I am one lean green machine

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Hi everyone,

I hope all of your weekends were wonderful. For us college students, finals are just around the corner which means less sleep, more stress, and lots of junk food eating.

To prevent myself from unnecessarily binging on junk food (I usually trick myself, “You know what? You are awake 23 hours in the day instead of 12, which means you need more food to keep yourself energized and awake. And you know what keeps you awake doncha? Chocolate.”) but every once in a while, it happens. 

I went to Costco yesterday and I made sure not to pick up any of the junk foods. Instead, I decided to stock up on loads of fruits and veggies. It’s been a recent goal of mine to try the green smoothies that everyone has been raging on about, but my dislike of spinach has kept me from it. But yesterday was a new day and I thought, why not?

After making this smoothie, I’m so excited to make more! It was yummy and nutritious and I felt SO good about myself. And an added benefit: I was inspired to try and make healthier choices throughout the day just because I started off my day with this. 

I think there are lots of variations, like all veggies, or instead of spinach using kale. I have found kale to be quite bitter, so I think as a beginner it’s best to start out with spinach which can be easily hidden in the fruit.

The smoothie doesn’t always look appealing, but worry not, looks aren’t everything. I put a little less spinach in mine which means it didn’t turn out bright green and that’s okay. 

Let me know how yours go!


Strawberry Mango Smoothie
1 mango
1 handful of strawberries
2 large handfuls of spinach
1/2-1 cup water

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy!

Side note: If you don’t have a fancy high-speed, spaceship-like, hundred-dollar blender, that’s okay. I don’t either. Just make sure to dice up your fruits and use plenty of water to prevent your blender motor from burning out. I will say that using a high-powered fancy schmancy blender will make the consistency more smoothie-like and you’re less likely to find bits and pieces of spinach in your drink. 

Sunday Apr 14 @ 09:02pm
I love me some chicken

Hi everyone!

So I made this a little while back and completely forgot to post (I kept forgetting to ask Mr. B & L how he made the chicken). But today I had some chicken and remembered that I needed to get this recipe up! I am in love with the recipe. It was super healthy and filling but it did take time. I would suggest making the chicken ahead of time so that you can grab it to go (like in a salad, with rice, the possibilities are endless!) during the week. YUM!

I ate my salad with some roast potatoes on the side. I adore potatoes (especially in samosas—on a side note, I had the most amazing samosas when I was in Canada last week. Spicy, delicious, and crispy. Just the way I like ‘em and don’t judge my breach on the healthy food diet). 

Pseudo-Baked Chicken Salad 

Servings: 2
2 boneless chicken breasts
Seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried rosemary, dried basil, chile powder)
Olive oil 
Diced bell peppers
Spring greens (or lettuce or salad mix of choice)
Tomatoes
Feta Cheese (optional)
Salad Dressing (optional) 

 Cut the chicken breast into strips of even width (about 1-2 inches). Season chicken with the seasonings (Be creative! Use the spices you have in your cupboard). Saute the chicken in a small amount of olive oil in an oven-safe pan for a couple of minutes (until brown on the outside). Put the oven on 425F and put pan in oven until the chicken is cooked through all the way (it should not be pink on the inside, that means it’s not done). 

Put together the veggies of your choice. Once chicken is done, put on top of the veggies. Sprinkle with feta cheese and add dressing of choice. And that’s it folks!

 

Sunday Mar 17 @ 11:06pm
Easy Tuna Veggie Salad

Hello peeps!

I have a couple of recipes that I’ve been meaning to writing about (key word: meaning, I swear I have the best intentions…). The first of which is this lovely tuna salad. I threw together what was left over in the fridge and actually really enjoyed my meal!

Tuna Veggie Salad
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1/2 or 1 full canned tuna in water
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder (or any seasoning you like)
1-2 TB Light Mayo (or plain greek yogurt) 
And whatever veggies you have in the fridge, in mine I had:
Baby carrots
Onions
Bell Peppers
Tomatos
Feta Cheese 

Dice all your veggies up. Mix the tuna and mayo with the seasoning(s) of your choice. Sprinkle with cheese. And there you go! A delicious and healthy meal that made me full (and I totally didn’t bad about what I had just eaten!). 

