In the middle of this Heat Wave…

Waiting and waiting for summer…

and then you live one day in a heat index of 117 degrees. A small part of me was day dreaming of the cute scarves and light jackets of fall, uh oh…So to stay in the cool zone I’ve been taking my spinach smoothies to the next level with an abundance of fresh and chilly fruit 🙂

With as much spinach as I can fit in the blender, lots of cinnamon, ground flax, half a frozen banana, frozen strawberries, peaches, pineapple, and finished off with almond milk and a drop or two of pure vanilla extract. BLENDddddd. to cool creamy nutrient packed goodness!

Stay cool now ~

Strawberry ~ Almond Spinach Smoothie

~ Strawberry – Almond Spinach Smoothie ~

Ingredients:

many dashes of cinnamon 😉

1 tbsp of chia seeds

1/2 frozen banana

1 large handful of frozen sliced strawberries

2 handfuls of spinach

1/4 cup almonds

1/2-1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Blend.

Top with additional almonds.

Enjoy.

Until Tonight ~

An update on the last few days, one word can probably sum it up:  crazy.  I have so much to de before departing atlanta next week, which means I’m surviving on oats, peanut butter, and trail mix.  Lord help me.

Probably my favorite way to eat muesli:

is with 1 tbsp of chia seeds, with lots of cinnamon, a spoonful of peanut butter, dash of vanilla extract, and a cup of plain soy milk.  Let it sit in fridge over-night.  Pure awesome-ness the next morning.

Finally had a regular green monster.  Simple.  Cold.  Refreshing.  Good.

1 tbsp chia seeds, cinnamon, lots of fresh spinach, frozen b-nana, unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

Blend.

Drink.

Paired with some Udi’s granola and dried fruit [cherries, cranberries, golden raisins, and blueberries][yum]

Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad

I am on a tight budget this week as far as meals go.  Hence $2-3 entrees from Trader Joe’s are my savior.  After a long day at work and the lovely trek back to my room [the staircase next to my door won’t open from inside the stair well..GO FIGURE] so I walk all the way around the building.  Extra cardio, though, right?..[disgruntled noise].

Back to dinner, my stocks were rather low.  So I decided it was finally time to use the can of black beans I’ve been staring at all summer.

~ Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad ~

+ sweet corn [yum]

~ spices ~

My latest department store deal.  I found this bottle of gold at a Marshals…maybe a Ross, definitely a store of a similar nature 😉  It is so good!  and you can spray it on almost anything.

The finished product.  I love the red specs of the cayenne pepper!

Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Salad ~
1 can of black beans, rinsed & patted dry
1/2 can yellow corn, rinsed & patted dry
1 tbsp or so of honey
sprinkle of cayenne, salt, and cumin.
[I didn’t use exact measurements, so use what your spice levels are comfortable with]
Spray down with garlic grape-seed and sesame oil

Just toss everything together and serve.  Quick.  Affordable.  Easy.  This is a very versatile dish, if I had more ingredients I would have added fresh lime juice and cilantro and served over a bed of lettuce 😉

Afterwards was another Almond Butter Coconut Ball.  I swear these things taste better and better the longer they sit in the freezer.

Yes I am going backwards 😮 , thought I’d start with what was most recently on my mind.  Breakfast today was a quick pomegranate spinach smoothie.

Just some frozen pomegranate kefir, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, cinnamon, and the rest of a bag of spinach.  Blended.  Cold perfection 😀

With an ABC Ball [of course]  possible new addiction? >:)

Trader Joe’s has ceased to please.  Never have I enjoyed a frozen meal as much as the ones at TJ’s.  The freshness and flavor are the same if not better then eating at a restaurant.  Promise.  Today I tried the shrimp green curry on jasmine rice.

It.  Was.  Out.  Of.  This.  World.

Look at this ingredients list!  In my book I don’t want Thai food without all the authentic spices and this dish lived it up in the authentic flavor department.  Thai eggplant and peas, umm AMAZING.

Some more fellow bloggers giveaways!:

http://www.onefrugalfoodie.com/2010/08/18/popular-vegan-cookbooks/

QUESTION:  What do you do for meals when your on a tight budget?

I tend to resort to the famous PB & J 😉

CrAzY weekend

This weekend was full of dancing.  Swing dancing.  I think I clocked in around 15 hours, all night dancing.  woooooooo for no sleep 😉

Since sleeping or dancing was taking priority over eating [not smart, I know]  this weekend was a slew of random eats.

and in other news one of my dog pics was on cuteoverload.com! 😀

So here are some random eats from this busy weekend:

gRAWnola bar.

Brussel sprouts in a lemon vinaigrette with chopped apricot.  yum.

