Where to begin.

It’s hard to say. I’ve obviously gotten so out of the habit of writing on this thing. And now I’m just trying to figure out where to pick back up. I feel highly motivated to talk about how the past year has been eye-opening and older-feeling and how I’m loving it but I pretty much did that here already. At this moment as I sit at my kitchen tablette with a first attempt at homemade cranberry sauce on the stove, I have nothing to complain about. Nothing bogging me down. I am content in this moment. It feels awesome, what can I say?

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So I guess I’ll talk about all the things that have been going on in my kitchen lately.

(And thankfully no fruit flies were involved)

1. Homemade Nut Butters

(and other food processor awesomeness)
Finished Bliss AKA Coconut Butter

Finished Bliss AKA Coconut Butter

Shredded coconut + food processor = bliss-in-the-making

Shredded coconut + food processor = bliss-in-the-making

Chopped almonds, set aside for CRUNCHY almond butter

Chopped almonds, set aside for CRUNCHY almond butter

Almond butteroundandround

Almond butteroundandround

The finished goods

The finished goods

Asian Ginger Dressing

Asian Ginger Dressing

2. Raw & Roasted Salads

Curried Raw & Roasted Salad

Curried Raw & Roasted Salad

Raw & Roasted Salad

Raw & Roasted Salad

This has been my lunch for weeks now. It’s the perfect transition of lunch-salad into colder weather. Simply roast a large baking sheet worth of vegetables with desired flavoring

Favorites: coconut butter + curry powder, olive oil + chili powder&cumin, olive oil + zatar, coconut oil + cajun seasoning

Then combine a bunch of raw vegetables with a separate dressing

Favorites: lemon juice + olive oil + apple cider vinegar + dijon mustard (add additional seasoning to complement roasted flavorings)

Protein can be tofu roasted with the vegetables or beans/lentils added with the raw veggies.

3. Homemade No Sugar Added Cranberry Sauce

Before

Before

After

After

(As I finished the post, I finished the sauce. And let me tell you, it’s delicious. –> Recipe to follow)

Alright, I think I’ve covered it.

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I finally did it.

OK, so before we get to what I finally did, how about we look at…

TWIW (this-week-in-workouts)
Sa – off
Su – Circuit Strength Training
M – off
Tu – 30 min. Quick Cardio + 60 min. Power Yoga
W – Circuit Strength Training
Th – 45 minute Step Class
F – Circuit Strength Training

Self Evaluation:
Likes:  I like that I got in 3 strength training sessions. I’m hoping to keep this up. I also like that I got in a high-intensity cardio session.
What I want to improve: I’d like to try and get it down to 1 day off a week, and add in either Boot Camp or Kick Boxing.

Alright, soooo I finally went to a Farmer’s Market!

I’ve had this ambition to go to a farmer’s market for several years now but never actually took the initiative. Now that I’ve done it, I have no idea what was holding me back. Maybe it was a little of this:

mixed with forgetfulness and apprehension of venturing into a new experience. This all seems silly now, considering what a great experience shopping at a farmer’s market was! It really feels great to know that my money is going to local businesses, and my food isn’t traveling halfway across the country (or world) to get to me.

So, this morning I rolled out of bed, ate breakfast, and headed to the St. Stephen’s Farmer’s Market. Here are my purchases of the day:

Clockwise from left: Beets, Kale, Broccoli, Yellow Squash (interesting variety), Pattipan Squash, Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes, Reginald’s Cashew ‘Nilla Butter, and Reginald’s Crunchy Original Roasted Peanut Butter

Brittany from Eating Bird Food recently posted about the nut butters, and that was definitely a main reason for me choosing the St. Stephen’s market! Here’s their website. The woman I spoke with at the farmer’s market said that right now they do all their work out of her kitchen! They also only use Virginia peanuts, adding to the local-loving. 🙂

I’m looking forward to cooking up some awesome grub with my farmer’s market finds! …But probably not until tomorrow. I’m still enjoying these leftovers:

recipe to follow soon

After the farmer’s market, I headed to the gym for a workout and then delved back into the food world at Trader Joe’s. I’m really excited about a couple of my finds.

1 – Mini Brie Bites

I’m so excited to try these babies! I am always hesitant to buy blocks/rounds of cheeses just because in my mind it’s harder to determine a serving size. (Maybe that’s weird, I dunno.) So I love that I can now enjoy brie in individual rounds!

