national pancake day!

Happy National Pancake Day, everybody! I do love pancakes and always find an excuse to make them every week. I had grand plans this past weekend to make this new recipe we’ve been loving, but we ended up making it Friday night for our pre-run carbo-loading and needless to say the natural lighting was not present.

Anyways, if you wish to celebrate this day of pancakes, here are a listing of the pancake recipes I’ve made on the blog – as well as some of my favorite toppings!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes

Gingerbread Pancakes (yes, I know gingerbread is a seasonal flavor, but these should be eaten all year round they’re so good!)

Banana Bread Pancakes

If you’re looking for something simpler, Gluten Free Bisquick is definitely my favorite. We first discovered in Hawaii! Although they’re not quite as good back on the mainland without Lilikoi syrup ;).

Sick of just topping your pancakes with syrup? I don’t know how anyone could get tired of syrup, but here are some other awesome combinations to either put on top of the pancakes, or in the batter.

  • Coconut butter + blueberries
  • Mixing in toasted millet + buckwheat groats + chia to the batter (love the crunch!)
  • Yogurt + granola
  • Banana + honey (you could even get fancy and caramelize the banana)
  • Chocolate chips + peanut butter
  • Bacon!
  • Spinach (blend in to the eggs and you’ve got GREEN pancakes!)
  • Blueberry jam + cottage cheese (new favorite!)
  • Yogurt + banana + coconut
  • Chocolate chips + strawberries
  • Pumpkin + toasted pecans
  • Lemon poppyseed flavored (put in a little lemon juice/extract and poppyseeds)

(Thanks, Sister for quite a few of these ideas ūüėČ )

Pancakes have always been one of my favorite meals – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some things definitely do not change!

HAPPY NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY!

$75 of groceries

To be honest, I am not a big fan of grocery shopping. Every once in awhile I’m in the mood to wander the aisles to see what I can find, but mostly I would rather be at home either cooking or eating the food ;). Ever since going gluten free, and being more conscious of getting products marked ‘certified gluten free’, our shopping habits have changed significantly. With that, our consciousness of prices has increased to make sure that our shopping bill did not change significantly as well. It is my responsibility to buy most of the groceries and I do not have a grocery budget set, per se, but obviously with being a debt-stricken graduate I have to be conscious of the bill. We have found our favorite products and have figured out a way to stagger buying them so we can still enjoy them and have enough money left to buy our other groceries!

The following list of products represents $75 of groceries we got last week. We also have quite a pantry stocked up with dried beans and grains as well as grass-fed beef and free-range chicken in the freezer for our meals. We tend to average about $100 per week of groceries purchased, but with the fact we rarely eat out that ends up being $7.15 per person, per day. And with both of us being fairly big eaters that is definitely not a bad amount! Especially if we were to eat out lunch just one time, it would more than likely be over $7 for the day just with that one meal, not three meals and 2-3 snacks.

There are three main stores we frequent for our groceries. Woodmans (for most of our dried goods and snacks), Trader Joes (produce, almond milk, almond butter) and Outpost (meats, eggs, random products such as daiya). We also go to Whole Foods occasionally, but that would then replace one of our other stops.

Here’s what we got for $75 last week!

  • 2 bags gluten free oats from Trader Joe’s – the first time we’ve seen them and they are SO much cheaper than Bob’s Red Mill! ¬†We didn’t actually need these this week but it was a good find!
  • baby carrots
  • bananas
  • 2 cans of tuna (lunch option)
  • light coconut milk (for a future curry dish)
  • puffed millet cereal
  • romaine lettuce
  • spinach
  • apple cider (for the chickpea cider stew and apple cider donuts!)
  • brown rice pasta
  • vegetable broth (for chickpea cider stew)
  • Talenti gelato – weekend splurge
  • 2 containers unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 container unsweetened almond milk
  • Smart Chicken maple chicken sausage
  • sorghum flour
  • Applegate Farms turkey deli meat
  • Ener-G buns – a somewhat interesting looking but delicious smelling and tasting gluten free bread option!
  • Puffins Honey Rice – an instant favorite. ¬†So good on puffed millet with unsweetened vanilla almond milk!
  • Lentil Curls
Obviously, an entire meal couldn’t really be made out of these ingredients alone, but paired with pantry staples we have had delicious home made meals all week! ¬†It’s so nice to finally have favorite¬†gluten free products that I search out for in stores rather than be sad I have such limited options.
Tomorrow night is yet another grocery night for us – although we’ll be semi-stocking up for Kinley’s Appleton 1/2 Marathon this weekend! ¬†Run Kinley Run!

