What I Ate… at Trader Joe’s {WIAW}

Oh Joe the Trader, those four years in Boone were tortuous without you. I’m so very happy you’re back in my life. You warm my cheap, healthy-food-loving heart like no other grocery chain.

To honor my recent reunion with my beloved Trader Joe’s, I thought I’d use this What I Ate Wednesday highlight some of my favorite Trader Joe’s products, because my eats have been pretty boring lately. Watch out, there’s a few!

(Thanks Jenn!)

  1. Salted Crunchy Peanut Butterwiaw1-5

    Just pure peanuts and salt, the way peanut butter should be, and all under $3, just one more way to fuel my nut butter addiction.

  2. Three Buck Chuck

    I know it’s Two Buck Chuck in other luckier states that don’t tax alcohol as hard as they do hear in the Bible Belt. But three dollars for a decent bottle of wine? I’m not even sure what kind of vino magic this is, but it’s a beautiful thing.

  3. Tempeh
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    Even though it’s not gluten-free it doesn’t seem to bother my stomach too much and it’s so much cheaper than any other brand. I actually used to load up on it when I was home on weekends because it was that much cheaper.
  4. Unsulfured Turkish Apricots
    I actually tried these for the first time this week but I finished the bag in less than three days. I’m not usually a fan of dried apricots, I think they’re too dry and chewy, but these are sweet, soft and incredible tasty.
  5. Gluten-Free Cheese Pizza

    Finally a gluten-free pizza for less than $8.
  6. Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds

    These are scary good. I could seriously down the entire container in one sitting if you let me.

  7. The Coffee Selection

    Trader Joe’s makes some dance tasty coffee. Their Peaberry beans are especially delicious.
  8. Wheat-Free Toaster Waffles

    They’re extra good covered in their crunchy peanut butter =)

Do you live near Trader Joe’s? I can sympathize with those of you that don’t, it stinks!

What are some of your favorite Trader Joe’s products?

What’s your favorite grocery chain? I wish I lived near a Publix, those are pretty awesome.

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Last Week in Boone: The Food {WIAW}

Hey guys! It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to visit this little corner of the internet but I am happy to be back! This past week has been pure craziness: final exams, family visits, graduation, moving home, and on top of that today was the first day of my internship! Whew. No rest for the weary right? That’s okay, they’re all pretty wonderful things so I have no room to complain.

During my last week in Boone, I made it a point to get to all my favorite restaurants for one last meal before moving back to Raleigh. Boone has the BEST restaurants and Raleigh, despite having some decent restaurants, is mostly full of chains, blech. So I had some pretty spectacular meals this past week.

(Thanks Jenn!)

Tuesday

I made a roommate breakfast date at Melanie’s, an adorable little breakfast/lunch place in downtown Boone for Tuesday morning. We all had the morning off for exams and everyone knows a delicious, hearty breakfast is the best final-exam-taking fuel. I started with a very necessary cup of coffee. It’s a little blurry, but that’s what happens when I don’t have caffeine in me. It’s not a good time.

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To eat I ordered Melanie’s Big Breakfast

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Which came with two eggs (over easy), stewed apples (un-pictured on the side), a biscuit (which I gave away to my roommates) and homefries. I have a new found homefry obsession and have been ordering every where. Maybe not the healthiest obsession but dang delicious. This meal kept me full for 6 whole hours which is a pretty big feat for me.

Thursday

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Thursday afternoon I grabbed an iced coffee pre-exam and a farmer’s market apple. This is the first time I’ve put milk in my coffee in FOREVER. Iced coffee is a little rough on my stomach, probably because I drink it 10x faster than hot coffee, but a little bit of milk seems to help.

Friday

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Beer, coffee, and a kitty in my lap. Could life be better? I got one last visit in with the kittens before they left for Michigan, it’s amazing how much they’ve grown in 2 weeks!

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Dinner was good old Black Cat. I built my own burrito with black beans, rice, broccoli, mushrooms and tomatillo salsa, minus the tortilla. Oh Black Cat, I’m going to miss you so much.

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After dinner one of my roommates and I headed to Low Wine Bar. It’s located on top of Espresso News, the best coffee shop in Boone. This was my first time going and I’m not sure why I waited so long because it was awesome. Whoever decided to put a coffee shop and wine bar in the same building is a GENIUS.

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I had the Marc Roman Malbec, mostly because it was the cheapest red on the menu, but it also happened to be really tasty. Really easy to drink without being too sweet.

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Post-wine my roommate and I spilt a 7 Layer Bar from the coffee shop downstairs (genius, I’m telling you). It was not even close to gluten-free but so tasty it was completely worth it. 7 layer bars are the best.

