Modifying Original Recipes to Fit Your Needs!

A blog about healthy eating, healthy living and happiness. Join me and I'll show you how easy it is to substitute, modify and enhance your favorite recipes to accommodate your special diet, all without missing a thing!

February 29, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday ~ 3.0

Another Wednesday.... another round of pictures and stories, and I have a wonderful way to start this off...

One thing you should know about me is that my favorite flowers are tulips. They are seasonal which makes them that much more beautiful. Another thing you should know is that I have the best boyfriend in the world, who just so happened to bring home tulips for me this last Friday when I was sick with a horrible bronchitis cough... *this is love*

Now that you are [I'm sure] smiling, let's move on to my delightful morning...

I began my day with an always yummy and fresh version of my Divine Chia Breakfast Pudding, complete with only the best toppings - the other half of the banana (used for the pudding), fresh raspberries and a touch of cinnamon. Delightful. 

(mid) Morning Coffee
I had a meeting with my mentor this morning in which we went to a previously mentioned favorite coffee shop.. The Brewing Market. Remember last Wednesday when I told you about this place? The uh-may-zing gluten-freechocolate zucchini bread and the option to have soy, almond OR hemp milk? Yes, now you remember. Well, I took full advantage of that and ordered a Cafe o Lait with hemp milk and the dark roast coffee. So wonderful!
My mentor's latte... beautiful artwork from the barista!

I had a small lunch but it was the perfect thing to follow my hemp milk Cafe o Lait. A previously [pan] grilled turkey wrap with guacamole, on a gluten free teff tortilla. Oh and don't forget those plump and juicy grapes in the background ;-) 

My afternoon snack (which I ate part of after lunch..oops) was a homemade trail-mix of cashews, banana chips, raisins and pumpkin seeds. A perfect post-workout snack but definitely could have been a little bigger seeing as how I ended up not eating dinner until 8:20 this evening [bummer].

Now this is a story for you... I had been planning to have this dinner of a leftover burrito bowl from chipotle since our dinner on Saturday night (and no it isn't gross that I saved it). The problem was... the first bite I took tasted extremely sour... I took off the black beans thinking that's what it was.. tried a bite or two more and quickly decided... the trash would enjoy this much more than I would. This all happened at about 6:00pm. This meant I had to go at least 2 hours until I would be home to create a not-so-sour dinner. UGH.
So! To wrap this up... over the next two hours I carefully thought out what I could quickly make when I did in fact get home. Here is what came out of all that brainstorming - half of a sweet potato (already cooked and in my fridge) with sauteed kale (again, more leftovers) and topped with a chopped up maple chicken breakfast sausage (in the freezer). All of this took about 3 minutes to prepare and was exactly what my body was looking for.. a happy ending to the night after all.

Happy Wednesday!

February 26, 2012

Savory Crayon Muffins

"Crayon Muffins"? Really?

Yes. Really. Let me explain.

While cooling on the wire rack, my boyfriend stopped to take a look. His reaction? "It looks like you melted crayons in your muffins." HA! Priceless. I love you honey.

Now that the ever-so-enticing name is given a reason, let's move on to this wonderful recipe that worked out (for the most part) on the very first try. (p.s. I love it when this happens!)

The inspiration for these muffins came from my Basic Buckwheat Bake all spruced up! Well, no. I can't take the credit. The credit should be given to The Healthful Pursuit and The Edible Perspective - both of which inspired the buckwheat bake. You see, after having the bake a few times for breakfast and absolutely loving how satisfied and full it left me (not to mention how people in my class were gawking at the rest of this delicious breakfast that I took to my 9:30am class), I was inspired to create a savory version that I could take along for lunch.

I found some gluten free, nitrate free chopped prosciutto at King Soopers and thought it would be a perfect addition to my not-yet-created savory muffins, complete with protein and flavor. Great - 1 addition purchased.

A few days later I was at Sunflower Market and while strolling through the aisles I found the on-sale baby food. Yes. Baby food. What a great way to substitute the banana from the buckwheat bake... pureed veggies that are already pureed! Also on this shopping trip I bought a large jar of on-sale roasted red peppers (yum!). Score - 2 more additions.

After several days of thinking and conjuring up how I would make these muffins work... and also after carefully trying to [somewhat] replicate the buckwheat bake recipe in order to avoid a complete failure, I came up with these bad boys...Savory Crayon Muffins.

Dry Ingredients
1/4 c amaranth flour
1/4 c sorghum flour
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp sunflower seeds

Wet Ingredients
Egg Replacer*
1/4 c carrot baby food**
2 tbsp water

2 tbsp roasted red peppers (diced)
1.5 oz chopped prosciutto

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Make egg replacer, whisking until frothy and add to dry ingredients. Add baby food and water, mix until combined. Add in prosciutto and roasted red pepper, stir again until combined - the batter will be thick. Spray (or grease) 3 ramekins, making sure to coat the bottom and sides. Divide batter among the ramekins and use the back of a wet spoon to smooth out the tops. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes.***

*I used Ener-G Egg Replacer. You can also use 1 egg - this will probably cause the muffins to rise more. You can also use a flax or chia egg.

