Lover’s Salad with Easy Balsamic Dressing

I’ve always been that kind of girl…

The one who always orders a salad when going out to eat. It’s like my husbands favorite quality about me…

Not.

I also always order water, change and switch 50% of the salad toppings, and usually end up sending it back because the order is All Wrong! And just when I can’t be annoying enough, I slowly start sneaking bites off of other people’s meals because my lettuce and water weren’t satisfying enough.

Pain.In.The.Butt.

I can only think of like 1 or two places that have amazing salads, and it’s all because of their toppings. I’m a 75% toppings and 25% lettuce kind of gal. Add a bomb dot com dressing and I basically could eat salad every single meal. No need to build a plate of everyones leftovers.

It just causes lots of weird looks, and less invitations to go out to eat.

Lover’s Salad with Easy Balsamic Dressing

*I call this Lover’s Salad because I’ve topped it with every RED topping imaginable. It really is super versatile, and you could change it up on a whim. It’s not a fancy salad that takes a lot of work, more of something that you could make quickly and enjoy that night! Don’t forget the bomb dot com salad dressing to go alongside! 

Ingredients:

Green & Red Romain Leaves

Red Apples

Red Grapes

Dried Red Cranberries

Strawberries

Cherry Tomatoes

Parmesan Cheese Shavings

Candied walnuts/pecans

Chicken cooked with Cranberry BBQ Sauce (optional-not pictured)

Easy Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients:

2 TB. Greek Yogurt-optional

1/4 c. good quality balsamic vinegar

1/4 c. olive oil

1/8 c. honey

1 tsp. dijon mustard

Salt&Pepper

Directions:

 1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined.

Oh, one more thing.

Don’t forget your hot red lipstick to go with your Lover’s Salad…

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Puddin’/Mousse

Nothing says Love more than a bowl full of puddin’…

Especially when you’ve got a your sweet lil’ puddin’ to make puddin’ with you! 🙂

Puddin’ Puddin’ Puddin’.

Speaking of lil Puddin’ we’ve decided to no longer have her take naps. It’s like mommy suicide, but unfortunately we’ve had too many late night, “Mommy I’m awake…” moments.

So instead of a two hour window of trash tv and laundry folding, I’m excited to have one on one quality time with my growing girl.

Our favorite thing to do together is cook in the kitchen. We put on our matching aprons, she drags over her little tiny chair, stands on it and looks at me with her sweet and goofy smile.

It’s pure bliss.

Most of our kitchen adventures involve chocolate, and by the end Boo has made her way into the pantry to find sprinkles to top it with. Whether it’s hummus or a bowl of ice cream, you can bet it will have a colorful assortment of sugar specks. It always ends up delicious.

And if you can imagine the type of damage I do in the kitchen by myself, add a two year old to the mix and the whole downstairs has managed to be dusted with sprinkles, cocoa powder, and measuring spoons. It’s a half a days work just to clean up the mess, but I’d make that mess over and over again.

I’m going to sound like a master card commercial here but…It’s priceless.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding/Mousse

Ingredients:

2 avocados

1/4 c. peanut butter

1/3 c. liquid sweetener:Honey, maple syrup, agave

1/4 + 1/8c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 TB. vanilla

1 can full fat coconut milk-placed in fridge the night before

Directions:

1. Blend your avocado in a blender or food processor until creamy. Then add your PB, Sweetener, cocoa powder, and vanillla. Blend until all creamy. Place pudding in a large bowl and set aside.

Note: You may be tempted to eat pudding as is. A large spoon or your finger do the trick.

2. Remove your can of coconut milk from the fridge and open it. Using a spoon, scoop out the thick cream from the top of the can. Fold the thick cream into the pudding until smooth. There might be a few little bumps here and there. If you don’t want the bumps, you could always whisk the coconut cream a little bit before you fold it into the pudding.

3. Eat at that moment or set in the fridge until ready to eat. Serve with berries, top with extra coconut cream, sprinkles, chocolate shavings, etc.