ICE CREAM mini break at work.  I was dragging around 4 o’clock and with two more hours to go something needed to happen.  This cold cup of ice creamy goodness was the epitome of perfect.

It was actually an expresso chocolate chip handmade gelato.  Talk about awesome-ness in your mouth.

Dinner one night was a green monster bowl.  Topped with TJ graham crackers … and puffed brown rice 😉

Another meal was a dorm room success!

Olive Tapenade Tuna Salad

In a bowl was mixed:

1/2 a can of tuna
1 tbsp of tomato paste
large heaping spoonful of Trader Joe’s green olive tapenade
splash of tabasco
dash of cumin
some sprays of garlic grape-seed oil
Topped with ripped up spinach and sesame rice crackers.

Some fruit that was on it’s last leg was also given a whirl.

A beautiful apricot, very juicy, and still good to eat 🙂

Loved the bright color

The plum, unfortunately, was past the point of return 😦

It smelled wonderful but wasn’t edible

Copious amounts of banana soft serve

1 frozen banana
4 ounces of pomegranate kefir
1 tbsp of chia seeds
spoonful of cacao nibs
topped with granola and brown rice puffs.
more like a mini smoothie 🙂

Hopefully everyone had a great weekend!  I can’t wait to dive into the three additional dance nights I’ll have this week, talk about non-stop.

Puff. Rice. Crunch.

So I have a new obsession.  wait for it.  Puffed Brown Rice. 🙂  It’s so airy and care free that I find myself wanting to include it with everything!  Not to mention the crunch, and who doesn’t like a good crunch now and again?

Today’s Breakfast was another Pomegranate Spinach Smoothie..with a side cup of puffed rice 😀

Pomegranate Spinach Smoothie
Ingredients:
1 tbsp of ground flax
lots of cinnamon
1 frozen banana
two large handfuls of fresh spinach
4-6 ounces pomegranate kefir
spoonful of peanut butter
and blenddd.
Topped with some cacao nibs and copious amounts of puffed brown rice.  Delish.

Lunch today was another trip to metro fresh, where I had a divine sugar plum salad.  TONS of fresh chopped plums with walnuts, celery, and basil in an orange maple vinaigrette.  omg.  This deserves the honored title of party in your mouth.  A glorious fruit salad!

This was followed by a chicken and farfalle pasta salad in a basil pesto with corn and peas.  This was good but very skimpy on the pasta with way too much chicken.  Ah well.  The basil infused meal was pretty good and I even had some left for dinner 😉

Before Monday night dancing [it’s called Hot Jam on Monday nights(!)]  Their was an array of snack-mania.

Peanut Butter and the new addition to my fridge, the godly raspberry jam, on a cinnamon TJ graham cracker.  This Jelly is like a drug, no joke.

Then I decided to use the last of my pomegranate kefir [tear] on a bowl of surreal awesome-ness.

Base: A broken TJ cinnamon graham cracker, then piles of puffed brown rice, a tbsp of peanut butter, a sprinkle of chia seeds, a dash of cacao nibs (can you dash cacao nibs?) and the biggest spoonful of raspberry jam.  This resulted in the biggest food induced smile ever.  Beautiful.

– Jam of the gods –

Jam before Hot Jam 😀

Then their was some Trader Joe’s Roasted rosemary pecans and cranberries.  I bought this after seeing a sale ad for it online and it is quite good to say the least.

There are actually sprigs of rosemary all throughout this trail mix which makes it quite intoxicating.  It reminds me of the fish my mom would always marinate with rosemary from her garden growing up.  <3.

This would be even more fabulous if made in my own kitchen, can you imagine the smell of roasting nuts and rosemary wafting out of your oven as the cooler days are looming ever closer?

Alas when I am reunited with a kitchen this can be a reality.

Before running of to dance I grabbed one of these sample bags I snagged at whole foods this past weekend.

Great, as always.  I wasn’t expecting them to be as spicy as they were, but a lovely kick 😉

Song of the day – “Help I’m Alive” by Metric.

This band is my new obsession.

Question: Since PP & J is one of my favorite foods, does anyone have a specific way they enjoy this combo?  Anything out of the ordinary?

Back on the Trail Again

Last night I was in bed around 12!  First time in weeks, so exciting.  8hours sleep was needed to say the least.  I awoke this morning set on my banana spinach pomegranate green monster.  While constructing I discovered I forgot to put a banana in the freezer last night 😮 I ended up using a regular banana and the result was not the same.  It was good, but their is something about the ice cold creaminess of a frozen banana that transforms the drink.  I don’t recommend making this drink without a frozen B-nana.

Topped with lots of Udi’s Artisan Granola.

