Meal Plan Monday: 3/6/16

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Good evening lovelies.

Hope you had a spectacular weekend! I was in Madison with my college friends for a little girls’ weekend extravaganza. We had a blast, as always. A little winery action, a little townie bar, some more townie bars, a little dancing to Justin Bieber, and a lot of belly laughing in between!

Even a group of 21-year-olds complimented us with a “you are our role models”. Yea, we’re cool like that. :)

Well it’s back to reality for now. Sundays are for lounging and spending time with loved ones. And I suppose for shopping and meal prepping for the week too! Sometimes you just gotta get stuff done – you know?!

Saturday we are leaving for Seattle for 10 days for a little 30th day birthday celebration for me. The big 3-0! I must say I actually don’t mind getting older. If you ask me, life gets better with age. So bring on the next decade!

Back to the meal prep. Here’s what our meal plan for the week:

Monday

Breakfast: eggs with roasted sweet potatoes

Lunch: Caesar salad with grilled chicken

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Prepped and ready to go!

Dinner: leftover grass-fed beef burgers with grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, tomato and a side of roasted asparagus

Tuesday

Breakfast: Green Goddess smoothie (check it out in this post here!)

Lunch: Caesar salad with grilled chicken

Dinner: Lobster tacos with guacamole and homemade tortillas

Wednesday

Breakfast: Perfect Bar

Lunch: leftover lobster tacos

Dinner: out with family

Thursday

Breakfast: eggs with roasted sweet potato

Lunch: TBD

Dinner: TBD

Friday

Breakfast: smoothie

Lunch: work networking lunch

Dinner: out with friends/family for early birthday celebration!

 

Not perfectly planned out, but we’ve got a good start! Will have to re-visit later this week to round it out.

What we bought:

small package baby spinach

5 bananas

5 oranges (for snack)

1.5 lbs. grass-fed ground beef

3 perfect bars

2 yogurt cups (for hubby’s breakfast)

2 Kaiser rolls

4 organic chicken breasts

3 avocados

2 jalapeños

2 limes

1 tomato

1 bunch organic asparagus

3 heads organic romaine lettuce

1 hand-rolled butter log

What we had on hand already:

3 sweet potatoes (from Costco)

peanut butter

eggs (in bulk from Costco)

coconut milk (from last week)

frozen lobster tails

condiments for caesar salad dressing (check out the recipe here!)

parmesan (for the salad’s parm crisps – check out the recipe here!)

ingredients for flour tortillas (check out the recipe here!)

fresh cilantro

fresh mushrooms (leftover from last week)

onions (we buy in bulk at Costco!)

What kind of meals are you making this week? Let me know – I’m always in need of foodspiration! :)

Have a great week ya’ll!

The 5 Things To Do To Feel Better Faster

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You know that feeling when you come down with a nasty cold and panic because of how much you have going on that day/week/weekend? That would be me today. A cold is one of those things that seems too whimpy to stay home with, yet that’s exactly what we should be doing!

Last night I was extremely exhausted after meeting a friend for dinner, so I went to bed wayyy before my normal bedtime. Although I thought I slept well, when I woke up BAM! sore throat and full blown head cold. What the heck?!

I’m going to blame it on a combination of sharing water bottles with sick kiddos (I know, I know, not the smartest idea), traveling, lack of sleep and having a jam-packed week before leaving again yet tomorrow for the weekend. Did I mention I haven’t even unpacked from when we got home Monday night? **sigh**

So what do you do when you’ve got a full day ahead and need to bring your A game? You rev up your wellness game, and quick!

The 5 Things To Do To Feel Better Faster:

5) Drink a LOT of water. Like chugging style drink a lot of water.

4) Oil pull. Scoop up a chunk of coconut oil, put it in mouth, and swish around for around 10 minutes (or whatever my schedule/gag reflux will allow!). Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that is rumored to pull out toxins. I do this the morning after I’ve had to much to drink as well!

3) Gargle with salt water. My grandma did it, my mom did it, and I do it. It’s one of those old remedies that according to this article by Mayo Clinic, really works.

2) Drink herbal tea with lemon. I love this Traditional Medicinals EveryDay Detox tea. Add a little honey to up the soothing. Ahhhhh…

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1) Take Immunity Vitamins! These Source Natural Wellness Formula vitamins (check out my review here!) are hands down the number one thing I swear by to feel better faster. My husband and I both agree that if we start taking them as soon as start feeling under the weather, it’s unlikely that we feel unwell for more than 1-2 days.

Oh, and eat chicken noodle soup. It’s good for the soul. :)

Check out my recipes below:

Chicken Noodle Soup with Kale

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Here’s to a happy and healthy weekend ya’ll! 

Kate

Destination: San Diego

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There’s something to be said about what a few days away in the sun can do for a girl’s (or guy’s for that matter!) soul.

Before I leave for anywhere out of the town, my mind is at its max. There is a constant re-playing of all the things I need to do before I leave running through my head. It’s like: “Attention! ATTENTION! You need to do ALL THE THINGS!!”. (Including silly little things like get my nails done…first world problems…)

Similar to the concept I teach in yoga classes: ‘Maximum effort, maximum relaxation’. Do all the things are quickly as possible before you run out of time, and then, do nothing at all until you return. Well nothing except eat, drink, and explore. My kind of vacation indeed.

Here’s a wrap up of the best things from San Diego:

Tacos:

Herb tortilla tacos with tamarind-chili drunken shrimp from Puesto at The Headquarters. Love that they use sustainably-sourced meats and organic/local ingredients!

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View:

La Jolla Cove. Enough said.

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Drink:

This dehydrated mango/lime/chili infused tequila, agave nectar, and lime juice margarita with a seaweed ice cube from George’s At The Cove. Talk about unique!

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Food experience:

In-N-Out Burger. It was my first time – no judgement please!

 

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Dessert:

My birthday sea urchin cookie/french vanilla ice cream/half chocolate-half cinnamon cookie from Water Grill. Everything at that restaurant was spot, especially the clam chowder and Chilean sea bass!

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Traveling partner:

This guy. Like there’s any competition. :)

 

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Airport food:

Lemonade (Seasonal California Comfort Food)

Love the variety of fresh salads they have here (and their deliciously fresh and unique lemonade flavors – thus the name!). Like this corn and sweet potato salad, arugula with cheese and blue cheese, and turmeric thyme corn chowder.

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We also visited the San Diego Zoo, checked out Coronado Beach (and picked some seashells for my collection at home!), strolled along the La Jolla boardwalk, spent the afternoons by the pool, and checked out Ballast Point brewery.

All in all, it was a fun-filled sun-filled (my take on sun’s out, guns out) and relaxing trip. Just what this girl needed!

Did I mention it’s supposed to be in the 50s next week in MN?! Bring on the early spring!!

Have a great week, friends. Till next time!

Meal Planning Monday

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Hello there! And a very Happy Monday to you. :)

The hubby and I are leaving for San Diego in….drumroll please….3 days! This Minnesotan girl is sure looking forward to a little sun and warmth on this pasty skin.

Today I thought I’d kick off Meal Planning Monday (can I get a #mealplanningmonday please?!). We have been trying to be better about discussing on Sunday when were going to be home for dinner for the upcoming week, what we want for breakfast/lunch/dinner, and actually grocery shopping accordingly. It prevents so much angst during the week by not having to go to the store and decide what to make for dinner after working all day. By that time, my brain is fried! Not to mention, it helps us waste less food by being planned out, and make less excuses to eat out. Win win all around!

This week is a short week for us being we are leaving for vacaaayyyy (can you sense how excited I am through the screen?!) on Thursday. However, we still discussed yesterday what we wanted to do for the week and made a late night grocery stop after dinner.

Here’s what’s on our menu for the week:

Monday:

Breakfast: Perfect Bar and banana

The Cranberry Crunch ones are my favorite (and one of the only ones I can eat being I gave up almonds!). Good amount of protein, whole foods, and chock full of nutrients. My only complaint is that they are a little high on sugar (even if it is in the form of honey – still could use a tad less of it!).
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Lunch: Italian salad

with salami, fresh mozzarella, baby tomatoes, and balsamic dressing for Andy

Chicken Noodle Soup and a Power Kale Caesar Salad from Panera for Katie (that one was unplanned!)

Dinner: Lamb burgers

with grilled onions and tzatziki and a side of curry roasted sweet potatoes

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Tuesday:

Breakfast: peanut butter banana smoothie

with mixed root veggies (carrots, parsnips, sweet potato)

Lunch: Italian salad/leftover lamb burger

Dinner: homemade lobster mac n’ cheese with broccoli

Wednesday:

Breakfast: smoothie or eggs with sourdough toast

Lunch: leftover mac n’ cheese with broccoli

Dinner: out with old coworker (TBD where!)

Thursday:

Breakfast: smoothie or eggs with sourdough toast

Lunch: work lunch at Donatelli’s (from Drive Ins, Diners, and Dives!)

Dinner: In San Diego!!!!

What we bought for the week:

1 loaf artisan sourdough bread

4 bananas

1/2 gallon coconut milk (for smoothies)

2 Perfect Bars

3 hearts organic romaine lettuce (in package)

1 small carton baby tomatoes

1 package sliced salami

2 balls fresh mozzarella

1 pound ground lamb

2 frozen lobster tails

small carton half and half or whole milk

What we already had on hand for the week:

organic eggs (we buy in 2 dozen packs from Costco!)

all-natural peanut butter

Tillamook cheddar cheese block (from Costco)

frozen mixed root vegetables (from Costco)

large bag broccoli florets (from Costco)

cavatappi noodles

balsamic vinegar and olive oil

rosemary (for lamb burgers)

quarter of cucumber (made into tzatziki sauce)

sour cream (for tzatziki)

onions (we buy in bulk at Costco)

sweet potatoes (also in bulk from Costco)

Alright folks – that’s it for this week! Until next time…

ron_burgendy

 

:)

Friday Favorites – What I’m Loving This Week!

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Well hey there! And HAPPY FRIDAY!

My mom and I chit chat on the phone at least a few times a week, but on Fridays she almost always remembers to text me ‘Happy Friday! I love you.’ if I don’t talk to her. One of those small little gestures that I appreciate probably more than she knows.

This Friday is happy indeed. The hubby and I have ab-so-lut-ly nothing (say it again!) planned, and it feels amazing. We’ve had at least one big event on the past few weekends, Andy was gone a few weekends in January (including in Baltimore for the snow storm of the decade!), and this is the last weekend I’ll be home until the last weekend in March (helloooo San Diego, Madison and Seattle!).

Needless to say, this weekend is for rest. And maaaayybe painting the kitchen on Sunday (read: hopeful but slightly doubtful). We’ll see how far we get with that one!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a Friday Favorites, but today is the day my friends.

Here’s what I’m loving on this Friday:

Favorite Hair Color: Auburn with Strawberry Blonde Highlights

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I’m thinking I could pull this off, what do you think?!

Favorite Smoothie: Vegan Goddess Green Smoothie

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This is my ultimate favorite smoothie. So easy to make, healthy, and delicious!

  • handful baby spinach (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 banana
  • heaping spoonful peanut/favorite nut butter (approx. 2 TBSP)
  • sprinkle chia seeds (approx. 1  tsp)
  • sprinkle flax seeds (approx. 1 tsp)
  • orange juice or dairy-free milk of choice (approx. 1/2 cup)

Blend up in a blender/ninja/whatever you’ve got and enjoy!

Favorite Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Made this baby for girls dinner + wine night and it was a hit! Used this recipe here but substituted half dark chocolate chips and half semi-sweet chocolate chips. So fudgy and melt-in-your-mouth good! I’m going to attempt to make it without the added sugar next time…

Favorite Wine Bottle Label: Dachshund (aka Weiner Dog) Riesling

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The cuteness….I can’t even!!!

Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Caribou Almond Milk Dark Hot Chocolate and Deep River Rosemary & Olive Oil Kettle Chips

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Something about that salty and sweet combo + rosemary that keeps me coming back. So unique +delicious!

Favorite Work Tote: This mystery guy right here.

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I found this baby at Marshall’s, decided I couldn’t afford the $150 price point, and took a picture so I could remember it. The problem – I can’t seem to read the brand on the bag! I think it says Duir Ross but my internet searches come up with zip, zero, nada. Any idea?! Anyone? Bueller?

 

That’s all I’ve got for you today friends. Hope you have a great weekend!

 

Catchup+ Recipe Roundup

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Well hey there! Been a few months (not that that surprises you at the rate I’m going these days!). If you remember I posted awhile back about how I’m going to start blogging when I feel like vs. when I feel like I should be (read about it here). It’s worked out well. Blogging is back to being a sense of joy for me. Which let’s be honest, it should be! This blog is not a source of income for me nor do I expect it to be.

You may also remember that the last time I posted I was in the thick of coaching soccer and studying for my Series 7 and Series 66 (read about that struggle here!). Well good news – I passed both my exams in October and officially started my new career early November!

(Here’s a pic of the sunset from my hotel room during training week – hello new Vikings stadium!):

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Last week was my last week of training and now I am officially a Financial Associate with Thrivent Financial. I have been LOVING it so far. A great mix of challenge + flexibility. It’s great being able to help people meet their financial goals and stress less about money.

Speaking of money, getting financial affairs in order is one of the top resolutions every year. Just like you, I’ve got my own ‘resolutions’ (aka goals) and one does revolve around money. Being where you want to be financially is a journey, and one that I embark on just like everyone else!

Here are my 2016 goals:

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I’ve gotten more deliberate about setting goals and breaking them into smaller steps (passsionplanner.com helps with this too!) and it will be fun to see how it all unfolds. I’ve also been enjoying the book ‘The Compound Effect’ by Darren Hardy. It’s a great reminder of how the small daily habits we have really add up and can make a big difference.

What are your 2016 goals? Would love to hear about them!

So what else is new?

A few things in fact.

1) I started upcycling furniture and it is SO MUCH FUN! Talk about instant gratification. I’ve completed two pieces so far (you can check out my Etsy store here!) and am currently working on my third. It’s a former printer/copier cart that I’m turning into a rolling kitchen island/bar cart. I love scoring Craigslist for free furniture and then giving it a new life.

I completed this nightstand earlier this winter (complete with a cool chalkboard top!).

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2) I attempted the Paleo diet this Fall (and I mean attempted in a big way).

As I’m all for trying new things I thought I would try Paleo out after the soccer season ended. I learned that

a) I don’t like meat that much (no surprise as I was a vegetarian for a short time in my past)

b) I never felt satisfied

and

c) I had the worst stomach aches!

As you may or may not, I already have enough stomach issues (which a lot have been fixed by omitting almonds from my diet!) and the cramping and intense gas I had during trying Paleo was just not worth it. Not to mention I felt like I was getting too restrictive and slipping back into eating disorder land. And that is certainly no good.

I did discover some yummy recipes while attempting it, like this chorizo butternut squash egg bake (based off this recipe):

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It was super yummy (even the husband loved it!) and I would definitely make something similar again. I also made this cauliflower fried ‘rice’ recipe that was good too (my husband actually liked that one more than I did!).

Overall though, it certainly wasn’t for me. I have gotten to know my body better and know that sugar, alcohol and fried foods treat it the worst (lethargic, irritable, etc.), and carbs in general are typically not the problem.

So what else have I been making these days?

This vegetarian sweet potato and quinoa chili was super yummy (I added 4 cloves garlic).

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I also made a potato chowder (with leeks, caraway havarti cheese, and crispy panchetta – yum!) that was delicious as well!

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I’ve been prepping veggies to enjoy all week (like this roasted butternut squash on avocado toast)

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and the husband and I finally used our pasta maker (for some homemade spaghetti and meatballs).

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Hope you enjoyed today’s catch up + recipe roundup!  :)

Hope your 2016 is off to a great clean-eating start!

-Kate

 

Healthier Raspberry Rhubarb Muffins Recipe

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Hello there ya’ll!

This is going to be a quick, quick, quick post. You know why? It’s Date Night!

During the football/soccer season, the hubby and I’s interactions usually consist of “have a great day”, “see you after _____________ (fill in sport activity)”, and “what do you want me to pick up for dinner?” (or the “sorry but you’re on your own for dinner”) kind of conversations. Not a lot of time for fun date nights. Our nights in the Fall consist of attending one another’s games, or eating take-out on the couch after a long and exhausting day. Neither of which I’m complaining about, by the way.

Weekends have been just as busy with games on Friday nights and Saturday days, and tonight (FINALLY!) we have nothing scheduled and turned down a few invites to make time for just the two of us (cue ‘Just the Two of Us’ by Will Smith – do you remember that song? I sure do!). Cuz that’s important too, ya know?

And Sundays when I have nothing, I like to try and whip up a few things for the week. Especially when the leftovers last for a few days! Like these delicious sweet and tangy muffins.

I picked up the last bit of rhubarb and raspberries from the farmers market, and made these Healthier Raspberry Rhubarb Muffins. The whole wheat flour and added protein from the Greek yogurt prevent the I-just-ate-a-muffin-that-might-as-well-have-been-a-cupcake kind of feel. And that my friends, is a good good thing.

(This recipe was adapted from http://www.motherthyme.com/2012/05/rhubarb-berry-yogurt-muffins.html)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb (about 2 larger stalks or 4 smaller)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt of choice (I used Greek Gods Honey yogurt – it’s what we had in the house!)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raspberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 12 cup muffin tin with liners and set aside.
  2. Chop two large rhubarb stalks (or four smaller stalks!) into cubes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger. Still just until ingredients are combined.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add yogurt, melted butter, egg, vanilla extract and stir with flour mixture just until combined. Don’t over mix.
  5. Fold rhubarb and berries in batter just until combined.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan about ¾ full.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean and tops are golden brown.
  8. Place on wire rack to cool.

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Enjoy!

Saint Dinette here we come!

A Word on Struggle (+ All Natural Drain Cleaner)

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Struggle.

(Or as my students would say, the struggle…is real.)

It’s a word that we often associate with times of hardship, feelings of hopelessness, desperation, and sometimes, depression.

Everyone struggles. Perhaps not with the same things (i.e. 1st world vs. 3rd world problems), but I think you and I would be hard-pressed to not find someone who doesn’t struggle, at one point or another, in one aspect of their lives or another.

Take this Ted Talk by Cameron Russell for example. A beautiful, famous model describing the modeling industry and the most insecure women in the world (models, of course). I know girls (and women!) who would die to have a supermodel figure (myself one of them, way long ago). It’s a great reminder that people whom we have deemed to have “perfect” bodies, are no happier than the rest of us love-handle/muffin-top/saddle-bag/cellulite-ridden people.

And what about social media? We post things when our lives are going great, when we are filled with love and happiness, and experiencing exciting times. Sometimes we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others on social media. A dangerous game when you are comparing yourself to someone who gets to choose what they display about their life.

Struggle. It’s what makes us human. (And the beautiful opposite of struggle, triumph.)

A former student of mine posted this on Facebook the other day. It rings true to my heart, and is a reminder to be more gentle with myself when I’m feeling, well, the struggle.

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All summer I’ve been studying for this Series 7 financial exam. I can honestly say this has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done. While I consider myself relatively smart, this in no way compares to anything I’ve had to do yet in my academic career. Struggling through the material, earning less than passing scores over and over again; it can sure bring a girl down. Although the hubby and I have had a pretty great summer (I mean we did get married after all!), this is also the most I’ve struggled with my self-confidence in who knows how long. All because of a stinking test! (Which of course, is much more than that. It’s also necessary to start my job and get paid.).

The test is on Tuesday and although I’ve only earned one passing score (out of 13 tries) on a practice exam, I’m still feeling O.K. Maybe it’s because I’m ready for the experience to just be here and be done with. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling like the universe will take care of me and it will all work out the way it’s supposed to. Either way, if I do fail, I can always try try again. Even if it doesn’t pay off the first time, usually, we get more than one chance to make it right. And because we are miraculous beings, it’s often if we put our mind to it, that we do end up succeeding at whatever it is we were struggling at (or we find something else to struggle and eventually succeed at!). And therein lies the beauty of struggle. The sweet sweet reward knowing our efforts, pain, suffering (or in my case, serious lack of self-confidence) was indeed, all worth it.

And speaking of struggle, let’s talk about clogged drains (ewww, right?!). We have had a clogged bathroom sink for a few days and totally forgot the Drano while at Target today. So, I took to the internet. Did you know you can clean your drains without harsh chemicals? Here’s what you need:

All Natural Drain Cleaner

1/2 cup baking soda

1 cup vinegar

1 qt. boiling water

Pour the baking soda and vinegar down the drain (or over if you cannot remove plug) and cover or plug back up for roughly 30 mins. Then pour boiling water over. Taa-daa! Clog be gone.

You may have to repeat the process several times, but it did the trick for our nasty bathroom sink.

And that my friends, is my take on struggle (life and otherwise!).

Here’s to hoping you have a very struggle-free week!

Until next time….

Happy clean eating (and living!). 

Getting Deliberate + What We Ate This Week

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So, those two topics are completely unrelated…

or, are they?

Depending on who you are, you may or may not be deliberate about your diet and what you eat day in and day out. If you know about my story, I used to be VERY deliberate with my diet and what I ate. Too deliberate (read: Eating Disorder – yikes!).

Some of us are deliberate in our meal planning and grocery shopping. Some of us are deliberate in our counting calories and exercise regimens. Some of us are not so deliberate (read: ME!), and that’s ok too. I like to listen to my body these days. Feed it what it’s craving, and exercise when I want to (which is usually pretty often – unless I’m laid up with a bad ankle which I have been for over a week!).

Although my hubby and I are not so much ones to a) create a food budget and stick to it b) grocery shop on regular intervals and c) menu plan, I am perfectly ok with that. We’ve got a great little locally owned grocery store a few blocks away, and usually communicate in the middle of the day about what we’re craving (lamb burgers? yep!). Then, ones of us goes and picks it up quick on our way home. It helps us reduce waste by not buying too much at the grocery store (because you never know when the urge to grab a spontaneous dinner out might pop up!). This past week, however, we started to become a little more deliberate with our food/menu planning. You know why? Yep, you guessed it. It is Fall Sports Season (also referred to as FSS)!

Football started this past Monday, Soccer starts this next Monday.

So Sunday night, we put together a few things we could eat throughout the week.

This Broccoli Salad (except we used about half the mayo, and used honey instead of sugar):

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These Chocolate Chip Cookies:

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This is all that is left. Don’t judge.

Roasted potatoes with bacon (to be eaten with our fried eggs in the morning!):

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With leftover grilled green beans from our Lamb Chops and Green Beans dinner. So good!

And I made a Sausage/Onion and Pepper Crock Pot dish.

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Forgotten paper towel on top while microwaving = hot mess (literally!)

The husband, not a crock pot fan. And if you’ve ever tasted his cooking you know why. Because he can out-cook a crock pot (and me!) a million times over. For me though, I’ve got less picky tastebuds, and don’t mind the sometimes lack of texture that comes with crock pot cooking. Not to mention it’s easy and fast, and prevents me from eating too much crap out.

The recipe: 2 onions (cut into chunks), 4 green bell peppers (cut into chunks), 5 cloves garlic (peeled and roughly chopped), 4 Costco fully-cooked organic chicken sausages (sliced into coins), a jar of spaghetti sauce (my mom bought me a jar of a local brand), lots of Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and you’ve got yourself dinner! Or in my case, lunch/dinner for the week. Oh and you cannot forget the parmesan cheese on top. Cheese for me is a necessity. On high (or low for longer) for a few hours until onions and peppers are softened and sausage heated through.

Ok, so back to being deliberate (and not in a food kind of way!). I’m reading this book The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. There’s a saying in there about how to DIG deep. And not in the suck-it-up kind of way. When you’re feeling restless/exhausted/overwhelmed you can

D – be Deliberate about your thoughts and behaviors

I -be Inspired to make a different choice

and

G – get Going (do something! anything! as long as it is it falls in line with the previous two)

I’ve been thinking about the DIG deep when I’m restless at night after a long day of studying, and I’m rotting my brain on Facebook (or whatever it might be!). It’s definitely been a game changer for me.

And speaking of deliberate, a friend of mine recommended to me the Passion Planner. Have you heard of it? It’s a pretty neat idea. A planner with built in goal-setting, reflection, and places to doodle/jot notes. So far, I love it.

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Color coding teacher at heart.

Hope you’ve had a good (deliberate!) week friends. And if not, well there is always next week. :)

Until next time,

Happy clean eating!

New Last Name + New Blog Changes

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Well hello there old friends!

It’s been one heck of a long time.

I am not quite sure the last time I posted, but I know this for certain: A LOT of things have changed since then!

Number 1 change:

I got a new last name! It’s Oelker (pronounced with a silent O). We got married on June 13th and it was absolutely magical. We were married at a very eclectic little barn (Green Acres Event Center) where we served food out of a food truck (Gastrotruck – absolutely amazing!), had s’mores and ice cream for dessert, and danced the night away.

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My stud muffin of a husband!

Number 2 change:

I chopped off all my hair!

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My “short hair don’t care” selfie

I was growing it out for the wedding, and once that was over I couldn’t take it anymore – buh bye long hair! I think I want to go a little short (pixie style) so stay tuned!

Number 3 change:

We’re moving to Australia! (J/K…I totally wish though!). The hubby and I had an amazing pre-moon (yes, that’s an early honeymoon) in Australia visiting my great uncle and our good friend K and Trav in March. It was a spectacular two weeks that words don’t do justice describing. We toured around Sydney and Melbourne with our family and friends and then headed up the coast to Port Douglas and Cairns for a few days of official “honeymoon”. It was my third time there, and the hubby’s first. When we got back he was like “I would move to Australia” and I’m like “Whaaaat?!”. I had been trying to tell him that since the beginning of our relationship, you know, before the whole buy a house and settle down thing. :)

IMAG1619

Sydney Opera House selfie – a must!  

