Chewy flourless cookies made with homemade pecan butter, oatmeal and chocolate chips for a unique treat that tastes like a bite of pecan pie. No flour or butter used in this easy recipe!
I spent Memorial Day weekend in New Mexico with my Grandparents. They live 20 minutes south of Albuquerque in Los Lunas and while there isn’t much to do, I cherish spending time with them. I’m planning on sharing a few special memories and details about my trip in a post soon. I think I gained a few pounds for eating all of my Grandma’s baked goodies and sopaipillas.
We’ll catch up on all that fried goodness later. Today, these cookies are calling your name. After all, it’s time to get back to work and you’re probably in need something a little sweet. I can feel it. I know you well by now.
Remember a few weeks ago when I shared a simple recipe for Homemade Pecan Nut Butter? It reminded me of a slice of cozy pecan pie and I absolutely could not stop digging my spoon into the jar. It’s smooth and ridiculous delish, plus only takes a few minutes to make in your food processor.
I’m actually going to make it for a friend’s wedding this weekend. She’s having a PB&J late-night bar and asked me to make some unique nut butters. CANNOT WAIT.
Double Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Oat Bars — easy to make and healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast! Ready in less than 25 minutes.
I just got back from a trip to Miami and North Carolina where I ate copious amounts of food and baked way too many cookies for Tony.
I’ll admit that I’m eager to get back into my workout and normal eating routine. Do you ever crave consistency after being away from home for a while? I know I do. My friend (and fellow blogger) Maegan and I ate nearly every sweet treat we could find in Miami; from coconut cake shakes (OMG) and coconut pecan chocolate chip cookies to crunchy brownie brittle and 2AM insomnia cookies. Hey, you only live once and you better do it right if you’re in Miami!
Every time I attend a food conference or travel in general, I know I’m going to be eating way too much so I pack my workout DVDs. This time I decided to bring my dumbbells. FYI: TSA doesn’t like when you bring dumbbells onto planes because they are considered ‘club like’. Oops. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do though, right?
I’m never embarrassed to whip out my weights and take a work out break when everyone else is out and about. I know what’s important to me and my well-being. I also pack bento lunch boxes for the plane when I’m traveling; this helps me to make sure I’m eating healthy since it can be difficult to find decent airport food.
Speaking of food and traveling, my next adventure will be to New Mexico over Memorial Day weekend. I’ll be visiting my adorable Grandparents who probably love food more than me. Gloria (my grandma) makes about four homemade scratch recipes per day. Seriously have you made her buttermilk waffles yet? Incredible.
I’m actually a little terrified as I have a feeling she’s going to to be 10x more eager to bake with me. We’re kind of two peas in a pod in that way though; always trying to come up with new ideas. I suppose it’s a good thing that I’ve already packed several Jillian Michael’s DVDs and of course, there’s ZUMBA. She’s kind of obsessed with it.
A delicious smoothie made with wild blueberries, banana, almond milk and spinach for a nutritional boost. Finished with a sprinkle of chia seeds for a healthy dose of omega-3.
Hello. Let me proceed to tell you about how weird I am.
Last night I had this out of control craving for broccoli after my workout. Just steamed broccoli with sea salt and pepper. Quite ridiculous really, but I absolutely had to have it. So off to Target I went. Except you know when you walk into Target, it’s not like you’re walking right out. Nope, you’re going to be there for at least an hour filling your cart with things you never knew you needed. Classic example: Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish. They basically taste like sweetened little animal cracker cookies. And if you’ve been here a while, you know how I LOVE animal crackers (especially frosted). Oh and also, coconut milk conditioner. YUM.
I finally managed to leave Target with two bags full. By the time I got home I WAS STARVING. Do you ever get to the point where you’re so hungry that you can’t even think? I thought about breaking open a jar of peanut butter in my car on the ride home, but knew that wouldn’t lead to anything good.
Once home, I basically destroyed an entire bag of steamed broccoli for dinner. Obviously that filled me up, but only for one episode of The Vampire Diaries, so of course I had to make something else. Since I’ve been really trying to clean up my diet (minus the goldfish), I opted for one of my favorite power smoothies.
Lately I’ve been really into blueberries in just about anything. WILD blueberries to be exact. I like the name and I like the flavor. In fact I kinda feel like Tarzan after eating them.
Really though, they’re SO much better then the conventional ones. I usually purchase mine from Trader Joe’s, but if you can’t find them there, opt for organic blueberries. I promise you’ll notice the flavor difference.
