Chocolate & Date Protein Bites

  Matt wants me to call these "Amaze-balls" but I couldn't bring myself do it...

Matt wants me to call these "Amaze-balls" but I couldn't bring myself do it...

Since I am often up super early to teach and almost always running late, I need something quick, energizing and easy to eat.  Most of the time I am eating on the way to my first client or class.  This is the exact opposite of how I advise my clients to eat breakfast in the morning,  so this is a serious case of "do as I say, not as I do".  However, these bites (or balls, you can call them balls) are perfect if you are working out in the morning and don't want to eat a full meal or even for dessert. Afternoon pick me up? Oh yeah.  Anytime really!

The mixture of dates, oats, almond butter and chocolate is amazzzzzing.  Filling and full of flavor.  Good fats and lots of other key nutrients make these a healthy snack.  Also husband approved! PLUS they are super easy to make and take maybe 10 minutes to throw together. 

 The dates almost look like bacon. DO NOT use bacon!

The dates almost look like bacon. DO NOT use bacon!

These bites are a combo of a few different recipes plus a few others I threw in.  Following recipes is really not my thing and I like to improvise a) because I'm a bit picky about flavors b) I omit any steps that I think will take too long and c) because I am almost always missing 1 key ingredient.  I don't take cooking or baking too seriously which is also why its tough for me to record a recipe.  Below is how I made these delicious little balls but feel free to modify however you see fit!   

Chocolate & Date Protein Bites

  • 1.5 cup gluten free oats
  • 5-7 dates chopped (depending on size)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1.5 tbsp almond butter (or any other nut butter)
  • 1 scoop organic vegan protein powder (I use Plant Fusion OR Perfect Fit)
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp slivered almonds
  • Chocolate chips....no clue how much.  I'll leave that up to you ;)
  • Shaved coconut on top
 Flax on flax on flax

Flax on flax on flax

Directions:  Add all ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl.  I used my muscles to stir with a spoon and got in with my hands to mix, but I suppose you could use a hand mixer or Vitamix. Using just your hands keeps them crunchy since all the pieces are whole.  If you prefer them smoother like a LaraBar I suggest a Vitamix (or food processor). 

Roll golf ball sized balls and place on baking sheet.  Warning: your hands will be covered with almond butter and oats so try not to touch anything in your kitchen.  Should make 16-18 balls. Top with coconut and place in the refrigerator for 20-25 minutes before eating. 

These should last a few days or you can freeze and thaw for a later.  They are SO good! 

Hope you enjoy!  Would love to hear any other ingredient suggestions for these little guys.  I want to eat them every single day.  

xoxo

More Soup...since I'm still freezing

It pains me to write this...as I sit her bundled up, still freezing and over this weather.  A few things that always bring me comfort in the cold are, coffee, a sauna, tea, a sweaty workout and SOUP!  As I've said before, I don't have the time or patience to create a homemade masterpiece from scratch and I like to keep things simple.  I gathered a few ingredients I already had in my kitchen to make a delicious and filling soup. Full disclosure: I often make soup in the Vitamix with minimal ingredients but we were out of carrots and happened to have the soup below in the cabinets.  For all my protein loving friends this meal is packed with protein plus fiber and nutrients. 

Here's the base: A super nutritious carrot/ginger soup found at pretty much every grocery store.  If using a Vitamix use carrots or squash as your base.

 It's SO good. Trust me.  Please don't judge my chipped nail polish.

It's SO good. Trust me.  Please don't judge my chipped nail polish.

Next I sauteed kale, extra firm tofu and white beans for extra protein, fiber and vitamins.

 Sauteed with a little olive oil plus s&p

Sauteed with a little olive oil plus s&p

Then I added my new best friend: BLACK BEAN PASTA!  Here's the scoop...it's a little high in calories with 320/serving BUT it also packs 15 grams of fiber and 22 grams of protein.  Not to mention 25% of your daily calcium, Iron and B6.  Oh and its delicious. 

 Bonus points for a cute box ;)

Bonus points for a cute box ;)

I added more veggies since we had tons of spinach and cooked it write in the pot. You can add anything to your soup base.  You can even make this with just a can of veggie broth rather than carrots or squash.  Use what you have an don't complicate it.

Voila. Dinner is served.  It was husband approved too!

As I mentioned you can make the base easily in a Vitamix.  I'd add tons of carrots, veggie broth a little olive oil, ginger and garlic.  Easy-peasy!

xo

Ramen for Grownups!

