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

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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.

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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.

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Sep
27

When I was growing up, rice and beans, empanadas, enchiladas, and posole were common in our house. My Mother not only cooked with Puerto Rican flavor, but she cooked with love. Isn’t it funny how you never forget home-cooked comfort meals or just how the brain associates food with comfort and memories? I find it extraordinary.

Sometimes just the slightest smell of garlic, chili peppers and cilantro bring childhood moments rushing back to me. I remember my Mother soaking pinto beans overnight and preparing the fluffiest Spanish rice to serve with her famous enchiladas. My brother always requested posole and tamales, so of course we’d have a feast for an entire week. Often times we felt like our bellies might explode, but the truth is our hearts were full and content. Funny enough, my brother and I never got sick of home-cooked meals or those carb-packed leftovers. We still crave them to this day. In fact, there have been years where we have requested enchiladas, Spanish rice, and posole for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Perhaps again this year.

Sadly, I can never recreate my Mother’s meals to perfection. Even if she gives me the recipe, it’s not quite the same. But of course, I am my Mother’s daughter. Therefore you should know I make some pretty incredible enchiladas. Like these!

These enchiladas are a bit different. Maybe a little unique. Certainly if you’ve never had sweet potatoes and BBQ sauce together, you need to try these. It’s one of the most delightfully flavorful combinations out there. The addition of chicken reminded me a little of CPK’s BBQ chicken pizza. Yum, yum. HOLY YUM.

I also love these because they’re quite simple to make. I baked them for my Mother actually and she LOVED them! I would totally bake them for a boyfriend though; we all know that men basically live for either BBQ or buffalo sauce.

These particular enchiladas are layered. It’s much easier to make them this way as you don’t need to worry about rolling tortillas when they’re already stuffed. Just layer, add sauce and cheese, and layer again!

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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
05

Hello Monday. Hello delicious little veggie burgers that I want to devour.

I’m currently on a juice cleanse. I’ve done one before, so it’s not really a shock to my system. However staring at pictures of these burgers is making me so hungry. GIVE ME DAT BURGA. With a side of sweet potato fries and half of cup of sriracha please.

NOM.

But for reals, veggie burgers are totally my jam. I love em! They’re so much more delicious than those creepy burgers packed with soy and foreign ingredients. I already have a sweet potato chickpea burger and a lentil burger that you should try!

These burgers are the real thing: spicy, sweet, fresh, totally bomb little love bites in your mouth.

I am quite descriptive today. Probs because I’m on mission to bring you deliciousness. HEY ooooooo.

FYI: Proper grammar doesn’t count in today’s post. Like it ever matters here anyway.

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Jul
22

I think one of the most important things in any relationship is finding someone who can make you laugh. Or who you can laugh along with. I’m a HUGE goofball (and pretty weird), so finding someone that understands my sense of humor is essential.

Oh, I think I forgot to tell you guys I am dating. Not serious marriage dating, just having fun and searching for that little bit of laughter in my life. Good, right? Well obviously for whoever I date it’s good. I mean, what kind of guy can resist freshly baked cookies and mexican food for dinner?

There are reasons I can’t go around cooking for all of my dates — food is a serious attachment. That’s why I only bake the life-changing cookies when I REALLY like someone. Because after those cookies, there is no turning back.

Anyway I’ll keep you posted on all of that… as if you care. But let’s pretend you do, because frankly I can’t just talk about tacos all day.

OH WAIT, yes I can…

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Jun
24

Are you a enthusiast in life? Are you doing what you love? Are you following your passions, your dreams, and pushing your boundaries?

I’ve been asking myself all of those questions because most days it feels like I’m chasing an unknown dream. However, I know that I’m meant to be on this journey and that ultimately it’s the right choice for me. For some reason, I feel compelled to write, to make and share recipes, and to absolutely pour my heart into my craft.

Of course I’m sure you have a passion too — something that makes your heart beat enthusiastically; but are you doing something about it? So many of us wait for moments of success to appear in front of us instead of seeking out and pursuing what we truly want. The important thing is to let your passion flow freely and enable your dreams to live wildly. Your intuition will guide you through your fear.

Perhaps you don’t know what your passion is yet. If that’s the case, ask yourself this what you do effortlessly. We all create our own happiness and the most important thing I’ve realized is that we all have limited time. So spend the time you do have, doing what you LOVE!

OKAY, the Tuesday Preach is over. Time for me to share my exquisite passion for delicious salad making with you.

This salad is absolutely incredible and probably one of my new favorites. I’d even put it right up there with my Thai Quinoa Salad.

The flavors are bright, fresh, and flavorful. Not only is it incredibly healthy, but it’s also gluten free and vegan friendly.

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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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Jun
11

Ummm hi. I’m recovering from a food coma — a deep and scary one. I guess that’s what happens when you attend food conferences in a city where there is magical Mexican food.

I can’t even think of anything except salad right now! I need it. Because apparently I think that it’s okay to eat ice cream sandwiches the size of my face, buttery muffins for breakfast, and ohhh I don’t know about a million peanut butter m&ms (give or take a few).

I’ll be paying for my decisions for the next week; however, with salads that include strawberries, goat cheese, quinoa, and crunchy sunflower seeds; I’m not sure I mind too much. Especially when it’s tossed in my absolute favorite lemon dressing.

I would have to say that this salad is absolutely perfect for summer. It’s slightly sweet, but oh so fresh! Often times I add chia or poppyseeds to the lemon dressing for a little fun crunch and extra nutrition. The goat cheese adds in a nice tang and along with the dressing, I found it to be irresistible! The sunflower seeds are different and lovely, but you can use pecans if you’d like.

Other optional add-ins that I’d suggest: chickpeas or pulled chicken breast. You can serve this over spinach and pack it for your weekly lunches.

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