Oatmeal Peanut Butter Breakfast Bites

When I moved all my stuff into my fiancés house we found out we had a lot of “duplicate” household items. Take for example, the cleaning supply closet:

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Between the two of us, we have every cleaning product on the market. This is only some of the cleaning supplies. We have more under every sink in the house (4 sinks) plus more in the garage. And I’m not sure if you can tell in the picture but we have toilet cleaner stacked 4 deep. We were obviously meant to be together since we share a love for cleanliness. 🙂 Nerd alert!!

Anyway, we have a similar situation going on in the kitchen. We have about a 2 year supply of oatmeal so I’ve been trying to think of ways to use it up. I thought it would be so nice to have a “portable bowl of oatmeal” we could just grab out of the fridge for mornings on the go. Now I’m wishing I would have baked these in muffin tins…because everything looks like a legit breakfast food when it’s in a muffin paper. Right? How else do chocolate muffins pass as breakfast food?

These actually are a legit breakfast food. Yes, there is a small amount of agave nectar and brown rice syrup in them, but this recipe makes about 34 servings so that’s not much sweetener per serving. They do have a strong banana flavor so banana haters should pass on this one. You could try substituting 2/3 cup applesauce instead of the bananas but then you might have to add more syrup. Just sayin’.

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Oatmeal Peanut Butter Breakfast Bites

2 small ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl combine the mashed bananas, flax, milk, oil, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, peanut butter and vanilla. Add in the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Last, fold in the oatmeal and note the dough will be very stiff and a little dry. Scoop about 1/4 cup of dough up in your hands and roll into a ball. Place the ball on the baking sheet. They won’t change shape much so if you want more of a cookie shape, flatten it out a bit. Continue that process, leaving about 1.5 inches between each piece of dough. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly browned.
Makes about 3 dozen. Keep some in the refrigerator for this week, freeze the rest for later. Best served warm.

It’s been cold in Salt Lake lately which means we have to get the heat dish out for Lilly, otherwise she cries at us because she believes we control whether or not the sun shines.

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She puts her face almost directly on the heat dish! What a nut.

Have a great week!

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Blueberry Quinoa Mini Loaves

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Yay for mini loaves! This way I don’t have to eat 2-3 muffins for breakfast 🙂
I made a version of these a couple months ago but this recipe is much improved because it uses frozen blueberries instead of dried blueberries which makes it much more cost effective! I tried making an apple cinnamon version too. They turned out ok, but not nearly as good as these.

Blueberry Quinoa Mini Loaves (Gluten free, Sugar free)
Makes 6 mini loaves or 14 muffins

3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/4 cup canola oil
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups quinoa flour (or wheat flour if you aren’t going for GF)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Combine the almond milk and flax seed in a small bowl and allow to sit for a few minutes.
In the meantime, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
Now, add the oil, mashed banana and vanilla extract to the almond milk and stir with a fork. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients then fold in the quinoa and dried blueberries.
Fill the mini loaf pan or muffin pan.
Bake mini loaves for 45-55 minutes. Bake muffins for 20-24 minutes. Either way, bake them until they start to brown on top.

Lilly looks like she’s being tortured in this picture but I promise she was very cozy in this t-shirt and she was falling asleep wearing it.

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She’s just too funny to not put clothes on!

Personal Life Updates

I have so many great updates to share, I am so excited! Let’s get started.

Update 1: Our wedding is just 10.5 weeks away! Time is flying by and I am SO EXCITED!!! There is nothing left to do as far as wedding planning goes so my my primary focus is just on being in great shape for that wedding day and the honeymoon! I will post some workouts very soon. I am also trying really hard to not eat sugar. I don’t want to do a full on cleanse so I’m just trying to behave myself as much as I can. Sugar is such a weakness for me, but I am trying! I heard sugar is as addictive as heroin…I belive it.

Update 2: I put my house up for sale! I would LOVE to have my house sold by the time we get married but you can’t really set goals for that sort of thing. Once I decided to put my house up for sale I realized it would be hard to keep it spotless at all times for showings, plus having a dog and dog bed and dog bowl in the house is not good for selling a home. Which leads me to exciting update number 3…

Update 3: I moved in with my fiance! We are so happy to finally be living together. It’s a day we have been looking forward to for a long time and it is so nice! His (I mean, our) house is farther from my work but it only added about 5 minutes to my commute time and it’s well worth that extra 5 minutes. I can head out the front door and be to a paved running path in minutes. Or I can head out the front door on my mountain bike and ride to the best trails in Salt Lake in a few minutes. I have always wanted to live close to running/biking trails and now I finally do! Plus I live with the man of my dreams so that’s a bonus 🙂 Lilly loves the new house because it has much better sun opportunities.

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Update 4: A few days after I moved all my stuff into my fiance’s house I was cleaning up from dinner and I noticed a weird bubble in the ceiling paint and pointed it out. It turns out a seal in the toilet upstairs had broken and the toilet had been busy filling and FLOODING for a few hours. That resulted in tearing the ceiling out that night. The carpet in the bedroom had to be pulled up too because water had gotten under there. We spent the next week living out of the spare room since the rest of the house was torn up. So I feel like we are getting some good “tests” thrown at us, ha! The ceiling is fixed now and I will post some pictures of the house as soon as it’s a bit more organized.

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Well that was a lot of words so I will end there. More stories, workouts and healthy recipes coming soon! Woo hoo!

