Ginger Peanut Butter Cashew Quinoa Salad

I am super happy with life! Stephen and I have been eating healthy dinners and it feels great. I love finding healthy, quick dinners that I want to continue to make. I can’t take credit for this recipe but I can definitely promote it.

First recipe that i highly recommend comes from Ambitious Kitchen. This Crunch Cashew Thai salad is BEYOND! I used PB2 instead of the suggest peanut butter. Also, I used gluten free soy sauce so this dish is 100% gluten free and vegan. I think it serves 6 people which means according to My Fitness Pal this amazing recipe is only 183 calories per serving!!!

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The ginger peanut butter combo is great!

Burt Banana Bites

Burt has been a charmer. An absolute DELIGHT! Maybe he finally is coming out of his puppy years or maybe (just maybe) our hard work is finally paying off. Either way, we adore his behavior. To celebrate his consistent listening and good behavior I made Burt celebratory treats. I also purchased him a little token of gratitude.

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He’s Here! He’s Queer! He’s ready for a camp fire. His new PRIDE threads.

Burtie Banana Bites

Ingredients:
2 bananas
1/2 c oat flakes
2.5 tbsp peanut butter
1/3 c blueberries

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How do blueberries sound?

He approves!

He approves!

Directions:

  •  Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • Mash bananas and add blueberries.

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  • Fold in peanut butter an oats.
Taste test before you split up mixture

Taste test before you split up mixture

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He likes it!

  • Spoon mixture onto cookie sheet.

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  • Wait until they begin crisp.
  • He waits...

    He waits…

  • And waits...

    And waits…

    And now to enjoy!

    And now to enjoy!

Muscle Beach

Happy July! Summer is here and life could not be better. Sunshine, dresses, and…. Annette Funicello.

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Love summer!

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Last week I hosted a vintage summer party for my beautiful friends and it was inspired by all things summer. To prepare for the party I researched mid-century foods and recipes. Jell-o became a central part of the party as it is a necessity for any vintage party.  The dishes were fun to make and I loved putting together the playlist.

Some of the tunes came from Beach Party. This album is the perfect

 Menu:

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Food:

Cherry Coke Jell-o
Groovy Jell- Salad
Pigs in a Blanket (vegetarian)
Green Olives (a must for any mid-century shin dig)
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Smores Bars
Fruit Salad
Cheese Plate (Swiss, Cheddar, Pepperjack)
Finger Foods: Cashews, Chips, Chocolate Covered Raisins

Drinks:

Gin & Tonics
Summer Sangria

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Recipes:

Lime Jell-O blended with cream cheese and walnuts. Served wit cool whip, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

Lime Jell-O blended with cream cheese and walnuts. Served wit cool whip, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

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how very American… cheese!

Wrap veggie hot dogs in crescent rolls and bake for 10 minutes

Wrap veggie hot dogs in crescent rolls and bake for 10 minutes

Summer is the best for fruit!

Summer is the best for fruit!

Gluten free and delicious! Due to time constraints I used the Duncan Hines gluten free yellow cake mix, it was great!

Gluten free and delicious! Due to time constraints I used the Duncan Hines gluten free yellow cake mix, it was great!

Cherry Coke Jell-O This was a party favorite! Combine cherry jell-o, coke zero, and cherry pie filling!

Cherry Coke Jell-O
This was a party favorite! Combine cherry jell-o, coke zero, and cherry pie filling!

Smore's Bars (another favorite). These no bake treats are great.

Smore’s Bars (another favorite). These no bake treats are great.

Summer sangria! White wine base.

Summer sangria! White wine base.

This was Stephen's area :)

This was Stephen’s area 🙂

Happy Summer!

*If you want any of the recipes message me and I would be happy to pass them along. Most I just found on google searches.

Gluten Free Chocolate Granola

Stephen and I are HUGE fans of Jessica’s Gluten Free Granola. We specifically love the Chocolate Chip one. Each bag costs $7.00. Although it is delicious, it is expensive and does not last long in our house (Stephen might love it too much). I had an urge to make granola the other night so I pulled together a variety of ingredients and came up with this delicious mix. What’s even better is it satisfies your sweet tooth just like Jessica’s! The recipe made two jars and does not even come close to $7.

