Archive | May, 2013

Crockpot Meets Curry Powder

31 May

Curry powder has intrigued us for far too long.
We hear so many people raving about it.
And we hear so many people dissing it.
We needed to try it out for ourselves.
So we went to the grocery store.
Bought some curry powder.
And searched high and low to figure out just how to use it for the first time.
We searched, and we searched.
And then…
We found it.

Cauliflower Crockpot Chickpea Curry
Adapted slightly from Kath Eat’s

Ingredients:
3/4 of a head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
2 large carrots
2 pieces of celery
1 can of muir tomato paste
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
Throw everything into a crock pot on low for 3 hours. 30 minutes before serving, turn to high.
Pair with a serving of bulgar wheat, toasted coconut, a dollop of plain yogurt, and cashews.

We want to know, have you ever experimented with curry powder before? If so, what did you make that is worth sharing?

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Our Day Off + WIAW

29 May

Today’s post is filled with yesterday’s fabulous meals and a little extra of what has been going on lately in the McKain household.

A visit to our local farmers market: check
Getting together a foodie box for our blogger friend, Gina: check
Trying a new recipe: check
Meal prepping: check
Grilling: check
And enjoying life: double check

It’s only officially summer in our eyes once you cut the first watermelon of the season!

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Our favorite splurge lately is Grape Chia Kombucha…I say spurge because it cost about $4 a bottle!
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On Monday we celebrated Memorial day by firing up the grill

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Chicken, fresh corn on the cob, and zucchini…. yummmm

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With fresh strawberries and whipped coconut milk for dessert!

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After working 4 days straight we enjoyed our day off yesterday starting with a tall mug of freshly brewed loose leaf tea from The Prince Street Cafe.

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Then we filled our bellies with Apricot Nut baked oatmeal with coconut milk on top

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We spent the rest of the morning exploring The Central Market in downtown Lancaster where we scored this freshly baked loaf of honey whole wheat bread. We are loving the ingredients list: whole wheat flour, honey, water, salt, and yeast. It really doesn’t get more simple than that!
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After exploring downtown Lancaster we headed over to Roots. This is another one of our favorite farmer markets to visit during the summer months. We picked up the majority of our produce for the week and for $20 managed to get a whole case of mangos, ($3.99 for 11 mangos is a deal we couldn’t pass up) 2 avocado, strawberries, 1 cantaloupe, a bunch of fresh kale, cilantro, asparagus, 12 lbs. of bananas, (with a deal as good as $1 for 4 lbs…we managed to stock our freezer with 40 bananas for summer smoothies) pears, beets, and 2 eggplant which we roasted to use as salad toppings for upcoming meals this week! We love cubing eggplant and tossing it with olive oil and italian seasoning and roasting it at 400 in the oven for 40-45 minutes!
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After returning home from Roots we put together this salad combo. Mixed greens with avocado, the last of our Trader Joe’s cilantro hummus, bread croutons, a dippy egg, beets, and roasted eggplant.
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The weather was pretty crappy yesterday so we spent the majority of the afternoon curled up on the couch watching episodes of Downton Abbey and snacked on bananas and almond butter.

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It seems that today is the last day of mild 70 degree weather as our iphone weather app is showing the next few days with temps in the high 80’s and low 90’s. We took advantage of the cold and rainy evening and made a batch of split pea soup. Enjoyed with a hunk of the honey whole wheat bread.

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Luna seems to agree with us on the rainy day issue.

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On another note, a day isn’t complete in our books without a late night snack. We enjoyed another round of our favorite cottage cheese combo. Strawberry cottage cheese + strawberries + almond milk + Uncle Sam’s cereal + raisins = heaven.

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Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! Head on over to Peas and Crayons to join in on the fun and see what everyone else has been eating lately. We cannot believe that the next WIAW post will be in JUNE. Where did May go?

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What’s Happening Lately?

27 May

Sometimes we look back on the week and wonder how in the world we use to balance school (16-18 credits), work, cooking, friends, family, and everything else life was offering just a mere few weeks ago.