Number 4 change:

I’m not teaching next year! Crazy, right? I have been in the teaching profession for 5 years, and decided to make the switch back into the business world. I’m currently studying to take my Series 7 exam (well right now I’m not, obviously!) so that I can be a Financial Planner with Thrivent starting this October. I’m excited and anxious for this new adventure, and although I will miss the kids dearly, I know it’s a step in the right direction and will continue to challenge me in my professional life!

Number 5 change:

Getting back to what matters with this blog. I took a long time off of blogging for multiple reasons. A) I was wedding planning. If you haven’t wedding planned all I can say is “uffda!”. What a money and time sucker (although totally worth it, of course!). And if you have then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about!

and B) I really didn’t have the passion for it like I used to. When I first started this blog I wanted to share my love of eating all-natural foods and how it helped me recover from an eating disorder. Somewhere over the past however many years, I got caught up in what I will call the “perfectionism” blogging trap. How do I make my blog better, more popular, etc.? I’m telling you friends, it was a crappy place to be. Sucks the joy out of what I love most – blogging for well, the fun of it. I started this blog as a creative outlet for myself, and somehow I lost sight of that along the way.

So, what changes can you expect?

1) Less recipes.

I’m sorry, but writing down recipes sucks. Not to mention, most of the time I’m just adapting someone else’s or my hubby and I are doing what we can “experimental” cooking. You know, where you taste as you go along and adjust ingredients as needed? (However, I do not recommend this for baking!). I will be sure to link up to recipes that I have used or slightly adapted from and post inspiration for you readers as well! There are too many good recipes already out there, no need to keep re-creating the wheel as they say.

2) Less stress over photography.

At one point, I wanted to have those droll-worthy blog pictures that other amazing bloggers have (like one of my favs, pinchofyum.com). I bought an expensive phone with the best camera available (I am too cheap/poor to buy a real nice camera!), bought a lighting system, and was reading tips and taking a million different pictures of the same dish (who knew you could have so many angles/lighting/settings to choose from!). First of all, do you know how cold food gets while you’re trying to take a picture of it for the umpteenth time?! Second of all, do you know how impatient other people you are eating with you get? :)

But in all seriousness, I’ll do my best to provide you with a nice picture, however, perfectionism isn’t really my thing. And likely it won’t ever be!

3) More well-roundedness (is that a word?).

I got so caught up in making my blog all about food and recipes, that I totally let go of other things I enjoy writing about. You know, like life and such. Now granted, this is a food blog by nature, so there will still be plenty of that. But I’m also looking forward to sharing some fun other things whenever the mood strikes!

4) Less trying to be something I’m not.

I am not a full-time blogger, nor will I likely ever be (honestly after working from home all summer I can officially say it is not my thing!). I’m a crazy busy soccer coach, board member, yoga instructor, soon-to-be financial planner, wife, and hopefully someday, mother. Although blogger is something I am also, it plays a very small role in my existence on this earth. I will continue to blog when I want to (not because I told myself I have to), blog about what I want to (not because someone told me it would increase ‘readership’), and remember the purpose of this blog: to share my clean-eating/living life with others so they can be inspired to live the best version of their life too!

To wrap it up, I can’t leave you with absolutely no talk on food. That would just be too unlike Eat Clean with Kate. It is one of my favorite things, after all!

Here’s what I’ve been especially enjoying this summer:

1) Panini Sandwiches.

Especially with local bacon, lots o veggies, artisan bread, and good melty cheese. Mmmm…. If you don’t have a panini press, you are seriously missing out.

IMAG2115_1

 2) Salads.

Does anything scream summer more?

grilled chicken and mango salad

Grilled chicken and mango salad (oh and some grilled romaine lettuce too!)

summer salad

 Better-than-Panera strawberry salad with homemade honey mustard dressing

3. Homemade pizza. On the grill. 

(Thank you wedding gift KitchenAid mixer for making my life so much easier!)

homemade pizza

Margherita Pizza with pesto. Simple and delicious.

Until next time friends…..

Happy clean eating! 

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Oooeey gooeey cheeessy weezzy Macaroni and Cheese.

(Set to the tune of ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’)

That she ate for the first time today….

Sing it with me now!

Or don’t. :) I get it.

I’m in one of those I’m-so-overtired-I’m-feeling-goofy moods. Since my last post (check it out here!) I’ve been really trying hard to make a better nighttime and morning routine. The first week back to school I was doing really well at my New Years “resolutions” and then last week I feel back into my normal routine. Staying up watching TV/being on my computer/phone too late, snoozing like crazy in the morning, and rushing off to work just to make it in right before school starts. No good. No good at all.

Last weekend (which by that I mean weekend before last) the fiance was out of town. I didn’t have a lot scheduled so it was nice to spend more time relaxing. I even got to finish my book (Beautiful Ruins – highly recommend!). This past weekend was also a little lazier than usual. Watched a few movies, walked to breakfast at the local cafe, visited with some family and friends. I love weekends like that. Which has got me thinking “‘why can’t every weekend be like that?”.

Besides the “resolutions” I made, I’m trying to simplify my life and slow down a bit. Back a few years ago, I started this blog as an outlet for myself and a resource for others. Over the course of time I’ve shifted my focus from the pure pleasure of writing about food and sharing stories of my life, to the stress of blog statistics, followers, etc. It was almost like Keeping up with the Joneses (but in a blogging kind of way).

There was so much worrying about what I was doing (and not doing!) on social media, who I was following (and who was following me), how the layout of my blog looked, etc. that I had started to resent blogging. Which is quite silly as I still love to cook and write, the two main reasons why I started this blog in the first place.

So I guess you could say I’m taking a step back. In a lot of different areas. I’ll likely not blog as much (who am I kidding, I wasn’t following a schedule anyway!), post on social media as much, etc. etc. So far, it feels good. Less stressful. Which is just what I need.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

My New Year mantra.

On my first post back, I’m sharing a recipe for this oooeey gooeey cheeessy weezzy Baked Macaroni and Cheese. The best Macaroni and Cheese I’ve yet to make. Insanely creamy on the inside, with a nice crunch on top (thank you Panko!).

It fits the ‘new’ year. It’s not gluten-free, it’s not dairy-free, and it’s sure as heck not ‘healthy’ by any standards. It is however, all-natural. And damn delicious.

It’s basically comfort food, on steroids.

I think you’ll agree. :)

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 lb. orecchiette, cavatappi, or elbow noodles

2 cups good shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

4 TBSP butter

2 TBSP flour

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 yellow onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 TBSP dry mustard

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs (for topping)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook noodles al dente, according to directions. Return to pot.

Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.

Saute onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add in flour, whisking consistently until a roux is formed (flour butter mixture turns golden brown).

Slowly add half-and-half and cream (or milk if making lighter version!), stirring as go.

Bring to a simmer and let thicken.

Take off heat. Slowly add in cheese and seasonings, stirring as you go.

Pour sauce over noodles. Mix until noodles are completely coated.

Transfer noodles into glass baking dish.

Top with breadcrumbs.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until dish is bubbly and top is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. orecchiette, cavatappi, or elbow noodles
  • 2 cups good shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP dry mustard
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1½ cups Panko breadcrumbs (for topping)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook noodles al dente, according to directions. Return to pot.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Saute onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add in flour, whisking consistently until a roux is formed (flour butter mixture turns golden brown).
  6. Slowly add half-and-half and cream (or milk if making lighter version!), stirring as go.
  7. Bring to a simmer and let thicken.
  8. Slowly add cheese in, stirring as you go.
  9. Pour sauce over noodles. Mix until noodles are completely coated.
  10. Transfer noodles into glass baking dish.
  11. Top with breadcrumbs.
  12. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until dish is bubbly and top is golden brown.
  13. Enjoy!

Until next time,

Happy clean eating!

Kate

2015 The Year of Awesome

2015 The Year of Awesome

Why hello there! It’s been awhile since I’ve written. Hope you had a fantastic holiday celebration!

I had two weeks off of work (which was fabulous!) and today was my first day back. Although I love lounging around and having the time to work on other things I love (blogging, lunching, cooking, reading, going to yoga, etc.) it felt good to be back in a routine.

The fiance and I recovered from the stomach flu (check out my easy chicken noodle soup here!) just in time to host our New Years Eve party. It’s was a blast seeing our friends (and some family!) together, enjoying good food and cocktails and ringing in the new year.

I love New Year’s. I’m a sucker for the excitement of counting down, for the cliche of fresh starts and new beginnings.

Before we go any further, let’s take a look back at 2014…

Lows of 2014:

Losing my father to his battle with liver cancer

And on a much smaller note, losing the first playoff game with my high school soccer team

Highs of 2014:

Turning my team around (yay to winning seasons!) and beating a team we hadn’t beat in a long time

Buying a house with my amazing fiance

There are many other highs and lows that came about this past year, but those were my most substantial. Overall it was a good year. However, I’m looking to 2015 to be an even better one.

I just got done reading an article about writing down everything you want to happen in the next year (no matter how absurd it sounds!). Being I don’t have a journal (yet!), I’m going to write them down here. So, here goes:

2015 The Year of Awesome

1) Triple my income (a girl can dream, riiiight?)

2) Bring my high school soccer team to state

3) Marry the man of my dreams (which is set to happen June 13th!) :)

4) Travel to Seattle and Portland

5) Start my own business

6) Start a family

Whew! That’s a lot of big things! I’ll keep you posted on how far I get. :)

Although I typically don’t make resolutions (or goals for that matter!) this year I’m trying something different. I’m attempting to tweak my lifestyle in small ways that will hopefully yield big (positive) results.

These my friends, are my New Years “Resolutions”:

1) Be done with technology by 10:00 p.m.

There have been way too many nights this past year that I have spent up too late on technology. No more nonsense. This will also hopefully give me more time for reading.

2) Get up by 6:30 a.m. to take 5-10 minutes to meditate, visualize, or do yoga. 

Instead of jumping out of bed and rushing through my morning, I’m looking forward to a more relaxing and positive morning routine for myself. This morning I tried it out. Lit a candle, sat on the floor with a nice throw, and visualized my day and year. It put me in an instant good mood and I felt great all day!

3) Buy a journal and use it.

I used to journal a ton when I was younger but haven’t done so in a very long time. I’m looking forward to getting back to the carefree nature of writing down what’s on my heart.

4) Eat breakfast BEFORE I get to work. 

This goes along with #2. Teaching first thing in the morning makes it difficult to eat breakfast at work, so I need to make this a priority so that I don’t feel like I’m always rushing.

5) Schedule two HIIT workouts a week. 

This one I usually already do, but scheduling them in will make it easier for me to stick to them.

6) Stop saying “yes” when I really mean “no”.

My good friend Lindsay told me to figure out 3 life values/goals and if what someone wants me to do doesn’t fall into one of them, then I need to say no. And I do need to say no more often. My time is valuable and wasting it on people or things I don’t love isn’t worth it.

So, that’s it! I’m sure this list will evolve over the course of the year, but those are the ones I’d like to start out with.

What are your New Years “Resolutions”?

Until next time,

Kate

2015 The Year of Awesome

 

 

 

 

 

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

loaded baked potato soup

The fiancé told me the other day that I should rename my blog to ‘Eat Soup with Kate’. After feeling slightly offended for a few seconds, I realized it’s not such a bad thing after all. Thanks darling. :)

If you’ve been following my blog you will understand when I say that I’ve really been loving soups lately. In fact, that’s all I’ve really been making (and thus, posting!) this winter.

And I’m ok with that. You know why?

a) Soups can be an extremely healthy meal option

b) Soups are insanely filling

c) Soups are so very versatile

d) Soups are delicious

e) Soups make great leftovers

And that is that. :)

I’ve made some classic standbys this winter (including this Chicken Wild Rice Soup and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup) as well as some new favorites (Healthy Broccoli Cheese and Sweet Potato Kale and Chorizo Soup).

Today I’m sharing a recipe for a Loaded Baked Potato Soup. I can’t say I’ve ever made my own before, and boy, was it good! This is not the bland baked potato soup you may have had before. The bright flavors of jalapeño and green onions compliment the richness of the milk, sour cream and cheese. Topped with caramelized onions, crisp bacon, and green onions, this soup is hearty, thick and delicious!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients:

6-8 large red potatoes (or 10-12 smaller ones), cut into 1-inch cubes

8 cups milk (I used whole milk from a local farmer)

1 cup sour cream (check out my recommended brands here!)

4 TBSP + 2 TBSP butter – divided

2 TBSP flour

2 cups cheddar cheese

8 pieces bacon, for topping

6 green onions, sliced thinly + extras for topping

1/2 onion, diced

1 jalapeño, minced

splash heavy cream (optional)

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400. Lay bacon on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake bacon until crisp. Remove from oven and transfer to paper towel lined plate to finish. Crumble with hands.

Meanwhile, melt 4 TBSP butter in large pot over medium heat. Once melted, add in flour and stir continuously until forms a roux (should be light brown to golden brown in color).

Add in milk slowly, one cup at a time, stirring as you go. Bring to a simmer.

Add in potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until potatoes are fork tender and falling apart slightly (20-30 minutes).

While potatoes are cooking, melt remaining butter in small pan. Add onions and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until become soft and caramel colored.

When potatoes are finished, add in jalapeño and green onion. Stir to combine.

Take soup off heat. Using an immersion hand blender (or potato masher), blend soup until reaches desired consistency.

Stir in sour cream and splash of cream (if using). Slowly add in cheese, stirring to combine.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Top with caramelized onions, crispy bacon and additional green onion (if desired).

Enjoy!

loaded baked potato soup

I love this soup so much I just can’t wait till lunch to enjoy it! So, I’ve been eating it for breakfast. Yes breakfast. I figure it has bacon and potatoes in it, so it’s close enough to a breakfast meal (who says you can’t have soup for breakfast anyway!?). :)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Rocking out some work while enjoying my delicious soup.

Reader’s Input: What are your favorite kind of potatoes: Baked, Mashed, Au Gratin? What kind of toppings and add-ins do you like with your potatoes? 

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

If you’re like us, you’ve been sick with the stomach bug these days too. For me, it came on last week, slowly building until I had to leave work early Friday. The fiancé also got it this weekend (thankfully after Christmas!) and is slowly recovering. To tell you the truth, a week later I still am not feeling the best (booooo).

Being sick with the stomach flu is the worst. Growing up I had all sorts of stomach issues, and would get the stomach flu for a week at a time, at an all too often reoccurrence. My mom (per my doctor) would make me follow the bland diet that consisted of bananas, white rice, white bread, saltine crackers and applesauce. Oh, and lots of chicken noodle soup. When I got bored of bland food I was allowed the occasional popsicle (especially if I had a fever!), and always had a Sprite on hand.

Although I know better about my food choices these days (i.e. no artificial food coloring, additives, or preservatives, and much less sugar/processed/refined foods!), there are still a few go-tos I have when it comes to being sick. Call it comfort food. Call it all-in-my-head. Call it whatever you want folks.

I call it feeling better.

And it starts with this Easy Chicken Noodle Soup.

As most of us know, chicken noodle soup is great for colds and other respiratory illnesses. Research shows that there is something healing about chicken soup broth (you can read more here and here), and although part of its healing properties could be in the placebo effect and none of the research says anything about the stomach flu, I don’t really care.

I still love it, and especially when I’m not feeling well.

I’ve blogged about a version of this soup before (check it out here), but this version is much quicker than the original by using store-bought broth and rotisserie chicken. Which is great news when you want your chicken noodle soup, and you want it now. :)

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

1.5-2 cups rotisserie chicken meat

5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 onion, diced

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 celery ribs, sliced

8 cups chicken broth (2 quarts)

8-12 ounces dried egg noodles

2 TBSP olive oil

Italian seasoning, to taste (a mixture of oregano, thyme, parsley, and rosemary works well too!)

salt and pepper, to taste

2 bay leaves

Directions: 

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Sauté garlic  and onion until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add in carrots, celery, Italian seasoning and bay leaves. Sauté about 5 minutes or until veggies are soft.

Pour in chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.

Once soup is at a simmer, fold in the noodles, cooking for about 5 minutes or until tender.

Add in shredded rotisserie chicken (I used both white and dark meat) and simmer until heated through.

Season with salt and pepper (and remove bay leaves).

Enjoy!

NOTE: I’ve added a variable amount of noodles and chicken depending on how hearty you want your soup to be (I like mine more noodles and chicken, and less broth.).

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

 The best get-better remedy there is. 

Any get-better home remedies you recommend?

Here’s to feeling better soon!

Until next time,

Happy clean eating!

Kate

8 Ways to Survive the Holidays with an Eating Disorder

8 Ways to Survive the Holidays

I originally composed this post for a different website, but due to the immense amount of articles for the Holidays they received, they weren’t able to run it (insert sad face here).

Not sure what to do with it, and hating to see it go to waste for those who might benefit from it, today I decided I would share it on my blog.

For those who know me, I am pretty open about my previous struggle with food and an eating disorder. I have composed two articles on MindBodyGreen (here and here) on the topic of eating disorders and eating disorder recovery. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart.

Whether you struggle with eating yourself, or know someone who does, this post is for you.

8 Ways to Survive the Holidays (with an Eating Disorder)

Oh the holidays. The combination of higher spending, families coming together (for better or for worse!), packed schedules, and traveling can make for a stressful holiday season. Even more so if you are struggling with an eating disorder (or just food in general).

The holiday season tends to be focused around eating and drinking (often times to excess!), which can invoke anxiety among those of us who struggle with food.

If you are one of these people, first off, know that you are not alone. There are millions of people in the U.S. alone that struggle with eating disorders.

Although I consider myself having been recovered for 9 years from an eating disorder, this Thanksgiving was the first holiday where I have not had intense anxiety before, during, or after the day itself. I was able to enjoy the holiday with my family, eating until I was satisfied, without over analyzing my choices or stuffing myself to the point of pain.

How did I get to this point? A long road of counseling, self-awareness, yoga, mindfulness, and self-love. However, it wasn’t always that easy for me.

Here are my 8 Tips for those struggling this Holiday season:

1. Don’t starve yourself the day of (or days leading up to) a holiday meal or party.

You will only end up feeling deprived come time to eat, and will likely eat way more than you originally intended to.

2. Know your options.

When you arrive at a get-together or party, survey what’s offered. Decide right away what you will be tasting, and what you won’t be. Oftentimes there are too many options to try everything, and a lot of times when you do, you feel overly full (which can then initiate anxiety associated with your disorder). Pick and choose what you really want and stick to your decision.

3. Work out.

A short workout (HIIT workouts are my fav!) before heading to a gathering centered around food can alleviate anxiety. Even a brisk walk outdoors can be enough to calm and center you.

4. Eat slowly, savoring each bite.

This way you will be able to tell when you are full. As soon as the food begins to lose its flavor and your belly feels full, stop. There will always be enough food to have a second helping later. Plus, then you won’t be too full to enjoy dessert!

5. Have a drink, but not too many.

Too much alcohol contributes to lower inhibitions, which can be a problem if you already have a hard time controlling how much you eat. There have been a lot of times when I’ve drank too much (I’m talking college now) and uncontrollably binged on late night food (usually in the form of pizza). Know your limit, and savor your glass of wine or specialty cocktail.

6. Focus on the real reason for gathering: family and friends.

It can be easy to forgot what the most important things are during the holiday season (and no its not food, drinks, or even gifts). When you stay present in the moment enjoying the company of your loved ones, sharing in a few laughs, and reliving memories, you take your mind off of all the food, and eventually, your disorder.

7. Take one day/event at a time.

Don’t make one day of too much food or drink derail you for days (or weeks!) afterwards. Give yourself that day to eat, drink and be merry, and then forget about it. It’s not worth the anxiety, stress, or negative impacts on your recovery.

8. Be nice to yourself!

There is more to you than your physical appearance, how much or how little you eat, or your disorder. You are a strong, lovable human being that deserves to enjoy the holidays as much as anyone.

There is no easy way to get through the holidays if you suffer from an eating disorder. However, holidays do get easier over time. If you have any of your own tips – please share them below, I love hearing from you.

8 Ways to Survive the Holidays

Wishing a very Merry Christmas to all my friends, family, and readers. Here’s to hoping yours is filled with peace, love, and joy.

Until next time….

Kate

 

Healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup

This is the best broccoli cheese soup I’ve ever made.

Ever.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some good broccoli cheese soups before (usually modeled off of the Panera Bread recipe – plenty of cheese and cream). However, there have been some fails in there as well (think clumpy sketchiness).

You know why this is the best broccoli cheese soup I’ve ever made?

My rocking fiancé gave me part of my Christmas gift early – an immersion hand blender.

Forget the chunky broccoli cheese soup of the past. This soup is smooth, light, and oh-so-delicious.

I feel like one of those people who have been left in the dark on this one. Hand blender = life changing. And if you think I’m kidding, I’m not. If you don’t have an immersion hand blender yourself, I strongly recommend you get one. Like right. this. minute. Or you can put one on your Christmas list like I did and cross your fingers. :)

But first.

After a few weekends packed full with birthday and holiday parties, this weekend has been full of the exact opposite: spending time in the kitchen, doing things around the house (complete with me crawling onto the roof to put up Christmas lights – scary!), and just plain out relaxing.

The fiancé and I discovered this amazing hole-in-the-wall sushi place Friday night (ok, I can’t really call it hole-in-the-wall when they are serving $17 lobster and bacon fried rice, but still). It has a very unassuming exterior (complete with peeling paint) but inside it is a little Japanese haven. We had the potstickers to start (with complimentary edamame), and then split the fried rice and pork shoulder ramen. My God. That ramen. By far the best either of us has had. If you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, it’s worth taking a drive to White Bear Lake to check out Red Lantern Sushi.

Ok where were we? Oh yes, the weekend. I recently started making my own deodorant and whipped body butter (see here and here for posts), and had time to play around with the recipes a bit this weekend (check out my Etsy site here if you would rather buy!). I also whipped up a batch of pumpkin pancakes (recipe coming soon!) for a lazy Sunday breakfast this morning.

And then there was this soup.

I had no milk or cream in the house yesterday, but a whole bunch of broccoli that I needed to use up (the bittersweetness of shopping at Costco). After a bit of digging, I was pleasantly surprised when I came across a recipe that didn’t call for either. It also called for a leek and potatoes, in which I had both of. Score! 

Now that I’ve made this soup without the milk or cream, I may just keep it that way. The potatoes help to thicken it up and give it a nice silkiness. The leeks are fragrant yet not overbearing.

This soup is chock full of veggies and balanced with a good amount of cheddar cheese.

Light, creamy, and delicious, even your non-broccoli-cheese-soup-lovers may like it (as mine did!).

Healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

1 large head broccoli (or two small), cut into florets

6 cups chicken or veggie stock, more if needed

3-4 baby red potatoes, skin on and diced into 1-inch cubes

1 leek, white and light green parts sliced thinly

1 1/2 cups good cheddar cheese

olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay broccoli onto baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast broccoli for 5 minutes. Stir, and roast 5 more minutes or until both sides are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat 2 TBSP olive oil in large pot.

Saute leek over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add in potatoes and broth. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.

Once broccoli is done, add into pot. If needed, add more stock in to cover broccoli. Simmer until potatoes are fork tender.

Once potatoes are done, take soup off heat. Using an immersion hand blender, puree until smooth (or keep a few chunks in there – your call!). You can also add batches into a blender or food processor to puree.

Slowly add in cheese, stirring as go to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Enjoy!

Broccoli Cheese Soup


Readers input: What’s the best/favorite soup you’ve ever made?

Until next time,

Happy Clean Eating!

-Kate

 

 

Healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup - without milk or cream! Deliciously silky, smoothy, and creamy.
Ingredients
  • 1 large head (or 2 small) broccoli, cut into florets
  • 6 cups chicken or veggie stock
  • 3-4 baby red potatoes, skin on
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts sliced thinly
  • 1½ cups good cheddar cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lay broccoli onto baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast broccoli for 5 minutes. Stir, and roast 5 more minutes or until both sides are lightly browned.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 2 TBSP olive oil in large pot.
  5. Saute leek over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add in potatoes, and broth. Bring to boil, and reduce to simmer.
  7. Once broccoli is done, add into pot. If needed, add more stock in to cover broccoli. Simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
  8. Once potatoes are done, take soup off heat. Using an immersion hand blender, puree until smooth (or keep a few chunks in there - your call!). You can also add batches into a blender or food processor to puree.
  9. Slowly add in cheese, stirring as go to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  10. Enjoy!

Friday Favorites Holiday Edition

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday ya’ll! Feels like it’s been forever since I’ve written a Friday Favorites post.

Today I’m linking up with with ClareJennieCynthia/Courtney/Mar, and Lauren and putting a “what I’ve been enjoying lately during the Holiday season” spin on it.

If you’re unfamiliar with linkups, they are a great way to discover other bloggers. Be sure to check out the ladies I have linked to above!

Friday Favorites Holiday Edition

Brasa Premium Rotisserie in NE Minneapolis (on a lunch date with the fiance during my Thanksgiving break):

Friday Favorites Holiday Edition

Friday Favorites Holiday Edition

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar Drink (a pleasant and delicious discovery in the Midtown Global Market – who knew ACV could be so delicious!):

Friday Favorites Holiday Edition

Pomegranates (so good in seasonal dishes like a leftover turkey, pomegranate, and spinach salad – yum!):

Friday Favorites Holiday Edition

 Deep River Kettle Chips (for a Black Friday shopping pick-me-up):

Friday Favorites Holiday Edition                    Yogurt Parfaits in the wintertime (to trick me into thinking it is warmer out than it is!):

Friday Favorites Holiday Edition

 

Alright folks, that’s it for today – hope you have an excellent weekend!

Anything you’re particularly loving these days? Any new food or drink you’ve recently discovered? Leave me a comment below –  I love hearing from you!

Until next time,

Happy clean eating!

Kate

3-ingredient Whipped Coconut Lotion

Whipped Coconut Lotion

Sooooo yea. I’ve been on a homemade personal care item kick these past few weeks. If you haven’t read my story about how the homemade deodorant evolved, check out this post here.

After my success with deodorant, I started researching what other personal care items I could make with ingredients I already had at home.