Let me know how it goes!
 

Thursday Mar 14 @ 07:36pm
The Way to My Heart is Through My Stomach

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to take a quick moment to wish everyone a very happy Valentine’s Day. Whether you are spending it with a friend, significant other, or partner in life, it’s the time we spend with our loved ones that matters most (and also an excuse to indulge)!

My goal: to appreciate those I love in my life more than just on Valentine’s Day and their respective birthdays. We all need a little love… and a little dessert. 

The picture posted above is a delicious mini strawberry rhubarb crumb pie I had a few night ago from The Grand Traverse Pie Company. Not to sound conceited, but it was SO good (and I normally am not a fan of fruit pies). Thanks for introducing me to the pie Ann! Definitely going to try and recreate this recipe. Maybe make one for you and your loved ones? Or just buy one like I did. Let me know how it goes!

Sending you all oodles and oodles of love and good karma,

B & L 

Thursday Feb 14 @ 12:14am
Grain-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites | Texanerin Baking

MMM, these look like the perfect healthier way to indulge. 

Monday Feb 11 @ 11:44pm
Just a Fish in The Sea

Hi y’all,

If you haven’t notice the recent trend in my posts, I have been trying to eat healthy. No, not to lose weight, but to be fit and healthy, for myself and my health. That is my goal for this year. And you know something? I have actually noticed a difference in how I feel afterwards. After just a month of healthy eating, I went to IHOP for dinner and had a stack of pancakes. I felt sick, nauseous, and tired afterwards, and what a surprise it was to me!

I’m not going to lie, eating healthy is not easy, especially if you are like me and you adore delicious tasting foods. But Mr. B & L and I have been working on this together and have found some very tasty recipes that happen to be healthy. (Side Note: I found that the key to eating well is to make your own food. No joke. If you leave the choice to what someone else makes, you don’t know what’s in it and you are limited by what’s in front of you. Be inspired, be creative, make your food your way!)

Here is my first healthy recipe and I think it was an absolute hit. I don’t normally enjoy tilapia but I gobbled this down so fast, it was slightly ridiculous. Also Mr. B & L loved it so much, I ended up making it twice in the same week.

Pesto Tilapia

2 Tilapia Filets (deboned, skin taken off, just the filet itself, at room temperature)
5-7 Tbs of pesto (get the quality kind, it makes a HUGE difference)
2-3 Tbs lemon juice (real or bottled, I used bottled)
Salt
Pepper
Feta or Parmesan Cheese (I used feta, it was key to the delicious-ness of this dish)
Quinoa or Brown Rice (optional)


Preheat your oven to 425 F. Make sure the tilapia is at room temperature. If you stick it in the oven half frozen, you’ll find that the fish isn’t as soft and flaky.

Mix the pesto and lemon juice, set aside. Salt and pepper both sides of the tilapia. Put on sheet tray and scoop the pesto lemon mixture on top. Be generous, it is the life of this fish party. Top with feta or parmesan cheese. I used feta and it was such a great complimentary flavor!

Stick in the oven for about 10-12 minutes (it will take longer if the fish is frozen). And ta-da, you have delicious tasting fish! I love love love this recipe. So easy, fast, delicious and I feel so good about eating it. I had mine with a side of quinoa (I cheated and got the microwaveable packet so this dish literally took me less than 15 minutes from start to finish) but its just as good with rice or a salad. 

I hope you guys enjoy it. Let me know how it turned out for you!  

Sunday Feb 10 @ 09:02pm
Wintergarden Salad

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Happy Winter everyone!

