Banana Oat Muffins

I recently stumbled upon the Dashing Dish blog and learned how to make muffins with oats instead of flour and I’m hooked. These muffins were so delicious and much healthier than the average muffin made with flour. They turned out tasting just like banana bread. You can find the original recipe here but I made a few slight changes to mine.

What you’ll need: (my changes were taking out the protein powder, using real sugar instead of sweetener and adding unsweetened coconut)

  • 1 small banana
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 sugar (I don’t like using fake sweetener in my baking)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut (because coconut makes everything better)

What you’ll do:

My favorite part about this recipe was how easy it was! You just combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pour into baking cups (use silicone so it doesn’t stick). Then I added a pinch of coconut to the batter in each muffin tin before baking. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Thanks for the idea Katie!

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Red Kale Chips

I LOVE kale. It tastes good and is super duper healthy. It is full of vitamin C, vitamin K, B6, calcium, beta carotene and LOTS more. I usually add it to my smoothies in the morning, or saute it as a side dish with dinner, but I had been hearing about how delicious kale chips were so I thought I’d give it a try. I had a big bunch of  Russian red kale so I decided to use it instead of the regular green kale I had. Next time I’ll have to switch it up to see if they taste different. I especially love red kale because of the beautiful purple stems.

This recipe is very easy, and you need very few ingredients – kale, olive oil, and kosher salt.

Wash your kale and peel leaves off of stems. Tear into bite-sized pieces and spread out on a cookie sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil on the top (1-2 tsp) and sprinkle with salt. I used the big kosher salt but regular salt would work fine too. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until crispy.

Lazy Sunday

Saturday morning I did one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done! I joined an all women’s boot camp called Kaia from the recommendation from my best friend. She’s basically a walking advertisement for them because she’s always looked great but now she looks and feels AMAZING after joining Kaia (they even have a WordPress blog!) I have a lot coming up this summer and really wanted to get in great shape for everything, and since I won’t be running long distances for a while due to my foot injury, I thought this would be perfect. The six-week program doesn’t start until April 30th so I thought I’d go to a Saturday class to see what I was in for. I have never been so sore in.my.life. 3 days later and I can still barely sit down or bend over. If a program can make me THAT sore, I know it’s going to work.

Sunday morning I woke up and could barely move. So, I spent my day being lazy around the house and took a walk with my husband to stretch out my sore muscles in the afternoon. The weather wasn’t bad so I also spent a little time with my new macro lens in the backyard.

 

Meyer Lemon Muffins

Recently a co-worker gave me a huge bag of Meyer lemons and I have been trying to figure out what to use them for. I usually put them in my ice water and tea and add them to chicken and vegetable dishes when I’m cooking, but I wanted to start baking with them. The day after I got them, I found the recipe for Meyer Lemon Muffins on Freshly Pressed and decided I had to try it! You can find the recipe on the Darla Cooks blog. They were absolutely delicious. Next time I’d add more lemon in the batter and would maybe even make a sweet lemon/vanilla glaze to drizzle over the top.

One of my favorite parts of making these muffins was photographing them! The lemon slice on top really made them look fun (they tasted great too)!

Loaded Spaghetti Squash

Carbs. All I ever want are carbs. Carbs carbs carbs. They are delicious and if I could survive on carbs alone (without gaining 100 pounds) I would. But, we all know that eating huge amounts of processed carbohydrates for every single meal is not so good for you. So, I’ve tried to come up with a few alternatives that make me still feel like I’m getting to eat my favorite foods like bread and pasta. I still eat both of those things, but I try to limit them when I can.

One of my favorite ways to make a “pasta” dinner a little healthier is to use spaghetti squash instead of noodles. I usually make it just like I would regular spaghetti, with tomato sauce and sometimes I add ground turkey for a little protein. This time I loaded it full of veggies and it was delicious! (I made it at night so my photo is a little dark)

Spaghetti squash is so easy to make. You can cut it in half, coat with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes until the outside is soft OR if you’re in a hurry, you can microwave it. This particular day I was starving after work and couldn’t wait for the oven to do the work so I poked holes all over the squash, put it on a plate and microwaved it until the outside was soft. The time will depend on how big your squash is. Mine was small so it didn’t take very long at all. I put it in for two minutes, turned it over, and kept adding two minutes until it was done. Total I think it cooked in about six minutes.

While the squash was in the microwave, I chopped all my veggies. I used mushrooms, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. I sautéed them all with some olive oil and white wine. I took the squash out, cut it in half, cleaned out the seeds, and then scraped all the insides out with a fork. Then I added all the squash to the veggie mixture, added a little olive oil and was all done!

What is your favorite way to make spaghetti squash?

 

 

Raindrops

Yesterday I posted about Spring Flowers, but since it has been pouring here for a week I thought I’d take advantage of all the pretty raindrops in our backyard.

Red Cabbage

Who knew cabbage could be so pretty?

I made chinese chicken salad with this particular cabbage. What are some of your favorite cabbage recipes?

Spring Flowers

I took these photos last weekend when the sun was shining and everything seemed to be blooming. Now it’s rainy and gloomy outside so I thought this might brighten up the day.

