Posts tagged ‘agave’

May 19, 2011

Strawberry Pickin

Happy Thursday friends! I finally told my employers that I was moving…It only took me 3 days :/ Oh well, it’s done – They are excited for me but the 5-year-old gave me a couple of dirty looks…Let’s hope she doesn’t start acting up!

To change the mood I suggested we head to the U-Pick Strawberry Farm. I used to go with my Grandma when I was younger and it was always so much fun. Who would’ve thunk the strawberries would be so cheap!? A pound was $1.35… That’s what I’m talking about!

Since the strawberry patch just opened there were a lot that still needed some growing time.

Umm Lysi, is this all there is?

Nevermind, we found lots!!

All of our strawberries only cost $3! Hmm now what should we make?? Went through a couple of phases… Wanted to make strawberry mousse, then strawberries & cream scones and of course strawberry cheesecake ice cream. We honestly could’ve probably made them all with the amount of strawberries we had – but when cooking with kids (or me) some of your ingredients get “lost” aka eaten.

We ended up with none of the above recipes. I have a lot of bookmarked recipes so I decided to go through those. That’s when I came across Angela’s Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares. Winner Winner Chicken Strawberry Oat Square Dinner!

These are Vegan, healthy, sweet and addictive.

Vegan Strawberry Oat Squares

adapted slightly from Oh She Glows

Ingredients

Ingredients:

For Oat Base:

  • 1.5 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat
  • 1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds+ 4 tbsp warm water, mixed)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (for topping only)

For Strawberry Jam:

  • 2 & 1/4 cups chopped strawberries, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp Nunaturals Stevia
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Line a square pan (I used a 8×8) with parchment paper.
  • In a medium sized pot, add the chopped strawberries and sugar.
  • Heat over low until the strawberries begin to sweat and it gets a bit watery. Once it heats down a bit, add in the chia seeds, and stir well.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer over low to medium heat for at least 10 minutes. Once it has thickened a bit, remove from heat and cool for 5-10 mins.
  • In a small bowl, mix the chia or flax egg and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the oat base dry ingredients: oats, flour, Sucanat/brown sugar, baking soda, salt.
  • In a small bowl, mix the melted earth balance, maple syrup, almond milk, and chia egg. Stir well.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup off mixture to side.
  • Pour the remaining oat mixture onto the square pan and press down with fingers.
  • Pour on strawberry mixture and smooth out. Now sprinkle on the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture and sprinkle on.
  • Now sprinkle on 1 tbsp of sesame seeds.
  • Bake at 350F for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Allow to fully cool for at least 30-40 minutes before gently removing from pan. Slice and then store in a container in the fridge to keep firm.
Thank goodness for bookmarked recipes. I semi-burnt dinner tonight so I enjoyed 3 squares of these. Nothing beats homemade jam… Especially warm with oatmeal squares…and maybe a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream 😉

QUESTIONS: Have you ever burnt dinner and not had energy to re-create it so just kind of “snacked” instead?? Have you ever picked your own strawberries?



February 23, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

Happy Wednesday friends! It’s almost the weekend which makes us all very happy 🙂 So, this morning i had my first OOIAJ experience.. I must’ve been really excited because I  woke up an hour before my alarm went off! I went downstairs to check them out and they looked interesting… Not sure about cold oats but I’ll give it a shot. Took my first bite (without toppings) and it was surprisingly good! I’m not going to lie though, I did stick them in the microwave for a quick minute to warm them up a tad. It was too cold outside to eat cold food. Forgive me?

Pre-Microwave OOIAJ

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 2 sprinkles of chia seeds
  • spoonful of plain greek yogurt

Post-Microwave OOIAJ

topped with other half of banana and vegan carob chips

45 seconds later: I’d say I enjoyed it?

I’ll be sure to start making these when I know I will be running low on time! Which seems to be every morning…How is that even possible?

For lunch I planned on having a new soup I picked up at Whole Foods

Poblano Pepper and Corn Chowder… sounds good right? I thought so, and apparently so did the cleaning ladies because after they were done their duties it was nowhere to be found. Since I was in the mood for soup I had to settle for this

It reminded me of being a kid! Nothing crazy exciting.. But satisfied my craving.

After work I headed to see my good friend Jim. I jumped on the Adaptive Motion Trainer (i have no idea what these are called?) for 30 minutes and did some abs workout.

Help a girl out – What is this machine called? Whatever it is…It had me huffing and puffing after 2 1/2 minutes!

Dinner was an easy no cook/no clean type of meal.. Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi in a Sage & Butter sauce. Seriously? Phenomenal. If you have a TJ’s near you go pick this up ASAP for dinner. You can thank me later 🙂

After dinner I realized I was sort of in a cooking rut.. I hadn’t really made anything in a couple of days which is not like me so I decided to make a snack for the week!

I’ve made protein bars before but I wanted to try a no-bake version for time-saving purposes. Success! I picked a bunch of random things out of my cabinets and voila. Easy, quick and delicious.