Here in Michigan its been snowing like the inside of a snow globe. Speaking of Michigan, here in Ann Arbor we have something called Restaurant Week. During this week many of the popular and high-end restaurants have special menus available for lunch and dinner with a fixed price of $15 and $28 respectively. It’s really fun opportunity for people to try a restaurant that they ordinarily would not try due to the high price. 

I had a chance to go to Ann Arbor’s Real Seafood Company and totally fell in love. The menu had a choice between two items for each course: appetizer, main entree, and dessert. I chose the Wintergarden Salad (spring greens with delish fruit and served with a spicy vinaigrette), the BBQ Salmon (served on a bed of brown rice with roasted brussel sprouts and fried zucchini), and the Torta Di Zucca (a creamy pumpkin cake with a gingerbread crust and topped with whipped cream). I cannot even describe to you how much I enjoyed this meal. It has been a loooong time since I’ve fallen in love with a full meal and I didn’t see this one coming. (I can probably continue but I’m going to get to the point now…..)

Since restaurant week is over (sad face), I was craving the salad. So like all things in my life I decided to try and make it myself (ie. I didn’t have cupcake liners….so instead of going to the store like a normal person, I took square pieces of foil and made my own…….). I would say it turned out pretty close to the real thing. 

Wintergarden Salad Replica

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Serves 1

3-4 strawberries sliced
1/2 mango sliced into small cubes (I didn’t have any, but the original salad did)
1 handful of Walnuts diced
2 cups spring greens
2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette (I like Spicy or Raspberry with this salad)
Croutons (optional) 


I would really recommend using a vinaigrette or salad dressing because otherwise you’ll just feel like you’re eating rabbit food. At least that’s been my experience.

Overall I think this salad is light, refreshing, and the perfect pop of sweet. Hope you guys enjoy!

Saturday Feb 2 @ 10:17pm
Randoms

Happy 2013 everyone! New year means new resolutions and more importantly, new recipes!

I’ve been sweating away in the kitchen, desperately trying to create as many recipes as I can before I have to head back to school. Some were successes, others were failures. Since I don’t have pictures for all of them just yet, I wanted to update you on some of the items I made :)

Success #1:  Super Healthy Chocolate Cake made with black beans and no flour

     Though I was skeptical of how a cake made with beans would not taste “bean-y”, I was pleasantly surprised. Tip: DO NOT, DO NOT tell anyone in your family that there is a secret ingredient. They will avoid your cake like it’s a pariah and examine every bite better than a detective -____-

Failure #1: Pizza Dough

      Didn’t have the patience to wait for the dough to rise. I had 9 quick crust recipes open and cobbled them all together hoping to create a beautiful quilt….sadly, it was more like a poorly strung together hodgepodge that did not fare well. Still working on that perfect crust for you guys! Here’s a great website I found that includes tips, tricks, and general guidance on pizza dough. Let me know how it goes.

Success #2: Pizza Sauce

    I didn’t have any pasta sauce (which is what I normally use and then flavor myself) so I decided to create my pasta sauce from scratch using diced tomatoes. It turned out SO well, despite the fact that I accidentally dumped enough chilli sauce to burn my house down. SUPER duper excited about this recipe though.

Success #3 (Not really mine): Truffles

   My baby sister began her baking streak much earlier than I began mine (and much more talented than me as well!) and her creativity astounds me everyday. She even began drawing! She made deeeelicious truffles and everyone in the house has gobbled them up. YUM. 

Success/Failure #4: Apple Pie with Homemade Crust

     I had a bunch of apples that were going bad and decided to make apple pie. Being the lazy bum that I am, I wasn’t in the mood to go the store at midnight and pick up a ready made crust. So I made my own. Despite the fact that I didn’t wait the appropriate amount of time for the crust to become cold, had a broken rolling pin (as if the world wasn’t cruel enough), and had to literally stretch the dough with my hands to make it reach the sides, the crust came out SO GOOD. Not even describable the ecstasy in my mouth. Also, the pie was delish. 

Wishing you all a happy new year filled with plenty of new desserts to eat and share with your loved ones.

