Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mini meat loaf, Make-your-own raw cookies

Okay, so I feel like I JUST said “Happy March!” and now it’s time for “Happy April!”  I am itching for spring and summer weather though, so if the time flying by is the sacrifice I must make in order to feel the hot sun upon my face … that sacrifice is worth it!

Mini Meat Loaf

Last night for dinner we had mini meat loafs served with black quinoa, and barely steamed cauliflower and zucchini squash. Delicious!AAA  Erik created this meatloaf recipe, and I put it together. Here’s how they were made:

-- 1 lb. lean grass fed beef
-- 2 tbsp. minced garlic
-- 1 whole wheat slice of bread crumbled in little pieces (I used the butt of the bread, since it’s harder, and will set up better)
-- 2 eggs
-- 1/2 cup milk
-- 2 tbsp. ketchup
-- 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
-- 1 tsp. chili powder
-- pepper and sea salt, as desired

--Mix all ingredients together really well, place individual balls of uncooked meatloaf into a cupcake pan, and cook at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until browned all the way through.
-- Enjoy!
“Make-Your-Own” Raw Cookies

These cookies are delicious! I truly didn’t expect them to be.  The other day Erik wanted some kind of dessert.  He requested Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes, but I opted for something a lot faster.BI’ve made these a couple times now and have found that after the “base” cookie, you can add a variety of ingredients and they’ll taste great!

“Make Your Own Raw Cookie” base:
-- 1 3/4 cup raw cashews
-- 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
-- 1/4 cup agave nectar
-- 2 tsp. vanilla
-- 1/4 cup coconut oil

Add-Ins: This is your time to get creative! Add whatever you love: dried berries, seeds, chocolate, nuts, etc.  My add-ins were:
-- Chia seeds
-- Hemp seeds
-- Raw cacao nibs
-- Raisins
-- A few dark chocolate chips
-- Topped with goji berries

-- Using a blender or food processor, blend together cashews and oats until they become a finely ground (but not too long, or you’ll get cashew butter instead)
-- Mix blended cashews and oats with wet ingredients, and your choice of add-ins
-- Form into cookies, place on parchment paper, and freezer for 30 minutes, then enjoy!
BBBBThese will need to be stored in the freezer.  Let thaw for about five minutes before eating.

We love these! So easy to make, nutritious, and delicious!
Now after all this food talk, I’m starving … time to find something for dinnerSmile


What are you favorite cookie add-ins??

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sprouts, Summer fruit, Super smoothie

I just realized that it’s just about April already. Spring seems to go by so quickly!  It’s probably the nicer weather and because I’m itching for steady 70 and 80 degree weather once again!


We’ve been enjoying the fruit of our latest grocery shopping fun at Whole Foods.  I mentioned that we planned to start juicing more.  We also decided we need to start eating more raw fruits and vegetables in general.  There’s been a few too many Amy’s and Kashi frozen pizzas and burritos eaten lately (not to mention sweet potato fries on my part, ha), and not as much “real” food as normal.

Enter: sproutsA
This is a clover sprout salad with celery, mushrooms, chopped walnuts, feta, and vinegar & oil.  I love the taste of sprouts!

A few facts about the health benefits of sprouts:

  • Rich in essential nutrients and minerals.  Sprouting makes an already nutritious food even more nutritious since it’s still “living”
  • High in protein.
  • Great source of enzymes. This helps keep our bodies healthy, fit, and energetic, and also makes sprouts easy to digest.
  • Contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals, that can protect against disease.


Breakfast this morning was 2 slices of toasted Bread of Life raisin bread with cashew butter and a little local honey, served with a strawberry Greek yogurt, and my vitamins, ha.  I put them on my plate so I wouldn’t forget to take them.

Bread of Life is a local KC organic bakery.  We don’t usually buy their bread for no reason in particular, but we picked up a loaf at the food expo we went to this past weekend.