What resulted is this deliciously luxuriant 3-ingredient Whipped Coconut Lotion.

If you know me, you know I love my food and beauty products the same: as natural and close to the source as possible. It doesn’t make sense to have a clean diet, but then put loads of chemicals in our skin, hair, and nails. Want to know more? Check out this 515 Chemicals Women Put On Their Bodies Every Day Infographic. Scary, right?

So, here we are. Me and my all-natural toothpaste, face lotion, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, and now, homemade deodorant. I’m that girl.

You know what’s better than buying a $16 container of “all-natural” lotion? Making your own! You have every bit of control of what goes in it and not to mention, it’s wayyyy cheaper. Sure it takes a little extra work, but not any more work than running to the store to buy some. It’s totally worth it, truuuussst me. :)

You know what else? This 3-ingredient Whipped Coconut Lotion would make the perfect Christmas gift for someone special on your list. Who cares if they don’t have the same all-natural or homemade obsession as you do. This might just do the trick. :)

3-ingredient Whipped Coconut Lotion

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 TBSP avocado oil

few drops favorite essential oil

Directions:

Place coconut oil and avocado oil in mixing bowl. Using electric mixer, mix until coconut oil is whipped into a soft fluffy texture. This will take about 5-6 minutes. You will likely need to scrape down the bowl or even use a wooden spoon to manipulate the oil into the blades (careful of your fingers!). I put mine into a electric stand mixer, and it seemed to do the trick.

Once oil is completely whipped, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils and stir to combine. Place lotion in glass container with lid for storage.

Being coconut oil is whipped, it will not turn into complete liquid as regular coconut oil will. It will soften slightly, but still be a perfect texture for hand/foot cream, body lotion, or yes, even face cream! A tiny bit goes a long way as it will be a tiny bit greasy if you use too much. No worries though, just rub those extras up your forearms and onto those dry elbows – your body will thank you!

Whipped Coconut Lotion

 Smells like summer to me.

Any make-your-own items you’ve been loving? Homemade gifts you’re giving? Drop me a line – I love hearing from you! 

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Quick Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Mamma Mia! That’s a spicy meatball! (Spoken in my best Italian accent, of course.)

Spaghetti. Such a classic Italian dish. There’s nothing that screams comfort food more to me than a big bowl of spaghetti. My mom made spaghetti often growing up and I attended lots of spaghetti dinners during my high school soccer days. And then in college (and for awhile afterwards!), spaghetti was a cheap filling meal I could actually afford.

Spaghetti with meat sauce. Spaghetti with tomato sauce. Spaghetti with pesto. Spaghetti with Italian sausage. Spaghetti with *gasp* alfredo sauce. There are lots of delicious ways to enjoy spaghetti noodles (or pasta noodles for that matter!).

Did you know that thinner noodles work better for thinner sauces, while thicker noodles are best suited for thick creamy sauces? Now you know!

So what’s my favorite spaghetti noodle and sauce combination?

Spaghetti with meat sauce.

Why?

It’s just as hearty as meatballs, but with less work. That sounds lazy, doesn’t it? Yep, that’s me! I want as little of work as possible when it comes down to a delicious bowl of spaghetti. :)

Most store-bought sauce is all-natural, however, is usually in the form of marinara. And in my opinion, kind of bland. I like hearty, thick, bursting-with-flavor spaghetti sauce. Not to mention I don’t trust the meat in those store-bought sauces. I like buying my beef grass-fed and organic. It tastes so much better, and I just feel better eating animals I know were raised humanely.

The only problem with homemade spaghetti sauce?

It usually needs to simmer for a loooong time.

Not anymore my friends. Not anymore. This sauce was done within an hour. And it is sooooo good.

Enjoy over a steaming pot of spaghetti noodles. Or whatever noodles you fancy. We used fresh pappardelle noodles from Costco. We’ve also used gluten-free, quinoa, and whole wheat. The pastabilities are endless! Get it?

I crack myself up. :)

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed)

1/2 onion, diced

4-5 garlic cloves, minced (I like it extra garlicky but feel free to use less!)

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (crushed would work well too)

1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce

2 TBSP tomato paste

1/4 cup red wine

2 TBSP Italian seasonings (or use a mix of basil, parsley, oregano)

1 TBSP brown sugar

red pepper flakes, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup water

1 lb. thin spaghetti

Directions: 

Brown meat in large pot over medium heat. Drain fat. Return to pan.

Add in onions and sauté until softened.

Add in garlic, spices, salt, pepper, brown sugar, red pepper flakes. Sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds).

Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water.

Barely bring to a boil. Add in red wine.

Reduce to a simmer and simmer until sauce has reached desired thickness (between 30-45 minutes).

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve over your favorite pasta noodles and top with parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Quick Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Quick Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Quick and delicious spaghetti with meat sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (crushed would work as well)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 TBSP Italian seasonings (or use a mix of basil, parsley, oregano)
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb. thin spaghetti
Instructions
  1. Brown meat in large pot over medium heat. Drain fat.
  2. Add in onions and sauté until softened.
  3. Add in garlic, spices, salt, pepper, brown sugar, red pepper flakes. Sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  4. Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water.
  5. Barely bring to a boil. Add in red wine.
  6. Reduce to a simmer and simmer until sauce has reached desired thickness.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  8. Serve over your favorite pasta noodles and top with parmesan cheese.
  9. Enjoy!

 What are your favorite childhood dishes?

Easy Homemade Deodorant

Easy Homemade Deodorant

The other day I ran out of deodorant. Which is, as you know, super inconvenient. I really did not want to make the trip to Target for one stinkin (no pun intended) item. Because you know you can not get out of that place without spending like $100. Or, maybe that’s just me…

Personal problems, I tell ya.

Anyway, I thought about what else I could purchase there. Mascara? Nope, have some. Clothes? Nope, don’t need ’em. Things for the house? Nope, nowhere to put anything. Books? Nope, buy those used. I really honestly couldn’t think of a single thing I needed (or wanted, for that matter).

So it came down to this: go without deodorant for awhile or figure out a plan B.

I decided to go with the latter of the two. No one likes a stinky girl (and especially not the fiance!).

Plan B.

I wasn’t quite sure what that was going to be at first. But after a little research online I realized that I could make my own deodorant! Who knew?!

There were a few recipes that I checked out, but they all seemed to have these ingredients in common:

baking soda

coconut oil

essential oil

And there you have it, Easy Homemade Deodorant! I can even tell you (honestly) that I do not reek of B.O. I’ve been using it for over a week now and I actually feel like I’m sweating less than I was on those chemical-laden antiperspirants (or the Tom’s antiperspirant for that matter). Weird, huh?

Even the fiance agrees that making the switch has not resulted in me turning into a freshman-boy-who-doesn’t-realize-he-needs-to-wear-deodorant-yet (my words, not his – I am a high school teacher, remember?). He even said he might start using it (insert happy celebratory dance here)!

The upside? No harsh chemicals being applied directly onto my skin (our largest organ, in case you didn’t know!). Deodorant I could eat (not that I would want to, but you get the point – I hope). Cheaper than store-bought.

The downside? None, that I can think of at least. :)

Win win!

Here’s how it works:

Baking soda deodorizes, coconut oil moisturizes, tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial, and essential oils make it smell pretty. Need I say more? You can also add arrowroot powder to thicken (and it supposedly draws out toxins).

Why arrowroot over cornstarch? Read girlmeetsnourishment.com’s take on that here.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup baking soda

few drops tea tree oil

few drops favorite essential oil – optional (I used Doterra’s wild orange and lavender)

Directions:

Mix melted oil and baking soda together in small bowl.

Add in a few drops of tea tree oil and essential oil of your choice. Stir well to combine.

Pour into small glass storage container with lid to store.

Taa-daaa! Easy Homemade Deodorant: you are my friend.

DISCLAIMER: Deodorant will naturally harden after awhile. You will only need a little to spread around and cover entire armpit area. When temperatures become warm (which is not a huge problem in Minnesota), store in a dry and cool place (like a cupboard – makes sense right?). Unlike conventional deodorants, your hands will not feel rubbery. Just rub the excess into your hands.

Makes about 4 oz.

Goodbye stinkies! 

Easy Homemade Deodorant

Any favorite essential oils you like to use? Other homemade items you’d like to see on this blog?

 

Easy Homemade Deodorant
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 oz.
 
Homemade deodorant free of harsh chemicals! Easy-to-make and effective!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • few drops tea tree oil
  • few drops favorite essential oil - optional (I used Doterra's wild orange and lavender)
Instructions
  1. Mix melted oil and baking soda together in small bowl.
  2. Add in a few drops of tea tree oil and essential oil of your choice. Stir well to combine.
  3. Pour into small glass storage container with lid to store.

Healthy Pumpkin Carrot Muffins

Healthy Pumpkin Carrot Muffins

What is the definition of healthy in my book?

a) No refined sugar

b) No processed oil

c) An abundance of fruits/vegetables

d) No artificial ingredients (including additives, preservatives, and colors)

e) Whole organic grains/unrefined grains

f) Whole organic milk/cheese/yogurt

Let’s back up to talk about e) shall we?

Although I like to play around with gluten-free, I am by no means 100% gluten-free. I’ve been experimenting a bit more with my diet and have found that the biggest culprits for me are alcohol and fried foods, especially when consumed together.

Which is quite unfortunate, as cheese curds and red wine are two of my favorite things in the whole wide world. You can’t go to college in Wisconsin, live less than 20 minutes away from the state, and not love cheese curds. Or at least not appreciate them.

I could talk about my love for cheese curds for a very looooong time.

But, I’ll spare you. Just this one time. :)

So moving on.

Back to the whole organic grains business. I recently read a scary article about the amount of pesticides/herbicides (one or the other – I can’t remember which!) that are used on a wheat crop right before they harvest. Apparently it signals the crop to sprout more right before it dies, and is easier on the harvesting equipment. Now whether or not the article was completely based in fact is hard to know, but it got me thinking.

If I’m so concerned with chemicals on my produce, why wouldn’t the same hold true for grains such as wheat and corn?

So although I’m not going to go crazy on gluten-laden carbs anytime soon (as I still love the energy I have with less carbs), I’m going to try and reintroduce a bit of wheat back into my diet in form of organic whole wheat. I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

WHOLE wheat. I think most of us by now know the difference between whole wheat and white. We’ve got our preference and buy our bread one way or the other. I’ve heard comments such as “I just don’t like the taste of whole wheat” and “whole wheat is so dry”. Do you want to know what though? Whole wheat is the way it is supposed to be! Do you really want your wheat to be stripped of its nutrients or even *gasp* bleached of its healthy brown color? I sure don’t.

Whole wheat is certainly a preference, but in my mind, it’s also something you get can get accustomed to. Like the time I hated beer in college and forced myself to drink it – oh wait. :)

Something you can get accustomed to for the good. of. your. health.

Can I get an amen?

So that brings me to these Healthy Pumpkin Carrot Muffins. It’s snowing outside and I have the day off, which means it was the perfect morning to make muffins. Not to mention I had leftover canned pumpkin, so this seemed like the perfect recipe to make.

These babies are made with whole wheat, and without refined sugars or processed oils. If you’re still not on the whole wheat train, you can easily substitute white or go half and half. I promise I won’t judge. Coconut flour would also work if you are grain-free or following a paleo diet.

What resulted was moist, delicious, and hearty muffins. Now all they need is a little cream cheese frosting….

Oh wait, that’s not healthy either. :)

Healthy Pumpkin Carrot Muffins

adapted from Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients:

3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix!)

4 medium carrots, peeled

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 TBSP coconut oil, melted and cooled

2 TBSP almond butter

1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or sub honey)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take out eggs.

Line muffin tin, or heavily grease using additional coconut oil (I recommend using liners or silicone cups).

Grate carrots (or chop in food processor). Place grated carrots in cheesecloth or thin dish towel and squeeze out all liquid. Then lay out flat to continue drying.

Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and seasonings in medium bowl.

Beat eggs in separate medium bowl. Add in maple syrup, pumpkin, almond butter, and coconut oil. Make sure coconut oil is room temperature or your mixture become lumpy.

Pour wet ingredients into dry. Fold in carrots. Stir to evenly combine.

Scoop batter into muffin tin. Should make 12 muffins, unless you want them smaller.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm with butter. Store leftovers in air-tight container.

Enjoy!

Reader’s feedback: What are your favorite kind of muffins? Any other good ways to use up leftover pumpkin?

Healthy Pumpkin Carrot Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Healthy Pumpkin Carrot Muffins. Made with whole wheat and without refined sugar or processed oils. Delicoius and moist, you can feel good about eating them or making them for your entire family!
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix!)
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 2 TBSP almond butter
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup (or sub honey)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take out eggs.
  2. Line muffin tin, or heavily grease using additional coconut oil (I recommend using liners or silicone cups).
  3. Grate carrots (or chop in food processor). Place grated carrots in cheesecloth or thin dish towel and squeeze out all liquid. Then lay out flat to continue drying.
  4. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and seasonings in medium bowl.
  5. Beat eggs in separate medium bowl. Add in maple syrup, pumpkin, almond butter, and coconut oil. Make sure coconut oil is room temperature or your mixture become lumpy.
  6. Pour wet ingredients into dry. Fold in carrots. Stir to evenly combine.
  7. Scoop batter into muffin tin. Should make 12 muffins, unless you want them smaller.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Serve warm with butter. Store leftovers in air-tight container.
  10. Enjoy!

Until next time,

Happy clean eating!

Kate

Sweet Potato, Kale & Chorizo Soup

Sweet Potato, Kale and Chorizo Soup

Tis the season for all things sweet potato, pumpkin, and squash. What do all of these things have in common? Besides being in season in the Fall, they also all have a sweetness to them.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t love sweet. I hardly crave sweets (unless it involves chocolate!), and despise sweet dishes. Ok maybe despise is too strong of a word to use. Dislike would be better. But strongly dislike at that! If I’m going to eat a food that tastes sweet, there’s got to be a savory element to it.

Like my Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Bake. Or my Butternut Squash Soup (that has jalapeño). Or my Curried Butternut Squash Soup. Or my Wonton Tortellini with Butternut Squash and Brown Butter Sage Sauce. You get my point.

As I’m not a huge fan of overly sweet dishes, I’ve got to think of other ways to enjoy the local foods that are in season this Fall.

And thus, Sweet Potato, Kale & Chorizo Soup was born.

I can enjoy sweet potato fries, but only if they come with a seasoned sour cream-like dip that isn’t sweet. And sweet potatoes with a honey-mustard sauce (the mustard cuts the sweetness enough for me) are good. What I don’t love is sweet potatoes with maple syrup, cinnamon, or any of the other sweet toppings.

I bought these sweet potatoes from the farmers market the other week, and needed to figure out what to do with them before they went to waste.

After some browsing through the internet, I stubbled across this recipe from Emeril: New-Style Caldo Verde. Apparently Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup. I looked at the ingredients and BAM! (as Emeril would say), it looked like the perfect fit. I tweaked it a bit, substituting sweet potatoes for regular and omitting some of the herbs. Overall though, it was amaze balls (yes, I just used that word).

The fiancé, and I am quoting his words here, even stated that this “is the best thing you have ever made”. BAM!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. :)

sweet potato kale chorizo & soup

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1 bunch kale, leaves removed and sliced thinely

8 cups chicken stock

1 lb. fresh chorizo, removed from casing

2 TBS. olive oil

2 sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

salt and pepper, to taste

cilantro, for serving

cotija cheese, for serving

Directions:

Sauté onion and garlic in large pot over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add in red pepper, salt, and pepper and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Add in potatoes and lower to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are cooked through and falling apart.

Meanwhile, brown chorizo in separate pan. Drain from fat.

Once potatoes are soft, add in chorizo and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until chorizo is cooked through.

Add in kale. Continue cooking until leaves have softened but are still crunchy and bright green.

Serve, topping with cilantro and cotija cheese.

 

Sweet Potato Kale and Chorizo Soup

Savory or Sweet? What’s your preference?

Any pumpkin, squash, or sweet potato recipes that are your favorite?

Until next time,

Happy Clean Eating!

Kate

Sweet Potato, Kale and Chorizo Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
A hearty and filling soup perfect for a cold night. Healthy and delicious.
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch Kale, leaves removed and sliced thinely
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb. fresh chorizo, removed from casing
  • 2 TBS. olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro, for serving
  • cotija cheese, for serving
Instructions
  1. Sauté onion and garlic in large pot over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in red pepper, salt, and pepper and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in potatoes and lower to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are cooked through and falling apart.
  5. Meanwhile, brown chorizo in separate pan. Drain from fat.
  6. Once potatoes are soft, add in chorizo and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until chorizo is cooked through.
  7. Add in kale. Continue cooking until leaves have softened but are still crunchy and bright green.
  8. Serve, topping with cilantro and cotija cheese.

2-Ingredient Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

2-ingredient Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

This post may as well be titled LIFE HACK: 2-Ingredient Frozen Yogurt orrrr THIS IS NOT ACTUALLY YOGURT AT ALL orrrr HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS SOONER?!

But it’s not. I titled it 2-Ingredient Chocolate Frozen Yogurt. Because that my friends, is precisely what it is. Except for the yogurt part.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of yogurt is as follows:

yo·gurt

noun \ˈyō-gərt\

: a food that is made when bacteria is added to milk and that is often flavored and chilled

And there herein lies our problem. There is no dairy in this recipe. Not one single drop. But it tastes JUST like frozen yogurt. And has virtually the same texture. So I guess I will have to use quotes around the word yogurt as to not confuse anyone.

So how did the idea for this 2-Ingredient Chocolate Frozen “Yogurt” come to me you ask? Great question.

It is actually one half of a different recipe I was trying out this afternoon. Salted Pumpkin Caramel Chocolate “Ice Cream” Bites, but again, no actual dairy was used (thus the quotations – you’re catching on now right?!). They are currently in the freezer to set, and I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to try one in a few hours!

I wrote a post awhile back about scrambled eggs not sitting well with me (especially when cheese is involved). Ice cream is another food that my body just does not agree with. The other day I bought a carton of organic cookies and cream ice cream. It was on sale, and although I never crave ice cream, it looked real good. The last two days I’ve had a tiny little ramekin of it, and although tasty, it leaves me feeling insanely dehydrated, gassy, bloated, and just down right miserable. And thus I remembered why I don’t care so much for ice cream. I read somewhere that when dairy is frozen it is harder to digest. You don’t need to tell me that twice.

So today, I’m making dairy-free vegan ice cream treats (and yes, I realize it is 20 degrees outside). And although I’m already planning to post the Salted Pumpkin Caramel Chocolate “Ice Cream” Bites soon after, I couldn’t help but post this deliciously healthy alternative to frozen yogurt right. this. minute.

I think you (and your bellies!) will thank me.

2-Ingredient Chocolate Frozen “Yogurt”

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas – thawed slightly until able to peel

1/3 cup cocoa powder

Directions: 

Place frozen bananas and cocoa powder into food processor (blender should also work). Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as go. If your gadget is having a hard time mixing, you can add a little coconut milk to thin (but be careful not to add too much!).

NOTE: You will want to consume this as soon as possible to enjoy the frozen yogurt texture.

Enjoy!

2-ingredient Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Ready-set-go – What are your top 3 favorite ice cream/frozen yogurt flavors?

Until next time,

Happy clean eating!

Kate 

2-Ingredient Chocolate Frozen Yogurt
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
2-Ingredeint Chocolate Frozen "Yogurt". Vegan with no sugar added. Delicious and healthy!
Ingredients
  • 2 frozen bananas - thawed slightly until able to peel
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Place frozen bananas and cocoa powder into food processor (blender should also work). Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as go. If your gadget is having a hard time mixing, you can add a little coconut milk to thin (but be careful not to add too much!).
  2. NOTE: You will want to consume this as soon as possible to enjoy the frozen yogurt texture.

 

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Hey all!

Can you believe it’s already almost time for Thanksgiving?! Me either. And I can’t tell you how excited I am for all of the FOOOOOD!

Today I’ve got a collection of Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes from Pinterest for you to enjoy. By healthy, I mean no added sugar, and most all are gluten-free (or can be easily made gluten-free). Also, no crap (as in artificial or low/no-fat ingredients) and no canned anything. All whole food homemade goodness that you can prepare for you and your guests and feel good about!

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

 Click on picture to access Pinterest Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe board. 

Also, check out the following recipes from this blog. They would make fantastic Holidays dishes as well!

Easy Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Gluten-free Vegan Pumpkin Cookies (not refined sugar free)

Let me know if there are any Thanksgiving staple dishes I am missing! :)

Here’s to hoping everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving – and a healthy one at that!

Kate

Chicken Chili

Chipotle Chicken Chili

Dear rotisserie chicken,

Thank you for saving my life.

That is all.

Love,

Kate

Save my life in a I’m-grocery-shopping-at-6:30p.m.-and-still-need-to-make-dinner-when-I-get-home kind of save me. That’s what happened last night, after an entire weekend full of soccer training (and when I say an entire weekend I mean an entire weekend: 6-10 p.m. Friday night, and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday – bah!).

Rotisserie chicken has been the star of the show these days. First in this Chicken Wild Rice Soup we made a few weeks ago, and now in this delicious Chicken Chili.

It reduces the time I spend slaving (ahem, I mean loving) in the kitchen, and more time spent eating delicious food. You see, as much as I love the calming nature of spending an hour or two in the kitchen creating a dish from scratch, I’ve got my priorities straight. Eating > cooking.

So let’s talk about this chili, shall we?

My original plan was to make this White Bean Chicken Chili but our local grocery store didn’t have cannellini beans in stock. It’s 6:30 p.m., I’m starving and you are telling me there are no cannellini beans. What do you mean you don’t carry cannellini beans?! Doesn’t everyone love white bean chicken chili as much as I do?? Apparently not.

So, what’s a girl to do? Improvise my friends. Im-pro-vise. Do you think it’s a coincidence that pro is in the middle of that word? Me either. :)

I grabbed two cans of organic chili beans (which included pinto, black, and kidney beans), and went to town. What resulted was this slightly spicy, super hearty chili. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. Not one bit.

Oh, and did I mention there is beer in this recipe? :) Enjoy!

Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

2 rotisserie chicken breasts (or two uncooked chicken breasts), shredded

2 cups chicken stock

3 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (depending on spice preference)

1 onion, diced

1 bottle good bear

1 tomato, diced (can also used one can tomatoes)

2 cans chili beans (or one can each of black, pinto, and kidney beans)

1 TBSP chili powder

1 TBSP cumin

1 lime

salt and pepper, to taste

2 TBSP olive oil

sour cream, for serving

cilantro, for serving

grated cheddar cheese, for serving

Directions:

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until soft (about 5 mins).

Pour in beer and let reduce slightly (about 5 mins).

Add in tomatos, beans, chipotles, spices, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Pour in 2 cups chicken stock. Add chicken and bring to a simmer.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Squeeze in half of lime. Simmer for additional 30 mins or until completely heated through.

Top with sour cream, cilantro, and cheese if desired.

Enjoy!

Note: If using uncooked chicken breasts, sear on both sides in pot with garlic and onions. Simmer 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through. Take out and shred, then return to soup.

Chipotle Chicken Chili

 

Got any cooking quick fixes or cheats? Favorite chili recipes?

Chipotle Chicken Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Hearty and delicious Chipotle Chicken Chili.
Ingredients
  • 2 rotisserie chicken breasts (or two chicken breasts, seared)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (depending on spice preference)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bottle good bear
  • 1 tomato, diced (can also used one can tomatoes)
  • 2 cans chili beans (or one can each of black, pinto, and kidney beans)
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • sour cream, for serving
  • cilantro, for serving
  • grated cheddar cheese, for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until soft (about 5 mins).
  2. Pour in beer and let reduce slightly (about 5 mins).
  3. Add in tomatos, beans, chipotles, spices, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour in 2 cups chicken stock. Add chicken and bring to a simmer.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Squeeze in half of lime.
  7. Top with sour cream, cilantro, and cheese if desired.
  8. Enjoy!

Beginner Green Juice

Beginner Green Juice

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope you are having a fantastic weekend. The fiancé and I just finished making a late breakfast (I suppose at 12:30 p.m. that’s called brunch). Rosemary roasted potatoes with eggs. And I made myself a glass of fresh-pressed juice to go with. YUM.

I don’t make eggs that often anymore, as I find they don’t sit well with me. It’s been a looooong time since I’ve made scrambled eggs or an omelet (I usually stick to fried), so today I thought I’d give it another try. What started as an omelet turned into scrambled eggs with goat cheese and pesto (love me some pesto on just about anything!). It was actually quite delicious (and perhaps I’ll post on another day) but my stomach is not especially loving me now. I’ve decided that scrambled eggs (or soft eggs in general) are just not my thing. Or maybe it is the milk and egg combo (or egg and cheese, even though it was goat cheese which is easier to digest). Who knows. I have read some interesting things about food combining lately, and keep thinking I should give it a try. It’s based on the way different foods digest in the body, some complimenting digestion, and some interfering with digestion.

The rules essentially look like this (curtosy of www.thechalkboardmag.com):

  • Starches + Veggies = OK
  • Proteins + Veggies = OK
  • Proteins + Starches = No No
  • Plant Proteins + Plant Proteins = OK
  • Animal Proteins + Animal Proteins = No No
  • Starches + Starches = OK
  • Fats + Proteins (animal or plant) = No No (or pair moderately)
  • Fats + Carbohydrates = OK
  • Fats + Starches = OK
  • Fruits are best eaten on an empty stomach
  • Fruit + Raw greens = OK (except melons)

It’s definitely a bit more complicated than above, but those are the basics. If these food combining rules really do work, it makes sense that I have a belly ache right now. I ate three animal proteins together and also ate a starch (potato) with a protein. Not to mention I drank a glass of raw fruits and veggies with it. WHOOPS. Or it could just be that I don’t do well with eggs. I’ll keep you posted. :)

Back to what I originally started this post for. A delicious beginner green juice. If you aren’t into juicing yet, but want to start, this is a really easy green juice to start with. In fact, it’s not even going to look green (more of an orangish color), but will include romaine lettuce which is a start!

