nothing special but sometimes stuff’s gotta get done and it’s not fun but it feels so much better when you finish it.

Peas and Crayons

Do you ever have weeks when you take food pics and you think, “Awwww man, I gotta pick just ONE of these pictures for each meal! But a lot of them are really good!” That’s how I feel a lot, so I decided that for this weeks WIAW, I’m going to do a little ‘comparison game’ or whatever and post 2 pictures for each meal instead of just one. And for even more fun, I’m gonna add in a little confession session that I saw on Amanda’s blog recently. So here we goooooooooo!

Monday's breakfast: carrot cake overnighters topped with drippy AB and raisins, spicy veggie sausage, gummy vitamins. Yurmmmmm 😉

Tuesday's breakfast: cake batter oats (with sprinkles!), spicy veggie sausage (do I even have to mention this?), gummy vitamins, gummy calcium chew. I felt like a kid eating this breakfast, because it had sprinkles and gummies! No shame, though.

Confession: I don’t like PB. Errrrrr…please don’t attack me 😯 !!!!!!!! I honestly have not had peanut butter in years, probs since elementary school, and even then I wasn’t a huge fan. I actually prefered just-jelly sandwiches to just-peanut butter ones. Yes, crazy I know but that’s just me. But I’m not a nut butter hater by any means–almond butter wins my heart! It’s just…IDK, so much richer and yummier than PB, in my opinion.

Sunday's lunch: Amy's low-sodium Cali veggie burger spiked with curry powder, with carrots, raisins and frozen nanner slices on the side. A more traditional lunch.

Monday's lunch: Oikos Greek yogurt cup in honey, peanut butter Puffins (addiction!) and date. Sometimes (errrr, all the time?) you just gotta satisfy the sweet tooth.

Confession: I’m not a runner. I know that it seems to be some sort of prerequisite or something to be a health/food blogger, but I’m just not into running. I really admire people that are hardcore runners for XC teams or do marathons all the time, but it’s not for me. My “sports” of choice are tennis, mountain biking and yoga. And that’s okay, ’cause everyone’s different (and I’m totally not dissing running, bee-tee-dubs). Whatever floats your boat is what I say.

Outfit of the day, as per usual: cropped denim jacket (birthday present), red floral romper (Hollister). I thought I looked cute, until I had to go to the bathroom, and realized I had to take off the jacket and the romper. Yikes. Talk about high maintenance.

...and, random tickets to the gun show! Bahaha, just kidding. I'm not sure why this is in here, but I'll roll with it. I still struggle with thinking my arms are HUGE, but I'm working on it. Body by yoga, people!

Confession: I actually read the newspaper on a daily basis. Call me crazy, but I like to stay informed. Plus I basically only read the lifestyle, food, fitness and comic sections 😛 Plus I’m a broadcast journalism major, can ya blame me? Of course this means I watch the TV news too!

Monday's afternoon snackie: Late July Mild Green Mojo multigrain chips (aka my crack), frozen nanner slices (when will these run out?) and homemade Greek yogurt/guac dippage. Sometimes my savory tooth comes out of hiding and I gotta tame it.

Tuesday's afternoon snackie: PB Puffins (told ya they're addicting) alongside a dark chocolate almond butter fudgie. You can't go wrong with this flavor combo.

Confession: I would usually rather do something with my family than with people my own age. Since high school’s been over, it’s been kinda hard for me to really connect really well with other people that are the same age as me. I feel like a granny compared to them, because I’d rather go to bed early (11 pm or midnight) and wake up early-ish (8 am…well, early compared to most college kids) and I absolutely hate partying. Unfortunately, I’ve mostly found that everyone around me wants to party down every weekend. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. No thanks, I’d rather remember my college years and actually get a career when I graduate, so partying is a no-go for me, plus it’s not that fun. Plus, I really love my fam–they are amazing, they ‘get me’ and we always manage to have fun together.

Monday's later-than-usual dinner (due to random floor meeting): Whole Foods spicy black beans, half toasted Ezekiel tortilla topped with spicy guac, side of mango and pineapple. I thought I'd love the beans, but I wasn't a fan. They weren't so much spicy as they were, um, tomato-y. Disappointed, but next time I'll just rinse off all the sauce and call it good.

Tuesday's dinner (sorry about the awful lighting, it's starting to get dark when I eat!): big honkin' sweet potato topped with agave almond butter dip and trail mix, frozen tropical fruits. I wonder why I haven't turned orange yet, with all the carrots/sweet taters/mango I eat?

Confession: I have a weird addiction to medical mystery shows like Mystery Diagnosis. I think a part of me wants to be a doctor of some sort, but the other part of me totally hates math and science so…nah! I just find these shows so fascinating, but they also kind of make me go all OCD and worry that I might have some of the same symptoms and wait years for a correct diagnosis. Yeah, I’m a big worrier!

Monday's dessert: second ever experience with deep chocolate Vitatops...sooooo amazing! I love how the chocolate chips get all melty when you heat up the muffin. A side of raisins for good measure (plus I'm obsessed with them).