Gluten Free Chocolate Granola

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Ingredients:

  • 1 c chocolate coco crispies
  • 1/2 c gluten free oats
  • 1.5 c puffed rice
  • 1/4 c sugar free syrup
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/4 c chocolate chips
  • 5 walnuts
  • 1/4 c pumpkin seds (optional)
  • 1/4 c coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
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You could also add raisins or dried cranberries

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 375

2. Mix oats, cereal, and pumpkin seeds together, place in baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes.

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3. While the oats are baking, mix the honey and syrup together. Whisk until honey dissolves.

Image-74. Stir in cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa powder.

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5. Remove oat mixture from oven and place back into mixing bowl. Evenly mix liquid with oats.

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6.  Mix  in remainder ingredients. Spread evenly into a baking sheet and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

7. Remove the granola from the oven and use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate chips evenly. You can opt to put the chocolate chips in after so that they don’t loose their shape however spreading them allows the mixture to clump up and makes it even chocolatier!

8. Allow the granola to cool and then place in an air tight container.

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Summer.

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”  – F. Scott Fitzgerlad (The Great Gatsby)

This is my last week of teaching. After 3 years as a classroom teacher, I will take a curtsey, walk out and take ownership of my career. I am incredibly excited and nervous. I am hopeful and inspired.

One of the things I am most excited about is having autonomy over my time. Further, I can  decide for myself which work structure works best for me. After being micro-managed for 2 years, the idea of setting goals and fulfilling them because I am motivated (not working out of fear) is incredibly liberating.

The most energizing part of all of this change is that I am doing something I want to do. Not just want I want to do, but something I love to do, what I am made to do. (My post on lady leadership is a work in progress and will happen eventually :))

I am already feeling the benefits of this transition. I am spending time with friends, enjoying the weather, cooking again, and most importantly getting to be with my husband. Further, the onset summer is spectacular and invigorating!

Being with friends is beautiful. I have missed this tremendously. Over the past 5 months I haven’t seen people (working two full time jobs can do that). We have even had friends over! Stevi and Nick came over for pizza. Stevi and I were perfect housewives and made veggie pizzas for all to enjoy.

Pizza night with Stevi and Nick!

Pizza night with Stevi and Nick!

Gluten free and regular crust!

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Also here is our current song of summer!

That’s Life

Chicago is in this weird in between phase with seasons. There are moments when I can feel summer: the smells, the glow about people, the dewiness in the air, the warmth, frozen yogurt, dog walks… the list goes on. Although today was 54 (get it together Chicago), it is almost summer in my heart and that’s what matters.

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The tress are perfectly green and have beautiful blooms.

Yesterday I hit the mother load with mail and received both Yoga Journal and Vegetarian Times (thank you mother in law for the rad gifts!). This month the times is featuring detox and gluten free recipes, heaven. In the issue they recommend a 3 day cleanse that is pretty to implement and filled with delicious recipes. They list the 7 best detox foods and some favorites were included: blueberries, brocolli, and beets to name a few.

One of the best things about summer.

One of the best things about summer.

The recommended breakfast for the cleanse is a beet smoothie. If you like beets I recommend, if you don’t like beets.. beware!

Detox Beet & Blueberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 c blueberries
  • 1 c vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 beets (boiled)
  • 1 slice of ripe avacado
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1/4 c of cold water

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Directions:

  1. Place ingredients in blender and hit liquify, serve immediately

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When school is over I am going to do the full 3 days and post the recipes. I think a cleanse/detox will be the perfect way to kick off a healthy, productive, and fun summer! Until then I am going to do my sort of cleanse that involved frozen yogurt from time to time 🙂

Each morning I start with a smoothie and then eat a kale salad, cucumber and side of fruit within my day. I have consistently been drinking the detox water I posted about weeks ago. Since I have started my water I have lost about 7 pounds.

Each morning I start with a smoothie and then eat a kale salad, cucumber and side of fruit throughout the day. I have consistently been drinking the detox water I posted about weeks ago. Since I have started my water I have lost about 7 pounds.

Veggie Quinoa Stir Fry

Whole ingredients! Veggies! Whole grains! Balance! Oh its good!

The detox greatness continues with this veggie stir fry recipe. I adapted this recipe and added quite a few veggies to the mix. It was filling, nutritious and super low calorie. One serving is only 190 calories!