Here’s what you’ll need: 

3 medium carrots

1 apple

1/2 lemon

1 head romaine

1 large stalk celery

Beginner Green Juice

Combine all ingredients except for lemon into juicer. I like to squeeze my lemon with a hand squeezer directly into the glass, but you could also peel and put into juicer (it’s just more work!).

Pour into your favorite glass, and enjoy!

Beginner Green Juice

 

Any food combinations that make you feel ill? Any foods you just can’t stomach?

 

 

 

Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

Macaroni and Cheese

Raise your hand if you love bacon. And caramelized onions. And cheese. If you aren’t raising your hand by now, jumping up and down screaming “MEEEEEEE!!”, then I just don’t know if we can be friends. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, I forgive you (I was once a vegetarian, after all). If you’re not….well, you know the answer to that one. :)

Cooler weather this week (as in highs in the 30s and 20s) calls for comfort food. In the form of cheesy bacon goodness. Don’t worry gluten-free folks, this is an easy substitution. I used quinoa elbow noodles, and even the fiancé couldn’t tell the difference (I love when that happens!).

This dish has a multitude of steps, but I promise you it’s nothing you can’t handle. So much tastier than the store-bought versions (not to mention healthier, unless you are making one of these all-natural versions here). And it is one hundred and ten percent worth it. If that’s even possible….which, in this case, it is.

Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and lay the thick cut bacon strips (these babies are from the farmers market!) on a lined baking sheet. 5-6 pieces should do.

Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

Peppery bacon goodness = mouth watering.

At this point, you will want to start caramelizing your onions as they take awhile. 2 TBSP of butter with your sliced onions on low.

Macaroni and Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Bacon

Melt in your mouth onions. The best kind of onions.

Once your bacon is done, take it out and let cool on pan. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Cut into chunks. Try not to eat too many pieces. :)

Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

When your onions get close to being done, it’s time to start the cheese sauce. Also a good time to put the water on to boil. Add 2 TBSP butter to medium saucepan.

Macaroni and Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Bacon

Once butter has melted, add in 2 TBSP flour to make a roux. Gluten-free will do (just won’t be as thick). Whisk until flour/butter paste forms and turns a golden brown color. Then slowly add in 2 cups of milk (I used whole milk from a local farmer) and salt and pepper.

Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

Turn up to a simmer and let thicken (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Once your sauce has thickened, slooooowly add in 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, stirring as you go. Keep sauce on warm.

Cook noodles al dente, strain, and return to pot. Pour cheese sauce over. Top with bacon and fresh herbs (we used sage, but rosemary or Italian parsley would be nice).

Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

 This was the second round of gluten-free noodles as I made a double batch of sauce!

And then enjoy this creamy, hearty, cheesy deliciousness. Bah – I just can’t take it anymore!

Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

16 oz. elbow noodles (gluten-free, whole-wheat, whatever suits your fancy!)

2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar

2 cups milk

5-6 slices thick-cut bacon (regular will work – just make sure it does not contain nitrates!)

4 TBSP butter, divided

2 TBSP flour (can be gluten-free)

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, or Italian parsley)

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bacon on lined baking sheet and bake until crisped through.

Meanwhile, add half of butter to small pan. Add in onion slices and caramelize on low heat.

Once bacon is done, let cool on pan. Transfer to paper towel lined plate and cut into chunks with knife.

As onions get close to done (they should be brown and extremely soft), place rest of butter in medium sized pot.

Once butter is melted, add 2 TBSP flour to make roux. Whisk until flour/butter mixture turns golden brown.

Slowly pour in milk. Bring mixture to simmer. Let simmer until slightly thickened (about 5 mins), stirring occasionally. Slowly add in cheese, stirring to combine. Keep on low.

Meanwhile, bring water to boil in separate pot and cook noodles according to directions.

Once noodles are cooked, strain and return to pot. Pour over cheese sauce. Top with onions, bacon, and herbs.

Enjoy!

Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 16 oz. elbow noodles (gluten-free, whole-wheat, whatever suits your fancy!)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 5-6 slices thick-cut bacon (regular will work - just make sure it does not contain nitrates!)
  • 4 TBSP butter, divided
  • 2 TBSP flour (can be gluten-free)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, Italian parsley)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bacon on lined baking sheet and bake until crisped through.
  2. Meanwhile, add half of butter to small pan. Add in onion slices and caramelize on low heat.
  3. Once bacon is done, let cool on pan. Transfer to paper towel lined plate and cut into chunks with knife.
  4. As onions get close to done (they should be brown and extremely soft), place rest of butter in medium sized pot.
  5. Once butter is melted, add 2 TBSP flour to make roux. Whisk until flour/butter mixture turns golden brown.
  6. Slowly pour in milk. Bring mixture to simmer. Let simmer until slightly thickened (about 5 mins), stirring occasionally. Slowly add in cheese, stirring to combine. Keep on low.
  7. Meanwhile, bring water to boil in separate pot and cook noodles according to directions.
  8. Once noodles are cooked, strain and return to pot. Pour over cheese sauce. Top with onions, bacon, and herbs.
  9. Enjoy!

 

What are your favorite comfort foods? Leave me a comment below – I love hearing from you!

Friday Favorites – Keeping Sane!

Friday Favorites - Keeping Sane I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Howdy all! It’s Friday – whoop whoop! We ended a quarter this week at school, and thus, I have off today. After all the stress of entering grades and calculating credit for my students, I cannot tell you how good it felt to sleep in, fry some eggs and press a big glass of fresh juice for breakfast. And now I’m sitting at my kitchen table blogging. Talk about a perfect morning!

I haven’t linked up with any other bloggers lately, and quite honestly, I kinda miss it! So I decided to break away from my usual recipe posts as of late, and let you in on what’s on my Friday Favorites list.

Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney (the authors behind Friday Five) are focusing their posts today on staying healthy over the holidays. My post today is a twist on that: staying sane over the holidays! Work has been stressing me out a lot lately, and I’m finding that I am not loving this year as much as last (partly due perhaps to the lack of windows in my classroom and our strip mall location!). I’ve been trying to stay in the present moment, focus on what is good, and do more yoga. It’s definitely been helping, but I am still finding myself anxious a lot lately. So, what is keeping me sane these days? Read on!

 Friday Favorites – Keeping Sane (in no particular order)

1. My loving fiancé – and his ability to put me in a good mood no matter what! 

Friday Favorites - Keeping Sane I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

2. Pre-cute Butternut Squash – hello easy Butternut Squash Soup (like this recipe here!). 

Friday Favorites - Keeping Sane I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

3. Irish Coffee – Coffee with Bailey’s and whiskey. Need I say more?! :)

Friday Favorites - Keeping Sane I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

4. Protein (like eggs and spinach) – to keep my body satisfied and back on track after too much Halloween candy! 

Friday Favorites - Keeping Sane I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

5. Dark Chocolate – Like this barkTHINS snacking chocolate. Dark chocolate pumpkin seed with SEA SALT. OMG. I can devour this bag in no time. Good thing it comes in a HUGE 17 oz bag (yep, that’s over 1 lb. of chocolate). 

Friday Favorites - Keeping Sane I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

6. Long hikes in nature – especially at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan, MN.  

Friday Favorites - Keeping Sane I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

7. Fresh-pressed juice – for when I’m feeling sluggish and heavy. 

Friday Favorites - Keeping Sane I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

8. Easy and healthy dinners – like these rotisserie chicken lettuce wraps with leftover wild rice (from this wild rice soup!) and pineapple, red onion and cucumber salsa. 

Friday Favorites - Keeping Sane I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

9. Local delicious apples from the farmer’s market – a reminder that good things come with cooler weather. :) 

Friday Favorites - Keeping Sane I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

  10. Authentic Mexican food from one of my students – a small reminder of why I do what I do. 

Friday Favorites - Keeping Sane I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Alright folks, that’s it! I hope you are having a fantastic Friday and have a great weekend ahead!

Any thing that’s going to keep you sane as we head into the holiday season?

Linking up with ClareJennieCynthia/Courtney/Mar, and Lauren, today! :)

Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soup I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Happy post-Halloween ya’ll. If you’re like me, you may have somewhat of what I like to call ‘Halloween Hangover’. You don’t even need to eat that much candy to get it!

Friday (aka Halloween) night the fiancé had a football game, so we left a ginormous bowl of candy with a sign welcoming those little trick-or-treaters to to help themselves. Before I left for the game I did get two kiddos coming to the door, and they were oh-so-cute in their little costumes! We were a little lame this Halloween, but for good reason (the fiancé’s team playing the Section Final game). We didn’t even carve pumpkins (talk about Halloween scrooges!). Oh well, we will be living here for awhile. Here’s to next year!

Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day are my favorite holidays mostly because a) you get to dress up b) there are usually adult beverages involved (I know, that makes me sounds like a lush!) and c) it doesn’t revolve around food. If you know me, you know that I used to struggle with an eating disorder and am not a huge fan of holidays that revolve around food. Too much food = too much temptation to overeat. Now that’s not saying I don’t overindulge on Thanksgiving or Christmas (I certainly do!), but constantly being around food all day (unlimited amounts of delicious food for that matter) is stressful for me. But then again, any holidays when you get all of your family members together can be stressful in-and-of themselves, right? :)

Struggling with food yourself? Check out my An Open Letter to Anyone with An Eating Disorder article on MindBodyGreen.

So, in honor of Halloween (and the color orange!) I am posting this recipe for a Butternut Squash Soup. It’s deliciously comforting, with the perfect balance of heat and sweet. Trick-or-Treat, bring me something good to eat!

butternut squash soup I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 small to medium butternut squash (about 2 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cubed (I used pre-cut from Costco)

2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

1 medium onion, diced

3 cups vegetable stock

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1/2 cup half and half (or heavy cream or milk, or coconut milk if vegan!)

1/2 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced

2 TBSP butter

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp curry powder

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425. On a non-stick or lined baking sheet, toss squash in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until browning on edges and fork tender (about 30 mins).

Meanwhile, in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat, sauté onions and apples in butter until soft (about 5 minutes). Add in garlic, ginger, jalapeño and seasonings. Sauté till fragrant (about 30 seconds).

Pour in broth and simmer until squash is done being roasted.

Once squash is roasted, add into broth.

From here, I mashed my soup with a potato masher, but if you’d like yours thinner, pour some into a blender or use an immersion blender.

Once desired consistency is reached, taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Slowly add in half-and-half, stirring as you go. Add more if want creamier soup.

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Delicious and healthy Butternut Squash Soup. Perfect combo of sweet and spicy!
Ingredients
  • 1 small to medium butternut squash (about 2 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cubed (I used pre-cut from Costco)
  • 2 apples, peeled and cored
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup half and half (or heavy cream, or milk, whichever you prefer!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ jalapeño, de-seeded and minced
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp curry powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. On a non-stick or lined baking sheet, toss squash in olive oil. Bake until browning on edges and fork tender.
  2. Saute onions and apples in butter until soft. Add in garlic, ginger, and jalapeño and seasonings. Sauté till fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  3. Pour in broth and simmer.
  4. Once squash is roasted, add into broth.
  5. I mashed my soup with a potato masher, but if you'd like yours thinner, pour some into blender or use immersion blender.
  6. Once desired consistency is reached, taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. Slowly add in half-and-half, stirring as good. Add more if want creamier soup.
  8. Enjoy!

 What are your favorite squash recipes? Favorite Fall recipes? Let me know below – I love hearing from you! 

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Chicken Wild Rice Soup I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

I’ve been writing about how dog gone beautiful the weather has been here in MN (see this post!). This October has definitely been better than September, and with highs near the  70s, it sure makes it hard to be in the mood for soup. However, in the mood for soup is exactly what I’ve been. I’m just trying to enjoy this weather as much as I can before the dreaded you know what comes (unless you’re from somewhere that doesn’t drop below 30 degrees or get any snow – then you have no idea what I’m talking about…can I say jealous?!). :)

Ok back to the soup. I made a butternut squash soup with apples and jalapeños a few weeks ago, and this delicious Chicken Wild Rice Soup last week. This soup has got to be one of the most comforting soups out there. For someone who used to dislike creamy soup, that sure has changed over the past few years. Not to mention, wild rice is grown in MN – so tonight I’m paying tribute to this hometown gem.

This Chicken Wild Rice soup is creamy yet light, brimming with cracked wild rice, carrots, celery, and rotisserie chicken. Full of flavor and well, just gosh darn delicious.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

chicken wild rice soup

Ingredients:

3/4 cup wild rice, uncooked

breasts of rotisserie chicken, shredded (about two cups)

1 onion, diced

1 cup diced carrots (about 2-3 carrots)

1 cup diced celery (about 2-3 stalks)

6 TBSP butter, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup flour

4 cups milk (we used half-and-half but you could use more milk or more cream depending on preference)

4 cups chicken broth

1 tsp Italian Seasoning (one that includes thyme, marjoram, sage, and rosemary – otherwise add in separately!)

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Cook rice according to directions (I used our rice cooker).

Meanwhile, melt half of butter in pot. Sauté onions, carrots, and celery over medium heat until soft.

Add in garlic, seasonings, and salt and pepper. Saute until fragrant.

Pour in chicken broth. Simmer on low.

Shred breast meat of rotisserie chicken with fingers. Add to pot.

Taste broth. Adjust seasonings as needed.

In separate pot, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Once melted, slowly add in flour, whisking until butter/flour mixture starts to become golden brown (the roux).

Once you have your roux, slowly pour in milk, whisking as you go. Once all milk is added, turn up to simmer and let thicken for a few minutes. Once mixture has reached desired thickness, add to broth.

Stir to combine. Serve hot and enjoy!

Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
A delicious and creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup recipe. Brimming with wild rice, rotisserie chicken, carrots, and celery - satisfying and hearty.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup wild rice, uncooked
  • breasts of rotisserie chicken, shredded (about two cups)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 2-3 carrots)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 2-3 stalks)
  • 6 TBSP butter, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 cups milk (we used half-and-half)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning (one that includes thyme, marjoram, sage, and rosemary - otherwise add in separately!)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to directions (I used our rice cooker).
  2. Meanwhile, melt half of butter in pot. Sauté onions, carrots, and celery over medium heat until soft.
  3. Add in garlic, seasonings, and salt and pepper. Saute until fragrant.
  4. Pour in chicken broth. Simmer on low.
  5. Shred breast meat of rotisserie chicken with fingers. Add to pot.
  6. Taste broth. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. In separate pot, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Once melted, slowly add in flour, whisking until butter/flour mixture starts to become golden brown (the roux).
  8. Once you have your roux, slowly pour in milk, whisking as you go. Once all milk is added, turn up to simmer and let thicken. Once mixture has reached desired thickness, add to broth.
  9. Stir to combine. Serve hot and enjoy!

Vegan-friendly Chocolate Truffles

Healthy Chocolate Truffles I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Hello! Happy Saturday. Hope your weekend is off to a great start.

It has been absolutely gorgeous in Minnesota lately. I mean, just look at these pics I snapped the other day:

IMAG0699

 

IMAG0697

 

The weather has been in the sixties (pushing 70!) and I am in love. Gotta soak it up before the cooler weather hits. Last night I was at the fiancé’s first football playoff game (that they won – whoop whoop!) and it was in the sixties. This next Friday’s high is only 44. Brrrr! I suppose that is pretty on par with Halloween however….

Speaking of Halloween, the fiancé and I made a trip to Target today to stock up on candy for the hopefully trick-or-treaters. We will be gone that night as his playoff game, but are hoping kiddos will still stop by to get some candy. Besides, we can’t be those new neighbors that poo poo on Halloween. :)

Looking at all the candy made me realize how much I just love chocolate. I mean who doesn’t love chocolate? (Although I know there are some of you out there, and I just don’t understand. Sorry guys.)

I am a HUGE chocolate lover. In fact, I don’t actually like candy without chocolate. And although I love chocolate candy, brownies, and malts, I actually dislike chocolate ice cream and cake. Weird, huh?

So a couple of weeks ago I made these insanely delicious Vegan-friendly Chocolate Truffles. Made without refined sugar, but you would never know the difference (kind of like my Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls). They are just so good!

You want to know the secret to moist delicious vegan chocolate truffles? Dates. Yep, you read that right. Fresh succulent dates. I never knew they could be so good (and good for you!). Rich in antioxidants and full of fiber, they are actually the lowest moisture whole fruit (30%, compared to 75-95% for most fruits). Crazy!

I’ve never eaten dates before (or not that I remember anyway!) and I’m sure they don’t sound appealing when you try and tell someone you are putting them in their dessert. But by golly, they are seriously the most surprisingly delicious food hack I’ve experienced in awhile, and before you poo poo on them, you should try this recipe out. It might make you a date lover for life (it did for me!).

vegan-friendly chocolate truffles

Ingredients:

14 medjool dates, pit removed

1/2 cup walnuts (or any nut will do!)

2 TBSP flax meal (or almond meal)

1 TBSP agave or other favorite sweetener (optional)

1/4 cup cocoa powder + extra for rolling

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp sea salt + more to taste

Directions:

1) Remove the pits of the dates by squeezing the date until pits are visible. Pull out pit and discard.

2) Soak pitted dates in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. This will help increase their stickiness which is essential for this recipe. Drain and squeeze out excess water.

3) Place the nuts into the food processor and pulse until ground.

4) Add in the remainder of the ingredients and pulse until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as you go.

5) Taste mixture to determine if more salt, vanilla, or sweetener is needed.

6) Roll the dough into small balls (think the size of truffles!). If you find the dough is too sticky to roll, add more flax meal until it reaches a consistency you can work with.

7) Meanwhile, pour cocoa powder onto plate. Upon finishing rolling a ball, roll in cocoa powder until completely covered. You could also roll in melted chocolate, sprinkles, coconut flakes – the possibilities are endless!

8) Lay balls out on baking sheet. Once all balls are finished and on baking sheet, place in freezer until set enough so won’t stick together. Store in airtight container in the freezer (the centers will not freeze).

9) Enjoy!

Vegan-friendly Chocolate Truffles

 Just look at those teeth marks!

Healthy Chocolate Balls
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Deliciously moist and healthy chocolate balls. Made without refined sugar means they are healthy too!
Ingredients
  • 14 medjool dates, pit removed
  • ½ cup walnuts (or any nut will do!)
  • 2 TBSP flax meal (or almond meal)
  • 1 TBSP agave or other favorite sweetener (optional)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder + extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp sea salt + more to taste
Instructions
  1. Remove the pits of the dates by squeezing the date until pits are visible. Pull out pit and discard.
  2. Soak pitted dates in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. This will help increase their stickiness which is essential for this recipe. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
  3. Place the nuts into the food processor and pulse until ground.
  4. Add in the remainder of the ingredients and pulse until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as you go.
  5. Taste mixture to determine if more salt, vanilla, or sweetener is needed.
  6. Roll the dough into small balls (think the size of truffles!). If you find the dough is too sticky to roll, add more flax meal until it reaches a consistency you can work with.
  7. Meanwhile, pour cocoa powder onto plate. Upon finishing rolling a ball, roll in cocoa powder until completely covered. You could also roll in melted chocolate, sprinkles, coconut flakes - the possibilities are endless!
  8. Lay balls out on baking sheet. Once all balls are finished and on baking sheet, place in freezer until set enough so won't stick together. Store in airtight container in the freezer (the centers will not freeze).
  9. Enjoy!

First Ever Vlog! +Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad

Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Hi all!

Soccer ended a little over two weeks ago and I’m starting to get back into my groove. We lost our first section game in shootouts (which is the worst way to determine a game, if you ask me) and it was completely devastating. The team we had beat 1-0 and tied 0-0 made it to the Section Championship, and ended up losing in overtime. Makes me think we could have made it that far as well. Oh well, there’s always next year, right?!

That first week after was rough, I was feeling pretty down and had a lot of “what if” moments. “What if” I would have played this girl longer, or in a different position, or let a different girl take that last penalty shot. But in the end, I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time, and that’s a principle I try to let guide my life as much as possible. Helps me to live without regrets.

It’s amazing what sports and coaching can do to a person’s emotional stability. I was telling my fiancé that people who don’t coach have no idea the havoc it can wreck on mental and emotional well-being, and sometimes I wish I had never gotten into the business (although, that was a complete lie, and me just whining about our loss). I really wouldn’t trade the adrenaline-rush, excitement, and life lessons that come along with the nature of the game. I also really love the opportunity to work with and mentor high school girls. My high school coach had such a positive impact on me, and I hope to do the same for my players. I can honestly say that I was sad to see the season end mostly because I loved going to spend time with my team!

The first day without soccer I made this delicious Butternut Squash soup (that I promise I will post soon – just didn’t capture a very good picture of it!). It felt good to be back in the kitchen, as much as it pained me that soccer was over. Cooking is my therapy, and I had forgotten how much I had missed it. On Monday this week I decided to create my very first video blog post (vlog!). It was totally scary and nerve-wracking and fun all at the same time. Not to mention the video is SUPER cheesy. But hey, I do love me some cheese. :)

So, here it is folks. My video blog on a Brussels Sprouts and Quinoa salad. I just posted a recipe for roasted brussels sprouts awhile back here, and it’s basically the same concept. Roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, added to some quinoa and topped with a homemade honey-mustard dressing and parmesan cheese. So delicious!

 

 

 

 

Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise

6 slices nitrate-free bacon, sliced thinly

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

2 TBSP dijon mustard

1 TBSP honey

juice of 1/2 lemon

olive oil

salt

pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

On a non-stick or lined baking sheet, spread out Brussels sprouts

Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss until all Brussels sprouts are coated

Crumble bacon pieces over sprouts

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until sprouts until crisp on the outside and fork tender on the inside. Bacon should also be crisp.

Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to directions

Combine mustard, honey, lemon juice, 2 TBSP olive oil in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once sprouts are done, transfer to medium sized bowl. Add in cooked quinoa. Pour over dressing. Stir to comine.

Top with grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Bacon-y Brussels sprouts goodness.

Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Quinoa salad. Healthy and delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 4 slices nitrate-free bacon, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. On a non-stick or lined baking sheet, spread out Brussels sprouts
  3. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss until all Brussels sprouts are coated
  4. Crumble bacon pieces over sprouts
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until sprouts until crisp on the outside and fork tender on the inside. Bacon should also be crisp.
  6. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to directions
  7. Combine mustard, honey, lemon juice, 2 TBSP olive oil in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Once sprouts are done, transfer to medium sized bowl. Add in cooked quinoa. Pour over dressing. Stir to comine.
  9. Top with grated parmesan cheese.
  10. Enjoy!

Healthier Stuffed Mushrooms

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

Well hey there. Been a loooong time, hasn’t it?!

There are three things I do a lot less of during soccer season: cook, blog, and work out. We had early practice tonight, so I had a little extra time and thus, decided to get a post in. Before going to yoga. Yep you read that right, blogging and yoga on the same night, during soccer season. And boy does it feel good! :)

Tomorrow we have our first section game. Bah! I am so excited/nervous/anxious all at the same time. Once you get to sections it’s single elimination. Our team is doing extremely well (we are second in conference) and has the potential to go really far in playoffs this year. I’ll let you know how it goes, and send your good luck wishes our way!

This weekend we had friends over for a birthday party. The fiancé picked up some fresh noodles, meatballs, Italian sausage, garlic bread, and sauce from a St. Paul deli (Cosetta’s for those who are familiar with the area!). I made these Healthier Stuffed Mushrooms to go with the caprese salad one of our friends brought.

I’m not a huge mushroom fan as they can be a little overpowering for me. However, I do love them on pizza, and if they are filled with cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs, I won’t complain about that either. :)

And that is exactly what these little gems are stuffed with! They are also not too rich due to a lack of cream cheese, which is just how I like them. Enjoy!

Healthier Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

1 package 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (Panko, gluten-free, or whatever floats your boat!)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded

1 TBSP Italian seasoning (unless using Italian seasoned bread crumbs)

1 tsp garlic powder

pinch of salt and pepper

1/4 cup olive oil (or more as needed)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and de-stem.

Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, seasoning, salt and pepper in bowl.

Pour in oil. Use as much oil as needed to completely moisten all of mixture.

Line baking sheet (or use nonstick).

Scoop mixture out and spoon into mushrooms. Place on baking sheet.

Bake mushrooms for 15-20 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and tops are brown.

Enjoy!

 

Easy Italian Stuffed Mushrooms
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Delicious and healthy Italian Stuffed Mushroom recipe.
Ingredients
  • 1 package 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (Panko, gluten-free, or whatever floats your boat!)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning (unless using Italian seasoned bread crumbs)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil (or more as needed)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and de-stem.
  3. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, seasoning, salt and pepper in bowl.
  4. Pour in oil. Use as much oil as needed to completely moisten all of mixture.
  5. Line baking sheet (or use nonstick).
  6. Scoop mixture out and spoon into mushrooms. Place on baking sheet.
  7. Bake mushrooms for 15-20 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and tops are brown.
  8. Enjoy!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Brussels Sprouts. Who knew those miniature almost-cabbage-like balls could be so good? I never grew up on Brussels sprouts, but I know a few people who did. Not these deliciously-caramelized-bacony-goodness-kind of Brussels sprouts however. They were your boiled-soggy-boring-kind of Brussels sprouts. And nobody likes boiled vegetables (not that I know of anyway!).

The first time I recall tasting Brussels sprouts was at my uncle’s house for Christmas Eve dinner a long time ago. My cousin Patrick had went to culinary school, and worked as a cook. He made roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and pearl onions, and I was sold.

You see, my cousin was an amazing cook. I will never forget the moment I was given news of his sudden death. He was only in his mid-twenties, far too young to be taken from this Earth. I think about him from time-to-time, and of course when I see my uncle, aunt, or his sister, my cousin Kelly. I can’t imagine what they went through at that time, and still have to deal with every single day.

And although he was taken far too young, he left an imprint on my heart. He shared his love for cooking with his family and friends, and I will never forget the time he made the Brussels Sprouts that changed my viewpoint on the vegetable. That’s what life is all about right? Sharing your love with others, in whichever way fancies you. Patrick was good at that.