 What I used to make the filling soup

What I used to make the filling soup

I often think about the foods I ate growing up (before I knew better) and am horrified by the lack of nutritional value BUT I also have great memories around some of my childhood favs.  One of those foods that lacked nutrients but was so damn delicious was RAMEN!  Let's be honest, the love of ramen noodles extended long after childhood, into college and beyond into my early 20's.  After all, this is one of the best meals if you're broke and need to shove food in your mouth as fast as possible. 

One memory I have is my dad making ramen for me when I was about 5 or 6 years old.  I thought the seasonings were weird so I begged him to take out all the little green flakes from the packet.  Turns out I was the weirdo but he did it haha.  Yay for good dads :).

That is the complete opposite of now where I put any and all veggies in that I have in the refrigerator.  As we get further into Fall and Winter, soup is a staple at our place so there are more soup ideas to come!  This soup is very easy to make and SO tasty.  

I cheat and get the noodles/seasoning from Whole Foods and made by Lotus Foods  .  All the noodles are gluten free which I love.  Normally I preach NO packaged foods but this is an exception! 

 zucchini noodles, pepper, tofu and kale 

zucchini noodles, pepper, tofu and kale 

Along with the pack I also added zucchini noodles made by my fabulous spiralizer.  So the soup consisted of:

Rice noodles * zuchinni noodles * sauteed extra firm tofu * kale * peppers * miso broth 

Voila!!! Healthy and filling Ramen noodle soup for grownups!!!  Enjoy! 

 Topped with sriracha and s&p

Topped with sriracha and s&p

Labor Day Weekend - What should I eat?!

 I'm a huge fan of easy/healthy/filling/tasty recipes.  Here's one for ya! 

Labor day weekend is here which traditionally marks the end of Summer and I'm NOT ready to say goodbye to the most glorious season of all!  There is still plenty of sun to soak up during the long weekend and I hope you spend the days focused on the important things: laughing with family and friends, relaxing, reading, traveling, trying something NEW and eating delicious healthy food. 

This weekend will bring lots of backyard cookouts full of some of Summer's best food, drinks and company of course. Fill up on things like corn on the cob, fruit salad, grilled chicken and veggies.  If you want to feel your best while strutting in the sand, I suggest you skip the burgers, cheese, and mayo filled "salads" out there.  I'm a big fan of bringing your own meals/snacks to bbq's.  That way you ensure that there will be something good for you to eat plus people will be pleasantly surprised that your delish food is also HEALTHY  It's a fun game I play :).

Quick and easy ideas to take with you (plus the host will love you):

  • Veggie Skewers for the grill
  • Grilled chicken or Veggie Burgers
  • Pre-made salad
  • Fruit salad
  • Hummus w/ organic corn chips
  • Quinoa with fruit and nuts

Below is one of my favorite EASY "pasta salad" recipes to share (pic at top of page).  I use quinoa pasta because it contains more protein and fiber than regular pasta PLUS it's gluten free!  I also used vegan mayonnaise but that's completely up to you.  If you go with regular mayo I'd suggest you increase the amount of avocado and decrease mayo.  Some people like to add mustard but I prefer lemon and capers.  You really can't mess this up!   

Veggie & Tuna Macaroni Salad 

Ingredients You'll Need:

  • Quinoa Pasta - about 2 cups (I like Ancient Harvest)
  • 1 tbsp vegenaise (or regular mayo)
  • 1 tsp EVOO
  • 1/2-1/4 Avocado (mashed)
  • 1 can of all white chunk tuna (more if you'd like)
  • 2 cups chopped Spinach or Kale
  • 2 stalks celery chopped (not pictured - I ran out oops)
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt/pepper to taste and I LOVE adding capers - just eyeball that one ;)
 Make 4-6 servings 

Make 4-6 servings 

Directions:

Cook quinoa pasta according to directions.  Let it cool slightly the add pretty much everything else in!  This recipe is so simple.  Add more or less of any ingredient.  It will leave you feeling light but satisfied.  Great mix of fiber, protein and nutritious veggies.

DESSERT: rather than pie or ice cream, how about you try some grilled pineapple!  Pineapple is one of my favorite things to eat in the Summer.  Its full of Vitamin C, great for digestion, plus helps fight inflammation and contains anti-aging properties.  Sign me up!  

My talented friend Liz from Floating Kitchen has an amazzzzzing GRILLED PINEAPPLE recipe.  I suggest you make this asap.  If your short on time you could top with a little greek yogurt or froyo.  Click here and enjoy! 

 How good does that look?!

How good does that look?!

Cheers to amazing weekend!