Saturday

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Saturday afternoon my parents and boyfriends drove up to Boone for graduation festivities. They didn’t get into town until around 1:30 and I was starting to get borderline hangry. It happens. Luckily I had this amazing and filling meal from Coyote Kitchen to tame the hunger beast. I had the Sedona Boat: Coconut rice, black beans, blackened tempeh, roasted sweet potatoes, corn, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, and spinach, topped with sweet red vegan mayo and scallions. I was full beyond belief after finishing this bad boy but it was soooo worth it.

Sunday

AKA Graduation day! My college’s graduation wasn’t until 3:30pm so my family had plenty of time to kill before then. We grabbed an early lunch with my uncle at Hob Knob Farm Cafe. Hob Knob is one of my favorite restaurants in Boone, but it’s a little out of my (very small) budget so I save it for when my parents are in town =) . Hob Knob is awesome because they have lots of gluten-free, vegetarian and organic options, they source most of their ingredients locally and they have really adorable decor:

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It took me way too long to decide what I was going to order, I’m not used to having so many options – it’s hard to decide! But I finally decided on the Tamale De Bayamo: House made tamale filled w/ spinach, squash, yams, garlic, corn & peppers. Served w/ tamale sauce, black beans, plantains, chipotle queso salsa, green olives, romas & spring mix.

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Dominated.

Post-graduation we hit up somewhere low-key for dinner. We didn’t want to deal with the post-graduation dinner rush, especially with 7 people. Black Cat again! Twice in one week? I’m not upset about it.

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I had the (blurry) Satay it to Me Softly (how cool are the burrito names?): rice, tofu, carrots, broccoli, caramelized onions, and a spicy peanut sauce. Delicious as always.

And my last full day in Boone wouldn’t be complete without…

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Fro yo! Chocolate and Reese’s peanut butter yogurt topped with more Reese’s, chocolate shavings and Oreo’s (they are my gluten nemesis!). This was the most perfect fro yo cup I could have asked for and I enjoyed every last bite!

Monday

I have no pictures from Monday (sowwy!) but I have to mention the delicious meal I had at Boone Bagelry. The meal itself was pretty basic but really delicious. I had two eggs (over medium, is it sad I didn’t even realize this was an option until this week?), homefriends (I’m telling you, I’m obsessed!) and a gluten-free whole grain bagel. Yup, a gluten-free bagel! I should have taken more advantage of it this year! I’m kicking myself now.

Then I loaded up on old school candy at the Mast General Store. The sugar was more than necessary for the 3+ hour ride home. Why have I not eaten more MalloCups in my life? They’re delicious!

Today

Today was my first day at my internship! Everything went really well and it looks like it is going to be a busy, but very fun time! I also found out there is a Whole Foods less than a block away from my internship. This is going to be very dangerous for my wallet.

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Salad with spinach, garlicky kale, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and roasted chickpeas, roasted zucchini and eggplant (which was served cold, I wasn’t a fan) and some kind of quinoa dish with sweet potatoes, black beans and pepitas. I also had an un-pictured Clif Builder Bar on the side.

After writing this I’m hungry all over again.

Does your town have an delicious/unique restaurants?

What did you eat this week?

What’s your favorite hat/salad bar meal?

PB & Banana Smoothie {WIAW}

This has got to be snappy because I’ve got 3 exams in the next 2 days and this girl needs to get some studying done! So this week I’m celebrating ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ with a smoothie recipe.

(Thanks for hosting Jenn!)

Sunday afternoon I was looking for something hearty to power me through a Finance study sesh, luckily this smoothie did just the trick. It’s got plenty of proteins and plenty of greens to power you through an afternoon of bond valuations, stock pricing, and annuity schedules. Now if only it would warm up enough so that I wouldn’t have to huddle in a pile of blankets after drinking it.

PB & Banana Smoothie

Gluten-free

peanut butter banana smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 – 1 banana (depending on how much sweetness you want)
  • 2 tbsp PB2
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used sunflower seed milk)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used plain Chobani)
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 tsp vanilla (you could also just use vanilla yogurt)
  • Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Blend!
  2. Avoid brain freeze.

peanut butter and banana smoothie

Are you a smoothie fan?

Have you tried PB2? I just bought my first jar and I’m OBSESSED.

May Goal & A Day in the Life {WIAW}

Happy May!

May is going to be one crazy month, with graduation, a big girl job interview (eep!) and the start of my internship, but I am more than excited for what May will bring!

A new month means a goal time!

resolutions_challenge

Back in April I set a goal to get more sleep, ideally aiming for anything more than 7 hours because I really stink at getting to bed on time. Well, even though it wasn’t a complete success, there were a couple miserable 5 hour nights sprinkled in there, I definitely got a lot more sleep than I have been the past few months. I even got 8+ hours on more than one occasion which is pretty unheard of for me.

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Sleepy puppy.

Getting a full night’s sleep is something I’m still working on, but I’m doing much better, which is a major improvement!

This month I’m going to focus on…

Hydrating!

