Monday, March 26, 2012

Amazing Meal + Smoothies

I love smoothies. Love them. There are endless combinations of what you can do. The best part about smoothies, (to me) is the fact that they can taste so amazing but still be super healthy. One of my favorite things to put in a smoothie are bananas. Why? Well, we all know bananas are good for us, but I am just not a big fan of them. Maybe it's just me, but they make my teeth feel yucky and gritty. Now I sound crazy...didn't I just said they were my favorite? I did, because something happens to a banana when you blend it all up. I don't know what, but I like it. ;)

The smoothie that I have been recreating on almost a daily basis lately is this super refreshing Banana Avocado Smoothie. I'm not even going to pretend like I was creative enough to come up with this on my own. I found this recipe by Marcus Samuelsson.

Ingredients: 2 bananas, 1 avocado, zest from half a lime, orange juice, ginger, cardamom, honey, plain yogurt, vanilla ice cream, ice cubes. I don't use the ice cream, and I just squeeze juice from an orange.

So I had been drinking this smoothie for a little while and then a few weeks ago I won a giveaway from Jessica @ What Would Jessica Eat. Thank you Jessica!!! What did I win? Well what I THOUGHT I won was 15 serving packs of Amazing Meal by Amazing Grass. What they actually sent me? TWO 15 serving containers of Chocolate Amazing Meal, a cute drink cup, and 4 sample packs to try all the flavors. And boy is this stuff Awesome! I'm in love already. So this stuff taste fantastic and it's good for you! I'm hooked.

Organic, Raw, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Gluten Free, Kosher

So what's in it? Here are some of the ingredients your body will thank you for:

Antioxidant fruit & Vegetable Blend
Digestive Enzyme & Active Culture Probiotic Blend
Goji Berries
Greens Blend
Hemp Protein
Organic Flax Seed Powder
Protein Blend
Wheat Grass

The smoothie I have been making now with the Chocolate flavor is:

2 bananas, 1 avocado, honey, bunch of ice cubes and 1.5 scoops of Chocolate Amazing Meal.
It is delicious and (because of the avocado) has the consistency of a chocolate milkshake.

I also tried the Vanilla Chai Flavor and I loved it too. The smoothie I made with it was:

1 banana, 1/2 cup canned coconut milk, honey and 1 single serving packet of Vanilla Amazing Meal.
I think I may actually like this flavor's hard to say.

The only flavors I haven't tried yet is the original and the Pomegranate Mango. Let me know if you have any suggestions for that one!

What Kind of Smoothies do you love? 
Do you use protein powder?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Our Garden!

I know I haven't been around much lately but I have been really sick. :( I've been doing a lot of sleeping and eating bananas and rice. Thankfully I am starting to feel better now! yay! So, it's officially SPRING! That means it's time to plant your garden if you haven't already. Last year we planted everything in the ground. Even though stuff still grew, it was kind of a pain because we don't have the best soil here. This year we opted for a potted garden. I am so excited about all of our plants and I love going to check them out everyday and see what is growing. 

Here is all of our plants. Penelope likes to help too. :)
We planted some herbs as you can see (except for the peppers). I love having fresh herbs at the house to use whenever we need. It's so convenient and fresh!

We have quit a few tomato plants but this big one already has 3 babies on it! I love having lots of tomatoes so we can make our own tomato sauce.
And last but certainly not least, my favorite, Strawberries!! Have you ever seen a strawberry plant with pink flowers? It's so pretty! And all of the strawberry plants already have lots of baby strawberries! I can't wait to eat these!!!
Not pictured is a couple cucumber plants. Nothing blooming quit yet.

Have you guys planted a garden? What are your favorite things to grow at home?

And for your entertainment, here is a St. Paddies video of yours truly doing a pretty awesome jig. I had to volunteer strangers to dance with me...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

McGuires 5k + WIAW


This What I ate Wednesday is brought to you by Saturday. :) That felt very sesame street...

 Ok, I LOVE St. Paddies Day. LOVE. As in more then my birthday or Christmas. And one of the best things about living here is the McGuires St. Paddies Day annual 5k. A little running, a lot of fun and drinking delicious green Irish Wakes. This year the run was the Saturday before the 17th which I was very excited about. Why? Because it basically means I get 2 St. Paddies Days this year!

This was part of my pre run fuel. Left over rare steak, oddly it was from McGuires... ha. plus some broccoli and water.

 After the race I had some veggie soup and a few irish wakes at the after party then headed to the local fish market to get some stuff for dinner. They were handing out these yummy scallops to try:

 Dinner was some jumbo sea scallops, escolar, cucumber and seaweed salad all made by my hubby. There's nothing better than fresh seafood.

