Three’s a Party

Two (Link-Ups) + One (Recipe) = Three.

And three’s a party, right Andy? 😉

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Yep. That’s what I thought.

For the first part of this wonderful Friday equation, I have two link-ups to do today.

First up is Meghan’s Week in Review. I’m going to alter this slightly and make it Birthday Presents in Review.

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  • I’ve already shared part of what my parents got me for my birthday last week:

Bir-card-yoyo[1]

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  • As per tradition though I also got a little money to spend- half on clothes and half on “other stuff.” Well, I haven’t purchased any “other stuff” yet, but I did go shopping this past weekend with my mom for some things to wear during my summer internship (which is completely casual dress by the way— no ties {or skirts!!!!} required 🙂

Bir-shoe-boxes[1]

  • Don’t you just love the name brand of those shoes?! X-Appeal. We got some awesome deals on a pair of black flats and silver sandals:

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  • I also got a pair of pink skinny jeans and a white top at DEBS on clearance. Then at an Aerospostale outlet store I found a striped blue and white flowy shirt for only $3.99!

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  • On Easter Sunday when I saw my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, I also received a few cards full of money which I… still need to deposit in the bank. Whoops!

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  • My aunt gave me a big wrapped box too when we were leaving the Chinese restaurant. Of course I immediately pulled it into the backseat where I was sitting and proceeded to open it on the drive home. 

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  • A crock-pot is the perfect present for me as I will most likely be continuing my soupy ways this summer and being far from home in a foreign kitchen I’ll need some appliance to make broth in!

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  • And last, but certainly not least I got a card from one of my close friends in the mail on Monday this week wishing me a Happy Belated Birthday. The present? An awesome drawing that made me smile 🙂

Bir-perry[1]

Now for part two of the link-ups I am going to be joining Jessie in her Together Tuesdays/ having my own little Friday Food Finds party. Here are just a few great food ideas that I’ve seen floating around the blog world and Pinterest lately that I thought were pretty great:

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The first pin that I want to share is this Pineapple Ginger Smoothie from Gimme Some Oven. Someone in the comments called it an “orange julius on steroids” which immediately grabbed my attention. For those with dairy allergies or for those who are vegan, the Greek yogurt could probably be subbed for another frozen banana or some coconut milk/yogurt.

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Next are these delicious-looking Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches from The Lean Green Bean. The “bread” is made from figs and a combination of pistachios/peanut butter. The “ice cream” is made from frozen bananas. Again, for those with allergies, in particular pistachios or peanuts, you could sub them out for equal amounts in seeds and sun butter.

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For a quick and easy meal, I also spotted this recipe for Healthy Wraps from Purely Twins. Unfortunately these contain eggs so they aren’t an option for those with egg allergies or who are vegan, but other than that they would be perfect to make when you need a tasty lunch but are out of store-bought bread.

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It seems that I am just fascinated with Girl Scout cookies these days as I pinned another Girl Scout cookie remake, this time Do-Si-Do Cookies from Sit, Stir & Savour. These are vegan, grain-free, refined sugar-free and oil-free, so basically perfect for almost any diet!

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The last recipe that I have to share is probably one that many of you have already seen. It’s the Healthy Homemade Goldfish Crackers from Chocolate-Covered Katie. Vegan of course with a gluten-free option, and nutritional yeast for the “cheesy” flavor.

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With two out of three done, I only have one part left to wrap up this party! A recipe.

Probably much to the annoyance of some, this recipe is not for the pear crisp that I’ve been promising for oh… a couple of weeks. But I’ve already started on the post for that and it will be coming at you all soon.

This recipe is no where near vegan however, so those of you who shed a bashful eye to all things meat, scroll down and answer my question for today! (Although the beef is grass-fed and pasture-raised, so there is that 😉 ).

Mama Mia, It’s a Meatza!

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy/Nut-Free Option, GAPS/Paleo-Friendly

Makes 4 servings/squares

Meatza-sliced[1]

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 egg (optional for egg-free)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, dash of pepper
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (I made my own with tomato puree + Italian seasoning/salt/onion and garlic powder to taste)
  • chopped onions, peppers and mushrooms (approximately 1/2-1 cup each)
  • Ghee (Or coconut oil for dairy-free)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×9 glass pan with ghee (or coconut oil).

2. In a medium-sized bowl combine the beef, egg and seasonings.

Meatza-raw[1]

3. Press the beef mixture into the pan and spread evenly.

4. Bake for 10 minutes.Top with the pizza sauce and the chopped vegetables.

Meatza-sauce[1]

Meatza-veggies[1]

5. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables begin to brown and the meat is thoroughly cooked. (Broil if desired to make it extra crispy).

Meatza-done[1]

If you couldn’t tell from its name, a meatza is basically a Paleo/grain-free version of pizza! Some meatzas also have cheese on top, so that would make a great add-on for those of you who can have dairy. I made this on Saturday for my parents and they each had two slices for supper.

