Cauliflower & Eggplant Noodle Pumpkin Lasagna (Recipe)

You can do anything with cauliflower.

Really… I  bet you could even make ice cream. Maybe… that might be weird.

I’ve made cauliflower pizza, pancakes, waffles, sriracha muffins… the sky is the limit.  Why not sheets of noodles?  It sounds strange, but it works!

Cauliflower Sheet of … 

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Peanut Butter Pumpkin Oreo Blondies (Recipe)

I wanted to name this recipe “crack.”

But that would be whack.

Really though.  I made 2 pans in as many days.  There was just something magical about these.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Oreo Blondies Recipe… 

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Pumpkin Tomato Sauce Recipe

Recipe inspiration can come from anywhere.

I like to think this excuses my aimless wandering in Whole Foods.

This particular meandering trip paid off!  I happened down the tomato sauce aisle and a bright orange jar caught my eye.  It was pumpkin tomato sauce!  I immediately put it in my cart… then remembered to look at the price.  For $9.99 I could certainly make it myself, and I had nearly all of the ingredients at home.

I took a quick picture of the back of the label and scurried off to execute.

Pumpkin Sauce inspirationNormally I’m too lazy to actually follow through with a sauce idea.  For some reason using a saucepan seems like a lot of effort.  It’s really not.… 

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Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

My inner fat kid loves baked goods.

 

So does my outer fat kid.

I really could eat baked goods all day long.  Keep your Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kids, I’ll take the homemade oatmeal cookies.

Sadly, cookies aren’t exactly on my training plan.  Until now.  I strange’d it up in a storm of “use everything in my pantry.”

Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

 

I balled up a version of one of my favorite cookies because everything’s better as balls.  I also altered the ingredient list a bit so it can be eaten guilt-free.  Not that I feel guilty about eating dessert… but sometimes my abs do.

These chocolate chip-laced treats are just as good as the real thing.  Really!  My boss ate one and said “oh my god… these are good!” with a only slightly suppressed tone of  surprise.

Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

 

You could probably use any flour here – try coconut flour to make it gluten free.  They can easily be made vegan with a flax egg.  And, if you’re not ready to bring back pumpkin yet, try mashed sweet potato or banana!

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Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

  • 1 C almond meal
  • 1 C rolled oats
  • 1/2 C spelt flour
  • 2 scoops (62 g) vanilla protein powder (I used Growing Naturals rice protein)
  • 2 T  brown sugar, packed
  • 2 T Stevia (or more brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 C pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 C water
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • 3 T egg white (or flax egg)
  • 2 tsp NuNaturals simple syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp maple pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C sugar-free chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.

In a small bowl mix coconut oil (softened in micro if necessary), syrup, egg white, water, and extract.  Pour wet mixture into the dry.  Stir until well-combined (you can use your CLEAN hands).

Fold in the chocolate chips.  Make balls of ~2 T of dough, place on cookie sheet and and flatten with your palm.

Bake for 10-12 mins at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Makes about 30 cookies.

*See notes in post above for gluten-free, vegan, and other options!

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

I’m thinking I need to finally try a clean(er) cheesecake of my own next!

Baked goods or candy?

What childhood favorite would you like to health-ify?

 

Strange But Good: Pumpkin Beer Bread (or Muffins)

My mom should have been a chef.

 

Everyone says that, but this is legit.

Growing up, she used to make the best breakfasts.  Maybe that’ where I get my love of the meal?  One of my favorites was her bread.  She mad it the old-fashioned way from a starter that she had to feed.  When it baked I could smell it all the way upstairs in my room.

As soon as she removed it from the over, mom brushed salted butter over the top, creating the perfect sweet-and salty crust.  The best part was that she brought it to me with coffee as I got ready in the morning… and the next day she used it to make french toast (which she also delivered to me… how spoiled was I?!  Thanks, Mom!)

This post is not that bread.  My mother’s daughter is too lazy for starters.  My bread is baked with pumpkin beer.  Strange… but good.