Now what to do with all these oats… hmmm.

sonoma: the food i ate

Of course I have to start out my Sonoma recap with the food I ate – hard not to, right? ¬†Well, luckily I went prepared, which I have to do now-a-days to make sure there are enough healthy snacks around that won’t make me feel sick after eating them. ¬†However, it’s always good to have a back-up plan just in case you need more fuel – luckily a brand new Whole Foods was one mile away. ¬†I only went there for some chocolate-covered dried bananas one afternoon but it was nice to know if I needed something else it was there for me!

I am a breakfast person, no doubt about it. ¬†I go to bed thinking of breakfast and can’t wait to dig in after a morning workout and shower. ¬†I knew the conference I was working at was going to offer breakfast, but just fruit and toast or bagels. ¬†Fruit good, toast and bagels bad. ¬†So what did I do? ¬†Well, I researched the hotel and found out they had a mini-fridge in the rooms. ¬†Score! ¬†4 days = 2 cups of oats + one container of unsweetened vanilla almond milk + 4T chia seeds. ¬†Overnight Oats in a hotel room! ¬†Especially delicious and special with a topping of Justin’s nut butters and bananas from a fruit bowl that happened to be delivered to our ‘working office” aka smaller conference room. ¬†I packed a pint jar and a spoon/fork/knife utensil I got as well.

I also indulged every single morning in coffee – Starbucks bold style. ¬†Nothing added, and I surprised myself by absolutely loving it that way. ¬†I’ve come so far from my soy milk + sugar free flavored syrup days.

Lunches were a little more up in the air. ¬†The first day I packed something to eat on the plane before we landed and then late afternoon I had a really delicious salad at the resort restaurant. ¬†It was greens with roasted strawberries and caramelized shallot vinaigrette (I got it without cheese). ¬†They actually cooked the strawberries in a pizza oven and they were surprisingly delicious (I didn’t know how I felt about warm strawberries on a salad before this). ¬†I had this salad again one other time but with a side of frites – which were absolutely delicious. ¬†Another lunch I got one day was an omelette (I ordered before 11:30 so they were still serving it!). ¬†I had peppers, onions and salsa on the omelette (and they cooked it in oil and not butter) with a side of potatoes (cooked in oil) and a side of fruit (instead of the toast). ¬†It was really good and a nice change-up from a salad! ¬†One other lunch I ended up with just lettuce with oil + vinegar. ¬†I then politely asked someone for a side of pb&j and brought it up to my room for on top of some rice cakes – delicious! ¬†Love pb&j.

Dinners included a taco bar (just beans + salsa + guacamole). ¬†I was disappointed they didn’t have rice and just flour tortillas. ¬†The next night my co-worker and I escaped and ended up at Mary’s Pizza Shack. ¬†I ran by it the morning before and noticed they had gluten free pizza on the menu! ¬†I had mine sans cheese and with pineapple and olives. ¬†So good – and filling! ¬†I couldn’t even eat it all. ¬†The last night I had the regular meal they were serving which was Salmon with potatoes and veggies (that turned out to be asparagus!). ¬†I also tested the gluten sensitivity by eating a piece of their chocolate-hazelnut torte for dessert. ¬†It was so good and I am happy to report that I had no ill side-effects. ¬†Unless the nausea on the plane from sitting by the smelly guy was more to do with that than his odor… but I’m thinking not. ¬†Definitely not going to make it a habit right now to have gluten filled goodies, but this was definitely too good to pass up and I am happy it did not make me sick!

Other than the regular meals, I had clif bars + l√§rabars as well as rice cakes and almonds + raisins. ¬†I also ate all the apples and two of the peaches from the fruit tray along with all of the bananas :). ¬†I also made sure to get plenty of water + pellegrino (and managed to stay away from the soda)! ¬†It definitely is a struggle eating good, healthy, and allergen-conscious meals when you are not in complete control of the offerings, but I think I did a good job. ¬†And I know I was definitely healthier than the rest of the conference-goers by avoiding the fresh-baked cookies, breads, as well as the various other foods laid out. ¬†I was worried before I left how I was going to make everything work out but it ended up being perfectly fine! ¬†Definitely ready for the next one! ¬†Although I’m happy I have a few months because it was tiring!

