Saturday, September 28, 2013

Zucchini Stuffed Meatloaf

I had an great night's sleep on Thursday night and it made such a difference. I was able to get up early on Friday, have an amazing breakfast, a successful conference call, go to the gym and do some plyos, treat myself to coffee, and make another batch of my coconut plantain muffins (recipe coming up next!!) all before I had to be back at school for our match. I also took pictures of the dinner I made the night before, which is the recipe I'd like to share with you today!! It is so quick to make and I am sure there are so many possibilities with this that I have yet to explore, but it's a good start and maybe it will inspire you to be creative and try your own variations :-)

Zucchini Stuffed Meatloaf

Zucchini Stuffed Meatloaf
Zucchini Stuffed Meatloaf

  • Approx. 1.5 lbs ground turkey or beef (mine was 94% lean)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini (I used two halves of different colored zucchini)
  • 1 egg
  • Approx. 1 tbsp salt, plus more for vegetables
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning 
  • 1/4 cup parmesan (optional)

Zucchini Stuffed Meatloaf

  • In a mixing bowl, mix together the ground meat, chopped onion, egg, Italian seasoning, and salt.
  • Grease a non-stick meatloaf or bread pan, and place about half on the mixture inside the pan, pressing down in the middle to create a valley for the zucchini.
  • Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and/or Parmesan. Place into the indent and press in slightly. 
  • Use the remainder of the ground meat to cover the top of the zucchini. Top the loaf with additional Parmesan if desired.
  • Bake for about 45-50 minutes on 350 degrees, covering if necessary. Increase temperature to 400 and bake for another 7-10 minutes to bronze.
Enjoy, get creative, and let me know what you think :-) Happy saturday everyone, and please remember to share the love!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Apple Stew

Wednesday is done, two of my classes are cancelled today, and no class on life is good as always, apart from the fact that our carbon monoxide alarms kept going off last night, so I didn't get a lot of sleep. On a different note, I experimented with a crockpot that we have in the apartment now for the very first time yesterday, and it was amazing! So easy to use, and I loved coming home to cooked food :-) I can't wait to play around with it more and hopefully come up with some recipes along the way too. I threw some kabocha squash with carrots in there today and the vegetables had such a great taste and texture to them. I was also able to go grocery shopping to this place called Aldi, which is kind of like a discount grocery store that I just found out is owned as the same people as Trader Joe's (which happens to be my favorite place ever). I was got a butternut squash, an acorn squash, a bag of sweet potatoes, and a pineapple for 6 dollars!! It was awesome and I really don't see cost as a valid reason that would prevent people from eating well. I also made a trip to Costco which is always one of my favorite activities :-) I can only buy certain things there because of their size, and others I freeze or my roommate and I split. I bought celery, Greek yogurt, bacon, egg whites, almond milk, and ground turkey to name a few, most of which I use almost on a daily basis so I know that the food will never pass its expiration date. Wasting food is one of my biggest pet peeves....
I also got a bag of brussel sprouts to roast, because they have never been my favorite, so I want to see if I can change my opinion about them now that I like a lot more food than I used to.  Anyways, earlier this week, I made a stew for dinner so that I would have something to eat throughout the week. I wanted to get into that fall mood, so this is what I came up with and it was AWESOME. Seriously, I highly recommend that you make this now. And it would probably work with turkey, chicken, or beef too. If you really want to use your imagination, you can add other vegetables (hint squash) but keep the apples. Or add more. Best part is, I'm sure I will be making this in the crock pot next time!!

Apple Stew (with pork, onions, sweet potato, and zucchini)

Fall Apple Stew
  • 4 small apples
  • 1.5 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into cubes
  • 2 onions
  • 3 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Fall Apple Stew

Fall Apple Stew

1. Cut up your vegetables into manageable, approximately cube-shaped pieces
2. Pour olive oil in a large pot and add in chopped onions. Simmer over medium heat until onions start to get translucent. If the onion start to stick, add approximately 1/2 cup of water to the pot.
3. Add in meat, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover, lowering the heat to low. Stir occasionally and cook for about 15 minutes.
4. Add in sweet potatoes, and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes.
5. After the sweet potatoes start to soften, add in the zucchini and apples.
6. Let cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring on occasion and adding salt/pepper according to desired taste. Once the apples, zucchini, and sweet potatoes are softened and the meat is tender, remove from heat.

Serve by itself, over zucchini noodles, or topped with melted cheese :) enjoy!! And let me know how it turns out of course.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Weekly Oats Roundup, New Projects, and Time

Just wanted to check in after another week with an oats roundup and some updates on projects I have been working on lately :-) Yesterday was such a rough Monday but I did some reflecting and I feel really refocused this morning and ready for the rest of the week which is exciting! I have a lot to look forward to, with conference play starting this weekend and hopefully a day in Chinatown on Sunday! I also need to shop for groceries at some point...which will be a perfect excuse for me to make it back to Trader Joe's ;) I'll start off with the promised oats summary:

Grapefruit-Raisin Oatmeal
 Grapefruit-Raisin Oatmeal! (try will be surprised!)