I’ve been getting back into vinyassa yoga lately. Most of the time I do yoga sculpt classes with weights, but recently I’ve needed some deep stretching and some major stress relief. The mind-body connection that yoga brings me is often times my favorite part of the class; I’m more self-aware, compassionate, and thoughtful with each class. I’ve also noticed that my anxiety diminishes.
The other day my instructor was talking about how you have to be brave in order to become your true self. How you have to go beyond what you think you’re capable of if you want to make something happen. Take a chance on something or someone.
Little conversations like those push me to be better. I’m happy to have the ability to to make choices, change my future and create opportunities that I would have never thought possible. Thus on my journey to having a clear mind with less stress, I’m also focusing on having a healthy body. Eating clean, preparing my meals, and taking care of myself is so important.
This past weekend I made a big batch of this summery salad (with fall flavors?) My mom came over to help taste test, and she absolutely loved it. We enjoyed it cold served with some greek yogurt.
This salad was inspired by my favorite little meal at Whole Foods made with couscous. Every time I’m there I search for it.
Quick and easy gluten free oatmeal pancakes made in the blender! These healthy pancakes are topped with the most incredible creamy peanut butter maple syrup then finished with a sprinkle of sea salt.
I’m on another one of my pancake kicks. This obsession is ridiculous.
But until I run out of pancake making ideas (and toppings), I’ll keep bringing them to you. Because really, who doesn’t love pancakes?
In reality, I’ve been eating pancakes more than what should be considered normal.
What do I eat for breakfast? Pancakes, obviously. With blueberries to start the day out right.
Lunch? Ugh, guess I should do a salad to get some veggies in. Note: The entire time I’m thinking about breakfast and ways I can top my pancakes.
Dinner? PANCAKES ON MY MIND. Again. Wouldn’t you agree that breakfast for dinner never gets old?
Healthy vegan avocado 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.
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!
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!
Chewy protein-packed granola bars made with almond butter, protein powder, dark chocolate and cherries! These gluten-free and vegan-friendly bars are the perfect snack or breakfast.
Did I tell you that Sundays are a big day for me? Usually I wake up, hit the gym, then head straight to the grocery store. After that I go home and cook until my kitchen is trashed and I can’t possibly dirty another dish. It’s kind of my little ritual.
Of course Sundays are also big because I’m determined to start the week out on a good note. To me, being healthy is a big part of this. I forget the incredibly delicious carrot cake cupcake I ate last week when I was stressed and remind myself that this week is brand new and full of healthy opportunities.
To encourage healthy eating, I chop up celery, cucumbers and carrots for nibbling during the day, but sometimes I need something a little more satisfying. So I decided to make ridiculously good granola bars. With protein powder to keep me full.
I made these last week and was slightly obsessed. So obsessed that I had to give them away to a friend because they I kept finding myself eating more and more out of the pan. I think the whole dark chocolate + cherry + chia seed combo really spoke to me.
I’m actually a huge fan of several brands of protein and/or granola bars. The chewy ones, the nutty ones, the extra crunchy ones. Heck, just give me ALL THE BARS.
An incredibly fudgy & delicious 100 calorie brownie sprinkled with chocolate chips and raspberries — you’d never guess that these are made with protein powder! Easily vegan and gluten-free, too.
I swear that if I didn’t have a healthy food blog, it would be just straight buttery treats in your face at all times. I’m talking crazy ass desserts that would blow your mind. For instance, during my last family holiday I made a Nutella S’mores Pie with a Toasted Marshmallow Meringue and a chocolate nutella crust. Wait, what?
I know, scaryyyyyy. But OMG, was it ridiculously good. Also probably the richest thing I’ve ever had in my life.
Anyway you all know I have a weak spot for sweets, but that I also believe in balance, moderation, and healthy living. That’s why I’m here to create healthy, unique desserts that you’ll fall in love with.
Today I want to introduce you to my newest invention: The Protein Brownie. Can you believe that 1 brownie is only 100 calories?!
I created this brownie with my diet in mind. I’ve been drinking protein shakes with fruit every single morning so I’ve gotten real obsessed with protein powder. I guess you could say my diet has fallen under the Paleo category. Just don’t expect me to start baking with almond flour (or maybe I will, ha).
This whole protein obsession made me incredibly curious about baking with protein powder. I wanted to invent a brownie that could be enjoyed as a treat instead dipping a spoon into a jar of almond butter every night. My goal was to create a chocolate brownie relatively low in carbs, low in sugar, and high in protein; I also wanted it to taste really good
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!