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Presto, Pesto!

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I have to admit, I used to have a phobia of kale.  It was super intimidating and truthfully, I didn’t care to bother with it…but then I read this article, which proclaimed kale the “queen of greens“.

When I saw the stats for this nutritional powerhouse, I knew there had be be a recipe out there that would allow me to incorporate this scary looking green vegetable into my diet.

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

 

Low and behold, Ashley, from The Edible Perspective, saved the day with her KALE PESTO recipe!  Her gorgeous photos are enough to convince anyone to try her food 😉

  • 1, 12oz bunch kale [any type], washed + de-stemmed
  • 2T walnuts
  • 3T almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5T nutritional yeast
  • 3T olive oil
  • black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • ~2-3T cooking water [from kale]
  1. In a large pot, bring 1.5c water to a boil. 
  2. Add in torn, de-stemmed kale and cover for about 4-5min.  Kale should be wilted but still bright green.
  3. Drain liquid into a bowl and reserve.
  4. In a food processor, process nuts + garlic until fine.

  1. Add in kale and process, until combined.  Scrape the bowl as necessary.
  2. Add in the olive oil, salt + pepper.  Process again.

  1. Add in nutritional yeast + 2T cooking water.
  2. Process again, scraping when necessary, until desired consistency is reached.  Add in more cooking water, a little at a time, if desired.

Mine didn’t come out NEARLY as beautiful as Ash’s, but you get the picture, right?

(8 of 12)

Thanks, Ashley!  This recipe will also be coming with me to my Nutrition class as part of another extra credit recipe! 🙂  All the credit goes to you!

Happy EARTH Day!

[Make sure you hit up Starbie’s for your free cup of coffee!]

XOXO.

Black Bean Brown[noser]ies

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Sooo, I decided to do another recipe analysis for my Nutrition class…two, actually, but this post is about the chocolate.  Let’s be honest, what would life be like without chocolate?  Or Elise’s recipes, really?

 CHOCOLATE DECEPTION at its best 🙂 Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bananas (very ripe works best)
  • 1 – 15oz. Can of black beans (drained and rinsed well)
  • ¼ C. Whole Wheat Flour
  • ¼ C. Splenda (or other calorie free sweetener)
  • ¼ C. Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder (Hershey’s)
  • 1 T. cinnamon 

    Directions:
    1- Drain and rinse black beans well.

    2- Combine the black beans and bananas in a food processor until well blended.

3- Add the whole wheat flour, splenda, cocoa powder, and cinnamon to the batter and process again until well blended.

4- Pour batter into an 8×8 baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray

5- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

MMMMm…. Of course, I sampled one straight from the oven…you know, just to make sure they were edible…and servable…and…well, delicious.  Check, check, and checccccccccck!  🙂

Using the MyDietAnalysis Software that I get access to with my class, here are the nutritionals, FYI:

61.92 Calories

0.42g Fat

0g Saturated

0mg Cholesterol

3.1g Fiber

2.7g Sugar (naturally occurring in bananas)

2.8g Protein

XOXO

BLACKout.

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I guess it’s time to show you guys some of my meals as of lately, since it’s been awhile since I’ve done a regular post.  Breakfasts have been quick and easy, mostly things like Kashi 7 grain waffles and green monsters.

These babies are perfect for optomizing sleep time.  They literally take about 2 minutes to prepare…if that.  150 calories + the sugar free syrup.

Handful of ice, 3/4 C. unsweet vanilla almond milk, supercharge vanilla whey, lots of spinach, and a few blueberries. BAM protein powerhouse.

I realized while I got ready for work the other day that I wear a TON of black clothing.  It’s weird, because I love color…I just always choose a black base and then use colors as accents for some reason?  Is there a specific color that you tend to see as the majority of your wardrobe

It is pretty versatile, so I can easily mix and match it with a lot of different things…

Speaking of color, the flower guy that I bought Momma FF’s birthday flowers from put together quite a beautiful arrangement if you ask me!

She absolutely loved them 🙂  Maybe that’s where I get it… I am a total sucker for flowers. Roses are probably my favorite…completely classic.  I guess I’m a bit old school.  Lilies are pretty gorgeous, too.

Lunches have looked a lot like this:

Seasoned black beans, baby spinach, and forty spices hummus on Nature’s Own Double Fiber Whole Wheat bread.  Can you believe 1 slice has just 50 calories and 5g of fiber?!

Afternoon snackage:

Blackberries are in season!  I’m getting excited.  This means Spring/Summer MUST be close. 

After work, there have been NUMEROUS different forms of exercise to fill my basketball season void.