And in the spirit of Love comes the spirit of Sharing…

Even if none of it made it in her mouth anyways…

🙂

 

 

 

Black Berry Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Yesterday was the first day that I was actually able to ‘cook’ a meal in a kitchen.

It was also the first day I went grocery shopping in 3 weeks.

And finally it was also the start of the new season for The Bachelor.

Yesterday was like Christmas all over again.

We are still staying with family and haven’t moved to our new state/house just yet, but I begged my mom to let me go grocery shopping for her and make dinner because I was starting to go bananas. Is it normal that I want to grocery shop and make dinner, probably not? But I’ve also been switching between 2 different sweat pants in 3 weeks, and I’m beginning to look homeless so at this point I’ve lost any sense of what’s normal.

Another repeat outfit:

I’m pretty sure every picture I’ve posted on Instagram in the last few weeks has shown Boo in the EXACT.Same.Dress.

This time it’s not a lack of clothes, but more of a “I’m going to wear my Princess dress every day I don’t care what you say, and if you  won’t let me I’m going to make you regret it by throwing a huge tantrum…”

At this point, our family is just down right aDORable…

But even if we wear the same clothes and people are starting to feel sorry for us, it doesn’t mean the food we eat has to resemble our appearances in any way. In fact we prefer our food ‘pretty’.

It means we haven’t given up completely.

🙂

(Inspired from Pink Pistachio)

Ingredients:

1-2 bruschetta baguette*

2-3 TB. melted coconut oil

1/2 orange (rind included)

1 c. fresh blackberries

2 TB. honey

1 8 oz brick goat cheese

2 ripe pears

Balsamic Vinegar

*I bought my loaf from Trader Joes, it was long and skinny. It made about 25 pieces of bruschetta. You could easily buy two loaves and still have enough cheese mixture for the second loaf. If you want to only use one loaf, you can either cut the recipe in half for the cheese spread or use a larger amount on top. If at all, you will have left overs for toast, bagels, sandwiches, oatmeals, etc.! 🙂

Directions:

1. Cut the loaf into thin slices, and set aside.

2. In a food processor add the orange, including the rind, and process until there aren’t any large chunks left. Add in the goat cheese, blackberries, and honey and pulse a few times until everything is combined. Do not over process. Add cheese mixture to a bowl and set in the fridge until ready to use.

3. Melt your coconut oil, then spread a thin layer on the front and back of each slice of bread. Toast bread in a grill pan, or regular pan, until both sides are golden and somewhat crispy. Let the bread cool.

4. While the bread is cooling, slice the pears into thin slices. Grab the cheese mixture out of the fridge and spread a nice helping on top of the bread slice. Add a few slices of pears, then drizzle with balsamic. (A really good thick balsamic works best!) Serve immediately.

 

I’m looking forward to that day when I can open up that box that holds all my other clothes in it.

Let’s hope it didn’t get lost in the transition because that would mean more sweat pants…

Actually that would mean I would have to buy new clothes, so on second thought…Screw that old box of clothes. I hope I never see it again.

Be Consistent with Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Here’s the truth about New Years Resolutions…

loathe them.

I think every New Years since I was a 12 I’ve always said I wanted to loose weight. Then come February and those cute pink and red chocolate candies some how find their way into every isle and corner of shopping stores, and then mysteriously end up in my shopping cart.

Of coarse after chocolate candy February comes chocolate covered bunny Easter, and before you know it BAM it’s June and everybody and their mom is wearing bathing suits and your still pounding that huge box of vibrant colored marshmallow peeps because they are your favorite.

(Note Picture above: Peep eater in a little coat…)

Like I LOATHE New Years Resolutions.

After many battles with myself and trying to change to a healthier lifestyle, I’ve learned that a new date and a new year does nothing but give me a little bit of hope, followed by a lot a bit of pressure, then eventually total failure.

I’m going to give a series of scenarios, and I want you to think in your head if you have ever done any of the following.