Breakfast Bowl Oatmeal
 Breakfast Bowl Oatmeal! 
(With eggs, bacon, and sauteed mushrooms)

Coconut Apple Oatmeal
 Coconut Apple Oatmeal!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt
Pumpkin Cinnamon Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt!

That's it for the week...if you have any submissions, please contact me and I will post them during the next oats roundup! As usual, there are a couple of recipes that I'm still working on that I want to give you a preview of, so please let me know what you think! The first are some pumpkin protein crepes that took some refining, but I'm pretty sure I've almost got it down. Obviously the first batch was really successful: (haha)

Coconut Plantain Muffins

I'm also working on coconut plantain muffins with only four ingredients! The taste is good but they are really dense for now. Keep checking back for when I post the new recipe though ;) In other news, I wrapped a gift for my good friend's boyfriend because it is their anniversary and she is studying abroad, so I had the honor of doing the delivery this morning! I still can't wrap my head around the fact that it has been two years since they started dating, which means it has been more than two years since we started college...yikes. Since we keep ourselvses so busy time goes by fast, but that is what makes it especially scary. Pretty soon it will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas and all rolls into one. Do you have any special plans for the rest of this year? Personally, I really can't wait to see how the rest of 2013 turns out. This also means that pretty soon I will have to be looking for internships again though...hopefully I find something that I really enjoy for the summer.

Brown Paper and Tie Dye Gift Wrap

That's all for now, have a great week everyone! And remember to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter :)


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Blueberry Vanilla Protein Bread

My mom visited this past week and it was really great having her here...but she had to leave yesterday and get back to real life, which includes my dad who unfortunately couldn't come back to visit again. Already looking forward to seeing them at Christmas though woooop. I was able to make a second batch of this blueberry vanilla bread I've been working on though and send some back with her, so at least it was something. We are leaving to play in Connecticut tomorrow, but before I'm gone for the weekend I'd like to share this recipe I've been talking about...there might be revisions in future batches, but I'm posting it now because it is already delicious and beautiful like this, or at least in my opinion ;) Here goes:

Blueberry Vanilla Protein Bread
Blueberry Vanilla Protein Bread
Blueberry Vanilla Protein Bread

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinammon
  1. Let blueberries sit out until they thaw or stick in a microwave for a couple of minutes to defrost.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl until well sifted together.
  4. Add the Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and blueberries with the juice from defrosting and mix well with a spatula.
  5. Use a hand mixer or mixing bowl to whip the egg whites until they form peaks.
  6. Fold the egg whites into the mixture and 
  7. Grease your bread tin or other pan with coconut oil (found that this works best but butter or any other oil works too). I also lined mine with aluminum foil to make it easier to take out and clean, but that is up to you.
  8. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until bronzed and firm in the middle. 
  9. Let cool in the oven for 10-15 minutes before taking it out to prevent the bread from falling.
Blueberry Vanilla Protein Bread

Eat while warm or eat while cold, store in the fridge or freeze for later...makes for a great snack, enjoy!

What other kinds of recipes would you like to see? I have some pretty good ideas for the coming weeks, now if I only had the time to make them...Please remember to also follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram :-)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekly Oats Roundup

It's finally that time again...another oats roundup! I only have two oatmeal recipes for you this week, but they are good ones, so I hope they will not disappoint. Plus, I'd like to share a bonus round of recipe previews I've been working on, so it evens out :-)

Oatmeal with veal pate topped with parmesan and broccoli

Oatmeal with veal pate topped with parmesan and broccoli!

Kielbasa and Asparagus Oatmeal

Kielbasa and Asparagus Oatmeal!

I also want to share a couple of previews for recipes that I have been working on! Still trying to make them just the way I want them before posting the recipes :-)

This is a recipe that is similar to my pumpkin protein muffins, but instead uses sweet potato and some almond milk...I want to make the texture a little more moist though, so keep your eyes out for round two when it comes.

This is some vanilla blueberry bread that I'm really excited about, but I want to modify it a little with a second batch to see what happens...check out that color though, love it!

Both recipes are high in protein and contain no added sugar, so make sure to check back soon for the final recipes.

And last but not least, I thought I'd share a fun idea I came up with last week...canadian bacon and guacamole sandwiches. Aren't they tiny and cute? Not to mention they taste amazing!

Canadian Bacon Guacamole Sandwich

I realized today how excited I am for this time of the year, even though it is ridiculously busy. But that just means there is always so much to look forward to! Is there anything in particular that you are interested in trying this fall? Any recipes that you love but aren't exactly healthy? Let me know, I would love to hear.

Ps. Please continue to follow on Facebook and Twitter for more updates. Thanks and have a great week everyone!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Pinterest Party!

