Jan
29

A healthy sesame chicken stir fry with veggies and an incredible coconut-ginger brown rice! You’re going to love this easy meal! 

Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry with Coconut-Ginger Brown Rice + Crushed Cashews

So you probably know by now that traveling is one of my favorite things to do. Isn’t it amazing how traveling the world can open up your eyes to new feelings, people, and things that you’d never thought you’d do or see? Each time I go somewhere new, I’m learning something about myself. And guess where I’m going next? Australia!

My boyfriend and I are leaving in less than 2 weeks; we’re beyond excited to explore beautiful beaches, surf, snorkel, relax, hike, and eat amazing food.

Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry with Coconut-Ginger Brown Rice + Crushed Cashews

Speaking of amazing food, I’ve been trying to keep things light in preparation for my trip. A body like Beyoncé is on my list To-Do List for 2014, but I have to admit that it’s pretty hard to make that happen when you work at a place that makes cake products, frosting, cereal, and more. Basically I just eat all day.

I do feel like I’m off to a good start though; my workouts are consistent and I’ve been eating well. I’m really into clean eating lately (minimal processed foods). Since I LOVE  Mexican and Asian flavors, I’ve been enjoying a lot of vegetarian taco salads and veggie packed meals like this chicken sesame stir fry!

Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry with Coconut-Ginger Brown Rice + Crushed Cashews

Read more.


Jan
22

Learn how to make homemade dark chocolate almond butter at home. This will be your new favorite thing to spread on toast!

Today we need to talk about something important.

Something that changed my life.

Okay, maybe we should back up a bit. After a week of being MIA on the blog, I haven’t even asked you how you are. I hope you’re wonderful. I hope you laughed today and told someone that you loved them.

Maybe you’ll tell me you love me after you try this recipe. Cause guess what I made you guys?! Healthy homemade Nutella. I know how you guys feel about nutella and you know how I feel about stuffing it in cookies. Nut butters and I are soulmates,

But this… THIS nut butter is kinda my new jam. Or butter, I guess?

Read more.


Jan
12

A delicious vegan and gluten free kale detox 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. Yes, it’s a sort of ‘detox salad’.

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.

Read more.


Jan
08

Oven roasted green beans with garlic, parmesan cheese, and tomatoes – the perfect side dish!

1-IMG_7103

Green things! Finally, right?

For the last month, I ate way too much Mexican food, drank too many bottles of wine, and consumed wayyyy too much sugar. Talk about an overload. What I really need in my life (and maybe yours, too) is a little balance.

The good news is that work finally seems to be slowing down and I’m planning a couple of things including a blog redesign and a trip to Australia!

Yes, my boyfriend and I are headed down under for almost two weeks next month! Our trip starts in Sydney, then we’re road tripping from Brisbane to Byron Bay, then back through the Gold Coast, and finally ending in Brisbane for one of my darling friend’s wedding. She just sent me a picture of the bridesmaid’s dress and it’s beyond gorgeous!

Monique at Byron Bay

Even though I briefly lived in Australia and explored, I’m excited to head back and do some adventuring! Above is a picture of me at Byron Bay, the most eastern point of Australia; it was where I first learned to surf!

If you have any recommendations of things to do, see, or visit – please leave a comment or send me an email! I’d love to hear them!

6-IMG_7127

Read more.


Dec
30

Healthy banana waffles made incredibly fluffy and light with quinoa flour. They’re crispy on the outside and nice and light in the middle – the way a waffle should be. Best of all they’re good for you, and filling!

It’s been a while! How was your Christmas? Did you eat  too many Oreo balls? Consume too much cheese? Stuff your face with finger food until you just couldn’t anymore? Make a cake with over 6 sticks of butter?

Okkayyyyyy maybe that was me. Oops!

I’m so ready for 2014 you guys! Not just because I feel like it’s a fresh start but because I like getting back to the root of things and into a routine. Each new year I like to take a little bit of time to reevaluate what’s important in life and to find a little inner peace.

Oh and I think I forgot to mention that I turned 25 last week! Each year I’m feeling more appreciative. My boyfriend flew in from Chicago to help me celebrate. When I picked him up from the airport, he had a bouquet of lilies (my favorite) to give me; we try and keep things romantic as usually our time together is short and sweet. Now I’m writing to you from Chicago, where we celebrated his birthday. We plan on seeing a few good movies, going ice skating, and relaxing until the New Year.

But of course, I had to take some time to blog about these incredible waffles. I wish you could see how serious I am about them; they are SO easy to make. To keep them light, I used bananas, egg whites, and almond milk. There’s no butter or oil, and they’re gluten free, too! I love chocolate chips in my pancakes and waffles so I added a few, but you can always leave them out if you aren’t a fan.

I shared a few with my Mom because I wanted to get her opinion. She said they were the BEST waffles everrrrrrrrr.

Read more.


Dec
13

Before I shove more cookies in your face, I have some very exciting news to share!

I’m headed back to Australia!