**I used carrot baby food, it gave a beautiful orange-golden color to my muffins but feel free to use any vegetable flavor combo you like!

***I continually opened the oven to check these which is probably why my muffins came out to be a little mushy in the middle. I suggest keeping your oven closed the full 30 minutes and then checking with a toothpick. The tops will be cracked and have a crusty feel but if the toothpick isn't clean, continue cooking for a few more minutes.

Although I have only sampled a few bites, I am instantly a fan and will be sure to create many versions of these muffins, using different add-ins and flavor combinations. I am thinking these will be better warm than cold. My suggestion for lunch - heat your muffin in the microwave for 30 seconds (or pop into a toaster oven) and enjoy with a crunchy apple, a small salad or perhaps... soup?

Lastly, let me share with you the nutrition facts because, well, I am just that considerate ;-)

Per 1 Savory Crayon Muffin
178 calories
21g carbohydrates
3g fiber
5g protein

PLEASE leave any comments or feedback for flavor suggestions [and] when you make these yourself be sure to come back and let me know how they turned out!

February 19, 2012

It's GIVEAWAY time!

You may remember a few weeks ago my post about an upcoming giveaway for Sandwich Petals.


As promised and just in time for Fat Tuesday, it is time for the first ever It Really Works giveaway!

Exciting right!?! I know :-)

Let's first talk about the prize, shall we?

The lucky winner of this giveaway will receive a free sample box of Sandwich Petals, including all three of their delicious flavors - Spinach Garlic Pesto, Chimayo Red Chile and Agave Grain. 

If you have never had these wraps take a look at my review and I think I'll have you convinced that you will LOVE them!

Now that you are oh so very intrigued, here is how it works... 

Simply tell 3 of your friends about this blog, have them follow the blog itself and like our Facebook page (just as you have, right?!?), then leave a comment on this post letting me know and that's it - YOU'RE ENTERED! With such a fun and effortless way to be the potential winner of free and delicious food, what's stopping you?! 

The giveaway will begin bright and early Monday morning, February 20th and will end on Friday evening, February 24th at 5:00pm (just in time for Happy Hour ;-) )
I will select the winner on Saturday and you're gift will be on it's way to your doorstep! That's right, you don't have to pick it up anywhere... just open the door when that handsome UPS man rings the bell.

OH MY GOODNESS, THIS SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! But guess what... it isn't! So what are you waiting for?! Go ahead and send your daily emails and be sure to mention my blog and this giveaway!

Have fun - I know I will!!!

February 15, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday ~ 2.0

First off - I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day yesterday! I'd like to share a picture of these beautiful flowers that are sitting on my kitchen table...
He's perfect :)

Truthfully, my boyfriend and I are both on the same page about Valentine's Day - you don't need a special day to show how much you love someone. But hey... I'm definitely not one to complain if the man I love buys me flowers :)

Anyway... on to Wednesday!

Oh what a day. Here's a little breakdown...

Work from home until 11:00am. Edit resume/print business cards for the business school career fair. 30 minute interval workout. Shower. Get dressed/dry hair/make-up - get all professional looking ;-). Eat lunch. Prepare dinner to bring to school (yup, another 7 o'clock meeting tonight!). Drive to school. Go to career fair. Go to coffee shop and have a serious school-work session. Drive back to the b-school. Eat dinner. Meeting. Drive home. Enjoy the rest of my fabulous gluten/dairy/nut free zucchini chocolate bread - which I will tell you about in....






What time is it?!?!

Unfortunately... I don't think I met the par for the [veggies] portion of this WIAW post... but here are some fun meal ideas and pictures to catch your attention!

One of my favorite breakfasts with a slight modification because of the season - (a.k.a strawberries are cheaper than raspberries right now!) - Flax cereal, freshly cut strawberries, diced dried mango and my go-to vanilla hemp milk. Don't forget your large cup of green tea ;-)

A lunch I used to make ALL THE TIME (before going gluten/dairy/yeast..etc. free), again with a few modifications - a grilled cashew butter & banana sandwich complete with cinnamon, honey and a side of celery. Simple. Delicious. 

I did NOT want to spend the 3 hours I had until my meeting at school so I visited the local Brewing Market coffee shop in Boulder and couldn't resist when I saw the shelf of gluten free items. I settled on this baby... gluten/dairy/nut free chocolate zucchini bread with jasmine green tea. OMG. THIS IS SO GOOD! *Quick side note... not only does this coffee shop have gluten & dairy free baked goods, but you can also trade up your cows milk for soy, almond, OR hemp milk! AH! I love Boulder :)

A lovely salad with my leftover California Chicken Sandwich from Red Robin (I know, I know... it's not guaranteed gluten free but by ordering wrapped in lettuce rather than the traditional bun - it left my stomach feeling just fine - yeaahhh!). I topped my salad with grapes (if you've never done this you must give it a try) oh and some crushed blue corn tortilla chips (guilty#). It was a perfect light dinner knowing my dessert would be...