These aren’t nearly as good as his, but they are my favorite way to cook (and eat!) Brussels sprouts.

Enjoy.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Ingredients:

1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise

2 slices nitrate-free bacon, sliced thinly

olive oil

salt

pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

On a non-stick or lined baking sheet, spread out Brussels sprouts

Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper

Toss until all Brussels sprouts are coated

Bake for 10-15 minutes, then toss to brown spots evenly

Bake for additional 10-15 minutes or until crisp on the outside and fork tender on the inside

Enjoy!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 A tribute to my cousin, Patrick, and his love for delicious food.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 slices nitrate-free bacon, sliced thinly
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. On a non-stick or lined baking sheet, spread out Brussels sprouts
  3. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper
  4. Toss until all Brussels sprouts are coated
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, then toss to brown spots evenly
  6. Bake for additional 10-15 minutes or until crisp on the inside and fork tender on the inside
  7. Enjoy!

Any dish you recall tasting that changed your mind? Any favorite Brussels Sprouts recipes to share?

Ultimate Coffee Date 3

Ultimate Coffee Date #2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Hey strangers!

After two weeks of soccer and back to school craziness, it feels so so good to have some down time on the couch, watching MN Gopher football, and getting the chance to catch up with you all.

Today I’m linking up with my friend Nikki and her co-hosts Jill, and Lynda for their Ultimate Coffee Date link up. It’s a great way to catch up and discover new blogs. Definitely one of my favorite posts to write. :)

This morning I was coaching a soccer game, so although it’s no longer morning, it feels like it to me because I actually have the time to relax. And although I’m not currently drinking coffee, I am thinking about making myself a cup of tea. So if we were having coffee (or tea in my case!) this evening, here’s what I would share with you:

Ultimate Coffee Date 3

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that my soccer team is on a four game winning streak! We are currently first in our conference. All of this positive thinking is really paying off. :)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that I attempted (attempted being the key word here!) to make my own almond milk. It wasn’t a complete success, and I will definitely be trying it again now that I’ve learned from my mistakes. However, it was much creamier and way more tasty than the store-bought brands! I used it in these blueberry muffins I made the other week. Mmm mmm.

Ultimate Coffee Date 3 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

(Almond) milk, does the body good.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that the reason I’m having tea is because I came down with a nasty head cold. Between the change of schedule with going back to school and having two games this week, it’s been all run and no rest. Now that soccer is over for the weekend, resting up is exactly what I’m doing.

I’ve talked about my love for Source Naturals Wellness Vitamins here before, but the other one of my must-haves for when I’ve come down with a cold is Boiron Coldcalm pills. Yesterday was the first full day of my cold, and by taking these and those wellness vitamins, I’m feeling so much better already!

Ultimate Coffee Date #2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

how much I love doing yoga on our back porch to this view. It’s so quiet and peaceful back there. Especially with all of the cute squirrels running around, playing with one another, and chomping on their food. Yes, I am a squirrel lover. My favorite yoga-at-home app is Yogamazing. Chaz is an awesome instructor and I love that the videos are organized by topic (i.e. yoga for back pain, etc.).

Ultimate Coffee Date 3 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 sweet peace and lovin

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

I’ve found a new favorite “breakfast” bar. Not really labeled as a breakfast bar, but it is what I’ve been eating every day for breakfast during the work week. They are called the Perfect Bar. I love that they are gluten-free, free of processed sugars, and have a good amount of protein. The Cranberry Crunch is my favorite so far!

Ultimate Coffee Date 3 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that I’m thinking about making an upcycled t-shirt rug. For those who know me, I’m not really the crafty type. However, since we’ve moved I’ve realized how many friggin t-shirts I have, and need to get rid of. Instead of donating them (let’s be honest, some are just too worn to be donated), making them into rags (already got enough of those), or throwing them (I’m trying to reduce my waste!), I’d like to make them in to this kind of rug. Only problem is, I am not a sewer (my mom, however, does alterations for a living). Think I could rope her into helping me? :)

Ultimate Coffee Date I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Picture courtesy of insructables.com

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that life is busy, but good. So much to be grateful for. Every single day.

Ever made your own almond milk? Favorite breakfast foods? Fall crafts you can’t wait to start?

Have a great rest of your weekend all!

Gluten-free Grain-free Blueberry Muffins

Gluten-free Grain-free Lemon Blueberry Muffins I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Mmmm blueberry muffins. Just the thought brings back sweet sweet memories of childhood. My mom was the queen of making big breakfasts on weekend mornings. She was always baking (or cooking!) up something good. I can recall many a times sneaking a muffin piping hot from the oven. I can still hear my mom telling me “they need to cool!”, but I must have liked burning my hand (or mouth!) on them, as I rarely ever waited. Piping hot muffins, sliced open, with a pat of butter in between…

Unfortunately blueberry muffins, as delicious as they may be, happen to be full of no-good-for-you refined flour. And sure, some white flour (or rice, or sugar, or whatnot!) may be ok for you once and awhile, but why not indulge, without actually indulging? Sounds like my kind of indulging, if you know what I mean. :)

As you may or may not know, I try to lead a gluten-restricted (and more recently grain-restricted) diet. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to splurge on a delicious piece of pizza or ice cold beer once and awhile. However, more often than not, I end up regretting it afterwards. The whole so-bloated-and-tired-I-want-to-instantly-fall-asleep feeling? It’s just not cute.

So with that in mind, today I’ve got for you this delicious gluten-free and grain-free blueberry muffin recipe (much like my recipe for gluten-free and grain-free peanut butter banana muffins). The main star (other than the blueberries of course!) is the almond flour. Almond flour can be a bit expensive, but if you check out my post on shopping online, you can find some good deals out there. Especially if you order in bulk. I also love that these contain no refined sugar. Hooray for whole, delicious goodness!

Enjoy!

Gluten-free Grain-free Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from almostsupermom.com.

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 TBSP lemon zest (optional)

2 TBSP melted coconut oil

3 eggs

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup almond milk (or your favorite milk!)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in bowl. Stir to combine.

Add in coconut oil, eggs, honey, milk, and vanilla extract and stir to combine thoroughly.

Gently fold in blueberries.

Scoop dough into lined muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean and muffins are browning on top.

Enjoy!

Gluten-free Grain-free Lemon Blueberry Muffins I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 

 

Gluten-free Grain-free Blueberry Muffins
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Deliciously moist gluten-free grain-free blueberry muffins. Enjoy this breakfast without the guilt (or bloat!).
Ingredients
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ TBSP lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 TBSP melted coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup almond milk (or your favorite milk!)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Add in coconut oil, eggs, honey, milk, and vanilla extract and stir to combine thoroughly.
  4. Gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Scoop dough into lined muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean and muffins are browning on top.

What does your favorite ‘big’ breakfast include? What type of muffins are your favorite?

Tips Tuesday: Keeping Guacamole Fresher + Recipe

How to Keep Guacamole Fresh Longer I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Hi all.

Happy Tuesday!

Today we’re talking guacamole. And specifically, on keeping guacamole fresher (for longer)!.

Guacamole is one of my hands-down absolute favorite snacks (or if you’re like me and you eat almost the whole bowl, meals!). The only bummer is, it seems to go bad so quickly! And when I mean bad, I mean turns a weird shade of green/brown.

When the fiancé and I first started dating, he taught me this little trick on how to get more life out of your guac.

Want to know what that little trick is?

Sure ya do!

Here’s how it goes: after your’e done mashing up your fresh batch of guacamole, put the avocado pits BACK IN THE BOWL!

Easy, right?!

Right.

It sounds strange, but I swear it works. Not sure what the science behind it is, but my thought is the pits trick the avocados into thinking they’re still in their home. :) Haha, cheesy, I know.

Now take what you know, and make this easy guacamole recipe! Sure to please at your next picnic, bbq, or potluck. Or you can just enjoy the whole dang bowl to yourself (I do!).

Easy Guacamole Recipe

Ingredients:

3-4 avocados (depending on size)

1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

juice of 1/2-1 lime (depending on size)

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Peel avocados and scoop insides into bowl.

Add in jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice.

Mash until well blended. You do not need one of those fancy mortar and pestle thingies, just a plain old potato masher (or fork) will do!

Keeping Guacamole Fresh I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

I love using my OXO Good Grips masher for this step!

Top with additional cilantro.

Put pits back into bowl. Enjoy or cover to store in refridgerator.

Keeping Guacamole Fresh I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Fresher, longer, more delicious guacamole.  

What other ingredients do you like in your guacamole? Any other add-ins I should could consider trying?

Until next time…happy clean eating!

Kate

Easy Guacamole Recipe
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
A delicious all-natural guacamole recipe sure to please at your next get-together!
Ingredients
  • 3-4 avocados (depending on size)
  • 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • juice of ½-1 lime (depending on size)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Instructions
  1. Peel avocados and scoop insides into bowl.
  2. Add in jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice.
  3. Mash until well blended. You do not need one of those fancy mortar and pestle thingies, just a plain old potato masher (or fork) will do!
  4. Top with additional cilantro.
  5. Put pits back into bowl. Enjoy or cover to store in refridgerator.

WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) 11

WIAW 11 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Woo hoo! It’s Wednesday.

And what a busy week it has been!

High school soccer starts Monday, and from tonight through Sunday I’m taking a Youth Coaching License class. Fun stuff! Although it should be fun, because I get to play soccer and learn more about the sport. :)

So a quick WIAW post and then I’ll likely be out of commission for oohhh…maybe a good week or so! After two-a-days next week perhaps I’ll find a little more time (until school starts that is!). August – October is the Andy-and-Katie-don’t-see-each-other much part of our year. Except for the late night “hello” and then “goodnight”, and then some on the weekends (around his Friday night games, my Saturday games, and Vikings football on Sunday). Is it bad that I consider Friday night football games a date? I mean I do get to see him, from across the field. :)

In all seriousness, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a short time that flies by, and it’s much better to be in it together anyhow. And not to mention, I’m totally geeked for the season to start!

Settling into the new house has been fun, as I’ve been actually able to use the kitchen again (hooray!). I also made my first trip to Costco (no judging quite yet!). Although I’m a huge proponent of local businesses, and especially local food, I couldn’t help but love the place. I was able to stock up on all sorts of all-natural and organic snacks and produce. They even have organic meat! Long story short, I joined, and am looking forward to the next trip (after I eat like 2 pounds of hummus!).

So what did I eat this week? Read on!

WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) 11

A little snack platter for when my friends came to check the new house on Sunday. I am loving that we can finally have people over now!

WIAW 11 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Organic cheddar cheese, rice crackers, green bell peppers, carrots, and hummus.

And then just some broccoli and hummus for myself.

WIAW 11 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Add in some carrots and you’ve got my afternoon snack the past two days.

My juicer is back in action from being packed away, so I made this lovely green juice for breakfast yesterday.

wiaw 11 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Celery, kale, carrots, and black grapes.

The fiancé and I are back cooking. We made homemade pesto with baked chicken (no grill yet!), with tomato, corn-on-the-cob, and green beans all from the Farmer’s Market. It was our first dinner in the new place! :)

wiaw 11 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

The night after we made our take on shrimp and grits. Creamy polenta with sautéed shrimp, asparagus, and mushrooms. The polenta was not my favorite (perhaps too rich?) and I probably won’t be making it again for awhile (if ever!).

WIAW 11 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

I’ve been at home for lunch so far this week, so it’s consisted mostly of veggies and hummus, beef jerky, string cheese, some pistachios (my favorite!) and almonds. I love snacks and could eat them for every meal I’m pretty sure! Breakfast has basically been bananas and KIND bars (except the green juice day!). I need to get back into my smoothie making here soon!

And don’t be fooled, it’s not all healthy. The fiance’s mom sent us with these to.die.for carmel chocolate nut bar thingies. I don’t even know what they are, but I do know they are damn good! Remember when I gave up sugar for 10 days? I might have to do that again after I polish off the batch of these babies sitting in our freezer. Every day I need one. Need. Yep, I’m addicted. :)

Alright folks, anything good you’ve been eating these days?! New dinner ideas or snacks to share? I’m all ears!

Until next time, happy clean eating!

Linking up with Jenn at Peas and Carrots today for What I Ate Wednesday!


Tips Tuesday: Cutting Kale (into Pieces!)

Tips Tuesday I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Hello!

Happy Tuesday.

I am currently typing this post outside on our deck. Birds chirping, breeze a blowing. Yes, life is good. :)

Today’s Tips Tuesday has to do with kale. Love it or hate it, no one can deny that it’s good for you.

It’s one of my favorite leafy green veggies (along with spinach!). I love it in smoothies, green juices, stir fries, pasta dishes, and salads.

The last week we were living in the apartment I made this pasta salad. It consisted of whole wheat rigatoni noodles (would have preferred rice, but it’s all we had in the house!), kale, roasted garlic, parmesan and feta cheese. Oh and garbanzo beans. Kind of random, but I liked the idea of added protein.

It was a quick and easy (not to mention, healthy!) pasta salad that I was able to eat for days while we were in the midst of packing/cleaning/not using the kitchen.

Tips Tuesday I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Easy and delicious.

The recipe itself called for finely shredded kale pieces. Hmm. How do you do that?! Well, upon further research, I learned it was easy. So easy I gave myself a “duh” smack across the head as I read it. But sometimes things just don’t come so easy (or at least not for me!).

Cutting Kale (into Pieces!)

Step 1: Wash kale.

Step 2: Tear kale leaves from stem.

Step 3: Grab a handful of kale. Hold on tight. Using knife, slice kale into pieces, letting your grip move backwards as you get closer to your hand (another duh!).

Taa-daa! That’s it. Like I said, so easy, you almost want to put a palm to your forehead. But you really probably shouldn’t. :)

Tips Tuesday I www.eatcleanwithkate.com
The trick to perfectly small kale pieces? Bunch it up! 

From here on out I’m turning my Tips Tuesday into a InLinkz Party!  What does that mean? Simple. If you’re a blogger and want to contribute your own tip based on cooking, fitness, health, or wellness, link it up below. If you’re not a blogger, feel free to check out the tips that are posted. Let’s keep the tip-share love going!

Link Up Here!

 Loading InLinkz ...

Ultimate Coffee Date #2

Ultimate Coffee Date I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Goooood morning!

And Happy Saturday. :)

This is the first Saturday in a long time in which I’ve been able to a) sleep in and b) not have to get up and rush off to something (other than two weeks ago when we were up at the cabin!).

It feels great. And also gives me time to write this post and link up with Nikki, Jill, and Lynda for their Ultimate Coffee Date link up!

 photo coffeedate_zps1b941bec.jpg

I posted my first Ultimate Coffee Date awhile back (you can read that post here), and it’s time I joined in on the fun again!

The Ultimate Coffee Date is a fun way to share what’s going on in life, and connect with other bloggers. If you’re a blogger interested in linking up as well, check out this how to guide. Check out Nikki’s other co-hosts Jill Conyers and fitnessmomwinecountry too!

So what’s on my mind this morning?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

how excited I am to be all moved in to our new house! We closed on Monday, and were officially out of our apartment on Thursday. Just have to put everything away (and buy a few things!). It’s been a long week, and now, it’s time to put our feet up and enjoy! :)

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you… 

that I love discovering new neighborhoods. A friend of ours stopped by the other day to see the house, and we headed out to this local cafe I heard was good. We are within walking distance to downtown White Bear Lake, and I love that we have lots of new shops and restaurants to try out. I had this chicken salad with strawberries, slivered almonds, blue cheese, shaved fennel, and a lavender balsamic dressing. Healthy and delicious!

Friday Favorites I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that I just love the Farmer’s Market. Another great thing about where we live is that there is a Farmers Market on Friday mornings right in downtown (that I was able to walk to!). I picked up some kale, spinach, fingerling potatoes, green beans, green bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, local string cheese, and a bouquet of beautiful flowers for under $40. You seriously cannot beat that!

Ultimate Coffee Date 2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

that I found a new favorite yogurt. Dreaming Cow Strawberry Pomegranate Grass-fed yogurt. Not as thick and creamy as Greek (or with as much protein), but I love that it only uses fruit juice to sweeten and is all-natural. And it’s got a great creamy texture without the sourness of other yogurts.

Ultimate Coffee Date I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

And that my friends, is a wrap!

Any tips for this new homeowner? Favorite yogurts I should know about? Anything else you’re loving about the summertime?

Have a great Saturday! :)

 

Tips Tuesday: Baking Bacon

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Hi all.

Happy Tuesday.

Today’s Tips Tuesday has to do with bacon. And who doesn’t love bacon? I know I do!

After being vegetarian for 4 months after college, I caved on bacon. Sweet sweet bacon. And I haven’t looked back since.

The problem with bacon is it is an awful mess to cook. Not to mention the grease splattering everywhere – ouch!

Know what else bugs me about cooking bacon on the stovetop? The fact that I just can’t seem to get those darn ends to turn crisp. You see, I like my bacon borderline burnt. So flimsy bacon (or bacon ends!) is no good to me.

About a year back I found a solution to all of my bacon woes. Bake the bacon!

Might sound strange, but hear me out.

Baking bacon is the easiest and cleanest way to guarantee evenly crisp bacon, every time.

A lot of people microwave their bacon, which kind of freaks me out. We don’t use our microwave a lot, and after watching that experiment about what microwaved water (vs. boiled) did to plants, I’m thinking I won’t be using it again much ever.

Anyway, back to the baked bacon.

Super easy. Preheat oven to 375 (I’ve done it from anywhere between 350 and 400 and just adjusted time as needed). Take a baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Place bacon on top. Bake for 10-15 mins. or until bacon is done to desired crispness. Take pan out. Using a spatula, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to cool.

Enjoy your perfect bacon!

Note: We have only tried this with good-quality thick cut bacon. If using thinner bacon, reduce heat and shorten time.

Before:

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After:

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YUM.

Oh and did I mention clean up is a breeze? Let all that fat solidify on the parchment paper, pick up, and discard!

Got any tips that others think are weird but you swear by? :)

Have a great day all!

Friday Favorites – Gratitude Edition

Friday Favorites Gratitude Edition - www.eatcleanwithkate.com

It’s Friday. And you know what that means. It’s time for Friday Favorites!

Today’s post is going to be on gratitude, and specifically, 5 things I am immensely grateful for right now in my life.

It’s hard sometimes to not take life, and all its amazing gifts, for granted. A lot of times I catch myself wishing that I had something else, something more, than I already do. It’s hard not to get caught up in what else is out there for us.

However, it’s best to take a moment to slow down, and truly feel gratitude for what we have been blessed with. Besides, no better way to bring better stuff into our lives than to be grateful for what we already have! :)

Friday Favorites – Gratitude Edition

1. The opportunity to buy a house. Or as I like to say “living the American dream”. However, it’s a dream that doesn’t come true for a lot of people, especially those who can’t seem to break the cycle of poverty. It was a lot of work, and stress, but I know it’s stress and work that come with something that not everyone has access to. And for that, I’m super grateful. (Will be sure to post a few pictures once we move in next week!)

2. Sharing a life with a man I love more than anything in this world. Not to mention marry him next summer in a unique and beautiful setting (and have a big party with family and friends to celebrate!). If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I thought love could ever be this grand, I would have said no. I could never have imagined the connection we have, the laughs we share, and the utter love and respect we have for one another. I truly care about his happiness and well-being as much (if not more so!) than mine. Ok, I’ll stop with the mushy mush. :)

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  Me and my love, cruising along The St. Croix River.

3. The ability to take advantage of all the cool things Minneapolis has to offer. Like taking in a Twins game in the middle of the afternoon. We had amazing seats (thanks to a friend’s uncle!) and it was a beautiful day. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Friday Favorites Gratitude Edition - www.eatcleanwithkate.com

4. All the money I could possibly want and need. I mean sure, I could always have more, but do I really need it? No. Let’s face it, teachers don’t make that much money, but we do get the summers off, and to me, that is priceless. It gives me the opportunity to do things that are really near and dear to my heart (like coach soccer, teach yoga, attend Twins games in the middle of the day…). Not to mention, when I compare my situation to others around the world, I seriously can. not. complain. Ever. Or at least I certainly shouldn’t.

5. Feeling safe. With all the fighting going on around the world currently, I can say that I truly am grateful to live in a place in which I don’t feel my physical safety is threatened. I think about all those who do live in a constant state of fear and panic, and can’t imagine what it is like. Someday, perhaps all fighting will come to an end. Until then, I will send my wishes for peace to those who need it, and continue to be grateful for my own.

What are you extra grateful for today?

Linking up with ClareJennieCynthia/Courtney/Mar, and Lauren, today! Now that’s a lot of link ups! :)

WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) 10

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Howdy ya’ll. Happy What I Ate Wednesday (night). It’s a little after 10 p.m. here. Am on my way to bed here soon, but thought I’d sneak in a quick WIAW post.

Summer is humming along. Or cruising. Or speeding. Going way too fast is basically what I’m trying to say.

We spent a beautiful weekend up at the cabin. Lounging on the dock, going for swims, taking the boat to different sand bars. A perfect weekend filled with sunshine, cold beer, good friends and family, and lots of relaxation. Just. what. I. needed.

I didn’t photograph what we ate last weekend, but it was your typical cabin food. Corn-on-the-cob, watermelon, grilled meats and salad for dinners. Homemade Chex Mix and cookie bars (courtesy of the fiance’s mom!) for snacks. Scrambled eggs and thick cut local bacon for breakfast. I don’t even think we ate lunch either day. Too busy out enjoying the sunshine. We didn’t go hungry, don’t worry. :)

I’ve been on a bit of a splurge these past two weeks. Lots of food and drink. Summertime is hard for me to be on a healthy eating routine because 1) I don’t have as set of a schedule and 2) there are too many fun things going on that involve food and drink. My body is definitely paying the price. However, I’ve deemed it’s worth it, at least in the short run.

I’d like to think once we move into our new house next week (only 5 days to go!) that we’ll be cooking more. The past few weeks have just been a bit nuts around here, and we haven’t been home a lot, especially for dinner.

When I get back in the kitchen, I promise I’ll start posting recipes again. :)

Until then, I’m posting for WIAW and sharing a collection of what I’ve enjoyed over the past few days.

Enjoy!

WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) 10

1) Gluten-free sugar-free Zucchini Muffins.

These were actually grain-free entirely. Being the experimental baker that I am, I decided to stray from the recipe and add a little coconut flour. The batter seemed really goopy and I thought it would help firm things up a bit. Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. This is why I could never be a master baker. Too many substitutions and “I’ll just try it” moments. The muffins turned out wayyy too dry. I’d love to make the recipe again, however this time without the flour. I mean zucchini and apple, what’s not to love about that combo?!

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My failure of a muffins.

2) Caprese Salad (take a peek at my recipe here!)

Fresh heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, topped with a little salt and fresh herbs (this time I used mint). One of my most favorite dishes that just screams summer.

WIAW 10 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com  My go-to summer side dish. 

3) A Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate KIND bar.

I picked this guy up at the gas station on the way to a soccer game yesterday. Had yet to try this kind (no pun intended), and it has definitely got my approval! I love that it has 7 grams of protein too. (Check out my other posts on KIND bars here, here, and here – can you tell I’m obsessed?!). :)

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My favorite on-the-go snack. 

4) Spring Rolls from Na’s Thai Cafe in Chanhassen, MN.

I was running from the chiropractor to the soccer game (that I mentioned above), and had yet to eat lunch (it was 4:30 p.m.). I spotted this place on my way out of the chiro, and decided it was worth a swing into. I ordered the spring rolls to go, and they were delicious. I am a sucker for a good spring roll. Another one of my all-time summer favorites.

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Fresh veggies, soft rice noodles, and crispy pork. What’s not to love?!

5) Smoked Meat Sandwich from Andrew Zimmern’s A to Z Canteen at the Twins game today.

Some of the best (taste wise!) food at Target Field. Sandwich was delicious, and topped with their very own slaw and a sauce with a bit of a kick. The homemade chips weren’t half bad either. Probably not the cleanest choice, although when it comes to the other options, at least I know it’s decent quality. Andrew Zimmern knows his food. And if you don’t know who Andrew Zimmern is, you should find out. :)

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Alright folks, until next time…

happy clean eating!

And p.s. – feel free to leave me a comment below – I love hearing from you! :)

-Katie

Linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons today!

Friday Favorites 6

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Happy Friday!

I said I was going to post for Thinking Out Loud Thursday, but I didn’t. I did go for a rollerblade around Lake Calhoun, went to the grocery store, baked some zucchini muffins (more to come on that at a later time!), made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, did laundry, and watched some terrible alien show (sorry Andy!) with the fiancé. Oh and packed for this weekend. No time for blogging in there.  :)

But today is Friday, and I figured I could fit in a quick post!

So what were my favorite things this week?! Read on brother. Read on.

Friday Favorites 6

1. Late evening walks around Cedar Lake.

Man am I going to miss this lake when we move away! I mean, how wouldn’t I with this view:

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2. Heirloom tomatoes.

If you haven’t tasted a heirloom tomato yet, you are missing out. Last night we made lamb burgers (which I featured on another Friday Favorites here!) with fresh mozzarella, tomato slices and a mint leaf. With a side of another one of my favorites, grilled zucchini.

Friday Favorites 6 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

3. Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink.

Not a huge fan of kefir as it is a little too carbonated for my likes and tends to give me heartburn. This however, is heaven. A probiotic drink that is sweetened with stevia, only has 10 calories per bottle (not that I’m counting!), and tastes amazing!

Friday Favorites 6 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

4. Herbs.

I posted a few weeks ago on Tips Tuesday about how to store herbs (check it out here!). I just can’t get enough of herbs, especially in the summertime. A perfect way to add flavor without added salt, sugar, fat, or unnecessary calories! Not to mention they are full of good-for-you nutrients and carry many health benefits. Check out my thyme that is still going strong after almost 2 weeks:

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5. Heading ‘Up North’.

