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.

burt

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!

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Summer Saturday Cooking

In our house… pickles are a favorite. Stephen often teases me about my love for pickles and often references the “pickle getter tool” my parents had in our kitchen growing up. Side note: My parents had a specific tool that was a claw of sorts,  specifically designed to extract pickles from jars… serious business. Hence, we take pickles very seriously in this house.

Summer is finally here in Chicago. The humidity and heat are high which means summer foods must be celebrated! Today Stephen and I strolled the neighborhood when suddenly Stephen had an idea… fried pickles! We headed to our neighborhood organic grocery and picked up all of the items necessary to make gluten free fried pickles. I loved cooking with Stephen. Usually Stephen is my sous-chef but this go around we were equal partners and had a blast.

The recipe is easy and considering what other recipes called for its not terrible for you. I rarely (never) eat fried anything but for this special occasion I gave them a try and they were delicious!

You could also easily bake these pickles to cut down on the oil.

Gluten Free Fried Pickles

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Ingredients: 

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(This recipe calls for a whole jar. We used about 1/3 of the jar and then stored the remaining batter for later use)
1 Jar of sliced kosher dill pickles
3 Cups Vegetable Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Mustard Seed
1 Teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 Cup gluten free bread crumbs
1.5 cups of gluten free multi purpose flour
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder

Adapted from this blog

We love pickles!

We love pickles!

Directions:

1. Heat oil to 365 (have this ready to go)

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2. Blend all ingredients except for pickles in a bowl

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Ready for dipping!

3. With one hand grab the pickles and toss them into the blended mix (keep one hand for pickles and the other for mixing)

It can get messy!

It can get messy!

Coat evenly

Coat evenly

4. Once you coat the pickle toss it into the hot oil. Let it cook until its golden brown (about 30 seconds) and remove with a slotted spoon.

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5. Remove the pickles and place on a plate covered in paper towels.

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If you wish to get a thicker coat dip the pickle in the batter after its initial frying and then fry again.

6. Serve and enjoy! We used Bolthouse yogurt Ranch for our dip. To make vegan mix Veganoise, yellow mustard, and curry powder.

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Fourth of July Throwback

This is part throw back… part new. I made these treats last year but never actually wrote about it. Its a win win for me! These Eagle treats were a party hit and really easy to make. If you are heading to a BBQ today and want to woo the crowd, whip these little guys up!

American Eagle Marshmallow Treats

*Warning: These are too good… be careful

eagle

Ingredients:

  • Package of oreos
  • White chocolate (chips to melt)
  • Coconut Shreds
  • Cashews (pick out the pieces that are relatively skinny beforehand)
  • Black Icing (the pen kind is best)

Directions:

**Have all of your materials ready to go, this is time sensitive and you need to move rather quickly because of the chocolate.

1. In a microwave safe bowl melt white chocolate.

2. Dip the marshmallow into the white chocolate and immediately place on oreo (use chocolate to as an adhesive)

3. Coat the chocolate covered orea with coconut shreds

4. Repeat steps 1-3 until supplies run out

5. Push cashew into the middle of the marshmallow

6. Draw two small dots above the cashew nose.

Voila! Patriotism at its finest!

Let the BEET control you

I am now officially in yoga teacher training (WOO!). I am in class 4 days a week which means I am running around town like a crazy lady. I could not be happier to be this nutty women. This is one step closer to taking back my happiness and I am super jazzed about my choice.

OMwork! Anatomy!

OMwork! Anatomy!

I must say though that as I begin my journey into yoga school I am trying to be incredibly mindful of the little things that make my day better. The sun has been out during my drive to work this week. This is small but wonderful.

how could you not be in love?

how could you not be in love?

A consequence of my super busy schedule is I am eating all of my meals on the go. I prepped for this shift in schedule by purchasing a ton of yogurt and fruits this past weekend. Also, I have been in the mood for clean delicious salads. I have been jones-ing for beets.

on the go. lunch, snack and dinner.

on the go. lunch, snack and dinner.

Beets and I were not friends for a very long time. In the past few weeks I have started to really dig them.

Below are two recipes that I created this week and have found to be quite delicious! Enjoy!

Beet and Spinach Salad

low calorie, balanced.

Ingredients:

4 unsulfered apricots chopped
3 walnuts – crushed
1 c spinach
1 c mixed greens
2 beets (cooked and peeled) cubed
3/4c shredded carrots
1 laughing cow blue cheese cut into small pieces

Dressing:

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp strawberry jam

Directions:

Prep all salad ingredients and place in container. Mix together dressing ingredients and place in small air tight container.