My husband surprised me with lunch today.  My nose lured me out of my office to see that Erik had made me this:AAAA
A grass fed grilled bison burger topped with caramelized onions and cheese on an Ezekiel bun.  Yum!!

Followed by some cantaloupe. Summer fruit, anyone??AAA
Super Smoothie

For my afternoon pick-up, I made a super smoothie.  I’m always slightly afraid my smoothies won’t turn out well … too much ice, not enough ice, too sweet, not sweet enough, etc, etc.  But today’s combo was perfect!BBBIt included:

  • A huge handful of spinach
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and broken apart
  • 1/2 really ripe banana
  • 1 TB acai powder
  • 1 ts maca powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Generous squirt agave nectar
  • 5ish ice cubes

I’ve decided the key to a delicious smoothie (at least for me) is the additional of juice from an orange, grapefruit, lime, or lemon. Perfect!

Now I’m off to cook some dinner! I also get to pick up my really good friend from the airport, who will be in Missouri for about a week … yay!

What’s on your dinner menu for tonight??


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chicken tikka masala, Local & organic food expo

I’m not sure where spring weather is hiding, but it has to come eventually, right??

Our weekend has been pretty good, though Erik’s back has been bothering him a lot lately.  It seemed to not bother him on Saturday, but today it’s been hurting more.  He’s been taking it easy, and I’m trying to be a good nurse!

Delicious Twist

Friday night’s dinner started out as quick & easy pasta, but ended in a delicious twist!A
We added sound mini ground chicken meatballs that were cooked in olive oil on a skillet.  Erik magically seasoned them, and they tasted awesome!
AA AAA1 Eat Local & Organic Food Expo

Our Saturday morning started out at the Eat Local & Organic Food! EXPO put on by Kansas City Food Circle.AAAA1
It was filled with local organic farmers with info about their farms, different CSAs, starter plants, baked goods, etcetera. We came home with a nice big pile of reading material.
This EXPO was held in Independence, and for those of you who live in the KC area, there’s
another EXPO being held in Shawnee this coming Saturday (April 2nd) at the Shawnee Civic Center from 9:00 to 2:00.
We might go to that one tooSmileBB
We came away eating this Greens Plus bar.  It was a lot like Amazing Grass. The only problem with bars like this is that they’re pretty $$$.BBB
Whole Foods Time

Needless to say, we also picked up a few carrots while we were out (excuse the messy hair):CCCOkay, maybe a lot of carrots, ha.  After we left the food expo, it was off to Whole Foods.  We decided we wanted to start juicing more, which will be coming up in future posts. 

Of course we couldn’t help ourselves and got much more than a giant bag of carrots, and I’ll be featuring some of our other fun finds soon.  But for now … some delicious, fresh carrot juice.C
Chicken Tikka Masala

For this week’s Operation Motivation, my baked good and main dish recipe was contained in one meal:CC
Chicken Tikka Masala with homemade garlic naan bread.  I roughly used this recipe for the masala, and worked off the naan recipe from here.

I don’t usually follow recipes exactly, but I always need something to work off of!CCC
I would enthusiastically tell you my adaptations and post the recipes, because we love Indian food.  But truth be told, we hardly ate any of this dish! The sad part is, it tasted really, really good.  The problem was that it was way too hot!  Next time … no cayenne at all!! Anyone really like spicy food?  Maybe I could overnight the rest to you? Haha.

Live, and learn! Now I’ve got a house to clean, and a husband to take care of. 
Hope you enjoyed your weekend! Smile


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ceramic knives, Chobani breakfast & Nature’s Pride

Hiiii, hope your week has been great!

My condolences to those of you who may currently be experiencing springtime snow.  I’m hoping the lovely white stuff decides to skip Kansas City until next year! We’ve had enough, I promise.

Chobani BreakfastAIt had been awhile since I’d had a nice big bowl of Greek yogurt, and as of late I’m addicted to bananas … thus a perfect breakfast combination was formed.