Veggie Wrap with Spicy Aioli Sauce

I read a number of blogs and I almost completely lose interest when the blogger doesn’t talk about their personal life enough. You know, when they are just down to business, and don’t give any details about themselves. So I feel really bad getting right down to business today with this recipe and not talking about my personal life at all! I’m just way too pumped up on this sauce I made! (On a side note, I have a lot of exciting stuff going on so I will talk about that on Wednesday 🙂 )

It’s a dressing, it’s a fry sauce, it’s a (veggie) burger sauce, it’s a chip dip, you can BATHE in it! Ok, well maybe not that last one…

I wasn’t sure if I should call it a “Chipotle Sauce” or “Spicy Aioli Sauce”. I decided Aioli sounded way fancier and went with that.

Let’s also talk about this incredible wrap I poured this sauce on. You could use whatever you wanted in this wrap but I used the following ingredients:

-black beans
-brown rice
-avocado
-cucumber, sliced into “matchstick” sized pieces
-carrot, peeled into thin strips
-sprouts
-cilantro *adding cilantro is mandatory 🙂
-lettuce
-red onion

I wrapped it up in a whole wheat tortilla but I bought some brown rice tortillas as well. I would also make this in “bowl” style, which I guess technically is called salad.

The key with vegetables in my opinion is to slice or peel them into small pieces. That way you don’t end up with a mouthful of just one vegetable which can be overpowering, and scary for those who are fearful of vegetables.

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Veggie Wrap in the making.

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Veggie wrap with Spicy Aioli!

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I had never bought veganaise before today, probably because I didn’t like mayonnaise when I wasn’t vegan. I will be buying it from now on though!

Spicy Aioli Sauce
1 cup veganaise
1/2 cup white beans such as white kidney beans or navy beans
1/4 cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, slice open and remove all the seeds!!
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons adobo sauce the chipotles came in.
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves.
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Last week I was driving and spotted these pugs in the back of a truck! I pulled into the parking lot and took their picture. They must have thought I was going to kidnap them or something because they were barking like CRAZY! Haha!

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Have a great week!!

Transition into Spring with More Veggies!

Nobody puts baby in a corner…

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Dirty Dancing reference. Did you get it?

I am by no means an expert on Ayurveda (a “sister science” to yoga) but I do enjoy reading about it and applying the principles to my life.
I don’t know about you, but when spring rolls around I start feeling restless and/or sluggish and overall just not my usual self. In Ayurveda that would indicate I have too much “kapha” and I need to balance that out.
Learn more about Ayurveda here, here, or here.
According to the laws of Ayurveda, in the spring we should transition our diets away from heavy, creamy, starchy, sweet or salty foods and toward more vegetables and astringic foods such as berries, leafy greens and grapefruit. We should also eat light meals every 4 hours and avoid snacking in order to keep our inner fire (metabolism) up.

I have posted the recipe below before but I am posting it again because it seems like a great lunch time meal to help us transition into spring.

In other news, my half marathon training is OFF. I’m so sad about that. As my mileage increased my ankle got more and more mad at me. I have really bad posterial tibial tendonitis in that ankle and I’ve gotten 2 steroid injections in it already (I know, that’s bad). Even foam rolling daily wasn’t enough to help. I was even using KT Tape and wearing compression socks. No luck. So, I stopped running since every time I take a step I feel a burning pain down my leg. And now I am getting acupuncture for it. That always surprises people when I tell them I get acupuncture, but acupuncture has helped me immensely with other injuries so I’m very hopeful it will help with this one!

Ok, here is that recipe! And I have lots of great stories to share this week. Have a good one!

Roasted Veggie Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:
1 lb brown rice pasta
1 lb zucchini, cut in quarters the long way and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 lb yellow squash, cut in quarters the long way and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 lb asparagus, coarse ends discarded, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red onions, sliced
2-3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
12 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 450. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place all ingredients except for the pasta in a very large mixing bowl and stir to incorporate everything.
Spread the veggies out on the baking sheets and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
That’s a ton of veggies, I know! Don’t be scared, it will cook down!
Now prepare the pasta according to directions. When it’s done, rinse and set aside.
Remove the veggies from the oven and stir/flip them. Bake for 15 more minutes or until your desired tenderness level.
When the veggies and pasta are done add everything back to that big mixing bowl, stir to incorporate and enjoy!

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HUGE bowl of veggies. How healthy do you feel knowing you will consume 5 pounds of veggies?

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Spread out in 2 pans.

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It cooks down into a REALLY yummy, saucy pasta dish. The vegetables are bursting with flavor!

Quinoa “crusted” pasta with spinach

Hey, hey, hey!
I’m out of town this week for a work conference but I still wanted to post a really yummy recipe I came up with recently.
I saw some breadcrumb crusted pasta on Pinterest that looked delish, but alas I would not purposely put butter and bread on pasta so I adapted this quinoa falafel recipe into “breadcrumbs” and added fresh spinach for a little pizzaz! The result was really fun and tasty!
But first, have I mentioned Lilly is a Zen Master? No? Well she totally is. She is super good at achieving and staying in a deep meditative state.
Here is proof:

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Close up of that awesome face wrinkle:

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Even closer:

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Here she is demonstrating an advanced yoga pose, “pugasana” (sorry, yoga humor):

OK here is that recipe!

Quinoa Crusted Pasta with Spinach

1 pound brown rice pasta
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzle
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons miso paste
2 teaspoons tahini
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
3-4 cups fresh spinach

Cook the pasta according to directions. When its done, strain the pasta then put it back in the pot, drizzle some olive oil on it and toss to coat. Add the spinach to the pasta. It will wilt down a lot, so don’t be scared if it looks like a ton of spinach.
In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the tahini, miso, spices and nutritional yeast and stir for 2-3 minutes. If it browns a little, that’s good, that will give it that “breadcrumb” look.
Stir in the quinoa and heat through. Stir in the parsley.
Add the quinoa to the pasta and toss to coat, adjust salt and pepper as you like.

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Spinach will wilt.

Mmmm, I’m ready for lunch!