Beet Fruit Salad

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Ingredients:

small green apple chopped
2 beets (drained and peeled) chopped
3/4c carrots
4 unsulfered apricots chopped
1 small pear chopped
1/8 c granola

This is all helping me stay grounded and focused while managing all of the tasks I have taken on. HAPPY FRIDAY! Let the BEET control you!

I need a break after this VERY long week.

I need a break after this VERY long week.

Fried Rice… without the rice

Eminem is by the far one of the best musicians to spin to. I am not kidding. The song from 8 mile has an amazing beat for high resistance…

Okay, now that I got that off my chest I can reveal one of my new recipes. I am not kidding about Eminem and I am not kidding about these veggies, both are life changing.

This recipe is delicious and packed with nutrients. I had gotten the idea from another blog, however I changed the recipe dramatically and the result is definitely worth posting about. I made this dish this past Sunday and it has held up quite well in the fridge.

You can defiantly add rice (small quantities) however I found that I didn’t really want any because the flavor was great on its on.

Fried Rice without the Rice

(gluten free and vegan)

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Ingredients:
Serving :4
Calories: About 150 without rice

  • 1/2 bag of frozen peppers and onions (I used trader joes because thats what I had)
  • 1/2 bag frozen asparagus (cut into small pieces)
  • 2 c kale
  • 2 c spinach
  • 1 bag of organic broccoli
  • 1/2 c frozen peas
  • small container of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 c green onions
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tsp red pepper paste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 c Trader Joes quick cook brown rice

    fresh!

    fresh!

Directions:

Step 1: Split oil. In a small pan heat half of oil and cook egg whites. Flip for omelet  remove from heat and place on plate. Cut eggs into slices and set aside for later.

do not scramble

do not scramble

Step 2: In a large sauce pan heat remaining oil in pan. Add ginger and onions and saute for about 4 minutes.

74Step 3: Add broccoli, frozen veggies, mushrooms and carrots to pan. Stir consistently until veggies become tender (about 10 minutes)

75Step 4: Add  peas, soy sauce and spices to mixture and stir to coat. Continue to let cook. The veggies should produce juices which will help create a “sauce” with the soy.

Step 5: Add the spinach and kale. Allow for greens to wilt down and continue to stir with sauce. Add in eggs after greens have settled.

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Step 6: Place ingredients in air tight container and store for the week! I made the rice separate so that I could have less rice than my husband. If you want to combine them immediately add rice to mixture, stir and then put in container.

Make Ahead Vegan Chili

Life has been wonderfully insane as of late. I have been going none stop but have maintained balance through yoga and healthy eating  This past Sunday I prepared our meals for the week in the anticipation of the non stop activities of the week. I am not going to pretend that the meals are fancy and elaborate, they aren’t. However, they are delicious and packed with nutrients. They are also easy to make and take little time (wins all around!).

First up is the simplest vegan chili out there. It requires few ingredients (most you probably have at home) and little time.

Make Ahead  Gluten Free Vegan Chili

only 140 calories!

only 140 calories!

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 bag of Trader Joes southwest veggie mix (any brand would work)
  • 2 cans of organic kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with peppers
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Directions:
Place frozen veggies in deep sauce pan (have lid handy) and stir for about 4 minutes. Add spices to mixture. Then add beans and tomatoes, stir and bring to a boil. Once at a boil reduce heat and let simmer for 25 minutes. Serve immediately or put in storage for later in the week!

Packaged and ready for the week!

Packaged and ready for the week!

20 minute delicious chili

As stated in a previous post, we recently became subscribed to Vegetarian Times and it is awesome. This past week I made another one of their under 400 quick chili recipes and it was a hit. This recipe took maybe 2 minutes of prep and the rest of the time the ingredients were simmering.  Its simple, easy, and yummy… the perfect busy week combo.

Tempeh BBQ Chili with Slaw 

(vegan and gluten free)

simplicity is key.

simplicity is key.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of tempeh- crumbled (I just chopped them up)
  • 1.5 c of bbq sauce (gluten free)
  • slaw mix (we purchased the broccoli slaw mix from Wholefoods)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 cans of pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • .5 c of water

Directions:

Place the crumbled tempeh and bbq sauce in a large skillet (have a lid ready). Mix the ingredients on a medium heat and then add beans. Mix in water (as much or as little was you want), cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. YES IT IS THAT EASY.

In a separate bowl mix the slaw and vinegar together and let sit for 20 minutes.

Serve chili layered with slaw and viola!

Note: You could add chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, mushrooms,  and/or onions to the chili!

Easy Dressing with Ingredients you already have!

