Monthly Archives: June 2016
Not only are we on the eve of a long holiday weekend, but my office planned a lunch together today and I’m meeting a new friend at a new coffee shop later on after work. Remember before I moved here, I wondered if I would be able to find a job and/or friends?! Well I’m not an unemployed homebody, so it looks like it all worked out okay :)
Last night I stayed up extra late (which, for my standards, means past 10pm…) to create my 4th of July festive recipe. There’s absolutely nothing ridiculously patriotic about this recipe that prevents it from being perfect on the other 364 days of the year either.
This recipe was a total experiment, as I had a general idea of what I wanted the end-product to look like but no real game plan to follow. All of the ingredients were simply things in my pantry, and I targeted the coconut flakes and blueberries as my festive and patriotic contributions. I searched around for something red (I eat fresh strawberries too rapidly to have any left on hand by the end of the week) and found some dried cranberries that would do the trick. Bright goji berries would be a fun alternative!
I created this Toasted Coconut Breakfast Parfait with Blueberry Sauce – Greek yogurt, homemade granola, toasted coconut and fresh blueberries with some bright dried cranberries (white chocolate chips would be good too!) for some extra festive flair.
This might be one of my most intricate recipes. If you’re overwhelmed by too many steps, just know that you can easily substitute in pre-made granola and already-toasted coconut. But if you have some extra time on your hands, it’s actually a lot of fun to make from scratch and totally worth the messy dishes. (I always turn on Spotify and listen to a new album when I’m cleaning up and this time I checked out Dierk’s Bentley’s new album Black. If you are a fellow country music LOVER, go do the same!)
Toasted Coconut Breakfast Parfait with Blueberry Sauce:
- FOR THE GRANOLA:
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 tablespoons stevia (or brown sugar)
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
- FOR THE PARFAIT:
- 3 cups Greek Yogurt (I went with Light n’ Fit non-fat blueberry Greek Yogurt)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 tablespoon stevia (or any sugar)
1.) Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.) Spread coconut out on baking sheet and toast for 2 minutes until edges are golden brown.
3.) In a mixing bowl, combine the granola ingredients (including the toasted coconut flakes). Spread out on parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes, occasionally tossing. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes.
4.) While granola is cooking/cooling, we can prepare the blueberries. Add the blueberries, stevia and a pinch of salt to a small saucepan. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until they begin to pop open. Stir and remove from heat.
6.) Assembly Time! In your parfait cups/bowls, add layers of: Greek Yogurt, Blueberry Sauce, and Toasted Coconut Granola.This is where I added the dried cranberries to make it Red, White & Blue!
Be creative. I mean you just spent a significant amount of time prepping these ingredients; you can spend a few extra seconds to make it look Instagram-worthy ;)
This is my first holiday in Idaho, and I can’t wait to celebrate our country’s freedom Idaho-style! We are dressing up in our most patriotic garb for work today and one of my new running buddies invited me to a backyard BBQ on Monday. The Boise River is also open for floating now so maybe we’ll grab a couple inner tubes and some drinks and drift along for a few hours this weekend. Of course we’ll also find the hot spot for fireworks – which is totally different here because it’s not even dark out until 10pm. Hope you and your family enjoy the weekend and let me know if you try out this recipe!
Monday morning again already? I feel like I just clocked out on Friday afternoon. I can’t believe I’m already in WEEK 2 of my new marketing job! Last week was a blur of introductions, training and shadowing and every day I enjoyed getting to know new amazing people. This company has a quirky unique culture that focuses on building relationships between everyone. (Example: department meetings end with a group Mad Lib.) Half the office replaces their desk chairs with exercise balls, which you know I’m all about. It really is a team environment and I’m so happy to be a part of it :)
Sunday afternoon, I baked a batch of almond poppyseed muffins to bring into the office on Monday morning. #FoodMakesFriends, am I right?! Plus everyone in my department (project management) loves coffee as much as I do. We alllll have our morning coffees from different local coffee shops when we walk in each morning, and most of our days have started off with deep conversations about our intense love of caffeine ;)
Aside from baking, errands, chores, workouts, a hike to Jump Creek Falls, and some time by the pool, I made this new fun healthy dinner on Sunday night: Zoodles (Zucchini “Noodles”) with a homemade zesty lemon sauce served with a salmon burger. This isn’t a full-on recipe, because it’s pretty basic and versatile. It’s more just some dinner inspiration for you if you have a veggie slicer like this!