-You decide you are going to start eating healthy at the beginning of the New Year! Come that morning on the 1st of the year, you have NO idea what to eat and everything healthy sounds repulsive. You do the best you can though, and continue to make somewhat healthy choices through out the week. Come day 7 you are pretty cranky because healthy eating is becoming difficult, overwhelming, and it’s too hard to eat healthy every single meal and snack. Eventually you give in to that Ben & Jerry’s because you just can’t accomplish the goal you set out to do.

How about this one?

-At the new year, you decide you are going to exercise at least 5-6 times a week. Your goal is to wake up at 5 a.m. every day and run on that treadmill or go to the gym for at least 60-75 minutes. Come the 1st, you pull yourself out of bed and get your butt to the gym. It’s hard but you continue to do it for a couple of days. Then your husband is on call for the weekend, all of your kids get sick, and your just too tired to get up at 5 and go so instead you just give up. It’s to hard to fit in that amount of time with your busy schedule.

 

Ok, so I know those scenarios sound extreme, but in all honesty I’ve been there. I’ve been the girl who tried so desperately to change my eating at the first of the year and the pressure, my laziness, lack of knowledge, etc. made me give up. I’ve also been a mom, and more so a single mom due to my husbands schedule, and unable to have even an hour for a solid workout. Many a times I’ve given up on exercise because my family and it’s priorities were put first.

SO…What do you do?

Over the past month, many of you know our family is moving out of state. Besides the end of the year being super crazy with holidays and work schedules, we’ve been packing up our lives, living out of boxes, and staying at different family members homes until we can move into our rental. All of this has made me crazy, and quite frankly it’s been REALLY easy to get off track on living a healthy lifestyle.

Yet this past month I changed my way of thinking, and put it to the test. I wanted to see if this ONE phrase/ONE word could change the way I viewed staying on track with living a healthy lifestyle. You know what? It really did!

All you have to do is think of that simple phrase/word in order to stay on track with your goals of living a healthy lifestyle. Let me explain:

What this Does NOT mean-This does not mean you make a goal to be consistent with running 45 minutes on the treadmill each day.  This does not mean be consistent by making sure every single meal is healthy, every single day.


What this DOES mean-This means that as long as you are consist every day with doing SOMETHING that goes a long with your goals, you are doing the best you can! 

For example, one of my goals this year is to become better at exercising. With everything that has been going on, it’s been really hard to have even 20 minutes to myself to workout. So on days where it’s too crazy, instead of giving up and not exercising because it won’t be a great workout, I take 10 minutes to do some floor exercises. (Something simple like sit ups and lunges.) Or I do a ten minute You Tube video. It may not be the greatest workout where I burned 400 calories, but I did something. And on the days where I have more time, I’ll definitely do something more intense. But the main point I am trying to make here is that:

Eventually exercising, eating healthy, and living a healthy lifestyle will become a habit, and apart of your everyday lifestyle!

Here’s a look at some random days exercises that I’ve partaken in over the past few weeks:

Some of those workouts may have been small, but none were insignificant. Despite having a crazy schedule (and now two sick kids!), i’ve consistently done some sort of workout every day. (Except on rest days/Sundays.)

And if eating healthier is one of your goals, consistency will definitely benefit you too! For example, all of my favorite kitchen appliances, like my other child named vitamix, are all packed up. We’ve been staying at a family members houses and not everbody eats lots of freaky green food like we do and that’s ok! So eating healthy has been somewhat of a challenge. So I’ve done my best to balance and moderate the unhealthier foods, followed by consistently eating a few healthy things each day. I do the best I can with what I’ve been given! Here is an example:

So my goal for you this year is to :

Every Sunday I will keep you updated with ideas for you to be consistent with healthy living along with links for quick/effective workouts that you can do on your own! On top of that, Sundays will also be the day I will post a sample menu of healthy foods that you can make for your families through out the week! I’m really excited about this new series, and I truly hope all of YOU, my blog friends, will get involved and make an effort to be consistent everyday with making small and simple healthy choices!

Here are ways to get involved:

-Send me links/pictures/tweets about ways your were consistent with either eating healthy/working out/ making a healthy decision! Use the Hashtag #BeConsistent

Have a great start to the New Year everyone! Can’t wait to see all that this New Year brings!