I've never participated in a link-up before, but I figured I would give it a shot, because I use Pinterest a lot and think it's a great way to get your recipes out there and discover others at the same time! So, here goes: 5 of my posts I'd like to see on Pinterest :-) And almost forgot to add that this is hosted by The Lean Green Bean, thanks!

pin it party Pin It Party 3

Pumpkin Protein Muffins

Sweet n' Salty Sausage, Kale and Egg Cake

Apricot Turkey Burgers

Honey Paprika Cinnamon Chicken

Roasted Mushroom and Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Mash

Enjoy and happy pinning! Hopefully I am doing this correctly :-)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pumpkin Protein Muffins and DIY

No school today so I finally have time to catch up and post about what I have been working on. I was able to make the recipe again yesterday after my initial experiment with it, and so I would like to finally share the beautiful results with you :-) It's only five ingredients and you don't even need a blender, how great is that??

Pumpkin Protein Muffins

Pumpkin Protein Muffins

Ingredients (makes about 6 muffins)
  • 1 1/4 cup 100% pumpkin puree (I used the organic kind from a can)
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4  cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (optional)
**Update, after making these again yesterday, I found that adding an egg makes these even better.
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and add in pumpkin puree. Mix well until smooth, then pour into a well-greased cupcake tin or any other baking tray. Bake at around 350 for 20-25 minutes.
Ideas for additional add-ins: chopped walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips, cranberries, honey, or all of the above :-) Top with Greek yogurt for an even better treat!

Pumpkin Protein Muffins
Pumpkin Protein Muffins

In other news...I gave our coffee table a makeover today! What do you think? I sanded it, and gave it a new coat of paint with a regular-spray paint mixture. Woop!
Coffee Table Makeover

Are there any projects you are thinking about doing? I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Weekly Oats Roundup and Kopali Fruits

I am back from a great weekend of traveling and volleyball, and now it's time to focus on a week full of school, which isn't bad at all when there are interesting classes to look forward to. On that note, have you ever heard of Kopali fruits? I hadn't either until last week, but hopefully I will be able to work with the company as part of my entrepreneurship class this semester and spread the word about their fair trade products! So excited, not just because I love fruit and chocolate, but I think that it would be a great opportunity to continue to learn by working with something I am really interested in. I have been working on some awesome pumpkin recipes but I'm not ready to share just the mean time check out this much delayed Weekly Oats Roundup (stretched for much more than a week this time) and my Instagram for some pumpkin previews :-)

Peaches 'n Cream Oatmeal: Oatmeal cooked with Almond Milk and Peaches and Greek YogurtPeaches 'n Cream Oatmeal: Oatmeal cooked with Almond Milk and Peaches and Greek Yogurt

Coconut Mango Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt
 Coconut Mango Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt

Savory Oatmeal with Bacon, Mixed Steamed Vegetables, and Parmesan Cheese

Savory Oatmeal with Bacon, Mixed Steamed Vegetables, and Parmesan Cheese

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Banana Protein Bars

Today was a great day because I went to my first entrepreneurship and fair trade class and I am so excited about the way it is run and the hands-on work we will do during the semester. I especially like the fact that we will be working to actually make a difference and communicating with artisans and fair trade organizations rather than just sitting in a classroom. I have a feeling this might be the first class in my college class that I am genuinely going to look forward to every week...woop! Leaving for West Virginia tomorrow with the team for a tournament this weekend, so life is hectic as usual. Looking forward to posting my first oats roundup in a while though, because there have been some pretty great varieties lately :-) In the meantime, I'd like to share a great protein bar recipe that I came up with last week. These are baked, but I am working on a second version that is no-bake. Hopefully I will have time to make some tomorrow in between classes before the trip.

Banana Protein Bars

Banana Protein Bars

  • 2 Smallish Bananas
  • 1 Cup Almond Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 1/2 Scoops Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 1/4  Cup Ground Flaxseed
  • 1/4 Cup Pecans (or other nut)
  • 1/4 Raisins or cranberries
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients well in a medium bowl. Knead the dough, and then spread onto a greased cookie sheet into a rectangular shape. Try your best to cut into even protein bar-shaped rectangles, and then stick into the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until firm. 

That's it! Easy right? And healthy, obviously :-)

Enjoy as always, and please follow!

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chocolate PB Protein Balls (No Bake)

It has taken me a while to get back in the swing of things since preaseason training ended and school and traveling for volleyball started. I have done some baking and cooking since, but have been terrible about keeping up and posting everything, so I am working on changing that now that I am back in some sort of a (crazy) everyday routine. I will have to play catch-up for a little while, but hopefully will get on top of things again! It is my friend's birthday today, so this is the result of me deciding to make her a present:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls (No Bake)
Makes about 30 balls


  • 1/4 cup Cacao Powder (no sugar added)
  • 1/4 cup Hemp seeds (or other finely chopped nuts)
  • 1/2 cup all-natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 scoop chocolate-peanut butter protein powder (or similar flavor)
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
Knead all ingredients well until you get one uniform lump of dough. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into balls about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter. Set balls on a plate and stick in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until ready to eat. The other option is of course to eat them right away, because they are delicious no matter what. Another optional touch is to additionally roll each ball in cacao powder, making the balls nice and truffle-looking.

That's it! It's quick and easy, and the most time-consuming part of the recipe is rolling the dough out into balls...but if you're strapped for time, you could easily make these into bars as well. And if you're not, you could kill time and make the dough into fun animal shapes ;)

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