Sep
09

It’s been incredibly warm in Minnesota so I’ve been trying to workout outside as much as possible. Yesterday I biked 15 miles; my legs are feeling a little tired today! I find that drinking lots and lots of water helps with all of the aches. That and a giant spoonful of peanut butter. Hehe.

My meals are all prepared for the week, too! I’m trying to eat clean so I baked garlic chicken, and roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes. I also made some delicious gluten free pumpkin bars, and sauteed kale & garden veggies. I don’t have much free time on the weeknights so my meals need to be ready. Plus it helps me to stay on track when trying to eat right.

Last week I made this delicious vegetarian chili packed with lentils & quinoa. Mmmmmm!

This chili reminded me of my sweet potato and black bean quinoa chili; the flavors are very similar and deeeelicious!

So much goodness goes into a pot: lentils, quinoa, black beans, kidney beans, red pepper, fresh tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, plus a touch of curry powder.

Let’s not forget about the nutrition: a little over 300 calories, 17g of fiber, and 18g of protein. This chili will fill you up!

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Aug
27

Hi! I came down with little cold yesterday, so I couldn’t finish writing this recipe. But I chugged NyQuil and ate cough drops like candy so now I’m feeling much better. I even went on a 14 mile bike ride this morning. Yay.

I have to tell you that my biggest goal has been to blog on a more frequent basis, thus I spent this past weekend developing three new recipes. And of course, pumpkin season is coming… you know what that means. PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. Are you excited? I am.

But first, some healthy truffles for you.

Yes! The black beans are back. They’re hiding in these fudgy chocolate bites. And they’re AWESOME.

Ummmm please don’t stare at your screen like that. Don’t question the deliciousness! These are addicting! In all seriousness, if you liked my black bean brownies or my chickpea blondies, then I’m sure you’ll LOVE these.

Check out this fun video I made:

http://instagram.com/p/bZOopTLXsF/

So what else is hiding in the truffles besides the beans? Good quality cocoa powder, coconut oil (or olive), a touch of maple syrup, and chocolate protein powder if you’d like a protein boost. I’ve included directions for both versions. Just remember that if you want to keep the truffles vegan, then simply use a vegan chocolate protein powder such as Vega.

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Jul
18

Please excuse my mini absence from blogging! I’ve really wanted to bring you a recipe, but I’ve been quite busy demolishing chickpea blondies, working, and hitting the yoga studio. Every day I look at the clock and it seems to always be 11PM… I have absolutely no idea where the time goes. I do know that the weather in Minnesota has been OUTSTANDING lately, so instead of editing photos and cooking all the time I’ve been trying enjoying the sunshine (we only get 5 months of it).

And these cookies? Well I’ve been enjoying them, too.

Due to my recent yoga challenge, I’ve been trying to eat better but obviously my sweet tooth is ridiculous. I will admit that I’ve gone through a couple of batches of my black bean brownies, but I kind of wanted something a little different.

Cookies are always a great solution.

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Jul
10

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If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my yoga tweets lately (#akyogachallenge). I’m falling in love with my practice and it feels absolutely incredible.

Now what’s funny is that I’m the type of person who NEEDS intensity from a workout. Usually kickboxing and running tend to be my favorites because I love the ‘high’, uplifting feeling that comes from those cardio endorphins. What’s unusual is that I’ve found that I get the same feeling from my yoga practice, except I don’t have to run 8 miles to feel like I accomplished something. As soon as I step onto my mat, I let my stress go and focus my energy on breathing and thinking positively.

Most of all, yoga is slowly teaching me to appreciate the beauty within myself. It seems that we’re all searching for something, whether it be a change in our lives, bodies, or our hearts; however, before any change can happen we have to learn to accept ourselves from within. For me this yoga challenge is about so much more than just being fit.

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Jun
19

Learn how to make homemade almond butter with vanilla, honey, and sea salt. This is better then the store bought version!

You guys know I’m a peanut butter lover for life. I mean whoever thought of grinding a nut into a magical spread is a FREAKING genius!

I literally slather peanut butter on everything in sight. I dream about it. I also wake up with peanut butter sandwiches next to my bed.

Yeah, don’t even ask.

Know what else I’m head over heels in love with? Homemade almond butter! It’s ridiculously smooth and perfect on muffins, pancakes, and in chickpea blondies. After making this vanilla bean honey almond butter, I just don’t know if I can go back to the plain PB.

Almond butter is packed with nutritional benefits too; this includes fiber, protein, and good-for-you fats. I’m not sure about you, but I kind of want to dive face first into the jar.

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Jun
13

Yes, the weekend is here. I should be thrilled, but to tell you the truth, I am sooooooo tired. The only thing I’m thrilled about is the chance to sleep in.