The fiancé and I are heading up north with some friends after work this afternoon. There is nothing like getting away from the cities, spending all day on the lake, taking boat rides, having bonfires, and just generally adopting a more go-with-the-flow easier way of life. Can you tell I’m excited? :)

Hope you have a great weekend yourself!

Feel free to drop me a line on your plans (or on anything really!) – I love hearing from you!

Kate

Linking up with JennieCynthia/Courtney/Mar, and Heather today!

WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) 9

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High ho, high ho, it’s off to work we go!

I’m taking a class at the University of MN this week on Entrepreneurship Economics, and with the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. schedule it feels like I’m back at work. Boy, am I not used to it! I’ve been utterly exhausted all week. It’s also a lot of knowledge being crammed into my brain, which is draining in and of itself, but it’s all good stuff. Makes me want to start my own business some day. :)

This weekend was also exhausting, but in the best of ways. Girls night Friday (complete with all the wine and delicious food your heart could desire), bridal shower Saturday, Basilica Block Party Saturday night, baby shower Sunday, and a Pedal Pub Sunday for a friend’s 30th birthday. Whoofta! Nothing like lots of good food, live outdoor music and celebrations with friends to round out the weekend. It was super fun, and I totally paid for it on Monday. It was worth it though. So so worth it.

The downside to all this fun? I honestly can’t remember the last time the fiancé and I have cooked something. Sometime last week is my guess. This weekend we ate out for dinner all nights and even lunch one day (yikes!). We’ve been eating out more than usual lately. I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that we are moving to the other side of town in less than 2 weeks and are trying to get to any last places we’ve been dying to go to! Excuses, excuses…I know. :)

This week I’ve been fed both breakfast and lunch at the conference, and met out with some college friends last night before teaching yoga. Tonight I’m on my own for dinner. So far I’ve had…cheese and crackers. Hmm. I better raid the fridge here soon and see what else I can scrounge up for dinner!

So today’s What I Ate Wednesday is a mini compilation of a few things I’ve had to eat (and drink!) this past week. I’m super bad about taking pictures of one’s days worth of food lately. Although I could tell you about it sans pictures, but that’s just no fun.

Here ya go!

WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) 9

1) Fruit kabobs and veggie cups at the bridal shower. My mom made these fruit kabobs – I thought it was such a cute idea!

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2) A chia tea latte with almond milk at a little place in Minneapolis called Parka. This was on Saturday afternoon, in between the baby shower and the block party. I needed a little pick me up on what was a rainy afternoon!

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3) A shot of green juice Sunday morning to detox. Kale, lettuce, and spinach with some strawberries. It was pretty bitter for my taste, but I survived!

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4) Fried rice from our favorite Asian restaurant that I have not stopped talking about (and if you follow me regularly, you know what I mean!). It’s probably the best fried rice I’ve ever had. My mouth is drooling just thinking about it!

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5) Pho. That I pronounce exactly as it is written, but is not the correct way to say it. It’s more like Fha than Pho. Anyway, it was good, but not my favorite. I’ll have to try it at another place to see if I like it better!

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And that’s all I’ve got for you for tonight. Tomorrow I’m hoping to write for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

Now off for a late night stroll around the park (and finding something to eat for dinner!). Have a great rest of your night and see you back here soon! :)

P.s. – Feel free to drop me a line below – I love hearing from you!

Kate

Linking up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons today!

 


Saying Goodbye to Shoulda

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Today I’m linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday. Although I just joined in for the first time (My End of an Era post is here), this is becoming my new favorite post to write. Being busy blogging about food and all, sometimes I don’t get to blog about things and issues and thoughts that are close to my heart. This gives me that excuse, and I love it!

Although last week’s post was fairly serious talking about eating disorder recovery, this week’s post will be along the same lines (but maybe not quite so serious!).

It has to do with the dreaded ‘Shoulda’.

I noticed myself saying it the other day. If you’re unfamiliar, it goes something like this:

I shoulda worked out longer.

I shoulda blogged today.

I shoulda ate better for lunch (or usually that’s in the form of ‘I shouldn’t have eaten that!’).

I shoulda done this, I shoulda done that.

I shoulda (basically insert anything here).

The list goes on…

When I’m on a regular scheduled routine, my ‘shoulda’ moments are usually less frequent. I get up early, go to work, come home, try to get some type of workout in, make dinner, eat dinner, and blog (or get things done on the computer). Obviously there are other things thrown in there (the usual grocery, laundry, etc. errands). And during soccer season I omit working out (for the most part!) and making dinner (or the time allotted for making dinner is extremely cut short).

During the summer though, my schedule looks a little different. I still work in the weight room and coach soccer 5 days/week, but I’ve got a little more flex time as a teacher on summer break. This summer has been busy so far, with buying a house, wedding planning, and getting things together for high school soccer season (and the tryouts I’m running for the soccer club I work for!). I’ve also completed my 200-hour yoga teaching license this summer, and have a week-long economics course and a week-long soccer coaching course coming up. Like I said, plenty of things going on.

But it’s due to the unstructured nature of my day that I’m saying things like all of the shoulda statements above.

The one that really gets me is ‘I shoulda worked out more/longer/at all’ and any shoulda statements that have to do with food. I want to scream at myself and say “No, I shouldn’t have!”. I didn’t want to work out, or I did the best I could with the time I had. Or even though I eat healthy 99% of the time, I just wanted french fries for lunch! And what’s the harm in that? :)

But really, every shoulda statement needs to be taken out of my vocabulary. There just really is no need.

Every day, we do the best we can with what we have, what we know, and who we are.

Luckily for us, we are always growing (or hopefully are!). Always learning how to do things more efficiently, how to better care for ourselves, manage our time, and make smarter decisions for our life.

So today, I’m saying goodbye to shoulda. Life is too short to be having guilt or regret over something (virtually insignificant) that we didn’t have time for, that we didn’t do as well as we thought we should have, that we didn’t…whatever. It truly does. not. matter.

I invite you to evaluate your shoulda statements, and really ask yourself if they are necessary (and likely you’ll find that nope, they are not!). If so, say goodbye to shoulda with me! It’s a freeing way to think. To tell yourself that you did the best you could, and that there is always tomorrow (or the next day, or the next). :)

Until next time…

Saying Goodbye to Shoulda I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) 8

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It’s Wednesday. And this is What I Ate Wednesday.

And you know what?! Between the wedding planning (I think we found a venue!), house closing (which happens in a few weeks!), and high school soccer season approaching wayyy too quickly (although let’s be honest, I can’t wait for it to start!), life is just busy. 

So let’s just get into it, shall we? :) 3, 2, 1, go!

WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) 8

1. Farmer’s Market on Sunday.

Fresh roasted corn (with oodles of melted butter!):

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The tastiest starchy vegetable.

And homegrown chemical-free strawberries. Not those mongo strawberries you find at the grocery store. These guys are tiny and cute, and oozing with juicy goodness!

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 Pure bliss, in the form of a strawberry. 

2. Pistachio Gelato Pop. 

Whole Foods in downtown Minneapolis does a gelato bar. A what?! Yes, you read that right. A g-e-l-a-t-o bar. Oh ok, pull my leg. I’ll just swing by on my way home from teaching yoga. That’s wayyy too convenient. But, it’s delicious. And worth every single lick (err, bite).

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No food coloring here!

 3. Annie Chun’s Organic Chicken and Vegetable Potstickers.

We don’t eat a lot of frozen convenient foods around this joint, but when these potstickers are on sale, I always buy them. They are quick and easy to make – and delicious! Not to mention they are organic, which makes it all the better. I had these for breakfast yesterday morning. With 14 grams of protein per serving, I figured that’s a good enough start to the day! :)

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One of my all-time favorite foods.

4. Stir fry with chicken, pineapple, cashews, carrots, onions, and pea pods in a creamy turmeric sauce. 

Tonight after looking at a wedding venue (that I think we will book – exciting stuff!) we stopped at our new favorite Asian place Wok in the Park (that name – I just love it). We didn’t discover the place until a few weeks ago (right before we move of course), and so we’ve been going there or getting take out basically once a week, and will likely continue to do so until we move to the other side of town at the end of July. That way hopefully we’ll be sick of it enough so that we won’t feel bad leaving. Hopefully being the key word here!

WIAW 8 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com  Slighty sweet, slightly spicy. Perfecto!

Welp, that’s all she wrote. Literally. :)

Hope you’re having a great week! Stay tuned for Thinking Out Loud Thursday tomorrow and my thoughts on ‘Shoulda’ Situations.

And feel free to drop me a line below – I love hearing from you!

Until next time,

Kate

Linking up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons today! 

Tip Tuesday: How to Store Fresh Herbs

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Oh hey all!

Hope you had a fantastic rest of your weekend!

On Sunday we stopped at the Farmer’s Market. I just love that place! We went around 12:30, and it was packed! Lots of fresh produce, local meats, eggs, cheese, and honey. All my favorite stuff. :)

We didn’t end up buying any herbs, but we will be re-starting our herb garden once we move in a few weeks.

Herbs are maybe the most delicious way to spice up a meal, and also the most frustrating.

We love using herbs in salads, pastas, and meat dishes. They can go in quinoa or rice dishes, soups, and casseroles. An easy and healthy way to add flavor to any dish!

The frustrating part is forking over sometimes up to $4 (or more!) for a tiny little container (especially if they are organic), and then having them wilt after a few days.

So, how do you prevent this from happening? Read on!

How to Store Fresh Herbs

1) First, determine what type of herb it is. Basil prefers room-temperature, whereas all other herbs do well in a cooler environment.

2) Second, snip the ends from your herbs.

3) Fill a glass with a few inches of water, and stick herbs in. If storing in the refrigerator, place plastic bag over.

Ta-daa! You’ve got fresh herbs for a week or two. :)

You can also wrap herbs in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag (or use a clean kitchen towel and reusable container if looking to cut your waste!).

Super easy, and so worth it to extend the life of those little babies!

How to Store Fresh Herbs I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Thyme. Now with extended time. :)

Alright, folks. That’s all I’ve got for you on this Tips Tuesday! Hope you have a great rest of your day!

See you here tomorrow for WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday!). :)

Until then…

Kate

And p.s. drop me a line below – I love hearing from you!

What are your favorite ways to use herbs?

Gluten-free Sugar-free Banana Bread

Gluten Free Sugar Free Banana Bread I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Happy Saturday ya’ll!

Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July. We were at the fiancé’s parent’s house for dinner with his brother, niece, nephew, aunt and cousin. We sat on on the porch drinking gin and tonics (one of my new favorite drinks!) and snacking on homemade guacamole and onion dip. The always have great apps that usually include some kind of good cheese as well.

For dinner we had smoked pork shoulder with pesto rice (white rice with black beans and homemade pesto – my favorite!)) and red cabbage slaw. The rice and cabbage are common dishes around their place, but it’s not that often that they smoke a pork shoulder. Oh my goodness, was it amazing. I definitely had more than my fair share. For dessert we had homemade angel food cake with strawberries in the middle and raspberries and blueberries on top (for the 4th of course!). I was beyond stuffed by the time we left. But it was a good stuffed. :)

We ended up just coming back to our place and watching some of the fireworks out of our large floor to ceiling windows. They were lighting them off at Lake Calhoun, which is only about a mile from where we live. Maybe a little bit lame, but whatever. Honestly, I have been enjoying this relaxing weekend filled with golf, laying around, and visiting with loved ones.

Today we are headed out for some more golf with friends, and then over to another friend’s tonight to hopefully see a a different friend’s new baby! Is that confusing? Yep, I thought so. :)

But first, this banana bread.

Gluten Free Sugar Free Banana Bread I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

I was looking for a gluten-free banana bread, and came across a paleo recipe that looked good. Now I am by no means paleo, nor will I likely ever be. First off, I like carbs too much. And second, I also happen to like beans. A lot. Oh and forget not eating cheese. So, that’s likely not going to happen anytime soon ever.

I do like, however, like that the diet focuses on reducing processed and refined-sugar foods. And also poor-quality meats. No one, paleo or not, should be eating that stuff anyway.

So, this banana bread just happens to be paleo-friendly (although it does contain butter, and I thought that was off limits?) but more importantly it is gluten-free and sugar-free. What’s not to love about that?!

Oh and did I mention it is delicious? The fiancé even helped himself to a second slice this morning. And that my friends, is saying A LOT. 

Gluten Free Sugar Free Banana Bread

Adapted from Civilized Caveman Cooking.

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas, mashed

3 organic eggs, beaten

1/3 cup almond butter

3 TBSP organic butter, melted and cooled

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 TBSP cinnamon

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In medium mixing bowl, combine bananas, eggs, almond butter, butter and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.

Add in flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir until thoroughly mixed.

Line a 9 x 5 baking tin with parchment paper (or grease) and pour in batter and spread evenly across.

Bake for 35-40 minutes (this will vary by oven) or until top is starting to brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.

When finished, remove from oven. Take banana bread out and let cool on cooling rack.

Slice and serve with butter and honey.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Sugar Free Banana Bread I www.eatcleanwithkate.com Butter and honey, oh my!

Until next time…

Kate

P.s. – Feel free to drop me a line below, I love hearing from you!

Gluten-free Sugar-free Banana Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A delicious Banana Bread that is Gluten and Sugar-free. Great texture and much healthier than other versions!
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 organic eggs, beaten
  • ⅓ cup almond butter
  • 3 TBSP organic butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ TBSP cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, combine bananas, eggs, almond butter, butter and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  3. Add in flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Line a 9 x 5 baking tin with parchment paper (or grease) and pour in batter and spread evenly across.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes (this will vary by oven) or until top is starting to brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. When finished, remove from oven. Take banana bread out and let cool on cooling rack.
  7. Slice and serve with butter and honey.
  8. Enjoy!

Friday Favorites: 4th of July

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“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free…”

Happy 4th of July everyone! A day to be grateful for our rights, our freedoms, and thus, our happiness.

I like to reflect on this day about how truly blessed I am to live in this country. Although we’ve got our fair share of problems (and I’m not going to go touting “America is the best country!” because although I love it, I loved living in Australia too!), we really have a lot to be grateful for.

I often read or hear stories in the news of people (usually women) being persecuted or repressed in the countries they live in. Women not being able to access an education (like this story of the girls from Nigeria who were kidnapped from their school), vote, or have choices about who or how young they want to marry (like this article that outlines child marriage issues in Yemen).

Women, and men, being persecuted (often violently) for marrying someone of the “wrong” religion, being attracted to the “wrong” sex, for expressing what are considered “wrong” viewpoints. I have been following this story lately about a Sudanese Christian woman who faced the death penalty for refusing to renounce her faith. Her husband was Christian, and of course, it’s illegal for a Muslim woman to marry a Christian in Sudan. Illegal. 

And every time I read or hear something like one of these stories I have to stop and remind myself that yes, those things still happen in other countries. And every single time, it blows my mind.

Things that I downright take for granted here in the U.S. To choose whatever religion I want (or don’t want), to choose my future husband, to have the opportunity to get educated, vote, speak my mind, etc. It’s amazing the freedoms we have here that other people just don’t.

And for that, I am beyond grateful. And you should be too. :)

Alright, so enough with the humanitarian work for the day (although I could go on forever about people’s rights in other countries).

Do you want to know what my favorite things are this 4th of July? Read on…

Friday Favorites – 4th of July

1. Patios that overlook a lake.

Last night the fiancé and I went to dinner at a new restaurant on Lake Minnetonka called 6Smith. We were able to sit outside on their rooftop deck. And this was our view:

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 Hello gorgeous!

2. Spinach.

In my opinion, it is the most versatile leafy green vegetable. I love eating it in eggs, pastas, and of course, salads. This salad has quinoa (another one of my favs!) with pea shoots (from the Farmer’s Market), fresh basil, baby tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. The fiancé made this to-die-for honey mustard dressing with green onions and capers to go with.

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Hello yum!

3. 4th of July themed food. 

Like these delicious looking popsicles from Super Healthy Kids. I want to make these RIGHT THIS SECOND! Seriously. How cute are these?! Not to mention healthy and 100% all-natural (no food coloring here!).

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Red, white, and yum!

4. 100 Ways to Wear Wraps. 

If you haven’t seen these yet, you need to find one. And buy one. They are so cool! I found one at a thrift store, and one my mom bought for me while in Hawaii (thanks Mom!). Although I haven’t played around a ton with the wrapping, I have worn them as skirts with a cute top to work. Today I think I’m going to try my hand at wrapping one of them into a dress!

Kariza is one of the brands that makes them. You can also find them on Etsy, Amazon, and other major retailers.

5. Barbecues. 

Who doesn’t love a good barbecue?! Today is one of the most popular days for grilling. Nothing screams “America!” more than lighting up the grill, cooking up some good food, and sharing it with your loved ones. This Rosemary Shrimp Skewers dish from Fitness Magazine’s 8 Healthy Grilling Recipes looks especially delish.

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Perfect for a hot summer day!

Well folks, that’s all I’ve got for you today! I hope you are able to celebrate the 4th with family, friends, and of course, good food (oh and a few festive cocktails never hurts either!).

I know I will! :)

Until next time…

Kate

And p.s. – Feel free to leave me a comment below and let me know what your favorites are today! I love hearing from you!

Linking up with JennieCynthia/Courtney/MarHeather today!

The End of an Era

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As some of you may or may not know, between junior year in high school and sophomore year in college I struggled with an eating disorder.

What started as an attempt to be a better soccer player and fitter/healthier athlete, ended in a full blown eating disorder. There were different stages as I worked my way through the struggle. At the beginning it was the restrictive calorie intake eating and the “I won’t eat fat” stage. That led to the overexercising and binging and purging stage (whatever I could do to rid calories). Once I realized that I had to stop purging and overexercising myself, my body was so beat up and had no idea what hunger truly felt like. I was out of touch with myself. Which then led to the just binging stage.

By the end I was so emotionally, mentally, and physically tired of fighting myself, and food.

After lots of counseling, yoga, and awareness I was eventually able to regain a normal sense of hunger and eating habits (over the course of about 2 years!).

And although I would say I’m fully recovered, that’s not to say there aren’t days I don’t struggle with food, body image, or the like.

During my eating disorder I had a general dissatisfaction with my body in general, but my thighs had always been the focus of my dissent. Once strong and extremely muscular (thanks to a whole lot of soccer!), they are not what they once were. A little softer around the edges, with a few more dimples.

Since having an eating disorder I’ve never much cared for the looks of them (regardless of how many miles they’ve let me run or stairs they’ve let me climb), to the point where I wouldn’t wear shorts. Now I’m not talking workout or soccer shorts, because I wouldn’t be able to get away with that (especially during coaching season!). No, I’m talking cute shorts you go out it. You go to lunch in. You shop in. You walk around town in. Those kind of shorts.

I never wore them, nor did I ever buy them. Up to this summer I hadn’t bought a new pair of shorts since early college, or maybe even high school. With the exception of maybe one pair.

This summer I decided it was time to stop that nonsense. At 28 years old I realized that my thighs are likely never going to be any more muscular or smaller than they are now. I’ve been at a pretty consistent 126 lbs. weight for the past few years. And although yes I could tone up a bit, that’s not my life goal. If I don’t, I don’t. I enjoy working out, practicing yoga, and taking long walks, and as long as I feel good (which I do!) that’s all that really matters.

Why shouldn’t I be able to wear and enjoy shorts like other people do? The answer is I should. I need to be. It’s like telling yourself you’ll be happy if you just lose X amount of weight. Well that’s not true. I weighed almost 25 lbs. less than I do now when I was at the early stages of my eating disorder. And I can promise you those were some of the most miserable years of my life body image wise.

So I bought my first pair of adult shorts at Ann Taylor Loft before we left for vacation. I wore them out to a nice dinner with the fiance, in which he exclaimed “You look nice. You never wear shorts!”. Yes. I never wore shorts. And although it was strange and a bit uncomfortable, I slowly got used to the idea.

And then in D.C. while walking around Georgetown, we stopped in Banana Republic to use the restroom. They just happened to also be having a 40% off sale, and boom – I bought 3 more pairs of shorts.

(A note on body image: All of the shorts I bought are a size 2. Just goes to show you that it doesn’t matter what size you are, body dissatisfaction happens at any size.)

My discomfort with wearing shorts has turned into a sheer sense of liberation. Not only from the hot stickiness of capris and long pants during the summer, but also from the last remaining remnants of a decade struggling with body image.

It feels nothing short of amazing.

For those of you waiting to wear something until your (insert body part here) gets smaller or you just lose blank amount of weight, screw it. Stop waiting for the future to enjoy the body you’re in. You will feel a sense of freedom that only comes with accepting, and begining to love, all of you.

End of an Era I www.eatcleanwithkate.com Shorts. Glorious shorts.

So go out and buy that bikini swimsuit, tank top, or pair of shorts. Remember that you are your own worst critic, and it really doesn’t matter what other people think (not to mention we are way too busy criticizing our own self to bother too much with criticizing others!).

I promise you won’t regret it. :)

Until next time…

Kate

(and p.s. – feel free to leave me a comment below – I love hearing from you!)

 

Linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursday today.

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) 7

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Well hey there! And happy Wednesday!

This week sure is cruising, isn’t it?! On Monday I wrote about how excited we were that the offer we put on our house got accepted.

Well today’s post is going to be extra short and sweet as we have our inspection later this afternoon! (And I have to go unpack my classroom before summer school starts next week – bother).

So let’s get right into it!

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) 7

Monday afternoon after I blogged, I whipped up some lunch at home. I love being home during the lunch hour. It’s so great to be able to actually cook lunch, instead of having to always pack a lunch like I do during the school year.

So to take full advantage of that, I made gluten-free fusilli noodles with sun-dried tomato pesto and spinach. I used some of the leftover olive oil (that was marinating the mozzarella balls from the caprese salad the night before) to sauté the spinach in. The pesto was store-bought (but still all-natural and fresh!). Top with some grated parmesan and now that’s what I call lunch!

WIAW 7 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Bon appétit!

Monday night I met some college friends for dinner at a place called Pier 500 in Hudson, WI. It’s about a 45 minute drive from where I live, but one of my best friends from college lives in Hudson and we hadn’t been that way for awhile.

It’s right along the river, and that night the MN Orchestra was having a concert in the park right across from the restaurant! We sat out on the deck and it was an absolutely perfect night for some good wine, good food, and great ambiance (river views and free music? yes please!). The company wasn’t half bad either. :)

We started with an order of Brie cheese curds with lingonberry dipping sauce. Hello yum! I don’t even like Brie cheese that much, but these were amazing. The lingonberry sauce really complimented the richness of the cheese.

Then I ordered this crab salad that was one of the specials for the night. It had lump crab, avocado, cucumbers, onion, egg, baby tomatoes, kalamata olives, and Russian dressing. I love that everything was separated and I got to mix it up myself!

WIAW 7 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 A perfect summer salad.

Last night I was able to whip up a batch of guacamole for the homemade tortilla chips I made earlier this week. I just realized I don’t have a recipe for guacamole on my blog. How is that even possible?! Well, I’ll be sure to add one here soon. Mine consists of avocados, fresh garlic, jalapeño, juice from a lime, green onion, and cilantro. It’s what I had for dinner last night (along with salsa and some good aged cheddar cheese on top) before running off to teach yoga.

WIAW 7 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

So fresh. So healthy. So delicious! 

 And that’s a short recap of what I’ve been enjoying this week!

I’ve been pretty scarce on breakfast since school is out and I’m eating later, but usually I’m enjoying a KIND bar and some fruit. I’ll have to get back to the smoothie making here sometime soon!

Alright folks, that’s all I’ve got for you. It’s time for a quick ab-workout (I can’t put any pressure on my feet as I sprained a toe and an ankle this past Sunday – don’t ask me how, it’s a long story!), a shower, and then a un-packing and inspection filled day! Wish us luck!

And have a wonderful rest of your Wednesday. :)

Oh, and feel free to drop me a line about what you’ve been eating this week or any other comments you’d like to share. I love hearing from you!

Until next time,

Kate


Baked Tortilla Chips

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Well hey there! Hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Today we’re talking about Baked Tortilla Chips:

Baked Tortilla Chips I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Served with your favorite salsa or guacamole of course!

But first, a few other things…

The last time I blogged (which was last Wednesday) I mentioned how I was going to look at a few houses that day. None of the ones we looked at that day were great, so on Friday we scheduled a few more showings. The last house we looked at on Friday just went on the market that day, and it was ridiculously perfect. I couldn’t wait for the fiancé to see it and put in an offer!

Like literally could not wait. That afternoon the realtor and I filled out the paperwork (as I was going to be at a yoga training all weekend). The fiancé went and looked at it Saturday and BOOM – we made an offer that day. It’s been such a tight market here in Minneapolis, houses are selling like crazy! Especially the good ones.

Thus why I wanted to put in an offer right away. And although we would have put in a lower offer had it been on the market for longer, we just couldn’t afford to do that. It’s a sellers market out there!

And do you know what?! THEY ACCEPTED OUR OFFER! (Insert every yippee, yelp for joy, and giddy arms-flailing-around-in-the-air here).

We are beyond excited. If everything goes as planned, we will be moving by the end of July. Just in time before our lease runs out!

Funny how life just works out sometimes, isn’t it? :)

Anyway, besides the craziness of putting an offer on the house this past weekend, we also celebrated the fiancé’s 30th birthday (with his family at dinner on Thursday, and at Cantebury Park to watch the horses race with friends on Friday) and I had my last yoga teacher training all day Saturday and Sunday. And then last night we went to my coworker’s for a BBQ to say goodbye before he leaves for Africa for a few weeks (pretty cool, huh?!).

Talk about a whirlwind!

Although we made caprese salad for last night’s BBQ, I really have not been in the kitchen for what feels like forever. Last week we made dinner one night after getting home from DC on Monday. A grilled chicken spinach salad. That’s pretty good, right? :)

We also discovered a new Asian restaurant in our neighborhood last week. It is amazing. Like ‘how did we not know about this until one month before we move?!’ kind of amazing.

So amazing that we also picked it up for takeout on Saturday night. Bah! No judging. :)

I love that they don’t use any MSG. I swear that stuff gives me a headache.

