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What did you eat on Wednesday?

11 Dec

We love Wednesdays.

It’s our favorite day of the week to share with you what we have been making in the kitchen. It is the first week without any classes for the both of us, so we have spent a lot of our time thinking of good recipes to make with all of our free time.

Be sure to check out the rest of the link-up over at Peas and Crayon’s.

wiaw fall into good habits button

We haven’t touched on this months theme yet so we thought we would share with you a few of our healthy habits.

Healthy habit #1: Eat breakfast. So many of our friends have told us that they skip breakfast. We wonder, how are you suppose to ace a final without any brain food? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. ¬†Research shows that our metabolisms do not start until we’ve eaten something. It takes less than five minutes to make a bowl of oatmeal or toast a piece of whole grain bread and slater it with peanut butter and banana slices. Don’t make time an excuse to skip out on our favorite meal of the day.

Healthy habit #2: Always be prepared. We always make sure to carry a couple of healthy snack options so we never run into trouble. We have lost count of how many times this back up snack has saved the day. One time Devon even gave her emergency snack to the secretary at the dentist office who was complaining of hunger. I think she made her day.

Healthy habit #3: Read the ingredients label. At times we are even surprised at some of the ingredients we find in a product we thought would be a clean option. Our general rule of thumb, if you don’t know what an ingredient is you probably don’t want it in your body. Of course it is almost impossible to be critical 100% of the time, but we try to make sure at least 75% of the products we use meet this standard. Next time you purchase a food product check out the ingredients list. You may just be surprised.

Here’s a recap of what we ate yesterday!

We started the day with a big bowl of egg white oats, complete with almond butter, coconut butter, banana slices, and strawberries!

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After breakfast, we met a good friend for coffee at our local Dunkin Donuts!

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After catching up all morning we decided soup would be a perfect idea for lunch considering the winter wonderland going on outside.

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We pulled out two cans of Amy’s soup from our pantry that we’d been saving for a day like today.

No chicken noodle soup, homemade corn bread, and a fresh pear made for a pretty perfect lunch!

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We spent the afternoon cleaning out and organizing our closets. Then before our 5 o’clock pump class we fueled our bodies with an afternoon berry smoothie made with 1 cup of mixed frozen berries, 1 cup of soy milk, and 1/2 frozen banana. It was a great afternoon snack topped with Natures Path almond crunch granola and eaten out of a bowl.

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After pump we were staving and super glad we has leftovers on the menu for dinner tonight. More cornbread and leftover kale and corn quiche we made yesterday served with a side of green beans. Simplicity is key.

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We ended the day watching the Victoria Secrets fashion show with a few friends while snacking on apples and bananas with almond butter.

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We are loving on apples and bananas lately. What’s your favorite winter fruit? Do you have a healthy habit you always follow? Please share!

Crunchy Buckwheat Granola

28 Jun

Crunch Crunch Crunch.
Life is boring without granola.
Crunch Crunch Crunch.
Don’t you agree?

It’s the perfect snack, smoothie in a bowl topper, overnight oats mix-in, frozen yogurt topping, hot oats crunch factor, the star of a greek yogurt parfait, you get the picture.

Crunch Crunch Crunch.
It is kind of a big deal up in the McKain household.
Crunch Crunch Crunch.
And you have to be pretty important to be a big deal.

After many deliberations, recipes, pinterest finds, and blog posts we decided which granola we would attempt to make ourselves. Wanna know the top candidates?
Lightened Up Summer Granola
Crunchy Buckwheat Granola
Quinoa Pumpkin Seed Granola
Brainola

The Final Winner was… Crunchy Buckwheat Granola
{recipe inspired from KathEats}
Makes about fourteen 1/4 cup servings

Ingredients:
2 cups of rolled oats
1/8 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup buckwheat groats
1 tbsp cashews, broken apart
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
3. Spray a baking sheet with non-cooking spray. Our spray of choice is Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Spray.
4. Spread granola across the tray and place in the oven for 1 hour, mixing every 15 minutes until toasted and no longer wet. It may not take the whole hour so you want to pay very close attention to the granola to prevent burning!

Now what do you do with your pipping hot granola?
Crunch Crunch Crunch.
Refer to one of the above ideas to taste test your finished product.
Crunch Crunch Crunch.
And hide the precious granola from the others in your family or it will not be around for much longer.
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What’s your favorite homemade granola recipe?

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

 

Cranberry Pecan Banana Breakfast Cookies

2 Apr

Having cookies for breakfast sounds rebellious.

Actually, it is rebellious.

But you can’t REALLY feel bad about being rebellious, at breakfast, eating cookies, when you take a closer look into the ingredient list.