In the mix: Chobani vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 sliced banana, a spoonful of chocolate peanut butter, granola, and a little agave. Delicious!AANature’s Pride

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker’s Program, I received this loaf of bread in the mail to try out:AAAI hadn’t ever tried Nature’s Pride bread, though I always see it in groceries stores and people seem to like it.  I’m bad at branching out … you know me, I’m still stuck on Rudi’s spelt bread.

While my heart is staying with Rudi, I was very happy with this bread. It’s softer and more bendable than what I’m used to so it’s nice to mix it up a little bit.AAAABecause of it’s softness, it went really well as a tuna sandwich.  I always toast my bread too, just makes it that much better! 

Conclusion: this bread would make a good addition to any healthy lunch! B BB
Ceramic Knives

For whatever reason, I never got around to blogging about this, but we love these so better late than never. 

We had been eying Kyocera’s ceramic knives for awhile, and for Christmas my parents got us a set of two.  The blades come in white and black.  We opted for black.B1Facts about ceramic knives:

-- They’re ideal for straight cuts of fruits, vegetables, and boneless meats
-- Ceramic knives retain their original sharpness more than 10 times longer than steel knives
-- The only thing harder than the ceramic material used to make these is diamond (they’re really sharp!)
-- They are very lightweight, so cutting is made easier
-- Ceramic knives are chemically inert.  This means they won’t give food a metallic smell/taste or brown your food as some steel knives will.  The surface will also resist germs, making for a very easy clean

We really love our ceramic knives, and they come highly recommended from the Lesley Lifting Life kitchen!

What kind of knives do you use?


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bagel Time

Okay, so it’s about that time of year where I talk about the weather in excitement so much that I start to feel like a weather woman, ha. 

That being said … the last two days have been almost 80 degrees!! I love it so much I can hardly stand it.  My office windows have wide open letting the nice breeze blow in … perfect!!

Waffle Time

Sunday morning’s breakfast was quick … a frozen Van’s waffle with bananas, some melted chocolate peanut butter, and some agave.A22Check out that melted goodness!
Lunch Time

After church, I decided on a tuna salad, as there was only enough taco leftovers for one of us.

In the mix:
-- 1 can tuna, rinsed
-- 3/4’ish cup wild rice (I happened to have some cooked in the fridge)
-- 1 laughing cow cheese wedge (mixed in with the tuna pre salad)
-- Walnuts
-- Feta cheese
-- pepper
-- Mrs. Dash garlic & herb seasoning
-- Lettuce mix
-- Vinegar & oil for dressing
AAAANot the greatest salad I’ve ever had, but certainly not the worst, ha.

Bagel Time

And then, it was bagel time, which was also Operation Motivation’s baked good of the week (week three). I used to make bagels back before Lesley Lifting Life’s existence, and decided to make a go at it again. 

I put on my Alexia All Natural apron and got to work. (Gotta represent my favorite sweet potato fries and all, haha).A11The bagel recipe is Authentic New York-Style Homemade Bagels Recipe from, so if you want to take a stab at them … there you go!

I believe the secret is boiling them for 45 seconds in the malt syrup water before baking them. It helps give them the right texture.BBBB1Thoughts: Overall success, though I need to work on these a bit, as they didn’t come out as good as I wanted them to. Having not made from for at least 2 years, though, they weren’t too bad.

Next time, I will make the holes a lot smaller too. CAnd now the finished product:C2I topped a few with poppy seed, a few with sesame seed, and a few with “everything”,  aka poppy, sesame, and caraway seeds.CCCC1DD1 DDD1
The sad part is, I didn’t think to get any cream cheese, and a bagel just isn’t a bagel with anything else. Next time … ha.

And that’s it for me! I’m currently taking suggestions for healthy(er) cupcake recipes, so if anyone has any recipes I can’t live without, do share!


What do you like to eat bagels with??

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