WIAW: Fall Flavors

As much as I hate to admit it, I’m excited for fall. I vowed to not wear long pants until fall officially arrived…yeah, that didn’t happen. I wore them twice in the past two weeks because it got randomly chilly for a couple days. I’ve embraced my moccasins again (and I’m looking for another pair to buy). And I’ve been enjoying the flavors of fall. Here they are, WIAW style!

Caramel apple coffee? Uh, heck to the yes!

You know me, I’m a sucker for anything seasonal or limited edition. I recently inherited my dad’s coffeemaker and I was planning on buying the coconut macaroon flavored coffee from Target, but when I saw this, there was no stopping me. I mean, you can’t go wrong with caramel and apple in coffee. Especially when it’s made with vanilla almond milk.

Looks weird, tastes amazing.

I’ve finally got a recipe for y’all! I made this last week when I got down to the end of my first can of pumpkin. I also had a bit of a leftover sweet potato so I decided to mix them up with a few other things and it turned out surprisingly really good.

Pumpkin Coconut Mash (vegan, gluten-free)

1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/4 sweet potato (or another 1/4 cup pumpkin)

1 tbsp coconut flour

drizzle agave or maple syrup

maple or vanilla extract

unsweetened vanilla almond milk, to thin

cinnamon, raisins, protein frosting, etc. for topping

In a bowl, mash together pumpkin, sweet potato (if using) and coconut flour. Add in liquid sweetener and extract to taste and pour in almond milk until mixture is thick and wet. Microwave on high for 1-3 minutes, or until combined and hot. Drizzle with more maple or agave, cinnamon, raisins, protein frosting or whatever you want. Makes 1 serving.

Coconut oil makes everything better!

This was my attempt at homemade plantain chips. I’ve always wanted to try them, but I’m not a fan of deep-fried things or weird oils. So I bought a plantain, put a little coconut oil in a pan and cooked up the slices. I also sprinkled cinnamon on them while they were cooking. They turned out really delicious, but not crispy at all. Next time I think I’ll cook them first and then dehydrate them.

Slice homemade white pizza, slice homemade sweet and salty pumpkin pizza, fresh blueberries.

Have any of you ever had “white” pizza? I think it’s usually an alfredo-based sauce topped with wilted spinach. I haven’t had it in years but I really wanted to recreate it, healthy vegan style, and I was totally successful. I topped some Whole Foods multigrain pizza dough with Follow Your Heart vegan creamy garlic dressing, shredded kale leaves and navy beans. Super simple, but it turned out great. The dressing kinda soaked into the crust and it tasted even better that way. The pumpkin pizza I made wasn’t quite as good, but I made an amazing pumpkin pizza last year, so I’ll just have to tweak this sauce next time.

This is basically the cleanest donut ever!

Have you ever seen a donut with these ingredients? I’ll admit, neither had I until the other day. I really think it’s awesome that Whole Foods made a healthier donut. Who could say no to garbanzo beans, coconut, almonds and pumpkin in their donut? Of course I had to buy it to try it out!

This gluten free and vegan donut was a winner!

And the verdict is….amazing! This donut was perfectly moist and fudgy, like the perfect chocolate cake. I’m not even a fan of cake and I liked this. I was only disappointed because it claimed to be a pumpkin donut, and it was basically all chocolate. But I don’t complain about chocolate, ever.

I’ll miss being able to wear strapless tops with no jacket…

I’ve been switching up my workouts lately with an app called Skimble Workouts. Most of the stuff on there is free, and they’ve got a ton of pre-made workout routines of different lengths and intensities. I’ve been getting great ab, leg and arm workouts lately and they’re lots of fun. Obviously I wanted to show off my hard work with a progress pic of sorts. Can you see that baby bicep?

So I was going to end this post with a video of my first weather forecast ever from last week but the video wouldn’t load. I should be able to get either this week or last week’s forecast up in the next few days though. I’d love any and all feedback you guys have for me!

What’s the weirdest ingredient you’ve seen in a baked good? What’s your favorite “fall flavor”?

WIAW: Strange Combos

I’ve been doing a lot of pre-scheduled posts lately because I am actually in the process of moving! Well obviously not just me but my mom, dad and sister too. I don’t want to go into too many details about the move, but it’s not really major since we’re just moving about 20 miles from where we are now. It’s kinda bittersweet, though, since I’ve lived in this house since I was 12 and I’m in love with everything about the house, especially the location (it’s in a forested area that’s pretty quiet and secluded but gorgeous and nature-y). But since I’m now spending most of the year living in my college town, my sister’s off to college in two years and all the crappy bad economy stuff going on, my family’s downsizing and moving into town to save money on gas and house costs. It definitely makes sense but it’s gonna be hard getting used to sharing a bathroom with my sister and having a smaller kitchen!

Enough with the boring stuff, let’s move on to WIAW! I’ve been kinda slacking on the photo taking with all the packing and moving shenanigans I’ve been involved in but I have some random food pics that all have something in common–weird combinations. Sometimes I experiment and combine really strange foods together and it actually works out!

Breakfast: peanut flour brownie batter pancakes, blue corn blueberry pancakes with Amande blueberry almond milk yogurt and granola.

Pancakes–normal. But pancakes made with blue cornmeal? I decided to try out the blue cornmeal I bought to make quinoa cornbread in some mini pancakes. I mixed the cornmeal with oat flour and added some blueberries into the mix. They actually turned out tasty and had a different texture than typical pancakes. The almond milk yogurt on top was my first experience with nondairy yogurt and it was pretty good, but the texture is definitely different. It’s got a lot of calcium though–30% DV–which is always something I’m trying to get more of.