Not that we are complaining at all, but does anyone else wonder where all the time in a day goes? We do!

We are spending our summer days with our new ritual of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning 5:40 am muscle pump classes. We are already seeing a difference in our muscle growth! We added 1/2 lb to each side this past week and next week we plan on adding up to 5 lbs per side (for some of the time)! It is so energizing to have worked out, showered, made breakfast, drank coffee, and got ready for the day, all before 9 am!

We ventured into the world of tempeh this week after we picked up a few packages during our last trip to Trader Joe’s. What is our verdict on it? Genius. We think we found a new replacement for lunch meat. So glad we bought more than one package of it. Raw or cooked? We like both ways! We always love when we find a new go-to favorite.

Lately, there have been lots of salads. lots of yogurt parfaits. and lots of of peanut butter.

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An orange glaze tempeh salad thanks to inspiration from KERF. Sadly, the avocado was not as good as it looked. It was discarded post photo.

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A mixed greens salad with roasted sweet potato, chicken, pineapple, corn, yellow peppers, and Annie’s Roasted Red Pepper dressing. Paired with steamed Brussels Sprouts.

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Our own take on this orange bean salad. Our’s included fava beans, radishes, yellow peppers, carrots, an orange, and a dressing made up of 1tbsp olive oil, 1tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp Annie’s Honey Dijon Dressing, and 1 tbsp of honey. Paired with a Colby jack + strawberry fig jam sandwich and itty-bitty apples. If you look closely, you can even see a few cherries hiding in the corner.

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An egg-tastic pizza with chipotle pepper hummus, yellow peppers, spinach, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and a crumbled boca burger.

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Soy yogurt with Trader Joe’s granola (it has hazelnuts, a new one love for us) raw almonds, and cacao nibs.

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Soy yogurt with our own Qui’a mix of hemp seeds, chia seeds, and buckwheat. Fresh fruit is self-explinatory.

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A perfect dough boy smoothie. Topped with buckwheat groats and lots of coconut butter.

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An impromptu breakfast smoothie that turned out fantastic. Frozen banana + frozen mango + almond milk + strawberry cottage cheese. Our new Trader Joe’s unsalted natural peanut butter makes for the perfect smoothie topper.

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Another dough boy smoothie for breakfast. This time it was yogurt-less and surprisingly just as thick! We need to do a special post on these sometime soon. It is the perfect combination of overnight oats and a smoothie in one!

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A Greek yogurt parfait with raw buckwheat granola, banana slices, and drippy Trader Joe’s unsalted peanut butter. Another new favorite found in the past few days! We have a photo below!

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A close up of our newest drippy peanut butter find. This is what is on top of all of our yogurt/smoothie bowls this week.

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Woo-hoo! The beginning of watermelon season is upon us! This one was the perfect pick. Thanks Mom!

What’s coming our way this week? Tuesday’s our day off and we are ready to explore the downtown Lancaster Market. We are planning a breakfast date to our favorite Lancaster cafe, The Price Street Cafe beforehand. We cannot wait to try their apricot nut sugar free baked oatmeal. They also have a large hot drinks menu, great looking salads and sandwiches, and a wonderful atmosphere. If you are local to the area, we highly recommend it. We need more places like this around here.

We hope to find a great multigrain bread for salads this week, some good lookin’ avocados, something new to spark our taste buds, and asparagus!

This week also includes lots of working (31+ hours), a few muscle pump classes, a strawberry picking twin date, Dev’s first summer course exam, a memorial day cookout with out family, and our favorite activity, cooking!

And lastly, Happy Memorial Day! We are thankful for all of the wonderful men and women in this world who have served in the military to protect our country. We are thinking about all those still overseas and involved in the military on this special day.

lafgs

 

Mid-Week Visit

22 May

Happy Wednesday!

Yesterday we were delighted to have our cousin Marissa visit us on one of her days off! She is a flight attendant and when she isn’t spending her days working on a plane she is usually a passenger flying somewhere gorgeous. She has basically been everywhere…India, Japan, St. Thomas, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland, Andaman Islands, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hawaii, Panama, Peru, Argentina, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Israel…you get the picture. We’re slightly jealous but glad she found time to come visit us with her crazy schedule.