For recipe on Banana, Spinach, Pomegranate GM see previous post

Growing up my Mom and I loved going to eat at Schlotzski’s Deli.  Their bread is beyond addicting.  Too me it is so different then anywhere else and I am in love.  The only one in my hometown closed down around 8 years ago and I haven’t been to one since.  How I made it this long is still a mystery to me.  When ze boss at work brought up making a field trip to one near by [in atl] I jumped on it.

Say hello to the BBQ chicken pizza with added black olives.

These photos take the cheezi-ness level to an extreme, but I assure you this pizza is a lot smaller then it looks 😉 and a party in your mouth if ever their was one. 🙂

I was released from work early today, and decided to finally get back outside for a real [non gym] run.  I am a swimmer at heart, and that is my usual choice of exercise.  Me and land sports do not mix – bad things almost always follow.  Running is probably the only thing I can do, and even then I bet someone watching me would say my form is somewhere in China. 😮

The last few months this past spring before moving up to Atlanta for the summer I began running a bit with mom.  Around 3 miles 3 mornings a week.  Since moving up here, however, I haven’t run outside due to time and unfamiliarity with my surroundings.  Today I found a park and set to it.  I got in 20 minutes before the sky decided it was time to let the thunder and lightening come out and play, and it was the perfect amount of time 😉  PLUS the incoming storm gave off a lovely cool breeze.

Before the run I snacked on a frozen peanut butter chocolate chip larabar.  This is without a doubt my FAV of the 4 new flavors.  My new favorite way to eat a larabar?    …     Frozen.  My goooodness it’s amazing.

A fellow blogger who I thoroughly enjoy reading, Peas and Thankyou, had a recipe in her post today for homemade chocolate chip cookie dough bars that made my eyes turn the size of dinner plates.  Click here and take a look!  I will have to make these and soon!

Dinner was a trip to the whole foods salad bar.  I drop way too much $ at this place.  But it is a haven for single people with no kitchen, so I keep my mouth shut 😉

Mixed greens and spinach with carrots, noodles, chick peas, steamed broccoli, steamed butternut squash, artichokes, olives, and more goodies I can’t even name.

Has anyone ever been disappointed eating at whole foods??

Song of the day today would be the song:  “Oh Lord” – by Foxy Shazam

I had never heard of this band before seeing them open at a concert 2 years back.  I immediately fell in love with them upon their first song, which I don’t think I’ve been able to say for many other bands.  The live show they put on is pure crazy spectacular.

Well I hope everyone has a good start to their weekend!

Question: What is your favorite Whole Foods item?  Do you have any grudges or dislikes against the store?

Pad See Ew Please

So This morning started off with a long awaited Green Monster!  An Almond Butter, Banana, Pomegranate green monster to be exact.

Last night was amazing, I had some great dances and even did a few moves … IN THE AIR … I will definitely be finding that partner again 😀  Needless to say I slept well afterwards.

I awoke ready to get my green on.

Almond Butter, Banana, Pomegranate Green Monster :
1-2 tbsp chia seeds
lots of cinnamon 😉
2 extra large handfuls of fresh spinach
frozen banana – broken into pieces
1 tbsp almond butter
4-8 ounces pomegranate kefir – depends on desired consistancy
topped with a swirl of almond butter and Udi’s artisan granola

This was like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in liquid form.  It was a heavenly combination, refreshing, party in my mouth.  I will be making this again soon! 🙂

Song of the Day:  “Elephant Gun” by Beirut.

I came across this band a little over a year ago and fell in love.  They are without a doubt on my list of bands to see live.  This particular song was the one I chose for my reel on my website as well.

At work today I came across a photo link from a performance I did back in February with my college’s swing dance group.  I didn’t even know these existed!

BSA Dance Photos

I am the one wearing the tiny black hat. 😉 Kind of weird to be browsing through videos on you tube and come across a slideshow of yourself, though …

Lunch and dinner were Pad See Ew.  I waitressed at a family owned Thai restaurant for 2 years and got to eat for free while working!  I was spoiled rotten in the category of Thai food.  So I was so excited to go for Thai with the office.  The portions were so big that I easily made dinner out of it.  Two birds with one stone 😉

I asked them to make my tofu ‘soft’ tofu – which means they cook it with the rest of the meal instead of deep frying it first.  I like the tofu better this way, it takes on a bit too much of a spongy texture when fried + is better for you.  Two stones again? 😛  It was just the way thai noodles should be with a good bit of vegetables in the form of broccoli, cabbage, onions, and bean sprouts.

After a 45 min trip to the gym I had an amazing apple.

