May
28

First thing’s first: How was your Memorial Day Weekend? I hope you had the chance to relax and eat some delicious food.

I was able to finally catch The Great Gatsby in theaters and HOLY heaven… Leo! I don’t think he’s been that good looking since his Titanic days. Besides staring into Leo’s eyes via theater projection screen, I was able to accomplish a lot this weekend. I cleaned my room (MAJOR DEAL), booked some flights, spent time with my family, cooked, and instagramed my food like a freak.

Yes, I’m totally one of those people.

I wish I could say I instagrammed and ate this salmon this weekend, but that’s just not truth. I actually created this dish several months ago and completely forgot about it until recently when I was strolling through my photos. Please forgive me! How could I deny you this magical meal?

This salmon. Um, words really won’t do it justice, but I’ll try to describe it in the best way I know how: through super delicious adjectives (obviously) and dramatic descriptors.

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May
06

It really felt like a Summery Cinco de Mayo weekend, didn’t it?

I spent the better half of it with my face in a bowl of chips and guac… like you would expect anything less from me. I’m just going to be honest and say that I’m hoping to repeat it every single weekend for the rest of my life.

But seriously.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to Summer. My ears are longing for Lana Del Ray and old Mariah Carey beats.

Everyone knows Minnesota summers are the BEST EVER!  Probably because we endure a solid six months of Winter? Nevertheless, a completely irresistible three months are coming soon. I can’t wait to lounge by the lake and catch the pink-painted sunsets with a drink in hand. YUM!

Anyway I was thinking we’d start enjoying the flavors of Summer a little early with a bit of mango avocado pico and burgers packed with fresh flavors. I already know you’re down.

(If you don’t know what that means, the just make the burgers and enjoy how freaking healthy delicious they are.)

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Apr
25

The nice part about becoming older, is that you truly gain wisdom. It’s kind of weird to think about sometimes, isn’t it? To really acknowledge how much you change each and every year. As I glanced out at the sunrise during my flight to Chicago this morning, I thought about the little (big) things I’ve learned during my 20s (thus far):

  • Your time is better spent doing what you love. Always.
  • You learn a lot about other people and the relationships you find yourself in and sometimes it’s a pattern. It’s weird.
  • You become better at understanding  others in a more of an emotional sense.  A good thing!
  • You realize that sometimes two people just aren’t right for each other, but you accept it, move on, and that’s that.
  • You realize you need to be patient when it comes to your career and success.
  • BUT You learn to walk away from the things that don’t leave you satisfied with happiness, and then choose to pursue what keeps you smiling.
  • You value close friendships more than ever. You leave drama behind.
  • You are more thankful for your family because they will always be rock solid.
  • You begin to acknowledge the fact that a different location wont change your feelings or allow you to start over. Your location doesn’t control your happiness — YOU do.
  • Somewhere along the way, you grow up a bit.

More than anything, I’ve discovered that your 20s are about trials and tribulations. The best you can do is to just be yourself. Only try to change what you CAN control… and the rest? Whatever! Simply put, we all can be better than the people we were yesterday.

 

 

After all this, I’ve also realized that growing up means enjoying thing that are actually HEALTHY for your body and mind. Especially food that makes your body feel good on both the inside and out. Unfortunately, inhaling 5 cookies at once won’t bring you any sort of happiness.

Trust me on this. I’ve had several bad experiences with Girl Scout Cookies. Shhhh.

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Apr
15

Healthy oatmeal cottage cheese pancakes packed with 20g of protein to give you boost. The perfect after workout meal full of healthy carbs and protein! Taste like banana bread pancakes.

I recently caught up with one of my best friends from college; we hadn’t seen each other in over a year! How does time pass that quickly? I’m not sure, but life does happen and as I’m hurling my way through my twenties, it has increasingly become more difficult to maintain the relationships I once had.

I feel like this should be an article on Thought Catalog.

college

Anyway, Callie (pictured in the middle) and I lived together throughout college, which reminded me of our absurd obsession with oatmeal. WE LOVED IT. I can’t tell you how many times we ate it for both breakfast AND dinner; it was just SO filling, good-for-you, and comforting! Big bowls of cinnamon oatmeal bliss for dinner topped with anything we could find. I miss those days.

In fact, I MISS ALL OF MY FAVORITE COLLEGE GIRLS! Life slow down for just a minute please. At least so I can find the time to make some oatmeal.

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Apr
08

Have you ever spent so much time or energy on something, only to realize it wasn’t even worth it?

It’s kind of like when you bake a cake and absolutely hate the end result. Or when you date someone for too long only to end up being disappointed or hurt. Sometimes it can even be when you listen to entire Taylor Swift songs.

Anyway, the point is, even though you’ve had to live through things that seemed pointless and time-consuming, you learned from them. You realize that sometimes you can’t trust those Martha Stewart recipes, and that the person you dated actually taught you a lot about what you want in a future relationship. Oh and that Taylor Swift song? Absolutely change the station and never purchase another one of her songs off iTunes again. Harsh Monday realities coming at you.