So if anyone asks, you are having cookies for breakfast.

Who really knows what’s in your cookies anyways?

Secrets are just as fun as breakfast cookies.

So join in, be rebellious, and eat cookies for breakfast.

Cranberry Pecan Banana Breakfast Cookies
Makes 4 Large Cookies

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
1 banana, mashed
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon dried cranberries, chopped
9 walnut halves, chopped (any nut would substitute)
sprinkle of cinnamon, to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Divide mixture evenly into four cookies (a little over 1/4 cup of mixture per cookie)
Bake for 25 minutes, or until brown around the edges.
Eat cookies plain, or take after us and break them over smoothies in a bowl (SIAB) and Greek yogurt!
Each cookie has about 123 calories and 2.5 grams of protein!

Just before going in the oven.

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A close up. Just because they look heavenly.

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So, what rebellious activities are you engaging in this week? Cookies for breakfast? Smoothies for dinner? We would love to know.

Baked Apples

5 Feb

School has been overwhelming our lives lately. Besides taking 16-18 credits each, teaching observations, research, and studying we have decided to add something else to our lives. Saturday morning we excitedly accepted our bids to Phi Sigma Sigma, a service and social sorority on campus.

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(The early hours of 8am accepting our bids from our wonderful sisters!!!!!)
By joining we have gained 23 supportive sisters who bring so much love and support into our lives.

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(Here’s us at our pinning event)

Although we will be much busier during these next few pledging weeks it will be so worth it! As a result, we will be meal prepping much more than usual. Required study hours each night have us on campus from 6:30-9pm. Pledge meetings make nights even longer. We are excited to have to start planning in advance. We promise to share our recipes, tips, and meals along the way. For now we’d like to share with you our celebratory dessert. Who doesn’t love baked apples? Especially these ones.

We always try to find unhealthy recipes and change the ingredients to make them healthier. We came across a baked apple recipe stuffed with butter, and brown sugar. There are plenty of other healthy ingredients that could substitute for the butter and brown sugar. We opted to stuff our apples with a combination of rolled oats, honey, and cinnamon. The directions are simple.

Directions:

1. Slice an apple in half and cut out the core with a knife (an apple corer would work perfect but we did not have one)

2. In a separate bowl for each apple combine 2 tablespoons of rolled oats, a dash of cinnamon, and a teaspoon of honey and heat in the microwave for 15 seconds.

3. Divide mixture between apple halves and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

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Cranberry Sauce

31 Jan

Fresh cranberries are easy to find throughout the winter months. With fresh produce being so hard (and expensive) to find in the winter, it’s a great alternative to dishing out a lot of cash on overpriced produce. The only problem with fresh cranberries is they can be a little tart and bitter sometimes. But, after seeing a lot of different cranberry sauce recipes we thought to ourselves, “I soooo bet cranberry sauce would be good on oatmeal”. So you know what we did? We bought a bag of fresh cranberries, followed a simple recipe, and made some of the best cranberry sauce known to man. The added natural sweetener is just enough to take the tart out of the fresh cranberries, resulting in the perfect topping to pretty much anything.

Ingredients
1 16oz bag of fresh cranberries
1.5 cups of water
4 packets of Truvia (or sweetener of choice)
A little pinch of the following: cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg

Directions:
1. Combine cranberries, water, and truvia in a medium pot and bring to a boil
2. When boiling point is reached reduce heat to a light boil and cover pot without completely placing the lid on (TO AVOID SPLATTERING)
3. Set a timer for 20 minutes and stir occasionally to make sure cranberries do not stick to the bottom of the pan
4. When desired thickness is reached, remove from heat and stir in spices
5. As compote cools it will thicken even more

Makes about 2 1/2 cups of sauce. Store in the refrigerator.

Ways we have used ours so far: on top of oatmeal, on a bed of spinach, with greek yogurt (so versatile)

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The finished result!

Banana Ice Cream

15 Dec

Please tell me you have heard of frozen banana ice cream before?! If not, you have been deprived for way too long. You MUST follow this recipe pronto.

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana (or more, for a bigger serving size)
Toppings of choice: fat free whipped topping, peanut butter, nuts, fruit, etc.

Directions:
1. Slice banana (the riper, the better!) and freeze for 3-5 hours.
2. Purée frozen banana in food processor until it gets the consistency of soft serve ice cream! It takes a little while, but trust me it eventually will take that form
3. Place mixture in bowl and freeze again for 20 minutes.
4. Pull it out and top with whatever your heart desires! Our choices were PB2, a nut blend, and cool whip!

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