Last week I ordered this noodle dish with chicken, sweet bell peppers, and thai basil.

Baked Tortilla Chips

Those noodles! 

They also have to-die-for spring rolls (my favorite!), cream cheese wontons (I don’t normally like cream cheese wontons, but with mango and jalapeño it’s hard not to!), and a really good curry with cherries and asparagus (sounds like an odd combination – but it was great!).

We will definitely be heading back. A few times before we move. :)

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I swear, the best advice comes from fortune cookies.

OK, on to today’s post! Since we haven’t been cooking as much lately, I had two packages of corn tortillas in the fridge that were starting to go stale. You know how you can use bread that’s starting to go stale to make croutons? Same is true for corn tortillas to make tortilla chips. These were super easy and turned out great! Some of the best tortilla chips I’ve had. Not to mention they are baked (not fried!) so they’ve got that going for them.

And if you know me at all, you know I love salt. And can devour a bag of tortilla chips in a few days (ok, maybe a week, but still). So baked is a good thing. :)

All you need is some corn tortillas. Cut them into tortilla chip size triangles.

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 Guesstimating on size is totally acceptable. 

Then, lay the triangles out a baking sheet, brush with olive oil (or really any oil will do), and sprinkle with sea salt.

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 Lining them up correctly will help you utilize the entire baking sheet! 

Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes (depending on your oven), and enjoy!

Baked Tortilla Chips

Ingredients:

2 packages favorite corn tortillas, about 20 tortillas total

olive oil

salt

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut tortillas into chip size triangles.

Lay out on baking sheet.

Brush one side with oil.

Sprinkle with salt.

Bake until slightly browning and crispy all the way through.

Enjoy!

Baked Tortilla Chips
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Easy-to-make baked tortilla chips. Healthy and delicious!
Ingredients
  • 2 packages favorite corn tortillas, about 20 tortillas total
  • olive oil
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut tortillas into chip size triangles.
  3. Lay out on baking sheet.
  4. Brush one side with oil.
  5. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake until slightly browning and crispy all the way through.
  7. Enjoy!

WIAW 6: Washington D.C. edition!

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We made it to Wednesday!

Later today (after strength training with my team) I’m going to look at a few potential houses. I’m hoping the search will be over soon and the fiancé and I will have a place to call home before our lease on the apartment runs out August 1st! Nothing like being down to the wire…

I’ll keep you posted. :)

Today’s WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) focuses on one of the days we were in Washington D.C. this past weekend. Sunday, to be exact. :)

D.C. was amazing with so many cool things to see and places to eat. There’s just not enough time to get to it all, however, I think we did a pretty darn good job!

We hit up all the memorials (Lincoln, Washington, World War II, Vietnam, etc.) around the National Mall, the White House, the Capitol, the Holocaust museum, the Air and Space Museum, the National History Museum, Georgetown, Arlington National Cemetery, and the Library of Congress.

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At the National Cemetery. Apparently I shouldn’t have smiled!

And we had time to fit in a few culinary adventures as well. :)

So on to WIAW (or in this case, WIAS)!

WIAW 6 (What I Ate Wednesday)

Breakfast:

Each morning consisted of a KIND bar, of the Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt variety (my favorite!).

Lunch:

We were in between museums, so we hit up a food truck for some frozen yogurt and fruit. I was expecting the sloppy, loaded with sugar, fruit mush you get at most places. Not the case! This was fresh fruit, and the yogurt itself was even organic! Hello gourmet frozen yogurt. :)

WIAW 6 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Dinner:

OK, this was more like a late lunch/early dinner after we were done sightseeing. We went to this amazing place called Jaleo, run by Jose Andres (a Top Chef judge, and he defeated Bobby Flay on Ironchef America – kind of a big deal!). It was a Spanish restaurant focusing on an assortment of tapas.

We shared a few small plates, which consisted of the following deliciousness:

WIAW 6 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Smoked pork loin, sliced thinly. To die for.

WIAW 6 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 The cutest most mini burger ever. Made with Iberico ham. Melt-in-your-mouth-good.

WIAW 6 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Wilted spinach with apples, raisins, pine nuts, and peanut sauce. YUM.

WIAW 6 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Sweet red peppers confit with Iberico ham fat. My favorite of them all.

Late Night Snack

After sightseeing we headed home and watched the U.S. soccer match at our friend’s place (that tie – bah!). Afterwards, they made us yummy homemade pizza with Italian sausage, peppers, and onions, and a Margarita version. It was amazing.

Talk about a lot of food!

Alright folks, that’s all she wrote! Linking up with Jennie from Peas and Crayons today. Have a great day!

And feel free to drop a line – I love hearing from you! :)

Tips Tuesday: How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

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Hey ya’ll! Hope your week is off to a great start!

Late last night the fiancé and I got home from our trip to DC. We had an amazing time, and I will definitely be sharing more of what we did (and ate!) tomorrow for WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday).

Today however, I have an awesome little trick for you.

I’ve decided that I’ll start sharing my tips for eating, living, and being clean (aka all-natural!) on Tuesdays. Mostly because they both start with T’s (yes, I know Thursday does too, but it just doesn’t sound as good!). :)

Today’s tip has to do with a topic that’s a little gross. Fruit flies! It’s summertime and that is definitely their time to shine.

Upon arriving home last night I realized that our kitchen was flooded with them! What the heck?! It must have been the baby tomatoes that were sitting out on the counter accidentally. Either way it just grosses the heck out of me.

Seriously.

So, how do you get rid of those pesky little buggers without having to use harsh chemicals? Easy! All you need is some apple cider vinegar, dish soup, and a glass with a wide mouth.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Here’s what you do:

Step 1) Pour roughly 1-inch of apple cider vinegar in bottom of glass. The sweetness attracts those little buggers.

Step 2) Squirt a long squirt (about 3 seconds) of dish soup into glass.

Step 3) With the water on warm, fill rest of glass, shaking it from side to side so bubbles form.

How does it work?

The fruit flies smell the apple cider vinegar, which attracts them to the glass.

Then, their wings get stuck in the bubbles and eventually, they suffocate (or something like that – I’m not a scientist people).

That’s it!

Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is simple.

And it works. Every. single. time. I’ve used this trick many a times, and it never ceases to fail.

If you find that once the bubbles are gone (it won’t work if there aren’t bubbles!) there are still fruit flies lingering, simply pour the mixture down the toilet (and don’t forget to flush!) and repeat steps 1-3 above. Continue until ALL THE FRUIT FLIES ARE GONE. And then, rejoice! :)

Here’s what my before and after shots look like (two different glasses, as I did this a few times today!).

Before: IMAG0121_1

 After:

IMAG0123_1

 Dead flies and all. 

Gross right? But oh so cool.

Welp, that’s it! Hope this helps you keep your kitchens fruit fly free!

Until tomorrow…

Kate :)

Friday Favorites (belated edition!)

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It’s Saturday morning and we are in Washington DC. This is going to be a short post as we are just hanging out at my friend’s before we head out to sight see later. Not to mention I am composing this on my phone so who knows what the format will look like. :)

I missed Friday Favorites this week, but started composing this yesterday. So I think I’ll just keep to that Friday Favorites theme but with a DC twist!

Favorites of this week so far:

1) Summer cocktails. Like this cucumber gin and tonic. On a patio. With my mom and her friends at lunch. Yep, enough said.

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2) Traveling. There is no other thing that brings me as much peace with myself and the world. This weekend we are in DC seeing the sights and visiting friends.

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3) Fresh guacamole. I love avocados. Which means I love guacamole. Although this one was pretty good, I’m still convinced that the fiance makes the best. We just don’t have one of these fancy mortar and pestle things!

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4) Healthy plane snacks. I didn’t think these two things existed together. But check out the contents of this snack box I bought on the plane! All natural and whole food goodness. I even got yummy hummus and brushetta too!

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5) Grilled Cheese Bars. Didn’t know these existed until this trip either. Gourmet grilled cheeses like the French Onion with caramelized onion and gruyere cheese. Yum!

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Ok folks, that’s all I’ve got for today. Will be posting more DC fun in a few days here!

Until then, have a great rest of the weekend!

Kate

WIAW 5 (What I Ate Wednesday)

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Good morning! It’s Wednesday already, can you believe it?! Crazy crazy.

Even more crazy is that the fiancé and I leave for Washington DC tomorrow night. It was an early birthday surprise for his 30th birthday, although someone leaked the secret a few weeks ago (I won’t say who!). Besides doing the normal touristy stuff, we are also going to stay with a good friend of mine from high school and her fiancé.

Although I don’t talk to or see my friend Amber as much as I’d like, she is still one of my favs. We played soccer together in high school, worked together at the local soccer store, and went to college at Madison together our first semester (before I transferred colleges). Besides having a huge heart, she is funny, sweet, and beyond compassionate. My freshman year in college was rough for me as I was still working to overcome an eating disorder. After I transferred Amber always sent me sweet cards, that I still have to this day. I am beyond excited to see her!

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My high school 2nd best friend :)

So anyway, there probably will be a lack of posts between now and when we get back next Monday. I’ll see what I can do about putting together one in advance, but the next two days are going to be jam-packed!

Let’s move on to today. It’s What I Ate Wednesday! This is what I ate yesterday, and it’s all good stuff. Read on:

WIAW 5 (What I Ate Wednesday)

Breakfast: Some of these Grain-free Peanut Butter Banana Muffins I whipped up earlier this week. They are the best gluten-free (and in this case grain-free) muffins I’ve ever had. Not too sweet, which is just my style. You could certainly add more honey to sweeten them up, or some chocolate chips. I’m definitely making a double batch of these next time!

Lunch: After weight training with the soccer girls, I came home and put together this beast of a salad. It was delicious, although I think I overdid it on the whole grain mustard and apple cider vinegar. It was a bit vinegary for my taste! Regardless, it was still yummy!

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 Eat yo veggies. 

I also had a mini slice of French bread from the bakery with mashed avocado and a sprinkling of salt. So simple yet so good!

WIAW #5 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Dinner: The fiancé and I made this stir-fry Monday night, but I had the rest leftover for dinner before I ran off to teach yoga. We were also making my favorite Buffalo Wings but they weren’t going to be done in time before I had to leave. So the fiance finished them up and I had a few once I got home!

WIAW #5 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Peppers, onions, broccoli, and chicken with a peanut sauce over jasmine rice. 

So that’s about it! Oh, and I also had a KIND bar earlier in the afternoon. They finally came in the mail after what felt like forever! I’ve found it’s much cheaper to order them in bulk through the Vitamin Shoppe than to buy them from a grocery store. $15.99 for 12 is a pretty good deal! The Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt are my favorite, as they have low sugar and chocolate. Can’t beat that.

I also had a bite of this Sugar Free (sweetened with Stevia) dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s for dessert. As you could tell I just tore that corner right off and dug in!

WIAW #5 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Alright you all. Hope you’re having a wonderful week! If I don’t talk to you between now and next Monday (or so!) have a wonderful weekend as well! And feel free to leave me a message, I love hearing from you!

Linking up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons today!

Paleo Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Grain-free Peanut Butter Banana Muffins I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Hey all. Happy Monday. Hope you had a fantabulous weekend. We spent the majority of ours in my old stomping ground (Eau Claire, WI) celebrating a friend’s wedding. A weekend in Eau Claire is not complete without Spotted Cow beer, a stop at Dooley’s for their crazy cheese curds and cheap wings, and a trip to Buzzy’s for their infamous Macaroni and Cheese pizza. Yes you read that right. Macaroni and Cheese pizza. All clean eating bets were off this weekend, but it was worth it.

So today, after a weekend of celebrations (grad party, wedding, father’s day), it was time to get back to cooking. Err, I mean baking.

Let me tell you, baking is not my specialty (just ask the fiancé!). You have to be SO exact with baking, and that’s really not my style. I like to use a recipe as a guide for cooking, but most of the time we are adding things and playing with flavors as we go along. It’s the best way to do it if you ask me.

For baking, that just doesn’t translate well. I tend to substitute things a bit too much, or omit things, or add things. For example, the other day I tried to make a gluten-free vegan banana muffin recipe. It did NOT turn out. Perhaps because it called for some oat flour and I used coconut. Or that it called for milk and we only had Greek yogurt in the house. Or the fact that I added peanut butter. All could be legitimate reasons. They turned out super dry, and with a weird non-muffin like texture.

Today, I wanted to try it again. I was determined to make some banana muffins, and wanted them to have peanut butter in them.

I know what you’re thinking. Grain-free muffins? Can you make muffins without grains?

Apparently you can. And they are so delicious, you won’t even know they are missing the grains!

I found this recipe at Whole Lifestyle Nutrition and only adapted it a tiny bit. Because I’m learning my lesson, after all! There are a few other similar ones out there, but all with the same thought process. Banana, peanut butter, and eggs are the star of this show.

Although I had low expectations due to the previous day’s failure, these turned out spectacular! They have a muffin texture, are deliciously smooth, and with the right amount of sweet (or at least for me!). You could always add more honey, chocolate chips, or another of your favorite mix-ins or toppings to make these your own.

Paleo Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Ingredients

1 cup all-natural peanut butter

2 very ripe bananas (I freeze them when they start to get really spotty, and then take them out and peel ’em as I need ’em!)

2 tbsp local honey

2 organic eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in medium mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.

Place liners in muffin tin (or grease really well!) and fill 2/3 of way up.

Bake at 400 degrees about 15 minutes or until top is beginning to brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Paleo Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Peanut butter and banana. Another of my favorite combos!

Alright you all. Have a wonderful rest of the night. It’s off to teach yoga and then hopefully (weather permitting!) to a baseball game!

Until next time…

Kate

What are your favorite kind of muffins?

Grain-free Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 muffins
 
Delicious grain-free muffins that are easy to make and good for you!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 2 very ripe bananas (I freeze them when they start to get really spotty, and then take them out and peel 'em as I need 'em!)
  • 2 tbsp local honey
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in medium mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
  2. Place liners in muffin tin (or grease really well!) and fill ⅔ of way up.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees about 15 minutes or until top is beginning to brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Enjoy!

 

 

Friday Favorites #3

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Hey ya’ll. It’s Friday, would you look at that. (Not that you can, because it’s a day.) :)

Am feeling a little loopy today. Wednesday proved to be the first non I-am-going-to-pull-my-hair-out-because-I’m-feeling-crazy kind of day. So that’s good.

Wednesday night the fiancé and I (I just typed bf, but then had to erase it – I kind of miss calling him my bf in posts!) went for a beyond lovely dinner at the restaurant where his brother works. It’s called Jax Cafe and is in NE Minneapolis. It was a wine tasting dinner, in conjunction with Jax Vineyards of Napa Valley. We got to sit at the same table as the owner of the vineyards – hello cool job! Anyway, 5 glasses of great wine and 5 courses of delicious food later, it was a perfect night. This is what we were dealing with:

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SO delicious!

Yesterday when I woke up, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. And sure enough, now I’ve got one. Who gets a cold on the first week of summer break?! I guess the girl who got zero sleep this weekend and has been running around with her head chopped off for the past week. That’s who.

Anyway, I’ll keep popping my favorite immunity vitamins and hopefully by tomorrow it will be on it’s way out! Or it better. We’ve got a wedding out of town. And colds and weddings do not go well together.

So, today is Friday Favorites. And I’m also baking up a batch of my favorite Kale Chips. Yum! Recipe will follow here shortly.

But first, on to my favorites of the week. Here goes!

Friday Favorites #3

1. Punch Pizza.

It’s this ridiculously good pizza restaurant in the twin cities area. They now have eight locations, and one happens to be a mile down the street. Come to think of it, the last place I lived there was one a mile away as well. Apparently I like to live close to one! Their pizza style is neapolitan, which originates from Naples, Italy. All you need to know is they cook their pizza for 90 seconds in an 800 degree wood-burning brick oven, and it is amazing!

They also make killer salads. My friend and I visited last night, and split this salad with meats, cheeses, garbanzo beans, shredded carrots, and tomatoes.

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I just couldn’t wait to take a bite of their delicious focaccia with rosemary bread. 

And then I got my own pizza, obviously. I created my own and added spiced salami, kalamata olives, basil, mozzarella, and roasted red peppers. So good!

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 Yes, I ate this entire thing. No judging!

2. Bright kitchens.

Like this one. This picture is from a house I went and looked at today. I absolutely loved the place! It was adorable all the way around, and had new or updated everything. Literally perfect.

So we called the realtor to see if any offers had been made (it has only been on the market 4 days) and boom! Sure enough, there had been. And the seller accepted. Talk about getting my hopes up, and then dashed two seconds later!

I’m posting this picture because it’s what I’d like in a kitchen (which is maybe kinda creepy because it will be someone else’s kitchen soon – but whatever). Open, bright, with newer appliances. And a cute little island with counter space and an area to pull up bar stools and eat. I’m bummed just thinking about this gem that got away!

We will keep looking (and dreaming!).

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 The one that got away.

3. Deep River Kettle Chips.

When I first started caring more about what was in my food, I couldn’t believe the ingredients in flavored potato chips. Yuck! Artificial this and that. This company makes some of my favorite all-natural flavored kettle chips. They also have rosemary and olive oil and a bunch of other unique flavors. If you can get your hands on some, I highly recommend!

Friday Favorites 3 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Come to mama.

4. World Cup Soccer.

Enough said. I grew up watching the other football (aka futbol), and have loved the sport for as long as I can remember. Although our country doesn’t get into the World Cup quite as much as some other nations, I still love it. Love playing it, love coaching it. Love love love it. :)

5. Baked Kale Chips.

As we all know, I love salty snacks. It’s not often I crave sweet (unless I’ve given up sugar for 10 days!). Usually it’s salty. Usually in the form of kettle chips (see above). This is a salty snack I can feel good about! Kale chips are easy to make, and you can customize the flavors. I will be posting the recipe for these here soon.

Friday Favorites 3 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 All ready for the oven! 

Alright folks, that’s all I’ve got for Friday. I promise I’ll start posting some more recipes here soon. Until then – drop me a line below, I love hearing from you!

And have a great weekend! :)

Linking up with JennieCynthia/Courtney/MarHeather today!

WIAW #4 (What I Ate Wednesday)

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It’s summer! OK, it’s summer break. But still, it’s summer! Or at least to me. :)

Last Friday I posted a Friday Favorites and mentioned how crazy my weekend was going to be between the soccer tournament, 30th birthday party, and wedding. Yep, it was just as crazy as I thought it would be! I got about 10 hours of sleep total between Friday and Saturday night, and it took me until today to feel totally recovered from the craziness.

And although school is over and I wrote in an earlier post about how I couldn’t wait to have more free time and relax, that has yet to be the case. Soccer camp started Monday, and runs for 5 weeks this summer. I’ve been in my classroom all week as we are moving buildings, and then today I had a half day workshop for using data in the classroom. Fun stuff! Between that and teaching my usual yoga class, having a friend in town from Madison, and presenting at a youth soccer night, the craziness from last week hasn’t stopped!

What has that meant for my diet (and when I say diet, I mean what I’ve ate)? I’ve basically eaten crap since last Friday. Today’s post is not so much what I’ve eaten in one day, but what I’ve eaten since the last time we’ve met. And folks, it aint pretty.

Here we goooooo!!

WIAW #4

Friday was our end-of-year picnic. I brought a spinach salad with candied pecans (that I candied myself!), cucumbers, strawberries, blue cheese, bacon, and a homemade vinaigrette that consisted mostly of apple cider vinegar, sugar, and lemon (good thing I’m off that no sugar thing!).

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Friday night I ate a slice of pizza, kettle corn, and a bag of Fritos at the soccer tournament. It gets worse people, it gets worse.

Saturday I had to be at the tournament at 6:30 a.m. My breakfast consisted of a banana, another bag of Fritos, and a powdered sugar donut. Ugh. 

That night we had a wedding at the State Fair Grounds for two of my high school friends. The menu consisted of pulled pork sandwiches, elk burgers, walleye cakes, cheese curds, mini donuts, and corn dogs. You know, the usual state fair foods. :) I did have some of everything, minus the mini donuts and corn dogs. It was like a taste of the State Fair, in June!

Late Saturday night (well technically Sunday) we got a flat tire on the way home from the wedding. Although I had a plug in it, I had to get it fixed Sunday morning. On the good side? I got to sleep in past 5:30 a.m. On the bad side? I had to get a whole new tire.

While I was waiting for my tire to get fixed, I walked down to Agra Culture, my new favorite restaurant. It’s the place I raved about last Wednesday. I ordered the seasonal hash with fingerling potatoes, asparagus, peppers, and onions with a side of nitrate-free bacon. With a green juice to start. Hello yum!

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Sunday during the day I was back at the tournament, eating more kettle corn and Fritos. They also had Noodles and Company at the concession stand, so I had some of their Penne Rosa pasta for lunch. And then Buffalo Wild Wings later on. Whenever I eat their boneless wings I get a monster stomach ate. Why do I do this to myself?!

The upside to free food? It’s free. The downside? It’s usually crap for you. :(

After I got done with the tourney I went and picked up dinner for my mom and I (being I was in the neighboorhod). At Noodles and Company of all places. I had chicken noodle soup due to the stomach ache from before. My mom had their Indonesian Peanut Sauté. It’s one of my favs there.

Monday was just as crazy. I went to lunch with my coworkers for the last time and had Southwest egg rolls. They were amazing. And then I was in a food coma trying to finish my grades. I tell ya.

That night I went to my friend Andrea’s house for a girls night, and everyone brought something. I made these taquitos. This time however, I used rotisserie chicken and added sour cream, cheese, black beans and chipotle salsa to the mixture before rolling them up. So delicious!

Tuesday I finally got a little bit back on track. I made my favorite smoothie. Then for lunch I had a salad at Chipotle. Chipotle is definitely my favorite non-fast food fast food place. I feel like I can make relatively healthy decisions while I’m there! This salad included black and pinto beans, chicken, onions and peppers, corn and tomato salsa, with a little bit of sour cream and cheese. Oh, and guacamole. Can’t forget the guac.

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For dinner I had a few leftover taquitos (I was on the Mexican theme for the day!).

Then this morning I had the usual smoothie, although I realized I bought the WRONG YOGURT! It’s the Vanilla Greek yogurt, not the plain stuff. I can’t believe how sweet yogurt with sugar added tastes to me these days. It was still yummy, don’t get me wrong, but a little too sweet for my taste.

Anyway, life goes on.

This afternoon I ate the rest of my Chipotle salad and then met a few former coworkers for happy hour. We split some wings and onion rings (again, so healthy) and I had an amazing drink with organic (and local!) gin, honey syrup, and lemon. It just screamed summer! And was amazing.

WIAW 4 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

And that’s it. Bah! Not an especially clean or healthy past few days (err, week, I mean). I’ll get into my summer routine here shortly though, and have planned out my meals and snacks a little better.

Until then, I’m just living a little, and enjoying the beautiful weather while we have it. :)

Hope you all are having a wonderful Wednesday! And feel free to drop a line – I love hearing from you! :)

Linking up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons today!

Friday Favorites 2

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Can you believe it’s already Friday?! I can’t. It’s also the last day of school….bah! 

It’s been a long, and crazy, week. Literally every night has been jam packed. Between end-of-year meetings, an open house at the new school building, teaching yoga, and having dinner with my cousins, I am exhausted.

Last night the fiancé and I were supposed to go a friend’s house to celebrate a birthday and see another friend who is in town, but it just got to be too much. I hate having to make the decision to not do something because I’m too burned out by everything else going on. Unfortunately it happens every once and awhile, and luckily I have amazing friends who understand that life is busy and plans change! This weekend is going to be just as crazy with a soccer tournament to help run, a 30th birthday party, a wedding, and a yoga meeting. My goodness!

Then life will hopefully slow down for a bit. Hopefully.

Sometimes I’m so busy, that I literally think I’m losing my mind. For example, last night I had to run to two different grocery stores. I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up stuff for the Strawberry Spinach Salad I made for our school’s end-of-year party today, and then left without picking up anything for dinner! Who does that?! Oh wait, I do.

So it was off to another store quick to get something to grill. We figured it would be easy and quick before we headed out to the other side of town to see my friends (which didn’t happen anyway!).

Anyway, it wasn’t as quick and easy as I thought it would be (it never is, is it?), but it was still a good dinner choice. I love anything grilled, especially fish.

Which brings me to today’s post.

I have been enjoying linking up with other blogs for posts like these. It’s a fun way to connect with other bloggers! I missed WIAW this week because a) I was too busy to even think about blogging and b) I was too busy to remember to take a day’s worth of food pictures.

So here you have it, my Friday Favorites 2. In no particular order. :)

Friday Favorites 2

1. Thai food. The fiancé and I snuck away from work to meet up for a quick lunch date. Being I had an errand for work to run by his work, we met up at Sen Yai Sen Lek in NE Minneapolis. I had never been, but he had before and was a big fan. I absolutely love Thai food, and would love to one day make it to Southeast Asia myself. Until then, I’ll continue to seek out good Thai food here in MN.

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Thai food heaven. 

2. Where we live. The fiancé and I are within walking distance to two of Minneapolis’ finest lakes. This here is Cedar lake. It has great views of downtown Minneapolis, and is less busy than Lake Calhoun or Lake Harriet that are nearby. One of my favorite places to walk when the weather is nice.

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3. Grilled Fish. I already mentioned above how much I love grilled anything. Especially fish grilled. And especially of the whole fish variety. This here is grilled snapper with lime and ginger.

grilled_fish

 Not gonna lie, that eye creeps me out just a little bit!

4. Frozen Treats. Like this one. There is nothing more refreshing on a hot day to come home, dig in the freezer, and pull one of these chocolate covered babies out!

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5. HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. Short, super effective workouts that help your body burn calories long after you’re done! My favorites are from 12 Minute Athlete. They are definitely a butt-kicker, but I never get bored and feel great afterwards! Not to mention, I’m getting stronger too. :)

Alright ladies and gentleman, that’s all I’ve got for you. Happy Friday!! :)

Linking up with Jennie, Cynthia/Courtney/Mar, Heather today!

