Zucchini Chocolate Bars (paleo)

I am not the biggest fan of the Paleo Diet… Since I don’t like meat, it’s hard for me to thrive on a diet of meat, veggies and nuts. Just not my cup-o-tea. What I do like from this lifestyle (I hate the term “diet.” In order for anything to become a success in your life, I think there needs to be a lifestyle change) is the cutting out of processed sugars, flours, and all-together, processed crap. I think that is valuable and should be adapted into most lifestyles, and something I am working on myself.

What I am a big fan of is zucchini and chocolate. When I saw these flourless zucchini brownies from Delighted Momma, I knew I wanted to try them. Every ingredient in the bars is simple and something I have on hand. I adapted the recipe a bit, but kept them pretty true to the original recipe.

Zucchini Chocolate Bars (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1/3 C almond butter
  • 1/3 C peanut butter
  • 1/3 C pumpkin
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1.5 C finely chopped zucchini
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C dark chocolate chips

Do this: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 pan; mix all ingredients well and pour into greased pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

**These DO have a VERY zucchini-y taste… Not sure my thoughts on that… I think adding cocoa to the recipe would help… I’ll keep working on this recipe, trying to improve it!

Easy roasted brussels sprouts

A year ago, if you had asked me to eat a brussels sprout I would have laughed at you. But my great friend, Jess, knows how to cook so well that I will try anything she puts in front of me. In November of 2011 we set out to make some dinner over a fire the night before the Tough Mudder. One of the things Jess brought to prepare was brussels sprouts. She cooked them, I tried them, I loved them.

From that day until this day I have eaten roasted b.sprouts at least once a week (often a few times). They are just so tasty!

Seriously, try them. If you don’t like them – great – but you don’t know yet, do ya?

Easy roasted brussels sprouts

  • 1 bag brussels sprouts
  • 1 T olive oil OR cooking spray
  • ~1 T mustard
  • pinch salt
  • pepper to taste

Do this: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off rough end of sprouts and rinse; remove any leaves that have fallen off in the process (if you put these in to roast they burn very quickly). Spray with cooking spray or drizzle with oil; add mustard, salt and pepper and toss until coated lightly. On a sprayed or lined baking sheet, spread out sprouts so they are not touching.

Cook for 10 minutes, stir and cook for abut another 10 minutes or until sprouts are slightly browned.

Enjoy!

I love dipping them in BBQ sauce and eating them with turkey muffins and “fried” zucchini chips!

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

These little mini-meatloafs are made with lean turkey and a veggie for a quick, simple protein to accompany any meal!

I have now successfully eaten them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

  • 1 package lean, ground turkey
  • 2 zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 C crushed Fiber-One cereal (or bread crumbs of choice)
  • 1 egg
  • salt*
  • pepper*
  • paprika*
  • 1/4 C BBQ sauce

*Use these to taste!

Do this: preheat oven to 350 and spray or line 12 muffin tins. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and use ice cream scoop to fill muffin tins; press down. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, drain oil (which will be present… and slightly gross!) and let cool. Store in refrigerator for a couple days or freezer for long-term use!

Marathon Training: Rest days

This morning I woke up and made one dang delicious breakfast of cinnamon french toast with strawberries:

Cinnamon French Toast for One

  • 2 pieces of bread (I used Aunt Millie’s 35 cal)
  • 1 egg white
  • splash almond milk
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • cooking spray

Heat skillet to medium heat and cook on both sides until brown. Top with strawberries and your choice of syrup (I used low-calorie cinnamon – mmm!).

Following this breakfast I read up on some scripture, drank some coffee with a mud mask on my face, and then did some fantastic spring cleaning! It feels so nice to have everything so clean!

Tomorrow is my first race since the tough mudder and my first half marathon since the Indianapolis one I did in October where I PR’d. It’s just a local race put on by the Ohio River Road Runners Club (ORRRC). It’ll be an interesting one since it’s local and probably pretty small.

So, two things:

1. Use other races to train for your marathon. When you use races to train you are training in the atmosphere that is most-like the atmosphere you will be in on race day. When you are training regularly there’s nothing like actually getting in a race, surrounded by people, aid stations handy and being timed. It’s great practice for the real deal – plus it’s fun!

2. Rest. I am so bad at resting – I tend to feel guilty if I skip more than one day a week. I know this is a bad way to look at things. It really is. It is so important, however. I did TRX again two days ago for the first time in probably a month and my whole body was sore. I needed some time off to let my muscles rest before trying to push out a great run on Sunday. Taking the time off gives your body the chance to repair and also prepare.

Read up on the importance of rest for runners and athletes, here:

source

Rest up, friends!

Oatmeal Banana Bread

After a late night with friends last night (where we watched Rum Diaries…lame…), I was not too eager to get up this morning to go to the gym. I hung out in bed for awhile and then moved my booty out and decided to make some banana bread and do some kind of workout at home.