I don’t think I’ve recovered from last weekend yet, plus my new job started on Monday so I’ve been going, going, going. Maybe I’ll take the weekend to recover just a little bit. This is really just me explaining why I haven’t been posting as frequently.

But here’s something to look forward to: A brand new redesigned Ambitious Kitchen! Yes, each day we’ve been plugging away on my new site! I’m excited for it to launch, but let me tell you, it takes more work than you would think!

Anyway since I’ve been on the go lately, I’ve needed to make sure that all of my meals and snacks are prepared ahead of time.

I’m also kind of on this no-wheat experimentation diet, thus I’ve been eating high protein breakfasts  — including these awesome veggie-packed egg white muffins.

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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.


Feb
17

 

Every now and then I love a little real-talk blogging. Today is one of those days.

The past year has been full of life-altering changes for me. I’ve shed many layers from my life…. and can I just admit that it’s all been incredibly difficult?! I’ve started my own business, traveled at least a week out of every month, lived in three states, and have literally been pulling my hair out trying to figure out where this is all leading to!

So what does this translate into? Basically working insane hours and jeopardizing A LOT. Honestly it’s been a complete struggle. I’m sure it’s something you might be able to relate to: failure, disappointments, and well… whatever life throws at you. Of course, I’m a huge believer that everything happens for a reason. My passion for success and a career in food pushes me every single day to keep pursuing my dream no matter how many times I fail. And trust me, I fail more than you know! My list of unsuccessful ventures will always be longer anything I accomplish; it will be for all of us. However, these failures push you to become better and to learn.

In a sense, I feel as though I’m in the middle of a transformation. I’m trusting my intuition and regardless of how difficult it becomes or what disappointments I find myself in, I’m both blessed and thankful to be on this journey.

So my question to you, is what pushes you to be the best you can be? What drives you to be better than you were yesterday?

I’m just a twenty-four year old girl who is literally obsessed with food, styling, photography and the inspiration I find in every day life. I’m not here to pretend I’m perfect in any way, because I’m not. I’m just explicitly in love with sharing my passion with you.

Oh sorry, that’s a bit obvious and this is getting preachy. Excuse me, let’s get to the FOOD!

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Jan
30

The other day my best friend’s mom asked when I was going to start seriously dating someone that I was just sort-of seeing?

Ummmm I don’t know, I just turned 24? And what is this — an intervention? I mean is there a deadline that I missed out on that says you have be in super serious relationship by a certain age? Can’t it all be casual and cool? I like going on dates, I’m just not on the marriage train. I prefer to live in the reality that love is a fairy tale, you know after I chase down all of my dreams and travel around the globe.

Speaking of romance, Valentine’s Day is coming up! Quick, Let’s eat salads before we overcompensate by shoving heart-shaped Reese’s in our mouths!

Just kidding… Sort of?

Lately, I have been a complete train wreck. Okay not necessarily in a bad way though; I’ve just been focusing on prioritizing my projects for work AND keeping up with the blog. Juggling them can be difficult and most of the time I end up working on the weekends with little time for guzzling my favorite margaritas. Wait, now that I think about it… aren’t margaritas a priority? Hmmmm. I’ll have to ponder that one.

Anyway this whole getting my life organized thing has forced me to become incredibly prepared since I’m always on the go. This includes making my meals ahead of time: oat muffins for the morning, greek yogurt with caramelized almonds for a sweet afternoon snack, and this pretty superfruit and nut salad that I’ve enjoyed chowing down on for lunch.

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Jan
27

Is it normal that I sleep with my iPhone under my pillow? Or that when I immediately wake up I check all of my SEVEN email accounts? Um, probably not.

I need to figure out a way to unplug from all of the communication sometimes. Or just find a balance. When I’m not working on my site, I’m constantly plugged in for my other job. As much as I tell myself that I need to take a break and relax, it’s hard to step away from the chaos of work and the busyness of life; I’m sure many of you can relate!

Usually the only thing that gets me away from all of it is the chaos of my own kitchen — my own little sweet happy spot. As soon as I put on a little music and begin to dice and chop, my creative energy pours into pots and pans, creating good food for loved ones.

This stew was made during an evening when my mind was cluttered and I needed a release. I had a busy day full of meetings. Okay and I was also dreaming about when I would actually get those girl scout cookies I ordered — like how long it would take for me to destroy 5 boxes this year? Whattttttt? Girl scout cookies are stressful to think about.

Anyway there was a jar of lentils that had been sitting in my cupboard along with gorgeous organic sweet potatoes from Whole Foods. It was time to put the iPhone down. A lovely pot of stew was an adventure I was ready to take on.

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