During college, I studied abroad on the Gold Coast and it literally changed my life. I’m not sure if it was the travel aspect or meeting new people, but I felt like a new person after living there. Most of all, I felt so lucky to meet one of my best friends, Susie.

susie

Susie and I hit it off right away; it’s as though we were sisters, I swear! We met in a public speaking course at Bond University and immediately clicked. Our daily ritual consisted of drinking soy lattes, eating white chocolate chip macadamia nut muffins, and laughing nonstop. We supported each other, shared secrets, and talked about what we wanted to do when we graduated from college. Of course, we both had big dreams: Susie wanted to be a reporter or a pilot (she now flies a small private jet), and I wanted to own my own business (check!). Now it’s been nearly four years since I’ve seen Susie, but our friendship hasn’t changed one bit.

Well, except for the fact that she’s getting married! And best of all, I’m beyond thrilled that she asked me to be her Maid of Honor! I won’t be there to help her plan many of the details, but we’re going to Skype and I’ll do as much as possible from America! She deserves this happiness more than anything.

Read more.


Nov
19

Healthy Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal topped with bananas tossed in a mixture of brown sugar and vanilla bean! A great breakfast!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this blog and what it represents to me.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s so much more than just sharing recipes; this blog is a place for inspiration and stories. At least that’s what I’ve always tried to make it; however, lately I feel like I’m getting further from that.

It just feels… redundant. I have to put my passion back into it.

So, we’re getting back to it! Back to when I shared my inspiration, fitness posts, healthy living tips, dreams, and stories! More personalized. I hope you don’t mind, but it’s not just food that makes me happy anymore; it’s the story behind the food.

First I’d like to tell you about the first time I fell in love with pumpkin. I was 9 years old and my mom and I baked a pie from scratch. The comfort pumpkin pie brings me is unparalleled.

I’m also a huge fan of oatmeal which I really didn’t start eating until I was in college. Now I eat oatmeal pancakes, bowls of oatmeal, and oatmeal in muffins! I love how healthy it is and am constantly trying to find new ways to add it to my recipes.

Read more.


Nov
08

You won’t believe that these fudgy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars are made with lentils.Vegan and gluten free!

WAIT. WHAT?

LENTILS in a dessert? You think I’m crazy? Weird? Cute? Maybe it’s a combo.

We’ll get to this dessert soon. First off, it’s Friday!

I haven’t slept all freaking week. I wish I was kidding. I’ve been preparing for the launch of a brand new site for work and so we’ve been busy plugging away, staying late, and chugging coffee. I’ve also been trying to get back into working out after taking a little over a week off. Last night I went to my favorite yoga sculpt class. Ummmm you guys… it was pure hell and I mean that in the best way possible. I literally thought I was going to throw up on my yoga mat, and that never happens to me (sorry for being so descriptive). I guess that’s what happens after a week of vacation wine and cookie inhaling.

Today I rewarded myself with a small dark hot chocolate. I figured that I haven’t had a real hot chocolate in ages, and I felt like I needed a sweet treat to keep me going. Let me tell you, it was SO worth it. I even topped mine with extra whipped cream. It’s important to treat yourself to a little indulgence; I hope you all do the same this weekend!

Read more.


Oct
14

SO much to say. So little time. Currently I’m in a coffee shop as I just moved into my new place and haven’t set up the internet yet. It’s a weird world without the internet you guys. As in I actually went to bed before midnight yesterday. CRAZY I know. Maybe it’s a good thing.

Hmmm what else? I bought a new couch! The color looks like the inside of an almond; I’m in love with it because it’s one of those couches that completely gorgeous but also amazingly comfy. It’s being delivered on Friday so I’ll be sure to share some photos soon. I’m also getting an AMAZING vintage refinished table from a good friend (Hi Sherry!). If you couldn’t tell, I’m going for the romantic shabby chic/Californian look with a touch of vintage. It’s been a blast hunting for pieces and shopping!

By the way, have I mentioned that I miss you guys? Like really, life is getting INSANE. I wish I had the time to blog more! Right now I’m taking two classes, working a full time job, creating recipes, working out, and trying to have a social life. But hey, that’s life.

And sometimes you just have to reward yourself with brownies.

Yep. Fudgy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies.

Made without flour. Made without animals (vegan). Made WITH love.

And made supremely decadent (yet still healthy) by the best combo known to mankind: pb & chocolate.

Are you with me here?

Read more.


Oct
01

Hi guys! Sorry about taking last week off of blogging. I was in Boston on a little vacation with some of my friends from college. We had an unbelievable time baking cookies (new recipe coming soon), exploring the North End, running around Southie, and laughing until we couldn’t anymore. Life is good! I’ll have a recap soon of all of my Boston outings plus some favorite things of mine, too! But of course, Monday came and vacation ended. And now it’s October; I can’t believe it! I’ve been busy running outside trying to soak it all up before Minnesota weather comes swinging in with negative temperatures. Obviously since it’s been so lovely, I’ve been slacking in the baking department. Sorry about that! I’m back now… with tasty little bars. You’re excited, right?

You should be! I’m a HUGE fan of all things pumpkin. In fact if I had to choose my last meal on earth, it would be a simple slice of warm pumpkin pie with whipped cream. That’s my heaven. Seriously pumpkin is the JAM to my peanut butter. What I really mean is that it completes me.

These bars are just as wonderful as pie in their own way. They make mornings a little brighter. Somehow they feel romantic and will definitely have your house smelling like fall.

Oh and did I mention that they’re healthy? Yes, you can totally eat them for breakfast or as a snack — there’s only 128 calories per bar and healthy ingredients, too!

Read more.

 
 
Simple Share Buttons