Oh but these blondies? Amazing bites of peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bliss. No regrets. They’re just SO worth it!

Now don’t think I’ve gone all weird on you because I put chickpeas in a blondie without any flour or butter.
Nevermind, clearly I’m a little bit weird. After all I am obsessed with Zac Efron.

Apr
04

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing I’m finally back from Arizona. Booooooooooooooooooooo.

I had so many fun nights I can’t even begin to tell you. The food, the margs!, riding around in a red convertible, soaking up the sunshine, swimming at night, baseball games, Mexican food, FroYo, plus a trip to Sprinkles cupcakes!

I want to be on vacation for the rest of my life.

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

Funny enough I also went on a date during my trip! (The most random things happen to me, I swear.) I met him through a friend and we hit it off. On our date we went to the zoo, ate really good Italian food, and laughed hysterically. I don’t think he reads my blog, so in my opinion it’s perfectly okay to talk about how sweet he was. FYI: I told him about the life-changing cookies and I think he was sold.

Seriously you guys, I have to stop telling people about the flavor profile of brown butter and those freaking cookies; it’s just too nerdy. Especially on dates.

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Apr
03

I bet you’re hungry. I mean, it’s been a week since I’ve given you a recipe!

I’m not back from vacation just yet so I’m going to keep this short and sweet; I have to enjoy my last day in the sunshine!

Before I go, we must discuss these granola bars. They’re simple, delicious, and full of good-for-you ingredients and healthy fats to keep you satisfied. Plus they are incredibly easy to make!

First we toast the coconut, oats, and almonds in the oven.

Then simply mix honey, almond butter, a little coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon in a saucepan to heat thoroughly. The wet ingredients are then added to the dry mixture and then tossed to combine. Easy!

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Mar
20

Sorry about not blogging as frequently; I think the fact that I haven’t seen sunshine in over a month is really starting to get to me. It’s depressing and quite frankly I have no idea why my parents decided to raise me in Minnesota? People who live here are super humans; they have the ability to handle bone-chilling weather and things like tator tot hotdish. (I’m being sarcastic, but it’s totally a thing.)

So the good news is that I’m going on vacation in a week and I can’t freaking wait. I’m headed to Arizona and you can bet I’ll be soaking up the sunshine like it’s my job. Don’t worry, I never fail to slather on the sunscreen. Oh and I definitely won’t be forgetting to consume copious amounts of Mexican food. Words cannot describe how much I love the Southwest culture.

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Mar
05

Thick, chewy peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made without butter or flour. Delicious!

Oh hey. I noticed that it’s been a while since I’ve given you a cookie recipe. Please forgive me as I made you these ridiculously good-looking, chewy, thick, fat peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Without flour or butter!

Thick, chewy peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made without butter or flour. Delicious!

Wait… WHAT? I swear this isn’t a joke.

Thick, chewy peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made without butter or flour. Delicious!

First I need to confess that I LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut butter. In fact, I think if I was allergic I’d probably still eat it. I’m definitely one of those people who feels like it completes me in some way. Some of you may feel this way about Nutella and I totally get it; nut butters are creamy, addictive and awesome spread on just about anything. I usually do it animal-style aka straight out of the jar with a spoon.

Hmmmm I think I’m displaying signs of an addict. Are there any nut butter support groups out there?

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Feb
21

Confession of the day: I’m an absolute lover of mini meals because I consider them real treats! For example, my go-to snacks are bananas rolled in toasted almonds, rice cakes with cottage cheese and honey, or cereal with ice cold almond milk. Oh and margaritas! Because those can be considered snacks, right?

Anyway I’m getting back to the point here… I eat a lot of carbs, and that’s a problem. But you guys, I just ADORE nooks-and-crannies english muffins and basically every flavor or Cheerios to ever hit the market (minus Dulce de Leche).

Raise your hand if I just described you, too.

Surprisingly I’ve managed to stop buying both bread and cereal so now the only carb-like food lurking in my cupboards is a pack of rice cakes, low-carb tortillas, and apparently marshmallow creme, which I ate from the jar last night while watching old episodes of Felicity.

I don’t know if you know this but teen drama from the 90s is extremely stressful.

So this whole low-carb thing means that I am  forced to give up pasta and opt for something else to pair tomato sauce with. That’s where spaghetti squash comes in handy; it’s gluten-free, low-carb, and freaking delicious! Did you know that one cup of spaghetti squash only has 42 calories and 8 net carbs? I can literally eat platefuls of it!

The real star today isn’t the spaghetti squash though; it’s my homemade arrabbiata sauce — a spicy tomato marinara sauce with garlic and herbs. I was reading somewhere that arrabbiato means angry in Italian, which for me just translates into one mean, spicy marinara! It is sensational, especially when paired with garden veggies.

I enjoy making homemade tomato sauce because I love knowing what ingredients are being used plus the flavors are always bold and fresh. I thought it would be fun to show you how I make my favorite sauce without canned ingredients so that you can enjoy it too! Trust me, once you try this you won’t go back. Read more.

 
 
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