A very photogenic apple 🙂  Do you find that an apple sliced thin like potato chips is more appetizing then one normally??  I found it to be so.  A thin, crisp burst of apple goodness with every bite.

Still Craving something else I turned to the mini peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Trader Joe’s organic creamy peanut butter with apricot jelly on small rice crackers.  Why I love small rice crackers? – The serving size is about 35-40 crackers!               .. in love –

You can eat them open faced…

Topped with dried cranberries…

Or as an actual sandwich 😉

PB & J can be too much fun, on your night off.

What’s your favorite way to eat Peanut Butter and Jelly?  Do you prefer a different nut butter?

LazZzY Weekend

Happy August 1st!!!

August always makes me think of Autumn, which makes me think of Fall.  I am not ready for summer to end…it just started.  What’s new.  But this also means only 5 more weeks till France.  Autumn in France :p I could live with that.

This weekend was very laid back, let’s just say I didn’t sleep much this past week and made up for it during the past two days.  SATURDAY – Saturday I stayed in bed till…………….four…………It was awesome.  Enough said.  I just snacked on cereal, popcorn, and dried cranberries and caught up on some reading.  I finally finished the fourth book in the Outlander series and am excited to begin the fifth.  Around 5 I got dressed and drove over to whole foods, where I enjoyed perusing the aisles then dining on Indian food from the hot bar for dinner.  Does anyone else find extreme joy in walking through the grocery store?  I could probably spend all day doing it…..

After this I returned to my bed 😀 and read some more.  This is a rare occurrence I swear.  Around 9:30 a friend talked me into finally leaving my room and get out for a bit.  What did we go do??  We went and saw a movie.  A huge leap in the activity department.

This theater was HUGE though.  Biggest movie theater I have ever been in.  It was the size of 6 normal theaters…took two pictures to get it all in.  I saw Dinner for Schmucks, which had a few rather stupid moments but was on the whole a rather funny and enjoyable movie.  I would recommend see it, you’ll have a good laugh.

SUNDAY – Sunday I was a bit better 😉  I slept in, read.  While at Whole Foods yesterday I picked up two of the new larabar flavors.  Chocolate chip brownie and Chocolate chip cookie dough.  I unwrapped a chocolate chip cookie dough bar and stuck it in the freezer last night.  It made for an amazing pre-workout breakfast this morning [by morning I mean 12:30pm].  After a 45 min workout I made an amazing green monster smoothie.  Recipe below.  I started making these cups of joy after finding out about them on the blog Oh She Glows.  Some amazing recipes on there, you should take a look 😉

This GM had such an amazing array of flavors!

Coconut Spice Green Monster:
1-2 tbsp chia seeds
Lots of cinnamon
2 heaping handfuls of fresh spinach
a chopped frozen banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
4-8 ounces Coconut milk kefir
splash of vanilla extract
This was topped with more cinnamon, some unsweetened shredded coconut, and cacao nibs.

Especially after a workout these are a party in your mouth 😉

After this I decided to get out and enjoy the rest of my day off walking around downtown before hitting up this brewery for dinner with a friend.

A salad with hummus and pita ensued and it was godly.

Hummus, Pita, …… and Goat cheese.  words can’t express this combination properly.

What is your favorite, go to lazy day activity?

Green Monster :)

It’s the weekend……..Finally!

I have not been sleeping enough this week, going to bed between 2 and 3 am then rising at 8 makes for a very grumpy, sleep deprived girl.  This morning I remedied what I could with a green monster 😀

This was the best green monster I’ve had in a while 😉

containing:
1 tbsp chia seeds
lots of cinnamon
handfulls of fresh spinach (whatever is your fancy)
1 frozen banana
large spoonful of peanut butter
almond milk, I ran short so I subbed some coconut milk kefir 🙂

This was so good, spinach GM’s are definitely my favorite so far.

Lunch was one of Moe’s new tofu veggie bowls.  It was good, though I still prefer chipotle.  And my camera evaded me!  oops :/

I started work on a video today for maestro, I’m excited to have new stuff for my site!

Dinner was with the fam, again!  My Aunt and Uncle own a Mediterranean restaurant about 20 mins from me, and it’s REALLY good.  It’s called Cafe Sababa and this wasn’t my first time there 😉

I ordered the Greek salad: Romaine with cucumber, tomatoes, Israeli olives, chick peas, feta cheese herbs, onions ………. and freshly mad Falafel!!!! Hot and fresh, straight from the kitchen.  It was divine.  I spent about two weeks in Israel 2 yrs ago and had some amazing Falafel, nothing in the States has ever come close.  Except these.  They were that good.

This was followed with warm pita, homemade hummus, and baklava.

and now SLEEP.  Thank the lord high above for sleeping in.