Jan
08

So I’m doing a juice & food cleanse right now. I’m SUPER excited about it because as you may already know I freakin’ love doing them. It’s not that I think they’re great in the moment, it’s just that I really love how I feel afterwards. The benefits? How clear my skin looks, how much great sleep I get and how differently I end up thinking about food.

I’ll have updates for you on the cleanse soon; in the meantime I’ve been staring at these bars on the counter all of yesterday. I made them last week for Tony because he’s all like I need to get in shape for baseball season — this is as he continues to eat chocolate covered doughnuts for breakfast. I think he could eat just about anything and still look good. No joke.

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Dec
11

Are Christmas cookies taking over your life? They aren’t for me just yet but I’m right around the corner from a MEGA bake-a-thon and quite honestly, I’m a little frightened by how many I may consume. You know the peanut butter blossoms? MY FAVVVVV. So classic, so peanut-buttery… just give me a few and a big glass of chocolate almond milk. Or hot chocolate with whipped cream. Why must the holiday season be so tempting?

Of course, I’ve really been trying to not go overboard with the sweets. I think I say that almost every Christmas; certainly this year will be better (I hope!).

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Nov
15

Hello you lovely souls. I’m sitting in a beautiful, cozy king bed writing to you from Hilton Head Health, a fitness and wellness resort in Hilton Head, SC. This past week has been so refreshing for me in more ways than I can fathom to write about. Sometimes you just can’t put into words what you feel when your heart is steady and content.  I feel beyond lucky to be invited here; the inspiration in wellness classes, new friends and being a little more vulnerable has left me with a realization that I must let go of my fears of judgement when it comes to blogging and being more personal.

My goodness can you believe AK has been cooking for a little over 3 years? I’ve written here about my life experiences, career changes, moving, relationships, friendships and my ever growing obsession with Zac Efron.

What I haven’t included is my real and constant battle with food; certainly it is the love of my life (questionable due to Tony).  I don’t want this post to become too heavy, but do want you to know that this blog will change and grow, just as any human being does. And as any relationship goes, I hope we’re in this together; that you’ll still come to AK to make my recipes because they certainly are not going away. I’ll just be writing more about this journey I’m on.

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Aug
04

I hope your weekend was TOPS!

I spent the weekend in solitude. And honestly, it was so refreshing. I cleaned out my closet, worked out, bought new running shoes, worked on blogging techy stuff, and made a few recipes. I also watched an episode of The Leftovers, a new show on HBO. I’m kinda put off by it, but also a little intrigued. Have you seen it?

In other news, I’m a little annoyed with myself for not sharing this strawberry protein shake recipe sooner, but here it is now! I promise that you are going to love it.

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Jul
24

These pumpkin chocolate chip protein oat muffins are absolutely delicious! They’re made with a scoop of protein powder and greek yogurt to provide extra protein. Plus no refined sugars added and they’re gluten free!

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May
12

The Good Bean Bar Giveaway

Happyyyyyy Monday. Who else is drinking a pot of coffee this morning?

I have a million things to do before I begin my next month full of trips. This weekend I’m headed to Miami to attend the BlogHer food conference, then I’ll be jetting off to see Tony in North Carolina for a few days. The next week I’m going to New Mexico for a family reunion hosted by my one and only zumba-lovin’ Grandma (she’s incredible).

Soooo of course there’s travel prep, and that means a giant to-do list which has me running around like crazy. Plus, I’ve also been working out like a mad woman so I’ve needed lots of snacks. No joke, there are chickpea snacks, trail mixes, oranges and bars in my car.

One of my favorite on-the-go snacks are these chickpea snacks from The Good Bean. They’re high-fiber, low-fat, and high protein. They recently started an online store, where you’re able to purchase all of their delicious flavors. If you’re wondering which flavor to try first, I say go for the Chocolate Berry Fruit & No-Nut Bar — SO GOOD.

The Good Bean Giveaway

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Apr
11

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.

Healthy Flourless Black Bean Avocado Brownies

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!

Healthy Flourless Black Bean Avocado Brownies

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!

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Mar
31

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.
Chewy Dark Chocolate Cherry Protein Granola Bars with Chia Seeds

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.

Chewy Dark Chocolate Cherry Protein Granola Bars with Chia Seeds

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.

Chewy Dark Chocolate Cherry Protein Granola Bars with Chia Seeds

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Mar
13

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.

100 Calorie Raspberry Chocolate Chip Protein Brownies from ambitiouskitchen.com

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?!

100 Calorie Raspberry Chocolate Chip Protein Brownies

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

100 Calorie Raspberry Chocolate Chip Protein Brownies

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