I really stink at drinking water. So much so that I usually resort to toting a huge water bottle around with me, because you look pretty silly carrying a huge water bottle if you don’t actually drink any of it. Dehydration really takes a toll on my workouts, and makes my legs cramp like crazy when I walk up hills and since the entire town of Boone is on a hill (literally I walk up hill to class… both ways… in the snow. Okay, grandpa rant over)  that’s not such a good thing.

So my goal for the month is to get at least 60 oz of water everyday, ideally 64+ oz, but I have my trusty Eddie Bauer 30 oz water bottle, so I aiming to drink at least two of those everyday, and even more on days like this:

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Sometimes 4 cups of coffee is necessary, but so is lots of water.

And because it’s Wednesday…

WIAW time! Thanks to Jenn for hosting!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a day in the life sort of post so I thought it’d be pretty fun to bring one back. There’s some recycled photos are happening here, but I’m a huge creature of habit, so they’re all pretty accurate.

8:00 AM

Breakfast time:

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Plus one more egg. I used to be a diehard sweet breakfast eater but lately I’ve been craving eggs in the morning, gotta get that protein in early!

9:30 AM

Caught the bus to campus for my Dance History class. Today’s lecture was on hip hop and I have to say, it’s pretty entertaining to listen to your tiny, white, yoga-loving professor discuss hip hop.

11:15 AM

Lunch-ish? I have a 4 hour gap between classes, but I try to stay on campus to be productive. If I go back to my apartment I get pulled into all things Food Network, it doesn’t help that Paula Deen comes on at noon. Yes, I know Paula’s TV schedule, I don’t play with my Paula’s Best Dishes. So I hung out in the campus coffee shop instead to get some work done. I think I spent more time reading blogs than doing actual work. Whoopsies.

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Sweet potatoes, Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter (which is absolutely delicious by the way), lots of cinnamon and a sprinkle of salt. My new favorite snack!

Check out those painted nails! I finally made it happen!

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And my staple banana. I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten one almost everyday this year.

12:30 PM

Lunch part 2:

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Spinach salad with raw tempeh, grape tomatoes, apple cider vinegar and nutritional yeast.

1:30 PM

I headed to the campus gym for today’s Best Body Bootcamp workout! My arms feel like jello! Today’s workout featured a few exercise on the incline bench, which makes me feel a little badass when I use it. It’s one of those pieces of gym equipment you rarely see girls use so I always feel a little awesome using it. Maybe that’s silly but I’m okay with that.

I also got in a little cardio on the bike. Still trying to take it easy on the running because my foot is still sore but I’m getting antsy! I just want to run again! Injuries are dumb.

2:45 PM

I had a quick  hard-boiled egg before heading to my 3:30 Finance class, the last one of the semester. I’m pretty glad, I learned a lot of really useful things in that class, but I’d much rather be designing something pretty than working out stock prices.

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5:00 PM

Caught the bus back to my apartment, and ate a banana as soon as I walked in the door, my stomach was growling up a storm!

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Just ignore the fact I already used this picture in this post, that’s not important.

6:30PM

I cooked up some zucchini ribbons with grape tomatoes, onions, and a little nutritional yeast.

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Kind of like this, but minus the kale. Our fridge is crazy and my zucchini was completely frozen, so the “noodles” did not look so appetizing after they were cooked, but luckily they tasted just as good.

7:30PM

A post-dinner greek yogurt snack.

yogurt

followed by an unpictured orange and some raw tempeh, because I’m too lazy to cook it and I don’t mind the taste of raw. Maybe that means I’ve been a vegetarian for too long, I feel like raw tempeh should not be an enjoyable taste.

I spent the night trying to be productive and not get sucked in by cat videos on YouTube, it was difficult, but I like to think I succeeded, at least a little.

11:30 PM

About to hit publish and go to bed!

How much water do you try to drink everyday?

What’s something delicious you’ve eaten this week?

What’s your go to meal for busy weeks? 

Catch Up

I’ve missed you guys!

I’ve been MIA all week thanks to a pile of assignments from my lovely professors. They are actually lovely people. but all the exams, papers and speeches notsomuch.

Only 14 more days. I can do this. Sometimes I just need a reminder.

Well I have lots things to share, I gotta catch up! With a few random things thrown in here and there.

  • I ran the Tar Heel 10-Miler last Saturday and SURVIVED. Still riding a running high off that one. My recap is coming soon, since I actually have time to write one!

    Tar Heel 10 Miler finisher medal 2013
  • Post-race Mediterranean food is the best kind of Mediterranean food.

mediterranean deli vegetarian platter

  • Mid-week fro yo trips with the roommates make life better, especially when you’re neck deep in speech writing for a public speaking class. Much needed.sweet frog frozen yogurt
  • KITTENS. My neighbor’s brother took in two kittens a couple was giving away on the side of the highway (with a bunch of other animals like goats, seriously, this is where I live). They are 4 weeks old, adorable, and I’m glad they’re going to have a good home.kitten
    So stinking cute! And because you can never have enough tiny kitten pictures:

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     Photo1006

    kitten 
    I promise they don’t spend all day sleeping, it’s just the only time I can get a picture of them! They don’t like to sit still.

