Jun
12

Hey you! Yes, YOU! I like you… a lot. You brighten my day.

I feel so lucky to have such incredible readers; readers who make me feel amazing and inspired every single day. Many of you have been tweeting with me or posting on my Facebook page letting me know which recipes you’re loving, or what’s inspiring you to cook. Some of you have even sent me an email saying how my recipes have encouraged you to eat healthier. You are all so sweet and I’m OVERJOYED that this blog has inspired you.

I don’t know what to say other than… THANK YOU! It’s appreciated more than you know!

Now, let’s talk about quesadillas.

I love them. Adore them. Salivite over them! Yeah, I’m pretty weird but you’re probably okay with that by now if you’re still reading this.

Quesadillas are a traditional mexican dish that usually involves cheese and a savory mixture of vegetables and/or meat. They’re one of my favorite meals to put together at the last-minute because it involves throwing delicious combinations in a tortilla and toasting or frying it until crispy and golden brown. These days the traditional quesadillas have evolved into something wonderful: breakfast (or dessert) quesadillas!

It’s as simple as this: I am obsessed with the peanut butter and banana combo. Typically when I’m in a rush I put the duo on an english muffin and barely remember inhaling my breakfast, but I was getting a little bored with that. So instead of the usual, I thought I’d make it interesting by making peanut butter and banana quesadillas and adding in seasonal, ripe strawberries for a sort of PB&J twist.

My mind was BLOWN AWAY after one bite. In all seriousness, yours probably will be too.

If you’ve never experienced the peanut butter, strawberry, and banana combo–prepare to be amazed!

First of all–the strawberries in the quesadilla! They almost taste like they were roasted–exploding with flavor and juicyness from the heat. It reminds me of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, except with a fresh, more interesting appeal. The crunch of the tortilla and the warm, creamy peanut butter makes me wish I could go back to grade school and demand ask nicely for this in my lunchbox.

When making quesadillas I always use whole wheat-low carb tortillas because I love the nutty flavor of them, plus whole grains keep you fuller, longer. I recommend using Joesph’s Tortillas, but any whole grain tortilla would work well. This also would be an optimal pre or post-workout snack or meal because of the good carbs and healthy fats.

Additionally I HIGHLY recommend trying this for dessert. It’s pretty guilt-free, perfect for sharing, and kids will even love them. Plus they are vegan, and you could certainly make them gluten-free by using GF tortillas.

The possibilities are endless! Think about it.

Wouldn’t replacing nutella for peanut butter be dreamy? Or perhaps sprinkling in a few mini chocolate chips? What about dipping them in a warm chocolate sauce?

THAT could be like tasting a little bite of heaven. But those are just suggestions, feel free to get creative!

As requested, nutritional information is included.

Just please note that after this quesadilla, you’ll never want to settle for a traditional PB&J again. If you try them, be sure to let me know what you think.

Peanut Butter, Strawberry, & Banana Quesadillas
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Serving size: 1/2 quesadilla
  • Calories: 263
  • Fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 8g
Recipe type: Breakfast, On the Go, Healthy, Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Delicious breakfast quesadilla stuffed with peanut butter, bananas and fresh strawberries. A great on the go breakfast.
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray or butter
  • 2 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 whole grain tortillas
  • 1 large ripe banana, sliced
  • 4-5 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (if desired)
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat and spray pan with cooking spray.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter evenly over each tortilla. Arrange both the banana and strawberry slices over one tortilla, sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon, and top with the remaining tortilla, peanut butter side down. Press gently to help them stick together.
  3. When the skillet is hot, add the quesadilla, flipping once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Cut each quesadilla into halves or quarters.
  4. Serves 2-4.
Notes
For a dessert version try adding 1 teaspoon of mini chocolate chips in
Serve with honey, maple syrup, vanilla greek yogurt, or chocolate sauce
Try with different nut butters, nutella or almond butter would be good
The nutritional information below is based on using a flour tortilla. Using a low carb, whole grain tortilla would lower the calories and carb count. It would also increase the fiber.

Jun
03

Google has the answer to everything.

I mean, have you ever wondered why old people love butterscotch candies so much? I did and I googled it… here is the answer. Please read the entire explanation.

I think the best part is the last sentence. Spot on, right?

I’ve discovered that my soul must be about 70 because some of my favorite sweets include butterscotch candies, Fig Newtons, peppermint patties, and Almond Joys. Simplicity is good in the candy world. The sweet and salty versions and contrasting textures that make up a good bar.

Almond joys are great examples: coconut, almonds, and dark chocolate. I mean, it’s kind of just simple perfection. Or perfect enough for me to want to put the ingredients on top of my ice cream anyway.