:*

 ps. For all the dessert lovers out there, here is a gif to chuckle at because we all know that this is us: http://whatshouldwecallme.tumblr.com/post/39017888363/when-someone-at-the-table-mentions-dessert

Friday Jan 4 @ 01:38am
Best Coffee Cake

Hullo everyone!

I believe apologies are in order…again….for my lack of posting. New Years Resolution: POST POST POST! We’ll see how that story unfolds.

But since it is break and I am free, or kind of (guys…let me tell you something…wedding planning is not all that its cracked up to be). I’ve been dying to try out all my pinned recipe and have thus far done only a few. One of them was an absolute hit at my house and it was the Top Secret Coffee Cake Recipe from the Average Betty. To put it simply: I used 2 bowls, minimal ingredients, and it was finished in my house the same day I made it.

The recipe is the same as on her website. I added a few side notes. Please, for the sake of cake, make this cake. Moist, soft, delicious, and perfect any time of day (especially by the fire)!

Deeeelicious Coffee Cake

2.5 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 cup corn oil (I used 1/2 cup vegetable oil)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk

Combine all dry ingredients together (reserving 1 tsp of cinnamon). Add oil*
Set aside 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of this mixture for the topping. 

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into pan (I used a 9 inch round pan). To topping mixture add 1-2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 cup flour, mix well, and sprinkle over pan. 

Cook at 350 F for 35-45 minutes. Mine took about 45 minutes since it was a smaller pan. 

*I would suggest used butter for a crunchy topping. The topping on the cake was soft and sweet but I usually prefer the crunchier mix on my cake.  

**Also apologies are in order for the lack of deelicious pictures. For some reason, the internet at the house is utter garbage (we really pay extravagant fees for the sham they call high speed internet). So the pictures will not load. Alas, I will tryeth again laterth!

Saturday Dec 29 @ 01:59pm
Pizza Rollups

Also known as Pizza Rollio’s (This was Mr. B&L’s idea. Not mine.)

Didn’t have too much left to work with and this was born as a result. It was either this or salsa with pita chips. I don’t know about you guys, but I prefer my meals to have substance. And it is obviously time to hit the grocery store…..

They came out warm and crispy and it took less than 10 minutes in the oven! That, is winning.

Pizza Rollups
Yield: 4 rollups
Serves: 2 (or 3 people if your third eats like they are half a person. So I guess this makes the actually number of servings 2.5)



1 can crescent rolls ( Makes 4 rollups)
Shredded cheese
Parmesan cheese (for the top)
Marinara sauce or pizza sauce (recipe below)
Toppings of choice:
sweet pepper
mushrooms
onions
bacon
ground beef
whatever you like 

Preheat oven to 375 F (or whatever is listed on your can). Make sure the crescent rolls are thawed if they were in the freezer. Lay them out in pairs, you should end up with four squares lying flat that are made up of eight triangles. You should have 4 pairs total. Pinch between each triangle pair so there are no gaps. Stretch the squares with out ripping them to create a larger surface area. 

Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce and your chopped veggies/meat. Top with cheese.  You can either 1. fold one half over and pinch the two sides together or 2. roll your square up horizontally like a piece of paper. Be warned: do not put too much in or all the toppings will fall out. Finish by sprinkling tops with parmesan cheese.  


Place on a metal pan or pizza pan for 8-11 minutes until the tops are light brown and crusty. Keep it in longer or shorter to get the type of outside you like on your pizza rollups. Keep a careful eye on these babies because they will cook fast on the bottom and might burn. 


Mr. B & L Pizza Sauce
tomato pasta
little honey
little water
basil*
oregano*
rosemary*
salt
pepper
parmesan

*can use fresh or dried. He used dried. 
 
Combine all ingredients to your desired taste. Full taste develops after the sauce is heated/baked/cooked. For example, the sauce tasted better after being baked inside the pizza roll up. 

Tuesday Oct 16 @ 09:17am
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