No Bake Protein Bars (i think they could be vegan as well??)

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana – mashed
  • 1.5 cups of oats
  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp of raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup vegan carob chips (use chocolate chips if you want)
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raw agave
  • Yogi Granola Blueberry  ( i only had a little bit left so I just poured it in but i suggest 1/2 cup)
  • 2 scoops of protein powder (I used brown rice protein – vanilla flavored)

Directions

  • Mash banana

  • Add oats, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, protein and granola

  • Add raisins and chocolate chips

  • Add the peanut butter

  • Add agave, cinnamon and vanilla

  • Mix until combined

  • Pour into 8×8 glass pyrex dish lined with parchment paper (no clean-up!)

  • Freeze for 2 hours (at least)

  • Cut into squares, bars, circles, hearts – whatever!

  • Wrap individual squares in saran wrap

  • Store in fridge for week

Better for you then luna,clif, zone etc… and probably a WHOLE lot cheaper. In my opinion they taste better as well but I could be biased 🙂

While I was waiting for my oatmeal raisin peanut butter chocolate chip protein bars (longest name ever) to harden up in the freezer I melted my last two pieces of dark chocolate and peeled a clementine… Obviously, I dipped the clementine into the dark chocolate and called it dessert.

I should do this more often instead of pouring chocolate chips into the peanut butter jar. I’m sure it’s healthier!

Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in

Annapolis, Maryland – Somehow I found a picture that didn’t include my friends and I stumbling around causing trouble 🙂

Now onto something a little more serious… Are you aware that it is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week? 30% of women feel stressed about food EVERY.single.day. and 5% will be diagnosed with an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Life’s sweetest memories and toughest struggles revolve around what goes into our mouths. Crazy, but true. Some even compare their relationship with food as a dysfunctional romantic relationship. However, there’s always that option to walk away from those – but you and food? You’re stuck together forever. If you think about it almost everyone has food issues… Whether it’s under/overeating or caving in to cravings for things we know aren’t good for us, or even avoiding foods with certain texture/color and cringing at the site of vegetables and meat touching. A piece of chocolate could be a sin, a reward or comfort…or all three to you. One minute we love food and the next minute we hate it. Once we finally have a clearer picture of what shapes our eating behavior we can enjoy our food a whole lot more. (Side note: What I am striving for with this blog!) Here are some tips to help you befriend food again.

Focus: Turn off the TV, computer and sit at the table

Don’t be hypervigilant: Being too aware of what and how much you eat can turn into a food obsession. Not to mention having a mind-set of “If I walk two miles, I can eat this many chips” is a terrible way to live.

Don’t say NO: Deprivation diets set you up for failure. Moderation is key.

Listen to your gut: If you like steak, order it. Even if everyone else is having salad. Don’t take on others’ emotional static.***

Everyone Can Do...Just One Thing

If we all do just one thing, together we’ll have a huge impact!

1) Host or sign up to be a NEDAwareness Week Volunteer Speaker/Presenter

2) Help spread the word…get the Workplace Kit: Put up the posters and create a take-one table for How to Help a Friend pamphlets, Helpline cards and NEDA pens.

3) Join the Media Watchdogs: The more people that write a letter of protest or praise, the louder the Media Watchdog voice! A great youth activism activity.

4) Donate Healthy Body Image: Teaching Kids to Eat and Love Their Bodies Too! to a local middle school: Get this fun, engaging tool into the hands of your local educators.

5) Maximize the power of your social networking sites: Post facts about eating disorders, tweet the Helpline number, and encourage your Facebook friends to learn more at myneda.org.

6) Leave a pamphlet: Put a stack in your doctor’s or dentist’s office, in the library or in a community center. Choose one or get all three: How to Help a Friend, Do I…Am I…, What is an Eating Disorder?

7) Make it a movie night: Choose a film from the provided Film List and watch it with friends and family. You can use the discussion guide to talk about the issues raised in the film.

8) Disseminate free NEDA Toolkits: Download and give out the Coach & Athletic Trainer Toolkit, Parent Toolkit or Educator Toolkit to coaches, gyms, school personnel, and parents.

9) Recognize NEDAwareness Week at your school: Download the free Educator Packet for resources, activities, films, discussion guides and handouts to educate faculty and students.

10) Choose an activity or event from the Resource and Planning Guide CD-ROM: Organize an activity, event, art project or fundraiser for NEDA to raise awareness in your community.

All of these guides/pamphlets can be found on their website. You never know if someone close to you is struggling…Do what you can to make a difference!

For day number 4 of my self-love challenge I didn’t stress about anything I was eating, how many calories were in what meal and just enjoyed my food to the fullest!

QUESTIONS: Have you ever made protein bars? Dipped clementines in chocolate? Are you doing anything to make a difference for NEDA week?

***March 2011 Women’s Health Magazine