Monday, March 18, 2013

Good Day

Today consisted of class (made Snicker Doodles with grapeseed oil and they were actually really good), helping the Lee Bros. make deviled eggs for an event tonight (I was totally trying to not geek out in front of them while chopping roasted red peppers), and getting a mani/pedi with parriffin wax for $8 (score!). Love tech schools <3.

Then, for lunch I stopped by Monza and got the kale/butternut squash gnocchi...mmmm...

All in all, a really good day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Get Your Juice On

Here's the juice I was talking about. This one has a huge mix of stuff--sweet potato, apples, peaches, celery, cucumber, spinach, swiss chard, ginger, blueberries, raspberries, lime--and I mixed in some chia seeds and coconut juice just for good measure :). I've been doing this all week but skipped yesterday, and maybe it's psychosomatic, but I really did miss it and felt like I didn't have as much energy or clarity without it. So while I don't think I'll ever be good at fasting, I do like the idea of using juice to supplement my food as a way to get in more veggies and nutrients during the day. Bottoms up!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Healthy(ish) Cookies!

Though I'm usually suspicious of "healthy" baked goods, I thought this one sounded pretty reasonable, and guess what? They were REALLY GOOD. They didn't even need the chocolate chips (which says a lot coming from me). I started with a recipe from Clean Eating magazine and tweaked it slightly. Yummers!

    2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
    1/4 cup coconut flour (or enough to thicken the dough)
    2 tbsp ground flax seed
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1 medium banana, mashed
    3/4 cup pure maple syrup
    1 cup unsalted natural peanut or almond butter
    2 tsp pure vanilla
    1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips, optional
    1/4 cup Egg Beaters (or one egg)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (I use my Silpat).
2. In a medium bowl, combine flours, flax seed, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mash banana with a fork (or mash in your Kitchen Aid). Stir in maple syrup, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla until well combined.
4. Add dry mixture to banana mixture, stirring just to combine; do not over-mix. Fold in chocolate chips, if desired.
5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer sheet to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove cookies from sheet and let cool directly on rack.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Make Mine Tea

I have been aware for a while now just how bad Diet Coke is for you, but I can't seem to stop drinking it. Part of it is the caffeine, part of it is that I like to drink something throughout the day (and you can only chug so much water), and part of it is it's my sweet little reward that I look forward to. I've been stumped at finding a good replacement, but am going to give tea a try. I can't bring myself to drink coffee, and I love Crystal Light but it's full of gross chemicals too.

I've always felt indifferent about tea, never disliked it but never loved it. Recently my mom and I were in Savannah and had lunch at the Gryphon Tea Room. My mom is a tea drinker, and ordered us a pot. The tea was an orange pomegranate that was surprisingly good. We ate lunch, but the menu also offered a tea service with little pastries and sandwiches which I was somewhat smitten with the idea of. So I decided to give tea a try. I ordered some Harney and Sons tea, which come in cute little metal tins and fun flavors like Green Tea with Coconut, Ginger & Vanilla. I also picked up some local honey from the Savannah Bee Company, in Wild Flower and Orange Blossum (doesn't that just sound fancy?) to add to my tea.

Since I've been back I've made a cup a day and I must admit that I'm starting to look forward to the warm mug and fragrant smells from the pretty little satchels of tea. Still drinking soda, but trying to cut back and go for tea instead.

Kale and Butternut Squash Lasagna

I recently started subscribing to Cooking Light magazine and so far have really loved everything I've made from it. This week was a tasty kale and butternut squash lasagna. I would maybe add a little more cheese (making it less light...doh) and I swapped walnuts for pecans but otherwise it's pretty awesome and reheats well. Bon appetite!

Here is the original recipe from Cooking Light magazine:

    1/4 cup water
    1 (12-ounce) package prechopped fresh butternut squash
    3 cups chopped kale
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
    1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
    2 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
    2 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided
    1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    Cooking spray
    6 no-boil lasagna noodles
    3 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Combine 1/4 cup water and squash in an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; pierce plastic wrap 2 to 3 times. Microwave at HIGH 5 minutes or until tender; drain. Combine squash and kale in a large bowl. Wipe dish dry.

3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until garlic begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add milk mixture and remaining 2 1/4 cups milk to pan; increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 ounce Gruyère, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, salt, and pepper; stir until cheese melts.

4. Coat baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/3 cup milk mixture in bottom of dish. Arrange 2 noodles over milk mixture; top with half of squash mixture and 2/3 cup milk mixture. Repeat layers once, ending with remaining noodles and remaining milk mixture. Cover with foil; bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle remaining Gruyère and pecans over top. Bake, uncovered, at 450° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and sauce is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.