  • I’ve drunk an unbelievable amount of coffee in this past week. What is sleep? I don’t need that.
  • I ran a 5K on Saturday! Coffee themed funnily enough. Recap for that coming soon too. I have lots to catch up on!
  • I missed What I Ate Wednesday this week (boo!) so I’m making it up, here are some of the more fun things I’ve eaten this week:
    yogurt
    Plain Greek yogurt, almond meal, coconut and cinnamon.veggies2
    An attempt at zucchini noodles. I used a vegetable peeler for the zucchini strands and heated up onions, garlic, tomato and kale to go with it and topped the bowl with nutritional yeast. It was definitely a fun new way to try zucchini and it was surprisingly noodle like.veggies
    This bowl is basically identical to the one above it except the zucchini is chopped instead of in ribbons, the ribbons definitely make things way more exciting. As you can see, I like lots of variety in my diet.lentils
    Last night’s dinner of curried lentils following this Whole Foods recipe, but minus the yogurt and cashew topping and I subbed quinoa instead of brown rice. It ended up being really delicious and pretty easy to make.

    blackbeans
    Black beans and coconut rice a la another Whole Foods recipe for lunch with my Sunday school group. Minus the red pepper and allspice because I didn’t have those.

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    White sweet potatoes smothered in peanut butter and cinnamon. AKA snack heaven.
  • I’m on a huge egg binge right now, I’m seriously averaging like 6 a day and I would eat more, but I feel like 6+ eggs a day is completely ridiculous. I might have a little problem.
  • Today the potential new Pilates teachers auditioned for next year, it was so fun to help in the process! They’re all super talented so it’s going to be a really tough decision.
  • My honors cords came in the mail this week! What up Summa Cum Laude? Nerd Alert.
  • Tomorrow starts my last week of college classes. It doesn’t feel real, yet I’m excited to not have to write another paper for a longgggg time. Unless I decide to go to grad school.
  • My roommate made some spectacular lemon pound cake last night, it was not gluten-free and I ate lots of it so my guts are protesting today. It was so delicious though, cake is my downfall.

What did you do this weekend?

What’s the last race you ran (or plan to run)?

Who’s excited for summer? (This girl!)

Rednecks & Kitty Cats {MIMM}

Before we get to the marvelous in my Monday, I have to take a minute to address something that is not-so-marvelous.

My heart goes out to all the people that were hurt or otherwise impacted by what happened today in Boston. Although what happened today was horrible, I have to say it’s pretty marvelous to see the running community come together to support one another at a time like this.

(Happy birthday Katie!)

Marvelous is… My 22nd birthday is tomorrow! Actually it’s in 1.5 hours, I came in to the world bright and early at 12:30 AM.

Marvelous is… Joint birthday parties! My friend’s birthday is Friday so we had a joint party over the weekend. The theme? Rednecks and cats. No joke, we are a creative bunch.

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The rednecks.

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NASCAR-themed temporary tattoos may have been involved.

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Along with prop 40s you couldn’t convince any of us to drink. We try to keep it classy.

Cats were not well represented because cat apparel does not exist after Halloween, I did rock some Hello Kitty rings.

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Try not to be too jealous.

Marvelous is… beautiful weather and weekend hikes. A very muddy, but fun 5 miles.

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I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was worried about my camera landing in a pile of mud, which isn’t really ideal.

We did the Boone Fork Trail Loop, which is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the trail is the perfect combination of beautiful views, uphill climbs and creek hopping. My buns were on FIRE by the end, so worth it though.

Marvelous is… birthday cake.

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I used Betty Crocker’s gluten-free yellow cake mix for the base, and because we all know I can’t just leave things be, I added a 1/4 cup of peanut butter to the mix which was a very delicious choice. The frosting is just Cool Whip with cocoa powder and cinnamon mixed in. Easy, cheap, and trans-fat free. I can get behind that.

I made my own, which my friends thought was really sad I made my own cake (they did offer to make one for me, I’m just stubborn), but since I love to bake I actually really enjoyed it. Lame? Maybe, but I got to lick the bowl which was more than worth it.

And the gluten-filled cake for the gluten-eaters:

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My friend did a pretty impressive job on the decoration! I definitely scraped off the cat so I could eat it myself 🙂

Plus a few other party foods:

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Gluten-free brownies. AND my favorite part:

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Beer floats. Well, A beer float, no one else was feeling quite so adventurous but you better believe I went there. The combo was actually pretty tasty.

Marvelous is… Engagements!