When you dream and work in the food world — you always want to experiment with what you create. To be wild and explorative makes things interesting. Adding bourbon to sauces and cookies, baking with brown butter, adding green chile to eggs. These things are totally what I’m about–keeping it fearless and sassy.

Like what about cake? Sometimes baking cakes can be complete experiments. No fear. Upside Down Salted Caramel Apple Pecan and dark chocolate raspberry are so much more fun–to eat AND make. In fact the other day I got some wonderful news regarding my Chocolate-Coconut and Pumpkin Marble Bundt Cake that won a recipe contest last fall. Nordic Ware contacted me and asked if they could use the recipe in their new cookbook coming out this Fall… of course I said yes! There’s even a chance it might make it on the cover.. yay!

Anyway my point is that applying more spontenaity to my actual life could be beneficial. These days I tell myself to pursue the projects I think I might enjoy. If they don’t work out, then it’s not meant to be. Right now, I’ve got A LOT of thing I’m working on… including a guest post from someone VERY special this week!

Opportunities are endless.

Can ice cream be endless too?

Without a doubt. Especially when it’s healthy and vegan. Although I will admit that this really isn’t ice cream — it’s a one ingredient guiltless summer treat. All you need is a couple of frozen bananas and a food processor (or a blender). Once the frozen banana are processed, they turn into a creamy treat that mimicks your favorite soft serve! Make sure you use ripe bananas to ensure sweetness and an irresistable texture. You’ll be surprised by this one.

I’ve even thought up some outrageous toppings to add. Head on over to the Food Network’s Healthy Eats and check it out!

 

Banana “Ice Cream” with Toasted Coconuts, Almonds, & Dark Chocolate

To make the banana ice cream:

Start with 2-4 ripe bananas. Peel your bananas and cut them into small chunks. Freeze for just 2-4 hours on a plate or in a plastic bag. Place into food processor and process (you can use a blender as well), making sure to scrape down the bowl when they stick. Again process the bananas until they create a creamy puree. Serve in a cold bowl or in a cone. Each banana will make ½ cup of “ice cream.”

To make Almond Joy version:

Add 2 tablespoons of toasted coconut, 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips, and 1 tablespoon of chopped almonds to a medium bowl. Sprinkle on top of banana ice cream.

 


May
16

 

A few simple favorites.

Brown butter & sea salt chocolate chip cookies. An absolute sweet and salty favorite.

Getting my aggression out. Kickboxing, cycling, yoga is all good… plus then I can eat more of the above.

My new camera. It MIGHT  be more important to me than cookies. It’s certainly more important than a boyfriend.

Grandma’s buttermilk waffles. Crispy with a lovely fluffy texture. Don’t worry I snatched up the recipe to share.

Peanut butter and banana (and chocolate chips sometimes) sandwiches. Forget the jelly; I’m all about diversity.

Maxi dresses and big sunglasses. I live in this.

Smoothies made with coconut milk. It’s like I’m drinking a tropical vacation!

We all know I’m big into margaritas and all things spanish inspired. I eat spanish food more than anyone I know. And of course I love a good cocktail type beverage during the warm summer months.

Piña Coladas  are the official beverage of Puerto Rico (where my family is from), and I thought that I would share with you a lightened up version that you can slurp down whenever! Typically made with coconut creme, pineapple juice, and rum–these tropical beverages can be super high in calories. To make them lighter, I removed the coconut creme and replaced it with coconut milk, added frozen bananas, and said adios to the rum.

Buttttt where did the rum gooooo?

I’m all about the goodness of coconut milk; it’s creamy, rich, and full of nutrients. I’ve been putting it in cupcakes. I pour it over my oatmeal. I’d take a straight shot of it.

Look I don’t know where my heads at, but I do know that blending up this healthy smoothie made me feel like I was in Mexico on spring break. Until I realized I actually wasn’t… annnnd the fact that this drink didn’t actually have any alcoholic in it– which meant I still needed to go to yoga because I was completely capable.

I say after hitting the gym we add the rum and say hello to Summer!

Just a simple favorite.

Vegan Piña Colada Smoothies

1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup coconut milk (I like Silk coconut milk, unsweetened)
1 large frozen banana (chunks)
1/2 cup ice cubes

Directions

  1. Place pineapple chunks, banana, coconut milk, and ice cubes in blender. Puree until smooth and creamy. Pour into two glasses. Top with pineapple for garnish, whip cream (vegan if desired), or drizzle with honey.

Notes

  • For frozen banana chunks, simply cut up banana, place in small ziploc bag and place in freezer
  • Recipe would be great using coconut milk ice cream or yogurt instead of coconut milk

 

 


Apr
18

 

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that are the best.