Anderson Valley Pumpkin Ale Bread

 

I feel a little less ashamed about my bread-laziness because my mom did taste and love this bread.  She even had me send her the recipe the day after I brought it to Thanksgiving!  Maybe it was the beer talking?… 

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Sriracha. The New Pumpkin.

I’m ahead of the “trendy” curve.

 

This is a first.

According to this article, sriracha may be the new pumpkin.  Many of you saw the chips.  They have now gone so far as to turn it into a vodka flavor.

sriracha vodka

 

Why does EVERYTHING good need to be turned into vodka?  I like a good drink, and I admit that a sriracha Bloody Mary sounds good… but PB&J?  Really?

The point was going to be that I like sriracha before it was cool.  Before the pumpkin obsession.  Before even the bacon obsession.  So there.  Pass me a pumpkin-bacon-sriracha martini.  

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This WIAW felt like it was going to be “meh” after a rushed food prep.  Looking back it didn’t turn out too badly.  I’m pressed for time, but having quick proteins has helped – on busy weeks I rely on no-salt deli turkey and rotisserie chicken.  With a few simple flavor adds, semi-homemade tastes pretty good!   WIAWbuttonRead on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else delicious creations!… 

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Insta-Mallow + WIAW

Instagram is everywhere.

 

No judgment – I’m 100% addicted.

There is a printing company in the UK, Boomf, that has developed an app allowing Instragrammers to print their images onto marshmallows.

So you can take a picture of your food, print it onto another food, and eat it.  Would that be considered leftovers?

instagrammellow

The service isn’t available in the U.S. yet.  They’re trying to work out how to get it through customs.

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I didn’t eat any marshmallows for WIAW, but still managed some good stuff.  I’m out of town the rest of the week, so this is one of those “eat everything in the fridge” days. WIAWbutton Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else delicious creations!

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Breakfast:

As always, the day began with my apple cider morning cocktail.  Still searching for a new amino powder I like…

Breakfast was a little random.  A delicious banana-peanut butter fluff wrap, heated in the microwave.  The peanut butter fluff was a mix of peanut flour (from iHerb – use discount code USO924 for $5-10 off your order!), vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and Stevia.  With a side of turkey because it was going to go bad.

banana PB wrap

 

Mid-Morning Snack:

I am oddly addicted to this Matcha bar found at Whole Foods.  It’s almost buttery with its healthy fats!  Really good pre-workout fuel with a side of almonds.

matcha bar

 

Lunch:

Shredded rotisserie chicken (naked from Whole Paycheck) mixed with kale and a really random “dressing.”  It was the end of a cottage cheese container, mashed avocado, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic power, and pepper.  I mixed it up the night before and used half here and half in the next snack.

I discovered the toaster at work, so I’ve been loving hot  Ezekial sesame toast.  Today’s was slathered my favorite Roots spinach hummus (also a Whole Foods find).

 

Mid-Afternoon Snack:

The other half of the afore-mentioned cottage cheese mix was used in a turkey salad with broccoli slaw.  I’m pretty surprised and how good the cottage cheese mix was, now that I think about it. I wish we had a toaster oven at work so I could crisp it up…

turkey salad

 

And then I had a pity party.  I’m getting a cold.  Extra water, green tea… and a Snickers should fix it, right?

snickers

 

Dinner:

Dinner was rotisserie chicken tossed with BBQ sauce, with a side of roasted mushrooms and crisped kale.

bbq chicken and veggies

 

I turned my roasted buttercup squash into dessert, tossing it in a sauce of peanut flour, cinnamon, Stevia, and almond milk.  And chocolate chips.

buttercup and PB sauce

 

Dessert:

Pumpkin-Zucchini Bread Batter was my midnight snack.  It was another “use all the foods” creation that turned out better than expected!  I love using protein powder in these – it really lends to the batter consistency.

Pumpkin-Zucchini Bread Batter

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread Batter

  • 1/2 C shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 C Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 C Pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Growing Naturals rice protein)

 

Mix everything together and top as desired.  I went with a cocoa powder sauce, popcorn, and cacao nibs.