Wanna see some fun race pictures? Part of what makes it so much fun is the fact that it is a prediction race. No pressure to finish first. Which would be hard with the 12,000 other people. I'm no runner! But I try. ;) Anyway, people dress up in all kinds of crazy outfits because they have a best costume prize. 

The guy with me in the center definitely ran the entire race with that vacuum...I also loved the guy in the top left with the green duck tape holster for his Jamison. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jenn's Spicy Kale Chips

I hate it when you want chips and someone tells you, "you just want something crunchy, eat some carrots" Uh, no, actually...I want chips. But thanks. So that being said, I apparently missed the kale chip bandwagon. BUT! When I saw Jenn from Peas & Crayons makes these spicy kale chips a couple weeks ago I knew I needed to try it out. 

I picked up some awesome looking kale at the farmers market last week.

And then it took me a few days to get motivated to make them... sometimes I'm so lazy.

Here are Jenn's directions ( I just crossed through the things I changed and wrote what I did in red:

first, preheat your oven to 300F 350F
grab a chunk of kale the size of your face + rinse to clean + dry thoroughly
tear pieces of kale off their stem/ribs into the size of potato chips
lay, spaced, on a wire cooling rack and place atop a foil lined cookie sheet
[if you're making a boatload of kale, make two sheets/batch's so they cook evenly! <3]
spritz with a natural cooking spray  or brush on olive oil
sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper
bake on the center rack for approx. 18-20 12-13 minutes until edges are crispy
serve with extra honey mustard for dipping I really felt no need for a dipping sauce.

They were REALLY good!!! And super crunchy and spicy! The only advice I would give you is only make as much as you are going to eat because the next day they were not crunchy anymore. 

Think I'm going to try my hand at some other veggie type chips soon. :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Boathouse Oyster Bar

It's my parents anniversary (31st I think??) and they came down to Destin for the week to stay at the beach. So, obviously, I went to hang out too! My parents were going to go to Joes Crab Shack, so I quickly intervened. ;) Instead, we went to this cool local place on the water called the Boathouse Oyster Bar.
Awww! My lovely parents.  
This place is known for it's raw oysters, and for good reason. They were incredible! We ended up getting 4 dozen! I ate mine with horseradish, lemon and cocktail sauce. (skipped the crackers).

Sorry my pictures are dark, it wasn't very bright in there and I was using my Iphone that had about 10% battery left. Hurry?

I ordered the "Bang Me Shrimp" not realizing they were breaded. Oops! Oh well, I ate them anyway and they were freaking delicious! I loved the spicy sauce on them.
Bang Me Shrimp
 And quit frankly, since I accidental ordered breaded shrimp...why  not get a beer too! First beer I've had in 2012. 

Shock Top
 These guys were great and I just loved the atmosphere here. It reminded me of my favorite bar from college with all the music I love.

He played the guitar most of the time put played the fiddle for this song.
And just when I thought things couldn't get MORE awesome...This guy played the saw!!! How cool is that!?

When you go on vacation, do you go to places you know or do you try to seek out those "best kept secret" local restaurants?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chicken Biryani

Since Matt has been crazy CRAZY busy lately, I've been doing a ridiculous amount of cooking. I was flipping through one of my old (non-paleo) cook books and found a recipe for Chicken Biryani. There were definitely some ingredients I had to alter and I even added some extra ones. 

1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 tbsp raw honey
salt to taste
about 3 lbs of chicken
1 head of cauliflower
2 limes, cut into wedges

You can use more or less of any of those spices, depending on your taste buds.

In a large, deep pan, heat the oil and butter. When hot, add onion, garlic, gigner. Cook until onion is translucent. I cooked it about 10 minutes. Add all spices and stir while cooking about 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, honey and salt. 

Add the chicken to the pan, bring to a simmer and cover for about 25 minutes or until chicken is done. 

Shred entire head of cauliflower in the food processor. Cook it about 10 minutes with a some olive oil. 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add everything to a large, deep baking dish and bake in oven about 10-20 minutes. I left it in longer since it was in a dutch oven.

The lime wedges can be added when you plate.

This is what I picked up at the store for the ginger ingredient. I thought it seemed like a rather large piece of ginger... Then when I got home I googled ginger and this is not what came up. Obviously this is horseradish... That could have gone terribly wrong. Just knowing this fact alone can help you understand why I ended up having to go back to the grocery store 4 times this day. 
Chicken Biryani

National Nutrition Month

Hey guys! In case you didn't know, March is
National Nutrition Month!!!
In honor of this, I'm going to be talking about some different nutrition topics that are important to me throughout the month. I'm also going to be making a BIG effort to try some new veggie filled recipes during March.
The theme for this years National Nutrition Month is Get Your Plate in Shape
Here are a few plates that I happen to like:

This one obviously isn't a plate but I like it and it is super fun:

How are you planning to Get Your Plate In Shape for 
National Nutrition Month?