How WordPress Saved my Life

Okay, so the title may have been a LITTLE bit of an overstatement… but read on to see what I’m talking about.

I was nominated for the Kreativ Blogger Award yesterday and it really made me smile. I was nominated for a similar thing,  the Versatile Blogger Award, a while back and I found it to be a fun way for bloggers to connect, find new interesting blogs, and write a little about  themselves. This one made me especially happy because it was all about being creative and it told me that someone else out there (who I didn’t already know) thought I was creative too. I liked that.

I’ve loved creative projects since I was a kid and grew up thinking of myself as a creative person. There have been times in my life where I completely lost touch with that side of myself and didn’t spend time doing the creative things I used to enjoy. There was a period (after high school when I took a little time off before college) when I was pretty down. I wasn’t in school, was working full-time and felt like I didn’t have much drive or purpose in my daily life. That sounds dramatic, but I was going to work every day for 8 hours, coming home, eating dinner, watching TV, going to sleep and doing it all over again. Life was boring and I felt lost (and I was only 19!).

Around that time my mom and I had a talk about how I was feeling. Her advice to me was to do something creative. She said I should find a project that interested me and do it. She thought it might help me get excited about something and in turn, improve whatever negative feelings I was having. I remember it specifically because I started a sort of strange project after that… I started making wood purses. Yep, you read that right. Wood purses… totally practical, right? I bought them at Michael’s (they were more like wooden boxes, but I wanted them to be purses) and I decoupaged them with photos of pin up women from the 50’s. I know this sounds way weird in writing, but they actually looked pretty cool hanging in my teenage room at the time. I got so into these purses and had so much fun  that I made at least 10 of them and was even thinking about selling them for a while. That never worked out… I wonder why not? Who wouldn’t want to buy a purse made of hard wood?

Anyway, the point is I lost touch with my creative side and when I started doing these projects again my life improved. Friends have made fun of me during some of the different creative phases I’ve gone through (scrapbooking for instance – I took a lot of flack for that in college!) but it has always made me happy. Now I have my blog and I couldn’t love it more. Of course I have good days and bad days. Some days I have nothing to post about and some days I could post 10 times if I wouldn’t end up looking like a crazy person. Blogging has made me creative all over again. It is a reminder that I need to continue being an “artist” and I need to keep creating to keep my readers interested. But really, it helps me immensely just to get the posts down on “paper” regardless of whether or not people read them (although I can’t lie…watching my stats go up doesn’t hurt!).

I can honestly say WordPress and the blogging community has made me a happier person. It keeps me thinking about the next creative topic I can blog about, whether it’s a new recipe, my photography, my latest DIY project, makeup artistry, whatever. And I am constantly inspired by the other amazing blogs out there.

So, I want to thank conchsaladesque for recognizing my creativity.

There are seven rules to accepting the Kreativ Blogger award –

  1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
  2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
  3. Link the person who has nominated you for the award.
  4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
  5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
  6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
  7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

7 things about myself people may (or may not) find interesting-

  • I can wiggle my ears. My grandpa taught me when I was a little one and it’s one of my favorite memories with him.
  • I was born in Denver but I haven’t been back since I was three.
  • I LOVE tomatoes. I grew up hating them with a passion and now I put them on everything and would eat fresh tomatoes from the garden all day long if I could.
  • I HATE mustard. I don’t believe that will ever change. I’ve tried and tried and I just cannot make myself like it.
  • Sushi is my favorite food on the planet. I’d eat it everyday if I wouldn’t die from Mercury poisoning (and could afford it).
  • I hate listening to people chew their food. I know this is silly but it can actually change my mood if I am in a situation where I have to listen to another person’s weird mouth sounds as they consume their meal. gross.
  • I used to love butter as a kid. Like…eat it straight on crackers (or without crackers) kind of love. I vaguely remember sneaking it out of the fridge when I was around 5 years old. It makes me cringe thinking about it now.

7 Kreativ Bloggers – All creative in their own ways.

  1. Just a Little Brit
  2. Linda Townsdin – A Writers Journey 
  3. Macro Life Photography 
  4. Sugar & Cloth
  5. Once Upon a Recipe
  6. Darla Cooks
  7. Katie Runs This

How are you creative? Does blogging help fuel your creativity?

Roasted Cabbage with Lemon

A friend of mine posted a photo on her Instagram of roasted cabbage and I thought “WHY HAVE I NEVER TRIED THAT?!” Yes, with that much enthusiasm. I love cabbage and I love to roast things…vegetables in particular. So I  gave it a try and it was just what I dreamed of. Delicious.

What you’ll need:

  • one whole cabbage. I have purple cabbage that I’m going to try next!
  • juice from 2 lemons (I used Meyer which makes everything taste better)
  • about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper (any other seasoning you’d like)
What you’ll do:
Cut cabbage into 8 equal parts and place on baking sheet. Use brush to coat each side of cabbage with oil and lemon mixture and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn over and bake for another 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown. Squeeze lemon on top before serving.

What are your favorite veggies to roast?