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These two got engaged on Saturday! I’m so excited for them! Plus the ring really offsets her new dragon tattoo.

Marvelous is… Sunday school cookouts! We got together at our small groups leader’s house and had a delicious lunch. The carnivores had barbecue chicken sandwiches, but they were nice enough to cook up a few veggie burgers for me and the other vegetarian in the group. I didn’t take any pictures but it was a good time!

Marvelous is… look-a-like clay figurines. The couple that leads our small group has a very artsy 10 year old daughter and she made us all figurines that look like us.

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That little girls is seriously talented! My figurine is only about 1.5″ tall and the detail is pretty awesome. I’m adding it to the collection of drawing she’s made for me over the past few Sundays!

Marvelous is… Best Body Bootcamp Phase Two! I’m already sore from today’s workout! I’m already looking forward to the rest of the week’s workouts!

Marvelous is… 5 days until the Tar Heel 10-miler! Eep! I’m both super nervous and super excited!

What made your Monday Marvelous?

Are you a fan of themed parties? What’s the most ridiculous theme party you’ve ever been to?

What’s your favorite flavor of cake? I’m not sure that there’s a flavor of cake I don’t like, but red velvet and carrot cake are pretty high up there! Peanut butter and chocolate is always a winner too 🙂

Sauteed Coconut Apples

You know the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well I keep the doctors very far away because I eat apples like they’re going out of style. Seriously, 2-3 a day everyday.

Apples are crisp and refreshing and one deliciously healthy afternoon snack. Even though apples are absolutely perfect on their own, sometimes you gotta jazz things up a little 🙂

Sauteed Coconut Apples

(Vegan, Gluten-Free)

sauteed coconut apples

Ingredients

  • 1 apple sliced (I used golden delicious because they’re my favorite, but use what you like)
  • 2-3 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (but if you’re a vanilla lover like me, you can bump it up to 1 tsp)
  • Pumpkin pie spice, to taste

Directions

  1. In a small pan over medium heat, heat coconut oil until melted
  2. Add apple slices, stirring occasionally until apples start to soften
  3. Sprinkle in shredded coconut, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice, stirring until coconut is lightly browned.
  4. Serve!

Makes 1 snack-sized serving

sauteed coconut apples

 

Watch yo’ self owl, I fight you for those.

 

Do you like apples?

What’s your favorite type of apple? I’m a die-hard golden delicious fan, but MacIntosh is a close second

Spring Break Edition {WIAW}

Guys, I’ve been a pretty terrible blogger lately. This poor little guy has been more than a little neglected and I feel kinda bad. But between spring and the inevitable school work catch-up after spring break (what professor assigns projects over spring break? Seriously), life’s been a little crazy. And mostly I’ve been a little lazy because I’m wishing spring break would come back.

Responsibilities are silly, I’d like to go back to the beach pretty please.

sunrise nags head nc

Mother Nature is also trying to play a mean joke on me with this forecast:

boone nc forecast

That’s funny, I thought spring was supposed to be warm. Thank you weather.

Sorry for all the complaining, cold weather makes me cranky. Whining over. You know what I can’t complain about?

(Thanks Jenn!)

This week my food is coming at you spring break style. I’ll admit that I didn’t eat too many vegetables over break (but I did eat lots and lots of chocolate) and you know what, I don’t feel bad about it. Sometimes you just need to stuff your face with junk food.

avocado broccoli slaw salad

But let’s kick things off with something healthy shall we? This combination is one of my new favorites and I ate it everyday for lunch during Pilates training. It’s broccoli slaw, mixed with avocado, topped with sunflower seeds and a little salt and pepper. Light but filling and you can do the Pilates ab series afterwards without wanting to puke.

I was going to recreate this for lunch today but Harris Teeter was out of avocados. TRAVESTY. Bigger travesty is that they were out of bananas too. Get it to-freaking-gether Harris Teeter, this girl needs her produce.

goodberry's frozen vanilla custard with chocolate chips

Vanilla frozen custard with chocolate chips mixed in. Pure heaven. I’m a hard core fro yo lover, but even I need some heavy duty frozen custard every once in a while. So good.

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I don’t know what my deal is but I’ve been craving chocolate like nobody’s business lately. It’s all I want to eat and I can’t seem to get enough of this. But this Trader Joe’s chocolate bar definitely helps. Is it bad that I think 85% tastes super sweet after eating so much Baker’s chocolate?

And onto the Outer Banks! I have a full recap coming soon (I owe you guys so many recaps it’s ridiculous, I need to get back on top of things) but for now I’ve got food. I didn’t lug my camera to any of the restaurants because it’s huge, so the pictures aren’t the best, sowwy.

Wednesday

Dinner

We had a Restaurant.com deal for Sanya Asian Bistro so we stopped there for dinner after getting into town Friday night. It was perfect because we could all eat there (I tend to make things difficult when it comes to eating out, whoopsies) and we saved $50 off our bill. Awesome.