Lunch: multigrain pizza pita bread, baby carrots, green chile hummus, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts with nooch, tamari pumpkin seeds.

I was going for a Mediterranean-inspired lunch snackplate here. The tamari pumpkin seeds kinda threw that off since they’re more Asian though. The pizza pita bread was from some leftover Whole Foods multigrain pizza dough that I cut into thin-ish pieces. The hummus also isn’t really Mediterranean, and it’s not my favorite hummus either. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect hummus that I can pair with anything…any suggestions?

Alvarado Street sprouted sourdough toast topped with Crofter’s mango jam, sunny “raw”nola and maple macadamias.

This was kind of a tropical take on toast. The mango jam is the best jam I’ve ever had and it went perfectly with the macadamias and granola pieces. Kinda weird to have crunchy things on toast but I don’t care, it was delicious.

Dinner: spicy mac ‘n cheez (quinoa pasta, spicy nacho cashew cheez sauce, Mexican chipotle Field Roast vegan sausage), random kale salad with Bragg’s aminos/lemon juice, nooch, raisins and sunflower seeds.

The mac ‘n cheez isn’t the weird part, the kale salad is. I really don’t know how I came up with this combo but it worked. I took raw kale, massaged lemon juice into it, spritzed it with Bragg’s liquid aminos, dumped nooch on top and sprinkled on raisins and sunflower seeds. Completely random, but totally winning.

What are the weirdest food combos you love to eat? Have you ever tried almond milk yogurt?

Spring Cravings

Hi girls! Are you all pumped that it’s finally the weekend? I actually can’t believe how quickly this week flew by for me, no complaints here though. I’ve only got 6 more weeks of classes left til it’s officially my summer and with this amazing weather (it’s supposed to be 80 degrees by Monday!), I almost feel like it already is summer. Oh well, it’ll come around soon enough. For now, I’m embracing spring and all the things it has me craving, from fashion to food to beauty.

This is going on my birthday wishlist for sure!

I mentioned in my last post how much I love designer bags, specifically Coach purses. I haven’t browsed their website in quite a while, so when I checked back in, I immediately fell in love with quite a few of their new spring offerings. But I really love this tote, it’s just so spring-y and makes me happy. Too bad it’s almost $300…I’ll just wait til it goes on eBay for much less money like I did with all my other purses.

I realize this looks kinda gross, but it's so good!

I’ve been making more of an effort lately to get out of food ruts. I’m not sure why, maybe because I’ve had to go more than a week without peanut flour, aka my obsession and major source of protein, or maybe because the warm weather has me wanting different flavors, but either way, it’s been a good adventure. I threw together this wrap on a whim the other night and I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing it turned out. I mashed some pinto beans with a little nooch (it’s definitely growing on me), spread a brown rice tortilla with a dollop of avocado hummus (my current fave) and threw some spinach in there with the beans. Ummmm yeah, so it sounds really weird, but it’s actually delicious, trust me. And simple too, which I love.

Repeat picture, but I haven't worn the shorts yet so I don't have a pic of them on me.

Anyone else into the colored shorts trend? Yes, it seems a little weird, but I really love it! In fact, one of my purchases of spring break was a pair of bright pink twill shorts from Abercrombie & Fitch. Pink is my favorite color, and I just thought these were a fun shade. I could have bought the light pink pair, but I was feeling bold. Go big or go home, right? Luckily, I have plenty of things to pair with these new shorts and I’m excited to wear them.  Hopefully, these will not be my last bold-colored pair of shorts; I’m really wanting a pair of orange twill ones from Hollister or maybe their turquoise dyed denim ones.

Self-tanner with sunscreen built in? Sign me up!

Here’s a secret–I use self-tanning lotion. I’m a fairly pale girl naturally but I like to boost my color in a safe way during the spring and summer. I will admit that I do lay out during the summer to get a real tan, and I know it isn’t the safest, but I do apply sunscreen. My go-to tanning product is Jergen’s Natural Glow because it’s easy to apply and isn’t streaky. Now they have tanning lotion with sunscreen built in, which I think is really smart. You can get a faux tan while also keeping your skin safe. Win win!

Lemonade sweetened with stevia--what a concept!

When I was younger, I used to really love lemonade. When I became more health-conscious, I switched over to Crystal Light lemonade packets, which were decent and came in a lot of varieties, but let’s face it, they aren’t the healthiest because of their artificial sweeteners. While on one of my rare trips to the dining hall store near me to buy some gum, I happened to spot this zero calorie lemonade. I assumed it probably had aspartame in it and was going to pass on it when I noticed that it’s actually sweetened with stevia. A healthy no-calorie lemonade? Yes please! I bought it and tried it out–it has kind of a weird lime-y aftertaste, but it’s actually pretty decent. I’m still on the hunt for single cans of Zevia though–I haven’t had a diet soda or soda of any kind in a couple of years because they aren’t the best for you, but I’d be down for trying a stevia-sweetened soda. My Whole Foods has 6 packs of Zevia, but I don’t want to drop $4 or 5 on it in case I don’t love it.

Friday's outfit: navy cardi (AE), floral square scarf (AE), light grey tank (A&F), denim shorts (A&F Kids).

I really love square scarves! I only have two right now, but I think they’re more versatile and easier to wear than traditional long scarves. American Eagle is my favorite place to buy scarves, and it’s actually where I bought both of mine. Right now, they don’t have any square scarves, but they have quite a few really cute loop scarves, which I might end up buying. I love wearing necklaces, but scarves are a good way to mix it up.

What are you ‘craving’ right now? Have you eaten anything weird but good lately?