Ab ripper X : this guy is just as much of a tool as what he looks like here…BUT his workouts are pretty swell.

Then, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go to strength training and conditioning with a bunch of guys from school.  Their coach runs them, and is a great motivator. 

Last night afterward, I had class so I had some leftover SOCCA pizza, which I made the night before, courtesy of Chelsey’s recipe, which rocked.

Socca crust (made with garbanzo bean flour), light ragu sauce, cooked mushrooms & onions, spinach, and nutritional yeast for cheese 🙂

She was right, it was SUPER easy to make.

It really filled me up after a two-hour workout, too.  I had never tried garbanzo bean flour before. It was a personal pan size, and the whole thing only ran at about 250 calories.

 And thennnnn in Nutrition class, a bit later, our “protein groups” for the healthy recipe assignment project had to do their presentations, leading up to a tasting of all the dishes.

Three bean salad, tofu confetti chili, honey balsamic bean salad, and protein pancakes.  This photo is a little deceiving since the plate was only about the size of my hand.  Haha. It was perfect for tasting a tiny bit of each thing.  I think my fave was the chili!

Afteward, we moved on to the next chapter, water soluable Vitamins

I think that this one should be fairly simple to understand…there really isn’t much to know about the composition, yet.  More so, the function, absorbtion, and benefits of the body from the vitamins.  Simple.

Well, that’s all I’ve got today. Ta ta for now, loves!

XO.

In A Funk.

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I hate downer posts as much as the next blogger, but sometimes they just need to happen to get things off my chest.  Things are going so perfectly in some aspects…I get to hear from D at least once a day (typically), the team is preparing for our State Championship game this weekend, and the more I learn about Health & Nutrition through my school work, the more I love it.  Things at home are a different story.  I am 22-years old.  I like to come and go as I please, be able to sit down for a meal when I get home from practice, cook and bake when I feel like it, and have my own agenda in general.  Understandably so, my family also wants to be able to do those things, and since it is THEIR home, obviously they should be able to.  More often than not, this causes conflict if they get home and I’m in the kitchen.  I truly do my best to stay out of their way, but sometimes it’s inevitable that we will need to be in the kitchen at the same time.  I get very stressed out, because I can hear the sighs and eye-rolling as I’m preparing my food.  They just don’t understand why I refuse to make things easy on myself and eat like a “normal” person.    Lately, I feel as though everything I touch, say and do is a mistake.  I get so stressed out, while they stand there waiting me to finish up what I’m doing and get out of their way, that I usually end up rushing, spilling something, or just doing a crappy clean up job resulting in tears streaming down my cheeks and a night kept to myself reading in my bedroom.  I just need some elbow room…you know, just to be me?  I’ve been looking at apartments for awhile now, and I’m thinking it’s soon time.  I just want to finish up my Associates Degree and get my car paid off first, so I have some payments out of the way. 

Okay, therapy over – food time.

Breakfast looked a whole lot like an english muffin & peanut butter, huh?  Think again 🙂  It’s one of my infamous oatcakes cut in 1/2 with banana peanut flour paste.

(Oatcake: 1/3 C. old fashioned oats, 1/2 mashed banana, sugar-free vanilla Torani, cinnamon, 1 egg white, pinch baking powder all mixed together and microwaved for two minutes; Banana peanut flour paste: 1/4 C. peanut flour, other 1/2 mashed banana, pinch of salt, sugar-free vanilla Torani, and water to thin)

 I know that it takes more time and effort to create a lot of my meals, but I think it’s a lot of fun.  Blogging about it is even MORE fun.  This is one of the few things that I do purely for my enjoyment, and I’m sorry, but I’m not willing to give that up.

Lunch was a beastly taco salad!  Meatless and all.

(Chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow pepper, and onion with Quorn meatless crumbles mixed with Pace salsa and topped off with low-fat Cabot Greek yogurt and more salsa)

Throughout the day, I usually sip on numerous bottles of water.  I contribute to a water fund that provides a Crystal Springs water cooler in our office.  It’s only like $1/day and I DEFINITELY get my money’s worth.  I probably fill up at least 3 times. 

I always snack at my desk, since I know I want to have enough energy to get me through a two hour basketball practice with 1/2 hour of strength training/cardio beforehand.  Vitatops are great because I can just throw them in my bag!  They’re only 100 calories and provide a protein/fiber punch along with lots of vitamins & minerals and are low in fat…not to mention they’re one of my favorite versions of chocolate. 