I accidentally filled up on trail mix before heading to dinner (I seriously cannot control myself around the stuff, it’s too good) so I was in the mood for something lighter. So I ordered an Avocado and Cucumber roll.

vegetable sushi

It was really good, but I don’t think I’ve had bad vegetarian sushi, it’s kinda hard to mess up. You should know that I ate all of my ginger, then my friend’s ginger (ironic because she is ginger!) and then my boyfriend’s ginger. I guess you could say I like ginger a little.

Drinks

Later that night we headed to Lucky 12 Tavern for drinks. It ended up be perfect because it was walking distance from our hotel, they had a great beer selections and there was a $5 martini special. Um, awesome.

lucky 12 tavern flying dog ale

I had a Flying Dog K-9 Winter Ale per recommendation from my boyfriend. He’s a serious beer connoisseur, and it ended up being a delicious choice.

And because we had to take advantage of the $5 martinis, me boyfriend and I split a dirty martini. Pretty much the only martini this old man could handle. I can’t do sugary frou-frou drinks and this fit the bill.

dirty martini

Please ignore the awkwardly placed olives and straw.

Thursday

Our hotel room had a small kitchen, so to save money we at breakfast and lunch there, which was a very boring combo of eggs and frozen veggies, we don’t need pictures of that.

Dinner

We had dinner at Tortuga’s Lie (which has been feature on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!). But I was a bad blogger because I left my phone in the car and didn’t get a picture of my meal. That’s okay because I had beans and rice and I’m pretty sure we all know that that looks like. It was extra delicious after a long day of sight seeing, but if you mess up beans and rice that’s pretty sad.

I’m sure any seafood lovers out there are very sad that I passed up the opportunity for fresh caught local seafood. Yeahhhh vegetarians.

Dessert

Despite trying incredibly hard to find a local ice cream shop that was open, we had no such luck. It’s still considered the off season so lots of places are closed until April. Luckily, Sweet Frog was there to save the day. Not as good as local ice cream, but it hits the sweet-craving, chocolate-loving spot.

sweet frog frozen yogurt

 

Chocolate fro yo with peanut butter chips, Reeses pieces, chunks of Reeses cups and a drizzle of hot fudge. Can you tell I hate chocolate and peanut butter? I’m not even going to lie, I could totally have eat another cup’s worth. No shame.

Friday

Dinner was some pizza place and I ordered a Greek salad. Boring. The one place in town with gluten-free pizza was no longer in business (whhhhyyyyyy?????). So salad it was.

Dessert

Don’t worry I balanced that salad out with some serious ice cream.

ben & jerry's everything but the…

 

ben & jerry's everything but the...

 

Oh. My. Goodness. Can I just wax poetic about how AMAZING this ice cream is? Ben and Jerry, you are pure ice cream geniuses. I don’t even care that it was store bought, I wish I could jump into this pint and live there. No I don’t, that would be a little sticky, but still. Holy cow. Vanilla and chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cups, heath bar pieces, white chocolate chips and fudge covered almonds. I’m drooling a little bit right now.

Drinks

Friday night we headed to the Outer Banks Brewing Station for drinks and late night snacks (which was also featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!). It ended up being a really cool place. The food was delicious, we ended up demolishing a plate of black bean dip and chips. The beer was equally amazing, they brew it at the restaurant and the process is powered by a wind turbine, I love that they’re environmentally friendly!

One of my friends was sweet enough to buy a bottle of champagne for all of us to celebrate my roommate’s engagement!

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I don’t remember exactly what kind it was, but it tasted like bubbly grape juice. Cheers.

And because I drink like an old man I switched to beer. I love me some heavy duty (none of that light stuff) and dry red wine, old man status over here.

I failed on taking a picture of my beer but it was sooo good. I ordered their Full Circle Robust Porter (a fat and sassy robust porter with complex nuts and dried fruit-like aromas over a big, round, and slightly toasty palate) I love that they describe it as fat and sassy. I think I’m only going to drink fat and sassy beers from now on, that sounds like a good policy to me. Basically the beer was smooth, heavy and darn tasty.

And now I’m skipping to Sunday because lunch was delicious.

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Yet another trip to the Mediterranean Deli in Chapel Hill. I have the hardest time ordering at this restaurant because there are too many tasty looking vegetarian and gluten-free options. I’m not used to having so many choices. I like it, even if it takes me 15 minutes to order.

I had a vegetarian plate with sauteed cauliflower, roasted vegetables, sauteed eggplant, avocado and feta salad and gluten-free(!) pita points. Delicious. I also had too many dates for dessert. I have not control when it comes to those dried out little pieces of nature’s candy. Those dates fueled my 3 hour drive back to school (ugh, one thing I won’t miss when I graduate).