Snack [dessert]
You didn't think I ate that whole piece of chocolate zucchini bread all at once did you? Oh no... I had a plan from the very beginning. Eat half as a snack and enjoy the rest as a luscious, delightfully sinful dessert. I know you're jealous... which is why I am now determined to recreate this bread, perhaps as a muffin. Stay tuned ;-)

Happy Wednesday everyone!

February 8, 2012

Basic Buckwheat Bake all spruced up!

This. Was. Fabulous.

I had been meaning to make a "bake" like this for sometime now, with inspiration coming from the Healthful Persuit and The Edible Perspective. Each of these wonderful women have similar recipes but for my first attempt I went with the most basic version from The Edible Perspective. (I've mentioned this before but both of these sites have fabulous recipes as well as photography, you must check them out!)

I followed this recipe (almost) to the tee, making only a few changes...

  • one egg white instead of the flax egg
  • a handful of pecans rather than walnuts
  • 4T vanilla hemp milk vs. almond milk
  • I added 1 tsp of maple syrup to the batter just before baking
Once your bake is done, the possibilities are endless when it comes to toppings. Personally, I chose sunbutter, fresh blueberries, dairy free chocolate chips and a hint of honey. Pair with a delightful cup of coffee and I'm in heaven!

I've already come to the conclusion that this is now in my weekly breakfast rotation and I have so many thoughts for variation in this recipe! I'm thinking... blueberries and chocolate chips baked right into it.... a savory version with veggies and perhaps bacon?! Oh the list goes on and on :) Be sure to look for my variations on this delicious, nutritious and perfectly filling breakfast coming soon!


February 2, 2012

My First Giveaway!

Yes, it's true!!! I'm doing a giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Can you sense my excitement?!? Good... I thought so :) )

For those of you who don't know what a giveaway is, here is a little description...

You'll be asked to comment on a recipe of mine, share one on facebook, or heck, I may even ask you to share one of your favorites! By doing any of these things you'll be entered into my giveaway. It will be open for one week and once the week is over I will collect all the names of the people who've responded, pick a name randomly (most likely out of a hat because I'm old school like that#) and the person I pick will win the giveaway!

Simple, right?

At this point you should be wondering what exactly I'm giving away. First, take a look at my Product Reviews and check out the Sandwich Petals. That's it! The lucky winner will receive (by mail) a box filled with samples of each flavor wrap that Sandwich Petals offers! How cool is that?! (I'm actually a bit jealous I can't enter this one myself!) For more information on these delicious little wraps, visit the Sandwich Petals website. 

Although I'm not set on the date of this giveaway, you can expect it to begin by the end of February. So stay tuned, keep viewing my blog and trying my recipes and I'll be sure to let you know with MUCH excitement when the giveaway will start!

Happy living :-)

February 1, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday ~ 1.0

Okay... so I've been meaning to join the fun for weeks now but with school starting back up and especially with it being my LAST semester of college (Ah!)... I've had other things on the mind... can you blame me?

Let me tell you just how nerdy I am... I set a reminder on my phone to go off this morning, at lunch time and dinner time to remind me to take my WIAW pictures... yea, go ahead... laugh it up##

Anyway... On to the fun!

Chia Banana Hemp Pudding, topped with fresh delicious strawberries and flax cereal for that all important crunch! (This is a spin-off version of my Divine Chia Breakfast Pudding - quickly becoming my new favorite breakfast!)

Morning Snack
In the midst of a lot of reading for classes I took a break and enjoyed this delicious Chocolate Banana Bread (recipe from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen) with a small glass of V8 juice.

Today's lunch was simple yet fulfilling ~ my homemade Savory Herb Amaranth Crackers, a healthy serving of homemade cashew butter (recipe coming soon!) and a perfectly ripe golden delicious apple.

A perfect combo of leftover grilled salmon, sauteed bell peppers and caramelized onions, homemade kale chips and puffed millet for a little more substance. Delish!

Evening Snack
Today was a long day at school, getting there at noon and not getting home until 8:30pm. I ate my lunch in class at 1:00pm and then had a killer hour and a half workout around 3:00pm. Needless to say I was starving at 6:00 and ate an earlier dinner than I was planning on. Point being - I was definitely ready for a snack when I got home. Nothing says "it's finally time to relax" like a bowl of cinnamon chex, dried blueberries and vanilla hemp milk - mmmmm mmmm good.

Happy (halfway through the week) Wednesday!