I decided on doing Jillian Michael’s “Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism” 2 times and make this banana bread:

Oatmeal Banana Bread [my original recipe]

  • 1 C sugar (or Splenda)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/4 C applesauce
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 C flour (I used wheat)
  • 1 C oats
  • 1/2 C wheat bran
  • 1/4 C flax meal
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 C almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/4 C walnuts (optional)

Do this: preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour one bread pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, wheat bran, flax meal, salt, cinnamon and baking soda; set aside. In food processor (you can use a stand or hand mixer or blender) beat eggs and sugar together; add vanilla, applesauce, coconut oil and combine well. Add bananas. Pour wet ingredients into dry and add milk and nuts. Stir only until combined.

Bake for 50 minutes; let cool.

Edamame Caviar

I tried some edamame caviar one day at Kroger while perusing the deli area… It was delish and I can only imagine packed full of protein! I didn’t want to spend so much money on the stuff, so today I recreated it on my own!

Edamame Caviar

  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 C edamame
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2-3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1-2 T chopped parsley (I forgot to buy parsley so I did without for my recipe, but it does add a nice taste!)

Do this: rinse beans and cut up onion and peppers; combine in a bowl with vinegar, oil and salt and pepper! Refrigerate!

Enjoy!

Overnight Oat Cookies

Overnight Oat Cookies [My original recipe]

This is one of my favorite recipes I have ever created. There is NO added sugar, NO butter/fat, and NO dairy. You can substitute the egg for a flax egg if you wish and make the recipe vegan (also depending on your protein powder of choice).

The cookies are tasty and guilt-free! So eat up and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 C + 2 T non-dairy milk, divided (1/2 C and 2 T)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1/2 C water
  • 3/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 C wheat bran
  • 1/4 C protein powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • optional: nuts, chocolate chips, raisins or other dried fruit

Prepare the oats:

  • 1/2 C steel-cut oats
  • 2 T non-dairy milk (or regular milk is fine)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 T chia seeds

Do this: combine all ingredients and place in covered container overnight

Cook the oats (next day):

  • Start by placing overnight oats with 1/2 C non-dairy (or regular) milk and 1/2 C water in microwavable bowl and cook for about 6 minutes in microwave, stirring every couple minutes.

While oats are cooking, combine:

  • 3/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 C wheat bran
  • 1/4 C protein powder (I used chocolate)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • in separate bowl combine any add-ins: chocolate chips, nuts, raisins (I used 1/4 C of all 3)*

Once oats are finished cooking combine dry ingredients and oats along with 1 egg. Stir quickly so egg does not cook.

*chocolate chips will melt during the combining process with oats.

Bake for ~10-12 minutes or until firm.

Quick Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

topped with spoonful of Greek yogurt and some walnuts

Quick Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal [my original recipe]

  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/4-1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 t sugar substitute (or sugar)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 C quick-cooking oats
  • 1 small apple, chopped

Do this: bring water, cinnamon, sugar and salt to a boil in saucepan; quickly add oats and chopped apple. Boil until majority of water is reduced. Enjoy!

cold day run and cookies

Saturday night I got in bed and thought to myself, “tomorrow I will sleep in as long as my body allows!!”

Wouldn’t you know my body allowed me to sleep until around 7am. I stayed in bed for awhile and then made myself one awesome breakfast before getting ready to head to Caribou Coffee to study a bit, sip some green tea, and then get my day going!

waffle, cinnamon syrup, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries; coffee

I ran around, did some stuff and returned home to eat a really random lunch…

TJ's roasted red pepper soup, broccoli and carrots, 1/2 pita pocket and a Cutie. Very orange. Very odd.

Then… I headed outside in the cold to attempt a run. I’ve never run in the cold like this – nor did I ever think I’d try. But I was challenged yesterday to run a full marathon at the end of April and I figured I better just start suckin’ it up when the sun’s out and r-u-n. Other motivation included a hot bowl of chocolate oatmeal and baking something sweet upon return. I’ll run fast for those two things!

 

I actually enjoyed the run… I can’t decide if I enjoy the cold or warm weather for running more… It wasn’t so bad, like I expected!

 

The rest of the day I just did a lot of studying, eating those cookies, pizza, and more studying.

 

I did get to hang out with a few friends for about an hour later in the evening. That was a much needed break. Fellowship with friends is always a good change of pace!

 

 

Snowy Night Blackberry Scones

I’ve wanted to try making scones for a long time now.

Finally, on this snowy night, I made my first batch! At the store, blackberries were 2 pints/$1! Uh, yes please!

I took a recipe I found on food.com and adapted it to my desires! Mmm, yum.

Oatmeal Blackberry Scones

  • 1/4 C coconut flour
  • 1/4 C wheat bran
  • 1/4 C flax meal
  • 1/2 C wheat flour
  • 3/4 C oats
  • 2 T Splenda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 2 T cold butter, cubed
  • 2 T plain Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 C almond milk + 1/2 t vinegar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 pint blackberries, chopped

Do this: preheat oven to 450; combine dry ingredients. Add butter and yogurt and blend with hands until crumbly. Stir in wet ingredients and chopped berries until all is combined. On smooth, flat surface, knead dough a few times and shape into circle and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and brush with extra almond milk and sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Continue baking for 1-2 minutes. Let cool completely.

Taste, savor, and enjoy!