***

I’m headed to San Francisco for work, and then to Portland to see my sister for the weekend.  Any good Portland restaurant recs?

What would you like to print your Instagram pics on?  I want Insta-bacon!

What is the strangest clean-out-the-fridge dish you’ve ever made?

 

Creating a Life & Creating Fun Recipes

Who doesn’t love a holiday?

 

Especially one that lends itself to so many inappropriate jokes…

Step 1…

 

I know Halloween isn’t technically a holiday (i.e. we still have to work), but it one of my favorite festive events.  I won’t be party-ing it up this year, so I’d like to ask all of you benevolent ghouls to have an extra drink/Reese’s pumpkin/costume fun for me.

Not to worry, I plan to taking a nice walk through a neighborhood to scope out the trick-or-treater costumes while trying not to look like a creeper.  Watching all the kids having so much fun in pursuit of a sugar-high is the best part anyway.  Well, second only to knowing I don’t have to come home and try to put an over-stimulated child to  bed.  ;)

Kat is in the spirit too!  She has some new to share… I think you’ll agree that she deserves to celebrate a little extra tonight…

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Creating a Life & Creating Fun Recipes

by: Kat

Even when you think you have it all figured out, you still have a chance to change and create.

It just occurred to me recently how much change has happened in my life this year that I don’t even really recognize my life (Editor’s note: that happened to me a couple of years ago… crazy, isn’t it?!  Life is so good.).  With all the changes happening, it is a chance to really think about how I want to create my life, and how I want to see thing unfold.

Create a Life

 

This year, I graduated, leaving the perceived safety of an academic environment, spent a summer barely working while studying for the bar, started a new relationship, our families of animals (3 dogs and 3 cats) have come together in one home (yes, I now have pet hair-I only had two hairless cats for the longest time)…

…and I’ve OFFICIALLY PASSED the bar, so I can try to stop working just part-time and really practice law.  (Editor’s note: SO insanely proud of you.  I can’t wait to celebrate your success!)

I got SWORN IN yesterday! This is me signing my attorney’s oath.

I got SWORN IN yesterday! This is me signing my attorney’s oath.

 

Now – how do I create my life so that it feels good – so I’m doing work that inspires me, motivates me, and fills me up?  How do I navigate a home-space so different from where I was comfortable for so many years to have an even more comfortable, more happy environment?  I have options, and I’m excited (and nervous!).

All of this change has sent me right back to therapy.  (Editor’s note: you’re a smart girl – I should have done that when change was busting my balls.)  I have an awesome new creative, holistic therapist helping me use my personality strengths so they can be guiding my new life (instead of letting those not so pretty reactive parts shine through)!

 

Also, Happy Halloween!  To those of us not handing out candy…

heres some chia

 

And you can also get creative by being wickedly inappropriate.  (Editor’s note: I think it’s a boy…)

Birthing Pumpkin

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Or you can be boring like me and go about your daily life making recipes inspired by your cravings.

Lately, I have been craving EGGS.  You can only eat so many over-easy eggs with toast in one week before you really want something different (Editor’s note: blasphemy!).  I saved some sautéed peppers, onions, and mushrooms from a pizza night and used them to make this Pesto Omelette.

Omelette in Pan

 

What I love about this recipe is that it really creates a great meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it’s loaded with healthy fats, protein, minerals and vitamins.  It’s also super fast, and the pesto/drunken goat cheese combo make it super special!

I have a ton of fall recipes I’m getting ready to hone in on and share.  First is my Butternut Squash with Brown Butter Sage Sauce (Editor’s note: you needed a taste-tester for that, right???).  This will be happening soon, along with a new surprise squash I’ll be getting with my next veggie delivery!  So stay tuned!

_______________________________________________________________________________________ Omelette

Pesto Omelette

  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 2 ½ T coconut milk
  • 2-3 T sautéed veggies
  • Garlic salt, to taste
  • 2 T pesto
  • 2-3 T drunken goat cheese, sliced
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • Sliced tomatoes (optional)

 

Preheat a nonstick pan over med-high heat and add coconut oil. 