Veggie Quinoa Detox Stir Fry

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Ingredients:
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 10 button mushrooms
  • 1 small bushel of kale
  • 2 small zuchinni
  • 1 c of quinoa
  • 3 c veggie broth
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
yum!

yum!

Directions:

1. Rinse veggies and chop roughly. Place ingredients in food processor and pulse.

2. Place veggies in deep saute pan (needs a lid) with 1 tbsp of olive oil and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

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3. Pour quinoa and broth and bring to a boil. Mix all ingredients together.

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Bring to a boil and cover

4. Stir in spices.

5. Once boiling cover mixture, bring to a low -medium and cook for 15 minutes (or until moisture evaporates)

* You can serve cold or warm

Quinoa Kale Salad

Detoxing is amazing. It is so wonderful to have your body love and thank you for providing it with good nutrients. Additionally I am back at the studio and all is right with the world. It is so critical to consistenly remind ourselves to turn inward and take care of ourselves. When we forget this we loose balance which puts others out of balance as well. I want to create peace for those around me and for myself. Yoga is an essential piece to this peaceful puzzle.

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I have had made detox kale salads for dinner and they have been filling and packed with goodness. This recipe is light and wholesome. I adapted the recipe to fit the ingredients I have.

Bluberry and Kale Quinoa Salad

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Ingredients:

dressing:
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp soy
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 c lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 tsp chopped ginger

salad:
1 c tri color quinoa
1.5 c chopped kale
.5 grated carrot
1 c blueberries
10 almonds chopped

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wholesome ingredients

For complete instructions click here.

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Mix salad ingredients in a separate bowl while quinoa is cooking. Keep dressing separate.

Mix all ingredients together once quinoa is cool.

Mix all ingredients together once quinoa is cool.

The Shirley

I have ALWAYS loved interior design. For a hot minute before college I seriously considered going to school for interior design. I did not follow that path, however, I still enjoy design.

I ADORE our new apartment. Its in the heart of Andersonville and has a lot of vintage quirk and charm. We have windows (oh how I love sunlight), a fire place, and beautiful vintage built ins. I  am smitten by  our new home because its our first apartment as a married partnership.

Our apartment is turning out lovely and I am so excited to see our vision come to fruition.

My first priority was our kitchen. I needed some semblance of normalcy and unpacked it immediately. Stephen is a rad dude and was totally cool with a retro pink wall and installed beautiful shelves for me. Cooking in a clean and cute kitchen changes the experience for me, I am so excited for our new home!

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Throughout this moving process I have really tried to practice a yoga mindset and be mindful of non-hoarding and contentment. I often lack patience and struggle with not having things done (i.e. completely unpacked in one day) immediately. However I continually reminded myself to live in the moment and tackle what I could. This was a tremendous help in keeping me sane.

Settled

When I think of the perfect morning it goes a little something like this: I wake up and sun is shining in my window. My beautiful husband is by my side. I quietly slide out of bed, put on a pot of coffee, nudge my beautiful husband to wake and then we enjoy our cups of joe at the table by the window. The sun continues to shine in and the record player turns.

I have had many of these mornings, however they have been absent in the recent weeks.

Over the course of the past two weeks I have: graduated yoga school, visited NYC, visited Florida, moved, worked two full time positions, and watched my students compete in a city competition. In the midst of moving and travelling my peaceful idea of a morning has disappeared and healthy eating has fallen to the way side.

So honored to be part of such a wonderful non profit. Check out NFTE!

So honored to be part of such a wonderful non profit. Check out NFTE!

Yoga graduation. Amazing people

Yoga graduation. Amazing people

Enjoying sunny Florida with my love

Enjoying sunny Florida with my love

This week is a step towards normalcy. I need to detox to get back on track. So this week all recipes will be detox focused! With a detox and clean house my perfect morning is almost here!

Luckily good ol’ Doctor Oz is also all about detoxing. I used his detox water recipe and its refreshing and is definitely helpful for removing the toxins.

 Fruit Water

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Ingredients:

  • .25 small watermelon
  • 4 frozen blackberries
  • 2 lime slices
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 12 oz. filtered water

Image (63)Place all slides ingredients in a mason jar with water and let sit over night.

ENJOY!