Zesty Zoodles with Salmon Burger
- 3 large zucchinis
- 2 Tbs. Coconut Oil
- 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
- Minced Garlic (approx. 2 cloves)
- Juice of one lemon
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
1.) Spiralize your zucchinis into zoodles with the “thin” blade.
2.) Heat coconut oil and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add lemon and garlic. Add zucchini. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until they are an “al dente” texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3.) Cook whatever protein you want to serve with your zoodles and top with diced tomatoes and chiles.
See, I told you it’s not a real “recipe”…..just some healthy balanced meal inspiration!
This was my first time ever experiencing zoodles so if you have any favorite recipes or tips and tricks, do share! Next we plan on using them as a chow mein alternative for an Asian stir fry dish :)
In other news, I have a company picnic coming up that’s potluck style. You know I’m not one to resort to store-bought contributions so I’m searching Pinterest for ideas….it’s got to be easy to transport, doesn’t require heating, won’t melt, and preferably something that will feed a decent amount of people (40ish) without costing a crazy amount of money. And I’m going to go one step further and say I’d like it on the healthier side. Wow, that’s quite a list of requirements…looks like I’m bringing water ;) I will also be working on a festive and healthy 4th of July recipe to bring you guys before this weekend. So many things comin’ your way! But first…..almond poppyseed muffin and coffee.
Happy Muffin Monday XO
It’s officially been over a month since I became an Idaho resident and every day still feels like I’m on vacation.
Since there is still plenty of daylight well past 9pm here, we’ve been spending every night out and about way past my normal bedtime. It’s still hard to balance when I’m waking up so early for sunrise runs before work but I’m catching up on sleep this weekend for sure! Last week included our first Boise Hawks baseball game, a round of disc golf at the gorgeous Eagle Island State Park, and a sunset stroll along the Green Belt next to the river. Idaho is never short of phenomenal photo opps!
There is constantly something new and beautiful to see and do, like the beautiful waterfall in Jump Creek Canyon we visited this morning. And you thought Idaho was just a bunch of potato fields ;)
Finding ways to “healthify” recipes is one of my favorite things to do. When you really dig into what ingredients sneak into restaurant food, it becomes more appetizing to take a little bit of the control back and eliminate some of the unnecessary oils, sugars, and chemicals. In my weak moments, a bowl of crispy breaded orange chicken would be a little tempting but my body feels 110x better after a cleaner home-cooked meal that is a little more balanced with healthy fats, lean proteins, and complex carbs.
This recipe is sweet, tangy, and citrus-y!
Light Orange Chicken Stir Fry Recipe:
- 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 large bunch of asparagus
- 8 large mushrooms
- 1/2 sweet onion
- Juice of 2 oranges (plus 1 orange for optional garnish)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1 heaping tablespoon corn starch
- 1.5 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken or veggie broth
- Rice, quinoa, or other grain of choice for “base”
- Clean chicken and cut into 1″ cubes; saute over medium heat until cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Wash and cut vegetables into large chunks, and add to the frying pan. Saute for 6 minutes, adding in the ginger and garlic after 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine the orange juice, corn starch, honey, and broth.
- Add the chicken and the orange sauce mixture to the pan and bring to a low boil. Continue to stir constantly until the sauce has thickened.
- Add salt and pepper to your preference. Serve over rice or your favorite grain.
- I added fresh orange for garnish and color :)
This dinner was a hit and we finished off the pan easily!
There are still a solid 4 hours of sunlight left in the day and it’s too pretty to stay inside. No one can say we aren’t soaking up this summer! See you next week with more fun healthy recipes, workout details, and I’m sure some more Idaho pictures will sneak their way in too. :) Enjoy your weekend, friends!