Whisk the eggs in a bowl until they fluff up a bit, add the coconut milk and whip a little more (this is important for any fluff). 

Pour the mixture into preheated pan, add garlic salt evenly over the entire mixture.  Stir vigorously with a rubber spatula for 5 seconds, then add the sautéed veggies, cheese, and pesto to one half of the egg mixture. 

Let it cook until you start to see that most of the eggs on the side without the veggies is forming a solid mass.  Lift the pan so that the excess liquid/egg mixture distributes, and then use your spatula to loosen the edges from the pan. 

Shake the pan to loosen the eggs, and slide the spatula under and around the side without the veggies.  Let it cook for another 45 sec – 1:15 on each side.

Plate and serve with sliced tomatoes.

***

The thinkThin bar giveaway winner has been selected!  Check out the original post to see if YOU won this treat.

What are you doing to create your life so that it feels good to you?

What exciting fall recipes or ingredients are you playing with?

 

Strange But Good: Mexican Pumpkin Pan-lette

Pumpkin makes a great dessert.

 

Except pie.

I really love it mixed into yogurt bowls, as ice cream, or as bread.  I do not like pumpkin pie.  It’s texture thing… maybe too close to white potatoes?  I digress.

This post has nothing to do with pie.  I tried something new with my pumpkin – I made it a savory breakfast!  It’s actually just a new version of my sweet Pumpkin Pan-lette… a Mexican Pumpkin Pan-lette!  Some may consider this strange.  It also happens to be good.

 

I added Mexican-inspired spices to the pumpkin and egg mix in order to make this part omelette, part pancake creation a smoky, spicy breakfast.

Pico de gallo and some runny #yolkporn (a.k.a. syrup) topped this.  Someone on Instagram suggested bacon… which would have been brilliant.  If you make it, add bacon. ;)

Mexican Pumpkin Pan-lette

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Mexican Pumpkin Pan-lette

Mexican Pumpkin Pan-lette

  • 1/2 C egg white
  • 1/2 C pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Topping ideas: fried egg, pico de gallo, bacon

 

Combine all pancake ingredients into a medium bowl and stir until smooth.  Pour into a prepared (I used olive oil) skillet and cook as you would a pancakes (~2-3 mins on each side).

Meanwhile, prepare toppings.  I used a fried egg and pico de gallo.

Plate your ‘cake-lette, top as desired, and enjoy!

Note: I made this as one huge pancake.  In order to avoid flipping disaster, I finished mine under the broiler and turned it over onto my breakfast plate.

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


***

Totally unrelated, but check out the new Ben & Jerry's Anchorman flavor: "Scotchy Scotch Scotch."

Are you a pumpkin pie fan?

What's been your favorite pumpkin creation this season?

 

Red Velvet Protein Mugcake + WIAW

Here comes the rooster.

 

Bonus points if you can name that song..

sriracha

 

Many of us have fallen in love with the spicy sauce, but did you know it has an interesting back story?  Yesterday I came across this article explaining  the history of “the world’s coolest hot sauce.”

It’s inventor and CEO, David Tran, came to the US from Vietnam in 1980 homeless.  Unable to find a hot sauce to satisfy him in the States, he simply made his own with hybrid red jalapeño peppers, vinegar, sugar, salt, and garlic.  He only hoped to make a sauce worthy of a traditional Vietnamese pho.  He just discovered that sushi chefs have been using it for years to make spicy rolls!  His use of a specific fresh chili is what sets him apart – and manufacturing is dictated by their 10 week, 100 million pound harvest.

Even more mind-blowing is that he has never hired a single salesman, spent any money on advertising, or used social media.  “It’s all been word of mouth,” Tran says.  As a marketing professional, this blows my mind!

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I don’t know where my brain was last week when I said 3 weeks.  THIS WIAW I am 3 weeks from my next competition!  Just a couple of diet tweaks so far, and we added 15 mins of HIIT cardio.  Anticipation of asparagus is high…

WIAWbutton

Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else delicious creations!