chickpea reci{peas}

I absolutely love chickpeas. ¬†Or garbanzo beans. ¬†Whatever you’d like to call them. ¬†I have even started eating them straight out of the can – well, after draining at least. ¬†Is that weird? ¬†Even if it is, I don’t care. ¬†If chickpeas are in something, you can guarantee I’m going to love it. ¬†Chickpeas have often popped up here from time to time…

Whether it was a trio of {hummus recipes}…

In a beans grain green recipe {honey-mustard millet & Beans}…

Served on top of Injera at an {Ethiopian restaurant}…

Added to the delicious {Strawberry Pesto Pasta Salad} by Daily Garnish

Let’s not forget how good it is on {gluten-free vegan pizza} either…

And last but certainly not least how awesome chickpeas made Oh She Glow’s {Heat Wave Summer Salad}…

Obviously, we go through a lot of chickpeas, and this recipe makes them go quite fast as well.  It does slow you down from just eating them from the can however ;).

{Spicy* Baked Chickpeas}

  • 1 can chickpeas (sometimes referred to as garbanzo)
  • 1T grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/2t paprika
  • 1t cumin
  • 1/8t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4t black pepper
  • 1/2t salt

*The recipe wasn’t actually that spicy, so adjust the spices accordingly.

1. Drain the chickpeas.  Place into a plastic bag.

2. Add the oil into the bag and toss to coat.

3. Sprinkle in the spices and roll around until all the little chickpeas are covered.

4. Bake in a 400* oven for 30-45 minutes, turning occasionally.  Make sure to not burn them.  Mine burnt due to a too high of oven (the temp is adjusted here), but they were still all eaten within a matter of days.

Feel free to play around with the spices to change the flavorings or spicy-ness. ¬†You really can’t go wrong.

Oh my chickpeas.

what to pack for an out-of-town race

For my first 10k in June, Kinley and I had to drive from Milwaukee to Green Bay for the race. ¬†We ended up getting a hotel for the night to avoid extremely early driving, which ended up being a really good idea (it’s over an hour long drive). ¬†We didn’t want to eat anything new the night before a race, and since we weren’t home, gluten free pancakes were not an option. ¬†We also wanted to make sure we had a filling breakfast the next morning, with food for both before and after the race to tide us over until lunch. ¬†So what did we bring?

Dinner

  • homemade pasta salad (with carrots, kale, sweet potato, gluten-free pasta and a vinaigrette sauce)
  • fruit (oranges/bananas)
  • Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food¬†(for dessert)

Bedtime Snack

Pre-Race Breakfast

  • rice cakes
  • peanut butter¬†(or any other nut butter)
  • jam

Post-Race Breakfast

  • Overnight oats (1/2c oats + 1T chia seeds with 3/4-1c non-dairy milk added the night before and kept in a mini-fridge)
  • bananas
  • blueberries
  • granola (+ any other additional toppings)
  • Coffee (from the hotel) with the leftover non-dairy milk

Other

If your hotel doesn’t have a mini-fridge, a simple cooler with ice will do as well for the overnight oats. ¬†You can even use the ice bucket at the hotel once you get there if you don’t have a cooler!

Even though there was a lot of planning and preparation before we left, we didn’t have to think about anything once we got to the hotel. ¬†We just had to make the overnight oats and eat! ¬†It’s important to bring enough food along (even too much) because you don’t want to be hungry the night before. ¬†It’s not as crucial for shorter races, but when you get up to the longer ones you need all of the fuel you can get. ¬†And if you are prone to stomachaches after eating out at restaurants, it is extremely beneficial to pack food that is familiar to you.

So if you ever find yourself traveling to a different city for a race, hopefully you find this list helpful!  Happy running!

my water obsession

My favorite Camelbak water bottle!

I’m not sure about you, but I have a little bit of a water addiction. ¬†I know the word out there is to “drink more water!”, but seriously, sometimes I have to tell myself to stop¬†drinking so much water. ¬†In fact, there were a couple of weeks lately where I kept feeling slightly off with nothing to attribute it to until I realized how many ounces of water I was taking in versus my naturally low sodium intake. ¬†I was definitely lacking in electrolytes, bordering on hyponatremia. ¬†It’s a really good thing I figured that out before anything bad actually happened to me.

It’s a difficult balance between dehydration and hydration on hot summer days, especially when exercising. ¬†How much is enough water? ¬†How much is too much? ¬†Is drinking while running going to cause a cramp? ¬†Is not drinking enough while running going to cause a cramp? ¬†Yikes.