2 – Potted Basil Plant

 Doesn’t it just looks so bright and happy? And delicious? Let’s just hope that I can keep it alive better than begonias:

miserable attempt at keeping a house plant.

And now, I will leave you with an Amazing Meal in Minutes!

As I mentioned previously, I’ve had to come up with quick meals before heading out to work. I’d been making peanut buter and _____ sandwiches, but, alas, I ran out of bread this week.

I was still stuck in the same situation – a little over an hour to be at work, and I needed to eat, shower, and get myself presentable for work. So, we’re talkin’ I needed a quick meal. That required little-to-no active time. In walks…

Tofu, Basil, & Goat Cheese “Pizza” (for 1)

Ingredients:
– 1 tortilla (I used Tumaro’s Multigrain Low Carb)
– 1 goat cheese medallion (the Trader Joe’s kind I love!)
– 1/8 cup of your favorite pasta sauce (I used Prego Fresh Mushroom)
– 1/4 container extra firm tofu, patted dry and cubed (optional: bake it for 20 minutes beforehand)
– Fresh Basil
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Heat tortilla wrapped in a paper towel in the microwave for 20 seconds.
2. Spread the goat cheese on the tortilla. Layer the sauce on top. Add the toppings.
3. Place in oven (on a cookie sheet) and bake until melty. (about 10 minutes)

ingredients

pre-oven

pre-oven for pizza-sandwich method

enjoy! 🙂

for sandwich method - fold in half

slice and enjoy : )

This is seriously soooo good. The goat cheese gets wonderfully creamy and pairs beautifully with the italian flavors. It almost reminds me of ricotta in lasagna. I paired these babies with a side salad one day, and roasted vegetables the next.

Not-your-average PB Sandwich + Site Update

So I suppose if you’re viewing this post right now, you already notice a big difference in my blog’s look. I haven’t 100% settled into a theme yet. (Trying to blog around my work schedule is haphazard at times) But if you haven’t notice already, I’ve officially switched to posting in WordPress! I’m really excited about this change and am slowly but surely learning my way around this baby.

But now on to the good stuff alright? :

Wait, what is on that sandwich?

Lately, I’ve been making a lot of quick meals. (Read: lately I’ve been running late to work frequently and having to make quick meals) So probably the easiest-peasiest quick meal around is Peanut butter and Jelly, right? Well, as I may or may not have mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of jelly. I prefer to eat whole fruits rather than fruit-spreads. My go-to for this purpose (as I’ve mentioned before) is pear. However, I haven’t found any good organic pears lately. I guess that’s what happens when the seasons change. ANYWAYS (stick to the topic Megan!)- I came up with two peanut butter sandwich ideas that were pretty alright.

Peanut Butter Sandich Idea #1 – Peanut Butter & Kiwi Sandwich (of course w/cinnamon)

I figured sweet fruit = very close to jam. And I was pretty on with this baby. It had a nice texture and was a pleasant change to the typical peanut butter sandwich.

Unfortunately, I realized later that my kiwis were a little funky, so I didn’t get a good idea as far as the actual flavor of the sandwich. But hopefully I’ll find some good kiwis and give it another go soon.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Idea #2 – Peanut Butter, Berries, & Peanut Flour Sandwich

  Step 1 – Microwave 2 frozen strawberries & 1/4 cup frozen raspberries for 30 seconds. Smash with a fork and mix well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2 – Mix in 1 tablespoon peanut flour. Stir well until well-blended.

 

 

Step 3 – Go crazy and decide you’re going to add another tablespoon of peanut flour for the heck of it.

Step 4 – Spread 1 tablespoon crunchy (my preference) peanut butter on a piece of  your favorite bread (mine is Trader Joe’s Sprouted Rye). Pour the Berry-Peanut Flour mixture on top.

spread & sprinkle w/cinnamon

 

 

make sure to eat all the fillings!

 

 

 

 

 

ooey-gooey deliciousness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK So now that I have your mouth watering sufficiently, I must note that next time I make this sandwich, I’m going to cut the peanut flour by 1 tablespoon and up the peanut butter by 1/2 tablespoon. I think that change will create the perfect ratio for this sandwich.

What’s your favorite peanut butter sandwich combination? 

Got any awesome super-quick meals you want to share with me?