Shared at Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Naturally Living Monday, Make Your Own Monday

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And now that you have finished this incredibly long post you are officially free to have a fantastic Friday. Check out some of the recipes above and let me know what you think.

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Question for you all: Other than obviously laughing at the Pin above with Chef Ramsey, how do you feel about the healthy precautions that one needs to take when cooking food? This goes out to both vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. Are you really careful about  washing your hands and utensils before you begin to make a meal? Have you ever gotten food poisoning from food being mishandled at a restaurant? 

It’s Never Too Late to Be Green

“I don’t want to run anymore. I’ll tell you everything.”

“I wish you would.”

Great lines. Great Movie. Any idea what they’re from?

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So… I procrastinated, and now I have an excel Personal Budget due in my MIS class tomorrow. It’s mostly done except for some reorganization and minor recalculations. However, this results in me probably being even more scattered (and possibly more chatty?) than usual. I’m especially frustrated because my teacher didn’t really give us a desired format, just shouted out some important parts and told us to “create it from scratch.” Crueler words were never spoken.

 

But alas, at least I have something to smile about. Actually, this is probably my favorite day to post every single week. Does anyone else feel that way about What I Ate Wednesday? No matter what else is going on, I love reading all of the WIAWs and getting to chat with some awesome ladies! Plus, the foodie goodness doesn’t hurt either 😉

I didn’t post any special recipes for last week in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day (I know it’s the cool girl thing to say “St. Patty’s Day” but I’ve never heard it called that before this year, so call me old-fashioned!). There were many great green recipes floating around WIAW world, but since it is still March, I’m not late yet.

I also figured what with Winter being over tomorrow (or today depending on when you read this), what better a time to finally post a recipe for soup? It’s “souper” simple. Baha. And is really rather plain Jane, but I just love the combination of vegetables. It’s probably one of my favorites, second only to a combination with kabocha.

Green, Mean, Fighting Soup Machine

High protein, Allergen-Free, Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Nut/Coconut-Free, Egg-Free, GAPS/Paleo Friendly

1 generous serving

Wiaw-zucchini-pea-soup[2]

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chicken (or beef), cooked
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen or fresh
  • 2 cups homemade chicken (or beef) stock (storebought would work too)
  • Seasonings: sea salt, fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Peel and slice the zucchini. Add all of the ingredients to a small pot and heat on high until boiling. 
  2. Once the soup is boiling, cover and reduce to low to simmer for 20-30 minutes. 
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Pour into bowl and serve with sea salt and fresh rosemary sprinkled on top.

Wiaw-pea-zucchini-soup-rosemary[2]

Note: This recipe has a good combination of fat from the broth, carbohydrates from the vegetables, and protein from the meat. If you use store bought broth, consider drizzling olive oil or coconut oil onto your soup after it is cooked so that you don’t lose out on all of those nutritious fatty acids! Also, I peel my zucchini because the skin is hard for me to digest. If you don’t have digestive issues, keep the skin on and wish it before slicing.

Shared on: Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Real Food WednesdaysWheat-Free Wednesday

Also, in the spirit of everything green, I want to share a few of the cool “green,” eco-friendly diy projects that I’ve spotted on various websites in the past few weeks:

Ombre-Painted Mason Jars for Storing Things:

Spray Painted Cheese Grater = Earring Holder:

More Mason Jar Love with Homemade Soap Dispensers:

Crocheted T-Shirt Rug:

It’s never too late to be green, even if March 17th is past. We still have another week of WIAW to go! 🙂

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Do you know what movie those lines at the beginning are from?

What green food did you concoct to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Have you ever made any eco-friendly projects? Share!

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Look soon for an upcoming recipe that I made this past weekend:

Wiaw-muffins[1]

Wiaw-muffin[1]

What I Ate the Day Before Thanksgiving

Are you guys ready for another WIAW?

Just one more day until Thanksgiving…

It seems that the general consensus in my last Marvelous Monday post is that most of you do not like to go Black Friday shopping. I personally love it and can’t wait to find some good deals! Like I said before though, I go in with absolutely no expectations so I’m never disappointed.

That said, I’ve been looking through some of the Walmart and Target ads for Black Friday and just wanted to share a few things that I might be looking at buying:

Cheap DVDs ranging from 96 cents and up.

3-in-1 Vacuum for $8.84. So many fun colors- This would be perfect for my dorm room!

 

A 16 GB flash drive because I lost mine.

Micro SD card for my camera phone. My card right now isn’t full yet, but I do take a lot of pictures and always forget to delete the bad ones, so I’ll be needing more space soon.

Chrismas Decorations for my dorm room.

 

The items above all came from the Walmart ad. All items below are from target.

5 dollar CDs, especially this one from Adelle.

These pretty appliances for $8.00. I want that blue waffle maker!