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Sunday already?! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend. This weekend just cruised by (although they all do, don’t they?).

Today I’m talking about this delicious Chia Seed Pudding. Yes, it is amazing!

Chia Seed Pudding I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

But first, a little more on the weekend…

Friday night we went out to dinner with some of the fiancé’s friends and their wives. Two of the gals are pregnant (and due this summer!) so it was fun to see them and chat about their upcoming little ones. We had a few beers (cider for me!), watched the Blackhawks game (although let me be clear, the fiancé and I are Wild fans), and then there was a live band that came on later in the night. It was a band I had never heard of, but they were actually pretty good! Two girls playing a mix of classic and contemporary country. Although the fiancé is not a huge fan, I grew up loving country. It was fun to jam out with the girls and re-live some old country memories! :)

Last night we had a wedding in River Falls, WI. It was for two friends of mine from high school (we also went to college together). I love weddings, especially of the friends kind. It’s always great to see all of my old high school friends. We’ve got another wedding next weekend with the same group, so I’ve got that to look forward to!

Today the fiancé and I stopped at a new Mexican place in NE Minneapolis on our way back home. It’s called Pico de Gallo, and is super cute. We actually stumbled upon it by accident. We were looking to go to the Thai place next door, but it was closed. I love pleasant surprises! :)

The menu is small (like it should be if you ask me) and they have fresh juices made to order. Fresh juices! I already love this place.

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 Green juice goodness.

I ordered the enchiladas with barbacoa and a side of rice and beans. Quite tasty! This was a picture the fiancé took about half way through me devouring it. I’m not the best at remembering to take pictures when I’m enjoying a plate of deliciousness!

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So that was essentially the jist of our weekend! I made this Chia Seed Pudding on Saturday morning, and it turned out much better than I had anticipated. I have only ever had a bite of a coworker’s chia seed pudding before, and I figured I could make my own at home as well. It’s easy to make, healthy, and delicious!

Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup organic plain yogurt

1/4 cup chia seeds

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBSP honey (more to desired sweetness)

1 tsp cinnamon (more to desired taste preference) + more for topping

1 banana, sliced (for topping)

Directions:  

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients (except banana) and stir to combine.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or longer (a lot of people put this together at night, and then refrigerate until morning).

Top with sliced banana and extra cinnamon.

Note:

I only kept this in the fridge for about 30 minutes. The chia seeds still had a little crunch to them, but I was ok with that! The result was a creamy, hearty, and delicious Chia Seed Pudding. Top with a sliced banana and cinnamon, or feel free to come up with your own unique toppings!

Enjoy!

 

Chia Seed Pudding I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Tonight I made it to hot yoga, and it felt amazing. It totally kicked my butt though! The yoga teacher left us with a quote by Malcom X. Although I can’t remember it exactly, it goes something like “Do not judge anyone, for there was a time when you didn’t know what you know now”. A good reminder that everyone is on a journey. Even those who cut us off in traffic, or are rude to us. It was a good thought to end my weekend with. :)

Welp, that’s it. Have a great week everyone! And feel free to leave me a comment below – I love hearing from you!

Real Recipe: Chia Seed Pudding
Serves: 2
 
Creamy Chia Seed Pudding. Easy to make, delicious, and healthy!
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup organic plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP honey (more to desired sweetness)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (more to desired taste preference) + more for topping
  • 1 banana, sliced
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or longer (a lot of people put this together at night, and then refrigerate until morning). I only kept it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. The chia seeds still had a little crunch to them, but I was ok with that!

Friday Favorites #1

Friday Favorites #1 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

We made it to the end of the week! :)

Although this was a short work week for most of us, it still felt like a week to me! Especially with our school’s graduation on Wednesday night.

We went out as a staff afterwards to have a few drinks and eats, and celebrate another class of seniors making it to graduation (and us teachers making it to graduation as well!).

I ended up staying out much later than I intended, so yesterday I was pretty darn exhausted. After work I cleared my schedule and went home to take a nap. Boy, did that feel good! Once the fiance got home from work we went for a nice long walk down by the lake. It has been so ridiculously nice here lately – I’m in looooove! I’m seriously a different person when the weather is nice. You would be too if you lived through the -40 degree winter we had here in MN. :)

So on to today. When I first started to get into blogging, Iowa Girl Eats was one of the very first blogs I followed. It is still one of my favs, as Kristin is always coming up with unique and healthy meal ideas. It is also where I first saw Friday Favorites. Every Friday Kristin posts her favorite finds from around the web. It’s a fun post to read!

Today, I’m creating a Friday Favorites of my own. There are a few bloggers out there that do their own spin on Friday Favorites, and I’ll be linking up with them as well! One is Jennie from The Diary of a Real Housewife, Jill Conyers, and Clare from Fitting it All In.

So, what are my favorites for today?

Here goes!

Friday Favorites #1

1) Gardening. The fiance and I are on the house search for this summer, and I secretly hope we can find a place soon enough just so I can grow a vegetable garden. Last year I started up this community garden at my school with one of my classes. All the produce is donated to our building’s food shelf. It was a blast to watch the students build, plant, and care for the vegetables. Not to mention, it felt great to give back to the community!

Friday Favorites #1 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

2) Lamb burgers. More so than regular ‘ol hamburgers. They are a regular rotating dinner menu item at our place. This picture is from awhile back. Last night we had ours sans bread, and I made a yummy yogurt dipping sauce with cumin, turmeric and garlic. With a side of grilled zucchini and caprese salad. So so good!

Friday Favorites #1 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

3) Mini Food Processors. We (ahem, I) just broke our food processor. One of the pieces got into the garbage disposal and we all know how that story ends. I didn’t realize how much I loved ours, especially now that it is gone! We make pesto, salad dressings, and hummus with it. So easy to use! I will definitely be buying a new one here soon….

This guy from Williams Sonoma is looking like a good one:

Friday Favorites #1 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

4) Weddings. Wedding season is upon us! There is no better excuse to get together with a bunch of friends you hardly ever see anymore (at least not all at once!), all dressed up and ready to celebrate. We’ve got 3 in a row starting tomorrow, and then one in July, one in August, and one in October. Hoof-ta! Maybe it will inspire me to wedding plan more….just maybe.

5) Infused water. Last week I threw some lemons in my mason jar of ice water. It was such a refreshing treat! A great way to sweeten up your drink, without the use of added sugar. I posted about the health benefits of lemon water here. Next time I’m going to try a few other combinations (cucumbers, oranges, limes, the list goes on!).

Friday Favorites #1 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Well folks, that’s it for today. What are a few of your current favorites? Feel free to leave me a comment below – I love hearing from you!

Happy weekend! :)

 

WIAW #3 (What I Ate Wednesday)

WIAW #2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

It’s WIAW #3 (What I Ate Wednesday)! And also our school’s graduation tonight. :)

That means that a) school is almost over, and b) school is almost over. Can you tell I’m excited?! 7 more days after today…

I CANNOT WAIT to enjoy the slowness that summer brings. Sleeping in a little longer, eating breakfast (and lunch!) at home and outside (on days it’s nice), having more time to read, to walk around the lakes, to enjoy the beautiful weather.

My summer will also consist of working in the weight room with my high school soccer girls 4 days a week, and then soccer itself will start up mid-August. I also have a week long soccer training course, a week long economics course, and a weekend yoga training course. That plus a couple of other days of training for work and I’ll be sure to stay busy!

I thought about getting another part-time job, but then I realized that I would be making the same amount as my high school students. And let’s be real, that’s just not cool. :) I’d like to think my time is a little more valuable these days than $8.00 an hour (or whatever the going rate is for retail/restaurant jobs!).

Last week I missed WIAW. I blogged about what I ate on Wednesday for the Fed Up Challenge (it was Day 10), but didn’t actually post it until Thursday.

Interested in my other What I Ate Wednesdays?! Check them out here:

WIAW #1

WIAW #2

After a day off, today I’m back on the WIAW train of fun!

And since today is Wednesday, this is actually what I ate yesterday.

Enjoy!

Breakfast: Organic Greek yogurt with organic frozen mixed berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries), chia seeds, and cacao nibs. It’s like eating ice cream, for breakfast. :)

WIAW #2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com Breakfast, with a stack of papers to grade!

Lunch: Well this is pathetic. I had yet to go to the grocery store since we were out of town all weekend (and it was too nice Monday to bring myself to do it!), so it was pretty slim pickings around our place. I had some ham and cheese in the fridge, along with some carrots. So that’s what I ate. Ham and cheese roll-ups with carrots. Again, kind of pathetic.

WIAW #2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com My organic smorgasbord of a lunch.

Snack: The usual at work. Mixed nuts. These are from Whole Foods, but I sometimes buy them at Target or Trader Joe’s (where they are a bit cheaper!).

WIAW #2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Dinner: Tuesday nights I teach yoga at Yoga Sol in Minneapolis. It’s the first donation-based yoga studio of it’s kind in Minnesota, which is pretty sweet. I love being able to offer yoga classes to those who need them, but might not be able to afford them otherwise.

WIAW #2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com Yoga Sol. In all its glory.

Last night I was on my own for dinner, as the fiance was hanging out with his brother after work. Being we didn’t have any groceries, and I was super hungry after work, I headed to a new fast-casual restaurant in town (Agra Culture in Uptown) that serves up organic and local food with lots of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. Love it!

I ordered the Chicken Cobb salad, with a side of roasted yam fries.

WIAW #2 I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Salad with kale, nitrate-free bacon, local blue cheese, slivered almonds, cherry tomatoes, and free-range chicken – yum!

It was amazing. Especially because it was both quick and healthy. I will definitely be back!

Dessert: When I got home after teaching yoga, I had one of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls from the freezer. I’m obsessed!

Alright friends, that’s all I’ve got for this version of WIAW. Hope you have a marvelous Wednesday yourself!

Also, feel free leave a comment or question below – I love hearing from you!


No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Ahhhhh. The end of a long weekend. Nothing better than having an extra day to enjoy with loved ones, spend time outdoors, or get a few extra things done.

(And eating these chocolate peanut covered babies.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

But more on that later! :)

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend as well.

Saturday we golfed up in Albany, a little over an hour from the cities. It was my second time out this summer, and I always like to think I’m getting better as the summer rolls along. Or at least that’s what I’d like to think. :)

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls I www.eatcleanwithkate.com  Perfect day for a round of golf.

We then spent the rest of the weekend hanging out at our friend’s parents house on the lake. The weather was beautiful, although the water was pretty darn cold! I jumped in anyway, and it was definitely a shock to the system. We also grilled, took a few pontoon rides, and had a fire each night. A successful weekend to say the least!

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls I www.eatcleanwithkate.com A view I will never get sick of. 

Today we got up and left right after breakfast, in order to beat traffic and get a few things done. I ended up laying outside for awhile, reading and soaking up the sun. It was too nice to not be outside!

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls  I www.eatcleanwithkate.com A few of my favorite things.

I put a few lemon slices in my water as it has a few added health benefits to just drinking plain water, not to mention it’s a bit more refreshing! If you want to learn more about the health benefits of lemon water, check out this article here.

After I got done getting my daily dose of vitamin D, I went inside and whipped together these Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls. Now that my 10 days of no sugar is done, I can actually bake again. Although it was 85 degrees out today, and humid as heck. So too hot to actually turn on the oven. Besides I was craving something sweet, yet cold.

I now know what they mean about sugar acting like a drug in your body. Although my sugar cravings subsided towards the end of those 10 days, now that I have spent an entire weekend eating s’mores and other good things (filled with sugar, I’m sure!), I can’t seem to stop craving it! My body also feels a bit out of whack and I’m extremely thirsty lately. Bah! Time to start another detox perhaps. :)

Anyway, that didn’t seem to stop me from making these bad boys. Although I did try to make them with the least amount of refined sugar as possible. They are smooth on the inside, with a crisp outer chocolate shell. I just used the chocolate chips we had in the house, but next time I’d like to try melting down the no-sugar added chocolate that I talked about in Day 9 Fed Up Challenge.

Did I mention these are frozen? Melt in your mouth on a too-hot-to-bake kind of day. Enjoy! :)

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Adapted from minimalistbaker.com.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-natural (no sugar added) peanut butter, or other favorite nut butter (I used sunflower seed butter)

3 TBSP honey

1 1/2 TBSP coconut flour

1 TBSP flax meal (optional)

1 TBSP cacao nibs (optional)

1 tsp fine sea salt

3/4 cup favorite chocolate chips

1 TBSP coconut oil

Directions: 

Mix peanut butter with honey in medium mixing bowl until smooth.

Add in coconut flour and mix well. If mixture is still a bit runny, add more flour until thickens into cookie dough-like texture.

If using flax meal or cacao nibs, add in and stir to combine evenly. These just up the nutrition value of the final product!

Roll “dough” into small balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mine made 16.

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil over low heat.

When chocolate is completely melted, take off heat.

Using a spoon, place ball in chocolate and coat evenly, then place ball back on parchment. Repeat until all balls are coated.

Place baking sheet in freezer and freeze 10 to 12 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.

Serve cold and store leftover in plastic freezer bag. (If you have any leftovers, that is!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Chocolate and peanut butter, a perfect combination!

OK friends, that’s it for now. Got any favorite no-bake desserts of your own? Feel free to leave me a comment below – I love hearing from you!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls (Gluten-free and Vegan)
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Gluten-free and Vegan No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. Easy to make and delicious on a hot summer day!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-natural (no sugar added) peanut butter, or other favorite nut butter (I used sunflower seed butter)
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 1½ TBSP coconut flour
  • 1 TBSP flax meal (optional)
  • 1 TBSP cacao nibs (optional)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup favorite chocolate chips
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Mix peanut butter with honey in medium mixing bowl until smooth.
  2. Add in coconut flour and mix well. If mixture is still a bit runny, add more flour until thickens into cookie dough-like texture.
  3. If using flax meal or cacao nibs, add in and stir to combine evenly. These just up the nutrition value of the final product!
  4. Roll "dough" into small balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mine made 16.
  5. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil over low heat.
  6. When chocolate is completely melted, take off heat.
  7. Using a spoon, place ball in chocolate and coat evenly with chocolate, then place ball back on parchment. Repeat until all balls are coated.
  8. Place baking sheet in freezer and freeze 10 to 12 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.
  9. Serve cold. Enjoy!

Related articles across the web

TerrAmazon Raw Organic Cacao Nibs

TerrAmazon Raw Organic Cacao Nibs I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Hey guys! Hope your Memorial Day weekend is off to a great start!

Last night we helped our friends move into their beautiful new home. It was a perfect night (weather wise especially!) to do so. After the moving fun was over, we ordered pizza, enjoyed a few beers, and sat out by the bonfire. First bonfire of the season – love it! :)

Remember yesterday when I was talking about how great I felt after having a beer and burger out with my friend (compared to how I normally feel)? Yep, that was definitely not the case last night. I had two Spotted Cow’s, along with some pizza from a local pizza joint.

I haven’t had pizza in at least a few weeks now. Last night I had sausage, pepperoni, and chicken with buffalo sauce, canadian bacon with extra cheese, and mashed potato pizza – whoa! Between the pizza and beers, my body was not loving me. I was lethargic, groggy, bloated, and gassy (is that TMI?).

I was reflecting on how great I felt on my 10-day detox, and I really don’t want to just jump back into my old ways (although I don’t usually drink regular beer or eat pizza, or at least not together!). I also don’t want to have to be as restrictive as I was for those 10 days. There’s a happy medium, and it’s always a work in progress to get there. :)

Before we head out to golf and up to a friend’s parent’s lake house later (hello, summer!), I thought I’d squeeze in a quick post about one of the products that helped me survive the 10 days of no sugar (and thus, no chocolate!).

TerrAmazon Raw Organic Cacao Nibs.

These cacao nibs are what helped me survive those first days when all I wanted was a piece of chocolate (although, by Day 9 I found some chocolate that didn’t contain sugar!).

Cacao nibs are made from cacao beans (or cocoa beans as more commonly referred). I explain more about these in Day 1. They have 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per serving (and no sugar!).

TerrAmazon Raw Organic Cacao Nibs I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

The almost chocolate.

And they are delicious. Not to mention an awesome addition to this smoothie that I can’t stop raving about.

Alright guys, that’s it. Have a great rest of your weekend!

Day 10 Fed Up Challenge

Day 10 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

Day 10 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

It’s ovveerrrr! I made it 10 days with no (or very little!) added sugar.

It was a long 10 days, but I’m happy I took on the challenge. And proud that I was able to make it through! There were a few days when I thought I was going to lose it. Like stuff-my-mouth-with-donut-holes-at-work kind of lose it. Don’t worry, I restrained myself from doing so. :)

So what did I eat that very last day?

Day 10 Fed Up Challenge

Breakfast (7:30 a.m.): The usual smoothie, but with hemp seeds. This was my first time ever eating hemp seeds. They were on sale at Whole Foods, so I thought, why not! It definitely gave my smoothie a more earthy taste. Not sure if I’m the biggest fan. However, I will definitely give them another try to see if they grow on me. They are supposed to be good for you, after all.

Snack (9:30 a.m.): Piece of the no-sugar added dark chocolate that I blogged about it in Day 9. I don’t know if that should be considered a “snack”, but whatever. :)

Lunch (11:30 a.m.): Bowl of chicken wild rice soup from the local coffee shop. With no crackers or bread. Although at that moment in time all I wanted was to rip open that cracker packet and pour it all over that soup! Again, I restrained myself.

Snack (2:00 p.m.): The rest of that chocolate bar. I think I may have a problem here people.

Snack (5:45 p.m.): A handful of salt and vinegar chips after hot yoga. I hadn’t  been to hot yoga in what felt like forever! Too busy with the house hunting/wedding planning. It felt great to step on the mat and get back into the groove of listening to my body, quieting my mind, and just breathing. Ahhhh…

Dinner (7:30 p.m.): After yoga, I went and met my momma at Mall of America. She works at the Macy’s there, and wanted to try out the new Benihana restaurant they just put in. We shared edamame, a crunchy tempura shrimp roll, and she ordered tempura scallops. I’m not a huge scallop fan, but I tried one anyway. And then remembered why I wasn’t a huge scallop fan!

The sushi wasn’t bad, although there was crab in it, and I’m thinking it was imitation. That stuff just freaks me out. Talk about artificial colors and flavors! Eww eww eww. Regardless, it was nice to catch up with my mom over glass of wine. I didn’t think I would ever say this, but I think I’m burned out on sushi. I’ve had it once a week for the past three or so. Time for some other type of cuisine!

And that wraps up the last day of the Fed Up Challenge!

Biggest Challenge:

Not giving up. Period.

Tip of the Day:

You can do anything you put your mind to. Really, you can.

Want to know what I ate the day after the Fed Up Challenge?

Breakfast (7:30 a.m.): Udi’s gluten-free bread with PB (still the sugar free kind).

Day 10 Challenge I www.eatcleankate.com First bite of bread in over 10 days!

Lunch (11:30 a.m.): A mixed greens salad with carrots, sunflower seeds, avocado, and tomato with the same sugar-free Annie’s Oil and Vinegar dressing I’ve been using the past 10 days. I also had three slices of Applegate Farm’s Uncured Deli Ham (that contained sugar, of course).

Snack (2:00 p.m.): A banana. Plain and simple.

Snack (5:00 p.m.): Handful of salt and vinegar chips (they’re still not gone!) and a piece of some fancy Italian cheese that was on sale.

Dinner (7:30 p.m.): Went out with a friend to a place called Pat’s Tap. It’s a cute little gastropub with old fashioned skee-ball, lots of beers, and delicious food! We split an order of the cheese curds (from WI, of course) that comes with their smoked tomato ketchup (that I was finally able to eat!). We both ordered burgers, and had a beer. I haven’t had a beer in forever. Usually I feel like crap after I drink a beer (especially when I combine that with fried, greasy food!), but I actually felt just fine. I’d like to think that 10 day sugar detox had something to do with it! :)

  Day 10 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com Grass fed beef, heirloom tomato, and some thick-cut bacon.

Alright ya’ll, it’s 75 degrees and sunny here in Minneapolis, and I’m getting the heck out of here! Have a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. :)

Day 9 Fed Up Challenge

Day 9 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

One more day. One more day. One more day! That was my mantra all of Tuesday. I had a pretty uneventful day, and this will probably be a pretty uneventful post. It’s 9:45 at night and this girl is tired!

So let’s just jump right in…

Day 9 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

What did I eat, on Day 9 Fed Up Challenge?

Breakfast (7:30 a.m.): Plain organic yogurt with frozen mixed fruit (strawberry, mango, pineapple, banana), chia seeds, and cocoa nibs. Basically I was too lazy to make a smoothie so I just threw everything together and made a healthy version of a yogurt parfait!

Snack (9:30 a.m.): Handful of mixed nuts. As per usual.

Lunch (11:15 a.m.): The leftover pork chop and veggies from our date night at JD Hoyt’s Saturday. I was dying to put some barbecue sauce or ketchup on it, but knew I couldn’t. I just love me some condiments! :)

Snack (2:00 p.m.): I was out on a few errands for the work-based learning part of my job (where I help students get jobs and then monitor them so they can receive high school credit) when I decided to stop at my favorite local coffee shop (which also happens to be right next to my work!). The place is called BruHouse and serves up sandwiches, homemade soups, and the usual coffee and tea selection. I got myself this unsweetened raspberry ice tea and a cup of chicken wild rice soup to go. This iced tea saved my life! I was craving something sweet since lunch, and this did the trick.

Day 9 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Sweet, sweet, unsweetened ice tea.

Snack (5:30 p.m.): After work I walked down to the grocery store (it’s about a mile from our place) and picked up a few things for dinner and the week. I also ran across these babies in the chocolate aisle:

Day 9 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

CHOCOLATE!

We’ve had this kind before, but for some reason I didn’t really think about them for oh…the past 8 days. What was I thinking! They only contain stevia as a sweetener, which is derived from the stevia plant. It doesn’t spike your blood sugar like sugar itself does and has essentially zero calories (but not because it’s artificial). I only had a small piece of the almond variety, but boy was it good. Hit the spot after 8 days of no sugar!

Dinner (7:00 p.m.): Grilled chicken salad on baby romaine lettuce. With tomato and these parmesan crisps. Parmesan crisps are so freakishly delicious. I had two. :)

Our original plan was to make caesar salad, but I thought there was sugar in mayonnaise so I dressed mine with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Then I realized (after I finished my salad, of course!) that the mayo we have in the house does not actually contain any sugar – bah! It was still delicious, regardless.

Snack (9:30 p.m.): Upon returning home from teaching yoga, I was still a bit hungry. I had a handful of sea salt and vinegar chips (my favorite!) and split an orange with the fiancé.

And that’s a wrap!

Biggest challenge of the day?

Having to go into Culver’s (a local fast food joint that has amazing ice cream) to talk to an employer of one of my student’s. It was beyond tempting to be in there with all those delicious looking ice creams floating around!

Tip of the Day

If you know you can’t get rid of sugar completely for the day, focus on the small choices can you make to eliminate some of it. What are the obvious sources that you can eliminate? Desserts, sodas, and (most!) condiments are full of sugar.

Alright folks. It’s currently 10:20 p.m. and I am officially done with my 10 days of no sugar! I’ll fill you in on the last day tomorrow. Until then, feel free to leave me a comment or question below – I love hearing from you!

 

Day 8 Fed Up Challenge

Day 8 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleankate.com

Day 8 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleankate.com

“It’s just another manic Monday, wish it were Sunday, cause that’s my fun day, my I don’t have to run day….”. That was my theme song for yesterday, Day 8 Fed Up Challenge. Except it was the opposite of manic. It was rainy and cold and just down right slow going. But I was still wishing it was Sunday. Especially with how beautiful it was out!

The fiance and I looked at another wedding venue yesterday, which was exciting. We are getting closer to making decisions about the big day – finally!

We also grabbed dinner out, instead of cooking like we said we were going to. Tsk tsk. (Can you picture my shaking my finger in disappointment? Well I am.). Although I didn’t feel that bad about it. Our wedding venue tour didn’t get done until 6, and we still needed to go to the grocery store. So we said screw it and went to Moto-I for some delicious Asian food. I was craving ramen, and ramen was what I got.

But let’s back up. What did I eat the beginning of the day?

Day 8 Fed Up Challenge

Breakfast: Same smoothie as Sunday. A take on the Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie, but without whole banana. And with Trader Joe’s mixed fruit instead.

Lunch: Organic beef summer sausage, organic cheddar cheese, and Back to Nature Multi-seed Gluten Free Rice Thins.

I also had some Tostitos corn chips and salsa left over from our staff potluck last week.

Snack: Handful of mixed nuts while driving by potential houses. Oh, and an orange.

Being I had enough time before our wedding venue tour, I stopped at a coffee shop by the fiance’s work in NE Minneapolis. He’s been raving about the place: Spyhouse Coffee. I had a cup of this delicious herbal tea. Flavors of cinnamon, clove, orange. I don’t know exactly what is was called, but it was divine. I would definitely go back for some more! Not to mention the interior is really cool. Lot’s of wood, open spaces, plenty of seating.

Day 8 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com How cute is this cup?!

Dinner: Like I mentioned before, the fiance and I made the decision to go grab something to eat, rather than eat at home. We went to Moto-I and I ordered their signature ramen dish, called Abura Ramen. It is broth-less, containing only noodles, poached egg, pickled onions, bonito flakes, and green onion.

I unfortunately was so hungry it didn’t even cross my mind to take a picture. Upon Google searching Moto-I at work today however, I found a) a picture of the dish and b) a really cool blog! The blog is called Everywhere Once and it’s about this couple who quit their corporate jobs and now travel around the U.S. (and world!). It’s a pretty cool story, and you can check it out yourself here: http://everywhereonce.com/

This was the picture they captured of Moto I’s Abura Ramen:

Day 8 Fed Up Challenge I www.eatcleanwithkate.com

 Much healthier than the packaged kind!

I also had a few bites of the fiance’s fried rice. And we split an order of edamame.<