Right before practice, I try to get some natural sugar in me so that I’m amped up and energetic.  Cherries are a great source of natural sugar and provide Vitamin C and fiber…also considered a SUPER FOOD for your joints!  Not to mention…it’s National Cherry MonthWhy not celebrate? 🙂

3 hrs, 4 min; 968 calories; avg. HR 111

I went straight from practice to my Nutrition class, where I was presenting a healthy dish that I created to share with the class.  Each of us was in one of three groups: Lipids (fats), Proteins, or Carbohydrates.  When I think of complex carbs, I think of grains immediately, so when I saw this recipe on J’s page, I knew I wanted to make it, adapted of course.

It tasted GREAT!  Thanks, J!  Your recipe was a hit.

 There were several other recipes that people brought, and at the end of the semester, we’re going to compile them into a cookbook!  Pretty cool, huh?!  I’ll be sure to share some of my faves with you!

Here was my plate, aka dinner:

(L-R: Broccoli Pesto and Fusilli Pasta, Maple Pumpkin Oat Muffins, Whole Wheat Garden Pizza, Mediterranean Couscous Salad, and in the middle is a Banana Blueberry Smoothie)

Since everything was just a sampling (not an actual serving, or even half for that matter), and I had just burned off about 920 calories, I also had an EAS chocolate protein shake and some celery sticks which I packed in my bag.

I didn’t get home until 10:30 PM from class, so I crashed pretty much immediately.  Of course, my stuff was strewn across my room.  I was exhausted and in no shape to reorganize.  Sorry, family.

XO.

Rubber-Band Faith.

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Absolutely LOVED the analogy in the devotional this morning…how true, right?!

Breakfast was a repeat.  I can’t seem to crave anything in the morning other than Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter Banana Oats anymore.  That’s quite a mouthful, huh?

  • 1/3 C. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/4 C. peanut flour
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 pack of raisins

Kid you not, I could eat this everyday, all day 🙂 

I realized when I got to work that I felt totally achy and beat up.  I’m not sure if it was because of the game the night before or what, but my neck, back, and shoulders were killing me.  I got a dead-leg in the game, and every time I took a step on my walk to my building, I felt a throbbing pain…I know, I know…stop being a baby, Sami 🙂

I dined at my desk for lunch, and incorporated some supplies that I picked up at the grocery store before my game yesterday.

(2 slices 10 grain Arnold bread with 1 Quorn chicken cutlet, steamed kale, and 1 tbsp. Light Zesty Italian dressing with a tub of veggies on the side including snap peas and cherry tomatoes)

I think I may be getting a cold or have some type of viral thing, because not only am I freezing and achy, the soreness in my neck also hurts where my glands are, making it hard to swallow.

I decided that my best bet was to pump up my Vitamin C intake like it’s my job!

Or maybe I just used that as an excuse to snack like a maniac at my desk throughout the day 🙂  What can I say?! I wanted to be properly fueled for my game!  Hehe.

Somewhere in between, I ate this amazing bowl of deconstructed CHERRY CHEESECAKE made healthy – aka, Cabot Low-fat Plain Greek yogurt mixed with sugar-free vanilla Torani syrup and then topped with sugar-free cherry pie filling and fiber one crunchy cereal.

Do yourself a favor and go try this immediately.

The game was a non-conference one, so it wouldn’t affect our top seed position if we lost.  That didn’t change the fact that we wanted to kick some butt! The first half was a bit rough…I think we were worn down from the game the night before because we laid it all on the line.   We managed to pull off a WIN, though!  The final score was 79-59.

After my game, I had Nutrition class! I’m so lucky to have an understanding professor who allowed me to go to my game and come to class a little late.

 We talked about carbohydrate makeup, digestion, fat soluble and water soluble nutrients, and food allergies. 

  1. glucose + glucose = maltose
  2. glucose + fructose = sucrose
  3. galactose + glucose = lactose

Eat food –> Digest to food to nutrients in the GI tract –>Absorb into circulation –> Deliver nutrients to cells

On our break during class, I ate dinner.

1 bag broccoli slaw steamed and topped with 3/4 C. light Ragu & 2 tbsp. Cedar’s garlic lovers hummus blended in

Deep chocolate Vitatop

Plus, I had needed some protein, so I supplemented with an EAS Carb Control drink for just 110 calories and 17g protein.

When I got home, dessert consisted a few chunks of my fave chocolate bar.

I packed up all my stuff for the next day and hit the bed early.  Tonight will be the last time I see D for awhile…his flight leaves tomorrow morning at 8am…Please keep him in your prayers!  I’d love to see him off at the airport, but I don’t want to intrude on family time, so I think I’ll say my goodbye tonight…:-/

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Question: What is something you recommend for the blog?  What would you like to see more of?

XO.