I am still trying to get used to running with a water bottle. ¬†On shorter runs, I might not bother bringing one along because I know I’ll be home soon and I hydrated earlier in the day, but on longer runs I have to remember to bring something and to continue to drink it steadily throughout the run to stay in balance. ¬†One other tricky thing is that water alone is not enough, it needs to be balanced with some sort of electrolyte to make it effective.

On my journey to clean eating, I gave up so many processed, convenience foods that naturally my sodium intake level dropped significantly, without even trying. ¬†I now have to consciously salt foods throughout the day to keep up with my water intake and how much I exercised that day. ¬†After my 10k, I even just ate a packet of salt to replace what I had lost. ¬†I know you may be thinking, just drink gatorade or any other sports beverage and you’ll be fine, but I am not a fan of some of the ingredients they use and would rather get my electrolytes in a more natural form. ¬†A good measurement to go by is 1/4t of salt for every 16oz of water you drink.

Awhile back, Kinley found a recipe by Daily Garnish for a Homemade Sports Drink which I now like to take out with me as my mileage is getting higher and the sun is getting hotter. ¬†Instead of sticking right to that recipe, we typically just use salt, a squirt of lime or lemon juice and some agave nectar to make it even more natural but just as effective. ¬†I have to admit however that I have not been successful at making it Kinley’s way (she is much more the eyeball measurements type of mixer and her guesses on the amounts have not turned out for me – so I ask her to put it together for me!). ¬†But as long as there is some salt and sugar/agave in the mix, your body will thank you and be able to recover faster than just drinking water. ¬†Make it as sweet or salty as you like by tweaking the ingredients.

Naturally Clean Sports Drink

  • Salt (1/4t for 16oz water)
  • Lime or Lemon Juice
  • Agave or Honey
  • Water

Moral of the story, drink water, but not too much.  However, I am not a nutritionist by any means so if you have serious concerns with your electrolyte balance during long runs, please seek out a professional for advice.  Happy Summer Running!

what i ate wednesday #4

I can’t believe it’s my FOURTH WIAW! ¬†It was a pretty low-key day for me – nothing on the to-do list! ¬†Just wish the weather was nicer + warmer! ¬†One thing the cold and semi-rainy weather made me finally do was to make a Facebook page for my blog! ¬†I’ll put up all my posts from now on there so it’s an easy way to stay updated with my site!

Breakfast

I started out the morning with a cup of Green Tea with a little soymilk. ¬†I had some steel-cut oats + flax with peanut butter, a little granola (recipe to come soon!) and a Gluten Free Banana Power Muffin – yum! ¬†I also had a dish of blueberries – which I would say are my favorite berries. ¬†I love that they finally do not cost a small fortune! ¬†I also may or may not have left the soymilk container out all morning since I moved my breakfast away from the counter for the picture… whoops!

Lunch

Leftovers from last night… definitely a trend from the last few WIAW’s! ¬†Cheezy Lentils (cooked lentils with a vegan cheez sauce from Appetite for Reduction), roasted potatoes + carrots and some greens on the side. ¬†I love roasted veggies this way. ¬†I just washed them and put them on a pan with cooking spray, and roasted in a 350* oven for about an hour – makes the carrots so sweet and tasty!

Afternoon Snack

Grind-Your-Own Peanut Butter (Whole Foods) with a banana and a¬†Gluten Free Banana Power Muffin. ¬†I love this peanut butter – it is definitely unlike any other peanut butter I have had. ¬†It’s super think and tastes almost like peanut butter cookie dough.

I also had a few blue corn tortilla chips + baby carrots later on in the afternoon.

Dinner

This meal idea came from the cookbook Appetite for Reduction. ¬†Sweet Potato and Apple Mash (with a little almond milk, cinnamon and ginger), kale & pinto beans in a spicy tomato sauce. ¬†It was supposed to be a southern meal with black eyed peas instead of the pinto beans and collard greens, but alas, Trader Joe’s didn’t have black eyed peas and we like kale better.

veggie pizza remix

I love veggies. ¬†And I also love pizza. ¬†Veggie pizza? ¬†Oh man, this used to be one of my downfalls at any gathering that had it. ¬†Typical veggie pizzas call for crescent dough rolled out into a “crust”, topped with cream cheese with something mixed in and then topped with the only actually healthy part – the veggies. ¬†I am guessing the small proportion of veggies to the other components is one of the reasons it is so popular for a ‘vegetable dish’ ;).