Simple pretty things that dance around in my head.

Like the summer flavors brought together in this salad. Juicy ripe watermelons, creamy avocado, annnnnddd lime + cilantro? Holy. I took one bite and I knew I had fallen in love.

Read more.


Mar
25

What insprires you?

My list is huge. Successful women. Chefs. Writers. The mom in Whole Foods with four kids. My bike. The guy in yoga with those incredible abs (call me). Those who live compassionately. History. A challenge. People who believe that everyday brings a new opportunity to grow, take risks, and smile.

Last time I was in California I met up with Veronica, the founder of the vegan, gluten-free Pure Bars. She is a person who truly inspires me. Veronica started her own business and is completely passionate about healthy living. Naturally we had much to talk about including food and her incredible success as an entrepreneur. Veronica also mentioned that California had great restaurants, particularly if you are gluten-free, vegan, or if you only eat raw. I experienced meals in California that I will never forget . Fresh. Healthy. Just damn good!

I got curious and thought I’d challenge myself to make a vegan cupcake, which actually turned out to be very easy and delicious.

Read more.


Feb
26

I love a good Sunday routine.

Usually I roll out of bed, throw on an outfit, and stop at Starbucks. This happens all before 9am.  After I get my sweat on at the gym I head straight to the grocery store, where my cart crashes into at least 3 people. I smile and kindly apologize for being an aggressive cart driver. It’s Sunday after all and I’m feeling extra nice.

Really though, I’m on a mission to get home and put my Kitchen Aid mixer to work, do some laundry, and watch a trashy television show while I eat a giant bowl of pasta.

Read more.


Feb
23

I had oatmeal, a chocolate protein shake, and broccoli for dinner tonight. Wait… what?! Yes, it’s that time of year. Warm weather is on its way, and soon I’ll be spending my days in oversized sunglasses and a bikini. That’s my plan.

I’m getting ready by eating simple meals, but that only gets you so far. I’ve also been attending hot yoga classes. I’m really hoping the next time I go the guy next to me doesn’t smell like Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Broth sweat is not cool dude!

Anyway, I’m getting prepared and I’m sure you all can relate. This is real life. I know you want chocolate cake and fluffy cream cheese frosting… I do too. But let’s just play it cool this weekend, okay?

Time to hush up and make some healthy, delicious chili!

 

Read more.


Nov
22

An extraordinary little place called Vegas happened to me this weekend.

I ate at a place called the Pink Taco. Questionable name, but okay Mexican food.

I have at least six blisters on my feet. This could be a result of  wearing high heels or possible swing dancing. Not sure.

I had a Pumpkin Margarita with a nutmeg powdered sugar rim! Wolfgang Puck is a genius margarita inventor. He should probably cater my wedding someday if I get married.  Also his french fries are ridiculously addicting. I’m upset about it.

I went to the Marine Corps Ball. I know you are going to ask, so I’ll just tell you now that I didn’t see Justin Timberlake or Mila Kunis.

Besides this, I gambled a bit and I did a lot of other things that probably shouldn’t be mentioned on this blog. I am an angel.

Another interesting note: on my flight back home someone passed out in the middle of the plane aisle.  That’s when you know you had  too good of a time in Vegas. Tsk Tsk.

Besides Vegas, I’ve been incredibly busy. I was in California for a week vacationing, laughing, eating good food, shopping, living the good life for a bit.  I’ll post pictures soon!

Read more.


Nov
01

 

Was it you who ate all the leftover candy from Halloween?  Did you rummage through your child’s bucket to find your favorite kind?  Did you promise to eat just one piece, but indulged in about 17?  No willpower?

I’ve totally been there.

We need to pull it together.  How about a cure for that Halloween candy hangover?

This Asian Edamame Salad should do the trick. It’s full of good nutrients your body will love.  This salad is ultra healthy and amazing over a bed of lettuce or even some black beans.  It includes a soy sauce, garlic and ginger dressing that you’ll devour.

Read more.


Oct
16

Do you ever have those days where you want to do absolutely nothing, yet you have a to-do list that you can’t wrap your brain around?

That’s me right now.  Stuck in a moment of laziness slash relaxation.

It feels good to stop the noise for a moment and let my brain actually think.  Happy thoughts of soup.

Tomorrow seems like a better day to get things done anyways, right?

Today is a good day for movie watching or a fall bike ride.  Even better for carving ridiculous things into pumpkins. Seriously, who started carving pumpkins anyway?

Sticking a knife in a vegetable and carving faces in it is totally random.

What would you do if I asked you to carve an apple? Not normal.

Read more.

 
 
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