Flannel sheets. I don’t really like the feel of cotton sheets. I use flannel sheets even in the summer. Yes, I’m weird. They’re just so soft!

I’ve wanted an infinity scarf ever since I saw Fitnessista do a post on them.

Now that you know my “secret” awesome list of Black Friday stuff, let’s move onto What I Ate Wednesday, Thanks Jenn!

Inspired by Peace Love and Oats, all of my pictures today were edited using PicMonkey. Just for fun, I added some text as well. Let me know what you think!

Breakfast- 

I came up with this recipe for a Microwave Protein Crisp after seeing both Chocolate-Covered Katie, and Liv Lives Life post recipes for Single-Serving Apple Crumbles. One morning, when my dining hall was out of bananas for my usual protein bread, I decided to experiment and came up with this instead!

I’ve made it a few times since then using different additions, and each one was equally delicious. You can use sliced apples or sliced pears for the fruit. For the crumbly top I would recommend using either pumpkin or banana puree for a sweet and moist texture, but I’ve also made this with just protein powder, baking powder and water and it still turned out fine.

Microwave Apple/Pear Protein Crisp

High protein, high fiber, no added sugar, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple/pear
  • 1/4 cup brown rice protein powder
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin/banana puree (optional)
  • water as needed
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (corn and sodium-free)
  • stevia (optional- I omitted)

Directions:

  1. Combine the rice protein powder, water, baking powder and optional puree/stevia. Add liquid as needed to create a crumbly texture. Put a small amount of the mixture at the bottom of a microwave-safe ramekin or plastic bowl.
  2. Slice the apple/pear on top of the mixture.
  3. Cover the fruit slices with the remaining mixture and microwave from 2-4 minutes until thoroughly cooked and fruit is soft. Enjoy!

Lunch-

My lunches almost always look the same. I just love the taste of sweet grapes and tuna together! I also had an unpictured apple on the side.

Snack-

When I got home today the first thing I made was a microwave banana protein bread. My dining hall hasn’t had bananas for a few days and I was really missing them.

*I should note that for the past few weeks, whenever you see me eating a  banana protein bread, I am only using protein powder, baking powder and bananas. Sometimes I’ve used stevia, but ever since my Paleo experiment I haven’t been using quinoa flakes.

Dinner-

For dinner I again had what I always had, grilled chicken and steamed zucchini. While I was waiting for my chicken I also had a salad made up of lettuce, cucumbers, and shredded carrots.

Snack-

For my snack tonight I came up with a super delicious combination! Cranberry Banana “Ice Cream” + Pumpkin Protein Bread (with cranberries!). The addition of frozen cranberries added enough sweetness that I didn’t need to use any stevia, but feel free to add some if you have a sweet tooth!

And that concludes this week’s WIAW!

If I don’t talk to you all before Thursday, Happy Thanksgiving!

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What is on your Black Friday To-Buy list?

Have you tried PicMonkey yet?

Have you ever sponsored a giveaway before? I’m going to be hosting one on December 20th and could use any advice that you want to give! How long do you prefer them to last? Do you like having multiple ways to enter?

Pumped for PUMPKIN

Happy National Pumpkin Day!

I want to thank Danielle from Clean Food and Creative Fitness for her pumpkin post… otherwise I would have never known!

Today I am going to be doing a recipe round-up of all the pumpkin recipes I have made on this blog. This includes recipes with pumpkin as the main ingredient, as well as recipes that just contain pumpkin.

Ready?

To start, let’s go all the way back to my first ever pumpkin recipes that I posted on Eating 4 Balance (note the progressive photo quality of my pictures…).

Sweet Pumpkin Microwave Muffin

AND

Savory Microwave Pumpkin Bread

Next up is my Pumpkin Cookie Dough!

Then we have my quinoa cookies… I really need to try these cookies again with some substitutions to make them even better!

Here is the bread I made for my trip to Stratford, Canada:

Banana Pumpkin Protein Bread (2 servings)

And here is my single-serving version:

My last two recipes come from one of my Friday Food Finds:

Microwave Brownies (with pumpkin puree).

And Pumpkin Banana Bread Batter.

*Edited to add: I almost forgot my most recent recipe using pumpkin, sorry!

Microwave Sandwich Bread (for those vegan gluten-free people out there craving some bread!!)

As you can obviously tell from this post:

  1. My pictures have gotten so much better from that very first Sweet Pumpkin Microwave Muffin.
  2. Banana and pumpkin make a perfect patch. Check out my round-up of banana recipes from National Banana Day.

For even more pumpkin ideas, check out my posts tagged pumpkin.

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I hope you enjoyed all of these pumpkin recipes!

Have you got a pumpkin recipe to share? Leave a link in the comments!

Would you rather eat pumpkin, or carve a pumpkin?

Do you have a National Pumpkin Day round-up on your blog? Leave a link and I’ll include it in my post. Or just tag back to me and that would be even simpler!