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Breakfast:

As usual, I started the day I with my Aminos and ACV morning cocktail.  I swear it’s more energizing than coffee.

My breakfast was warm and comforting one on a chilly, rainy morning.  Pumpkin pie-esque oatmeal, with a serious protein punch.  I really like adding eggs and TVP for texture as well as protein; it makes this into a custard-like bowl of oatmeal.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Oatmeal

  • 1/4 C TVP
  • 1/4 C rolled oats
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 C egg whites
  • 1/4 c pumpkin purée
  • 1.2 tsp cinnamon,
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Stevia or other sweetener, to taste

 

In a small pot prepare oatmeal and TVP as normal.  

When just done, add remaining  ingredients, stirring rapidly to incorporate eggs before they scramble.

Pour into a bowl (or coffee mug) and enjoy!

 

Mid-Morning Snack:

Leftovers from this Sheepshead fish I prepared over the weekend, along with some roasted veggies.  And a few unpictured rice cakes.

Sheepshead fish

 

Lunch:

Cod, hummus, red pepper slices, cucumber, and sweet potato doused in cinnamon.  Standard fare for Gantt chart reviewing.

 

Mid-Afternoon Snack:

I love that I can get salmon sashimi from the massive international market here.  It’s fresh and it’s cheap.  Often I eat it plain, but I saw Jenn’s cucumber rolls and had to give it a go.

I only had 4 survivors (I need more practice), but they are so much fun to eat!  I rolled them up with red peppers and asparagus, and dipped it all (including that sweet potato) in wasabi.

salmon cucumber rolls

As delicious as it was, the best part was that my pancake-on-stick-eating coworker said it was so “pretty” that he wanted one.  I handed it over and he loved it!  Our food comparisons have become a running office joke… I love these guys.

 

Dinner:

Dinner was a super-quick saute of bok choy, green onions, sugar peas, and garlic in lime juice, coconut oil, and an Indian spice blend.  It turned out so well that the rest was just details – chicken (made during Sunday food prep) and injera (Ethiopian teff bread).

 

Dessert:

I’ve been on a giant Greek yogurt bowl kick lately.  That has to stop.  3 weeks out from my competition my trainer sad no more.  The idea is to eliminate foods that could bloat.  Dairy is one of them.  No worries.  I’ll just have Red Velvet Cake.

The deliciousness below is basically my 150 Calorie Chocolate Protein Cake, but I used Cocoa Cardio* instead of cocoa powder.  Topped with popcorn, cacao nibs, and Nuttzo.

 *Cocoa Cardio from iHerb. Use discount code USO924 for $5-10 off your order!

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Red Velvet Protein Mugcake

Red Velvet Protein Mugcake

  • 22g chocolate protein powder (I used 2/3 scoop Growing Naturals)
  • 1 scoop (7.5 g) Cocoa Cardio*
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp no sodium baking powder
  • 3 T unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 egg white (or flax egg)
  • 2 T pumpkin puree (can also use applesauce)
  • ~8 drops NuNaturals orange pure liquid stevia
  • Optional toppings: popcorn, cacao nibs, nut butter

 

Place dry ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until smooth.

Transfer to a large, greased (I use coconut oil) coffee mug and microwave for 1:30 mins.

Tip the cake out onto a plate and top as desired.  My cake was topped with nut butter, cacao nibs, and popcorn.

Makes 1 cake.

 *Cocoa Cardio from iHerb. Use discount code USO924 for $5-10 off your order!  You can also leave it out or use cocoa powder and 1/8 C beet puree to keep it red. 

***

Thank you all of all of the kind comment on yesterday’s post.  It’s sometimes hard for me to tap into the more emotional side – I use humor more often than not. So thank you for being empathetic and kind.

Are you a sriracha fan?  What’s your favorite thing to add it to?

Have you ever attempted a homemade Asian roll?  Oddly, I found the cucumber easier than dealing with rice paper or seaweed.