She loves to cook just like us so we had tons of fun! We spent the first half of the day grocery shopping and cooking and spent the afternoon at the matinee showing of The Great Gatsby! It is such a good movie and even better that it only cost $6.50 to see it! The price of movie theater tickets kind of disgusts us, but matinee showings are usually much more reasonable! If you haven’t seen it yet…go right now.

Here’s yesterdays eats in picture form!

Breakfast started off with coffee made with our French Press for the first time! The french press is cool but we definitely love our coffee pot more. It may be nice if you only need to make a single cup of coffee but it probably will not become a everyday kinda thing. We’re too hooked on the perfect 10 cups of coffee our pot brews.

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We had a delicious breakfast of hot oats one last time before the summer heat makes eating hot oats impossible. These were made with banana + cottage cheese and topped with buckwheat + coconut + almond butter

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Lunch was a salad topped with Trader Joe’s Multigrain bread + avocado + corn + peppers + carrots + cucumber + and leftover grilled chicken with cherries and pineapple on the side

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We just had to share with you all how perfect our avocado was! Does anyone else get anxiety before cutting an avocado? We are alway soooooo nervous it won’t be a good one…good thing we got lucky this time! Our avocado picking skills are getting much better thanks to this Pinterest find here.

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This was our cousins lunch plate: cherries + spinach + avocado + indian chickpeas + a sliced pear

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The Great Gatsby was a pretty long movie so we snuck in some snacks to hold us over! A fruit smoothie + some extra pineapple and cherries to snack on held us over until dinner

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Dinner was a delicious crock pot creation inspired by Kath’s recipe here! We love cooking but sometimes it is just awesome when the crock pot does all the work for you. This was made with chickpeas + sweet potato chunks + cauliflower + tons of indian spices.

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We served this amazing creation over bulgar wheat with yogurt + chopped cashews + shredded coconut was added after this picture was taken!

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The rest of the evening was spent doing a one hour intense yoga session, relaxing, and enjoying each others company! After an hour of sweaty yoga our late night snack was a yogurt parfait with buckwheat granola + blueberry preserves + banana slices

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Along with yesterdays eats, here are a few pictures of things we are loving lately!

Snack: sugar snap peas + Trader Joe’s cilantro hummus

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Smoothie: frozen banana + blueberries + grapefruit juice

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Now head on over to Peas and Crayons to join the party and see what everyone else is munchin’ on today.

what i ate

Marvelous Muffins

20 May

We.
Have.
Perfected.
Our.
First.
Ever.
Muffin.
Recipe.

That’s marvelous in itself.
MiMM

Marvelous enough to share with all of our blog friends linking up for #MIMM over on Katie’s blog Healthy Diva Eats.

But want to know what’s even better?

Our perfect muffins over soy yogurt.

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Our perfect muffins over a smoothie in a bowl.
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Our perfect muffins crumbled on-top of overnight oats (with sunbutter).
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Our muffins eaten plain, by themselves.

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You get the idea.

Greek Yogurt Protein Muffins
Makes 12 scrumptious muffins

Ingredients:
1 cup of rolled oats
1 1/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp iodized salt
2 large bananas, mashed (over rip bananas work perfectly for this!)
1 tbsp blue agave nectar
1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 egg white
4 oz blueberry Chobani greek yogurt (or another flavor of your choice)
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
cinnamon, for sprinkling on the tops of muffins before placing in the oven

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tray with coconut oil spray or place cupcake liners into the 12 spaces. You do not want your perfect muffins to stick to the tray after they are finished baking.
First, combine whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Next, combine mashed bananas, agave, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Then add in the egg and the egg white to the mixture and beat using a mixer until well combined. After combined, slowly add in the almond milk and the Chobani greek yogurt.
Next, slowly combine the wet mixture to the dry mixture until mixed. Be careful not to over mix the ingredients.
Spoon the batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. We used a 1/4 measuring cup to ensure each muffin had the same amount of matter. It works out almost perfectly if you do it this way. We just added the extra batter into the muffin cups we thought needed a little extra loving.
Sprinkle cinnamon on the tops of the muffins before placing in the oven.

Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the middle of a muffin to check if they are finished cooking. If complete, the toothpick will come out of the muffin bare.
Let muffins cool for 10-15 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to finish cooling. Be careful when moving them to the cooling rack. Use a knife to help cut the muffins out of the tray.

And finally, enjoy the muffins one of the ways listed above. Let us know what is your favorite way to eat a freshly baked muffin.

**The muffins can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or placed in the freezer to use at another time. Individually wrap muffins so you can grab one and quickly defrost it in the microwave on a busy morning!

Coconut Date Energy Bites

17 May

As of this morning, we have successfully competed our first full week of Body Pump classes! There is no greater feeling than getting in an awesome work out before most people have even rolled out of bed.

Body pump is a barbell class that sculpts and tones your entire body! It focuses on low weight loads with high repetition movements to help you burn fat, gain strength, and quickly produce lean body muscles.

We are loving this class and if you think it seems like something you’d enjoy too, you should check out this website to see if there is a class taught in your area!

Although 5:30 am is a little too early for our typical big breakfast we still like to at least put something nutritious in our body before our workout. Late Sunday night we were brainstorming what we could make to grab quick in the morning before our first Body Pump class. With a container of dates that needed to be used and inspiration from our favorite food bloggers Kylie from immaeatthat and Emily from the Daily Garnish these were created.

Coconut Date Energy Bites (makes 23 tablespoon sized bites)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of almonds
1 cup of rolled oats
10 dates, pitted
1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
2 tablespoons of ground flax
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of textured vegetable protein (TVP)
8 tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut (reserve 2 tablespoons for rolling)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of water

Directions:

1. Pit your dates and chop them into bite sized pieces.
2. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor, excluding water and 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut. Allow the mixture to blend for a minute or so to break down the ingredients.
3. Once the mixture is slightly dry and crumbly slowly add in 1/4 cup of water and continue to mix or blend together until the mixture becomes sticky and wet.
4. Scoop out tablespoon sized portions and roll them into balls.
5. Roll balls in shredded coconut and place in refrigerator or freezer.

These bites are super easy to make and you can basically substitute any ingredients for ones you have on hand. Any type of nut, peanut butter, or dried fruit would be a great addition to these energy bites. These are perfect to grab on the go and average about 65 calories per bite with almost 2 grams of protein! We usually grab 2-3 bites before our work out! These are definitely a new staple in our house.

A close up shot of these babies, yum!

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What is your go-to snack before you workout?

Peanut Noodle Stir Fry

16 May

Lets be honest, peanut butter rocks.

There is something about a huge spoonful of peanut butter that just seems to make life so much better.

Peanut butter on oatmeal.
Peanut butter on yogurt.
Peanut butter on toast.

You get the picture.

We decided peanut butter on noodles would probably be pretty delicious too; we were right.

Peanut Noodle Stir Fry (serves 2)

Ingredients:
2 servings of whole wheat pasta
1 12 oz. bag of stir fry vegetables
6 asparagus stalks

Peanut Sauce (serves 2)

Ingredients:
4 heaping tablespoons of PB2
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon of lime juice
6 tablespoons of water
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Directions
1. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.
2. Steam asparagus in microwave wrapped in damp paper towels for 1-2 minutes.
3. Steam stir fry vegetables in microwave for 3-4 minutes, or according to package directions.
4. Wisk peanut sauce ingredients together and heat in a small saucepan on medium-low heat.
5. Once the sauce is hot, toss with cooked noodles. Then add in steamed vegetables and toss to combine.
6. Serve topped with toasted sesame seeds and extra red pepper flakes!

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This looked and smelled amazing and we almost didn’t want to stop and take a picture…but we decided it was too good not to share.