Jul
11

Why are burgers so freakin’ delicious? I’m serious. Turkey burgers, chicken burgers, bites of Tony’s heart-attack double bacon burgers. Oh and isn’t it just convenient that they are constantly paired with the other most addictive food in the world… aka french fries?!

My willpower around juicy burgers and hot, crispy french fries = zero.

So, what’s a girl who is trying to eat healthy but has a massive craving for a burger to do?

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Apr
11

Healthy brownies made with black beans instead of flour, and avocado instead of butter or oil! You’re going to love these fudgy chocolate-packed vegan and gluten free treats.

Healthy Flourless Black Bean Avocado Brownies

Things are getting weird. I mean I’m putting avocados in baked desserts again. But don’t judge just yet. I can assure you that after you taste them, you’ll know I’m actually not insane for doing so.

You guys. I swear that all I’ve wanted to do was blog all week to give you this recipe, but it’s taken me forever to sit down write and edit with everything else going on. Perhaps I forgot to mention that Ambitious Kitchen is going through a MAJOR redesign? I seriously cannot wait. I’ve hired a few designers over the past year or so, but have always felt like it wasn’t the right time or that it wasn’t my vision.

This time I’m working with two wonderful girls who actually have food blogs themselves so they are really able to think strategically about branding, design elements and techy stuff that I don’t get. Soon enough the new site will be revealed to all of you!

Healthy Flourless Black Bean Avocado Brownies

Besides site stuff, preparing for Easter has been crazy. It’s such a busy time with the brands I work on (outside of this blog), so I’ve been a little consumed with planning. Today I even helped food style on a video shoot which is always a fun experience! I’ve done a few and I really enjoy bringing them to life through an editorial lens. It’s also a great way for me to get outside the office and into a new creative environment.

After the shoot was over today, I came home and ran 4 miles around a lake near my apartment. It’s finally getting nice out so I’m trying to take advantage of being in the sunshine pretty much every single moment I can. GIVE ME THE VITAMIN D. Every single drop please!

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Apr
02

An incredibly moist Carrot Cake Banana Bread made healthy with whole wheat flour and applesauce instead of lots of butter or oil. Don’t forget the low-fat cream cheese frosting — it’s to die for!

Incredible Healthy Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Thick Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I never really enjoyed carrot cake until about a year ago.

It started when I was living in Los Angeles; there was an incredible cupcake shop in Manhattan Beach that I used to stop in after a beach walk in the evenings. They sold a variety of mini cupcakes and for some reason I decided to try their carrot cake version. After one bite, I was in heaven. Now I’m on some sort of quest to find the best carrot cake out there. Any suggestions?

When it comes to cake, the only thing that can compete with carrot is my Dad’s yellow cake with chocolate buttercream – and that one is pretty hard to master. I’m still working on the recipe after 7 years. Maybe one day.

Incredible Healthy Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Thick Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

There’s one thing I don’t like about carrot cake: all of those calories. And I’m already going to be eating everything else in my face during Easter, including at least three of those Reese’s Eggs and probably way too much wine. Yes, I try to make every holiday as awesome as Thanksgiving.

Anyway as I was preparing to head to the grocery store staring at overly ripe bananas on the counter, an interesting thought came to me. What if I combined the two? You know, my love for carrot cake + banana bread. Could this be a thing?

In my mind, absolutely.

Incredible Healthy Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Thick Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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Mar
10

Cheesy Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Meatloaf Muffins are a great healthy dinner option – flavorful, moist, low-carb and packed with protein! 

Cheesy Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Meatloaf Muffins - a healthy option for dinner. 2 muffins = 208 calories! #lowcarb #cleaneating

Today I have a few things to get off my chest. Perhaps it’s me silently having a conversation with myself here but whatever the case, I just need a place to reflect.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my career, passion, and future goals. Overall I feel pretty accomplished for being 25. I’m satisfied… but unsatisfied. Does that make sense? Yes, I love my blog and I enjoy my full-time job, but something is definitely missing.

I’ve felt this for a few months. Perhaps it’s because I’ve become too comfortable. After all, I don’t want to be in the same place forever and I’m fairly certain Minnesota just isn’t for me. Unfortunately, unfamiliarity is really scary, but it’s also more exhilarating and compelling. And to be honest, I’m missing that. I feel like without it, I can’t grow. I WANT and NEED to take risks and screw up. God knows, we’re all bound to fail at some point in our lives. Our experiences are what makes us better.

Ultimately it comes down to this: I believe that anything worth having is worth fighting for. This holds true in love, careers, friendship, etc. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to be happy or to find exactly what I’m seeking. I have goals and dreams, and if I don’t pursue them now, when will I?

I guess now that I’ve been thinking about all of this, I should probably start making some changes in my life. More to come.

In the meantime, MEATLOAF MUFFINS! YOU GUYS they’re basically packed healthy flavor bombs.

Cheesy Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Meatloaf Muffins - a healthy option for dinner. 2 muffins = 208 calories! #lowcarb #cleaneating

If I’m going to make a traditional dish like meatloaf, it’s obvious that a few things are going to happen:

1. It’s going to be stuffed in muffin tins so they turn out cute.

2. You know it’s going to be healthy.

3. Bring on the Mexican flavors!

Cheesy Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Meatloaf Muffins - a healthy option for dinner. 2 muffins = 208 calories! #lowcarb #cleaneating

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Feb
26

A healthy Moroccan-spiced Stew with butternut squash, chickpeas, and lentils! You’ll love this protein and fiber packed meal!

Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Lentil Moroccan Stew

Let me just start off by saying that this winter has been one of the worst I’ve ever experienced. Minnesota is an icicle and I’m about ready to pack my bags, abandon everything, and get on a plane to any place with good margaritas and warm weather (Cali?).

It’s gotten to the point where every time I venture outside, my toes automatically become numb, even with wool socks. To top it all off there was a blizzard last week, my car got stuck, and I didn’t leave my house for two days. THE WORST.

Enough complaining though! It’s time for a little soup for the soul. The comforting good kind that warms your heart. I like those kinds, don’t you?

Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Lentil Moroccan Stew - healthy, vegan and gluten free!

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Feb
02

Amazing Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars – they taste like banana bread! No flour, butter, eggs, or dairy in this healthy recipe!

How was your weekend? Hope it was sweet! I’m in the middle of a juice cleanse and it’s been completely amazing! I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it.

This past weekend I spent a lot of time in the kitchen developing recipes because I know I’ll be in Australia for the next few weeks and wanted to catch up on blogging. It’s amazing how much time I can spend myself when I’m cooking and baking; my heart feels content.

But damn, can we just talk about these bars?

Breakfast is looking sweet with that pretty chocolate drizzle. Am I right or what?

Of course they are a healthy version of sweet because you know I’m always looking out for your dietary needs and waistline.

Just kidding. I’m really only making recipes up that seem interesting; things that I like to eat, bake, and create! I’ve realized that my body loves natural foods — and these bars are exactly that. No flour, eggs, dairy, or butter! 

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Jan
12

A delicious vegan and gluten free detox kale salad with an incredible lemon dressing — you’ll make this again and again!

Today I want to tell you about one of my favorite salads.

My mom first made it for me for me three years ago. I adore the recipe for so many reasons: it’s fresh, bright, and flavorful. Plus you can add nearly anything to it to dress it up.

If you’ve never had kale before, this salad is perfect to start with!

The reason I call this a detox salad because not only is it vegan and gluten free, but it also has an incredible amount of good for you ingredients in it.

Side note: I’m watching Dawson’s Creek right now. Paceyyyyyyyy!

Sorry… back to the salad.

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