I bring a salad for lunch everyday. Since being gluten free I have had to slowly switch over all of my dressings. I usually have Annie’s Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette on hand for when I feel like making a salad with fruit but this week I was not as lucky. Although I didn’t have it on hand I was able to create a delicious supplement that complimented my salad quite nicely.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp of Orange Juice
  • 1 tsp strawberry jam
  • 1 tsp balsamic

Combine ingredients in small container and stir! This makes about one serving.

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Make your Winter Brighter Salad

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  • 2 c spinach
  • 1 tbsp sunflowwer seeds
  • 1 small naval orange (cut in small pieces)
  • 1/2 c sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 c blackberries cut into halves

The perfect green smoothie

I have quite a few cook books sitting on my shelf that I rarely touch. One of the cook books I own I purchased years ago when I began to shift how I consume food. Hungry Girl takes ordinary brands and manipulates their purpose to create a “healthy” alternative. I admire their effort and creativity, however its not really my thing. Most of the recipes require too much fake sugar or processed items. With that being said, I was looking through the pages and noticed how they utilized diet hot cocoa mix in multiple recipes. This idea got me thinking and the result of those thoughts is what I would like to think of as perfection.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c cold water
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop of 365 vanilla whey
  • 2 tbsp pb2
  • 1 diet hot cocoa mix (25 calorie mix)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 c of spinach
heaven.

heaven.

Directions:

Place liquids, banana, and powders in blender. Top off mixture with spinach and place in liquefy setting. Blend until completely smooth and mixture becomes frothy. Serve and enjoy!

great treat on the way to work

great treat on the way to work

Nutrition facts (calculated on MyFitnessPal)

Calories: 277
Carbs: 38
Fats: 5
Proteins: 27

Activism is fun.

Big news… this month is Human Trafficking Awareness month. Months…months… months… months for everything right? Although I am not the biggest fan of designated months I do appreciate the opportunities these labeled time periods bring to unaware citizens. *Note: not the biggest fan because I think we should be activists all of the time. Anyways, this past Friday CAASE hosted a film screening (sex&money) and we had a GREAT turn out. It was incredible to be in a room with inspired activists who all shared (even if for that moment) a desire to bring social justice to the sex trafficking industry. To continue raising awareness I hosted a Lia Sophia party this past Sunday. If you haven’t heard about Lia Sophia quite yet, don’t you worry… I’ve got the scoop. Lia Sophia is a jewelry company with independent consultants. One of my dear friends from CAASE generously donated her time to help host the party and donate proceeds to CAASE. At the bottom of this post I put the information if you care to breeze the great jewelry and purchase a few items.

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amazing women buying jewelry for a great cause! win win!

I love hosting parties for several reasons. I love bringing friends together, cooking (of course), and the wonderful conversation that ensues. For this activism brunch I wanted to honor my friends goal of being healthy. I included lots of fruit and various baked good.

Menu

(Links included in titles)

Apple & Pear Salad with Honey and Seeds Orange and Cranberry Muffins Gluten Free (Vegan) Chocolate Banana Scones with nuts and cranberries Berry Oatmeal Bake **see below Mixed Berries

Berry Oatmeal Bake and mixed berries.

Berry Oatmeal Bake and mixed berries.

Pear & Apple salad with honey and seeds, melon, and apple, orange, and pear salad

Pear & Apple salad with honey and seeds, melon, and apple, orange, and pear salad

Gluten Free Scones

Gluten Free Scones

Orange Cranberry Scones

Orange Cranberry Scones

** For the oatmeal bake I changed the recipe quite a bit. I used a bag of frozen berries from trader instead of bananas. I also used about a tablespoon of honey on the bottom layer. I did not use cinnamon. I also sprinkled brown sugar on the top and allowed it to caramelized.

These amazing beautiful people!

Goddesses of Special Education

Goddesses of Special Education

Changing the world!

Changing the world!

Two of the most bad ass feminists out there.

Two of the most bad ass feminists out there.

Lia Sophia Order Information:

Beautiful jewelry that benefits CAASE!

Beautiful jewelry that benefits CAASE!

1. Go to www.liasophia.com/darcijenkins 2. Click on Browse Our Jewelry 3. Under hostess information you can search for Annie Warshaw. A pop up will appear and you can click on my name to access the show. 4. It will prompt you for a password at some point. The password is:XGNK8W. Also, don’t forget the awesome special that is going on! When you buy 1 item, you get 2 at 50% off. The best part is you pay full price for the lowest priced item. There is no limit on this so if you buy 2 full price items you can get 4 at 50% off.