Avocado pesto chicken salad made with an easy homemade nut free pumpkin seed & avocado pesto, then piled on toasted bread for a delicious, healthy sandwich.

Raise your hand if you LOVE pesto.

Okay good, me too.

And if you love it as much as I do, then you’re in for a little treat because this pumpkin seed avocado pesto is just incredible — it’s packed with healthy fats, lean protein and herbs and might just be the best thing I’ve ever tossed with shredded or leftover grilled chicken.

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Pistachio muffins made with homemade (and easy!) pistachio and oat flour, then topped with an easy scrumptious strawberry glaze. Vegan and gluten free too!

Happy Monday, loves. I hope you had a fantastic weekend.

Sometimes I never know how to start these posts other than to tell you about the days that seem to pass by too quickly. These few weeks have flown by as I developed and shot nearly 10 recipes. I’m traveling on an off for the next few weeks so I wanted to be prepared with recipes to share with you now that Spring is almost here.

By the way, Tony and I are headed to Sedona this weekend, so if you have any cool hiking recommendations, please let me know in the comments below. I so appreciate it (and you!).

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This vegetarian Thai green curry is made with chickpeas, ginger, garlic, turmeric, green curry paste, and lemongrass. The ultimate bowl of healthy comfort food to eat when you’re feeling under the weather.

Do you know when you start feeling a little sick — the feeling that something just isn’t quite right? Well, I had that last week. A slight fever crept in and my glands started to swell. Immediately I could tell that my body needed rest and a healthy dose of anti-inflammatory, disease-fighting food.

So of course, Thai green curry was on the dinner menu. And guess what? It worked. The next day I woke up feeling bright, energized and so much better. Thus, it was crowned the name ‘healing thai green curry’… with a few other descriptors in there too, I suppose.

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Peanut butter protein bars made with simple, healthy ingredients like oats, peanut butter, chia seed, coconut and protein powder. Drizzled with chocolate and a little sea salt. Truly the ultimate protein bar because you can easily make it your own!

When I was first learning how to refuel my body after a workout, I would grab whatever snack was available in the gym’s vending machine. At the time, no one told me that reading the ingredients was very important; it was 2009, and everyone was still on the low-fat diet craze. Clearly the gym I was a member of didn’t know any better, or just didn’t care.

I remembering gobbling down the bars with weird ingredients: crunchy rice, fake fiber and sugar, and most likely a terrible protein source. Shortly after the bars with insane amounts of fiber came on the scene; they were filled with fiber that isn’t even found in nature, but rather made in a lab. Those sketchy mofos.

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Blueberry Glazed Donuts — a healthier baked donuts made with a mix of almond and whole grain flour, then dipped in an easy homemade blueberry glaze.  

I just started doing a fun challenge on Instagram called the #ambitiouschallege. It’s an everyday glimpse into my life from where I live and what I do on an everyday basis to all of the things that I love in life.

On day 3 of the challenge, I shared one of my favorite treats: DONUTS! For all of my life, I’ve had a love of a good donut. My two favorites here in Chicago are Firecakes and Doughnut Vault — a treat meant for special occasions (or if I’m downtown and really in the mood for something fantastically sweet).

However I try to limit my indulgent donut devouring to once a month, especially when I can easily bake them at home…

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Hellooooo weekend! Doesn’t it feel like a breath of fresh air? Especially if you’ve had a long week. This week I tried to get into a better routine at the gym: I did Monday through Thursday at Crosstown Fitness and today I’m either going to go for a run outside or head to a yoga class.

This week went by all too quickly. I’ve been getting Abra up to speed on all things AK, testing new recipes, checking out wedding venues, heading to dinners and enjoying this fast-pace that life is presenting.

Last night Abra and I went to a wonderful dinner with Long Meadow Ranch wines. I had never tried their wines before but had the chance to taste several and was beyond impressed. There wasn’t a wine I didn’t like. Our favorite was probably the Rose-Pinot Noir, a wine you could drink anytime. Apparently they are sold at Whole Foods and if you live in Chicago, Mariano’s.

And here’s something else I can appreciate: LMR has their own organic farm on site and they farm their own cattle, make phenomenal olive oil, and of course produce grapes. I’m officially a fan girl so if you get a chance, I highly recommend checking them out.

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The best vegetarian enchiladas you’ll ever eat: Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas packed with flavor and topped with an amazing avocado lime sauce. Make them for dinner tonight!

If I could have my mom cook all the food served at my wedding, I would. She’s the best cook I know. Not just only she’s my mom, but because she makes food from the heart. You know food with flavors that speak to your soul from the very first bite. She’s innovative, creative and never afraid to dream up something delicious.

Every other day I get an email from her with a photo of what she made that day. From granola bread (OMG!) to coconut milk wild rice soup, she’s always thinking up something new.

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Sweet potato protein waffles made with cottage cheese, oats, roasted sweet potato, a touch of maple syrup and cinnamon! 

Last week I woke up one morning with a food hangover. Admittedly, I had eaten too much the night before (helloooo pizza!) and woke up feeling a little guilty and a lot bloated. Knowing this all too familiar feeling, I scooted myself to a hot yoga class — not only to release all the salt my body was holding onto from what I had eaten the night before, but also to decompress and remind myself that today is another day, a new opportunity to nourish my body. We all have challenges we face — big or small, but sometimes getting back to your roots and taking a deep breath is all you need for a fresh start.

The best remedy I’ve found after a little overindulgence is to move your body and intake high protein, nutrient dense food the next day. After my workout, I came home starving and ready to get back on track with the food that agrees with my body. Case in point — these wonderful maple sweet potato protein waffles.

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Don’t be afraid of tofu, check out this tofu guide with easy recipes and tips on how to prepare and cook tofu! From stir-fry to pudding pie and smoothies!

Happy Monday… Or should I say Meatless Monday? How was your weekend? Mine felt like it was as indulgent as ever, and now I’m on a mission to eat a little better, choosing lean proteins, lots of veggies and changing up my eating routine (I’ve been a naughty girl).

If there’s something I love to do when I find myself in a little bit of a food rut, is clean out my pantry and fridge, head to the store and pick up something new. This week, tofu is on the agenda! Recently I became a brand ambassador for Nasoya tofu (their products are non-GMO yay!). I have to say, it’s extremely exciting for me to be able to share more tofu recipes with you for a few reasons:

1.) I know many of you love eating plant based foods, or are vegetarian.

2.) My mom used to be a vegan chef (seriously!) so she’s very experienced in cooking with vegan foods, including tofu.

3.) It’s FUN to introduce new recipes & foods; the more you know the more comfortable you are in the kitchen.

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Hi there! How are you doing on this fine Friday? Got your cup of coffee ready for some wonderful weekend favorites ahead?!

Sidenote: I really just write ‘fine friday’? Clearly need help.

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