Salad minus lettuce?

Is that even possible or REAL?

Sure why not?  I mean, who really makes the rules and aren’t some meant to be bent?

Have you ever had a day when you pack a salad for lunch and the salad sounds good?  Well it sounds good when you pack it, but as the day goes on it sounds less appealing? esp the spinach part. I mean, a big pile of veggies and beans is still a salad right?

Today is one of those days for me.

Sitting in the fridge is a wonderful green smoothie.  Ingredients include: SPINACH, blueberries, strawberries and a banana.  Part of it was my breakfast and the rest will be my snack later. So when lunch rolled around, I was planning on eating a salad. (I am really working on fueling my body with the nutrients it needs.) I piled a large stack of veggies from our cafeteria on a plate and sat down at my desk and took a bite before adding the spinach.

In the words of a great co-worker, it tasted good, really, really good.

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I tore up my spinach and started to mix it in.

Took a bit.

Salad

Decided– I liked my salad without the spinach.  I did not even want dressing either.

Started picking out the lettuce.

Took another bite… better.

Removed 90% of the spinach… even better.

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My spinach sat in a pile… discarded.  I may return to it later– or maybe I will drink my smoothie and call it good!

So yes, today I ate a salad minus one key ingredient. Sometimes you just have to go with how your body is feeling and what sounds good.

Some days, a salad minus the spinach is better.  Do you ever have days that a salad minus the spinach or lettuce tastes better?

I challenge you to enjoy the day and be ready to think out of the box when it comes to your food.  Make a salad minus the lettuce.  Forget a key ingredient and see where life takes you!

Hugs From a Skillet

This last week was a week I had to just put my head down and fight through it; good thing I am a fighter!  Okay, not a boxer or someone that actually punches a co-worker in the face, but mainly because I would end up in jail.  No one wants to go to jail, not really… Anyway, by the end of the day Friday, I was out of energy & out of fight. I needed a hug. OR Warm,  yummy, comfort food. I was late getting out of work, and after driving home I was in need of getting food into me fast. What sounded good was a BIG stack of fluffy pancakes.  In my opinion, pancakes are the perfect feel better food. But there was one minor problem, I have not been eating any flour lately, and did not want to start last night. Oh, but wait for it…

This week, while visiting my sister at college my mom (Banana Bev) learned a new recipe from one of my sister’s teammates. Mom got the nickname, Banana Bev one night when she made my sister and her teammates ice cream out of a frozen banana.  She was super excited over her new find. Somehow the name has stuck.  My sister’s friends love passing her banana recipes.  So thanks to my sister’s friend: A, Banana Bev and I now have an awesome, comfy banana pancake recipe.
“Banana Bev Pancakes” Ingredients: (Her version of the 2 ingredient pancakes)
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
Add on’s:

  • Cinnamon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Blue Berries
Smash your banana.  I did this on a plate.
Smashed Banana

 Crack 2 eggs & beat them.

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Mix in your banana
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Add a splash of vanilla and beat/mix it well
IMG_2249 This is your core batter.  I am sure you could add some cinnamon or mix in peanut butter to the batter, and it would be fantastic.  In fact, I may have to try that tomorrow when we get snowed in :o. If you want to make your batter a little smoother, you could toss it into a blender. Now grab your coconut oil (I used the coconut oil that had the coconut flavor still in it which gave a great tropical flavor. Once your oil and skillet are warm, drop a dollop of batter in. When I asked Banana Bev, when I should flip it, she responded with, “When it’s ready.”  That’s not super helpful!, but since this recipe is similar to a real pancake, you will know when it’s ready.
IMG_2250 My first flip was a little rough and my pancake separated, but we made it.  In fact, with each pancake I made they got a little better. By the end of the batch– I think I had it down. IMG_2251

Instead of using syrup or Agave, I grabbed a blueberry and date jam(ish) yumminess that was in the fridge and topped the pancake off.  I will have to get the recipe and post it for you.
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I am pretty sure that after my first bite I heard the angels break out in a chorus of Hallelujah– just for me 😉 This was the perfect comfort food, that gave me a hug at the end of a tough week. IMG_2253 I am sure this recipe has been around for a while and after running into it a couple of times, I am so glad I tried it.  I think my cleaned plate says it all! IMG_2254 So if you need a good, comfy food that willingly gives hugs and is healthy?  Just give this simple recipe a try! IMG_2255
Other places I found this recipe or similar versions:

http://ourbestbites.com/2014/02/2-ingredient-pancakes/
http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2013/01/2-ingredient-healthy-pancakes-gluten-free-dairy-free.html http://www.recipegirl.com/2013/01/26/2-ingredient-pancakes/

Matcha in a Mason Jar

Mmmmmmmm…. this is soooo good you HAVE to try it!