 

Um, sometime-last-week's dessert: dark chocolate overnighters topped with chocolate apple crunch trail mix, with the ever-popular frozen nanner slices on the side. You can't go wrong with chocolate, trail mix and banana.

Confession: I have a may-jah sweet tooth. But, uh, I think y’all already knew that 😉

As if you needed more evidence of my sweet tooth (seriously, I must have something sweet at every meal, whether it's just fruit or cereal or something), here's Sunday's entire dinner: PB&J Remix overnighters (topped with PB Puffins and raisins, for the PB and jelly), bloobs on the side. I don't do oats for dinner usually, but I gotta admit that I love them.

Quick, give me one confession! And…did you enjoy the gun show 😉 ??????

WIAW+Facts of Life

Hey lovelies! I loved all your responses to my weekend update post. I honestly had no idea that everyone would be so in love with my glasses! I think they’ll be making a more regular appearance around here 😉

It’s that time again–WIAW! I can always gauge how quickly a week is going by if I find myself scrambling to gather pics for WIAW. That’s a good thing, though; I hate when school weeks drag on forever. Especially when I have something to look forward to on the weekend. Oh well, that’s life. This week has been going by decently fast, which is great, because I can’t wait for this weekend–or more specifically, Saturday. I’ll get to that soon! For now, just enjoy some foodie pics and a little blogger questionnaire that I found on Alexis’ blog.

Peas and Crayons

How could I start a morning without overnight oats? I couldn't, of course, you know me. Today's lovely creation was dark chocolate oats topped with a spoonful of Whole Foods chocolate apple crunch trail mix. Alongside a spicy veggie sausage and gummy vitamins. A heart bowl makes it that much better. And cuter.

 Fact 1) I have never been to the East Coast, except for Florida. Yes, I realize that’s pretty crazy, especially to all you (many many) East Coast-based bloggies out there. But hey, I’m a Western girl at heart. Born and raised out here, baby. And I don’t plan on ever moving out of this region. I ideally want to move to California (either San Diego or San Fran, but I’m not too picky), Phoenix (my birth cit-ay) or Denver. In that order.

Quickie lunch between classes is always fun. Strawberry Oikos Greek yo' cup, all mixed up with Bear Naked Fit triple berry crunch granola. So good for a super-fast lunchie.

 Fact 2) I go to the school that had the major pool party over the weekend that’s all over the news and YouTube. I mean, really, guys, The Huffington Post covered it. Way to take away CU’s party school status, CSU. Go Rams?????

Ahoy matey! Okay, I'll stop trying to be cool. Outfit of the day, inspired by all things nautical (and nerdy): royal blue striped tee (Hollister), navy culotte shorts (Abercrombie & Fitch), ultra cool nerd glasses.

 Fact 3) I collect rubber ducks. Oh yeah, you know you wanna be friends with me now. Seriously, though, I’ve gotten 2-3 every year of the past 5 years or so (from an annual Labor Day rubber duckie race in a ski town near me) and I’ve got quite the collection now, from a cheerleader duck to a Mardi Gras one.

Snackplate time! Literally, on a plate. Kashi TLC crackers, agave/almond butter dip, frozen banana slices. Sweet, salty and cold all in one. But mostly just yum.

 Fact 4) Lady Gaga is my favorite. Despite her weirdness at the VMAs the other night (what were you thinking dressing like a dude, LG?), I will forever be a fan of her music. She is just so chill and I love that she isn’t afraid to make a fool of herself with her outfit choices. Most of them I approve of (but Sunday night’s choice? Not so much.)

More outfit footage. These glasses are becoming a go-to for me. I blame you guys for your love of them 😉

 Fact 5) I really LOVE spicy foods! Seriously, give me spicy over salty any day, I can take it. Some of my favorite spicy foods include: Indian curries, fresh jalapeno peppers (especially on veggie burgers), really hot salsas, chile powder and the spicy veggie sausages I have every day for breakfast.

Overnight oats making their first (hopefully not last) appearance at dinner time! These were my PB&J Remix oats: 1/3 c. thick rolled oats, mixed with raisins and topped with PB Puffins and fresh black grapes. Heaven in a bowl, I tell ya!

Fact 6) Yearbook nerd alert! Yes, I was on my school’s YBK for 3 years in high school. I was a section editor, went to yearbook camp twice and even traveled three hours three different times to go to a yearbook conference at the school I’m going to now. Yeah, I was a hardcore yearbooker.

I like to make a mess when I eat. Plain 0% Fage mixed with chocolate whey protein powder and 2 duplex cookies. Who said yogurt messes couldn't include cookies?

Fact 7) I love Mediterranean/Greek cuisine. Falafel, hummus, tabouleh, vegan gyros, pita, baba ganoush, olives–it’s my favorite cuisine, hands-down. I think I could totally live in that area and be completely happy.

Tell me one fun fact about you! Oh, P.S., I changed my blog design once again. What can I say, I’m kinda obsessed with changing it every time there’s a new layout that looks cool. Change is good, right?