Upon arriving back at my apartment, I was welcomed by this site

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I donated to a living playground initiative at an elementary school, and got a free candy bar and jar of peanut butter from Justin’s in return for my donation. Pretty sweet reward if you ask me. Pun intended.

Now I just want to go back to spring break. Anyway, I’ve got an 8am class in the morning (yippee) so it’s time for this girl to get to bed.

What’s your favorite vacation food? ICE CREAM!

What’s your favorite drink (alcoholic or not)? Water, black coffee, red wine and beer. I told you, old man over here.

Who’s ready for spring? 

Sugar Hangover and Snow Days

Look at me posting early in the morning. This is what happens when my professor is out of town and I don’t have class until 12:30, it’s a beautiful thing, that and the fact that I can’t sleep past 8:00 AM even though I went to bed at 2. Not the best combo.

I’ve got a straight up sugar hangover. Yesterday was a full on snow day with no class whatsoever and I fully enjoyed myself by staying in my yoga pants all day, not leaving the apartment, eating plenty of gluten-free brownies and doing absolutely nothing. It was glorious.

(Thanks Jenn!)

I can’t say I ate too many green things yesterday, but that’s okay because healthy living is all about balance. Sometimes you have to balance your greens with brownies.

Here’s a snap shot of my day, at least what I managed to get on camera, which definitely wasn’t everything.

coconut oil sweet potatoes

Best breakfast ever. I’m telling you, it will not get old.

baker's chocolate

Baker’s chocolate makes the best breakfast addition. Starting my day off with chocolate is the best.

broccoli zucchini and onions

Broccoli, zucchini, onions and a few spray’s of Braggs liquid aminos. These were the only veggies I had all day and I do not feel bad about it. Though this bowl probably is a full day’s serving. A day without veggies is a day without sunshine, kind of like burpees.

gluten free peanut butter coconut pancakes

Lunch dessert! My roommate made blueberry syrup and we all had pancakes for lunch, except mine was more of a lunch dessert because it was eaten after my big bowl of veggies. Recipe for the pancakes at the bottom!

Then imagine lots of afternoon snacking, that’s what happens when you’re trapped in your apartment all day.

Such as:

coconut milk with cocoa powder

Cocoa powder and coconut milk, and

apple and banana

Apples and bananas. Now that song is stuck in my head. I realized yesterday I got through a ridiculous amount of bananas in a week. I bought 5 at the store on Monday and I ran out yesterday. I’m a banana fiend.

trader joe's gluten free pizza

I wish I had a more attractive picture, that did this pizza justice, but, um, I don’t. I had a delicious Trader Joe’s gluten-free pizza that I have been hoarding in my freezer for a couple months now. I will even admit that I ate the pizza. It was absolutely delicious. And awesome because my roommates ordered Papa John’s and I actually got to eat pizza along with them.

And then one of my friends brought over cinnamon sugar scones, which weren’t gluten-free and I will be paying for today. It’s okay they were delicious and totally worth it, though I maybe be changing my tune in before the day is over.

pumpkin bread

Then this happened. My roommate baked a loaf of pumpkin bread, the mix has been sitting in our cabinet since October and she finally got around to making it. It was 100% delicious, even though I’m sure my stomach won’t appreciate that one either. If you’re curious, the mix is Fresh Market brand if you’re looking for a good pumpkin bread mix next fall, this one is a winner.

I think this is why professors bombard us with work 24/7, because when college students have nothing to do, we spend all day baking, they’re really just watching out for our health. Not long after the pumpkin bread, this happened:

bob's red mill gluten free brownies

Brownie cliff! I feel like that’s what it looks like.

I made gluten-free brownies using the Bob’s Redmill mix my roommate bought me for Christmas.

Three things about that, one, my roommate gave me gluten-free brownie mix for Christmas, how amazing is that? Two, Bob from Bob’s Redmill looks exactly like my dad, and three, these brownies were AMAZING. They didn’t taste gluten-free at all, even my gluten-loving friends thought they were amazing.

Cue this mornings sugar hangover. Oh sugar, you are so delicious but you leave me feeling so gross the next day. You know how to cure a sugar hangover? Pancakes. Well, maybe not but they are a delicious breakfast, or lunch, or lunch dessert.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Coconut Pancakes

Makes 2 medium-sized pancakes

gluten free peanut butter coconut pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • 1 egg (I actually used egg whites for my pancake but it didn’t hold together as well as I would hope, I think a whole egg would hold together much better)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • Cinnamon to taste

Directions

  1. Comine all ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Pour batter on to a greased pan cooking on medium heat until cooked on one side. You will know the first side is done when the edges begin to bubble.
  3. Flip and finish cooking on the other side
  4. Top with delicious things (like homemade blueberry syrup and peanut butter) and enjoy

What’s your favorite breakfast food?

How do you find balance?