I have not had the previously mentioned veggie pizza in quite some time, as I no longer eat dairy and crescent rolls are pretty low on the list of nutrient-filled foods.  Thus, I was extremely happy when Kinley compiled the following concoction to recreate a veggie pizza for my grad party!  First, she turned to The Gracious Pantry for her Clean Eating Thin Crust Pizza.  If you subbed out the honey in the crust for agave or some other non-honey sweetener, this entire pizza would easily be vegan.

Once the pizza crust was baked and cooled, she topped it with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese and also mixed in dried garlic and dill. ¬†This was my first tasting of non-dairy cream cheese, and boy was it ever better than any cream cheese I remember! ¬†Even the relatives who initially turned their nose up at “tofu cream cheese” licked the container clean…

The final component? ¬†Shredded carrots and chunked up broccoli, but do what you’d like here. ¬†There are infinite possibilities.

This was a hit. ¬†It was gone less than 2 hours after the party started. ¬†No lie. ¬†And no one knew it wasn’t actually cream cheese.

This picture has nothing to do with veggies or pizza… but it was another one of the beautiful flower arrangements out at my party. ¬†Thanks Aunt Jody for putting these all together with the two bunches of flowers I picked up at Trader Joe’s! ¬†I just love¬†hydrangeas. ¬†

graduation party

I’m still in the process of detoxing from my grad party ;). ¬†It seems as if I have been going non-stop since last Friday, and I apologize for the lack of posting over the weekend. ¬†I’m slipping back into a more normal routine now. ¬†I actually biked to yoga this morning (I am without a car this week), and I feel so much better. ¬†I haven’t practiced for a couple of weeks and I could definitely tell with how tight my back has been feeling! ¬†Can’t go so long without going again!

I’ll start out by giving a little overview of my graduation party which was this past Sunday, and then go through the details throughout the week ;). ¬†You can see some of the non-baking/cooking preparations here as well.

We started the party later in the evening, I knew I wanted to have a bonfire but did not want to entertain too long haha, so the party started at 6:30 which ended up being a really good time.  It gave us plenty of time during the day to make last minute preparations, clean and get everything set up.  It also helped avoid the dilemma of not knowing what to serve for dinner!

On the invitation, I put appetizers, cocktails and desserts and we mostly went along with that. ¬†The main addition to the list was the PB&J Bar we put together – loved it. ¬†We also had a variety of hummus (hummi for plural? ūüėČ ), salsa, guacamole and plenty of dippers.

And of course a party cannot be complete without a cake and other desserts!  I loved how the cake turned out!

And finally, what’s a campfire without S’mores? ¬†These got put together and taken out to the bonfire. ¬†Unfortunately not too many of these got eaten because of all of the wonderful cake! ¬†But they will definitely keep for our next bonfire!

I don’t have any pictures of cocktails, it was mostly pre-bottles beverages but I also concocted a little sangria to serve which ended up being delicious and oh-so-easy. ¬†I used white zinfandel (although I think a darker red wine would work great as well), and topped it with a little sparkling water and simply orange juice. ¬†I just garnished with one orange sliced up and it was good to go – and perfect served over ice!

Stay tuned for more in-depth details on all the party components :).

party planning

My graduation party is on Sunday!  I have been busy planning and starting decorations for it, and tomorrow starts some baking :).  I have ended up doing a few cost-conscious and environmentally friendly items that I thought might be nice to share, and also so that I will remember these things as well.

Invites can be completely customized and only cost 15 cents an invite. ¬†I simply created an invite and printed it like a photo – nothing fancy but it looks very nice and is 100% customizable (depending on how creative you want to get ūüėČ ). ¬†I kept mine pretty simple, but I loved how they turned out!

I ended up getting 16 mason jars to fill with various things to keep everything coordinated.  I also got ribbon to match the invites as well as the colors on the cake.

Here are the jars I used for the forks, spoons and knives. ¬†They fit perfectly in them even with the cover on top (to make sure they don’t spill out before the party!).

Since I am using the mason jars to put different things in (rather than using the jars/containers they already come in), I needed to make some sort of label to let people know what everything was. ¬†I just got a couple pieces of decorative paper, cut them the size of place-cards, and will print off what’s in the jar on white paper and put them on the place-cards along with a color-coordinated flower.

I’ll fill you in next week with what the jars will all be filled with!¬† Can’t wait to see how it will all look together with the plates and cake! ¬†I’ll be baking two different things tomorrow, Kinley is in charge of a couple of dips on the menu and will be working on them this weekend. ¬†We also have family coming into town tomorrow night to entertain so we will definitely be busy busy!