Recently, my body decided it did not like coffee, but I was still missing my morning drink. Tea just has not been cutting it.  Then I saw this recipe on facebook from Young & Raw  and my mornings seem complete again. I have adjusted this recipe a little from the original that Young & Raw posted.  I really liked it and wanted to share with you.  I did make a small change to the recipe.  For the original recipe: click here.

Ingredients:
photo 12 tsp. Matcha-  I chose organic

8 oz. Milk – I use Organic Almond Milk, unsweetened. (it’s only 30 calories for 8 ounces!) You can use any milk.

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Almond Extract

1 tbs. Maple Syrup (you can use more or less… my sweet tooth shows)

Stevia-  Use this after you try your drink if you need to sweeten it more

Okay, here is how you can whip up your own Matcha in a Mason Jar.

I toss all the ingredients in the blender and mix.

Once mixed, pour over ice and ENJOY!  If you need to sweeten it more, add stevia to taste.

You will have a awesome Iced Matcha in a Mason Jar!

photo 2

 

 

Mac’s EZ Lemonade

Summer is quickly slipping away…  I wish it would stay a little longer.  I am going to miss it, are you?

Days are getting shorter and soon we will be bundling up in big sweaters and jeans. Temperatures are dropping and soon the leaves will be changing, this makes me pretty excited.

Don’t get me wrong, my favorite season EVER is Fall.  Normally,  I am looking forward to fall’s arrival, but this year Louiesummer seemed way too short.  I wish it would hang around a little longer.   Maybe it was because we had a record breaking winter for both temperature and snow accumulation.  Heck, we even had to plow the horse pasture!  That was a first for me, the drifts were so big that the babies could not climb over.  I was a little worried they would get stuck and we would have to launch a rescue mission. Check out a video of the horses playing in the snow on one of the coldest days last winter: Here.  It is pretty cute, but I am biased.

IMG_0199Anyway enough about last year’s monster winter, back to me not letting summer go–by sharing a favorite summer drink, “Mac’s, EZ Lemonade” with you.   This recipe is so quick and easy, you will wonder how you have been living without it! I know that I have asked myself that exact question more than once when making this lemonade recipe.

Before I share the recipe, I think I need to let you in on a secret and the secret ingredient…  as a rule, I make things from scrap, with whole ingredients and fresh, but…I am also all about quick and convenient!  So when a great family friend, Mac, showed me a bottle of squeezed organic lemons, I fell in <3.  I mean, it’s not hard to use the hand squeezer to make your own lemon juice.  It just seems to take me a few minutes that I never seem to have. I almost feel like I am cheating on life by getting my organic lemon juice from a bottle, but when life gets busy, you have to play smart.  Thanks to Mac, I can have one of my favorite drinks in no time at all now all year. Because he introduced me to the secret time saving ingredient: Italian Volcano’s Lemon Juice.

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Reasons that I LOVE this juice:

1. It’s ORGANIC!

2. 1 Jar contains 80 lemons worth of juice… do you know how long it would take to hand squeeze that many lemons?  I don’t even want to imagine how long it would take or how sore my arm would get.

3. It’s a great buy.  You can find a two-pack of these at Costco for $7.00!  Do you know how many glasses of lemonade you can make with a two-pack?  MANY!  More than I could count… okay maybe I would get distracted before counting them!

4. I don’t have to clean the hand squeezer.

5. It’s stored in glass… I will tell you about my love of glass soon.

6. It’s waiting for you in the fridge.

 I think you get the picture… I really <3 this product and you should fall for it too!

Now for the recipe: Mac’s EZ Lemonade!

There are only 3! Count them 3 Ingredients!  Simple right?

1. Italian Volcano – Lemon Juice
2. Water
3.  Stevia

Alright… here is how I make Mac’s EZ Lemonade!

Grab a jar, a glass, a water bottle… something that will hold liquid and fill it 2/3 full with water.
Here is my favorite jar… it’s such a fun blue.

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Bonus:  it’s 34 ounces , which means I am not running for refills every two minutes!
Double Bonus: It has a lid with a straw (not pictured) but makes spills less likely.
Yes, I am pretty much a big kid and need a lid with a fun straw!

Fill your cup with water.

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Pour some of your Italian Volcano juice into the water. This is where you will have to experiment to see how much you like.  If you want your drink really lemony, add more.  If you don’t want it as strong, then add less. To start,  I normally add just enough juice that my water turns cloudy, taste and then adjust my lemonade from there.

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Next grab your stevia and sweeten your drink. I have a sweet tooth so I tend to use 1-2 droppers full in a 34 ounce jar.  If you are not used to Stevia, start small and add 5-10 drops until your drink is sweet enough.

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Secret tip: you can always add more lemon and stevia, but you can’t always take it back.

Now that your drink is made, add ice, and enjoy!

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If you want to spice up your lemonade, you can always add some strawberries or raspberries.

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Italian Volcano’s Lemon Juice has revolutionized how I make lemonade!

What’s your favorite easy recipe or “cheat” healthy ingredient?