Space Cadet {MIMM}

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday. I’ll be honest, mine has been a little rough.

I’ve been a total space cadet today. I even mixed up the bus times for the bus I ride every single day and managed to get to campus 15 minutes after my class was supposed to start. I took that as a sign from the universe that it was okay to take the afternoon off class. I think it was much needed. Luckily my Monday still had some highlights.

(Thanks Katie!)

Marvelous is… Internship applications! I was pretty productive in my afternoon off from class and applied for several internships. Which is good considering I need one this summer to graduate and the only thing I have at the moment is a less-than-promising phone interview from last week. Help me out internship gods.

Marvelous is… Fresh juice! My parents gave me a juicer for Christmas and I finally took it out of the box for a test drive.

homemade beet carrot apple ginger juice

In the mix: 1 beet, 3 small carrots, 0.5 apple and a little bit of ginger. Delicious. Too bad the clean up wasn’t so fun, there has to be a way to make a juicer that is easy to clean. One of my roommates is a product design major and I will get her on that one ASAP.

Marvelous is… Sneaking kale into cupcakes.

banana peanut butter cupcakes

We had an early St. Patty’s Day party, which was actually turned into more of a low key get together, so of course I had to make cupcakes. I look for any excuse possible to make cupcakes. I made these cupcakes which are actually muffins (and grain-free!), but I put frosting on them so that makes them cupcakes. They were less sweet than typical cupcakes but they still got devoured so I don’t think anyone minded. By the way, if you baked that recipe in a loaf pan I bet it would make AMAZING grain-free peanut butter banana bread. I will definitely be trying that out in the future.

For the frosting, I used this frosting:

It was the only frosting in the grocery store without trans-fat so I shelled out $5 for the container. It was more glaze-like than frosting-like, when I bought it I didn’t realize it was allergen-free frosting, I was just desperate for something without trans-fat but it still tasted fine. I added a little cream-cheese to make it some a little more normal and added some sneaky kale juice to dye it green. I added a little too much and things got a little grassy-tasting so in the future I will go for spinach, but kale was just what I happened to have in the fridge.

Marvelous is… It snowing much less than I thought it would. It still snowed for four days straight, which is no bueno, but we only got a couple of inches so I was actually able to leave the apartment. If I get snowed in for another weekend I might go crazy. Where are you spring?

Marvelous is… Dinner and lunch out this weekend. Friday night my roommate and a friend went to Cha Da Thai for a super tasty Thai dinner. I got the Pad Khing Sod with tofu:

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Stir-fried with fresh ginger sauce, mushroom, onion, bell peppers, baby corn and carrot. It was pretty good but I will definitely go for curry next time, my love of curry far exceeds my love of ginger. While I was eating this I thinking that it would be awesome to have ginger sauce and curry sauce on the same meal, but my friends thought I was crazy. I’m sorry that I have an unnatural love of curry.

Marvelous is… Espresso News, AKA the best place to get coffee in Boone.

espresso news coffee

They even roast their own beans

espresso news coffee roaster

Amazing.

Marvelous is… Art crawl! One of my roommates had her work in two different galleries and it was really awesome to go see them. She’s seriously talented! You can check out some of her work here.

Marvelous is… My first drink in a bar! I know I am a crazy 21 year old, waiting 10.5 months for my first bar experience. I had a Foothill People’s Porter and it was quite tasty.

Boone Saloon Foothills People's Porter

I usually drink IPAs so this beer was super smooth in comparison and I will definitely be having it again in the future. Not to mention they’re a local brewery (Winston Salem, NC – just 1.5 hours away!), which is always a plus.

Marvelous is… FRO YO! Enough said.

chocolate peanut butter frozen yogurt

Peanut butter and chocolate fro yo topped with Reeses, dark chocolate chips and Nutella. Pure heaven.

Marvelous is… One more week until spring break! In less than a week I’ll be home and in 1.5 weeks I’ll be at the BEACH. So pumped.

Marvelous is… A super sweaty spin class! My knee/calf (I still can’t figure out which body part this issue is with, it feels like it’s right where my calf muscle hits the back of my knee, so I’m not sure it the issue is behind my knee or in my calf) is feeling better, but it still doesn’t feel quite right so I’m being good and spinning instead of running. This is a huge accomplishment for this lady, I’m stubborn and always try to ignore injuries but I’m listening to my body for once. Plus I want to get better so I can get in a good, long run over spring break and go running on the beach!

And finally

Marvelous is…

pilates teacher certification registration

I’m getting certified!!! I decided to go with Balanced Body University and this weekend I’ll be doing the Mat 1 Certification! I’m so excited! My bank account is not excited about it, but I’m looking at it as an investment 🙂

What made your Monday Marvelous?

Do you have any St. Patty’s Day plans?

What’s your favorite style of cuisine? Thai is definitely pretty high up on the list for me!